The 2016 Arthur Allsopp Shield entered its final days on Friday with the Mirrabooka Softball Complex playing host to three highly entertaining playoff matches as teams looked to move one step closer to a place in Saturday nights grand final.
In an action packed two days it was NSW who continued their strong finish to the week by beating Queensland after an entertaining and high scoring 8th innings tiebreak. The win gave NSW a spot in the grand final on Saturday night with their opponents determined in a semi final clash between Queensland and the ACT, after the latter eliminated hosts WA from the competition with an impressive win earlier in the day. After being the best team of the round robin it was Queensland who booked a grand final match up with NSW.
Elimination final: ACT 11 defeated WA 5
Earlier in the day a decision was made by tournament organisers to reschedule the matches due to the heat on a scorcher of a day in Perth. The reschedule saw the matches moved back to the night session with the first match featuring WA taking on the ACT in an elimination final. Everything was at stake in this entertaining encounter with the winner advancing to a semi final clash on Saturday afternoon. ACT came into this contest full of confidence after two impressive victories and one nail biting match against Queensland in their last 3. Meanwhile, hosts WA entered this match with a week full of mixed results that saw them finish 4th on the tournament ladder. The hosts looked to
finish the tournament off strongly in front of a large Mirrabooka crowd.
With so much at stake and a large crowd building both teams took to the diamond looking to take an early advantage. It was the ACT who took a 2 run lead in the bottom of the 2nd but both teams looked up to the challenge. The game entered a new gear, when in the 3rd innings, WA registered 5 runs to give them a one run advantage heading in to the 4th. After a superb innings it looked as if it would be the hosts who would be advancing to a semi final clash but the ACT soon took the lead back, leading by 1 at the top of the 5th innings. Unfortunately for WA a determined effort wasn’t enough against a strong ACT outfit who were able to close out the game with a solid offensive performance. In the end it was the ACT coming out 11-5 victors, booking themselves a semi final clash with either Queensland or NSW on Saturday afternoon. It was a disappointing result for hosts WA who promised so much in front of a home crowd but failed to deliver despite a spirited effort.
In an entertaining display by the visitors it was the notable efforts of ACT’s Bolton Nussbaum, who continued an impressive campaign, and fellow ACT team mate Andy Meyer-Coyte who played standout games. Nussbaum went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 1 run at the plate with Meyer-Coyte also performing well with bat in hand by registering 2 for 3 and 2 RBIs.
Qualifying Final: NSW 7 defeated Queensland 4
Next up on Diamond 1 it was NSWtaking on Queensland for a place in the grand final. This contest witnessed the two best teams of the week and promised to be a highlight of the tournament. It took Queensland five days and 6 wins before they suffered their first loss but this was followed by another loss against NSW late on day five. Meanwhile, NSW entered this contest in similar form that saw them win the 2015 championships. After a number of mixed results at the start of the week the boys in blue were starting to play some of their best softball making this encounter a must watch.
When the two teams previously met on day five it was a battle of the defenses with both sides pitching extremely well to force the game in to a 0-0 tie after 7 innings. When NSW got past the plate early in their first innings it seemed as though it would be a different story until both pitchers again started to showcase their skill resulting in only one run being scored after 5 innings. Queensland were made to respond when NSW stretched their lead to two and they did just that by getting past the plate twice to tie the game at 2-2. After a scoreless 7th innings the match was taken to an 8th innings tiebreak for the second successive game between the two sides.
In yesterday’s contest it was NSW who came out on top after an entertaining tiebreak. It was NSW who were able to capitalise on vital errors by the Queenslanders that were rarely seen throughout the week. After posting 5 runs at the top of the 8th it was Queensland who had it all to do. A spirited effort that saw Queensland register two runs wasn’t enough as NSW claimed their second successive tiebreak win by coming out 7-4 victors in arguable the game of the tournament. The win means that NSW advance directly to the grand final whilst Queensland will have to overcome a confident ACT side when they meet in a highly anticipated semi final clash on Saturday afternoon.
It was the strong offensive efforts of New South Wales’ Jacob Donaldson (4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 1 RBI), Logan Campbell (3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI) and Blake Jackson (4 AM, 2 R, 2 H) who notably performed at the plate for an impressive NSW side. NSW will hope for a number of notable performances from their players when they try to take out their second successive Arthur Allsopp Shield on Saturday night.
Semi Final: Queensland 5 defeated ACT 4
There were only 3 teams remaining when the tournament entered its last day of competition. With NSW already through to the 2016 Arthur Allsopp Shield grand final their opponent was determined in a shoot out on Saturday afternoon between Queensland and ACT. It was the ACT who headed in to this game with a lot of momentum after finishing off the group stage strongly before they overcame hosts WA in an elimination final on Friday afternoon. Meanwhile, Queensland found themselves in an unusual position after being the standout team of the week. With 3 losses in their last 3 matches the Queenslanders entered this game wanting to rediscover their dominant form
from earlier in the tournament.
It was the ACT who started the game at the plate and after an early score to shortstop, Christian Palombi, it was the underdogs who took an early lead. ACT were able to maintain this 1 run advantage for the next two innings until two errors and a wild pitch allowed Queensland back in to the game with a 3 run 4th innings. At the top of the 5th innings it was Queensland who took a 3-1 lead and looked to pile the pressure on their opposition but an error by third baseman Thomas Rutherford allowed ACT to get through for two scores and tie the game 3-3 at the bottom of the 5th innings to make for an intense finish.
After a scoreless 6th innings the game entered the 7th with both teams level. It was the ACT’s Sam Miners who registered his sides lone score of the last innings, meaning Queensland would need two runs to gain victory and a spot in the grand final. A score from Queensland’s Sheldon Waller early in the 7th looked to take the game to a tiebreak until a Layton Reid hit to right field allowed Rhys Shelley to run past the plate and register a winning score for his team. In the end it was Queensland who were victorious by a score of 5-4 in an entertaining semi final clash at the Mirrabooka Softball Complex.
Grand Final: NSW 5 defeated Queensland 4
After an extremely tough week of competition the 2016 Arthur Allsopp Shield grand final featured the two best performing teams of the week in NSW and Queensland. It appeared that after a mixed start the competition that NSW had discovered their form that led them to last years championships, peaking at exactly the right time in preparation for the grand final. For Queensland the story couldn’t be more different with the side beginning the week in amazing style by going undefeated in their first 6
games before losing 3 games in a row. However, an impressive victory against 3rd place finishers ACT means Queensland entered this contest full of confidence. As the crowd gathered around diamond 1 at the Mirrabooka Softball Complex one thing was certain, this match was going to be a memorable one no matter the result.
As Queensland started the game at the plate it was NSW’s pitcher, Shaun Lanaghan who started the game in perfect fashion by striking out all 3 of Queensland’s batsmen in quick succession to move in to the bottom of the 1st innings. Blake Jackson and Jacob Donaldson soon backed up a perfect defensive start to the match with an equally as impressive offensive performance by the boys in light blue as NSW took a 2-0 lead through an error by Queensland. As the game moved in to the 2nd innings both teams
were able to register scores meaning NSW maintained their two run lead with a score of 3-1. With a two run deficit at the top of the 3rd innings Queensland needed a big
play and it was Michael Ludkin who once again delivered for the Queenslanders by putting a home run over the left field fence to register two scores to complete a 3 run innings and give Queensland the lead. It was NSW’s Jarred Garland who then ensured the game was tied up at the top of the 4th innings, advancing on Bryce Calderon’s single to center-right field to register a crucial score. As the scores remained tied throughout the 4th and 5th innings the atmosphere at the Mirrabooka Softball Complex was becoming very tense with both teams playing out a nail biting finish.
After a scoreless innings from Queensland in the bottom of the 6th it was NSW who then took the advantage through a Jacob Donaldson double to left field with Blake Jackson scoring to once again put his state in front heading in to the last innings. In a classic finish it was NSW pitcher Shaun Lanaghan who held his nerve to pitch an impressive innings to secure the win for the boys in blue. The final score ending 5-4 in NSW’s favour in a truly memorable championship final.
In an extremely tight contest the notable performances of shortstop Jackson (3 AB, 2 H, 2 R), catcher Donaldson (4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI) and pitcher Lanaghan (7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 8 SO) stood out in a superb team effort by the 2016 Arthur Allsopp Shield winners.
Arthur Allsopp Award winners
|Most Valuable Player||Jett Wright (WA)|
|Best Batter||Jett Wright (WA)|
|Best Pitcher||Jerone Tan (ACT)|
|Player of the Grand Final||Shaun Lanaghan (NSW)|
All Tournament Team
|Pitcher||Jerone Tan (ACT)|
|Catcher||Rhys Shelley (Qld)|
|1st Base||Jett Wright (WA)|
|2nd Base||Mac Reith Snar (NSW)|
|3rd Base||Daniel Harrison (NSW)|
|Shortstop||Dawson Summers (WA)|
|Outfield||Sam Miners (ACT)|
|Sheldon Waller (Qld)|
|Jeremy Waters (Qld)|
|DP||Logan Campbell (NSW)|
For all Results, click here.