Two teams for whom a much anticipated tournament just hadn’t gone to plan turned on an entertaining, big-hitting battle on Cornwall’s smallest oval.
Winning the toss and batting, Greerton got off to a sound start thanks to opening duo Nick Hendrie and Henry Collier who put on 87 for the first wicket inside the first hour.
Collier departed just after he’d reached his half century off 39 balls (2 x 4, 5 x 6), while Hendrie would be joined by first Umesh Ranaraja and then Brett Hampton before he found his own half ton, off 45 balls (5 x 4, 2 x 6), in the 16th.
Big hitter Hampton missed out on the small ground, however. After getting off the mark with a single, he edged behind to give Ili Tugaga (2-34) his second wicket — sparking a big celebration for Easts, knowing full well the danger they had just snuffed out.
Then Kaleb Gilhooly (2-61) picked up his second as well in Hendrie, and Greerton was 149 for four in 20th over.
While that would be a handsome start on any other ground, on the number three the goal is always to put 300-plus on the tins and it would take a team effort from Greerton to get close.
Lee Watkins (38), Shane Wineti (29), Tom Renouf (dropping down the order today for his 27), Ormrod (23) and Dan Spencer (25 at nine) all chipped in, but Easts had the last laugh bowling them out for 297 in the 45th over, captain Lance Dry finishing with 3-53.
In the reply, Easts got off to the poorer start, but made up for it by stringing together solid partnerships in the middle order. Lauchie Johns had been moved up to open, but was the first to fall at 36 for one when Watkins had him caught.
Fast forward to the 13th over and it was 80 for three, but Wellington Firebird Michael Bracewell was already well into his work. The Beast of Easts would blast a quick 66 off 31 balls (six fours, six sixes) and paired up with Jamie Gibson (below) for a 52-run stand for the fourth wicket.
It ended when Bracewell was caught by Hampton off Spencer, but Gibson would stay put for another dozen overs to control the chase — reaching 91 off just 49 balls (nine boundaries, seven sixes) before being caught in the 30th over at 240 for seven.
Now another 58 runs was all that was required. Hampton had claimed Gibson and would pick up another for a haul of 3-40, but Andrew Fullerton-Smith (26 not out) and Gilhooly (24 not out) made sure of a comfortable three-wicket win.