Mitchell may have been out of the running for the Western Zone Inter-Council Under-16 title going into the final round against Macquarie on Sunday, but had a chance to finish on a high with back-to-back wins.
Late in their chase it looked likely too.
Alas, it wasn’t to be as Macquarie successfully defended their total of 5-258 by 14 runs, bowling the Blackl Caps out with four balls remaining.
Encouraging late digs from Orange’s Nick Murphy (37) and Harry McGregor (27) added to earlier efforts of 42 from Declan Fawkner, 32 from Ethan Muller and 26 from Hugh Middleton.
Middleton was the standout with the ball as he gave up just 0-14 from 10 overs but no Mitchell bowler could bring down Macquarie opener Darcy Chewings, who finished unbeaten on 87.
Mitchell coach Clint Bryant said his team performed admirably against a Macquarie team with everything on the line.
“It wasn’t too bad for us. It was just some crucial moments in the game that really killed us in the end,” he said.
“We bowled our spinner out early on and he probably should have saved some overs through the middle. The quicks couldn’t make in impact through the middle during our innings but you live and learn from that.
“The lower and middle order got us into the game. It was 38 degrees and we were going out there to bat after we’d fielded for 50 overs and that made things hard.”
Bryant said the Mitchell squad is a classy one, but lacking the week-to-week consistency.
“There was never a game where we’ve fielded our strongest team. We’ve always had someone available,” he said.
“We’re a young side so we’ll be better for the contest next year, that’s for sure.”
Victory gave Macquarie the title, two of the three they claimed along with the under-14 gong.