Cane Toads take out LMS Plate

They may have fallen just short at the annual T10 LMS Tournament, but the Ray White Marsden Alan Kuss backed Yarrabilba Cane Toads Last Man Stands side have taken out the LMS Beaudesert Div 3 Plate Final against the Window Lickers as a thrilling in augural season of Last Man Stands came to the close at Jimboomba’s Glenlogan Park on Sunday.

Almost a year to date since plans were announced for the Yarrabilba Cricket Association’s entry into the local Last Man Stands Beaudesert competition, established operated by Matt and Cameron Turnbill two years ago, and after starting the season with late withdrawals and embarrasing five-men turnouts to be thumped in the opening rounds of this seasons competitions saw the Yarrabilba Cricket Association facing some embarrassing questions including whether due to the events that transpired last year whether they should withdraw their side from the competition.

Prior to the events the Yarrabilba Cricket Association had fourteen people expressing an interest to play in the Last Man Stands side, however only a handful turned up… it was however the support of the players, LMS Sponsor Alan Kuss and the operators of LMS Beaudesert that saw the association, and with it the team, continue.

Players came to fill in and enjoyed their time with the team, and the ability to have a regular game, they committed to the side for the rest of the season and soon the side was filled most weeks with players forced to ‘race’ each other to commit to the side each week to avoid missing out.

Games were still hard to win, as they experimented with different batting and bowling line ups however the Cane Toads became more competitive throughout the season and at times became a side able to ‘lend’ players and fill in’s for other sides outside of our games – helping the competition and the teams that had helped us in the beginning.

A thrilling semi-final which saw Stephen Grace clip a four of the final ball to secure victory and see the Yarrabilba Cane Toads LMS into the Plate Final against the Window Lickers, who earlier in the day had posted in excess of 170 to beat their Semi Final opponents.

The final, which was also streamed LIVE on the Last Man Stand’s Global website through lastmanstands.tv, saw Cane Toads skipper Callum Whiting win the toss and elect to bowl first – a surprise to some pundits who suggested you should always bat first while the ball is new – however a plan to chase, which the Cane Toads seem better at doing throughout the season, had been on the skippers mind throughout the week.

When both opening bowlers David Sheehan and Mitch Le Prou both made early breakthroughs dismissing Shane Griffiths (2 from 5), and the dangerous Shane Hoffman – who has hit two fifties with an average of 40.41 at a strike rate of 179.11 – for three from three the belief within the playing group grew.

Jayden Hayes soon departed for 13 from 19 and it looked like the Cane Toads may be able to rumble through the entire Window Lickers batting line up, until Riley Baldwin (36 from 27) – who himself has scored two fifties at an average of 32.80 and strike rate of 147.74 – and Ben Harcksen (unbeaten on 29 from 30) helped provide a decent target on the board.

Benson Trembath chipped in with a handy 29 from 21 as the Window Lickers posted 121 for the loss of five wickets from their 20 overs.

David Sheehan finished with 2 for 21 from his four overs, Christopher Prothero also chipped in with 2 for 24 from three, while other bowlers remained economical with Gavin Andrews going for just 5.75 from his overs as the Cane Toads made it difficult for runs to come by with their fielding efforts and tight bowling lines.

Craig Whatmore opened alongside skipper Callum Whiting to get the run chase off to a positive start against some accurate and difficult opening bowlers, Whatmore however tried to take down a ‘custard-ball’ only to top edge it to the keeper to be the first man out for 11 from eight deliveries.

Mitch Le Prou came to the crease and despite a slow start, began to find the gaps in the field with the scoreboard beginning to tick over – at times with ease.

Whiting was dismissed for 21 from 20 deliveries, which brought Andrews to the crease to partner Le Prou the pair effectively setting up the Cane Toads win with a strong partnership.

Gavin Andrews was forced to retire on 22 from 18 deliveries due to a hamstring injury, and soon after Mitchell Le Prou was forced to come from the field also – this time however due to the LMS rules that stipulate a player must retire when he reaches 50 – Le Prou had smashed his way to 53 runs from 30 deliveries, a knock that included five boundaries and two sixes at a strike rate of 176.67.

Daniel Muller who has been consistent for the Yarrabilba Cane Toads throughout the season was with David Sheehan (11 from eight) when the last ball of the 16th over saw the pair bring up the winning runs and secure the association’s first piece of silverware.

Muller was unbeaten on four from three, Sheehan unbeaten on 11 from eight was named Player of the Final with his batting going with his 2 for 21 with the ball as the Cane Toads reached 123 for the loss of just two wickets in the sixteenth over.

The Plate is the first piece of silverware for the Yarrabilba Cricket Association, and first piece of sporting silverware for the ever growing future City of Yarrabilba.

Alan Kuss – Yarrabilba’s Number 1 Real Estate Agent according to ratemyagent.com.au, and the Main Sponsor of the Last Man Stands operation was on hand to witness the side he supported blindly, who like many of the players who would go on to win the Plate had never heard of or seen Last Man Stands in action, secure the victory.

“It’s a tremendous job by the boys, well done!” he said immediately after the game in the mixed of celebrations.

Most of the players have committed to the LMS side again for the upcoming winter competition with registrations also set to open soon for others interested in joining the Cane Toads for their hunt for the Cup – and thus the first ‘Premiership – shortly with the competition to start shortly after Easter.