A marathon bowling performance by one of Newcastle’s finest ever all-rounders, Joe Price, saw Wests Cricket Club lift the First Grade trophy at No 1 Sportsground on Saturday.

Price fired down 36.5 overs of accurate medium pace, returning the figures of 4-71, as Wests CC restricted the mighty Merewether outfit to 9-185 in reply to their total of 210 scored on the first day of the final last Saturday.

While it was tough scoring on the slow wicket and heavy outfield on day one, day two proved just as difficult as no less than three Merewether batsmen made it into the 20’s but faltered when a big score beckoned.

It was left to solid left hander Josh Geary with a resolute half century to keep the Merewether hopes alive, but when he was knocked over by Joe Price, the Rosellas were within sight of a much deserved victory.

Merewether lost early wickets to be 2-18 before skipper Simon Moore steadied the ship until falling on 27 with the score on 3-62. From then on it seemed all uphill despite excellent contributions from Geary, Zac McGuigan, Daniel Andrews and Troy Goodwin.

The Newcastle competition’s leading bowler in the 2017-18 season, Peter Lojszczyk, also stepped up to the mark when it counted, picking up two vital wickets for just 43 runs from his 19 overs.

Both Price and Lojszczyk benefitted from magnificent opening spells by the regular new ball partnership of Ben Aldous 15 overs, 1/22 and Thomas Allen 14 overs, 1-31, who piled the pressure on Merewether’s top order which eventually succumbed to the accuracy and control of the Rosellas top four bowlers.

It was fitting that after 14 rounds, a semi-final and a final that the best side got the chocolates. Well done Wests Cricket Club!

Wests CC 210 defeated Merewether 9-185 (Josh Geary 52, Simon Moore 27, Zac McGuigan 24, Daniel Andrews 23, Troy Goodwin 18, Joe Price 4/71, Peter Lojszczyk 2-43, Ben Aldous 1-22, Thomas Allen, 1-31).