After a week long delay as a result of wet weather, the Midwest first grade cricket grand final took place on March 15 between the minor premiers, the Goolma Polar Bears and the Mudgee Paragon Tiges at Victoria Park, Gulgong.
Goolma were off to an ideal start, winning the toss and electing to bat.
The Polar Bears looked shaky early on loosing Jason Warner (1) and Jack Foran (2), both dismissed by Brian O'Reilly leaving Goolma reeling at 2/5.
Tom Doherty was stubbornly holding his end up, refusing to give away his wicket, and a steady partnership between Doherty and team captain, Bill Honeysett proved pivotal before the later fell for a well made 30.
Doherty was then joined by Damian Doherty but feel soon after finishing on 12, followed by Ashley Honeysett who came to the crease but also feel soon afterwards for one.
Damian was then joined by his father, Peter and they put on 18 runs together before Damian was dismissed by Will Lindsay, caught at deep square leg for 11.
Andrew Doherty then came out to bat but returned to the sheds soon after being bowled by Lindsay for a two ball duck.
Peter Doherty became Lindsay's third wicket, being caught behind Tom Lawson for a very important 17, while Shaun Doherty and Mark Doherty put on 13 runs for the eighth wicket before Mark was caught by James Forbes off Brian O'Reilly for 6.
Shaun was then joined by younger brother Brett and together they put on a further seven runs before running out of overs, Goolma finishing with 9/98 off their 40 overs.
Bowling for the Tiges was Brian O'Reilly who took 3/27 off 8, Will Lindsay 3/19 off 5, Taurus Maskey 1/16 off 8 and Adam Coughlan 1/21 off 8. A Special mention to opening bowler Andrew Best who finished with 8 overs 6 maidens 0/3.
In reply, the Paragon Tiges showed their intent early taking 12 off the first over. But, Goolma reined it in quickly and in only the second over, Tom Lawson fell playing onto his stumps to Ashley Honeysett for 1.
In the next over, the dangerous Will Lindsay was caught behind by the ever green Mark Doherty off the bowling of Damian Doherty for 12. Goolma couldn't relax as the equally dangerous Andrew Best came to the crease but he too also fell soon afterwards to Ashley Honeysett also caught behind by Mark Doherty for 2.
The Tiges were definately reeling at 3/16 and things didn't get any better when Adam Couglan was out lbw to Damian Doherty for 2 and Mudgee Tiges found themselves at 4/18.
A small rebuild took place between James Fischer and Brian O'Reilly before Fischer was run out by Brett and Mark Doherty for 3.
Peter Best then joined Brian O'Reilly as the Tiges tried to stop the calamity of falling wickets.
But just before the rain came in Peter was caught at mid on by Shaun Doherty off the bowling of first change bowler Bill Honeysett for an 18 ball duck.
At the fall of this wicket, and the rain getting heavy the umpires took the players off the field with the weather eventually ending the match early and Goolma being declared the winners as minor premiers.
Bowling for Goolma was Damian Doherty who took 2/21 off 7, Ashley Honeysett 2/9 off 6 and Bill Honeysett 1/0 off 0.3 overs.