VIDEO: Keeper’s handiwork helps seal Rockhampton win
A PIECE of crafty glovework from wicketkeeper Mark O'Keeffe yesterday proved to be the turning point as Rockhampton kept their hands on the Central Queensland Cricket Championships trophy for a sixth consecutive year.
The highly-fancied Gladstone team, which featured Queensland Country pace pair Trent Sorohan and Chad Gilmore, restricted Rockhampton to 180 after Lachlan Knuth was run out on the penultimate ball of the 50th over.
However, a lively pace attack and an energetic performance in the field inspired Rockhampton to a 14-run victory over their southern rivals.
At one stage Gladstone were 4-101 and cruising along with their target in their sights before spinner Justin Peacock and O'Keeffe turned the match.
Queensland Country batsman Anthony Eden latched onto a catch to dismiss Terry Sawyer (28) off Peacock's bowling in the 32nd over.
Five overs later and David Heymer (5) and an in-form Jason Seng (34) joined him in the stands in the space of four balls after O'Keeffe provided some class work behind the bails to have the pair stumped.
High school student Knuth opened the bowling and bowled with rapid pace to finish with 2-17 off seven overs while first change bowler Richie Pershouse tied the Gladstone batsmen down during his 10 overs.
Pershouse collected the wicket of No.3 batsman Josh Hall in the 11th over.
Leg spinner Justin Peacock 2-30; pacemen Rion Banks (2-56) and Luke Johnstone (2-40) all collected a brace.
Rockhampton skipper Aaron Harmsworth won the toss and elected to bat, however Gladstone gained the early ascendancy when O'Keeffe was caught for 0.
While fellow opener Luke Johnstone (32) held down one end, the wickets tumbled and Rockhampton were in trouble when he fell in the 27th over with the score at 4-64.
Harmsworth (48) and Jason Wells (34) steered Rockhampton past 150 before the tail wagged to see Rockhampton reach 180.
2014-15 CQ CRICKET Championships
Rockhampton 180 (A Harmsworth 48, J Wells 34; T Sorohan 3-26, C Gilmour 2-30) def Gladstone 166 (J Seng 34, T Sawyer 28; L Knuth 2-17, J Peacock 2-30) in Gladstone yesterday.