Clarence River veteran provides a Matt finish

MATT Pigg spearheaded his Clarence River side to a Brian Gainsford Shield Final win yesterday.

Matt Pigg receives his man of the match medallion from umpires Neil Smith (left) and Jeff Hackett (right). Photo: Geoff O’Neill 301214GOD01

The 42-year-old allrounder blasted 72 off 63 balls to enable his side to reach 6-215 from its overs against Robertson Burrawang at Tamworth’s No 1 Oval and then claimed 4-44 from 10 overs as their southern adversaries fell for 148.

While teammate Brayden Pardoe claimed 5-26 from his six overs to make some early breakthroughs, it was Pigg who was a deserving man of the match winner.

Umpires Neil Smith and Jeff Hackett presented him with the medallion.

Hackett, who hails from Grafton, has seen plenty of Pigg’s brilliance in the past.

“He’s been the player of the year in Grafton numerous times,” Hackett said.

“There’s still life in the old legs yet.

“Yesterday he scored 46 on a sticky wicket and today he scored 72 and took 4-44.”

Pigg hit seven fours and three sixes in his 63-ball stay.

Earlier, Bill North (25) and Jake Kroehnert (28) had built a crucial 49-run third wicket stand with the side 2-22.

Then Pigg and Mitch Kroehnert (30no) blasted away late, adding 76 for the sixth wicket as Clarence River smacked 95 off the final 10 overs.

“He’s 42,” Clarence River skipper Bob McKenzie said after the game.

“He’s an old head. The best in the valley.

“He scored 46 yesterday as well.”

That 46 was part of a 136 total against top seeds Cricket Albury Wodonga Colts.

Then the Clarence River bowlers crashed through the southern border side to rout them for 75 to set up yesterday’s final appearance.

Brad Chard (4-20) was instrumental in that along with Troy McLaren (3-23), Brayden Pardoe (2-18) and Pigg (1-14).

“We’ve got some handy bowlers,” McKenzie added.

“Brad is a former Australian Under 19 and been a real spearhead for us. We don’t score that many runs but our bowling attack is pretty good.”

McKenzie also thanked the Tamworth District Cricket Association for its work in “getting two days of cricket out of the three-day” Country Shield and Plate Carnival.

“They’ve been enormous,” he said.

Robertson Burrawang skipper Nathan Wright, sore from his shoulder dislocation, also backed those comments.

He didn’t expect to play on the weekend but was delighted with his side’s 10-run win over Tamworth Colts in their Sunday semi-final at Riverside 2 and then glad to have played a final.

His side won the Plate Final two seasons back.

“We’ve done well to get here for a club team from a town population of around 1500,” he said.

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