Cricketers disappointed after grand final in Pirie cancelled amid coronavirus precautions

ODDS: Cricketer for the Wandearah Cricket Club Marc Congdon said he is disappointed the grand final was cancelled due to the unlikely odds of coronavirus.
ODDS: Cricketer for the Wandearah Cricket Club Marc Congdon said he is disappointed the grand final was cancelled due to the unlikely odds of coronavirus.

Cricketers have been stripped of the chance to play for the 2019-20 premiership title after the cancellation of the grand final set to be held at Memorial Oval.

This comes after recommendations from the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and Cricket Australia resulted in the axing of the rest of the season.

Recorder cricket writer and Wandearah player Marc Congdon said the situation was disappointing.

"It is shattering ... I felt sick in the stomach when I found out we were unable to play," he said.

"The joy you get out of a premiership is when you see that winning run or you are out in the field and you take that last wicket."

Despite both teams being eager to play, the decision was taken out of their hands with the risk to the health and safety of the community outweighing the match.

"With only one week to go we were hoping to play without spectators, only umpires and players," Mr Congdon said.

"The virus is not in Pirie yet that we know of, but the question at hand was what if we play and then a case comes about. We did not want to take the risk."

Mr Congdon said all of the teams should be proud of the season they played despite missing out on the final moment.

"To play for six months and then be one game short is the thing that will stick in my mind and everyone else's for years to come," he said.

The title has not been left unclaimed - the premiership was awarded to the highest-placed team on the ladder, which was Wandearah, leaving the other grand finalist, Port Germein, without a chance of glory.

It was also a disappointing result for Port Germein which has dominated B grade for the past four years, winning the premiership last season. This year the club introduced its first A grade team which won the first final, beating Wandearah.

Captain of Wandearah Matt Thornton said it was an unfortunate result, but there was nothing more that could be done.

"We had a very strong season and were consistent the whole way through. Coming into finals, Port Germein beat us by five runs, We regrouped to defeat Solly-North in the preliminary final which led to us being in the grand final," he said.

Mr Thornton said despite claiming the title his team has mixed feelings of not being able to win the premiership fairly.

"It is an awkward feeling, but it is awarded by the season we have put together," he said.

"We still feel a bit hollow because we would have rather have played."

Captain of Port Germein Damien Wauchope said that despite the circumstances, he was proud of the team and the effort that led them to the grand final.

"In the first year in A grade, to make it to the grand final is a mighty effort from us," he said.

"We had a fantastic year and look forward to doing the same again next year."

Both teams are looking forward to returning to the field in six months' time to make up for the result this year and put their best foot forward to take the premiership.

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