By his own admission it wasn’t his best knock, but for what it meant and how hard he had to work for it, Lachlan Cameron’s unbeaten century for Civeo on Saturday is one of his most satisfying.
Cameron carried his bat to guide Civeo to 208 and into their first Narrabri grand final since 2010.
It was almost dejavu for Civeo though with a Mick Dowdell-inspired RSL nearly pulling off another successful chase.
In the end they fell five runs short, Civeo restricting them to 9-203.
“I guess it was the story of what the season has been between us. We just rewrote the ending a bit,” Cameron said.
RSL had won three of the four 45-over encounters between the two sides going into Saturday’s final, and on all three occasions had chased.
“I thought 200 would be enough. In the end we were lucky we overachieved,” Cameron said.
He said it was pretty tough going out in the middle with the pitch playing quite slow and the outfield very slow.
Consequently you had to take a bit more risk and go the aerial route to find the boundary, which he did on nine occasions in his 126*.
That said he had to really dig in and had to do a lot of running, not really hitting the ball cleanly until the last session.
He was well supported by Nick Smart (13) initially, the pair sharing a 57 run opening stand. Cameron also enjoyed a 37 run partnership with Jordyn Mowle (9) for the sixth wicket.
After a fruitful first session with Civeo around 60 at first drinks, the RSL slow bowlers really put the squeeze on them in the second. At that stage Cameron thought 180 would be a good score, but they were able to up the ante in the final session.
Hamish Duncan topped the wickets for RSL with 3-39. Shane McKenzie (2-26) was the only other multiple wickettaker with Nathan Trindall, Jake Brayshaw, Zaac Brayshaw and Chris Watkins all chiming in with one.
Cameron had spoken heading into the final of the threat Dowdell posed and jokingly remarked that “it could be dangerous” the fact that he hadn’t really made a big score against them.
He was right to be wary as it turned out, with Dowdell almost getting RSL home.
Matt Potter provided the crucial breakthrough, bowling Dowdell for a swashbuckling 91 that included seven sixes.
At that stage they needed about 24 runs to win off four overs.
“They were around eight/nine overs until Mick took to one Steven Page over and took 24 off it,” Cameron said.
“I knew we were always in the hunt if we got him.”
Cameron said his instructions to Potter were to bowl at the stumps, which is what he did, picking up Watkins later in the over to leave RSL 7-187.
Going into the final over they required 13 with two wickets in hand.
Adrian Byrne was given the responsibilities with the ball and, after bowling two dot balls, struck with his third delivery to effectively seal the win for Civeo.
He finished with 2-38 while Potter snared 4-35.