The men from Manley win the tournament

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL: Keeper and captain of Sidbury, Murray Stokoe, studies the trajectory of the ball as Manley Flats batsman JP Holder wonders just how far he can hit it at the Pineapple Tournament finals held at the Port Alfred Country Club on Saturday Picture: ROB KNOWLES
ROB KNOWLES
 
THERE were shouts of delight at the final of the 108th Pineapple Cricket Tournament, played at the Port Alfred Country Club, when Manley Flats won the match over rivals Sidbury by five wickets on Saturday.
“It was a very close competition,” said Pineapple Tournament president Justin Stirk at the prize giving on Saturday evening. “The slow outfields meant low scores, but the tournament was once again well organised and well run, and the quality of cricket was, as usual, outstanding.
 
“I would like to thank everyone involved with the event for the spirit of respect they have shown over this tournament.”
 
Stirk was assisted in presenting the prizes by Chrissie Jackson whose family helped in the tournament as long as 50 years ago.
 
“Chrissie’s family used to assist us when we played at the old Port Alfred Cricket Club which was at the site of the Royal Alfred Marina,” explained long time cricket supporter and player, Barry Purdon, who introduced her to the stage.
 
After seven days of battling against the other teams in their sections, Manley Flats and Sidbury won the right to contest the final which was played at the Port Alfred Country Club field on Saturday. After a night of rain and with the grey clouds still hanging low above the field, it seemed likely the final matches would need to be reduced to 30 or even 20 over matches.
 
However, the sun came out at around 9am and began to dry the outfield sufficiently for the players to don their cricketing togs as they made their way onto the field of play.
 
In the Section A final played at the Country Club oval, Sidbury won the toss and elected to bat, and held their own against a vicious pace attack. However, spin bowling was more the order of the day, as the fields had been slow all week due to rain.
 
With only four more balls to face Sidbury were all out having posted a modest 125 runs on the board.
Manley Flats got off to a better start and, by not losing too many wickets, found themselves in a commanding position by over number 40.
 
Despite their best efforts, Sidbury were unable to hold the men from Manley Flats to book, and the match was completed in the 45th over.
 
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Manley Flats were crowned the 108th Pineapple Cricket Tournament champions at the prize giving ceremony on Saturday after they beat Sidbury by five wickets in what was otherwise a closely contended final played at the Port Alfred Country Club on Saturday Picture: ROB KNOWLES
 
In other matches played on Saturday, Grahamstown Invitational managed only 54 runs before being bowled out by Port Alfred at the Port Alfred High School (PAHS) A pitch. Port Alfred replied by scoring 56 for eight and won by two wickets.
 
Rhodes Shrews took on Station Hill at the PAHS B pitch. Station hill got 137 runs and were pipped by Rhodes Shrews who posted 162 in its 50 overs, winning the match by 25 runs.
 
At the hospital fields, Cathcart managed to score an impressive 194 all out but were beaten by Bethesda who scored 195/6 and won the match by four wickets.
 
The Tiger Titans played Fort Beaufort at the Hilpert cricket grounds and managed to post 165 for their rivals to chase. However, Fort Beaufort managed 166 for eight to beat the Titans by two wickets.
 
Albany managed to score 150 runs before being bowled out at the Air School cricket grounds. Their opponents, Middelburg only managed to reply with 87 runs, and were beaten by 63 runs.
 
There were a host of awards presented at the prize giving ceremony on Saturday evening at the Port Alfred Country Club, and batsman, bowler and general all-rounder Wayne Wiblin of Manley Flats walked away with an armful of trophies.
 
Wiblin won, among other awards, highest score (125), the most sixes (11), two trophies for the highest aggregate opening bat overall and in section A (232), the highest batting average (77.3) and the most runs in boundaries (164).
 
WHAT-A-LOT-I-GOT: Wayne Wiblin of Manley Flats walked away with a host of prizes at the Pineapple Cricket Tournament prize giving, held at the Port Alfred Country Club on Saturday evening. Wiblin won trophies for the highest score, the most sixes, highest aggregate opening bat as well as the highest batting average for the tournament and section A
Picture: ROB KNOWLES
 
Seemingly as surprised by the brace of trophies he received, Wiblin said after the match he was just very happy to have been a part of this event.
 

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