The Central Queensland Seamers snuck into the Country Challenge semi-finals by the barest of margins after they lost and tied their first two games. The Central Queensland lads saved their best for last when they steam-rolled the Far North Fusion at the Gabba in the final. The Seamers are back on top of Queensland Country Cricket for the first time since 2018.
The Far North Fusion went into the final looking for back to back titles and aiming to join the North Queensland Monsoons as the only three time winner of the Bulls Masters Country Challenge. However, Cyclone Jasper hit the region hard in the weeks proceeding the Gabba final meaning that the Fusion players hadn’t played any cricket for their local clubs in the lead up. It didn’t appear to have any effect on Fusion opening batter Jake Roach who hit the ball clean and long for his 73 runs from 43 balls. Fellow opener Matty Wilkins was second top scorer with just 19 runs and the lack of partnerships pulled back what looked like being a huge total to a competitive but slightly under-par 9/162.
Seamers captain Joe McGahan was the chief destroyer with four wickets while Josh Hamilton picked up two, including the crucial wicket of Jake Roach.
When Blake Raper picked up Seamers opening batsman, David Heymer in the first over it looked like the Fusion were on top but that changed quickly as Joe McGahan and Jeff Case hit the excelerator, looking to get ahead in the chase.
McGahan was brutal as he bashed eight 4’s and three 6’s on his way to 55 runs from just 21 balls. He was well supported by Jeff Case who scored 59 runs from 36 deliveries. After 10 overs the game was under control for the Seamers who were 2 for 118 already, only needing 45 more runs to win.
That victory eventually came in the 17th over when Jack Harris edged Wade Matthews down to the third man boundary and the Central Queensland Seamers had their second Bulls Masters Country Championship in the bag with a dominant win in the end.
Joe McGahan claimed the Player of the Final trophy for his four wickets and 55 runs and Fusion big man, Jake Roach was the stand-out in a beaten side with his 73 runs.