Ginninderra have not had their hands on “Dougie” since the summer of 1992-93, but there remains one clear link between today’s squad and the champions of yesteryear – Jak Willcox’s father and uncle were in that premiership squad.
Today’s Tigers are determined to build a legacy of their own, adamant it has been far too long between drinks. Their appearance in the Twenty20 Cup final this season is the club’s lone grand final appearance in any format since that title.
“It was pretty damn good. A bit of relief, a bit of joy and excitement, but we can’t get too carried away,” Healy said.
“There’s been a lot of talk about how he haven’t made a grand final in however long, but I don’t care about making the thing. If we don’t win it, then we might as well have not made it as far as I’m concerned. Great stuff from the lads, but we’ve still got one more to go.
“We invited a few of the old boys and family and friends who were at the ground to come in for the song. It definitely was a special moment for the guys, but we’re trying to keep a lid on things and our mindset on next week.”
Ginninderra had taken Wests’ final five scalps for just 22 runs on day one to roll their rivals for 252. Booking a ticket to the grand final seemed a fait accompli as the Tigers strode to 1-161.
But within a matter of minutes they had lost 3-1 and the game hung in the balance once more.
Cooler heads prevailed as Josh Watling (23 not out) and Michael Ninneman (nine not out) got the Tigers over the line, ending the drought and leaving Wests to ponder what might have been.
“We always have that belief, that no matter where the game goes, we’ll always be able to bring it back on our terms,” Healy said.
“Ninneman yesterday really brought us back there when they had the run of play. He came on and bowled one of the best spells I’ve seen from him and from any of our bowling group over the past couple of years.
“Jordie Misic (71) played a coming of age innings. Everyone knows he is such a talented young cricketer but he has had his battles this year, both technique-wise and in his own head. If I hadn’t have run him out in a dodgy mix-up, I have no doubt he would have hit a hundred.”
Creek booked their ticket to the decider with a 49-run win over Tuggeranong Valley at Chisholm Oval, with the latter threatening to pull of a stellar comeback after a forgettable first day.
Tuggeranong skipper Shane Devoy declared before a ball was bowled on day two despite being 89 runs in arrears, giving his side as much time as possible to knock Creek over and chase a second innings target.
Knock them over they did, with Jason Floros picking up 5-29 to see Creek all out for 127. Tuggeranong had turned the match on its head to give themselves the best part of four hours to chase down 217 for victory.
But the fairytale wasn’t to be, with Djali Bloomfield taking 4-66 as Tuggeranong folded for 167, sending Creek to the decider.
AT A GLANCE
Cricket ACT Douglas Cup semi-finals – GINNINDERRA 7-254 (J Misic 71, R Healy 69; M McGann 2-49, E Bartlett 2-65) bt WESTERN DISTRICT-UC 252 (B Dean 79, J Cooke 61; M Ninneman 4-63, J Hatton 2-38) on first innings at Jamison Oval.
WESTON CREEK MOLONGLO 195 (J Rogers 108; S Devoy 4-46) and 127 (S Kimber 28; J Floros 5-29) bt TUGGERANONG 9dec-106 (T Floros 36; D McLean 3-10) and 167 (S Devoy 56; D Bloomfield 4-66) at Chisholm Oval.
CRICKET ACT DOUGLAS CUP GRAND FINAL
Friday-Sunday: Ginninderra v Weston Creek Molonglo at Phillip Oval, 11am.
Caden Helmers is a sports reporter for The Canberra Times