By Justin Flynn
Jan Juc youngster Harry Hardy lived out every cricketer’s dream in the Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association C Grade grand final against Ocean Grove.
With one ball remaining in the match and the Sharks needing three runs to win, Hardy lofted Matt Bellingham over mid-on to the boundary to bring up a thrilling victory.
Jan Juc needed two runs to tie the game, which would have been enough to secure the premiership by finishing higher on the ladder, but 14-year-old Hardy, who had only batted twice this season, played a fearless shot. Ironically, his father Troy, who also played in the match had a dream that his son would hit the winning runs and told the team before the game.
Ocean Grove won the toss and batted first at Barwon Heads and was 2/59 from 19 overs when the rain came, ending play for the day. Captain Greg Scarpa made 31.
When play resumed the following day, Kent Wooding and Ben Hanson got busy and took the score to 100 before Wooding fell for a fine 45.
Grove got to 4/148 with Hanson making 40, but lost a flurry of late wickets to be bowled out for 172 in the 40th over.
Still, it was a competitive score and Jan Juc would need to bat well to win. Lachie Ayton snared 4/28 for the Sharks.
Juc openers Jack Masters and Brendan Looney started slowly, finding Sam McGlynn and spinner Troy Wiseman difficult to score against.
Wooding removed Masters via a fine catch by Scarpa but Angelo Henke and Looney started to lift the run rate.
The pair put on 86 before Looney, who dominated the partnership, fell for a superb 76.
Henke was run out for 21 with the score at 4/125 and at 8/160, the game was headed for a nail biting finish.
Jan Juc needed 11 from the final over, which was achieved through Hardy’s fearless last-ball boundary.
McGlynn (0/18 from eight) and Wiseman (0/21 from eight) were miserly early for Grove, but Looney had all the answers after their initial opening spells.