Josh Inglis stars as Joondalup unleashes full force in WACA finals

A mighty team: The Centurions celebrate.
A mighty team: The Centurions celebrate.

JOONDALUP produced a grand final performance for the ages as it ruthlessly did away with Gosnells to claim the WACA first grade title.

The Saturday-Sunday contest had the Centurions amass a club-record 6-557 before restricting the Hawks to 165 in a 392-run triumph at the WACA Ground.

Middle order batsman Josh Inglis struck a brilliant 246 to surely come into calculations for the WA squad in 2015-16.

The double century took his 2014-15 run tally to 1137, which broke the club’s 70-year-old aggregate record and put the wicket keeper third on the first grade competition’s all-time list of runs taken in a season.

Inglis also played a part in tumbling Joondalup’s third-wicket partnership record, combining with teenage talent Clint Hinchliffe (117) in a 200-run stand. He then combined with captain Michael Swart (90) to set a new fifth-wicket partnership record of 155.

Coach Ric Olsen attributed the grand final victory, Joondalup’s second in three seasons, to a thriving club culture.

“They’re a very passionate group, a lot of us have been together for about 10 years,” he said.

“Even the new ones that have come in, they’ve been brought into that tight-knit group and they enjoy each other’s company, they play hard in the field and they want to succeed.

“That’s what we spoke about to get out there and show everyone what you’re capable of and they certainly did that.”

Olsen praised Inglis’ performance and the dedication he had shown to finish the season as the competition’s most prolific batsman.

He said the Yorkshire-born cricketer had worked hard on his batting technique and fitness in 2014-15.

“It was unbelievable,” he said.

“His improvement over the last two years has been phenomenal. It’s a credit to him.”

Gosnells entered the match as the sentimental favourite having gone from pushover to grand finalist in the space of half a season.

But the might of Joondalup led to an unhappy ending for the Hawks fairy tale, the match all but over at the end of the first day with Joondalup 4-451.

Veteran paceman Josh Anderson took 4-49 as Gosnells’ hapless chase produced only one half century courtesy of Matthew Leipold’s unbeaten 58.

It was a day of double celebration for Joondalup with the second grade side (252) winning its decider over Subiaco Floreat (111).

The victories capped off a remarkably successful year for the club, which finishes the season as first grade, second grade, one day and colts league premier.

The Centurions also claimed the Kevin Sullivan Silver Cup as the first grade minor premier and won the WACA districts’ Club Championship as the best-performed club across all grades.