Newcastle District Cricket Association: Toronto's title in honour of Dutchy, thrilling grand final victory | photos

Toronto captain Adrian Chad reckons the late Robert Holland was watching over the Kookaburras at No.1 Sportsground this weekend and may have even lent a helping hand out there.

President Aaron Gray pointed out the former Test player's family in the stands.   

Many a grand final glass will be charged in his honour.

There's no doubt that, the man affectionately known by his nickname Dutchy, was central to the celebrations on Sunday afternoon as Toronto (8-168) defeated Hamilton-Wickham (164) by two wickets to claim their maiden Newcastle District Cricket Association premiership in the club's 60th anniversary season.

"Hopefully he [Dutchy] was looking over us today," Chad told the Newcastle Herald.      

"He might have even helped with a couple that went between the slips. 

"I think everyone in the team will probably have a bit of a reflective moment at some point in the dressing rooms or later tonight and acknowledge a guy who has committed so much to the club.

"For us to finally get there, for him, it's relief, amazing, unbelievable." 

Holland was 70 when he died on season eve in 2017.

Eighteen months on and the Southern Lakes stalwart would have relished the unbroken 60-run partnership for the ninth wicket that got the Kookaburras over the line in the 2018-19 grand final.

No.10 Brendon Charlton received the Ken Clifford Medal for his man-of-the-match performance, hitting the running runs with a straight drive to the boundary at the southern end as he reached 30 not out after taking 5-49 on a rain delayed day one.     

"It was probably the best shot of my career," Charlton said.

"There were a few nervy moments and I'm normally a bit more comfortable with the ball rather than the bat."

Charlton and Griffin Lea (38 not out) came together at 8-108 after the Kookaburras' middle-order collapse of 4-7. Toronto had been 2-83. 

"I think I went through every spectrum of emotion possible over the last two hours," Chad said.

"I'd be lying if I said no [thinking the game was gone] when we needed 60 runs with only two wickets in hand. 

"But [after tea] all of a sudden there was a bit more belief ... and they kept getting us closer and closer and closer and we got there in the end."

Hamwicks skipper Matt Webber, who top scored with 59 not out and took 3-39 from 30 overs, said he was disappointed to miss a chance to convert the Pumas' minor premiership and lamented his dropped catch at mid-wicket during the second session on day two. 

"It felt like one that got away," he said.

After dismissing Hamwicks for 164 on Saturday, Toronto resumed at 0-5.

In the lower grade deciders across the weekend, Wallsend and Charlestown won titles in seconds and thirds respectively while Waratah-Mayfield and Newcastle City played out a tie in fourths.

HAMILTON-WICKHAM 164 (Matt Webber 59 not out, Brendon Charlton 5-49) lost to TORONTO 8-168 (Griffin Lea 38 not out, Webber 3-39)

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