The 3rd XI has romped to a comprehensive Grand Final win to cap off a memorable season for captain Perry Colyer's men.The Saints lost opener Will Taylor early in its decider against Geelong at Windy Hill, but as had been the case for the entire finals series, Jackson Cooper kept the scoreboard ticking along at a solid rate with Jack Cunnington in support.However three quick wickets put St Kilda on the back foot and with the score at 4-128, someone needed to stand up.Enter Ed Faulkner, who looked immediately comfortable coming in at No.5 and flayed the Cats bowlers to all corners for the rest of the afternoon.He was well supported by Joel Murphy (20 off 57 balls) and then gloveman Lucas Meddings (71 off 85 balls) as St Kilda were eventually forced to declare its innings at 7-320 after 90 overs.Faulkner was dismissed for a masterful 97 off 177 deliveries, which included 13 boundaries and one towering six. It followed his semi-final bowling figures of 5-53 and preliminary final haul of 6-80. Meddings' half century was his third in succession this finals series and included six fours. Similarly, Cooper's 76 was his third substantial contribution in a row.
In the first final he whacked 109 against Monash, before compiling 76 in the preliminary final and 76 in the big dance.Despite having clouds over their fitness leading into the Grand Final, Cal Rayner and Nick Bailey were irresistible with the new ball.Together they reduced the Cats to 7-37, putting the result beyond doubt. Bailey took 3-11 off 7 overs, while Rayner notched 2-39 off 11. Matt Stevenson and Jim Cowie chimed in with a wicket apiece, before the man of the moment Faulkner finished things off with 2-7 off 5.3 overs.It was fitting that the final wicket - the one that handed the 3rds their third two-day flag in four seasons - was a result of a direct hit run out from Taylor at mid-on. Taylor's impressive 157 in the semi-final was the main reason St Kilda reached the big dance at all, and it was he who threw down all three stumps at the bowler's end and caught the Geelong batsman well short of his ground. Faulkner was awarded man of the match honours, but the entire finals series was a truly magnificent team display with several contributors. St Kilda has now won eight 3rd XI two-day flags to complement 18 1st XI gongs, seven 2nd XI premierships and two 4th XI wins. Click HERE for the Grand Final scorecardST KILDA's 3RD XI PREMIERSHIPS:1959/601965/661982/831991/921997/982013/142014/152016/17ST KILDA 3rd XI premiership team:Perry Colyer (C)Jackson CooperWill TaylorJack CunningtonEd FaulknerJoel MurphyLucas MeddingsNic SloanCal RaynerNick BaileyJim CowieMatt StevensonMatt HenigJackson Noske