|Huge doesn't begin to describe the year we've had at Knox Gardens.
The success began with the U/13 1's incredible tied victory with Eildon Park, it was followed a week later by the 2's defeating Knoxfield and the 4's accounting for Auravale. All this was followed by one of the greatest games i've ever witnessed, the Decoite Shield final, which finished in a last-ball, 10th wicket TIE. So 2 ties decided by ladder position and both flags come to Knox Gardens.
The 1st XI won the toss at about 4pm on the first Saturday but no play followed due to persistent heavy rain and a pitch that held a little too much water, the outfield however was perfect. Coming back on Sunday the boys batted well early, but lost 2 quick wickets with the score on 21. Jarrod Butcher 25 and Mark Dalton took the score to 85 and at 4/109 play was done for the day with more rain coming down. The boys would continue the next Saturday with Mark Dalton being dismissed for a great score of 55. Travis Mulder hit them to all corners of the ground in a blistering score of 67, he teamed up with Josh Gregory 46 who was the backbone of the lower order, together their partnership was worth 96 runs. The tail of Adam Wild, Matt Young and Simon Grasser failed to add a run off the bat. Josh Gregory was the last to be dismissed from 74.3 overs and posting a score of 239.
At tea Travis Mulder was the man to snag the first wicket to have Knoxfield 1/7 after 4 overs. The remainder of the day was tight with a partnership of 70 putting Knoxfield in a good position. Braet Adams then scored a magnificent runout against the backing-up batsman followed by another runout from Jarrod Butcher and that had Knoxfield at 3/104 overnight, a similar position to our boys. A big crowd amassed on the Sunday as a result was imminent. Simon Grasser was the first to get the break though, followed quickly by another runout, this time from Rhys Marget, with Jarrod Butcher whipping the bails off faster than the speed of light. Butch then took another wicket and with the last 3 wickets for 18 runs and the score 6/182 the guys had big platform to work with. Travis Mulder took the next 2 wickets, both ably taken by Sampath in the outfield. Tea was taken with 2 overs to go, and 13 runs required, 2 wickets in hand. Adam Wild bowled the second last over after tea and took a wicket with Rhys taking a close in catch off the last ball, 7 runs were taken off that over. Foxy Mulder had the last over a did a brilliant job. Dot 2 Dot Dot 1, and with 1 ball remaining Knoxfield needed 3 runs. Foxy bowled it perfectly in the slot, but the batsman could only score 2 runs and the game was tied on 239 a peice! Knox Gardens hold the Deciote Shield aloft with a higher ladder position.
Travis Mulder was awarded the Ken Utting Medal for the best player of the Grand Final for his smashing 67 and 3 wicket haul.
The 2's were sent into the field on Day 1, which was Sunday, the Saturday was a total washout with the No.2 oval at Knox Gardens not able to withstand the amount of rain that came down. After a tight start we had them 0/22 after 16 overs. The shiney cranium of Simon Taylor then picked up 2 wickets in 2 overs and we had our Tayl's in the air. It wasn't until the 39th over, just before tea, that Nav Singh picked up a wicket with his right arm swinging-dipping off-breaks and at tea they were 3/78. Only 2 overs after tea were played and a torrent of rain poured and the game was set to resume the next Saturday. Jarrod Thorp opened up on Day 2 and already had 0/16 from 11 and turned that in 3/47 from 21 taking out Knoxfields middle order. Ian Jongen ended his March drought with 1/25 from 21 and Simon Wilkinson took a wicket with his final ball, both for the match and his career, after annoucing that he would be hanging up the boots after this game. But Simon Taylor ended up with the figures of the match with 4/15, and the team restricted Knoxfield to 136
on a ground that has needed 250 all season to win.
Skipper Jeremy MacKinnon didn't muck around chasing down the score, at tea we were 1/54, Jarrod Thorp bludgened the attack with 4 boundaries in his 44, whilst Jez's first 5 scoring shots were all boundaries. He hit 11 boundaries in hit 63*. Adam Metherell hit 22* and may have caused a cyclone with some of his back swings with 3 boundaries and a 6. The 137 was reached in 26.3 overs and the celebrations were underway. The 2's were a quality outfit all season and won the flag despite being the team that was almost relegated from Division 3 the prior season.
With 9/82 and 65 runs Jarrod Thorp was the man of the finals series. Jeremy Mackinnon also had a great finals series with 109 runs.
The 4th XI were never going to lose with a huge 331 on the board. We batted our entire 75 overs to get there and one of the stars Bart Hoggett needed just 2 runs to get his ton off the last ball of the innings. Unfortunatly he was dismissed on 98, caught on the boundary going for a six. Despite getting out, it was apparently an innings of extreme quality from Bart. Peter Webb hit a fine 92 at the top of the order setting up the big score. Batting mate John Mills hit a tidy 44 and Skipper Rob Crazy Cottle hit 31 near the end. Crazy and Bart put on 81 for the 6th wicket. The bowlers had a huge total to bowl at but things looked shakey when Auravale were 0/35 from 7 overs. But Blake Lines 3/40 and Greg Crook 4/37 bowled superbly to dismiss Auravale for 113. Drew Withers took 1/27 and Richard Taylor 1/6 also took wickets. The match was wrapped up on the Saturday in 33 overs.
Men of the Finals series was both Peter Webb and Bart Hoggett for their 90 odd in the grand final.
The Under 13 1's side, witnessed by a crowd of around 200, kept their heads whilst under pressure to win the clubs 1st premiership for 2008/2009. The game ended with both Knox Gardens and Eildon Park scoring 153, but with ladder position advantage, Knox Gardens takes the title. It was a thrilling finish to the game on Sunday morning, with Knox Gardens effecting 5 runouts and 2 brilliant catches in the slips taking the last 5 wickets for 5 runs. Daniel Carr was solid once again with 27 and whilst Josh Wylde struggled to score on Saturday, he scored quickly on Sunday morning and retired on 41*, Zach Flintoff also compiled 16 and put on a big partnership when it counted. Jayden Hawkes topped the bowling figures with 3/19.