Posted by Ben McLean on Monday, 7 Oct 2013 at 12:50pm

A stellar 116 run opening stand between Jarrod Butcher and Shan Small was not enough to overcome reigning premiers Johnson Park at Argyle Way reserve on Saturday.

In front of a fantastic crowd and under clear skies new captain Wayne McInerney lost the toss and Johnson Park elected to bat. The young Falcons took the prize scalp early of Johnson Park run machine Bryn Gaunt for 0 in the first over with a sharp chance taken by the new captain off the bowling of his predecessor Adam Wild. From there Johnson Park gathered momentum and at the end of their innings was able to get to 7/174.

Best of the bowlers were Zach Flintoff 2/38 with wickets also claimed by Adam Wild & Jarrod Butcher. On the bowling and fielding component new captain Wayne McInerney said Shannon Small also bowled beautifully into the wind with tidy figures of 1/24 off his allotted 8 overs with Zaccy also claiming his first 1’s wickets. Our ground fielding and catching cost us and left us with a few to many runs to chase.”

The mood was buoyant in the rooms at the break and ever the optimist Adam Wild stating we were in the box seat. His positive attitude set the tone for the next 2 hours of play which was completely dominated by the two KGCC openers. Butch brought up his half century in the 23rd over and by the time he departed for 71 KGCC had the upper hand at 1/116. From there the middle order failed to take advantage of on the brilliant start and fell agonizingly close to lose by the barest of margins.

Shannon Small batted superbly for a well executed 59 and relished the opportunity to bat at the top of the order. On reflection post game McInerney stated Shannon Small and Jarrod Butcher set up the chase with fantastic performances, but unfortunately the rest of the team couldn’t capitalise on the great start”

The loss, while difficult to stomach, should be a great indicator of where this playing group is at and give them comfort that they can match it with the best in the league. The journey doesn’t get any easier as they face another challenge this week at Upper Gully.

The 2’s faced Johnson Park at Fair Park and stand in captain Brett Morrison won the toss and chose to bat. Being 1/5 followed by 2/10 put us on the back foot but KGCC stalwart Ben McLean settled the innings with the skipper with a 44 run partnership. Bengine posted 59 as KGCC were bowled out in the 2nd last ball of the day for 134. I’d be bereft in my duties if I didn’t mention the square drive from RI that was quite frankly astonishing.

In reply Johnson Park started well with an opening stand of 42. Our bowlers toiled hard and reeled off 7 wickets for 7/57 to leave the game delicately poised at 7/99. JP regrouped and got the win 7 down but the boys showed good character. Best of the bowlers were Ash Thompson 3/23 and RI Marget 2/24

The 3rd XI captained by Jase Buljubasic bowled Johnson Park out for 127 after being 1/115. A remarkable achievement in itself. Best bowlers were debutant Alex Danopoulos 4/10 and young gun Gerard Jongen 4/8.

In reply and on a sluggish outfield our boys were unable to chase down the target despite some competent batting from Scott McInerney’s 41 and Gerard Jongen 24. They finished up 20 runs short at 6/108.

The 4th XI unfurled the premiership flag at their spiritual home of Llewellyn Reserve and competed well against local rivals Knoxfield. Our boys were able to restrict Knoxfield to 9/124 with pleasing results from Jarrod Ing 3/19 and an extremely economical return from Jeff Greenway 1/8 off 6 overs. Great result from a couple of blokes who have given plenty this pre-season.

Unfortunately our batsmen failed to fire with only skipper Greg Bakker (30) offering resistance after finding early trouble at 3/2. Well done to Hayden Morrison on his 11* in his first senior game and a big congratulations to all juniors who stepped up to Senior cricket this weekend.

Off field our opening day was a resounding success with great numbers through the club all day Saturday and well into the evening for our craft beer and cider session. Well done to all involved – and I’m sure the club will be able to report some wins come 6 o’clock next Staurday.


Simon Wilkinson


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