The boys looked magnificent in their new one day strip and when they took the field to bowl after losing the toss it was straight down to business.
8 solid weeks of preseason training would make anyone keen to get out onto the turf and with a forecast top of 25 and perfectly clear skies it was certainly worth the wait.
The two hours that followed was great viewing for a Falcons supporter. Adam Wild drew first blood at 1-4. Wilba then struck again at 2/4, again at 3/4 and Zach chimed in to get it to 4/4. New captain coach Steve Alderton (hereby and forever known as Murph in articles) must have been wondering what he stumbled into.
Boom recruit Travis Parsonage was brought into the attack to replace Zach Flintoff (5 overs 1/1) and took to it like a duck to water. Flight and control was magnificent and we look forward to seeing more of Trav in the coming weeks and especially the 2 dayers. The wickets continued to tumble from the other end and despite a minor fight back, we had bowled Monbulk out in the 28th for 62.
Best bowlers were Adam Wild 3/20 the ol fox Trav Mulder 3/5 (not a typo) Scott Mac and Travis Parso chipped in for 1 each with Scotty adding a direct hit runout to remove the dangerous Jason Fraser.
On a hiding to nothing with the batting the lads took the mindset they were chasing 150. Butch was chasing 250 and quickly went about taking the attack on. Unfortunately Shan departed with the score on 36 and when Butch (26) went out without adding, it could have been a little shaky. Murph brought the team home and ensured the points were secure with the loss of only one more wicket.
6 points in the bag and the perfect start to the year the coach was suitably impressed with the performance stating “it was a fantastic result with all the hard work in pre season paying off”. The 1’s travel to The Basin next week for another 1 day match.
1st XI debutants Sammy Hussainy, Stephen (Murph) Alderton & Trav Parsonage.
The 2’s travelled to Monbulk won the toss and elected to bat. Veterans Rhys Marget and Brett Morrison opened the batting with Morro being the inaugural entrant to the duck pond. Nav joined his captain and they got the score to 51 until Rhys was removed for a well made 31. Nav fell soon after for 19 and when Dave Hay knicked off for 4 the game was pretty even at 4/76 in the 18th.
Partnerships over the next 23 overs would be important and all batsman chipped in with Ash Thommo 23, Matt Young and Ben McLean both made 20. Sean Reid (14*) and Adam Metherall (41) took to the attack in the final 7 overs and capitalising on the work done by the top and middle order. In the end a target of 217 was set.
Tight bowling by Nav and Reidy made scoring tough and in the 17th over the score was on 4/27. A small partnership was then broken by Daine Vernon (2/20 off 7) and after that the wickets tumbled until Monbulk were all out for 76. Wickets were shared with Reidy 2/12 off 8 Hawksy 1/12 off 6 and Nav 1/7 off 4.
Another great display and Rhys has definitely got the boys up and about early on. 2’s host The Basin next week.
Thirds travelled to Stud Park to take on the reigning premiers Eildon Park. Jason Buljubasic won the toss and elected to bat. To say the start wasn’t ideal would be an understatement with wickets falling on 15, 16, 25, 26 & then Tim Flintoff went with the score on 26 it was thank ya mother for the rabbits. Ian Jongen had other ideas and when he was joined by big Sime Grasser it was game on. Jongers (who is my all time favourite player at the club) ended up posting 49 and Gras (who is my least favourite card player at the club) knocking up 53 that included 3 Dorothy’s (6’s). The guys ended up on a competitive 138.
With the bowling line up Jase had it was fair to think the score was defendable. After 16 over there were worrying signs with the score at 2/60 Matt Lambrick got the breakthrough removing the top scorer and slowly the game began to swing back in our favour. With 25 needed off the last 10 it still came down to the last over and Eildon Park proved why they were premiers last year and went past our score with 3 balls to spare.
Great effort by the lads and there will be plenty of wins ahead this year.
4th XI – by Greg Bakker
Division 7: Round 1 – Knox Gardens vs Ferntree Gully
Heading into the 1st round against FTG, last season’s Division 7 premiership team, our first game nerves were somewhat settled with the knowledge that the bowling attack that had us on the ropes last time we played them were all playing in Division 6. As it turned out, FTG fielded a team full of experienced veterans with only a couple of juniors making up their number. This promised an interesting game against our relatively inexperienced team comprising 7 juniors (including 6 from under 15s) including young Spencer Stuckey (I think I’ll call him ‘SOC’ – ‘Son Of Chris’) making the most anticipated debut since Ricky Ponting was handed a baggy green!!
Winning the toss and electing to bat, knowing we probably had more batting depth than bowling, the focus was on getting off to a steady start but play your natural game and look for anything loose to put away. Opening with Haydos who I was told had been working on his big shots and ‘FOS’ (Chris – ‘Father of Spencer’), we were assured of a steady, if not lightning, start. Haydos did look good ‘racing’ to 5 before popping one back to the bowler who was good enough to dive forward and claim it inches from the ground. Jack came to the crease looking very, very comfortable pushing his first ball confidently through midwicket to get off the mark but unfortunately misread the line soon after to be bowled for 7. Grega joined FOS in the middle and they worked the score up to 2/52 off 20 overs at drinks which, on the slow bottom oval, was a reasonable platform to launch from.
We had already decided to pull the trigger from drinks when we were advised that FTGDCA had changed the Div 6/7 one day rules to be only 35 overs, not 40. So, with only 15 overs to go (not 20) and 8 wickets in the shed, FOS and Grega went for it. Incredibly, these two put on a partnership of 113 to get the score to 141 off 35 (89 off 15) with Grega running himself out off the last ball trying to sneak a 2nd from a pretty good throw from the outfield. Congratulations to Grega for his highest score for some time (years? decades?) in reaching 35 and contributing to the 113 run partnership with the man that dominated attacks in his comeback season last year! While Chris (FOS) carried his bat to finish on 75 not out, by his own admission, the purists were turning away and wincing with every shot. To say it was scratchy is well and truly sugar coating it (take note selectors!). I’ve seen Chris bat many times and it is a joy to watch, particularly while watching from the central umpires position and participating in some light hearted banter…..mostly directed at him!
As we were only 2 wickets down for the majority of the innings, three of the kids had been padded up for the best part of 25 overs waiting for their turn. Josh at 5, Callum at 6 and Sam at 7 showed great temperament throughout as they waited patiently for their turn and, in a great sign of maturity, Josh deferred to Callum as the next batsman in when I challenged them to decide who could score quicker without having time to play themselves in. Well done Josh, the sign of a future leader! You’ll get plenty of opportunity in the 2 dayers.
So, with a solid but not spectacular total, it was going to come down to how well our inexperienced attack bowled against a vastly more experienced batting lineup. Opening with Sam and Jack, the start could not have looked better with Sam putting the ball in great areas from the start getting an outside edge off the 3rd ball that unfortunately flew wide of Jamie at slip. With that encouraging start, we bolstered the slips cordon and proceeded to watch many further opportunities created but all too many spilt or not quite going to hand. Hoping to hold FOS back to give him a break after his marathon innings, he was reluctantly introduced for the 11th over of the innings and, in his 2nd over, took a sensational diving return catch to claim the 1st wicket……..is there nothing this man can’t do? Nixon replaced Jack and bowled out his 7 overs with typical efficiency and the odd dose of excitement finishing with a wicket and well earned respect from the opposition. Jamie replaced Nixon and straight away created several opportunities but to no avail. Callum took the gloves after the drinks break allowing Josh to bowl as we tried desperately to snag a couple of quick wickets to swing the momentum our way. Jack returned with a great 2nd spell but, as was the case with everyone else, had no luck.
Unfortunately, in a manner that typified last season’s performances, we battled manfully and were extremely competitive but just couldn’t withstand a stronger, more experienced opponent going down 3/141 off 35 overs vs 3/161 off 33 overs. All the bowlers bowled well in trying conditions with a strong, tricky breeze and batsmen that did everything they could to put the bowlers off their game. They took advantage of any bad ball that came their way and, by the end, were also carving up the good balls. A disappointing loss with dropped catches contributing to the result but the talking and the energy in the field was first class and continued despite the circumstances which was a good sign for a predominantly young group.
To finish off on an uber-positive note, SOC (Spencer) had a great day in the field with his hard running and incredibly big throw, clearing the keeper from just inside the boundary. He earned a lot of respect with his enthusiasm and energy in the outfield to the point where the FTG #3 batsman who had seen 4s turned into quick 1s insisted that I give him a rest in the infield! Spencer also bowled an over at the end with both batsman set and almost managed to turn a defensive prod into a return catch with a leading edge off the #3. Well done SOC. Looking forward to watching you develop over the course of many, many more senior games.
Good luck to all teams next week.
Junior Marketing Executive.