Posted by Ben McLean on Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 at 9:39pm
The 3 Gregory’s were all stars over the last fortnight. Mitch Gregory making his highest 1st XI score, Josh Gregory getting Garden Army free sherbets in week 1 & Gregory Bakker getting the chocolates for the 4’s first win of the year.
1st XI
Up against last years premiers Eildon Park on their turf was a fixture many marked in their diaries when the draw was released. Losing the toss and bowling Wilba struck first with the score on 23. A solid partnership then formed and when Shan Small took the second wicket the score had got to 77. Eildon Park then continued to pile on the runs playing fantastic 2 day cricket until the partnership was again broken, this time by Wild with the score on 180.
Looking down the barrel of a large first innings Murph implored the lads to dig deep, and they did. Wickets after tea fell with great regularity with the introduction of Scotty McInerney who finished off with figures of 4/13 off 8. Combined with Adam Wild 4/42 off 19 overs they got the side back into the game and reduced Eildon Park to 231 taking the last 8 wickets for 51 runs. With 1 over to negotiate we walked off the park quite content at 0/7 knowing that week 2 would need our best batting.
The day started off as bad as possible losing Jarrod Butcher without adding to the score and when Shan fell for 14 and then Scott for 11 the score was looking shaky at 3/36. Skipper Steve Alderton and Nav Singh toiled hard and batted for 90 minutes to try and consolidate and when they reached tea with the score on 73 they had gone some way to arrest the momentum. 2 quick wickets after tea Murph 29 and Nav 29 put the game back in Eildon Parks favour and some solid partnerships would be required to reach the target.
Sammy Hussainy and Mitch Gregory batted well together and lifted the run rate until Sammy played on for 26. Adam Metherall came to the crease and was run out for 11 and when Zach departed the score read 8/154. With still plenty of overs to play the run rate never got out of hand. Mitch turned the strike over with ease and was joined by life member and club legend Trav Mulder who played a remarkable knock and was able to reduce the equation to 10 runs off 12 balls. Unfortunately he required a runner and often in these tense situations a run out occurred that could have been avoided. Needing 5 runs off the last over the third run out of the  innings occurred on the first ball of the over that meant our boys fell agonisingly close to a remarkable win.
Speaking with Murph after the game there was a lot of positives to take out of the game but it was evident the disappointment was the overriding emotion. The diary has been pencilled in for the rematch and I am sure our boys will bounce back.
2nd XI
Losing the toss and fielding may, in retrospect, have been a great decision  by the Eildon Park skipper when dangerous Brett Morrison was removed in the first over for 0. However the next  few hours saw a batting masterclass that was purely a joy to watch. RI Marget was at his devastating best clubbing boundries with gay abandon on his way to his highest score for the year of 86. Josh Gregory and Rhys put on a partnership of 111 and the platform was set for someone to step up and get a big one.
Returning to the 2’s for the first time in over 2 years Boofa survived a nervous start to, quite frankly, take the buttered confectionary. He despatched to all areas of the ground and saluted the appreciative crowd after lunch to a tremendously made century which eventually ended on 123 and the score on 267. He was well supported by Andrew Potts (20) and Dovey Hay (59). Speaking exclusively with Dovey after the game he was happy with the base and the century to Josh truly was a supreme topping. With the elusive 400 in sight (never been hit at KGCC top oval) the lads fell 29 short and ended their innings 7/371 with Ian Jongen, Mungy and Sean Reid all chipping in with 20’s.
Rhys asked the lads to keep Eildon Park under 220 and not to rely on the fact that they had such a large target to defend. The first wicket fell with the score on 4 and then some good partnerships saw them claim the second wicket on 56 and the third at 94. The game could have been in the balance but the sheer weight of runs meant that boundries needed to consistently hit. Wickets fell regularly after tea and in the end the boys reduced Eildon Park to 185 off 59 overs. Best of the bowlers were Sean Reid with the handsome figures of 3/21 off 10 Daine claimed 2/43 off 14 including the opener with the new ball. The other wickets were shared in what was an excellent team effort in the. Nothing can replace a lost grand final but the decisiveness of the victory show these guys want redemption…..
3rd XI
Jase Buljubasic’s band of misfits from the wrong side of the tracks travelled to The Basin to take on the Bears. Winning the toss and batting the skipper was keen to defend his picnic basket and would ensure that they would come out of the encounter with the chockies. He and Gerard Jongen started emphatically finding the boundary regularly until Jase got clawed for a well made 39 and the score on 92. Both Jack Marget (11) and Gerard Jongen  fell with the score on 133 with the G- Man setting up a big score with a superbly crafted 56. Tim Flintoff continued to turn this picnic into a nightmare for The Bears as he got things moving toward another century. Fortunately he had the club coffers in mind and opted to depart 3 short of his 100. Singhy, Joshy Curnow and Callum O’Conner all chimed in at the end to get the score to a healthy 331.
Week 2 saw us back to the woods and sure of a bug surprise, and that surprise came in the form of once exiled Drew Withers. Drew was simply outstanding taking the Bears by the scruff of the neck and sending them back to hibernation with a sensational spell of bowling finishing up with 6/34 off 12. The guys finished shortly after tea with the score on 133. They look a different side to last year and a hell of a lot more handsome with Lambrick up in the 2’s….. J
4th XI  - by Greg Bakker
The 4s played Upwey Tecoma at home in the first 2 day game of the season. Winning the toss and batting, we were off to a rocky start slumping to 2/23 before Brent and Haydos saw us through to a reasonably comfortable 2/119 at the half way mark. U-T never really settled into their innings with some near opportunities not quite going our way.  We were pretty confident at drinks even with the score at 1/61 that our luck would turn and near opportunities would start to become real opportunities.  Nixon and Brent bowling their 7 over allowance in tandem started to get the rewards with U-T stumbling to 5/88 before finishing on 5/102 at stumps. 
Starting the 2nd week with wickets in hand,  Brent and Haydos picked up the momentum and combined for a 173 run partnership with Brent retiring on a very well made 101no, his maiden senior ton in only his 6th senior game. It's a shame we'll be losing Brent to footy shortly because he is a natural cricketer.  Chris joined Haydos and between them kept the score ticking over before Haydos was dismissed for  his highest senior score, a very patient and at times aggressive 65, having withstood everything thrown at him over 66 overs and seeing the team reach a total of 243 runs. Having added 48 runs today, Haydos showed what he can do when he backs himself and plays his shots. Chris and Nixon finished with a flurry as the score reached an imposing 3/288 with Chris finishing on 54no and Nixon 10no.
We needed 5 wickets and U-T needed 187 off 35. We were on top and wanted to make quick inroads to drive home the advantage we had. Taking a wicket in each of the first 3 overs of the afternoon session and a 4th soon after, we cleaned up the rest of the innings in quick time.  U-T were all out for 147 with 6 bowlers taking wickets.  Nixon led the charge with 3, Brent and Jamie 2  each and Varun with 1 deserved more for his great line and length at pace.
This was a great team performance that will hopefully set us up for the rest of the season. 
Go Gardens! 
Simon Wilkinson
Assistant to the travelling secretary….

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