Keen to atone for a disappointing result against UFTG the previous week, Murph won the toss and elected to bat on home turf and warm conditions. Butch was the first wicket to fall after carefully negotiating the first 10 overs for 12 & when Murph followed shortly after the Belgrave lads were up and about at 2/44. Shan and Nav batted with a mixture of caution and flair. Shan brought up his half century and departed shortly after for a well compiled 57. Josh Gregory then parted ways with the score still on 94 and a middle order partnership was required. Returning to the 1’s club legend RI Marget played a typically aggressive knock before being caught for the 746th time on 29. Nav and Mitch Gregory continued after tea and looked to cash in on a solid start before Nav was run out on 33. Young guns Scott McInerney and Mitch batted with great poise and continued to lift the run rate with excellent running and creative stroke play rather than throwing the bat. In the end Mitch was out for 44 and Scott run out on the final ball of the day for 40 with the total score on 241.
To suggest that the conditions on day 2 were difficult is an understatement. It is hard to comprehend how the Phil Hughes tragedy unfolded and I would like to thank Belgrave and Upper FTG Cricket clubs in joining us for a minutes silence to remember a young life lost to the sport we love…. It was great to hear that all games were played in good spirit.
Without key striker Adam Wild it was going to be interesting viewing as Nav was thrown the new ball with Scotty Mac. Scott was first to strike removing the dangerous Levell who tore us a new one last year. He then claimed a second scalp with the score on 43. Trav Mulder then chimed in with a solid spell prior to tea and the lads were in a commanding position at 5/85 at the interval. Skipper Steve Alderton took the ball after the tea break and bowled with good consistency and claimed his first wickets for the club finishing up with 2/16 off 12. Daine Vernon toiled hard throughout the day to finish up with 2/24 off 14 and Trav Mulder continuing his good form with 2/16 off 11. A very good win in trying conditions now sees the 1’s three and three and looking to string two wins together when they face local rival Knoxfield next week at home.
Without their fearless leader in the side Matt Young may have felt that the golden streak was coming to an end. With the score reading 6/52 at one point the odds were strongly in Belgrave’s favour. The top order failed to really fire with Brett Morrison making 34 you then had to go down to number 7 to find anything really worth writing about. The scorpion tail really showed some sting with Adam Metherall crunching a better than a run a ball 45. Simon Grasser returned from OS and made a quick fire 25 with the bottom 2 also making handy contributions. However the day belonged to the very quiet and humble Sean Reid. Reidy was chanceless in his superb knock of 66*and set the side up with a solid 245.
Warm conditions greeted the sides on Day 2 and the new ball was thrown to Grass and he didn’t disappoint. Wickets fell regularly and the game was decided by 3pm with KGCC rolling Belgrave for 116. Best bowlers were Simo Grasser 4/31, Ash Hawkes 3/9. The decision was quickly made to have another crack at them and go for maximum points – when Gras struck in the first over it looked as though this was a real chance. Unfortunately for the lads they were unable to break the partnership and they ended up 1/103 in the second dig. The 2’s remain undefeated and sit second on the ladder of the ladder with a huge game coming up this week against top placed Knoxfield.
Heading to the home of cricket at Raes Land to take on Sth Belgrave Jasons team of mild mannered super hunks were keen to cement their place on top of the ladder. With a bowling attack that has Cliff Fisher and Ian Jongen at the top of it, you can easily see why these boys are genuine contenders for not only sexiest men alive titles but more importantly the premiership. Cliffy wound back the clock to dismantle the top order with a fine spell of new ball bowling claiming 3 wickets. Nixon Adcock said hang on a sec I’m getting involved here and ended up claiming 3/35 from 6 overs. In the end the rampage was complete and Sth Belgrave were all out for 127. Jase went for the quick kill and implored his side to play aggressive cricket and at the end of the day they were 2/180 with major contributions coming from Matt Lamby Lambrick 57, Jase Buljubasic 60* and the in form Jack Marget 40 the not out batsman.
I asked Jase what his tactic would be on Saturday morning and he said he would like to bring up his ton ASAP and see where they were then – he didn’t add to his overnight score and President Bails was relieved as the Garden Army had itchy livers. Jack Marget was quietly accumulating runs and backed up his 50 last week with a crisp 72 – well done Jack. He was well supported by Dylan Wlyde with a sharp 57*. In the end the declaration came and the score read a formidable 6/316.
With 40+ overs to take 10 wickets the ball was thrown to Ian and Cliffy and they didn’t disappoint. Sth Belgrave fell apart and in the end were rolled for 60 and maximum points were taken. Ian Jongen claimed 3/11 Clipper 3/14 and Nixon again 2/21 a great result and they sit half a game clear on top.
4th XI – by Greg Bakker
Having won the past 3 games reasonably well against teams lower on the ladder, round 6 was going to be a challenge. We were playing UFTG who were 2nd on the ladder and led by David ‘Yak’ Goodger, an experienced 1s player with a career high 155* and best bowling of 8/45 supported by a mix of experience and youth. Similar to us, they were largely a ‘Father/Son’ team.
The conditions at the start of the 1st day’s play were overcast and humid, perfect for swing bowling! Winning the toss, we had no hesitation in sending them in. ‘Yak’ opened the batting with his son so the new cherry was thrown to Chris - gun vs gun! After taking out the middle stump of the younger batsman in his 2nd over, Chris retired hurt with a calf strain. That brought young Alex D’nup to the bowling crease who, in his first over, bowled the new batsman and then followed up with an identical delivery for an identical result! UFTG were 3 down for not many but ‘Yak’ was still at the crease and he dragged them to drinks at 3/61 from 17 overs. Lachy bowled a beautiful line to ‘Yak’ for his first ball after drinks that enticed an edge that just carried to Gez coming forward at gully. That was the break we needed! Yak gone for 41, UFTG 4 down and Lachy bowling well! After a very solid bowling and fielding effort, UFTG ended their 35 overs at 6/129. This was effectively 7/129 with a not out batsman not being available next week.
With Chris injured and probably needing a break from scoring all those runs, we went with a new opening combination in the impenetrable Haydos and Gez Jongen paying us a visit for the 1st day only. What we needed was a solid start with the bat and that’s what we got reaching 52 before Gez (25) was smartly caught off a very good young leg spinner. Sam joined Haydos and they batted comfortably through to stumps with the score 1/82 - Haydos on 26 and Sam 15. While we were 50 runs behind, we had wickets in hand and, if we could break through the last 3 wickets quickly, we would have the balance of the 70 overs for the day to get the runs.
With the emotion charged week and start to the 2nd day’s play, it wasn’t clear how the players would handle the game itself. Before going into the field, we spoke about the fact we still had a job to do. As spoken about all season, we were going to play OUR game. If things don’t go our way, if we drop a catch, if they get a partnership going……..we just keep going with our game, working on and waiting for that one ball for our chance. We spoke about attacking the stumps and getting the job done quickly and that’s what happened. We bowled each of the last 3 batsmen with UFTG finishing all out on 159. The kids led the way with Lachy (3/33), Alex (2/28), Sam (1/10), Gez (1/22) and Johnno Lim (1/19) getting the rewards.
Chasing a further 78 to win off 56 overs with 9 wickets in hand looks straightforward but UFTG have a very good bowling attack which was the best we’d faced all season. Unfortunately Haydos (27) poked a ball back close enough to the bowler for him to take a smart diving catch in our 3rd over. Brent joined Sam and, between them, they batted perfectly, respecting the good balls and punishing anything loose, picking off singles in between. Brent (34) gave away his wicket trying to hit the winning runs leaving Sam (46*) to do the honours with 33 overs remaining.
KGCC 3/163 def UFTG 159
The boys did the club proud throughout the whole game but, particularly in week 2 after what was the longest week in cricket. In another sign of what the future holds, all runs were scored by juniors with u17s Gez & Sam and u15s Haydos and Brent doing the job superbly.
So, that’s now 4 wins on the trot which places us in 4th position and the best percentage (2.64) of all teams in Division 7.
Go Gardens #oneclub #proudfatherandcaptain
Good luck to all teams this week.