Apologies for the late reports ladies:
Playing Upwey for a potential spot in the finals play started late on Day 1 due to morning storms. Once play got underway it was all Knox Gardens. After a tight start wickets fell with regularity as Upwey were eventually all out in the 56th over for 89. Wickets were shared with Scotty Mac and Foxy Mulder sharing honours with figures Richie Benuad would enjoy 2/22. TP continued his late season form with 2/25 off 12. Zach claimed 2/16 off 6 and Wilba was his frugal best with 1/13 off 16.
Having to go in and bat for 21 overs the game was still in the Gary Ballance at 5/62 still requiring 29 on day 2. Jarrod Butcher (28) and returning Wayne McInerney (20) were the only ones to get more than half a dozen. Day 2 could have started with a very nervy hour but skipper Murph and Scotty played their natural games to steer past Upwey in the innings 37th over. Both went on to record half centuries with Murph top scoring on 57. Some lusty hitting from Wilba at the end with 26 off an over saw the score tick past 200 and stumps were drawn shortly before tea.
The 1’s take on top of the table Eildon Park this week in a must win encounter at home. I urge all past players, supporters, coterie members, ex and current girlfriends to get down this week in what promises to be a belter of a game.
RI won the toss and elected to bat – and bat – and bat – and bat. By now I believe everyone this side of Ol Sipp knows that Rhys Marget tore apart the Upwey bowling attack. In an innings that included 19 4’s and 2 6’s Rhys was simply unstoppable as he registered his highest individual score of 151. Special moment when he brought up his 150 while batting alongside eldest son Jack. During the innings Rhys also passed 10,000 runs which is a remarkable achievement on its own and one that may never be surpassed at our club – unless I play in the 5ths again.
Rhys also partnered with Matt Young for a 143 run partnership before Mung was removed for a solid 53. Unfortunately the middle bottom order failed to fire and the innings was closed after 80 overs with the score on 302 – Ash Hawkes was not out on 19.
Defending a score in excess of 300 it is easy to be complacent and at 6/69 it’s even easier. However to Upweys credit they grinded away at tea they were 6/160. That was extended despite some tight bowling to 225 before the 254 run partnership was broken coutesy of Sean Reid. Regular wickets fell and in the end the task was too great with a gallant Upwey falling 26 runs short despite a fantastic middle order ton by McCarrick.
Best bowling was Ash Hawkes 4/26Adam Metherall 2/92 off 26 and Drew Withers 2/29. Tough conditions for all and there were some very weary blokes walking off the ground after.
Bowling first the opposition made 247 – Cliff Fisher claimed 3/38. Not enough runs in the second innings meant that we lost. We will be playing finals in this grade and the performances will be vastly improved on what was a dirty day in every sense of the word. Out of respect of our players involved in this game I am not going into any more detail. Good luck in the finals lads.
4th XI by Greg Bakker
The best team almost won
With the heavy overnight rain and juniors being called off by the Association in week 1, it was an anxious wait to see if seniors would actually get any play in. Incredibly, not a minute was lost to weather with some heavy broom and shovel work on the bottom oval allowing play to get underway on time, albeit with a soggy outfield.
Winning the toss, we decided to bat first and try to put pressure on them with some runs on the board. There was also the prospect of drier conditions later in the day allowing Dylan, Sid, Sam and Chris to get maximum advantage with the new ball staying hard and dry.
Welcoming Josh back to the team, the perennial bridesmaid (prior to Christmas, he was always padded up but rarely made it to the crease) opened with Dos. With the slow outfield and some steady bowling, the run rate never really got going. Losing wickets regularly (1/21, 2/43, 3/46, 4/55, 5/66) we finished the day on 5/78 off 35. Tymo was not out 5 having done his job for the 3rd game in a row. Josh was the best of the batsmen with 18 and was unfortunate to be bowled by a ball that cut 2 feet in to hit the stumps. It was then we found the stitch on the seam had "popped" open which, after 22 overs, was somewhat of a surprise. Josh also confirmed that the same thing had happened to Sammy who until then had thought he inside edged onto his stumps. That's cricket I guess!
Going into the field with a pretty strong bowling lineup, we had high hopes of some early wickets. Unfortunately it wasn't to be although a mini-fight back at the end saw them on 3/94 from 35 after being 1/28, 2/86, 3/92. Dylan, Sid and Sammy were the wicket takers.
Being 16 runs behind and 5 wickets down with Tymo and myself at the crease and Chris and Nibby still to come in, the plan was to pace ourselves through the overs with a steady run rate that we could pick up in the last 10-15 overs. We had to bat out all of our 35 overs. Tymo followed that plan perfectly seeing off the opening bowlers with ease, completely unflustered by everything being dished up to him. Tymo was sensational until he was unfortunate to play over the top of the best ball of the match finishing with 29 hard fought runs, having taken the score from 4/55 to 6/139 (including a 6th wicket partnership of 73), a lead of 45 with 13 overs to go. All we needed was 4 runs per over to set a target of 100 but it became a bit of a procession after that with a couple of juggled catches ending Chris and Nibby’s innings and then Jimmy got skittled tried to hit one of his trademark on-drives to the fence. Grega was left stranded at the other end (another 50 nipped in the bud!). Unfortunately there was still 4 overs left when we lost our last wicket on 171, a lead of 77.
Tymo has done a job for the team in each of the past 3 rounds against top 4 teams where he goes in late on day 1 and holds his wicket until the 2nd week. While he hadn't been scoring many runs and appears to have been a little disappointed with that, he has done an incredible job for the team while other wickets have been falling around him. Hopefully Saturday's innings proved to him that the runs will eventually come and that will give him the confidence to play his shots with the freedom that a solid foundation provides. Get around him boys!
So, with a target of 78 off 35 to lose or 7 wickets to win and without Dylan and Sid this week, we had to get early wickets, expose the tail and rely on the pressure that chasing can bring upon a batting team. Getting the 4th wicket before they had scored was a great way to start but they then held on for a while before losing their next wicket. Rotating the 4 main bowlers in an effort to get wickets, Nixon provided the stimulus we needed. From 3/93 at the start, they went 4/94, 5/121, 6/132, 7/139, 8/147 to 9/165, still 6 runs short with the last wicket at the crease. Unfortunately that last wicket got them 1 run ahead. He then went out next ball.
Thanks to Bails, Simon and others for coming down to support us at the end.
KGCC 171 (G Bakker 34; M Tymensen 29; J Curnow 18) def by opposition 172 (N Adcock 4/35; G Bakker 2/18; D Wylde 1/20; S Singh 1/21; C Stuckey 1/22; S Bakker 1/53)
........and there it is, the last chance we had of getting into the top 4 resulting in a 1 run loss and a 7 point gap between us and 4th.
In the run home after Christmas, we lost a 1 dayer by 2 runs; lost to the top team by 35 runs (losing 3/7 at the end with 10 overs left); beat 3rd, and; lost to 4th by a run. It's fair to say that we had our chances!
It’s hard to describe the feeling after all of that, especially in this tear soaked match report, with the tears being not just for the disappointment of this young team not playing in a much deserved finals series but also tears of pride for this team. We finished this game with 4 players at least 36 years old and 9 players 16 years and younger! I can't praise highly enough the effort and composure shown by this young team who always play the game in the right spirit, in particular under trying circumstances that are best left for a discussion on another day. I have been extremely proud of how the team has handled itself all season which, as mentioned previously, has also been noticed and commented on by opposition captains.
4 Time Simon Wilkinson Medalist