The 1’s played host to Eildon Park with much on the line for both teams. For our lads dropping the game would mean no finals if other results went against us and Eildon Park needing to win to secure top spot.
Losing the toss and bowling early wickets were key and Jarrod Butcher provided a rare fielding highlight for the day with a direct hit to remove the opener. From there the quality EP batsman looked to set themselves for the 40 overs. When the second wicket fell with the score on 52 the game was even. Opener Ben Morris continued to toil hard and at drinks the score was 2/95 and the run rate had slowed. Wickets in hand meant the reigning premiers could chance their arm and in the end a well compiled 193 was set. Best bowling figures went to Zach Flintoff 3/40 off 6, single wickets to Scotty Mac, Foxy Mulder, Shan Small and Mitch Gregory.
Looking to our openers to set the tone for the second session they certainly didn’t disappoint. Jarrod Butcher torched the opening bowlers and was the chief aggressor with a better than run a ball 50. Shan was steady and he and Boof Gregory put on 65 before Boof was out. The middle order failed to fire and some small partnerships developed but Shan Small was the mainstay playing one of the great knocks seen in recent years. Unfortunately he holed out 6 runs shy of his centuy and 10 runs short of the total. Murph and Trav Parsonage saw that the game wouldn’t go into the final over passing the score with 10 balls to spare.
The boys take on Eildon Park in the semi final next weekend at Eildon Park so for those of you not participating in finals please ensure you get behind Murph and the boys who have had a remarkable season that has culminated in our first 1st Norm Reeves finals appearance. Good luck lads and do us all proud.
Playing at Eildon Park and keen to avenge last year’s Grand Final loss again _ Rhys had no hesitation in opting to bat first. Things looked shaky when Rhys was dismissed in the 1st over for 148 less than the week before. Cool heads prevailed and Nav and Brett Morrison looked to cash in on some valuable centre wicket time and in doing saw batted 36 overs to put together a match winning partnership of 144. Brett was out caught in the 37th over on 60 and Nav virtually carried his bat through for an impressive 89 off 105. Matt Young chimed in with 22 off 11.
Our bowlers having something solid to defend did not disappoint with big Simo Grasser the chief destroyer claiming 3 top order scalps. Adam Metherall continued his good form picking up 2/30 off 8 and the miserly Sean Reid also claiming 2/8 off 3.1. All in all a comprehensive victory against last year’s premiers and goes a long way to show the huge steps this team has made and depth of this club at the moment.
The boys host FTG this week at home so please get along and show your support.
Needing a win to regain some lost momentum Jase won the toss and batted. Pottsy and Callum O’Connor batted well and turned the strike over regularly before Callum was ruled LBW for 23. Lambrick was caught napping and run out for 0 and when Dovey Hay and Andrew Potts were dismissed quickly it was 40 for 70. Skipper Jase Buljubsaic steadied the ship with young Tim Flintoff (39) and Jase brought up his 50 before being caught soon after. Jack Marget chimed in for a well made 24 and the total was a quality 7/198 after 40.
I have no scorebook or bowling figures to update so all I can say is they won which means a home final against Knoxfield next weekend – good luck to the lads.
4th XI by Greg Bakker
A fitting end to an unfulfilled season
Heading to Upwey Tecoma for the last game of the season, locked out of finals contention, we were intent on finishing off with a win, albeit for pride alone.
Winning the toss, we decided to have a bat and set as big a target as we could on the extremely small Thompsons Oval. Losing Chris to the 3s and resting Dos to get his back right for the junior finals series, we needed a brand new opening pair so went a bit romantic with the father-son combination of Jimmy and Josh. Getting off to a solid start, Jimmy (33) started to push the run rate along before holing out, ending an entertaining 48 run opening stand. Nibby (9) came in and tried to maintain the momentum before falling to the same fate followed by Sammy (17) doing the same. With 3/91 off 17, the platform was there for Brent (37) to go after the bowling which he did by starting with 3 maximums before ending with a 4th maximum in his sort stay at the crease. While all this was happening around him, Josh played with his usual composure hitting 10 4s and a 6 to reach his highest ever score of 54. Josh had been there for 151 runs leaving 10 overs for Dylan (49no) and Tymo (12no) to get the score up to 5/219 off 35. Last season, we lost by 5 runs at this ground chasing 245 with a big gun on either team scoring at will so only time would tell if this was a winning score.
Unfortunately for Upwey Tecoma's captain Colin Capon, playing his last ever cricket game before having knee replacement surgery, his innings and career came to an end in the 2nd over before a couple of good partnerships saw them move into a relatively strong position. Dylan had bowled well but was unlucky enticing an edge off their young gun batsman with the sharp catch bursting through Sam's hands at slip. Varun had also bowled well with, unfortunately, a sharp catch this time taken by Sammy at slip not being registered, courtesy of a front foot no-ball. After 25 overs of tight bowling and even tighter fielding with Grega and Brent in particular doing a great job, they were 2/117. Needing 103 to win off 10 overs, a win was certainly achievable on this small ground. Josh, coming in for his 2nd over, proceeded to turn the game on its head bowling the more experienced batsman from an inside edge and then catching the edge of each of the 2 new batsmen with Sammy's sure hands at slip doing the rest. With a sequence of X.X.X. in the 26th over, the score went from 2/117 to 5/117. In the very next over, Sammy bowled the young gun who was on 55 and travelling nicely leaving them at 6/118 with the contest effectively over. Josh proceeded to take a couple more to get his first ever ‘Michelle’ (5-fer) while Grega chimed in with a plumb LBW before they ended on 9/152 from their 35, still 67 runs shy of the target.
KGCC 5/219 (Josh 54; Dylan 49*; Brent 37; Jimmy 33; Tymo 12*) def Upwey Tecoma 9/152cc (Josh 5/28; Grega 1/4; Sammy 1/21; Greg 2/25)
So, finishing with a win was a fitting end to a season that, the further it progressed, promised so much but ultimately delivered nothing. A couple of close (1 run & 2 run) losses after Christmas saw us miss the finals by only 1 point and what could have been a clean sweep of KGCC senior teams in finals.
So, for those teams in the finals, I offer the following:
1. it's not just another game. You've earned the right to play finals and you deserve to be there so get excited! It's what playing the season is all about. Embrace it! Enjoy it!
2. what you do in the finals game is no different to what you have done all season. Everything about cricket is a process whether its batting, bowling or fielding - stick to the process. It is what you have trained for 7 months to do and it is what you have done well to get to where you are now
3. when batting, remind yourself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Bat out the overs, whether batting 1st or 2nd. The longer you are out there, the easier it gets and the more runs will come.
4. when bowling/fielding, keep talking and encouraging each other. If they get a partnership going, focus on the 1 ball theory - it only takes 1 ball to change the momentum so be ready when it comes to you.
5. above all else, back yourself. You got there doing what you do so don't change it.
Good luck to all teams in the finals - juniors and seniors!