1st XI vs Upper Ferntree Gully @ Kings
We took on last
year’s grand finalists in the first 2-day game of the season. Winning the toss
we had no hesitation in batting first. Losing Shan through injury from the
previous game we were forced to shuffle a few things around in the batting
order. This meant club coach Joe Morsello would move up to open and Youngster
Jack Marget would get an opportunity to bat at 3.
We got off to a slow but steady start before losing a couple of wickets
in quick succession, we steadied the ship a little bit with Jack and myself
building a little partnership until I was bowled for 30 at a horrible time just
before tea. We headed into tea in a reasonable position at 3/ 90 odd, and
looking to make a score in excess of 200. Unfortunately once Jack Marget fell
on 30 himself the rest followed as we were bowled out for what was a well under
par total of 164. That left us with 7 overs to bowl at them and we concluded
the day having the 1/14.
Week two was one of the strangest contested games of cricket I have
played in for a while, for the first 30 minutes we bowled pretty poorly but
kept managing to find a way to grab wickets. Upper gully again steadied before
Adz Metherell and Scotty Mac starting ripping through the batting line up and
all of a sudden we have them 8/97 and in what should have been a winning positon.
To upper gully’s credit they did not give us a sniff after that and chipped
away at the total slowly but surely and ended up passing us 8 down.
Adam Metherell and Scotty Mac were our two bowlers of note both bowling
20 overs 3/40 in what was a very gallant effort from those two.
Unfortunately we fell short in a game that we had for the taking. Again
we go away from the game with confidence knowing we can beat the best, but we
have to start turning good performances into results if we want to take the
next step this season.
Next week we take on Eildon Park in a T-20 and to raise hopefully a lot
of money for the great cause in cystic fibrosis. A 4:00pm start for us this
week as we play immediately after the second XI. It would be great to see as
many faces supporting the Red and Black as possible on Saturday.
2nd XI vs
Upper Ferntree Gully @ Knox Gardens Reserve
There’s no place like home, there’s no place like
home. Ahhh, great to be back on home turf for the first time this season for
our round 3 clash with the Upper Gully. A late change threw a spanner in the
works with our leading wicket taker for the first two games Drew Withers to
play 1’s. After thinking long and hard we decided to give the young, foul
mouthed and very keen Joshy McGowan his first game in the 2nd XI. He
also bowls the same pace as Drew so was a clear decision.
Looking for a hattrick of wins to start the season
we were off to a flyer as I once again won the toss and under greasy condition
decided we better bat first before the ball got ruined. Unfortunately for us by
the time the ball was ruined so was our top and middle order batsmen. A couple
of lazy shots followed by some outrageous triggering by our umpires saw us
staggering to 5/46 and starring down the barrel of a terrible collapse.
Enter the weapon, the destroyer, the man with
extremely large cannons, a man who is very impressed with what he brings to the
table, Dylan Wylde. Along with Mitch Gregory the two dug us out of an all
mighty hole with a combination of crisp hitting, back foot finesse, back
chatting, solid defence and brutal running between the wickets. A very
entertaining and also at times lucky 81 run partnership got us back into the
contest and a chance to post a fine total. Dylski was the first to go for a
beaut 35 which saw the old fox Trav Mulder join him at the crease and the runs
were flowing until Mitch ‘bombs’ Gregory decided to halt the game with an
almighty top edge which almost cleared the roof of the clubrooms!!!
Partnerships were then consistent until Mitch smashed one to point for a very
polished and surprisingly patient 78 in a superb knock. Curn played also and whacked
around 28 not out while myself and young first gamer Josh ‘King’ McGowan made
sure we weren’t to bat out our allotted overs. All out for 229 a great recovery
from 5/46 but well short of our pre-game target.
We ended up bowling a couple of overs and the old
fox Trav blasted the off pole of their night watchman out of the ground to
leave them 1/11.
The second week came around quickly and we were
eager to make up for a lacklustre start on week one. Mitch opened up with his
thunderbolts while Trav opened up with the supreme control we’ve seen for
decades. An average start but wickets fell which was ideal. After the openers
were spent after long opening spells I turned to my best two Josh’s in the team
Josh Curnow and Josh McGowan. The young guys were terrific and showed amazing
control with the ball to not only create chances but stifle the opposition and
really bowl to a plan. Gun leggie ‘King’ had some of their best batsmen in all
sorts and looked like breaking through for a wicket at any moment continually
beating the bat. He claimed a well-deserved wicket several overs later and was
unlucky not to have a bag as the ball refused to go to hand when they could lay
any sort of bat on it. Curney was just as good bowling very consistent and was
also unlucky not to get a bag (Sorry Curn ☹)after a tough first game last week. Mitch came back to blast out the
tail after the young lads were fantastic and after taking consistent wickets we
ended up bowling them out for 159 in a great performance. Mitch 4/58 off 22, Curn
2/23 off 20 and McGowan 1/30 off 12 were all fantastic.
Now the only team undefeated with the big T/20
match this week we will look to consolidate our spot at the top.
3rd XI vs Rowville @ Wantirna College
Round 3 saw us up against Rowville who
had started the season 1-1 just like us and barring a late collapse in round 1
could have been undefeated. They had a team full of guys who had experience in
DeCoite and we were set for a big challenge against a potential top 4 side.
They won the toss and decided to have a bat. Unfortunately there was a bit of
rain around which made the ball quite wet and slippery early on. They started
reasonably and it took us until just after drinks to get our first wicket with
the score on 42. From there Nixon was able to pick up a couple of quick wickets
to have Rowville in trouble at 3/63.
From there were proceeded to drop both
the new batsmen relatively cheaply with chances that really should have been
taken at this level. They managed to put on 80 for the 4th wicket
before yet another dropped catch resulted in a run out. They went on to lose
their final 6 wickets for just 23 runs with both Nixon and Reidy bowling
brilliantly after tea and both unchanged. Nixon finished with 4/65 (25) and
Reidy 3/21 (10). They were well assisted by Devo 1/17 (13), Nikhil 0/15 (8),
Bailey 0/19 (9) and hard hitting Nibby 0/11 (4).
This left us with 11 overs to face
overnight and unfortunately Rhys was back in the sheds for 12 and the score at
1/28 overnight with myself and Adam Wylde at the crease. We started well on the
2nd day before Adam fell with the score on 39 and I fell with the
score on 56. From here both Reidy and Dos batted extremely well putting on 38
before Dos was out for 19, lowering his average down to a lowly average of just
over 40 in his last 10 games and surely pressing for higher honours. Nibby came
and went leaving us in a bit of trouble at 5/98. Reidy and Lamby looked to be
doing it easy putting on 27 before Reidy ran himself out and Lamby was bowled
just before tea leaving us at 7/137 with Bailey and Nixon in. These two looked
to get us home putting on 25 until Nixon was caught at point off a full toss.
We then managed to get the scores level and looked home before Devo was bowled
leaving us 9 down and Rowville up and about for a tie.
Bailey showed nerves of steel and was
dropped a couple of times with the scores tied, but managed to hit Sidhu
through mid on to get up a much needed win. Credit must go to him for holding
the tail together with a well made 18. Lamby top scored with 21 and we had 7
players in double figures and one just short with 9, with everyone failing to
capitalise on their start.
In the end a win is a win and good
sides win games when they don’t play their best. I think we were far from our
best and a batting line up with the quality we have won’t have a top score of
21 too many times, nor would we drop 8 catches in too many games. All that
being said we really dug in and grinded out the win and it is one that we may
look back on as being very important later in the season when we are playing
for spots in the finals. We do need to get to training and work hard though as
an improved performance will be required if we want to get some distance
between us and the bottom 4 next week up at Sth Belgrave, who coming off a bad
loss will be up and about.
4th XI vs Rowville @ Liberty Reserve
This week we had Rowville at home who took the piss
out of last year’s previous the previous game so we knew that it was always
going to be an interesting game.
Scotty did the toss and chose the
ever-reliable heads and won and due to the light rain decided to bat first.
Scotty and Deepak had us off to a quick
solid start with us being none for 30 after 5 and Scotty looked on and
determined to put on a good score. Unfortunately, the next over he put a half
tracker down the throat of the only fielder on the leg side and we were 1 down.
Not long after Stuckey was gone for a duck and in came Benny. He dug deep and
played a great anchor role for Deepak on the other side before he too was
dismissed with the score 3/48. Porno then came in and him and Benny combined
for a brilliant 65 run partnership before Porno was unlucky for the second week
in a row to be caught by a freak catch with us 4/113. Jay came and went and we
ended the day on 5/121.
In reply myself and Sammy opened the
bowling. They were lucky with a couple of catches not going just over fielders
before one did go to hand and we had them 1/16 off 5. A couple overs later I
was lucky enough to snag my second wicket trapping him plum for a duck. At 2/18
off 7 we were looking really comfortable. Unfortunately, the other opener had
more lives than a cat and got away with many just not making it to hand. A
later bowling change saw young Benny get the breakthrough we needed with them
3/68. They ended up finishing the day at 3/105.
On day 2 there was a firm message to
young Benny to put a price on his wicket and to go on with his overnight score
of 38 and that is exactly what he did with a very strong partnership of 53 with
Sammy before Sammy forced a shot and got trapped in front LBW for a quick 33
and with us on 6/172. We had a slight collapse and lost 3/3 with Benny ending
up on 63. We lost another quick wicket and we were 9/182 with 6 overs to spare.
I got the chance to swing the willow with the magnificent Tommy and we combined
for a quick 27 before I was bowled in with 2 balls to go in the innings and the
score on 209.
We had scoreboard pressure and we knew
that early wickets were gonna be crucial. We decided to change things up a bit
and bring on Tommy and myself. I was able to snare one caught behind in my first
over and had them 4/107. As with the week before the opener was still there and
rode his luck which seemed like it would never end. Credit to the boys in the
field who dug deep and a good bowling change with Scotty having a trundle saw
the big breakthrough we needed with the opener getting caught behind on 80 and
the score 5/156. Next over Sammy struck and then Scottys next over he struck
again and we had them 7/160. They dug deep before Scotty and myself came back
on with us both snagging a wicket each in our first overs back on and they were
9/186. We could smell Victory needing just one wicket to win. However, it was
not meant to be and they were able to tie the scores with 1 ball to go and won
off the last ball.
All in all, it was a tough and little
disappointing match and not the result we were looking for after where we had
them. However, I would like to congratulate Benny on what I believe is his
first seniors 50. He held his head and showed great composure and helped put us
in a strong position. All the boys did their bit and tried their hardest and
not much more we could ask of them.