2nd XI Season Report
Posted by Nathan Montague on Wednesday, 1 Apr 2020 at 8:31pm

2nd XI Season Report

Heading into the year we hoped to take another step forward from season 18/19 where we finished
in 6th position, after our performances fell away post Christmas. Our collective aim was to make the
finals and at the very least, remain competitive in all of our games. Punching above our weight in
Decoite Shield with our 2nd XI playing against all other clubs 1st XI. We knew that this would be a
challenge but we had a good level of confidence going in to the season after a good pre-season and
knowing just how good our young talent could be.

The start of the season was always going to be crucial, with a difficult fixture early on against all 4 of
last years finalists in the first 4 weeks. Winning two of these games and losing two nail biters by 4
runs and one wicket respectively vindicated our pre season confidence. It was extremely pleasing to
see these positive early results coming off the back of outstanding performances from our younger
guys, notably Jay Wagner’s 102 against South Belgrave showed that he was clearly good enough in
this grade and beyond. Boof managed to seal the deal in the second week with 6/20 and a
celebration that may have contributed to a deteriorating body in the second half of the season. The
loss to Monbulk was where Josh McGowan announced himself to the competition taking 8/40 off his
22.1 overs in one of the more remarkable games of cricket that most of us will ever play in where
the Hawks were 1/101 chasing 124, then found themselves 9/113 only for their number 10 and 11 to
get them over the line. Other notable performers in the first half of the year were Hayden
Morrison’s 83 against St John’s Tecoma and Adam Wylde’s 80 against a polished Ferntree Gully.

Post Christmas we resumed with back to back fixtures against the gators and thanks to some even
contributions with the bat and a standout Spencer Stuckey all round game we managed to win the
first one. The second time we met was more comprehensive, where we fell short of winning outright
points but secured a dominant win in the first innings off the back of more individual brilliance from
Josh McGowan. The King took 7/55 from his 19.5 overs only for Dylan Wylde to attempt to steal the
show with the bat blasting a piss-taking 135* accompanied by Matt Bell who looked a class above
with his 82. We played out the rest of the regular season with our finals spot secured with two
games to go. Finishing with a loss and a tie in the regular season we wound up finishing 3 rd and up
against an experienced Rowville in a home elimination final. We found ourselves chasing the game
from the beginning with Rowville keeping their noses in front all the way to the line. Defending 132
we were a sniff when they were 5/66 but there would be no more breakthroughs from that point
and their experienced heads sealed the deal.

All in all I am extremely proud of the season that we had. We met those pre season expectations and
will be better off for the finals exposure. Our young guys were the backbone of the second XI and we
have used the opportunity of being exposed to Decoite Shield to enhance our cricket and give the 1st
XI strong support when called upon. I can honestly say that the greatest enjoyment that I derive
from cricket nowadays is watching the younger guys succeed individually and bond as a playing
group. Watching the team grow in belief, cricketing ability and experience assures me that there is
no ceiling on what we can achieve in coming seasons and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. A special
thanks to my VC ‘squid’, you know who you are, and all of the other guys who I’ve lent on at some
stage throughout the season.


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