March 9, 2016
With 5 sets of brothers lining up together in our first ever Cricket Shepparton A grade final, the boys departed in good spirits with a quiet level of optimism. In stifling conditions at Howley Oval, Alec won the toss and sent SYCUCC in. Brad and Jackson gave us the dream start both picking up early wickets to have the opposition in early trouble at 2/1. A third wicket claimed by Paul Parsons shortly after saw them slip to 3/20 just before drinks. Despite a low sharp chance going down in the gully, the boys won the first hour and took a well-earned drink. Jackson was bowling brilliantly and deserved another wicket and he thought he had his man when the opposing captain spooned a catch to mid-wicket, only to see the chance go begging. From then on it was tough going as the United batsmen set about re-building their innings. Josh Lawrence was pouncing on anything loose and looking dangerous and as the mercury rose, so too did the score. As the deck flattened out chances were few and far between and when another one went down we were staring at a score above 300. Charlie McLay was introduced into the attack after the tea break and finally got the breakthrough, eventually breaking a partnership that had yielded 172 runs, and struck again 5 runs later, having dismissed Rendina and Lawrence for 60 and 104 respectively. Curt Ryan claimed a further 3 wickets and after 80 hot overs SYC had posted a healthy 294 runs.
Sunday saw conditions much the same with the temperature nudging 40, but with the pitch playing well the boys were confident if they batted the overs then the score was achievable. Kyle and Paddy started well, keeping up with the required run rate and turning the strike over nicely. Paddy was looking good until he nicked one through to the ‘keeper and was out for 10 with the score at 23. Kyle at the other end had hit 4 boundaries and was picking off anything loose, but fell 21 runs later for 25 at 2/44. Alec promoted himself to number three in the order and set about rusting himself on for a long innings. Unfortunately Paul Parsons was shot down by a howler of an LBW decision and at 3/45 Ben Reece joined the skipper at the crease and set about restoring the innings. Ben in particular played with controlled aggression and before long the partnership had yielded 45 runs when Alec was runout in a bad mixup and the momentum swung again. Cade joined Ben who was batting well and once again just as the partnership was looking threatening (57) Ben was caught behind for 61 trying to lift the run rate. At 5/147 a lot of responsibility fell to Cade and a relatively young tail to chase down the score, but with the required run-rate rising wickets fell in quick succession, with Jack Young, and Charlie McLay departing soon after. Cade belted a few deliveries to and over the boundary but was caught for 38. Brad and Curt Ryan looked to have some fun but it was a bridge too far, eventually being bowled out for 191.
Although it was a disappointing end to a season the started so well and promised so much, we can be proud of the boys efforts throughout the season and the way they fought it out right until the end. No-one outside the club gave them a chance of finishing outside of the bottom 2 at the start of the year, so to finish fourth was an outstanding effort and playing finals an invaluable experience for such a young group. We look forward to building on this next year.
Maccas boys took on top of the ladder Mooroopna with little more to play for than bragging rights. Batting first Russ Jarrett looked aggressive and raced to 20 with four boundaries before he was dismissed with the score at 31. Fitzy fell soon after and Dean Letizia and young gun Billy ‘the kid’ McLay put on 23 for the third wicket before Letizia was bowled. Another partnership of 38 with Fahad saw the score grow to 94 before Billy was caught and it was 5/106 soon after when Lukas fell. Fahad was punishing anything loose and had scored 52 including 4 fours and 2 towering sixes before being trapped lbw. Only 26 runs could be added by the remaining 5 batsmen and from what was a promising start slipped to an all-out score of 171 which was probably 30-50 runs below par. With 25 minutes left in the day to have a crack at the opposition, Macca was keen to snare some early wickets to give the cats a nervous night’s sleep. Macca claimed the scalp of Boyle but that would be all the joy they got that night.
Day two started well with Billy Moulton-Day grabbing an early pole, but it was a further 38 runs before Billy the Kid broke through. BMD struck straight away and it was suddenly 4/75. Rylan held onto a chance off Lukas but, like A grade, grassing some catches proved costly as Mooroopna cruised past the total with more than 30 overs to spare. Whilst it wasn’t an ideal result, the double chance secured in the final round was vital and we live to fight another day. With up to 5 players to return to the line-up it’s essential that the boys hit the nets hard this week and get their season back on track. We will all be right behind them as they take on Karramomus ths weekend at Tatura and we encourage all our supporters to get across and support the boys.
With a team consisting of just two of the 13 players aged between 17 and 40, Goof and his band of merry men headed over to Vibert Reserve to take on our arch-rivals Mooroopna in a do-or-die final. Winning the toss and batting we started well enough until the skipper fell for 19 with the score at 36. Troy ‘Bubby’ Thomson joined young star Aiden Robinson in the middle and they put on 77 before Troy was bowled soon after the tea interval. Unfortunately this started a collapse which saw 7 wickets fall for just 35 runs in the space of 19 overs. Riley Ironside and Maka ‘muscles’ Ryan asdded some respectability to the score with Riley in particular landing some hefty blows in his score of 31(3 fours, 2 sixes). Despite the best efforts of Troy (53) Aiden (44) and Riley, they didn’t quite receive enough help from the middle order and we were dismissed for 196 after 75 overs. Whilst not a bad score, it could have been much more at 1/113 just after tea.
1 run in the first 5 overs of play on day two meant the boys were up for the fight of defending their score, and when Dame struck in his fourth over the choke was paying dividends. However the next wicket didn’t fall until the 29th over and the heat was starting to take it’s toll and the scoreboard ticking over, Goof tried 10 bowlers to try to get the breakthrough. Dame Parsons was the most successful with 3/52 form his 22 overs and Connor Hawes bowled tight with just 4 runs coming off his 6 overs. Darren ‘snoop dog’ Hawes picked up a couple of scalps and despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to prevent Mooroopna form passing our score with 6 overs up their sleeve. Considering the age demographic of our side compared to that off the opposition, it was a courageous effort form the boys in ridiculous temperatures and it’s a credit to Goof, Crusher and Daz that D grade even made finals considering we couldn’t scrape a side together in round 1 and actually forfeited twice throughout the season.
Special mention in particular to some of the extremely talented juniors that got a taste of senior final cricket action this weekend. No less than 8 under 16 players represented us in finals throughout the senior grades this weekend, with a further 7 of last year,s crop representing. That’s 15 juniors from the last two seasons making significant contributions across 3 senior grades which shows the future is in good hands.
Also thanks to Brendan Baumann who was 12th man for both A and B grade on the weekend, not only keeping the players hydrated but also sub-fielding for both in extreme temperature. Thanks Breeza!
Good luck to B grade next week!