AN umpiring farce threatens to take some shine off the historic pink ball Test, after New Zealand were robbed of a chance to take a stranglehold on Day 2.

    THERE was the historic nature of the occasion to be handled but in the end it was simple cricket strategy that prevailed, writes Ian Chappell.

    Despite the A-League’s mostly good news story, football fans feel they have not been met half-way. In the past week they have prosecuted a strong case writes Richard Hinds.

    ANOTHER dire performance will heap pressure on Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor, whose side continued their winless run as Melbourne Victory returned to the top.

    ADAM Scott is standing over his second last shot of the day. If he is to win the 2015 Australian Open, Scott must nail this five iron. Perfectly.


    MCC Cricket News Archive

    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Thirds thunder on to flag
    Monday March 28, 2011

    Chris JanikCongratulations to John Fitzgibbon and his team as the Third XI continued their dominant finals form by defeating Camberwell Magpies by 248 runs to take out the flag – the 15th that the club has won in the 60 years of Third XI cricket and the sixth in the past 11 seasons. Chris Janik (122 and pictured right) followed up his 5-wicket semi-final haul to star with the bat and Dan Worrall (5/22) thwarted any chance of a Magpie run chase.

    Whilst the result was conclusive, it did take much of Saturday to gain the ascendency. Winning the toss and batting first, the loss of Wild was an early set back and with Nash departing a short time later we were 2/20. There were ‘steadying 20’s’ from Gillard (28), Edwards (23) Scholtz (26) but at 5/97 things looked a little precarious.

    Melbourne's Third XI premiership team.Blake Pearson (43 off 37 balls inc 6 fours) joined Chris Janik in a delightful little sixth-wicket partnership of 78 in 65 minutes that put the match back into the balance. If that partnership was delightful, Jack Paynter and Chris Janik’s seventh-wicket effort was superb. Jack showed his all-rounder qualities in making his first half-century for the club in his first season with us, eventually being dismissed for 67 from 105 balls inc 8 fours. The 146-run partnership took us to a more convincing 7/321.

    Chris Janik was dismissed just before stumps with 122 against his name. It was his maiden Demon century, scored off 175 balls, 17 of which went to the fence and two over it. It was an innings that mixed with power with timing and had that level of extra concentration that saw him through to three figures.
    Resuming on Sunday at 8/359 with a maximum entitlement of 10 more overs to bat, were dismissed early for 369.

    We took the field and Dan ’Frankie’ Worrall gained the first breakthrough. Jack Paynter (2/16) followed up with two more to have the Pies 3/36. ‘Frankie’ came back for a second spell after lunch to remove the dangerous Berryman and then added another. Tristan Larter (2/19) chimed in with two wickets including top scorer and former Demon, Sam Parker.

    Dan Worrall returned for a final spell and two more scalps gave him the impressive figures of 5/22 off 12.5 overs in a great display of fast bowling.

    You can’t help but note the efforts of various players during the Third XI finals campaign. I’m sure all players played their part in the three matches however to have so many different players produce outstanding performances stood out. First of all we had James Gillard score an amazing 241 n.o. in the quarter-final. In the semi, we had Chris Janik take 5/17. Add his 71 and 2/40 in the QF to his final century (and a wicket to boot) and he has had a ‘fair’ series! Anton Scholtz made 115 n.o. in the semi under a fair bit of pressure. Jack Paynter produced a fine double in the final (67 & 2/15). Gerard Wild’s 53 & 42 at the top of the order in the quarter and semi-final’s showed a lot of mettle.

    Once again, congratulations to Smacka and the entire team on a terrific season where they also took out the one-day title.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Third XI Final v Camberwell:
    Melbourne 369
    (C Janik 122, J Paynter 67, BR Pearson 43, J Gillard 28, A Scholtz 26) defeated Camberwell Magpies 121 (D Worrall 5/22, J Paynter 2/16, T Larter 2/19) at Camberwell Sports Ground.

    For the full scorecard go to


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Thirds through to final
    Tuesday March 22, 2011

    The Third XI continued their good run of form and advanced to the final after defeating Melbourne University in the semi-final on the weekend, or should I say Saturday. Having dismissed the ‘students’ for 122, we reached 5/189 at stumps and the Uni boys felt that there was no point coming back Sunday given our commanding position.

    Melbourne Uni won the toss and elected to bat first. There was misdirection early with 11 extras on the board after two overs, some of which seemed unfair to the keeper to have recorded as byes. Whilst hardly dominant, Uni reached a sound 2/62 at lunch and at 3/83, an afternoon of toil for our bowlers appeared likely. Steven Van Riet took his second wicket and removed the stubborn opposing skipper. With the score on 4/99, Chris Janik’s off-spin was introduced to the attack. He took two wickets in his first over and 23 runs later, the ‘students’ were all out for 122 and Chris had the outstanding figures of 5/15 off 8.2 overs.

    James Gillard, the quarter-final double-centurion, proved what a great equaliser cricket can be. Having been ‘saved’ by a no-ball call, he departed the next ball without getting off the mark. At 2/11 a decent partnership was called. Opener Gerard Wild (42) maintained his consistency and was joined by Anton Scholtz. Two and a half hours later, Anton walked off undefeated on 115 (105 balls, 20 fours) in a game sealing knock.

    With a lead of 67 and 5 wickets still to fall, the Uni boys weighed up the unrealistic challenge that confronted them and were happy to ‘call it a day’ on Saturday evening.

    Next week we play Camberwell Magpies at Camberwell Sportsground (the predetermined Third XI final venue) on Saturday March 26 and Sunday March 27 (if required).

    In looking back at their season, the Thirds went through the first 12 rounds undefeated (admittedly this included five washout draws) and took out the one-day flag. They were then humbled for 46 (Rd.13 v Northcote) and comprehensively beaten by last weekend’s victims in Rd14. They had a couple of highly competitive games in rounds 15 & 17 that shaped their finals preparations nicely.

    We wish them every success on the weekend.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Semi Final v Melbourne University:
    Melbourne University 122 (C Janik 5/17, S Van Riet 2/10) conceded to Melbourne 5/189 (A Scholtz 115*, G Wild 42) at Albert Cricket Ground.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Thirds Finish Top Whilst Firsts Slide
    Wednesday March 9, 2011

    The 1st and 3rd XIs had a lot to play for in the final home and away season Round 17 match, the 1st XI a top four place and the 3rd XI top spot, while the 2nd and 4th XIs were essentially playing for pride (and praying for a minor miracle).

    The 3rd XI was successful in their 2nd v 1st clash against the Cats to gain top place and ranking position for the finals. The 1st XI fared poorly having been bowled out for 57 on day one and although we tried to reverse the fortunes on the second day, we lost outright and finished in seventh place and play an away quarter-final. The 4th XI finished the season on a good note and teasingly finished one match out of the final eight. The 2nd XI looked like they were in a position to play for outright points and a finals berth, having the Geelong 6/62 at one stage on day one, but the Cats recovered and dominated from thereon.

    Playing at Kardinia Park on a dry, grassy couch wicket, the 1st XI were quickly three down. Any recovery by the middle order was thwarted by the introduction of leg spin. Debutant Will Ryan top scored with 14 on a sick looking score card. Whilst there were moments in the game where we hoped to set Geelong a challenging second innings target, we ended up being comprehensibly beaten and travel down Geelong Rd again this weekend in a cut throat quarter-final where we must win to advance.

    The 3rd XI had a good, competitive match as you’d expect from the top two sides going into finals. We were hardly going brilliantly at 8/124 with top scorer Chris Janik (57) dismissed. Skipper John Fitzgibbon (56 n.o.) rallied with support from his no. 10 & 11, Steven van Riet (20) and Xavier Frawley (21) to post 225. The bowlers carried on with the gritty attitude and although the Geelong opener batted through the innings, we dismissed the Cats for 196.

    The 4ths ended the season on a winning note. Despite being undermanned, particularly on day one in the field, they fought back from Geelong being 3/122 just after tea on the first day. Even at 6/230, a decent chase looked in store before Alistair McCooke, who had three of the six wickets at that stage, took 3 for 4 off his last 11 balls to finish with a career (and life) best 7/74 off 21.5 overs. Batting on one of the better tracks seen at the Johnson Oval in recent times, Jimmy Gillard (77) joined opener David Reid (98) for a 172-run second wicket partnership that set up victory.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 17 v Geelong:
    1st XI – Melbourne 57 and 181
    (S Dart 53 A Kent 48 AR Keath 34) defeated outright by Geelong 6/126(dec) (AC Dale 3/26 S Sturrock 2/36) and 3/113 at Geelong Cricket Ground.
    2nd XI – Geelong 289 (D Scheetz 4/74 AJ Boyle 3/42 C Thompson 3/55) defeated Melbourne 161 (MJ Brown 40) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    3rd XI - Melbourne 225 (C Janik 57 J Fitzgibbon 56*) defeated Geelong 196 (S Van Riet 2/32 D Worrall 2/42 AJ Boyle 2/60) at Kardinia Park West. 
    4th XI – Geelong 244 (A McCooke 7/74 SJ Walker 2/83) defeated by Melbourne 4/248 (DJ Reid 98 J Gillard 77 D Bratby 32) at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons Dart to Third
    Monday February 21, 2011

    Simon Dart on his way to scoring 96 against Richmond in Round 16.The 1st XI, despite the loss of the first session on Saturday due to a water logged outfield and a poor start at the batting crease, were able to build a competitive total on the back of Simon Dart’s 96 then rolled through the Tiger line up to secure an important win that took us from sixth to third place on the ladder with one round remaining.

    The other winning team on the weekend was the 3rd XI, even though they lost a full day’s play on the Saturday. The match, played under ‘ordinary’ conditions, was transferred to the Harry Trott Oval on the Sunday where Anton Scholtz, Brendan Huf and Tristan Larter were the match winners. The 2nd XI and 4th XIs both engaged in hard fought battles but were both overtaken late on day two. This puts the 4th XI out of the finals race and the 2nd XI (11th) need the three teams above them to lose or get an outright (10 points) to give them a sneaky chance.

    The 1st XI was 3/39 early before Peter Petricola (35) put on 69 with Simon Dart (pictured) before another rush of wickets had us 6/118. Sean Sturrock (29) demonstrated how hard work and a bit of confidence can improve your batting and, with Simon, helped us through to 6/171 at stumps. Simon carried on his steady innings on the second morning before falling 4 runs short of a deserved century and a declaration followed not long after. New ball bowlers Nick Quinn (3/32) and Adam Dale (2/17) had the Tigers ‘in all sorts’ at 3/8. Sean Sturrock (3/36) and Pat Smith (2/31) did their part and we ended up 101-run victors.

    The Seconds batted first and was also struggling before Will Ryan, batting at 4, made a confident and well compiled 58 – his first half century at this level. Captain Eivion Bowen (90 off 124 balls, 11 fours and a six) then took over and unselfishly declared on the overnight score of 8/289. The bowlers were unable to break a 133-run second wicket partnership early enough but worked their way back into the game to have the Tigers 6/222. Unfortunately we were unable to close the deal.

    The 3rd XI had a frustrating Saturday when they could do little about a Johnson Oval wicket where the covers couldn’t keep the 20 ml of overnight rain out. Knowing they needed a win to stay in the top two, it was all out aggression by Anton Scholtz (111 inc 12 fours and two sixes) and Brendan Huf (74*) on a Harry Trott wicket offering the bowlers encouragement. Being 1/203 at tea allowed for a declaration and 40 overs to dismiss the opposition, which they had to do to get the points. All credit to the Tigers that played the game in the spirit that was engendered i.e. both teams would chase the win at any cost. Although Richmond got a reasonable start, Tristan Larter (5/31) and Lincoln Edwards (3/30) ended up match winners with the ball.

    The Fourths got away to a good start on Saturday being 1/93 before battling to 164 all out. Laurie Heath (64) dazzled with a couple of big sixes included, however only David Bratby (24) and David Reid (39) were others to reach double figures. They did have Richmond 3/34 overnight and ‘strung’ the chase out for 96 overs before being overtaken eight down.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 16 v Richmond:
    1st XI – Melbourne 9/226(dec)
    (S Dart 96, P Petricola 35, S Sturrock 29) defeated Richmond 125 (N Quinn 3/32, S Sturrock 3/36, AC Dale 2/17, P Smith 2/31) at Albert Cricket Ground. 
    2nd XI –Melbourne 8/289(dec) (ED Bowen 90*, WN Ryan 58, A Nash 32) defeated by Richmond 7/293 (ED Bowen 3/50, C Thompson 2/47) at Punt Road Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 1/203(dec) (A Scholtz 111, B Huf 74*) defeated Richmond 138 (T Larter 5/31, LJ Edwards 3/30) at Harry Trott Oval.
    4th XI – Melbourne 164 (L Heath 64, D Reid 39) defeated by Richmond 8/165 (P Walker 2/19, M McCarthy 2/20, L McCarthy 2/50) at EO McCutchan Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons in Dogged Win
    Monday February 14, 2011

    The First XI gained a vital win over the Footscray-Edgewater Bulldogs in the rescheduled Round 15 one-day split innings match. Whilst still sixth on the ladder, it keeps us within a win of a top two finish and, just as importantly, puts us six points clear of the Doggies who slipped to tenth. Unfortunately the Seconds suffered the opposite fate and fell two points out of the final eight so must win their final two matches of the season where six points are up for grabs for a first innings win (or 10 for an outright assuming we get to play a two-day match!).

    The Third XI returned to winning form where a solid effort in the field helped us defend 172 and keep second spot on the ladder. The Fourth XI match was unfortunately abandoned without a ball being due to a wet pitch that seemingly couldn’t withstand the early Friday showers. They must win their last two matches and rely on results going their way to sneak into finals contention.

    The 1st XI (6th) travelled to the Mervyn J Hughes Oval to take on 9th placed Footscray Edgewater. A loss would see the ladder positions reversed. We batted first in conditions that were generally not in the batsmen’s favour due to the wet 36-hours leading into the weekend (and a country week final on Friday at the Albert didn’t help the 2nd XIs cause who were asked to bat first). Our innings was steady rather than spectacular and it would have pleased the coach to wee the 193-run tally built on partnerships rather than relying on individual efforts. Simon Dart (46) and Peter Petricola (39) put on 63 for the fifth wicket to make sure a competitive score was posted. Wickets to Quinn, Dale and Sturrock, as well as a run out, had the Dogs 4/68 off 20 overs, falling short of the 2/75 we had on the board. Tight bowling continued in the second half of FE’s innings before Brad Hodge made another outstanding contribution - with the ball! - taking 4/20 off 7 overs).

    The Seconds, notwithstanding batting first on wicket that had a little’ tack’ on it due to it being exposed to the elements for much of Friday, would have been disappointed with their performance. Being 5/56 after 20 overs, they would have hoped to at least make some inroads into the Bulldogs line up but they managed to rattle up 1/101 after their first stage. We barely recovered and if it were not for Justin Graham’s 38 the Doggies may not have had to resume at the crease.

    The Third XI, playing a ‘normal’ 45-over-a-side game, managed 7/172 on the back of Alex Nash’s more than handy 77 n.o. The Bulldog’s, although being behind the run-rate, looked to be in a position make a charge at 2/102 but steady bowling by the whole squad, kept them to 8/143 with Tristan Larter (3/24 off 9) claiming the figures.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 15 v Footscray-Edgewater:
    1st XI - Melbourne 8/193(cc)
    (S Dart 46 P Petricola 39 A Kent 31) defeated Footscray Edgewater 159 (B Hodge 4/20 AC Dale 2/26) (after 20 overs – MCC 2/75 v FE 4/68) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 127 (J Graham 38) defeated by Footscray Edgewater 4/128 (after 20 overs – MCC 5/56 v FE 1/101) at Albert Cricket Ground. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 7/172(cc) (A Nash 77*) defeated by Footscray Edgewater 8/143 (T Larter 3/24 D Worrall 2/16) at Tony Dodemaide Oval. 
    4th XI – Melbourne drew Footscray Edgewater at IW Johnson Oval (no play).


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Kent and Macca Star (Max not bad either)
    Friday February 4, 2010

    Apologies for the delay in this week’s report on last weekend’s Saturday/Sunday fixture as commitments to hosting the Hong Kong CC have seriously impacted on my capabilities to deliver earlier. Whilst Rd 15 matches against the Doggies are upon us, we couldn’t let the week pass without reviewing the matches against the Uni boys and making mention of several outstanding performances.

    The First XI retain the Michael Sholly Cup for 2011.Most of you would know that the 1st XI bounced back with a convincing win to retain the Michael Sholly Cup; the 2nd XI totally dominated their match to take the points; the 4ths chalked up a much needed victory whilst the 3rd XI slump continued although external factors may have conspired against them.

    Two Melbourne players dominated the 1st XI clash at the Albert. Captain-coach Andrew Kent (103 off 157 balls, 15 fours) brought up his 4th century of this weather interrupted season, his 14th overall in Premier 1st XI cricket. Whilst I don’t have complete records, several players have brought up the ton on four occasions in one season with Warren Ayres making five in 1999/2000.

    The other item to note is that in scoring 678 runs so far this season, the highest in the ‘comp’, his career aggregate of 7,450 runs has seen him skip past Fred Vaughan, Horrie Sanford and Vern Ransford into fourth place on the all time MCC run-getter list and within sight of third placed Percy Beames (7,638).

    Andrew McDonald on his way to scoring 134 off 146 balls in the First XI match against Melbourne Uni.Andrew McDonald (pictured right) obviously had a magnificent double (134 off 146 balls, 16 fours and 3 sixes plus 5/41 with the ball). The rare occurrence of such a happening in MCC history was put into perspective by MCC library volunteer Ken Williams.

    Having consulted his records at home, Ken states that the last MCC First XI cricketer to take five wickets in an innings and score a century in the one match was Lisle Nagel in 1936/37. This match was against Hawthorn-East Melbourne at the Albert Ground on February 13 and March 6, 1937. On the first day Nagel made 108 runs in 88 minutes – including 15 fours and two sixes. It was Nagel’s only century at this level. On the second day, March 6, Nagel took six wickets for 64.

    In the 2nd XI, were going ‘just OK’ at 5/129 before Eivion Bowen (61) joined Max Tomkinson (139 off 280 balls, 23 fours) combined in a sixth wicket stand of 124. It was 17 yo Max’s first century at this level and having tasted a bit of 1st XI cricket earlier in the year we are sure there are many more runs to come from him. Facing a hot day in the field, the bowlers, and fielders in support, really applied themselves to have Uni a remarkable 8/58 at lunch on the second day before polishing them off for 119.

    The 3rds toiled hard on the first day’s play, dismissing Uni for 213 just on stumps. Unfortunately a foul up - yes, I said foul – led to the overnight sprinklers going on and rather freshened the wicket. Whether it explained being rolled for 112 is arguable but it was disappointing all round.

    The 4th XI top order got going with David Bratby (73) leading a number of handy contributions. Taking the 10 wickets wasn’t going to be easy is the taxing conditions at ‘the Craw’ but Matt Hill (5/22) led a determined attack and the Demons to victory.

    The 1st XI are back in the eight in 6th place but still, there is only 10 points between first and eleventh with three two-day matches to go. The 2nds are seventh so can also make their own running; the 3rd XI slipped a peg to second and need to win at least two games to stay in the top four and get a home ground advantage for finals; the 4ths are 3 points out of the eight so the incentive is there to keep on winning.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 14 v Melbourne University:
    1st XI – Melbourne 9/367(dec)
    (A McDonald 134, A Kent 103, S Dart 59*, B Hodge 27) defeated Melbourne Uni 241 (A McDonald 5/41, N Quinn 2/33, S Sturrock 2/63) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    2nd XI - Melbourne 8/329(dec) (M Tomkinson 139, ED Bowen 61, R Cooper 38, A Middlin 28, S Brewin 27) defeated Melbourne Uni 119 (AJ Boyle 3/16, D Scheetz 3/22, ED Bowen 2/3) at University Main Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne Uni 213 (C Janik 3/35, MK Lovell 3/70, S Van Riet 2/26) defeated Melbourne 112 at IW Johnson Oval. 
    4th XI - Melbourne 282 (D Bratby 73, L Heath 46, A Farr 45, DJ Reid 34) defeated Melbourne Uni 154 (M Hill 5/22) at Crawford Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Mitch's ton sets up twos win
    Monday January 24, 2010

    One of the few highlights for the club in this round, which reverted to one-day fixtures after last weekend’s wash out, was Mitchell Chadwick’s 104 in the Second XI. Mitch opened the batting and capitalised on a good start to bring up three figures. He helped his team through to a more than competitive total and set up the club’s only win on what was otherwise a fairly dismal day for the club.
    On a great day for cricket, not something we’ve been able to say too often on a Saturday this season, at a superb looking Albert Ground, Mitch was partnered in the opening role by Brendan Huf (40) and they batted through sessions 1 (the 1st 20 overs of the spilt innings match) making 96 along the way. After the Dragons first turn at the crease, they were only a handful of runs behind for the loss of two wickets both taken by Dean Scheetz (2/31).

    Despite losing his partner early in session 3, Mitchell demonstrated the importance of someone in the top order, once set, not getting out and going on to make a big score. His century was essentially the difference between the two teams. Northcote looked like making it a close game but the Demons were on the ball in the field, picking up three run outs (two direct hits), taking their catches and generally supporting the bowlers. The win sees the Second’s back in the top eight.
    The First XI appeared to be in the box seat for the first three sessions of the match. Northcote were 4/57 and we responded with a steady 1/65 after 20 overs. The Dragons scrounged their way to 135 before being dismissed in the 43rd over. What then followed was, well, let’s just call it ‘disappointing’. Seb Gotch top scored with 40 at the top of the order, Rob Cooper made 38 and youngster Max Tomkinson (20) were the only players to make double figures as we were rolled for 124. We have slipped out of the eight. The competition remains very tight with only nine points separating first from thirteenth and a lot to play for in the for remaining four rounds - all two day games.
    If the First XI batting was ‘disappointing’ it is hard to know how to describe what happened at the Thirds where we were bowled out for 46 in pursuit of 225 – even more difficult to comprehend when the team is on top of the ladder. Jack Paynter, back from Vic U.17 duties, is the only player worthy of mention taking 4/67 off his nine overs.
    The Fourths tried pretty hard after a decent start by the Dragons and thanks to Matt Hill (4/30) and Liam McCarthy (3/33) we held them to 173. Unfortunately no one made the big score that was needed with David Reid (42) doing best.
    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 13 v Northcote:
    1st XI – Northcote 135
    (A Dale 3/20, N Quinn 3/26) defeated Melbourne 124 (S Gotch 43, R Cooper 38) at Bill Lawry Oval. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 7/235(cc) (M Chadwick 104, B Huf 40, M Begbie 38) defeated Northcote 177 (S Brewin 2/18, D Scheetz 2/31) at Albert Cricket Ground. 
    3rd XI – Northcote 6/227(cc) (J Paynter 4/67) defeated Melbourne 46 at Binnak Park. 
    4th XI – Northcote 173 (M Hill 4/30, LB McCarthy 3/33) defeated Melbourne 148 (D Reid 42, M Hill 28, A Farr 27) at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Seconds will their way to a win
    Monday January 10, 2010

    MCC Demon Chris JanikPremier Cricket action resumed after the Christmas break on Saturday with the final round of Twenty20 matches for the 2010/11 season. It also encompassed the ‘country round’ whereby all Premier 1st XI matches are played at various provincial locations throughout the state. The 2nd and 3rd XI started the New Year on a winning note whilst the 1st XI and 4th XI’s were comfortably beaten (that is being kind to the 1st XI!).

    The Thirds were first to claim the points in the only game at Toorak Park that started at 11 am. They overcame an ordinary start (2 for 15) thanks to a tremendous 136-run third wicket partnership between Chris Janik (73) (top right)and Brendan Huf (71 n.o.) (bottom right) and set a challenging 159-run target. We appeared to have the game under control for the most part although Prahran did rally and got to with 15 runs at the end.

    MCC Demon Brendan Huf The 2nd XI had a poor start (4 for17 at one stage) and although skipper Eiv Bowen (25*) ensured his team used their full quota of overs you’d think 9/106 on a perfect Albert wicket and superb outfield wouldn’t be anywhere near enough. They certainly couldn’t afford to have anyone let them down at the bowling crease and would need something ‘special’ to happen along the way. The bowlers were all doing their darnedest to make it difficult for Prahran but at 5/98 you’d be forgiven for thinking their effort was in vain. Chris Thompson grabbed a wicket to finish with a very tidy 2/10 off 4 overs.

    Enter ‘ice man’ Will Ryan! Two wickets from him in combination with two run outs with only four more runs added resulted in a three run win to the Demons. Fantastic stuff Will!

    In the earlier game at the Albert, Prahran 4th XI got off to good start but some good bowling by Liam McCarthy (2/21 off 4) and Tristan Larter (2/21 off 4) limited the damage. Unfortunately the 147 we were set was well beyond us with Tristan Larter (47) being the only significant contributor.

    The 1st XI travelled to Shepparton to play a day/night game. You’d think having the opposition 4/17 and having a 17 yo, Seb Gotch, open the batting in his second match and score 28 off 18 balls (three 4’s and two 6’s) would have you headed towards a positive night’s work.

    Unfortunately Prahran ended up 8/144 (with a few more ‘extra’ deliveries than you’d normally like) and even though we were 0/34, 1/48...all out 66. Enough said!

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 12 v Prahran:
    1st XI – Prahran 8/144(cc)
    (N Quinn 3/22, MW Hill 2/16, J Coleman 2/24) defeated Melbourne 66 (S Gotch 28) at Deakin Reserve Shepparton. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 9/106(cc) (E Bowen 25*) defeated Prahran 102 (WN Ryan 3/19, C Thompson 2/10) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    3rd XI – Melbourne 3/158 (C Janik 73, B Huf 71*) defeated Prahran 6/144 (L Edwards 2/20) at Toorak Park. 
    4th XI –Prahran 6/146(cc) (T Larter 2/21, L McCarthy 2/21) defeated Melbourne 9/101 (T Larter 47) at Albert Cricket Ground.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons Christmas Cheer Dampened
    Tuesday Decemebr 21, 2010

    It wasn’t just the rain that may have dampened the Demon’s Christmas spirit as we suffered three comprehensive Twenty20 losses to St Kilda in the final round before the break. It took determined and clever bowling by Aaron Boyle and Will Ryan to get the 3rd XI back into the game and avoid us thinking we’d woken up in London, denying the Saints a whitewash.

    Playing the first match of the day at the Albert that was shortened to 17 overs a side due to the mopping up required from the early morning rain, the 3rds batted first and posted what hoped to be a competitive 5/126 with Mat Begbie (36), in his second week back after a shoulder surgery, and Brendan Huf (31) being the major contributors. St Kilda looked like making light work of the target after being 0 for nearly 50 off 4 overs before Aaron Boyle (2/14 off 4 overs) and Will Ryan (2/17 off 3 overs) reeled in the run rate and took wickets ‘at the death, to get us home with five runs to spare.

    The 4ths made 5/106 off their allotment of 15 overs. Unfortunately we couldn’t take early wickets that allowed the Saints to play with freedom and we were passed in the 14th over.

    The 2nd XI had a steady opening stand of 53 however the potential fireworks needed to post a reasonable target never eventuated, finishing on 8/111. Our bowlers stretched the game out as much as they could but in gaining just three wickets, St Kilda had plenty in hand to have us covered in 18 overs.

    The 1st XI started their match is fairly promising fashion getting to 54 for the loss of one wicket until Andrew Kent departed for 32. When second top scorer Simon Dart (27) fell 11 runs later, the innings fell away and the Saints rattled up the meagre total of 108 in 11 overs.

    So this ‘exciting’ round of Twenty20 saw 88 players compete for a total of 132 overs across four matches, rather than the 360 overs your club might once have expected to play on the last day of Premier cricket before a three week break. Perhaps some of the ‘fun’ of T20 was lost on us because of our poor showing; never a nice thing going into the festive season when you catch up with your mates, old and new, who ask “how is the cricket going?” and all you’ve got to reflect on is that ‘bloody loss’ to St Kilda. Perhaps the weather played a part. Perhaps you feel the day was over before it really got started.

    Oh well, the positive was that the 3rd and 4th XI players would have been home in time to put their feet up on the couch and take in the whole day’s play of the Ashes Test in Perth. It went something like this.

    Unfortunately all they could sit and watch was some softie battling his way to 95 before he was trapped LBW (if he ‘cleared his front leg’ he wouldn’t have got out LB) and trudge off as if his heart had been torn out (as if it meant something to him); some other bloke past his used by date fiddle around for 172 balls at a pathetic strike rate of 67.44, finally holing out with only 116 runs to his name.

    Australia pull up short, giving England only 380 to get in 125 overs, a mere walk in the park for a team that scored 5 for a 1,000+ not long ago. Experts I was with dive out of the Albert pavilion across to the TAB, happy to take 5/2 an England win. It takes ages for Australia to get a breakthrough, over 6 overs to get that bloke out that scored half those 1,000 runs. But there’s that other guy; get him in the first over or he’ll make heaps. Oh, he edges one off the left-armer no-one thought should be in the team (apart from Punter and I).

    At least that annoying Pom, oh, South African… you know, Warnie’s mate, is in and he should provide some entertainment (on the field). Blow me down, he’s out too. I’m starting to feel some emotion towards this game. Am I normal?

    Gee, if ‘we’ could just get one more before stumps. You’re kidding, that other Pom, sorry South African, he’s played one away from his body (not half as far as an Australian vice-capt would though) and he’s gone as well. What a day (I only say to myself as surely no-one else is interested)!

    I’m thinking ‘how can you cap this day off? How about a wicket off that last ball of the day. Don’t be silly, that would wreak of being a ‘set up ‘ if that sort of thing were to happen’. What? Surely not? He’s gone – 5/81 at stumps - and I don’t this bit of joy fluttering through my body has anything to do with the surname of the devastated final ball victim.

    Sorry, I’ll stop rambling, as if anyone would be interested in the goings on of a day of Test cricket. No-one would want to play Test cricket, let alone watch or write about it. Perhaps in 20 (even 10) years time you won’t have to put up with this as 5-day cricket will be a thing of the past and we’ll be able to focus on the revolution and excitement of Twenty20 and its importance to Premier cricket.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 11 v St Kilda:
    1st XI – Melbourne 9/108 (cc)
    (A Kent 32 S Dart 27) defeated by St Kilda 1/109 at Albert Ground.
    2nd XI - Melbourne 8/111 (cc) (P Petricola 33) defeated by St Kilda 3/112 (C Thompson 2/24) at Harry Trott Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 5/126 (cc) (17 overs) (M Begbie 36 B Huf 31) defeated St Kilda 8/121 (cc) (AJ Boyle 2/14 WN Ryan 2/17) at Albert Ground. 
    4th XI - Melbourne 5/106 (cc) (15 overs) (T Larter 32* M Hill 26) defeated by St Kilda 2/110 at Harry Trott Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Kent scores triple figures for third time
    Monday December 13, 2010

    The First XI team retain the Bruce Church Perpetual Trophy after victory over Hawthorn Monash Uni.Twenty20 matches were played for premiership points for the first time in Premier cricket over the weekend where we took on Hawthorn-Monash University and Frankston Peninsula on Saturday and Sunday respectively. We managed a ‘Demon day’ on Saturday with four convincing victories over the Hawks and retained the Bruce Church Perpetual Trophy by taking out the 1st XI clash. The 1st and 3rd XI followed up with wins against the Heat whilst the 2nds and 4ths went down. Several Sunday matches were weather interrupted and, given the timing of the rain, appeared to favour the team batting first – all of who won.

    In Saturday’s 1st XI match the star of the day – not just for Melbourne but as the only century maker in all 1st XI T20 matches played over the weekend – was captain coach Andrew Kent who scored his second consecutive ton for the Demons and his third this season. Batting first, Andrew was dismissed off the second last ball of the innings, his 64th, having hit four 4’s and seven 6’s in his 80 minute stay to finish on 102. Matt Brown (35 n.o. off 26) and Travis Jackson (33 off 22) helped us to a very healthy 3/188. HMU made a good early charge with an opening stand of 93 however Adam Dale 1/19 off 4) and Sean Sturrock (0/16 off 4) applied the brakes to ensure a comfortable win.

    The Seconds had several handy contributors with Jon Huddart (45) top-scoring and posted 5/162. The bowlers totally dominated to dismiss the Hawks for 86 in the 17th overs. The 3rd XI were one of the few teams to dominate when bowling first, restricting their opponents to 8/106. Will Ryan (2/8 off 4) was most miserly and skipper John Fitzgibbon’s 2/17 off 4 gave the Hawks little latitude. Anton Scholtz (40) led a comfortable chase achieved in 17.1 overs. David Bratby’s 71 off 54 balls provided the backbone for a competitive 7/139. HMU kept within range for most of the innings but Steven Van Riet’s 3/13 played an important part in a 10-run win.

    Three of the four Sunday matches were affected by heavy showers. The early games (3rds and 4ths), played at the Albert and Frankston, both had the innings of the team batting first curtailed after 19 overs. In the 3rds, Chris Janik top scored with 65 (a nice change after the single ball he faced the day before!) in the team’s 5/141. In reply, Frankston Peninsula well short of a revised target in making 7/74 off 13 overs. The 4th XI was on the other end things, being asked to score 94 off 9 overs after the Heat made 148 off 19.

    The 2nd XI appeared to have done well keeping the ‘seasiders’ to 8/107 off the full 20. All bowlers had tidy figures with Dean Scheetz (3/17) and Aaron Boyle (2/21) being the main wicket takers. In a disappointing result, we pulled up one run short after Max Tomkinson (36 off 34) seemed to get his team back on track.

    The 1st XI achieved its second win of the weekend in a match with several weather interruptions. In the wash up, we scored 91 off 12 overs with surprise, surprise, Andrew Kent (33) top scoring. The Heat had 10 overs to make 80-odd and a solid bowling effort led by Sean Sturrock (2/10 off 2) secured the points.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 9 v Hawthorn Monash Uni:
    1st XI – Melbourne 3/188 (cc) (A Kent 102 MJ Brown 35* T Jackson 33) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 6/128 (cc) (P Smith 2/30) at Monash University.
    2nd XI – Melbourne 5/162 (cc) (J Huddart 45 J Graham 33 M Tomkinson 29 J Gillard 29) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 86 (C Thompson 3/21 J Graham 2/16 S Brewin 2/16) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    3rd XI - Hawthorn-Mon Uni 8/106 (cc) (WN Ryan 2/8 J Fitzgibbon 2/17) defeated by Melbourne 7/107 (A Scholtz 40) at Monash University.
    4th XI - 7/139 (cc) (D Bratby 74) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 9/129 (cc) (S Van Riet 3/13, BR Pearson 2/24) at Albert Cricket Ground.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 10 v Frankston Peninsula:
    1st XI – Melbourne 7/91(12 overs) (cc) (A Kent 33) defeated Frankston Peninsula 4/73 (cc) (10 overs) (S Sturrock 2/10) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    2nd XI - Frankston Peninsula 9/107 (cc) (D Scheetz 3/17 AJ Boyle 2/21) defeated Melbourne 8/106 (M Tomkinson 36) at AH Butler Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 5/141 (cc) (19 overs) (C Janik 65 G Wild 29*) defeated Frankston Peninsula 7/74 (cc) (13 overs) (WN Ryan 2/11 C Janik 2/11) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    4th XI - Frankston Peninsula 6/148 (cc) (19 overs) (T Larter 2/26) defeated Melbourne 6/68 (cc) (9 overs) at AH Butler Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Dozen tons for Kent
    Monday December 6, 2010

    Andrew Kent on his way to his twelfth Premier cricket century.Captain-coach Andrew Kent scored his 12th Premier Cricket century to lead the way to a 1st XI win over the Kangaroos. Eivion Bowen showed his true grit with a fighting half-century in his 300th game for the Demons however his 2nd XI went down by two wickets. The Third XI put in a strong performance, with Jon Huddart (77) leading the charge before Dan ‘Frankie’ Worrall (5/26) stormed through North’s top order. The 4ths welcomed Australian U.16 player Blake Pearson (71) to their line up but ended up playing out a frustrating draw.

    Another week of wet weather preceded this two-day Saturday/Sunday match and come the weekend we were finally greeted to a warm, sunny weather. Asked to bat first and playing at North Melbourne’s new home (for a season or two), the Junction Oval, Andrew Kent held the innings together scoring 113 off 208 balls, 257 mins before he was dismissed with the score at 4/221. After modest contributions from Cooper, Brown and Dart, the lower order folded and we gave the Roos a chase of 264. Two wickets before stumps had us resting a little easier and a good bowling performance saw North Melbourne dismissed for 144 on an improving pitch.

    Eivion Bowen preparing for his 300th game for the Demons.The 2nd XI started slowly and it was pleasing to see Mitch Chadwick (53) open up with a half-century and Jim Gillard (50) back up his previous effort in the seconds. Skipper Eiv Bowen held the lower half of the order together although they might have felt 251 was a bit light. On day 2 we appeared well on top having the Roos 3/39 but the opposition skipper was putting together a century and we appeared completely out of the race at 5/213. Chris Thompson (5/69 off 27), who had taken two early wickets, put the second new ball to good use in claiming another three and taking his first ‘five for’ the Demons. Unfortunately the Kangaroo tail stood firm and we were passed eight down.

    Jon Huddart (77) and Gerard Wild both scored have centuries for the thirds and in good time. We were able to declare on the first night and ‘Frankie’s’ three wickets before stumps effectively ended the contest.

    The 4ths batted first in what are becoming familiarly slow Johnson Oval conditions. Perhaps newcomer Blake Pearson was well served by not knowing and knocked up 71 before Matt Hill (60*) saw the side to a competitive total. Wickets were hard to come by as the visitors appeared more intent on ‘digging in’ than scoring runs. Some ‘creative’ deliveries from sometimes ‘keeper Scott Walker brought him 4 wickets from his 27 overs but the team couldn’t claim the vital 10th one.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards Round 8 v North Melbourne:
    1st XI – Melbourne 264
    (A Kent 113 S Dart 42 MJ Brown 33 R Cooper 29) defeated North Melbourne 144 (D Scheetz 3/36, P Smith 3/47, S Sturrock 2/35) and 2/99 (P Smith 2/29) at Junction Oval. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 251 (ED Bowen 54, M Chadwick 53, J Gillard 50, M Crouch 25) defeated by North Melbourne 8/252 (C Thompson 5/69) at the Albert Cricket Ground. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 7/252 (dec) (J Huddart 77, G Wild 51, C Janik 31, WN Ryan 27*) defeated North Melbourne 156 (D Worrall 5/26, S Van Riet 2/13) at JJ Holland Park. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 209 (BR Pearson 71 M Hill 60*) drew with North Melbourne 9/167 (SJ Walker 4/69, XJ Frawley 2/24) at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Round 7 v Fitzroy-Doncaster – Day 2
    Monday November 29, 2010

    Unless you’ve been in far flung places, it will be no surprise to work you that rain washed out all play including the Third XI one-day competition final yesterday.

    Whilst the the players had to hang around to 1pm, the sodden (an understatement) outfield was never going to dry enough to allow any play.

    As the Demons finished on top of the one-day ladder, we were awarded the one-day title (not bad seeing we only played three matches, including a shortened semi-final, to capture it!). 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Keath Shines Despite no Suns
    Thursday November 25, 2010

    You might expect that a player who turned his back on AFL football after originally being one of 12 underage players listed for priority selection by the Gold Coast Suns might manage to keep out of the limelight around the time of the AFL national draft. Well, a maiden Premier Cricket century in his 11th, 1st XI game for the Demons, 192 n.o. in a Victorian under 23 (Future's League) match on the other side of the country four days later then being named in the Bushrangers 12 to take on the Queensland Bulls at the MCG two days after that, will change all that.
    Read more about Alex's selection to make his Sheffield Shield debut.

    The 1st XI found themselves 2/40 after the loss of skipper Andrew Kent and Matthew Brown when Alex Keath joined Travis Jackson, in only his 5th 1st XI match himself. The two steadied the innings before Travis departed at 3/93 contributing a fine 58 - his first half-century at this level. Alex continued on his way despite losing a couple of more partners before having a more meaningful 128-run sixth wicket partnership with Ash Middlin (62) who batted beautifully.

    After surviving what some people described as a ‘soda’ on 98 (perhaps it was spinning a lot (??), Alex finished the day a long day at the crease on 105 n.o. (283 mins, 211 balls, 10 fours) and his team in a handy position.
    That would be a big week for any aspiring cricketer trying to make his way through the ranks. Well that was just the start! On Sunday he flew to Perth to play for Victoria U.23’s in the Future League. After spending the first day (Tuesday) watching the WA opener bat through the maximum 1st innings overs (96) and being stranded on199 n.o., Alex set about his own business on the second day. Coming in at 2/79, he was once again not out when losing his last partner in the 96th over having 192 on the board (234 balls, 21 fours & a six). So, two hits in 5 days, 297 runs without being dismissed...then selected for Victoria to play Queensland in the Shield game at the MCG to play tomorrow! Wow! Congratulations from all at MCC, Alex!

    In other matches last weekend, where, at last count, we had 29 players unavailable for any number of reasons, the 2nd XI rallied from 4/46 to make 303. Well done to Jimmy Gillard who, in his second 2nd XI match and first since 2007/08, top scored with 65. Justin Graham (62) put together another fine knock whilst in charge of the troops. Pat Smith (62) and Sam Brewin (48) also made more than handy contributions to a target that they can bowl at.

    The 3rd XI toiled hard for 84 overs for little reward, having the Lions 4/188 at stumps. The 4th XI were making a lie of their make shift line up at 2/119 but faltered to be all out for 185.
    Nonetheless, all teams are in positions to win their matches (provided there are significant changes to the weather radar as I write) and we’ll have one eye on the G tomorrow to see if Alex makes it into the XI to end a big week with a blue cap.

    On Sunday, our 3rd XI plays their one-day competition final at the Albert against the Geelong Cats (12 noon start – ‘straight’ 45 overs a side) and we wish them well in their title pursuit.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards v Fitzroy-Doncaster (Day One):
    1st XI – Melbourne 6/296 (A Keath 105*, A Middlin 62, T Jackson 58, P Petricola 29) v Fitzroy/Doncaster at Albert Cricket Ground.
    2nd XI - Melbourne 303 (J Gillard 65, Smith 62, J Graham 60*, S Brewin 48, M Chadwick 25) v Fitzroy/Doncaster 0/0 at Schramms Reserve.
    3rd XI - Fitzroy/Doncaster 4/188 v Melbourne at IW Johnson Oval. 
    4th XI - Melbourne 185 (D Joyce 52, R Drew 46) v Fitzroy/Doncaster 1/16 at Schramms Reserve #2.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Monday November 15, 2010

    It will be no surprise to you that the Pennant Committee called off the second day’s play early on Saturday morning, due to the overnight and forecast rain, in all grades. Whilst particularly frustrating for the 1st XI, who needed only 49 runs for victory, it was the correct call. I can attest to this, seeing the ground under water on Saturday afternoon and only eventually drying out sufficiently on Sunday to allow us to host a shortened Third XI one-day competition semi-final.

    Round 7 is a two-day (Saturday/Saturday) match against Fitzroy-Doncaster (1st & 3rd XI’s at home).

    Third XI through to one-day final

    A mopping up exercise enabled a 33 over-a-side one day match to be played where visiting team Ringwood batted first and made 8/146. Chris Janik starred with the ball taking 4/30 off 7 overs and skipper John Fitzgibbon (2/23) was the other multiple wicket taker.
    The ship was a bit unsteady in the chase, the score being 3/31 at one stage. Mitch Chadwick (21) was providing good resistance when joined by Gerard Wild (pictured) who controlled the rest of the innings. Gerry finished unbeaten on 54 and featured in a series of small but handy partnerships with Jordan Wyatt, Alex Nash and Dan Worrall, taking the Demons to victory in the 30th over and booked a place in the final to be played at the Albert on November 28 against Geelong.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards:
    Ringwood 8/146 (cc) ( C Janik 4/30 J Fitzgibbon 2/23) defeated by Melbourne 6/149 (30 overs) (G Wild 54*) at Albert Ground.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Steady Start to Opening Two-Dayer
    Monday November 8, 2010

    The 1st XI made excellent progress in their efforts to retain the Warren Ayres Cup in the first two-day round of the season being 2/120 after dismissing Dandenong Panthers for 168. The other three XI’s all batted first in what were fairly unfriendly batting conditions at the various venues. The sheep have obviously been suffering from the extended Melbourne winter and, judging by the length of the outfield grass, have been off their feed at both Central Reserve and the Johnson Oval whilst Shepley no.2 was ‘doing a bit’ all day. The 2nd XI’s 230 was ‘worth 300’ (not sure how close that put Jussie Graham to a century!); the 3rd XI battled hard to reach 9/210 whilst anything along the ground was a single in the 4ths 189.

    The Firsts were basically on top all day after Pat Smith (pictured) took care of the Dandenong openers and eventually chalked up his best 1st XI figures of 4/52 from 15 lively overs. Along with the usually steady Adam Dale (2/23), they created plenty of chances behind the wicket and from what I hear the ‘slippers’ needed the practice and let the panthers have a couple of go’s at getting out. Sean Sturrock (3/52) continued his steady start to the season and I think it was mere coincidence that he was happy to have his catches served up to the outfield.

    We are a steady 2/120 in reply and, weather permitting, well poised to claim first innings points.

    Justin Graham (72) stood in by for the absent 2nd XI skipper Eiv Bowen and stood up at the crease by top scoring on a reasonable deck but slow outfield. Matt Brown (44) and Matt Crouch (36) also battled on well and 230 gives us a good target to bowl to (at least until the sun comes out and the mower blades down!)
    The 3rd XI did well to bat through their first full day at the crease on the back of even contributions from Chris Janik (48), max Backhouse (44 n.o.) and Mitch Chadwick (41).

    The 4ths had a significant change in personnel due to 22 unavailabilities throughout the grades due to exams, school cricket, state players resting, injury, weddings, work etc, etc. David Reid (68) was the backbone of the team’s 189. We welcomed back Kyle Clark (35) who has moved closer to Melbourne and wants to re-start his Demon career and Shane Giese (27) filled in nicely with the bat.

    Play resumes next Saturday.

    We remind you that one-day competition semi-finals are played next Sunday with the Third XI hosting Ringwood at the Albert Ground (12 noon start). The Second XI have been ‘ejected’ from their semi-final berth due to a Pennant Committee ruling re points awarded for Rd 5 matches (I haven’t got time/space to explain) that resulted in two other teams leap frogging us. We don’t think that the matter is closed yet so we’ll update you when we can.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Dandenong 168 (P Smith 4/52, S Sturrock 3/52, A Dale 2/23) v Melbourne 2/120 (A Kent 43, MW Hill 34*) at Albert Ground. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 230 (J Graham 72, M Brown 44, M Crouch 36) v Dandenong 0/5 at Central Reserve #1 Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 9/210 (C Janik 48, M Backhouse 44*, M Chadwick 41) v Dandenong. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 189 (D Reid 68, K Clark 35, S Giese 27) v Dandenong 0/20 at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Seconds Get Points Before Millimetres Fall
    Monday November 1, 2010

    It would hardly surprise you to learn that Saturday’s rain had a major impact on the final round of the one-day format matches for the season. Our Second XI was one of the few Premier teams to have enough play (minimum of 20 overs batting for each side) to gain the maximum five points with the added bonus of qualifying for the one-day competition semi-finals (based on the season opening block of one-day match results) to be played in a fortnight. The other three teams were washed out before the minimum overs were played and walked away without any points.

    The Third XI were the only other team to qualify for the one-day semis, finishing top of the one-day ladder having picked up five points during the week when the Pennant Committee deemed that we were denied the opportunity to play Essendon for points last Saturday as the covers were not secured sufficiently on the whole of the Friday night (regardless of any third party intervention that may have occurred).
    The handful of Premier cricket matches that were completed in the top two grades were all played in the east/south-east of Melbourne where stage 1 & 2 (each side batting the first 20 overs of their split innings) was completed prior to the rain impacting. Our 2nd XI was fortunate enough to be playing Ringwood at Jubilee Park. Bowling first, WA recruit Chris Thomson bowled with genuine pace and aggression and sent down 10 of the first 20 overs for the handy figures of 2/35, helping to hold the home team to 4/95 after stage 1. With impending rain, being in front after 20 overs was imperative as not only do you secure ‘the point’, if the match is washed out before the team batting second faces gets to the crease again, the four points are awarded to the team in front after 20 overs. We were able to do this on the back of handy contributions from Laurie Heath (25) and Max Tomkinson (25 n.o., 18 balls, four 4’s) who both followed on their good form from round four.

    Our most significant contributor, and only half-century maker of the weekend, was Max Backhouse (63 n.o.) who rescued the side from a precarious 6/51 and played the leading role in a 77-run seventh wicket partnership with Alistair McCooke (20) that averted a potentially embarrassing rout.

    The First XI match was interesting poised when the rain intervened. Defending 2/91, we had the Rams 4/54 after 11 overs. Although they only needed 38 off nine overs with six wickets in hand, our bowlers had claimed some handy scalps and looked likely to keep doing so.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - Melbourne 2/91 (20 overs) (MJ Brown 31* A Kent 27) drew with Ringwood 4/54 (11 overs) (N Quinn 2/21) at the Albert Cricket Ground.
    2nd XI – Ringwood 4/105 (23 overs) (C Thompson 2/35) defeated by Melbourne 5/99 (20 overs) (L Heath 25 M Tomkinson 25*) Scores at 20 overs – Ringwood 4/95 v Melbourne 5/99 at Russell Lucas Oval. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 3/47 (13 overs) drew with Ringwood at IW Johnson Oval. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 8/134 (42.3 overs) (M Backhouse 63*) drew with Ringwood at ‘The Rock’.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons Fly Against Bombers
    Monday October 25, 2010

    Melbourne captain/coach Andrew KentMelbourne won all three one-day games that took place against Essendon on Saturday. Captain/coach Andrew Kent (pitcured right) stamped his authority on the 1st XI match at Windy Hill, scoring his 11th Premier cricket century. The 2nd XI, who held a ‘half-time’ advantage in terms of runs but were four wickets down, gunned down a testing Bomber target. The Fourths controlled their game from early on (a second ball of the day flick for six set the tone). Unfortunately the 3rd XI, whose odds of getting a start at the infamous Cross Keys Reserve were more cramped than So You Think, were washed out although we could hear more about that in the ‘stewards’ room.

    The overnight rain obviously impacted some of the matches and the First XI match was reduced to 25-overs a side. Under the split innings format, the first stage of 20 overs is maintained regardless of the total number of overs to be bowled so we had the ‘interesting’ situation of both teams batting 20 overs, having a 15 minute tea break, then both teams coming out to face their last five overs. We were well served by a 98-run opening partnership with Rob Cooper contributing 37 off 37 balls (3 fours, 2 sixes). The stand out innings was that of Andrew Kent’s, who was dining out on the Essendon bowling as if they were serving black caviar, bringing up his century of 82 balls including 14 boundaries. Andrew’s feat could have been a more joyous occasion but such is the helter skelter nature of this game format with quick innings changeovers that the message that he had in fact reached triple figures didn’t get through until everyone was off the field.

    On the bowling side, any chance of a Bomber batting shoot out was dispelled through the regular taking of wickets. Nick Quinn played a major part for claiming 4/24 off six overs and Pat Smith had the ball zipping about and picked up two wickets.

    The Seconds were in the field first and Essendon starting well to be 2/81 after 20. Laurie Heath (50 off 51, seven 4’s) was largely responsible for pocketing the point and a 17-run lead at the 20-over break although being 4 down meant we didn’t have a lot of scope for taking risks in the final chase. Requiring 74 off 14 overs, young Max Tomkinson (47 no off 44 balls including three 4’s and a match ending six) batted with great combination of positivism and sensibility and combined with skipper Eiv Bowen (31 no) in an unbroken 5th wicket partnership of 72 to quash any rekindled interest the Bombers might have had in denying us the 5 points.

    The Fourth XI remarkably started on time and whoa begot anyone who drifts onto Dave Bratby’s pads as evidenced by the second ball of the day that he flicked over square leg for six. Three more sixes followed in Dave’s innings of 64 and with several other contributions, the final score of 7/192 was a good one given the slowness of the outfield (not that that bothered Bratters!). The bowlers were on top throughout. Matt Hill (3/23) took the figures; Jackson Koop travelled down from Nhill to debut and impressed; Julian Beard picket up two wickets, as did Tristan Larter having just arrived back from an overseas sojourn and Liam McCarthy chipped  in with a wicket in his six tidy overs.

    The 3rds were unfortunately washed out when covers blew off what appeared to have been an under prepared wicket and there might be a ‘Cross Keys’ precedence to put forward a case to claim the points – not a very trusting lot are we!

    In terms of milestones, so you’d think this ‘would be’ Wall Street journalist would be on top of significant 200 and 300 game ones wouldn’t you? Well I’m embarrassed to have overlooked two in recent weeks and will dedicate a special news story to these outstanding achievements in the coming days to retrieve myself. In the meantime, congratulations to Michael Symons who has now scored 300 1st XI matches (in Rd 1) and to captain/coach who played his 200the 1st XI game in Rd 2.

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket - Summary Scorecards:

    1st XI – Melbourne 2/181(cc) (A Kent 100*, R Cooper 37) defeated Essendon 131 (N Quinn 4/24, P Smith 2/14, AC Dale 2/36) (20 overs MCC 2/133 v ECC 7/95) at Windy Hill. 
    2nd XI – Essendon 6/172(cc) (S Brewin 2/24) defeated by Melbourne 5/173 (L Heath 50, M Tomkinson 47*, ED Bowen 31*)  (20 overs – ECC 2/81 v MCC 4/98) at Albert Cricket Ground.
    3rd XI - Essendon drew with Melbourne (washed out) at Cross Keys Reserve. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 7/192(cc) (D Bratby 64, T Larter 28, DJ Reid 27) defeated Essendon 138 (Matt Hill 3/23, T Larter 2/29, J Beard 2/39) at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Flag Unfurling Celebrations Foiled But Boys Bounce Back With Demon Day
    Monday October 11

    The 2009/10 1st XI Premiership flag was unfurled at the tea break of the opening round match of the 2010/11 Premier Cricket season at which stage we looked well placed to take full points. However, on resumption of our innings, the middle order failed to gather any momentum and despite desperate bowling, the Blues took the major prize on the second last ball of the day. The Thirds were the only team to claim a victory on Saturday, providing the highlight of the day with a century on debut by 16 y.o. debutant Lincoln ‘LJ’ Edwards. The 2nd XI had a poor start with both bat and ball and never fully recovered. The Fourths had a day best forgotten.

    The bonus was backing up with round two on Sunday against Camberwell Magpies and there is no better way to do it that by recording a ‘Demon day’. The First XI weren’t looking so healthy at the half way stage until Brad Hodge (92 off 58 balls) imposed himself on the game and Sean Sturrock took his first five wicket haul since his early 4th XI days. The Seconds thoroughly outplayed the Magpies; the 3rd XI gathered the points in reasonable comfort whilst the Fourths took until the last ball of the match to complete a thrilling victory and a terrific day for the Demons.

    Playing the new 45-over a side split innings format (as per the Ryobi Cup state one-day competition) in the 1st and 2nd XI matches one-day matches this season, the Firsts looked well placed against Carlton after each side had batted for their initial 20 over block. Batting first, new MCC captain/coach Andrew Kent (61) and last season’s final hero Robert Cooper (46) took the score to 85 without loss. New Demon opening bowler Jackson Coleman (2/52 off 12 overs) started his Melbourne career in style capturing the prized scalp of Evan Gulbis in his first over. Chris Thompson, a new arrival from WA, also took his maiden wicket and when Simon Dart chimed in the Blues were held to 3/66 off their first stint of 20 overs to secure our first point of the season (Note: you get one point for being ahead at the 20-over stage and another four points if you win the match overall). Unfortunately on resumption of our innings the Blues bowlers tightened up and we couldn’t throw off the shackles and spluttered to 9/171 when a score well over 200 looked on the cards. We competed hard in the field and took the game down to the wire but the Blues had too much in reserve in eking out a win off the second last ball.

    The only victors of the day, the Third XI chased 187 off 45 overs; a challenging target based on early season scores at the Johnson Oval in past years. Fortunately it seems no-one told 16 y.o. LJ Edwards that! In his first innings for the MCC, LJ opened up and peeled off 106 n.o., hitting cover drives and pull shots with full confidence. It was a pleasure to see part of that innings. Jimmy Gillard (59 n.o.) was his partner for the most part and their unbroken 157-run second wicket partnership propelled them to a deserved win.

    The 2nd XI held Carlton to 79 off the first 20 overs without gaining a wicket and lost 4/62 in their first turn at the crease. They then restricted the Blues to 199 off 45 overs. 16 y.o. Max Tomkinson (45) played well in his first 2nd XI match but apart from skipper Eiv Bowen’s 30, there weren’t enough contributors. The 4th XI, fielding many new players, were skittled for 80 and although they extended Carlton’s innings to 32 overs they were clearly beaten.

    On Sunday the 1st XI travelled to Camberwell and batted first again and were steady enough being 2/75 at the 20. The Magpies (2/88) overtook this but we got to 3/119 with even contributions from Andrew Kent (30), Robert Cooper (46) and Alex Keath (30). The whole complexion of the innings changed when Brad Hodge came to the crease. To say he controlled the rest of the innings might be an understatement. Of the 113 runs the Demons registered during his stay, Hodgy scored 92 off 58 balls (six 6’s and six 4’s) and gave us a total of 239 to defend. The Magpies were making a decent fist of it however Sean Sturrock’s first 1st five-wicket haul (5/41 off 9) and tight bowling by former coach Adam Dale (2/38 off 11.4) was enough for us to get the four points.

    The 2nd XI, in contrast to the Saturday, was well served by a number of contributors. Pat Smith (4/33 off 11) was in a wicket taking mode, Justin Graham (2/26 off 10) bowled tightly and Aaron Boyle (3/52) finished the innings off. In reply, Jon Huddart (59 n.o.) was one of several batsmen to get a good start and go on with it and saw his team home.

    The Thirds had three players score in the 30’s which was enough to help the total to 185 and the bowling was good enough to dismiss the Magpies 21 runs short.

    The 4th XI were on the defensive for most of their time at the bowling crease and had to face up to a formidable 194 to get in 45 overs (especially when you’ve been knocked over for 80 the day before!). There was some re-jigging of the batting order and UK visitor Alex Nash (73) set the foundation at the top of the order. Young keeper Matt Mitchell (29) was steady at number three. Another English visitor, MGS gap student Max Backhouse gave the innings much needed middle order momentum. When Matt Hill lofted a six over wide mid-on to tie the scores with a full over to go and three wickets in hand, the points were in our mitts...almost. It took for Mark ‘Pinman’ Akrigg, who was brought to the crease to face his first and the final ball of the match, to bunt a quick single to have his team up off their chairs in celebration.

    Next week’s match, also a one-dayer is against Casey-South Melbourne (1st/3rd XI’s at home).

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket – Summary Scorecards – Rd 1 v Carlton:
    1st XI – Melbourne 9/171(cc)
    (45 overs) (A Kent 61, R Cooper 46) defeated by Carlton 6/172 (44.5 overs) (J Coleman 2/51) – Scores at 20 overs MCC 0/85 v CCC 3/66 - at Albert Cricket Ground (Melbourne) 
    2nd XI – Carlton 6/199 (45 overs) (PJ Smith 2/48 J Graham 2/54) defeated Melbourne 147 (40.1 overs) (M Tomkinson 45, ED Bowen 30) – Scores at 20 overs CCC 0/79 v MCC 4/62 - at Princes Park No.1 Oval 
    3rd XI – Carlton 7/187 (cc) (45 overs) (J Fitzgibbon 2/14, S Brewin 2/40) defeated by Melbourne 1/191 (42 overs) (LJ Edwards 106*, J Gillard 59*) at IW Johnson Oval 
    4th XI – Melbourne 80 (30 overs) defeated by Carlton 1/84 (32.5 overs) at Princes Park #2 Oval 

    Kookaburra Premier Cricket – Summary Scorecards – Rd 2 v Camberwell Magpies:
    1st XI – Melbourne 239 (43.4 overs) (B Hodge 92 R Cooper 46, AR Keath 36, A Kent 30) defeated Camberwell Magpies 223 (44.4 overs) (S Sturrock 5/41 AC Dale 2/38 N Quinn 2/43) – Scores at 20 overs MCC 2/75 v CMCC 2/88 - at Camberwell Sports Ground 
    2nd XI - Camberwell Magpies 152 (42.3 overs) (PJ Smith 4/33 AJ Boyle 3/52 J Graham 2/26) defeated by Melbourne 3/154 (36.1 overs) (J Huddart 59*, A Scholtz 30, T Jackson 29) – Scores at 20 overs CMCC 3/65 v MCC 2/79) at Albert Cricket Ground
    3rd XI – Melbourne 185 (43.2 overs) (JN Wyatt 37, C Janik 33, J Gillard 32) defeated Camberwell Magpies 164 (43.2 overs) (M Chadwick 2/16, J Fitzgibbon 2/20, S Brewin 2/32) at Watson Park 
    4th XI - Camberwell Magpies 8/194(cc) (45 overs) (A Nash 2/28, M Hill 2/45) defeated by Melbourne 8/195 (45 overs) (A Nash 73 M Backhouse 37 MW Mitchell 29) at IW Johnson Oval 


    Opening Round of Victorian Premier Cricket Season to be Deferred
    Sunday September 26

    Cricket Victoria has today announced it will push back the start of the 2010/11 Kookaburra Victorian Premier Cricket season.

    The Pennant Committee, Cricket Victoria's overseeing body for the competition, circulated advice to Clubs earlier today that the first and second rounds would be staged back to back on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October. 

    Commenting on the decision, CV Chief Executive Tony Dodemaide commended the Pennant Committee on behalf of the Board of CV for their swift action and sensible conclusion. 

    "It is a pragmatic decision, recognising both the impact of the replayed Grand Final next Saturday, and also the extra breathing space for local Clubs and councils to recover grounds to suitable condition for Premier Cricket after a particularly wet winter - the first for many years," he said.

    "Despite the extra onus of a full weekend of cricket on the 9th and 10th, we believe on balance it is the best decision for the benefit of all our stakeholders. 

    "Our hundreds of players and volunteers throughout Premier Clubs will no doubt be interested in the events at the MCG next Saturday, but our collective relationship with councils and especially their ground curators is also crucial to acknowledge and protect. 

    "The additional week will make life easier for them, and that is equally important to us." 

    Kookaburra Victorian Premier Cricket 2010/11:
    •         Round One, Saturday 9 October
    •         Round Two, Sunday 10 October
    •         Rounds 3 - 17 will be as originally scheduled.


    Call for Cricket Volunteers
    Friday September 10, 2010

    As many members would be aware, the MCC competes in the Premier Cricket competition and each year relies on volunteers fill important roles such as scorers and team managers.

    For the coming season, which commences on October 2, volunteers are sought for the following teams:

    • Scorer (Third and Fourth XI) - Required to attend all matches played on Saturdays and some Sundays, between 12pm and 6.00 pm. Our home ground is at Albert Park (opposite Junction Oval). An honorarium is available.

    • Team Manager (Second, Third and Fourth XI) - Required to attend all matches played on Saturdays and some Sundays, (away games optional) between approximately 10.30am and 6.00pm. These positions involve liaison with and support to the captain and players. The Second XI play at the Albert Ground whilst the Third and Fourth XI’s play at Albert Park (opposite Junction Oval).

    This is a fantastic opportunity to be involved with a team that produces the future stars of club, state and international cricket such as Brad Hodge and Andrew McDonald. Incumbents will be recognised through club communications and receive invitations to club and cricket events. Just as importantly, you can enjoy the fellowship that sport and belonging to a great sporting club brings.

    To gain some first-hand insight into how rewarding these roles can be, please click here.

    If you are interested or require further information, please email cricket secretary Steven McCooke or phone (03) 9657 8819.


    Premier Cricket Review - Delegates Presentation
    July 2010

    Click here to view


    MCC fast bowler Robert Cassell dismisses former teammate Peter Dickson against Fitzroy-Doncaster in Premier Cricket actionCassell crowned Club Champion
    Saturday May 15, 2010

    Popular fast bowler Robert Cassell has capped an inspirational comeback from injury, winning the Club Champion Trophy at the MCC Cricket Presentation Dinner in the Members Dining Room.

    The 27-year-old, who next week will leave for Adelaide to take up a two-year contract with South Australia, had an outstanding season with the ball, taking 47 wickets at 14.31. 

    Along with retiring duo Phil Halbish and captain-coach Adam Dale, Cassell led a formidable pace trio that was instrumental in Melbourne’s first premiership in 12 years.

    To round out a wonderful evening for Cassell, he was also joint winner (with Laurie Heath) of the Players’ MVP award and along with his fellow First XI teammates he received a club blazer in recognition of that outstanding triumph over St Kilda at University Oval last month.

    Outstanding deeds in that First XI final were a theme of the night.  Robert Cooper, whose fighting century in the final earnt him the John Scholes Medal by Cricket Victoria, won the coveted Brian Watson Memorial Award for “an outstanding performance by an MCC cricketer”. 

    Cooper’s ton must have just nudged out Dale’s 6/44 from 39 overs in that match for the Watson award, as both men were named joint Player of the Final by the club earlier in the evening.

    Teenage allrounder Alex Keath was awarded the MCC XXIX Club Youth Cricketer of the Year, awarded to best young player who has produced outstanding performances and demonstrated substantial potential. First XI manager Peter O’Rourke was a very worthy winner of the Best Clubman award.

    Third XI captain John Fitzgibbon and his team were also recognised for their wonderful premiership win, while special presentations were made to both Halbish and Dale in recognition of their achievements with the club.

    A minute’s silence was held in honour of the late Clive Fairbairn OAM, who died on Wednesday. 

    A club icon, Clive touched the lives of many at the MCC and it was fitting that such a club legend was able to see one last First XI premiership before departing.


    Andrew KentMCC appoints Andrew Kent as captain-coach
    Friday May 14, 2010

    Andrew Kent has been appointed as MCC captain-coach, following Adam Dale’s decision not to continue in the role.

    In addition, assistant coaches Nick Speak, Paul Jubber and David Clarke have been reappointed, with Paul to complement his junior development work in an upgraded role.

    Full story


    Adam Dale resigns as captain-coach
    Monday April 12, 2010

    The MCC advised all players and supporters that Adam Dale has tendered his resignation as coach and First XI captain. 

    More details


    MCC captain-coach Adam Dale and teammates celebrate the vital wicket of Rummans in the 2009/10 Premier Cricket Final.First and Third elevens win Premiership!
    Dale, Cooper star in classic final
    Sunday March 28, 2010

    The MCC has won its 19th Premier Cricket flag, and first since 1997/98, after defeating St Kilda by 55 runs in an absorbing First XI final at University Oval.

    Captain-coach Adam Dale took 6/44 as the Saints were dismissed for 175 in pursuit of MCC's 230.  Robert Cooper won the John Scholes Medal for his superb innings of 114.

    The Third XI made it a double celebration, defeating Geelong by 118 runs at Toorak Park, securing its first flag in four years.

    Further details


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Semi Finals
    Demon Season Draws on to Final; Thirds Join First XI in Last Weekend in March
    Monday March 22, 2010

    The First XI advanced to the final of the Kookaburra Premier Cricket competition after a hard fought draw against Carlton. We take on St Kilda as both clubs vie for their nineteenth Premier Cricket flag to take an outright lead in the all-time premiership list. The Third XI was also made to battle all the way before gaining a final berth courtesy of a win over Essendon.

    Perhaps wary of Carlton’s known batting strength and fast scoring capabilities, even in a run chase, we asked them to bat first on what proved to be one of the best batting wickets seen at the Albert Ground for some time (yes, even better than usual). Things didn’t go our way, or to hand, early as the Blues were able to establish a solid base for a big score with an opening stand of 59 and went on to be 2/110 at lunch off only 28 overs. The score reached 162 before Sean Sturrock (3/68 off 24 overs) claimed three wickets in relatively quick succession, removing top-scorer Trent McCormick and the dangerous Evan Gulbis in one of his best and most important spells of the season. Rob Cassell (3/95 off 23) followed up with another two when the score was on 203 to have Carlton seven down at tea in a terrific fight back.

    Unfortunately the hope of knocking the Blues over for a comfortable target disappeared as the lower order took advantage of those terrific batting conditions. Although one sensed a declaration late in the day was approaching, to our credit we claimed the ten wickets that left us 106 overs to either score the runs or keep our ten wickets intact (a draw allowing us to go through to the final due to our higher ranking). Unfortunately we lost a soldier in the first of six overs bowled before stumps (1 for 15) with Sean Sturrock holding firm as night watchman to complete a great day’s cricket from him.

    The first session on Sunday couldn’t have gone much worse for us. Just as we appeared to have steadied in the lead up to lunch, opener Ben Way (45), who had endured and battled beautifully, departed after taking a while to find the chunk of wood that was removed from his bat in his LBW dismissal with the score on 5/88.

    Simon Dart (pictured) (76 n.o. off 224 balls in 309 minutes) was joined by Peter Petricola (67 of 170 balls, 177 minutes). It wasn’t quite the magnitude of the Herschelle Gibbs/Steve Waugh ‘you’ve just dropped the World Cup’ moment but when Pepsi offered a chance in the first over after lunch it was almost a case of ‘game over’. It did not rattle the Demons as Darty and Pepsi partnered each other for nearly three hours in what was virtually a match saving partnership. Having said that, when Pepsi was dismissed just after the second new ball was taken, there were still 23 overs to negotiate.

    Simon appeared steely minded and unlikely to be removed from the crease, such was his skill and application. Of course, he needed a partner up the other end. Ash Middlin and Phil Halbish helped eat away another hour of play but when Rob Cassell came in as second last man standing, with some comfort of still having the capable coach still to come, there was still almost 10 overs to get through. It is hard to imagine a more capable and calm approach (at least that is how it appeared from outside the fence) as Darty and Jerry safely negotiated over after over, ball after ball.

    Carlton can be commended for throwing everything at us and although they would have been disappointed at not forcing the win after controlling most of the game, it was a credit to our players that willed us to a game saving draw and a place in the final.

    The Third XI match, against Essendon at Windy Hill, followed a very similar pattern to their quarter final. The wicket was pretty good again, without a lot of life, although the outfield a little slower than Camberwell. The Bombers dug in against tight bowling and whilst slow going for the first session they only gave up one wicket. They got to 100 for the loss of one wicket before Aaron Boyle and Tristan Larter removed the stumbling blocks. Small partnerships were nipped in the bud before they became too dangerous but the scoreboard kept ticking over. Dan Worrall (4/48 off 18.4) skittled the tail just when the things might have been getting out of hand and with the aid of a couple of run outs the Bombers were dismissed for 225. The three overs before stumps were safely negotiated.

    Laurie Heath (42) and Brendan Huf (79) looked like repeating last week’s opening efforts until Lozza fell with the total on 87. At 1/140 there was a feeling of comfort that quickly disappeared as we slumped to 6/185. Jarryd Williamson (55 n.o.) was still at the crease and took on the run scoring mantle. Aaron Boyle (9 n.o.) provided great support in a seventh wicket partnership of 41 that propelled the Third XI to the final.

    The First XI final is a three-day match played to at least a  first innings result with no compulsory closure (with a reserve fourth day should a first innings result not have been achieved by then) that commences at 11.00 am on Friday at the Melbourne University Oval. Parking will not be easy (or cheap) on Friday for supporters that are attending and public transport (tram up Swanson St to Grattan St) is recommended.

    The Third XI play Northcote at Toorak Park, Prahran under the same conditions as the other finals. We ended up being the higher ranked team with the top three teams being eliminated over the course of the quarter and semi finals.

    Summary Scorecards:
    Kookaburra Premier 1st XI – Carlton 323
    (T McCormick 74, NJ Ross 56, EP Gulbis 52, A Dickinson 35, D Peter-Budge 30, S Sturrock 3/68, R Cassell 3/95 and P Halbish 2/64) drew with Melbourne 8/270 (S Dart 76*, P Petricola 67, B Way 45, N Austin 4/66, T Welsford 2/55 and A Dickinson 2/62) at Albert Ground.

    Kookaburra Premier 3rd XI – Essendon 225 (S Rixon 52, J Andrews 36, T Reece 35 and D Worrall 4/48) defeated by Melbourne 6/226 (B Huf 79, J Williamson 55*, L Heath 42 and Z Hussain 2/45) at Windy Hill. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Triple H score ton treble to help Demon double into semi's
    Monday March 15, 2010

    Heath, Hill and Huf registered centuries in the Premier Cricket First and Third XI quarter-finals contested on the weekend to help propel their respective teams into the semi-finals. Scoring a ton in a final is a feather in any player’s cap but it would be fair to say they were not solely responsible for the team’s success on a weekend where it took a long time for the Demons to gain the upper hand at both venues.

    Michael HillMichael Hill (pictured) strode to the wicket with the First XI two for seven after Prahran won the toss and asked us to bat first. Where others found scoring difficult on the first morning, Hilly batted for 160 minutes in scoring 101 off 118 deliveries that included 14 fours and a decent size six that threatened a couple of touring tennis pros in the adjacent courts that happened to bring up his century.

    Simon Dart (51 off 89 balls, 9 fours) scored a valuable half-century and assisted us to get to a relatively sound position of 6/223 at tea. Being 8/227 before the jam tarts were fully digested didn’t quite sit as well. Those that were concerned about setting a reasonable target may not have counted on the batting skill of our bowling attack leaders. Rob Cassell was joined by captain-coach Adam Dale (26 - runs, not his age) and the two ‘lefties’ put on an entertaining 65 for the ninth wicket. No.11 Sean Sturrock (13 n.o.) also put a high price on his wicket and the 36-run stand helped the total to a healthy 328 right on stumps. Jerry Cassell (61 off 100 balls, 10 fours) was last man out after scoring his maiden First XI half-century and easily topping his previous best First XI score (33) recorded earlier in the season.

    Prahran, having been knocked over by us for 107 in the last round, produced a revamped batting line up. This seemed to have more of an effect on the fieldsmen than the bowlers as we grassed four chances from keeper to third slip in the first hour and a half. This tested the mettle of the bowlers who were now sending them down on a perfect batting wicket with clear skies above. Phil Halbish (3/58 off 18 overs) gained the initial breakthrough and quickly followed with another. Michael Hill chimed in for one to have the Two Blues back under pressure at 3/57 just before lunch. Opener Brendan McGuiness, who eventually batted through the innings for a defiant 110 n.o., was joined by skipper Neil Schlittler (64 off 80 balls) who is known for his rapid scoring. A threatening partnership of 102 was broken again by Bish.

    Sean Sturrock 2/66 played his role in grabbing two handy wickets. The skipper (28 overs 14 maidens 1 wicket 33 runs) held up the other end in his usual miserly style before Cassell returned to the bowling crease out ‘did away with the middle men’ – fieldsmen- and bowled the last three Prahran batsmen to remove some of the early grief and wrap up a 90-run win.

    The Third XI played Ringwood at the neutral Camberwell Sports Ground. The ground looked a picture and they could well have transplanted a section of Camberwell Road in the middle of the ground for the wicket. The Rams decided to bat first and must have also taken the decision to make the most of the extra 20 overs that the Thirds play in the finals each day. They seemed intent on laying a foundation for a big score by seeing off any life that may have been in the wicket and laboured to 1/53 from 29 overs at lunch under tight bowling from the Demons. Things didn’t speed up too much in the middle session. Aaron Boyle took his second wicket and Ringwood were 3 for 90-odd at the half way mark of the day’s play. They did move the run rate along a little better in the second half but all bowlers stuck to their guns. Boyle (3/49 off 23 overs) led the figures and Dan Worrall and Sam Brewin took two apiece whilst a couple of run outs contributed to the Rams being dismissed for 239 with one over of play remaining that we safely negotiated.

    The approach by the Demon opening pair, Laurie Heath and Brendan Huf, was like chalk and cheese in comparison to their opponents. Making the most a virtual "road" the "H’s" went blow-for-blow, four-for-four, for the 169 minutes (just over 40 overs) that they batted together. It seemed they were in a race to their centuries, with one skipping ahead then the other catching up. Brendan (109 off 155 balls inc 18 fours) got their first and next over, after a little scare Lozza ( 101 off 120 balls, 17 fours and one six)) managed to time his "dink" sweep with a leading edge that helped it sail over the square leg boundary to bring up his century. It was a pleasure to see them notch up their two hundred run partnership and demonstrate how a positive approach in excellent conditions can reap its reward. We were untroubled in passing the 239-run target with eight wickets and 50 overs in hand.

    Next weekend, the First XI host Carlton, who were the only team in the bottom half of the eight to win, at the Albert Ground. The Third XI, by virtue of the top two teams being defeated were elevated to second ranking going into the semi-final but have to play Essendon at Windy Hill with the First XI playing at home.

    Summary scorecards - quarter finals:
    Kookaburra Premier 1st XI – Melbourne 328
    (MW Hill 101 R Cassell 61 S Dart 51 AC Dale 26) defeated Prahran 238 (R Cassell 3/45 P Halbish 3/58 S Sturrock 2/66) at Albert Ground. 
    Kookaburra Premier 3rd XI – Ringwood 239 (AJ Boyle 3/49 D Worrall 2/31 S Brewin 2/54) defeated by Melbourne 2/240 (B Huf 109 L Heath 101 J Gillard 26*) at Camberwell Sports Ground. 


    MCC fast bowler Robert Cassell dismisses former teammate Peter Dickson against Fitzroy-Doncaster in Premier Cricket actionPremier Cricket Qualifying Finals this weekend
    Published: Friday March 12, 2010

    The MCC's First XI premiership drought of 11 years will be on the line again when the opening weekend of the Kookaburra Premier Cricket finals starting tomorrow.

    The MCC took out the Kookaburra Minor Premiership and meet eighth-placed Prahran at the Albert Ground, with paceman Rob Cassell coming off season-best figures of 6-37 against the same opponents last week.

    The club's Third XI will also play a qualifying final, this time against Ringwood at Camberwell Sports Ground.

    Ringwood claimed the JA Seitz CV Club Championship for the second year in a row, taking the title ahead of Carlton, Geelong and MCC.

    Ringwood and Geelong are the only two clubs with a side in all four grades, while 15 of the 18 Premier clubs still have teams competing in the finals.

    For more information and match-by-match previews, check out

    Premier Cricket Qualifying Finals Schedule (all games start at 11am):

    First XI

    • Melbourne v Prahran at Albert Ground
    • St Kilda v Frankston Peninsula at St Kilda
    • Ringwood v Geelong at Ringwood
    • Casey-South Melbourne v Carlton at Casey Fields #5

    Second XI

    • Carlton v Footscray Edgewater at Carlton
    • Geelong v Dandenong at Geelong
    • Ringwood v Northcote at Northcote
    • Richmond v Fitzroy Doncaster at Richmond

    Third XI

    • Richmond v Geelong at Footscray Edgewater
    • Northcote v Essendon at Essendon
    • Fitzroy Doncaster v Melbourne Uni at Fitzroy Doncaster
    • Melbourne v Ringwood at Camberwell

    Fourth XI

    • Frankston Peninsula v Essendon at Frankston
    • Northcote v Melbourne Uni at Melbourne Uni
    • St Kilda v Geelong at Hawthorn-Monash Uni
    • Carlton v Ringwood at Prahran


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Melbourne storms to top
    Monday March 8, 2010

    The First XI picked up where they left off last Saturday and ran through the Prahran batting line up to dismiss them for 107 right on the scheduled lunch break. Rob Cassell swelled his haul to six and Sean Sturrock put a broom through the tail. The six points took us to the top of the ladder after the afternoon thunderstorms prevented any points being gained by previously top placed St Kilda who had the job ahead of them down at Frankston anyway. The Thirds hung on to a top-four spot after all Third XI matches of any consequence were washed out. The other two Demon matches went as expected with the Second XI wrapping up the win well before lunch and the Fourth XI unable to perform a miracle to avert the defeat they were headed for.

    At Toorak Park, the wicket, not surprisingly, had a different look about it this week (you could pick it from the outfield without being guided by where the stumps and white lines were marked). However, that didn’t loosen the stranglehold that we had on the match. Captain-coach Adam Dale gained the first breakthrough and Rob Cassell followed up with two more wickets just as the Two Blues threatened to put together a face saving partnership. Sean Sturrock then came on and although he might have been a tad lucky not to have been scouring the churchyards on the other side of Orrong Rd to recover his first delivery, the wicket that came with that was followed by two more to wrap up the innings. Any hope of an outright was washed away although Prahran (0/55) had made a better start in their second effort.

    In what started as a must win match for Prahran, they were one of the big winners from Melbourne’s fickle weather. The clash between ninth and tenth (Fitzroy-Doncaster and Dandenong) was washed away before a result attained and allowed Prahran to remain in the eight and play us again next week in the quarter-final at home.

    The Firsts should be congratulated on gaining top spot, being unbeaten in the Premier competition from round ten onwards and in winning all four two-day matches since the Christmas break, including two wins over fellow finalists, have demonstrated they are capable of going all the way.

    The Third XI found the going hard work down at Como Park once again. It was left to Prahran to declare at 9/258 and give us 67 overs to chase the target on a very slow outfield, even though the boundaries were shortish. It would be fair to say we were battling when the storms arrived and we were blessed that all other matches that could have relegated us into the bottom half of the eight were also washed out.  We play Ringwood at Camberwell Sportsground given both club First XI’s are hosting finals on their main ground.

    The Seconds finished off the season with a win. Needing only a further 53 for victory with six wickets in hand, we secured the victory without further loss.  Darcy Daly (91) was dismissed in the 90’s for the second time this season but took his run tally past the 500 mark. Nick Bergin (44) was next best with the bat.

    The Fourth XI simply didn’t have enough runs on the board and were easily defeated by the Two Blues who mercifully declared the season’s end at tea.

    For the record, we ended up fourth in the Club Championship.

    Next week’s quarter-finals are Saturday/Sunday affairs, all matches starting at 11.00am. Teams batting first have a compulsory closure at 110 overs with the lower ranked team having to win the match in order to progress (i.e. either pass the opposition score or take the 10 wickets for less than what they have scored).

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 258
    (P Halbish 68 S Dart 59 B Way 44 P Petricola 26) defeated Prahran 107 (R Cassell 6/37 S Sturrock 3/14) and 0/55 at Toorak Park. 
    2nd XI – Prahran 160 (PJ Smith 4/58 AJ Boyle 3/25 N Bergin 2/17) defeated by Melbourne 9/262 (DP Daly 91 N Bergin 44 ED Bowen 29) at Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI – Prahran 9/258 dec (D Worrall 3/55 T Larter 2/47 S Brewin 2/53) drew with Melbourne 3/57 at Como Park. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 161 (D Minato 53 DJ Reid 32) defeated by Prahran 4/233 (dec) at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons fight for top four finish
    Monday March 1, 2010

    The 1st XI were sent in on a grassy Toorak Park wicket and in a hard fought day, not surprisingly resembling a final given what is at stake, find themselves in a good position where six first innings points will guarantee a top-three finish and the possibility of finishing on top of the ladder. Such is the way other 1st XI matches are panning out at the half way mark, failure to seize the win is likely to send us to the bottom half of the final eight.

    The Third XI, looking good early in the day in their quest for a top-four finish, will have to play very good cricket next week to secure fourth spot. The Second XI finished their day well on top and poised for a season ending win where the 4th XI need something of a dramatic turnaround to end on a winning note.

    The 1st XI found themself in a real battle with seventh placed Prahran. Rob Cooper was dismissed early and for the first half of the day, every time we looked to be making a recovery to wrest the advantage we would lose another wicket. Andrew Kent and Ben Way (44) put on 48 for the second wicket. Alex Keath, batting at four, shared a 35-run partnership with Way and at 2 for 84 as lunch approached, the Demons looked to have weathered the Two Blues seam attack. Unfortunately the loss of the ‘twin towers’ either side of lunch had us on the back foot again at 4/87. Simon Dart (59) (pictured) assumed control, combined with Peter Petricola (26) in a 65-run partnership before consecutive wickets had us battling at 6/152. Phil Halbish (68) stepped up and after Dart was dismissed just after we passed 200 and dominated the rest of the innings striking 8 fours and 2 sixes to see us tally a handy 258 in the circumstances.

    The bowlers were licking their chops at the thought of having 15 overs at Prahran and it didn’t take long to start chewing their way into the top order with Rob Cassell nipping one out in the first over. Rob didn’t stop there and ended up with 4/14 from his eight overs and it wasn’t through the lack of trying that another wicket or two didn’t fall at the other end. Prahran finished at 4/21 at stumps and it would be hard to imagine us loosening our tight grip on the match but what is it they say about cricket…???

    The Thirds made reasonable progress in the first half of the day, taking the first five wickets for under 100. They were, however, frustrated by stout resistance as the Two Blues no.3 dug in (72 n.o. in a similar number of overs) and several lower order partnerships that allowed the home side to finish the day on 8/238. Dan Worrall took a wicket in each spell to finish with 3/44 off 18 overs to be the best of the bowlers. It will take good cricket next week to capture the last two wickets and set after the final target but that is what teams that want to finish high on the ladder need to do.

    The Second XI had a good day with the ball, dismissing Prahran for 160. Pat Smith (4/58 off 14 overs) and Aaron Boyle (3 for 25 off 17 overs) were the standouts. We finished on a slightly shaky 4/108 although Darcy Daly was extremely solid in bringing up an unbeaten half century to hold things together.

    The Fourths found themselves on the wrong end of a fairly free scoring day. Dion Minato (53) and David Reid (32) appeared to have steered us out of early trouble when we reached 4/145. The innings came to an abrupt end at 161 and Prahran then took to us to the tune of 1/123 by stumps.

    Play resumes next Saturday and I encourage all supporters to get down to Toorak Park early to support the 1st XI towards a successful finals campaign and if you are passing by Como Park, stop in as I’m sure you’ll see some exciting action.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 258
    (P Halbish 68 S Dart 59 B Way 44 P Petricola 26) v Prahran 4/21 (R Cassell 4/14) at Toorak Park. 
    2nd XI – Prahran 160 (PJ Smith 4/58 AJ Boyle 3/25 N Bergin 2/17) v Melbourne 4/108 (DP Daly 50*) at Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI – Prahran 8/238 (D Worrall 3/44 T Larter 2/47 S Brewin 2/53) v Melbourne at Como Park. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 161 (D Minato 53 DJ Reid 32) v Prahran 1/123 at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons ride out the ups and downs to cement finals spot
    Monday February 22, 2010

    Presentation of the Michael Sholly Cup won my the MCCThe 1st XI overcame early setbacks in the pursuit of Melbourne University’s 127-run target to retain the Michael Sholly Cup (see picture) and cement a place in the finals. We moved up a rung and sit second on the ladder. However, as we’ve seen all year, it is a very tight final eight that could see us finish anywhere between first and seventh depending on how we fare against fellow finals contender Prahran in the final home and away match of the season played over the next two weekends.

    Our other finals contender, the 3rd XI, was unable to force a result after losing a full day’s play last Saturday. The 2nd XI put in a dominant display against the Students whilst the 4th XI controlled their game but ultimately ran out of time and had to settle for a draw.

    The 1st XI, resuming at 0/1, were in deep trouble early with the score at 3/13 after Way, Kent and Brown’s departure left the scorecard looking like a three-ringed circus. Rob Cooper and Simon Dart worked hard to swing the momentum back into the Demons favour however when Cooper (20) departed with the score on 4/40, the game was on a tightrope. Peter Petricola joined Dart and put on their serious game faces and a 54-run fifth wicket partnership. The match was far from over when Darty (50 from 78 balls) departed with a magical half-century. Ash Middlin (24 n.o. off 125 balls) played the strongman role, refusing to be budged from the crease, whilst Pepsi (54 no, 64 balls inc 7 fours) became the ringmaster and kept the scoreboard ticking over; their unbroken 61-run partnership ensuring there was no final twist to the day’s events.

    The win sees the Demons go to second place with one round remaining where we take on seventh placed Prahran. Top placed St Kilda play sixth placed Frankston Peninsula which means a Demon win could give us the opportunity to finish on top up the ladder and pick up some handy prize money that is on offer for the first time to the team that finishes on top of the ladder. Conversely, a loss could see us drop to seventh and forgo the right to host a home final and all the advantages that go with it (ones we would too painfully recall from last season!).

    The 3rd XI, having lost a full day’s play last week, were very keen in setting up a result game against a fellow finals contender to tie up a top four place. Those plans went awry early when we slumped to 6/41. It was time to ‘dig in’ and not simply hand a fellow finalist six points and a higher place on the ladder. The lower order did that with Tristan Larter (28) top scoring. Set 121 from 19 overs, Dan Worrall (3/13) had Uni on the back foot at 5/29 who had no alternative but to put up the shutters.

    The 2nd XI, chasing 222 and out of finals contention were allowed to ‘express themselves’.  It may not have been verbalised, but you could have been forgiven for thinking the reaction was ‘let’s enjoy an extra long tea break today’. Resuming at 0/9, they stormed to victory ‘faster than an Oakleigh Plater’ and when the sandwiches and jam tarts were ready for serving, the score reading 6/266 after 62 overs and early stumps called. Jon Huddart (69 off 117 balls, 10 fours and a six), Darcy Daly (78 off 123, 10 fours) dominated early but was made to look like slow pokes by that man riding a crest of a run-scoring wave, Laurie Heath. Loz (51 off 42 balls) looked intent on not only skipping the last session, but also skipping the need for a shower hitting 11 fours in his first 45.

    I shouldn’t say it but yes, the "two’s" have a mathematical chance of finals – just an outright win and the four teams immediately above them all losing will do it!

    You could have been excused for thinking that the 4th XI match had more on the line that a bit of pride for the Demons, such was the ‘mental disintegration’ techniques applied during this match. Resuming at 6/156, having fought hard on day one after being asked to bat first on a ‘green-top’, the Demons continued their innings, as they were entitled to, well into the second day. David Reid (62) enjoyed his return to the team after being absent on ‘family duties’. We were finally dismissed for 235 and perhaps Uni’s fight for a finals spot added to a level of frustration they appeared to be suffering from. Having around 50 overs to bat, their demeanour wasn’t helped by the early inroads we made into their batting, and at 6/55, only one team could win. Mark Akrigg (having slipped off the surgeon’s table as a last minute call-up and deferring a much needed post season op), inspired with his 4/24 and Matt Lanigan’s offies returned 3/49. Unfortunately we couldn’t run through the last couple and settled for a draw.

    The MCC Club XI rounded off their season with a win over Old Scotch No.2 at Fawkner Park. Kain Bowden top scored with 66 and Vic Hodge’s hard work paid off with 38, helping MCC to 8/165 in the allotted 40 overs. We also fired with the ball, dismissing the ‘Go Scotchies’ for 110 in the 24th over, Vic Hodge completing a fine double with here wickets.

    All eyes turn to Toorak and Como Parks where the Demons are hosted by the Two-blues for the 1st and 3rd XI’s respectively on Saturday Feb 27 and March 6 so please lend all the support you can given as the whiff of finals is in the air.

    Summary scorecards:
    1st XI - Melbourne Uni 126 (P Halbish 5/31, AC Dale 5/32) defeated by Melbourne 5/155 (P Petricola 54*, S Dart 50) at University Main Oval. 
    2nd XI - Melbourne Uni 222 (J Graham 6/45) defeated by Melbourne 6/266 (DP Daly 78, J Huddart 69, L Heath 51) at Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI - Melbourne 8/121 (dec) (T Larter 28) drew with Melbourne Uni 5/56 (D Worrall 3/13) at Crawford Oval. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 235 (DJ Reid 62, D Bratby 49, D Minato 42) drew with Melbourne Uni 8/152 (MP Akrigg 4/24, MJ Lanigan 3/49) at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Bowlers open way for top two finish
    Monday February 15, 2010

    Saturday’s action was highlighted by several outstanding individual bowling performances, with Adam Dale and Phil Halbish equally sharing the ten wickets in the Firsts and Justin Graham going one better in the Second XI, giving their teams the upper hand after the first day’s play. The Third XI was a victim of Thursday’s deluge whilst the Fourth XI spent an enterprising 55 overs at the crease.

    Phil HalbishMissing strike-bowler Rob Cassell (resting his left-shoulder that was jarred fielding last week but will be ready for Rd 15), senior bowlers Adam Dale and Phil Halbish (pictured) imposed themselves on the Melbourne University batting line-up. Play started at 1.00 pm and, it would be fair to say, Adam and Phil were in a less than charitable frame of mind and, when you analyse their figures, I daresay it wouldn’t have been good a day to ask them for a loan of 20c. Whatever way you look at it, their bowling figures were outstanding - Adam Dale 29.5 overs, 16 maidens, 5 for 32 and Phil Halbish 24 overs 10 maidens 5 for 31 – an amazing 63.5 overs, 26 maidens, 10 for 63 between them!

    The game is set up for the batsmen to knock off the runs consolidate our place in the top four with one round remaining. Retention of the Michael Sholly Cup will also be a bi-product of a win.
    Justin Graham, stand-in captain for the injured Eivion Bowen, led his team with the ball and although he did not better his career best of 7/57 taken in Rd 17 in 2001/02, took his tenth five-wicket haul for the Demons in capturing 6/45 off 25.1 overs (plus a catch and a run out as his sister noted!). The openers safely negotiated the five overs they faced before stumps, finishing 0/9 in pursuit of Uni’s 222.

    The Fourth XI had play reduced to 55 overs and were asked to bat of a green, seaming wicket with a lush outfield to boot. David Bratby (49) and Dion Minato (42) jumped on anything loose 9or full or short) and oft took the aerial route in their 80-run partnership. A refreshed David Reid (33 n.o.), held the rest of the order together to help set up what should be a competitive total.

    The Crawford Oval wicket table was still under water come Saturday morning from Thursday’s rain. Both sides will be keen to chase the points next Saturday, to be played under ‘ordinary’ conditions, as we would like to retain our top four position and Uni are striving to get one.
    Summary scorecards:

    1st XI - Melbourne Uni 126 (P Halbish 5/31 AC Dale 5/32) v Melbourne 0/1 at University Main Oval.
    2nd XI - Melbourne Uni 222 (J Graham 6/45) v Melbourne 0/9 at Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI - Melbourne Uni v Melbourne at Crawford Oval – no play due to state of the wicket.
    4th XI - Melbourne 6/152 (D Bratby 49 D Minato 42 DJ Reid 33*) v Melbourne Uni at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons in a thriller and rise to third
    Tuesday February 9, 2010

    Hopefully most of you caught up with the First XI’s thrilling win against the Ringwood Rams on Saturday. For those that haven’t there is an excellent report on Cricket Victoria’s website to please click here for the story. There are some excellent pics that also tell the story of the day.

    Unfortunately there wasn’t much to celebrate in the other three XI’s. The Second XI were frustrated in their quest for a much needed win. Having Ringwood 7/117, Mr S Nichols (down from the First XI on week one) came to the crease after the Pennant Committee acceded to the State selectors wish that kindly allowed Steven Gilmour to have a much needed hit in the First XI (bad luck Happy!) and made 36. Still, at 9/197 it seemed a matter of time to chalk up the 6 points however that is exactly what we run out of after a defiant 102-run tenth wicket partnership. It soured a promising day and probably ruined any realistic chance of making the final eight.

    The Third XI, with first innings points in the bag declared overnight. We bowled the Rams over for 136 again but only had 9 overs left to bat and whilst we had a good ‘crack’ at the outright we were 49 short. The positive is we climbed a spot to Third and well poised for the finals.

    The Fourths also went down, fighting hard to get themselves back in the game but were beaten by 4 wickets.(Johnsy from the Thirds chipped in for a handy 61!)

    There are two home and away rounds and whilst there is only 12 points separating first and tenth, we now control our own destiny in trying to gain a top four spot and hosting a home final. See ladders.

    This weekend’s matches are against Melbourne University, the First XI playing at the University Oval and playing for the Michael Sholly Cup.

    Summary scorecards:
    1st XI - Melbourne 164
    (P Petricola 45, DP Daly 26, M Gale 3/25, I Holland, 2/8, S Nicholls 2/31, B Way 55*, R Cooper 43) defeated Ringwood 158 (MR King 41, DA King 40, R Cassell 5/34, AC Dale 2/40) at the Albert Ground.
    2nd XI - Ringwood 9/299 (MJ McDonald 104*, D Rawson 43*, N Walsh 40, N Quinn 4/51) drew Melbourne 8/351 (dec) (T Jackson 85, J Huddart 71, M Begbie 65, J Graham 62, D Coghlan 2/42) at Russell Lucas Oval.
    3rd XI - Melbourne 4/96 (dec) (J Williamson 29, J Gillard 46*, M Newman 2/24) defeated Ringwood 93 (DJ Ruffle 31, D Worrall 5/11, T Larter 2/16, AJ Boyle 2/29 and 136, SC Mays 41*, S Brewin 3/26, A Swart 2/18, D Worrall 2/28) at IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI - Ringwood 7/234 (L Johns 61, E Jones 42, JR Gilbee 31, M McCudden 3/62, S Oakley 2/27) defeated Melbourne 211 (G Wild 94, D Bratby 29, C O'Brien 4/47, JD Want 2/33, JR Gilbee 2/44) at Jubilee Park.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons skip to fifth but out of one-day race.  
    Wednesday January 27, 2010

    The First XI secured their first two-day match points on Saturday but exited the one-day competition finals on Sunday. The Third XI maintained their crushing form of late however the Second and Fourth XI’s were both disappointed in going down to the Northcote Dragons.

    The First XI victory was well set up on the first day, having dismissed Northcote for 154 and being 2/107 at stumps. Rob Cassell, Adam dale, Michael Hill and Sean Sturrock each took two wickets.  Rob Cooper, unbeaten on 58 overnight, went on with the job to score his second career First XI century within four rounds scoring 119 off 185 balls inc 10 fours and 3 sixes. We declared with a 106-run first innings lead but had to settle for six first innings points. The win took us from seventh to fifth on the ladder and only four points from top. In a reflection of how tight things are in the race for the final eight, Prahran leapt from eighth to second by virtue of a 10-point outright win.

    The Thirds took the tenth Northcote wicket for their overnight tally of 199 then sat back and watched Laurie Heath continue his slashing form. Lozza cracked 135 (23 fours) in 40 overs and after getting to ‘Richie Benaud’ (2/222 – was that deliberate Smacka??) in 45 overs, the boys called it a day and sit in fourth place.

    The Second XI had posted 288 on the first day largely on the back of Darcy Daly’s third Demon century. The second day outcome looked promising when he Dragons slipped to 4/76 however a 175-run fifth wicket partnership took it close enough to the target for the visitors to stagger over the line. The loss leaves us 12 points adrift of eighth place and we’ll need some exceptional performances over the last three rounds to press for finals.

    The Fourths wrapped up the Northcote innings early on the second day but were never able to fully control the run chase on a good wicket accompanied by a slow and spongy outfield.

    On Sunday, the First XI looked to continue their remarkable run in one-day matches and after dismissing St Kilda for 192, we looked a strong chance to advance to our second final in a row. Adam Dale (4/24) was brilliant again and knocked over early wickets whilst Rob Cassell (4/42), having accounted for the dangerous Rummans earlier, took three wickets in four balls to abruptly close the Saints innings. Chasing runs is never taken for granted but at 2/112 at the half way mark you’d be forgiven for thinking a Demon win was well on the way. The Saints worked their way back in the game and we were never able to regain the momentum as we wilted under tight St Kilda bowling.

    In our quest for two-day glory, we host Ringwood at the Albert Ground over the next two Saturdays. Apart from it being the final First XI home game of the home-and-away season, the two teams will fight it for the Fairbairn Lloyd Trophy, a new trophy that has been struck in honour of the contributions that Clive Fairbairn and Bob Lloyd have made to the two clubs.

    Summary Scorecards - Round 12 v Northcote:
    1st XI – Northcote 154
    (MW Hill 2/11 AC Dale 2/22 R Cassell 2/39 S Sturrock 2/51) and 4/155 defeated by Melbourne 8/260 (dec) (R Cooper 119 MW Hill 52 J Graham 37*) at Bill Lawry Oval.
    2nd XI – Melbourne 288 (DP Daly 101 T Jackson 44 ED Bowen 42 N Bergin 35) defeated by Northcote 7/289 (AJ Boyle 4/41 D Scheetz 2/73) at Albert Ground.
    3rd XI – Northcote 199 (S Brewin 3/50 AJ Boyle 2/17 J Fitzgibbon 2/21 T Larter 2/35) defeated by Melbourne 2/222 (L Heath 135 B Huf 42 J Gillard 31*) at Binnak Park.
    4th XI – Northcote 197 (M McCudden 2/16 WN Ryan 2/41 M Hill 2/45) defeated Melbourne 150 (PI Jubber 37 G Wild 28) at IW Johnson Oval.

    Summary Scorecard - Kookaburra Premier 1st XI one-day competition semi-final:
    St Kilda 192
    (AC Dale 4/24 R Cassell 4/42 P Halbish 2/25) defeated Melbourne 174 (MW Hill 46 B Way 39) at Albert Ground. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Home Team Prevails
    Monday January 11, 2009

    Given that the First XI played at the MCG I’m not sure if you can put it down to the home ground advantage however all four ‘home’ teams recorded convincing victories as the Demons met the Geelong Cats in a one-day round as Premier cricket recommenced from the Christmas break. The other common factor was that all victors batted first and set sizable targets that proved to be well beyond the chasing team’s capability on the day.

    The club was able to host its first Premier Cricket match at the MCG since 2002, gaining special approval to do so and obviating the need to play the ‘country round’ as other Premier clubs ‘headed bush’. It was the only weekend that the PCG was available for club cricket the 2009/10 season.

    Adam DaleThe First XI match was played in first-class conditions, which is stating the bleeding obvious given it was on the MCG, but if I am allowed to say so in my unqualified position, the outfield has rarely been in better condition (it almost looks greener than green)  and the wicket had a real one-day international ‘look’ about it. Skipper Adam Dale (pictured) had no hesitation in batting first and although the Demons never dominated the Cats bowling for extended periods, compiling 252 was more than handy. Michael Hill (78 off 86, seven 4’s and two 6’s) came in at number three and was his usual positive self and controlled most of the first half of the innings before being disappointingly run out. Matthew Brown (62 off 57, four 4’s) was controlled through the middle and stepped up the scoring rate beautifully at the end, combining with Ash Middlin (36) to put on 81 for the sixth wicket.

    The Demons were ‘toey’ going into the field, knowing the Cats have a renowned free-scoring batting line up, no one more so than former three-time Demon club champion Liam Buchanan. The much anticipated battle didn’t last long when Ben Way took a terrific catch off a ‘Leo’ flyer down to third man. Adam Dale knocked over opposition shipper Damian Shanahan in his first over and when he followed up by bowling star Cat, Clinton Peake, the game was near over as the Cats fell to 3/24. Tom Elliot (62) kept on the attack for the Cats but the loss of early wickets took its toll in the chase. The only slight ‘downer’ for the Demons was being unable to keep the Geelong tail at bay and the score to 200 or less to gain a bonus point.

    We stay in seventh position, still only five points from top, in a very tight ladder fight where there is only 12 points separating the top eleven teams.

    The Third XI enjoyed a day playing at ‘the Albert’. Laurie Heath (53 off 38 balls, 12 fours) sizzled at the start, Will Ryan (53) enjoyed his opening role, Nick Bergin top-scored with 66 (nine 4’s) and Tristan Larter chimed in with 41 to help the Demons post an imposing 272. Will Ryan (3/33) completed a good double and with five other bowlers claiming a wicket on top of two early run-outs, a bonus point was gained and the Thirds have climbed to fifth on the ladder.

    The Second and Fourth XI’s travelled down to Geelong and. fielding first in both games, the Cats scored exactly the same totals as the Demon First and Third XI’s did respectively (I’ll leave it to the real stats gurus, or anyone who is remotely intrigued, to tell me if this has ever happened before). Unfortunately the resultant run chases went the same way, the Demons falling well short in both chases. Justin Graham was one of the better Second XI performers in taking 3/41 and making 32, Nick Quinn took 2/32 from his 10 whilst Darcy Daly (41) top scored. At the Fourths, Xavier Frawley (2/27 off 6) did best with the ball and Andrew Foulds (53) was the only Demon half-centurion down at ‘Catland’.

    The First XI, by virtue of being unbeaten in the seven one-day matches, hosts a semi-final of the One-day Final Series on Sunday January 24, being the only Demon team to advance to the final four.

    Two-day matches resume next Saturday where we take on the Northcote Dragons (First XI at the Bill Lawry Oval, Westgarth St, Northcote).

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 6/252 (cc) (MW Hill 78 MJ Brown 62* A Middlin 36 S Dart 28) defeated Geelong 9/203 (S Dart 3/34 AC Dale 2/32 R Cassell 2/33 S Sturrock 2/43) at MCG.
    2nd XI – Geelong 9/252 (cc) (P Petricola 3/62 J Graham 3/41 N Quinn 2/32) defeated Melbourne 170 (DP Daly 41 J Graham 32 J Huddart 27) at Geelong.
    3rd XI – Melbourne 7/270 (cc) (N Bergin 66 L Heath 53 WN Ryan 53 T Larter 41 J Williamson 25*) defeated Geelong 190 (WN Ryan 3/33) at the Albert Ground. 
    4th XI – Geelong 4/270 (cc) (XJ Frawley 2/27) defeated Melbourne 146 (A Foulds 53) at Kardinia Park No.2.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Christmas Cheer with Demon Day
    Monday December 21, 2009

    There is no better way for a club to go into the Christmas break than put ‘four out of four’ wins on the board in the last round before the New Year (and it doesn’t harm the atmosphere of a good old fashion Saturday night Christmas barbie!). The 2009 calendar year was completed with a round of one-day matches and the First XI continued their unbeaten run in this form of the game. The Second, Third and Fourth XI’s all had convincing wins, containing plenty of highlights, as our playing list returned to near full strength.

    The First XI looked headed for a comfortable win after dismissing the Roos for 158 off the final ball of their 50-over allotment. Rob Cassell (2/13 off 8 overs) did the early damage whilst Michael Hill (3/33 off 10 claimed the figures. Adam Dame (1/15 off 10) and Rob Copper chimed in for a couple. Despite losing a couple of early wickets, Andrew Kent (43) and Rob Cooper (64) seemed to have things under control. At 3/122 we collapsed to 7/136 however Simon Dart (37*) manoeuvred the Demons over the line.

    Dean Scheetz ripped through North’s Second XI top order, taking 4/24 in his opening 10 over spell. Replacing him at the northern end, Justin Graham took three wickets and the Roos were bowled out for 124. There was no nervous chase as Peter Petricola (37) combined with Matt Brown (65 n.o.) to sail past the target in the 21st over.

    The Third XI’s handy total was set up by a bright opening stand of 105 by David Bratby (55) and Brendan Huf (45) and with a number of handy contributions, toted up 8/220. The Roos made their way to 2/62 before (and I can’t be so boring to call them spin twins’ so you come up with something original) ‘wristies’ Sam Brewin (5/30), who leads with his left, and Tristan Larter (3/42), who leads with his right, ensured the Demons added a bonus point to the win.

    The Fourth XI, playing on one of the better Johnson Ovals wickets seen for a while, did let the Roos get away a little more than they would have liked and had a fair target of 203 to chase down in their allotted 45 overs. However, the more North scored would have only increased the pleasure that Laurie Heath (pictured) had at the crease. Opening up with Jarryd Williamson (42), Lozza piled on 145 n.o. that included 21 fours and three sixes and remarkably, if the Second XI sailed passed their target, Loz was steering a veritable space shuttle as victory was achieved in 29 overs.

    The full ladders can be viewed here however as we go into the break, the First XI is eighth (unusually slipping place after a win as other teams secured a bonus point) but only five points from the top of the ladder in a very tight competition. The Firsts also head the one-day ladder and are assured of hosting a semi-final even though there is one round of this competition to go. The Seconds much needed victory puts it back within striking distance of the eight, the Thirds moved up to sixth place whilst the Fourth’s season would have been ‘gone’ without their win. None of the lower grades can make the one-day semi-finals.

    Premier Cricket resumes on January 9, the final one-day match of the home and away season where we take on the Geelong Cats. The First XI play at the MCG, the Third XI at the Albert whilst the Second and Fourth XI’s head down Geelong Rd (quite ironic really, with the First XI playing their ‘Country Round’ at the G!)

    If I don’t catch up with you, the scribe wishes you all a safe and happy festive season, and hope you’ll see fit to forgive my humour attempts and the odd barb (some more subtle than others!)

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - North Melbourne 158
    (MW Hill 3/33 R Cooper 2/10 R Cassell 2/13) defeated by Melbourne 7/159 (R Cooper 64 A Kent 43 S Dart 37*) at JJ Holland Park. 
    2nd XI - North Melbourne 124 (D Scheetz 4-24 J Graham 3-21) defeated by Melbourne 2/125 (P Petricola 34 M Brown 65*) at Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 8/220 (cc) (Bratby 55 B Huf 45 N Bergin 34 J Gillard 25) defeated North Melbourne 154 (S Brewin 5/30 T Larter 3/42) at Arden Street. 
    4th XI – North Melbourne 7/203 (cc) (MP Akrigg 3/35 M Hill 2/44) defeated by Melbourne 2/207 (L Heath 145* J Williamson 42) at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Youngsters Shine
    Wednesday December 16, 2009

    A number of the club’s youngsters made valuable contributions as the Second, Third and Fourth XI’s all had convincing wins. A couple of handy knocks from a 15-yo and a 16-yo helped the Third XI convert their strong first day position into outright points, albeit taking until the final ball of the day’s play to do so. Peter Petricola (2nd XI) and Max Tomkinson (4th XI) were the club’s centurions whilst Sam Brewin’s five wickets on debut in the Second XI took them within sight of an outright victory before the time clock beat them. The First XI had 344 on the board and although gaining a second wicket early on the second day, they were unable to remove two Swans at either end of the experience scale and were beaten by five wickets.

    The excitement of the day took place at the Johnson Oval that started with the Third XI declaring on their overnight score of 1/171 with a lead of 56. At 3/9, then 5/18, it appeared the Swans would roll over meekly however that was not the case as the lower half stretched the innings to 77 overs. Will Ryan’s left-arm orthodox (a virtual veteran at 17) claimed 4/26 and a couple of ‘surprise’ wickets from century maker Brendan Huf left the Demons 91 to get in 10 overs. After two overs we were 1/1, then lost a second wicket to be 2/13 after three and needing 78 off seven. Seb Gotch (at the grand age of 16) ‘patted back’ his first five deliveries but among his next 10, hit six fours two sixes before holing out for 37 of 16 balls.

    The loss of 4/11 left an unlikely target of 33 off the last 14 balls. This is where15-yo Jason Pongracic (37 n.o. off 18) took over. Batting with Gerry Wild they combined to score 15 off the second last over before Jason took strike for the last over scoring dot, 6, dot, 2, 4 and hit a four off the last ball to collect the 10 points.

    The Fourth XI took the Swans tenth wicket early on day two to set up a 170-run chase. Max Tomkinson (138 off 156 balls inc 22 fours) combined with Jaryd Williamson (81 off 112 balls, 10 fours, one six) and sensationally put on 213 in their opening stand. It was a particularly brilliant effort from just turned 16-yo Max who was batting for the club for the first time in Premier Cricket.

    The Second XI were also impressive in dominating their run chase with Peter Petricola (pictured right) (123 n.o.) building on last week’s start and with Travis Jackson (52 n.o.), built a lead of 99 before the declaration. Dean Scheetz grabbed two early wickets before Casey-SM steadied a little. Sam Brewin (5/53), elevated to the Second XI after Pat Smith went up to the Firsts to replace Rob Cassell, put the Swans in a spin with his left-arm wrist spinners. However Casey-SM edged past our lead by 34 late in the day and although Nick Quinn’s ‘offies’ helped dismiss them a second time, we didn’t have any overs left to bat.

    The First XI had the bitter-sweet news of Rob Cassell’s selection in the Bushrangers one-day team. It would be fair to say it was far more sweet than bitter for the club as we were all thrilled to hear of Rob’s selection (unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few days you should have read/heard about it). The down side was, as Rob is carefully managing his workload, he was unable to tear into the Swans batting line up. Young Swan Jake Best not only passed 50 for the first time at Premier 1st XI level, he made the most of a great Albert  Ground batting strip (funny how you find those there on a regular basis over the last 100 years!). Sean Sturrock (3/106) looked like he might have got the Demons back into the game before Damien Wright (former Tasmanian and current Bushranger who can be handy with the bat) peeled off an unbeaten century.

    This Saturday is the last day’s play for 2009, a one-dayer against North Melbourne (First XI at JJ Holland Park). In the New Year, we return with the ‘country round’ played at the MCG on January 9 in the last one-day match of the season. Whilst slipping to seventh on the ‘proper’ ladder, we head the one-day ladder and a win in either of the last two one-day matchers will seal a semi-final berth in the one-day competition. Click Ladders to see where all the teams are placed.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - Melbourne 6/344 (dec)
    (R Cooper 140 B Way 45 A Middlin 37* P Halbish 33* MJ Brown 32 MW Hill 27) defeated by Casey-South Melbourne 5/345 (J Best 125 D Wright 104* S Sturrock 3/106) at the Albert.
    2nd XI - Casey-South Melbourne 132 (ED Bowen 2/2 N Quinn 2/20 PJ Smith 2/37) and 133 (S Brewin 5/53 D Scheetz 2/11 N Quinn 2/17)  defeated by Melbourne 1/231 (dec) (P Petricola 123* T Jackson 52* J Huddart 39) at Casey Fields 4.
    3rd XI – Casey-South Melbourne 115 (T Larter 2/1 WN Ryan 2/6 A Swart 2/13 AJ Boyle 2/36) and 145 (WN Ryan 4/29 B Huf 2/6 J Fitzgibbon 2/24) defeated outright by Melbourne 1/171 (dec) (B Huf 104* WN Ryan 30) and 6/93 (S Gotch 37 J Pongracic 37*) at IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI - Casey-South Melbourne 169 (D Minato 2/25 MJ Lanigan 2/41) defeated by Melbourne 2/270 (M Tomkinson 138 J Williamson 81 D Minato 28*) at Casey Fields 5. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons Poised
    Tuesday December 8, 2009

    Melbourne had a good opening day to their two-day round nine clash against Casey-South Melbourne whose First XI were coming off a confidence boosting win against reigning premiers Ringwood. Rob Cooper was the First XI’s star with the bat, knocking up his maiden century at that level. The Second XI are well on the way to claiming first innings points needing 62 runs with 10 wickets still standing. The Third XI have already secured first innings points, highlighted by a Brendan Huf ton whilst the Fourth XI were made to toil away for 88 overs to have the Swans 9/164.

    On a day where high scoring in Kookaburra Premier Cricket First XI matches was the order of the day, Robert Cooper (pictured right) opened up for the Demons and controlled the innings with a 140 off 236 deliveries that included 17 fours and one six. A number of other players played supporting roles and enabled a declaration at 6/344 that was rewarded with a Swans wicket in the five overs bowled.

    The Second XI seemed to be in for a long day in the field when Casey-SM moved to 2/84 however a collapse ensued and we found ourselves chasing only 132. ‘Pepsi’ Petricola (34) and Jon Huddart (33) have knocked off 71 of those already.

    The Thirds were on top with the ball throughout with seven bowlers used and six taking wickets to have the Swans out for 115. Brendan Huf (104 n.o. inc 14 fours) set aside any thoughts of a nervous chase as he hit three four’s in the opening over to set the scene for a cracking century and set up pursuit of outright points.

    The Fourths worked away hard against a Casey SM line-up that seemed intent of seeing out the day rather than take risks to elevate the scoring rate however they have ‘runs on the board’ that will require application to chase down.

    It is worth mentioning that there were incredibly high scores across all First XI matches on Saturday with three scores in excess of 400 and four over 300 in the nine matches. To read the Premier Cricket report click here.

    In Twenty20 action against the Bombers on Sunday, the First XI did well to hold their opposition to 127 however it took a two off the last ball to tie things up. The Second XI won the second of their two T20 matches played for the season, comfortably responding to Essendon’s 5/119. Laurie Heath (71 off 49 balls) set the Third XI scoreboard alight and the resultant 158-run target enabled the Thirds to also get their second victory. The Fourth XI turned in a forgettable effort although Max Tomkinson’s 26 in his debut innings for the Demons was a shining light.

    Summary Scorecards – Round 9 v Casey SM (after day one)
    1st XI – Melbourne 6/344 (dec) (R Cooper 140 B Way 45 A Middlin 37* P Halbish 33* MJ Brown 32 MW Hill 27) v Casey-South Melbourne 1/11 at the Albert Ground.
    2nd XI - Casey-South Melbourne 132 (PJ Smith 3/37 N Quinn 2/20) v Melbourne 0/71 (P Petricola 34* J Huddart 33*) at Casey Fields #4.
    3rd XI – Casey-South Melbourne 115  (WN Ryan 2/6 A Swart 2/13 AJ Boyle 2/36) v Melbourne 1/171 (B Huf 104* WN Ryan 30) at IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI - Casey-South Melbourne 9/164 (D Minato 2/25 MJ Lanigan 2/41) v Melbourne at Casey Fields #5.

    Summary Scorecards – Twenty20 Roundd 4 v Essendon (played Sunday)
    1st XI – Essendon 5/127(cc) tied Melbourne 8/127(cc) (R Cooper 30 B Way 25) at the Albert Ground. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 5/122 (Daly 30, Jackson 27) defeated Essendon 7/119 (cc) at Windy Hill. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 4/158(cc) (L Heath 71 J Williamson 30 D Bratby 26) defeated Essendon 6/131(cc) (T Larter 3/20 S Brewin 2/19) at the Albert Ground. 
    4th XI – Melbourne 67 (M Tomkinson 26) defeated by Essendon 1/70 at Windy Hill. 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons Points Chase Down the Drain
    Monday November 30, 2009 

    The Demons were well positioned in all grades in their Round 8 matches scheduled for Saturday/Sunday against the Panthers but couldn’t beat the weather. The First XI, who battle it out for the Warren Ayres Cup, was the only team that played on Sunday with the other three XI’s matches abandoned without a ball being bowled on day two.

    Rain only affected the latter part of Saturday’s play and the Demons would have been reasonably happy about where they were placed throughout the grades. The First XI reached 4/216 when stumps were drawn 11 overs early, having recovered from a shaky 2/49. Ben Way (64) continued with his consistent form and registered his fourth half-century of the season in seven innings and has now scored 332 runs at 55.3. He was well supported by Michael Hill (44) and Simon Dart (37 no). In the short period of play at the start of day two, we lost two early wickets and after a lengthy rain delay, declared on 6/223 in the hope of dismissing Dandenong in the 54 overs remaining. Adam Dale (3/33 off 19 overs) once again led the attack and took the first three wickets however, despite two wickets from Matthew Brown late in the day, we ran out of time.

    The Second XI had Dandenong 2/8 early on the first day however the visitors steadied in good batting conditions and made our bowlers work hard for their wickets. We were in a fair position to chase down a target when the Panthers were 8/239 after Saturday’s play. Unfortunately, the saturated outfield meant there was little activity at the Albert on Sunday other than to listen to Eivion Bowen’s account of his "ball of a lifetime" than "pitched middle and leg and hit the top of off stump" to dismiss Premier Cricket and Melbourne batting legend, Warren Ayres for nought. Eiv, never one to brag, admitted any resemblance to the "Warne/Gatting ball of the century" was totally appropriate!

    The Third and Fourth XI’s had similar days as both threatened to run through their opposition for low scores and have the opportunity of getting points in the bag on the first day. Out at Dandenong, the home team were 8/82 before stubborn lower order partnerships took the Panthers to 8/178 at stumps. The Fourth XI had Dandenong 7/77, with the opening combination of Mark McCudden (pictured) (4/35) and Xavier Frawley (3/19) making big inroads, before they recovered to 9/157. The "big wet" prevented play in either grade on Sunday.

    The MCC Club XI played Old Xavier No.2 on Saturday and bowled OX2 out in the 40th over for 195 (Pat O’Beirne 3/5) and then chased down the score in the 24th over – 2/196 (Pat Bowden 101 not out, Pat O’Beirne 57, Joel Bowden 22 not out off 9 balls).

    Round 9 is a two-day game against Casey-South Melbourne played on the next two Saturday's (First and Third XI’s at home), split by a full round of Twenty20 matches played next Sunday against Essendon (First and Third XI’s at home).

    Summary Scorecards
    1st XI Dandenong 6/141 (AC Dale 3/33 MJ Brown 2/8) drew Melbourne 6/223(dec)  (B Way 64 MW Hill 44 S Dart 37 MJ Brown 33) at Shepley Oval.
    2nd XI Melbourne drew Dandenong 8/239  N Quinn 2/52 J Graham 2/69 at the Albert Ground.
    3rd XI Dandenong 8/178  (WN Ryan 2/29 AJ Boyle 2/35) drew Melbourne at Wilson Oval.
    4th XI Melbourne drew Dandenong 9/157 (M McCudden 4/35 XJ Frawley 3/19) at IW Johnson Oval.

    For reports on all Kookaburra Premier Cricket matches, go to the Cricket Victoria Premier Cricket website.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Thirds take points; firsts so close but...
    Monday November 23, 2009

    John ‘Captain-Mo’ Fitzgibbon’s Third XI was the only Demons to takes points on the second day of the round of matches against the Saints. The First XI dug deep and went ever so close to grabbing an improbable victory but was passed nine down. The Second and Fourth XI’s faced uphill battles in their run chases and although there was the odd good partnership neither really threatened in the run chase.

    The Thirds resumed nine down and were dismissed for 183. They then went about defending the total as a real team unit. All six bowlers used bowled tightly and maintained the pressure, even when the Saints were 1/58 at one stage. Aaron ‘Mo-bro’ Boyle took the first wicket and followed up with two in his last spell to finish with (3/41). Patrick Walker, in his first Third XI game, impressed with 3/27 and took out the St Kilda middle order. Skipper Smacka himself managed four overs for the handy figures of 2/1. Spinners Sam Brewin and Tristan ‘Mo-bro’ Larter played their part and took a wicket apiece. Even Arno Swart (son of Trevor Mo-bro), who didn’t manage a ‘pole’, kept things tight and the Saints were bowed out for 131.

    The Firsts responded tremendously to the challenge facing them at the start f the day, knowing they needed to bowl extremely well to keep the Saints under 157. It took an exceptional effort from the opposition skipper, Graeme Rummans (141) to thwart the Demons response. Our own captain/coach, Adam Dale, bowled brilliantly (4/36 off 20.2 overs). Phil Halbish (3/52 off 18.4) and Rob Cassell (2/62) were excellent in support. There wasn’t a lot of hope when the Saints moved onto 1/54 and even on taking the second wicket the Demons were greeted by state player Rob Quiney. All of a sudden, chances were being created and even though not all were taken, the Saints slumped to 7/94 (Rummans 60 n.o.).  A 48-run eighth wicket partnership took the score to 142 and in taking the ninth wicket, the Saints still needed 13 to win. Rummans, in such a controlling manner, combined with his last batting partner to take the points away from us.

    The Seconds resumed at 6/86 in pursuit of 171 and could ill afford to lose the two early wickets that they did. Nick Bergin and Nick Quinn gave us a glimmer of hope putting on 39 for the ninth wicket but we still fell 31 short.

    The Fourth XI only had one significant partnership of 93 for the third wicket between top scorer Dion Minato (46) and Dan Worrall (33) but never threatened the 251 run target.

    Kookaburra Premier Twenty20 action continues this Wednesday night as the Demons face the Saints again at the Albert Ground. Play commences at 5.15 pm and there will be a BBQ operating and refreshments available.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI Melbourne 157
    (B Way 28 R Cassell 25) def eated by St Kilda 225 (AC Dale 4/36 P Halbish 3/52 R Cassell 2/62)  at the Albert Ground.
    2nd XI St Kilda 171 (J ‘Mo’ Graham 3/37 D Scheetz 3/48 N Quinn 2/13) and 3/81(cc) defeated Melbourne 140 (N Bergin 27 T Jackson 26) at Harry Trott Oval.
    3rd XI Melbourne 183 (T ‘Mo’ Larter 42 D ‘Mo’ Bratby 42 G Wild 26) defeated St Kilda 131 (PJ Walker 3/27 AJ ‘Mo’ Boyle 3/41
    J ‘Mo’ Fitzgibbon 2/1)  at IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI St Kilda 251 (D Worrall 4/36 M Hill 2/13 C Sturrock 2/24) defeated Melbourne 156 (D Minato 46 D Worrall 33) at Ross Gregory.

    Click here to view ladders.

    For those clever enough to pick up on the ‘Mo’ references, the full team can be viewed at


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Demons have work cut out
    Monday November 16, 2009 

    The Round seven two-day match between Melbourne and St Kilda was referred to as a meeting of the ‘power-houses’ however it appears the Demons ran into a few ‘short-circuits’ as all grades spluttered along at various stages of Saturday’s play. We are not out of the game in any grade but it will require something of a turnaround in overall performance next weekend if we are going to put points on the board.

    The First XI lost its first wicket at 35 but with a St Kilda opening bowler already in the sheds, there didn’t appear to be any great concern. However, the Saints maintained a consistent line and demonstrated great patience that resulted in eight of our batsmen being dismissed for between 28 and 10 and all out for 157 in the 93rd over. The Demons gained an early break but will need several more and plenty of patience of their own to get back in the game next week.

    The Second XI dominated with the ball for the most part. Dean Scheetz (3/48) and Nick Quinn (2/13) gained the early breaks then off-spinner Justin Graham (3/37) helped the Demons have them 9/133 before a stubborn last wicket partnership swelled the target to 171. Travelling okay at 1/40, we endured a terrible last hour and will resume at 6/86.

    The Thirds batted first on what is proving to be a difficult (low and slow) Johnson Oval wicket. David Bratby (42) endured the early part of the innings and Tristan Larter (42), along with Aaron Boyle (24) at least dug in when Gerry Wild (26) was dismissed with the score at 6/110 to help the team bat out the day and give the bowlers a half reasonable target to bowl at.

    The Fourth XI, very much undermanned through this period of general unavailablities, exams and school cricket commitments, looked to be completely at the Saints mercy when they were 1/161. In a ‘re-energised’  effort, they responded tremendously in the last hour and a half taking 6/33 in one stretch. Dan Worrall (4/36) took three wickets in an over and Cam Sturrock (2/36) showed great heart. In dismissing St Kilda for 251, they now control their destiny in the run chase.

    As they say, we appear to be like the ‘boys with the barrow’, and ‘have the job ahead of us’ but all grades still have at least a fighting chance.

    Kookaburra Premier Twenty20 cricket resumes this week where we play Dandenong (First XI only) at Shepley Oval on Wednesday night (commences at 5.15 pm) so for all you Demon supporters that happen to be passing by...

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI Melbourne 157 (B Way 28 Cassell 25) v St Kilda 1/27 Albert Ground.
    2nd XI St Kilda 171 ( J Graham 3/37 D Scheetz 3/48 N Quinn 2/13)  v Melbourne 6/86 (T Jackson 26)  Harry Trott Oval.
    3rd XI Melbourne 9/178 (T Larter 42 D Bratby 42 G Wild 26)  v St Kilda IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI St Kilda 251 (D Worrall 4/36 M Hill 2/13 C Sturrock 2/24)  v Melbourne Ross Gregory Oval.

    For those that don’t know where to find full scorecards, ladders etc, make yourself familiar with the Cricket Australia ‘My Cricket’.

    Many competitions load their scorecards into this system, including Premier Cricket. For ‘first timers’, I suggest you click on the ‘Search’ button and under ‘Club, association or grade’ type in ‘Melbourne’ or ‘Victorian Premier Cricket’. When you get your search results, click on the ‘Customise’ button, then go to ‘Matches’ where drop down boxes give you options to view latest club results, ladders, etc.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Dirty Day for Demons
    Monday November 9, 2009

    I’m not sure whether we’ve ever had a name for the opposite of a ‘Demon Day’ (wins in all four grades) but whatever you want to call it, we had it! There were several excellent individual performances throughout the opening two-day round of the season however these counted for nothing when it came to putting premiership points on the board.
    It would be remiss not to look back on one such outstanding effort on day one of round six of Kookaburra Premier Cricket action. Simon Dart, who had quirkily only faced one ball in the month of October in his return season for the Demons, scored his fifteenth Premier Cricket century, being his first for the club that he debuted for in the 1995/96 season. Simon’s 142 n.o. (off 244 balls in 297 minutes including 14 fours) was full of skill and character. He came to the crease at 3/68 and when the consistent Ben Way (58) departed the Demons looked unlikely to pass 200. However Simon held the second half of the order together and an 88-run partnership with Rob Cassell (33) helped the Demons past 300.
    A wicket on the first ball of day two and a wicket by First XI debutant Pat Smith (replacement player for Michael Hill who was on Bushranger duty) had the Blues 3/53 and the Demon hopes high. Unfortunately centuries by outstanding club players Evan Gulbis and Nathan Pilon gave Carlton a relatively smooth passage to the six points.
    The Second XI started the first day disastrously with two of the top three in the order run out. Skipper Eiv Bowen (50) and Rob Cooper (42) made middle order contributions but it was left to fast bowler Pat Smith, known for his hitting capability but not necessarily his durability, to put on a show in scoring 73 off 70 balls laced with five 4’s and five 6’s.
    Unfortunately it was left to Carlton to show how good the batting conditions at the Albert were as they easily passed our 250-run target on the second day.  Left-ram quick, Kane Griffiths, elevated to make his Second XI debut replacing Pat Smith, showed good signs by taking 2/22 off his 11 overs.
    The Third XI batting never clicked on day one with Gerard Wild’s 77 n.o. out of 199 being the stand out performance. The bowlers struggled to make inroads until the game was almost over but it was great to see Sam Brewin (5/57), with his left-arm wrist spinners, fight it out and take his first ‘five for’ the club.
    The Fourth XI had the ‘close one’. On the opening day, despite some sloppy fielding and, at different times, looking like letting their opponents get well on top, fought it out and dismissed the Blues for 210 just on stumps. Whilst the wicket was keeping a little low, it needed someone to dig in and if they batted through the day, a win was for the taking. Unfortunately there were six scorers between 20 and 30 and when we were dismissed with eight overs in the day to bat, we were a mere 10 runs short of a win.
    I am pleased to report that the MCC Club XI did have its first win of the season. Whilst I don’t have full details, the scribe did see the latter part of the game and in chasing Old Haileybury’s 144 in a 40-over maximum, we scorched passed them in the 23rd over only four down – more details to come!
    Summary Scorecards
    Round 6 v Carlton:

    1st XI – Melbourne 306 (S Dart 142* B Way 58 R Cassell 33) defeated by Carlton 4/307 at Princes Park # 1 Oval. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne - 250 (PJ Smith 73 ED Bowen 50 R Cooper 42) defeated by Carlton 6/251 (KJ Griffiths 2/22 N Bergin 2/56) at the Albert Ground. 
    3rd XI – Melbourne 199 (G Wild 77* J Gillard 27) defeated by Carlton 8/264 (S Brewin 5/57 T Larter 2/51) at Princes Park #2 Oval. 
    4th XI – Carlton 206 (M Hill 2/16 S Van Riet 2/19 MP Akrigg 2/41) defeated Melbourne 195 (D Minato 30 G Oakley 30 P Walker 27) at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    Trio of Tons as First XI Make Near Perfect Start to Opening Block of One-Dayers
    Monday October 27, 2009

    The First XI remains undefeated after the opening block of five one-day matches. It is a near perfect start to the 2009/10 Kookaburra Premier Cricket season (having obtained bonus points in three of the five matches along the way) and continues the recent dominance that the reigning one-day competition premiers have had in this form of the game. The fine weather turned conditions into the batsmen’s favour and we produced our first three centurions of the season being Andrew Kent (1st XI), Peter Petricola (2nd XI) and Laurie Heath (3rd XI).

    The Firsts hosted Frankston Peninsula at the superbly presented Albert Ground. It was the bowlers that were asked to ply their trade first and did a terrific job in holding the visitors to 8/201 off 50 overs. They never looked like running through the opposition but, at the same time, took wickets just when they were needed and there was no danger of letting the target get out of hand. Wickets were shared around the senior bowlers with Rob Cassell grabbing three wickets and Adam Dale and Phil Halbish snaring two apiece.

    Andrew Kent (pictured) and Ben Way opened up in the chase and confirmed what we thought all along about it being ideal batting conditions. They combined for an opening stand of 176 in 32 overs before Ben (62 off 88 balls) departed. Andrew Kent (116 n.o. off 122 balls inc 16 fours) powered on for his 10th Premier Cricket century and would have been well pleased to convert one of the several ‘starts’ he has had this year into three figures. Victory was acquired in the 37th over and the five points gained stretched our lead at the top of the ladder over Ringwood to three.

    The Second XI were also greeted with terrific batting conditions at the AH Butler Oval in Frankston. The bowlers were put to the test first and did well in limiting the ‘Heat’ to 9/202. All bowlers were steady while skipper Eiv Bowen, back from Bushranger duties in India, took the figures with 3/49 from his ten. It would be remiss not to mention the ‘team’ catch that started with Dean Scheetz, taking the ball on the full inside the boundary rope but as he felt momentum taking him over, he calmly underarmed the ball to team mate Travis Jackson who was also patrolling the boundary, to complete the catch. Nothing will ever show in the ‘stats’ Dean but well done anyway!

    Chasing targets hasn’t been the 2nd XI’s strength this year so it was with great conviction that Peter ‘Pepsi’ Petricola batted through the run chase, scoring 104 n.o. (136 balls, 14 fours). The other major contributor was 16 y.o. Mathew Begbie (49) who went ever so close to scoring his first half century for the Demons before falling to a leg-side stumping.

    The Third XI chased 178 and you would think if your opening batsman scored 113 n.o. you’d be celebrating a victory with him after the game. Somehow that was not the case and we were left to congratulating Laurie Heath, who hit 15 fours and two sixes, on his outstanding individual effort. I’ll leave the coaching staff to say what they think of nine batsmen not being able to reach double figures. Earlier, Aaron Boyle grabbed 3/22 in his nine overs.

    The Fourth XI confronted last year’s final opponents with a somewhat weakened team as a number of players had school commitments and we have run into the odd injury. This opened the door for Mick McCarthy (what is it when you get past veteran?) to turn out for the Demons in company with his son Liam. The bowling effort was quite tidy in restricting the Heat to 8/155 from their 45 overs with ’Cuddles’ McCudden bowling tightly for his 2/17 from nine. The batting effort didn’t quite match the bowling and in the face of very tight bowling we crumbled to be all out for 96 with Patrick walker (27) top scoring at no. 9.

    We turn our attention to two-day cricket and play Carlton (1st XI at Princes Park no.1) over the next two weekends.

    Summary Scorecards
    Round 5 v Frankston Peninsula:
    1st XI - Frankston Peninsula 8/201 (cc) (R Cassell 3/34 AC Dale 2/33 P Halbish 2/34) defeated by Melbourne 1/204 (36.3 overs) (A Kent 116* B Way 62) at the Albert Ground.
    2nd XI - Frankston Peninsula 9/202 (cc) (EDT Bowen 3/49) defeated by Melbourne 3/204 (Petricola 104no Jackson 34 Begbie 49) at AH Butler Oval, Frankston.
    3rd XI - Frankston Peninsula 8/178 (cc) (AJ Boyle 3/22 T Larter 2/50) defeated by Melbourne 166 (L Heath 113*) at IW Johnson Oval.
    4th XI - Frankston Peninsula 8/155 (cc) (M McCudden 2/17) defeated by Melbourne 96 at Jubilee Park 2, Frankston.

    To view the ladders and Club Championship points, go to My Cricket 


    Premier Cricket Wrap
    First XI Double Up to go Top
    Monday October 19, 2009

    The weekend’s program of two-one day matches was afflicted by last week’s poor weather when the whole of Kookaburra Premier Cricket 3rd & 4th XI matches were called off by Cricket Victoria on Saturday morning and play for our 2nd XI was not possible due to the Monash University Oval being unplayable. However, the 1st XI made the most of the relatively good conditions at the Albert on Saturday to post the first of their two wins on the weekend.

    Playing for the Bruce Church Perpetual Trophy, Hawthorn-Monash University (HMU) were asked to bat first and made a reasonable start adding 40 for the opening wicket. Nick Quinn (2/11 off 6.2 overs) broke through with two wickets prior to ‘pulling a hammy’ and all bowlers bowled steadily in containing the Hawks to 7/157 from their 50 overs. Although he didn’t take a wicket, Simon Dart (pictured right) (0/23 off 8.2) would have been happy with his effort in his first match in his return to the Demons, ironically against his former club.

    Our innings progressed steadily with Michael Hill (80 n.o. off 86 balls, six 4’s and two 6’s) seizing control and, with Ben Way (32 n.o.), we cruised to an eight wicket victory. The win took us to the top of the Kookaburra Premier Cricket ladder.

    On Sunday, the 1st XI travelled to Fitzroy-Doncaster and our bowlers were in control from the start. In a real team effort we bowled out the Lions for 139. ‘Human headline’ Rob Cassell (pictured left), having rested the previous day, once again took the figures with 3/32 off 9.4 overs. At 0/47, a comfortable victory and a bonus point (for getting the runs within 40 overs) looked a formality. Way (20) and Kent (23) departed but at 2/87 there were no real concerns. At 7/109 there were plenty!! Alex Keath (15 n.o.) on debut and Phil Halbish (26 n.o. off 18 balls) saw the Demons home and although we missed the bonus point, I sense we were glad to get the ‘four’. Nevertheless, our position at the top of the ladder was consolidated.

    The 2nd, 3rd and 4th XI’s, who were no doubt looking forward to getting out there Sunday, couldn’t muster a win between them. The 2nd XI did reasonable in limiting the Lions to 8/200 with Dean Scheetz (3/33 off 10) doing best. Unfortunately there was only one partnership of significance between Peter Petricola (34) and Travis Jackson (42) for the second wicket and we were dismissed 34 runs short.

    The 3rd XI battled to 141 - Tristan Larter top scoring with 30. They fought hard with the ball and took the game to the last over but were passed eight down with three balls remaining. Arno Swart, in his first season with the Demons, took 3/23 off his eight overs.

    The 4th XI were a little light on personnel and worked their way to 9/146 off their 45 overs with Dion Minato (39) top scoring. They were met by a hurricane when the Lions opening bat belted 63 in an opening stand of 65 (including one extra) in under 11 overs. To the boys credit they stuck to their task and stretched the game out to the 39th over before losing by five wickets.

    Next weekend, the final of the opening block of five one-day matches is played against Frankston Peninsula with the First XI playing host at the Albert Ground.

    Summary Scorecards:
    Round 3
    1st XI - Hawthorn-Mon Uni 7/157(cc)
    (N Quinn 2/11 R Cooper 2/26) defeated by Melbourne 2/160 (35 overs) (MW Hill 80* B Way 32* A Kent 26) at the Albert Ground. 
    2nd, 3rd & 4ths XI’s – play abandoned due to adverse weather/playing conditions

    Round 4
    1st XI - Fitzroy/Doncaster 139
    (36.4 overs) (R Cassell 3/32 AC Dale 2/22 P Halbish 2/26) defeated by Melbourne 7/142 (41 overs) (MW Hill 33 P Halbish 26*) at Schramms Reserve #1.
    2nd XI  - Fitzroy/Doncaster 8/200 (cc) (D Scheetz 3/33 Pj Smith 2/41) defeated Melbourne 166 (45.2 overs) (T Jackson 42 P Petricola 34) at the Albert Ground.
    3rd XI - Melbourne 141 (43.1 overs) (T Larter 30) defeated by  Fitzroy/Doncaster 8/142 (44.3 overs) (A Swart 3/23 T Larter 2/25 S Brewin 2/31) at Schramms Reserve #2.
    4th XI – Melbourne 9/146 (cc) (D Minato 39) defeated by Fitzroy/Doncaster 5/148 (38.2 overs) (M Hill 2/21 MP Akrigg 2/22) at IW Johnson Oval.


    Premier Cricket Wrap

    Jerry Hat-trick
    Monday October 12, 2009

    Rob ‘Jerry’ Cassell showed he is no spent force and once again produced the headline act by taking a hat-trick in the First XI. Batting first, Camberwell Magpies were travelling pretty well at 1/127 when Jerry bowled Howell for 70. He followed up with trapping Parker LBW first ball, and then completed the ‘trick’ by bowling Leoncelli. Jerry ended up with 3/37 off his 10 overs to back up his first round efforts in a great start to the season for him. Captain/coach Adam Dale (3/48) was back in the wickets and 2008/09 club champion Phil Halbish ((2/42) also snared a couple. Nevertheless, the Magpies set a challenging 245-run target.

    When Michael Hill (40) was dismissed with the score at 3/75, that target seemed a long way off. Ben Way (68 off 97 balls, five 4’s and a six) and Matthew Brown (61 off 78, three 4’s and a six) held the middle of the innings together with an 89-run partnership even though the required run rate crept of to 8 an over. In his debut First XI innings, Jon Huddart, made an invaluable 38 off 30 balls to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Still, the rate eked out and the Demons needed 40 from the last four overs, coming down to 12 off the last. Matthew Brown’s occupation of the crease bore fruit when he hit a six, then after a couple of singles, hit the penultimate ball of the innings for four to go one run ahead of the Maggies and claim the points. Fantastic Brownie!

    Unfortunately the First XI win was the lone victory. The Fourth XI took the game down to the last over. Batting first, the Demons were charging on the scoreboard through Lozza Heath’s opening onslaught of 76 (inc 11 fours) but when he was dismissed at 2/102 the innings stalled. Gareth Oakley (49) was the only other batsman to build an innings and Matt Lanigan (17 n.o.), in his first hit for the club since joining us at the start of last year, batted sensibly and helped us to 9/174 off the 45 overs.

     The Magpies kept pace with required rate and lost their third wicket at 100. We then took regular wickets to work our way back into the game, to the point where they were eight down needing 21, however Camberwell safely negotiated their way through.

    The Thirds kept Camberwell to 8/171 with Tristan Larter (3/38 off 9) being the main wicket taker. An early collapse saw us 5/47 and although Jimmy Gillard (46) fought hard, he didn’t get the support from his fellow batsmen that he needed.

    The Second XI must have been smiling when we won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that was flat, rock hard and essentially grassless. Despite several ‘starts’, Darcy Daly (97 off 139 balls) was the only one to convert it to a big score before gliding one to the keeper three short of what would have been a well deserved ton. Seb Gotch (43), in his first Second XI game, did well in helping Darcy adding 117 for the fifth wicket however the loss of those early wickets meant that the end of innings flurry couldn’t take off too early and we ended up on 7/224.

    You’d ordinarily hope 224 would be competitive although the perfect batting conditions promised more. The Camberwell Magpies batting effort in achieving the target three down in the 44th over suggests the target was a bit light on.

    Next weekend is a double-header, where one-day action continues against Hawthorn-Monash University on Saturday (First XI at home) followed by Fitzroy-Doncaster (First XI away) on Sunday.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - Camberwell Magpies 8/244 (cc) (R Cassell 3/37 including a hat-trick, AC Dale 3/48 and P Halbish 2/42) defeated by Melbourne 6/245 (49.5 overs) (B Way 68 MJ Brown 61* MW Hill 40 J Huddart 38) at Camberwell Sports Ground. 
    2nd XI – Melbourne 7/224 (cc) (DP Daly 97, S Gotch 43) defeated by Camberwell Magpies 3/225 (D Scheetz 2/52) at the Albert Ground.
    3rd XI - Camberwell Magpies 8/171 (cc) (T Larter 3/38, KJ Griffiths 2/17 and WN Ryan 2/25) defeated Melbourne 137 (J Gillard 46) at Central Reserve #1 Oval.

    4th XI – Melbourne 9/174 (cc) (L Heath 76, G Oakley 49) defeated by Camberwell Magpies 8/184 (M Hill 2/21 and MP Akrigg 2/23) at IW Johnson Oval. 


    Andrew McDonald and family members with MCC cricket chairman Bob Lloyd (right) in the Long RoomMacca lauded and farewelled at cocktail party
    Friday June 12, 2009

    MCC allrounder Andrew McDonald was the toast of MCC cricket on Friday night at a cocktail party in the Long Room.

    The evening was a chance for players, officials and partners to celebrate Andrew's Test match debut in January against South Africa and wish him well for the upcoming Test series against England. 

    Such is the busy life of an international cricketer, that we haven't been able to get together as a club to celebrate Andrew's Test match debut.  

    Andrew's family, including wife Keely, parents and grandparents were in attendance, along with Victorian teammate Brad Hodge and former MCC players Warren Ayres and Peter Nevill among many others.

    Best of luck to "Macca" on his debut Ashes tour!


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Finals
    Demon Double as Seconds and Fourths Take Flag  

    It was ‘two from two’ as both the Second and Fourth XI’s took out their respective Premier Cricket premiership on the weekend. Both having to force a win due to their lower ranking, they did it in different ways. The Second XI chased down a ‘getable’ target set up by their bowlers who dismissed Ringwood on the first day whilst the Fourth XI put ‘runs on the board’ before bowling Frankston Peninsula out.

    Playing at Princes Park and with Ringwood winning the toss, the bowlers were set the task of dismissing the Rams and giving their batsmen plenty of time to make the runs. Pat Smith (3/66) was the only Demon bowler to have any joy in the first session, claiming both wickets in the 2/86 lunch score. 

    Fortunes turned straight after lunch with Smith and Peter Petricola gaining breakthroughs to have Ringwood 4/90. Justin Graham (2/42) took two wickets in the middle session, including their top scorer, and at 6/150 at tea we were reasonably placed.

    The skipper turned to Mitch Chadwick’s leggies who duly delivered the next three wickets, finishing with 3/37. Dean Scheetz removed the stubborn no. 10 and the Demons were set 220 for victory. Openers Travis Jackson and Jon Huddart safely negotiated the four overs before stumps.

    On the second morning, we lost Travis Jackson with the score on 34. Then followed a match winning second wicket partnership of 126 between Darcy Daly (73, off 154 balls inc 8 fours) and Jon Huddart (106 n.o., 260 balls inc 15 fours), quite impressive under the pressure of a premiership chase. All the more remarkable has been Jon Huddart’s latter part of the 2008/09 season, having scored four Second XI centuries since Rd 12 that includes 162 in the semi-final and well us the ton in the final, bringing his season run tally to 957 (includes Third XI).  Although we lost a few late wickets, Jon, awarded Man of the Match, saw the innings through and wrapped up a 5-wicket victory for skipper Eiv Bowen and his team. 

    The Fourth XI ventured to the Camberwell Sports Ground to take on one of the two teams we did not play in the home and away season, Frankston Peninsula. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, we were asked to bat first after losing the toss on a wicket that had a little in it for the bowlers early on.

    Laurie Heath’s pleasure in cracking the first ball of the match for four was dimmed when the third ball was hit straight to the point fieldsman. Whilst it managed to go through his fingers and split his lip, he regained enough composure to grab the rebound.

    From there it was slow and steady with Chris Barry being the only other casualty in the 2/56 lunch score. Dan Worrall (47) kept things moving before Ash Farr (52) joined his captain David Reid (38). Ash, eventually named Man of the Match by the umpires, held the latter half of the innings together before being dismissed for 208 with two overs of play remaining. Mark McCudden (3/27 off 15 overs) gained a vital wicket in his only over and helped his team carry a positive vibe into day two.

    McCudden kept the pressure on the Frankston Peninsula (FP) boys and took the first four wickets with the score on 53. Gareth Oakley 2/49) grabbed a wicket right on lunch (5/88). FP, with a side comprising two 15 year olds and four U.17 and two U.19, fought hard, mainly on the back of 17 yo opener Coen Chernishoff (68).

    However, when a ball from Dan Worrall (3/47) rebounded from his body to dislodge a bail, the Demons sensed victory. Gareth and Dan took three more wickets between them and at 9/139, only the opposition skipper, Bruce Hudgson (a former Melbourne Dowling Shield player circa 1986) and the number 11 stood between us and the Fourth XI premiership.

    We were beginning to feel a little anxious (at least the writer looking on was!) when a short single attempt had the skipper scurrying to regain his ground but not before a Mark Akrigg direct hit brought scenes of joy for the Demons.

    Congratulations to winning captains Eivion Bowen and David Reid, who do an outstanding job on and off the field in preparing and leading their team, players, coaching staff, team managers, scorers and everyone else who does their bit in bringing home the Second and Fourth XI flags!

    Summary Scorecards:

    2nd XI – Ringwood 219
    (M Chadwick 3/37 P Smith 3/66 J Graham 2/42) defeated by Melbourne 5/223 (J Huddart 106* DP Daly 73) played at Princes Park #1 Oval.

    4th XI – Melbourne 208 (A Farr 52 D Worrall 47 DJ Reid 38) defeated Frankston Peninsula 166 (M McCudden 4/27 D Worrall 3/47 G Oakley 2/49) played at Camberwell Sports Ground. 

    For the ladders and full scorecards, go to the 'My Cricket' links on the Premier Cricket website (bottom left of page).


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Semi Finals
    Seconds and fourths both through to the final

    It was two from two as both the Second and Fourth XI’s progressed through to their respective Premier Cricket final. The Seconds had control of the game from mid-Saturday afternoon onwards on the back of centuries from Jon Huddart and Peter Petricola whilst the Fourth XI match ebbed and flowed throughout the course of the weekend before ending in tense fashion.

    The Second XI had the advantage of opponents Camberwell Magpies having to win to go through to the final by virtue of our higher home and away season finish (second). In stark contrast to last weekend’s horrendous weather, warm, sunny conditions welcomed the Demons to the crease after we chose to bat first. We lost a couple of wickets in the first hour but were reasonably placed at 2/96 at lunch. The loss of Brendan Huf, first ball after the break, put the game back on an even keel. At was at this point that Peter Petricola (144 off 196 balls, 14 fours) joined opener Jon Huddart (162 off 291 balls, 23 fours) and combined for a match winning fourth wicket partnership of 235. It was Jon’s highest score for the club, his third Second XI century since Rd 12 and his eighth for Melbourne overall. ‘Pepsi’ registered his sixth Demon century, all scored in the Second XI.

    At stumps on Saturday, Melbourne were 5/349 and were able to bat for another seven overs on Sunday before the compulsory innings closure after 110 overs with the score an imposing 9/391. The idea of settling for a draw did not enter the Melbourne’s bowler’s minds who created early chances that weren’t all taken. Pat Smith (5/45 off 16.4) gained two early wickets before a string of partnerships gave the Magpies an outside sniff of victory as they stepped up the scoring rate. Justin Graham chimed in with a couple of timely wickets and it was Smith who came back for a final spell to kill off Camberwell’s victory push.

    At the Junction Oval, one might have mistaken the pitch for a section of the F1 Grand Prix track, the wicket having been ‘freshened up’ (if you can do that to concrete) from the Sheffield Shield final. The Fourth XI, needing a win, decided to make first use of the ‘road’ and was away to a good start before Laurie Heath was ‘asked to go’ with the score on 61. No one dominated the innings, with five contributions of 28 or more and several handy partnerships building the score to 232. St Kilda was left with 12 overs to bat on the first day, always a difficult period to negotiate. However, they would not have expected the fiery spell that Mark McCudden and Dan Worrall was about to unleash.

    With his first ball, Dan found an inside edge and with the first ball of his second over, the ball ricocheted from the bat onto the stumps. ‘Cuddles’ also ‘disturbed the furniture’ to have the Saints reeling at 3/23 before they settled on 3/42 at stumps. The mayhem of late Saturday continued early Sunday; Worrall being on a hat-trick at one stage and Cuddles grabbing another and with the score at 7/49, the win seemed a formality for the Demons. 

    A dropped catch, a botched run out and a ‘nothing to lose’ approach from the Saints lower order, had them well back in the game at 7/158 before Dan returned to the bowling crease and knocked over the Saints skipper for 50. Still, there was plenty of fight left in the Saint’s tail as they crept closer and closer. A successful ‘Cuddles’ LBW shout saw the ninth wicket fall with 37 runs in hand but again, the Saints kept up their charge towards an improbable win. Finally, Matt Hill put one through the no.11 to bring about scenes of relief and jubilation.

    The final, played over the weekend of March 28 and 29 under the same conditions as the semi-finals, has the Second XI pitted against Ringwood, to be played at Princes Park No.1 and the Fourths playing Frankston Peninsula at the Camberwell Sports Ground, both games commencing at 11.00 am.

    Summary Scorecards:
    2nd XI – Melbourne 9/391(cc)
    (J Huddart 162 P Petricola 144) defeated Camberwell Magpies 288 (P Smith 5/45, J Graham 2/108) at the Albert Ground 

    4th XI - Melbourne 232 (ML Hill 36 T Wilson 32 L Heath 31 DJ Reid 31 Matt Hill 28) defeated St Kilda 220 (D Worrall 6/86 M McCudden 3/41) at the Junction Oval 


    Premier Cricket wrap - Quarter Finals
    First XI hopes washed away; seconds and fourths through

    It will come as no surprise to you that the First XI hopes of progressing through to the semi-finals were essentially washed away by the heavy rain that hit Melbourne on Saturday. Under the rules of the finals competition, there is no provision to play a one-day format match when play is washed out on the first day, meaning the lower ranking team must force a win to advance. The Second XI, who finished second on the ladder, was able to keep their innings intact on Sunday to move into the semi. There was no play at all at Princes Park No.2 that allowed the fourth placed Fourth XI to continue their season.

    Finals are hard enough to get into, let alone win, but it was feelings ranging from helplessness to frustration that the First XI experienced at Ringwood’s Russell Lucas Oval. On Saturday, the only action was the toss of the coin that Ringwood won and decided to bat. Cruelly, the rain set in just before play was due to commence. Although there were several breaks in the weather, mother nature had taken over and with water getting onto the pitch combined with wet surrounds, play was not impossible. Commencement of play was held up on Sunday whilst the clean up work continued. Ringwood’s batting held firm and after 49 overs, with poor weather further impacting and insufficient time remaining allowing for even a miraculous collapse to occur, the draw was conceded at 2/114.

    At the Albert Ground, whilst the covers had done their job and the wicket was in excellent condition considering, the surrounds were saturated and prevented play on Saturday. On the second day, Frankston Peninsula sent us in in the hope of skittling us and although there were a few anxious moments with the ball zipping around, the Demons batting was steady enough to reach 4/171 from 60 overs before play ceased with 90 minutes to go.

    The Fourth XI, having to forgo the home ground advantage and play Carlton at Princes Park No.2., didn’t need to get changed into their creams all weekend as rain started falling on their arrival on Saturday, finding its way under the covers to saturate the entire square.

    The semi-finals, played Saturday/Sunday March 21/22, see the Second XI host Camberwell-Magpies at the Albert Ground whilst the Fourth XI travel down Queen’s Rd to play St Kilda at the Junction Oval (tbc). 

    Summary Scorecards: 
    1st XI - Ringwood 2/114 drew with Melbourne
    at Russell Lucas Oval 

    2nd XI – Melbourne 4/171 (DP Daly 42 P Petricola 36* T Jackson 30 B Huf 30) drew with Frankston Peninsula at Albert Ground 

    4th XI – Melbourne drew with Carlton (no play) at Princes Park #2 Oval  


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 15 v Hawthorn - Monash Uni (Day 2)
    Firsts Finally
    A ‘Demon day’ was a fine way to finish off the 2008/09 home and away season and more importantly it ensured the First XI of a finals berth. In a tense day at Monash University, the Hawks were bowled out for 199 and it allowed us to tip them out of the final eight. The Second XI and Third XI’s, both defending big scores, comfortably dismissed the opposition to gain first innings victories. The Fourth XI, already having first innings points in the bag, pressed on and gained outright points although it didn’t improve their standing in the final eight.

    The First XI retained the Bruce Church Perpetual Trophy in the clash against Hawthorn-Monash University although, with due respect to Bruce, the reward of a finals spot was more in the player’s minds. It was unclear whether the Hawks could settle for a draw as a Footscray-Edgewater win would see them jump both clubs into eighth spot. Defending 294, the Demons took occasional, rather than regular, wickets with captain coach, Adam Dale (pictured), claiming the prized scalp of Simon Dart. Shortly after tea, the Hawks were well in the game at 4/160 and thirty overs remaining. Up stepped Phil Halbish (4/40 off 23 overs), who had regularly beaten the bat, taking wickets in consecutive deliveries and quickly followed up with another. 

    News of a Bulldog loss filtered through that meant a draw would be enough to secure HMU’s spot in the eight. It seemed that only star Hawk all-rounder Roger Sillence stood between the Demons and the finals. When Ash Middlin snapped up an inside edge off Nick Quinn, the Demons elation may well have been matched by Ben Way’s sigh of relief, having put down Sillence in Quinn’s previous over. It seemed fitting that Dale (3.41 off 23.5 overs), who has led the attack with Halbish so well all year, took the final wicket and leads the team into the finals in his first season as Demon coach.

    The Second XI, assured of a finals berth, needed a win to ensure a top four finish and a home final. They did this reasonably comfortably, dismissing the Hawks for 262, winning by 139 runs. Dean Scheetz (5/62) was the star with the ball.

    The Fourth XI, having gained first innings points already, powered their way to an outright win which, as it turned out, didn’t alter their fourth placing. Mark McCudden (5/27) took his second lot of five wickets for the game and Dan Worrall (24*) and Laurie Heath (53*) polished off the 78 runs required for the outright in 14 overs.

    The Third XI, out of finals contention, finished the season on a positive note, dismissing the Hawks for 192 after the Demons declared on their overnight score of 7/363. Aaron Boyle (5/40) was the stand out bowler with the rest of the wickets being shared, as tends to happen when eleven blokes bowl. 

    The quarter-finals are played on Saturday and Sunday March 14 & 15 as follows:

    - First XI v Ringwood at Jubilee Park, Ringwood
    - Second XI v Frankston Peninsula at the Albert Ground
    - Fourth XI v Carlton at Princes Park No.2

    Summary Scorecard: 
    1st XI - Melbourne 294
    (J Graham 74* B Way 70 P Halbish 60 A Middlin 27) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 199 (P Halbish 4/40 AC Dale 3/41 N Quinn 2/42) at Monash University

    2nd XI – Melbourne 2/401 (dec) (T Jackson 151 J Huddart 138 DP Daly 57* B Huf 38*) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 262 (D Scheetz 5/62 ED Bowen 2/29) at Albert Ground 

    3rd XI - Melbourne 7/363 (dec) (M Chadwick 140 G Wild 53* J Gillard 45 D Minato 37 R Cassell 31 AJ Boyle 26*) defeated Hawthorn-Mon Uni 192 (AJ Boyle 5/40) at Monash University No 2 

    4th XI – Hawthorn-Mon Uni 101 (M McCudden 5/27 M Hill 2/32) and 108  (M McCudden 5/43 ML Hill 3/22 D Worrall 2/22) defeated outright by Melbourne 133 (CJ Barry 40) and 0/82 (L Heath 53*) at IW Johnson Oval 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 15 vs Hawthorn-Monash Uni (Day 1)
    Ten to go; Fourths in 

    Ten Hawthorn-Monash University wickets stand between us and a First XI finals berth. The Fourth XI put a finals placing beyond doubt having already secured first innings points. The Second XI turned last round’s batting performance on its head, thanks to a tremendous opening stand of 288 between Travis Jackson (151) and Jon Huddart (138). Mitch Chadwick (140) scored back to back centuries in the Third XI and was the backbone of the Third XI’s sizeable tally.

    In a tense day at Monash University, the First XI hung in there and turned around their fortunes in the second half of the day to finish with 294 right on stumps. Ben Way (70) held things together the best he could for the first half of the innings and has now scored 646 runs for the season. When he departed, Ash Middlin (27) and Phil Halbish (60) kept the innings on track to a ‘defendable’ score. Justin Graham (74*, pictured) joined Halbish in a valuable eighth wicket partnership of 80 and the late afternoon rush resulted in the Demons posting a tally that looked unlikely. A first innings win over the Hawks will almost seal a place in the finals given Dandenong is on the brink of defeat.

    The Fourths have booked their place in the finals, taking advantage of an unusually sporting wicket. ‘Cuddles’ McCudden bowled unchanged through the innings taking 5/27 off 16 overs helping us roll the Hawks for 101. Chris Barry (40*) continued his good form and guided us to first innings points late in the day. As other games stand, a top four finish is a strong possibility.

    The Second XI set aside last round’s ordinary batting racking up an imposing 2/401 before declaring. The stars were Travis Jackson (151 off 242 balls, inc 24 fours) who scored his first Second XI century and Jon Huddart (138 off 241 balls inc 13 fours) his second Second XI century of the season. A bit more homework will be required to see if their partnership of 288 re-shapes the record books. Darcy Daly (57* off 44 balls) and Brendan Huf (44* off 34 balls) put on 90 in rapid fashion to allow an early close.

    The Third XI was led by Mitch Chadwick (140) who backed up last round’s century with another. Jimmy Gillard (45), Dion Minato (37) and Rob Cassell (31) chipped in to allow them to chalk up 7/363.

    The final day’s play of the home and away season takes place next Saturday, where we are well placed for a big finish, amidst plenty of tension and in some cases, with an eye to other results to confirm our final placing. Go to this link to see the ladders. 

    Summary Scorecards: 
    1st XI – Melbourne v 294
    (J Graham 74* B Way 70 P Halbish 60 A Middlin 27) v Hawthorn-Monash Uni at Monash University No 1 

    2nd XI – Melbourne 2/401(dec) (T Jackson 151 J Huddart 138 DP Daly 57* B Huf 38*) v Hawthorn-Monash Uni 0/27 at Albert Ground 

    3rd XI – Melbourne 7/363 (M Chadwick 140 J Gillard 45 D Minato 37 R Cassell 31) v Hawthorn-Monash Uni at Monash University No 2 

    4th XI – Hawthorn-Monash Uni 101 (M McCudden 5/27 M Hill 2/32) v Melbourne 5/102 (CJ Barry 40*) at IW Johnson Oval 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 14 v Camberwell Magpies
    First XI almost there
    Monday February 23, 2009  

    Adam DaleThe First XI almost catapulted themselves into the eight, failing by just three runs in the quest to win outright and gain an extra four points that would have shot them to sixth position. They sit ninth and need to win their last game against Hawthorn Monash-University (eighth) and pray that there are no outright results that allow teams to leap frog them. The Second XI had a game they would rather forget, the consequences being they are no longer guaranteed a finals place, let alone a top two finish. Any outside hope of the Thirds sneaking into the finals were blown away whilst the Fourths toiled away but had to settle for a draw and must win next week to assure themselves of playing finals.

    The Firsts almost had the perfect day. Resuming at 0/86, they reached the Magpies first innings total of 166 for the loss of only one wicket in 37 overs. Andrew Kent (78 n.o.) batted beautifully and Ben Way (73) continued on with last week’s sparkle. It was then over to the bowlers to dismiss Camberwell-Magpies a second time and they were led from the front by captain-coach, Adam Dale were took 6/22 in 18 inspiring overs. Adam (pictured) now has 29 wickets at a miserly 13.7. Phil Halbish (3/34) completed a fine double with the ball is the equal leading MCC wicket taker with Adam.

    In dismissing the Magpies for 125, the Demons needed 123 off 21 overs. Unfortunately the loss of early wickets meant we had to steady in the middle of the innings as we did not want to forfeit any of our valuable points. Ben Way (49 n.o.) provided the backbone and was supported by Matt Brown (29) in trying to run down the outright however with no bowling or field restrictions, the task was more difficult than what might have seemed. Needing 10 off the last over with most fieldsmen on the fence, an attempt to scoop the final ball for four didn’t come off.

    We now play Hawthorn Monash-University in the final Round 15 not only for the Bruce Church Perpetual Trophy in HMU’s 150-year celebration match, but also more importantly for a vital six points to gain a place in the final eight.

    The Second XI put in one of their worst days in recent memory by losing outright. Justin Graham  (32 and 47 n.o.) offered the most resistance but there was little else to write about. We are now third on the ladder and can regain second spot with a win, however if you want to look on the bleak side, there is a mathematical possibility of a loss having us out of the eight altogether.

    Mitchell Chadwick (101 n.o) completed his maiden century for Melbourne and the declaration followed at 8/308. Our bowlers kept a tight rein on things early although regular wickets were hard to come by. A wicket right on the last drinks break had Camberwell-Magpies 6/208. However the last hour was ‘cyclonic’, with the Pies rattling off 108 from the last 11 overs without further loss to snuff out any minute finals hope.

    The Fourth XI had plenty of runs on the board but knew they had to contend with a good wicket and fast outfield. Unfortunately they failed to make the most of the chances offered throughout the day and had to settle for a draw. Mark Akrigg (3/62 off 26 overs) was the pick of the bowlers.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - Camberwell Magpies 166
    (P Halbish 5/44 N Quinn 4/36) and 125 (AC Dale 6/22 P Halbish 3/34) defeated by Melbourne 1/169(dec) (A Kent 78* B Way 73) and 6/119 (B Way 49* MJ Brown 29) (first innings) at the Albert Ground.

    2nd XI – Melbourne 126 (J Graham 32 P Smith 27) and 139 (J Graham 47* J Huddart 38) defeated outright by Camberwell Magpies 6/319(dec) (D Jones 2/58) at Camberwell Sports Ground. 

    3rd XI – Melbourne 8/307 (dec) (M Chadwick 101* D Minato 82 D Bratby 28) defeated by Camberwell Magpies 6/314  at IW Johnson Oval.

    4th XI - Melbourne 6/399 (dec) (D Worrall 133 CJ Barry 132 T Larter 71 TJ Hill 31*) drew with Camberwell Magpies 7/344 (MP Akrigg 3/62 D Worrall 2/35) at Watson Park/

    PREMIER LADDER – First XI (After Round 14):
                            Pts (Aver)  Rd 15 Opp
    Ringwood     51 (1.268) Fitz-Donc
    Carlton          48 (1.461) Geelong
    Fitz Donc       43 (1.323) Ringwood
    Prahran         41 (1.273) Camb-Mag
    Frank Pen     38 (1.104) Northcote
    St Kilda         36 (1.148) Nth Melb
    Geelong       36 (1.079) Carlton
    Haw-MU       34 (0.877) Melb
    Melbourne     33 (1.313) Haw MU
    Dandenong  31 (1.087) Casey SM
    Foot-Edge     30 (0.912) Ess

    Seconds Ladder:

    Ring              61
    Carl              43
    Melb             42 (1.380)
    Frank Pen   42 (0.892)
    Camb Mag  41
    St Kilda        39
    Ess               37 (1.402)
    Melb Uni      37 (1.058)
    Fitz Donc     37 (1.037)
    Geel             36
    Foot Edge   34
    Ncte             33

    Fourths Ladder:
    St Kilda        48
    Melb Uni      42
    Carlton        40 (1.466)
    Frank Pen   40 (0.952)
    Melbourne   35
    Northcote     34 (1.206)
    Geelong       34 (1.069)
    Dandenong 34 (0.975)
    Ringwood    33
    Foot Edge    29


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 14 v Camberwell Magpies
    First Steps; Thirds and Fourths Running; Seconds Stall
    Monday February 16, 2009

    Needing to win their last two matches to have a reasonable chance securing a finals berth, the Firsts took big steps towards securing the six points on day one of the Round 14 match against Camberwell-Magpies. The Second XI had a day that they would rather forget, whilst the Third and Fourth XI’s piled on the runs to put themselves in excellent positions.

    Opening bowler Phil Halbish (5/44 off 23 overs) took five of the first six wickets to fall at the Albert Ground, showing all of his experience and gaining enough movement to create opportunities. Fellow swingman Nick Quinn (4/36 off 17.4) worked in well to polish off the innings. Ben Way (53 n.o.) and Andrew Kent (22 n.o.) wiped out just over half the target without loss. Whilst the team will remain focused on winning these two matches, it will be difficult not to take a sideways glance on other match results as we look for the cards to fall our way.

    The Fourth XI ventured to Watson Park, Ashburton and found a terrific looking batting wicket and, it wouldn’t be unkind to say, a severely drought affected oval. Unfortunately, at the time of going to print, I don’t have access to any record books however the Fourth XI’s second wicket partnership of 239 between Dan Worrall (134, inc 24 fours) and Chris Barry (119 inc 18 fours and one six) must go close, if not for the sheer number of runs but also with the speed at which it was scored (159 mins or 41 overs). It was both players maiden century for the club and a fitting reward for them, perhaps for different reasons. In Chris’ case, as a young batsman in his first year at the club it was first major conversion of a number of good starts he has had. For Dan, normally an opening bowler who bats down the list, it was great reward for the occasions he has offered to play as a batsman when injured when we have been short of numbers. 

    It is worth noting that Tristan Larter (69) and Tom Hill (27 n.o.) were also playing under similar circumstances, their support being much appreciated when we had 21 players unavailable this round. The Fourths were confident enough to declare with 399 on the board (from 62 overs) and have the Pies 1/35 in reply.

    The Thirds finally found touch with the bat. Things were evenly poised at 3/78 however no.3. Mitch Chadwick (98 n.o.) was holding firm and a 147-run fourth wicket partnership with Dion Minato (82) set up an imposing score of 8/295 at stumps in a situation where the Third XI need at least one outright win in their final two matches to sneak into the eight.

    The Second XI were a little surprised, to say the least on the back of recent weather, to find themselves batting on a ‘sporting’, if not damp, wicket at Camberwell. They limped to 126 all out, with Justin Graham (32) top scoring and the ‘tail’ (Pat Smith 27 and Shane Giese 18) adding some respectability. Camberwell-Magpies have responded with 4/181 meaning we’ll be battling it out to deny them outright points next week.

    The MCC Club XI played their final game of the season against Old Scotch (sitting second on the latter) who is coached by former MCC First XI player Rob Ashton. Whilst MCC could not make finals, a number of former MCC Premier cricketers (Stephen O’Flynn, Craig Bustard, Kane Bowden, ‘Moose’ Lazaro and Brent Boyd) turned out for what ended up a memorable victory. We had Old Scotch on the ropes at 3 for 4 with Ashton back in the pavilion for three but they still posted 225 from their 40 overs. For the MCC, Julian McCormack made 50 and although there were some other handy contributions, we were left to score 30 off three overs then 15 off the last over. It got down to ‘six to win’ off the last ball and Peter Estcourt duly delivered!

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Camberwell Magpies 166
    (P Halbish 5/44 N Quinn 4/36) v Melbourne 0/86 (B Way 53* Kent 22*) at Albert Ground 

    2nd XI – Melbourne 126 (J Graham 32 P Smith 27) v Camberwell Magpies 4/181 (D Jones 2/25) at Camberwell Sports Ground 

    3rd XI – Melbourne 8/295 (M Chadwick 98* D Minato 82 D Bratby 28) v Camberwell Magpies at IW Johnson Oval 

    4th XI – Melbourne 6/399(dec) (D Worrall 134 CJ Barry 119 T Larter 69 TJ Hill 27*) v Camberwell Magpies 1/35 at Watson Park 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 13 (Day 2) and one-day finals
    First and Fourth XI Kick Goals to Produce Two Flags
    Tuesday February 10, 2009

    MCC First XIThe First and Fourth XI both took out the Premier Cricket one-day competition premierships yesterday. The First XI set up their win with a terrific bowling performance by dismissing Prahran for 166 and managed to win by two wickets with 16 balls to spare in a tense chase. The Fourth XI completely dominated their clash claiming a 10 wicket win after rolling the Saints for 116.

    The First XI win followed their disappointment of dropping out of the eight on Saturday after going down to Footscray-Edgewater. The Second XI had a tremendous win, chasing down 330 on the back of a sensational innings by Matt Brown who batted in the scorching heat for near on six hours making 176 n.o. The Third XI resumed at 4/45 needing 131 for victory and immediately slumped to 8/58 and never really recovered to be all out for 112. The Fourth XI had the ‘day off’ and weren’t asked to defend the 270 runs they had on the board after the umpires ruled that the extreme heat made conditions unplayable.

    Phil Halbish (4/35 off 9 overs and 33) was the First XI’s ‘man of the match’ and together with Adam Dale (2/25 off 10) set up victory with the ball. Like most finals, the run chase proved no easy task and with the scoreboard reading 2/4, it was Andrew Kent (52) who stood tall again. There were several twists and turns when both Matt Brown and Andrew Kent were run out, then Ash Middlin departed at 6/111. Phil Halbish and Justin Graham (19 n.o.) took the score agonisingly close, then Adam Dale helped the scores to a tie (which meant the Premiership was ours due to our higher ranking) before Justin stroked the winning run.

    The Fourth XI did things far more comfortably, with opening bowlers Mark McCudden (4/13 off nine overs) and Michael ‘little’ Hill 2/30 getting early wickets. The Saints were on their knees at 7/39 and made a minor recovery to be bowled out for 116. There had been a string of low scores on this wicket over the past two weekends however Laurie Heath (64 n.o.) and Tom Wilson (35 n.o.) allayed any concerns to win the flag without loss.

    On Saturday, the stand out performance was clearly that of the Second XI’s, particularly that of State U.19 rep, Matt Brown. Footscray-Edgewater, resuming at 7/290, batted on for eight overs before setting the Demons 331 to win off a minimum of 89 overs. At 5/117, things didn’t look too promising before Nick Bergin (59 off 91 balls, 10 fours) put of 145 with Brown. There were concerns about ‘Brownies’ health at the afternoon tea break however he managed to find reserves of physical strength and mental courage to continue on until his team reached the target, himself having spent 359 minutes at the crease, facing 249 balls, hitting 27 fours and a six).

    The First XI resumed at 8/240 and made 264 before being dismissed. The ‘doggies’ were 4/70 at one point and perhaps a couple of opportunities went begging. If you haven’t been to the Mervyn J Hughes Oval before you may not appreciate this but even on the calmest of days elsewhere in Melbourne, you feel like you are standing in a wind tunnel there. So, the players not only had to battle the 46.6 degree heat but they had the fiercest of hot northerlies to contend with. It made bowling into the ‘breeze’ near impossible. Needless to say the conditions took their toll and the ’doggies’ took the points and our place in the eight.

    Summary Scorecards - one-day finals: 
    1st XI – Prahran 165
    (all out 48 overs) (P Halbish 4/35 AC Dale 2/25) defeated by Melbourne 8/166 (A Kent 52 P Halbish 33) at the Albert Ground

    4th XI - St Kilda 116 (all out) (M McCudden 4/13 G Oakley 2/29 ML Hill 2/30) defeated by Melbourne 0/117 (L Heath 64* T Wilson 35*) at Harry Trott Oval  

    Summary Scorecards - Roudn 13 v Footscray-Edgewater (Day 2):
    1st XI - Melbourne 264
    (A Middlin 58* MW Hill 40 P Halbish 39 AC Dale 36 G Baldwin 33) defeated by Footscray Edgewater 4/265 (N Quinn 3/16) at MJ Hughes Oval

    2nd XI – Footscray Edgewater 7/330(dec) (D Scheetz 3/40 S Giese 2/45) defeated by Melbourne 8/332 (MJ Brown 176* N Bergin 59 T Jackson 29) at Albert Ground 

    3rd XI - Footscray Edgewater 131 (D Jones 3/41 J Fitzgibbon 3/42 AJ Boyle 2/15 M Chadwick 2/19) defeated Melbourne 112 (G Oakley 32) at Harry Trott Oval 

    4th XI – Melbourne 7/270 (DJ Reid 84 L Heath 68 T Larter 37 M Hill 30* ML Hill 27*) drew Footscray Edgewater (match abandoned prior to start of day 2 due to heat)


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 13 v Footscray-Edgewater
    Day one review and the week ahead
    Wednesday February 4, 2009

    The First XI are locked in a tight battle with Footscray-Edgewater whilst the Second XI have a big day ahead of them if they are to get the points. The Third XI undid their great work with the ball, losing early wickets before their ship was steadied but still need a couple of good partnerships. The Fourth XI have laid the foundation with a terrific batting effort and now need to take 10 wickets to continue their winning run.
    Ash MiddlinAt the Mervyn J Hughes Oval, several of the First XI top order batsmen got starts but were unable to build on them and we looked in trouble at 6/117. Ash Middlin (46 n.o.and pictured right) dug in for nearly three hours and had valuable partnerships of 52 with Phil Halbish (39) and 67 with Adam Dale (36) to recover to 8/240 at stumps on a slowish wicket and outfield.
    The Second XI would rue early dropped chances in great batting conditions at the Albert Ground. They were made to battle all day but didn't let the Doggies run amok to keep them to 6/290. Dean Scheetz (3/40 over 17 overs) claimed the figures.
    The Third XI crashed through Footscray-Edgewater's batting order having them 3/7, then 7/75 before dismissing them for 131. Dallas Jones and John Fitzgibbon took three wickets each whilst Aaron Boyle and Mitchell Chadwick claimed two apiece. We then lost 2/4, then were 3/8 and 4/21 before Nick Bergin (16 n.o.) and James Gillard (13 n.o.) got through to stumps and will resume with 45 on the board.
    The Fourth XI were led by skipper David Reid (84) who put himself in at the top of the order and duly delivered. Laurie Heath (68) was among the runs again and Tristan Larter (37) playing as a bat due to injury), Michael 'little Hilly' Hill (30 n.o.) and Matt Hill (27 n.o.) boosted the score to 7/270.

    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 12 v Richmond
    Firsts slip up Saturday but join Fourths in one-day Finals
    Tuesday January 27, 2009

    It was a big weekend of cricket for the Demons with the conclusion of the Rd 12 match v Richmond played on Saturday and the one-day semi-finals for the First, Second and Fourth XI’s played on Sunday. Curiously, on Saturday, all teams in the field won which was good for our Second, Third and Fourth XI’s but not so good for our First XI who could not chase down Richmond’s 322. The First XI bounced back with a one-day competition semi-final win on Sunday and was joined in the final by the Fourth XI. The Second XI bowed out of the one-day final series.

    The First XI resumed at 1/5, having dismissed Richmond for 322 on the first day, courtesy of Nick Quinn (5/60 off 20.4 overs) who had good support from Phil Halbish (3/63 off 22). Night watchman Sean Sturrock saw out the first hour before Andrew Kent (85) was joined by Michael Hill (90) where they put on 129 for the third wicket. At 3/218 we appeared well placed to chase down victory however after Kent and hill were dismissed, we lost 7/64 to fall 38 runs short.

    The Second XI declared on their overnight score of 5/333. Hamilton recruit Brendan Huf, batting at no.4 in his first game with the club, made 55. The major contributions came from Justin Graham and Jon Huddart, who curiously both made centuries, both 102 n.o., both coming in the final over of the day’s play, and needing 17 runs between them. The Tigers were on the ropes early, being 4/7. Shane Giese took two early wickets before being ‘rested’ as part of his modified bowling program over the weekend. Pat Smith (from Warrnambool, not the Australian newspaper), making his Second XI debut, impressed with his pace taking 3/42 and Dean Scheetz also took three wickets to dismiss Richmond for 190.

    In the Third XI’s only match for the weekend, they had to protect their 186 first innings total to get themselves back in the main competition finals race. Dallas Jones (3/33 off 20) led the attack and a good team performance, aided by executing three run-outs, saw the Tigers rolled for 136.

    The Fourth XI had a healthy 9/289 dec on the board; set up by Gerard Wild (88) and Tom Wilson (55) at the top of the order, Shaun Whiting (55 n.o.) put the polish on the day. The attack was led by ‘Cuddles’ McCudden (3/53 off 20.4 overs) and the six points attained in getting Richmond out for 199.

    In terms of the main competition ladder, the First XI slip to the last rung of the ‘final eight’, having not won a two-day game yet this season. However, it should be remembered that we did post scores of 350 and 375 in two matches that were washed out on the second day. The Second XI retain second spot in a closely contested grade, the Third XI move up to tenth spot and are just three points outside the final eight, whilst the Fourth XI moved up a peg to second spot having won their last three games.

    Michael HillOn Sunday, the attention turned to the one-day competition finals, with the top four teams qualifying by virtue of their results in the seven one-day matches played over the course of the regular season. The First XI hosted last season’s premiers, Ringwood, who had embarrassed us once already earlier in the season. Despite losing a wicket in the first over, Andrew Kent (132 off 145 balls, 11 fours and one six) and Michael Hill (pictured left) (102 off 111 balls, 10 fours and one six) carried on their work from the day before, and beyond, putting on 202 for the second wicket. Cameos from Grant Baldwin (27 off 18) and Ben Way (14 off 12) helped the score along to 292 from the 50 overs. A couple of early Ringwood wickets kept scoring in check early and whilst there were some threats posed, we were able to secure a final berth with a 40 run win. Andrew Kent (pictured right)is now knocking down various personal and club milestones which will be the subject of separate writings shortly.

    Andrew KentThe Second XI was disappointingly bundled out for 125 by Camberwell Magpies, effectively putting them out of the contest. Pat Smith (2/26) again took early wickets but we simply didn’t have enough runs on the board.

    The Fourth XI completed a fine double on Sunday, backing up from their day in the field Saturday. Although Footscray-Edgewater reached 2/79, tight bowling led by Mark Akrigg (2/18 off 9 overs), and two wickets each from Matt Hill, Gareth Oakley and Alistair McCooke saw the Doggies dismissed for 139. On a slow wicket and outfield, chasing runs is never easy. Things were going alright until Jimmy Freebury (33) was run out and further wickets fell. At 6/84, the situation looked worrying but mature batting from Chris Barry (25), Rob Barlow (22 n.o.) and Matt Hill (17 n.o.) got the Demons home with three wickets and 17 balls to spare.

    Round 12 Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI - Richmond 322 (N Quinn 5/60 P Halbish 3/63) defeated Melbourne 284 (MW Hill 90 A Kent 85) at the Albert Ground

    2nd XI – Melbourne 5/333(dec) (J Huddart 102* J Graham 102* B Huf 55 MJ Brown 30) defeated Richmond 190 (D Scheetz 3/34 P Smith 3/42 S Giese 2/14) at Punt Rd Oval

    3rd XI - Melbourne 186 (D Bratby 50 D Minato 30 T Larter 28) defeated Richmond 138 (D Jones 3/33 J Fitzgibbon 2/22) at IW Johnson Oval 

    4TH XI – Melbourne 9/289(dec) (G Wild 88 T Wilson 55 S Whiting 50*) defeated Richmond 199 (M McCudden 3/53 A McCooke 2/18 MP Akrigg 2/52) at AK Line Reserve

    One-Day Semi-Final Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 4/292(cc) (A Kent 132 MW Hill 102 G Baldwin 27*) defeated Ringwood 252 (P Halbish 3/17 S Sturrock 2/64) at the Albert Ground

    2nd XI – Melbourne 125 defeated by Camberwell Magpies 5/126 (DP Daly 2/14 P Smith 2/26) at Camberwell Sports Ground

    4th XI – Footscray Edgewater 139 (A McCooke 2/10 MP Akrigg 2/18 G Oakley 2/26 M Hill 2/26) defeated by Melbourne 7/141 (JO Freebury 33 CJ Barry 25) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 11 v Prahran
    First XI hit the country in style
    Wednesday January 14

    The traditional ‘country round’ saw the Demon First XI resume their Premier Cricket season following the New Year break in the idyllic cricket surrounds of the Warrion Sports Ground (near Colac). They did so on a highly impressive winning note. The Second and Third XI’s weren’t as successful whilst the Fourth XI also had a convincing win to secure second place on the one-day ladder.

    The First XI was welcomed at Warrion with terrific playing conditions – a flat wicket and a green, evenly grassed outfield. There were innovative sightscreens (semi trailers draped with black ‘curtains’), an example of the extent Warrion Cricket Club went to ensure there were plenty of compliments for the way they hosted us both on and off the field.

    Prahran batted first and although they were a little fortunate to get away with a good start, our bowlers did well in the conditions to restrict the ‘Two Blues’ to 219. Adam Dale once again starred with the ball taking 4/28 off his 10 overs. The Demons got way to a reasonable start against an attack that had Australian hope Bryce McGain making his comeback from injury. After Rob Cooper (23) departed with 51 on the board, Michael Hill joined Andrew Kent with Brad Hodge still ‘in the shed’. A fantastic unbroken second wicket partnership of 171 between Andrew (101 n.o. off 125 balls, 11 fours and one six) and Michael (88 n.o. off 88 balls, 12 fours and one six) meant no-one else was required. It was Andrew’s first century of the season, his eighth First XI career ton as he continues his ultra consistent form at the top of the Demon order. As well as retaining fifth spot on the ladder, the win means the First XI also finished top of the one-day competition ladder.

    The Second XI looked like they had recovered from an ‘ordinary’ start reaching 4/161 with 15 overs remaining, largely through Peter Petricola (54) and Eivion Bowen (44), before being bowled out for 188. We never looked like defending this total and were overtaken in the 41st over.

    The Thirds had Prahran in trouble with them being 5/72 at the half way stage, a total bolstered by an unhealthy number of sundries. They eventually posted 166 and despite an early flurry from David Bratby (44 off 30 balls), we were bowled out 20 runs short with over 12 overs up our sleeve. Aaron Boyle had a good all-round game taking 3/31 and making 36.

    The Fourths chased a similar target (164) and were able to comfortably chase these down in the 35th over, Laurie Heath top scored with 63 and received good support from Tom Wilson (32 n.o.) and Gareth Oakley (37).

    Summary Scorecards: 
    1st XI - Prahran 8/219(cc) (AC Dale 4/28) defeated by Melbourne1/222 (42.2 overs) (A Kent 101* MW Hill 88*) at Warrion 

    2nd XI - Melbourne 188 (P Petricola 54 ED Bowen 44) defeated by Prahran 3/191 (40.4 overs) at Toorak Park 

    3rd XI – Prahran 166 (43 overs) (AJ Boyle 3/31 D Jones 2/11 P Smith 2/23 WN Ryan 2/27) defeated Melbourne 146 (32.4 overs) (D Bratby 44 AJ Boyle 36) at Albert Ground 

    4th XI – Prahran 7/164(cc) (A McCooke 2/27 RW Barlow 2/45) defeated by Melbourne 4/168 (34.2 overs) (L Heath 63 G Oakley 37 T Wilson 32*) at Como Park


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 10 v Essendon
    First XI Finish 2008 on Winning Note - Just! 
    Friday December 26, 2008

    The First XI scrambled their way to a last ball, last man standing, one run victory that sees them in fourth place in the main competition at the Christmas break, and are almost guaranteed a place in the one-day semi finals. As excited as the First XI was, the Third XI was equally disappointed to lose by one wicket. The Second and Fourth XI both had relatively comfortable wins.

    Essendon First XI posted a competitive total of 8/218 off the 50 overs at Windy Hill. After a slow start - the ground was top-dressed during the week - Ben Fletcher (71no) and Craig Berger (42) stepped up the rate with a 71-run stand off 88 balls. At 6/96 in reply the Demons looked gone, but Ben Way (89) and Ash Middlin (35) added 91 for the seventh wicket to bring Melbourne back into the game. A couple of run outs followed. Ben Way was out with six runs required and seven balls remaining.

    Shane Giese scored a single leaving five required from the last over. A ‘dot ball’, a ‘chip’ for two and a near run out brought the equation down to one to tie, two to win from three balls. Another dot was followed by a wide to tie the scores. A quick single attempt almost had coach Adam Dale celebrating but the umpire did not agree that he had made his ground. A deflection off Shane Giese’s pads allowed Sean Sturrock to scamper through for a leg-bye off the final ball to give the Demons victory.

    The Third XI, who started well with an opening stand of 47, found themselves all out for 114. The Bombers then collapsed from 0/18 to 6/19 due to some lively bowling by Dan Worrall (3/15) and Pat Smith (3/19). Even though some partnerships developed, at 7/52, 8/60 and even with the ninth wicket falling at 89, it seemed like we’d pull this one out of the bag. Unfortunately we couldn’t nail that vital tenth wicket and when the ball flicked the no.11’s pads and went for four leg-byes, it was a case of opportunity missed.

    The Seconds batted first and their innings was built around the second wicket partnership of 108 between Jon Huddart (46) and Darcy Daly (pictured)  (86 off 118 balls, 8 fours). Justin Graham’s 35 n.o. helped us to what was a winning score of 231. Our bowlers were on top from the outset and Nick Quinn made a handy return from injury in taking 3/11 off six overs. Alex Keath, recently appointed Victorian U/17 captain for the upcoming national championships, took 3 for 7 off 2.1 overs to wrap up the innings in what was effectively his Second XI debut. 

    The Fourths started their innings in steady style but began looking rocky at 5/88. That was when Jordan Wyatt (53) joined Tom Wilson (50 n.o.) to boost things along and set the Bombers 191. The game was in the balance for a while until Matt Lanigan came on with his leggies and took 3/24. With Gareth Oakley and Chris Barry chiming in for two scalps apiece, ‘Cuddles’ McCudden (2/34) knocked over the last wicket to help the team to a 32-run win.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Essendon 8/218 (cc) (MW Hill 3/60 S Sturrock 2/43) defeated by Melbourne 9/219 (B Way 89 A Middlin 35 MW Hill 26) at Windy Hill 

    2nd XI – Melbourne 6/231(cc) (DP Daly 86 J Huddart 46 J Graham 36*) defeated Essendon 155 (AR Keath 3/7 N Quinn 3/11 ED Bowen 2/52) at the Albert Ground 

    3rd XI – Melbourne 114 lost to Essendon 9/116 (Worrall 3/15 P Smith 3/19 T Larter 2/28) at Cross Keys Reserve 

    4th XI – Melbourne 6/191(cc) (JN Wyatt 53 T Wilson 50*) defeated Essendon 159 ( MJ Lanigan 3/24 CJ Barry 2/15 M McCudden 2/34 G Oakley 2/35) at IW Johnson Oval  


    First XI opener, Ben Way, in actionPremier Cricket Wrap - Round 9 v Melbourne University
    From the Ridiculous to the Sublime
    Monday December 8, 2009

    With the cloud of last week’s First XI total of 57 lingering, superb centuries by Ben Way (135) and Andrew McDonald (111) and another half-century by Andrew Kent (72) quickly consigned that effort to the bad memory bank with the score at the day’s end being 5/374. Our position is quite strong across all four grades with the Second XI being 2/103 in pursuit of 175, and the Thirds and Fourths both posting scores that give their bowlers plenty to work with as they each strive for the 10 wickets to secure the six points next week.

    An opening partnership of 136 by Ben Way (pictured) and Andrew Kent set the scene for a big First XI tally. It was Andrew’s fourth half-century of the season as he continues his ultra-consistent form with the bat. Andrew McDonald joined Ben Way (135) and took the score to 290 before Ben departed, but not before he scored his second First XI century, his 236 ball innings containing many deft strokes and included 13 fours. Andrew McDonald (111 off 148 balls, eight fours) timed the ball beautifully from the start, his ton being his seventh in Premier cricket.

    The Second XI would have been delighted to dismiss Melbourne University for 175 on the renowned batting paradise at University Oval. The quicks all took early wickets, stand-in captain Justin Graham’s (3/33) off-spin (and a classic arm-ball!) worked through the middle order, then the pacemen returned to finish the innings off. Nick Bergin, Dallas Jones and Peter Petricola took two wickets apiece.

    Jon Huddart (74), another acting captain for the Demons, laid the foundation of the Third XI’s 7/243. Jimmy Gillard (59 n.o.) arrested some middle order wobbles and with Aaron Boyle (28 n.o.) chipping in, it leaves regular skipper John Fitzgibbon with the choice of adding a few more runs to our total or saying ‘that is enough’.

    Jimmy Freebury (73) once again dominated the early scoring for the Fourths and although we slumped to 4/125, there were some excellent partnerships to build a very competitive total. After establishing himself, Chris Barry went on to score 62 and Gareth Oakley (81 off 119 balls) gave the innings real impetus.

    Summary Scorecards: 
    1st XI – Melbourne 5/374 (B Way 135 A McDonald 111 A Kent 72) v Melbourne Uni (Albert Ground) 

    2nd XI - Melbourne Uni 175  (J Graham 3/33 N Bergin 2/29 P Petricola 2/33 D Jones 2/43) v Melbourne 2/103 (T Jackson 52* MJ Brown 36) (University Main Oval) 

    3rd XI - Melbourne 7/243 (J Huddart 74 J Gillard 59* AJ Boyle 28*) v Melbourne Uni (IW Johnson Oval)

    4th XI – Melbourne 7/294 (G Oakley 81 JO Freebury 72 CJ Barry 62 S Gotch 25*) v Melbourne Uni (Crawford Oval) 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 8 v Ringwood
    Lozza the Star
    Tuesday December 2, 2008

    The Fourth XI was the only victor in the Saturday/Sunday Round 8 matches against competition leaders and reigning First XI premiers, Ringwood. The fourths win was on the back of a superb individual batting effort by Laurie Heath (111), setting up a competitive total on a rain affected wicket. The Third XI put in a strong batting performance but couldn’t snare the tenth Rams wicket to secure the win. The Second XI recovered from a bad start to be seemingly in a winning position early on Day 2 before meeting stubborn resistance and relinquishing the six points. The First XI…well what can you say other than they capitulated for 57 in pursuit of a modest 196-run target.

    The start of the Fourth XI match was delayed due to a damp wicket which we were asked to negotiate first. For the second week in a row there was a standout batting performance. 'Lozza’ Heath, batting at no.3, came in in the third over and was the sixth wicket to fall with the score on 162, contributing 111 with 13 fours and 4 sixes. Not dissimilar to last match, we lost six for five to be all out 163. The Rams were travelling well at 4/120 but the boys hung in there and Matt Hill chimed in with 4/7 with his medium pacers to help the Demons home.

    The Third XI put in a ‘team’ batting performance with Jon Huddart (90) top scoring and half-centuries from Dion Minato, Jim Gillard and Jimmy Freebury allowed us to declare on our overnight score of 4/325. The run chase was beyond Ringwood but they weren’t about to hand the six points over. The ninth wicket was taken with 13 balls remaining but we couldn’t get the valuable tenth.

    The Second XI found the going tough early and appeared to weather the storm at 1/76 but slumped to 7/105. Wicket-keeper Ben Vague (46) recorded his highest score in his short Demon career, hitting 8 fours chancing his eye after settling in. The 181 we ended up scoring looked like being a winning tally when Ringwood were reduced to 6/54. Despite a couple of tough chances, there was no more joy and we were passed six down.

    The First XI bowled first on a wicket offering the bowlers plenty of encouragement. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the edge for while but we worked our way into the game. Phil Halbish and Adam dale took three wickets each in helping us dismiss the Rams for 196. We lost a wicket before the close of play but no-one could have predicted the ‘train wreck’ that even John Daly would have struggled to dream up at his best (or is that worst??). All out 57! A better second innings effort warded off the real threat of an outright defeat.

    The MCC Club XI put in a competitive effort against Old Caulfield in the one-day match on Sunday. Jamie Andrews bowled well and Shaun Whiting made a half-century but we fell 40 runs short in the 210 run chase.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Ringwood 196 (AC Dale 3/36 P Halbish 3/46) defeated Melbourne 57 and 6/223 (G Baldwin 58 B Way 58 T Jackson 35*) at the Albert Ground 

    2nd XI – Melbourne 181 (B Vague 46 D Bratby 35 DP Daly 31 M Chadwick 31) defeated by Ringwood 6/182 (Graham 3/48) at Central Reserve #1 Oval 

    3rd XI – Melbourne 4/325(dec) (J Huddart 90 D Minato 54 J Gillard 54* JO Freebury 52* WJ Sawyer 31) drew with Ringwood 9/258 (TJ Hill 3/37 D Worrall 2/33 T Larter 2/88) at ‘The Rock’ 

    4th XI – Melbourne 163 (L Heath 111) defeated Ringwood 131 (M Hill 4/7 MP Akrigg 2/28) at IW Johnson Oval 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 7 v Northcote (Day 2)
    Virtual Wash Out
    Tuesday November 25, 2008

    You won't be surprised to learn that day two of Round 7 Premier Cricket was basically a washout for the Demons. The Third and Fourth XI matches were cancelled across the board on Saturday morning whilst the First and Second XI's were asked to 'report to grounds'.
    The Second XI only required a relatively small window in the bad weather to push for victory (3 for 70 chasing 117), however the covers had blown off in strong winds on Friday night meaning the wicket was sodden and had no chance of drying out sufficiently to allow play.
    The First XI were hopeful of squeezing in enough play to take the 10 wickets but only 2.2 overs were sent down, taking 1 for 3. 

    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 7 v Northcote (After Day 1)
    Monday November 17, 2008

    Our top three teams are well positioned after the completion of the first day’s play against Northcote. The First XI had a number of contributions before being dismissed for 354 in the last over of the day; Michael Hill top scoring with 84. Ben "did you see my five iron" Way opened up and was solid in scoring 51, Grant Baldwin (48) found touch in the middle order, whilst Adam Dale (44) and Phil "I wish I could hit it that far on a golf course" Halbish (40 including four 6’s) put on 84 for the eighth wicket in quick time to avert any late order lapse. 

    The Second XI bowling strength was once again to the fore in having the Dragons out for 117 with the Demons 3/70 in reply. "Tex" Jones (4/35) took out the figures and Shane "birdie" Giese (3/27) impressed again with a fine opening spell.

    The Thirds were made to work hard for the ten wickets and are 1/10 in pursuit of 214. Tristan "that’s how you hit ‘em" Larter and Tom "Tiger Woods" Hill took three wickets apiece.

    The outstanding individual performance of the day was by UK visitor, Jimmy "I need to get my three drives away" Freebury, who scored 100 out of 132 whilst he was at the crease and being the only Demon to reach double figures. Despite Jimmy’s superb century, the Fourths are up against it, having taken just 1/61 from 39 tidy overs in defending its 133-run total.

    Play continues next Saturday.

    Summary Scorecards: 
    1st XI – Melbourne 354 (MW Hill 84 B Way 51 G Baldwin 48 AC Dale 44 P Halbish 40 R Cooper 30 A Kent 28) v Northcote (at Albert Ground) 

    2nd XI – Northcote 117 (D Jones 4/35 S Giese 3/27) v Melbourne 3/70 (T Jackson 44) at Harry Trott Oval 

    3rd XI – Northcote 214 (TJ Hill 3/29 T Larter 3/45 AJ Boyle 2/31) v Melbourne 1/10 at IW Johnson Oval 

    4th XI – Melbourne 133 (JO Freebury 100) v Northcote 1/61 at Binnak Park 


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 6 v Geelong
    Twos up, three down
    Monday November 10, 2008 

    The Second XI was an emphatic winner, being the only successful Demon team in the opening two-day round of the season. The First XI was always under pressure in the 312 run chase, losing regular wickets, despite opener Robert Cooper’s (95) resistance and significant contribution. The Third XI boys were left with a bitter taste in their mouths after a controversial run out ended their quest for first innings points. The Fourth XI faced a near impossible task after a poor batting display on day one and was forced to defend a Cats outright bid during the latter part of the game.

    The Second XI had a tremendous first session on both days of this two-day fixture. On day one, openers David Bratby (66) and Travis Jackson (80) put together an opening stand of 99 before lunch. At 1/166, a big total loomed. However, in being dismissed for 291, it allowed Shane Giese to claim two wickets before stumps. On day two, Giese (3/18) and his opening bowling partner Dean Scheetz (who took 6/37), the 2007/08 First XI bowling average winner now recovered from injury, kept the foot on the throats of the Geelong batting line up to have them 6/29. But for a couple of missed chances and near misses, a complete rout could have resulted. Nevertheless, in getting the Cats out for 92 still left time to push for an outright with some 60 overs left in the day’s play. Unfortunately the 49 overs bowled yielded no wickets for the 42 runs scored.

    The Third XI were precariously placed overnight at 7/99 in pursuit of Geelong’s 126. The loss of two quick wickets on day two didn’t help things but no one expected the game to finish the way it did. A Dion Minato drive through the covers headed towards the boundary, so much so that both batsmen, and their onlooking team-mates observed (and the batsmen heard) the umpire signal four. With the batsmen having stopped running, one of them mid-pitch, the ball was returned from the boundary to the keeper and when bails were removed, the other umpire raised his finger! As the Cats players celebrated, the umpire fluffed around with signals that resembled ‘dead ball’ or ‘cancelled signal’ but took no action once the other umpire gave the dismissal. When approached by our skipper, there was denial of any hand movement or call – oh for the need of the videotape (let alone for any ‘spirit of cricket’)! 

    The First XI were facing a target of 312, despite a fine bowling performance by coach Adam Dale (4/43 off 25.5 overs) on the first day. An opening partnership of 59 was a reasonable start, however wickets fell on a too regular basis. Robert Cooper (95) showed good resilience in top scoring. In the lower order, Dale (34*) and Phil Halbish (22) battled it out but we fell 49 runs short.

    The Fourth XI was disappointing in posting a first innings of 124 and although they took 4 wickets before stumps, the Cats were within 19 runs of victory. Mark McCudden (5/62) took early wickets on day two but we couldn’t knock them over. We were forced to bat in the second innings for 40 overs to avert an outright and this was done comfortably, largely due to a half century from Laurie Heath (52).

    In Club XI cricket played on Sunday, Old Brighton proved too good for the MCC.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Geelong 6/312(dec) (Dale 4/43) defeated Melbourne 263 (Cooper 95, Dale 34*, Kent 28)

    2nd XI – Melbourne 291 (Jackson 80, Bratby 66, Larter 28, Bowen 26, Giese 25) defeated Geelong 92 (Scheetz 6/37, Giese 3/18) and 0/42

    3rd XI – Geelong 126 (T Hill 2/19, Ryan 2/22) and 6/169 dec defeated Melbourne 118 (Huddart) and 3/84 (Minato 48*)

    4th XI – Melbourne 124 (ML Hill 35) and 2/121 (Heath 52, Farr 26*) defeated by Geelong 6/261(dec) (McCudden 5/62)

    Club XI - Old Brighton 7/244 (40overs) (Rathod 2/38, R. James 2/41) defeated MCC 144 (37overs) (Patten 57)


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 5 v North Melbourne
    First XI continue winning way; Second XI stall bid for consecutive ‘Demon Days’
    Monday October 27, 2008

    The First XI put in a real ‘team performance’, having many contributors with both bat and ball that helped it defend a score of 5/224 and moved to the top of the ladder. The Second XI incurred its first loss of the season, being chased down in the 49th over. The Third XI recovered from some early wobbles in their run chase and the Fourth XI had some young stars shine in their comfortable win over the Kangaroos. The MCC Club XI, a virtual Fifth XI this week, also took the points from Old Melburnians.

    The First XI hosted North Melbourne at the Albert Ground in this Round 5 one-day fixture. Andrew Kent (51) scored his third consecutive half-century and four players scored 30 or more. Robert Cooper (24) helped the team away to a reasonable start, Ben Way (42) played a solid hand coming in at no.3,  Phil Halbish was promoted no.4 (36 off 28 balls,  four 4’s and a six) and gave the innings impetus and Grant Baldwin (30 n.o.) helped the team to 5/224 off its 50 overs. Once again our bowlers got on top early and Shane Giese (2/42) , returning to the First XI after a frustrating time away from the bowling crease due to injury, was the only multiple wicket taker. Although North’s middle order was hard to remove, we did enough to hold them to a losing score. We now head the ladder on 19 points, just shading Prahran on percentage.

    The Second XI, playing at JJ Holland Park, was unable to defend their 9/231. Darcy Daly top scored with 87 and Mitchell Chadwick chimed in with 31. Dallas Jones (3/29 off 10 overs) did best with the ball.

    The Thirds did well in dismissing the Kangaroos for 143, Steven Flight starring by taking 4/43. At 4/49, the Demon’s run chase appeared a little rocky with Gerard Wild (48) trying to hold the innings together. James Gillard (43 n.o.) provided the right support then combined with Aaron Boyle (22 n.o.) to guide the team home.

    The Fourth XI innings was held together by Chris Barry (81 n.o.) who played superbly. Tom Wilson (34) was the other major contributor and Seb Gotch (18 n.o.) helped the total along to 6/213 (45 overs). All bowlers used took a wicket, the regularity of which meant we had their run chase under control. Alistair McCooke (3/24) took the bowling honours.

    The MCC Club XI, which took on a Fifth XI feel to it given nine of our Premier club cricketer’s turned out, played Old Melburnians at Fawkner Park. OM’s were working their way to a reasonable score before an outstanding spell off off-spin bowling by Jamie Andrews (5/5 off 8 overs) resulted them in being bowled out for 127. James Freebury (28) helped the team get away to a reasonable start and despite losing five wickets, captain of the day Ashley Farr (63 n.o.) saw the team home in the 25th over.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne - 5/224 (cc) A Kent 51 B Way 42 P Halbish 36 G Baldwin 30* defeated North Melbourne 6/197 (cc) S Giese 2/42

    2nd XI – Melbourne 9/231 (cc) DP Daly 87 M Chadwick 31 defeated by North Melbourne 7/234 D Jones 3/29 J Graham 2/45

    3rd XI – North Melbourne 143 (cc) SJ Flight 4/43 defeated by Melbourne 5/146 G Wild 48 J Gillard 43*

    4th XI - Melbourne 6/213 (cc) CJ Barry 81* T Wilson 34 defeated North Melbourne 8/131 (cc) A McCooke 3/24

    Club XI – Old Melburnians 127 Andrews 5/5 (8) defeated by Melbourne 5/128 Freebury 28 Farr 63*


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 4 v Casey-South Melbourne
    Demons all the good 
    Monday October 20, 2008

    The Demons chalked up their first ‘Demon Day’ of the 2008/09 season in their Round 4 clash against Casey-South Melbourne in quite emphatic fashion. Whilst it takes team contributions across the board to come away with four wins, there were some outstanding performances with both bat and ball that warrant mention at the outset – Adam Dale 5/10 off 10 overs (inc 5 maidens), Andrew Kent 75 (although we are getting used to that), David Bratby 106 in his first 2nd XI game in Demon colours, the opening partnership of 213 he shared with Jon Huddart (87), ‘Tex’ Jones 5/9 off 9 overs (4 maidens), Dan Worrall 2/8 off 8 overs (inc 4 wides and only one scoring shot) and Jimmy Freebury 96*.

    The First XI travelled to Casey Fields and was made to work hard for their runs. Opener Andrew Kent (75) was the backbone in posting their 192 run total.  The bowlers were able to both keep it tight and make early inroads into the Swans batting order with captain-coach Adam Dale coming away with stunning figures of 5/10 off his 10 overs. Sean Sturrock (2/16 off 9) was the other multiple wicket taker.

    David Bratby made the most of his late call up to the Second XI (Robert Cooper withdrew from the First XI due to a hand injury). David, originally a Swan who had played Second XI cricket with them but was on debut in that grade for the Demons, showed he was right at home. He scored 106 off 116 balls and combined with Jon Huddart (87), also stepping up to the prominent Second XI opening role this season, as they carved out an opening stand of 213 at a rate of knots. The 302 run target was a daunting one for the Swans and once again the bowlers gave little away whilst taking regular wickets. Skipper Eiv Bowen (3/22 off 9) continues to be difficult to get away whilst picking up wickets and pacemen Tom Hill and Nick Bergin collected two apiece.

    The Thirds were made to battle most of the day with opener Gerard Wild (71) providing the foundation and Will Sawyer (46) continued his good form with the bat. Casey-South Melbourne were set back on their heels in the run chase with a sensational opening spell by Dallas Jones who took the first five wickets to fall with the score on 19. The Swans didn’t throw the towel in and batted the full compliment of overs finishing nine down and only 39 runs short.

    The Fourth XI also looked like completely steam rolling the opposition. After ‘Cuddles’ took a wicket in his first over, Dan Worrall (2/8 off 8) put in a miserly spell. Luke Course (3/22) kept the wickets tumbling and we had them 6/41 before lower order resistance set us 136 for victory. We lost a few casualties along the way however Jimmy Freebury (96*), captain of Wharfedale CC in the UK where Ben Way played last winter, completely took over to see us scoot past the target in the 22nd over.

    Our MCC Club XI played its first match of the season taking on last season’s premiers, Old Scotch. Captain Omar Mirza (65*) helped set what we thought might have been a reasonable target (135) however the powerful Old Scotch line up motored past us with relative ease.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 7/192 (cc) (A Kent 75 B Way 27) defeated Casey-South Melbourne 88 (AC Dale 5/10 S Sturrock 2/16)

    2nd XI – Melbourne 5/302 (cc) (D Bratby 106 J Huddart 87 J Graham 35*) defeated Casey-South Melbourne 154 (ED Bowen 3/22 TJ Hill 2/23 N Bergin 2/34)

    3rd XI – Melbourne 7/218 (cc) (G Wild 71 WJ Sawyer 46) defeated Casey-South Melbourne 9/179 (cc) (D Jones 5/9)

    4th XI – Casey-South Melbourne 136 (44.3 overs)  (L Course 3/22 D Worrall 2/8) defeated by Melbourne 4/140 (21.4 overs) (JO Freebury 96*)

    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 2 v St Kilda and Round 3 v Dandenong
    Demons bounce back to take out Warren Ayres Cup
    Tuesday October 14, 2008

    The 1st XI bounced back from their woeful batting performance against St Kilda on the Saturday round two match and put in a measured and focused performance in the Sunday round three game against Dandenong to take out the inaugural Warren Ayres Cup match. The 2nd XI made it three from three with two contrasting, but nonetheless both dominant, displays. The 3rd & 4th XI’s had to be content with a win and a loss in each of their matches on the double-header weekend.

    The less said about the 1st XI match against St Kilda the better who slumped to an incredulous 9/76 at one stage. However it would be remiss not to mention the debut of 18 year old batsman, Matt Brown. ‘Brownie’ batted at six, coming in in the 15th over and was last man dismissed for 30, having shared a last wicket stand of 35 with Sean Sturrock (11*) to add some respectability to the score.

    One could be forgiven for thinking the Albert Ground/Junction Oval precinct was engulfed in heavy cloud and the wickets rain effected rather than the sunny skies that prevailed as the 2nd XI routed St Kilda for 74 and had an early day knocking off the runs in 22.3 overs for the loss of one wicket.

    The Thirds would have been reasonably happy to set up a run chase of 211, mainly thanks to Deniliquin recruit, Steven Flight, who made his club debut and snared four wickets. Unfortunately we lost too many early wickets although whilst the ‘two Gerries’ were at the crease we appeared to be in with a chance. After Gerard Wild (30) departed, Rob ‘Gerry’ Cassell (54), playing as a batsman whilst taking his return to the bowling crease slowly, completed a fine half century before being the last man dismissed.

    The Fourths made early inroads into the Saints batting through Dan Worrall and Michael ‘little Hilly’ Hill before their middle order got on top to set a formidable 249 target. Laurie Heath (48) opened up and set a good platform and it was Will Sawyer (114*) who took the responsibility of seeing his team through to victory with a terrific batting display and chalking up his first century for the Demons – congratulations Will!

    The 1st XI roud three clash against Dandenong was played for the Warren Ayres Cup struck in honour of Warren who has made a fantastic contribution to both clubs, having retired as a player at the end of last season but still coach of Dandenong. Following the 1st XI’s defeat the day before and the fact that Dandenong, a semi-finalist last year and the 2006/07 premiers, had their first two games, this match took on real importance if some early season momentum was to be gained.

    To our boys credit, they knuckled down from the start and whilst the batting wouldn’t be described as brilliant, it was full of determination and patience. Andrew Kent (64) led the way and there were a number of other ‘team’ contributions that allowed us to post a competitive 211. The focused efforts continued in the field where our bowlers gave nothing away and the fieldsmen gave them every support in holding the chances, so much so that we were able to dismiss the Panthers for 110.

    Brilliant can definitely be used to described 2nd XI skipper, Eiv Bowen’s century (120* off 95 balls, 22 fours). He joined Travis Jackson (83) at 4/85 with the two putting on 148 in 25 overs. It was Eiv’s fourth century for the club and his first since taking up the skipper’s reins. Travis’ fine innings continued his great start to the season, adding to his 51 and 32* in earlier matches. The run chase was beyond the Panthers with the bowlers continuing on their previous day’s form and Justin Graham (3/33) taking out the figures.

    The Third XI had to chase down 259 if they were to come out of the weekend with a win. David Bratby (33) and Will Ryan (30) got us away to a reasonable start. Wicketkeeper/batsman Ravi Gupta (66), who is from India and studying in Melbourne, played the ideal number three role before Dion Minato (66*, 5 fours & 4 sixes) stepped it up a gear. Ash Farr (24*) helped Dion see us over the line with seven balls to spare.

    The 4th XI would have been confident of scoring their second win of the weekend when they dismissed Dandenong for 164. Unfortunately the top order never really got going, Seb Gotch (37), playing his first game and having already put in a good performance with the gloves, played beautifully with the bat and took us to within 11 runs of victory before being the last man out.

    Round four is the fourth of five one-day matches to start the season off against Casey-South Melbourne next Saturday (1st & 3rd XI’s at Casey Fields, Cranbourne, 2nd & 4th XI’s at home).

    Summary Scorecards – Rd 2 v St Kilda:
    1st XI – Melbourne 111
    (41.2 overs) ( M Hill 32 MJ Brown 30) lost to St Kilda 2/112 (28.1 overs) (M Hill 2/27)

    2nd XI - St Kilda 79 (37.1 overs) (ED Bowen 3/6 N Bergin 3/35 S Giese 2/18) lost to Melbourne 1/81 (22.3 overs) (T Jackson 32* DP Daly 29*)

    3rd XI - St Kilda 9/210 (cc) (45 overs) (S Flight 4/34 D Scheetz 2/50) defeated Melbourne 142 (R Cassell 54 G Wild 30)

    4th XI - St Kilda 5/248 (cc) (45 overs) (D Worrall 2/29) lost to Melbourne 4/249 (42.2 overs) (WJ Sawyer 114* L Heath 48)

    Summary Scorecards – Rd 3 v Dandenong:
    1st XI - Melbourne 8/211 (cc)
    (50 overs) (A Kent 64 B Way 29 R Cooper 27) defeated Dandenong 110 (36.2 overs) (N Quinn 2/12 S Sturrock 2/12 M Hill 2/27)

    2nd XI - Melbourne 5/276 (cc) (50 overs) (ED Bowen 120* T Jackson 83) defeated Dandenong 202 (50 overs) (J Graham 3/33 N Bergin 2/29)

    3rd XI – Dandenong 6/257 (cc) (45 overs) (AR Keath 2/54 A Boyle 2/55) lost to Melbourne 5/258 (43.5 overs) (RS Gupta 66 D Minato 66* WN Ryan 33 D Bratby 30)

    4th XI – Dandenong 164 (A McCooke 2/6 Ml Hill 2/27 RW Barlow 2/28 M McCudden 2/31) defeated Melbourne 153 (43.2 overs) (S Gotch 37 G Oakley 31 CJ Barry 27)


    Premier Cricket Wrap - Round 1 v Carlton
    Demons top three up in season opener
    Monday October 6, 2008

    The Demons began their 2008/09 season with the start new captain-coach, Adam Dale, would have been looking for. The Fourth XI incurred the only hiccup as the top three sides recorded victories in the one-day fixtures against Carlton.

    The close one was the Second XI encounter at Princes Park No.1. On a day that skipper Eivion Bowen described as ‘We first of all nearly bowled ourselves out of the game, then we tried to bat our way out of the game’, it all came down to the last ball of the day. Whilst we would have been pleased in dismissing the Blues for 202, the bowlers contribution of 27 wides (none by the captain) was one of the sources of his frustration.

    Travis Jackson (51) and Matt Brown (92 no) set a strong foundation for the run chase with a second wicket partnership of 112. With 50 runs to get off 10 overs and wickets in hand, victory seemed a formality. However the Blues tightened the screws to such an extent that we were outsiders needing 12 runs from the final over. The positive was that Matt Brown was still at the crease and a six off the first ball put the match within the Demons grasp. A couple of dot balls, a few scrambled runs left us with two to win off the last delivery with no.8 Nick Bergin on strike. It seemed that Nick might have picked out the fielder on the long-off fence but as the ball sailed over his head for six his team-mates went into raptures.

    In the First XI where we had all our state players available, the Demons were sent in on a superb looking batting wicket, even if it was slightly grassier than you’d normally get at this time of year. Although we lost our leading run-scorer from last year, Andrew Kent, relatively early, his new opening partner Rob Cooper (72) made the most of his opportunity at the top of the order. Brad Hodge made sure the run rate was stepped up (38 off 21 balls including seven fours and a six). Andrew McDonald (96 no, also seven fours and a six) played superbly in joining Cooper to provide the bulk of the scoring and ensure a target of over 250 was set.

    Our pacemen were on top from the start with captain-coach Adam Dale (1/21 off 10 overs) only having to wait until his second delivery to claim his first scalp for the Demons. Shane Harwood (0/16 off 9 overs) was difficult to score off, Phil Halbish (2/28) found an early edge and Carlton’s innings never gained momentum and were finished off by Hodge’s off-spin (3/27).

    The Third XI put in a dominant performance. They dismissed Carlton for 115 that included 23 sundries. Tom Hill (2/10 off nine) was the most impressive of the bowlers although ‘Tex’ Jones, Tristan Larter and Dion Minato took two wickets each. Darcy Daly (40 no) and David Bratby (61 no) made light work of the target and proved there were no real demons (excuse the pun) in the pitch knocking off the runs in the 20th over.

    The Fourths found the Blues 258 run target beyond them. Perhaps if a little rust had been shaken off some early season decision-making, the Carlton opening pair may not have been so fortunate enough to put on a century opening partnership. Having said that, our bowling left room for better consistency with young debutant Matt Lannigan (0/30 off 10) being the exception to that.

    Our batting was solid in response with first gamers, Jordan Wyatt (42) and Tom Wilson (39), starting their career well at the top part of the order. New skipper David Reid (63) top scored but we fell 40 runs short.

    Next weekend is a double header where we play St Kilda on Saturday (First XI away) then host Dandenong on Sunday where the First XI play them for the Warren Ayres Cup for the first time at the Albert.

    Summary Scorecards:
    1st XI – Melbourne 6/257 c.c.
    (50 overs) (Cooper 72 Hodge 38 McDonald 96no M.Hill 25) defeated Carlton 174 (45.3 overs) (Halbish 2/28, Hodge 3/27)

    2nd XI - Carlton 202 (49.3 overs) (Giese 3/35) defeated by Melbourne 6/207 (cc) (50 overs)(Brown 92no Jackson 51 Kentish 3-29)

    3rd XI - Carlton 115 (41.5 overs) (Jones 2/17 T.Hill 2/10 Larter 2/32) Minato 2/25) defeated by Melbourne 0/118 (19.5 overs) (Daly 40no Bratby 61no)

    4th XI - Carlton 4/258 c.c. (45 overs) defeated Melbourne 9/218 c.c. (45 overs) (Reid 63 Wyatt 42 Wilson 39 Heath 24)


    MCC captain-coach Adam DaleMCC appoints Adam Dale as head coach
    Thursday May 1, 2008

    The MCC has appointed former Australian and Queensland bowler Adam Dale to the head cricket coaching position for two years, following Chris Davies’ decision not to continue in the role.

    Adam played two Tests for Australia in 1998-99 and 32 one-day internationals between 1997 and 2000, while also compiling an imposing five Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup victories with Queensland after moving from Victoria early in his career.

    Since retiring from first-class cricket, Adam returned to Victoria after one season as coach of Wynnum Manly Cricket Club in the Queensland Cricket Association (2002-03).

    Since then, he has forged a successful playing and leadership record at Bundoora Old Paradians in the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association. In the just-completed season, he captained the First XI to the championship.

    "Adam brings many skills to the club, including his ability as a bowler and a proven on-field leader of people," said MCC cricket chairman Bob Lloyd. "We are confident he will complement the current group of talented players at the club as we strive for the ultimate goal of a First XI premiership."

    2007/08 Club Champion Andrew Kent (right) with departing coach Chris Davies
    Kent named MCC Cricket's club champion
    Friday April 18, 2008

    Talented batsman Andrew Kent has been rewarded for a stellar season, being named MCC club champion at the Presentation Dinner in the Members Dining Room on Friday night.

    The 27-year-old’s consistent season with the bat saw him judged the best First XI player, the first time Kent has won the coveted award.

    In 18 matches, the stylish right-hander scored 883 runs at 44.15 at the top of the order, to win the First XI batting average. His Premier Cricket performances also earned him a spot in Cricket Victoria's Team of the Season.

    On a night where coach Chris Davies farewelled the club, allrounder Michael Hill was presented with the coveted Brian Watson Memorial Award for an outstanding performance by an MCC cricketer.

    Second XI captain Eivion Bowen (left) presents Justin Graham with the 2007/08 Players' MVP AwardHill was recognised for his efforts in captaining the Australian Under 19 at the World Cup, along with his all-round performance for the MCC First XI, where he scored 561 runs at 40.07 and took 18 wickets at 15.53.

    Hill also received the XXIX Club Youth Cricket of the Year award.

    In other awards announced during the evening:

    • Fourth XI captain David Bratby was named Best Clubman for the first time;
    • Second XI allrounder Justin Graham capped off a stellar year, winning the Players’ MVP award.


    Seconds out; All knocked out
    Monday March 31, 2008

    The Demons season came to an abrupt end and the reality of the nature of knock-out finals hit home when the Second XI was eliminated from the premiership race. It will be the first time since 1996/97 that the Demons won’t have a team contesting for a flag in that last weekend of March (or the first week in April as it is in this case).

    In uncertain weather conditions, both in the lead up to the game and on the first morning, Geelong won the toss and bravely elected to bat on a dampish wicket. They also took no risks and were intent on posting a competitive, if not imposing, score to give their bowlers the opportunity to bowl them to victory at some stage of the game. The going was extremely slow and at the end of the shortened first day’s play, the Cats had crawled to 5/151 off 82 overs.

    Justin Graham was clearly the standout bowler with 3/45 off 30 overs (15 maidens) and it was disappointing not to have more of the opposition back in the pavilion in bowler friendly conditions. Skipper Eivion Bowen also toiled hard (2/22 off 14.2 overs).

    What Geelong’s innings did was set up an early flurry of runs on the second morning and allowed them to declare at 6/199, leaving the Demons 200 for victory or 84 overs to survive out a draw and entry to the final.

    The Cats had our batsmen under pressure the whole day and we were unable to get the partnerships going. Opener Travis Jackson (38) was the only batsman to spend a lengthy period at the crease and as defiant as Will Sawyer (6 no off 49 balls) and Dallas Jones (1 off 40) were in holding out the 10th wicket for 14 overs, we were well beaten.

    Summary Scores – Second XI Semi-final

    Geelong 6/199 (dec) (95 overs) (Graham 3-62) defeated
    MCC 104 (63.1 overs) (Jackson 38)


    Nevill named Club Champion
    Friday May 4, 2007

    MCC wicketkeeper Peter Nevill has been named Club Champion for the first time at the MCC Cricket Presentation Dinner in the Members Dining Room.

    The 21-year-old’s consistent season with the bat and behind the stumps saw him become just the third wicketkeeper to be judged the best First XI player since the award was struck in 1984/85. In 18 matches, the creative right-hander scored 666 runs at 44.40, including three centuries, to win the First XI batting average.

    He also proved more than competent in the role as wicketkeeper, effective 29 dismissals (28 catches, one stumping). His Premier Cricket performances earned him a spot in the Victorian Second XI during the season.

    On a night where new coach Chris Davies was introduced to the club, allrounder Andrew McDonald was presented with the coveted Brian Watson Memorial Award for an outstanding performance by an MCC cricketer.

    McDonald was recognised for his efforts in winning the WM Lawry Medal, having enjoyed the best all-round season by a Victorian in Sheffield Shield / Pura Cup history. In other awards announced during the evening:

    • Andrew Kent was named Best Clubman for the first time;
    • Darcy Daly was presented with the XXIX Club Award for the most outstanding young cricketer; and
    • Third XI allrounder Tim Downing capped off a fine return to the club, winning the Players’ MVP award by four votes from Ben MacRae.


    MCC appoints Head Coach
    Tuesday May 1, 2007

    MCC Cricket chairman Bob Lloyd has announced the appointment of Chris Davies to the head coaching position for the next two years, following Robert Templeton’s decision not to continue in the role.

    Chris moved to Melbourne two years ago after a distinguished first class career with South Australia and one season as coach of Adelaide Cricket Club.

    He will combine the coaching role with his full-time employment at the Australian Cricketers’ Association, where he is general manager of cricket operations.


    MCC Fourth XI ties up premiership
    Monday April 2, 2007

    Melbourne Cricket Club has secured the 2006/07 Fourth XI premiership after a thrilling finish against Prahran in the Premier Cricket Final on Sunday at the Albert Ground.

    In a match full of drama and excitement befitting a Final, both teams were locked together on 335 when the last Prahran wicket fell on the penultimate delivery of the match.

    Under Cricket Victoria rules, the Demons were awarded the flag due to its better performance in the season's two-day preliminary rounds.  It was Melbourne's eighth Fourth XI premiership.

    MCC 335 (D. Bratby 57, S. Milliken 53, D. Minato 46, C. Muller 33) tied
    Prahran 335 (K. Wallace 4/73, D. Minato 2/101)


    Third XI win One-Day title
    Monday February 12, 2007

    The MCC Third XI has given the club its first premiership of the 2006-07 season, winning the One-Day Group Final on Sunday at Kardinia Park in Geelong.

    Led by a dominant Ash Middlin century, the Demons won their third one-day title in succession with a 47-run win over Geelong.

    Batting first, Melbourne lost the early wickets of Tony Brown (4) and Jon Huddart (7) to be shaky at 2/22. A 105-run partnership for the third wicket between Middlin and opener Tim Downing steadied the ship before Downing departed for 38.

    Cameron Armstrong (1) soon followed and the Demons were 4/141. Youngsters Jayden Hicks (13) and Matthew Brown (22 n.o.) played important support roles as the rampaging Middlin went on the attack. He finished with a blistering 139 not out as Melbourne compiled 5/241 from its 45 overs.

    Geelong were in trouble right from the start of their innings, with opening bowlers Dallas Jones (3/30) and John Fitzgibbon taking early wickets to shut the Cats out of the contest. The home side was quickly reduced to 6/65 and then 9/105 and the Demons could smell victory.

    The last wicket, however, proved a frustrating stumbling block as Geelong’s last wicket pair put on an unbeaten 89 runs to finish with a respectable 9/194 from 45 overs. Not enough, though, to prevent a Demons victory. It’s a grand old flag…

    Cricketers tour Vanuatu
    Tuesday September 5, 2006

    The MCC recently sent a 13-man touring party on a nine-day cricketing tour of Vanuatu, part of the club’s charter to foster the development of cricket in the region.

    Four matches were played during the tour, with the club returning a 3-1 win/loss record, going down in a Twenty20 encounter.

    In addition, a Combined Schools coaching clinic was held for over 150 budding young cricketers from the region. They were treated to numerous giveaways such as cricket balls, caps and shirts.

    At the conclusion of the matches, MCC captain Liam Buchanan generously presented his bat and gloves to one of Vanuatu's most promising talent's, Andrew Mansale.

    A full report and images from the tour will be available shortly but early reports suggest that much was achieved in the promotion and development of the game in Vanuatu to grow it beyond the 5,000 cricketers of all ages that currently exist in the region.

    Buchanan wins Club Champion award
    Friday May 12, 2006

    MCC vice-captain Liam Buchanan won his third club champion title in four seasons at the MCC Cricket Presentation Dinner in the Members Dining Room on Friday night.

    The hard-hitting right-hander had another stellar season, making 840 runs at 64.61 as well as playing eight matches for Victoria in the ING Cup competition.

    Two flags for Demons
    Monday April 3, 2006

    The Melbourne Cricket Club has won the Second and Third XI premierships, to go with its club championship, in a fitting farewell to outgoing coach Bryan Harper.

    At Princes Park, Melbourne won its 16th Second XI premiership, and its third in four seasons, with a comfortable 140-run win over Prahran.

    The Third XI won its 13th premiership, and its second consecutive flag, with an eight-wicket win over Carlton at Northcote’s WM Lawry Oval.  The match was completed on the first day, thanks to a stunning century by Matthew Pinniger in his final match for the club.

    Unfortunately for Melbourne, the ever-dominant Ringwood side were again too strong in the Final, defeating John Fitzgibbon’s team by 166 runs at Central Reserve in Waverley.

    2nd XI:
    MCC 9/346 c.c. (S. Berak 109, E. Bowen 59) defeated
    Prahran 206 (T. Edwards 4/48)

    3rd XI:
    MCC 2/132 (M. Pinniger 102 n.o.) defeated
    Carlton 131 (S. O'Flynn 4/29, T. Larter 3/31, D. Jones 2/17)

    4th XI:
    Ringwood 330 (S. Sturrock 5/65) defeated
    MCC 164 (R. Cassell 36, D. Daly 35)


    MCC mourns passing of 'PJ'
    Friday February 24, 2006

    It is with great sadness that the club reports the passing of former MCC cricketer and XXIX Club stalwart Peter Josephson, who died on Wednesday morning, aged 51, after a lengthy illness.

    A popular, generous and loyal figure, the man known to many as ‘PJ’ or ‘Spudda’ was a left-arm off-spinner and handy left-hand middle order batsman synonymous with success during his career at Melbourne, which started in the 3rd XI in 1971/72 and finished in the MCC Club XI ‘C’ team in 1993/94.

    Peter is one of the few cricketers in VCA history to play in a premiership in all four grades at Melbourne, including captaining the 3rd XI to the 1984-85 premiership. He also captained the MCC Dowling Shield team.

    But the highlight was his involvement in the MCC’s 1st XI premiership win over Footscray at the Albert Ground in 1975-76, when Paul Sheahan made his famous 189 not out.

    He played 186 games in all grades, his final innings for the club in VCA District Cricket being 151 in the 4th XI in the 1990-91 season. He made 3445 runs at an average of 26.09 with the bat, taking 214 wickets at 20.65 with the ball.

    In addition to his playing record, Peter was one of the great characters at the club who left a marked impression on all who played with him.

    His honour roll of success for the MCC reads as thus:

    • 1973-74: 3rd XI premiership
    • 1975-76: 1st XI premiership
    • 1976-77: 4th XI premiership
    • 1978-79: 3rd XI premiership
    • 1981-82: 2nd X premiership
    • 1984-85: 3rd XI premiership (captain)
    • 1987-88: Club XI ‘C’ premiership
    • 1991-92: Club XI ‘C’ premiership

    On behalf of the MCC cricket community and the XXIX Club, we express our sincere condolences to the Josephson family, including Peter’s wife Tina and children Tim and Joanna.


    Bryan Harper to stand down as head coach
    Monday February 13, 2006

    MCC Cricket chairman Bob Lloyd has announced that Bryan Harper had advised the club of his intention to resign as head coach at the conclusion of the current season.

    Citing his intention to devote more time to his family and work interests as the primary reasons for his decision to step down, Bryan’s resignation after four years at the helm was accepted with regret.

    Mr Lloyd said that Bryan had served the club in an outstanding manner during his tenure as coach.

    “Bryan has overseen the procurement and development of an exciting group of young players who we expect will form the basis of the next generation of the club,” said Mr Lloyd.

    “His dedication, meticulous planning and innovative ideas have been pivotal to the success achieved by the club over the last four years.

    “Bryan brought many special qualities to the coaching role and his rapport with the current playing list, particularly the younger players, has been most evident.

    We wish him well in his future endeavours and hope that the First XI, in particular, can reach the finals and send Bryan off in fine style with a premiership over the coming weeks.”


    McCooke sees red over King hit
    Monday December 12, 2005

    On the bottom level of the Ponsford Stand, inside the Members Reserve, sits one lone red seat amongst a sea of green.

    This seat signifies the exact spot where the ball landed after being hit by former Victorian all-rounder Peter King off the bowling of Steven McCooke in a MCC XXIX Club v MCC President’s XI match on January 14, 1993.

    Recently King, former MCC captain-coach and club champion, returned to the club to reminisce with McCooke about his legendary hit.

    King's hit is widely accepted as the largest recorded to the northern side of the ground in the MCG’s history, though many believe Imran Khan’s bullet-like drive that finished just under the Pavilion clock in the 1992 World Cup Final warranted the honour.

    However, neither Imran nor King can lay claim to having hit the biggest six ever recorded on the MCG.

    In the Great Southern Stand, on ‘P’ level, there is a plaque and a yellow seat among the blue seating area in the AFL members acknowledging a massive six over long-off hit by former Victorian and Australian all-rounder Simon O’Donnell off the bowling of Greg Matthews in a Sheffield Shield match on March 21, 1993.