The Demons were oh so close to a clean sweep of wins in the opening round of the 2017/18 season but had to settle for six out of seven. For our men’s teams to bring up three out of four wins over last season’s 1st XI premiers, Fitzroy-Doncaster, was quite an achievement given we had six of our top players on JLT Cup duties. On the women’s side of things, well, all three teams just completely dominated their respective opponents in a powerful display.
In glancing through all the scorecards, and from the reports that filtered back from those ‘around the grounds’ there are numerous performances, individual and team, worthy of extended coverage. Unfortunately time allows me to focus on just a few of those.
News quickly got back to the Albert on Saturday (before 1.00pm from memory) that our women’s Premier 1sts had already wrapped up the points, thanks mainly to a devastating spell by Natalie Plane where she took five for eight from 5.1 overs, her second best figures following on from a 6/22 last season. Nat followed a successful opening spell from Anna O’Donnell where she took an impressive 3/17 (6 overs). If that wasn’t enough highlights, Jordan Watson took a wicket with her first ball in 1st XI cricket. This has had our club statistician scurrying and begs the question, ‘has anyone taken a wicket with their first ball in 1st XI cricket with Melbourne before?’ Do tell (and catches don’t count, Tempo!).
Amy’s Yates and Vine chased down the required 49 without loss.
Undoubtedly the individual that was monitored most on Saturday was Mat Begbie. His return to our 2nd XI, after the illness and injury that has held him back from appearing for the Demons for the past two and half seasons was much anticipated, but with realistic expectations given what he’s been through. In chasing 220, news of ‘Beggars’ 50 put a smile on everyone’s face. When he brought up his 100, then to finish 129 unconquered, brought on sheer delight and rarely have we seen a more raucous welcome when he arrived back at the ‘Bert’ on Saturday night.
If I’m allowed to say this (I will), another, slightly more surprising, stand out match winning performance came from Alistair McCooke – with the ball! With his team defending 194, the Lions appeared on target to chase us down. A timely wicket here and there kept us in the game but three in the one over, the second last of the day, saw Alo end up with the fine figures on 6/34 from his nine overs.
Unfortunately (or fortunately in some respects) there were many other star efforts ordinarily worthy of greater elaboration, but we gladly acknowledge:
Men’s Premier Rd 1 v Fitzroy Doncaster (One-dayer)
1st XI – Melbourne 220 (J Harper 72 P Rowe 42 B Melville 34 M Brown 26) defeated Fitzroy Doncaster 9/213 (cc) (W McGillivray 3/35 B Melville 3/44 P Smith 2/31) at Albert Ground
2nd XI – Fitzroy Doncaster 7/219 (cc) (G Hannah 4/28) defeated by Melbourne 1/220 (M Begbie 129* P Petricola 65) at Schramms Reserve #1
3rd XI – Melbourne 7/169 (cc) (M Short 81* A Campbell 33 F O’Neill 28) defeated by Fitzroy Doncaster 4/171 at Schramms Reserve #2
4th XI – Melbourne 7/194 (cc) (A McCooke 6/34 H Hyslop 2/41) defeated Fitzroy Doncaster 190 (K Bennett 51* J Jordan 32 M Cowdrey 32 D Bandara 30) at Schramms Reserve #2
Women’s Premier Cricket
Firsts (Rd 1 One Day) – Essendon Maribyrnong Park 49 (N Plane 5/8 A O’Donnell 3/17 J Watson 2/7) defeated by Melbourne 0/51 (cc) (A Yates 25*) at Greaves Reserve (Oval 4)
Seconds (Rd 1 One Day) – Essendon Maribyrnong Park 104 (E Hayward 3/22 D Smith 2/13) defeated by Melbourne 3/106 (G Ricardo 44* G Mills 25) at Albert Ground
Thirds (Rd 1 One Day) – Carlton-Brunswick 79 (R Heenan 3/9 B Muscat 2/4) defeated by Melbourne 1/80 (J Sherman 32*) at King George Reserve