Our no.1 MCC Club XI side caused a minor upset when they defeated Old Scotch to advance to the final. In saying that, the two teams did tie in the final home and away round in the battle for second spot so a close tussle was not unexpected. However it had been five years since we had won a final, up against experienced finals campaigners. There was an added bonus when Old Caulfield toppled top of the ladder Melbourne University that will allow us, as the higher ranked team, to host the final at the Albert Ground next Sunday (commences at 12.30pm).
Batting first, opener Simon Mellick (57) set the innings up and skipper Raj Aiyappan (43 n.o.) controlled the back half of the innings to help the team to 7/165 off their 40 overs. A very even bowling effort where Tom Mellick, Blake Stove, Tom Cameron and Raj each took two wickets to bowl Old Scotch out for 139 in the last over.
If you can make it to the Albert next Sunday (Monday is a reserve day), I’m sure the boys will appreciate tour support.
Our Premier women’s 1sts ended their season on a winning note despite missing finals, finishing fifth after a season where we lost a couple of senior players, suffered untimely injuries and had players unavailable due to state duties at senior and various junior levels. One of the players that did make it back from injury, Renee Moffit, showed how much she was missed, yesterday making 93 off just 71 balls that included 11 fours and three 6s. Charli Killeen (53) made her first 1st XI half century at the top of the order, helping us along to 8/206. The bowlers then did their bit with Olivia Downes and Elly Donald leading the way with three wickets apiece, dismissing Plenty Valley for 123.
Unfortunately the 2nds, missing players due to junior state commitments, had what was a costly loss in terms of end of season ladder position, dropping from 1st to fourth place. However ladder position is all that is lost at this stage, where they will play Ringwood in an away semi-final on Sunday week before looking to defend their title. Jen Sherman (53) celebrated her maiden half-century at Premier grade level, and with Clem Ryan Fuller (32) showing some form, posted 176. Unfortunately this was run down by Plenty Valley in the 43th over with four wickets in hand.
On the men’s front there were several star performances throughout the grades. The 1st XI sealed a finals spot after bowling out Frankston Peninsula for just 90, and reached 2/173 at stumps. Kyle Williamson grabbed a superb 5 for 24 with his leggies after only joining the Demons after the Christmas break. Kieran Elliott (pictured) continued his wicket taking form, his 3 for 14 moving him onto 31 1st XI wickets for the season. Blake Thomson put away any fears about chasing small totals or any demons in the wicket that Frankston’s small total may have suggested, cracking an unbeaten 101 off 138 balls (17 fours and a six).
Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, that the job is far from done in this final round, with the carrot of a top four finish, and a home final, very much dangling in front of the 1st XI should they manage to force an outright win.
The 2nd XI, needing a win to ensure a finals berth, have been set a reasonable challenge requiring 309 for victory. They were held up by the Frankston opener who dominated with 157. That didn’t stop Sean Sturrock from toiling away, his hard work being rewarded with 5 for 78 off his 29 overs. Sean Griffin also chipped in with a handy 3/22 and, being 0/35 in reply at stumps, all is set for a rewarding chase next week.
It would be fitting to jump to the 4th XI here because on the adjacent oval at Beaumaris, we had Cam Sturrock putting on a brother double act, taking 5/27 meaning brothers Sean and Cam took 10 wickets between them within a stone’s throw of each other.
The 4ths dismissed Frankston for 176 but finished 2/20, and could face a nervy chase next week to ensure they don’t slip out of the final eight (other results depending) where they have sat comfortably all season.
He 9th placed 3rd XI, in a must win situation, were unfortunately bowled out for 90. Two late wickets to skipper Will Ryan has kept their hopes alive, Frankston finishing 3/58 a stumps.
MEN’S PREMIER v FRANKSTON PENINSULA (R.15 – Two-day)
Firsts – Frankston Peninsula 99 (K Williamson 5/24 K Elliott 3/14 J Coleman 2/19) v Melbourne
2/173 (B Thomson 101* SB Harper 37) at AH Butler Oval
Seconds – Frankston Peninsula 308 (S Sturrock 5/78 SE Griffin 3/22 PJ Halbish 2/58) v Melbourne 0/35 at Beaumaris SC - North Oval
Thirds – Melbourne 90 v Frankston Peninsula 3/58 (WN Ryan 2/15) at J Coburn Oval
Fourths –Frankston Peninsula 176 (C Sturrock 5/27 U Saddiq 2/46) v Melbourne 2/20 at Beaumaris SC - South Oval
WOMEN’S PREMIER (Rd.13 – One-day)
Firsts – Melbourne 8/206(cc) (R Moffitt 93 C Killeen 53 E Donald 29) defeated Plenty Valley
123 (O Downes 3/20 E Donald 3/29 E Quinn 2/27) at Beaumaris SC - North Oval Melbourne
Seconds – Melbourne 176 (JL Sherman 53 C Ryan-Fuller 32) defeated by Plenty Valley 6/178 (S Nichols 2/38) at Yarrambat War Memorial
MCC Club XI Cricket Competition (Semi-final)
Div 2 - MCC 7/165(cc) (S Mellick 57 R Aiyappan 43*) defeated Old Scotch 139 (R Aiyappan 2/9 T Mellick 2/16 T Cameron 2/22 BP Stove 2/30) at Scotch College (Melville Oval)