First XI vs Elsternwick
It was the Wicks vs the Wicks in round 10…with the mighty men of Sydney Road, Brunswick travelling to the Bagel Haven that is Elsternwick. Rolling up to an overcast day with humidity in the air, Mac was intent on bowling, describing the notion as positive intent, having lost the toss and subsequently being sent in to bat, Mac described the move as negative on their part. A shaky start was overcome with a solid partnership between the best looking man in subbies, Dean Halliwell and the pocket rocket Karl Mayne, some careful batting and some pessimistic field placings saw us 3/94 at tea.
Once again met with a below par feast from a South group side, the Wicks were seeing red and were intent on punishing the Elsternwick boys in response to the meagre offerings. Take note, an overabundance of store bought mayonnaise sandwiches is no way to impress 11 grown men. With disdain in our hearts the next 40 overs saw a steady flow of runs and some lusty hitting to end the day at 9/260. A gritty 65 to Karl was backed up with solid 30’s from Mossy, Mac and Davy Bon. A good day’s work.
We rolled up the following week with a game plan to “work hard and get these ****** out!!” - wise words which were heeded as our bowling group bowled with spirit and vigour to take poles and restrict runs on a very flat deck. At 5/121 at tea (which will not be acknowledged) the game was still in the balance. An inspired bowling effort from Mac and Roy saw 4 quick wickets tumble and the game in the bag. Big Ryan Fort cleaned up the particularly inept number 11 as the good guys beat the bad guys by 90 odd runs….a very comprehensive all round win!!! Celebratory drinks were consumed in the change room as we giggled in delight at the massive spray from the Elsternwick skipper to his troops. Smiles on our faces one and all (notably due to the beers being purchased by Dan Wright) A big thanks to Charlie Aitken who filled in on field for the injured Mossy…next week a big test against the bats of Plenty Valley!
Second XI vs Elsternwick
The Second XI arrived under new skipper, Chris Strods who promptly lost the toss. The deck was in good nick but for a soft spot right in the middle. The only chance of hitting that was a failed bouncer from Chris Owner, or a long hop from Ran Daddy Dazzler’s new found leggies. But, Strodes figured, we should be able to make use of favourable bowling conditions and get stuck in early.
That is exactly what opening pair, Jordan Taylor and Ben ‘Twinkle Toes’ Bonerviro did. JT knocked over both openers bowling full and straight with some lovely outswing, hitting the top of one bloke’s off peg and having the other caught at slip. Yours truly came one picked up an LBW, then one of the arsiest wickets seen at Gillon for a while. A off line slower ball was completely miscued by the large lad from Elsternwick but seemingly safe, having well cleared the ring field in place. What followed was simply amazing. Young Dom Sullivan raced a long way from midwicket, running away from the wicket with the ball coming over his shoulder – he never looked in the hunt – but stuck out his supremely large mits and with a dive at the end took a contender for catch for the season. Even the batsman was thoroughly impressed that was caught. Dom took another specie that day, you can see the other on facebook, but it was mere crumbs compared to this catch. Elsternwick were allowed to get to 150, when it look like they should probably only get 100, through a few interesting decisions, some wayward bowling, but ultimately through some determined batting on a flattening pitch. We would lose one wicket (Charlie) in the 11 overs before stumps.
Needing 130 to win, the (OG) ‘wicks were primed to bat all day. What followed was basically shithouse. Evan chased a wide half tracker, gifting point a chestmark. All our top six fell for single figures. Jordan, Randy and Boner batted with some tenacity (and a huge six to Randy) to keep us within a sniff, but all fell like their top order counterparts – cheaply – the home team was bundled out for 125. A disgusting display. All hopes are on an improvement and a display of ticker against top of the table Plenty Valley next week.
Third XI vs Williamstown
Away at the high school against ladder leaders Willamstown, Brunswick’s thirds placed a great deal of value on the 6 points given the precarious nature of the ladder, with half a game separating 3rd and 8th spot. We won the toss and sent them in and when Henry, a young smiling assassin, cracked their opener in the head with a good length ball it confirmed it was a good toss to win. Their openers toiled hard early and had some support from their 12th man, with both making it to drinks and soon after progressing into the 60’s without loss, Brenton put a stop to that taking a screamer to remove the more attacking of the pair. This slowed the run rate significantly and they went at 1 per over until tea, with the patty, the ‘fitness freak’ and Harry proving tough to get away. After tea we expected them to launch given they were 1 down but this did not eventuate, we stayed enthusiastic and disciplined in the field taking wickets a regular intervals, stifling and momentum they could gather. Eventually we bowled them out for 183 with patty bowling 20+ overs, taking a few for not many, day 1 goes to Brunswick!
On day 2 we were greeted with a fast outfield, a flat deck and sunny blue skies. Despite some questionable communication between the wickets we had a positive start until Harry chopped on. Walshy joined Jibril at the crease and we soon found ourselves in control at 1/50ish until walshy fell victim to a LBW decision, clearly Jibril liked the look of this, following suit the next over to make us 3/53. From here on every batsman had a chance to make a name for themselves, however only Brenton, who finished 38 not out stuck around. We produced some complacent batting through the remainder of the day, losing wickets on 71, 100, 120 and then the last 4 in quick succession. We now have 3 must win games to figure in the finals!
Fourth XI vs Williamstown
The day started with a quick inspection of the pitch, luckily due to the precision of whoever was on covers duty (who won’t be named*) the rain and wind from the previous night was restricted from causing much harm to the wicket. From the looks of it however there was never going to be too many expansive cover drives and a particularly high par score was never really anticipated with a crumbling wicket from the off.
Williamstown started off by bowling tight lines and were able to remove Vergier early on. The resistance of Hussain however proved too much for the bowlers so they resorted to launching the ball into the back of his head as the only option for removing him, leading to an early retirement. The innings was then held together by a defiant Petsios, working the ball around to end up on a very respectable 42 not out at the end of the innings. A good performance from Burton Durham ended on 30 with a ball that kept low, which after a few quick wickets led to Hussain coming out of retirement and stabilising the innings with 31. A cameo from Rogers, including a gloriously textbook straight drive for six, and some lower order runs from Sanders and Senz meant Brunswick managed to get to a total of 167 off 76 overs. A very respectable total having been 6 for 56 at one stage.
The second innings started off well for Brunswick, with the better looking Sanders bowling areas and Senz honing in on pad whenever he could which lead to early wickets and a lot of pressure being put on the batting side. Senz bowled through his spell of 11 overs to end up taking 3 for 17 and Sanders was able to take 1 for 31, possibly deserving of a few more scalps with plenty of edges flying around. There was a period of resistance and fight from the batting side, however Brunswick held their own and managed to get a run out from Rogers which was able to break the deadlock. Some say that this run out was much alike to Flintoff circa 2005, and they would probably be right. Consistent bowling yet again from Ramage (1 for 17 off 8.4) piled on more pressure for the opposition which was combined with a good spell from Singh and a short stint from Rogers. Burton “Walk Like An Egyptian” Durham turned on the style at the other end, bowling 16 on the trot and deservedly taking 4 for 36. With contributions from everyone in the field and a very good bowling performance Williamstown were all out for 116, Brunswick get the win by 51 runs. Bring on finals!
* Denotes one Steve Mead