Round 5, and for the first time in many, many seasons all three teams celebrated victories. In a demonstration of the depth that the club has, all three teams were missing vital members, but others stepped up to the task. Two past players returning to the club featured promiently as did an old bloke called "Santa"
In Premier Grade there was all sorts of drama when the team was reeling at 5/23 chasing 96, but they rallied to post 8/273. B Grade were fantastic in their outright victory over last years finalist St Johns. This was their first victory for the year and clear evidence that they are the real deal. Finally D Grade got their season back on track with a victory over Barkly St at Barkly St, thanks to some excellent bowling........
Premier Grade V's St Andrews - Home
Round 5 and Premier Grade were at home to the improving St Andrews side. St Andrews have been far more competitive this season than in the past and this game was always going to be a much tougher contest than in past encounters between our two teams.
After losing the toss, we were into the field yet again. Determined to make early inroads we struggled to get through their defences. We were attacked early on by the St Andrews openers. For the first two or three overs they swung lustily, until we got a caught behind decision in our favour. From that point on there was really little if any resistance from their batsmen and they were all out for 96, with still plenty of overs left in the day.
From this point on the game got quite interesting with their opening bowlers ripping through our top order to have us reeling to be at one stage 5 for 23. Their score of 96 looked to be way too good for us. But Scott (Skipper) Miles joined together with Simon (New Boy) Pierotti to stave off their attack and add some respectability to the score.
They were going extremely well, until Simon was unfortunately dismissed near to the close of play with the score in the 60s. From this point on the last over or two produced little action and we went to the close of play at 6 for 65, still requiring a further 32 runs to win the game.
Resuming on day two there was an air of quiet confidence in our camp, that we would get the runs. Especially when the day dawned blustery and warm. It was felt that their inexperienced bowlers would struggle to find a length and allow us some easy boundaries early on.
Scott now at the crease with Trevor (Tugga) Bennett started in a really positive manner, despatching the early wayward bowling and getting the required 30 odd runs in double quick time, thanks to some beautiful hard hitting from Tugga. Scott and Tugga raced the score along until Scott and Tugga feel in quick succession. Scott was out for 48, unlucky to miss out on his 50. Tugga was out for a magnificent 55 that showed great cricket smarts and fantastic positive play. These two had taken us to victory with their contributions.
With two new batsmen at the crease, in Alex (Alby) Grioli and John (Whisper) Conte it could have signalled an early end to our innings, but the game really opened up with both of them performing beautifully and taking us through to tea with a score of 8/273. John on 68 Not Out and Alex on 61 Not Out. It was fantastic to watch these two take apart the attack and great for them as individuals to achieve their 50 considering that have had little or not opportunity to bat this season.
The skipper declared at tea and we went out to chase an outright victory. However there was only 29 overs left in the day and we could not make the inroads into their top order to achieve the outright, still we did manage to pick up 6 of the required wickets.
This was a great victory for the team. It showed our depth and quality of player that we have in the side. After being in a precarious position of 6 for 56 we stormed our way to an imposing total. Once again we worked on what we can control and it got us a result.
There is still much improvement to be made in this team and there is a genuine feeling of not being satisfied. That bodes well for the tough road ahead and the remainder of this season.
Wyndham 8/273 Defeated St Andrews 96
John Conte 68no
Alex Grioli 61no
Trevor Bennett 55
Scott Miles 48
Bowling 1st Innings
Scott Miles 3/12
Trevor Bennett 3/20
Bowling 2nd Innings
Trevor Bennett 3/20
Scott Miles 2/26
Footnote: At one stage the team was 6 for 56. It was John Conte's maiden 50 in Premier Grade. Alex & John had a partnership of 118. It was also the 100th game for Jamie Davies.
B Grade V's St Johns - Away
Without going any further, it must be said that the B Grade team, proved to all and sundry that they really do have the goods by winning outright in their clash with St Johns. Carmine Conte and his team must be congratulated on this victory and hopefully they will take some confidence into their next clash.
Back to the game. Bowling first in this game would be a godsend to the B Grade boys as it offered the most likely chance of an outright victory. With an attack that boasted stars such as Laurie Grioli, Carmine Conte, Ross Patterson and a host of others it was surely going to be difficult for St Johns, either way but bowling first would be ideal.
Fortunately the chips feel the right way and the B Grade bowlers ripped through the St Johns batting line up to have them in trouble from the early on in their innings. With Laurie leading the way with 4/19 and Cameos from all of the other bowlers St Johns were routed for 82.
With plenty of time left in the days play the aim was to shoot for victory before the close of play. Veteran Wayne Jones showed the way by batting through to the close of play. Together with various partners they made it to the close of the days play with the runs in the bank and a first innings victory. A great team effort and one, which allowed the B Grade boys an opportunity at outright victory.
Day two dawned and the game plan was to push for an outright victory. Quick runs were the order of the day. Throwing the bat at the ball, the guys pushed the score along to 156. Wayne Jones steady as a rock, batting through the innings to score a fabulous 60 Not Out ably supported by the Captain and Laurie Grioli.
So with a lead of 74, St Johns were sent back to the crease, hopeful of preventing our boys from achieving an outright victory. Alas our attack was just too aggressive and to highly skilled. Laurie Grioli 5/21 joined with his partners in crime from the first innings and managed to skittle them out for 80 in their second innings.
This left the boys with a target of just 7 to chase down for outright victory. The boys achieved it without too much trouble. So an outright victory for the B Grade boys, who were without a win up until this game. This has catapulted them into the top four and brimming with confidence, they should go on from here.
It should also be mentioned that the skipper, Carmine Conte captained the game in a positive manner from the outset. This allowed the guys to push for maximum points. Lets hope that the guys support Carmine from this point on and play in the manner, which they can. The hiccups from the earlier games are gone and the team should be peaking with confidence.
On to the next game guys, armed with the knowledge that you are only as good as your last game. That makes you guys the best team in B Grade for this week. Push on from here
Wyndham 156 & 1/9 Defeated St Johns 82 & 80
Wayne Jones 60no
Carmine Conte 38
Laurie Grioli 26
Bowling 1st Innings
Laurie Grioli 4/19
Aiden Cerlenezza 2/14
Ross Patterson 2/22
Bowling 2nd Innings
Laurie Grioli 5/21
Daniel Herbert 2/13
FOOTNOTE: Wayne (Wrecker) Jones batted through the innings, becoming the 7th player to do so for the club. Laurie Grioli playing his first game after a long absence took his 100th wicket.
D Grade V's Barkly St - Away
D Grade headed off to sunny Maribyrnong for their round 5 clash with the boys from Barkly St, determined to get back in the winners circle. A WIN in this game would get them back to two and two from the 4 rounds that they have played. The team selected for this clash was certainly very, very good on paper. It just remained to be seen if it was going to stack up.
Batting first the guys compiled a very competitive 164 thanks in the main to a very well constructed 74 from the Skipper Leon Grioli. Other notable contributors were Troy (Tugga) Robinson with 25 and Bryan Bennett with a hard hitting 20.
However this game was not about the batting it was all about the magnificent bowling performances of the two leading lights of the team. Bryan Bennett who had been dropped to the thirds for this game and Mark Busuttil who was making his first appearance for the club after an absence of some time.
They bowled in tandem for a total of 42 overs taking the almost identical figures of 5/67 and 5/69 respectively. Considering that at one stage there were three consecutive dropped catches and a few other hiccups the bowlers were the real winners of this game. Luke Ryan also managed to pull in three catches from behind the stumps.
Batting for a second time the guys compiled 4/76 with the Skipper and Trogga both leading the way with a pair of twenties to finish off a great day for the guys. B.B with his double of 5/67 and 20 runs has staked a claim for a return to the seconds and Buzza with a first up 5/69 has showed that he will be pushing for selection also. This is a fantastic situation for the club.
With the team now back to 50/50 on the win loss ratio, they are once again there, or there about in the running for the finals. Perhaps with a little more consistency finals action is a distinct possibility.
Wyndham 164 & 4/76 Defeated Barkly St 142
Batting 1st Innings
Leon Grioli 74
Troy Robinson 25
Bryan Bennett 20
Batting 2nd Innings
Troy Robinson 20
Leon Grioli 20
Bryan (BB) Bennett 5/67
Mark (Buzza) Busuttil 5/69
Footnote: Both BB & Buzza bowled 21 overs. It was Buzza's first game back at the club after a long absence.