The first real test of our depth and we failed the test, but in reality we still had over 8 players out. This will greatly improve the teams as these guys come back.
D Grade and B Grade both suffered losses this round in totally different fashion. D Grade totally whipped and B Grade snatching defeat from the Jaws of victory.
Premier Grade won well again, but there is no way of telling the quality of the opposition until we have played all teams.
Premier Grade V's Altona Roosters - Home
On a clear sunny day the Skipper (Scott Miles) won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. Unfortunately with the score on 21, the opening partnership was broken when Jac was caught behind for 2. This provided Daniel Jinx Jenkins with an opportunity to bat for a long period with Mark Golden Oldie No.1 Robbo. Working together they set about rectifying the situation. This was a crucial partnership, which turned the game in our favour. The partnership produced 149 runs, before Jinx was out caught in the gully off the back of the bat. The partnership was a new club record for the second wicket in the Firsts.
The Skipper stormed his way to the crease and set about building a formidable total to defend, unfortunately with the total on 189 Robbo was caught on the fence. Robbo out for a magnificent 107 that had us set up to make a total well in excess of 250.
Andrew Golden Oldie No.2 Caithness joined with the Skipper and they continued to progress the total along at a moderate rate, until Cakie took control and hammered the attack around. Sadly the Skipper was out for 26 but their partnership had taken the total to 268, with overs to spare. A score of 300 plus was now on the cards and so it proved to be, with Cakie smashing the agate to all parts of the ground.
At the completion of our allotted 72 overs we had amassed a total of 344 for the loss of only 4 wickets. Cakie was no 115 and Mark Vearing not out 9. A formidable total even on our Small ground! All we had to do now was bowl straight.
There was lots of talk that the Altona Roosters Captain, Jason Bell was going to smash us to all parts of our Small, Tiny, Miniature, Microscopic, Puny, Dwarfish, Minute, Wee Little Ground. But our game plan was built around worrying about what we were going to do and not what the opposition was going to do. Our goal was to bowl full and straight and hope to have them at 4 for 120/130 at the tea break.
With overcast sky and rain threatening, we walked out to field only to have to come off before a ball was bowled because of a light rain shower. After not too long it was our turn to bowl and our game plan was firmly in our minds. With the target that we had set we could afford a few mistakes but each and every one of the 11 members of the team were extremely keen to ensure that this was going to be an impossible task for the guys from Altona Roosters.
Nick V8 Powell stormed in and bowled a great line and length to control the threatened early onslaught. From the opposite end Alex Vortex Grioli showed just why he has taken well in excess of 300 wickets for the club by bowling beautifully to tie them down. Nick took a couple of early wickets to have them reeling. This brought their Captain to the crease and after a scratchy start he took to Nick taking 18 off an over. This brought about a change in the bowling, with the Skipper into the attack.
Alex continued to bowl well from the other end and kept them under control and together with Skipper Miles they tied them down and strangled them. This coupled together with some committed and desperate fielding we never looked in danger. Although their Skipper progressed along to 60, they collapsed after his dismissal to be all out for 115.
Once again, an opposition team were one short when batting and we did not notice it. This was a great win, not because of the margin but because of the effort of each and every individual in the team. It was our most even and thorough performance in 2 or 3 seasons, but we will have to do this and more to defeat our next opponent (Barkly St) who have a very talented and experienced line up it.
Wyndham 4/344 Defeated Altona Roosters 116
Mark Robinson 107
Andrew Caithness 115no
Daniel Jenkins 37
Scott Miles 26
Alex Grioli 4/45
Scott Miles 3/17
Nick Powell 2/46
Footnote: Jinx & Robbo put on 149 for the 2nd wicket. A new club record for the Firsts.
B Grade V's Altona Roosters - Away
Looking at the team selected for this clash, it was evident that our B Grade team has gained a lot of strength and quality in comparison to previous seasons. The addition of former Premier Grade players Paul Herbert and Carmine Conte (Captain) should provide the nucleus of a very competitive team. This is a clear indication that the club now has far greater depth than in past seasons.
With only six teams now in B Grade there is a great opportunity for our B Grade to play finals. After finishing near or at the bottom over the last 2 or 3 seasons this would be a monumental change for our B Grade. However to take advantage of this situation they must win games.
After the narrow loss in Round 1 and the subsequent bye in Round 2, there really was a need to square the ledger and come home with a win, in this clash with Altona Roosters at the Roosters home ground. On paper the team looked more than capable of doing the job.
Having lost the toss, into the field they ventured. The theme of the club this season is to play positive attacking cricket and that is exactly what B Grade eleven set about doing. With some excellent bowling early on the Roosters were restricted and their middle order could over little more resistance once they were exposed.
All of the bowlers contributed throughout the innings, bowling straight and accurately. The reward was to have them all out for a very gettable 147. Although all bowlers contributed to the performance a special mention must go out to both Daniel Herbert 4 for 59 and Brian Bennett 2 for 29. These guys bowled 25 overs between them tore the heart out of the Roosters batting line up.
As is the way in cricket 147 appears to be a very gettable total and one that should be easily overcome, but it requires application to the task. However the first part of the job was done and now they had to bat their way to victory. With overs still to be bowled in the day it was a great opportunity to wipe away some of the deficit with minimal risk.
Unfortunately the loss of two wickets was not a great end to what was a very good day. On the plus side, 30 runs had been erased from the total, which left less that 120 runs to get and plenty of overs to get them. There was some conjecture as to the dismissal of one of the B Grade Batsmen who was dismissed off of a delivery that was clearly a no ball full toss. This was the only real downer for the day.
The 2nd day dawned and optimism was high to chase down the remaining 120 or so runs and thats exactly how things began. Club games record holder, Wayne Jones was occupying the crease and others were contributing to the chase along the way.
Disappointingly though there was a collapse of biblical proportions, which left the B Grade team some 22 runs short of the target. There were really only three meaningful contributions to the score sheet. Wayne Jones with 43, Paul Herbert 22 and Simon Pierotti 18. The rest of the batting is a tale of woe. Obviously all involved were disappointed with the loss, but to be brutal the blame lies at the feet of the batsmen.
From a club perspective, this was a body blow to what we are trying to achieve as a club. Obviously there was a distinct lack of application to the task at hand and this must be addressed sooner rather than later. It is clear that the adage you play as you train came to the fore. It is now time for a few guys to apply themselves at training and turn this around.
From a positive perspective, there will be greater depth still, just around the corner and this could provide the crucial spinal chord for the Seconds. A great effort by the bowlers and a win is just around the corner. Let this loss be the motivation for the next game.
Wyndham 126 Lost to Altona Roosters 147
Wayne Jones 43
Paul Herbert 22
Simon Perotti 18
Daniel Herbert 4/59
Brian Bennett 2/29
Carmine Conte 2/25
Scott Miles 2/38
D Grade V's Altona Roosters - Home
Unfortunately for D Grade their manpower was greatly reduced for this game due to the unavailability of a few guys. This led to the Extreme Youth Policy being implemented, for the Thirds first home game of the year.
Team selection required the making of a phone call to Grand United to request a few of their spare kids to come and have a game. With more underage players than adults in the team it was always going to be a difficult assignment against a team that boasted several Premier Grade players.
In saying that our very own D Grade benefited from a similar situation last round, where we were able to play a few more senior players in the thirds due to our B Grade having a bye.
Back to the game, the boys were sent into the outfield of Westbourne Grammer and our young kids were forced to chase leather all day to the tune of 6/306 runs on a slow and ugly outfield. (Thank God it was not cut like it was in previous seasons)
In such a thrashing of the ball it is difficult to find any real acts of heroism with the ball, but there were a few. Andy Williams took 2/17 from 9 overs, a Grand United boy, young S, Najder 2/72 from 16 overs and Lou Tenerezza bowled 23 overs and took 1/85. This was Lous first game for a few seasons and he was welcomed back with a back breaking effortWelcome Back Lou, its great to have you back.
Our turn to bat and we never really looked like getting the runs after being dismissed for 85. There was however a very bright light in all of the darkness with young Scott Grioli making 48 against a good attack, by D Grade standards.
Scott shows a lot of promise and it was pleasing to see his hard work coming to the fore. He has been at every training session so far this year and this result shows. He along with Denver Melder and Matthew Polzella are clearly quality players of the future. We are glad to have them playing with us and we enjoy their youthful exuberance.
Although the boys copped it this game, it is not a true reflection of where they are. With the return of several key players in the coming weeks all bodes well for the thirds. If players continue to return from injury and retirement at the current rate, we will be able to ensure that the thirds will be vying for a little finals action.
Wyndham 85 Lost to Altona Roosters 6/306
Scott Grioli 48
Andy Williams 2/17
Lou Tenerezza 1/85
A Vougiduclis 1/27