Premier Cricket – Round 15 Review

 

by Mic Rees

The second last round of the 2011/12 Premier Cricket home & away season was completed at the weekend and included six centuries, a record breaking opening partnership, career best bowling figures for the young & not so young and the end of an era.

On Saturday three time Ryder Medallist Graeme Rummans (76) and Will Russell (62) starred as St Kilda (313) set Carlton a stiff challenge. Ash Sweet and Peter Manser taking three wickets apiece for the hosts. To keep their miniscule finals hopes alive the Saints needed early wickets on Sunday. Carlton openers Tim McCormick (185no) and Jake Hancock (170no) had other ideas, the Blues (0/358) smashed the helpless Saints all over the Royal Parade venue, the loss bringing St Kilda’s run of 13 consecutive finals appearances to an end. It was McCormick’s maiden century in Premier Cricket, Hancock’s third for this season. Their unbeaten opening stand broke a 110 year old record for the first wicket for the Carlton Cricket Club. The previous record had stood since the 1901/02 season when two Melbourne sporting icons of the early 20th century Jack Worrall (215) & Tom Warne (130no) shared in a 1st wicket partnership of 357 against Nth Melbourne.

At Mervyn G Hughes Oval Dylan Kight (122) broke out of a post Xmas slump to register his third PC century of 2011/12, Footscray Edgewater (9/341dec) setting Northcote a difficult task on Day 2. At 5/100 the Dogs were in danger of being dismissed for a less than competitive score. Kight was joined by Shane Jones (84)# and they proceeded to add 143 for the sixth wicket, Jones registering his highest PC score. Marc Stoinis (3/98) was the best with the ball for the Dragons on a difficult afternoon to be in the field.  It was imperative for the Dragons to get off to a good start if they were to be any chance, but when Stoinis was dismissed by Andrew McCammond with the fourth ball of the days play the wind was knocked out of the visitors sails, Northcote (132) Ben Peake (48) top scoring in a disappointing effort with the bat by the ‘Cotes. Jones (4/43) was simply superb for Footscray, the veteran of ten Premier Cricket campaigns has had another wonderful season scoring 266 runs and taking 16 wickets.

Richmond (3/207) with Cam White (55no), Ryan Carters (54no) and Dan Sartori (53) registering half centuries, had little trouble in passing the first day total set by Frankston Peninsula (203) at Central Reserve, Jim Miller (73) the best for the visitors. Will Sheridan (5/20) ran through the Heat middle order on Saturday afternoon picking up the wickets of Jewell, Nankervis & Holland, all falling with the Heat stuck on 99. The Heats struggles with the willow must be causing a little heartburn having registered scores of 250+ on only three occasions thus far in 2011/12. Richmond move into third spot following their impressive weekend effort, Frankston slip to fourth.

For the second week in a row Fitzroy Doncaster (5/294) came tantalisingly close to procuring the outright victory that would’ve kept their flickering finals hopes alive, the Lions just failing to dismiss Essendon twice (159 & 9/94) the hosts just managing to avoid a second successive outright loss. Steve Duckworth ripped through the Bombers batting line up twice in two days (4/42) & (6/15). It was the second time former Footscray Edgewater opening bowler has taken 10 wickets in a match, the previous occasion Election Day 2007 (The Ruddster had a little more luck that evening than today). Essendon lost 7/24 late on Sunday to collapse from relative safety at 2/70 to 9/94 at stumps.  Glen Maxwell (108 from 76 deliveries) slaughtered the home side earlier in the day, his knock included a dozen fours and three sixes. He added 165 for the second wicket with Matt Bremner (108), the pair laying the foundation for Fitzroy Doncaster’s dramatic, yet ultimately futile attempt to snatch the desperately needed premiership points.

Casey South Melbourne (174 & 177) went down to Melbourne (4/189) and fell from finals calculations as a result. Rohan Blandford (77) played a lone hand for the Bloods in their first innings, Nick Quinn (3/22) and Steve Gilmour (3/35) doing the damage for the Dees. Andrew’s Kent (70) and Keath (65) were terrific for the MCC in their successful run pursuit. Shane Maggs (55) led the Casey second innings charge, Justin Graham (5/36) took career best figures, the Demons have moved into fifth position following their easy win.

Ringwood (8/278) upset Dandenong (211) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Panthers were cruising at 0/71 but slumped to 7/84, and if not for a 95 run eight wicket partnership between Peter Siddle (71 – his first PC half century) and Ben Hocking (42) the mediocre Dandenong total would have been even more atrocious. Ian Holland (5/59) took the bowling honours for the Rams, who backed up their fine effort on Saturday to win for only the second time since the Xmas break. Michael Vandort (67) and Gavin Kellar (56) were the best for Ringwood. James Pattinson continued his journey along the road to full recovery bowling six overs and taking the prize wicket of David A King for no score, otherwise it was a fairly bleak weekend for the reigning premiers.

Melbourne University veteran Mark Simpson (5/32) helped skittle North Melbourne (85) on Saturday, the Students (9/254 dec) passing the Roo’s insipid total with just one wicket down. Dan Hutton (54) scored his first PC half century and received good support from Nick Ellsmore (50). It was Uni’s first win in four months. Matt Love (67) led the charge for the home side in their second dig, North (4/183) at the close.

At the Geelong Cricket Ground, Jake Reed (5/43) ran through the top of the Two Blues much vaunted top order, the visitors a precarious 7/82 before Sam Coates (69) and Rhys Adams (45) restored some respectability to their score, Prahran (219) with a fair bit to do on the second day. Adams (4/43) starred with the ball as the Cats collapsed from 1/61 to lose 8/108, Geelong (169) dropping their second match in a row. In their second innings Daniel Salpietro (84) led the way Prahran (4/130) when play ended, the Two Blues move to second on the table.

At Camberwell Sports Ground Hawthorn Monash University (367) batted on into Sunday, half centuries to Jake Marnie (80), Grant Westgarth (78) & John Simpson (56) setting the hosts a not to easy task. James Bett (108) – his maiden PC ton, Tom Rickarby (84), Simon Hill (60) and Jack McNamara (51) the Magpies (8/370) chasing down the target in a mere 81.5 overs to continue on their winning ways. Camberwell have now guaranteed themselves a place in this seasons finals, they sit in sixth position and remain a chance to host a final in the first week of the post season.

Congratulations to the Carlton Cricket Club. With one round remaining they lead the table by 11 points, and as a result of Sundays record breaking efforts have secured the Premier Cricket minor premiership for season 2011/12. The top 8 is as follows, points in brackets: Carlton (67), Prahran (56), Richmond (54), Frankston (53), Melbourne (49), Camberwell (48), Geelong (47) and Dandenong (43)

# Disclosure – I was Shane Jones’ player sponsor in season 2010/11

Comments

  1. Well written MIchael. District crickets is the nursery for cricketers who aspire for, and want to achieve bigger and better honours. In this era where sport is purely about being ‘corporate’ and the primary function appears to be focussed on $$, it is important to support the grass roots. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks again Mic. Lots of us read these reports…the dearth of comments is often acknowledgement that you’ve given us just the info we need to keep abreast of the “next level”.
    Still too many teams Mic? Is 2 Divs the answer, especially as there’s a good case to bring subbies power and growth corridor Melton in to Premier.
    And what has happened to the Bombers?
    Keep us posted Mic, esp with finals fixturing as these games are played at great grounds and at a very high standard.

  3. Great stuff, Mic.
    I find it interesting that, as an Altona junior, Jake Hancock found his way to Carlton rather than Footscray. I know there are a few F-E people who are disappointed that he did not end up there.
    Dylan Kight is definitely a good ‘un, and if I am not mistaken, a Melton boy. That link would make for an interesting scenario if Melton were to make the move into Premier Cricket.
    Much like the old VFL, District Cricket was founded on inner-city clubs. But with the demographics of the city changing, those old inner-city areas are no longer the recruiting grounds which they were. Some clubs have taken the bit between the teeth and moved (Sth Melbourne, Hawthorn, Fitzroy), but Premier Cricket (as Crio alluded to) still needs more of a presence in the outer west.

  4. Glen, Crio & Smokie – Many thanks for reading the previews/reviews and of course your kind words.

    Would either of the obvious two areas in the Western corridor (Werribee & Melton) be keen to make the step up ? Big ask. Could you expect teams joining Premier Cricket to field four XI’s from Day 1 ? North Melbourne’s (proposed) move to Greenvale is an interesting one. Should benefit from access to the juniors but how long will it take until they’re a power 5, 10, 15 years ?.

    Geelong joined the VCA in the early 90’s (93/94) and whilst the Cats have won lower XI pennants and played First XI finals on a consistent basis they are still to salute in the Ones. It took Ringwood around 30 years to win a First XI flag, but is that the only criterion that should be used to determine success? Ricci, Dimmatina, Dempsey played state cricket, Rod McCurdy internationals during the Rams early years in district cricket.

    If the numbers are increased to 20 the comp would probably split into two divisions based on geographic location Nth/West & Sth/East. Don’t think Werribee AND Melton will join at the same time. A team from the Hume region could be an option.

    As for your question regarding the Bombers Crio, very disappointing season. Their efforts with the bat in recent weeks has been absolutely terrible.

    I wouldn’t guarantee Kight an automatic starter in a Melton PC team Smokie. He’d be expected to perform week in, week out. Fair amount of pressure for someone so young – would a move improve his state prospects ? Don’t think so. At present he gets to bat on a nice deck (MG Hughes) twice a month. Could the Shire of Melton produce something similar? Good luck.

    MCR

  5. John Butler says:

    Mic, from my experiences on the Western Highway, Knight would at least get a crash course in stunt driving out Melton way – beware the Melton turn-offs.

    Good to see the Navy Blues clear on top. An omen?

  6. John – Not familiar with the Shire of Melton as the bypass on the Western Highway means I miss it when travelling through to visit the in laws in the Wimmera. Should I detour and aquaint myself with the area prior to their entry into PC ?

    No doubting the CCC’s superb efforts during the H&A rounds of recent years. They’ve struggled during the finals over the last few seasons. Need to win a flag, their last 1st XI pennant was won in 1981 – another omen perhaps?

    MCR

  7. Mic,
    Great Articles. You mention the Blues and their finals record of late. The team has changed significantly over the past 5 seasons, so perhaps not a true reflection of your omen. Allen, Peter-Budge, Gulbis, Brown, Sheedy, Welsford, Ludeman, Holland, Dickinson, Carroll and Rosbrook would be a handy XI. Ringwood have lost Stray, Gilmore, King (x2) and Flynn and gone to near the bottom, StKilda the same etc… This club has regenerated itself and remained in contention without delivering the ultimate. In my observations I predict its not far away. They have many young players still finding their way – but as a group they have remained more than competitive. It may not be their year, but they will not be far off. Only 2 players have played all of the finals campaigns – Austin & Pilon. The rest seem to be gaining experience as each game passes. What a partnership you wrote about above – a great effort by the young opening pair. They could be a opening pair for a long time – Hancock just 20 and McCormick about 22. The results show the Blues have batted the day on 5 or 6 occasions this year – not many have. Looking at the roster, all state players will be available for all finals games this year (unless Vic’s make the Shield Final – they’ll then miss the quarter final). If that is the case Richmond and Prahran will surely be the teams to beat. Carlton has no state players and that could count against them. They do seem to be producing some up and coming stars – Hancock and Smyth to name a couple. It will be an interesting finals series. Go Blues – I enjoy watching them. I am biased, but a realist – this group needs to carry the baggage of teams gone past – thats part of the jobt. It is a different team This group seem to be writing their own history. Long may it continue

  8. Many thanks Bluefan.

    Something that has been overlooked thus far has been the Carlton bowling. Had a look before and I was surprised to see the Blues have six bowlers (Smyth, Austin, Salm, Millard, Manser & Keen) that have taken fifteen or more wickets this season. Most of the kudo’s have gone to the batsman, but knowing you’ve got blokes who can take wickets must leave you feeling pretty confident. Would be disappointing for a fine clubman like Andrew Dickinson (14 yrs/400+ wkts) to have retired and they salute the following season.

    A few weeks ago I thought as many as seven teams were a chance to win the flag – Carlton, Prahran, Richmond, Frankston, Melbourne, Geelong and Dandy. I’m not sure Geelong or Frankston can make a big score if required following after a couple of ordinary efforts over the past fortnight from both of those sides. Hope I’m wrong as neither have won a First XI pennant.

    Despite the fact the eight has been decided there’s a lot to look forward to this, and next, weekend.

    See you at the finals.

    MCR

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