Premier Cricket: Round 16 review

With the finals commencing next weekend, six of the eight teams that qualified for the post season suffered loses in the final Home and Away round for 2011/12. Here’s a look at Saturdays action.

Having wrapped up the minor premiership last start, Carlton visited Toorak Park to face second placed Prahran in what could be a preview to this seasons final. The home team struggled early at one stage 3/27 then 4/55. They managed to recover, Prahran (6/229) at the closure due mainly to the effort of Liam Murphy (84). Peter Manser (3/42) was the visitors’ most successful bowler. For the second time in a fortnight the Blues openers set their side up for a successful chase, adding 94 for the first wicket, but Prahran were back in contention when Rhys Adams (2/37) removed Jake Hancock (41) and Simon Keen (1) in quick succession. Trent McCormick (101no), his second consecutive ton and Nathan Pilon (65no) wrested control of the contest from the home side, the pair adding an unbroken136 for the third wicket, the Blues (2/230) cruising to victory without further loss. Pilon has amassed 758 runs at an average of 63.17 for the season, McCormick 532 runs at 66.50, and Saturday’s emphatic victory should provide them with a fair amount of confidence should they face Prahran later this month.

At AH Butler Oval the batting woes of Frankston (70) continued when Geelong skittled the hosts in less than 29 overs. Jeremy Hart (4/22), the competitions leading wicket taker for 2011/12, took his seasons haul to 47. He received fine support from Jake Reed (3/17). In response the Cats (2/71) needed just a little over 12 overs to knock off the required runs. Liam Buchanan (53) was the only batsman to score more than 25 runs in the abbreviated contest. Geelong missed out on hosting a home final next week by one point and will return to the Mornington Peninsula to face Frankston in the quarter finals next weekend.

At Bill Lawry Oval, Richmond had the home side in trouble at 6/75. A 92 run partnership between Josh Sundberg (45) and Aaron Crispe (43) for the seventh wicket added respectability to the total, Northcote (201) after 49.5 overs. Matt Shimmell (4/29), now with 27 wickets to his name this season, was the standout performer for the Tigers. At 5/161 the visitors would’ve fancied their chance at taking the points, but proceeded to lose their final five wickets for a mere eight, Richmond (169) falling well short of the gettable total set by the Dragons, Brenton McDonald (66) a shining light in an otherwise dull afternoon for the Tigers, Crispe (3/31) completing a fine double. Richmond may rue their late order collapse as victory would’ve delivered second position on the ladder and guaranteed a home semi final should they progress to the second weekend of the finals series.

Q: When was the last time the MCC lost four matches in a row at the Albert Ground? A: 2011/12. Ben Howell (78) helped Essendon (202) to a reasonable total at the picturesque St Kilda Road venue, Steve Gilmour (3/43) not too shabby for the hosts. The Dees CC Andrew Kent (93) led from the front, Simon Dart (32) provided a little support, Melbourne (8/200) falling just short of the task set, and continuing their recent poor form at home. Steve Reid (3/41) took the bowling honours for the Bombers.



In an upset result at Shepley Oval North Melbourne (3/137) with Brent McMinn (51) the best for the Roos,  needed just over half of their allotted overs to pass Dandenong (136),  Michael Sweeney (50no) the only Panther batsman of note. The reigning premier has dropped three of their last four contests, not the preparation they would’ve had in mind leading into their quarter final contest with minor premier Carlton next weekend.

At the Junction Oval Andrew McGuinness (65no) led St Kilda (3/199) to an easy victory over a disappointing Camberwell (196), James Bett (50) followed up his century last start with a nice encore performance for the Pies, Dan Mueller (3/31) was the best for the Saints with the ball. Next weekend the Magpies will open their finals campaign at Toorak Park, their first post season appearance since 2006/07. The game ended St Kilda’s 2011/12 commitments, and it’s the first time since 98/99 (Jeff Kennett was premier of Victoria, the Adelaide Crows were the reigning premiers of the AFL and Glasgow Rangers had money in the bank) they’re not involved at the business end of the season.

Scott Sanders (103) spearheaded Melbourne University (8/236) to a convincing win against Footscray Edgewater (164) at University Main Oval. It was the 26 year old Sanders’, son of former Fitzroy player of the early 70’s Gary, third century in Premier Cricket and his first since the 2007/08 season. Brett Harrop (5/33) tore through the Dogs middle order, the visitors losing 6/36 to fall from a comfortable 0/65 to 6/101. The 72 run loss brought down the curtain on the magnificent 16 season District/Premier cricket career of Travis Gloury (20). Congratulations and good luck Travis.

At Schramms Reserve, Peter Dickson (78) was the star for Fitzroy Doncaster (4/163), the Lions too good for Ringwood (7/162), passing the Rams target in the 41st over and finishing their season with three wins on the trot. An ordinary start to the new year ultimately sabotaged any finals aspirations Fitzroy Donny may have held. Ringwood’s David A King (28) took his run tally to 853 at an average of 56.87 to lead all scorers for 2011/12 campaign. The 21 year old is a good chance to become just the second Ringwood player, Darren Dempsey being the first to do so in 2000/01, to take out the competitions Ryder Medal.

At Monash University Jake Best (33) top scored for Casey South Melbourne (189). The Bloods were never seriously challenged by Hawthorn Monash Uni (136). Clive Rose (4/20) wouldn’t have done his Ryder Medal chances any harm finishing 2011/12 with career highs of 402 runs/28.71 and 35 wickets at a cost of 22.50 per victim.  Casey South Melbourne missed out on a third consecutive finals appearance by five points, the Hawks early January victory over the Dogs their only success of the campaign.

At the completion of the Home & Away season the final standings, points in brackets, were as follows:

Carlton (71), Prahran (56), Richmond (54), Frankston (53), Geelong (52), Melbourne (49), Camberwell (48), Dandenong (43), Fitzroy Doncaster (39), Casey South Melbourne (38), St Kilda (31), Footscray Edgewater (30.65), Essendon (27), Northcote (26), Ringwood (22), North Melbourne (22), Melbourne University (21), Hawthorn Monash University (5.95)

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