Premier Cricket – Semi Final review


by Mic Rees

Four teams entered the weekend’s action with premiership aspirations. Two remain “alive and kicking”, the other two bowing out in rather ignominious fashion.

At Toorak Park Dandenong captain Darren Dempsey called correctly and sent Prahran in to bat, the opening pair of Stephen Seymour and Daniel Salpietro taking the score to 49 before Paul Boraston dismissed Seymour (23). His dismissal would trigger a catastrophic collapse that would leave the True Blues dreams of a trophy treble in tatters. The heavily favoured home team tumbled to 7/89, and if not for some late order resistance from Rhys Adams (15) and Sam Coates (11), Dandenong’s initial target would’ve been even simpler. When an early tea break was taken Prahran (119) had been dismissed for their lowest total of the season. Boraston (3/23), James Nanopoulos (3/15) Brent Fairbanks (2/24) James Wilcock (1/9) and Justin Butterfield (1/32) proved there is more to the Panther bowling line up than absent champions Siddle and the Pattinsons. Despite a spirited initial spell from the Prahran attack of Seymour, Adams and Paul Sealey, Dandenong’s Brett Forsyth and Tom Donnell advanced the total to 90 before Forsyth (38) was bowled by Sealey. Donnell (61) was dismissed just prior to stumps, the eighth time the consistent 25 year old had passed the half century mark in 2011/12. Dandenong 2/117 would enter the second day three runs shy of a first innings lead, praying for as little precipitation as possible to be deposited on the Orrong Road Oval overnight. Prior to capturing a first innings lead on Sunday the Panthers lost two early wickets, suffering a collapse of their own to lose their last 8 wickets for 66 runs – Dandenong (180) all out. With his third bag of five or more wickets in an innings for the season Paul Sealey (6/42) was the headline act for the hosts.

Quick runs were required if the True Blues were to salvage their season, but with the exception of Liam Murphy (41) and a number of better than a run a ball cameos, Prahran (8/128 dec) with a lead of 67 runs needed a miracle. One wasn’t forthcoming, Forsyth (35no) and Donnell (29no) knocking off the required amount in a little over an hour, Dandenong (0/67) advancing to their third final in the last six seasons. It brought down the curtain on what until Saturdays disaster with the bat had been an extremely successful campaign for the Prahran Cricket Club. Taking both limited over titles however will be cold comfort to a team that just a week earlier looked in great shape to end a 28 season First XI pennant drought.


At Central Reserve Frankston won the toss, and as was the case across town, sent the opposition in to bat. Light rain delayed the start of play by almost a quarter of an hour and when proceedings commenced Ryan Carters and Tom Boxell got the home side off to a solid start adding 32 for the first wicket. Carters (16) was the first to go, play delayed for a second time shortly after with Richmond 1/40. Upon resumption the Tigers lost Boxell (18), Cam White (1), Will Sheridan (0), Andrew Delmont (7) and Brenton McDonald (9) to tumble to 6/59. It came as no surprise that Frankston’s Darren Groves, fresh from a seven wicket haul the previous weekend, was the chief wrecker taking four of the six wickets to fall with Matt Chasemore grabbing the other two. Graham Manou and Dan Sartori added 24 for the seventh wicket before Sartori (10) departed. Manou was then joined by one of the Tigers batting heroes of the previous week, Ben Torney, their team desperately needing a lengthy partnership. They got just that, the score advancing from 7/83 to 8/157 before Manou (52) fell to Scott Boland. Allan Wise provided solid support for Torney, an additional 42 runs resulting from their ninth wicket partnership before Torney (70) became Groves’ fifth victim of the afternoon. Matt Shimmell (0) was the last man dismissed, Richmond (200) all out with Groves (5/38) the Heat hero. His second “five for” in seven days took his season tally to 36, Matt Chasemore (2/15) was the other multiple wicket taker for Frankston.

Frankston’s performances with the bat since returning from the Xmas hiatus have varied between mediocre to appalling having reached 250 only once in 2012, failing to pass 185 with their previous three innings. By the time stumps drawn on Saturday evening the Heats hopes of a return Premier Crickets finale for the second season in a row had been sabotaged by yet another despicable effort with the willow. In 13 and a bit overs Allan Wise (2/6) and Matt Shimmell (2/11) re-establishing the Tigers authority, Frankston 4/21, it’s heartbeat flickering but weak at best. Nick Jewell (12no) and Matt Chasemore (4no) left with plenty of work to do when play resumed the next morning.

The unbeaten pair took the total to 34 early on the second morning before Wise knocked over Jewell (20), Chasemore (9) fell to Will Sheridan and Ben Clements (0) became Wise’s fourth wicket, without further addition. At 7/34, any hopes Frankston had of going “one better” in 2011/12 had been well and truly snuffed out by another superb bowling performance from the home side. Torney (2/3) picked up the final two wickets of the innings to complete a fine double, Frankston Peninsula (61), their last 4 innings producing a miserable 446 runs in total. Wise (4/18 from 16 overs), Shimmell (2/19) and Sheridan (2/19) were terrific helping the Tigers book their place in next weeks final at the Junction Oval.

In his final Premier Cricket appearance 34 year old Darren James Groves remained 3 not out. His first senior XI appearance for the Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club occurred in season 1995/96, Groves taking 464 wickets over the course of a superb 16 season career. Unfortunately the nail biting loss the Heat suffered to Dandenong in the 2010/11 final last March would be the closest he came to the ultimate prize. Congratulations Darren.

Richmond will now meet Dandenong in the 2011/12 Premier Cricket Final to be played at St Kilda’s Junction Oval. The Final, a three day contest, will commence at 10.30am this Friday (30 March) and will continue through to Sunday. Hope to see you there.






  1. John Butler says

    Mic, I played in several teams that had great seasons, only to fall over at the semi-final stage. Never a good feeling. Prahran will be bitterly disappointed.

    But I’m personally delighted to see Dandy through to another GF. Quite a team resolve they seem to have there.

    Here’s to fine weather and a fair contest.

    Might try to catch you there MCR.

  2. John.

    Carlton and Prahran were undoubtedly the best performed sides in the H&A section of 2011/12, yet neither will be at the Junction this weekend, both running into a “hot” team in Dandenong. Of the two the Blues are more likely to rebound better, I feel this Prahran team was built to win NOW.

    As you would be well and truly aware my attempts at picking winners in this competition stinks. Still can’t seperate the two at the minute.

    Have you heard the story doing the rounds that C White may not be available as he will be required to be in India training for the 20/20 comp? Amazing.


  3. John Butler says

    Mic, I wonder how much C White has been distracted by T20 commitments in general.

    He’s had a very average season.

  4. John.

    Unfortunately the 20/20 stuff pays the bills.

    White’s woes in first class & limited overs cricket are well documented. His RCC stats for season 2011/12 are as follows:

    6 Inns, 2 red inks, 304 runs/ave 76.00, H/S 147
    51.4 overs 9 mds 193 runs/5wkts ave 38.60 BB 3/52

    I’m sure the Tigers would love him to be available this weekend.


  5. Steve Fahey says

    Thanks for these great reports on Premier League cricket Mic

    It should be a great final, I favour Dandenong to make it back to back.

    Carlton’s continued demises in the first week of the finals is amazing and can go either way – build resolve or disintegrate resolve and/or the team

  6. Steve, it is the first time that the Blues have gone out in the 1/4 finals since 07/08. They won a semi, lost 2 semis and drawn a semi.
    They are in the youngest 3 teams in the competition. They have rebuilt since losing Welsford (Captain &Vic Rep), Allen (Ryder Medalist), Dickinson (400 + wicket taker), Gulbis (Tas), Ludeman (SA), Holland (Vic to Frankston), Sheedy (to Capt Rich last 2 seasons), Peter Budge (leading run scorer last season to QLD), amongst others.

    Ringwood have lost 6 players since the GF win over the Blues – the same number. Last year they missed the finals, this year 15th.

    Mic is correct – Blues upside enormous. The Club has rebuilt and regenerated itself without going down. Ignorant comments by so called experts and no disrespect intended but also you Steve – means they have been a victim of their own development programs at the club – that keep producing players to more than just compete. Once they get one flag and that wont be too far away, it should be a good ride for some time.
    Hancock (20), McCormick (23), Keen (24), Buszard (23), Smyth (19) McKenna (20), Ross (22). They had 5 State U/17’s this year, plus young bowlers Sweet (21), Andree (19), Gilbert (18), Mire (22), Sidebottom (22) and Freeman (16)…add to that Pilon (35) Austin (29) Salm (28) Millard (30) and Manser (28)…….

    I’ll give you a tip – this club will be up there for a number of years yet. Up to 6 seventeen year olds playing in the 2s this year……its only upside for the Blues.

    Prahran was an older experienced team – Salpietro probably the youngest at 24.

    On talent, Richmond should win, but Dandenong has also a sprinkling of youth and a lot of Premiership players. They know how to get the job done. If the State players and former State players for the tigers stand tall – they will be too good.

    It could be a whitewash if Donnell, Forsyth & Dempsey fail. Their batting is thin. Richmond is more balanced overall.
    Tigers for me.

  7. Steve – Thank you very much.

    Bluesfan – I too selected the Tigers. Taking into consideration my pathetic attempts at picking winners this season you should put the house on the Panthers.


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