The women kicked off a huge weekend of cricket at the Hill with their match against Holy Trinity Blue at home (Preston). After winning the toss and electing to bat, Lucy (36 retired) and Jackie (8) got them off to a great start with an opening partnership of 46. Lauren (16) and Bec/Bobbie (20 no) kept the runs flowing, and they finished with a respectable total of 3-109 at the close of their 20 overs.
Holy Trinity struggled early, losing 3-22, due to some tight bowling and great fielding by the Hillers, including three run outs; one a piece to Lauren, Nolsey, and a brilliant direct hit from Willow. They regrouped to build a partnership of 54, before Rachel got the breakthrough, but a fine overall bowling and fielding performance proved too much for Trinity, who finished on 4-88, 21 runs shy of the target. Chicken went to Bobbie, who made 20 not out and was inspirational in the field!
The Ones faced Burwood Uniting Canterbury at home, and were sent into bat after losing the toss. After a swashbuckling knock of 13 by Eamonn, BenCap (44) joined Cottsy (59) at the crease. Cottsy tore a hamstring not long after, yet soldiered on heroically, aided by the fresh legs of Eamonn, who got some much needed time in the middle (albeit as a runner), and the trio set about building a fine partnership of 108. Jim Bluer slightly sullied his excellent run of recent form with a golden duck, as did Slav, although apparently he hit it well! Chegs (11) and the Goldman (14) then chipped in with some quick-fire runs, bringing the total to 181 after 40 overs.
A couple of early strikes to Ben Slav (1-3 off 1.4) and Monty (1-20 off 8) had the visitors on the back foot, and they slumped to 4-43 before staging a comeback with a partnership of 73 for the fifth wicket. However, some good bowling (James Wright 1-27 from 8, Eamonn 4-42 and Cottsy 1-24 off 8) and fielding by the Hillers contributed to wickets at regular intervals, and Burwood Uniting were finally all out for 164 in the 40th over. The only bad news for the day was that Slav injured his shoulder bowling and had to come off in his second over. Fans of the debonair quick will be hoping for a speedy recovery! Chicken went to Cottsy for his fine innings and economical bowling. The hallowed hessian bag (‘spud of the day’) went to Monty, who was ambushed by Jack Russell terrier whilst putting out the cones and soundly bitten on the back of the knee. Doubtless the little fella was keen for a taste of noble Stuart blood! Fears of possible rabies were allayed by Monty’s spell of bowling, which although characteristically frugal, produced no evidence of heightened aggression, extra pace, or foaming of the mouth.
The Two’s were away at Lynden Park against Burwood Uniting Canterbury, and after some conjecture about the state of the ground, the umpire made the executive decision that play would go ahead. Parlane won the toss and silenced the critics by electing to bat. Locc (43) and Entwisle (13) got through the first 10 overs with a solid partnership of 36. Two more great partnerships ensued, with Wortho (66) and Locc putting on 59, and Wortho and Peaky the Younger (36), adding 53. Jake (16) and Tom “Heston”(14) added quick runs at the end, setting a respectable total of 202.
Ben Levens set the standard in the field with the first ball of the Burwood innings throwing down the stumps to run out the non-striker for a diamond duck! Then wickets from Parlane (2-39 from 7) and Dane (1-17 from 7) had the opposition reeling at 3-3, from which they never really recovered, as the bowling unit continued to bowl good areas and take regular wickets. Ben Levens chimed in with 2-16 from 6, Finley Ward got 2-11 from 4 in his first game for the Two’s, while Wortho surprised everyone (except himself) with 2-14 off 5, to top off an excellent day out for him and the team. Burwood Uniting Canterbury all out for 128, Clifton Hill win by 74 runs! Chicken to Peaky who helped keep the momentum going through the middle order. Congrats to Wortho who earned the Tom Bellis for his fine form, which reportedly continued through the night and well into the next day, proving he’s more than capable of putting together a long innings!
The Three’s were at home against Heathmont, who won the toss and elected to bat. Although the Three’s bowled well, it was a somewhat underwhelming performance with the bat from Heathmont…a nudge here, a nick there…the occasional agricultural swipe. Gigs was back to his parsimonious best (1-18 from 8), and Empty (0-21 off 8) bowled well without luck, when a clearly flu-stricken Harro grassed a dolly off his bowling at gulley. This proved to be a tactical masterstroke, and was later claimed as such by Harro, as the bloke batted 19 overs for 16 runs. Dave Sheehan (2-35 off 6) managed to coax a couple of Heathmont batsmen out from under the fridge with some tempting pies, although Cameron Saw took a liking to them and helped himself to 15 off his last over. Heathmont set a target of 164 for victory, which was probably about 40 short on Fairlea.
JHo (40) and Harro (21) got the Three’s off to a great start with a solid opening partnership of 48, before Ben Bruscella (61 no) came to the crease. After a few sighters, Ben proceeded to pummel the Heathmont bowlers to all parts. He was ably supported by Spock (10) and Stan Mills (16 no), before sealing the game with a trademark straight six, with 5 overs to spare. Chicken to Gigs for his tight spell and enthusiasm in the field, which included a brilliant one hand stop in the covers.
The Fours were away against Richmond Union at Kevin Bartlett oval, best described as a postage stamp ground and bowlers graveyard. They won the toss, elected to bat and got off to a flier to be 1-51 off 5, with Jonesy making 23, and Gav notching up 51 retired. Rocket (43), Alex Smith (30), Ralph (50 retired) and Grant (21 no) all kept the score ticking over at good pace, and the Hill finished with a competitive total of 4-241 from 35 overs.
Conditions were tough for the opening bowlers, with Richmond Unions man-mountain opening batsmen making the most of the grounds unreasonably short square boundaries. But Geoff Smith (2-46 off 7), Mitch Challis (2-35 off 7) picked up wickets, and the rest of the bowlers continued to take wickets at regular intervals. Alex Smith (1-26 from 6) and Zac Hancock (1-24 from 5), both bowled well, but the pick of the bowlers was Jack Barrett, who took 2-15 from 6. Chicken went to Gav Rogers for his 51 no and a stumping.
The Fifths had a tough, albeit, short day out against STC South Camberwell. After winning the toss and electing to bat, they found themselves in trouble early at 3-14 after 9 overs. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, with only Paul Hodge (18) and Doug Scott (21) offering much resistance, whilst captain Jeff Burstin led by example with a fighting 27 no. On the positive side, they managed to bat out their overs, reaching 7-99 from their 35.
99 was always going to be tough to defend on Fairlea, and this indeed proved to be the case, with STC reaching the target after 11.1 overs for the loss of just one wicket. Jeff (1-46 from 5) picked up the wicket, but refused to take the chicken, and declared it a chicken free day in his match report.
Pink Ribbon Day
Women and junior girls combined
Day two of a huge weekend of cricket at the Hill kicked off with an exhibition match between Clifton Hill junior girls and women combined versus Holy Trinity women and junior girls combined at Rammo. Clifton Hill batted first and got off to a great start with an opening partnership of 24 between Lauren (26 retired) and Evie (4). Another fine partnership of 14 followed between Lauren and Georgie (3), and Gracie (6) starred with the bat at the end of the innings to help the Hillers to 4-69 after their allotted 14 overs.
The Clifton Hills junior girls starred with the ball, with a couple early wickets to Eliza (1-9 off 2) and Violet (1-6 off 2). Claire kept up the pressure on the Holy Trinity batters, with a maiden, before Rachel (9 no) and Amelie (8 retired) staged a middle order fight back for the visitors. However, Holy Trinity fell just short of the required total and finished at 4-54, so that Clifton Hill were able to hang on and win the inaugural Pink Stumps match. The game was played in excellent spirit for an important cause, and both teams look forward to making it an annual tradition.
The Ones then took on Deepdene Uniting in the second big match of the day, and after winning the toss, elected to send the opposition in. The visitors got off to a solid start and put together a series of good partnerships to be 4-133 after 29. T. Hage (79) anchored the innings, batting through to the 38th over. Jim Wright bowled well (0-28 off 8) and Cottsy picked up a couple (2-45 off 8), although the pick of the bowlers was Lou Burstin, who snared his first five-for the Ones (5-40 off 8). Deepdene finished with a respectable 8-195.
The Ones were in trouble early, losing Cottsy for 3. But a great partnership of 103 between Harry (67) and BenCap (49) put the Hillers in a great position to be 1-127 after 25. Unfortunately, however, this excellent start was squandered, and a couple of nightmare collapses ensued, with the Ones losing 5-9, and then 4-5. Some late hitting from Eamonn (15 including 2 sixes) added some respectability to the score, but they were all out in the 35th over for 160, giving Deepdene a win by 35 runs.
Overall, this was a fantastic community oriented day of cricket played in great spirit. The Club raised $1400 for the McGrath Foundation for breast cancer research, and strengthened relationships between the 3 clubs involved. Hopefully, we can build on this and make Pink Ribbon Day an annual event and continue on with the great work! Thanks to Holy Trinity Cricket Club and Deepdene Uniting for taking part, and special mention to Liddy Clark, Sharon Lynas, Bek Drake, Ben Caplikas, Eamonn Scott and the committee for all their efforts in making the day a terrific success!
What has 12 men, but only 21 and a half legs? The Over the Hillers travelled to the serene leafy surrounds of Chelsworth Park to take on Ivanhoe. They won the toss and elected to bat, getting off to a slow start to be 1-25 off 10. Then tragedy struck when Jonesy did a hammy running between wickets and was forced to retire hurt on 23. Ben Bruscella (23) batted well and Dave Wright (17) looked menacing until he was beaten in the flight from a leggie, only to be stumped. To add insult to injury, Dave also did a hammy trying to get back in his crease. Some late order hitting from Harro (38) saw the score up to 9-169 after 36 overs. Ivanhoe probably saved an extra 20 runs with mind boggling feats of athleticism and an enviable total disregard for their age!
The Vets took the field minus Jonesy, with Dave Wright on 1 leg and Dave Sheehan on 1 and a half legs. Gigs (0-32 off 5.2) and Tucci (1-13 off 6) applied the pressure early, and the home side were struggling at 2-22 after 10. Ben (1-15 off 3) and Mocc (1-20 off 6) bowled well, as did Craig Fryers (2-27 off 5). By the 28th over, the Vets were in the box seat: Ivanhoe were 4-100, needing 70 off the last 8 to win. However, it was evident that the rigours of age and two consecutive days of cricket had taken their toll on many of the Vets players, as they struggled to restrict Ivanhoe from running numerous 2’s and 3’s. By contrast, the Ivanhoe batsmen seemed to have drunk from the fountain of youth, and with renewed vigour, hurtled towards the total with a flurry of boundaries and some excellent running between wickets. Overall it was a good match played in great spirit, with Ivanhoe too good and reaching the total in the last over.