ROUND 13 v Melbourne
The 2nd XI came up against a strong top 4 opponent in Melbourne on the week end. Having lost the toss and asked to bowl, early pressure was applied with the ball and in the field with MCC 4/91.
Heading into tea break the 2nd XI could not find regular breakthroughs and partnerships continued to flourish and by the close of play the target set was 370
With full intent and confidence in chasing the set total the 2nd XI could not find early partnerships and just after the lunch break were 5/105. Strong hitting and aggressive batting began to swing the momentum back in Carlton’s direction late in the 2nd session but it could not be maintained with regular wickets falling the 2nd XI were all out for 281
On behalf of the 2nd XI we would all like to congratulate Mark Phelan on his recent succes...
Confidence was high amongst the 4th XI after a convincing outright victory the previous week. The season was back on track and the next challenge ahead was Melbourne, playing at Fawkner Park where grass has not been seen so thick since the police last raided Snoop Dogg's "tool shed".
Winning the toss and electing to bowl on an awfully warm day worked out well for the Blues as an early breakthrough was found from Swedish import Sam Walker. Walker in his first game of the season proved to be a little green, bowling inconsistently with good pace. Three head high full tosses saw Walker (1/26) out of the attack in his 8th over. Paradisis (0/30) had an off day, most likely distracted by what his mother and sister would have done to him if he was late to the family christening. Wilson (1/19), Hinchliffe (1/20) and Line (1/12) all bowled well and got much needed break throughs after Melbourne developed some partnerships. Perera (3/71) felt the full force of attacking batsmen as he was targeted and had several boundaries hit of his bowling however still managed to grab 3 wickets to compliment a nice display of fielding at midwicket for a direct hit run out he had completed earlier in the day. Pickles was the pick of the bowlers, mixing up his pace and making it tough for batsmen to score. He ended the innings with figures of 1/33 and Melbourne declared 9/221 leaving the Blues openers 6 overs to face at the end of day one. Pell and White saw out the day without taking any risks.
Week two and confidence was still high amongst the team. White and Pell (34) batted for over an hour putting on 52 before Pell missed a ball and got bowled. Crowle (21) came out to bat and could not handle the intensity of White, and eventually saw Crowle be a little sick on the field. However Crowle continued to bat until the tea break before crashing in the change rooms. After tea Line and White continued, before White (34) got judge out to a ball that bounced into gullies hands. This harsh wicket lost the Blues momentum as Perera (0) and Colaco (6) struggled at the crease to find runs. The ever reliable Line and Pickles partnership was needed and called upon. Both Line and Pickles picked their areas and bowlers to score off and had the scoreboard ticking and had control of the match. Line (43) smashed a ball straight and got caught to a big diving catch at mid on, bringing his 2+ hour stance to an end. Pickles (27) could not find the fluent scoring again before being done by a slower ball. Paradisis (16) contributed well to the chase, however the run rate required proved too much to keep up with. Harbinson (2) and Wilson (0) could not aid the run chase leaving the Blues score all out for 188. A disappointing effort by the team this week as the score of 221 was definitely an easy target to get. This puts a very tough challenge on the team for the rest of the season, however they feel up to it and will fight until the end.
1st XI One Day Semi Final v Geelong
Bright, sunny conditions greeted the players for the first final of the One Day competition. Carlton faced Geelong, who they had beaten in the country round in Warrnambool in Round 5, earlier in the season. The Geelong team was slightly different to the one faced in Warrnambool, with notably Aaron Finch included for the contest.
Geelong won the toss and batted on a pitch that looked like it may prove some early assistance. This proved to be not necessarily the case with good bowling from Manser and Austin ensuring Carlton would get off to its usual tight start with the ball. Manser got an early LBW on Butterworth and Austin followed with Harrison caught behind by Pilon. At 2 – 32, the opening bowlers had done well, with Finch threatening to take the game away with his aggressive style. This build of pressure seemed to have its effect when Salm got the key wicket caught at third man, going for the big one.
At 3 – 58, Carlton had the opportunity to make in roads into the Geelong batting line up. The Buchanan brothers began the rescue and put together a match winning partnership. Smart footwork, great hands and putting away of the bad ball, saw the two of them put on 150 for the fourth wicket. Austin got the wicket of Meyrick Buchanan to an attempted ramp that was caught by Pilon standing up to the stumps. Brother Liam followed off Manser caught by Salm attempting the same shot. A smart slower ball from Manser saw the Blues back in the game at 5 – 213.
A steady flow of wickets continued in the latter overs with great death bowling from Manser, Salm and Keen ensuring the total was 262, and in the gettable range. After being 4 – 211 in the 40th, 262 wasn’t a bad result and gave the Blues a hope in the contest.
The chase didn’t start well when Keen was dismissed second ball off the spinner Muller. Buszard and Hancock batted well and were scoring freely and easily of the rotation of spinners employed by Geelong. Buszard unfortunately fell to part-timer Butterworth, just as the momentum was coming back the Blues way. Hancock and Pilon then put together and excellent partnership which took the score to 98. The partnership was characterised by excellent footwork to the spinners and some punishing shots to the bad balls. Jake’s dismissal brought Ross to the crease, who looked good in his short time there. When he fell to Hart, a one handed catch across non-striker Pilon, the score was 4 – 124. Needing 6 an over to win, Smyth and Pilon looked terrific, positive and committed in their partnership. A 49 run partnership was broken when Smyth looked to clear the longest boundary at Princes Park off spinner Hart. He got every bit of it but was caught just inside the boundary by Buchanan.
McKenna followed quickly along with Manser, so it turned to the tail to support Pilon in their quest for 8 an over, which turned to 10 an over fairly quickly. In a superhuman effort, Pilo kept the Blues in the game with an unbelievable captain’s knock. In what was a test of endurance and concentration (Pilon kept 50 overs and was in before the 10th over), Pilo’s efforts to get us on target was a huge effort. His dismissal with 45 still needed to get off five overs, made the task fairly difficult for 9, 10 and 11 but still gave us a chance. This proved to be the case with the Blues dismissed in the 47th over for 231. Pilon’s innings of 106 from the same amount of balls had given the Blues a chance to win the game, but a lack of support from the rest of us ultimately led to the loss for Carlton. Whilst it was disappointing to lose, full attention could be turned to the winning of the flag at the end of the season. This is ultimately what the squad is looking to do, and would continue to work towards this goal in the coming 10 weeks.
ROUND 12 v Fitzroy Doncaster
With the One Day games now complete, the Two Day matches would now come become the main part of the fixture. Carlton would travel to Schramms Reserve in Doncaster to fight for the John Scholes Trophy. Fitzroy had held this trophy for the last two seasons, so the Blues were determined to win this trophy but also maintain their buffer at the top of the ladder.
On arrival the pitch looked have a little moisture under the surface, and this was confirmed when Fitzroy won the toss and elected to bowl. Fitzroy were obviously looking for early wickets, but some excellent opening batting from Jake Hancock and Trent McCormick made sure this would not be the case. With the ball moving significantly the two openers played beautifully and began to frustrate the Fitzroy bowlers who were searching for the first wicket. Unfortunately, Jake was dismissed for 49 in the last over before lunch, but at 1 – 93, the opening pair had certainly done their job.
The great batting continued in Session Two with McCormick and Keen, picking off the bad deliveries and keeping out the good ones. Keen was next to go with the score on 170, a valuable 77 run partnership. Pilon and McCormick safely saw Carlton through to tea, a terrific platform for the last session.
McCormick had constructed a chanceless 94, when he was trapped in front by young spinner Alavi. Whilst disappointed not to get a hundred a career best 94, with trademark cuts and drives, had set the game up for Carlton on a difficult pitch. Pilon was dismissed not long after McCormick and the innings was in danger of derailing after a lot of hard work. However, Smyth and Buszard had other ideas, taking the Blues safely through to stumps at a finish of 4 – 291. With Carlton at the top of the ladder, and Fitzroy needing to win to force its way into the eight with a win, the Blues certainly held the upper hand with the option of batting on next week depending on the conditions presented. Smyth finished on 51 not out and Buszard 25 not out at the close of play.
Day Two saw bright sunny conditions, with pitch looking fairly white, and the outfield fast. Carlton elected to keep batting and Fitzroy decided to take the new ball, after electing to keep using the old ball the week before. This had immediate effect dismissing Buszard for 30. Ross came and went quickly and at 6 – 304, Fitzroy had sniff of a quick kill. Tom Smyth was batting well, and with some great support from third gamer Ashley Sweet, a partnership in good time was constructed. “Gary” whacked three fours in his 19 from 21 balls, and this provided excellent support to Tom who unleashed some lovely long balls off the spinner. When Smythy was finally dismissed for a career best 86, Carlton had reached 350. 59 runs had been added in the 61 balls faced in the morning. The momentum was clearly with the Blues with the Lions faced a tough chase.
Fitzroy got off to the worst possible start when key batsman Dickson was dismissed for 10, caught at first slip by Hancock, bowled Nick Austin. This was Aussie’s 300th Premier 1XI wicket, a fantastic achievement for the club stalwart and leader of the attack.
A run out brought about the dismissal of Vardi with an excellent chase and throw from Sweet, and then Pilon provided the stroke of genius with a backhand flick onto the stumps. At 2 – 19 the Lions were in trouble. This was confirmed when Bremner was dismissed to Sweet, caught Pilon. This was Ash’s first wicket at Premier 1XI level. At 3 -37 the Blues were well on top going into the lunch break.
Session Two continued like the end of the first with regular wickets falling. Once the partnership between Tormey and Mash was broken, this exposed the middle order to the relentless Blues bowling. Austin built on his early wicket getting Huntley caught behind and then bowling Augustin. Smyth then chimed in with a very sharp catch. If he hadn’t taken it would have certainly killed the umpire. At 7 – 110 the Blues were in control at the tea break.
The last session saw the Lions came out blazing with Captain Mash looking to make one last effort to get the big total. A diving catch from Buszard at point to dismiss Mash off the bowling of Salm was a very timely dismissal and important to finishing the game quickly. Salm then terrorised the tail, with Smythy cashing in on the pressure with the wicket of Pietersz from the other end. Salm then finished off with a brute, taking the gloves of Fagg on the way through to Pilon. All out 143, had been a dismantling, complete domination by the Carlton boys. The convincing victory would keep us at the top of the ladder and would begin our two-day campaign in an excellent manner.
Fresh off the success of the victory against Dandenong, the 4XI’s next challenge came from Fitzroy Doncaster. On yet another day that looked like threatening to rain the Blues won the toss and elected to field.
The Wilson brothers once again opening the bowling, showing all those hours in the back garden trying to outdo each other is paying off. Domination coming in the form of swing, cut and consistency forced the Fitzroy Doncaster searching for answers. Stu Wilson producing one of the top overs for the match saw 3 wickets fall including 2 from 2 balls, with the hat trick ball unlucky not to be another wicket. Stu finished his spell and the inning with tidy figures of 3/7 off 8 overs. Matt continued to bowl and the batsmen never looked comfortable against him, finishing the innings with 4/20 off 14 overs. Maidens were the order of the day with both Wilsons getting 5 each, Pickles 6, Hinchliffe (0/4) also 1 maiden. Pickles also showed great lines and lengths in his spell getting 1/4 off 8 overs. Brown was introduced and finished the innings on his forth ball. The bowling effort was superb as Fitzroy Doncaster struggled to amass a total of 10/37.
The batting tactics were made clear by Pickles, as Perera and Pell set to the task of chasing down the total. Pell (8) never looked comfortable give a few opportunities before being caught out. Line and Perera (16) came together to put on 31 to get the 4XI score past that of Fitzroy Doncaster. Line looked to dominate from his first ball, playing a fine pull shot along the ground for 4 and countless classic cover drives finding the boundary each time. The success full batting duo of Line and Colaco combined once again increasing the run rate and elevating the score to 130 before Line got caught behind on a high sky ball. Line (62) showed fine form and made run scoring look easy as he got close to doubling the Fitzroy Doncaster total by himself. Colaco played some large shots to end up on 36 not out before Pickles (4) got run out and called the declaration, Carlton ends innings one 4(dec)/140.
A lead of 103 and the opportunity of an outright victory were clear. The Wilson brothers again showing the dominance of the first innings. Stu once again taking multiple wickets in one over getting 2/15 from his 11 overs. Matt showing his maturity bowled consistently and fought hard to get his 4/18. Pickles bowled 19 overs of varying pace to get some key wickets finishing on 2/31. Brown (0/16), Hinchliffe (0/9) and Line (0/18) were all used and kept things tight yet their efforts went wicketless. Paradisis (1/24) and Perera (1/15) provided some tight spin bowling both breaking tough partnerships. When Fitzroy Doncaster showed some resistance in the form of a 51 run partnership, Matt Wilson stepped up and took the game in his hands, tight bowling and building pressure meant that wickets were the only thing Matt and the 4XI would allow on their field. Eventually Fitzroy Doncaster were bowled out for 149, gaining a lead of just 46.
With 47 runs required to win from 11 overs, Pickles called upon Line and Colaco to open the innings and get the run chase underway. Line (0) couldn’t continue his form from the first innings middling a ball straight back to the bowler. Colaco (23) found runs all around the ground before getting out to a fine catch at third man. With the score on 31, just 16 run more were required for an outright victory. The ball to run ratio was getting tighter each over. However a fine display of drives from Pickles (13 not out) and support from Pell (6 not out) saw the Blues over the line.
A well deserved outright victory from the 4XI this week, with dominance in the ball, bat and field proved that we are a force to be reckoned with. Moving up the ladder a finals birth is now within reach.
ROUND 11 vs v Dandenong
On return from the Christmas break, Carlton faced last season’s premiers Dandenong. In what is always a tough contest in all grades this game proved to be no different.
Dandenong won the toss and elected to bat, making first use of a good wicket at Princes Park. Peter Manser broke through for the first wicket, dismissing Brett Forsyth for six. Manser continued his reliable tight bowling in a fantastic opening 9 over straight spell. He finished with figures of 1 for 22. English import Dawson came and went quickly with a first wicket for Salm, with Dandenong now 2 for 34. Captain Dempsey and opener Donnell then went about resurrecting the Dandenong innings putting together a game changing 108 run partnership in even time.
Dempsey was dismissed for 58 to fantastic outfield catch from Peter Manser off the bowling of Nick Austin. A quick 34 from 30 balls from Nanopoulos kept the momentum going for Dandenong, along with a good strategic take of the batting powerplay. Nanopoulos was dismissed to by the diving Peter Manser at third man off the bowling of Salm. Donnell continued to accumulate runs and took advantage of the odd bad ball offered by the Carlton bowlers. His hundred was brought up in the 45th Over where he then preceded to take advantage of a few loose deliveries. His 139 run innings from 158 balls with the foundation of the innings and a terrific knock for his team. Carlton would be chasing 258 to win.
The Carlton pursuit didn’t start in the best possible fashion with in-form opener Jake Hancock run out for 1. The ship was steadied by Keen and Buszard, with a 66 run partnership. The loss of Keen was unfortunate, as his innings was constructed well and he looked in for big afternoon. Buszard and Pilon looked to be putting the innings back on track before Buszard went for 40, leaving the Carlton at 3 for 102. The loss of Smyth and Pilon quickly put a big dent in the run chase leaving the innings teetering at 5 for 138.
A 43 run partnership between Nick Ross and Lachie McKenna, looked to give the home side a sniff of victory with Rossy hitting the ball particularly well and scoring freely from all bowlers. Requiring 8 an over to win, the tail couldn’t provide any support, with Rossy eventually dismissed for a well made 65. Carlton innings was closed at 218, falling 40 runs short. It was a certainly a day of missed opportunities with a chance to keep the winning form going. Whilst disappointed, our good start to the season meant that we would still finish top of the One Day ladder and would host Geelong in a Semi final in a fortnight. With some areas to improve on, we could look forward to this date in a few weeks time.
Refreshed from the Christmas and New Years break the 4XI were eager to get things off to a good start. With Pickles back in charge and some excellent team tactics at the ready, Pickles lost the toss and the Blues were told to field.
Playing at Wilson oval it was fitting to have Matt Wilson (0/22) and Stu Wilson (1/16) open the bowling and show dominance. A brilliant opening bowling partnership kept the runs tight and got wickets flowing, with both Wilsons taking a wicket each. Pickles (3/33) showed that pace was not needed as his gentle medium pace got the breakthroughs. Shenton (3/35) also continued the great bowling getting go pace and bounce from his height. Hinchliffe (0/16), Perera (0/23) and Paradisis (0/27) all bowled with good execution however were all unlucky to go wicketless. Having Dandenong 5/38 at one stage the Blues relaxed and aloud a final total of 163 to be reached from the 45 overs, dropped catches and team flatness attributed to Dandenong getting away.
The batting saw an opening partnership of 49 form between Phelan and Perera. Phelan found the middle of the bat as he dispatched any bowling to the boundary. Phelans (32) demise came as he gave away his wicket and brought Line to the crease. The fast scoring diminished as Perera and Line put on another 23 runs, before Line (7) soon departed. Perera (23) fell soon after and Pickles (7) also failing to capatalise on the small ground. M Wilson and Paradisis were called upon and provided an excellent partnership of 70 to bring the Blues within reach of the total. Paradisis continued his form from before Christmas and scored freely, before hauling out for 33. Wilson scored all around the ground including a massive 6 over mid wicket ended the innings not out with 34 to back up his fine display of bowling earlier in the day. M Perera was brought out to the crease with just 20 runs to win. As the totals got closer M Perera decided to finish things quickly ending the game with a 6 getting the 4s second half of the season off to the perfect start.
ROUND 10 vs Ringwood
After a disappointing narrow defeat against Essendon the week before, the 4XI were ready to once again try and turn their season around. With Captain Pickles still promoted to the 3XI, Paradisis continued his leadership and started the day well by winning the toss and electing to bat.
A tough start to the innings saw Phelan (0) and Perera (11) both out before the Blues had reached 30. Line and Brown set the stabalising period putting together a 45 run partnership. A fine display of running between wickets saw runs flow quickly and Carlton begin to regain momentum, before Brown gave the cover fieldsmen a catch to end the partnership. The form shown in the previous week by McKenna couldn’t be replicated as a full toss was missed that was hitting the wickets. Line departed the first ball after drinks for 34 after he and Paradisis looked to get the runs flowing. Paradisis continued his dominance with the bat as he and Harbinson piled a 35 run partnership, of which Harbinson made 1. Harbinson and Wilson (0) fell quickly and Shenton (14) was brought to help Paradisis form a competitive total. Forty-four runs were added as Paradisis brought up his 50 runs. The innings ended Paradisis ended the innings on 68 not out providing a captains knock to narrowly put the Blues ahead.
As the 4ths entered the field confidence was high on defending the total. Wilson (0/23) and Brown (0/15) opened the bowling allowing an opening partnership of 56 pushed momentum back in Ringwoods favour, before Shenton got the breakthrough. Wickets fell at irregular intervals as Shenton (3/23), Perera (2/15) and Paradisis (2/38) making their way through the Ringwood batting line up. At 6/102 the Blues felt in control and ready to take the points away from the match. Resistance came from Ringwood and as McKenna (0/24) and Line (1/21) kept things tight. As the runs to balls tally kept creeping closer together and the Ringwood batting line up got deeper the Blues began to fight hard to save the match. In the end Ringwood got the runs with 1 over to spare and once again the Blues lost a close battle. A disappointing result to head into the Christmas break.
ROUND 9 vs Essendon
Fresh off the convincing victory against Casey – South Melbourne the 4th XI headed out to Essendon to continue their form. With a long list of player promotions and unavailability’s it was going to be a tough match for the Blues. Carlton was sent in to bat on a grassy wicket which looked fair to both sides. The pace of the wicket caused havoc for the Carlton batsmen as many mistimed and aerial shots dominated the batting card. Phelan showed patients and a display of fine shots to be the backbone of the innings making 40. Reljic (11), Line (17), Brown (0), R Perera (2), Hounihan (3) and Paradisis (1) failed to capitalise on the bowling of Essendon and failed in their attempt to add to the total batting score. Young veteran Brian McKenna showed his juniors how to bat with solid shots bringing multiple boundaries. McKenna saw Harbinson (10), Wilson (3) and Hinchliffe (0) fall to end the innings not out on 21, helping scrape the 4th XI score to 111.
With a small score to defend the Carlton bowlers came out fired up and ready for the challenge. Having Essendon 4/13, things were looking great for the Blues to gain the points before the impending storm hit. Wilson’s ever tight bowling got him 1 wicket, with an unlucky LBW decision going against him to deny multiple wickets. Brown stepped up his game bowling an excellent opening spell and finished the day with 4 for 31. Resistance came from the Essendon batters as the fifth wicket partnership amounted to 71. Having Essendon still in a vulnerable position at 5 for 84 the Blues still could smell a victory in the air, that smelled turned out to be a light rain storm and play was deferred. After the rain delay Essendon found the middle of the bat and continued to creep towards the total. On the final ball of the day Essendon managed to pass the Carlton score. Overnight a large quantity of rain hit forcing the match to be abandoned the following day. A disappointing effort by the team this week, however next week is a new game and a new challenge for the squad.
ROUND 8 vs Casey Sth Melbourne
It was a young and relatively inexperienced 2nd XI side selected to take on Casey-South Melbourne. Mother Nature was in a better mood and the boys could prepare knowing they would get a full weekend of cricket at Princes Park. CSM won the toss but Les wasn't too concerned as he said “this wicket will have about 307 runs in it today." Wise words from the skip. Borg and Goulding got the blue boys off to a cautious start before Borgy snicked one behind with his broken bat for 23. Phelo came to the crease but departed soon after for 5. Gouldy middled one to the keeper only for the umpire to give him not out. This act of cheating clearly played on his mind as he was bowled soon after for 24. The blue boys went in for some chicken 3 down with Bonney and Smyth at the crease. Bon Bon departed soon after the break bringing Les to the crease. H and Les combined for a good partnership before H let one sneak through the gate for a well made 41. Sol came out to bat and smashed a few around. After a marathon innings of 18 balls, Professor Sol threw his wicket away for 21 and continued to give the young blue boys his lecture on the philosophy of women. The blues headed into the last session at the precarious position of 6-172. Les and Sweet continued to tick the scoreboard over and before we knew it, Les had brought up his century. Les' brilliant knock came to an end at 111 while Sweety departed for a more than handy 56. Gilbert played a patient innings before becoming wicket number 9. Hand and Kanoniuk saw out the rest of the day for the blues to finish at 9-307. Les obviously wanted to be the only century maker for the innings as he declared on Sunday morning leaving the two not out batsman still waiting for their maiden centuries. The blues left the change rooms ready to have a field, only for the opposition to be prepared to do exactly the same thing. Apparently the CSM skipper didn't understand Les when he told them they would be batting. Professor Sol and Sweety opened up the bowling and it wasn't long before Sol had his first 2nd XI wicket. Kanoniuk then snuck on to take 2 wickets before the boys headed in for another feed of chicken. The middle session was a tough one for the blues but the spinners worked hard and eventually the wickets came. The game was very much in the balance heading into the last session. With the wicket playing a few tricks the bowlers just had to put the ball in the right areas and the batsmen would be in trouble. Gilbert managed to pick up a couple after bowling without luck in his first spell. Kanoniuk got one to skid through and then combined with Borgy for the third time in the day to bowl CSM out for 242. The bowlers each did a great job, bowling patiently and in good areas. Sweety was the pick of the bowlers, building pressure and taking wickets. Sol did a great job for the team by doing the hard yards into the wind late in the day. Kanoniuk managed to pick up a few wickets as a result of the pressure created at the other end. Gilb did well to recover from his first over that included three boundaries from edges through slips. The spinners, H and Mitch, bowled brilliantly despite the batsman coming after them. It goes without saying that Les' knock set up the win and the batsman would have learnt a lot from the way he went about building his innings. It was great for the young team to pick up the points, but the experience that the young boys gained would have been even greater.
“There is no answer to the Pythagorean theorem. Well, there is an answer, but by the time you figure it out, I got 40 points, 10 rebounds, and then we’re planning for the parade.” - Shaquille O’Neal
Before the 3rd over was completed the 3rd XI had Casey 2 for 1. A tight opening spell had Carlton in control when drinks came. After a lengthy 3rd wicket partnership TOS was introduced into the attack and Casey quickly went from 2/70 to 9/88. ‘MC’ Culvenor was left to mop up the tail and with a well ‘flighted’ delivery Carlton had Casey all out for 106 at tea.
“Stand up and take your medicine like a man” -Shaquille O’Neal
The Carlton innings started off with a bang with Sturg narrowly avoiding killing the point fieldsman with full blooded cut shot for 4. Carlton had 40 overs to bat and after losing Donny, Sturg and Jack Guercio went about securing a big lead overnight. After Sturg picked out the mid wicket fieldsman perfectly Tos and Geursch took our lead to over 100 runs with 60 overs remaining on the final day which was perfect for a declaration
“As a man, you got to know how to take it, so I just took it.” -.....................Shaquille O’Neal
Our efforts to take full points from Casey were met with stubborn resistance. Even a pre inning rev up from skipper Percy on body odour and masking techniques did not help as Casey with held our continued attack and with many half chances not going our way Casey ended the day 3 wickets down. Although full points could not be won many positives and confidence were taken from the game
Highlights Casey 106 Carlton 3/219 Casey 3/172
Guercio 70 n.o
The day started off well with the ground not under water for the first time in two weeks. With the pitch looking the flattest it’s been in a while we were sent into bowl when we lost the toss. The Casey openers set about bringing the crowds back to fourth eleven cricket with a slow first session. With Brown picking up the first wicket with an edge to 2nd slip where Tim Line strategically palmed the ball off to Pickles’ arm pit at 1st slip where it was caught. Matty Hinchliffe then came on for an “expensive” spell with Casey unable to score a run off his five overs. Pickles decided it was time for spin, which finally brought a bit of excitement. Robbie Phelan took the catch of the season off an edge that took a deflection from Harbinson’s gloves. Robbie dived across getting horizontal catching the ball between his forearms off Perera’s bowling, this wicket was one of Perera’s four for the innings. Timmy Line also picked up a wicket off his three overs and Pickles cleaned up the tail taking the last three wickets leaving Casey all out for 133 off 70.5 overs Robbie Phelan and Shane Foulds were sent out to consolidate for the last 9 overs of the day. Foulds nuggeted down against tough bowling taking 50 off about 20 balls, unfortunately Robbie lost his wicket for 5 with Foulds soon following after with 52. This left us at 2 for 64 at the end of day one. With the second day bringing on hypothermic cold winds we looked to keep scoring quickly. Perera lost his wicket early in the day but then it was the newly self-proclaimed all rounder Darren Colaco to the crease. Darren smashing his way to 67 with support from Tim Line brought about the best partnership of the game at 119. Pickles and Adam White also chipping in with a quick 13 and 8 respectively. With Tim Line finishing on 71 not out. Pickles called in the batsmen, declaring 104 in front. We started off well with Brown getting another edge off the same batsmen; this time it was taken more conventionally in slips. Matty Hinchliffe found the experience weird when Casey was able to get a run off him for the first time in the game, he was also able to pick up a wicket while creating chances. Mick Paradisis stepped up taking three handy wickets. Timmy Line was again given the nod and was able to pick up another wicket while scaring the younger Casey batsmen with his pace. Robbie Phelan finished off the day with his first over for the season. We fell short by 2 wickets of the outright but it was a good effort to take 18 wickets on a flat track.
The 4th XI felt well prepared to take on Casey – South Melbourne despite starting day 1 with a player short. Pickles continued his form and lost the toss and was asked to bowl on a wicket which looked like a good batting wicket. Brown (1/25) got the early break through, whilst S Wilson (1/14) continued his tight bowling and was unlucky not to have more wickets to his name. The second break through took time to come, however the scoring rate was minimal with Hinchliffe bowling 5 overs all being maiden overs. Paradisis (0/34) bowled very well and similarly to Wilson created many chances which did not go in his favour. Perera (4/37) bowled consistent and out thought the batsmen to get his wickets. Line (1/10) was brought on as a partnership breaker and arguable helped start the collapse of the Casey – South Melbourne innings. Pickles (3/10) showed leadership, experience and control to get his wickets. Casey – South Melbourne were bowled out for 133 off 70.5 overs, leaving Carlton to face 9 overs before the end of play on day one. Young gun Shane ‘Nugget’ Foulds opened the batting and delivered a clean hitting 52. The flurry of shot eventually was Foulds’ demise as he lost his wicket in the 2nd last over of day 1. Phelan (5) also fell on day 1 trying to replicate the big hitting of Foulds. Perera (9) and Line began day 2 positively before Perera got out. Colaco (67) and Line combined for a 119 run fourth wicket partnership, the partnership had it all, big hitting from Colaco and a lot of well run singles, twos and threes. Colcaco’s innings came to an end after the instruction from the captain to lift the run rate and a mistimed shot saw Pickles (13) come to the crease. Continuing the strong Line/Pickles batting combination a quick fire 30 run partnership was forged, before an ill-timed cut shot lobbed to cover and Pickles had to go back to the change room. With two overs before the declaration was quietly scheduled Adam White (8) came to the crease with the goal of just seeing the ball as he had not batted for a while. White and Line managed to put on 16 off those 2 overs to lift the Carlton score to 5(dec)/237. Line batted well in his innings of 71 not out, showing composure early and the ability to lift the run rate later in the innings contributed to a handy 104 run lead and an outright victory within reach. Pickles (0/8) and Wilson (0/4) got the Blues second bowling effort off to a good start, however wickets were on order and the tight bowling wasn’t working. Brown (1/12) was brought on and managed to pick up a wicket before the lunch break. Resistance from the number 1 and 3 batsmen made wickets hard to come by until Hinchliffe (1/5) got the much needed break through. Perera (1/21) and Paradisis once again combined for some accurate bowling. Paradisis celebrating his wedding anniversary picked up 3 wickets for 66 from his 22 overs, also continuing some unlucky decision form from the first innings probably denied Paradisis a deserved 5 wickets for the innings. Line (1/8) was once again used and managed a break through. However, an unfortunate dropped catch off Line’s bowling saw the Blues drop their intensity and let the outright slip away. Phelan (0/2) was used in the last over of the day and showed they maybe he should bowl more often. Casey – South Melbourne ended day 2 at 8/132. Overall, it was a great match of cricket, with many lessons and positives that the 4th XI will use in rounds to come.
ROUND 7 vs Camberwell
After being rained out day one, we were told to bring our colours and prepare for a one day game on the Sunday. The boys turned up Sunday morning only to be told by the umpires that there would be a delayed start because of vandalism to the pitch the night before, apparently nothing to do with the club function Camberwell had... The game was delayed til 12 resulting in 42 overs per side to be bowled.
After losing the toss and being asked to bowl, we were on top early with the ball and in the field. Luke Andree and Ash Sweet bowling tight lines with dot balls coming our way, although no wickets in the opening partnership the boys bowled well getting us off to a super start. Darren Colaco was thrown the ball on his debut for the 2XI, a wicket with his first ball was the perfect start to his first game in the seconds. He then went on to take another wicket setting us up for an early bat.
With the teams average age at only 19 there was a struggle with who could bowl the remainder of the overs, Ash Sweet came back for a second spell snatching 3 wickets leaving the Magpies 9/115. With good efforts in the field and with the ball Carlton bowled Camberwell out for 122 in 35.2 overs. Surely an easy target on a small ground.
McCormick stuck around for us after a run-out early slowed us down, consecutive wickets fell putting the pressure on Bon and Les to save us. Three more wickets fell in succession leaving it all down to Sweety and Colaco, both boys batting brilliantly to put us back into a winning position. With a 22 not out and hitting the winning runs over mid wicket for 4, Sweety secured the win with 4 balls to spare.
ROUND 6 vs North Melbourne
The two day campaign started against north melbourne, and the first eleven were looking to
extend there winning streak to six wins. Losing the toss and bowling first turned out to be
not such a bad thing. Bowling them out for 154 with Chris Millard taking a handy 4 for 6
off 3 overs, tom smyth also had a good contribution to the wickets taking 3 for 37 off 13
overs overall it was a great team bowling effort with even contributors. with the batting
we aimed to start positivly but with the loss of two early wickets we were imeadietly on
the back foot. Simon Keen and Nathon Pilon then consolidated an early partnership of 42
runs. Once Keeno was dismissed we lost another one quickly putting us on the back foot
again. Tom Smyth then came out to the crease working with pilo for another great
partnership of 61. At the end of the day we were 6 for 135 pilo finishing on a brillaint
innings of 66.
Day 2 started off with us losing two early wickets, we then fought our way for another 20
runs making it 8 down with chris millard driving the innings home. Pilo then declaring them
sending the shin boners to the fate of there second innings........
Nick Austin and Chris Salm striking early both taking wickets on the first balls of there
overs making them 2 for 0 runs tehn losing another wicket for 25 putting us in the drivers
seat early. North then consolidating there innings losing there next wickets for 122 runs.
the bowlers bowling there asses off doing a great job for us keeping them to 187 for 5 at
tea with them declaring leaving Carlton 187 runs to chase down off 38 overs.
The second innings for the blues started more to plan being 2 for 90 runs with two early
partnerships of 43 runs and 47 runs. we then lost another three quick wickets making us 4
for 144 runs, but then the prong entered the crease looking to continue on his for from the
first innings. keeno on 60 runs we needed 73 runs off 9 overs driving the win home with an
unbeaten score of 103* with smythey contibuting a brillaint hand of 30* giving the blues an
outright victory and its six straight win putting us 14 points clear on top of the ladder!
Carlton lost the toss and North Melbourne elected to have a bat. People would have thought it was the great West Indian attack from the 80's and early 90's, with first gamer Solomon and Superman Darren. Blue boys were up and about in the field, with an early poll. Progressive wickets through the day held the Roos to all out for 219. Solomon 3 wickets, Persy 2 wickets and the rest of the bowlers all chipped in. Going into the second day we felt confident with our chances of running them down. A great start from the two openers, Tom Golding and Donney, really put us on our way, but a period of cluster of wickets pegged the game back into the balance of both teams. A recovery from Solomon and Persey with the stick was entertaining and really put us in a commanding position. Both of these boys put on a show! Solomon 40's and Percy 50's. A bad mix up with the batsmen brought this partnership to its knees and from then on the Kangaroos rolled through us. And we ended up losing by 8 runs. We will learn from our mistakes.
The overall excitement of the prospect of actual gameplay against North Melbourne was in the air as the 4th XI tackled the weekly challenge of putting the tent up. Each week this team building exercise become more efficient and shows development amongst the squad. On what appeared to be a wonderful batting wicket, Pickles lost the toss and was informed to have a field.
Shenton (1/21) got thing underway with some inaccurate heat, whilst Wilson (0/13) controlled the other end with ever tight bowling. However, neither could get an early break through and it was not until first change bowler Brown (1/29) came on that the 42 run opening stand was broken. Crowle took an exceptional flying catch at mid wicket off Brown to get the side lifted back up to full intentisty. Pickles (3/21) decided it was his time to shine as he came on and took 2 quick wickets with a third shortly after, all of Pickles wickets taking full advantage of the slips in place. Hinchliffe (1/24) also chipped in with a wicket, with a bouncer being caught at deep square leg, Pickles claimed exceptional captaincy other said it was luck. A 50+ run partnership was produced in the overs leading up to tea, however that form of North Melbourne's batsmen could not continue after tea as the spin dream team of Paradisis (1/24) and Perera (3/52) found their grove. Perera bowled effectively after tea after the earlier onslaught as some fine catches from Paradises, Line and himself got him his 3 wickets. Phelan had a convenient restroom break which forced Line into the close in catcher under the helmet, this extra pressure on the batsmen paired with the tight bowling of Paradises got a nice stumping by Harbinson to have North Melbourne bowled out for 185 off 57.1 overs.
Set with the task of face 18 over before the end of day one, survival was key for Carlton. Crowle looked set until he tested the hands of mid-wicket one too many times and had to depart on 10. Peter-Budge got bowled by an excellent yorker for 5 with just a few overs to go. This left the Blues 2/24 at the end of day one. Resuming the next week with the task at hand Parera and Phelan got things underway, until Phelan (1) was unluckily given out early on. Perera (6) was caught hanging the bat out to a wider ball after showing some resistance to some ball movement from the opening bowlers. Brown (7) batted well in some tough conditions brought on by the sledging off the opposition captain, Line had none of it and told him where to go. Pickles and Line came together to put on 40 runs for the 6th wicket, however Line played a cut shot to a ball that was a tad wide and had to depart after his 2 hour innings brought in 19 runs. Paradises (11) showed some flair until he got what was arguably the ball of the day, a bouncer that followed him. Not wanting to mess up his hair Paradisis got the bat up just in time. Pickles (40) resistance came to an end and after a flurry of fine shots and a slog sweep for 6 that Steve Waugh would be proud of. Harbinson showed maturity in his innings of 11 not out, and sent a message to the top order on how the batting should be done. It was too little too late as Shenton (4) departed which left the Blues 10/134.
With an hour of play left North Melbourne decided to bat again, Shenton (2/8) came out after he must have been sitting on the boiler, as he found pace and aggression not seen before in the 4th XI. Paradisis was once again on fire, the family was in attendance, and Mick brought his A game with the ball. Unfortunetly for Mick they had left by the time he got a bowl, which was a shame because he managed to get himself onto a hat trick, it was not to be and he finished the day with 2/5. Pickles (0/16) and Peter-Budge (0/12) were unlucky not to get wickets, as chances were grassed. This ended the day with North Melbourne's second innings at 4/83.
Whilst the Blues did not come away with the victory, there are many p ositives to come out of the game. The future rounds will be exciting for the squad, so keep an eye out for future performances as the 4th XI attempt to put their season back on track.
ROUND 5 vs Geelong
Carlton 2/127 def Geelong 126
Country round is a match anticipated by all the 1st XI players. Despite it being played 2 months earlier than usual, this year was no exception. The team took the 4 hour bus trip down the highway to Warrnambool – a country town very close to some past and present Blue boys (Tim Ludeman and Chris Millard, respectively). To add to the hype for the match, we were playing against Geelong – one of the top teams in the competition.
An interesting start to the day (an organised coin toss that resulted in us bowling first) was followed by an extraordinary performance by the Blues. Man-of-the-match Nick Austin took the prize wicket of Liam Buchanan with the first ball of the day. This was his first of three wickets. Ryan Sidebottom, Peter Manser and home-town hero Chris Millard all collected two wickets each while Chris Salm bowled outstandingly with the new ball to claim one wicket for himself. The cats were all out for 126.
In reply, Jake Hancock continued his superb start to the season making 51 and guiding us to our fifth straight win (and our fourth bonus point!). Unfortunately for Jake, he was caught on the boundary when only 2 runs were needed for victory. His opening partner, New South Welshman Simon Keen, also batted very well, scoring 35 runs to help set-up a comfortable win.
A special thanks goes to the Merrivale Cricket Club for hosting the match and providing outstanding playing facilities. Furthermore, Steve Lawrence (team manager) must be acknowledged for his remarkable efforts in driving Simon Keen from the Melbourne airport to Warrnambool at midnight on Friday and then back to the airport on Sunday morning. His commitment to the team is undeniable. It was just a shame Qantas didn’t suspend their flights 5 hours earlier so that they both could have enjoyed a sleep-in!
(Oh... and the team should also thank the coach – aka the bus driver – for taking it upon himself to drive us to and from Warrnambool. Thanks Div!)
After a rather narrow loss to Richmond the week prior, all the boys were really keen to put their best foot forward and take away the points against back to back premiers in the 2nd XI, Geelong. After once again feeling the negative effects of Mother Nature, the game was delayed by about three hours with the game reduced to a 27 over per side game.
After winning the toss, Carlton elected to bat first on still quite a good wicket with a wet outfield, in the hope of posting a good first innings score. The innings started pretty well with an opening partnership of 54 runs, and fairly consistent partnerships in between. After contributions spread fairly evenly throughout the team, Carlton managed to post 5/141 off 27 overs, certainly a competitive total, particularly with runs on the board in a one day match.
After snaring an early wicket, Geelong were looking fairly comfortable at 1/58, running about even in the required run rate. However, a loss of 3/5 in a matter of overs saw the Blues gain the upper hand and were once again on top. However, with partnerships developing in their middle order, the game was well and truly in the balance with Geelong’s experienced heads at the crease. Little errors in the field and once again a case of misfortune saw the Blues once again defeated in a nail biter, being chased down with 4 balls to spare.
A steady effort with both bat and ball, and patchy efforts in the field were unfortunately not quite enough, losing a thriller for the second year running to defending premiers Geelong. With the two-day matches to come, everyone is super keen to bounce back and get back on the winners list.
For the 3rd XI, our winning streak of 2 games came to an end today with a narrow loss to Geelong at Kardinia Park.
Driving to the ground, everyone was expecting the ground to be horrible, but it was in perfect condition.
The day got off to a horrible start, with not one person putting their hand up during the groin stretch but after that, things improved a little with Percy winning the toss and batting . We lost Goldy early who had been in good form for us, but Pelly really took his opportunity and batted really well for 36. The highlight of our innings though was a great innings by H (Harry Smyth). Lengthing blokes all day, Snoop finished on 93 not out. He was well supported in the end by Corbs who got 30no, to take our tally to 4 for 191 off our 45 overs.
We thought this was a good score, but Geelong batted well. We got wickets early through Cal (Dirk Nowitski) who picked up 2 top order batters, and Darren Colaco also picked up a wicket at the other end so we had them 3 for not too many. Their middle order batted really well and we just couldn’t get the wickets to put enough pressure on them.
In the end they passed us in the second last over. It was a disappointing result for such a long road trip but hopefully the boys learn a bit from it.
It had been two weeks since the 4th IX took to the field, to say that we were jumping out of our skins to play would’ve been an understatement. The wicket block was a little wet but considering the last 24 hour’s rain, conditions were good. The pitch was flat enough to bat on first, and that’s exactly what Ben Pickles decided when the toss was won. Losing 2 early wickets saw Geelong’s spirits up and ours down. With intent Tom Peter-Budge still at the crease there was signs of reconciliation. Tom was looking solid and patient, a stance and mindset that’s been building within Tom for the last couple of innings-one that was most welcome on Saturday afternoon. Down 5 wickets by the time we accumulated 60 runs was certainly not part of our plans, therefore our next partnership had to be productive and efficient, 72 runs in the next 10 overs was precisely that. I’m led to believe the leggie that joined Tommy for that partnership had never in the past relied on his legs as much as he had the boundary to score totals of 4 runs and above. Tom was great to bat with and the manner he got his undefeated 43, displayed that he only brought the middle of the bat with him. A defendable total of 139 was finally posted.
Ben Pickles’ briefing on how we’d go about defending our total was confidence boosting and one that came with early success that saw Geelong in a similar position to what we were in our innings. We needed to be solid in the field and our bowlers to keep pressing.Stewart Wilson and Ian Shenton who opened the bowling were excellent in keeping Geelong’s score low. Nothing lifts a fielding side more than a run out, particularly in a close encounter, and Jake Brown was involved with both run outs this day and managed to pick himself up 2 worthy wickets. Nishal was also very good and deserved more wickets than his 1. Nish kept the pressure on with his accurate off-breaks and struggled to bowl a bad ball in his 9 overs. Spin from both ends in the middle of the innings seemed to work well and Geelong batsmen played cautiously. Ben Pickles as usual at this stage of an innings
bowled very well picking up 2 wickets; it was beginning to sway in our favour. The last 4 overs of the match, the result could’ve gone either way.
Time at the crease along with patience payed dividends for Geelong and they eventually went on to win the game in the 44th over. It was a disappointing loss, mainly due to the fact that we controlled it for so long. It was 11 and momentum versus 2, and going off our experience from recent defeats, we should’ve been more assertive. Misfields, a couple drop catches and probably most importantly, a dim voice in the field was a positive for Geelong. An opposing team in an unfavourable situation is looking for these sorts of breaks, breaks we should never never of offered. Can we improve? I believe we already have. The post match discussion encouraged all team members to have their say on what we want and don’t want from here on. Considering what had just transpired, everyone sounded keen enough to make improvements to their game.Everyone is looking forward to the 2 day version of the game. As final margins show, we are not that far away.
ROUND 4 vs Richmond
Coming off three solid wins round 4 was an important game in the context of the season, a win would push us further above the pack and a loss would leave us battling it out with several other teams. Playing against a full strength Richmond we knew that this would be a good test and that we would need to play well.
Heavy showers the night before meant a wet outfield and pitch with a bit of life, and therefore a good toss to win. Pilo won the toss and sent Richmond in with the possibility of rain later in the day. Austin and Salm took the new ball and whilst a 5 min rain delay upset their rhythm they returned to bowled fantastically testing both Carters and Sheridan with good lines and lengths. It wasn’t long before Aussie struck removing Sheridan (4) and Delmont (2), until a 1 hour rain delay intervened reducing the match to 40 overs. When we returned Salmy bowled Sartori (7) and the blues were on top with Richmond 3-29. Aussie (2-15) and Salmy (1-15) bowled their 8 overs straight finishing a fantastic partnership. Keen and Manser took over from where Aussie and Salmy left and continued to bowl in testing areas for the batsmen. However some aggressive batting from Carters and Sheedy threatened to take the game away from us and we lost some momentum. The introduction of Milliard (1-22) was successful in applying solid pressure and this brought about a breakthrough. Sheedy was caught of the bowling of Millsy leaving the score at 4-99. Richmond lifted the tempo and scored heavily towards the end of the innings however good death bowling from Keeno (1-52) and Manser (1-41) and a wicket to each bowler reduced the possibility of extra runs. The last two wickets, which included a sharp caught and bowled from Keen, proving crucial in preventing Duckworth-Lewis calculating a higher score. Richmond finished with 6-174 of their 40 overs and if not for the last 2 wickets we could have been set a score of just over 200. Whilst Carters finished with 102 we were satisfied with our efforts with the ball and in the field considering the conditions.
Having been set a target of 174 from 40 overs and with the possibility of rain we knew that we would have to be adaptable and bat smartly to win the game. Keen and Hancock looked to rotate the strike early however both fell caught behind, Keen for 13 and Hancock for 6 to leave the score at 2-25. This brought Buszard and Pilon to the crease and they began to rotate the strike effectively. Buzz played an anchor role rotating the strike and hitting gaps to give the strike to Pilo. Pilo struck the ball well and batted at over a run a ball. With rain approaching they battled to stay above the Duckworth-Lewis score, having to score at close to a run a ball without losing wickets. They batted smartly choosing the right balls to hit or defend and put on 99 for the 3rd wicket. Unfortunately Buzz was caught trying to lift the tempo by going over the top for 35. Nick Ross came to the crease and instantly hit the ball well making 10* of 11 balls. A large storm was approaching and with rain starting to fall we were just below the required score. However a timely 4 from Pilo, lifting a ball over mid wicket got us 2 runs above the required score. The rain came after 36 overs and we were not able to return. A fine captains knock from Pilo, 78 from 71 balls which included 5 fours and 1 six and amiable support from Buzz and Rossy were keys to the chase.
The boys were thrilled with the win, with other results going our way. We are well placed at the top of the table and look to continue to cement this position. We look forward to another tough test against Geelong down at Warrnambool for Country Round and we are eager to continue to improve and develop our game.
The 2nd XI were unable to come away with the points in round 4, with a narrow loss to Richmond. After losing the toss and being sent in, Carlton started cautiously with a team score of 0/6 off 6 overs before the rain interrupted. After putting the feet up for a while, the rain eventually stopped and the match was reduced to 33 overs per side, with Carlton still requiring to bat another 27 overs.
On a slow and difficult wicket, runs were hard to come by for both teams. Starts to the top order, followed by handy contributions at the end by the lower order, saw the Blues reach 9/91 off the 33 overs, a hardly daunting, yet competitive total none the less in the conditions.
After Richmond were 1/38 in reply, the loss of wickets in quick succession caused an immediate impact as the Blues began to tighten the screws. Richmond then went on to lose 6/19, as Carlton gained the upper hand. Jack Geurcio 3/10 off 6 overs and Ash Sweet 3/17 off 6 overs bowled superbly in tandem as Richmond were 7/57 still requiring another 35 runs for victory. A welcome return to Borgy behind the stumps saw him snare 3 catches and a stumping in difficult conditions up to the stumps.
A key partnership at the end saw Richmond eventual 3 wicket winners, passing the total with 22 balls to spare. All in all, the boys fought it out really well, particularly in the field defending a small total and was unlucky to not come away with the chocolates.
The 4th XI turned up to Richmond’s new ground last Saturday with plenty of momentum after last week’s first win of the season. Unfortunately ,when the covers were removed, after some heavy rain, the water had found it’s way underneath and basically put an end to any chance of play. Not only would it have been great to put forward another performance worthy of 4 points but it would’ve also been exciting to witness some of our young talent take on-board another challenge, particularly the new guys who have certainly impressed –not only with their on field performance but their commitment and all-round positive approach. Lets hope first and foremost the weather is good ,the rest is up to us to control.