Rounds 12 to 17 have been a mixed bag for the blue boys. There has, however, been some major accolades along the way with Woodman becoming only the 5th batsman at number 8 in the order to make a ton. Ryan Sidebottom took it to new levels taking a massive 6/44 then following it up the next weekend with 4/54 against Melbourne Uni to help seal a win. Round 12 showcased some major talent in the thirds with Money taking 5/46. One things for sure, each XI side has certainly entertained, regardless of how unpredictable Melbourne’s weather decided to be.
The firsts faced Dandenong at home with the red ball in the two weeks before the Christmas break. Ross absolutely ran away with the bat producing a massive 130 to put toward the total with Blues declaring at 7/351. Beaton (67) and Woodman (31*) contributed nicely also. A jack of all trades, Woody was handy with the ball too taking 3/80. Culvenor stole 3/47. The end of the innings produced a draw with Dandenong sitting at 9/320.
Th seconds played over at Shepley oval with Dandenong opting to bat first. They declared on 7/321, with Gilbert taking 3 of the wickets for 76. Despite Colaco’s massive effort with the bat, making 88 not out, it wasn’t enough to catch Dandenong at the end of the day. The Blue boys finished up on 256. Matthews and H. Smyth made 51 and 39 respectively.
The thirds didn’t have much luck over the two weeks either, falling well short of the required run chase Dandenong gave them at 9/223. Money did his best to keep the batting order at bay with a whopping 5/46 as did Karamoshou with the bat making 62, however, a total 172 wasn’t quite enough to match Dandenong.
It was a win for the fourths though, with the Blue boys leaving the Dandenong to chase their 210 total helped by Walker (39) and Vine (31). O’Brien proved worthy at the Wilson Oval taking 3 for 42, disallowing Dandenong to get closer to the total, with the rangers finishing on a close 194.
Round 13 saw the white ball come back out against Frankston Peninsula. The firsts played at the AH Butler Oval and pulled out a massive effort with 264, losing just 4 wickets. T Smyth made a whopping 114 not out, with McKenna (56) and H. Smyth (54*) adding even more to the run chase. Culvenor kept Frankston Peninsula at bay, where they made just 131 runs, with his 5/37. Sidey too, was impressive with he ball, taking 4 for just 17.
It was better news for the seconds this round, though it was getting a little hairy toward the end. Matthews (88) and Colaco (50) contributed nicely to the 215 total with 2 wickets in hand. McAfferty and O’Sullivan produced a fantastic effort to ward off Frankston from making the last 11 runs needed to take the win. The boys bowled 3/28 and 3/37 respectively; Frankston ended on 205.
No such luck for the thirds this week either who couldn’t reach Frankston's 4/229. Wilson was certainly commendable with ball in hand at 3/42, however, regardless of the captain Jeremy Corby’s 54 and Poppa’s 51 run effort, the boys fell short at 204.
Lucas and Beer were fantastic with the bat, with Lucas finishing on 53 runs not out and Beer making 36. It was O’Shea, however, who was man of the match, taking a ridiculous 4 wickets for just 9 runs. Frankston Peninsula set the chase at 154 which the Blue boys made easily, losing just 3 wickets for 155.
Back with the red ball, the firsts faced St Kilda at Princes Park over a tough couple of weeks. St Kilda left them with a strong run chase, declaring at 9 for 345. Crone did his best to take wickets at 3/50 as well as Stevenson and Sidebottom who also stole three, however when in came to time for the Blue boys to utilise the bat, they fell short. It was all over at 180.
The seconds fared better at the Harry Trott Oval. The Sainters left them chasing only 195 thanks to O’Sullivan 4/30 and Seneviratne’s 4/39. Colaco and Stephen made 32 to help get there, but it was Phelan’s solid 63 not out that got the Blue boys over the line at just 5/198.
St Kilda declared at 9/205 in the thirds and despite their best efforts, the Blues just couldn’t match them with the bat. Notable efforts by Cummane on 45 not out and Wilson (3/30) and Bienvenu (3/31) who were dangerous with ball in hand.
The fourths had a win over at the Ross Gregory oval with a total of 232. O’shea (57), Walker (44), Mills (40) and Line (34) were fantastic with the bat. Merchant took a huge 3/27 but his efforts were beaten by Pearce who took 3 for just 12. Huge.
Footscray Edgewater were a tough team to face over at the Mervyn G Hughes Oval. The firsts put in a trying effort with he bat to reach Sainters triple ton total at 334. Pell (94) and captain McKena (38) came out swinging but in the end it wasn’t enough to catch them. T. Smyth was a warrior in the field though, taking 4 wickets for 65.
Day one for the seconds at home looked promising for the Blue boys, who made 206 the run chase target. Stepien (57), Colaco (41) and Matthews (35) were the main offenders with the bat. Footscray couldn’t match them as Gilbert (4/42) and Colaco (3/16) were just too god with the ball, taking them all out at just 109. After another turn with the bat the Blue boys declared at 6/181 after Harvey made his half century and was sitting at 56 not out. McAfferty was a fiend with the ball, stealing 3 for 52. This kept Footscray at bay who managed just 7/147 by the end of the last over.
No one likes a draw. Even if it means it’s not a loss, it’s still a bloody draw. Which is exactly what happened over at the thirds at the Tony Dodemaide Oval. Corbes made 55, Wilson 38 and Pettitt 35 with the bat and Beer and Milne had a cracking day bowling taking 3/40 and 3/48 respectively.
Both Footscray and Carlton made low scores with the bat in the fourths at home. Carlton left them chasing 115 on day one which they just reached before losing their last order batter at 116. The blues declared at 3/156; Karamoshou made his century at 103 not out. However, it wasn’t enough as the boys were pipped at 1/68. Mills was a crazy man with the ball taking 5 for 16.
The firsts hosted the Monash Tigers at home and had a cracking start with the bat. Woodman became just the fifth, eighth order batsman to make a century in Victorian Premier Cricket. The Blues declared at 9/305 with Woody still in at 107. The Blue boys denied the Tigers any opportunity to come close to their total, as Sidebottom stole 5 wickets for just 45 runs.
The seconds showcased one of the most exciting games of cricket and despite the eventual loss, the Blue boys put in their all to get there. Petsinis (52), Wilson (40), Seneviratne (39*), Gilbert (35) and Phelan (33) all contributed nicely to the 252 total. It was Colaco (4/53) who was most dangerous with the ball. In the last few overs we just needed one more wicket to ward off the Tigers from the win but they just got there with little to spare at 9/253.
Another draw for the thirds. Shattering. However, there were numerous commendable efforts despite the result with captain Jeremy Corby sitting pretty on 61 not out and Pettitt making 46. Milne took 3 wickets for only 31 runs.
The fourths smashed out a solid run chase with 5/202 with many thanks to Connop who took his ton at 103 not out. Line was just as handy with 69 runs to his name. Monash mustered up 152, meaning the Blue boys took home the win at Central Reserve South.
Ryan Sidebottom took the match against Melbourne University at the Main Oval as his chance to show just how ridiculously talented a bowler he is, almost annihilating the entire Melbourne Uni batting order. In the first innings alone he took 6/44 followed by 4/54 in the second. Tommy Smyth was just as commendable with the bat, contributing 70 runs to the total of 7/212 which we declared in the first innings. Melbourne Uni’s 149 and 180 weren’t enough to take home the win at their home ground.
The seconds were on fire with the bat at their home ground. Harvey made a massive 103, Gilbert smacked out 63, Seneviratne was close to his half ton but just fell short on 48 and Phelan made a solid 35 to aid the 351 total. Melbourne Uni finished up on 263 thanks to the efforts of Wilson who took 3 for 46.
The thirds weren’t having much luck against Melbourne Uni at home. Uni declared at 5/288 and despite solid efforts from Corby (39) and Cummane (36*) the boys couldn’t reach the necessary total.
It was, however, better news for the fourths who also played at home. They set a total of 9/272 thanks to a huge effort from Lucas with 86 runs to his name and Vine with 63. At the end of the two dayer, Melbourne Uni reached just 130 thanks to Herbert (4/20) and Thavarajah (4/31) who bowled fantastically throughout the two innings.
This weekend starts the Semi Finals in the Victorian premier Cricket League. Our second XI boys play Dandenong at home over the 11th and 12th of March and our fourth XI boys will face Melbourne at the Geelong Cricket Ground. Get down and show your support for the Blue Boys.