After a short first segment to the season, I am glad to see the progress of our club. To have all teams 10th or above while debuting 7 new players to the club and giving many more opportunities in higher grades hopefully holds us in good stead for the back end of the season.
The approach by all the players on our list to get ourselves ready with such a short and disjointed preseason illustrates the type of people and culture that our club breeds.
A big thank you to everyone behind the scenes, especially Mark Morris who did a mountain of work to make our club Covid safe and give us the best chance to prepare and play at our best.
1st XI Update
4 from 4 with 3 bonus points is a great start to the season. To see everyone taking ownership of our team to make sure we get the job done is nothing less than fantastic.
The bowling group have set every game up well, with an even spread of wickets and only conceding a top score against of 239. This has allowed our batting group to work themselves into the season nicely.
The batters have taken the game on nicely in reply, with Brayden Stepien leading the way with 363 runs at 121. To have all the other batters with a score under their belts as well will hopefully allow us to see where our bar can be raised to when we get a chance to bat first.
Even though it has been a nice start, we have a lot of work to do with some big challenges ahead including the Paul Hibbert Memorial game against Essendon in our first game back from the holidays.
2nd XI Update
We’ve had an interesting start to the season in the 2nd XI. The loss of some of our most experienced batters over the off-season has seen many opportunities open up for some of the clubs younger batters which has been exciting. Congratulations to both Tom Mileto and Ryan O’Keefe, who have made their 2nd XI debuts in the first month of the season, great reward for effort and I wish them all the luck going forward. We’ve also seen the welcome return of fast bowler Nathan Patrick after missing last season through injury.
We started strongly in Round 1 with a solid win against local rivals Melbourne Uni, successfully defending 207 at Uni main through a great team effort (McKenna 58, Woods 3/21). Round 2 saw us head down to Geelong to what can be only described as a batsman’s paradise. We again restricted well, keeping Geelong to 217 off their 50, after a rain delay, we clinically knocked off the D/L adjusted total 2 down (Woods 4/29, Poppa 65*, Pottabithini 50*). Round 3 saw us at PP1 for the first time against Footscray. We bowled quite well to restrict them to 203, but disappointingly a top order collapse saw us always behind the game, eventually all out for 170 (Woods 3/31, Patrick 3/33, Pottabithini 91). Round 4 saw us out at Greenvale for the final game pre the Christmas break. Batting first, again a top order collapse really put us behind the game, but some rallying from Mileto and the tail got us to a defendable 177. Bowling again was solid having the Kangaroo’s 8/129 at the 40 over mark, a late partnership got Greenvale back into the game. Requiring 5 off the last over for victory, they managed 4, resulting in the game finishing in a tie with a second last ball runout to Lemire. Quite disappointing but at least we took half the points (Mileto 77*, Branston 30, Woods 33, Woods 3/28).
We sit at 2 wins, 1 tie and 1 loss through the first 4 games, which sees us sitting in 6th on the ladder. A solid start with plenty of room for improvement post the Christmas break.