Un­likely win­ners

Heathcote up­sets Dingee at home

McIvor Times - - SPORTS - — Paul Osicka

THE un­pre­dictable form of Heathcote Cricket Club con­tin­ued last week­end when it hosted Dingee.

In a sea­son that could be de­scribed as Shake­spearean, in that we do not know if it is meant to be a tragedy or a com­edy, Heathcote turned around from some big losses to se­cure a win against the vis­i­tors.

In a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion the McIvor Times is at­tempt­ing to ex­plain the in­ex­pli­ca­ble na­ture of the re­sults this sea­son.

As we head into the Walk­ley awards sea­son, with match fix­ing and on­line bet­ting be­ing the big sto­ries in world sport, the con­clu­sion to leap to is ob­vi­ous.

Okay, ad­mit­tedly some­thing done by a drunken foot­baller is each week’s big­gest news story but you ain’t go­ing to win a Walk­ley writ­ing about a rugby league player who re­ally, re­ally likes dogs, so match fix­ing it is.

It is well known that ground cu­ra­tor Grant Baker has given pitch re­ports to an In­dian book­maker re­ferred to as ‘‘John’’.

What use ‘‘John’’ makes of the ‘‘It’s a cracker again, you bat first if you win the toss’’ he re­ceives each week is any­one’s guess.

The plot thick­ened when for­mer pres­i­dent Ron Shep­pard was a) un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally un­avail­able to com­ment and b) at the TAB.

The McIvor Times in­ves­ti­ga­tion hit a snag when your correspondent’s math­e­mat­i­cal anal­y­sis of sus­pi­cious re­sults was hin­dered af­ter he re­moved his shoes and found he could not count above 20.

Alex Wil­liamson of­fered his avail­able dig­its but this only in­creased the abil­ity to count to 35.

With that, the mys­tery that is this cricket sea­son re­mains, fur­ther con­founded by this week’s win over Dingee.

Cap­tain Joel Con­don did his job in win­ning the toss and elect­ing to bat, with he and Darcey McLean open­ing the bat­ting.

Just as Steve Waugh rein­vented him­self to be­come a great Aus­tralian bats­man by not play­ing his hook shot, Con­don has be­come one of the most ef­fec­tive Heathcote bats­men this sea­son by refining his tech­nique.

Rather than us­ing the late cut as his main de­fen­sive stroke, Con­don has re­placed it with the pull shot and this was put to good ef­fect against the Dingee bowlers.

The open­ing part­ner­ship was 43 runs, with Con­don scor­ing 36 of them be­fore be­ing clean bowled while try­ing to play a pull shot off a full ball on middle stump. Tim Glee­son and McLean played with re­spon­si­bil­ity be­fore McLean was out on 22.

Bren­ton Con­forti was shuf­fled up the or­der to pro­tect Corey Gilmore from the Dingee spin­ners but Glee­son was soon out with­out adding any more runs to the score.

Con­forti added a quick seven but was out caught and the team found it­self 4/91 in the 27th over.

Gilmore ran him­self out for two, un­usual as he nor­mally spe­cialises in run­ning out the other bats­man. Luck­ily Pat Ring was scor­ing freely at the other end and con­trib­uted a very handy 20 runs.

Jake Flaherty and Ben Con­nelly came and went with the home side on 8/118.

New bats­man Jake Con­don, in a show of faith to the skills of Greg Wells and Si­mon Osicka (the last re­main­ing bats­man), de­cided he had to start hit­ting ev­ery ball to cow cor­ner, which he did for con­sec­u­tive sixes.

Dingee re­sponded by plac­ing the en­tire field at cow cor­ner and Jake was out caught on the bound­ary. The in­nings fin­ished soon af­ter on 132 in the 39th over.

Leav­ing a to­tal to de­fend but a missed op­por­tu­nity to cap­i­talise on an im­pres­sive start.

Pat Ring opened the bowl­ing and the pres­sure was im­me­di­ate with a wicket in the first over.

Jake Con­don was equally tight at the other end and the Dingee bats­men were made to feel as out of place as Chris Gayle at a fem­i­nist con­ven­tion.

Whether it be on the cricket pitch, at the All Sea­sons or in his day job de­liv­er­ing Sex in the City box sets to des­per­ate house­wives, Ring cer­tainly knows how to bowl a maiden over.

Ring was re­warded with an­other two wick­ets, Con­don at the other end bowled Nick Hobbs and Dingee was in a world of trou­ble at 4/18 in the sev­enth over.

Glee­son picked up the fifth wicket just be­fore drinks and Dingee went into the break on 69.

Heathcote knew it was from this po­si­tion of real strength that it could eas­ily con­jure de­feat.

Cap­tain Con­don ral­lied the troops in his usual dis­cus­sion about hold­ing catches, tak­ing wick­ets and cut­ting off runs.

But then he stopped mid cliche´, with a steely re­solve he an­nounced ‘‘It’s Stu’s birth­day to­day, we need to do this for Stu’’.

Not an­other word was spo­ken as the 11 re­turned to their po­si­tions and started at the task ahead.

Osicka and Glee­son left their zim­mer frames in the change room and charged in off the long run.

Con­forti threw him­self face first into ce­ment to cut off bound­aries, in an at­tempt to be­come the first Aussie tourist to in­jure him­self be­fore he gets to Bali.

Jake Con­don took three catches.

Runs were dif­fi­cult and as wick­ets fell the game sat on a knife edge.

Dingee was on 8/97 af­ter 32 overs, need­ing to score at 4.5 runs per over to win. Gilmore came on to bowl and anointed him­self ‘‘The Finisher’’ as he took a wicket with his se­cond de­liv­ery.

This was Gilmore’s last game for the sea­son and he will be deeply missed by the McIvor Times as there is a surge in news­pa­per sales for some rea­son when­ever he plays.

Con­forti then had the last bats­man out and Dingee fin­ished with 115 runs giv­ing Heathcote a des­per­ately needed win.

The Mitchel­ton Wines player of the day went to the orig­i­nal triple threat Pat Ring who had three wick­ets, 20 runs and two catches.

Demon­strat­ing cricket is a bit of a Ring Thing.

Ap­par­ently it is pos­si­ble that Heathcote can still play fi­nals if it has strong wins for the rest of the sea­son?

Willo is still try­ing to fig­ure out how and the odds to ap­ply to this us­ing his 15 work­ing dig­its.

Photo: Michael Lums­den

Heathcote’s Corey Gilmore fends off a de­liv­ery from Dingee on Satur­day.

Jake Con­don gets low on his way to 16 on Satur­day.

Michael Lums­den

Ben Con­nelly (above) bats on Satur­day, while man of the match Pat Ring

(left) shows his form. Pho­tos:

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