Heathcote upsets Dingee at home
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.
Heathcote’s Corey Gilmore fends off a delivery from Dingee on Saturday.
Jake Condon gets low on his way to 16 on Saturday.
Ben Connelly (above) bats on Saturday, while man of the match Pat Ring
(left) shows his form. Photos: