Heathcote records un­likely win

McIvor Times - - LOCAL CLASSIES - — Si­mon Osicka

SATUR­DAY’S cricket match saw Heathcote host El­more and it was al­ways go­ing to be a chal­lenge.

Heathcote was miss­ing key play­mak­ers Corey Gilmore (in­jured wrist from sign­ing so many copies of last week’s McIvor Times), Bren­don Con­forti (ap­pear­ing this week on the TV pro­gram What hap­pens in Bali), Darcy McLean (at a One Di­rec­tion con­cert — his favourite is Harry) and Jake Flaherty (pre­par­ing for Valen­tine’s Day and also at a One Di­rec­tion con­cert — Flop­per prefers Zayn).

Re­turn­ing to the side was Ben ‘It’s right boys, I’m back’ Har­ris.

Tech­ni­cally, Har­ris had never left the side but had been a late with­drawal, re­cently of­fer­ing up Alex Wil­liamson in his place so the side would not be short. Ad­mit­tedly Wil­liamson was quicker be­tween the wick­ets and around the field de­spite a bro­ken foot.

Still short of play­ers, the club in­tro­duced a pol­icy of two games to qual­ify for the end of sea­son trip and at the toss of the coin had 12 play­ers avail­able.

The un­avail­abil­ity of Gilmore had your correspondent par­tic­u­larly con­cerned as he would be strug­gling for ma­te­rial.

It was the words of Har­ris ‘It’s right boys, I’m back’ that pro­vided a warm in­ner glow.

Cap­tain Joel Con­don did his job early in win­ning the toss and elect­ing to bat on an­other Grant Baker ‘‘bel­ter’’.

Re­cent best-on-ground per­for­mances on and off the field meant Pat Ring was pro­moted to open the bat­ting with Con­don.

Ring is lead­ing the tally as player of the year and throw­ing him to wolves by open­ing the bat­ting was Con­don’s best op­por­tu­nity to pros­e­cute his own chance for the award.

This was done with the full sup­port of club pres­i­dent Ben Har­ris as he is also in the hunt for the prize.

Hes­i­tant early, Ring’s thoughts were fo­cused on the out-swing­ing hoop he would achieve in the heavy air of the over­cast day when he opened the bowl­ing. Once he re­alised he was out there to bat, not bowl, Ring be­gan to dom­i­nate.

Bat­ting at the other end, Con­don con­tin­ued his re­cent run as the form bats­man this year for Heathcote.

El­more dan­ger bowler James Har­ney, when mea­sur­ing out his long run, ended up lost be­hind Mt Ida, re­duc­ing his ini­tial spell to two overs and this re­ally al­lowed Heathcote to take the ini­tia­tive.

Both open­ers bat­ted bril­liantly be­fore Con­don was out for 40, bowled by Har­ney once he had found his way back to the ground.

The score was 1/80 with many ob­servers in the crowd not­ing a score of 200 was achiev­able. Th­ese ob­servers were ob­vi­ously un­fa­mil­iar with the form of the Heathcote cricket side this year.

Ring fol­lowed soon af­ter hav­ing con­trib­uted an ex­cel­lent 37.

Tim Glee­son and Ben Har­ris were now in the cen­tre and looked to con­tinue the good work.

Glee­son, with pa­tient el­e­gance, and Har­ris, with his im­pec­ca­ble tim­ing, were in a po­si­tion to grasp the ini­tia­tive, but it was not to be as wick­ets fell and con­tin­ued to fall.

Both Matthew Cruise and Jake Con­don of­fered some re­sis­tance as Heathcote col­lapsed.

Tom Tobin with his la­conic can­dour and an en­thu­si­as­tic Liam Jac­ques added some valu­able runs to­wards the end be­fore Heathcote was all out for 140 in the 28th over.

Xavier Kel­low for El­more was the main pro­tag­o­nist with five wick­ets.

Runs on the board and a bowl­ing line up that last week showed it could get the job done meant Heathcote, de­spite ru­ing a missed op­por­tu­nity with the bat — knew it was a chance (a bowl­ing line-up that only has one good back be­tween them be­ing just a mere in­con­ve­nience).

Ring and Jake Con­don opened the bowl­ing and were ef­fec­tive with Ring’s maiden overs and Con­don bowl­ing Jau­vane Bannon in his first over.

El­more’s Har­ney was look­ing to take con­trol un­til he was dis­missed by a freak­ish one­handed grab by Ring off his own bowl­ing.

At 2/28, El­more con­sol­i­dated and worked hard to see off the Heathcote open­ing bowlers.

Glee­son fo­cused on bowl­ing line and length, the club’s num­ber one sup­porter, Ea­mon Glee­son, hav­ing re­cently met Glenn McGrath, had in­stilled the bowl­ing great’s mantra into the Heathcote team.

A lofted drive off Glee­son’s bowl­ing had Si­mon Osicka mak­ing a pos­si­ble catch look im­pos­si­ble, be­fore per­form­ing a mid-rolling dive to take it and the im­pos­si­ble was seem­ingly pos­si­ble.

An LBW next ball and Glee­son was on a hat-trick, with the mo­men­tum swing­ing against El­more.

Osicka took a break from writ­ing about him­self in the third per­son to de­liver up some slow medium full tosses and an out­field catch from Jar­ryd Ayres meant El­more were 6/69.

With a sniff of vic­tory, Har­ris sud­denly showed some in­ter­est in what was hap­pen­ing and be­gan to in­ject his tech­ni­cal nous into the game.

Be­tween him and Con­don they had play­ers shuf­fling left and right as if they were the prospec­tive dates on the screen of a hy­per­ac­tive Tin­der user.

Har­ris was like a lat­ter-day Napoleon (al­beit a surly ver­sion) as he rocked for­ward on to the balls of his feet to give him­self some ex­tra inches to sur­vey the field of en­deav­our that is Heathcote’s Bar­rack Re­serve and be­gan shout­ing or­ders to the field­ers.

Har­ris soon had his way so that the en­tire field was ir­rel­e­vant apart from the bowler (Glee­son) and him­self, which is just how he likes it. Glee­son bowled to his field, in this case Har­ris. As if straight from the clas­sic of strat­egy, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, there was an­other wicket caught Har­ris and bowled Glee­son.

The team charged in to em­brace Har­ris and soak in his bril­liance, Har­ris al­lowed him­self a smile as he re­alised what he had been miss­ing in re­cent weeks.

Heathcote was alive in the field with Con­nelly tak­ing a catch, the younger legs of Wells and Liam Jac­ques re­strict­ing El­more fur­ther.

Har­ris took a cou­ple of wick­ets to­wards the end though in the score book this is in­cor­rectly at­trib­uted to Joel Con­don.

In fair­ness, to all but the most ob­ser­vant it is very dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish be­tween the leg spin­ner and the off spin­ner and as such an easy er­ror to make.

Cruise also chipped in for a wicket and in the end Heathcote had El­more all out for 105, a good re­sult that was well ap­pre­ci­ated by those who came to sup­port the team — de­spite Corey Gilmore and Dave Far­ley not clap­ping once for their team-mates.

At this stage it is un­known if Heathcote is still a chance to play fi­nals, once Stu and Corka sort out what hap­pened with the score sheets they will work out if fi­nals are still a pos­si­bil­ity.

Af­ter what was the last home game this sea­son, thanks to Grant Baker for the tire­less ef­forts he puts into the ground.

Thanks also to those who helped make up the team this week when we were des­per­ately short, like­wise also to those who come along and sup­port the team.

The McGrath-like Tim Glee­son was this week’s Mitchel­ton Wines player of the day with his four wick­ets at a crit­i­cal time in the El­more in­nings. Nagam­bie 73 M Fairweather 5/7, S De­laney 3/19 de­feated by Pya­long 9/143(cc) PJ Camp­bell 42, MJ Wilkins 29, T Muir 4/14, W Baker 2/17. Tallarook 4/41 d Sey­mour Heaysman 5/2. Yea Tigers 147 M Beat­tie 32, B Kib­ble 6/39, A Dowl­ing 2/35 de­feated by Avenel 7/149 C Leighton 59*, A McSpeerin 2/39. Puck­a­pun­yal 7/145 J McCabe 64, J Vilin­skis 5/34, AJ Arora 2/20 d Kil­more 143 BJ Den­nehy 30*, J Frankel 4/18, B Dun­can­son 3/24. Roy­als 112 B Speech­ley 3/27, T Pea­cock 2/19 de­feated by East­ern Hill 131 C Kirby 48, R Flint 34.

39 T

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.