CLUB CLAIMS TOP SCALP

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

HEATH­COTE crick­eters are poised for a se­ri­ous as­sault on the 2016-17 North­ern United Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion flag af­ter a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over top side Dingee on the week­end.

It was al­ways the plan of Heath­cote cricket cap­tain Corey Gil­more to find form to­wards the end of the sea­son, ac­knowl­edg­ing cricket is a team — not an in­di­vid­ual — ef­fort.

Con­vinc­ing wins in re­cent weeks against Ray­wood and Bagshot have Heath­cote in con­tention for fi­nals.

On Satur­day, the Heath­cote team with in­creas­ing mo­men­tum hosted the league’s top side Dingee.

A strong Heath­cote side was se­lected with only Joel Con­don un­avail­able, as he was busy cre­at­ing the flo­ral ar­range­ments for his en­gage­ment party.

The cel­e­bra­tion and welcome re­lief for his team­mates is the re­duc­tion of the groom-to-be’s vo­cab­u­lary to just two words — “Yes, dear”.

Si­mon Osicka, who’s ab­sence from the team with in­jury (writer’s block) in re­cent weeks, took Con­don’s place.

The events of Osicka be­ing un­avail­able and the team’s win­ning streak are pos­si­bly co-in­ci­den­tal of each other.

Cap­tain Gil­more again won the toss and elected to bat. With this he ran in among his team­mates pump­ing his fist know­ing that his work for the day was al­ready com­plete.

Tak­ing his in­spi­ra­tion from club pres­i­dent Ben Har­ris that true lead­er­ship is about del­e­ga­tion, i.e. telling oth­ers what to do, Gil­more is safe in the knowl­edge that with the cur­rent lead­er­ship group the other ‘‘cap­taincy stuff’’ can now be del­e­gated to those around him.

For ex­am­ple field place­ments to Har­ris, the bat­ting line-up to Bren­don Con­forti and the cap­tain’s knock to Luke Bell.

Cu­ra­tor Grant Baker un­veiled a new pitch for 2017, a pitch so hard that it would make Chuck Nor­ris cry.

With Gil­more’s toss, the op­por­tu­nity went Heath­cote’s way to bat first on Baker’s su­per high­way.

Gil­more opened the bat­ting with Darcy McLean and was out spoon­ing a ball to square leg on the se­cond de­liv­ery of the day, a self­less act from the cap­tain to bring on form bats­man Luke Bell.

Bell was mer­ci­less on any bowl­ing that was too full as he con­tin­ued his great sea­son, which in­cluded a cen­tury for the re­gional as­so­ci­a­tion at coun­try week.

McLean was dogged, con­firm­ing the clas­sic open­ing bats­man adage that is about balls faced, not runs scored.

Tight bowl­ing from Dingee meant Heath­cote was re­stricted to scor­ing just over two runs an over for the first 12 overs.

Once set­tled, McLean be­came more as­sertive and Bell be­gan to dom­i­nate in ter­rific con­di­tions for bat­ting.

When McLean was run out for 43 in the 31st over, the part­ner­ship of 121 runs had set up the Heath­cote in­nings.

Bell was out caught for 76 soon af­ter. New bats­men Tim Glee­son and Bren­ton Con­forti were quick to take on the Dingee bowlers as they looked to surge the Heath­cote to­tal.

Both bats­men launched sixes into the Bar­rack Re­serve redevelopment as part of an 18-run over. This had Har­ris ur­gently re­view­ing the club’s in­sur­ance pol­icy know­ing that the new build­ing’s struc­tural work may not with­stand the on­slaught.

Con­forti out for 20, a quick 10 from Har­ris and Glee­son not out on 29 saw Heath­cote fin­ish with 6/187 at the end of the in­nings.

Dingee, chas­ing a large to­tal, started well with Kyle Pat­ten in par­tic­u­lar look­ing to take on the Heath­cote bowlers. Tim Glee­son was brought on to bowl re­plac­ing Bell with the Dingee open­ing bats look­ing set­tled.

Glee­son, hav­ing taken two con­sec­u­tive wick­ets at the end of the last game, was on a hat-trick, a fact ev­ery­one in­clud­ing Glee­son was obliv­i­ous to.

Bowl­ing to the most reg­u­la­tion of fields, Glee­son pre­sented an in­nocu­ous half-tracker to Dar­ren Lawry.

The pas­sive na­ture of the only poor de­liv­ery Glee­son bowled all day took the bats­man by sur­prise and rather than smash­ing it to the bound­ary he hit it to Jar­rod Find­lay to be caught out.

Find­lay, then bowl­ing his lef­t­arm­ers from the other end, was able to ex­tract some kick out of the pitch and had the dan­ger man Pat­ten caught and bowled for 21.

An­other wicket to Glee­son quickly had Dingee three wick­ets down in the 12th over. De­spite re­stric­tive bowl­ing, from Glee­son in par­tic­u­lar, Dingee be­gan to dig in.

Pat Ring was re­in­stated into the bowl­ing at­tack and with the aid of the keeper soon had an­other wicket.

Both Ring and Glee­son ap­plied tremen­dous pres­sure with their bowl­ing, con­ced­ing just 10 and 13 runs re­spec­tively off their eight overs each.

The ex­citable Kevin Bloom came on to bowl and had a wicket with his fourth ball which re­sulted in a cel­e­bra­tory leap in the air that would have done David Warner proud.

In not­ing the gra­tu­itous na­ture of this event, one must con­sider Warner’s leap came af­ter he was the first Aus­tralian bats­man since Brad­man to score a cen­tury be­fore lunch where Bloom had got the sev­enth wicket for Heath­cote that day. His joy was short lived as he soon put down a sharp caught and bowled chance.

The bowler stood there iso­lated, hands on hips and his eyes show­ing the seething deep in­side his soul, know­ing that the missed chance would fea­ture in the con­stant loop in his mind of catches dropped off his bowl­ing that plays end­lessly night af­ter night for Bloom.

Bloom was able to re­com­pose and fin­ish off the Dingee in­nings with an­other three wick­ets.

Dingee was all out for 109 re­sult­ing in a com­fort­able win to Heath­cote. With Con­forti not bowled, the Mitchel­ton player of the day was open to the other play­ers and went to Tim Glee­son for his three vi­tal wick­ets and his runs late in the in­nings.

Fi­nals beckon for a Heath­cote full of self be­lief and is now placed third on the lad­der and has re­cently beaten the three teams around them.

Heath­cote will be fur­ther strength­ened with re­turn of Joel Con­don, who has been mak­ing plenty of runs late in the in­nings.

Gil­more is par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to his re­turn as he will send him, when field­ing, from fine leg to fine leg with only the whim­per of “Yes, dear” in re­sponse.

Heath­cote bowler Pat Ring snared 2/10 in his side’s win over top team Dingee on the week­end.

Heath­cote bowler Kevin Bloom (right) cel­e­brates tak­ing an­other wicket in his haul of 4/14. It is a known fact that he and the En­er­giser Bunny (left) have never been seen in the same room to­gether.

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