Minor dip on path to finals showdown
HEATHCOTE Cricket Club’s sixgame winning streak came to an end at the hands of Raywood on the weekend but captain Corey Gilmore remains confident of a good showing in finals.
Saturday’s loss leaves Heathcote in third place on the ladder. It faces Calivil in the finals home-and-away game this weekend before a likely match-up with Dingee in the first week of the finals.
Gilmore said having a consistent playing group since the Christmas break had set the side’s winning streak in motion.
‘‘It set up the season for us and has given us the opportunity to play finals,’’ he said.
It will be the first time the club has played finals since its premiership season of 2013-14 and the core group of that side is still playing today.
Heathcote has beaten all sides in the competition this season, except for Elmore who won’t make finals this season, raising hopes of an exciting finish to the season.
‘‘In finals, anything can happen,’’ Gilmore said.
‘‘There’s no real standout side. If you get there, you’re definitely a chance.
‘‘We’ve been in good form lately. We had a narrow loss on the weekend. It was a day when both sides bowled pretty well and none of the bats on either side could get going.’’
Heathcote hosted Raywood on the weekend in a tense encounter as the local side attempted to grasp second place on the ladder.
Curator Grant Baker produced another belter; a pitch as flat as most of the jokes in this cricket report, as likely to show a crack as Warnie’s face and just enough green to give Snoop Dog a sniff.
In an unprecedented event, Gilmore lost the toss and Raywood elected to bat.
Gilmore, following the advice of Beyonce who would normally “Put a Ring on it”, but with Pat Ring unavailable it pushed the Heathcote captain further out of his comfort zone.
Beyonce may well be carrying twins but Pat Ring every Saturday week after week with consistent line and length bowling carries an entire team.
Without a Ring, Gilmore looked to All Black great upon landing the successful tackle would have then entered from the side while pilfering the ball, Gleeson simply rolled the streaker over and playfully slapped his bare backside.
Things soon got heated as a group of men from the bus ran on to the field to try to defend the honour of their mate, who it must be pointed out is a grown man who was naked apart from a tutu in a public place, and a melee was formed.
Kevin Bloom stormed in from the side line and his attempt of diplomacy was the equivalent of extinguishing a fire with petrol.
Eventually the pitch invaders left and the cricket club can be proud it has aided in Heathcote Tourism’s aim of providing unique and memorable experiences to visitors of the town.
The cricket was allowed to continue but with Conforti out for seven and then Bell for 20 the advantage had moved Raywood’s way.
Both Gilmore and Alex Williamson batted well and contributed valuable runs but it was not enough with Heathcote all out for 90 and falling short of the Raywood total.
In the post game debrief, Gilmore used the French electro funk of the Daft Punk track “Human after all”, expressing that the Heathcote side can be beaten, which did happen quite a lot in 2016, and the team cannot take victory for granted.
Gilmore then finished with his signature sign off: “We’ll take it one week at a time”.
In a one-off departure from the Mitchelton Player of the day, this week instead a Play of the Day has been selected.
While an obvious nomination is Brendon Conforti’s early wicket, the play of the day was made by Tim Gleeson.
Gleeson, who by coaching Bloom to get his run up correct, helped Bloom in achieving his five wickets.
As for Bloom, this weekend’s effort of five wickets for 15 runs now sees his bowling average drop to eight runs per wicket.
It’s time to dim the lights and turn up the Daft Punk: “We’re up all night for good fun. We’re up all night to get lucky”.