Mi­nor dip on path to fi­nals show­down

McIvor Times - - LOCALCLASSIES -

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”.

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