Clear skies and plenty of fast-paced action was the order of the opening weekend of Victorian Premier Cricket action.
The closest match of the day saw St Kilda hang on by just 3 runs at Harry Trott Oval against Prahran for the RJ Parish Cup. Josh Bartlett (75) and ex-Melbourne keeper Patrick Rowe (52) recovered the total to 9/196 before Jonathan Merlo (3/34) held his nerve in the final overs to deliver victory for the Saints. Sam Grimwade (3/45) was the best with the ball for the True Blues, while Adam Bull (56), Shaun Miller (46) and Nathan King (43) were the best with the willow in the chase.
Another close match saw Dandenong open their title defence with a 10-run victory over Ringwood at Russell Lucas Oval. For the victors, Lincoln Edwards (68*) and Akshat Buch (5/32) were the key performers, while new Ringwood skipper Ian Holland (66 & 2/42) tried his hardest to get the Rams over the line.
At Mervyn G Hughes Oval, Footscray were unable to chase Carlton’s target of 273 for victory despite the efforts with the bat of Dean Russ (91) and skipper Dylan Kight (44) and Lucas Dredge (3/56) with the ball. For the victorious Blues, Harrison Smyth led the way with 105*, with support from Brayden Stepien (57) and a match-winning spell from spinner Eddy O’Sullivan (5/53).
At Geelong Cricket Ground, Geelong held on with a 36-run victory over Melbourne on a ground that was conducive to high scoring. For the Cats, Josh McDonald (92) led the charge with support from the returning Hayden Butterworth (46) and Eamonn Vines (44), while youngsters Angus Boyd (25 & 3/29) and Brody Couch (4/32) stopped the Demons’ charge in the final overs. For the Demons, Sam Harper (114) led the way with Blake Thomson (67), while Sean Sturrock (3/43) was the best with ball.
Fitzroy Doncaster left Windy Hill with the points in the bag after a 42-run victory over Essendon. Debutant Sam Elliott (son of ex-Australian and Victorian rep Matthew) led the charge with 58* at number 9 with support from Liam Banthorpe (53*) and skipper Ejaaz Alavi (4/11), while the Bombers had starts from James Seymour and Aaron Ayre (both 42) and Matt Doric (4/33) caused some headaches with the ball.
In other matches:
This weekend sees One Day action on both Saturday and Sunday for the Men’s 1st & 2nd XIs. Key games on Saturday will be St Kilda vs Geelong at the Junction Oval, Carlton vs Melbourne Uni at Princes Park #1 and Fitzroy Doncaster vs Northcote at Schramms Reserve #1. Sunday’s games to keep an eye on will be Essendon vs Greenvale Kangaroos at Windy Hill, Kingston Hawthorn vs Frankston Peninsula at Walter Galt Reserve and Footscray vs Prahran at Mervyn G Hughes Oval.
In Women’s Premier Cricket, Prahran spoiled the celebrations around Ringwood’s promotion into the top flight at Russell Lucas Oval with a 204-run win, with state trio Annabel Sutherland (106 & 4/26 off 8 overs), Emma Inglis (108) and Alana King (27 & 3/8 off 7 overs) all making light work of Ringwood. For the Rams, Tess Flintoff experienced the highs and lows more than any other player by top scoring with 27 after earlier being removed from the bowling crease for bowling two dangerous balls above waist height, while Co-Captain Kylie Walters (2/41) was the best of the Rams’ bowlers.
On the flipside, Carlton-Brunswick celebrated their promotion to the top level with a 175-run victory over an inexperienced Dandenong side at Princes Park #1. Import Ellie Mason led the Strikers on their debut by scoring 103, with regular starts provided by the rest of the side before Tahlia Simpson (4/24) and Tahlya Sleep (3/23) leading the side to victory with the ball. For the Panthers, Lucy Cripps (26) and skipper Emma Gallagher (18) had starts with the bat but did not go on with them, while Courtney Neale (4/33 off 10 overs) led the bowlers, with Jess Matin and ex-EMP recruit Maryam Omar both chipping in with 2 wickets each.
At Schramms Reserve, Box Hill squeezed home by 4 wickets over a close-to-full-strength Melbourne side. Demons’ skipper Teagan Parker led her side with an innings of 54, but Elly Donald (22) and Breannon Sutton (19*) aside, struggled to find regular support through the middle order, while Anna O’Donnell (2/31) was the pick of the bowlers that struggled to get the early breakthroughs. For the victorious Mustangs, skipper Rebecca Carter (77*) led her side from start to finish in the chase, with Amy Jennings (25, 1 catch & 2 stumpings), Zoe Griffiths (3/29 off 10 overs + 2 catches) and UK import Jo-Anne Gardner (24 + 2/37 off 7) securing the first points of the season.
In the last match at Yarrambat, Plenty Valley could have secured the ‘upset of the season’ title already by pinching a 7-run victory over a star studded EMP line-up. The Bats scratched a total of 127 together with Sophie Day (47) and Sophie Reid (22) the best with the bat, before Australian squad member Tayla Vlaeminck (4/23 off 6 overs) and Victorian squad member Rhiann O’Donnell (5/14 off 5.2 overs) tore the heart out of the Bombers’ line-up. Vlaeminck, who just missed out on a gig in last Friday Night’s Third T20 vs New Zealand took out her frustrations on the EMP side, with her victims being Elyse Villani, Molly Strano, Jenny Taffs and Georgia Wareham (3 out of 4 being Australian representatives)! For the Bombers, Chloe Rafferty (26 & 3/23 off 10 overs) was their best player, while Molly Strano (13 and 4/16 off 9.4 overs) also did her best to contribute.
This week’s action will see the battle of the ‘newcomers’ take place with Carlton-Brunswick looking to make it 2 from 2 when they host Ringwood at Princes Park #2. Dandenong host the rampaging Prahran side at Shepley Oval with the fingers crossed that they can get some key members back. EMP will host Melbourne at Aberfeldie Park and will be keen to heal their wounds after last week’s upset loss on the road, while Plenty Valley host neighbours Box Hill at Yarrambat and will be keen to show they will be no pushovers.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket for the following recent and upcoming milestones:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 2 – SATURDAY 13 OCTOBER (11:00am Start)
ST KILDA V GEELONG at Junction Oval
Umpires G Azzopardi & D Brigham
CARLTON V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Princes Park #1
Umpires R Birch & V Borg
DANDENONG V ESSENDON at Shepley Oval
Umpires J Ward & L Edwards
FITZROY DONCASTER V NORTHCOTE at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires D Ireland & A Medina
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at AH Butler Oval
Umpires A Hawking & M Malmberg
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V RINGWOOD at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires R Patterson & M Robertson
MELBOURNE V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at Albert Ground
Umpires B Davies & G Joshua
MONASH TIGERS V FOOTSCRAY at Central Reserve North
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & M van Eck
PRAHRAN V CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE at Toorak Park
Umpires D Shepard & C Grant
ROUND 3 – SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER (11:00am Start)
CAMBERWELL MAGPIES V ST KILDA at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires G Joshua & L Edwards
NORTHCOTE V DANDENONG at Bill Lawry Oval
Umpires M van Eck & S Pitts
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V FITZROY DONCASTER at Casey Fields #4
Umpires G Azzopardi & B Davies
ESSENDON V GREENVALE KANGAROOS at Windy Hill
Umpires V Borg & C James
FOOTSCRAY V PRAHRAN at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires D Brigham & R McKinnon
GEELONG V MONASH TIGERS at Geelong Cricket Ground
Umpires B Sheahan & A Medina
KINGSTON HAWTHORN V FRANKSTON PENINSULA at Walter Galt Reserve
Umpires J Ward & C Grant
MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY V MELBOURNE at University Main Oval
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & D Ireland
RINGWOOD V CARLTON at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires D Shepard & Adam Hawking
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 2 – SUNDAY 14 OCTOBER (11:00am Start)
DANDENONG V PRAHRAN at Shepley Oval
Umpires R Harrison & T Ventura
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V RINGWOOD at Princes Park #2
Umpires A Thomas & P Welbourn
PLENTY VALLEY V BOX HILL at Yarrambat War Memorial Park
Umpires M Muthugounder & M Rogers
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V MELBOURNE at Aberfeldie Park
Umpires R Sturgeon & R Birch