As University took on the Dogs, it was first versus third on the Club Championship, and it was the Students who took the chocolates in the top three grades.
MUCC: 5/214 DEF. FCC: 10/213
Full of confidence after a strong showing last weekend, and boasting a one-day record of 12 wins from their last 15 outings, the First XI entered their contest against Footscray with high hopes of securing a win and maintaining top spot.
After Uni won the toss and bowled on a wicket that promised to flatten out as the day went on, it was Footscray who made the fast start. Blasting early boundaries, their momentum was halted as Steven Reid, who had the ball on a string, hit the string and nicked off Dean Russ after beating the bat on numerous occasions. While Dan Sartori continued to score at one end, Liam Scammell (2/24) ripped through the Dogs’ top order from the other. Removing Travis Dean and Matthew Underwood in consecutive balls, Scam could hardly contain his excitement, as his traditional shoulder wiggle, morphed into what can only be described as a full-body funk routine. (See MUCC TV for more) Scam was supported by fellow all-rounder, Alex Gregory, whose ability to seam the ball proved too much for the Dogs as he claimed 3/26 and James Bett (1/28) through the middle overs. Just as Footscray went about trying to launch at the back end, Chain Reidy put a stop to any momentum they had, mopping up two tail-end wickets, as well as claiming Sartori for a well-made hundred. The big quick finishing with the wonderful figures of 4/37, as Footscray posted 10/213.
After the early loss of McKenna (1), Martignago (18), who is adamant he makes the best tomatoes, got the Students’ chase underway with some trademark cut shots. Gregory (38) imposed himself on the game with some powerful drives, reaching the boundary five times, as he injected some momentum into the chase. After he departed just before the drinks break, Uni were in trouble at 4/88, and in need of a partnership. In just his second match back from injury, McNeil ensured Uni got back in the game, manipulating the ball into gaps and racing between the wickets on his way to 25 at almost a run-a-ball. When he was dismissed, Uni were still 63 runs shy of victory, when Liam Scammell joined Young at the crease. Scammell, who has been in fine form since the break, showed trademark composure under pressure, compiling a fine 27* from 36 balls, to help steer the Students home. Young finished 88* as Uni passed Footscray with 5 wickets remaining, and 12 balls to spare. A satisfying win, it keeps the First XI on top of the ladder with four rounds remaining before Finals.
MUCC: 7/254 DEF. FCC: 10/120
Keen to bounce back after a disappointing loss last weekend, the Second XI travelled to Mervyn Hughes Oval to take on the Dogs in their last white-ball outing for the season.
Batting first on a traditionally slow wicket, Uni were fast starters. The funniest (and most South Australian) opening combination in Victorian Premier Cricket combined for an 82-run stand for the first wicket as Borgas (35) and Emms (42) continued their solid form. Building on this solid platform, every Uni batsman got a start in the Second XI, but it was Max Hatzoglou who was the best on the day. The hard-hitting left hander blasted 60 from 82 balls to keep the innings moving forward, and finding the fence on six occasions. Handy contributions from Croes (17), Rolfs (33) and Hutton (14) helped push the score beyond 250, as the innings closed at 7/254.
With plenty of runs to bowl at, the Students’ young but potent attack wasted no time making inroads to the Dogs’ batting line-up. Haseeb claimed the first two wickets to have the opposition 2/16, before Akon Mawien bowled like the wind to claim the mightily impressive figures of 4/17 from 8.2 overs to break the game apart. Not to be kept out of the game, the ever-crafty off-spinning real-estate agent, John McLaughlan claimed 2/22 from his 9 overs, as Uni slammed the door shut on Footscray. Ultimately bowling the Dogs out for 120 inside 40 overs, the Second XI won with a bonus point, to remain on top of the ladder.
MUCC: 4/284 DEF. FCC 10/203
In a re-match of last year’s Third XI Grand Final, Uni once again proved too strong for Footscray, as two young MUCCers achieved terrific personal milestones in a comprehensive team performance.
Batting first at Princes Park, the Students lost Roughsedge (1) early, but that was where the joy ended for the Dogs, as Uni went about piling on the runs. The incomparably stylish pair of Elliott Durrant and Mitch Domann went about pounding the bowling attack to all parts, as they added 171 for the second wicket. When Domann (63) was dismissed, Durrant wasn’t done. KD, who crunched 13 boundaries, went on to bring up his third MUCC hundred with a push into the off-side. Ultimately falling for 109, KD had put the momentum firmly in Uni’s favour with the score at 3/198, a platform that James Horn and Tom Savill certainly made the most of. Horn (33 from 28) combined with the hard-hitting skipper to push the Students beyond 250. Savill crunched a stunning 55 from 26 balls including four 4’s and four 6’s. The stunning end to a dominant innings, Uni finished with an imposing 4/284 from their 45 overs.
An inspired start from Footscray with the bat gave Uni a scare, as they scored quickly and denied the Students any early wickets. While the Dogs had managed 113 before Ben Roughsedge broke through for the first wicket, Nick Ritchie broke through for the second immediately, to have two new batsman at the wicket, and turning the momentum back in Uni’s favour. From that point on, it was MUCC’s Trinity Grammar contingent who ran rampant with the ball. Tom Walker claimed 2 wickets, but it was Doug Warren, who claimed his maiden MUCC 5-wicket haul on his way to match-winning figures of 5/32 from 9 overs. A particularly impressive performance from the Third XI, they claimed all 10 wickets for 90 runs, to bowl Footscray out for 203, and entrench themselves on top of the ladder, their premiership defence well on track.
MUCC: 10/160 DEF. BY FCC 4/161
Playing away at Footscray and looking for their second win of the season, the Fourth XI batted first against Footscray. The loss of early wickets had the Students in trouble at 3/29, and after Raf Epstein (15) was dismissed, Uni were reeling. Thankfully, MUCC Comms. Favourite, Jonny Stone was going nowhere, as he anchored the innings from one end. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find anyone to go with him, as wickets continued to fall down one end. With the score 9/98, some young students showed some resistance; Ned Bennett, about to head into year 12 showed some classic Camberwell Grammar grit and crafted a valuable 41, while Jonny Stone made crunched nine boundaries on his way to 52. When the final wicket fell, Uni had managed to post a respectable 160, but would need to bowl and field well to claim the points.
Despite some impressive bowling first up, Uni were unable to make a breakthrough, as Footscray passed 50, taking the sting out of the chase. Not rolling over, however, Tama Stockley bowled with trademark discipline to claim the impressive figures of 3/31 from 9 overs. Young all-rounder, Christain Van Der Merwe was the only other wicket-taker, as Footscray managed to pass Uni 4 wickets down in the 35th over. A tough loss, the Fourth XI will be keen to claim some wins in the final few rounds of the season as MUCC mounts a serious charge at the Club Championship.