By Andrew Young
Fergus McKenna is set to captain the club for the first time, MUCC’s strongest all-rounder reaches a milestone and the First XI welcomes back some young guns, as the Students take on Frankston Peninsula and the Monash Tigers in a big weekend of cricket.
After First XI captain James McNeil was injured in the field last week, young opening batsman, Fergus McKenna, has been selected to captain the club this weekend. The twenty-two-year old’s poise and capability to thrive under pressure has shone through since he made his debut in round one of the 2018/19 season, and the fact he has been selected to captain the club after only 18 games’ experience is a testament both to him as a cricketer, but more importantly as a person, and we wish him all the best as he leads the team out this weekend.
Along with the youthful leadership, the First XI have also received some youthful inclusions, in the form of opening batsman, Harrison Emms, and wicketkeeper-batsman, Noah Croes. Having both started the season particularly well in the second grade (Emms 77 runs at 38.5 and Croes 139 runs at 139), they will provide some added batting strength to an XI keen to make amends for a tough loss last week.
All-rounder Liam Scammell is also poised to play his 100th First XI match this weekend. Having crossed to Uni from Northcote at the start of the 2016/17 season, Scammell has been a mainstay of the First XI with both bat and ball, and we can’t wait to see what he does with his next hundred matches at the level.
The First XI will be at home on Saturday, and away to Monash at Central Reserve on the Sunday.
TEAM: McKenna (c), Ahmed, Borgas, Croes, Emms, Gregory, Reid, Rolfs, Scammell, Stafford, Yaksender
Round 3 sees the Second XI welcome Antony Keely to skipper the side for the first time this season, as he and Mark Simpson share the captaincy duties, and wicket-keeper batsman James Horn also comes in for his first game at the level for the year.
Playing away to Frankston on the Saturday, the Second XI will be keen to take the points after a disappointing outing with the ball last week saw them fail to defend 260. The team will be boosted by the inclusion of Lachie Melican as well, returning from the Third XI. The young fast bowler will be sure to quicken up a few batsmen across the weekend, as he and powerful batsman Max Hatzoglou continue to push their cases for Victorian U19 selection.
TEAM: Keely (c), Bett, Dooley, Haseeb, M Hatzoglou, P Hatzoglou, Horn, Mawien, Melican, Roughsedge, Young.
After being the only team to claim a win last week, the Third XI will be keen to continue their winning form, as they take on Frankston Peninsula at home this Saturday.
The ever-stylish Hugo Bienvenu returns to the Third XI after an impressive start to the season, with scores of 62 and 60 in the first two rounds, boosting an already strong batting line-up.
The Third and Fourth XI’s will only play Saturday and resume round 4 next weekend against the Greenvale Kangaroos.
TEAM: Savill (c), Bienvenu, Durrant, Hatton, Iqbal, Kennedy, Kooran, Ritchie, Skinner, Stevenson, Zanoni.
Though they have played some good cricket so far this year, the Fourth XI are still searching for their first win of the season. They are well set to do that this week, travelling down to Frankston to take on the Heat for round 3.
The Fourth XI and the club more broadly welcomes Henry Alexander to play his first match for MUCC this weekend. The stylish all-rounder and Geelong Grammar product will be a welcome addition to the team, and we are excited to see how he goes!
We also have it on good authority here at MUCC Comms. HQ that the ‘Run Machine’ Raf Epstein has acquired a new bat during the week, and is keen to continue on his merry run making way; Frankston beware!
TEAM: Ditchburn (c), Alexander, Epstein, Gall, Kleanthous, Lim, Panjwani, Patel, Rao, Stockley, Stone, Van Der Merwe.
Best of luck to all teams and players this weekend!