On a day that would go a long way to shaping the Club’s fortunes in pursuit of the Club Championship, the Students made a strong start across the grades, and have put themselves in position to claim an elusive broom in the final round.
*PSA at end of report
MUCC 0/16 V CSM 10/211
Boosted by the return of fast bowling father, Steven Reid, and stirred by a riveting Yaksender reading of “Cock Robin” from Love is as Strong as Death- Poems Chosen by Paul Kelly, The Students were raring to go; bowling first at the Uni Main against Casey.
After an early Stafford breakthrough, the Swans were 1/6, but steadied well for the remainder of the first session. Despite only claiming one wicket in the first session, Uni had managed to restrict the scoring rate, and therefore felt as though honours were split after the first two hours.
The second session, however, saw the momentum shift squarely into the Students’ hands. Setting aggressive fields and adopting hostile plans in “The People’s Session”, Reidy, Squid and Gregs ruffled the Swans’ feathers with an hour of short-ball bowling. A credit to the fast-bowling trio, they all claimed wickets in the session, and such was the dominance that at one stage, Uni had taken 4/1 after the lunch break. There was to be no respite once the quicks were done, however, as Pete “Thumper” Hatzoglou confused another batting line-up on his way to figures of 3/55. (but was he the best performed Hatzoglou on the day? Read on to find out…).
After the tea-break, the Swans were resolute. Building some partnerships and refusing to yield. They pushed the score up towards 200, but with the sun setting behind Trinity College, and orientation week parties kicking into gear, Mark Stafford and Steve Reid cleaned up the tail, to see Casey bowled out for 211. In his first match as “AC Dos” (That’s After Child Dos for those playing home) Reidy was the star of the day with the game-braking figures of 3/18 from 18 overs.
With an awkward 8 overs to bat at the end of the day, openers McKenna and Borgas (who has been in fine form on brain training app, Lumosity of late) navigated the period with seeming ease. Finishing the day at 0/16, the pair managed to bring the required total for next week to under 200, and have given the Students the upper hand after a dominant day of cricket.
MUCC 7/389 dec. V CSM 2/22
A day of total dominance for the Second XI on the field, it saw a number of standout performances from ever-reliable players, putting the team in the box-seat to take the points next week.
Losing the toss on an uncharacteristically soft Casey wicket, the Students were sent in, and after the early wicket of Bett (7), it appeared to have been the right call from the Swans. This was, however where the joy ended for Casey.
Harrison Emms, who loves batting at Casey Fields almost enough to apply for a transfer next season, continued his fine form in the Outer-South-East; compiling a fine 65. His fourth half-century for the year, stocks are rising in the blonde banker’s Scholar’s Cross chances. He was joined in a 150-run stand by Max Hatzoglou. The younger and distinctly more affable Hatzoglou was going to make the most of his time in the middle; having travelled the estimated 1 hour and 24 minutes from Sunshine to Casey Fields (Paul Kelly’s new hit, taking over From St. Kilda to King’s Cross), Max was keen to bat the Swans into submission, which he most certainly did.
Batting with poise against the new ball and in the favourable bowling conditions early in the day, Hatzoglou was able to take full toll once the ball stopped swinging later on, making use of the quick outfield, crunching a mammoth 21 boundaries. At the crease for longer than 4 hours, Max brought up his second century of the year with a flick to the leg-side. Taking his season tally to 577 runs, Hatzy has compiled a fine season, with more to come in the finals, and is the deserving winner of TRP Player of the Week.
The Students continued to pile on the pain for the Swans, as the ever-stylish Noah Croes blasted 90 from just 78 balls. Helping to give Uni the chance to make an aggressive declaration, Croey’s innings included 14 boundaries and 2 sixes, as he moved passed 550 runs for the year. Handy aggressive innings from Daniel Hutton (33) and Ben Rolfs (21) pushed Uni beyond 350 and when captain Mark Simpson decided to declare at 7/389, Uni still had 10 overs to bowl at the end of the day.
Seizing the opportunity to put the Swans well behind the game, Uni were able to claim two wickets in the final ten overs of the day; as Abdul Haseeb and Jacob Stevenson both struck, to have the Casey reeling at 2/22; the Students will be looking to take advantage of their strong start this Saturday, and move into the finals with a big win.
MUCC 2/53 V CSM 10/130
Following a difficult loss last week against Northcote, the Third XI were out to put in a strong performance as they gear up for yet another finals appearance. Bowling first at Princes Park, it didn’t take long for the boys to get back on track, as the bowling attack all found joy at some point.
As predicted, it was Angus Molden who broke through the Casey top order; the big quick claimed the first two wickets of the day in quick time to have the Swans 2/7, from which point they were never really able to recover. While the opening batsman was steady at one end, wickets continued to tumble at the other.
After Gus had taken the first two wickets, it was the Trinity show; in the form of teachers, and recent graduates. Captain Tom Savill took two wickets, before spinners Doug Warren and Dan McNab formed a formidable left-arm orthodox partnership; claiming three wickets apiece- it might be worth noting that left-arm finger spinners have helped take the Third XI to premiership glory before… could history repeat itself?
Having bowled the Swans out for just 130, Uni would have 24 overs to face at the end of the day; the perfect chance to make inroads to the total. Despite the loss of Roughsedge to a run out for 13, and Mitch Doman (5), the Students are in a strong position at 2/53, with Elliott Durrant 26* and will back themselves to make a further 78 to take the points and enter the finals with some serious momentum.
MUCC 10/133 V CSM 2/33
In a roller-coaster day of cricket at Casey Fields, the Fourth XI made the early running, but Casey won major parts of the day, to finish with the upper hand; the Fourth XI will be looking for a strong showing this week, to finish their season on a winning note.
Winning the toss and batting first, it was the ever-reliable pairing of Raf Epstein (19) and Alex Gall (25) who got Uni off to a strong start; managing 48 for the first wicket, before both fell. From this point on, the Students struggled to really establish themselves, as many got a few, but few got a lot. Bienvenue (17), Stone (20 and Patel (21) couldn’t go on with it, and ultimately Uni lost 6/16 to falter and find themselves all out for 133.
Needing a monster effort with the ball and in the field, Uni did well to restrict Casey’s momentum, and prevent them from putting the game beyond doubt. Bowling 20 overs, the Swans managed only 33- lacking intent they also lost two wickets, as Patel and Bennett both found joy at the end of the day.
Not out of reach, Uni will need to play exceptionally well to claim the points in their last match of the season.
*MUCC Comms’ accuracy in predicting the “Player to Watch” has been uncanny this season; bribes will be accepted as we move into finals