4th XI Premiership 2008/09
A superb 2008/09 home and away season, with 13 victories and just the one loss (against the otherwise winless bottom team Yarraleen), we entered the finals full of confidence. This confidence was enforced with a huge win in the semi over Eley Park, in a very entertaining game. Highlighted by a magnificent spell of bowling from Niall Ridge, returning 7-12 from 8 overs of menace. Shaw and Demajo saw us to a solid 8-wicket victory and a Grand Final appearance against Deakin.
The tragedy of the finals was the story of Alexei Demajo. A new player to the club in 08/09, Alexei had an excellent opening season, holding down the difficult #3 batting position, posting around 200 runs, and the odd wicket. An overseas tripped planned for the week after the final, his plans were thwarted by Melbourne’s fickle weather. The final was delayed a week, and Alexei unfortunately missed out.
The game itself was an oddity. Off to a great start at 0-75 after 15 overs, with Al Nicolson (35) and myself (25) getting runs, we crashed, our middle order, which had performed brilliantly all year, failing against some top-notch bowling. But, at 6-100, Glenn Howard (35no), enjoying a terrific year with the bat, rescued the innings, and saw us to a respectable if not imposing 9-168. Howard received good late order support from Garry Crole and Paul Locarnini.
Our turn in the field, and Ridge came out firing again with 4 wickets, ably supported by Nicolson with 3, reducing Deakin to tatters at 7-30. But cricket’s a funny game. An hour later it’s 7-128, and Deakin are looking the goods. Most of the scoring came from one bloke, who notched a 50, and was back in the sheds. With him out of the way, we were able to turn the screws again. A change of ends for "specialist bowler" Germano paid dividends, two quick wickets bringing Deakin to 9 for, but also putting together the same partnership that had put on the unbroken 100 runs earlier. They went down the way they fought back - despite having plenty of overs left, an ambitious skied ball to deep mid off put an end to it, fittingly with a great outfield catch by Stephen Greene, and leaving Germano with the final 3 wickets. Deakin all out 135. Man of the match, Al Nicolson. Great contributions also from Glenn Howard, Niall Ridge and Paul Germano. A
premiership for Koonung Heights 4ths, our first since 1980-81. It’s a great feeling, especially coming after so many finals appearances in the past 6-7 years.
Thanks to all who played in the 4ths this season, it’s been a pleasure to captain a team with such willing support. Congratulations to Glenn Howard and Niall Ridge, who shared the B&F, Ken Shaw who picked up the batting award, and Steve Greene the fielding. All well deserved.
For the scorecard of the game, click here.