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Saturday 20th January

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4th XI Premiership 2009/10

Our final training session for the year commenced at 5.30pm with 16 fourths players coming together for a 12 over game , the numbers in attendance really confirmed the unity that players who came through the 4ths this season have shown for each other.


Selection time came and the 45 minutes of discussion centered around the 16 that trained - in particular the 11 that played in the semi final, with strong cases made for Sadiq who played well in the last round and trained the house down on both Tuesday and Thursday, Glenn Howard who batted very well in the 12 over game and was remembered for being best afield in the 2009 grand final and fantastic pre xmas, and Patty Herrod who had been bowling and batting very well in the nets and bowling so well on match day before he was injured . In the end it was decided that the 11 who played in the semi final had deserved their places in the side with Glenn being made 12th man.


Saturday came and the sun was shining, a good crowd of  Nungers folk had gathered on the hill and around the ground all armed with a range of beverages and team hurrah.  The excitement amongst the 12 was very high, with the team on show to all our teammates, the committee and all who do so much for the success of the club.


We lost the toss and got to bowl first as had been our chosen preference all season.  We opened downwind with Cam Davidson who overstepped on the first delivery but had the batsman playing and missing, the next ball stumps went flying everywhere and Nungers were celebrating wildly as their leading bat and Captain Jamie Dean started walking to the pavilion, only to be called back for a 2nd overstepping the line being called. After consultation it was cleared up where the front line actually was, the state of the line was a disgrace, and clearly double marked. Cam finished the first over with another 2 or 3 plays and misses.


Michael Mini Kertes took the new ball in to the breeze and was immediately on target strangling the bats with a very tight line and good length.


It didn’t take long before we had our first wicket with Mini taking it; appeared we had our 2nd wicket when Dean was given run out on the last ball of Minis over only again to see the captain in the luck with the alternative umpire over ruling square leg stating he had call over a little to quickly.


Cam continued his spell bowling 8 very tight overs, and taking away the chance for any of their batsman to settle, basically facing each ball trying not to get out rather than looking to build a score.


Wickets fell throughout at the other end with Mulgrave batsmen continuing to fall to tight bowling on a consistent basis with Kertes getting 3 for 18, Davidson finishing with 1 for 20 but stamping his authority, and Paul Germano amazingly holding them to just 10 runs from his 8 overs in the period when they should have been looking for 4 or 5 runs per over.,  


The highlight of the bowling was Al Nicolson who bowled first change in to the wind and took 5 for 20 off his 8 overs. This spell was set up by Mini, Cam, and Paul who throttled their run rate with Al smashing them and sending their top and middle order back to the hungry crowd with the tails between their legs, at the end of Al’s spell we had them reeling at 9 for 72.


Our fielding was excellent and made it very difficult for them to get easy runs, which the bowlers cashed in on with accurate bowling causing them to play false shots.  The last wicket went to Mini, however it did take a bit longer then we had hoped, and they added 33 runs to finish at all out for 105.


The result to hold them to 105 was made so much easier because of the support we got from our teammates. One thing every player recognised on Saturday when we fielded was the support we had, when we looked around the ground it was clear to us all that Nungers is all about team, and our supporters outnumbered theirs by a mile.


At the break we knew  if we batted our overs we would win, and the key was not to throw our wickets away selfishly.  We opened up with James Ellis and Stewie Andrew, who had all year been rock solid both with averages at the top end of the competition, unfortunately Stewie was out for a golden, and trudged back to the pavilion with disappointment.


A 25 run partnership from Crole and Ellis looked to be going well before the captain was bowled for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, at least this week he missed rather than left it.  At 2/25 Demajo joined Ellis, and a further 19 run partnership put us in a strong position before Ellis was out to a good catch, Demajo batted with Shaw for another 19 run partnership, before they both fell, Alexei to a very thin edge down leg side, and Shaw to a poor LBW decision also down leg side.


Whilst we were losing wickets we were also adding 15-25 runs for each wicket, something they didn’t do, and were clearly ahead of the required run rate.  At 5 for 63 Germano joined Wickham at the crease and as he does every week chipped in when required and like Ken Shaw was given out to a ball going down leg, but again another 17 runs had been added to the total and we were 6 for 80 with plenty of overs left. Ben Wignall joined Josh and they got us to 104 before Ben spooned one to square leg, again another 24 runs which had all but won us the game.


Mini joined Josh, and after a ball or 2 got us past the required score, 7 down with 4 or 5 overs left, and still batting in the shed.  Our job was done, our bowlers were best afield but every one of our batsman foiled hard, with no batsman throwing their wicket away with a false shot, or trying to be the hero, but more so not wanting to let the other down .


The best team had won, not necessarily because we had 12 better players but because we worked so well together as a team and can be proud of this performance.


A great result was celebrated at Nunger Park and then at the Harp with the stragglers winding up around 6 am. Ben Wignall who had played an excellent final series but without a bowl took the last wicket of the match around 4am with a BUSH pig, whilst the ever alert Juddy assisted  him very well with something Bozo had called not old enough to be a kindergarten teacher earlier in the night.  Juice Bigalow was seen bowling more maidens over on the dance floor, with the man of the match Al Nicolson and his love children MINI and Wigs’ wanting to cuddle and strangle everyone in sight.

Thanks to Damo who helped me in the transition, thanks to all the guys who played in the team throughout the year, it was a pleasure to captain the 25 odd players that we had in the team throughout the season, in essence the team was known to play hard, take it serious when required but most of all we played for fun, I know I certainly did and thank the club for the opportunity it gave me to captain such a great side.

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