The Boys have hit the Christmas break on a winning note with wins to our 1sts and 2nds. The guys made it 7 and 0 to start the year with a hard fought grinding win over tough competitors East Belmont on Saturday. With our guys returning to Osborne Park after last week's new sprinkler renovations, the boys batted first on a rough dry surface and were in trouble early. 3/20 soon became 5/63 with our top 5 bats all back in the shed. That didn't seem to worry Braden Szponar as he continued to aggressively fight back against the East attack. The slow dry wicket helped East's spinner as Tanner fell just before break and we were staring down the barrel of our lowest score for the year. Fitzy joined Braden and the pair brought us back into the game after break with a handy partnership. Braden fell for 53 and Fitzy for 35 however Tom and Kenno then put on another valuable 30 runs to take our tally past 200 as we would eventually be all out 205. Things didn't start great with the ball as East took Fitzy for 10 off the first over of the day. They would continue to bat aggressively before Fitzy struck. His opening partner Tom also grabbed a wicket and all of a sudden it was 2/38 and the game was in the balance again. Some fine batting and a few bad balls meant that East would walk off at break 2/115 and well in control. Skipper Hally asked for an improved effort after break and that's exactly what he got as Fitzy fired up and bounced out East's middle order. He grabbed 2 quick wickets in a firey spell of short pitched bowling and at the other end Tom chipped in with one as well and East were then on the back foot at 5/126. With Fitzy and Tom both needing a break, Hayesy was introduced with immediate impact, picking up a caught and bowled. With only 4 wickets in hand and Matt Linekar still at the crease the game was evenly poised, a sharp catch from Tom to give Fitzy his 4th would then put us in front as Linekar fell for 54. Tom would then get 2 of the last 3 wickets with a Kenyon run out as well and East were all out for 170 and our guys finish 2017 on the highest of high notes. The 2nds also finished with a great win to 2017. Batting first last week the boys started slowly before getting going thru the middle period of the day. Casey Meehan's 73 would be the highlight of the innings as he made batting look easy. Adam Costello chipped in with 31 to support Casey, although it didn't look to be enough as our guys were bowled out in the 73rd over for just 184. 184 proved to be way too many as East fell to 2/14 at stumps on day 1. It got even worse on day 2 as Mango ripped thru the top order and the game was all but over at 6/26. Jack Hall and Sam Riseley would keep the pressure on and soon enough East were all out for just 92. With plenty of overs left in the day Jack decided to give his top order another hit, Adam Costello cashed in on the extra hit finishing 50 not out as the guys made their way to 3/124 before stumps were called and the Christmas break was upon us. The win now puts our guys 2nd on the ladder with finals well and truly on the cards. One thing that wasn't mentioned in the 1s and 2s victories was that we had 3 regular 1sts players missing in Kingwell, Alford and Troy. The 2nds were also missing Tattersall and the Pearson brothers meaning that 6 of our regular turf starters were missing, putting heaps of pressure on our lower grades. Too much pressure for our 3s as another under par batting display has left their season hanging in the balance. Bowling first last week the guys walked off the ground happy to have East all out for 182 especially when East were 2/104 at one stage in the game. All bowlers played their part in the day as wickets were shared. This week things got ugly quick as they slipped to 4/16. Which soon became 6/36 before 2 returning players Harry Dalton and Anthony Wilson added some respectability to the innings. At 7/93, there was still a small chance of the guys pulling off a miracle win however when Harry fell the game ended and we were all out for 98.
The 4ths would have also been happy with their day 1 efforts as they bowled East out for 168. Tim Frisch pulled the whites on for the first time this year and was amongst the wickets straight away. His 3 dismissals went a long way to helping the guys bowl east out inside 62 overs. That meant our guys had 9 overs to see out on day 1. Unfortunately for us we lost 2 quick wickets both to the bowling of our former superstar Peter Quick who is still plying his trade in the lower grades at East now. Day 2 came around and things were going ok for our guys. Batchelor and McKee got us to 50 with no more dramas before they both fell and then small cameos from Frischy and Horse weren't enough to see our guys home as we were all out for 110 with nearly 40 overs left in the game. The 5ths headed into the Xmas break with a big win over St Peter's. Batting first Cael Fisher plundered a well made unbeaten 56 to set up the score of 174. A total that proved too much for St Peter's as all bowlers did their job including debutant Clinton Ward. Wardy picked up 2/15 from his 4 overs in a win that sees the guys finals hopes remain alive. Well that brings the 1st half of the season to an end and with 5 games remaining after the Xmas break and our 1s and 2s looking all but certain to play finals, our 3s 4s and 5ths will all be wanting to get important wins on the board as well. Social wise we have a big few months after ahead with a Ladies Day planned, as well as our 'Night at North with Kerry and Dane' and also our Major Raffle as well, stay tuned for more details on all of those, but for now, Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe New Year and we'll do it all again when training kicks off on January 9th.