ROUND 1 JUNIOR RECAP
Round 1 of the Ray Sutton featured our lads suit up against the boys from south of the wall – Southern District. The battlefront was staged at Christies Beach High School and with a strange twist of fate I had the call-up to officiate this match. I thought rocking up to umpire the game in my Sturt shorts, Sturt jumper and Sturt cap might be frowned upon by the opposition, so I pulled over on the side of States Road, stripped down to my undies and donned the blue shirt and black slacks. Captain Carl (Arnold) won the toss and decided that taking the willow would be a smart option. An early wicket bought Captain Carl to the crease and I had the absolute pleasure in witnessing a batting masterclass by the young man. As I stood behind the stumps CC (Captain Carl) single handedly took the game away from the Stingrays. With the best seat in the house I witnessed CC hit his first 6, his first 50 and finally his first century for the mighty Blues. When his wicket finally fell he had amasses 112 runs off a mere 97 balls. Take nothing away from his partner in crime Zaccy Llewellyn. If CC was Batman, then Zac was the boywonder Robin. Their running between wickets and ability to put pressure on the field was beyond their young years. Zac was run out on the only direct hit from the opposition for the day for 34 outstanding runs. Between Batman and Robin they earned themselves a 126 run partnership. At 6 for 207 off 40 overs it was time for our bowlers to shine. Not only did they shine – they were so damn shiny it must have blinded the opposition because in a matter of 28 overs and only 49 runs the Southerners were packing up their kits and making the trip back to their cars. Wickets were shared amongst the bowlers with 2 wickets each for Kurt Zytnik, Will Young, Bailey Doe and CC (cause scoring a ton simply wasn’t enough in one day). Ollie Parsons was also in the book as claiming a wicket in his 5 over spell. I cant finish the spiel without mentioning the absolute spectacular one handed, blinder of a catch by the boywonder himself Zaccy Llewellyn at point. My professionalism was on the line when I felt the urge to race over and congratulate the catch with a well deserved high five. My integrity is still intact though. A massive win and great start for this bunch of little legends.
Under 14 Whites kicked off the season with a rematch of last years grand final against the Sea Horses of Glenelg. We knew this would be an epic re-match and every 1%er would matter. We won the toss at our home deck of Mitcham Primary School and decided to have a bat. Charlie Fox could not have started the season any better than this day. He opened the bat and stayed there for the entire innings, proving to be a solid rock in the way of any bowling attack. He raised the bat at 51 not out and stayed not out after the allotted 60 overs. Christian Kourlas impressed with his 27 valuable runs which added together with Charlies 51 equated to approximately half of the teams final score of 153 runs. We had the Seahorses roped in like a rodeo at 3 for 44 however a big hitting unit then started to unleash and we found it difficult to reign him in. After 60 overs the lads in yellow and black had passed our score and made 178 runs – only 25 runs in front of us. Shane Raphael and Charlie Fox both claimed a couple of wickets each, whilst Will Torode rounded out 1 himself. In the field catches were held by Josh Beckham, Christian Kourlas, John Potter and Benny Howard. Run outs were the special of the day and just to make me type his name for the 80th time in this Round Up, Christian Kourlas affected one of them. Others included 2 from Shane Raphael and one from Kurt Zytnik. A close one for the 14 Whites and I’m sure they will bounce back next round.
Our Under 14 Reds travelled out to Bowker Street to face up against the Bays. As per every other game in the round we won the toss and decided to have a bat. Our association winning batter Reggie Els started the season exactly where he left off last season – and that is with scintillating fashion and sheer grace. He opened the batting and did his job at the top by scoring a team high score of 30 runs. Big Broadie Clarke showed he hasn’t slowed down by bashing out a quick 21 runs in the middle order helping the boys churn out 131 runs before being bowled out in the final over. Only 3 of the Glenelg batters reached double figures, but with the highest run scorer (not an actual player) named S.Undry (38) it made the task even harder than expected. Club cult hero Suji Sukumaran spun his way back into our hearts with 4 wickets in his 16 over spell. New-comer Nick Neumann had batters literally quaking in their boots with his genuine blistering speed and got his debut off to a ripper with 2 wickets in the book under his name. The 3 remaining wickets were shared between Bailey ‘Doey’ Doe, ‘Captain’ Carl Arnold and Andrew ‘Manchild’ Landon. 6 catches were skied and held by Big Broadie Clarke, Nifty Nick Newman (2), Stoic Reggie Els and CC Arnold (2). It was a nail biting finish with the Bays sneaking past our score in the final overs of the day. A close one slipped through our fingers this time but I’m confident in a win for Round 2.
Under 16 Whites got their first taste of the unique ground of AA Bailey, where runs come in the fashion of a 4 or 1….there is nothing in between except a run out. True to form our new captains the won the toss and declared their intention to bat. At 5 for 27 some were questioning if that was the correct decision, but the innings was settled by the maturity and knuckle-down approach of Paddy Taylor and Darc Rabbitt. These two legends dug in and spent valuable time at the crease, frustrating the Glenelg bowlers. Thomas Maloney came to the crease at number 9 and batted superbly, making a valuable 34 runs and dragging the team score to 113 in the 54th over. With overs left in the bank Glenelg padded up and started their chase a week early. By the start of week 2 the Bays only needed 70 runs to win and we needed early wickets to apply the pressure. Unfortunately those wickets didn’t come quick enough but there were some distinct highlights from the game. Thomas Maloney backed up his great form with the bat and unleashed with the ball with figures of 1 for 5 off 7 overs, including 5 maidens. Oscar Steene was impressive on debut taking 2 for 17 from his 7 overs and affecting an excellent run out from fine leg. Captaining the boys this year is Matty Adams who put in a ‘Captains spell’ bowling 16 straight overs and collecting figures of 5 for 44. At the end of the round Glenelg had put 152 runs in the book and snatched the win.
Glenelg Under 16 Reds are the reigning premiership side and on paper had only lost a couple of their batters from last year’s winning team. Still holding onto their bowlers from last year we knew they would come at us with all guns blazing. Westminster was the setting for this round and with Glenelg winning the toss, our bowlers had automatically started their warm-up when the unbelievable occurred and the winning toss elected to bowl. Obviously extremely confident with their bowlers they hadn’t counted on Bailey Corbin (42), Josh Goodwin (45), James Howard (37) and Alex Francis (31) all piling runs into the scorebook to tally our score to an impressive 214 runs. Normally anything that has 3 figures and the first figure starting with a 2 should have you feeling quietly confident, however our bowlers never took their foot off the pedal. Ollie Styles smashed through them with 4 for 13 off 7 overs, and Colby ‘roughlid’ Whitbourne snagging 3 for 16 off 11 overs had them on the back foot. Jack Willis chimed in with 2 of his own and my favorite cricketer Alex Francis claimed 1 crucial wicket in his spell. Even though we have an actual qualified gymnast in the group, somehow the big unit of Dozer found himself on the deck with a diving catch or 2, which included a very unflattering and unnecessary dive and roll. After 51 overs we had cleaned up the reigning premiers with relative ease and only troubling the scorers for 94 runs. We got a second dig and to rub salt into the wounds whilst still fresh – roughlid Whitbourne unleashed a fury of runs in only 8 balls. It included 2 x 4’s and 2 x 6’s (that’s 20 off 4 if you don’t mind). Clearly puffed out from his bowling spell he decided running between the wickets wasn’t for him and ended up 22 off 8 *not out*. A ripping start for this group of genuine lads.