For the first time ever, Phoenix got 7 teams out on the grounds … they may not have been completely full teams of 11, but full enough to avoid forfeits and full enough so that everyone who was available got a game. And to be honest, we all want as many people as possible to be playing this great game of cricket, and preferably at our club! Without a seventh side, we would have had half a dozen guys who wanted to play, not being able to take part.
Phoenix won four of the seven games on Saturday with 3rd Grade making it two from two, 6th Grade picking up their first win and 1st Grade getting brought back down to earth with their first loss. One-Day A and One-Day D started their seasons with wins, while One-Day G and One-Day F, hampered by late withdrawals, played short and couldn’t bring home the points.
There were solid contributors and outstanding efforts across all the teams, and on a day where play looked unlikely, even right up to the toss of the coin, we got full games in. At about half past eleven, a mass of thick, black clouds was hovering over all of grounds, threatening a disruption to the day’s World Series Cup fixture between Australia and Pakistan, but fudge me didn’t they just disappear before you could even say “Geez, it’s gonna piss down” and play got underway as scheduled at 12.30pm.
Tonight down at Tempest, we’ll be having the first ever Player Auction (of sorts). Members of the Committee have been hard at work to get this version of a Fantasy League off the ground, and despite a few gremlins, despite a few blokes being left off the list, and despite MyCricket insisting that teams have no more or no less than 11 players, before a loophole was found, it has been done!
Each Fantasy Team is made up of five players, and because MyCricket is stupid, I’ve had to give every team a keeper, a bowler, a batter and two all-rounders. These ‘player types’ have no impact on the points each player earns, and has no sway when it comes to selecting ‘real’ teams on Thursday nights, it’s just a naming convention that I couldn’t find a way around.
We have tried to make the teams as even as possible, but there are so many unknown variables with new guys to the club, people having weird and wonderful work schedules, one-day vs. two-day matches, injuries, weddings and family duties all making up what should be an interesting process regardless of the outcome. The Grades are unweighted, with each run made or wicket taken scoring the same amount of points in G Grade as in 1st Grade.
So, the deal with the auction is as follows:
Each listed team will be offered up for purchase auction style. Anyone can put a bid in for any team - player, non-player, family member, pet dog etc. If you’re a player in one team, you can most certainly put a bid in for another team. You can get a group together and pool your money, and try and outbid others for any team. Half of the money paid for the teams will be set aside for prizes, and the other half will go towards the club.
It’s all a bit of fun, and will give guys an incentive to PUT THEIR DAMN CATCHES IN THE SCOREBOOKS as all your points count!
There will be side bets throughout the season, such as who is leading at Christmas, and many more opportunities to have a bit of fun and a bit of a laugh. Just a bit of inside info if you’re looking at splashing some cash on Team 12 … one of the all-rounders will be back on the park in a couple of weeks’ time ;)
I’m sure most of you have heard that former Phoenix Cricket Club player and member of our extended Phoenix Family, Darren Igglesden, took his own life earlier this week. Many of our current players, our past players and club members knew Darren quite well, and shared some on field success with him, including three premierships. From all accounts, he was so much more than just a cricketer, and to reduce his contribution to just a list of statistics won’t do him any justice.
Whether you knew him or not, the Phoenix Cricket Club Family has lost a member in tragic circumstances well before his time. As a mark of respect, we ask all Phoenix players to wear a black armband this Saturday during the game. We also invite those who knew Darren through the Phoenix Cricket Club down to the Tempest Park Clubrooms after the completion of the day’s play to pay tribute to him, and share some stories and tall tales.
The Weekly Wrap newsletter has been a vehicle to raise the awareness of mental health over the years, and that will continue, as we approach Movember 2018. However, in this instance, and out of respect for Darren, what I had written on that topic will be held over to next week.
Once again, a gentle reminded for those few remaining who haven’t paid their Rego to get it done.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had enough time this week to do full match reports, but I’ll give each grade a bit of love ;)
1st Grade (7/167) def. by East Fremantle (5/208) @ Preston Point
Phoenix won the toss down at Preston Point, and had no hesitation in batting first. After an early wicket, radio star J. Johnson (81) and Ned Kelly wannabe M. Reid (19) put on 52 for the second wicket. A flurry of wickets then saw Phoenix slip from 1/52 to 4/56, before JJ and JJ added 37 for the fifth wicket. M. Lane (24) relished the chance to swing the bat and actually scored more than half the runs in a 43 run friendship combination with the taller of the JJs, but lost his wicket trying to scon a bloke sunbathing on his luxury yacht down at the boat club. R. Babu (19) tonked a few around late as well as Phoenix finished on a defendable 7/167.
It would be wrong to say that the bowling effort started well, but, in true Weekly Wrap style, the truth never gets in the way of a good story. Unfortunately, there wasn’t even a good story to go along with this, as Phoenix simply got smashed out of the park … 28 fours and 5 sixes came off the East Freo bats. The only thing really worth talking about was C. Stewart’s remarkable figures of 2/5 off his eight overs … and that included two wides! The best thing about this game is that it’s gone.
3rd Grade (5/175) def. East Fremantle (109) @ Tempest
Despite a new pitch with the morning’s rain beading off it like a dodgy mid-nineties car polish ad, Phoenix won the toss and elected to bat. There was general disappointment when the less bald Bartley, fresh off his outstanding first round batting effort, was left to cool his heels. The openers sensed the unease in the crowd and elected to BBQ themselves in order to bring TBar to the crease. Liberty Vallence (26) and T. Bartley (99*), got the crowd on their feet, sharing in a 53 third wicket partnership, and then Z. Masih (17) continued the trend with Ty, adding 77, and a world of hurt to East Freo, for their wicket. As the need to increase the run rate became apparent, Zeke joined the BBQ, but the hitters that followed didn’t bring their own runs to the party, and TBar had to carry the team on his shoulders again. At the beginning of the last over, he was 95* and on strike. A century looked likely, but as in life, cricket just stuck a pineapple in sideways and left him stranded on 99*. After the innings ended, the books were so good, that a single run couldn’t be found to add to Ty’s column. Stranded.
In stark contrast to 1st Grade, the 3rd Grade bowling plan went off with barely a hitch. B. Legg (1/19) and R. Bartley (1/12) completely stifled the East Freo openers, and removed them both inside 16 overs. New bloke to the club, N. Macek (1/19) kept the theme going with another 8 overs of nothingness, which set the scene for T. Wybenga (4/29) and D. Morris (2/30) to wrap things up. Both Ten and Dyl started their spells a bit shakily; but they came good in a big way and rolled East Freo for just 109 in the 37th over. It was a big win, and showed just what can happen when a disciplined bowling plan is put in place and followed!
6th Grade (9/150) def. SJ Blues (6/146) @ Beeliar
There was no time for Phoenix’s first female player to get nervous as SJ sent 6th Grade in to bat. Gorgia Platten looked the part opening the innings, and played some fantastic shots in her half hour stay (straight to fielders unfortunately), before copping a pearler on the toe to end her first innings with Phoenix. Big Brother Ben (11) replaced her at the crease, and together with J. Smith-Ince (17), they turned the strike over and spread the SJ field. When those two fell in quick succession, perhaps to join the BBQ back at Tempest, A. Bocking (28) and C. Smith (12), steadied the ship. When Smiddy departed things were looking grim, and they looked even grimmer when Gero came and went with barely a whimper. G. Bolton (40) joined Rowdy in the middle, and the two of them slowly built things back up and provided a platform to launch from. Aden, perhaps sensing that the platform was ready, took an ill-conceived swipe at a cheeky spinner and lost his pegs, but Mini Bolts was still there, and he kept plugging along. There wasn’t a huge amount of support from the tail, but they did their part, and Phoenix got to the psychologically important milestone of 9/150 from their 40 overs. Would it be enough? Short answer … yes; long answer … also yes!
B. Platten (1/22) took the first pole before SJ reached double figures, but a pesky 40 odd run partnership for the second wicket was getting uncomfortable. J. Jago (2/27) powered through his eight overs and just as a reward might evade him for the day, bang, bang! Two wickets in quick secession, with sharp catches taken by Stray Dog and Mini Bolts, got Phoenix right back into it. But, there was an interval, of about 50 runs, where not much happened, and SJ got themselves back in front. J. Rourke (1/25) then pulled a surprise wicket from his hat, and Gero (2/25) did the same from the other end. Phoenix were back in, with SJ in a hole at 5/94.
Aden (0/15) was given the tough task of bowling the death overs from one end while Gero did the same from the other, and kept things very tight despite not taking a wicket. A juggling catch to the Hyphen gave Gero his second, and then a maiden from Rowdy really put the pressure on. That hole that SJ were digging wasn’t getting any shallower! Eventually, it came down to this … SJ needed five runs from the final over to win, with four wickets in hand. Captain Aaron Gerovich took the responsibility on himself, with a grisly old veteran of many battles facing up at the other end. First ball, dot. Second ball, a wild swing and a dot. Third ball, onto the pads for nothing. Fourth ball, same result, and some stinging barbs came flying out from SJ’s position on the hill. Fifth ball, a half chance for a run, but nothing doing. It all came down to the final ball, SJ needed a six to win, or a four to tie. They got nothing, as the final delivery pounded into the pads … the 40th over was a maiden! Can you believe that? A maiden! What a win, and it really did show some signs of a building resolve within the group. Defending a low total, against a reasonable top order, but, the fielding effort was strong, the positive talk and encouragement was excellent, and this game could set 6th Grade up for the rest of the season!
ODA (252) def. Willetton (8/219) @ Tree Oval
Battling the elements, and the flora, down at Centenary Park, is nothing new, but what is new is that the man, the legend, the ‘strut’, got a globe! Sent in to bat, C. Carley (33) lost his opening partner in the first over, but that didn’t improve the lot of the Willetton players, as C. Rourke (65) shared a century stand with CC for the second wicket. A bunch of non ground contact maximums, including one into the tree, sent the Crows scurrying in all directions before ‘Fraser Gehring’ got to crow about removing the two Cs in quick succession. M. Bennett (19) eased himself back into cricket with a well-made score, but more pain was to follow with J. Julien (24) and W. Moore (56) picking off the remains of the Crows bowling attack like a bird in a school bin. Some late hitting by M. Smith (17) added even more respectability to the total, but it could have been fully respeckt, if not for the four overs that were left out there. As it was, 250 was nothing to laugh at, and was somewhat a defendable score.
To their credit, the Crows stopped chasing Willy Wagtails around for a bit and made a reasonable fist of the match. Gilliam McLachlan took some time out from the busy Trade Period to open the innings and Stephen May’s brothers B & J were briefly traded to Willetton for a second and third drop pick, before they packed up the bags and attempted to follow Stephen to wherever he decides to go to next. Despite his best efforts, the trailer guy J. Pappas couldn’t quite drag his team over the line, and in the end Willetton finished on 8/219 … a score that would win most other games.
Of note, J. Fowler (3/46) was the pick of the bowlers, with S. D’Souza (2/47) making a contribution with the ball. B, J & M. Smith each picked up a wicket to make it a bit of a Smith love in under the tree, to close out the match and get Phoenix on the board.
ODD (7/176) def. Thornlie (9/173) @ Anning
It was another close one, out at Anning Park this time. Getting sent in, D. Smith (50) and G. Cant (18) made Thornlie pay for that mistake with 40 on the board early. When Captain Cant fell, the Bunbury Boy, S. Bawden (43) showed that he hadn’t lost his touch despite not playing much last season due to travel and work. The Myth and Des piled on 94 for the second wicket, but after that, there wasn’t much to write home about from the middle order, and a promising start floundered somewhat, but 7/176 is still a good score at Anning.
Thornlie got off to a flyer in their response, seeing off the opening bowlers, but the wily old D. Comben (2/23) mixed some quality in with some tripe, and undid them both. M. Mahon (2/27) got his first wicket for the season after some chin music caused the Thornlie Number 3 to do a Number 2 and dislodge a bail. At 3/94, Phoenix had somewhat arrested the slide, but the fielding was becoming a concern. No moment in time captured this better than when a wicketkeeper who shall remain unnamed, while standing up to the stumps, somehow managed to end up further away from the top edged ball than when he started, facing the wrong way, on his knees, seemingly with both Achilles tendons shot out by a sniper. Needless to say, if he’d simply stayed where he had started, it would’ve sconed him on the melon. J. Cant (1/21) with his dearth pace bowling took an important wicket, and B. Schenk (2/20) took a leaf out of Dougy’s book to bring Phoenix right back into the match. Needing eight off the last over, Thornlie could only manage four, and Phoenix had its second close win of the day.
ODF (6/164) def. by East Fremantle (7/199) @ HJ’s
B. Melia 77
F. Jose 2/24
B. Melia 2/27
ODG (7/195) def. by Piara Waters (7/207) @ Thunderlands Park