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With the 1st and 3rd XI's having the bye this weekend, it was left to the Celebrities in Division 2 to carry the Old Scotch flag into battle in the grudge match versus old rivals Old Xavier at Barkers Road.

With heavy overnight rain slowing down the outfield and leaking covers leaving wet patches on the pitch, the conditions were remarkably similar to the last round cliff hanger last season that resulted in a tie between these two combatants.

Losing the toss, yet again, the Scotchies were sent in on a green wicket that was going to be offering the seamers plenty of sideways movement and occasional freakish bounce from short of a length.

Old Scotch openers Nicholas and Bate battled hard before Bate was spectacularly caught, one handed, at first slip after a bouncing outswinger caught the edge of his bat.

Youthful batting prodigy Cam Melville joined Nicholas and immediately signalled his intentions by playing some sumptions straight drives to the boundary to get the scoreboard ticking along as the veteran Nicholas dug a foxhole and put up the sandbags in preperation for a long fight.

The pair advanced the score to 1 for 31 in the 9th over before Melville was dismissed by a sharp rising delivery that caught a fine edge through to the keeper to depart for a classy, yet unfulfilled, 15.

From there, wickets fell at regular intervals as some batsmen recieved near unplayable deliveries and others self destructed when harder work was needed to steer the Scotchies to a winning total.

The innings terminated at 79 all out, with opening batsman Vic Nicholas stranded at the non strikers end to be left high and dry on 28 not out. With the exception of number 11 Mitch Nikolovski who contributed an entertaining 13, too many Old Scotch batsmen will be lamenting their dismissals on reflection.

In anticlimactic scenes, the Old Xavs batsmen raced to the target in 15 overs for the loss of two wickets to exact revenge for the last round tie between these two sides earlier this year, which put Xavs out of finals contention.

The better team won and full credit to Old Xavier for their complete display. For the Celebrities, it is the first time they have suffered back to back losses in their short existence, and the boys will be looking to bounce back next week.

In the mean time...


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