On what turned out to be a glorious summers afternoon at Old Trinity's Hudson Oval, Tim Hosking swept all before him with yet another imperious century to spearhead another victory to put Old Scotch 1st XI in the box seat for a finals birth.
Hosking has so far this summer compiled an incredible 548 runs at an average 78.28. Along with fellow top order batsman Cam Melville, Sam Shearer and skipper Tom Murray, Hosking leads, arguably, the most potent batting line up in the MCC First Division.
The powerful Old Trinity at their Hudson Oval home base are a formidable opponent, having comfortably defeated Old Scotch there last season. So the 4 for 206 posted by the Scotchies in their innings was not beyond their Old Trinity opponents. For the Scotchies, aside from the aforementioned Hosking ton, the Murray brothers Tom (28) and Sam (26) both contributed useful knocks in support of Hosking who contributed circa 55.4% of the Old Scotch total.
The youthful Seb Armstrong and wily veteran Gary Bennett took the new ball and bowled beautifully to tie down the Old Trinity top order. "Benjamin Button" Bennett, defying age and the laws of physics, finished with 3 for 15 to be the pick of the bowlers. A late order revival provided Old Trinity with respectability without ever threatening to steal the game away from the Scotchies as they ran out comfortable 57 run winners to fortify their position in the top four.
Meanwhile, The Celebrities hosted Melbourne High Old Boys on the Meares Oval. The rain effected match was reduced to 35 overs a side, and inspite of the pitch being wet and green under the covers, it played rather well all day. Ed Furey after an absense of two years carved out an impressive 38 with some big shots and along with "Old Man River" Mark Griffiths who top scored with 73 not out, guided the Scotchies to a respectable 7 for 160.
After a promising spell of inspired bowling from a makeshift bowling line up bereft of two of the leading strike bowlers in Summerfield and Harlock, The Celebrities had miraculously reduced Melbourne High OB's to 5 for 90, and on track to record a famous against-the-odds victory. Sadly, the fairytale wasn't to be, as Melbourne High rallied with an impressive partnership that got them home with circa three overs to spare to consign the Celebrities to a disappointing loss.
Old Scotch A Team's next assignment is the always tricky trip down the Princes Highway to take on Old Geelong at their picturesque main oval, while The Celebrities are back at home this weekend taking on MCC Red on Sunday on the Meares, in what shapes as a do or die encounter for the Celebrities finals hopes.
Get out and support the lads in the charge for the finals! Until then...