A Gary Bennett inspired Old Scotch outfit scraped home in a tough encounter against the always powerful Old Trinity in the last round of the regular season on the K2 Meares Oval.
Batting first, the K2 Scotchies got off to a shakey start with Elliott out early, and then to universal shock, Tim Hosking was soon after dismissed for the only time this season for a middling score.
The ship was righted by the consistent Sam Shearer and skipper Tom Murray who in harness advanced the score to 88 before Shearer fell for a well made 49. Murray followed soon after for 25 and the total 4 for 102, with the innings now on a knife's edge.
Sam Murray - as he often has done this season - stepped into the fray and compiled an enterprising 34. At the other end, wickets were tumbling however, when "Junior" Murray was seventh man out with the score still a lowly 135, Old Trinity were well on top and alarm bells were ringing in the K2 Old Scotch camp.
Will Hays and Tim Bate rescued the innings with a cameo that hoisted the K2 Old Scotch score to 163 - not really enough on a benign pitch and lightning outfield - but at the very least something to try and defend.
Hays got things off to a flying start with an early wicket, but Old Trinity batsmen Cowley and Reynolds dug in advanced the score to 52 without further misshap, and the Trinity boys looked to be coasting towards the victory target. Summerfield got the vital break-through and when Will Elliot caught Corney off the bowling of Sam Murray right on drinks, Old Trinity had tumbled to 5 for 71 and the Scotchies were on top.
Old Trinity dug deep after the drinks break, and advanced the score to 133 without further loss. Six overs were left, and Old Trinity required 31 runs for victory - things looked bleak for the K2 Scotchies when Will Hayes bowled Wong for 31 and then wily old veteran Gary Bennett, like a shark tasting blood in the water, cleaned up the tail add yet another 5 wicket haul in his storied K2 Old Scotch career and for the Scotchies to claim an improbable victory by 13 runs.
The A Team now advance to the semi final stage full of running, with possibly only Cam Melville missing from the their best team with a broken hand.
The Celebrities took on Melbourne High Old Boys on Saturday afternoon at Melbourne High and were hung, drawn and quartered. Even allowing for the undermanned line up - it seemed that the lads had mentally checked out of season 2015/16 after the narrow loss to arch-rivals Xavier the previous week which had snuffed out their last glimmer of hope of playing finals.
At drinks MHOB's were 2 for 81 and a thread-bare attack had at least managed to keep things in check. After the drinks break, it was utter carnage and a *Parental Advisory Warning* label should be affixed to the match report from this point. MHOB's batsmen Fahey and Ahsan massacred a dispirited bowling attack and struck boundaries at will. One mighty smite from Fahey literally disappeared out of the ground and struck the garage door on the apartment complex more than 100 meters away on the full!
Oh the humanity!
The dismissals of Fahey for 85 and Ahsan for 92 brought no respite, as Chowdhury blasted 50 not out in appropximately 7 overs to lift the MHOB's score to a barely believable 6 for 293. An incredible 212 runs had been pillaged in the 20 overs after drinks. Please think of the children!
The Old Scotch run chase got off to the worst possible start when in the absense of talismanic skipper Foskey, the most senior batsman in the line up, veteran Mark Griffiths was bowled by the perfect delivery that shaped in and clipped the very edge of the off bail. Vic Nicholas and Dave Armstrong dug in for a while, but when Nicholas was LBW for 20 to one that kept low on a pitch playing lower and slower, the mental fatigue from chasing a bit of leather around the field for two hours started taking its toll. Armstrong was dismissed soon after, misstiming a ball that held up in the pitch, and other some defiance from Cal McDonough, a respectable batting line up was reduced to a burning wreck as one after the other succumbed to a pitch that had gone from a veritable road to a shooting gallery.
Melbourne High Old Boys captain Choudhary took an incredible 5 for 5 to go with his whirlwind 50 not out to inflict a crushing 222 run defeat on the Celebrities - surely some kind of a record? From 1 for 49 in the 16th over when Nicholas and Armstrong were holding back the tide, the Celebrities lost a disappointing 9 for 22 in 10 overs of mayhem. A sad way to finish the season that held out so much hope.
While it is mothballs for The Celebrities for season 2015/16, for the A Team, Semi Finals await this weekend, and an appointment with destiny. Keep an eye out for news as to where/who/when.
In the mean time...
SURROUND YOURSELF IN THE EXCITEMENT!