Star summer signing Matt Mitchell top scored as the A Team put Melbourne High Old Boys to the sword on a wet Sunday on the Meares. Over on the lowers, the Celebrities experienced yet another in a series of narrow losses this summer, this time to Old Trinity, in a day of mixed fortunes for the club.
Batting first, the A Team got off to bad start when Tom Murray opening in place of Cam Melville was dismissed for 1 and the score on 17. Sam Shearer joined Tim Hosking at the crease and things were progressing well, before Hosking was himself dismissed for 16 and the score on 38.
Matty Mitchell joined Sam Shearer at the crease and the two batsman batted with great focus to advance the score to 86, before Shearer perished for a typically well made 26. Melville coming in at the unaccustomary number 5 in the batting order, was unable to get going and was dismissed for 4 and the Scotchies were now 4 for 92. It was soon 5 for 96 as Matt Mitchell's innings came to an end on 32.
Seb "Stretch" Armstrong in harness with skipper Mattty Grose and then with young gun James Halse advanced the score to 147. A competitive total under the conditions. Armstrong finished 26 not out along with Halse who was unbeaten on 13.
Melbourne High Old Boys were then routed for 77 in a clinical bowling and fielding display to leave Old Scotch winners by 70 runs. Wily veteran Garry "Methuselah" Bennett finished with the best figures, a scarcely believable 3 for 5. Rookie swing bowler Will "Doc" Bonwick captured 2 for 0 from five deliveries to close out the innings and seal a comprehensive victory.
Over on the lowers, The Celebrities won the toss and batted first on a green top under dark clouds and light drizzle. Hayden Tilbrook opening with Nicholas was dismissed caught behind with the score on 6. The supremely talented Riley Tilbrook then batted as well as the drizzly conditions allowed, making a composed 20 before himself being dismissed with the score on 32. Tilbrook's 20 would have been double that on a dryer day.
Scotch student Jonathan Loveridge batted exceptionally well for his 17, and like Riley Tilbrook, would have scored easily double on a dryer day. Some late hitting by Will "Shotgun" Meggitt (17) and Benny "Send Offs" Summerfield (22) dragged the score to a nominally defendable 119. A low total, but in the inclement weather and slow outfield, it would take some getting.
That is, until the weather suddenly improved dramatically during the tea break. With glorious sun shining and the pitch and outfield drying, suddenly, it didn't look nearly enough. The Celebrities bowlers bowled exceptionally well to prize out 7 wickets and give the Celebrities hope of a famous backs to the wall victory. But, Old Trinity duly reached the target with 3.4 overs to spare,mirroring the earlier clash between the same teams a few weeks back. The Celebrities were left to lament being some 20-25 runs short of what would have been a match winning total. Summerfield lead the bowling attack superbly with 3/31.
Yet another close loss in a season full of disappointing close losses for the Celebrities, while the A Team is sitting pretty, as both teams will be bolstered by the youth brigade who have returned from Schoolies,
This weeks round of MCC matches have all been called off as unprecedented inclement weather would render play impossible across Melbourne. See you all next week.
In the mean time...