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Sam Shearer notched his maiden MCC Division One century on the Main Oval at Scotch, as a motivated A-Team held off a determined Old Melbournians to be victorious by 21 runs in the annual pre-Christmas clash. On the nearby Melville Oval, the Celebrities powered by half centuries to Sam Neil and Fraser Sutherland registered a resounding win over Old Geelong, by 70 runs, as Henry Machutchison captured 4 for 13 to round a wonderful day for the Scotchies.

The pre-Christmas clash with Old Melburnians on the hallowed Main Oval at Scotch has built up its own legacy with the great games that have been played in recent years. It was perhaps fitting that a man who bleeds Cardinal, Gold and Blue in skipper Sam Shearer, should register his maiden Division 1 century in this fixture after winning the toss and electing to bat first. With wonderful support first from Tim Hosking with 33 and then from cousin Nick Shearer who with his score of 51, scored his maiden half century at this level in what is turning into a marvelous summer for the young tyro, Sam Shearer was superb.

Shearer finished with 109 not out, out of a total of 3 for 211 from the rain shortened 36 overs. Shearer has gone close a number of times, but today was his day as he looked in complete control from start to finish.

Old Melbournians were not going to play the fall-guy, though, they attacked the target set by Old Scotch with gusto. Charlie Cormack was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 25 as Old Melbournians bravely fell 21 runs short. Sam Shearer who captured 2 wickets to go with his century was undoubtedly the Man of the Match, as the A-Team cruised into the Christmas break unbeaten on top of the ladder.

Over on Melville Oval, after a rare failure by the Bradmanesque mark Griffiths, Fraser Sutherland 55, Sam Neil 51 and Santush Gunawardene 41 all stamped the mark on the contest to guide the Celebrities to a very competitive 7 for 195 off a rain shortened 37 overs. Sam "Schneilo" Neil wound back the clock five years as he took command in a partnership with Jono Loveridge of 65 before Loveridge departed for a well made 27. Schneilo pounded the boundary with his 51. However, the best was yet to come as Fraser Sutherland and Santush Gunawardene compiled a 94 run stand with Sutherland starring with 55 while Gunawardene contributed a wonderful 41.

In reply, at 3 for 115, Old Geelong looked well placed to run down The Celebrities 195 run target, when up stepped Henry "Golden Arm" Machutchison who ripped out 4 wickets in two overs to finish with the barely believable figures of 4 for 13 to just shade inspirational skipper John Stavris who captured 3 for 14 himself. A big 70 run win resulted to leave the Celebrities well entrenched in the Division 2 top 4 at the Christmas break.

We will back in January, but from all of us at Old Scotch Cricket Club, have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!

In the mean time...


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