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Nail-biting victory seals grand final berth


MARCH 6, 2023


OLD SCOTCH CC 9/195 (39.3)

def. OLD HAILEYBURIANS 6/191 (40)

T Loveridge 37, H Francis 33, W Bonwick 2/37

The 1st semi-final against Old Haileybury began on the main oval in the sunshine doing well to hide the predicted heavy cloud and rain scheduled for the afternoon. Bowling first, the visitors recovered from an early wicket to reach 1-84 before a juggled stumping from Fancis behind the stumps off the bowling of Bonwick slowed their advance. The decent bowling effort saw OH restricted to 6/191 off their 40 overs in which wickets were shared between Goad (1/29), Bennett (1/13) and Sparks (1/47), with two crucial upper order wickets for Bonwick (2/37).

As the clouds began to gather, the batting innings got off to a positive start from Francis (33) but we threatened to detail our own chase with too many of our top order getting starts and not going on with it. Slumping to 7-128, with rain looking increasingly likely, things were as grim as the storm clouds — well behind the required rate on duckworth-lewis, a wash out would hand OH the win. Amid sprinkling showers, the fightback began with Clark (29) and a determined T Loveridge (37), the latter the standout star of our batting recovering, doggedly sticking to his game and advancing the score little by little. With a number of results all still in play, we edged towards OH’s total, ticking off the runs. Momentum really seemed to swing on our very own Ben Stokes off-the-bat-over-throws to the boundary which was a cruel reminder of the fickle nature of the game. Even still there was a twist in the tail, with Loveridge run out in a monumental mix-up with just one run remaining for a tie in the penultimate over. With the field in close, number 10 Goad could only block out the rest of the over, setting up a final over equation of one run or one wicket to claim victory for either side. In tense final few balls, Bonwick eventually pushed a game-tying single and with the pressure released Goad knocked the final runs much to the jubilation of the team and the sizable crowd of supporters from the sidelines.This will go down as one of the most incredible OSCC matches ever played.

The boys will be proud of the exploits of the few who saw us over the line, but know that for the Grand Final next Monday, far more of the team will have to bring their best. With anticipation and excitement, we await the opportunity to once again play off against Old Melbournians in the decider. Hopefully we see you there!

Sam Shearer (1XI Captain)


OLD SCOTCH CC 114 (37.2)

def. by EAST MALVERN TOORONGA 7/144 (40)

J Halse 36, C Hocking 2/24

We were at home for our 5th semi final in as many seasons up against the strong opposition in East Malvern. Losing the toss, we were sent into the field on a hot blustery day, with a pitch that looked incredible to bat on.

East Malvern started strongly with both openers signalling their intent and attempting to take on our opening pair. When Gary Bennett (1/27 off 8) took the first wicket in the 9th over the score was on 42 and we were slowly losing grip on the innings. Despite some tight bowling from the skip (0/14 off 4), East Malvern made it to drinks at 1/72. As always, when needing a breakthrough, our team turns to one man and he once again delivered. Charlie Hocking (2/24 off 6) took the team on his back including 2 wickets and a direct hit run out to bring us right back into the game. Some tight death bowling from James Halse (1/15 off 4) and Hugh Longbottom (1/2 off 2) meant that we managed to restrict EMTCC to 7/144 at the end of the 40. A very achievable total.

Unfortunately the batting innings did not start as planned with both openers losing their wicket for a combined score of 1. When Hugh Longbottom fell for 10, the score was 3/16 and we were in dire straits. James Halse 36 and Tom Whitelaw 25 mounted a strong comeback to have us in a commanding position at 3/86 just after drinks. From there however, both wickets fell and triggered a really disappointing collapse of 6/10, to have the game all but over at 9/96. If not for a short cameo from John Stavris (13) and Will Easton (6) the score would have been much less than the final 114.

At the end of the day, the loss of multiple wickets in a short period of time cost us dearly. Since the defeat, it has been communicated to the club that EMTCC, as a result of a 2-day final in their other competition they are unable to field a grand final side. They have forfeited their place in Sunday's grand final and we will play in their place.

Without question our emotions are mixed knowing that we do not truly deserve the opportunity, however at the same time we will approach the game with excitement and look to compete for the unlikeliest of victories.

— John Stavris (2XI Captain)


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