SEASON 2022-23 GRAND FINALS
MARCH 12-13, 2023
OLD SCOTCH CC 9/230 (40)
def. OLD MELBOURNIANS 9/203 (40)
H Francis 74, C Hemp 67, M Sparks 3/41
The Old Scotch CC First XI entered their eighth straight grand final, and fourth in five years against arch-rivals Old Melburnians, off the back of the pulsating semi-final victory over a tenacious Old Haileybury and looking to secure back-to-back premierships. There was no need to change the XI from the week before and anticipation was high ahead of what promised to be a classic, between two formidable lineups.
In winning the toss, captain Sam Shearer had no hesitation in electing to bat and openers Cam Hemp and Hamish Francis placed the OM’s attack under immediate pressure - rollicking along at well over a run a ball and advancing the score to 120 just before drinks, when Hemp unfortunately fell after a mix-up between the wickets. From there, there were contributions from Shearer, Nick Sparks and Will Clark through the middle order and Francis went on to score a fine half-century. There were a flurry of late wickets that did halt a bit of the momentum and the score was potentially a few short of where it should have been, given the platform provided by stars of the innings Francis and Hemp.
Despite the slight hiccup, 230 was a formidable total to post on Grand Final day and had OSCC in the box seat. The OM’s batting unit was a strong and experienced one, however, and it would take a solid and disciplined bowling effort to defend the score, on a beautiful Main Oval batting surface.
The bowling innings commenced in bizarre, but fantastic, fashion, with Harrison Goad producing a 12-ball first over - one of the 12 being a pure seed to knock over Stevenson without scoring. Joel Bennett also chipped-in, as he has done so often with the new ball, removing Grammar captain Regan cheaply and having the boys well and truly in control. Clark and Shearer bowled well and without luck, but kept the scoring rate where it needed to be, before Will Bonwick and Mike Sparks combined to really tighten the screws - with Bonwick removing Kennedy early in his spell.
Tom Morris and Sachin Garber combined well for OM’s through the middle-overs and had their side in a decent position with 10 overs to go, before M Sparks claimed the big wicket of Garber and Morris was run-out for a well-made 97. Shearer returned to deliver a couple of tidy low-scoring overs, with M Sparks claiming a couple more wickets and the OM’s innings petered out well short of the required 230.
It was a clinical Grand Final performance and capped off another outstanding season for the OSCC First XI. Over the last two seasons, the side has won 26 games and lost only two, including the back-to-back premierships, and it has been an absolute pleasure to captain the side.
What a season for the club - becoming reportedly the first to ever win both the First XI and Second XI premierships. Thanks to the committee, all playing and non-playing members and all supporters from me. What a special place to play cricket.
— Sam Shearer (1XI Captain)
OLD SCOTCH CC 7/100 (40)
def. SOUTH CAULFIELD 97 (38.5)
C Schilling 54*, C Hocking 3/11, J Stavris 3/11
The 2XI stormed into the Grand Final on Sunday coming up against a extremely competitive opponent in South Caulfield, who had lost just a solitary game in the regular season. Winning the toss on a deck that South Caulfield generally make 200+ on, John Stavris had no hesitation in batting first. This was however short lived as South Caulfield’s opening paid combined for a quick fire 5 wickets from their opening 16 spell. The variable bounce of the pitch made it difficult to combat the tight bowling and when Loveridge fell for 0, the score was on 5/16 - without question we were in all sorts.
The shining light was that despite the carnage around him, our opening batsman Charlie Schilling was still at the crease. Time and time again, Schillo would remind the incoming batsmen to be patient, noting how difficult it was to score. Oliver McLeish (14) and Eddie Shearer (10) fought hard through the middle overs to provide support to Schillo as they started to steady the ship. With Schillo still at the crease when Shearer fell and the score on 7/60 in the 29th over, it was clear that we just needed to find a way to score and post something to bowl to. Schilling (59*) carrying his bat, combined with Hocking (19*) in a low scoring but extremely important partnership in the context of the game to have us post 7/100 after our allotted 40 overs.
Schilling’s innings cannot be undersold from the grit of fighting through the tough period and the mental fortitude to resist every attacking bone in his body. Charlie dug deep for the team and made sure that we had a glimmer of hope with the ball.
We decided to be bold with the ball and opened with spinners at both ends. Hocking and Longbottom combined for a tight opening spell, with Longbottom (1/7 off 5) snaring a wicket in his opening over and the score on 1. Game on.
From there, bowling partnerships turned the game. Will Easton (0/12 off 8) was instrumental in ensuring that pressure was on the batsmen at all time. John Stavris reaped the spoils of this and emphatically had 2/6 after his opening spell of 6 overs. Following a calamitous run out, the score was 4/40 with everything to play for. South Caulfield steadied through the middle overs and were rewarded with some loose bowling and many extras, pushing the score to 4/89 with plenty of time remaining.
The last 6 overs of the day continue to remain a blur. South Caulfield needing 12 to win, with 6 wickets in hand and 36 balls to do so. Charlie Loveridge was the first to breakthrough, not long after a costly drop from Griffo, a set batsman skied the ball up to short cover where John Stavris was waiting. 5/90 - 5 overs remaining.
Charlie Hocking (3/11 off 6) came back into the attack and in an incredible opening over took 2/2 - made extra special by a couple of bad balls that should have found the rope, somehow, someway finding a fielder. 7/92 - 4 overs remaining, 7 runs to win.
The ball was handed back to the skipper, John Stavris (3/11 off 8) and on the first ball, thanks to some outstanding work by Will Easton a run out was effected. The over went for 4, meaning 8/96 with 3 overs to go.
Charlie Hocking began to dot up the set batsman - he was on 29 and was inevitably the person between us and a massive chance of victory. On the 5th ball of the over, the batsman advanced and looked to whack the ball over mid wicket. Hugh Longbottom at full stretch in short, reached the apex of his leap to firmly grasp the ball. 9/96. 13 balls remaining.
Stavris strode in with confidence in the second last over. Dot. Dot. Single. 9/97. 9 balls remaining. With the number 11 on strike, John wrapped him on the pads first ball, the whole team erupted, begging and pleading for the final wicket - to no avail, the finger stayed down. The very next ball Stav made sure of it, taking the top of middle stump to leave no doubt. We had won the unwinnable, coming from the clouds to take 6/8 in 4.5 overs to secure a maiden Second XI Premiership. The story of this premiership will remain a talking point for some time - something we as players look forward to retelling after a few celebratory drinks.
— John Stavris (2XI Captain)