Marcellin 3rd XI travelled to Mont Albert Reserve to face one of their biggest challenges so far, Mont Albert’s 2nd XI. With rain early in the week players were asked to report to grounds and play looked unlikely, but when the covers were removed the pitch looked quite good and Marcellin were sent in to bat.
The instructions were clear – bat the 80 overs and we win the game.
Trev Keogh opened the batting with Rowan McKenzie (Trev’s third opening partner in as any weeks). Both Rowan and Trev looked comfortable against a very good bowling line up, with both Mont Albert opening bowlers having played the majority of their cricket in Dunstan Shield. Rowan batted for 10+ overs and took some shine off the ball before playing on. Tony Beltrame joined Trev at the crease and despite having an 8/1 field set with 2 gullys and 2 points, Trev continued to cut the ball. Trev batted very well and was out soon after drinks with the score at 2/46. Great work Trev. Paul joined Tony and they put on 30 runs before Tony was caught. Mick Lowry was somewhat surprised when asked to bat at 5, but nowhere near as surprised as the first ball he faced was a bouncer that whizzed past his nose. Paul and Mick batted sensibly until tea and were adamant not to lose another wicket - 3/105 at tea. Soon after tea Paul was dismissed for 37 with the score at 4/112. Dave Serong (after making a fantastic 50 last week) came to the crease where he and Mick soon had the scoreboard ticking over, especially with Mick hitting the spinner for 3 massive 6’s in as many overs. Dave tried to hit the ball into North Balwyn and was bowled for 13 and Mick soon followed for 60 - a great effort. 5/162 then 6/170. Michael Mirabella made a solid 15 and the remaining batsmen continued with the game plan to bat as many overs as possible and let the runs take care of themselves. Eventually we were dismissed in the 79th over for 203 – a fantastic effort. The key was that we batted in partnerships and batted to the end…well almost.
On Day 2 the conditions were quite similar to Day 1, with plenty of rain early in the week and light rain in the morning. Luckily the pitch was covered all week and with several other games already cancelled - both teams were keen to get the 6 points. Play started at 1.30pm.
Tony “Train” Beltrame and Daniel Day opened the bowling and were both extremely disciplined with good line and length, bowling unchanged till drinks. It was a race between the overs and the runs as to which would reach 20 first and at drinks Mont Albert were 1/20 off 20. Ronny Murray was introduced straight after drinks and the change of pace paid dividends immediately with Tony Waters taking a nice catch at short mid off - 2/26.
Before the game - Daniel Day pointed out that he never fields at slips unless he plays in the 3’s. The skipper decided to stick with the pattern and put D-Day at first slip. When the no. 4 batsmen tried to smash the second ball he faced through point and got an edge to the slip cordon, D-Day had no time to react and stuck out his right hand taking an absolute blinder of a catch – 3/26. Resembling Clive Lloyd in the slips in the early 80’s D-Day rolled the ball back to the umpire as if it was simply a regulation catch.
Rowan McKenzie took over from where The Train left off and continued to bowl a very good line and length. 14 Overs – 2 for 30. Both wickets being bowled and a good reward for targeting the stumps all day. At tea Mont Albert were 5/62.
Chaps was given the ball straight after tea and bowled unchanged till stumps taking 3 of the last 5 wickets - 17.3 overs 3 for 35. He bowled stump to stump and rarely gave the batsmen a loose ball, forcing them to play a false shot. Train came back for a second spell and was just as good as his first spell, finishing the day with 21 overs 8 maidens 3 for 25.
Marcellin bowled Mont Albert out for 132 in under 70 overs and having 20 maidens for the day was an outstanding effort.
Special mention goes to Tony Waters, Liam McCormack and Mick Lowry for agreeing to play at the last minute. All three contributed - with a catch to both Liam and Tony and Mick scoring 65. Happy to have you back next week boys.
Next game is a 2 day game against East Doncaster at rocky McCutcheon.
John O'Loughlin played for and had excellent careers at both Marcellin OC and Mont Albert Cricket Clubs. He was immensely popular at both clubs and the John O'Loughlin Cup commemorates his contributions and friendship.