Monash University CC News

Gryphons First Premier Firsts Win

By Erini Gianakopoulos (VWCA)

Monash Uni Gryphons are all smiles this week following their first victory in Premier Firsts this season.

Coming up against a Box Hill side with plenty to play for and finals positions at stake, the Gryphons fielded their strongest team for the season containing a healthy balance of youth and experience.

The Gryphons won the toss and elected to bat but lost an early wicket when opener Julie Hunter was dismissed for 12 (off one over).

Linda Machin and Jodie Dean (51) came together and never looked back, the two batting their team into a strong position. The return of Una Paisley winner Machin from injury has been a major boost for the Gryphons, adding much needed stability to the top order, as her form continues to improve with every game.

Just when it looked like Box Hill could take control of the game, it was then Katrina Cook (63), Gussie O’Sullivan (30) and Marloes Braat (29) who stood in their way. Their best team batting performance for the season saw the Gryphons finish day 1 at 7/241.

Day 2 saw a green wicket making conditions difficult for the batters. Box Hill needed quick wickets but the Gryphons made things difficult, batting themselves into a winning position and soon passing the 300 mark. After an hour and a half they were finally dismissed for 302, with the Mustangs going into bat with a minimum of 45 overs to face.

Openers Rachael Haynes and Rebecca Brown did all they could to get their side off to a strong start but when a Julie Hunter outswinger dismissed Haynes for 34, the Gryphons were full of enthusiasm.

Captain Brooke McFarlane came to the crease and gave her side a chance scoring at almost a run a ball, playing smart shots and taking control of the innings.

Monash Uni’s Dutch recruit Braat was brought into the attack and bowled a brilliant spell applying enormous pressure and was soon rewarded with two wickets in an over. Braat’s quick wickets applied further pressure to the Box Hill batters and soon after, McFarlane was dismissed by Dean for 70 as she tried to lift the run rate. With the score at 7/158 and Box Hill needing 10 runs an over, the Gryphons could sniff victory.

Youngsters Grace Cannon and Sonia Sachdev showed maturity beyond their years bowling tight spells and doing everything asked of them to contain the batters. Their tight bowling creating further wicket opportunities for Dean at the other end.

With one wicket left for victory, Gretel Cannon came on and bowled the final over taking a wicket and handing the Gryphons their first Premier Firsts win of 2008/09.

Dean finished with figures of 4/15 however most of her wickets were taken due to tight bowling partnerships.

Vice Captain Julie Hunter praised her team’s performance after the game saying “we started the season with young players and a goal to improve and this win demonstrates the success we have now had. Our young team now represents a group of competitive players with an exciting future and we’re all proud to be a part of that.”

The win gave the Premier Firsts Finals yet another twist with three teams fighting for two spots with just one round to go. Dandenong crept back into the four with a win over Essendon Maribyrnong Park whilst Brunswick Park have given themselves a chance to steal top spot with an outright win over Bundoora Old Paradians. With one round to go Box Hill must defeat top of the ladder EMP to sneak back into the four.