Monash University CC News

Women's Round 10 v Darebin

By Anna Broomhall

Round 10 vs Darebin rolled around this week in the unfortunately timed pre-Christmas game – unfortunate because a lot of the Gryphons had family commitments, it was a tough week to try for ring-ins because it was the last Sunday before Christmas and because it happened to be the week we were to face the unbeaten Darebin.

With 8 on the list, Hannah & Ella managed to convince one of their mates to come down and help us out, much appreciated by Steve and I! As the coin came down, I prayed prayed prayed that I’d win it and we could bat first... as the head faced skyward, my heart stopped for a moment while I waited for Julia to call it... “we’d like to... bowl first”... whew. With a full strength team of Gryphons, I wouldn’t really have too much of an issue challenging ourselves to Darebin, but without X who buggered her knee in the U/18’s during the week and with 9 players , it’s a challenge I’d rather not face.

While Steve took Jaz & Jacqui over to the nets, we were left with a similar situation as the start of last season as we tried to find 2 people who knew how to score and one who knew how to square leg – with Cat & Scooby in the middle, it was a challenge so Jaffa pulled up a pew beside me and I attempted to talk her through the wonders of scoring.

Scooby was cautious to start with as she got a handle on the opening bowlers, from the sidelines it didn’t seem like it was doing too much but the fielders were a lot more switched on than we’re used to seeing. Cat went for it from ball 1 however and smashed a 2 nearly to the boundary to get off the mark. The extras helped keep the scoreboard ticking with 4 wides coming in the first 4 overs, and Cat being the one to push the run rate while Scooby got comfortable. While the fielders did have good arms, their hands weren’t nearly as secure as catches were getting dropped everywhere.

Cat took on one too many in the 9th over and Maddi headed out into the middle to join Scooby. She lasted a few as they bounced high around her ears before she too fell to a catch and Hannah strolled out. They got the run rate up for the next few overs before Scooby skyed a ball to square leg and was the 3rd catch of the day and I grabbed my gear and joined Han. I’m not quite sure how they managed to bowl Moonee Valley out for 7 – nothing special, a lot of bounce, all over the shop really.

My knee held up surprisingly well, helped by the fact that we ran mainly singles, Hannah calling loudly and really well and preventing me from doing silly things. After one pull that went straight to the square leg fielder, she learnt her lesson and next ball hit it in the gap. Your batting is improving every week mate! I was trying to hit the leg side balls too hard and eventually the idea and starting putting my bat in the right spot and letting the ball glide off it, the extras also helping the run rate, usually getting at least one every over. They did manage to hit me in the bum with a ball as they threw it at the stumps, I guess getting in the path of the ball is a good thing, not sure about the tingling and then numb gluteus maximus.

Hannah fell to yet another catch and Jaffa met me in the middle – the idea of the game just to stay out there for as long as possible and annoy the opponents! The opposition skipper brought herself onto bowl and I quite liked her, after watching her for nearly two overs, I saw one I liked particularly and walloped it to the fence. Jaffa was making friends as they all crept in, and she wound up on a couple, stealing singles as she pushed them just past the ring. We lasted 12 overs together, I got onto another couple and it was a case of 4’s or singles which suited my knees nicely. The opening bowler came back on and we watched her carefully before I started to swing. I’d been dropped a couple of times already and I laughed the whole way down the pitch as I top edged one that flew over slip. If you’re going to swing, swing hard!

Jaffa fell to a ripper that jagged back and knocked into off & middle and Ella came in for the final 2 overs. I watched from the other end as Ella made some friends in close as well, and kept the ball out well. I went the swing again in the last over and after all the catches they dropped, they finally managed to hold onto a specci, one hander that just stuck in their claw... nearly made it the whole way! Jaz headed out to close out the innings and we ended on 6/96 – a brilliant effort to last the 40 with only 8 batters. Jacqui was also quite appreciative that she wasn’t required to head out there!

We headed out into the field and it was not a pretty sight with the gaps... it is amazing what two extra bodies on the field can do. They started with a left-right combination as well, never fun. While it started slowly, they quickly got into a rhythm – and by that I mean closing their eyes and swinging. There may have been a couple of decent shots but on the whole we’re talking softball style swings. Cat followed up an expensive first over with a great second that they couldn’t get away and our fielding, when the ball went to us, was fantastic. Maddi came on and whew... just getting quicker and quicker and they had nooo idea. The pressure caused by Maddi forced a false shot in my 5th over and it went hiiiigh in between Scooby and Ella... I yelled “Caaatch!” as the ball went up but realised quickly it was way too far from either of them to be caught... but Scooby kept belting towards the ball and at the last second stuck her mitt out and was holding the ball aloft. Absolutely brilliant catch and even though I’d watched it, couldn’t believe my eyes. The umpire was also suitably impressed and made a number of comments to me about it.

He was also very impressed with Maddi’s bowling and her age-induced break came after 4 overs conceding only 4 runs. Absolutely brilliant. After Jaz succumbed to a quad strain and went off, my back, both knees and bum started tweaking, so I decided to keep myself on. With the batsman needing to go to work, they decided to get it over with as soon as possible and they passed our score in the 19th over.

Positives for not just this game but the season:

• Our positivity is second to none- even yesterday when we knew we were going to lose, we had fun out there. Cat was jumping about, everyone was backing up, Hannah’s talking in the field was fantastic and we were supporting each other.

That has been a stand out all year – we’ve supported new players and welcomed back Hannah & Maz. You all jumped onto the Jaffa Ship and supported her when she took the reins last week, and been a massive help to me throughout the season to date. There have been some bloody hot days in the field but no-one has complained when I put them in the outfield and some regularly offer their services.

• Bowling – when Exxy doesn’t do her knee and everyone is on board, we have an embarrassment of riches with our bowling stocks. X, Maddi, Cat making a remarkable comeback with the ball, Ella coming along in leaps and bounces, KB when she gets the drift on the ball is as potent as anybody and myself sneaking in wickets this year – it is still the most wicket-taking attack in the comp (well equal with Darebin now). And Darebin’s isn’t anything special.
It’s been great to see the enthusiasm with the ball this year – people have been asking me to have a crack at certain batsman when they see a weakness they think they can exploit which is brilliant as a captain to know that my bowlers are thinking about that. Exxy this year wants one more whereas last year was desperate to come off. It’s been brilliant having Cat & Ella doing so well, just adding something a little different – Ella with the bounce she can get and Cat getting the ball to skid on and do funny things in the air.

• Batting – while our batting isn’t our strongest suit, Scooby continues her dominance at the top of the order and this year has been well supported by a cast of regulars. Lushy has posted two PB’s this year and carried her bat twice, Maddi has been brilliant in a couple of her innings and will only improve, Hannah is enjoying her time higher up the order, Cat is her usual attacking self with her partner in crime, and it’s been great having Rowdy come along for a couple of games and contribute with runs.

Our partnership batting seems to be coming along well – yesterday there were a couple of good partnerships, and there was real focus on staying together in the middle. We seem to have a handle on who can do what and whether it be turning the strike over regularly, or knowing who needs to make the calls when running between wickets – Hannah knowing the chance of me making a quick single was zilch and so sending me back regularly was fantastic!

• Fielding – as we saw yesterday, just because Darebin are unbeaten doesn’t mean that they are good at taking chances... they dropped many MANY catches yesterday and not particularly difficult ones. The catches that we take a lot of the time are catches that other teams wouldn’t even go near. Ella’s spectacular rolling dive and Cat’s one handed leap behind Jaffa’s head both against Edinburgh, Hannah’s ballerina jump in Round 1, Angie’s snatch at short point, my one hander at slip, any of Jo’s efforts at point, any of about 6 speccies of the Zoom variety at her gully position and Scooby’s superhuman effort yesterday – that’s just off the top of my head. Add that to our very empty fines tin and we have a brilliant season of fielding and I haven’t talked about our ground fielding yet.

We’ve put a lot of work into our ground fielding at training, getting our bodies in the right position behind the ball and releasing the ball quickly. With a KPI of 7 run outs for the season, I think we’re up to about 4 or 5 so we’re on track. We’ve had a lot of close calls as well so the pressure caused by our ground fielding has been enormous. That pressure makes the batsmen to do silly things like try and hit it in the air, and that’s where we have taken our 39 catches – only 1 less than our entire season last year.

Special shoutouts go to Scooby & Hannah who are both magic in the outfield and have covered millions of miles in the 10 games so far. It’s certainly a weight off my mind having you two prowling around either side of the ground.

We start against Moonee Valley in 4 weeks time so everybody take a well earned rest, have a safe and very Merry Christmas and I hope to see everybody back and injury free (*cough X*) in January!

Heartfelt thanks to each and every Gryphon who has contributed so far this season!!