Monash University CC News

Womens Round 18 vs. Dennis

By Anna Broomhall

Well it was the last game of the season this weekend and for the first time since I’ve been at the Gryphons, our season is not yet finished… so I guess I can’t really skimp on a match report this week!

Facing off against Dennis CHC this week, in a game that could have given them a shot at finals cricket, and a team that surprised us by giving us a good beating earlier in the season so we were certainly prepared for them to come out fighting.
Melbourne gave birth to a Saturday that dawned beautiful, warm and sunny and X, Mez, Ella and KB joined me in the middle to admire the narrowest pitch I have seen all season. Cat unfortunately had to make the call to pull out due to some severe, shall we say, itticus of the vomitus variety.

I managed to win another toss and stuck to the norm by sending Dennis into bat. X, Mez and I had had some rather lengthy discussions about the “good” length before the game started and X proved she was listening by starting magnificently… finding a better than good length and getting the batsman prodding and poking at ones she should have left alone. 2 prods and pokes to be exact, the second snicking a good edge and sliding through to Scooby.
Dennis were clearly caught unaware as it took the number 3 batsman a fair while to get to the middle. Helen opened up the other end and was punished for not quite getting the length right, but unlucky as Han once again found herself under a looong hiiigh one… Han, it was a great effort mate, you seem to have to take speccies wherever you end up fielding! There’s never a nice simple catch headed your way!

I stole the ball from H and was ROBBED after I came around the wicket, straightened one down the line and it thudded into the pads, bang on middle stump halfway up. A very impressive appeal, if I say so myself, was turned down as it apparently (and I quote) “pitched on leg stump, and so can’t be given out”. Both Helen and I, in unison, confirmed “so it DID pitch on leg stump”… not quite sure what rules the umpire has been reading, but the appeal system has not quite reached the One Day Central comp and we were left shaking our heads. Telling you, it could not have been MORE plumb.

I made up for it by swinging a slower fuller one between bat and pad, I was about to go up for the LBW when I realised that she had missed it so it was kind of a “HOWeee…??” appeal as I waited for the batsman to move so I could see whether it had clipped the stumps. Mez’s cackle as she ran in did the job however and she took great pleasure in re-enacting my “HOWeee…??” noise. Such respect I get from these juniors.

Their number 4, given their precarious position on the cusp of finals, was suspiciously shaky in her stance and after a couple of stellar leaves that missed the off and leg stump by half a coat of varnish, I finally chose the stump with that extra coat and sent the bails a-flyin’.
Ella was being kept busy on the leg-side boundary, racing this way and that, and making sure they hit a cracker shot to get past her. I admit that I did make the leg-side a much more tasty option with only a deep fine, a deep square and a short midwicket by eventually Ella’s work frustrated the batsman into trying something on the off-side and immediately proving that she had absolutely no power that side of the wicket, Mez taking the chance to grab a cuppa and scoff a pie’n’sauce before snaffling a catch at gully. That’s what you get for getting sick Cat! But seriously… could not have been a more casual catch if she was perched on a bar stool.
As reward for her fine work on the boundary, I called Bandit into have a bowl the last over before drinks. A single off the first ball, dot-dot-wicket – a shorter ball thudded into the thigh of the batsman and knocked onto the stumps – and drinks were called 2 balls early. Not quite sure what Dennis slipped into their cordial, but Ella’s next ball was a repeat of her last – short, leg-stump line and a big glove popped up to Scooby who was joined with Hannah in being the only Gryphons to appeal but David’s finger raised as there was definitely glove involved.
The field crept in for the hat-trick ball, which in all my years of cricket, I have only seen been successful once before when I was 15 years old – the year was 1998, when Armageddon was the top-grossing film, and Green Day released the song that would become the graduation song of every year 12 class thereafter. I crouched down at short mid-off and kept my eyes on the batsman, as she brought her bat back and went the big swing – missed by an acre and allowed the ball to crash into the stumps. I roared and took off towards Ella. Ella screeched and likewise took off… just in the other direction – apparently my roar combined with my tearing at her was rather intimidating. Sorry El. We all piled on and she had done it… 3 from 3 balls.
We did follow up by requesting she try for a double hat-trick but to no avail. From there it was fairly straight forward as we rolled them – X snaffling a catch in short, Mez finally being rewarded for an absolutely stellar spell of bowling with another catch for Scooby and I gave Scoobs her fourth catch which closed out their innings for 68 runs.

As Hannah mentioned after the game, we have had a superb season in the field against this year and a quick look at our season stats tells me the same – in the 13 games we have played, we have only had to chase 100+ TWICE. Twice. That is astonishing. Down from 5 last season, and 10 the season before. But more on that later.

Scooby was joined by Mez at the top of the order and they wasted no time getting settled in, hitting 7 off the first over. All the Gryphons were suitably impressed and very loud in their cheering of some fielding work by a Dennis fielder on the boundary… sliding to stop a Scooby shot belting towards the boundary, she swung around mid-slide and used her right foot to hook the ball back into play and kept it to 2. Great to watch but Scoobs was robbed! She managed to not let it get her down and continued on her merry way.

Dennis just seemed to want to give people a go and so the run rate was soaring at around the 6-7 runs an over. Mez was unlucky as she holed out to one she middled but just didn’t place to get a boundary and Rowdy headed in to finish it off.
We passed their total in the 13th over, just long enough to prove that Scooby and Rowdy have some great form heading into finals.

So that’s it Gryphons… Season 2010/11 is officially at its end for 3 teams and yet we will continue for at least another week. Please do not underestimate what an achievement this is for every single Gryphon who has pulled on the blue (or pink!) cap for the last few years. It is huge.

Just 3 seasons ago, we were struggling to get 7 players each week and struggling to find the fun in getting pummelled end on end. However thanks to the spirit of each of you who played that season, we kept smiling, laughing and most importantly, improving – turning it around and notching our first win for the season by toppling the team who went on to win the flag that year. We’ll ignore the fact that they absolutely smashed us later that season… apparently they weren’t thrilled to be beaten by us.

This season’s ladder shows that we have lost the least number of wickets of any team in our comp and by some margin (for those who actually check these figures, I am discounting Dennis as they forfeited quite regularly throughout the season). Our percentage is second only to Edinburgh, a team who has had a stellar season, and Melbourne Uni are a far distant third.
More importantly, in my humble opinion (or IMHO for you youngsters) (and yes I know that the H in IMHO stands for ‘honest’ – move on), is that we are a team that is well liked, well respected and every team that we have played recently has sincerely wished us well in the finals (the level of sincerity may have been higher in those teams that haven’t qualified for the finals) (do you think i could fit some more () into this paragraph?). When we lose, we lose well and when we win, we are gracious and lack the obnoxiousness that seem to inhabit some teams (cough *Ringwood North/Brighton/Kingston Heath/Knoxfield* double cough *B*) (that will only make sense for Gryphons who were around for that 08-9 season) (hey – seemed I could fit more brackets in). Even teams that we enjoy playing against and I consider to be good sports, Melb Uni and Coburg, both presented excuses when we beat them through the season.
Whether we win or lose next week, I want everybody to go home Saturday night and know they did everything in their power to win our match. So please, if you are available even for an hour on Wednesday night, please turn up to training. Let’s put it all out there Gryphons and see where it takes us… it just might take us to the Grand Final.

Congratulations again, I look forward to seeing you at training!

Oh and an extra congratulations from the entire Gryphons Family to Exxy who moved to Geelong today… a very big move but one that we are all very proud of.