Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cricket season in review

THE summer of 2017/18 was a mixed season for the local cricket teams, with some missing out on finals, others making the finals but not going on to the big one, and then others that had a season to remember.

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New Norfolk I could not have written the script any better. The Red Caps have climbed the first grade ladder each season and in 2017/18 lost just three matches during the 50-over roster and finals. Two of these losses were to St Anne's, but when it came to the most important match of the season, the team was very well led by captain/coach Jason Rigby and the side upset the Crows in a thriller to finish as the premiers of first grade. In all, an excellent season.

Gretna I had a reasonable summer in second grade, winning seven and losing five of the 13 matches played, to finish third after the completion of the roster matches. Gretna came up against Richmond/Cambridge in the first semi-final and was beaten on the day in a very good battle. The team will take a lot from this season and will be eager to go that couple steps further to the big one in 2018/19.

For Molesworth I, it was a season of ups and downs. Winning three of its 11 matches played, it wasn’t enough to make finals and in the end they finished seventh of the eight teams on the ladder. This team played in five consecutive second grade grand finals not that long ago and I’m sure will be looking to get back up there again very soon.

New Norfolk II had a good season in third grade winning six and losing five of the possible 11 matches. The team just missed out on a finals spot, finishing a creditable fifth. With a lot to offer, this team will again be pressing for a finals appearance next season.

Bothwell I got off to a great start for 2017/18 when it defeated Bagdad in the T20 Grand Final in a very good performance. They then continued with good form during the 50-over roster matches, winning seven of the 11 played to finish on top of the ladder. But from here the Bucks lost both finals matches and went out in straight sets. This team has a lot of talent and captain Joey Eyles will be looking to go that one bit further next season.

Bushy Park had a quiet season on field, winning two of the 11 roster matches to finish eighth on the ladder and due to a lack of numbers forfeited the T20 matches at the start of the season. This team has many very talented players that has had them at the top end of the ladder many times before. Bushy Park is an integral part of cricket in the Valley that has been around for more than 100 years. Let's hope they come back bigger and better next season.

Gretna II had a mixed season, winning four of the 11 50-over matches. They were sitting in a good position for finals just after the half-way mark, but then lost their last four matches played to finish seventh on the ladder. With a bit more consistency this team can press for a finals spot next season.

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New Norfolk III had a fairytale season. With the T20 matches kicking off as the season starter, the Red Caps didn’t muck about and won both matches and then the finals match and eventually defeated the Knights in the T20 Grand Final. The team then won 11 of the 13 roster matches to finish on top of the ladder. Continuing on their merry way, the Red Caps won the second semi-final and then the grand final in convincing fashion to be seventh grade premiers. In total, for this season in combined formats, the team won 17 of the 19 matches played. A season not to forget. Straight to the pool room, boys.

Molesworth II struggled somewhat throughout the season, winning just two of its 12 50-over matches played. This team played short on a few occasions which didn’t help, but the upside to the season was the number of young players who showed much promise and talent and if they hang around, it won’t be too long till this team is bashing on the door for a finals berth.

Bothwell I showed it will be again a team to beat for 2018/19 after a big improving season. This team won eight and lost only four of its 50-over roster matches to finish on top of the respective ladder. Unfortunately things didn’t go their way from there and they went out of the finals in straight sets. There is  lot to take away from this season for the Bucks and if everyone turns up again next season there's no reason they can’t play off in the big one and bring home the cup. Good times ahead.

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The New Norfolk Cricket Club forming its first women's team that played in the Southern Cricket Association Women's Competition. This is a new competition that was formed this season that will grow into more teams to form a regular roster in 2018/19. Women's cricket is growing all over Australia at a rapid rate at senior and junior levels. Congratulations to the members - you are all pioneers in your sport.

Well done to Josh Eyles (Bothwell), Will Banks (New Norfolk) and Reece Williams (Gretna) who all now play with the Glenorchy Cricket Club and played their debut first grade match in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League this season. This is a fine achievement by all three boys, let’s hope you go on to bigger and better things.

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It is pleasing to see so many children wanting to play our great old game. The Gretna Cricket Club fielded one Under 13s side and one Under 15s team, well-coached by Adrian Lovell (U13) and Glenn Blackwell and Darren Lennox (U15).

The New Norfolk Cricket Club fielded an Under 13s team this season, once again very well coached by Josh Walsh. This team went onto win its respective grand final with an outstanding victory. Congratulations to all involved.

The New Norfolk Cricket Club again ran a successful T20 Blast program which was well co-ordinated by senior player Seb Wishart. This program caters for boys and girls aged 7 to 12 years and continues to grow in the valley, which is an important step from MILO in2CRICKET.

Annie McKenzie again ran two separate MILO in2CRICKET programs at the Glenora District High School. This caters for children 4 to 10 years. This is the 11th year Annie has run MILO in2CRICKET, excellent work Annie.

Both the New Norfolk Cricket Club and Annie McKenzie through the Glenora in2CRICKET program each ran Pink Stumps Day events this season. These efforts were greatly appreciated by many. Pink Stumps Day raises money for the Jane McGrath Breast Cancer Foundation.


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