Ian Denny's historic 250th game
FAIRYTALE FINISH FOR EGGBERT’S 250
Club legend Ian Denny became Moonee Valley’s first cricketer to reach the coveted 250-game milestone when he came out of semi-retirement in the last week before the Christmas break.
Eggbert showed he had not lost any of his consummate skill as he piloted the Sevenths – one of our one-day sides – to what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Royal Park Reds.
The game was only Ian’s third after he hung up his boots from the weekly battle at the end of the 2003/04 season.
Making a surprise appearance in the Sevenths for the milestone was Greg Peters, who captain/coached Ian in five A Grade premierships during Moonee Valley’s halcyon years.
The Moonee Valley committee offered Ian the honor of captaining the Sevenths in his 250th match, but he promptly deferred to his captain/coach and Greg took the helm.
To add to the occasion, the legends’ young sons – Jason Denny and James Peters – joined the team as 12th and 13th men and spent quite a bit of time on the field with their dads, in their first “official” appearance in Moonee Valley’s colors.
Shown above are Ian Denny (left) with Jason and Greg Peters with James at the tea break.
Moonee Valley 4/204 defeated Royal Park Reds 4/198 cc in the December 17 match, at Clifton Park in Brunswick.
The Moonee Valley team was Greg Peters (capt), Ian Denny, Jim McKenzie, Joe Ansaldo, Bob Sciacchitano, Paul Nicol, Andrew Payton, Steven Ball, Peter Fenaughty, Allan Cumming and Stewart Blandford.
Regular Sevenths player Paul Comino was injured, and joining him on the sidelines as spectators were other regular Sevenths David Graetz and Charlie Walker.
Four wicketkeepers graced our side – Greg Peters, Allan Cumming, Peter Fenaughty and Bob Sciacchitano – but the consensus was that captaincy earned the Cockroach the gloves.
And it soon paid off, with Royal Park Reds 1/0 off the first ball of the third over to a familiar combination – caught Peters, bowled Denny.
We bowled steadily, with wickets falling to Sciacchitano and Payton, and then Denny deservedly got another one, clean-bowled off the last ball of the innings.
Moonee Valley’s innings started with purpose, with openers Nicol and Sciacchitano putting on 46 runs in good time before Bob was out caught. Regular Fourths keeper Cumming hit out for a quickfire 10 out an 11 run partnership before also falling to a catch.
Nicol and new player Blandford then put on a 38-run stand before Stewart was out for a big-hitting 18, then Pickle was caught at slip before another run was added.
At 4/95, Greg Peters joined Ian Denny at the crease with both on zero. That didn’t last long.
Eggbert and the Cockroach batted steadily and chancelessly, and the total steadily accumulated. The 13th man was heard in the pavilion saying “That’s our Dads out there. They won’t get them out”. How true.
Denny reached his 50, and we worked steadily towards the target. He pushed his total on to 58, and the scores were tied. Peters was on 44. A towering six over cover brought up a fairytale ending – a win to Moonee Valley Sevenths, and two legends of the Club contributing unbeaten half-centuries - Greg’s with a six to end the match.
It was a fitting end to a milestone game, and we were all able to celebrate it that night at the cricket club Christmas party – with a big crowd of senior and junior players and parents in attendance to acknowledge a wonderful career.
The members of the winning team: L-R: Allan Cumming (front), Peter Fenaughty, Joe Ansaldo, Jim McKenzie, Bob Sciacchitano, Paul Nicol, Jason Denny, Andrew Payton, Ian Denny, James Peters, Stewart Blandford, Greg Peters and Steven Ball.
The selection of the team was also unique. In their own way, all 11 players selected represented something important for the Moonee Valley Cricket Club.
Ian Denny is a bona fide club legend, with 250 games, seven premierships, almost 8900 runs and 564 wickets. The first Moonee Valley player to reach 250 game .
Greg Peters is a life member, with more than 4600 runs, 217 games, and six-times premiership player – five of them as captain.
Paul Nicol played with Ian in his 150th and 200th games. A First Eleven strike bowler, he was out with a rib injury – but jumped at the honor of playing in the milestone game as a batsman. He didn’t let us down with the bat.
Bob Sciacchitano has played more than 180 games, is also a legend of the Club and jumped at the chance to be part of the historic side.
Joe Ansaldo has played more than 195 games across the grades, and was also honored to be part of the Denny milestone.
Allan Cumming represents the coming together of the senior and junior sections of the Club. Then a junior parent, he was the first to take the step himself into playing for Moonee Valley in 2002.
Peter Fenaughty also represents the rapid expansion of our Club – joining the one-day side when it was re-formed in 2003. Another link with the juniors, Peter has now played senior cricket with all three of his sons.
Steven Ball is a key link between seniors and juniors – one of our junior coaches and committee members, one-day captain since we expanded to the Fifths in 2003, and winner of both batting and bowling awards.
Jim McKenzie is a long-time team-mate of Ian, with more than 180 senior games, two Club premierships and batting and bowling awards. Our expansion to one-day teams enabled club legend Stynesy to come out of retirement and play every second week.
Andrew Payton is in his second season at Moonee Valley. He represents our commitment to players with intellectual disabilities, and is a regular wicket-taker and run scorer this season in the Sevenths.
Stewart Blandford is one of our newest players, in only his second game with the Club. A young university student, he represents our new era. He was attracted to Moonee Valley through our website.
Moonee Valley innings
P. Nicol c C. Schurmann b J. Free 39
B. Sciacchitano c J. Rae b C. Schurmann 19
A. Cumming c J. Zika b J. Free 10
S. Blandford c & b b J. Free 18
I. Denny not out 58
G. Peters not out 50
Extras (2lb 3w 5nb ) 10
Total 4 for 204
FoW: 1-46 (B. Sciacchitano), 2-57 (A. Cumming), 3-95 (S. Blandford), 4-95 (P. Nicol)
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