Jonty's Jottings - January 25/26
by Brendan Rhodes
Let's start with a massive congratulations to Luka Nimorakiotakis, who is making his 1st Grade debut for Moonee Valley against Sunshine YCW at Kinder Smith Reserve in Braybrook. Luka fielded very well and bowled five impressive overs. His first ball in A Grade cricket was a bouncer that proved too quick for the batsman, resulting in a concussion test before play continued. Luka then had that batsman dropped before dismissing him three balls later in an outstanding spell of 1/17. His performance proves that there are plenty of opportunities available to grow and climb through the grades - and perform well while you're doing it! Well done Luka!
Congratulations also to two of our club stalwarts and life members, Jim Polonidis and Matt Thomas, who are playing their 300th and 200th games for the club in 2nd and 1st Grade respectively. Which of you boys (or girl) will go on to join them on this illustrious list?
Fingers crossed the Bureau of Maybe has it wrong and you can all get back on the park to start the run into the finals on Friday night.
If so, and especially if not, there looks like being plenty of spots available for anyone who wants a game on Sunday, with three senior teams to be selected.
The club's annual Pie Drive through Tony's Pies of Essendon is in full swing. If you missed downloading the form from last week's email, or haven't received one from your coach, it is attached again here. Please fill one out with your orders from your family, friends, schoolmates, work colleagues - anywhere - and return them with your money to your coach by next Friday please. Remember, every pie sold brings money into the club and will help keep your fees down for next season.
In the cricket, we had one win and one loss, while two of our two-day games are sitting in our favour and the third one is in the balance. Let's have a look at how the games unfolded.
1st Grade - Two-dayer - Moonee Valley 2/77 v Sunshine YCW 112. Aside from the terrific debut by Luka, this was the day our 1st Grade captain (and former junior star) Jack Newman produced one of the best performances of his career. Jack bowled with blistering pace to take 6/26 off 13 hostile overs, and also took three catches at mid-on for good measure. Stunning stuff! Shiwantha Kumara (2/11) mopped up the tail before Sameera Vithana (54no) brought us back from a shaky start into a winning position. Ladder Position: 1st
2nd Grade - Two-dayer - Moonee Valley 5/60 v Sunshine YCW 115. This was a great bowling performance as well, led by Sumit Anand (4/19) and 2nd Grade debutant Jaykumar Patel (3/38), while skipper Stephen Ward (2/7) also bowled very well. Josh Norsetter (0/13 off 7) gave very little away to help Sumit cash in at the other end. The batting was a little shaky, with Wardy (20) topscoring, but there is plenty of batting left to get the job done in a must-win game. Ladder Position: 5th
3rd Grade - 45 overs - Moonee Valley 6/178 def Indigos 161 by 17 runs. There is nothing between 1st and 6th on the ladder nearing the business end of the season, so every win is critical. And this was a gutsy performance where the team kept fighting from start to finish. Sunil Bhandari (57) brought the team back from a shaky start with support from coach Tony Gleeson (22) before Sohail Hussain (38no) and Sagar Bhatia (20no) finished it off late. Indigos were well on track at 4/128 with their top six all making double figures as 3rd Grade debutant Cassidy Box (3/26) and Sunil (2/22) bowled tightly. Enter Dean Jukic (5/30), who grabbed his second Michelle of the season as the Valleys took 6/33 to secure a vital win. Ladder Position: 3rd
4th Grade - 45 overs - Moonee Valley 9/71 lost to Parkville District 0/75 by 10 wickets with 162 balls to spare. A horror show, nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately it was a day where absolutely nothing went right from the time yours truly forgot that the best way to stay in is to hit the ball along the ground. Only Markus Harris (25) provided any real headaches for Parkville with the bat. The bowlers tried hard and bowled well, but with nothing to defend, they didn't stand a chance. Felix Fischer (2 and 0/20) fought hard with the bat and again showed he has a big future with his legspinners. Ladder Position: 7th
5th Grade - 35 overs - Moonee Valley BYE. Ladder Position: 2nd
6th Grade - Two-dayer - Moonee Valley 3/124 v Preston Druids 170. We are in a very strong position in a match that simply must be won, not only to get off the bottom of the ladder, but to potentially go back into the top four, given how close the ladder is. Unfortunately the scores have not been submitted as yet, so I will report on the full details of this match next week, hopefully with six points in the bank. Dejan Gilevski and Tomas Morrissy are playing, while Jakob Haskell was a late withdrawal. Ladder Position: 6th
7th Grade - 35 overs - Moonee Valley BYE. Ladder Position: 8th
Three one-day games on Sunday to select this week, and we will be hunting for players, so please drop me a line.
Here are the games this week:
1st Grade - Day 2 v Sunshine YCW at Kinder Smith Reserve, Braybrook 1st v 3rd
2nd Grade - Day 2 v Sunshine YCW at Ormond Park West 5th v 6th
5th Grade - 35 overs v Northern Lions at Seabrook Reserve, Broadmeadows 2nd v 4th
6th Grade - Day 2 v Preston Druids at Ormond Park East 6th v 5th
3rd Grade - 45 overs v Youlden Parkville at Ryder Oval, Parkville 3rd v 5th
4th Grade - 45 overs v Charles Sturt University at Ormond Park West 7th v 5th
7th Grade - 35 overs v Hume at Aston Fields, Craigieburn 7th v 5th
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