Moonee Valley Cricket Club

 

Premiership 1982/83

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Grand Final tie with Tullamarine

Moonee Valley won its first-ever Luscombe Shield when the First Eleven tied with Tullamarine in a sensational Grand Final played at Pascoe Vale. The EBKCA decided that the 1992/93 Shield be declared a joint premiership.

Tullamarine captain Burrows won the toss and sent Moonee Valley in to bat. It was a fine morning and there was quite a large crowd at the Pascoe Vale ground to see the match begin. The ground was quite hard and fast and has shortish boundaries straight and very long boundaries square.

Tullamarine got off to a sensational start when the fifth ball of the match kicked off a length and caught Warwick Nolan on the gloves. The ball lollied to gully and he was out. It was a big breakthrough as Nolan had scored a century against Tullamarine during the season, and had scored 119 the week before in the semi-final against Airport West. Michael Harvey joined captain Bill Nagel at the wicket and the pair batted cautiously through the first hour of play.

Bill Nagel started to look dangerous as his driving began to flourish but Tullamarine brought veteran Ted Walsh into the attack. A fine. outswinger had Bill Nagel well caught in the gully in only his second over.

While Harvey continued to bat well and with some aggression, Gary Dudderidge joined him and together they took the score into the 70s by tea. Harvey was timing his shots and Dudderidge smashed a pair of boundaries off Fingher through point just before the break.

After the interval, Moonee Valley lost two quick wickets. Michael Harvey was sensationally caught in the covers for a battling 25, and then Paul Wood followed shortly after, caught at silly mid on off Smith's second ball.

Dudderidge was playing well, particularly through the off side and he was joined by Greg Meyers. This pair added valuable runs in quick time. Meyers was pounding anything short and Dudderidge banished Smith from the attack with a succession of boundaries.

Just as The Valley appeared to gaining control of the game, leg spinner Anderson was brought into the attack with immediate success. He had Gary Dudderidge well beaten in flight and, when forced to check his shot, was out stumped. It was the third time a bowler had taken a wicket in his first over.

Ray Storey played a lovely square cut off Anderson to get his first runs but was caught at slip the very next ball and the Valleys were in trouble at 169 for six. In the space of just 10 minutes, Tullamarine had taken control of the Grand Final with still an hour to go before stumps.

But Greg Meyers was batting with determination and flair and he was joined by former opener Ian Sutherland. These two batted sensibly until the end of the day, despite the advent of the new ball 15 minutes from stumps. Overnight, The Valley were struggling along at 6 for 210.

It was quite hot on the Sunday, and both Greg Meyers and Ian Sutherland started cautiously. Relief came for Moonee Valley however, with a spate of no-balls from Hartigan and Fingher. Meyers was becoming more aggressive as the morning progressed and twice slammed Fingher over square leg to the boundary. The 81 run partnership came to an end when Ian Sutherland was the first victim of a brilliant Hartigan spell. Sutherland was next to go, offering a comfortable chance to first slip. Ten minutes later Greg Meyers’ fine innings came to an end when he edged a vicious ball from Hartigan to be caught in the gully. The last four wickets fell in just half an hour.

Bowlers Marty Egan and Keith McManamny scored important boundaries in their short stays at the crease. McManamny was given LBW when he appeared a long way down the track and Egan, being the last to go was bowled by Hartigan, right on tea. attempting to repeat a big drive over mid on. Gary Irons was left not out.

After tea, Gary Irons and Marty Egan opened the bowling but could make little impact. Both openers played cautiously, with Anthony making the bowlers pay dearly for any loose deliveries. There were only 15 scoring shots in the first 21 overs by the Tullamarine openers, but nine of those were boundaries with the small and fast outfield. For two and a half hours Tullamarine batted solidly.

However, the game was to turn yet again in the 15 minutes before stumps. Captain Bill Nagel brought himself back into the attack and combined with wicketkeeper Michael Harvey to make the first breakthrough. Nagel followed this up with the wickets of both Larkin brothers, courtesy of an LBW and another catch to Harvey. Tullamarine had slumped to be 3 for 89 at stumps.

The following weekend saw Moonee Valley desperate for an early wicket and it came in the form of an edge from a ferocious Keith McManamny lifter. Bill Nagel held the juggling catch at second slip. A short time later Warwick Nolan held a superb diving catch running in from mid off to give McManamny his second wicket and the Valleys were looking good.

Resistance from Tullamarine captain Burrows and Fingher gave the Moonee Valley bowlers little opportunity in the next hour and a half. The pair batted resolutely, took few risks and kept the score ticking over. The pair batted until the tea break and beyond, for a further 90 minutes. Tullamarine were now nicely positioned having taken the score to 194 for 5.

Moonee Valley got back into the contest in sensational style straight after the 5 o'clock drinks break. The tireless Marty Egan bowled Fingher in the first over after the interval and Gary Irons followed suit in the second, courtesy of an Ian Sutherland blinder in the gully. Moonee Valley were back in the game and there was optimism that the tail may fold and the Valley could take the match. This was not to be the case.

Phillips and Hartigan courageously went on the attack. Hartigan showed that he was prepared to loft the ball and Phillips slaughtered the previously economical Gary Irons with four boundaries in one over. The Valley was under pressure and the previously attacking field placement had now given way to a field with five on the boundary. Singles were easy to get now and both Hartigan and Phillips were batting too cleverly for skipper Bill Nagel to set a field that could contain the pair. When Tullamarine got to within 10 runs of their target, all appeared lost for the Valleys.

With 45 minutes to go before stumps, it was clever Gary Irons who turned this peculiar game on its head, yet again. Although a result was comfortably within Tullamarine's reach. Irons tempted the big hitting Hartigan to swipe at a slower ball. The batsman obliged by plonking it right down Warwick Nolan's throat on the long on boundary.

For the next 15 minutes, neither Walsh nor the previously free-flowing Phillips was prepared to play a stroke. In the space of two overs the field had changed from totally defensive to totally attacking. Further joy was to follow for the Valleys, when Irons dismissed Walsh who was caught backing up too far and this left Tullamarine needing an awkward 10 runs to win with just one wicket in hand.

For eight nerve-wracking overs, the Tullamarine score inched towards its objective. Phillips was trying to manipulate the strike but could not afford to ignore any runs that were there for the taking.

As expected Gary Irons and Bill Nagel had been superb under pressure but now the clock was showing one minute to 6 and this would be the last over of the day. The Valleys’ optimism had turned to anguish when Phillips edged the first ball between gully and third slip for the valuable run that had tied the scores.

The Tullamarine crowd were ecstatic and realised that if Anderson could survive the over, then surely Phillips would score the winning run the following day as he would have the strike again. Anderson, who had not scored in his half hour at the crease negotiated the next four balls from Irons but touched the gentlest of edges to the reliable Michael Harvey off the last ball of the day. It was a tie. It was an incredible finish to an incredible game.

Both teams arrived the next day to play out the final stanza but everyone knew that there was not going to be enough time to force an outright result. Both teams played accordingly. Moonee Valley again lost early wickets and were again well served by Ian Sutherland and Gary Dudderidge. The Tullamarine attack lacked penetration and, eventually, purpose. Tullamarine batted for the last half an hour of the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 27, 2005
 

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