Seventh Heaven - new team makes its debut
Saturday, October 15, 2005 marked an historic day for the Moonee Valley Cricket Club - the first time a seventh senior side had taken to the field in the black and white colors.
The seven senior sides - eight if you count the mooted mid-week turf team - and 11 junior sides make Moonee Valley one of the biggest clubs in Melbourne, and it was a milestone to be remembered.
The historic event was a home match - on the Clifton Park, Brunswick ground generously being shared with us by Brunswick Cricket Club in the Sub-District comp - and the opponents in One Day Division 2 were East Coburg.
Our history-making side included four players down from the higher two-day grades because of non-cricket commitments next weekend, and three in for their first games.
Our immortal eleven were Murray Walker (captain), James Clarke, Allan Cumming, Ben Thomas, Charlie Walker, Jackson Clarke, Andrew Payton, Bede Gannon, Michael Felle, Tony Villani and Cian Fenaughty.
Murray won the toss and elected to bat in the bright, mild and windless conditions, and seasoned openers James Clarke and Cumming padded up.
James swiped a big four from the fifth ball of the first over, but was run out next ball trying to steal a second run. Cumming was caught next over off a top edge, while new player Villani fell in the third after opening his account for Moonee Valley with a single.
Then Ben Thomas was well caught for a quickfire 12 with the score 4/24 in just the fourth over. Consolidation was needed, and it came from Murray Walker and Andrew Payton.
They put on 39 runs in eight overs, with some excellent big-hitting fours before Payton was run out in a mix-up.
Under 16s player Bede Gannon, in for his first game then came to the crease, and batted sensibly and without risk in supporting Walker. They rattled on a 32 run stand to take the score to 95 before Muz played down the wrong line and was bowled for a scorching 31, which included five fours.
Club secretary Michael Felle was bowled for a duck to leave us precariously placed on 7/96, and another Under 16 debutant, Jackson Clarke made a single before departing to the spinner with the score 8/99.
Charlie Walker edged the first ball he faced from the spinner but the keeper failed to hold it. The next ball was pulled for four to take our total past 100. Charlie lived dangerously while putting on 11 runs with Bede, who fell with the score on 110.
Last man in Cian Fenaughty from the Under 16s held up an end while Charlie slapped a couple more fours and was the beneficiary of some wayward extras. Cian fell to a smart slips catch after a 19 run partnership which took the total to 129 from 28.5 overs.
East Coburg’s innings started cautiously with senior bowlers Thomas and M. Walker in control, and one false shot was lucky to fall just short of the field.
The score was still 0/33 after 10 overs when Murray effected a bowling change, and Villani and James Clarke came on. Villani took his first wicket for Moonee Valley when he bowled the young opener for 10, while James Clarke just wheeled away his flighted spinners - earning his just reward in his seventh over when Murray Walker took a good catch at deep mid-off.
Fenaughty and Jackson Clarke alternated behind the stumps as the fielding was tight, but East Coburg accumulated the runs.
Gannon sent down three overs while James Clarke became our only bowler to bowl out his full eight. East Coburg passed our total after 29 of the 35 overs, but had to work to accumulate the runs. It was a worthy first-up effort for our Seventh Heaven.
For the scoreboard from the game, follow the link on the Senior Wisden page.
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