Moonee Valley Cricket Club


Twenty20 flag: Moonee Valley's own power-play


Twenty20 Premiership - Moonee Valley's own power-play
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Our Premiership-winning Twenty20 team: L-R: Back - Sean O'Kane, Amit Chaudhary, Arosha Perera, Jim Polonidis, Evan Blythe, Matt Thomas and Peter O'Kane. Front - Steve Gentilin, captain Mark Gauci, Geoff McKeown and coach Lou Raffaele.

Moonee Valley scored an emphatic win over Taylors Lakes in the North West Cricket Association's Twenty20 Grand Final on Tuesday, February 3.
Our power players came to the fore late in the innings to build on the platform set by the earlier batsmen, and our total of 7/159 off the 20 overs proved too big an ask for Taylors Lakes.
Brilliant fielding and crafty field placings put a stranglehold on the Lakes team, and it could only compile 7/131 in reply.
The win was Moonee Valley's first senior premiership at any grade since our 2000/01 First Eleven flag in the Moreland Moonee Valley Cricket Association.
Club president Charlie Walker said the players displayed the determination and purpose which has been a hallmark of teams right across the Club this season, and he hoped it set the tone for further success in March.
Captain Mark Gauci won the toss and elected to bat on the huge Lionheart Reserve - Taylors Lake's home ground. The game was a repeat of the Twenty20 Grand Final the previous season - same teams, same home ground advantage - but this time our guys knew what was needed to win and played accordingly.
Our batsmen continually picked off twos as the Lakes fielders were set far back on the huge boundaries.
Matt Thomas (37 off 36 balls) and Sean O'Kane (27 off 25 balls) steadied the middle order to have us 5/93, then power hitter Amit Chaudhary bludgeoned 53 off 26 balls with support from Peter O'Kane (12 off 8 balls) to help us set the imposing target on the big ground.
Amit had borrowed skipper Mark Gauci's Fisher bat, and hit the ball so hard that it didn't just leave white 'cherries' on the blade - chunks of white paint broke off the ball and embedded in the willow's surface.
Taylors Lakes never looked likely to be able to chase down the total, from the time Jim Polonidis got our first wicket - an LBW in the second over.
Arosha Perera took 3/20 and the other bowlers shared the wickets as we kept the pressure on throughout.
Skipper Gauci set his outriders about a third of the way in from the fence, restricting most of the Taylors Lakes shots to singles and leaving our boys in the perfect position to take the catches when the batsmen tried to hit out.
There is no doubt that Mark out-captained his Taylors Lakes counterpart.
There was a quiet determination among the Valley men as they came off the field after sealing the win. Satisfied with a job well done, there was no raucous celebration as the players showed the were concentrating on the real job ahead - the March finals.
North West CEO Terry Scott congratulated Moonee Valley on the win, and remarked on the standard of cricket from the teams representing two of the most progressive clubs in the region.
The match ball is being mounted and will take a prominent spot in our trophy cabinet - but we all know the real silverware we want still involves a lot of hard work.
As president Charlie said, senior success is long overdue, and we're focused on putting ourselves in the position to give our teams the best chance of winning the flags that matter the most.


February 5, 2009
Category: Archived News

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