Echuca Glory for the ACS

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Winter Lunch - Gideon Haigh
July 19, 2024    
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Please refer to above image for event details. Gideon Haigh is an independent journalist, in the trade for forty years; born in London, raised in [...]
Events on July 19, 2024
Winter Lunch - Gideon Haigh
19 Jul 24

Echuca Over 60s Cricket Carnival, 17-21 March, 2024.

by Peter Glenton and Dave Long.

ACS won the Division 1 Championship at the Veterans Cricket Victoria Echuca Carnival.

This was our fourth VCV Echuca Carnival, and a great success for ACS. This is a wonderful achievement for the ACS members who played during the Carnival and to all ACS members who played for the Over 60s throughout this and past seasons. The camaraderie between the players and the enjoyment of each other’s efforts has been a constant over the last 4 seasons which assisted us greatly in playing so well over the Carnival’s 4 days of cricket.

ACS thanks the Carnival organisers who again excelled, providing top-quality grounds, excellent lunches, and high-standard umpiring; and the cricketing community of Echuca and the surrounding region for their first-class ground preparation and hospitality at every venue – setting a standard to be emulated by the Over 60s Nationals.

Looking back, it appeared that we were in the more difficult half of the draw, having to play North East 1, Geelong and South Australia Wombats who all had Australian Over 60s representatives in their squads.

Conditions for cricket were perfect: warm for Rounds 1 and 2 and sunny but cool for Round 3 and the Final on Day 4; the organisers had carefully arranged for rain to fall only on the rest day.

Round 1: ACS Vs Northeast 1 at Gunbower.
ACS 7/202 lost to North East 1 6/203.

Our campaign began with a very disappointing last-ball loss against the strong North East 1 team at the picturesque Gunbower Oval.

We batted first on a very good wicket. Tim Corney (37 retired off 30 balls), Jude Rose (33 of 30 balls) and Jeff Scotland with a marvellous 51 off 29 balls helped us get to a very competitive 7 for 202 off our 40 overs. This proved to be just not enough with North East passing our total off the last ball of the 40th over. Andrew Chisholm led the way with the ball taking 2 for 26 off his 7 overs while Keith Jansz, Jeff Scotland, and Jude Rose each picked up a wicket. Our catching left a bit to be desired in the last 20 overs which contributed to our loss.

In this narrow loss, we could each reflect on the run not taken when batting or not saved in the field, the chance missed, the sundries conceded, or the loose ball bowled, but there was no point in dwelling on what might have been.

The fact that the game was so close meant that our percentage was strong so if we could win the next 2 games we would still be a chance of finishing first in our Pool.

Man of the Match: Tim Corney

Round 2: ACS Vs Geelong at Windridge Oval, Rochester.
ACS 2/166 def Geelong Blue 6/165.

The next day we reset against Geelong Blue at Windridge Oval, Rochester. The conditions at Windridge were superb – the track had good pace, bounce and carry, making it excellent for batting and bowling.

Geelong had beaten us during the season, but only by a dozen runs in a high-scoring match. Bowling first, our bowling, fielding and general out cricket was very good, not allowing any of the Geelong bats to score above a run a ball. Jeff Scotland (2 for 40 off 7), Andrew Chisholm (2/33 off 6), David Long (2/23 off 7) took the wickets but all the bowlers bowled to the field to restrict Geelong to 6/165 off their 40 overs. Their number 9 and 10 batsmen got away from us a bit at the end, scoring 50 runs between them, and Geelong scored nearly 40% of their runs in the last 10 overs, taking them from a sub-par 5/103 to a competitive 6/165.

The ACS batsmen played exceptionally well with John Flynn (21 retired), Andrew Chisholm (38 retired), Keith Jansz (23 retired) contributing to us winning in the 38th over with only 2 wickets down. Except for one of our not out batsmen at the end of the innings, every batsman had achieved double figures, and our bowling and fielding had been top notch.

A new tradition was started after the match with the team adjourning for relaxing couple of ales at the Rochester Hotel. We are hopeful that the “Rochy” doesn’t suffer the same fate as the Ky West Hotel which was our traditional post-match meeting place until it burnt down the night after our last visit.

Man of the Match: Andrew Chisholm

Round 3: ACS Vs South Australian Wombats at Cooma (Vic).
ACS 9/146 def South Australia Wombats 9/141

Day 3 saw us at Cooma playing the South Australian Wombats on a slow wicket.

To make the Final, we knew we had to beat South Australian Wombats, and that Northeast 1 would have to lose to the Geelong team we had beaten in Round 2.

Bowling first again, Keith Jansz (2/9), Jude Rose (2/19), Ken Piesse (2/14) and David Long (1/9) picked up wickets aided by some excellent fielding and wicketkeeping by Peter Glenton to restrict the opposition to 9/141.

Our cause looked to be in trouble when we lost our 8th wicket at 96, but the return to the crease by retired batsmen John Flynn (22) and Andrew Chisholm (41 not out) along with a wonderfully crafted 26 not out from 28 balls by Peter Robinson enabled us to win the game with 1 wicket and 1 ball to spare – reversing our last-ball loss in the first game. A truly remarkable victory which will be long remembered by the team.

The other results fell our way meaning that while 3 sides had won 2 games, our better percentage meant we ranked number 1 in our Pool. We were then drawn to play Sunbury Macedon Ranges in the Championship Final at Rochester.

Man of the Match: Andrew Chisholm.

The Final: Sunbury Macedon Ranges Vs ACS Vs at Windridge Oval, Rochester.
ACS 3/86 def Sunbury Macedon Ranges 10/84.

Another very good wicket at the Windridge Oval was presented but there was some moisture in it early so Captain Paul Morrey chose to bowl first after winning the toss. Sunbury’s opening batsman played a whirlwind innings of 40 off 30 balls but the bowlers persisted with good lines and lengths to induce a collapse with Sunbury going from 1/56 to all out for 84 in the 28th over. Mark Dunstan (1/14 off 4), Keith Jansz (1/23 off 6), Jude Rose (3/17 off 4), Andrew Chisholm (3/10 off 5.2) and David Long (2/4 off 5) led the way assisted by some excellent fielding.

In a remarkable 16 overs, we had taken 9 wickets for 28 runs. Our bowling and fielding were excellent: Neil Smith looked to have taken the mark of the season over his head at deep gully, only to be surpassed a few overs later by Keith Jansz with a diving one-hander at 2nd slip, hand under the ball in classic fashion.

The ACS top order used the pace of the ball to find the boundary multiple times during a very quick and fiery 6 overs from Sunbury Macedon Ranges opening bowler Dale Thornton.

Tim Corney (an entertaining 19 retired), Andrew Chisholm (34 not out from 25) and Paul Morrey (16 retired) played well to allow us to win with 3/86 in the 19th over – a convincing win.

Man of the Match: Andrew Chisholm.

The Tournament.

Captain Morrey was understandably elated at the win and said that it was due to every member of the squad playing very good cricket over the course of the 4 games. The batsmen all played to their strengths within the team, the bowlers sticking to the basics of length and line and the fielding all being as athletic as was possible.

The ACS Over 60s team is extremely lucky to have such a great administrator in Peter Glenton who put in countless hours to ensure that the playing group didn’t have to worry about anything during the week of cricket.

We are also fortunate in having a leadership group of Paul Morrey, captain of the Echuca squad, Keith Jansz, vice captain at Echuca and Jeff Scotland.

The Division 1 Premiership was ours because we had competed as a Team. Everyone contributed, with wickets, runs, dot balls, and in the field.

Our campaign rested on the shoulders of every ACS participant in the Over 60s Home and Away season, and on the spirit built during the December 2023 ACS playing tour of Sri Lanka, where 6 of our Echuca squad had played together.

It’s worth noting that we had the unusual distinction of having a dual premiership player in our squad – probably a unique event! Arthur Karvelis played with ACS in our first match, then by prior arrangement joined the Warrandyte team in Division 4 for their next 3 matches, where he played in their successful Final against Glen Waverley Hawks.

Thank you to our volunteers: Peter Carmody who square-leg umpired during our first game when we had only one official umpire and Christine Lowe who scored during Match 3 during the tense run chase; and to our rested players who scored and helped in other ways off the field, especially Will Johnston who scored 2 complete matches.

A wonderful 4 days of cricket played at beautiful grounds with very hospitable hosts was made even better by winning the tournament.

The ACS Players at Echuca 2024:
Andrew Chisholm, Tim Corney, Mark Dunstan, John Flynn, Peter Glenton (wk), Keith Jansz (vc), Will Johnston, Arthur Karvelis, David Long, Paul Morrey (c), Ken Piesse, Peter Robinson, Jude Rose, Jeff Scotland, Neil Smith.

Peter Carmody, Christine Lowe.