MATCH RESULTS SEASON 2009-10

THE GAMES


Centurions President’s XI v Merv Hughes Celebrity XI
Footscray Edgewater Oval – Sunday 21 February 2010

Result:
Centurions 248
Koop 46; Snell 31; Bekker 40; Bowden 40; Hargreaves 24 Brentnall 20

What a game! What a result!

With one over remaining, the Merv Hughes XI required just 6 runs to win – but managed only 5 (with a hard-run 2 off the last ball) to create a tie – 248 runs apiece. A fitting result to a wonderful day where a just under $6,000 was raised for Asthma Victoria.

This year, Merv’s “Celebrity” team included Cricket Victoria Chief and Test All-rounder, Tony Dodemaide; Ryder Medallist and Victorian all-rounder, Ian Wrigglesworth; Australian one-day opening bowler, Mick Lewis; and champion Footscray-Edgewater batsman Michael O’Keeffe (over 7,000 Premier Cricket runs!) together with Media personalities Ian (Couldabeen a Champion) Cover; Anthony Hudson (who, again, bowled tidy leg breaks) and Peter “Crackers” Keenan (whose banter at first slip made up for his bowling!). They were supported by a couple of young guns from Merv’s Foundation.

The Centurions President’s XI included ETU Secretary Dean Mighell; media personality and football star, Phil Cleary; recently-retired Richmond, AFL football champion, Joel Bowden (who played Premier Cricket with Melbourne before concentrating on his football career); former Victorian all-rounder Brendan Joseland; former Victorian batsman (and Northcote Premiership Captain) Grant Gardiner; plus UK Minor Counties imports, Duncan Snell and Evett Bekker. Leading VJCA Senior Turf wicket-taker, Craig Osborne, also played and bowled very tidily.

Unfortunately, the late withdrawals of Michael DiMattina (Victorian wicket-keeper) and Tasmanian opening bowler, Mark Ridgway, lessened the firepower of the Centurions XI.

Batting first the Centurions got off to a quick start. As he did in the Westgarth Baseballers game the previous weekend, Yorkshireman Duncan Snell plundered the attack with some crisp ball-striking before being bowled for 31. His opening partner Shane Koop (Geelong Premier Cricket opening batsman) batted on to retire at 46 and Evett Bekker, hit the ball cleanly to score a rapid 40 retired.

But then the fireworks started!! Joel Bowden had a simple message to the Merv Hughes XI – “you bowl the ball and I’ll hit it over the fence” – and he did! In thirteen balls he’d retired on 40 with the Centurions score rapidly rising to 175 for 4.

But then the scoring slowed dramatically as, successively, former Victorian batsmen Grant Gardiner and Brendan Joseland went to the crease – and returned to the pavilion. Another two quick wickets – Craig Osborne and Dean Mighell (was it a dubious LBW decision??) - fell. The Centurions had lost 5 for 8!

Tony Hargreaves and Shaun Brentnall saw out the innings and put on 43 for the last wicket with Hargreaves retiring on 24. Phil Cleary made 4 before missing a “straight break” from Anthony Hudson.

The Merv Hughes XI opened with Australian players, Tony Dodemaide and Mick Lewis. Lewis quickly decided running was not an option and very soon retired for 46 (including 8 fours and a six). The match was “on”!

Lewis’ departure brought Michael O’Keefe to the wicket and, as he’s done each year the game has been played, he plundered the Centurions attack. He, too, retired on 46. O’Keeffe is a very graceful batsman who scores at will. It is easy to see why he scored over 7,000 runs in Premier Cricket.

As happened with the Centurions middle order, the loss of quick wickets saw the game turn. This allowed Merv to take his blunderbuss to the crease and he belted 43 including one huge six. Ian Wrigglesworth did the mopping up to score an elegant 40 retired.

However it was their departures which saw the momentum change and, suddenly, the Centurions were back in the game.

Four overs to go and 14 runs required to win. Merv’s team looked relaxed – but Merv was anxious – and he had good reason to be - the runs dried up.

With just six balls left 6 runs were still required. After singles off the first two balls Ian “Couldabeen”) Cover saw out two dot balls off Killer.

Now three needed - and just two balls. A single to the Couldabeen left three necessary off the last ball. All fieldsman on the boundary ! An on-drive saw two scored and the match was a tie. – 248 runs apiece.

A terrific result – for a terrific day’s cricket. Well done to both teams.

Out thanks goes to the Footscray-Edgewater Cricket Club (and to Club President, Jeff Russ, and his lovely wife for her hard work on the day); Club Committeemen Graeme Joslin (now a Victorian Selector – although he said he wasn’t at the game to review the talent !) and Graeme Bugge.

Our thanks also goes to Merv Hughes and his team. Merv has achieved much for Australia on the international Test arena and it says much for his character and personality that he still gives so much back to junior cricket and to charity. We always enjoy his company – and on-field banter. We are looking forward to resuming the contest next year.

The game would not proceed – or be as successful - without the support and commitment of the Electrical Trades’ Union – and ETU Secretary, Dean Mighell and ETU Media Officer Phil Cleary. We are very grateful for what these guys do for us and we thank them for being such an integral part of the success of the day.

Phil still maintains his gentle off-cutter had Merv “plumb” before he’d scored. “If the bloody Umpire wasn’t blind we’d have won easily” he said after the match.

Finally, thank you to Dave Power for standing the game as Umpire. Apart from his “unbelievably bad” LBW decision against Dean Mighell and his failure to give Merv out to the Cleary off-cutter, Dave did a sterling job with out error.


Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas
Sunday 17 January 2010 - Queenscliff Oval


Result :Centurions 2 for 186 (Ian Sartori 37; Dan Sartori 36; Alan Chadwick 36; Brook Grumont 35) defeated Suma Park Bellarinas 6 for 168 (Sean Cordy 2 for 25)

Due to the continuing reconstruction of the Suma Park oval, our traditional Christmas/New Year game against the Suma Park team was, again, moved to the Queenscliff Oval. However, for traditional luncheon spread all players returned to the Suma Park homestead where the fare was, as usual, first class.

Also first class was the Queenscliff Oval due to the hard work of ex-North Melbourne player, Neil “Swooper” Petrie; the many holiday-makers who saw the game enjoyed themselves – as did the players.

However, it was cold day and light rain during the game made things less enjoyable than they have been over recent years when we have been blessed with beautiful summer weather.

But, a win against the competitive Bellarinas is always welcomed and the weather mattered little.

This year the Bellarinas boasted “only” three First Class players – two test players Ian Redpath and Ian “Mad Dog” Callen and Victorian batsman Peter Cox.

Coxy was unlucky to be run out with a direct hit before scoring but Redders and Callen each made significant contributions to the day. Callen retired on 38.

Other players to perform well for the Bellarinas were former Centurions President, Tony Hargreaves, who hit a rapid-fire 37 with 7 fours before retiring and Swooper Petrie who scored 35 retired. The pair put on 68 for the third wicket. Former Balwyn player, Peter Gell (younger brother of the famous TV weatherman) scored 25 including 5 fours.

For the Centurions Sean Cordy took 2 for 25; Rex Bennett 1 for 9 off 5 tight overs.

When it took to the crease after the lengthy (and delightful) luncheon the Centurions opened with Richmond batsman, Dan Sartori, and former South Melbourne opening batsman, Mark Jones. Jonesy didn’t get amongst the runs but Dan retired on 36 and Centurions UK-tourist, Brook Grumont, now playing at Gisborne, scored well to retire on 35. The two ex-North Melbourne batsmen, Ian Sartori and Alan Chadwick both retired – Sars on 37 and Chaddy on 36.

The Centurions only lost 2 wickets in accounting for the Bellarinas score of 6 for 168.

Once again, a terrific day followed by wonderful Suma Park hospitality long into the night before the drive back up the Highway to Melbourne. Each year the stories get bigger and better.

Our thanks (as always) goes to Barrie Provan for his superb hospitality and organisation. It is a mark of the game enjoyment that the Centurions is always over-subscribed for the Suma Park match.


Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
Bill Lawry Oval – Sunday 14 February 2010

Result: Westgarth Baseballers 9 for 155 defeated Centurions 8 for 105.

The annual Westgarth Baseballers game proved a fizzer this year. The Baseballers were too strong – or should it be said that the Centurions was not good enough?

Notwithstanding the introduction of two minor counties players from the UK – Duncan Snell and Evett Bekker (both playing local cricket in Melbourne) – the Centurions allowed Westgarth to reach 155 of its allotted 36 overs.

Bowlers to do well were Ian Sartori 2 for 7; Tony Hargreaves 2 for 15; Dekker 2 for 26; and Rex Bennett 1 for 9.

Baseballers’ batsman Nick Brandon-Jones (now playing with the Northcote First XI in Premier Cricket) retired at 39 but, with the regular fall of wickets, was able to return to the crease and bludgeoned the Centurions attack to finish with a quickfire 67 not out. This proved to be the match-winning innings. Shaun Brentnall (playing with the Baseballers) batted forcefully to score 30.

After an attractive opening start of 51 between Shane Koop and Duncan Snell (Snell from Yorkshire was particularly impressive driving down the ground and retired on 37) the Centurions limped meekly to 8 for 105 at the close. The only batsmen to get a start were Snell and Gary “Colonel” Sanders 15. Ron Brentnall remained 13 not out with his partner, Ross “The Professor” McIntosh, who scored 10 not out. Together, they put on 20 for the last wicket to salvage a little Centurions pride.

Our thanks goes to the Northcote Cricket Club for allowing us to use the Bill Lawry Oval. It was in wonderful condition and we wonder how any Premier cricketer can misfield a ground ball on such a perfect surface. Our thanks also goes to the Westgarth Baseballers’ Committee and ladies’ Auxiliary and to Bob Jardine for the hard work in ensuring the success of the match.


Centurions v Gisborne
25 October 2009
Gardiner Reserve Gisborne

Result: Gisborne 7 for 149 defeated Centurions 9 for 148

The game started in cold and damp (read "freezing") conditions, after steady over-night rain, at the picturesque Gardiner Reserve in Gisborne.

Centurions Captain, Neil Kilpatrick, won the toss and elected to bat in the 40 over format. After a steady start by Brook Grumont (9) and Daniel Sartori (6) the Gisborne Old-boys broke through – thanks to some livley catching in the slips by Dale Thornton and Jack Mills.

With the steady fall of wickets, Centurions found themselves at 4 for 40 after 12 overs, but Ian Sartori (38) and Yorkshire import, Rob Ellis (28), put on a valuable partnership of 52 for the 5th wicket, to take the score to 5 for 92, at the fall of Sartori’s wicket.

The remainder of the innings was a stop-start affair, with Gisborne keeping the bowling tight and showing sound fielding skills. The innings was finally completed at 9/148 after 40 overs - a disappointing score given the solid partnership in the middle order by Sartori and Ellis.

Best of the bowlers for Gisborne were Mick Stellings (2/11 off 6 overs), Dave Cordy (2 for 6 off 2 overs), Dale Thornton (1/6 off 4 overs) and Ross Dickson (1 for 12 off 5 overs).

When it was Gisborne's turn at the crease, things got off to a shaky start with Rick Watts (3) and Scott Walsh (5) going cheaply due to some hostile and accurate opening bowling by Sean Brentnall and Ron Orr. However, when Mick Stellings (34) combined with Jack Mills(35 retired), they were able to take the score from 2/16 to 3/76 – a partnership of 60 runs.

Enter Merv Hughes. With the introduction of the great ex- Australian Test bowler, Gisborne faltered in its innings. Merv took Dave Johnstone (0) and Shaun Cordy (2) in the one over, making the score board look a little sick at 4/78. Gisborne captain Dave Cordy (28) joined Stellings and together they righted the ship with a 25 run partnership taking the score to 5/103 when Stellings lost his wicket.

Cordy was then joined by Brayden -"Wild Thing"- Jinks (19 n.o.) and in a swashbuckling partnership, took the score to 6/130. But when Cordy lost his wicket the match really tightened up and, with Dale Thornton (9) going, it left Jinks to see the Gisborne across the line.

Needing 8 off the last over to win, Jinks hit out with some old-fashioned "slogging" and with a single off the last ball Gisborne finished on 7/149.

Best of the Centurions bowlers were Ian Sartori (2 for 15 off 3 overs) and Merv Hughes (2 for 35 off 6 overs). Special mention must be made of Sean Brentnall who took 1 for 7 off 5 overs) and showed great potential with his fast-medium pace bowling.

Overall, the match was played in great spirit and Centurions captain, Neil Kilpatrick, awarded the customary yellow Centurions cap for the opposition’s best player to Jack Mills (35 n.o. and 2 catches).

Thanks must go to the esteemed umpire for the match, Gary "Colonel" Sanders, who is a Life Member and legend of Gisborne CC. Colonel is also a 10 year member and overseas tourist with the Centurions. Great work Colonel.

Thanks must also go to Match Manager Neil Kilpatrick, for his contribution to the official cricket aspects of the day and to all the players who played the game in the best spirit seen for many years. Also, to Rick Watts and his team at Gisborne for providing the sumptuous BBQ and salad meal after the match and for making their club rooms and ground available for the day.

Finally a special thank you goes to Merv Hughes for giving up his valuable time to play and provide the Gisborne boys with plenty of 'cheek' and a few boisterous appeals. He also provided a very enthralling Q & A session in the club rooms after the meal, which was appreciated by players and spectators alike. Thanks Merv.

 

MATCH RESULTS SEASON 2008-9

THE GAMES

Centurions v Crusaders
November 2008

Unfortunately due to poor weather the inaugural game between the two teams  was cancelled.

Suma Park - Suma Park, Point Lonsdale
Sunday, 18 January 2009

The re-grading of the Suma Park Oval caused the traditional Christmas / New Year game against Suma Park Bellarinas to be transferred from the Suma Park Homestead to the Queenscliff Oval on the Bellarine Peninsula.

And what a boost it proved!!  While the quixotic Suma Park ground with its deck chairs and stunning views, is always a favourite with the players, the move to the Queenscliff ground allowed the many Christmas campers and beachgoers at Queenscliff to watch the match and join in the fun.

This year, Suma Park was represented by two former Test players (some years it has had up to four test representatives!). Both made significant contributions.

Ian Redpath made 35 not out and Ian “Mad Dog” Callen 32. Disappointingly, former Test opening bowler, Callen, was unable to bowl because of an injury.

Batting first, the Bellarinas scored 7 for 180. Centurion’s bowlers to perform well were Greg Cull (2 for 11 off 4 overs) and Alan Chadwick (2 for 10 – also 4 overs). Other bowlers to snare a wicket were Nick Walker (1 for 17); Rex Bennett (1 for 24) and Dave Norris (1 for 14).

The Centurions replied with 7 for 207. Tim Hargreaves made 38 retired batting at No 1; Tim Wright 35 retired; Mark Jones 26; Alan Chadwick 26 and Dave Norris a “picket fence” 21.  Others to score were Nick Walker 18; Neil Kilpatrick 16; Ian Sartori 11 and Gary “Colonel” Sanders 10. Former Richmond and Fitzroy opening batsman (and new Centurions Committeeman) Dave Power was 2 not out when the innings closed after 36 overs.

The match against Suma Park is always a terrific outing and is enjoyed by everyone who participates. It has become our "traditional" Christmas game.

The hospitality provided each year by Suma Park owner (and ex-Balwyn leg spinner and Club stalwart) Barrie Provan is second to none and it is never a problem to fill the Centurions team.

Our thanks goes to Barrie for, again, opening his facilities to us. It is always a pleasure playing the game.

Result:
Centurions 7 for 207 defeated Suma Park Bellarinas 7 for 180


Westgarth Baseballers – Ransford Oval, Royal Park
Sunday, 15 February 2009

The Westgarth Baseballers always fields a strong team. This year, with former Northcote upper order batsman, Bob Jardine, at the Baseballers helm instead of long-term President Don Gough, was no exception and the Baseballers won the game easily.

Westgarth batted first and scored 6 for 163. As expected Baseballers’ opening batsman, former Northcote top order player, Mark Brasher belted everything down the ground to score 40 retired. His opening partner, Northcote Second XI batsman, Nick Brandon-Jones, scored 31 and the opening partnership of 77 set the Baseballers on its winning way.

The only Centurions bowler to perform well was opening bowler, Tim Wright, who took 2 for 14 off 5 tight overs. Neil Kilpatrick; Jarrod Cameron and Rex Bennett each took 1 for 6 while Richmond First XI player, Dan Sartori, took 1 for 18.

Batting second, Centurions’ father and son combination, Ian and Dan Sartori put on a solid opening partnership of 61 before Dan was dismissed for 28. Six wickets soon fell for 39 (Neil Kilpatrick 15) and the three unnecessary runouts during this time proved decisive in the match result.

Tim Hargreaves batting at No. 7 scored 36 to get the Centurions within earshot of the Baseballers total. However, it was not to be and the last three wickets fell for 41 to see the Centurions fall 22 runs short. Rex Bennett was left 4 not out.

Once again, the Westgarth Baseballers game proved both competitive and enjoyable. While the benefit of playing on a District wicket was missed the Ransford Oval in Royal Park provided an enjoyable park venue.

Next year the Centurions needs to wrest back the trophy.

Result:
Centurions 10 for 141 (34.3 overs) were defeated by Westgarth Baseball Club 6/163  (36 overs)

v Merv Hughes XI  Celebrity Challenge
- Footscray Edgewater Ground
Sunday, 1 March 2009

Led by our young brigade Dan Sartori, Cam Taylor and Aiden Blizzard (all current Richmond First XI players) with support from South African import, Antonio Mullins, plus former State players, Brendan Joseland and Grant Gardiner, we managed a competitive total of 234.

Surprisingly, our batsmen had most trouble facing Anthony Hudson's flighted leg spin and Ian Cover’s "lack of pace" bowling as well as contending with Crackers Keenan’s wisecracks and “one-liners” from 1st slip.

Merv’s team thrashed our bowling with State squad players Michael O’Keefe, Peter Bedford, Ian Wrigglesworth, Tony Dodemaide, Rainer Reber and Merv himself smashing the ball to all parts before falling short by just 9 runs.

This was our major fund raiser for the season and our sincere thanks go to Dean Mighell and Phil Cleary from the Electrical Trades Union for their wonderful, ongoing financial and match day support.

Other great contributors to the success of the day were the Footscray-Edgewater CC, our wonderful Sponsors as well as Dave & Shaun Cordy and Brook Grumont for their tireless work in setting up the ground for the day's play.

Result:
Centurions 234 (Dan Sartori 31, Cam Taylor 40, Brendan Joseland 42, Ian Sartori 45, Aiden Blizzard 15, Michael DiMattina 14) defeated Merv Hughes XI 225.

 

v Wattlesprigs - Strath Creek
Sunday, 22 March 2009

Our final game for the 2008-09 season meant a return to our spiritual home at Don McQueen’s Hume & Hovell ground at Strath Creek against a new opponent, Wattlesprigs. The Wattlesprigs are based in Northern Victoria and have recently toured England.

In a great initiative by Wattlesprigs' President  and former North Melbourne player, Steve Gemmill, the game was played for the "Richard Parsons Shield".
Richard toured England in 2005 with the Wattlesprigs as their resident umpire.

The game was played in great spirit with the Centurions winning on the last ball of the day.  Fortunately, after several worrying moments in the recent Victorian Bushfires, Don’s great venue survived, only losing a nearby shed.

Result:
Centurions 6/185  (Dan Sartori 46 n.o Ian Sartori 37 n.o Neil Kilpatrick 36 n.o Ron Brentnall 23) defeated Wattlesprigs 7/182  (Alan Chadwick 3 for 19)



MATCH RESULTS
SEASON 2007-08

THE GAMES

Centurions President's XI v Merv Hughes Invitation XI - Mervyn G Hughes Oval Footscray
Sunday 25 November 2007

The Merv Hughes Celebrity Challenge has now become a focal point of the Centurions Cricket Calendar.

Last year we raised $5,000 for Asthma Victoria. This year we raised $6,000 - a wonderful effort and congratulations are due to your Committee and to the ETU officials who were heavily involved in the organisation of the game and who promoted the game throughout their community.

Special congratulations must also go to Merv Hughes for his energy; creativity and contribution to the match (much like his time leading the Australian cricket team into battle against the great Viv Richards; Javed Miandad; Graham Gooch et al). Merv returns much to the game of cricket.

Our thanks goes to the Umpires who freely gave their time (ex-Victorian quick and now District First XI Umpire, John Leehane, stood in the game with colleague, Chris Orgill).

We particularly want to thank the Footscray-Edgewater Cricket Club (Club Secretary, former Footscray and St Kilda star batsman Graeme Joslin; scoreboard operator John Lord and the Club Curator whose name is not known) for allowing us to use its wonderful facilites. The playing conditions were (yet again) of first class standard and it is always a pleasure for both bowlers and batsmen to get the opportunity to play on a hard, fast, bouncing District wicket.

Those who played in the game enjoyed themselves and the after-match banter between the players was terrific.

As well as Merv Hughes we had Cricket Victoria's Chief Executive and Australian Test player, Tony Dodemaide; Test swing bowler and hat trick taker, Damien Fleming (had it not been for Shane Warne's slippery fingers at first slip it would have been TWO Test Hat-tricks - a world record); Centurions Patron and Test leg spinner and former Test Selector, Jim Higgs; as well as Australian team member, Western Australian opening batsman, Mike "Waggy" Veletta and his State team mate Sean Cary; former Victorian wicket-keeper Michael Dimattina and former Victorian all-rounders Jason Bakker and Peter "Wheels" Bedford. Why, "even Crackers" Keenan enjoyed himself !! Merv Hughes' younger brother Gary (a sub-District batsman with a top score of 140 last season) again played and, yet again, showed us what a terrific striker of the ball he is).

Although current and former District players Tim Hargreaves; Steve Koop; Adam Contessa; Clint Hillas and Andrew Parkin-Coates represented the Centurions, the team was soundly defeated and it was only a rapid fire partnership of 85 between Tony Hargreaves (51 not out) and Sean Cary (28) which restored some respectability to the Centurions scorecard. We were dismissed for 180 chasing 216.

Thanks also to Centurions Committee members, Ron Brentnall; Neil Kilpatrick and Graham Templar. While Dave Cordy; Rex Bennett and Tony Hargreaves were on the field enjoying themselves, Brents; Killer; and Saint were attending to the off-field success of the game by conducting the match raffle and ensuring the quality of the barbeque. Well done guys.


Suma Park - Suma Park, Point Lonsdale
Sunday, 13 January 2008

The match against Suma Park at Point Lonsdale is always a terrific outing and is enjoyed by everyone who participates. It has become our "traditional" Christmas game. This year - after successive losses to the younger, more athletic Centurions in 2006 and 2007 when young District and UK international players were selected) - Suma Park was stung into action and extracted vengeance after fielding a much stronger team (including former State representatives). As a consequence it had a resounding win under clear, blue skies with deck chairs and umbrellas surrounding the ground. It was a delightful picture.

The hospitality provided each year by Suma Park owner (and ex-Balwyn leg spinner) Barrie Provan is second to none and it is never a problem to fill the Centurions team. Our thanks goes to Barrie for, again, opening his facilities to us. It is always a pleasure playing the game. Barrie has promised an even stronger Suma Park team next year. This year the Suma Park team included former Melbourne and University star all-rounder, Ian Holten; Chris Harms (who will be remembered as a District off-spinner - at Ringwood - who went to Adelaide and represented South Australia with distinction); country champion and Essendon District all-rounder, David Lanyon; North Melbourne's Tony Phillips and Andrew Ponsford. Maintaining his usual practice, Centurions President, Tony Hargreaves, represented the Suma Park team and top-scored for the team.

MATCH RESULTS SEASON 2006-07

THE GAMES

Centurions President’s XI  v  Merv Hughes Invitation XI - Mervyn G Hughes Oval Footscray
Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Amid a hype of last minute media promotion the much-anticipated Centurions President’s XI v the Merv Hughes Invitation XI was played at the Footscray-Edgewater Cricket Ground on Wednesday, 29 November 2006.

Originally conceived by Centurions Committeeman, Rex Bennett, the match was played in a limited over format commencing at 5pm. Colourful advertising billboards skirted the boundary perimeter and prizes were awarded for any batsman hitting the strategically-placed signs on the full (Mick O’Keefe promptly hit the sign at long leg). 

There were also crowd prizes for any person taking a catch outside the boundary (one catch was taken) and, at the break of innings, a very successful auction of sporting memorabilia was conducted by Bill Brownless. The 200-strong crowd enjoyed a wonderful barbeque donated by the Electrical Trades Union and tended by ETU members.

It was pleasing to have over $5,000 donated to Asthma Victoria as a result of the match and the match day raffle organized by Committee members Neil Kilpatrick; Ron Brentnall; Arthur Pritchard and Graham Templar proved very successful.

All players took the field in coloured; named and numbered cricket shirts with the Centurions resplendent in their traditional colours of green, gold and red, and the Merv Hughes XI in light blue and dark blue shirts.  Centurions President, Tony Hargreaves, captained the President’s XI which included ex-Tasmanian opening bowler, Mark Ridgway; ex-Western Australian opening bowler; Sean Cary; ex-Victorian batsman, Michael “Squizzy” Taylor; ex-Victorian all-rounder, Brendan Joseland and ex-Western Australian batsman, Phil O’Meara. Also representing the Centurions were media personality Wilbur Wilde; former Richmond batsman Tim Hargreaves and former West Australian junior cricketer (& Essendon AFL footballer) Judd Lalich.

Committee member Match “Gold” Sponsor, the Electrical Trades Union was represented by Union Secretary, Dean Mighell; former State Secretary Ron Luckman and ETU Communications Manager and ex-VFA football legend and TV and radio personality, Phil Cleary - all of whom, played for the President’s XI.

Merv Hughes invited a number of ex-Victorian cricketers to represent his entertainment-laced XI ie   champion District opening batsman, Michael O’Keefe; ex-Victorian wicket-keeper Michael Dimattina; ex-Victorian all-rounder (and VFL Brownlow Medallist) Peter “Wheels” Bedford; ex-Victorian all-rounder, Jason Bakker; Gary Hughes, (Merv’s brother and a very capable batsman); former Footscray wicket-keeper (and Club games record-holder) Reiner Reber; former North Melbourne middle order batsman and AFL football champion, Liam Pickering and young up-and-coming Footscray-Edgewater batsman Josh Eason-Jones.  Also representing Merv’s XI were AFL football legends, Gary Dempsey; Doug Hawkins, Rohan Smith and Bill Brownless each of whom showed they can hold their place in quality cricket company. Media personality, Ian Cover, a self-acknowledged “cricket tragic” (and former Geelong cricketer) provided the on-ground commentary.

With the Footscray-Edgewater cricket ground looking a picture in the evening sun, the match commenced in true charity spirit. However, it was not long before competitiveness took over with Brendan Joseland hitting out for an entertaining 34 including three sixes (with one memorable six over cover) and Squizzy Taylor 31. The Centurions innings concluded at 4 for 198 off 27 overs with Phil Cleary remaining an entertaining 15 not out.  Others to perform well with the bat were Tim Hargreaves who retired on 30 after opening with Joseland and Judd Lalich who scored a scorching 27 (including one on-drive which will long be remembered for its ferocity). 

After the mid-break Auction at which over $500 was raised) the Centurions took the field. Opening bowlers Mark Ridgway and Sean Cary were quickly into stride. Unhappy at seeing an errant cut shot slide through the tight slips cordon to the fence, Ridgway immediately fiercely bounced opening batsman, Michael O’Keefe and the following banter between the two was a highlight of the match.

The Merv Hughes XI scored quickly as daylight disappeared. Former Victorian all-rounder Jason Bakker hit the ball beautifully through the off-side; Liam Pickering and Jason Bakker both timed the ball crisply and Bill Brownless lofted the ball effortlessly into the long, distant car park. While Brownless and Big Merv bludgeoned, Sub-district all rounder, Rohan Smith scored regularly off his pads.

With five overs to go the match was evenly-poised. However, the loss of three quick wickets between 177 and 183 saw the Merv Hughes XI still requiring 8 runs off the last over to win. In an exciting (and not contrived) finish a genuine tie occurred when the Merv Hughes XI’s last batsman was run out trying for the match-winning third run after the ball was hit to Tim Hargreaves at deep square leg.

Everyone who attended - or played - in the match agreed it was an outstanding success and next year’s clash is eagerly anticipated.

Our thanks goes to our match sponsors, Gold Sponsor, the Electrical Trades Union, and to Silver Sponsors, Crown Casino; Mantello Holden; Metaland and to Fashion Clubwear, which provided the colourful, named shirts worn by the players. Our thanks also goes to  Centurions UK Tourist, Brook Grumont, who provided the star pickets on which the sponsor advertising was displayed around the ground.

Our particular thanks also goes to the Footscray-Edgewater Cricket Club (and specifically to Club Secretary and former Centurion Member) Graeme Joslin for its commitment to – and support of - the game. The wicket and playing conditions provided by the Club were outstanding and the after match hospitality made for a wonderful evening.

Thanks must also go to Match Umpires, Centurions Members, Mike Slattery and Ian Aitken who remained out of the limelight (as good Umpires do) and who maintained the over rate and match discipline under difficult circumstances.

Thanks also to Centurions Committee members, Ron Brentnall; Neil Kilpatrick; Arthur Pritchard and Graham Templar. While Dave Cordy; Rex Bennett and Tony Hargreaves were on the field enjoying themselves, Brents; Killer; Arty and Saint were attending to the off-field success of the game by conducting the match raffle and ensuring the quality of the barbeque. Well done guys.
 



Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas

Suma Park Homestead, Point Lonsdale
Sunday, 14 January 2007

With a more balanced XI (in age – not capability) than in previous years, the Centurions again proved too strong for the Ian Redpath/Jim Higgs/ Tony Hargreaves-led Suma Park Bellarinas. Previous years have seen close, competitive contests but the last two games have not achieved the same level of competitive tension.

Suma Park, once again, provided a terrific day with the luncheon and hospitality provided by host, Barrie Provan, a highlight. 

Centurions’ highlights were the big hitting of Richmond First XI batsman, Daniel Sartori; and North Melbourne Second XI batsman, Peter Herrick, the deft timing of left hander, Jeff Morgan and the tight bowling of Rex Bennett and Gisborne’s warrior, Ian Storrie to contain the early Suma Park batsmen.

Match Result :

Centurions 7 for 194 (Dan Sartori 39 retired; Ian Sartori 36 retired; Peter Herrick 22; Jeff Morgan 22 and Rex Bennett 20) defeated Suma Park Bellarinas 7 for 179 (Lindsay Raybould 39 retired; Steve Howarth 36 retired; Tony Hargreaves 32.  For the Centurions Rex Bennett took 1 for 9 off 4 tight overs and Dan Sartori 2 for 17.


Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
Bill Lawry Oval – Sunday, 25 February 2007

While commentary could focus on the traditional rivalry between the two teams and the match day conditions, there was only really one highlight – the hat-trick achieved by Test legend, Merv Hughes. And just as Merv’s Australian Test cricket hat trick against the West Indies in Perth in 1988 was achieved in unusual circumstances so was this one. Merv took his three wickets in consecutive overs.

Batting first on a “belter” and a lightning fast outfield the Westgarth Baseballers faced the Centurions opening attack of Heath Pritchard and Big Merv. Heath Pritchard (a senior Sub-district cricketer with both Brunswick and Melton) bowled a tight line to take 1 for 12 off 5 overs and Merv took 4 for 21 off 7 overs (inc a hat trick).

Mont Albert off-spinner Shahen Patel kept the Baseballers under control in the middle stages to capture 2 for 29 off his 7 overs while Centurions Committeeman, Dave Norris, chimed in with a late (but important) wicket as the Baseballers’ threatened with some big-hitting at the death after reaching 2 for 93 in the 26th over.

The Baseballers were well-served by Caulfield’s, swashbuckling Ben Ryan (who scored 38); hard-hitting ex-Northcote batsman Darren Tindale (who scored a brisk 28); Paul Kennedy who scored a rapid fire 22 before becoming the middle man in the Merv Hughes hat trick.  Whereas, in previous year’s, ex-Northcote upper order batsman Mark Brasher has scored heavily against the Centurions attack this year he was held to 13 before being bowled by Heath Pritchard.

The Centurions were little troubled to score the required runs with Heath Pritchard scoring 36 retired; North Melbourne’s Shane Koop 35 retired; Duncan Harrison 35 retired and, at the end, Merv Hughes scoring a big-hitting 38 (including not one – but two - massive sixes).

Result:

Centurions 2 for 172 (34 overs) defeated  Westgarth Baseball Club  9/171  (40 overs)



Season 2005-2006


Centurions v Mont Albert Cricket Club
Mont Albert Oval

Sunday, 20 November 2005

Previous games between the two teams have provided close results. But it was not to be repeated this year and, with late changes to each team, the sides were "mixed and matched" to ensure a competitive contest on the day.

The "Centurions team" (which included three Mont Albert First XI players) played well but was no match for the "Mont Albert team".

Led from the front by David Cordy, the "Centurions team" scored 7 for 129 on a slow, early-season wicket with a lush outfield. The Skipper blossomed later in his innings to retire at 40. His was the only innings worth mention and his "big six" over mid-on will long be remembered by those attending.

David was keen to point out to anyone who was prepared to listen that it was a "genuine full-blooded shot" - but he was unable to convince many. Most believed it went to "cow corner" with the bat taking a wide arc across the line of the ball.

Mont Albert responded scoring 8 for 132 with Doug Peart taking 2 for 23 off 6 overs; Clive Pearsall 3 for 35 and the ever economical Ron Brentnall 2 for 19. Big hitting by Mont Albert's lower order batsmen proved difficult to stop and the Centurions total was overhauled in the penultimate over of the day. It was not, however, a close game.

The Mont Albert hospitality was, as usual, outstanding and we thank the Mont Albert club for its support and excellent playing conditions.

We look forward to further matches between the two Clubs.

Centurions v Explorers
Hume & Hovell Ground - Strath Creek

Sunday, 11 December 2005

Following the lead set last year, the Strath Creek game was divided with each team facing two tranches of 20 overs with the scores being aggregated to determine the winner.

This year's game was played in overcast, cool conditions at the picturesque Hume and Hovell Ground.

Centurions' Captain David Cordy won the toss and batted. A slow - but sure - start had the Centurions 2 for 57 off 20 overs with South Melbourne stalwart, Mark Jones, (a steady 27) and Daniel Sartori (a composed 7) being the not out batsmen at the break.

By the luncheon break The Explorers had replied with a very competitive 2 for 61 off 20 overs. The Centurions bowling honours were shared between two new players, Jarred Lethborg bowling his tidy medium pacers and fast medium bowler Josh Di Camillo (who captured a wicket with his first ball for the Centurions (1 for 18 off 5).

The delicious salad and cold meat lunch provided by our hosts, Don & Anne McQueen, proved too filling for Mark Jones and, when the Centurions innings continued, he promptly departed for 28. This allowed allowing the Sartori boys to come together for some exhilarating batting. Together, they compiled a brisk big-hitting partnership of 46, with Ian making 29 and Daniel retiring on 36.

The end of the Centurions innings was held together by wily old fox, Arthur Pritchard (22 n.o.) who, along with Di Camillo (23), and the lower order took the Centurions total to 181.

The Explorers' return to the batting crease for the final 20 over "tranche" started poorly with the loss of two quick wickets to Ian Sartori. At 4 for 84 off 25 overs all was not lost, but two quick wickets to Daniel Sartori in his fourth over, and another two soon after to Neil Kilpatrick saw the Explorers innings collapse to 9 for 111. 6 wickets had fallen for just 27 runs and the game was all but finished. A late rally threatened but came to nothing when the last wicket fell at 137.

Sub-District 200-Club Member, John Forder, playing his first game for the Centurions enjoyed his outing. An opening batsman, John had an early career at Carlton before moving - much too young - to Broadmeadows where he became an institution.

Our special thanks again go to Strath Creek hosts, Don and Anne McQueen for providing the sumptuous luncheon and for making their wonderful facilities available for our pleasure.

Result:
Centurions - 6 for 181
(Daniel Sartori 36 no, Ian Sartori 29; Mark Jones 28; Josh di Camillo 23; Arthur Pritchard 22 no). defeated Explorers - all out 137 - (Daniel Sartori 2 for 17, Ian Sartori 2 for 10; Neil Kilpatrick 2 for 13).


Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas
Suma Park Homestead, Point Lonsdale

Sunday, 15 January 2006

With a much younger and aggressive team than in previous years, the Centurions proved much too strong for the Ian Redpath/Jim Higgs/ Andrew Ponsford-led Suma Park Bellarinas.

Previous years have seen close, competitive contests but this year's game did not achieve the same level of competitive tension.

Perhaps the loss of ex-Victorian Squad and Melbourne & University Cricket Club champion all-rounder, Ian Holten, and the loss of Bellarine Peninsula champion all-rounder, Craig Blick, proved too much for the Bellarinas??

Suma Park batsman, Mike Chesterman, a Master at Melbourne Grammar School, was nominated as the Suma Park "Man of the Match" and was presented with the Centurions tie.

Suma Park, once again, provided a terrific day with the luncheon and hospitality provided by host, Barrie Provan, a highlight.

Centurions' highlights were the big hitting of Travis Baker and North Melbourne Second XI wicket keeper/batsman, Shane Koop, and the tight bowling of ex-Fitzroy swing bowler, Mike Delves, to contain the early Suma Park batsmen.

Match Result :
Centurions
3 for 207 (Grumont 36 ret: Kilpatrick 32 not out; Baker 32 not out) defeated Suma Park Bellarinas all out 124 (David Cordy 4 for 8; Ian Storey 2 for 34).

Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
Bill Lawry Oval

Westgarth Street Northcote
Sunday, 19 February 2006

Played against traditional rivals, the Westgarth Baseballers, on one of the best Premier cricket grounds in Melbourne, this game was comfortably won by the Centurions.

Following the Committee's determination to lower the playing age profile, several new faces including Heath Pritchard (son of Arthur), Matt Wilton, Shane Koop, Travis Baker, and Duncan Harrison were selected. Ex-Northcote batsman, Tim Wright and ex-Richmond batsman, Tim Hargreaves, also played giving the Centurions an athletic look not seen for some seasons. Following a late withdrawal, 13 year old Shaun Brentnall, son of Life member, and inaugural Centurions, Ron Brentnall, was able to take the field and enjoy the experience.

Once again, the Westgarth Baseballers' Mark Brasher (ex-Northcote CC) took to the Centurions attack. Driving fluently through the off side and down the ground Mark scored a delightful 43 retired.

Later forceful batting by ex-Northcote players, Tim Wright and Darren Tindale, saw the Baseballers compile a competitive - but not insurmountable - 143 on a lightning fast outfield

This restricted score was the result of tight bowling by Rex Bennett, Heath Pritchard, Travis Baker, Greg Cull and Duncan Harrison backed by excellent fielding and the stylish keeping of tall North Melbourne wicket-keeper, Shane Koop (providing us with memories of Richie Robinson ??).

The Centurions innings was set up by a solid opening partnership between Matt Wilton and Koop followed by bright innings by Heath and Arthur Pritchard, Tim Hargreaves, Duncan Harrison and Travis Baker.

Once again the day was extremely enjoyable with an excellent afternoon tea provided by the Westgarth Baseball Club Ladies Auxiliary and the involvement of two great cricket people, Centurions' Inaugural Life Member, Richard Parsons, as Match Umpire and former Victorian and Fitzroy legend, Eddie Illingworth, back to Captain the Westgarth Baseballers.

Result:
Centurions 4/145 (36 overs) defeated Westgarth Baseball Club 9/143 (40 overs)

Centurions v Xavier College
Main Oval, Xavier College

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Due to late rain, the much-anticipated Xavier College game had to be abandoned. This was disappointing for Committeeman, David Norris, (who had worked hard to select a Centurions team comprising a number of ex-Xavier students) and Xavier College teacher, (and ex-Northcote batting great) Gerry Dowling. It was intended that the day would be used to provide on-field coaching for the Xavier team. Maybe next year!!




Season 2004 - 2005

Centurions v Explorers
Hume & Hovell Ground - Strath Creek,
Sunday, 12 December 2004

Result:
Centurions
– 7 for 201 (Simon Barras 42, Ian Sartori 38 retired, Dale Thompson 38 no., Andrew Parker-Coates 35 retired; Ron Brentnall 20 n.o defeated Explorers – all out 162 - (Daniel Sartori 3 for 7, Andrew Parkin-Coates 2 for 1.

The game was played in bright, hot conditions at the picturesque Hume and Hovell Ground at Strath Creek. Centurions' Captain David Cordy won the toss and elected to bat in the modified 40 over format. Each innings was broken into two sessions of 20 overs to assist the players cope with the hot afternoon conditions (and the wonderful, long lunch provided by mine hosts Don & Anne McQueen).

At the end of the first tranche of 20 overs Centurions had reached 3 for 93, with Simon Barass and Andrew Parkin-Coates both retired on 35 (each with 2 sixes) leaving Ricky Watts 3 not out and Ian Sartori 8 not out.

The Explorers replied with a very competitive 3 for 88 in their first 20 overs. Centurions’ bowling honours were shared between Daniel Sartori bowling tight leg breaks (1 for 6 off 3) & medium pacer Andrew Parkin-Coates (2 for 1 off 2).

After a filling and delicious BBQ lunch, Centurions continued their innings with their second 20 over session. Watts was the first to go and then Dave Thompson joined Ian Sartori for a well-compiled partnership of 61, with Sartori and Thompson both retiring on 38 (each with one six). The end of the innings was held together by old fox Ron Brentnall (20 n.o.) who, with Thompson, steered the innings to a competitive total of 201 for 7.

The second 20 over session yielded 108 runs.
The Explorers return to the batting crease started poorly with Iverson being run out by a great piece of ground fielding by Ricky Watts in the first over. In the space of four balls in his fourth over, young Daniel Sartori claimed 2 wickets, to have the Explorers in trouble at 7 for 130. However, with the fall of the 9th wicket, Explorers’ opener, Paul Arandt, returned and flayed the Centurions bowlers to all corners of the Strath Creek ground, hitting Centurions captain Dave Cordy for 2 successive sixes, before Cordy slipped one passed him to close the Explorers’ innings at 161.
Explorers Captain, Gerry Hanson and his son, Tim (both fellow Centurions and Vanuatu tourists from 2003) providing the Centurions with plenty of ‘cheek’. Special mention must also be made to Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu ICC Regional representative) and English player, Andrew Parkin-Coates, who gave the Centurions a genuine international flavour.

Thanks also to our Umpire, Brian Smith, (Centurions Member), our "official" scorer Richard Parsons (Centurions Inaugural Life Member) and Match Manager Graeme Templar, for their contribution and to all the players who played the game in the best spirit seen for many years.

Our special thanks again go to Strath Creek hosts, Don and Anne McQueen for providing the sumptuous luncheon and for making their wonderful facilities available for our pleasure.

A great day in the sun – capped off with good food and a resounding win. What could be better!!

 

Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas
Suma Park Point Lonsdale
Sunday, 16 January 2005

Result:
Centurions 5 for 275
(Tim Hargreaves 45; Sam Patel 40; Shahen Patel 40; Bennett 31; Cary 30; Kilpatrick 29) defeated Suma Park Bellarinas 156 (Cary 2 for 13; Gleeson 1 for 7; Bennett 2 for 6; Cordy 2 for 34).

The Suma Park game has always proved one of the most popular games on the Centurions calendar. This year was no exception and the picturesque surroundings of the Bellarine Peninsula, the views over the bay and the wonderful hospitality of host, former Balwyn stalwart Barrie Provan, made for yet another outstanding day - and a Centurions win.

The Centurions fielded a youthful, international team comprising of former Western Australian opening bowler, Sean Cary; former England Under 19 representative, Sam Patel and Indian off-spinning all-rounder, Shahen Patel (no relation) - each of them making their Centurions’ debut.

It was also good to have left arm swing bowler Rob Schaefer back playing with us. Each year Rob turns out at the Suma Park game and bowls beautifully.

Centurions' Member, Mick Harvey, represented Suma Park as did Centurions' President, Tony Hargreaves. Mick’s wicket keeping was, as always, outstanding; however, the President, after lifting his first two balls over the leg side fence to record a strike rate of 600 promptly hit the third ball back to the bowler and inauspiciously departed.

The Centurions batted first and, after a sensible start (94 off 20 overs at the drinks break - Tim Hargreaves 45 retired) quickly picked up the scoring. Neil Kilpatrick, scored a brisk - and stylish - 29; both "Patels" bludgeoned unorthodox 40’s and promptly retired and Rex Bennett smacked a rapid-fire 31 as he did the previous year in the same game. His cover driven six will long remain in the memory of those watching. Ron Brentnall remained 11 not out when the innings closed at the healthy total of 5 for 276 off the allotted 40 overs.

Suma Park was well-served by former Melbourne champion and Victorian State Squad all-rounder, Ian Holten; Centurions' Patron-in-Chief and former Australian and Victoria leg-spinner, Jim Higgs, the Defence Force's Alan Jones as well as Bellarine Peninsula (and ex-Geelong) all-rounder, Craig Blick. Unfortunately, Test great Ian Redpath was unable to play due to conflicting commitments and his contribution - on and off the field - was sorely missed.

When the Suma Park took the field after a long (and delightful) lunch Cary quickly showed he had lost little since bowling Western Australia to a Shield win on the 'Gabba in 99/2000 - (picking up the prized wickets of Matthew Hayden; Martin Love and Stuart Law along the way).

Supported by the crafted left-arm in-swing of Rob Schaefer the opening pair quickly had Suma Park looking down the barrel at 2 for 4. It took a resolute (but not adventurous) partnership of 56 between Ian Holten and ex-University and Footscray middle-order batsman Lindsay Raybould to steady the Suma Park batting. Raybould was dismissed for 24 by a Rex Bennett off-cutter while Holten remained not out 54 hitting a couple of huge sixes along the way.

Each year Holten, a leading micro-surgeon in Geelong, manages to bludgeon the Centurions' attack and he has lost little of the strength and belligerence with the bat and ball which made him such a feared District cricket champion.

However, 276 was always going to be a difficult target for the Suma Park team and wickets fell consistently in the pursuit of quick runs.

 

Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
Sunday, 20 February 2005
Bill Lawry Oval Northcote

Result :
Centurions 6 for 150
(Coates 41; Kilpatrick 29 Wright 26) defeated Westgarth Baseballers 7 for 138 (Bennett 3 for 23; Cary 2 for 14).

As always, the Westgarth Baseballers were able to call on a number of quality former District players to ensure a competitive line-up. Former Northcote star all-rounder and District Premiership player, Shane Metelmann, touted as a Victorian player before suffering a serious shoulder injury, bowled quickly - and well - to concede only 8 runs from his 7 overs. And, not content with a wonderful bowling performance, Metelmann scored a belligerent 40 not out. His "Man of the Match" performances, however, were not enough to get the Baseballers across the line and the Centurions, fielding a strong team, were able to avenge last year’s loss.

The Centurions won the toss and batted on a green - but firm - wicket. New Centurion, Glen Coates, opened the innings with former South Melbourne batsman Mark Jones. Jones was LBW to former Northcote all-rounder Martin Legge in the fifth over and, when English import - and North Melbourne middle order batsman - Andrew Parkin-Coates (nicknamed "Camilla" by his teammates) departed for 23 the Centurions were 2 for 59 off 14 overs.

It wasn't long before Coates compulsorily retired on 41 and Tim Hargreaves didn't trouble the scorer - or deep mid-off with his lofted off-drive - and it fell to Neil Kilpatrick and former Northcote player Tim Wright to "wright" the ship. Together they put on a purposeful 45 for the fourth wicket before Killer was caught for a typically elegant 29. Wright ran himself out for 26 at innings’ end and this allowed (a much slimmed down) Merv Hughes to bludgeon a fierce blow over the fence off the final ball to advance the total to 150 - a competitive total off 40 overs.

Over lunch the question was put - could the Centurions "First Class" opening attack of Merv Hughes; Sean Cary and Rex Bennett achieve an early breakthrough? The question was soon answered when Cary picked up former Northcote top order batsman, Darren Tindale, caught behind in the first over. Two overs later Cary had 2 for 5 with another caught behind and the Westgarth team looked to be in trouble. However, as he has done before against the Centurions, another former Northcote batsman, Mark Brasher, opened his shoulders and scored 32 with some delightful front foot driving. This, combined with lusty hitting from the undefeated Metelmann - who came in with the score at 5 for 79 - saw the Baseballers reach 138 from their allotted 40 overs.

Rex Bennett, after a sluggish start with his ageing shoulder, bowled strongly to take 3 middle order wickets for no runs and exert real pressure on the Westgarth batsmen.

 

Centurions v Geelong Grammar
Corio, Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Result :
Centurions 5 for 185
(Peter Herrick 43; Geoff McKeown 40; Tim Hargreaves 40; Tony Hargreaves 26 not out) defeated Geelong Grammar 5 for 115

The game was played in clear (but windy) conditions at the picturesque Geelong Grammar Oval on the shores of Corio Bay.

Centurions' Captain David Cordy won the toss and elected to bat in the 35 over format. The purpose of the match was to assist the young Geelong Grammar players in their game development and to provide on-field coaching.

The Centurions innings reached 5 for 185 at the end of their allotted 35 overs, with Tim Hargreaves, new Centurions' players, Geoff McEwan and Peter Herrick each batting intelligently to retire after reaching 40.

The innings was completed with Tony Hargreaves undefeated on an elegant 26, amid numerous coaching interruptions – (many asked whether there had been a previous case where the batsman had set the field for the opposing Captain !!)

Special mention must be made to Centurions Captain, Dave Cordy, who, yet again, failed to trouble the scorers. Having finished the season with an average of 0.33 David has surely created a Centurions record.

When the Geelong Grammar boy's took their turn at the crease, they compiled a competitive 5 for 115.

The opening pair, Sturford and Kerr, after a cautious start blossomed under the on-field coaching and saw off the new ball attack in a partnership of 56.

Both boys played some excellent drives once they understood the importance of hitting through the ball. It was only with the introduction of spin from both ends (Tony Hargreaves 2 for 6 and Cordy 1 for 13) that the batsmen looked to be in any trouble.

Grammar's left arm opening bowler, Johnno Dillon, received the Centurions' presentation tie for his excellent spell of swing bowling.

For such a young swing bowler Dillon showed poise and ability and it is to be hoped that he will fashion a senior cricket career when he leaves school.

Too many schoolboys with ability leave the game when they finish their schooling. Dillon, who broke through early to have Jones caught, continued to bowl very well, troubling most batsmen.

New Centurions players, Peter Herrick, Geoff McEwan and Craig Knott each acquitted themselves well and were welcome additions to the Centurions' ranks.

Our thanks goes to Geelong Grammar for its hospitality and its wonderful playing conditions.

Our thanks also go to Master and Cricket Coach, former St Kilda batsman, David Oman, for his enthusiasm and his warm welcome of the Centurions. David does a wonderful job with the school sports teams.

Doug Nield, Geelong Grammar’s Assistant Coach (although he is not a teacher at the school) became an honorary Centurion for the day and played against his own charges.

Needless to say Doug was frowned upon by the boys when he ran himself out - great fun indeed!!

We look forward to further opportunities to work with the Grammar coaching staff to improve the skill levels of the younger cricketers at the school.


Season 2003 - 2004

Centurions v Explorers
at Hume & Hovell Ground (Strath Creek) Sunday, 7 December 2003

After not playing at Strath Creek last Season, it was great to return to this wonderful country ground. The setting and hospitality were, as always, magnificent. A highlight for those playing - and indeed all Centurions members - was the planting of a ceremonial native shrub and unveiling of a plaque by Centurions’ Patron and game host, Don McQueen. The shrub and plaque recognize, in perpetuity, the Centurions' historic link with the Victorian Tourism Award-winning Hume & Hovell ground.

It was also great to have original Centurions' member and Committeeman, Brian Clarke, back playing with us after many years away from the Centurions’ fold. Brian’s success with the ball showed he had lost nothing during his absence.

Result:

Explorers 8/119 (Brian Clarke 3/5) lost to Centurions 6/190 (Mick Harvey 40, Robbie Fowler 28, Dave Cordy 21 n.o)


Centurions v Suma Park Bellarina's
at Point Lonsdale, Sunday 11 January 2004

As always, the picturesque Suma Park ground provided a fantastic day for cricket with the genuine, warm hospitality of Balwyn Cricket Club stalwart, Barry Provan and his lovely wife, Denise.

Unlike previous years, where each game has been closely fought - and most often in Suma Park’s favour - this year’s fixture saw a convincing win by the Centurions.

The introduction of youthful Tim Wright (ex-Northcote); Tim Hargreaves (ex-Richmond) and Greg Cull ensured our success.

Next year we have been assured of stronger competition from the Suma Park team which has boasted an array of ex-State and Test players over the years.

A highlight for all Centurions members was the participation of former Australian Test cricket greats – Ian Redpath, Jim Higgs (for the Suma Park Bellarinas) and Merv Hughes (for Centurions).

We were also delighted that our young Vanuatu guest, Andrew Mansale, was able play for the Centurions.

Andrew, not in the least bit overawed by the occasion, proceeded to win the Man of the Match award with a whirlwind 32 including one of the longest sixes seen at the ground and 4/9 with the ball including the prize wicket of Centurions’ President, Tony Hargreaves, yet again playing for the Opposition.

Result:

Centurions 6/261 (Mick Harvey 49, Tim Wright 49, Merv Hughes 36 Andrew Mansale 32, Greg Cull 38 not out; Tim Hargreaves 21) defeated Suma Park Bellarinas 147 (Andrew Mansale 4/9; Ron Brentnall 2/30)



Centurions v Westgarth Baseball Club
at Schramm's Reserve, Doncaster, Sunday 7 February 2004

This high standard match, played on one of the best spectator grounds in Premier cricket, was undoubtedly one of the most exciting of all the matches played during the season.

The result, in favour of the Baseballers, was not decided until the last over of the day.

A feature of this game for both sides was the participation of former Australian Test Cricketer of the Year, Colin Miller, as well as the lively on-field and post-match performances of Australian Test legend, opening bowler, Merv Hughes.

Anyone who has played cricket with Merv will know there is never a dull moment and Colin enjoyed his first outing with the Centurions - although he said later he found it harder to contain a Westgarth Baseballer in full flight than India's top batsmen on a wearing sub-continent dust bowl! Maybe next year Funky?

It was also great to have ex-Victorian player, and Victorian cricket legend, Brendan McArdle, back playing with the Centurions.

Result:

Centurions 160 (Merv Hughes 46; Ian Sartori 40; Mark Jones 23) lost to Westgarth Baseball Club 6/161 (Ron Brentnall 4/24)

Centurions v Mont Albert Veterans
at Mont Albert, Sunday 21 March 2004

This hastily convened match to replace the traditional Scotch College game in March pitted the Centurions against the reigning Box Hill Reporter Cricket Association Veterans’ triple Premiers.

Recently-retired Premier Cricket champion, and former State player, Grant Gardiner, made his debut for The Centurions and we were fortunate to have some young legs in the field on what was a hot Melbourne day. Grant thoroughly enjoyed his game after twelve months out of cricket and it was not long before he was middling the ball.

Mont Albert, weakened by the loss of a number of its Premiership Team, was unable to make enough runs against the Centurions strong attack led by Rex Bennett who set the tone for the day with a lively opening spell which had the Mont Albert batsmen ducking and weaving.

It was a very enjoyable day with wonderful hospitality and your Committee is keen to make this game an annual fixture.

Result:

Centurions 2/120 (Mark Jones 32; Daniel Trevillyan 33; Grant Gardiner 31 not out) defeated Mont Albert Veterans 115 (Grant Gardiner 2/11 Tony Hargreaves 2/18)


Season 2002 - 2003

Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas
at Suma Park, 12 January 2003

Yet again another cliff hanger occured. Centurions batted first and with new member Alan Chadwick hitting the ball to all parts of the ground and with Ron Brentnall and Rex Bennett enjoying a wonderful ninth wicket partnership, Centurions were able to score 244 before the overs ran out. Suma Park Bellarinas, who were able to include former Test greats, Ian Redpath and Jim Higgs as well as the grandson of the great Australian Test Player Bill Ponsford, were quickly into their stride on the small, picturesque Suma Park ground and were able to pass the Centurions score in the last over.

Our thanks goes to Suma Park owner and former Balwyn Cricket Club stallwart Barrie Provan for the use of his ground and his wonderful hospitality. The Suma Park game is a must for all Centurions members and has produced an exciting result each year.

Result:
Suma Park Bellarinas all out 248 Ian Redpath 56; Andrew Ponsford 52; Jim Higgs 45 not out; Rob Chafer 3/15; Rizzo 3/20.

Centurions 8/244
Alan Chadwick 60 retired; Ross McIntosh 25; Andrew Nunn 37; Ron Brentnall 51 not out; Rex Bennett 39 not out.


Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
at Kew Cricket Ground, 2 February 2003

Previous years' games have produced mixed results; however this year proved a much closer game. With Australian Test great Merv Hughes opening the bowling, the Centurions were able to make early in-roads into the Westgarth Baseballers' batting. Clive Pearsall and Tony Gleeson mopped up the tail, leaving the Baseballers 20 runs short of their target.

Our thanks goes to Kew Cricket Club for the use of its wonderful facilities and to the Westgarth Baseballers for providing the excellent hospitality.

Result:
Centurions 8/157
Neil McDonald 38; Mark Jones 40 retired; Tony Hargreaves 43 not out.

Westgarth Baseballers all out 136
Merv Hughes 2/16; Peter Sells 2/19; Clive Pearsall 2/19; Tony Gleeson 3/11.


Centurions v Scotch College

at Scotch College, 19 March, 2003

Although the weather was windy with smoke haze from bushfires, once again, we arrived to find a perfect wicket and outfield.

The match turned out to be a thriller, with a last ball win to the Scotch boys, thanks to a well planned ploy by Centurions skipper Rex Bennett. Centurions batted first and got off to a steady start thanks to Mark Jones (37 retired) and Neil McDonald (12). We continued to bat steadily, if a little slower until Speros Beasley (30 not out) picked up the pace.

Set 152 to win Scotch also batted steadily and gradually pegged back the score. Needing to score twelve off the last two overs, Rod McLeod came back into the attack and conceded only one run in the second last over. It was expected that the experience of Rex Bennett would prove too much for the Scotch College batting and that eleven runs would prove too many off the last over. The pundits were wrong! ... and the game came right down to the wire with Scotch needing four off the last ball. Yeo, the number ten batsman then hit a beautiful six over mid-off to win the game, much to Rexie's dismay. Best bowling for the Centurions - Tony Hargreaves 2/25 and Graham Templar 2/17.

A big thank you to Gary Peckham and his team, the ground staff and all concerned, for the conditions, the afternoon tea and a very enjoyable day. Thanks also to our umpires Richard Parsons and Ian Aitken.


Season 2001- 2002

This season five matches were played. All but two resulted in victory and, with the introduction of ex-District players, Alan Chadwick; Mark Jones and Ian Sartori to the Centurions’ line-up, supported by Sub-District star Rod McLeod, the Centurions’ match-day strength was greatly enhanced.

Our now-traditional game against the Suma Park Bellarinas (so-named because the picturesque Suma Park ground is located on the Bellarine Peninsula and not for any other reason!) resulted in yet another cliffhanger. Centurions Members will recall the previous two matches against the Bellarinas (who boast amongst their number ex-State and Test players) both of which resulted in the Bellarinas winning by one run.

This year, however, the tide turned and, set 287 to win on the small ground, the Bellarinas could only manage 9 for 279. Centurions Committeeman Tony Hargreaves, yet again representing the Opposition – scored 72 not out for the Bellarinas and ex-Balwyn and Northcote batsman Greg Boxhall made 52 not out. Their last wicket partnership was not enough to get the Bellarinas across the line.

For the Centurions most batsmen got a start and the bowling was tight on the small ground.

Our other games - against The Explorers at the Hume and Hovell Ground at Strath Creek on 9 December 2001; against the Westgarth Baseballers at Kew Cricket Ground on 10 February 2002 and against Scotch College at the magnificent Scotch College Oval on 20 March 2002 resulted in mixed performances.

The Baseballers outplayed us in the wet conditions at Kew while, at both Strath Creek and Scotch College, we won convincingly. However, our trip to Bendigo to play the Bendigo Masters on 18 November 2001 resulted in defeat. We have yet to win in Bendigo.

Nonetheless, the weekend trip to Bendigo is likely to become a highlight of the Centurions year. Bendigo is a wonderful tourist city with many highlights and next year’s game to be played on the glorious Queen Elizabeth Oval will ensure a great time for the Centurions’ tourists.

Results:

Bendigo Masters 213 cc d Centurions 201 (Ian Sartori 27; Neil McDonald 30; Rob Fowler 24; Simon Taverna 31).

Centurions 7/191 cc (Mark Jones 47; Neil Kilpatrick 31; Angus Lester 29; David Cordy 30; Ian Sartori 21) d Explorers 185 (Peter Sells 2/38; Angus Lester 4/24; David Cordy 4/11)

Centurions 5/287cc ( David Cordy 33; Neil Kilpatrick 39; Ron Brentnall 36; Rod McLeod 38; Rex Bennett 35; Mark Jones 34; Tim Hargreaves 24; Graeme Templar 21) d Suma Park Bellarinas 9/279 (Mark Jones 2/14 Rex Bennett 2/15).

Westgarth Baseballers 7/113 (Clive Pearsall 2/5) d Centurions 9/110 (Mark Jones 34).

Centurions 5/186 (Mark Jones 39; Ian Sartori 51; Gary Sanders 43) d Scotch College 5/181 (Arthur Pritchard 2/14)



Season 2000/2001

Centurions v Bendigo Masters
at North Bendigo Oval, 19 November, 2000

In an exciting game the Bendigo Masters were able to pass the Centurions score with two overs to spare. A great weekend was had by those Centurions members who drove to Bendigo on the Saturday and enjoyed Bendigo's many attractions.

Result:
Bendigo Masters 6/150 (Peart 2/14, Brentnall 2/13 )def Centurions 7/140 (McDonald 42 ret)

Centurions v Explorers

at Hume and Hovell Cricket Ground, Strath Creek, 10 December, 2000

In the only match played at the Centurions "home ground" this season, explorers embarrased the Centurions. While the Centurions' bowling performed well to dismiss the Explorers for 144 the batting was not up to scratch on a lively wicket.

Result:
Explorers 144 (Sankey 3/17, Brentnall 3/12, Sartori 2/7) defeated Centurions 47

Centurions v Suma Park Bellarinas
at Suma Park, Point Lonsdale, 14 January, 2001

For the second successive year the match proved a cliff hanger. Centurions batted first to score 7 for 239 with most batsmen getting a start, however the Bellarinas were able to pass the Centurions score with 9 wickets down on the last ball of the match.

The small Suma Park oval offered exciting cricket as all batsmen tried to "put one over the fence". Just as last year many batsmen were dismissed trying!

Result:
Bellarinas 9/240 (Pritchard 2/11, Cordy 2/12) def Centurions 7/239 (Templar 37 ret, Kilpatrick 36 ret, Brentnall 30, Sells 26no)

Centurions v Westgarth Baseballers
at Kew, 18 February, 2001.

Last year the match proved a "fizzer" when the Westgarth Baseballers were dismissed well short of the Centurions score. This year the Baseballers strengthened their team with the inclusion of a number of senior players but were still unable to defeat the Centurions. The Centurions were well-served by University's Brendan Joseland who scored a quick fire 40 and by Committeeman Ron Brentall who took 4/17 with his wily offspinners.

Result:
Centurions 9/148 (Joseland 40ret, Fowler 22) def Westgarth Baseballers 135 (Brentnall 4/17, Sells 2/25, Burnet 2/15)

Centurions v Scotch College
at Scotch College, 14 March, 2001

This year Centurions proved much too strong for Scotch College at the magnificent Scotch College main oval. Batting first, the Centurions scored 2/223 against a workmanlike Scotch College attack. The strength of Rod McLeod and Paul Kennedy soon showed out against the school boys when each was able to score runs quickly before retiring. On the bowling side, Ron Brentall again performed well, taking 2/11 off 7 well composed overs.

Result:
Centurions 2/223 (McLeod 86ret, Kennedy 50ret, McDonald 25, Sanders 25 ret) def Scotch College 5/145 (Brentnall 2/11)


Season 1999/2000


CENTURIONS v EXPLORERS
Strath Creek - 5 December 1999

A magnificent day played in very good spirit. A very strong Explorers XI batted first and amassed 239 (Ross McIntosh - visiting from England - 3/25).

In reply, the Centurions scored 6/242 due mainly to a brilliant, big-hitting 107 not out from South African, Angus Lester, playing his first game for the Centurions. Neil McDonald scored 36 and Richie Robinson (all the way from Queensland) 24.

Our thanks go to our Patron, Don McQueen, and his lovely wife, Anne, for their superb hospitality and support at Strath Creek. Thanks also to Graham Templar for organising the Centurions.

Pictured below is South African, Angus Lester, hitting out in his whirlwind century against the Explorers at Strath Creek.




CENTURIONS v BELLARINAS
Suma Park Point Lonsdale - 16 January 2000


Our first game at this magnificent venue proved very enjoyable - but, unfortunately - not successful.

The Suma Park Bellarinas, with a very strong combination containing two ex-Victorian players and a number of ex-District players were able to pass the Centurions 9/246 (Neil McDonald 52; Arthur Pritchard 39; Angus Lester; 34 and Graeme Templar 33) in the last over of the day when former Melbourne (VCA) Club Champion and Victorian State Squad representative, Ian Holton, and Centurions Committeeman Tony Hargreaves (yes - playing for the Opposition no less!!) combined in an entertaining, big-hitting partnership which saw 58 scored off the last four overs.

Suma Park scored 8/250 (Graham Templar 3/15).

During the day 22 sixes were hit on the compact - but picturesque - Suma Park Oval.

Our thanks to Suma Park owner and former Balwyn Club stalwart, Barrie Provan, for his hospitality and sportsmanship and to Graham Templar for organising the game.

Pictured below are Centurions members and members of the winning Suma Park team enjoying a well-earned beer at the end of the day.
Also pictured below is Centurions' Vice-President, Ron Brentnall, in elegant defence against the Suma Park Bellarinas in January 2000.





CENTURIONS v WESTGARTH BASEBALLERS
Kew Cricket Ground - 6 February 2000

Our annual game against the Westgarth Baseballers is always a very competitive affair with results over the years evenly balanced. This year was an exception.

Centurions 5/165 (Angus Lester 34; Nick Toce 33; Neil Kilpatrick 30) proved too strong for the Baseballers who were dismissed for a disappointing 113 on a flat, high quality wicket (courtesy of Kew Curator and Centurions Committeeman, Neil McDonald). Peter Cawthan took 2/17 and Nick Toce 2/12 with is slo-o-o-w (but well-flighted) off-spinners.

Our thanks goes to Terry Banfield, long-serving President of the Kew Cricket Club for his Club's wonderful hospitality on the day and for the excellent conditions offered to the two teams. Thanks also to Ron Brentnall for organising the game.


CENTURIONS v SCOTCH COLLEGE
Scotch College 22 March 2000


As always, Scotch College provided a District-standard wicket supported by the very best of playing conditions.

Troy Rowe, in his first appearance for the Centurions scored an entertaining 86 and was well supported by Tim Dew (31).

The Centurions scored 8 for 211.

The Scotch College XI managed a very creditable 8/167 - with Peter Sells capturing 2/18.

The match against Scotch College has regularly been a highlight of the Centurions' season and our thanks must, again, go to Gary Peckham at the College for the outstanding playing conditions offered to both teams. Thanks also to Richard Parsons for organising the game.


BRADMAN OVAL
Each year the Centurions competes in the Bradman Easter Cricket Carnival held over the Easter period at Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands. Pictured above is the Bradman Oval together with the magnificent Pavilion and Bradman Museum in the background.



   
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