“RDCA U/21 TEAM MISSES FINALS
Last Sunday the RDCA played its final round match against Eastern Cricket Association (ECA) at Johnson Oval, St.Kilda (St. Kilda CC’s 3XI & 4XI ground ) instead of the main Harry Trott Oval. ECA won the toss and elected to bat on a good pitch. The RDCA achieved early breakthroughs with the opening bowlers to have ECA 2/3 and 3/24. A partnership of over 50 runs, assisted by a couple of missed catches despite tight bowling, increased the run tally. After 36 overs ECA were 8/98 but were eventually dismissed for 145 runs on the last ball with the No.10 batsman hitting a top score of 31.The main RDCA wicket takers were Luke Killey (WDT) 3/19, Tristan Webb (WSO) 2/23 and Mitch Crozier (SCR) 2/31.
After lunch RDCA commenced its innings with a steady 21 run opening partnership (with Will Pleming (KIL) contributing 10 runs). After the opening bowlers ECA introduced three spin bowlers who put the RDCA batsmen on the back foot due to their inexperience in facing good accurate turf spin bowling particularly as the ball kept lower. The innings slumped to 3/21 and then 6/65 with the opener Jai Beaton (SCR) contributing a valuable 42 runs. Wickets steadily fell to 9/97 with Mitchell Crozier (SCR) making 13 runs. Some big hard hitting from Jake Gilbert (LYD) 23 no and Luke Killey (WDT) 13 – each with a big six – took our final total to 131 runs and a 14 run loss. An outstanding performance was witnessed from ECA player, C. McIlveen, making 31 runs and taking 5/19.
As a result the RDCA finished the series with only one win and in 7th place on the final ladder (out of 10 associations). On paper the squad was considered by many to be stronger than last season’s premiership squad, but regrettably did not achieve its full potential in our two loss matches.
On behalf of the RDCA Board and the Senior Committee sincere thanks are extended to Craig Staggard, our excellent Team Manager and coach (disappointingly not one coaching application was received) for his excellent assistance on selections, preparation and administration for and on match days, Darren (“Russell”) Gilbert for assisting with warm ups, our captain Tristan Webb (WSO),our three scorers – Michelle Lockie (BYP), Liz McLelland (WWD) and Paul Pleming (KIL), Mandy Staggard for lunches for our home game and some family members who supported the players. In addition we are indebted to the RDCA sponsor, Paul Attfield, Saxon Sports, for making the excellent new indoor training facilities at Croydon available to the squad for 5 weeks, clothing match equipment and cricket balls (and his usual free advice).
Resultant from the difficulties faced this season in getting commitments from players to represent the Association, a review of all facets of both the VMCU competition, the RDCA approach (both on and off field), squad selection training (maximum of 12 players compared with 29 players two seasons ago),etc., will be undertaken in the near future to enable consideration to future planning, including the possible RDCA continuation in this VMCU competition.
Finally my personal thanks are extended to all the above people who contributed during our journey in the competition. In additions thanks to the Premier Grades Coaches and Captains and their eligible players for putting up with 4 weeks of early season “badgering” from me to ensure that the RDCA had a representative squad following of attendances of only one and five players at the initial training sessions.
Pat Meehan, Chairman Senior Committee & U/21 Co-ordinator”