Wade Gleeson reviews the cricket season

WITH the 2019/20 cricket season now completed, let’s take a look at how our local clubs fared in what was a great season of cricket action.

Some teams played finals and some missed out, while others went on to win the premiership. The men’s statistics quoted below are combined from the T20 and 50-over formats.

BOTHWELL CRICKET CLUB: Bothwell I had a pretty good season in fourth grade, but would have preferred a bit more success over all. In the T20s they finished runners up by just 18 runs to St Virgil’s in the grand final. Then after winning nine matches in a row and finishing on top of the ladder in the 50-over format by 16 points, they went out in straight sets during the finals. Although the disappointment would be felt, hats off to captain Cody Eyles and his team. Standouts with the bat were Josh Eyles (498 runs and 18 wickets) and Mathew Eyles (364 runs and 25 wickets). The opening duo of Brock Nichols (37 wickets) and Cody Eyles (34 teamed) up well. Congratulations to Brock Nichols for taking a hat-trick earlier in the season.

Bothwell II played in seventh grade and in the T20 series won one match, lost one and the third was a wash out, resulting in them not making the finals. In the 50-over roster they finished fourth with seven wins and then bowed out after losing the 1st semi-final to Campania by seven wickets. In that match the team was playing one short and was dismissed for just 20 runs. Nathan White had an excellent season making 439 runs and taking 21 wickets, while captain Peter Hansch did well with 21 scalps. A player to watch in coming seasons is youngster Dylan Branch (who also played for Brighton in third grade of the premier league) who made 212 runs and as keeper took nine catches with five stumpings. A very good effort.

In their first season, the Bothwell women’s team did very well. Of their eight roster matches, the team was defeated in the first three rounds, then in the next two they secured the points from forfeits. With the final three rounds, the team strung together three very good wins which put them in the top four for finals. They played off in the semi-final, going down to Montagu Bay. During the season Leisa Pearce did well with the bat making 94 runs while Jemma Burke took 11 wickets and Kristy Mayne got 45 runs and took five wickets. In all it was a very good effort in their inaugural season. Well done to club secretary Rachael Clark who was instrumental in getting the team up and running and she had great support from club president Joey Eyles and vice-president Traci Millhouse. Well done to all team members on what was a historic achievement for the club as a whole.

Gretna I, runners-up for 2019-20, back from left: Todd Jarvis,
Glenn Blackwell, Mathew Burns, Corey Ransley, Trent Grant,
Adam Browning (12th man); front: Aaron Maddox, Marc
Worldon,  Jamie Duggan, captain Ben Rainbird, vice-captain
Jackson Ackerly, Rhyn Browning. Mascot: Cooper Gleeson. 

GRETNA CRICKET CLUB: Gretna I again played in second grade and in the T20 matches finished second in Pool B, but then lost the semi-final to Richmond/Cambridge by seven wickets. In the 50-over season they won eight matches from 14 rounds, with the final-round victory giving the team second place by percentage and the double chance in the finals. Gretna again made it to the grand final, but was beaten by top-of-the-ladder New Norfolk II by 54 runs. It wasn’t a bad season, but after being runners-up for the past two seasons, they will be looking to go one better in 2020/21. Ben Rainbird (570 runs) and Mathew Burns (448) did well with the bat, while Aaron Maddox and Mathew Burns both took more than 20 wickets each with Burns also taking a double hat-trick in round 14.

Gretna II had a pretty good season in fifth grade. In the T20s they finished on top of Pool A and played off in the semi-final, going down to eventual premiers Rokeby. In the 50-over roster, they won seven of their 14 roster matches, finishing third on the ladder. They then played Claremont in the first semi-final where they lost by 26 runs. Zac Crosswell made 453 runs in the season while Josh Whitford, Bailey Wheeler and Adam Browning all took more than 20 wickets each.

MOLESWORTH CRICKET CLUB: Molesworth I had an indifferent season in second grade. In the T20 matches they won one of the three matches and didn’t make the finals. In the 50-over format, they managed to win seven of their 14 roster matches. After winning six of their first nine matches, they then lost their next four in a row. A big effort in the final match saw them make the very big score of 7/392 against the Knights, with captain Jamie Adams smashing 151 from 134 deliveries. But this wasn’t enough and Molesworth didn’t make the finals, finishing fifth. Brothers Brad Coppleman (525 runs, 27 wickets) and Daniel Coppleman (406 runs) doing well with the bat, while Jeremy Nichols took 27 wickets.

In seventh grade, Molesworth II missed out on the finals in the T20s, finishing last, but in the 50-over roster finished fifth. Winning eight of their 14 roster matches played, and considering their were 10 teams battling it out for a top four finals set-up, it was a pretty good effort. Captain Jack Evans led by example, making 448 runs with the willow and taking 16 wickets, and Ben Triffett captured 11.

New Norfolk I players with the SCA first-grade shield.

NEW NORFOLK CRICKET CLUB: What a season it was for the Red Caps! New Norfolk I began the season doing well in first grade of the T20 Super Bash. After defeating Wellington in a thriller in the semi-final, they then went on to defeat Old Beach in the final by 33 runs. From this win, the team made it into the Hurricanes Community T20 Cup at Blundstone Arena on the turf wicket. Here they defeated North Huon in the semi-final to earn a place in the grand final against Devonport. In a very good contest, the Red Caps gave it their all, only to just miss out, going down by the small margin of six runs. In the 50-over matches, they won 10 of their 14 matches and then in a spectacular fightback won the second semi-final over Wellington and advanced to a home grand final. Unfortunately this match didn’t go ahead due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but fittingly after finishing on top of the ladder and being the best team all season, the Red Caps were declared premiers for season 2019/20. It’s not how New Norfolk wanted to win the premiership, but I guess that’s the advantage of finishing on top. With the bat, coach Jason Rigby scored 474 runs with 20 wickets for the season, while Seb Wishart scored 432 runs and 15 wickets, and Josh Rowlands took 17 wickets.

New Norfolk II team members, back from left: Nathan Rice,
Richard Graham, Bradley Chaplin, Sam Hoggett, Stewart Rice,
and Mitchell Crosswell; front: David Maddox, captain Jake King,
vice captains Rohan Heron and Jamie Hill, and Josh Walsh.

New Norfolk II started the season by not making the finals in the T20 format, but it was a much different story in the 50-over roster. The Red Caps powered through the 14 rounds losing just two matches and finishing on top of the ladder by the big gap of 23 points. In the finals they then won the second semi-final and grand final over Gretna I to take out the premiership in an excellent effort. For the season, openers Rohan Heron and Jake King shone with 609 and 566 runs respectively. Among the wicket-takers were father-and-son Stewart Rice with 32 and Nathan Rice with 18.

Playing in fifth grade, New Norfolk III won one of its three T20 matches, finishing third in Pool A and as a result didn’t play in the finals. In the 50-over roster, the Red Caps won four from 13 matches played and finished seventh, missing out on finals action. Among the runs and wickets over the two formats, captain Nathan Heron did very well with 246 runs, 25 wickets and a double hat-trick in a great performance. Young Jordon Gittus made 203 runs and took nine wickets, while David Mitchelmore took 15.

The New Norfolk Women’s team again coached by Brad Kemmler continued to show how important it is to have female cricket involved at club level. Although the women didn’t make the finals, they had some good individual performers, in particular in Lisa East who took out the team’s best and fairest award and also was named in the KSCA team of the year. East scored 174 runs for the season, with highest score of 35. Others to do well were Kelly Read with 103 runs and three wickets; Amity Booth 101 runs and seven wickets; and Teagan Kemmler 82 runs and five wickets. This roster featured 20-over matches over eight rounds, plus finals.

New Norfolk once again ran a successful junior cricket program, fielding two Under-13 teams in the Cricket Tasmania Hurricanes Junior League. Both teams this season were made up of mostly younger first-time cricketers and credit must go to coaches Josh Walsh and Todd Jarvis for their work with the boys as the improvement by all was outstanding over the course of the season and I’m sure all will be returning.

A special mention goes to Josh Walsh who was also the club’s junior development officer. Josh has been coaching and organising the juniors over the past five seasons and before this was the co-ordinator of the former Milo In2cricket and T20 Blast programs for the younger children. Josh’s knowledge and efforts over the past seven seasons has been exceptional and the way the kids look up to him is a great reflection of his hard work. Well done mate, you’re a real asset to the New Norfolk Cricket Club and the wider community.

Before I conclude, a massive shout out goes to all club officials and volunteers, whose efforts nowadays basically go all year round and are greatly appreciated. It takes a lot to keep a cricket club running and with out you all, things wouldn’t run as smoothly as they do.

Lastly, please look after each other during this unfortunate coronavirus pandemic. Things will be tough on each and every one of us, but we Tasmanians are resilient. Until next season, stay strong.

WADE GLEESON

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