We gave it our best shot!
Moonee Valley went down fighting in the North A1 Grand Final, and in the final analysis we ran out of overs after Day 3 was washed out.
Our Firsts overcame a mid-season slump to finish third of the ladder, and a strong Semi Final showing carried us through to the Grand Final.
But a couple of moments on the first weekend - when we let Sunshine off the hook after having them 8 for 116, and then losing two wickets in the second-last over of the first day's play - meant we struggled to gain the ascendancy.
At right: Our Grand Final team: L-R. Back - Michael Ozbun, Channa DeSilva, Matt Thomas, Mark Gauci, Rajan Aiyappan, Charles Bibby and Nate Wolland. Front - Nigel Cowan, Lou Raffaele, Chanaka Silva, Daniel Comande, Jack Newman and Anthony Cafari.
We considered ourselves a big chance after the first weekend, but losing the whole of the second Saturday's play to rain changed the complexion of the game.
Instead of having to scrap and fight for 160 overs, Sunshine knew it only had to defend on the last day - and attacking shots were few and far between.
The March 17, 18, 24 and 25 Grand Final was held at the Sunshine YCW ground, Kinder Smith Reserve in Braybrook.
AN UNDER 14 PREMIERSHIP FOR THE
Moonee Valley's Under 14 White team took the honors in a tough Friday night final, and brought home our 13th junior flag.
Playing Essendon over the two evenings, we always seemed to have the match in hand, even though the final result was close.
Moonee Valley ran down Essendon's total of 180 runs only four wickets down, but with just one over to spare.
It was a great team effort, highlighted by consecutive unbeaten 50s in the Semi and Grand Final by Nam Nguyen, who also played much of the season in the senior Sevenths.
A 48 by Thomas Kruspe and 29 by Jakob Haskell also helped anchor the run chase.
At left: Coach Peter Pickering stands proudly with our Premiership players: L-R: Back - Luca McMonagle, Thomas Kruspe, Thomas King, Nam Nguyen, Pranav Matha, Riley Walsh. Middle - Thomas Nightingale, Dejan Gilevski, Thomas Barnett, Harry Pickering. Front - Jesse Maljanek-Smith, Jakob Haskell.
The well-deserved Premiership was our first junior flag since our Under 12s won in 2011/12, and our first in Under 14s since 2008/09.
Our Valley boys finished fourth on a tight-packed ladder, and our position in the finals came down to the wire - we won our last game comfortably, but five runs was all that stopped the fifth-placed team from securing a win and leapfrogging us.
We beat the top-placed Doutta Stars seven wickets down in the February 23/March 2 Semi Final, then overcame Essendon in the March 9 and 16 Grand Final.
Congratulations to our Premiership winners!
Our Most Valuable Players - all our winners
The Moonee Valley Cricket Club held our Most Valuable Player awards at the Laurel Hotel on March 11, and the worthy winners of our prestigious awards were crowned.
Votes are cast on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis for each game of the season, so the awards sort out the week-by-week contributors from the flash-in-the-pan players.
At right: Our MVP winners: L-R Matt Esmore (3rds), Jim Polonidis (2nds), Liam Farrell (6ths), Simon Thornton (4ths), Chanaka Silva (1sts), Mark Gauci (7ths) and Danny Terzini (5ths).
The votes were cast round-by-round on an electronic screen - thanks to Peter Golding's computer expertise - and while some of the voting was close, we had a couple of runaway winners in the grades.
Winners in all seven grades were in attendance on the night to receive their MVP medallions.
The night also counted the Fieldlow votes in each grade, and the Fielding Award trophies will be presented at our Presentation Night at the Moonee Ponds Club on Aprl 14.
Our thanks to the Laurel Hotel in Ascot Vale - one of our major sponsors - for hosting the night, and to Peter Golding and Simon Thornton for tallying ad compiling the votes.
Thanks also to Michael Ozbun, Matt Thomas, Channa DeSilva and other members for organising the venue and the night.
The MVP was a good bookmark on the long weekend to a hard-fought two days of finals, and enabled our Firsts to let their hair down - briefly - after their hard-fought semi final win.
It was also a chance to acknowledge the Thirds, who came agonisingly close in their semi final after recovering from a tough start with the bat.
It's also important to acknowledge that two of our other teams - the Sixths and the Sevenths - pressed a couple of weeks into the finals before bowing out. And our Under 12s and second Under 14 team are still in the thick of finals, with crucial games this coming Friday.
For more pictures and detail from the MVP, click HERE.
HOWZAT?? WE'RE OUT (OF THE PAVILION)
We’ve now vacated the Ormond Park rooms to allow construction to start on the long-awaited new $2 million pavilion.
It’s been an eager build-up since our local ward councillors Jim Cusack and Nicole Marshall pushed through the rebuild in the 2016 Moonee Valley Council budget, but it’s now set to take shape on the ground.
We moved our last gear out of the old rooms on February 28, into storage in our shipping container, and have now taken up residence in the portables on the north west corner of the playing field.
Fittingly, the move straddled the 300th game of club legend Mark Gauci – we played the first day of the two-day game against Jacana out of the old pavilion, and completed the outright win on Day 2 operating out of the portables.
Above: The "Starlight Lounge" clubrooms - 300-gamer Mark Gauci (left) gets used to our temporary social area while our new clubrooms are built, while the Sixths take up a table in the background.
Our temporary complex comprises a bar/canteen portable, three changerooms – one for the umpires – and two toilet/shower blocks.
After the outright win over Jacana propelled us to third on the ladder and guaranteed the Firsts a spot in the finals, we were able to celebrate in the “Starlight Lounge” – the parkland around the portables.
Our temporary liquor licence incorporates the same days and hours of trading that we had in the old pavilion, and allocates us an ample outdoor licensed area to incorporate plenty of viewing of our games.
We will be handing over to football in the coming weeks for the winter season, and then expect to operate out of the temporary digs for all or most of the 2018/19 cricket season.
While there will be disruption for our players, supporters and members while the project rolls out, the inconvenience will be worth it when we move back into our new pavilion.
We’re continuing to liaise with the Council over the temporary facilities, including measures to best protect players and supporters from the weather, and will continue to update our members as the work progresses.
***For more pictures from our first night socialising at the portables, click HERE
How to join the Valley - here's all the details
Moonee Valley Cricket Club trains at Ormond Park on Tuesday and Thursday evenings until the end of the 2017/18 season. We have seven senior sides - four on turf and three on hard wicket, and a range of Saturday and Sunday games to suit all options.
Anyone interested in joining our successful and progressive club for next season can phone coach Lou Raffaele on 0450 181 948, or Club President Charlie Walker on 0411 705 381.
Interested juniors can phone Junior Co-ordinator Peter Pickering on 0414 800 145 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Club contact details:
* Charlie Walker - President 0411 705 381; 0409 237 543; 9370 1802
* Peter Golding - Treasurer 0419 009 721
* Simon Thornton - Vice President 0417 570 779
* Peter Pickering - Junior Co-ordinator 0414 800 145 email@example.com
* Channa DeSilva - Director of Junior Cricket 0402 833 592
For more contacts, see " Office bearers & Officials " under "Club News & Info" at the top of the page
Last updated: March 28, 2018.
For more of our history, including our Premierships, click HERE
Applications close April 14
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Our winning batsmen at the end of the game - Chanaka Silva (left) and Anthony Cafari
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Our MVP and Fieldlow winners
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