24 Karat Nuggets found in Broadmeadows
Bill Nagel Demolishes Coolaroo
After losing on the first innings, it was a race against the clock as the Valley boys overran a hapless Coolaroo to win the E Grade flag. The game's hero was Bill Nagel with plenty of runs and wickets, who was partnered in success with excellent all-rounder contributions from Roger Chitty and Peter Gardiner (right).
The "E" grade Grand Final of the 77/78 season turned out to be one of fluctuating fortunes. Moonee Valley played Coolaroo at Broadmeadows and lost the toss.
Coolaroo elected to bat first with their openers getting off to a good start being 71 when Peter Gardiner claimed the first wicket of Armstrong well caught by Alan Sutherland for 25. The next wicket to fall was an important one when Joe Hoseman held onto the catch offered by Coolaroo's other opener Kukulies who had batted well and was well set on 68.
This gave Robert "Jumbo" Corollo his first wicket of the match. Roger Chitty and Frank Cano chimed in with 2 and 1 wickets respectively to have Coolaroo in minor trouble at 6 for 180. Coolaroo's Mick Gibbs put up brave resistance for 66 before being spectacularly run out.
Gary Irons, Bill Nagel and "Sudsy" cleaned up the tail leaving Coolaroo was all out for 276. Bill and Roger finished with a pair of wicket each.
Moonee Valley's chase got away to a shaky start with Charlie Distefano caught for 17 when the score was on 29. Joe Hoseman and Sudsy took the score to 53 before Joe was out for 12. Roger Chitty came to the wicket with the score at 58.
He and Nagel played superbly and their century-plus partnership came to an end when the hard working Gibbs was rewarded with Chitty’s scalp. At this stage, captain Peter Gardiner joined the free-scoring Nagel in the middle and the Valleys seemed well placed at 4 for 192.
Disaster was just around the corner, however.
Bill watched helplessly as three Moonee Valley wickets tumbled in as many overs. The Valleys had slumped to a precarious 7 for 214, still needing 72 runs to pass Coolaroo's target. Nagel finally succumbed, bowled for a magnificent 111 and despite a last ditch Peter Bevis and Kevin Gardiner (left) effort, the Valleys failed by 6 runs to reel in Coolaroo's first innings total.
Fate played into Moonee Valley's hands the following week when Kukulies the hero of Coolaroo's first innings was unavailable due to a personal commitment which left the 'Roos a batsman short. A pair of early wickets had Coolaroo in trouble and the only real resistance shown was by West who defiantly made a half century before being caught behind off Nagel's bowling.
The last five Coolaroo wickets fell for 21 runs and their second dig accumulated only a paltry 139. Nagel and Gardiner the wreckers. The game had reached a tantalising finale as the Valley required 145 runs off very few overs. The opposition stooped to using every trick in the book to delay the chase and to reduce the opportunities for an unlikely Moonee Valley victory.
Things looked grim as a restructured Moonee Valley failed to fire and we found ourselves in strife at 4 for 54 at a quarter past five. As time ticked on, the astute Coolaroo captain slowed things down by moving his fielders fine leg to fine leg causing vocal objection by the worried Moonee Valley contingent.
They did not have to worry long as Bill Nagel and Roger Chitty took to the Coolaroo bowlers and proceeded to brain the attack. Moonee Valley ended the game by scoring the 98 runs necessary from only 8 overs with a glorious seven minutes to spare. For a second time in the game, the batting heroes were Bill Nagel and Roger Chitty.
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