Bitter sweet for the True Blues
Date of Event : Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:24AM
Nathan Caton-Robertson and Tom Collins celebrate the Fourths win

We started with four teams and finished with two teams still alive after the first week of Premier Cricket finals.


The Seconds and Fourths have advanced to next weekend's semi-finals with the Thirds and Women's Firsts bowing out.


It was heartbreak for the WP1s at Toorak Park on Saturday as Essendon Maribynong Park won the toss and put us into bat.


It only took one hour though for EMP to gain the ascendency as Prahran wickets tumbled and we slumped to 6/34 with the top order all back in the pavilion. A fighting 36 off 95 balls by Tara Norris, with some support from Gemma Triscari (16), Maddie Stirling (12), Rosie Wynd (4) and Tiana Atkinson (4) helped the True Blues bat through to the 49th over and finish on 124.


A wicket in the first over gave some hope but 124 was never going to be enough and EMP chased down our total in the 40th over to win by four wickets.


Apart from some hiccups late in the day for the Thirds and Fourths, all men's teams were in good positions after Day One of the men's quarter finals.


Nick King celebrates his century with partner James BillingtonNick King was superb at University Oval and carried his bat for a career-best 156 not out of the team total of 8/308 declared. Facing 271 balls over the five and a half hours he was at the crease he accumulated 19 fours and two sixes along the way. Support came from Ryan Hartley (54) and James Billington (39) although no other True Blues managed to post double figures. With eight overs available before stumps Jeremy Devlin removed Iqbal and Uni were 1/24 overnight.


In the Thirds match against Northcote at Greenvale the True Blues were on top early and had Northcote 2/1. Wickets fell regularly and at 7/63 the True Blues were well on top before Northcote's tail dug in and they pushed through to 165 all out in the 68th over. Key wicket takers for Prahran were Mason Warne (4/50) and Ajay Bhatt (3/39).


However, Northcote struck back and the Thirds were 3/11 at stumps with Kuzma, Clarke and Bhatt all back in the shed.


The Fourths were also in the field against Footscray Edgewater at the Melvyn G Hughes Oval where they dismissed the Doggies in the 72nd over for 226. Early wickets for Footscray meant we were 2/6 early but managed to bat through to be 2/19 at stumps. Key wicket takers were Nathan Caton-Robertson (5/34), Tom Collins (2/14) and Tom Sudano (2/39).


Day Two at University Oval saw the True Blue's quicks dominate with some lively bowling from Jason McNally (4/11 off 8.3), Daniel van der Merwe (2/36), Jeremy Devlin (2/29) and Will Sutherland (1/26). Uni couldn't get going and went to lunch at 8/93 and were all out for 115 not long after. 


The Thirds lost quick wickets on Day Two and slumped to 5/26 before Nick Blaich (32) and Sam Ferguson (19) put on the best partnership of 35 for the sixth wicket. Prahran all out for 96 and a 69 run win for the Dragons.


It was a different story down at Footscray though where the match went down to the wire. Resuming on 2/19 the Fourths showed plenty of fighting spirit and steadily chased down the 227 runs required with 8 balls remaining and the last two batsmen at the crease. Main contributors were Clinton Bricker (50 off 138), Huw Gatford (36), Jay Jhamb (33) and Tom Sudano (23).


Congratulations to those teams that have tasted success this weekend and commiserations to those that didn't.




Next week's semi-finals will see the Seconds take on third placed Essendon out at Windy Hill, and the Fourths will play fifth placed Carlton at Princes Park No. 1.





Last updated: Monday March 13, 2017 8:19PM
Author: Nigel Hutton

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