Sport

Students bowled over by veteran cricketers

Every year, members of the Over 60s Warrandyte cricket team volunteer their time at the two local primary schools to teach students some batting, bowling and fielding skills.

This year, Steve Pascoe, Barry Johnson, John Smith, Norm Darnfield and Ray Baird coached students in the Foundation, Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes at Warrandyte Primary School with a series of Milo cricket drills.

“The veteran cricketers are really entertaining and very enthusiastic about their sport,” said PE teacher Sally Freemantle.

“The students always love it when they visit — it’s a very popular event at school every year,” she said. Steve Pascoe has been involved as a player at Warrandyte Cricket Club since 1976.

He and his team of veterans also run the Milo cricket program at the club, and they’re always on the lookout for new recruits during their school visits. “Milo Cricket is a great initiative,” Ms. Freemantle added.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for children to learn basic ball skills and it’s a gentle introduction to a team sport. “Getting children involved in sports, especially team sports, is so important.

“There are some very important life skills to be learnt by being part of a sporting team, as well as the health and fitness benefits,” she said.

This year the Milo IN2CRICKET program begins at WCC on Friday November 3 at 6pm and is open to boys and girls aged 5–8. Sessions run for up to an hour, using plastic bats and rubber balls.

The program is also designed to be inclusive of children with disabilities. It runs every week through until March, except for the Christmas break.

Venom claim women’s basketball premiership flag

WARRANDYTE Venom’s Youth League One Women’s team crowned a terrific season in early September, winning the Grand Final over three thrilling games.

The Venom women defeated Coburg by five points at the Warrandyte Sports Complex in game three to take home the flag, giving co-captains Casey Taylor and Ellie Lock a fitting send off in their final games for the side.

Warrandyte went into the finals series on top of the ladder, after dropping just two games for the season, and had a week off heading into the Grand Final series, played as a best of three.

However, the week off may have done Warrandyte a disservice according to young gun Maddi Taylor, as Coburg were able to seize their chance, defeating them by 11 points.

“We’d beaten Coburg quite easily in both games during the season, and because we went straight to the grand final we had a week off.

“They didn’t, so they had a bit of momentum heading into that first finals game, and that caught us off guard a bit,” Taylor said.

In game two, Venom were a different force, and squared the ledger at 1–1 after a nine point win. Ellie Locke led the way with 22 points and six assists, aided by Maddi Taylor who scored 18 points, and Simone Caruana, who notched 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

In the all-important deciding game, Warrandyte were too strong throughout the contest, surviving a final quarter scare to run out deserving 78–73 winners.

“We had the lead the whole game and we played really well, in the last quarter they came back a little bit, but we kept our composure and sealed the win in the end.

“I think Coburg actually finished fourth so they did really well to come out and have a crack like they did,” Taylor said.

Locke, Taylor and Caruana were again influential, along with Isabel Feller.

Locke threatened to triple double with ten points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Caruana continued her form on the glass, with 14 points and eight more boards.

Taylor and Feller took it upon themselves to carry the scoring load, dropping 17 points each to bolster the offence. Spearheaded by coach Angela Heigh, Warrandyte’s achievement and ultimate success owes a lot to hard work and a lengthy pre-season.

“Our pre-season started in October last year to try and prepare.

“We did a lot of training, won a pre-season tournament and it’s been a good season just from there,” Taylor said.

No season is complete without an awards night, and Warrandyte were the toast of the town on September 23, at the Big V Awards ceremony at Etihad Stadium.

Simone Caruana and Ellie Locke received a prestigious all-star starting five position, while Caruana was also crowned the league’s best defensive player.

All of the Venom players were invited on stage to accept the trophy, capping off a terrific campaign.

Preparation now begins for participation in the State Championship Women’s league, after promotion was earned in the 2017 season, while Warrandyte Basketball will hold their AGM on October 31.

New coach to give Bloods a fresh start for 2018

AFTER AN entertaining yet challenging 2017 season, the Warrandyte Football Club will head into the summer break with belief that 2018 can bear greater fruit.

Finishing the season in 11th place with three wins, it was decided the senior side needed to take a new direction despite avoiding relegation.

Senior head coach Peter Muscat departed after two seasons at the club, and the Bloods were quick to announce the new man for the job.

Anthony McGregor will be the man to lead Warrandyte into battle for 2018, bringing an impressive portfolio of playing and coaching experience to the position.

McGregor, formally chosen with pick 28 in the draft by Fitzroy, played alongside club greats such as Paul Roos and Alistair Lynch before injuries prevented him from relocating to Brisbane following the famous merger.

Following his playing days, McGregor took the position of head coach at Reservoir, and took a team on the brink of folding into a stable position.

McGregor then coached the Bundoora Football Club reserves, taking them to a grand final, while also assisting in the senior premiership.

With years of experience in the northern football system, McGregor now brings his talents into the EFL, and is excited to take charge.

“I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’ve met Pete Hookey (club president), he’s a fantastic fella and he’s got the club at heart.

“When you have someone at the top who loves it so much, when you’ve got people at the top who do care about the club, once that filters down good things really happen,” McGregor said.

McGregor believes that capitalising on the youth down at the club will be important, and hopes to craft a game plan the youngsters will get behind.

“There’s a great amount of youth, so I think that simplifying the game plan, getting a basic plan we can execute, simplifying rotations et cetera is the way to go.

“Looking from the sideline, I want to get the youngsters to enjoy it a bit more and with that will come success.

“When you start from scratch, to put a win/loss goal on it would be foolish.

“Maybe adding a few bigger bodies will make that turn around quicker, but I think it’s about getting that sense of camaraderie.

“There’s youth on this team who are going to be, hopefully, together for a few years, so the opportunity is there to mould and build a very competitive team,” McGregor said.

On the field, the Bloods played their final game of the season against Scoresby, and while the Seniors fell, the Reserves won a real arm-wrestle to cap off an admirable campaign.

However, the day took on greater significance, as Jake Bentley called time on his Bloods career.

A club stalwart and always a tough competitor, the value of Bentley’s leadership over the past few seasons cannot be underestimated and it’s no doubt he will be sorely missed.

Unfortunately, the senior side were unable to turn the tide after a slow start, remaining goalless to halftime.

Scoresby were able to control the tempo and ran out convincing 47-point winners, 9.15 69 to 3.4 22.

The result left Warrandyte 11th on the EFL ladder on 12 points, ten above East Burwood who finished the season winless.

The Reserves were able to earn a thoroughly deserved win in their season closer, holding off Scoresby to record a 13-point win, 5.7 37 to 3.6 24.

Finishing 6th on the ladder on 32 points after notching eight wins, the reserves were within touching distance of finals and can give themselves a pat on the back after a truly excellent season.

Footballers can now enjoy well deserved rest over the off-season, and gear up for a pre-season which promises much leading into season 2018.

Bullants blast Jets in Grand Final victory

In the U13/3 Netball competition, the Serpell Jets were the clear favourites, coming into the finals with a win/lose record of 10–1, compared to the Warrandyte Bullants 6–5.

However, the Bullants had been the victors in the Jets one and only loss of the season, giving the underdogs some needed confidence in the final.

The Jets started the game like the favourites with a 3–1 first quarter, which was repeated in the second quarter only because the Bullants snuck a goal on the half time siren.

It was looking bleak for Warrandyte Bullants at half time but by three quarter time they had the premiership within reach.

Aggressive defence by Scarlett Preston, a lot of hard work through the centre and around goal and accurate shooting from Amber Gedge saw the Bullants mount a solid third quarter comeback, entering the final quarter trailing 10–8.

Both teams fought with everything they had in the final quarter, setting the large crowd on edge.

The Bullants drew level with 90 seconds to go after a see-sawing nine minutes and with both teams playing so well, it was impossible to tell who would win.

The Bullants hit the front with 30 seconds left in the game but the Jets still had a chance to level the scores as they took the ball to the centre restart.

When the Bullants forced the turn over with only seconds left, their last goal proved to be the winner.

As the siren sounded, there were cheers and tears for both sides with the Warrandyte Bullants winning 14–13.

The winning team (Photo: SCOTT PODMORE)

Warrandyte ace their way to two premierships

THE WARRANDYTE Tennis Club get to hang two new premiership flags from their rafters after their open Section Five and Section Six teams won their grand finals last Friday night.

The Section Five side defeated Yan Yean Red 42 games to 22 and the Section Six team defeated Wattle Glen 35 games to 28, to win their respective finals in the Diamond Valley Tennis Association’s autumn season.

Both teams were forced to work hard early, they were neck-and-neck with their opponents when rain forced play to stop midway through the matchups.

The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Warrandyte, once play resumed both their teams came out firing and stormed home to victory.

Alistair Tudor, one of Warrandyte’s coaches and the Friday night Junior Convenor said it was great to see the dedication and hard work the players put in throughout the season pay off.

“[I’m] happy for both teams, given that both teams missed out on making their finals last season, it gives them great reward to be able to win both their finals this season.

“For Section Six who were on top of the ladder for the majority of the season it was great to close the season the same way whilst Section Five finishing third on the ladder and managed to knock off the second place team in the semis to progress to the grand final and take the flag,” he said.

Warrandyte’s Section Two and Section Three teams also qualified for the finals this season but were eliminated in the semis after losing to Plenty and Norris Bank respectively.

Even though not all of the teams finished the season as premiers, Coach Tudor believes it is still a huge positive for the club to have all four of their sides makes the finals.

“I think it’s great for tennis in Warrandyte,” he said.

He went on to reflect on the boost to the club’s reputation a result like this has.

“Anytime the club can have success it does great boosting the profile of the club within Warrandyte as well as the surrounding areas,” he said.

He also wanted to thank some special people who played an important role in the teams’ and club’s success. “In reality I couldn’t do my role without the support of the parents.

They are the vital part that makes sure players get to matches and [they] greatly assist me in making sure the competition runs smoothly,” he said.

The teams won’t have to wait long to take back to the court with the next season kicking off on July 21.

Congratulations to Section Six players: Callum Bowers, Hamish McLellan, Nick Davenport, Owen Kelly and Mitch Miskowiec-Robb and to Section Five players: Nicholas Tso, Matthew Quick, Daniel Mizzi(on the ground), Raymond Chen and Chris Milburn-Clark (not pictured) on a great season.

 

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