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Keeping family values at WCC is in the blood

AS ONE OF THE biggest clubs in the Ringwood District Cricket Association (RDCA), with nine senior teams, teams in juniors and veterans in just about every available age group, and over 300 members, you could feel lost and disconnected with so much happening.
At Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC), that could not be further from the truth.
This is a club that is as much a part of the community as each of its players.
Speaking to Club President Royce Jaksic about the family feel at the club and how Warrandyte are able to achieve it, Royce said the club was lucky we have a lot of dads who love their cricket.

“It’s rare to find a sport you can play with your sons.
“I have played one or two seasons with all three of my sons and won a few flags; they’ll be some of my best memories.”

Warrandyte is an amazing community, but it is less populous than many of the other areas around the RDCA; the fact that so many people want to be around the club is not by accident.
It is a place where you feel welcomed and accepted, regardless of age, even if you have never played cricket before.
Royce says that he wants Warrandyte to feel like a destination club and that as those coming through the ranks now “start to have kids, they think, I want my kids to be down here because it is a safe environment.”
That is not limited to just father and son either; with the women’s team in its second year, not only are there father and son combinations but now mother and daughter combinations.
Getting more girls and women into the sport is important, but it does not mean it is just the younger generations getting in on the act.
One of the families at Warrandyte, the Grocott family, has mother, father, and two sons, all playing for the Bloods.

“That family is just a salt of the earth family, Royce said.
“Di sits on the committee in the welfare space; we are blessed to have someone of her ilk if any players have mental health problems.
“It is the kind of thing you just can’t buy.”

Son Patrick started playing at the club at 10 years old, has played in the Firsts and is the keeper for the Seconds.
His brother Jeremy has also started playing at the club, and his dad Steve started playing in the Over-40s and is the keeper for the 8th XI.
A family of keepers, Di is the keeper of the Women’s team and has been playing for both of the years the team has been around.
Steve Grocott told the Diary he knows: “one of the great things about WCC is how it brings families together, something this club is proud of.”

Warrandyte set for a ton of finals action

Heading into the New Year, a majority of the Warrandyte teams would have felt they were lower on the table than they would have liked.
Some close losses hurt and add a disjointed start to the season, the break was a chance to clear the mind and come back with a renewed sense of vigour.
Clubs look to their leaders for guidance and at times for that spark.
In the case of 1st XI captain Ben Taylor, it was less a spark and more a roaring blaze, as back-to-back hundreds — 123 not out and a 110 in an outright victory —  plus an 11-wicket match from Nuwan Liyanapathirana have set the Bloods up for another finals tilt.
Results from the opening rounds of 2023 are below.


Bloods sweat and tear through Wantirna South’s Webb

The forecast for 38 degrees forced the lower grades to be called off, but for four of Warrandyte’s teams, it meant game day was still very much on.
Losing the toss and being sent to bowl against Wantirna South, the 2nd XI would need to make sure they didn’t let the game get away from them early.
Bowling a wide-ish line to start, the Bloods picked up two wickets for just 14 runs which had the energy high.
But, C. Webb from Wantirna South looked to steer the game away from the home side, and at the drinks break it was 2/38.
The heat was rising and the pressure to find the breakthrough increased.
Unable to really get a partnership going with Webb, Wantirna South lost 2 wickets more before tea, but had added nearly 50 more runs, 4/86.
Crucially, only 36 overs had been bowled, and with the heat getting more oppressive, a strong partnership after the break could all but put Warrandyte out of the game.
And indeed that is what happened, as the two Wantirna south batsman made a great start, Webb hitting a four first ball after tea to bring up 50, and then the runs started flowing, boundaries and quick singles, the Bloods struggling to find an answer to this onslaught, within nine overs of the restart, Wantirna South had put on 50 runs for no wicket, and Webb was into the nineties.
Things looked dire for Warrandyte, before a fantastic catch from Brown had the young Bloods back with energy, Webb was still in on 92 but suddenly the game had a bit of intrigue.
Three maidens in a row and then another outstanding catch, this time from Warren.
Then another wicket, first ball, and suddenly Malluwawadu was on a hattrick.
This game was heating up, both literally and metaphorically.
Inches, mere inches, from a hattrick, Warrandyte controlled the end of the innings and rolled the visitors for 186, C. Webb making 123 not out.
With 19 overs to face in the first days play, Warrandyte came out and just went for it.
Brown made 50 inside the first seven overs, Malluwawadu following suit, hitting 50 off 46 balls.
Warrandyte nearly had 100 inside 14 overs and, had Brown not been caught and bowled, the game could have finished on day one.
As it was, Warrandyte was 1/114 at the close of play, and a game that looked like it was slipping away, was suddenly all but won.

The following week, Warrandyte knew that the game was there to be won early and a potential chance to hit the runs quickly and then try to bowl Wantirna South out again, but to the visitor’s credit the bowling was tight, and made the Bloods earn every run.
Slowly but steadily the target was chased down, at the score hit 150, 3 wickets down all the Bloods players in the stand were suddenly glued to their phones, and the MyCricket app, as news that first XI captain Ben Taylor was again in the 90s whipped around the ground.
After a few minutes of score tracking, and the news that it was back-to-back tons for Taylor, the gaze switched back to the middle, and the drinks break which saw the Bloods 3/158 off 39.
Chasing this kind of target, you lose wickets going for quick runs.
As the game plan was to try and be proactive, it was Lachlan Haberfield with a four to bring up the runs for victory, and then he hit two into the creek, bringing up 200.
50 in 55 balls and the lead passed 50 as 3pm rolled in.
At tea, the Bloods were 7/260, with 44 overs left in the day.
Some 4 overs later and some quick-hitting, Warrandyte had a lead of 107, and send Wantirna South back in.
Another 18 overs later with the score 0/18 and a rare Haberfield over, the players shook hands and walked off the ground.
Warrandyte with a win that now has them in a strong position to make the top four and gives them a shot at the double chance.

1st XI

Round 10
Warrandyte 6/235
Kilsyth 232

B. Taylor 123*
L. McAlary 52, N. Liyanapathirana 4/39, B. Matherson 3/45

Round 11
Mooroolbark 89 & 123
def by
Warrandyte 4/215 (dec)

B. Taylor 110, N. Liyanapathirana 4/33 & 7/34

2nd XI

Round 10
Kilsyth 5/165
def by
Warrandyte 4/167

A. White 2/32 & 54*, H. Brown 55

Round 11
Warrandyte 9/293
Wantirna South 186 & 0/18

Malluwawadu 64 & 3/61,
H. Brown 58, L. Haberfield 53
(Special mention to Wantirna South player C. Webb with 127* & 5/105)

3rd XI

Round 9
Hoddles Creek 2/155
Warrandyte 8/152

HM Hodgson 34

Round 10
Warrandyte 7/195
North Ringwood 8/193

B. Bowyer 49, JP Aitken 39 & 2/31, M. Whitbread 3/25

4th XI

Round 9
St Andrews 3/106
Warrandyte 105

N. Croft 32

Round 10
Warrandyte 124
def by
Yarra Glen 6/128

J. Weatherley 50

5th XI

Round 9
Wantirna South

Round 10
Montrose 6/248
Warrandyte 6/238

D. El Moussalli 66, S. Goddard 45

6th XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 6/205
Hoddles Creek 5/186

A. Barclay 49, D. El Moussalli 44, M. Butcher 43

Round 10
Chirnside Park 6/188
Warrandyte 8/165

G. Warren 4/39, M. Butcher 53

7th XI

Round 9
Lilydale 133
def by
Warrandyte 9/143

B. Stubbs 3/13, M. Tredrea 2/17 & 46

Round 10
Wonga Park 3/120
Warrandyte 117

C. Prior 2/10

8th XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 5/179
Chirnside Park 7/177

S. Grocott 53*

Round 10
South Croydon 5/135
def by
Warrandyte 6/152

R. Potter 3/19

Women’s 1st XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 3/153
Officer 67

V. Muleta 50* & 2/10, L. Trevena 30*, R. Watts 4/8

Round 10
Wandin 1/106
Warrandyte 7/96

Round 11
Warrandyte 2/99
def by
Yarra Junction 2/108

Y. Ziada 48*

Round 13
St Andrews 1/145
Warrandyte 5/143

V. Muleta 65

Round 14


Cricket returns to Warrandyte Reserve

CRICKET SEASON is fast approaching and Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) is ready to take to the crease.

Bloods stand ready to take the crease

THE TARGET HAS been set at 80 per cent double vaccination, the scoreboard is ticking over at a solid rate as the supply of shots increase, whatever happens from here, whenever we reach the required rate, Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) will be ready.
We are a long way from going back to sport, and life as we knew it.
But sporting clubs are planning and putting in place the necessary work to ensure that when we finally return to play, it is done correctly.
Speaking to the Diary, Greg Warren from the WCC has outlined the plan for the club moving forward.

“Cricket Victoria are in control of the return date for all the leagues,” said Greg.

While no exact date has been set, Greg says the club and Cricket Victoria are working towards a return to training and competition in November.
Cricket Victoria are aiming for the weekend of November 6/7, which is earmarked as the first weekend after the lockdown ends, assuming the state hits its 80 per cent target.
This would be the best-case scenario, but Greg says that the association have several contingency plans, and the club will comply with any additional guidelines.
WCC need to work with Manningham Council to have a return to play and train plan in place, and Greg says, with regards to compliance “we are advanced as we can be”.

“We have a COVID Plan, and a return to play plan.
“And a hospitality plan so we can use the clubrooms.
“We have the QR codes which are a way of life, we did alot of this last year so this time around it is not as challenging.”

With so much out of the control of the club, the focus turns to making sure those who want to play, can play.
The season, whenever it takes place, is shaping as one with a good player turnout.

“We are confident, as club player registration is going well, at this stage interest is as high as it has ever been.” Greg said.

Just having numbers is not enough for WCC, the goal is to make sure that everyone feels included and everyone can play, regardless of their situation. In what has been a tough time socially and financially, WCC is committed to its players and the community.

“If a player is having trouble with a job, struggling to pay fees, and they want to play cricket, our first priority is to get them playing cricket, the fees come second.
“That’s our investment, the players and the community”.

The biggest struggle this season will be ground space.
With eight senior teams as well as juniors, womens, and veterans, plus a general increase in playing numbers across the competition, having enough grounds to play on will loom as the main 2022 challenge.
It will be important that any ground available is in top condition, and at Warrandyte Reserve, that process is well underway.
The cricket wickets are uncovered and new run-ups with hybrid grass / synthetic are being installed on both the centre wicket and training nets.
Then later in the month a new wicket cover will go on the centre pitch; all in readiness for the season ahead.


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     Growing opportunities for women’s and girls’ cricket


WOMEN’S CRICKET is growing in popularity across Australia and the world, and Warrandyte is no different.
Girls’ Coordinator, Michelle Heffernan said Warrandyte Cricket Club is excited to be welcoming two Junior Girls’ teams to the club this season.

“After last year’s team success, the girls are looking forward to getting back out onto the field.
“With more girls interested in playing we can provide more opportunities fielding both stage one and stage two teams for the season,” Michelle said.

Girls aged 7–17 will have the opportunity to play and beginners are welcome.
Junior Girls play for free for their first year, so it is a great way to try out a new sport.
WCC Women’s Social team are also looking forward to getting back on the ground and will be fielding a team in the brand new Inner East Social Women’s competition.
This T20 competition is played every second Sunday and, with eight teams registered, is becoming increasingly popular.
Sharon Lyons from Cricket Victoria said they are looking keenly at Victoria’s roadmap to see when play can begin.

“It is looking like being a great competition, we are very excited,” she told the Diary.

Michelle said it is a “fantastic way to have a hit and have some fun on a Sunday”.
It is free to join, thanks to Eastern Cricket Association and Box Hill Reporter League.

“We are always looking for new players in the girls’ and women’s teams and look forward to welcoming you to the Warrandyte Cricket Club,” said Michelle.

For more details or to get in touch head to www.warrandytecc.com or email mheffernan1975@gmail.com

Girls Cricket team 2020/21

WCC’s Under 18s Grand Final thriller

Photo courtesy Warrandyte Cricket Club Facebook page

THE MIRACLE on Grass had nothing on the ending of the Under 18 Grand Final.

Many in the Warrandyte cricketing fraternity will remember where they were on the final ball of the day, when Halley Simpson’s straight drive brought up the game-winning four and a maiden Under 18s Premiership.

A non-result would see first-placed Nunawading take the title and with rain forecast for day two of the fixture it was win or go home.

The feisty Box Hill Reporter decider had it all.

A screamer from behind the stumps, a smashed car windshield, an extraordinary batting collapse and a nerve-rattled Warrandyte crowd.

The visitors were handed the pink kookaburra in the twilight match to get the game underway.

Giant-killers strike hard with the ball

Warrandyte 7/102 def Nunawading 99
B Haslam 4/8 & 11, B Poole 26 & 2/22, C Rakuscek 22 & 2/17

Co-captains Brady Poole and Chris Rakuscek took the new ball and were faced with locking down Nunawading’s star batsman; a player who, until the Grand Final, had averaged 107 for the season.

Reputations mattered little to Poole.

On the sixth ball of his first over, he had Nunawading’s star player out for a duck, trapped LBW to get the innings off to a flyer.

Valuable wicket would be understating it.

The score-line quickly read 2/11 after Rakuscek joined in to claim his first of the day, caught behind by wicket-keeper Flynn Whetters.

Nunawading recovered with a 58-run partnership in the middle overs, but this would be the bulk of their runs for the innings as Warrandyte’s bowlers began to up the carnage.

Tom Jackson rolled in and ripped the partnership in two, taking the wickets of both batsman very quickly, to wrench back the momentum.

The 22nd Over took full marks for pure bowler devastation, courtesy of Blake Haslam in the first over after drinks, one the home side would never recover from.

Ball one saw Haslam’s delivery clatter into the stumps for an immediate strike.

Three searing dot balls followed as he continued to unsettle the opposition.

Ball five caught the outside edge at pace and looked to be going well past Flynn Whetters behind the stumps — until he stuck out the glove to reel in a one-handed screamer.

Ball six also caught the edge but Whetters was able to easily drag it in for Haslam’s third wicket of the over.

A game-changing one.

Poole returned in the 23rd and claimed a crucial wicket-maiden.

Warrandyte had claimed 4/0 to send Nunawading tumbling to 8/76.

A mini tail-order resistance at the end was disrupted by Rakuscek with a sharp caught and bowled for the ninth wicket.

Blake Haslam took the honour of the 10th, finishing with a marquee performance of 4/8 and helping to bundle out the opposition for 99.

The equation was now deathly simple.

With 13 overs to bat and rain on the horizon for day two, Warrandyte would need 100 runs on the dot for Premiership glory, with their batsman allowed the license to hit.

Ice-man Simpson etches himself into the history books

The message from Warrandyte’s skippers was clear.

Go, and go hard.

Harry Brown and Chris Rakuscek were charged with getting the innings underway and Brown enthusiastically swung the bat with vigour to get Warrandyte off to the perfect start — 11 runs off the first over.

Rakuscek got off the mark with three runs and Brown crunched one to the mid-on boundary before he was forced to depart after being caught.

Blake Haslam took no time settling in with a couple of boundaries before he was caught for 11 and Brady Poole signalled his intentions with a first-ball four.

At the end of the sixth over Warrandyte found themselves 2/50 with the game well and truly in the balance.

The two co-captains went to work and managed to put on a 46-run partnership.

Controversy reigned as Poole was seemingly dismissed on a no-ball and after being re-called proceeded to launch the only six of the match, a towering shot straight over the bowlers head and squarely into the windshield of Bailey Bowyers car.

Poole was eventually dismissed for 26 off 23 deliveries and with three overs to go and 22 needed, the intensity was ramped up to 100.

Max Coutts was sent in to club a few runs and managed a boundary before he was dismissed.

Rakuscek departed for an anchoring 22 off 22.

Tom Jackson received a less than enthusiastic reception to the middle and he was suddenly dismissed to reduce Warrandyte to 6/87.

Tom Heffernan came in and with no hesitation launched a valuable boundary to cow corner, but his subsequent dismissal on the second ball of the final over left the score at 7/92.

Eight runs to win, Halley Simpson and Gus Ramsdale at the crease.

A ghostly Warrandyte crowd couldn’t take it.

Several were on their haunches, but they needn’t have worried.

Simpson’s first ball was dispatched for four runs.

He played the fourth ball of the over for two runs.

Two runs needed for victory.

A dot on the second last ball of the day had the crowd on the edge of their seat.

Two off the final ball would secure the Premiership for Warrandyte.

The bowler placed his delivery on a length and with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever, Simpson pounced on it with a textbook, lofted straight drive over mid-off.

Even before the ball hit the fence, the team and the crowd were in raptures and members of both groups alike rushed to the middle to swarm Warrandyte’s hero.

Warrandyte had secured their inaugural flag by three wickets.


Warrandyte Cricket launches into season 2018/2019

After a productive pre-season at the WCG, the cricket club launched its 2018/19 campaign in style at the local clubrooms.

Club President Ryan Hoiberg addressed the strong crowd in attendance after the final pre-season hit-out of the year, announcing a raft of key changes around the club, including the introduction of a 7th XI side due to a growing number of players.

“From a club perspective, looking back six or seven years ago when we struggled to get three or four teams on the park, to suddenly have seven sides competing just shows the clubs continued growth which is sensational,” said Hoiberg.

Former President Greg Warren was named as Captain of the inaugural side and Treasurer Ben Sproat was announced as Vice-Captain.

New coach Scott Handley delivered his maiden speech to the attendees, outlining the recent reshuffling of the leadership team and his vision for the immediate future of the club.

“I’ve never coached a club this big before, it’s fantastic to see 50 to 60 blokes around the place.

“I’d like to thank Ryan and Greg for giving me the opportunity to come in as coach of the club and I’ve loved the energy so far,” said Handley.

The announcement of club captains was headlined by Ayrton Dehmel retaining the 1st XI role with his deputy and reigning Steve Pascoe medallist Luke Killey named as Vice-Captain for the sides return to the Bill Wilkins Cup.

Campbell Holland will continue as 2nd XI skipper and Brandon Stafford was named as Vice-Captain.

Bill Stubbs will continue to helm the 6th XI side that made it to last season’s Grand Final.

Four new captains were announced to lead the remaining sides.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th XI teams will be helmed by Luke Warren, Shaun Ison and Pete Hanson.

Junior competition

Warrandyte’s prided Juniors program has been identified as a key part of the upsurge of players in recent years and continues to go from strength to strength.

A record 10 teams are set to compete this year, including two new girl’s teams spear-headed by Sophie Day.

Day has worked tirelessly in the off-season to generate interest in the new teams.

“Sophie has been doing some unbelievable work to engage with new cricketers for the upcoming season,” said Hoiberg.


Warrandyte’s community sponsors were also on hand to get the season underway, including The Grand Hotel Warrandyte, Quintons Supa IGA, Bendigo Bank and local member for Warrandyte MP Ryan Smith.

The club also confirmed new sponsors Donvale Rotary Club and Jellis Craig Real Estate.

Spirit of Thommo

Good core values are the key to promoting a positive club culture.

In memory of Andrew Thomas, who passed earlier this year, at the end of the season, the club will bestow the inaugural Spirit of Thommo award for the member who best exemplifies the clubs core values over course of the coming season.

Kicking off the season in style

Mick Spence wasted no time settling in to the 2018/19 cricket season, rewriting the Warrandyte Cricket Club history books with a blistering 200* runs in the opening round.

Spence has become the clubs second double-centurion in the Bloods 163-year history, a mere 12 runs behind club legend Cameron Day and number one on the individual score table (212 2014/15)

Spence walked out to the crease at Stintons Reserve in the 11th over with the Bloods sitting at 2/53.

By the close of his innings he had driven Warrandyte’s score to an imposing 8/370, scoring more than half that total off his own bat.

The runs came early for the number three batsman who picked apart the opposition bowling attack with exceptional technical prowess.

His 61-over stint was chanceless until the later stage of the innings, utilising the cover drive to its full effect.

Spence sent a staggering 28 deliveries to the fence including 27 fours and a six.

Spence was just as instrumental in the bowling attack, sending down a marathon spell of 18 overs the following week to record figures of 1/28 with five maidens to subdue a determined South Croydon batting line-up.

He consistently cramped up the opposition batsman with full, left arm in-swing bowling and did not concede a single extra in his 108-deliveries.

His all-round performance proved to be the deciding factor in the C-Grade contest as the first-innings total proved insurmountable for South Croydon who fell short by 110 runs.

Family talent Poole runs deep


Most families are proud to boast just one child playing high-level sport at a young age. Other families, such as the Pooles, are lucky enough to possess three. Brothers Brady (13), Darcy (16) and Jack (19) have established themselves as cornerstone members of Warrandyte’s cricket program, all playing roles in the First and Second XI for the Bloods.

The trio recently reached significant milestones within the local cricketing landscape for different reasons.

The brothers were first the talk of the town when they were all named to play together for the Second XI at the beginning of the season, before Brady made further waves when he became the youngest player in club history to run out for the Firsts aged just 13.

“We started off the year in the Twos – at the start of the season Dad said there was a huge announcement about it at the team selection – it was a big surprise that Brady was playing Twos because he played Sixes last year, and it was a really big deal that we played on the same side because we play so much cricket here in the backyard. It’s really great playing with each other,” said Darcy Poole.

After all playing together for the Second XI, Brady was eventually named in the Firsts, an honor that wasn’t lost on the young all-rounder.

“It was a big deal – I didn’t really expect it to be honest – certainly at the start of the season I didn’t expect to; just to be playing with people who have played at a good level of cricket, a level I want to play at when I’m older it’s a big deal to me.

“It’s different, there’s more persistent play.

“You play against some really good players who have had good careers in cricket and then come back down to a local level — it’s not too huge a jump from the Seconds, but it’s noticeable,” Brady says.

One of the major benefits of playing up the order for the boys has been the opportunity to play and work with club coach Jake Sherriff, which both brothers consider a massive benefit.

“When I first played with him that was one of the biggest things, playing with someone who has played district cricket; but even last year when I was in the Sixes, which is the lowest division, he was still coming down and telling me how to improve my game,” Brady said.

The family’s progression is made more remarkable when you consider just how young they are and how much experience they lack.

Both Darcy and Brady have just four years of cricket under their belt, and even less senior cricket exposure.

Despite this, both players are logging strong individual and team performances.

“I’m a batsman, I don’t really bowl much, personally I made 87 earlier this year just before Xmas,” Darcy says.

“I’m more of a bowler, and sometimes bat, but not usually in the seniors – I don’t have too many standout games, I haven’t had the standout performances like Darce – I’ve probably had more success keeping teams playing the way we want them to play,” Brady says.

The journey the brothers have taken to becoming talented cricketers began with Jack, who as the eldest was able to influence his younger siblings.

“We both started playing at the same time because Jack forced us to go down to training – it was after Christmas a while back and we had just started playing backyard cricket — he told us to come down see what is like and we haven’t stopped since,” Darcy says.

“Before we started playing cricket we didn’t even think about it, we thought it was boring, Dad would be watching it and we thought “why would you watch tha”, but we started to get into it and now we can’t stop,” Brady says.

Warrandyte Cricket Club are certainly glad that the brothers made the decision to pick up the bat and ball, and with youngest brother Oscar — aged 11 — still waiting in the wings, the Pooles may soon have another superstar wearing the baggy whites at Warrandyte Reserve.









Warrandyte’s mighty hat trick

WARRANDYTE Cricket Club has experienced another successful year, taking home three senior premierships in the Ringwood District Cricket Association for 2015/16.

Victories for Warrandyte’s Third XI (Don Smith Shield), Fifth XI (Timothy Court Shield) and Sixth XI ensured the Bloods added more silverware to their recently bulging trophy cabinet.

It was a busy finals campaign for Warrandyte across the entire club with five of the six senior teams qualifying for the finals and all of those five winning through past the first week.

The impressive Third XI made it to the big dance the hard way. Arguably deserving to finish on top of the ladder, Warrandyte had to settle for third place and an elimination final against Lilydale due to an anomaly in the draw and a last round defeat.

Warrandyte made light work of the opposition in the knockout game, easily defending a monstrous 305 on the second day. Warrandyte reached the total thanks to the well-poised batting of Tom Ellis and Cameron Day, before Stuart Howarth and Shaun Ison brought the team home strongly.

Ison would prove to be the games X-factor, taking three wickets when Warrandyte had its turn with the ball, to compliment U16 player Ben Jackson’s four wickets.

The following week, Warrandyte faced Kilsyth to book its ticket into the Grand Final in what proved to be a tighter contest. After being restricted to 151 on a slow ground, (with Day doing most of the heavy lifting with the bat) Warrandyte’s skipper Stewart Smead delivered with the ball, taking 5/10 in a romp to ensure Warrandyte would play another week. Playing as the only senior team in the third week of the finals, Warrandyte had a large crowd in attendance as it took on the competitive East field at a neutral ground. The Grand Final was an intense affair and became a one-day fixture following rain interruption on the first day.

Warrandyte had 35 overs to play with and restricted Eastfield to 117, largely due to more terrific bowling from Smead. That left Warrandyte facing a tricky run chase in a high-pressure situation, and the Bloods needed to keep their heads. Consistent wickets kept East field in the game, until Chris Jackson and Dean Gidley combined for the ninth wicket to guide Warrandyte home to an unlikely victory.

The Fifth XI also welcomed 11 premiership players to the history books, with an emphatic Grand Final victory over Templeton at the Warrandyte Cricket Ground.

To reach the final, Warrandyte was required to chase down 100 against a tough Montrose team, but completed the turnaround thanks to some dogged batting by Peter Hanson. Warrandyte put on a nervous display with the bat in the Grand Final, which may have been influenced by the size of the occasion. The home side managed 125, with Nathan Croft providing a mature captain’s innings before Warrandyte took the ball to defend the total.

Thanks to clutch bowling by Aaron Dean and Ryley Reardon, Warrandyte pegged back Templeton, despite the away side needing just 40 runs with seven wickets in hand. Warrandyte was able to celebrate a truly incredible come-from-behind win because of a complete team effort.

The Sixth XI have also done the community proud with comprehensive victories over Olinda and then Eastfield in their finals campaign. In the first matchup, Warrandyte cruised to victory following a strong batting display from Travis Jackson and Bailey Thomas, with bowlers providing ample cover to defend 269. Bill Stubbs was the one to do the damage, with strong support from Brady Poole, Claire O’Brien and Max Coutts. Heading into the Grand Final, Warrandyte faced tough competition, highlighted when Eastfield put on 171 in its innings.

Stubbs and Andrew Thomas worked hard with the ball to ensure Warrandyte would have a strong chance of reaching the Eastfield score.

However, the total would turn out to be nowhere near defendable, with Graham Rees, Bailey Thomas and Brady Poole providing strong support to club president Greg Warren, who was the star of the show.

Warren would finish not out on 90 runs, an incredible effort by the club stalwart to ensure a team compromised of a mix of veterans, junior and seniors would take home the flag.

In the other grades, despite a first round win for the First XI and 13 wickets from coach Jake Sherriff in the finals, Warrandyte’s senior side would suffer a poor batting collapse in its preliminary final against North Ringwood.

Warrandyte’s Fourth XI would also be knocked out on the penultimate weekend of the year, with another batting collapse costing the team. The week before, five wickets from John Prangley and strong batting from Hoiberg and Goddard would guide them past South Warrandyte.

First XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte 136 (Dehmel 39) d. Warranwood 117 (Sherriff 8/41). Preliminary Final: Warrandyte 74 (Dehmel 28) def. by North Ringwood 6/83 (Sherriff 5/25)

Third XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte

9/305 (Ellis 69, Day 57, Haworth 41) d. Lilydale 165 (B Jackson 4/41, Ison 3/24). Preliminary Final 151 (Day 86) d. Kilsyth 49 (Smead 5/10, C Jackson 3/14). Grand Final: Warrandyte 8/118 (Ellis 18) d. Eastfield 7/117 (Smead 4/15)

Fourth XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte 176 (Hoiberg 97 not out, Goddard 41) d. South Warrandyte 153 (Prangley 5/31). Preliminary Final: Warrandyte 64 (Kline 15) lost to Wonga Park 8/167 (Weatherley 2/4)

Fifth XI

Semi Final: Warrandyte 8/102 (Hanson 32) d. Montrose 100 (Woodhead 3/25). Grand Final: Warrandyte 125 (Croft 31) d. Templeton 115 (Dean 4/15, Reardon 3/10)

Sixth XI

Semi Final: Warrandyte 4/269 (Jackson 62, B Thomas 58) d. Olinda 83 (Stubbs 3/16). Grand Final: Warrandyte 2/176 (Warren 90 not out) d. Eastfield 171 (Stubbs 4/20, A Thomas 3/22)