Legacy-leavers and impact players

JONTY: What a big weekend of sport boys. We had the penultimate round in the DDCA and CCCA seasons, so big results in terms of finals ramifications, and we now have a clear understanding of where all teams are positioned. Marcus, who has been suited by the fact we have had a one-day season, early rain didn’t allow a two-day season, so who has benefitted and who has suffered as a result of one-day cricket?


MARCUS: It’s difficult to say given they were the runners-up last season but I do think playing on such a small ground like Park Oval gives Buckley Ridges a leg-up in the one-dayers.

JONTY: Dave, you’ve got two-day cricket in the CCCA, so it’s a slightly different question for you. From your perspective who has benefitted from the return of two-dayers this season and who hasn’t enjoyed the change.

DAVE: I’m glad you asked young man because I have done a little bit of homework. There are two teams that will just miss out on finals – Carlisle Park and Officer – because the top-four has been settled with one round to go. Carlisle Park went 1-6 in one-dayers this year and is currently 3-2 in two-dayers, so being horrible in the one-day format has cost it a place in finals. I thought the way they were playing lately they could have been a real contender if they had snuck into the top four. The other team, Officer, went two and five in one-dayers this year and they’ve basically split their two-day cricket results, so they’re the teams that have suffered by the return of two-day cricket, based on pure results. And then the top-two teams, Pakenham and Tooradin, six and one in one-dayers and four and one in two-dayers so good teams are good teams no matter the format.

JONTY: In Turf 2, Lyndale has fallen off a cliff since Christmas but they were favourites for relegation coming into the season and will avoid that. They’ve got a really aggressive batting order and it’s come off in one-dayers which it wouldn’t have in two-dayers. Coomoora in Turf 3 is another strong batting side which has made a few 200-plus scores. Rahoul Pankhonia is a batter that comes to mind – can he do what he’s done this season in two-day cricket? Now, this is one that is going to be controversial and I’m glad I’ve written a positive story about Doveton in the paper with Ryan Hendy: Doveton has benefitted from one-day cricket despite looking like they’ll get relegated. The reason I say that is because they have a brittle middle-order and I think that would’ve exposed the gulf between them and the rest of Turf 2. Hendy might’ve struggled in recent weeks to bowl heaps as well…he’s had a groin niggle. On the subject of Doveton, Hendy retired on the weekend, a real champion of the club, and the emotions were palpable. There were a lot of people who came down to watch someone who has impacted so many. I want to ask you guys who are the legacy-leavers in your comp. Dave, I’ll start with you this time. Who has recently retired or is soon to that will leave a real legacy in the CCCA.


DAVE: Did Ryan Hendy retire or is he just dropping down through the grades?

JONTY: Fully retired: when he got dismissed, he knew he was walking off the field for the last time as a competitive cricketer.

DAVE: The reason for that question, Jonty, is the three blokes I am about to mention have stepped down more than retired. Dwayne Doig, from Cardinia, he’s the best off-spin bowler I’ve seen in Casey-Cardinia cricket in the last decade. He’s got 10 different positions he can let the ball go at, he’s like a bike with 10 gears on it. He deceives batters with his change in flight and pace; he’s definitely a legacy leaver, a real champion. And then in the lower grades at Kooweerup this year, there’s Chris O’Hara and Matt Davey, they’re legendary figures who’ve won six or seven flags each at Kooweerup over the years and they’ve stepped down to the seconds. They haven’t exactly dominated but I have noticed that as finals have got nearer, the two of them are starting to appear in the best players a bit more. They’ll definitely have an influence in finals, that’s where they made their name at the elite level. I’m not going to retire anyone Jonty, but I think the next lot of legacy leavers include Rob Elston, a wicket-keeper bat from Pakenham who is 42-years-old I think but still as fit as he’s ever been. He made 368 runs for Pakenham this year, averaging 46, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled the pin from the top level, based on the effort it takes to wicket keep and bat at that age.

Good luck getting him out if he does drop down a peg or two!

Then there’s Michael Giles from Kooweerup. He’s done calf and hamstring injuries – and showing signs age might be getting the better of him and then you have champion cricketers like Tom Hussey and Aaron Avery who are getting to the latter parts of their careers but are still good players who will leave a lasting legacy.

I’m not potting anyone there, more patting these legends on the back and saying they will leave a lasting legacy.

MARCUS: I’m going to pick Matt Chasemore. I don’t know what his status is regarding retirement but he’s bounced around in a lot of different clubs in the area, he won the Wookey Medal in 2015-16 when he played at Cranbourne when they won the Turf 1 premiership that year. The reason I pick him isn’t just because of his CV as far as achievements go, but I was lucky enough to speak to Lucas Ligt last week who is having an unbelievable season for Devon Meadows in CCCA District and he said Chasemore is one guy he learnt a lot off. He said Chasemore had an incredible ability to hit a drive off any length ball, which is something he tried to work into his game and that’s one of the reasons he thinks he’s having such an unbelievable season. I think he’s averaging 104, he’s got 800 runs this season and said Chasemore has benefitted him. Chasemore played in the T20 flag a couple of weeks ago for Berwick so when he calls time it will leave a massive hole in cricket circles in this region.

He’s definitely a legacy leaver.

JONTY: From my point-of-view, without wanting to retire anyone, in a similar vein to Chasemore, he’s been around and improved the culture of a lot of clubs, Mark Cooper. What he’s doing at the moment in Beaconsfield, when he does hang them up, whether he is still at Beaconsfield or he has moved on, that will leave a hole and a lot of people from different clubs will care about that. He’s known for staying back and having a chat in the rooms with opposition teams, a terrific fella. If you look at one club specifically, the Sweeney brothers perform every season and are again peaking at the right time and it’s no surprise that Cranbourne’s form improvement has aligned with that. Those two will leave a legacy.


JONTY: Now boys, with one round to go, is there a big call you want to make about who will or won’t do damage in finals, how it all sits. Who do you have faith in…or not?

DAVE: Heading into the last round of Casey Cardinia cricket, there is a fascinating situation where just 10 runs split Tooradin and Pakenham at the top of the ladder and there is probably less separating Merinda Park and Clyde at the bottom when it comes to relegation. The fascinating thing is the top two play the bottom two so it’s all going to come down to percentage, how many runs are made and how many wickets are taken over the next fortnight to determine a minor premier and who gets relegated. My big call is; whoever finishes on top this week will win the flag, a home semi-final into a home grand final has been a pretty good recipe over the years.

JONTY: Yeah, that’s really interesting, a wait-and-see. My big call, and reason for introducing this topic, is Parkfield last week were playing off to save itself from relegation. They won and they’ve gone on to win this week against Narre Warren. It gives them an outside chance if they get up on the weekend and two other results go their way to make finals. My big call is of the three teams fighting for fourth – themselves, Narre and Lyndale – is if Parkfield make it then I think they are the most likely to cause damage or win a final. The big call isn’t to say that they make it, but I think, secretly, others in the top four would be happy to see them miss.


JONTY: Final topic, we have seen Matt Kuhnemann go over and make his debut in the test match in a must-win match. We have finals coming up. Who from your competitions has not really done anything and might be a no-name to casual CCCA or DDCA followers, but could have an impact in finals. Dave, CCCA, please.

DAVE: Cardinia has an in-form batter and sharp left-arm opening bowler, Matt Welsh, who could cause some damage. I don’t know why he hasn’t played a lot of matches in the seniors, but his last three innings in A Grade he scored 76, 60, and 159 and then he moved up to Premier Division on Saturday and made 49 not out. He’s made 372 runs at 53; he’s taken 16 wickets at 12 and has troubled a lot of players at the level before. From Tooradin, Aaron Avery is a veteran who has been injured, but his experience could prove vital, and Sean Gramc from Pakenham is another to keep an eye on. He reckons he’s faced roughly 50 balls for the year and made 40 runs but he’s the sort of bloke who could come in and make some really important runs.

MARCUS: Imran Laghmani from North Dandenong is one, he played just his fourth game yesterday in the Turf 1 competition against Hallam in a massive game at Hallam Rec Reserve and took 5/46, he ran through the middle order getting the big wickets of Leigh Booth, Matt Cox and Jordy Hammond. He’s a late-order hitter so he’s a wildcard that has come out of left-field that hasn’t played much this season. I’ll also put Michael Davies in from Buckley Ridges, a veteran of Turf 1 who hit 61 on Saturday, his highest score of the year and the first time he’s passed 50. He hasn’t had a great season with the bat but he’s their leading wicket-taker. He’s a power-hitting all-rounder and steady seam-up bowler so if he can catch fire, it will be a massive help for their finals chances.

JONTY: Beautiful. I’ll leave you with two names because we don’t have a lot of time: Dylan Diacono in Turf 3 for Dandenong West. The ‘keeper has passed 15 in one of his last six innings but they’ve kept the faith with him as an opener and there’s good reason for that. I mentioned Parkfield before, if they sneak in, Matt Goodier hasn’t had the season he’d like, with injury and suspension limiting him, but if they make it, everyone knows his quality.

With that we’ll wrap things up so thanks for reading and we’ll be back next week.