Anecdotes – Grand Final weekend (19th & 20th March 2022)
During the week Jane & Julian Bish, one of our quiet high-achieving families relocated to Chicago for a great job opportunity. True to form, Jane, the last person to leave, slipped quietly out of the country without any song and dance. This is an amazing family who have contributed so much to our Community. Julian has been Juniors Director between 2013 and 2016 and has compiled our great Yearbook since 2013. Jane, has managed our Club clothing for around 800 people for many years, run Pink Stumps Day and provided support whenever needed. While losing 2 amazing volunteers is a real loss, the benefit though is that our Club is the better for having the Bish family as part of our cricket family. The other positive is that their sons (Cameron & Dylan) remain and Dylan will be playing in the C2 Grand Final and making sure that mum and dad don’t get much sleep over the next couple of days staying in touch with the game.
What better musical recognition than to make this a bit of fun and channelling the Sound of Music Classic – So long, farewell…
Photo: Jane and Julian (3rd left) Bish with Andrew Miedler and Buzz Burrows with their prestigious Special Achievement Award acknowledging exceptional achievement – 7th May 2021.
Famous Grand Finals
In recent weeks we have run stories on great Semi Final wins. This week the focus moves to Grand Finals – surprise about that. A1 figured in 2 of our greatest ever wins:
Playing ARL who were after their 6th consecutive A1 Premiership, we were 7/51 on a perfect batting strip at Mark Taylor Oval, recovered to score 153 and then dismissed the powerful ARL side for 124 to start the dynasty of 4 consecutive A1 Premierships.
As background, the Final was played on wet Parklands Oval after a week of rain. The A1 boys set up a tent on the ground and took the covers on and off overnight as rain squalls came and went. Playing ARL again after a delayed start we batted first and scored 81 with James Makin top scoring with 28. In an absolute thriller we rolled them for 67 to win our 3rd consecutive Premiership.
The 1995/96 B2 Final (Pennant Hills Oval and Captained by Les Watkins) is arguably one of our most exciting wins. After Hornsby (Minor Premier) scored 295 and batted well into Day 2, we began the run chase with 81 overs available. After being 2 for 2. We went on to win by 1 wicket with the last man in (Peter Rakebrandt), having scored two first ball ducks in his last two innings, batting for 5 overs to support Paul Mullinger (80* with Paul ‘out’ twice off no balls) and who hit the winning runs.
Photo: Stuart Newman (w/k) after taking the winning catch in the 2013/14 A1 Grand Final 2 Parklands Oval.
Music to motivate
After getting the Berowra Oval pitch surrounds ready for play at 4.00 pm, A1 Skipper, Phil Wurth lost the toss and we were asked to bat. Apart from the typically inspirational speech from the Skipper the boys needed some motivational music for the task to take on the defending Premiers. In the dressing room was a loud speaker and music that would inspire even the toughest player – Sheena Easton’s classic – Morning Train
Is there any wonder the Skipper opened the batting and managed to get out 1st ball with such inspiration.
Photo: The A1 boys getting ready to bat in the dressing room and enjoying the sensational music motivation.
McGrath Foundation support
Last season we were awarded the prestigious ‘Pink Service Award’ by the McGrath Foundation in recognition of being one of the top 7 x Clubs nationally in fund-raising support for the McGrath Foundation. Since we started Pink Stumps Day in 2010/11 we have raised $46k going into this season. After Pink Stumps Day at the Juniors Presentation we cracked $50,000 in support of this great initiative. Well done to Simon Joyce and his Team this weekend and to everyone who supported this great cause.
Photo: The Festival of Girls Cricket & Pink Stumps Day was held at Greenway Park & Community Centre – 12 February 2022.
Grand Final appearances
James Makin (A1) is one of our greatest ever Captains having Captained an amazing 9 x Grand Final sides in A1, A2 & 1st Grade T20s with an amazing 8 wins. The story doesn’t stop there. James has played A1 / A2 Grade since 1993/94 just on 29 years!
Apart from Captaining A1 / A2 to these 8 Premierships he has played in 11 Grand Finals and brings up his 12th Grand Final appearance in the top Grades this weekend in A1 Grade.
Photo: James Makin
The season in review
We made it and what a journey. It is worth just taking a moment to recap on what has been an amazing season and testimony to the efforts of so many volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to get us on the field. How about this for a few highlights:
- In August we still didn’t know when or if there would be a season due to Covid lockdowns
- Covid related restrictions preventing our Schools Clinics to promote our Junior Blasters program
- We finished with 824 unique Registrations across 60 Teams (42 Juniors; 12 Seniors & 6 Girls + 74 Junior Blasters + 20 Blowfly players)
- Junior games being cancelled due to Covid close contacts
- Junior Girls Leadership Development programs being run
- Seniors frequently having players out due to Covid / close contacts
- La Nina causing abandoned games through washouts
- Opening of the Community Centre and using this as our 2nd home
For all this and a lot more to happen during the season it is testimony to the fantastic effort of all of our volunteers whom we owe a great thanks to.
Photo: the C2 Blue Team trying to dry out the Montview Oval wicket on Day 1 of the Grand Final – 19th March 2022.