Season Review 2016-17
What a whirlwind season - its hard to believe that another season has come and gone, and that planning is already well and truly underway for season 2017-18
It seems like just yesterday that we were starting pre-season training; welcoming lots of new faces to the club and trying to get ourselves organized for round one. It must be some sort of indication that we had another successful and enjoyable season or just the fact I’m getting old.
After fielding 11 teams last season, things scaled back a bit this year with nine overall which was still enough to manage. They had mixed results but all represented the club brilliantly and most importantly supported each other and enjoyed themselves.
After the success of a First XI premiership last year, we came into the new year with a clear focus on being competitive in Pascoe Shield but also with a desire to bring success to our lower elevens and to give every opportunity to younger players.
We had a reasonably successful year with Firsts and Thirds just missing finals and the Seconds making it to a Grand Final. The fourths struggled to get wins, but remained competitive the majority of the season and can be very proud of their efforts.
The First XI should have made finals and had only themselves to blame after letting very winnable games past. Having soundly beaten Croydon Ranges during the season, it was hard to see them win the premiership. We also pushed the runner-sup to the limit late in the season. A bit more consistency and we should have been thereabouts in finals time.
The seconds had an excellent year and were simply beaten by a very good side in the grand final. A mixture of youth and experience played throughout the year with a wide range of players standing up when needed was the hallmark of the twos.
In the end the glowing tribute offered by the opposition captain at the Grand Final summed things up as he stated they had a lot of respect for our boys and knew they would have to play their best. He also added that if the youngsters can stick with the club and stick together that they will undoubtedly have great times ahead.
The Thirds had a slow start to the year but got on a roll late in the year with a couple of great victories in the last two rounds to almost force their way into finals. In the end a tiny percentage margin kept them out of finals action – equivalent to a wicket or two across the whole season. Again a mixture of youth and experience was the way forward and there were so many players who stood up throughout the year.
The Fourths didn’t get results in the wins column but did the club proud with their constant fight to stay in games. A win, two ties and a few draws was the statistical result but the real outcome was much needed senior experience for a number of young players with some wonderful role models helping them on their way. There’s no doubt the fourths will improve rapidly over the next few years as more players push into senior ranks.
Well done to Paul Bremner, Graham McLauchlan, Dave Wright and Steve Roberts for the leadership they brought to each of the teams this season. Captaincy can be a very lonely and thankless job at times but these guys all put in terrific efforts this season.
Once again we had a wonderful bunch of juniors spread across all age groups including two under 12 sides and one u16, u14 and u10.
In terms of the scoreboard there was a real mixture of results with the under 16s and the Under 12-3s spending their year‘s at the top of their respective ladders, while the Under 14s and the Under 12-5s found wins a bit harder to come by.
As is the case in any premiership winning season the highlight was our Under 16 premiership side. After a year where they gathered plenty of close wins, the Grand Final turned out to be another nail-biter with the boys getting home with two wickets in hand.
The great thing about this premiership winning team was the fact they had so many contributors across the board. At no stage did they rely on just one or two players with everyone playing their part when needed. Pat Danaher deserves plenty of credit here too as he has worked with this group for a few years now and has really got them playing as a team and understanding the balance that is required between being competitive but still enjoying the game in order to get the best out of yourself and your mates.
The other highlight this season was the performance of the under 12-3s who made the grand final but unfortunately were on the other side of a close one. I had the pleasure of watching the whole game and was very impressed with how this team played and conducted themselves in a high quality game. Scott Wainwright did a great job with this group and I‘m sure they will continue to improve and more success won‘t be far away.
The under 14s ultimately found themselves in a grade that was a bit too tough but without a doubt they will learn from the experience. Cricket is a great leveller and some of this group have had success in the past and will have it again, but you often learn more in the tough times so I‘m sure they will bounce back. Thanks to the efforts and Don Kuruwita and Andy MacCartney in leading these boys this year.
I had the pleasure of working with the under 12-5s this year. An ever expanding side that saw us finish with 15 kids by seasons end. Once again the kids had heaps of fun and learned a bit along the way as well as managing to win a few games.
Tony Miller stepped up at the last minute to look after the under 10s and judging by everything I heard, or saw in photos or at training - they had a ball.
Dave Wright ran the Milo kids through their paces again on Friday nights in what appeared to be organised mayhem. Its great to see these kids starting their cricket journey and there is no-one better than Dave to help set them off on the right path to enjoying their cricket.
Dave has been a constant at Milo for a long time so we are conscious that we need to get a bit more help in that area going forward - hopefully starting with some of our older juniors.
Bryan Mole was again instrumental in getting the juniors organised for this season and we once again thank him for his tireless efforts in getting us off and running with a minimum of fuss.
We dropped off a little this year in terms of our committee work but somehow managed to keep things ticking over. Once again Cam Duck did a mountain of work around the place was invaluable to me as we tried to keep things ticking over.
We ran three successful fund-raisers through the year with the Meat Tasting Night, The Chocolate Drive and a Bunnings BBQ. Each of these brought in much needed funds to keep the club running along with the expanded canteen operations.
As always there are lots of areas we need to continue to improve in. We need more people involved in all aspects of the club to prevent those who carry the load becoming burnt out. We desperately need a Secretary to help us get a little more organized and without a doubt we would welcome other new faces onto the committee.
Coaching and team management are very important across the junior club and we need to expand our ranks on this front. We all know life is very busy and the general support of all parents at juniors is terrific, but please if you have the capacity to become involved in a more official manner, please let us know.
Finally on this front, fundraising is a constant challenge for all local sporting clubs. We really do need additional involvement with these initiatives and new ideas for that matter. As mentioned previously we ran three successful fund-raisers this year but there were many challenges in organizing each, and we need a bit more help. We are also looking to re-establish sponsors across the club and would greatly appreciate any direct or indirect support in this regard.
John Wright Memorial Award
This year we decided to rename our clubman award in remembrance of our the club‘s foundation president, John Wright, who passed away last year. It is due to John‘s vision and hard work through the Heathmont Baptist Church that we have this great club today.
It was our pleasure to present the award to the Smiths (Dwayne, Lisa, Kallen, Lachlan and Nichola) this season as they truly exemplified what this type of award is about as they constantly chipped in and took things on to help the club.
Dwayne has been a stalwart for many years and was regularly last to leave the club with me an Cam having helped with clean up at the end of the day. He also played where needed and stuck to his role in each team despite sometimes really struggling with his back. He was also often found helping out at the under 14s and 12s including canteen duties on Friday nights.
Lisa spent her year making sure Kallen and Lachlan got to training and games on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday morning and afternoon but on top of that was often found cleaning in the clubrooms and helping out behind the scenes including with the canteen.
The two boys stood up with their cricket and did everything to help their sides and support their mates. Lachlan further helped out by playing several games in the under 14s (along with Tristan) despite being well under-age, while Kallen backed up every week in the Fourths. Anyone who plays alongside, coaches or captains Lachlan or Kallen have only positives to share as they are real team-players
Finally it is important to acknowledge Nichola who saw more cricket that most cricket-loving people this season and all without the slightest bit of fuss. Nichola also happily chipped in with the rest of the family at clean-up and the Bunnings BBQ.
Thanks, Smith Family, for awesome contribution this season
As this season rolls to and end, we are underway planning for next year. At this stage we are confident in fielding four senior teams again, and it looks like we will be fielding 6 or 7 junior sides next year.
We will have under 16s, two under 14s, two under 12s and at least one under 10s side. We are also looking to field an all-girls under 12/13 side if we can find enough girls who are keen to play.
As always we hope you have a safe and productive winter and are back at HBCC later in year for another season of cricket. We are always keen to welcome new players and families so please bring others down to join this awesome HBCC family.
Thanks for your contributions and support this year, and please feel free to get in touch with feedback or if you‘d like to know how you can get more involved in the club and help us spread the load.