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Dart produces fine innings on big stage DISTRICT

By IT Gully RED Hill captain Simon Dart produced one of the finest innings ever witnessed in MPCA cricket on Saturday to play a major role in steering his side to the District premiership. Dart played a masterful innings that saw him bat an additional 71 overs on the final day, on top of the overs he batted last Sunday, to finish unbeaten on 133. With four overs left to play in the grand final, the Hillmen had worked their way into a commanding position and needed just 10 runs off the final 24 balls with four wickets in hand. If the century wasn’t enough to help win the match, the way Dart orchestrated the victory was first class. It took just three balls for Dart to send two balls crashing to the bound-

ary line to give the Hillmen the runs they required to taste the sweetest of all glories – a flag. Social media lit up straight after the match from those from other clubs who had made the journey to Graydens Rd to watch the final day unfold. Describing Dart’s innings, words such as “unbelievable, brilliant, firstclass, a class-above and sensational” were all used. It was fitting for such a memorable performance. It was a superb effort from Red Hill, who resumed the final day at 3/70. Dart and Brent Martin were new to the crease and there were another 238 runs to chase down to claim victory. There were some words exchanged between Delacombe Park coach Ricky Ramsdale and Dart at the conclusion of play last Sunday. Suffice to say that Dart and his charges had plenty of ammunition to come out to play with on

Saturday. Martin was the aggressor and Dart was happy to poke around for singles and twos when play resumed on the final day. Both batsmen were faultless in the first session, however, as they approached tea, Delacombe Park legend Nick Christides was brought on to try and produce something special. With one of the worst half trackers you will see, Martin failed to get onto it and hit it straight down the throat of Andrew Christides. Martin was out for 66 after hitting eight fours in 155 balls. For the first time for the day, the Parkers were up and about. What came next was the defining moment of the match. On 80-odd, Dart tried to paddle-sweep a ball off Ricky Ramsdale, which popped up over the keeper’s head. The fieldsman was in a great position at first slip to take the

catch, however, put down a very simple chance. The very next ball, Dart sent Ramsdale to the boundary with a cracking cover drive. The Hillmen again settled and got to drinks to be 4/232 off 60 overs. Dart was on 90 and Robinson 15. Dart brought up his 100 in the 62nd over, however, requiring another 70 runs for victory, Carl was out for 23 in 45 balls. The score was 5/240. Red Hill wicket keeper Nick Esipoff then came to the crease and completely swung the momentum of the game. Requiring about four and a half runs an over when Esipoff came to the crease, this had been reduced to three runs by the time he went out. Esipoff hit 22 in 14 balls, including a towering six, before going out on the first ball of the 66th over trying to repeat the shot and was caught on the

rope. This brought Lincoln Toy to the crease, whose highest score for the year was 14. At 6/274 with eight overs left, Toy just needed to be there at the end. At the end of the 69th over, the score was 6/280. With five overs to go, Delacombe Park took the new ball. Many around the ground believed it was the wrong move. It proved to be with Dart smacking eight runs off the first over with the new pill. The equation was then 10 runs off 24 balls. Dart picked up a couple after flicking one off his pads, then hit two sensational fours to bring up the winning runs. It was a memorable match and fitting as the last District grand final ever.

Mornington too strong, Baxter ends Heart’s run SOCCER

By Craig MacKenzie MORNINGTON’S title threepeat attempt got off to a flyer last Friday night with an impressive 2-0 away win over Casey Comets. Adam Jamieson’s men bossed their fancied opponent from the outset, particularly in midfield, where Scottish duo Craig Smart and Chris Reid were dominant. The confronting thought for others with eyes on the championship is that Mornington can only get stronger as the club maintains an interest in English striker Josh Hine from Salford City while another forward, Simon Mur, is back after two years in the UK and looking sharp in training. Young Josh Valadon did a fine job deputising for injured captain Simon Webster and linking with Steve Elliott at the heart of Mornington’s defence. The greatest challenge facing Jamieson is managing an embarrassment of riches as he oversees a squad with more depth than he has ever had during his nine-year reign at Dallas Brooks Park. Despite nursing a hernia, an injury he is prepared to carry throughout the season, livewire striker Wayne Gordon remains a thorn in any opposition’s side due to his workrate and the fact that he can finish as well as create. Fellow striker Ryan Paczkowski was immense against Comets, giving teammates further afield an option time and again, turning opponents inside out, scoring a goal and tracking back regularly in a man-of-the-match display. Smart opened the scoring in the 28th minute when he caught Comets keeper Faraz Zenoozi too far off his line and sent Paczkowski’s lay-off over the head of the diminutive custodian and into the top far corner. Two minutes into the second half Paczkowski took a touch with his back to goal then spun and struck a low left-foot shot inside the near post from just inside the area to make it 2-0. Mornington started getting into a yellow card minefield and ended up with six players cautioned. Gordon enjoys playing on the edge and he was testing the resolve of the match officials so Jamieson wisely took him off in the 76th minute and replaced him with Gino Defeo. In the 87th minute Junsoo Park was robbed by Mornington substitute

Mighty Matt: Frankston Pines captain Matty Davis. Picture: Darryl Kennedy

Scott Millar but the tall midfielder shot over from outside the area. Comets’ Canadian import Allando Matheson had entered the fray not long after Paczkowski’s goal replacing Andy Stubley but the closest the powerfully built striker came to making his mark was in the 91st minute when he headed just wide. It was the last goalmouth action of a contest that reaffirmed State 1 South-East’s status quo. This weekend Mornington is at home to St Kilda who has set the local scene alight with five championships in a row. Mornington captain Simon Webster is battling a glute injury but could be fit in time, Mur seems certain to make the matchday squad as does midfield

import Matty Wade who is expected to return from a wedding in England. St Kilda’s gun recruit is former Leeds United and Bury midfielder Zac Thompson. The club has also signed midfielder Brodie Paterson from Geelong and striker Steve McRae from Caulfield United Cobras. A four-goal blitz in a superb 22-minute spell in the first half powered title aspirant Langwarrin to a 5-2 away win over Mooroolbark on Saturday night. A rare Andy McIntyre goal, a double from Nabil Mozaffaruddin and a penalty conversion from Caleb Nicholes seemingly put Langy out of sight but Mooroolbark hit back before the break with goals from Sam

Klepac to make it 4-2. Connor Belger scored late in the second half and Langy cruised to the line. Boris Ovcin returns from suspension for Saturday’s Lawton Park clash with Morwell Pegasus which has taken the scalps of Mornington (FFA Cup) and Malvern City in successive weeks. Baxter celebrated its second derby success over arch rival Rosebud Heart at Baxter Park on Saturday running out a deserved 3-1 victor. It was the first league game Heart had lost since 5 September 2015. Baxter featured debutants Travis Ernsdoerfer, Liam Tinsley and Ben Meiklem while Owen Kilner was back in the starting line-up after a long lay-off due to a knee reconstruction. Ernsdoerfer didn’t take long to make his mark and his cross from the right in the 5th minute was headed home by the unmarked Louis Griffiths at the far post to make it 1-0. A long kick downfield from Baxter keeper Francis Beck in the 15th minute saw Griffith break clear only to send a firm low shot thudding into the near post. In the 40th minute Heart goalscoring machine Dave Greening got into a rare one-on-one but Beck spread himself superbly to effect a close range smother. Ernsdoerfer brought Baxter fans to their feet five minutes into the second half with a cracking drive from just outside the area that was turned wide by Heart keeper Sean Skelly in acrobatic fashion. Heart failed to clear the resultant corner and Baxter substitute Dan Disseldorp struck a low shot into the far corner to make it 2-0. Ernsdoerfer got his name on the scoresheet in the 60th minute after another excellent solo run. The teenager squared the ball for a teammate whose shot was blocked but Ernsdoerfer followed up to tuck away the rebound. Cory Osorio caught Beck off his line in the 77th minute but by then the result wasn’t in doubt. “We weren’t at the races today. We thought we only had to turn up to win and we got punished for that mentality,” said Heart head coach Scott Morrison. Aaron Young resumed training last week and will come straight into Heart’s matchday squad for Saturday’s trip to Reema Reserve to take on Endeavour United.

Heart’s Italian import Marco Cannella was stretchered off in the reserves and the extent of his knee injury wasn’t known as we went to press. The downside of Baxter’s win was Mark Pagliarulo inventing another way to get sent off, this time by being substituted and engaging in a slanging match with the Heart bench which earned him a second caution and a mandatory red card. Baxter gaffer Roy Kilner is continuing his pursuit of teenage midfielder Sam Gallagher from Kingston City but is unlikely to sign the talented midfielder before Saturday’s home game against Noble Park. Two second half goals by Daniel Fotopoulos were enough for Mazenod to see off visitor Frankston Pines last weekend. Pines were without Christopher L’Enclume and Cedric Permal who remain in limbo due to a dispute with their Mauritian clubs over their international clearance. Pines defender Graham Hill was sent off in the 85th minute after receiving a second yellow card and will miss Saturday’s home game against Eltham Redbacks who defeated Peninsula Strikers 5-2. Goals from Strikers’ star Aziz Bayeh saw the sides locked at 2-2 at the interval but Strikers were poor at the back and in midfield in the second half and paid the penalty. Strikers’ boss Craig Lewis is determined to strengthen his squad. Seaford United probably wished it didn’t travel to Anderson Park on Saturday as it was on the wrong end of a thrashing going down 7-1 to Doncaster Rovers. Alex Roberts scored for Seaford. Somerville Eagles marked their FFV league debut with a 2-0 loss at home to Old Mentonians. This weekend’s games: SATURDAY, 3pm: Mornington v St Kilda (Dallas Brooks Park), Langwarrin v Morwell Pegasus (Lawton Park), Peninsula Strikers v Berwick City (Centenary Park), Frankston Pines v Eltham Redbacks (Monterey Reserve), Dingley Stars v Skye Utd (Chadwick Reserve), Baxter v Noble Park (Baxter Park), Endeavour Utd v Rosebud Heart (Reema Reserve), Drouin Dragons v Somerville Eagles (Bellbird Park). SATURDAY, 7pm: Heatherton Utd v Seaford Utd (Bosnia and Herzegovina Centre)

Frankston Times 27 March 2017


27 March 2017  

Frankston Times 27 March 2017

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