Shaun Lay and Todd Watt inducted themselves into TOSCC folklore on Saturday as their match-breaking efforts guided us to a solid win against Old Scotch, taking us into the Christmas break in third place on the premiership ladder.
Batting first, Lay and Ardene Ruhode busted apart the opposition from the start with our coach, unusually, taking a back seat as his partner hit the opposition to all parts.
That’s not to say Deano was slow, scoring 47 from 64, as he added a third straight significant score, but Milney was on absolute fire, scoring 13 fours and eight sixes on his way to 149* (142 balls) and into the club’s top-five highest historical scores.
His score took him past the 145 of Brad Cameron (2012/13) and Austin Smith (2019/20), and also our previous highest A1 score (surpassing his own 121* last season). It was also his 10th career century.
Our opening partnership was worth 151, with Milney and Mitch Dearing (16*) then taking the score to 2/230 after the 40 overs.
The Scotch chase started slowly but productively, moving to 47 before Watt claimed the first of his four wickets for the day.
The visitors struggled for traction, soon finding themselves 4/94 with Matt Claughton securing a return A-grade scalp and Jarryd Furnell collecting the next two.
This provoked somewhat of a recovery as Scotch moved to 165 and maintained some hopes of victory before Brad Schaper struck.
From there, it was the Watt Show as he first dismissed top-scorer David Scholz’ (81) and then removed two more wickets to collect the club’s fourth hat-trick and first since Brad Cameron’s in 2015/16 against Penfield.
Scotch batted the innings out, but never looked like making a late charge and finished 8/201.
In the B grade, we had high hopes with a quality team stepping onto the field against Adelaide Lions, but soon found ourselves in what is now known as the Indian position – 4/16.
Thankfully, unlike the team at the Adelaide Oval, our boys made a small recovery to post 130 from our 40 overs.
Jace O’Hara was the surprise top scorer, in a nice return from injury, showing good discipline to make 48 (his second highest score for the club). Matt Bailey (16) and Dylan Milhench (16) ensured we had something to defend.
We had a good crack at it early, removing 5/55 and with Tom Jones and Stef Lainas tying them up with 3/28 from their combined 18 overs.
However, they didn’t lose another wicket and went on to make 161 from their 40 overs.
Our C grade didn’t play but would have taken a little consolation from India being dismissed for a new record low 36, the same as they made when they were recently all out for a historical club lowest score.
In the D grade, we took on top side Eyre Royals on their home deck but lost by 10 runs in a good contest.
Batting first, the opposition made 9/172 with Cam Fletcher taking three wickets.
In reply, Joel Milhench made 47 but struggled to get any scoreboard support until Fletch added 34 more than doubling his previous high score.
However, it was not enough as we were dismissed for 162 with 11 balls left available to us.
We now head to the holiday break and look forward to seeing you on the other side of the new year.