Outside their third grade triumph last summer Centrals have battled a bit recently, since winning back-to-back top grade titles the club’s Orange District Cricket Association finals appearances have been sporadic and largely short-lived across all the grades.
That’s why there was so much excitement around the club last Saturday evening, from a holistic and individual point of view.
In a weekend not seen in red and black territory for “a long, long time”, as president Matt Tedeschi said, Centrals’ senior grades went ballistic, routing Kinross in the Royal Hotel Cup on Friday night before pushing into formidable positions in firsts and seconds and hammering Orange City in third grade on Saturday.
On top of that Nick Dunlop (131 not out) and Fletcher Rose (102 not out) became the club’s first top grade centurions since Adam Shepherd scored an unbeaten 124 against Cavaliers back in 2010-11, leading their side to 5-305 declared against CYMS.
Jake Pauletto (76) and Jack Dodds (58) made quick-fire half-tons in Friday night’s win, Nic Freedman (98) fell just short of a century in Centrals’ 146-run third grade win, while Christian Beuzeville (58) and Rowan Dray (51) raised the bat as their side finished 7-242 at stumps against Cavaliers in seconds.
“We’ve had some success from individual teams at times but in terms of the club as a whole, there’s been nothing close to a weekend like that in a long, long time,” Tedeschi said.
“Everyone was pretty excited and it was one our of best turn-outs to our post-match function at the Royal afterwards too.”
“I don’t think you could put it down to any one thing we just had a 24-hour period where we scored runs for a change, and a lot of them, there was nothing out of the ordinary.”
Tedeschi said that kind of effort is the perfect way to head into this weekend, a big one for the club.
With all three of their senior sides playing at Jack Brabham Park Centrals are hosting their Ladies’ Day, which doubles as a Pink Stumps Day in aid of the McGrath Foundation.
“Firsts and seconds were at Jack Brabham together last weekend and that was great, so it’ll be good to have all our teams out there, hopefully it’ll be a bit of a carnival atmosphere,” Tedeschi said.
“We’ll have the pink stumps out for first grade obviously but we’ll have jumping castles and barbecues as well and obviously a few things going on for the ladies, so we’d encourage anyone who wants to get involved to come on down.”
Tedeschi also lauded Centrals’ third grade outfit, and not just for their work on the field. The club pushed hard to field juniors this summer for the first time in a long time, and without the third graders’ effort that may never have come to fruition.
“They’ve been such a huge part of the club’s development, it’s been great,” Tedeschi said.
“They’re very relaxed and really enjoy their cricket and several of them have moved up and played in the higher grades, like Christian (Beuzeville) did on the weekend and he managed to score a half century too.
“But they’ve also helped our push for juniors, in fact we probably wouldn’t have the juniors we do without them, and going to 25 kids from zero the year before is a big step.
“Two of the guys coach one of our sides and do a great job and in the future having that third grade side will, hopefully, provide those juniors with another way to move into senior cricket.”
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