With the new season just around the corner, Camberwell Magpies have taken the opportunity to get in some much needed match practice. With most of the boys up at 3:30am for the 6am flight, the squad was greeted with clear blue skies and warm weather, and immediately felt unaccustomed to these foreign conditions after such a long winter.
Western Suburbs were first up, and on what appeared to be hard and flat pitch, Captain Brendan Drew elected to bat first. Simon Hill took the first steps towards another big season with a classy half century, while Drew and Jake Martin both got valuable time in the middle. A typically powerful display from Chris Thewlis saw him also pass fifty, guiding the Magpies to a total of 8/239. Facing strong opposition, the Magpie bowlers took wickets at regular intervals throughout the middle and latter stages of Wests innings, with highlights including Mark Dwyer’s 2-31 and run out, Matt Whittaker’s 2-30 and Tom Vanderslik’s 3-42 to bowl Wests out for 227. Despite showing a few signs of rustiness at times, Camberwell ran out winners by 12 runs in a great contest.
Again awaking to bright sunshine, this time the Pies took on local hosts Northern Suburbs. Bowling first this time, the home side got off to a strong start. This advantage was pegged back by some tight and disciplined middle over bowling from Whittaker (1-25), Vanderslik (1-34) and Chris Bridle, and led in the field by Angus Brown. Leading wicket-takers for the day Harrison Goad (2-46) and Mark Dwyer (2-38) finished off the seesawing innings as Norths finished at 6/249. The first half of Camberwell’s reply was very encouraging, with Daniel Rawson passing 50, and other solid contributions from Jake Martin, Tom Russ and Chris Thewlis respectively. However, a combination of no individual big score, and poor shot selection derailed the innings, with Camberwell falling 30 runs short.
Overall, this was a highly successful and beneficial trip for the squad, with valuable time in the middle and experience gained from all members. A huge thank you must be reserved for all those of the Northern Suburbs Cricket Club for their hospitality across the weekend, and who we wish well for their coming season. A big step in the right direction as we continue our preparation for round one! Go Pies!