A fantastic day was had by all this past Sunday as the club put a surprise testimonial together for club legend Jack McNamara. The day involved a hit and giggle T20 followed by dinner and a few words about Jack to a 100 strong crowd that had turned up to show its appreciation to Jack.
The game itself provided a great spectacle with a team put together of Jack’s past and current team-mates taking on some of Jack’s favourite opposition players over his time in the premier ranks. The Invitational XI were asked to bat first as Captain Jack still trying to get his head around what was happening lead his team out. Pete Petricola of Melbourne CC and Matt Bremner of Fitzroy Doncaster CC opened up against former Camberwell fast bowler Sean Pietersz, this was somewhat personal for Sean having spent a number of years coaching Matt at Fitzroy and he got the spoils dismissing Matt for duck. Rob Chancellor took the second over and left nobody in doubt that he was there for the Richie Vandenberg award sending down some thunderbolts that whistled past John Scholes medalist Pete Dickson’s nose. Pete settled in very quickly however playing some classic shots through the offside.
Chancellor was able to draw a miscue out of Petricola which was taken by a diving Glen Parker running back with the flight. This brought Liam Buchanan to the crease, there was large expectation on the former Melbourne and Geelong star and he didn’t disappoint walking at Chancellor first ball he flung the delivery one handed for 6 over fine leg and nearly out of the ground.
Playing 5 overs each end umpire Mark Hanton changed ends which brought Brett Watkins into the attack only to be reverse pulled for 4 first ball by Liam. The skipper also had a bowl from the bottom end and was able to get Liam for a well made 23 and Dan Hutton caught a long on chasing quick runs.
Dickson continued to strike the ball nicely on his way to 50 before holing out to long off. The skipper then threw the ball to barely recognisable Anthony Hall who has got himself in better condition than his playing days for this game and the results showed with 2 overs 2 for 10 including a sharp chance by keeper Joel Cross up to the stumps.
Leg spin then took over with Tom Evans, Tom Rickarby and Nick Richardson spinning a web taking a few wickets and being on the end of a few lusty blows from Nick Ellsmore and James Pearson making 17 and 24 respectively. Michael McKenna came and went briefly so quick that he was able to continue his conversation with Paul Flegs on the sidelines without missing a beat.
The target was set at 134 for Jack McNamara XII.
Nathan Broster and Tom Evans were sent out by Jack to get the innings underway facing up against Nick Ellsmore and Nick Brandon-Jones. Tom fell to Brandon-Jones trying to take on mid on bring the man of the day to the crease. Nathan fell to what some have describe as the catch of the season by Joe Loorham as he flung one arm high in the air to get hold of a well struck drive. Nathan was heard to say on the way off how unlucky he is as a cricketer but also ‘did anyone see my cover drive for 4’
Rob ‘Richie Vandenberg’ Chancellor hit the biggest 6 of the day on his way to a 16 ball 30 which was ended by the crafty former assistant coach at Camberwell Neil Gray. With Jack still at the crease Glen Parker helped him take the score to 115 before Glen retired on 32. Joel Cross joined Jack for a brief period before Neil turned villain by bowling Jack for 41 with 18 runs required.
Tom Rickarby was able to make light work of this getting the Jack McNamara XII home with 27 balls to spare.
The 100 plus crowd then moved inside to a delicious dinner put together by Chris Thewlis and listen to some heartfelt words of appreciation for Jack from Sean Pietersz, Kev Prior and Mark Dwyer as well as some video messages from Andrew Fekete and Tim Leoncelli who were unable to attend the day.
The club would like to thank everyone that not only kept the day a secret from Jack but also who came to the ground, especially those currently involved at other clubs giving up their time to help make the day. Special mention to Joel Cross (Adelaide), Liam Buchanan (Geelong) & Nathan Broster (Bannockburn) who covered a fair distance to make the day. Mark Hanton for umpiring the day and Arj Giese for capturing so many great memories from the day.
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