Carlton proved too strong in three of the four grades on Saturday, but the Second XI kept their finals chances alive with a solid win a Princes Park.
The First XI were at home hoping to cause an upset against the top of the table Blues. Camberwell captain Andrew Fekete won the toss and elected to send the opposition in, with the decision paying early dividends as he removed his Carlton counterpart in Evan Gulbis for 4. Will Walker then got into the act and removed the dangerous duo of Brayden Stepien and Mackenzie Harvey to have the Blues teetering at 3/42.
But that was where the joy ended for the Magpies, as Tom Smythe (94) and Nick Ross (130*) assumed control of the innings with a clinical 186-run partnership to lift Carlton to 4/293 from their 50 overs. Walker was the clear standout with the ball for the Pies with the excellent figures of 3/26 off 10 overs.
In reply, the Magpies made an impressive start through the in-form Rishab Guddadamane and Simon Hill, who was playing his 350th match (298th in the First XI) for the Camberwell Magpies. The duo tamed the Blues strong bowling attack early and were looking the goods with an opening stand of 79, before Hill was dismissed three short of his 50. Akshay Kodoth came in and picked up the slack as he and Guddadamane continued to keep Camberwell in the game. Guddadamane recorded his third first grade 50 on the trot and fourth in as many games, but when he was dismissed for 55 and Kodoth (34) followed three runs later, the Pies’ innings fell away. Despite some late resistance from Ollie Jenkins (22*), Camberwell fell well short of the required total with 9/216 at the compulsory close of play.
At Princes Park, Camberwell’s Second XI batted first and had to recover from the early loss of skipper Shane Mays in the first over. The recovery was led by the ever-reliable Daniel Rawson, who steered the innings with 75. He received solid support from first gamer Dhruv Redhu, who looked as composed as a veteran in his classy 34. Carlton’s bowlers were disciplined in their lines and lengths to make scoring difficult for the Magpies, but some late hitting from Kevin Prior (24* off 15) and Griffin McComb (19* off 15) gave the bowlers something to bowl at with 6/191 from the 50 overs.
With a smallish total on the board, Camberwell’s bowlers needed to get to work quickly. They made a good start by taking three early wickets to have the Blues wobbling at 3/33. Some tight bowling and sharp fielding (three run outs in total) through the middle made that 6/108, and suddenly the Pies were in the box seat. Carlton put together some lower order partnerships to make things a little nervous for the Pies, but in the end they were able to secure a 21-run win to keep themselves in touch with the top eight.
Prior recorded the best figures with 3/37 off his 10, while Kieren Jamieson continued to knock on the door of First XI selection with 2/16 off 8.3 overs.
The Third XI hosted Carlton at Watson Park and elected to send the Blues in after winning the toss. Despite the grassy wicket, Carlton’s batsmen acquitted themselves well to post 8/212 off their 45 overs. Tom Nelson and Sam Nash were the pick of the bowlers with two wickets each.
In reply, the batting innings never really got going as the Pies fell to 6/75. Skipper Adrian Vidajic continued his sold form with the bat with a typically rapid 46 off 45 balls and received strong support from Nash (31) and Aiden Nicholls (22) down the order, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as Camberwell fell 68 runs short.
The Fourth XI were looking to build on their impressive win last start against Frankston Peninsula, but despite some starts by the batsmen weren’t able to put together the significant partnership to compile a competitive score. Josh Nelson was the highest scorer with 37 from number five, as the Pies finished 7/155 from their 45 overs.
Carlton were on shaky ground early in their reply as they fell to 3/37 through the probing accuracy of Robert Capstick (2/28) and Angus Steele (2/35), but the Blues eventually recovered to win comfortably by six wickets.
Attention now turns to taking on Geelong next week, with the Firsts and Thirds heading down the highway to play at the Cattery.
This Round Recap is proudly brought to you by Melbourne City Toyota.