With our Presentation Night postponed until further notice, I wanted to ensure I took the opportunity to provide some reflections and acknowledgments for the 2019/20 season.
In what was a testing season due to weather, new pitches on Shepley, COVID 19 etc we were still able to get 3 teams into finals and the men’s team making the conference final of the Super Slam - an excellent result and testament to the resilience of the club.
Congratulations to Mark Boraston and the 4th XI on being awarded the Premiership after finishing the season clear on top and then having a comprehensive win in the quarter final against Geelong. Great individual performances by Mark Boraston, Bhavya Bhatia and Matt Langley ensured we won convincingly. With CV calling off all future finals we were awarded the flag as the top ranked side. A reward for an outstanding season and thoroughly deserved.
Well done Keely Pace and the women’s 2nd XI for making finals for the first time in history - a wonderful achievement and massive improvement on the previous couple of seasons. Thanks to Shane Larmour and Kelly Applebee for all of their guidance in helping these girls develop and finish second at the end of the home and away season.
To Andy Christie and Emma Gallagher thanks for all of your work with the women’s 1st XI - the season didn’t pan out as well as we had hoped but there were plenty of positives to come out of the season. Quite a few younger players were given experience which will hopefully hold them in good stead moving forward. Some great individual performances from the likes of Jessica Matin, Courtney Neale, Nicole Faltum showed plenty of promise, but the standout performances came from Kim Garth and Mignon DuPreez.Mignon’s 142 in the T20 game early in the season was nothing short of magnificent. Kim’s season whilst with us after her WBBL season was outstanding and culminated in a brilliant 132n.o. against Prahran in the last game of the season - well done and thanks for your efforts and passion for the Panthers.
I would like to acknowledge two other outstanding individuals and performances this season:
Firstly to Nano who after a slow start to the season produced records galore. One week it was breaking the club wicket taking record passing Roger Gills long standing total of 313, the next week it was taking the best ever bowling figures of 9/26 and followed up with 2 in the second innings to have best ever match figures recorded at our club. He also equaled the most wickets taken in a season. A remarkable effort. All the hard work Nano puts in sees him reaping these awards - it’s not by luck or accident.
The other individual I would like to acknowledge is Tom Donnell. As we know Tom is a quiet and humble person who seeks no attention. Tom went through a massive health scare midway through last year but showed enormous courage and resilience to get over that hurdle and come back to skipper our 1st XI. His comeback was highlighted by his 141n.o. against Monash. We as a club are extremely lucky to have Tom.
To Nick Speak, Paul Boraston, Mark Boraston thanks for your efforts this season, a lot of time and effort goes into coaching a premier club and we thank you for what you have done.
As Nick announced to some of the playing group after the last game against St Kilda, he has finished up now as Men's Head Coach of Dandenong Cricket Club. Nick leaves the role with some great achievements from his tenure at the club. A red ball premiership, white ball premiership, Super Slam premiership for the 1st XI in the space of 12 months meant Dandenong held all trophies at the one time - something that in all likelihood will never happen again. We had our highest ever club championship finish under Nick, had our first ever Ryder Medalist in Brett Forsyth with Nick’s guidance and to finish off a premiership in the 4ths. A fantastic record over his 4 year reign. I thank Nick for all he has done for the Dandenong Cricket Club and thank him personally for all he has taught me along the way. We wish Nick the best for his future endeavours and pursuits.
To Mick Sweeney and Jordan Mackenzie thanks for your efforts in captaining the Men’s 2nds and 3rds - generally a thankless task but one certainly important to the future of our club.
To all players, thanks for your efforts this season - it was a difficult season with weather conditions making it tough to get any continuity in playing but you all adapted as required. I sincerely hope you are ALL back next season. The men’s program will have a new head coach which the club is in the process of receiving applications for and will interview as required. We will make the announcement as soon as is practical. The women’s program I am more than pleased to say will continue under the guidance of Andy Christie for at least the next 2 years.
To the scorers Scott Boyack, Jim Hines, Jim Hamilton, Neil Harris, Glen Marinic, Dean Matin and others who helped out - thank you very much. It is a big commitment and is very much appreciated by all concerned.
I would like to thank the council and curators for their support. Without them we have no facilities. A lot of work was put in to see improvements at Shepley after Xmas and we will see long term benefits of the new table moving forward.
To the committee, Andrew Newman, Shahid Malik, Damien Bulakowski, Debbie Pace, Emma Gallagher, Dennis Smith, Ross Hepburn, Michael Findlay, Liz Williamson, Paul Forsyth, Brendan McArdle, thanks for all of your time and efforts from back in June last year to now. I appreciate all you have done and hope you will put your hand up to do it all again should next season happen.
Thanks to Liz Williamson, Michael Findlay, Dennis Smith and Jan Cassidy for all the work during the season with afternoon teas and Thursday night dinners - it certainly helps to create a happy environment.
To all other supporters/helpers along the way thank you for your efforts and support.
Stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones.