A truly momentous day has taken place on Saturday at the home of cricket, as Todd Gill obliterated the record books in cracking 144 in the First Grade to lead the side to the top of the ladder.
Gilly has rewritten history with his bat, heaving the Spartans over the line in what was truly a game for the ages.
In smashing the highest ever score by a First Grader at John Connell Reserve, Todd Gill’s 144 could not have come at a more important time, with the Spartans 5/46 chasing 228 for victory.
On a windy cloudy day, Gilly did not let the conditions get the better of him, smashing the ball to all parts of the ground to reach the record score.
In the two-day fixture, CBC had complied a very strong 8/228 from their 75-overs on the first day, on the back of an outstanding 94 from David Bandy at the top of the order.
Day one was a fantastic tussle between two powerhouse sides in the association, and put the wheels in motion for what was to come the following Saturday.
The Spartans started strongly, restricting CBC to 3/10 with three of their four leading players out for one run collectively.
Bandy did what he does best to resurrect their innings, but when he fell, the score was 4/126.
Incredibly, only two other batsmen passed ten in their innings, but with a fine 61 not out from Pietroniro following an innings-defining 25 from Tim Basile, CBC had reached the imposing score of 228.
Click to view the full scorecard.
With rain hammering down throughout the working week, despite the fact it is mid-February and the rest of the country going through a heatwave, training was cancelled, and it looked as if the match day would follow suit.
It goes without saying, that thankfully, the game did indeed go ahead.
Not a drop of rain throughout Saturday proved the heavens were also keen to witness what was about to take place.
A Spartan-shuffle was on the cards when McClure, Kalleske, Milton, Lewis and Jones all fell for a collective total of 38 runs, leaving us in a perilous position at 5/46, still requiring a mammoth 182 for victory.
CBC’s tail was wagging and the pressure was certainly on as we headed into the tea break at 5/65, with Gill and Adam Morgan at the crease.
There must have been something pretty special in the tea, because it was all one way traffic as play resumed.
Gilly proceeded to smash the ball all around the ground, putting on 61 with Morgan (5), 48 with Will Webber (11), and 56 with Callum Appleby (8) before finally departing with 9/216 on the board.
His 144 could not have come at a more vital time as the side needed victory or else risk falling from second on the Cricket & Football Shop First Grade ladder down to fifth, outside the finals with two games to go.
Astonishingly, he hit 130 of his 144 runs in boundaries, sending the ball over the ropes seven times.
Gilly had entered with 46 runs on the total, added 144 himself, and left with the team score at 216 – 170 runs later.
It was a fantastic performance as the Spartans achieved the final 13 runs for victory following Gill’s departure, winning a classic by one wicket.
For his efforts, Gilly now holds the second highest ever score by a Spartan in First Grade, only behind Matt Smith’s 175 not out in 1993 (also against CBC).
It is however the highest score at our home ground John Connell Reserve, surpassing Greg Dudley’s 143 not out (and the now third highest score in First Grade) against East Fremantle in 1994.
Our Highest First Grade Scores:
Our Highest First Grade Scores Since 2000:
Highest Scores In First Grade SMCA:
A sensational effort mate, and on behalf of the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club, a huge congratulations!