Another fantastic slice of history between the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club and Bullcreek Leeming Amateur Football Club was created on Sunday, as the Mitch Gillam Cup returned bigger than ever at John Connell Reserve!
This annual day between Leeming’s two prime sporting teams is a testament to the faces who have helped shape the clubs, and they were certainly there in full swing throughout Sunday.
With over ninety past and present members from the Spartans and the Bombers at the home of cricket, we got to bare witness to a memorable day both on and off the field.
The clubhouse looked incredible, with sponsor banners, logos, tents, and more on proud display, and the sea of faces meant it was going to be a massive day!
It was fantastic to see so many members from the Spartans, the Bombers, our Life Members, and of course our remarkable Sponsors (Crystal Finance, Bendigo Bank, Courtside Multisports, EES Shipping, The Blooming Best, and the Willetton Trophy Centre) all present throughout the day.
As the crowd started to gather, it was finally time to get proceedings underway.
The two sides came together just before the match began, with Mitch’s parents Ken and Sue Gillam standing next to Bombers President Mike Petkovich and Spartan President Peter Coombs (just behind the Crystal Finance banner).
The match itself started on the stroke of 1:00PM, as the Bullcreek Leeming Bombers won the toss and elected to bat, and immediately got off to a flying start.
A familiar face in Paul Petkovich proved the nemesis early, dispatching everything that came his way, and alongside Barry Barone (who made an excellent 27 off sixteen with three monster sixes), the two put on 62 from six overs.
Shane McKenner bowled the opening over, conceding just the four runs and couldn’t hold on to a caught and bowled as Petko looked to up the ante early.
Questionable bowling from the captain Paul Kalleske meant that the ball went to the boundary four times in the second over off of Barone’s bat, and the Bombers were well on their way to a big score at 0/26 off two overs.
Shane’s next went for eleven with two boundaries, as Petko quickly moved into his twenties, before PK returned and was hit for a further fourteen to finish with 0/36 from two overs.
After four, Bullcreek Leeming Amateur Football Club were 0/47.
Sooty was then into the attack, and surprisingly found the first wicket of the day, claiming Petko for 37 with a catch to PK at mid off.
At 1/62, they were still well on top, and a few dropped catches didn’t help the home side.
Sre then came on and managed to get the breakthrough in his second over, thanks to a fine catch from Shane McKenner on the boundary to dismiss Barone.
A collapse was then on, as the Bombers fell from 0/62 to 3/62, and then 4/72 as Sre picked up his second wicket.
A strong 18 from McGuire lifted the team to 5/89 by the time he was dismissed, cleaned up by Tom Frantom.
Wicketkeeper Jules got the stumping of Turner for nine off the bowling of Todd Gill, and the score was not looking too pretty at 7/101 with seven overs still to go.
A small fightback between Drennan and Distasio helped the total to three figures, but when both fell to fine one handed catches from Sre and PK in the same over, Rhys Jones had two wickets and the score was 9/132.
Callum Appleby then claimed the final wicket to finish with 1/8 from his two overs, and the Bullcreek Leeming Amateur Football Club were dismissed with two balls to play for 139 runs.
Jonesy was the pick of the bowlers with 2/2 from 2, with Sre 2/7 and Matthew Whittaker 2/17 also chipping in.
Bullcreek Leeming: 10/139 (19.4 overs)
The Spartans began their pursuit of 139 with Anthony McGhie (Sooty) and Zane Gordon opening the innings, and were off to a flyer with ten runs coming off the first over.
Zane became the first Spartan to fall, when he was cleaned up for ten runs off eleven deliveries, the score 1/23, but didn’t seem too fazed, as Sooty and number three Tom Frantom kept the score ticking along nicely.
Petko had other ideas however, and capped off a good all round day for the Bombers, claiming both batsmen to finish with two wickets for just nine runs from his two overs.
Frantom was the second wicket to fall, he departed for 14, and Sooty was dismissed for a strong run-a-ball 20, batting seven overs in the 34º heat, the score now 3/47.
Whits was next to go for six, falling leg before to Jordan Lloyd, one of just two bowlers in the match to send down three overs, giving him excellent figures of 1/11 off three. Interestingly, he did not concede a boundary.
When Callum departed for ten, the Spartans were in a spot of bother at 6/75, but two experienced heads in PK and Jonesy quickly got to work to make significant inroads in the total.
The two First Graders, typically in the top four, were in at seven and eight respectively, and combined to put on the day’s second largest partnership, 45 runs in just five overs to turn things back the home side’s way.
Jonesy was caught for 23 off the bowling of Cam Lucy, departing with the score at 7/120, a further 20 runs still required, but PK and number nine Shane McKenner proved the difference and helped chase down the required amount.
PK was bowled for 27 when the scores were tied, having hit three sixes in his knock, and Shane finished unbeaten on a well made 19 from just eight deliveries, hitting the winning runs and seeing out the final over.
The Spartans had won, their first victory in a Mitch Gillam Cup since 2014, getting over the line with two wickets and six balls remaining.
In front of more than ninety spectators the match had been completed, an already memorable day was into its afternoon shift, and it was finally time for the day’s second order of business – heading straight for the bar!
Leeming Spartan: 8/145 (20.0 overs)
Although the game had ended, the fun was really just beginning, as all players, Sponsors, Life Members, and spectators made their way into the Spartan clubhouse for the post-game presentations.
Leeming Spartan President Peter Coombs began the speeches by paying thanks to all who attended, our Sponsors, Life Members, and of course the Bullcreek Leeming boys, and was more than happy to claim his first victory in the Mitch Gillam Cup as President from his first attempt.
Bombers President Mike Petkovich had nothing but great words to say about both clubs and the day itself, and those in attendance certainly agreed.
Paul Petkovich took home the Man of the Match for the Bombers, on the back of his 37 at the top of the order and two valuable wickets.
Youngster Tom Frantom was Man of the Match for the Spartans, scoring fourteen and taking 1/8 from his two overs and a catch to cap off a fine day.
Bombers President Mike Petkovich speaks after the conclusion of the Mitch Gillam Cup for 2017.
Paul Petkovich was the Bombers Man of the Match
With the fun lasting well into the night, the Mitch Gillam Cup for 2017 was among the greatest yet, and will no doubt return in 2018 bigger than ever.
An enormous thank you to all the Spartans, Bombers, Sponsors, Life Members and spectators in attendance, we certainly couldn’t have had such a fantastic day without your support.
Stay tuned to our website, because we have plenty more about the great day to follow!