Downs the destroyer

Imperials celebrate a Gormandale wicket on Saturday.

The TDCA was the scene for one of the most remarkable individual performances ever seen in club cricket on Saturday.
Imperials all-rounder Jonathon Downs will never forget December 11, 2021 as the most nearly perfect game of his cricket career.
In the C Grade clash between Imps and Gormandale at Jack Maskrey Oval, Downs delivered a performance for the ages.
Strolling out to bat at No.6 with his team at 4/35, Downs smashed 16 fours and nine massive sixes in a superb knock of 169 before falling lbw to Alex Smith as Imperials piled on 8/288.
Then came the piece de resistance.
Downs took the new ball and returned the figures of 5/0 from six overs as Gormandale were bowled out for just seven in 11.5 overs.
It was a historic batting performance for all the wrong reasons by Gormandale, who now go into the TDCA record-books for the lowest score in C Grade, eclipsing Glengarry’s all out nine against Raiders in 2004/05.
But it was one more run than the all-time lowest score of six all out made by Glengarry A Grade against Toongabbie in 1968/69.
It was no surprise that Downs earned the nod as the TDCA’s player of the week award, which is named weekly on the association’s Facebook page.
His performance came on a big day for Imperials, who scored a four-wicket win against Gormandale in the A Grade clash at Stoddart Oval.
A disciplined bowling performance saw the Tigers fired out in 40 overs for 111, with Dylan Freitag (22) and Matt Hibbs (20) the only two batsmen to get off to starts.
Ross Williams (3/18) and Joel Randall (3/27) did much of the damage, while the inclusion of Mitch Bulmer also proved decisive for Imps as he collected 2/30 from eight overs.
Imperials had a few wobbles early in the chase as Freitag claimed the key wickets of Rob Morley and Dean Jones.
But Tuan Abdeen steadied the ship with an assured unbeaten 46 and found a willing ally in Williams, who completed a fine all-round performance with 27 not out.
Freitag and Luke Henderson each finished with figures of 2/22 for Gormandale, who find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being bottom of the ladder.
EX STUDENTS holds sway in first place after demolishing Yarram & District at Traralgon Recreation Reserve.
The Sharks certainly lived up to their nickname, devouring the Pelicans’ batting line-up inside 45 overs for a moderate score of 76.
Skipper Anthony Scott top-scored with 14 as only four Yarram players reached double figures against the miserly Students bowling line-up.
He may not have collected a wicket by Michael Warne typified this, conceding just nine runs from his 10 overs.
His good work opened the door at the other end where the other six bowlers used by the Sharks enjoyed success.
Skipper Lee Stockdale picked up 2/4 from his three overs, while Mitchell Harris (2/11) and James Pryde (2/12) were the other multiple wickettakers.
Ex Students had few headaches in the chase, reaching the target in 21.1 overs for the loss of two wickets.
Harris top-scored with 30 not out and Stockdale made 21 before he was the first of Jarryd Swift’s two victims.
Swift finished with 2/13 from his nine overs, which included five maidens.
TOONGABBIE climbed to second spot after an pulsating six-run win against Glengarry at Roger Ries Oval.
The Rams were sent into bat and posted 8/169 with Jason Veneman’s 58 the clear highlight.
Veneman’s knock proved the cornerstone of the innings and the No.3 was ably supported by Michael Dunn (26) and an eye-catching 22 from James Chalmers.
Nat Freitag was the most successful of the Magpies bowlers with 3/24, with Sam Marks (2/29) and Frank Marks (2/33) also impressive.
Freitag got the Glengarry innings going with a stylish 34, but the Pies looked in trouble when they lost 3/15 to be 7/107.
Enter Cameron Graham, who together with Hamish Buck, lifted Glengarry’s hopes by putting on 40 for the eighth wicket.
But the return of Rams icon Tom Shippen to the attack would be decisive as he claimed Graham for 23.
Despite some late heroics from Busk (47), the Pies fell just short.
Rob Wheildon (2/17) and Shippen (2/22) claimed multiple wickets for Toongabbie.