Merton enters local cricket folklore

Crowded: Max Merton is mobbed by supporters after his final over six helped Glengarry to the TDCA premiership. Photographs Liam Durkin





MAX Merton won’t ever have to pay for another beer at Glengarry Cricket Club.

Let’s set the scene.

Traralgon District Cricket Association A Grade Grand Final. Glengarry versus Ex Students. Venue: Catterick Crescent.

Glengarry needs nine to win off the last over with two wickets in hand.

Number 10 Merton on strike.

First ball: big swipe across the line by the left hander – single.

Brandon Mayberry on strike.

Second ball: sliced drive into the off side – single.

Merton back on strike.

Equation: Seven off four.

Bowler changes back to right arm around the wicket.

A few overs before, these words came from Gormandale cricketer Adam Brady, who was commentating the match.

“Max has got to pump a big six over mid-wicket. He’s got it in him”.

It wasn’t over mid-wicket, but he certainly had it in him.

And he proved it.

Third ball: Merton sees it pitched up, puts absolutely everything into it, the ball sails toward long on, and …. (cue Mark Nicholas commentary from Ben Stokes’ 2019 Ashes innings).

There’s a man back, there’s a man back …

It’s six! It’s six!

Max Merton has hit it for six!

From that point on, he didn’t need to do anything more. The match was tied, meaning Glengarry couldn’t relinquish the premiership because they were the higher ranked team on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season.

Another run was added off the fourth ball (an extra) to make the result official.

Glengarry had won. Merton had secured the flag and hero status at the Magpies.

Disbelieving teammates and supporters rushed onto the field to congratulate, or more accurately, thank, Merton for his efforts.

Man of the Match Al Jenkin even went as far to say “I love you” during the post-match presentation.

Merton himself was in just as much disbelief – number 10s aren’t exactly known for their six-hitting.

“I reckon that would be the second one apart from Under 16s (I’ve ever hit), unknown territory,” he told the Express.

What was going through his head?

“If it’s full and in the slot I’ll go for it straight, just keep my head down,” he explained.

“Usually at training when I try and go for a big one my head goes up and I get bowled.

“We knew we only needed eight in the last over, so if we could sneak a boundary (we’d be a chance).

“I just saw the ball and hit it.”

Did he think he connected well enough to

clear the man stationed down there at long on?

“No way, I didn’t feel I got it off the bat and I knew the breeze was coming into me,” he recalled.

“My heart sank because I thought I put it straight down his throat, but then I saw him take a few steps back and it went over.”

Walking to the wicket with Glengarry seemingly dead-and-buried, Merton said he and partner Brandon Mayberry decided to go down swinging.

“We knew it was uphill, I wasn’t nervous because we needed 25 off the last four overs, it was actually better because Brandon and I just decided to back ourselves and hit it,” he said.

“We thought it was probably over so we might as well have some fun.”

Fair to say the Glen boys would have had a fair bit of fun these last few days.

Dynamic duo: Man of the Match Al Jenkin with Max Merton and the Traralgon District Cricket Association A Grade premiership shield.
My hero: Max Merton is embraced by partner Josie Buckley in the moments following the match.
Slightly early crow: Glengarry players rush onto the ground after Max Merton’s six tied the game, ensuring them the A Grade flag. Players then had to retreat and wait a little bit extra before the match was won.