ST Mary’s are a shadow of the teams that won the last three Premierships after Grampians inflicted the Saints’ worst defeat of the summer in the Bendigo Bank HDCA A grade match at Melville Oval on Saturday.
Having lost the toss and being invited to bat first on a well grassed but very hard Melville Oval wicket, Carl Rhook and Jace Hollard were sent out to get the side away to a solid, fast start.
A Carl Joyce maiden was followed by a 13 run over from Shane Ewing as Hollard played two edgy shots through the slips cordon and one stunning on drive to the fence.
From there, though, the innings fell apart as Joyce cut a swathe through the top order as he grabbed four wickets for 10 runs in his next three overs to shatter any hopes that St Mary’s had for the match.
The top order failed to come to terms with the pace and bounce offered the bowlers from the wicket as Joyce bowled with fire.
His first wicket came as Hollard was bowled for 13, then next ball Ali Ross suffered the same fate.
Michael Ross (4) and Rhook were able to see off the next two overs before Joyce struck again with another two wickets in his fourth over.
Ross was bowled from his first ball then Ben Hockey took six runs from the next four balls before he was caught behind by Heinrich Joyce from the last ball of the over.
The Saints had slumped to be 4-30 after only seven overs and worse was to come as Ewing joined in the fun by having Brendan Lang caught behind for only one in the very next over.
Joyce was taken from the attack after his initial four overs, but that only allowed Ewing to pick up the slack as he ran through the middle order to dismiss Jon Manson (5), Matt Wishart (0) and Tim Meulendyks (0) to leave the innings in tatters at 8-44.
Ewing had bowled his eight over spell and the Saints were once again faced with Joyce as he came back into the attack for his second spell, where upon his last four overs cost only one run and he claimed his fifth wicket as Carl Rhook finally succumbed to the fast bowler for 14 in an innings that many of his team could have made note of.
Full story in the Spectator on Tuesday, January 14, 2014