Club News

Back to News

Jackas rejoice in Premiership Double

Posted: 17-Mar-2016 by Cricket Senior

Jackas rejoice in Premiership Double

Rare Jewish sporting history was made on Sunday when both Maccabi AJAX Cricket Club’s Second and Circle of Latitude Third XI’s triumphed in their respective Grand Finals at Fawkner Park, breaking an eight-year Premiership drought.

Proud Double Premiership President Leon Jacobs speaks with J-Air

Two flags have only been won once in the same season in the last 62 years, that feat achieved in 1983/84 when the First and Third XIs completed the double.

Both teams entered the MCA’s (Mercantile Cricket Association’s) biggest day as firm favourites having been amongst the top two sides all year as well as having success against their opponents in the regular season.

Second XI Captain Eytan Epstein went into the coin toss having won it only four times from 22 goes throughout the season.

Each time he won it, regardless of the conditions he elected to bat first.

“I looked around, was about to say bat, I think I stuttered and then said bowl,” Epstein said.

“Our team thought I lost the toss when I signalled that we were bowling. They still didn’t believe me when I told them I had won the toss, as I have never bowled first, even on wet pitches.”

Epstein’s spontaneous change of heart proved fruitful as his opening bowlers wreaked havoc on the Melbourne Strikers’ top order, with tearaway quick Ari Werdiger hitting the same batsman a number of times before he called for a chest guard.

The first wicket fell in the third over courtesy of Werdiger and it brought the opposition’s leading run-scorer to the crease, however his stay was short.

The Jackas continued to pile on the pressure, bowling tight lines and to the set field.

Drinks were called after the 22nd over and the Seconds had ‘the best batting side in the competition’ 4/17.

“It was really uninspiring cricket. Their whole team looked really tentative and even with the pitch playing quite well, they didn’t look like scoring runs,” Epstein said.

After the short break, two catches went begging, however those missed chances were accounted for soon after, as fiery-quick Josh Jones unleashed on the batting side, tearing through their lineup, claiming 3/3 from seven decisive overs that included five maidens.

Second XI Premiership Player and Man of the Match-Josh Jones speaks with J-Air.

Just 32.2 overs into the Grand Final the Seconds had bundled out their opposition for a remarkable total of just 35.

Jones was supported well by Weridger who claimed 3/10 off his nine over spell, while Jonathan Zimmet (2/10), Reece Israel (1/0) and Dov Paltiel (1/5) shared in the wickets as well.

Keeper Rafael Epstein had a busy day behind the stumps, hanging onto five catches in a clinical display.

“We came out to bat, and I wasn’t really nervous, because it literally would’ve taken three shots and all the pressure is off,” Epstein said.

Openers Nochum Paltiel and Zev Aron failed to get through the first five overs, bringing the Epstein brothers to the crease at 2/6.

The pair put on ten runs before the Captain skyed one to mid-on.

In-form young gun Dean Spilkin strolled out to the middle and from the outset looked in control.

He finished on 18 not-out, with Raf Epstein at the other end on four when the winning runs were hit, completing ‘an anti-climactic’ seven-wicket win in just three and a half hours.

Jubilant scenes erupted as the hundred strong crowd embraced the Premiership winners to echoing chants of ‘hearts to hearts and hands to hands, beneath the blue and white we stand’, the famous club song.

MACC Heart and Soul Michael Gersun speaks with J-Air (Briefly)

Josh Jones was named Man of the Match for his exceptional spell of bowling.

“Overall it was a successful year, one that we could have only dreamt about at the start of the season,” Epstein said.

“The future of the club looks very strong, having four 17-year olds in the top six of a premiership-winning side.”

Second XI Match Scorecard

The celebrations only had to move fifty meters to where the Third XI was locked in an intriguing contest with Bentleigh.

Skipper Eli Barr lost the toss and wasn’t discouraged by having to bowl first.

He set the tone in the field, affecting a run-out from mid-on in the fourth over.

Wickets fell early on the back of an eventful spell from Daniel Wein (2/21).

“We bowled and fielded very well to restrict them to 101, but there was still plenty to be done,” Barr said.

Swing bowler Adam Kahlberg was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 3/19 from 8.2 overs, while Barr (2/15) and Meir New (1/8) off nine overs offered great support.

Openers Zac Aflalo and Mendi Rosenbaum played cautiously early, before one snuck through the typically tight defences of Aflalo.

Ben Machlin came to the crease at first drop but was undone by an in-swinging yorker soon after.

The game sat precariously at 4/39, but its course quickly changed as Eli Adelist (29) and Nathan Joel (9) began repairing the damage.

Both were dismissed with still 20 runs to get, but the crowd’s collective nerves were defused after Daniel Wein needed just seven balls to dispatch a six and two fours to bring home the Club’s second Premiership in the space of two hours.

Third XI Match Scorecard

Eli Adelist claimed Man of the Match honours for his anchoring innings.

Adelist spoke to J-Air after Sunday's game.

“I was never certain of the win until the final runs were scored,” Barr said.

 “It was a very rewarding and well deserved result. It was a great team performance that came on the back of a season’s work by the team and entire club.”

J-Air's On the Ball 'MACC Premierships Edition

AJN's Peter Haskin's Grand Final photo gallery

Aaron Fetter