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The Ferntree Gully & District Cricket Association was well represented in the opening week of the VMCU Carnival, with the Under 18 team mixing it in contention for a finals appearance in the Phil Arnold Shield.


An opening loss against Western Region CA was followed with victories against North West CA and neighbouring Eastern CA to place the Association in 4th place. FTGDCA will be looking to lodge strong showings on Monday and Tuesday when they face Inner South East CA and Ringwood District CA respectively to secure a place in Thursday’s Semi Finals. Knox Garden’s Jackson Marget has led the way with the willow with 79 runs from 3 innings, highlighted by an unbeaten 47* against Eastern CA. With the ball, Lysterfield’s Kyle Gwynne has been one of the standout’s of the carnival overall, with 7 wickets to his collection at an average of 4.43. Likewise, Eildon Park’s Sam Humphries has also impressed with 7 wickets at 7.57.


In Under 16’s, FTGDCA sit at 2 wins also after the opening 3 fixtures in the Jim Beitzel Shield. South East CA prevailed in a tight affair to commence the carnival, before FTGDCA posted wins against Mornington Peninsula CA and North West Metro CA. The Association currently sits 6th amongst a logjam in battle for a finals berth. Lysterfield’s Kieran Edwards has shone with the blade, his 81 runs from the first 3 matches highlighted by 49 against South East CA. Eildon Park’s Darcy Luke is the leading wicket-taker for the FTGDCA with 5 wickets, courtesy of a strong showing against Mornington Peninsula CA with 4/14.


FTGDCA’s Under 14 Russell Allen Shield squad continue to improve as they search for their first win of the campaign, having been on the wrong end of the result against Ringwood District CA, West Gippsland CA, Mornington Peninsula CA and Inner South East CA. Trishane De Silva leads the way with 83 runs, whilst a rotation of bowlers sees honours shared amongst the squad.


Meanwhile the Under 14 Des Nolan Cup lodged their first points of the campaign courtesy to a draw against Diamond Valley CA last Friday. Morgan Arundell has lodged 101 runs with 49* the top score for the Eildon Park junior. Jett Bolton (Monbulk) and Bailey Elder (St Johns Tecoma) lead the way with the ball as both will be looking to build on their 3 wickets to date.


In Keith Mitchell Shield Under 12 action, FTGDCA posted their first win on Thursday against Mornington Peninsula CA. With one fixture remaining, FTGDCA will be looking to force their way into the top 8 to book a Quarter Final appearance on Tuesday. Kody Taylor has produced quality performances across the carnival, with 121 runs in the book to date for the Ferntree Gully Footballers junior. Some quality bowling from Ronan Culloty (Belgrave), Jack Meyers (Eildon Park) and Percy Hyett (Olinda) sees all on 5 wickets for the campaign.


Replicating performances of Under 12 squads, the Josh Browne Plate squad lodged a draw on Friday against Inner South East CA. Cooper Fisher is leading runs scorer, the Eildon Park junior scoring 55 runs to date. Jordan Gwynne (Eildon Park) leads in the wicket stakes, with 3 poles during the Carnival.


Overseeing the VMCU Carnival Squads, FTGDCA Executive Gary Saultry gave a glowing review of performances to date, as an Association as well as on Team and Individual levels.


“The competitiveness and performances of our teams in the various age groups reflects the commitment of the Coaches, managers and players to our representative program. Many players benefit by exposure to this higher level of competition and return to their club cricket much better players. Players learn the value of “being a team” and whilst there will be many fine individual performances the team which has all of its players contribute during the carnival will go a long way to ensuring itself success.”


The Inter Association Cricket Carnival was first held in 1978/79, with the FTGDCA being one of the founding member associations. In 2003, the Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union agreed to take over the organisation to establish the VMCU Carnival. During it’s history, the FTGDCA has saluted on numerous occasions across all ages, demonstrating it’s continued progress in building a strong junior Association.


The 2018 VMCU Carnival will continue into next week, concluding with Grand Finals held on Sunday 21st January.

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