2021/22 Men’s Premier Cricket Wrap: Fitzroy Doncaster
WITH the Victorian Men’s Premier Cricket competition wrapped after an entertaining 2021/22 campaign, it is time to reflect on the season that was. Each team had a different journey over the last few months, so we take a look at how each side fared over the past six months.
The Fitzroy Doncaster Lions finished two wins outside of the top eight, with six wins and nine losses seeing them end the season in 13th place. Their biggest enemy throughout the season was inconsistency, and on a number of occasions, impressive victories could not be converted into a winning streak. Despite taking down a fair few of the season’s contenders, the Lions struggled to keep the momentum rolling into the following week, and it was reflected in their record at the end of the fixture. It was obvious to see how good their best was, but up-and-down results saw them fall short of a postseason appearance.
Fitzroy Doncaster started the season in impressive fashion, rallying behind a 120* run effort from Jack Rudd to down Ringwood with a marvellous performance at the crease. The Lions could not back it up the next week, falling to Frankston Peninsula in disappointing fashion. It was a result that kicked off a three-game losing streak, that was followed up by a three-game winning streak. The story was the same for the rest of the season, with fluctuating form only producing six wins, which was short of the pass mark for finals.
While there were a couple of contenders for the Lions’ most impressive triumph of the season, with their win over Geelong coming to mind. However, it is hard to go past the triumph over Richmond at Central Reserve North in Round Six. Richmond was chugging along alright heading into the clash, and the Lions were coming in on a three-game losing streak. Despite the contrasting form, it was Fitzroy Doncaster that was able to outperform and outlast its opponent, claiming a 43-run victory on the road. It was a win that was set up by a terrific showing with ball in hand, holding Richmond to just 183 runs, and holding seven players to single-digits in the scoring column.
In a season where the Lions lacked consistency, batsman Liam Banthorpe was able to perform more often than not. At the crease, he averaged 33.55 runs per game from 13 outings. Coming in at number three in the batting order, Banthorpe was often a calming presence at the crease whenever the side was under the pump if the openers crumbled early. Despite a nice average, his season-high sat at only 74, which is a testament to the constant strong performances Banthorpe was able to produce on a weekly basis.
As is the case with many sides down the bottom end of the ladder, the Lions will be looking to boost their scoring on a consistent level heading into season 2022/23. There were too many times when they were let down by a lack of power in their batting lineup, and it ended up resulting in a number of preventable losses. It appears time to look around for some strong performers with bat in hand.