Groot Drakenstein Games Club

Groot Drak vs Villiersdorp - 21 October 2017

The opening game of the 2017 season was our regular fixture against Villiersdorp.
Always a competitive side and with last seasons stats against them being one win and one loss the Groot Drakies were psyched to get out of the blocks.

Villiersdorp's skipper Hennie De Wet was familiar with our tradition of fielding first and had no complaints upon inspecting Vitalis’s magnificently prepared pitch. We opened with the blistering pace of Van Zyl and Joubert Kotze and some attacking field placing. Fielding and bowling was impressively tight, Van Zyl getting 3/28 in his full spell of 7 overs and Craig McNaught having to be taken off early with his embarrassingly good form getting 3 wickets for 2 runs in just 3 overs!

With wickets falling regularly we used the opportunity to experiment with some other bowlers and both Marco and newbie Andri bowling beautifully for 1/3 after 1 over and 2/2 after 2 respectively.

Villiersdorp where back in the cub house for 59 runs. Groot Drak passed their score losing just 4 wickets and the afternoon was concluded fairly early, so the skippers convened and it was decided to play a T/10 quick format. Each captain selected a player in turn, this was a huge success, great fun and an excellent indictment of the spirit of friendly cricket playing two mixed teams selected from the two clubs.

Fines, needless to say, were entertaining and well spirited as both teams, spectators and family all sat in a large circle reminiscing over the day and putting a few cold ones past parched lips!

Match report from Jono Boulton

Groot Drak vs Villiersdorp - 21 January 2017

Saturday the 21st of January 2017 was Groot Drak's first match of the New Year.

Having had a great first-half of the season, this fixture against Villiersdorp was one of only 2 matches we had lost last year (narrowly on a rain-affected home wicket), so the lads headed over the pass eagerly to set things right.

We lost the toss and headed out to field in the heat, our bowling attack was probably the strongest in a very, vey long time with a blistering pace onslaught of Morne Maritz, Marnitz Phister, Joubert Kotze and Craig McNaught.

The opposition pushed and prodded and were 68 for 4 at drinks. Our usual tactic of then bringing on the spin from both ends was just too much of a carrot to dangle and the batsmen went out in a procession of exceptional catching and fielding.

Our total to chase was 143 and an outstanding opening partnership by MC Uys and Gary "Gazza" Seaman, put us in the driving seat, the highlights being MC's 44 off 42 balls and Gert Uys with 32 off 35 balls.

The runs were scored in just 23 overs allowing the sick, aged and infirm to enjoy a cold beer in the shade.

Victory and fines were indeed sweet, the game was played in a magnificent spirit and we look forward to a similar performance this weekend.

Match report from Jono Boulton

Groot Drak vs Citrusdal - 10 December 2016

On Saturday the 10th of December, the lads from Citrusdal Cricket Club paid Groot Drak a visit for the last game of 2016. With some persistent rain the day before, it looked like the game might be called off, but both sides were adamant to get another match in before the end of the year.

Groot Drak took to the field with some pretty warm weather about - opening the bowling with Morne Maritz and Colin Myburgh. Both openers did a great holding job and took two wickets a piece - Myburgh finishing with very respectable figures of 2/25 off 7 and Maritz ending up with a remarkable 2/6 off 7, including 3 maidens.

The middle overs of the innings saw club-debutant Nick Boulton (0/24 off 4) and Craig McNaught (1/27 off 7) leak some runs to give Citrusdal a slight advantage at the drinks break after several catches went to ground.

After drinks, skipper Bruce Taylor (2/42 off 6) brought himself in to the attack, and, while conceding plenty of runs, took two vital wickets, dismissing both of Citrusdal’s top scorers.

Helped by Niel van Tonder (1/31 off 5) and Christo la Grange (0/11 off 1), Citrusdal ended on 166/8 after their 35 overs.

Groot Drak required a solid start as the brothers Boulton were charged with opening the batting. They were both given life-lines as a catch off either being put down early on. Those missed opportunities proved very costly as the brothers put on a magnificent opening stand of 122, with Nick being run out for 50 off 49 and Jono reaching 56 off 75.

After the departure of both Boultons, Andrew McNaught (14* off 13) and Gary Seaman (22 off 18) saw off the remaining runs to guide the home team to a comfortable victory in the end; seeing Groot Drak win by 11.5 overs and 7 wickets.

Both teams gathered in front of the clubhouse for a severe fines meeting that was harsh on some poor fielding and rewarded a number of excellent innings. Citrusdal gave a lot of ‘pointers’ to the local boys on how to conduct a proper fines meeting before heading off to man the braais and to support the bar well in to the night.

A lot of new friends were made on the day, with the game being played in a wonderful spirit and both teams thoroughly enjoying the post-match festivities. While Groot Drak will go in to the New Year with the taste of victory still palpable, we expect a tough return match when the two teams meet again in Citrusdal in the middle of summer 2017!

Match report from Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Western Province Cricket Club - 4 December 2016

On Sunday the 4th of December, Groot Drak played host to long-standing friends of the club, Western Province CC in the Alfie Cupido Memorial Game. A moment of silence was observed by both teams in remembrance of Groot Drak’s ex-captain who died suddenly on the field when these two teams met five years ago.

Honouring tradition, Groot Drak took to the field first, opening the bowling with debutant Van Zyl de Wet (1/10 off 5) and Joubert Kotze (0/17 off 5). Some accurate pace-bowling from the two seamers meant that runs were hard to come by, which forced some loose shots and provided a few half-chances early on.

The openers were replaced by Kudu Kotze (2/17 off 7) and Craig McNaught (1/19 off 6), who bowled a tight line until the drinks break. Whether it was something in the Oros or the heat of the African sun, the bowling radar malfunctioned somewhat and catching the ball became a challenge for the fielders.

The spinners, Jaco 'Beesboer' Swarts (0/18 off 4) and Angus 'Dr. Evil' Simmers (2/23 off 5), aided by skipper Bruce 'Olieboor' Taylor (1/9 off 3) did their job by frustrating the opposition and claiming some valuable wickets.

Western Province ended up with 118 runs from their 35 overs as both teams took a welcome lunch-break and a refreshing dip in the pool.

Aggressive from ball one, Groot Drak' opening batsmen, Jaco Swarts and Joubert Kotze (8) gave the home team a solid platform, with plenty of batting to come. Angus Simmers was instrumental in seeing the shine off the ball and put on a vital 12 off 25 before being adjudged LBW. Another debutant, Tiaan Herbst (8) looked good, but got out cheaply as he made way for Morne Landman, who made a welcome comeback after a long, injury-induced absence – scoring 16 runs from 14.

Joined at the crease by Jono Boulton(2*), Jaco Swarts blasted an unbeaten man-of-match-winning 59 off 72 balls as Groot Drak comfortably chased down the required runs with 12 overs to spare.

A great day out was reflected on during an extended fines meeting, seeing a handful of exceptional performances celebrated and some less-than-exceptional performances punished on both sides. We want to apologise on behalve of out Captain Bruce Taylor that repeatedly referred to Neil Watson as Ken and also the WPCC as CTCC.

The two debutants, Van Zyl and Tiaan, were officially welcomed to the club via the initiation ceremony, introducing even more youth and talent to a wonderful group of cricketers.

Both teams convened around the braais and solved the world's problems over a few frosties and in good company.

A wonderful day of cricket and camaraderie was enjoyed by all. We eagerly look forward to meeting up with Western Province Cricket Club in the New Year when we take them on in Cape Town.

Match report from Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Cape Town Cricket Club - 27 November 2016

The Groot Drak squad arrived punctually at the Boon Wallace Oval in Plumstead on Sunday 27th of November 2016, only to find out that the air-conditioning had broken! It was unanimous, regardless of the state of the pitch ( which was enough to make us all appreciate our amazing home-ground facilities all the more ) we knew we had to win the toss, and put the opposition into to field in the sweltering heat. Skipper, Bruce Taylor, unfortunately did not have lady luck on his side and it was chasing leather for us through the midday heat.

Cape Town Cricket Club as always fielded an extremely experienced side with many familiar faces. They batted all the way down and everyone contributed, no one more so than MC Laubscher who smashed an impressive 71 of 58 balls before being stumped, only because heat exhaustion had set in, thank goodness…! At one stage we thought we were staring down the barrel of a score of well over 200.

Some excellent bowling and catching at the death restricted the opposition to 193 for 8 after 35.

The chase was laboured, but young DJ Kotze steered the ship on, refusing to give away his wicket ( 40 runs off 78 ) suddenly there was a sniff as runs accumulated. Young wicket keeper/batsman Jono Boulton received an unlucky LBW decision while cruising along nicely ( 25 off 29) , to make way for the Pocket-sized Ninja. Roydon Adams set about the bowlers like a man possessed, smashing a swashbuckling ( 41* off 19 ) and into a nail biting finish, needing 8 off the last over with Ryan Stemmet falling just short with an excellent effort of 11 off 12. Losing by just 8 runs was a magnificent team effort showing nothing short of pure grit and guts from every single player.

Fines were excellent fun, hosted by CTCC, each player being paired with his opposite number in a beer down down and needless to say Groot Drak reigned supreme, obliterating the opposition. We can’t wait for the rematch and winning the double header next year.

Match report from Jono Boulton

Groot Drak vs Coastal Strikers - 20 November 2016

On Sunday the 20th of November, Groot Drakenstein hosted Coastal Strikers for the home team’s fourth league game of the season. Both teams arrived at the ground looking fit and energetic for what promised to be a great day of cricket and sunshine.

As per the long-standing tradition, the visitors were asked to bat on an expertly-prepared pitch by the groundsman and barkeep, Vitalis.

A nervous start from the opening batters saw very few runs on the board before the first wicket fell. The opening bowlers, Roydon Adams (0/13 off 4) and Craig McNaught (2/11 off 6), were assisted by the breeze in getting some lateral movement, not allowing the batsmen to free their arms during the day’s opening spell. Two new inductees to the club, Hennie Bosman (0/10 off 5) and Devin Whelan (1/9 off 2) were asked to replace the openers and kept the batsmen under constant pressure, forcing a loose shot and a spectacular caught-and-bowled effort from debutant, Whelan.

At drinks, Coastal Strikers had only managed 48 runs, but had plenty of wickets in hand – crucial when looking to accelerate and post a big total at Groot Drak. The spinners, Jaco Swarts (2/10 off 6) and Angus Simmers, bowled in tandem to continue the strangle, while aided tremendously by an inspired fielding unit. Two remarkable, diving catches at cow corner from Roydon Adams (both worthy nominees for ‘catch-of-the-season’ thus far), allowed Simmers to bag a hugely influential five-wicket-haul, finishing with 5 for 16 off 6. This was followed by some smart work behind the sticks from Jono Boulton, resulting in two stumpings, as the visiting side collapsed to 78 runs all out.

It looked like an achievable target, but, as we’ve seen at the club many times before, any runs on the board require good batting to be chased down.

After a short lunch break, Gary Seaman (12 off 16) and Jaco Swarts (28 retired off 16) put on a blistering opening stand, which caused the visiting team to chop-and-change their bowlers, preventing any chance of settling down. Mark Kirstein (24 off 17), watched by Andrew McNaught (4 off 12), played some great cricket shots to end the game with a convincing win for Drak, who reached the 78 run target in just the 10th over.

Although the game was ended somewhat prematurely, a deserved drink on the pitch and a swim after the game had both teams ready to face the inevitably gruelling fines meeting in good spirits. There was plenty of give-and-take during fines, before Hennie Bosman and Devin Whelan were officially welcomed to Groot Drak via the club’s induction ritual, which is equal parts dizzying and entertaining.

The braais burned well in to the evening, while both teams celebrated a game of cricket that was played in a wonderful spirit by 22 ambassadors of the sport!

Match report from Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Elgin CC - 12 November 2016

Saturday the 12th of November saw Groot Drakenstein take on Overberg rivals, Elgin Cricket Club at Pickstone Oval. The early overhead conditions looked perfect for pace bowling, with plenty of cloud cover and a lively track, as Groot Drak took to the field with ball in hand. Colyn Myburgh and Phillip Lotter (0/40 off 4) started the proceedings – bowling to a very determined-looking opening pair from Elgin.

Some very sharp work in the field from Ryan Stemmet, finished off by Philip Lotter, saw the opening partnership broken with a rare run-out.

Myburgh got the second breakthrough in the 7th over, during a notably impressive spell, which included 4 maidens, finishing with impeccable figures of 13/2 after his allotted 7 overs.

The bowling changes were frequent as Elgin started to steady the ship, with Ryan Stemmet (0/47 off 7) and Pierre Fourie (0/4 off 2) only just unable to pick up a few much-needed wickets.

The spin bowlers, Bruce Taylor (40/2 off 7) and Wynand Grobler were introduced after the drinks-break, in the hope that taking the pace off the ball would force an error from the batters. It did. A sublime caught-and-bowled from the skipper, followed just a few balls later by another wicket, put the pressure squarely back on the visitors. Grobler (29/2 off 7), who picked up 2 valuable wickets, was unlucky not to bag several more, as catches were put down all around the park, while Elgin’s number 5 batsman romped to 85 not out off 95 balls.

After their 35 overs, Elgin had amassed 190 runs for 7 wickets, leaving Groot Drak the daunting task of beginning the run-chase with 5.4 runs required from each over.

Eager, for whatever reason, to watch the Springboks take on England after the game, the lunch-break was quick and the players were back on the field to resume play in no time.

A slow, but rock-solid start from the opening batsmen, Christo La Grange (16 off 41) and Gary Seaman, saw a great foundation being laid for the bigger hitters later on. Seaman was caught just 2 runs short of what would have been a well-deserved half century.

Gert Uys (8) and Ryan Stemmet (6) were out cheaply as Colin Myburgh and Wynand Grobler were sent in to try and salvage some pride for the home team, who were more than 100 runs shy, with the required rate above 8 runs to the over.

Watching from the clubhouse, the spectators were treated to some big hitting from Wynand Grobler, scoring 24 not out off just 9 balls, as well as a perfectly-paced innings from Colin Myburgh - in the end, seeing Groot Drak comfortably over the line with a man-of-the-match-winning performance - finishing on an unbeaten 75 off 48 balls.

After the match, the fines were quick and brutal, with almost 20 drop-catches from both teams during the day's play!

As is usually the case at Groot Drakenstein, the game was played in a fantastic manner, with all 22 players leaving the ground happier than when they arrived. We look forward to another exciting game against Elgin when we face them again next year.

Match report from Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Somerset Oakes - 30 October 2016

On Sunday 30 October, Groot Drak took a drive out to Somerset West for the first away game of the season against Somerset Oakes. After winning the toss, Groot Drak decided to bowl first on what looked like a pretty green and grippy track. The Kotze brothers (Joubert: 24/0 off 6 and Deon: 13/0 off 3) were tasked with opening the bowling and kept things very tight, preventing the opposition from scoring freely. Morné Maritz, who went for only 16 off his 6 overs, joined the attack with Roydon Adams (11/2 off 4) and both did a very good holding job until drinks.

Somerset Oakes had plenty of batters in the hut, but urgently needed more runs on the board. An inspired bowling change saw the introduction of Bruce Taylor, who, in his 7 overs, took 5 magnificent wickets for 32 runs, putting even more pressure on the home side. Phillip Lotter picked up 2 wickets in 2 balls and the batting side was looking in trouble.

Despite the good bowling, Somerset Oakes stabilised due to some below-average work in the field and plenty of chances going to ground (one forcing Rob 'Freight-train' Frater to retire injured). At the end of their 35 overs, Somerset Oakes had set Groot Drak a total of 146 runs.

Queue the run-chase.

A shaky start by Drak meant the highest score by a batsman in the top six was a meager 16 runs from Mark Kirstein. In need of a miracle, the tail-enders were charged with the almost impossible task of scoring nearly 100 runs at just under 5 an over.

It looked to be all over until Deon 'Kudu' Kotze and Roydon Adams put on a stunning display of hitting to get the Franschhoek lads within striking distance. With less than 3 overs remaining, Kudu Kotze reached 50 runs (58*) at better than a run-a-ball and Roydon Adams (18* off 18 balls) played a lofted straight drive to see Groot Drak cross the line with 2 wickets in hand, recording a hard-fought win over Somerset Oakes.

After the match, we were joined by the home team for a fines ceremony that punished and celebrated many performances from both camps. The game was played in a great spirit and we look forward to welcoming Somerset Oakes to Groot Drak next year for the reverse fixture.

Match report from Craig McNaught

Groot Drak vs Villiersdorp CC - 23 October 2016

A decidedly gloomy and wet start to the morning had most thinking that play would be called off, but a zealous Villiersdorp CC put paid to that idea as the first official game of the season was going to be played, come hell or high water.

There were four debutants for the Groot Drak XI in Gert Uys, Ryan Stemmet, Joubert Kotze and Gary Seaman, who we all look forward to seeing more of at the club.

The damp pitch meant play was delayed by a little over an hour, and, the long-standing tradition of the visitors being put in to bat was ruled unfair as Groot Drak lost the toss and were promptly asked to pad up.

From the first ball, the pitch provided some rather unpredictable bounce, coupled with a good effort from the Villiersdorp opening bowlers meant runs were hard to come by and wickets fell at regular intervals. A stalwart effort from Ryan Stemmet, scoring 19 on debut for the club wasn't enough as Drak stumbled to 74 runs all out, astonishingly, with no ducks on the scorecard.

After a quick lunch break, the opening bowlers, Roydon Adams (1 for 16 off 5) and Joubert Kotze kept things very tidy and put the squeeze on Villiersdorp for the first 10 overs, with debutant Joubert Kotze recording a phenomenal 3 wickets for only 12 runs off his 6 overs. The fielding was sharp with acrobatic work behind the stumps from Jono Boulton restricting the flow of runs. Colin Myburgh (19 for 0 off 6) continued the strangle as Villiersdorp looked in trouble at the drinks break.

With a few chances (and decisions) going abegging, Villiersdorp got over the line with 4 wickets to spare, in a surprisingly tense run chase.

After a quick drink on the pitch, fines were deservedly dished out and endured by the boys, who, even in defeat, thoroughly enjoyed the festivities after the game well in to the evening.

It was a disappointing start to the season, but the game was played in great spirits, leaving everyone looking forward to the rest of the 2016/2017 season at Groot Drakenstein.

Match report from Craig McNaught

President's vs Chairmans XI - 15 October 2016

As tradition dictates, the first club match of the Groot Drak season is the Presidents vs Chairmans 11. On the morning of the 15th of October, long standing senior club members Bruce Taylor, Morne Landman and Pierre Fourie selected an evenly balanced team from the 22 players that made themselves available. The Chairman’s team batted first, Gary Seaman top scoring with 25 and supported by a blistering 20 not out by Philip Lotter who certainly was a very different athlete compared to his Evil twin whom came on tour to Graff Reinet the week before!

There were some great catches in the outfield and some absolute dollies palmed to the ground as everyone worked off the winter rust. When the slightly more senior Presidents line up padded up they were faced with just 143 for the win. But 4 wickets falling in fairly quick succession had the changing room running around like headless chickens! The middle order ship steadied as Jonathan Boulton prodded a painful 26 off 53 not out all the time encouraging the match wining innings of 33 off 44 balls by Gert Uys, that built the foundation for a very sweet victory.

Fines afterwards were swift and merciless, and as always was most entertaining and it was fantastic to see so many new faces keen to be part of the Groot Drak family. This only bodes well for a fantastic season. Thanks to all the behind the scenes hard work, Robbie “the Freight train” Frater for getting the pool squared up so quickly for the kids, Morne Land Man for selecting, scoring, umpiring and making sure eveyone wore their Duck hats, Team Captain Bruce Taylor for all his organising, Vitalis for a magnificent pitch and to all the Committee members and Players

- "Groot Drak!"
Match report from Jono Boulton