History 1990 – 1995

With the celebrations of the 60th Year now over, it was imperative the Club's First Eleven continue to show improvement, under the Captaincy of Grant Treeby, and look for a place in the four. A forfeit gained over St. Kilda in the first round, followed by a three game losing streak, was not the start they wished for prior to the Christmas break. But with Mackie imports Glen Holland and Mark Rainey settling into the Club, together with Grant Treeby and Graeme Bodley, ANA had one of the best bowling attacks seen at the Club and as a result was able to keep opposition teams down to an average of 160. Consequently, six successive wins by the end of Round 10 meant ANA had to beat Washington Park in the last round to ensure a finals spot. Washington batted first with ANA's bowlers again dismissing the opposition for 160. Unfortunately the run chase fell short with the only resistance coming from Chris Beattie and Wes O'Neill, who provided the backbone of the batting with season averages of 39.9 and 29.2 respectively. For the second successive year the First Eleven came so close but again had to settle for fifth place.
The Second Eleven were able to capitalise on the depth of the First Eleven and go one better by winning eight games for the season, handing out a thrashing to Washington Park in the last round, to ensure they cemented a spot in the final four. As had been the case with the Second Eleven for some time, it boasted a number of all-rounders including Captain Bob Wilson, Frank Loiacono, Trevlyn Crozier and "indoor" recruits Jason Sherlock and Barry Masefield. Together with John Smith, Bob Dolman and David Shipp, this side had a number of experienced players that contributed to relative high scores throughout the year. In the bowling department David Millar continued to show improvement and was supported by Bob Dolman. Both these bowlers showed their true colours when ANA hosted Omega in the first Semi-final held at King George. Omega won the toss and as expected decided to bat first. At 2/67 at tea the Millar/Dolman combination then continued on to take all 10 wickets, dismissing Omega for 180. A reasonable score but quite achievable by the all-rounded talent of the ANA side. It may have been nerves, call it what you like, but two early run outs didn't help ANA's cause and at tea the game was all but over. Even the long tail that had performed so well during the home and away games couldn't save the home side from defeat and disappointingly they were all out for 90.
In "C" Grade ANA's Third Eleven showed they weren't going to be left out of the action, and led by first year Captain Michael Biddle, they booked themselves a place in the finals. Seven wins out of the last eight games earned them the right to play Hampton United in the Semi-final. Having taken 28 wickets throughout the home and away season Justin Fowler continued on his good form and picked up 5/46 off 20 overs, as ANA rolled Hampton United for 194. The batting relied heavily on Mark Horsfield (331runs for the season), Graham Johnson (228) and Desmond Falconer (222). The latter two combining for a record sixth wicket partnership of 182 not out (D.Falconer 93 n.o., G.Johnson 83 n.o.) against Brighton Central in Round 10. In ANA's innings these three batsmen were back in the pavilion at 7/131, and as a result the team failed to achieve the 194 runs required for victory.
The Fourth Eleven continued the Club's success by dropping only two games for the year, along their way to a Semi-final playoff against Brighton Union at King George. Although prolific season scorers for the year Andrew Stanes (252) and Peter "Frosty" Miller (324) failed in the Semi-final a creditable total was achieved, thanks mainly to Richard "Tavare" Smith who made a well compiled 53 and steadied the ship, allowing the team to make a score of 205. Defending this score Frosty turned it on with the ball taking 6/75 to have Brighton Union all out for 144. There was to be no pants ripping episode by Fourth's Skipper Paul Biddle this year as his side set up a first innings total of 264 against Brighton Central in the Grand Final. All batsmen contributed, with Andrew Stanes (30), Cameron Hallowell (58), Jack Smith (26), Russell Saunders (36), and Jason Sherlock (29). Centrals made a disastrous start, with all-rounder Russell Saunders taking 6/45 off 21 overs as they crashed to be all out for 97. Paul Biddle and Gavin Bodley took two wickets apiece. As expected, ANA enforced the follow-on, but at 8/97 the game was called off and at last ANA had grabbed itself a share of Premiership glory after having three of its five senior teams playing in the finals.
Whilst no junior sides were represented in the finals there were some encouraging signs for the future of the Club. Names like Liber Flechero, Ian Chick, Garry Litinsky, Adam Stone, Adam Kain, the latter taking a season aggregate 27 wickets at an average of 9.48, meant the Club had a base of good junior players to work with. Only time will tell if they all go on to succeed with the Bentleigh ANA Cricket Club.

After the disappointment of missing out on the finals last year, ANA appointed wicketkeeper/batsman Chris Beattie as Captain of ANA's First Eleven and recruited a couple of exciting bowlers in Stuart Willey and Steven Badger. The aim was to strengthen a side that always threatened but just couldn't make the top level. Unfortunately, after losing the first two games of the season another mediocre year was looking likely. However, consistent performances from several players allowed ANA to win the remaining nine games of the season to make its first finals appearance in Longmuir Shield history. Exceptional batting performances were frequent in a line up that included seven players making over 200 runs for the season. Most impressive was stocky opener Wes O'Neill (363 runs at 45), who was well supported throughout the season by Debinder Singh (246 runs at 35), Neil Vorbach (271 runs at 34) and Chris Beattie (300 runs at 30). O'Neill provided the individual highlight of the season when he carried his bat against Washington Park in Round 5 to finish on 134 not out. In doing so, both he and Captain Chris Beattie created a new fourth wicket partnership for the First Eleven of 176 (Wes O'Neill 69, Chris Beattie 90). ANA's bowling department was dominated by opening bowler David Millar (31 wickets at 18) and the left arm orthodox of Graeme Bodley (25 wickets at 13). In summary, all of the core players contributed to bring ANA into its Semi-final clash against Omega at King George Reserve. Cedric Jansz had an indifferent season with the bat, but scored an inspirational century in the last round for the Seconds to win back a spot for the historic match. Omega won the toss and batted first. They batted strongly to finish at 7/223 with the reliable David Millar (3/92 off 29 overs) and Graeme Bodley (3/79 for 30 overs) denying Omega a greater score. ANA started poorly being 4/41, and despite some stirring performances from Neil Vorbach (66) and Cedric Jansz (44), who both received heavy blows to the head, ANA never recovered, finally being dismissed for 186. Despite having its best season in years, the finish was a disappointing one for a side that had the potential to go all the way.
In "C" Grade ANA's Third Eleven also made the finals after strong performances throughout the season from Russell Saunders with the bat (246 runs at 41) and Sammy Wolfe with the ball (19 wickets at 17). In the Semi-final against Mackie, ANA batted first and with good performances from Jack Smith (30), Jason Sherlock (49) and Peter Miller (38), the side was cruising at 3/150. However, a lower-order collapse left the game in the balance as ANA was dismissed for 190. In the end it was never threatened as Mackie were all out for 114. Peter Miller capped off a fine game taking 4/13 off 17 overs.
Unfortunately the Grand Final against Hampton Central was a game ANA will want to forget. After Captain Michael Biddle won the toss and elected to bat, ANA's Premiership chances were over early, being dismissed for 94. Despite lion-hearted efforts from Russell Saunders (3/32 off 20 overs) and Jason Sherlock (4/50 off 25.4 overs), Hampton Central passed ANA five down, going on to make 295. Despite no senior Premierships the juniors performed strongly, with both Under 12C and Under 16B Premierships being won by the Club.
The "Under 16" Semi-final against Middle Park was an epic clash with ANA batting first. Solid performances by opener Adam Kain (33) and Captain Ian Chick (39) gave ANA a competitive score of 123. However, Middle Park looked likely winners after being 2/80, but with support from the boundary, ANA fought back, finally dismissing Middle Park for 117. Shane Kitts was the star taking 6/47. In the grand final against Elsternwick, Ashley Kitts (26), Ian Chick (47) and Shane Kitts (30) took ANA to 173. Elsternwick were never a chance, finally being dismissed for 147. Shane Kitts capped off a fantastic finals series by taking 4/48, while Ian Chick took off the wicket-keeping gloves to capture 3/12.
In the "Under 12C" grade (managed by Jack Smith and Des Falconer) Skipper Rohan Neve with the ball (4/20), and star player Leigh Ireson with the bat (22), gave ANA a solid win by five wickets in the Semi-final against Cheltenham Park. In the grand final against Omega, Rohan Neve backed up his Semifinal performance by taking 5/11 to help dismiss the opposition for 71. After being 4/5, and then 6/46, ANA were looking very shaky. However Greg Walker (28) and Andrew Samaratunge (10) defied the odds and allowed ANA to win its second Premiership for the season. Despite no senior successes, two Premierships for the season was a very good performance by any club's standards.
1991/92 "UNDER 12C" PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Bentleigh ANA
Omega - 1st Innings
Woods G . . . . . . . . b Neve 15
O'Brien A . . . . . . . b Ireson 0
Wilkinson C . . . . . c Tylor b Walker 21
Brown L . . . . . . . . run out R.Neve/Tylor 19
Jenkin M . . . . . . . c Walker b Neve 0
Redon L . . . . . . . .b Neve 1
Sawaya R . . . . . . .c L.Ireson. b Neve 1
Bennett B . . . . . . .b Samaratunge 5
Baird D . . . . . . . . c R.Neve b Samaratunge 0
Nyssen L . . . . . . .c & b Neve 0
Yanni A . . . . . . . not out 0
Sundries 9
Bowling - Walker G. 1/19, Ireson L. 1/22, Neve R. 5/11,
Snelling M. 0/6, Samaratunge A. 2/4.
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Smith G . . . . . . . . . . . b Jenkin 0
Snelling M . . . . . . . c Jenkin 3
Ireson L . . . . . . . . . . lbw Jenkin 9
Neve R . . . . . . . . ..b Sawaya 0
Tylor R . . . . . . . . . .b Jenkin 0
Walker G . . . . . . . . b Wilkinson 28
Neve J . . . . . . . . . . b Yanni 3
Ireson A . . . . . . . . . not out 0
Samaratunge A . . . . c O'Brien 10
Pattison S . . . . . . . . .run out 0
Goff C . . . . . . . . . . b Jenkin 4
Sundries 27
Bowling - Jenkin M. 5/16, Sawaya R. 1/17, Yanni A. 1/4, Wilkinson C. 1/6,
Brown L. 0/12, Nyssen L. 0/1, O'Brien A. 1/1.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 13 runs.

Chris Beattie again took up the Captaincy of the First Eleven and recruited glamour boy Jim Boyd, from Peninsula side Seaford, to bolster the number three batting position and add depth to the bowling, which also included local Steve Badger. The season started with a one day game against Cluden who, unfortunately, managed to pass ANA in the last over. This was followed by two draws against Omega and Washington Park. Both games were affected by rain, and on both occasions, ANA had chances for victory. Luck goes a long way to playing in finals and instead of having three wins (18 points), ANA had only six points from the first three rounds. A frustrating season was to follow, where the only further points gained was from another draw, this time it was Hampton United who denied ANA victory by "shutting up shop". Consistent batting by Trevlyn Crozier, hard hitting by Cedric Jansz, and the debut of Andrew Stanes into the First Eleven (averaging 20 from four games), were the only positives to come out of the batting, whilst the bowling averages showed only one percent separating Steve Badger, Jim Boyd, David Millar and Graeme Bodley, the latter again taking the Firsts bowling averages.
Whilst the Second Eleven, in "A" Grade, had a disappointing year, the Third Eleven, playing in "C" Grade, continually showed why they were the most consistent side by again featuring in the finals. The only set back they had to contend with was the lack of a home ground facility. The Council had taken the unprecedented move, three weeks prior to the start of the cricket season, of introducing womens softball to Bailey Park, leaving ANA with no ground for a Third Eleven, "C" Grade, team. As a result the team played few home games, but when they did it was on one of the overlapping grounds situated at Elsternwick Park. It was clear from the outset that the Executive Committee of ANA, alone, had to explore all avenues to ensure the Thirds had a home base for the following year. This was never going to be easy, given the swing away from the traditional sports of football and cricket. Nevertheless, and despite these adversities, the Third Eleven showed they were capable of mixing it with the best, on any ground, anywhere.
With only two losses coming into the finals ANA played Bentleigh Uniting at King George in a Semi-final, and after sending the opposition into bat, dismissed them for 98. Sam Wolfe and Jason Sherlock both took four wickets each, the latter having an excellent season with both bat and ball. ANA had a minor collapse with the bat but managed to overhaul the 98 required with one wicket to spare. The Thirds also gained the services of Russell Mactaggart who travelled down from Alexandra each Saturday to play. The Grand Final was played at King George against Le Page Park, who had earlier in the season dismissed ANA cheaply for 113. Again the consistent Le Page side had ANA on the ropes at 9/109. Enter Mark McDonald. The number eleven batsman, together with Mark Canavan, put on a 75 run partnership which took ANA to a respectable 184. Mark contributed 68 of those 75 runs. This partnership proved to be a match winning performance, as Le Page managed only 148 against an ANA attack again led by Jason Sherlock (five wickets), Mark McDonald, Sam Wolfe and Mick Ruffin. Finally the Thirds had a Premiership after finishing Runners-up the previous year, and Semi-finalists the year before that.
Unfortunately the Fourth and Fifth Elevens had lean seasons, but on a positive note, these teams were filled with junior players keen to help out at a senior level after having performed admirably with their own teams in the Junior competition. ANA has always prided itself on the quality of juniors coming up through the ranks and only time will tell whether these kids can take the next step.

The off-season saw the departure of Chris Beattie back to the Peninsula, enticed by a coaching offer made by Baxter C.C. Jim Boyd left the Club after a stay of only one season and Steve Badger played just the one game. Needless to say the bowling attack lacked depth, with the weight of responsibility falling on the shoulders of David Millar and Graeme Bodley. Into the side came Peter Carmel, recruited by Cedric Jansz. Given the enormous task of getting ANA back on track, Peter took on the Coaching role as well as the Captaincy of the First Eleven. With their Round One match drawn due to rain, they didn't have to wait long for a win, with a Round Two victory over Hampton Central.
After collapsing to 9/121, ANA lifted with a last wicket stand of 65 between David Millar (52) and Graeme Bodley (22 n.o.), a record for an ANA First Eleven team, eclipsing the previous tenth wicket partnership of 56 set back in 1988. As a result, ANA made 186, and Hampton Central struggled, being bowled out for 106. Again David Millar and Graeme Bodley combined to take seven wickets between them. Unfortunately there was to be only three other wins for the year, highlighted by some big hitting from John Bacon. In an eight week period he amassed over 350 runs, smashing 120 out of 171 for the Third Eleven and then backing up with consecutive scores of 51, 70 and 117 in Longmuir Shield. The latter century coming with a huge six over the deep mid-wicket boundary against an Omega attack that went onto win the Longmuir Shield Premiership. John Bacon's season average of 37.88 was backed up with contributions from Trevlyn Crozier, Frank Loiacono and David Millar, all of whom exceeded 200 runs in the home and away season. For the first time in a while the First Eleven bowling lacked penetration, with only Graeme Bodley (21 wickets at 22.2) and David Millar (31 wickets at 18.7) making a significant impact. In addition to taking wickets Millar also opened the batting on most occasions and showed his all round ability by compiling 210 runs at an average of 26.2. This was far and away the most outstanding individual effort of any player throughout the Longmuir Shield competition, and as a result, David Millar was awarded the "G. Knights Sportsgoods Player of the Year".
The Second Eleven side were again led by John Smith, and as usual, were very competitive with five wins and a draw after the completion of eight rounds. Unfortunately three losses towards the end of the season saw them fall out of the four and miss an opportunity of playing in the finals. Debinder Singh was the highlight when he opened the batting against Omega in Round Two, making a swashbuckling 127 n.o., in of a total of 5/227. Singh accumulated over 270 runs throughout the year at an average of 45.5 and, together with Barry Masefield (twice taking 5/34 throughout the year) and Jason Sherlock, provided solid all rounded performances.
The off-season had the Committee of ANA working overtime to find a suitable ground for the reigning Third Eleven "C" Grade Premiers. An opportunity was explored through the City of Kingston to turn a recreation park, situated east of Warrigal Road, along Centre Dandenong Road, Cheltenham, into a cricket ground. The fact that it was adjacent to the Cheltenham RSL provided instant incentive to a number of staunch members of the Club. No names will be mentioned, but in the seasons to come, it was rumoured at least one ANA player visited the bar during the tea interval on those hot Saturday afternoons. Not sure whether the performances on the ground benefited from the sip at the bar but it was quietly, and discreetly, given the thumbs down by the Committee.
The hard work of Neil Vorbach, Graeme Bodley, Bob Wilson, and the Committee, enabled the Club to secure a home for its Third Eleven side. Known as Kingston Heath, it was soon adopted as "The Heath". Unfortunately it provided little shade to the cricketers who played there and its width made scoring boundaries a rarity. Whilst 1993/94 saw the defending Premiers win only a handful of games, the Third Eleven welcomed the return of Club legend Fitzroy Crozier. Taking 4/7 off 14 overs he showed nothing had been lost during his days of retirement. Giving his reason for returning to cricket as "purely a fitness one", at 57 years of age not many people could be bothered, let alone be capable, but the man loves the game and was also willing to help out other players from a coaching perspective. Mark McDonald had a stellar year, taking 21 wickets in the first four rounds with bags of 5/72, 5/46, 6/52 and 5/50, thus walking away with the title of "Club Champion" well before Christmas. Other highlights included personal bests from Darren Russell, who scored 93 in the last round, and Mark Harrington, in making scores of 71 and 65 opening the batting.
Highlights were thin on the ground for the Fourth and Fifth Elevens. Ashley Kitts provided an all-round performance in the Fourths, against East Sandringham in Round 10, making 69 with the bat and taking 2/19 with the ball. In the Fifths, Garry Litinsky hit up 103 in their Round 2 clash, also against East Sandringham. For the Women's side some solid batting performances were evident throughout the year, but not consistently enough to get them into the finals.
The "Under 16s" were the sole ANA finalists for the season, achieved more by solid team performances rather than individual brilliance. They played Highett West in the Semi-final, dismissing them for 135, with all five bowlers getting amongst the wickets. Unfortunately this consistency didn't carry through to the batting, with Koutaplis (64) the only player to get to double figures, out of a score of 109. The Ireson brothers put in some solid performances during the course of the season, with Leigh making 64 out of a total of 130 in Round 2 against South Caulfield in the "Under 14s", and Andrew taking 4/10, 4/16 and 3/13 in the first three rounds for the "Under 12s".

Despite the appointment of Longmuir Shield "Player of the Year", David Millar, as Captain, and the introduction of new players Peter Bishop, Peter Damyon, Mark Duncan and Stuart Hendricks, the 1994/95 season was a lean one for the First Eleven Longmuir Shield side. Current players Darren Russell and Jack Smith made their debuts, the former hitting up 55 in his first and only knock for a Longmuir Shield side. Jack Smith was unlucky not to take out the First Eleven batting average with 198 runs at 33 from six games.
Unfortunately a change of personnel didn't mean a change of fortune and consequently, with only two wins and a draw for the season, relegation was narrowly avoided. No less than seven players averaged in the low twenties with the bat, but none of them went on to make significant scores. David Millar (25), Graeme Bodley (15) and Jason Sherlock (25) held the bowling together, with Jason Sherlock opening the bowling and averaging 21.88 with the ball in his first full season of Longmuir Shield.
Any game against Brighton Union is always a competitive one, but a Round 3 clash at Hurlingham Park will be well remembered for its excellent spell of opening bowling from David Millar and Jason Sherlock. They had the opposition struggling at 2/22 after 14 overs, with Sherlock having taken the openers out cheaply. But when you're on a losing streak the luck seems to desert you. This day was no different and with rain falling (not enough to stop play) the ground became slippery and so to did the synthetic pitch at Hurlingham Park. In addition to the adverse weather conditions the bowling was under siege from former St. Kilda AFL player, Craig O'Brien. Rampaging his way to a score of 110 he completely changed the complexion of the match.
A score of 8/264 was always going to be a tall order and in reply ANA could only manage 9/163. Whilst the influx of new players failed to ignite the First Eleven, they did add overall depth to the Club's Second and Third Eleven sides. Second's Captain, John Smith, could be seen licking his lips when the likes of Peter Bishop, Trevlyn Crozier, Bob Dolman, Debinder Singh, Peter Damyon, Jack Smith, Barry Masefield and Frank Loiacono all graced the field during the course of the year.
Seven wins for the season was enough to get the Second Eleven "B" Grade side into the finals, despite a last round "away loss" to Cheltenham Park who had only made 154, Barry Masefield taking 5/50. In reply ANA could only manage 133. No Second Eleven batsman had qualified for the end of season averages. However, significant contributions by most players throughout the year had ensured their opponents were set a reasonable target, and the bowling usually did the rest. The Round 11 loss to Cheltenham Park resulted in ANA revisiting the same venue, against Cheltenham Park, in a Semi-final clash. This time ANA won the toss and Skipper John Smith had no hesitation in batting first.
A solid opening partnership of 47 between Jack Smith and Trevlyn Crozier ensured ANA were off to a good start. Jack Smith went on to make 73 and was dismissed when the score was 3/125. Peter Bishop (47) and John Smith (82 n.o.) took up the challenge and took the score to 296, all out. The Skipper's knock was considered a gem by most people who witnessed the onslaught that day.
A huge target was always going to be a difficult assignment for Cheltenham Park, however, the ground did lend itself to big scores. Tight bowling by ANA dismissed the opposition for 189, with Bob "Dolly" Dolman the chief destroyer with 4/69 off 26 overs. He was well supported by Barry Masefield (2/42) and Peter Damyon (3/21), and accordingly had a birth in the "B" Grade Final. Any game against Bentleigh Uniting is a tough one, let alone a Grand Final at Centenary Park. Bentleigh Uniting's depth was never questioned, with their First Eleven the pacesetters in Longmuir Shield. Nevertheless, another coin toss going ANA's way meant an in-form batting line up could again set up a respectable target, and this they did. John Smith (31), following on his good form from the Semi-final, again set the scene with middle-order support from Debinder "Tiger" Singh (30) and a majestic century by Peter Bishop, who was finally dismissed for 117. ANA had set Bentleigh Uniting a record finals score, for an ANA Second Eleven, of 306. With with early wickets to Bob Dolman and Barry Masefield, Uniting were in all sorts at 7/47, and the game all but over.
Only stubborn resistance by the evergreen Ian Longmuir (123) prolonged the inevitable; a long awaited "B" Grade Premiership. Man of the Match going to Peter Bishop, for his century, and Bob Dolman for 10 wickets in a final series. The finals series was said to be the most convincing one from an ANA side, and should not be underestimated, as they played against no less than six First Eleven teams throughout the season.
1994/95 "B" GRADE PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Bentleigh ANA
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Smith Jack . . . . . . . . . . b Milner 31
Crozier T . . . . . . . . . . . c Nolan 0
Russell D . . . . . . . . . . . b Porch 4
Singh D . . . . . . . . . . . . lbw Nolan 30
Bishop P . . . . . . . . . . . c Guttman 117
Loiacono F . . . . . . . . . c Nolan 6
Smith John . . . . . . . . . c Porch 11
Masefield B . . . . . . . . c Longmuir 42
Vargas R . . . . . . . . . . . c Nolan 4
Damyon P . . . . . . . . . . . not out 17
Dolman R . . . . . . . . . . not out 2
Sundries 41
TOTAL 9/305
Bowling - Porch S. 2/68, Nolan S. 4/77, Milner M. 1/30,
Guttman J. 1/48, Longmuir I. 1/41.
Bentleigh Uniting - 1st Innings
Woodland R . . . . . lbw Dolman 11
Baynes D . . . . . . . . lbw Masefield 3
Thomson A . . . . . c Singh b Dolman 20
Major M . . . . . . . . . . . b Dolman 5
Guttman J . . . . . lbw Dolman 0
Sinclair M . . . . . c Bishop b Masefield 2
Longmuir I . . . . . . . c Damyon b Dolman 123
Balderanos T . . . . . . c John Smith b Dolman 0
Milner M . . . . . . . . . b Singh 11
Porch S . . . . . . not out 27
Nolan S . . . . . . . b Masefield 0
Sundries 14
Bowling - Masefield B. 3/67, Dolman R. 6/68, Vargas R. 0/27,
Damyon P. 0/25, Singh D. 1/24.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 89 runs.

Richard Smith took over the Captaincy of the Third Eleven "C" Grade side. Carnegie South hit up 386 in the first round, and this seemed to set the pattern for the season, as the Thirds had only one win for the year. This was against Bentleigh Uniting, with the highlight being Richard Vargas' 7/43. Graham Johnson had a good year with the bat making 205 runs at 25.63. Mick Ruffin showed further improvement with the ball capturing 19 wickets at 18.53.
The Fourth Eleven "F" Grade side was Captained by Mick Whelan and managed to scrape into the finals. The best bowling performance of the year came from Adam Stone against West Bentleigh, when he took 9/33 off 21 overs (including 10 maidens). Having taken eight wickets in succession, Scott Irving then took a catch off Ken Wilson for the ninth wicket, thus robbing Adam of a possible perfect ten. Team mates "paid out" on Scott and made sure he didn't forget what could have "been". Nevertheless, Stone took the last wicket and placed himself amongst illustrious company, with only three other players who have taken nine wickets in an innings. Two of these also against West Bentleigh. In the Semi-final played at King George, Bentleigh Uniting batted first and compiled a very competitive score of 265. Adam Stone continued his good form, taking 4/39 off 18 overs, and was ably supported by Robert Higgins (3/25 off 18 overs). Unfortunately the score was beyond ANA's reach and they were bundled out for 123. Only Greg Pressey (38) and Andrew Higgins made starts.
The "J" Grade Fifth Eleven side won only four games for the year with Stephen Hodges, Shane Adams and Mark Gonzo performing admirably throughout.
The Club had no junior sides in the finals but had some inspirational individual performances from the "Under 16" team. In particular Leigh Ireson, who took 7/4 against Carnegie South in Round 2, and followed it up with 102 (retired) against Caulfield South in Round 9. Rohan Neve also made 107 retired against Moorabbin in Round 7. The future of the Club could not look anything but promising with the performance of these two juniors.
History 1995 – 2000

All clubs seem go through a cycle of winning, and losing, streaks throughout each year. Performances through the grades also vary from year to year, along with the individuals that affect those results. The 1995/96 season was, without doubt, the most successful in the Clubs history in terms of finals performances. Along the way the Club took the honours with no less than four Premierships, and was considered unlucky not to have won the "Champion Club" of the CMCA. Only a "points system" weighted heavily in favour of the higher graded sides cost the Club what would have been justified recognition. The First Eleven didn't quite get off to the start they were hoping for when the previous years' Captain, David Millar, announced he would be moving to Sydney. This was to leave a gaping hole in the First Eleven side, the likes of which ANA hadn't felt for some time. Most clubs are able to build around successful individuals, and with many good years ahead of him, the Club would not receive the full benefit of one of its own junior players coming up through the ranks. Nevertheless, the Executive were fortunate enough to again acquire the talented, and much travelled, Glen Holland from Brighton Central, appointing him as Captain. Unfortunately, a clearance technicality prevented him from playing the first game. The Club was fortunate, however, to gain the services of hard hitting top order batsman Gary Harvey from Murrumbeena and former Ormond all-rounder Clive Dickson. Harvey took four catches in the cover area on debut whilst Dickson showed his tight bowling was going to play a big part in ANA's season. In a season where highlights were many, the Club made the Longmuir Shield finals for only the second time since its inception (formerly "A" Grade). Unfortunately we lost the Semi-final to Bentleigh Uniting by some 25 runs. A crucial stage in the match, when Glen Holland was felled by a short delivery, may well have made the difference between winning and losing. At that stage the score was 8/160 (chasing 211), and with two boundaries to open his account, one sensed the Skipper was going to produce another match-winning performance. Alas, the head injury to Holland, which delayed the game for some time, also stopped ANA's momentum and consequently they were all out for 187. Only the week before ANA had managed a miraculous win over arch rivals Brighton Union. Set a score of 246 to win the game, and a possible place in the finals, ANA were struggling at 9/175. "Young gun" Gary Harvey had made a blistering 57 when he was out lbw, with the score at 5/112. The middle-order failed thereafter but that was when ANA showed its depth of all-round experience, as it had done so many times earlier in the year. Slowly, but surely, Barry Masefield and Clive Dickson proceeded to pick off the Union bowlers. With nine required off the last over, Clive Dickson dispatched Con Gorozidis' second ball over the fence for six, ensuring a sweet victory for ANA. Along the way they created a last wicket record stand of 71 for a First Eleven. Clive finished with 33 and Barry remained 44 not out.
Other highlights to come out of the year included a season average of 34.75 with the bat from Debinder Singh. He also made a personal best of 126 against Cheltenham Park in Round 10, 104 coming in boundaries. Whilst this game was significant for its outright victory, it also witnessed Glen Holland equalling the Club record of most wickets taken in a match, for a First Eleven side. In what can only be described as the most quickest and accurate spell of sustained bowling perhaps ever seen at the Club, the ANA Captain took 8/65 and 7/18, off a combined 24.5 overs, to bundle the opposition out for 102 and 108 respectively. Only the great Ted Luttrell had taken the same amount of wickets in a match back in 1938 against Bentleigh Footballers (8/23 and 7/19). The Second Eleven "B" Grade side opened their account by winning the first four rounds. Consistent batting from Frank Loiacono, David Shipp, and Ashley Kitts was well supported by strike bowlers Barry Masefield and Sammy Wolfe, the latter taking a career best of 7/80 against Bentleigh Uniting in Round 2. The side was led by John "The Chairman" Smith with many Club stalwarts contributing to the side's efforts throughout the year. The undoubted highlight of the season came against Omega in Round 10. An unbroken 257 run fifth wicket partnership took place between Ashley Kitts and Peter Bishop. Chasing Omega's modest total of 144, the pair came together at 4/112 then set about decimating the attack. Bishop finished on 131 not out (20x4's and 2x6's), whilst Kitts finished on 147 not out (14x4's and 10x6's). The score at stumps was 4/369 and created a Club record fifth wicket partnership, in fact it is the highest partnership for any wicket throughout the 70 years of the Club. Unfortunately the side was beaten in the Semi-final against Elwood by four wickets, with only John Smith, playing a great Captains knock with 51.
The Third Eleven "D" Grade side was led by Graham Johnson, in his debut as Captain, and the side achieved immediate results by winning the Premiership. Winning four of their last five rounds, the Third Eleven finished in fourth position and took on Le Page Park in a Semi-final match played at King George. ANA set Le Page Park a huge score of 8/289 thanks mainly to a vintage performance by Bob Wilson who contributed 123 out of the team's total. This was Bob's maiden century, after 25 years with the Club, and, although tired and exhausted at the end of the day's play, he still refused to take his jumper off, despite the heat. A trait that he still maintains to this day. Adam Kain took 5/22 which saw Le Page Park bowled out for 215. This put ANA into the Grand Final against Carnegie South, which was also played at King George. Graham Johnson won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to have a bat. ANA made a modest 217, with four players making into the thirties. It was enough to defend as Carnegie South were bowled out for a paltry 153. Strike bowlers Garry Litinsky and Robert Higgins took 3/37 and 3/36 respectively. In an earlier game Litinsky had provided the highlight of the season when the young opening bowler routed Brighton Union in Round 10. Defending a rather mediocre score of 194 runs on the small Hurlingham Park
No. 2 ground, Litinsky single handedly bowled the side to victory with the figures of 27 overs, 4 maidens, 9 for 72. As luck would have it, Litinsky had the opportunity to grab a perfect 10 wicket haul, but unfortunately dropped a difficult caught and bowled chance before the last wicket fell to a run out. He joins an elite group of four other ANA players who have taken nine wickets in an innings. Scott Falahey also won the CMCA batting averages for "D" Grade with 53.75.

1995/96 "D" GRADE PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Bentleigh ANA
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Smith R . . . . . . c Oldershaw 19
Russell D . . . . . . c & b Townsend 34
Crozier T . . . . . . . . . . c Oldershaw 0
Johnson G . . . . . . . . c Grant 3
Wilson B . . . . . . . b Meredith 5
Falahey S . . . . . . . . b Smith 33
Wolfe S . . . . . . . . . c Meredith 4
Higgins R . . . . . . . . c Bates 35
Litinsky G . . . . . . c Bates 38
Kain A . . . . . . . . . not out 12
Canavan M . . . . . . . c Oldershaw 8
Sundries 27
Bowling - Oldershaw R. 3/52, Bates B. 2/45, Grant A. 1/18, Meredith M. 2/25, Townsend G. 1/38, Smith C. 1/20.
Carnegie South - 1st Innings
Dobson S . . . . . . . b Litinsky 10
Briggs J . . . . . . . c Wolfe b Litinsky 21
Grant A . . . . . . . . lbw Higgins 6
Miles A . . . . . . . . lbw Higgins 4
Bradshaw A . . . . c Irving b Kain 35
Smith C . . . . . . c Russell b Johnson 20
Mills D . . . . . . . b Johnson 4
Meredith M . . . . . . . not out 21
Townsend G . . . . . . . c Johnson b Higgins 6
Bates G . . . . . c Wilson b Litinsky 15
Oldershaw R . . . . . . run out Kain/Higgins 2
Sundries 10
Bowling - Litinsky G. 3/37, Higgins R. 3/36, Kain A. 1/36, Wolfe S. 0/14, Johnson G. 2/23.
Bentleigh ANA - 2nd Innings
Smith R . . . . . . . . not out 37
Russell D . . . . . . . c Oldershaw 6
Crozier T . . . . . . . c Townsend 25
Johnson G . . . . . b Meredith 45
Wilson B . . . . . . . c Townsend 42
Falahey S . . . . . . . . not out 8
Sundries 7
TOTAL 4/169

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 64 runs.

The Fourth Eleven "F" Grade side made the finals but were bundled out in the first Semi-final. Stephen Hodges performed well throughout the year taking 28 wickets at 13.29. Andy Higgins averaged 46.67 with the bat after compiling 280 runs during the home and away season.
The Fifth Eleven were once again led by the irrepressible Bill Fajwul who did a sensational job of leading the side to a Premiership, although not before a nail biting Grand Final. Two walkovers, one washout, two outright wins and four first innings victories constituted a mixed bag for the Fifth Eleven, but it also ensured them a spot in the finals. An opening partnership of 59 against Southside in the first Semi-final, played at East Caulfield, and 72 to Mark McDonald provided ANA with a first innings total of 252. Southside could only manage 142, with six ANA bowlers getting amongst the wickets. In the Grand Final ANA couldn't have got off to a better start when they had Hampton Central 6/23, going on to dismiss them for 74, Nathan Wilson taking 5/19. However, ANA fared little better in their first innings, mustering a mediocre 87. Hampton Central fared little better in the second innings, being knocked over for 100, leaving ANA to make 88 runs to win outright. After collapsing to 6/20, ANA were in dire straits, and looking down the barrel of defeat, well inside the schedule allotted overs. A 41 run partnership between David Ince and Andrew Bloomfield took the score to 61, before "Bloomy" was dismissed for a gutsy with 8/90. With the pennant safely in hand this game was a gentle reminder of the pressure that can build up when playing in a Grand Final.
1995/96 "I" GRADE PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Hampton Cental
Hampton Central - 1st Innings
O'Neill P . . . . . . . . c Bloomfield b Wilson 0
McGregor S . . . . . . b Wilson 1
Brisbane R . . . . . . c Bloomfield b McDonald 17
Jackson W . . . . . . . . . . . . c Falconer b McDonald 1
Cox B . . . . . c Adams b McDonald 0
Kalogerinis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lbw Wilson 22
Cox G . . . . . . c Falconer b McDonald 0
Vine D . . . . . . . b Wilson 6
Lacey D . . . . . c Falconer b Wilson 6
Mirabito W . . . . . . b Bloomfield 11
Connelly B . . . . . . . not out 0
Sundries 10
Bowling - Wilson N. 5/19, McDonald M. 4/40, Bloomfield A. 1/8.
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Harrison D . . . . . . c Cox 0
Wilson N . . . . . c Kalogerinis 21
McDonald M . . . . . . c O'Neill 9
Bloomfield A . . . . . b O'Neill 2
Falconer D . . . . . . c Kalogerinis 11
Vivitis T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c Cox 8
Adams S . . . . . . . . . c Cox 22
Ince D . . . . . . . . . . . . b Cox 2
Fajwul B . . . . . . . . . . . c Cox 0
Gill B . . . . . . . . . . . . c Cox 5
Pederson N . . . . . . . . not out 0
Sundries 7
Bowling - O'Neill P. 2/15, Cox B. 6/31, Kalogerinis N. 2/21, Jackson W.
Hampton Central - 2nd Innings
O'Neill P . . . . . . b Bloomfield 27
McGregor S . . . . . . c Gill b Wilson 18
Brisbane R . . . . . . c Bloomfield b McDonald 0
Jackson W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b Wilson 8
Kalogerinis N . . . . . . lbw Wilson 0
Lacey D . . . . . . . b McDonald 7
Cox B . . . . . . . c Falconer b Pederson 6
Cox G . . . . . c Wilson b McDonald 20
Vine D . . . . . . c Craven b b Pederson 0
Connelly R . . . . . . . . . . . . c Falconer b Bloomfield 5
Mirabito W . . . . . . . . not out 0
Sundries 9
Bowling - Wilson N. 3/18, McDonald M. 3/44, Bloomfield A. 2/23, Pederson
N. 2/9.
Bentleigh ANA - 2nd Innings
Harrison D . . . . . . . c O'Neill 0
Wilson N . . . . . . . . . b Cox 6
McDonald M . . . . . . . b O'Neill 0
Bloomfield A . . . . . . b Cox 26
Falconer D . . . . . . . . c Cox 0
Adams S . . . . . . b O'Neill 1
Ince D . . . . . . . . . not out 38
Vivitis T . . . . . . . . . . c Cox 1
Fajwul B . . . . . . . b O'Neill 2
Gill B . . . . . . . . . . . . not out 2
Pederson N . . . . . . . . . . . Sundries 14
TOTAL 8/90
Bowling - O'Neill P. 4/42, Cox B. 4/38, Jackson W. 0/3, Cox G. 0/3.

Bentleigh ANA won Outright by 2 wickets.

The "Under 16B" side, co-managed by Richard Smith, was made up of players from three clubs: Bentleigh ANA, Omega, and Bentleigh Uniting. This ensured all players got a game of cricket on a Saturday morning and was a credit to all clubs concerned. Not only did they get a game of cricket, but they were good enough to win the Premiership, when they defeated McKinnon by five wickets. Highlights were many throughout the season including centuries to Leigh Ireson, Mark Snelling and Rohan Neve. Leigh also had a brilliant season with the ball, terrorising opposition sides with his express pace. He also won the CMCA batting average with 78.33. This successful season for the combined "Under 16s" also brought to a close the wonderful thirteen-year Coaching and Managing role of Richard Smith. "Dicky" or "Chard", as he is affectionately known, remained involved with the "Under 16s" from the day he became a Senior player. Over this period his teams have gone on to appear in many a final, with a good percentage eventuating in Grand Final victories. This unbroken thirteen-year effort not only endeared him to the hearts of his clubmates but also introduced him to a wider audience - the CMCA. Rarely did a game go by where he wasn't involved in a deep, and of course, meaningful conversation with opposition players. Even when he was retrieving balls from "over the road" a car horn would sound because someone had recognised him. Also known for his dour, almost Tavare like, innings' Dicky proved himself to be the thorn in many an opposition's side. Cries of "lash out and hit a two" were commonplace amongst opposition supporters. Little did they realise that this only made him more determined. A point never lost on his team mates. One can only hope, amongst the many junior players that pass through our Club, that we produce another Dicky.
The "Under 14B", managed by Bob Wilson, made the Grand Final against Washington Park, after comfortably beating them in a Semi-final, Gary Carr making 50 before automatically retiring. Unfortunately, the result was reversed in the Grand Final. After batting first ANA got off to a good start, only to collapse to be all out for 87, which was not enough against Washington Park's reply of 5/137. The side had three outstanding performers in Gary Carr, David Marsh and Uhi Pardalis, all scoring at least 50 "retired" a number of times. Uhi Pardalis won the CMCA batting averages with 102.23. Olivia Wright also won the competition's fielding award. There were a number of good performances throughout the season. One being Gary Carr's effort in taking 5/1 off five overs against West Bentleigh in Round 5.
The "Under 12C" side, managed by Adam Kain and Adam Stone, capped off a great season for the Club, beating Washington Park by 9 wickets in the Grand Final. The side was fairly even across the board, although Blair Richardson, Michael Canty and Ryan Dolman all had their moments of glory. Blair Richardson won the CMCA batting averages with 182, being dismissed only once during the season. Washington Park were only able to make 95 in their first innings, with the wickets shared evenly amongst the ANA bowlers. In reply ANA passed their score one down, with four of the top batsmen retiring automatically. In conclusion, a very satisfying season with all teams making the finals, and four of those going on to winning a Premiership.

1995/96 "UNDER 12C" PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Bentleigh ANA
Washington Park - 1st Innings
Briggs S . . . . . . b Morphet 12
Jones D . . . . . . . b Costelloe 0
Jewel E . . . . . . b Holmesby 3
Murphy R . . . . . . . . b Wood 36
Cleary D . . . . . . . b Morphet 4
McDonald M . . . . . c Costelloe 14
Darcy Z . . . . . . . b Canty 1
Lord J . . . . . . run out 2
Sheild D . . . . . . . not out 1
Gange S . . . . . . . b Canty 0
Bence M . . . . . . . b Canty 0
Sundries 21
Bowling - Costelloe M. 2/17, Holmesby S. 1/10, Lee A. 0/16, Morphet P. 2/14, Dolman R. 0/15, Smeaton J. 0/12, Canty M. 3/7, Wood P. 1/4.
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Wood P . . . . . . . . . c Cleary 2
Dolman R . . . . . . . . . retired 31
Richardson B . . . . . . . retired 30
Canty M . . . . . . . . . . . not out 10
Lee A . . . . . . . . . . not out 12
Costelloe M . . . .
Morphet P . . . . .
Holmesby S . . . .
Wright T . . . . . . .
Smeaton J . . . . .
Wilson M . . . . . .
Sundries 13
TOTAL 1/97
Bowling - Briggs S. 0/12, Cleary D. 1/20, Lord J. 0/19, Murphy R. 0/20, Jones D. 0/13, Bence M. 0/9, Darcy Z. 0/2.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 9 wickets.

If the previous year was significant for all sides making the finals, the 1996/97 proved quite the opposite with only the "Under 14B" and "Under 12C" making the finals. The First Eleven side was again led by Glen Holland and had high expectations, particularly with their efforts of making the finals the previous year. It had been twenty years since an ANA side had played in consecutive finals series in the First Eleven. Unfortunately the side struggled, despite the depth of talent remaining relatively unchanged, with only Steve Badger departing for overseas. Peter Bishop continued to stabilise his place in the Firsts and Andrew Stanes showed he was capable of more consistent performances. Both players averaged 32.29 and 36.75 respectively for the season with Andrew Stanes achieving a milestone against Brighton Central when he posted his maiden century (109 n.o.) on one of the hottest days of cricket ever played. Gary Harvey also finished with with 93 not out. Unfortunately these players were not supported by other top order players. This always seemed to be a trait of ANA sides over the past 20 years. The bowling was again held together by Glen Holland, Clive Dickson, Barry Masefield and Graeme Bodley. Gary Harvey was named the G. Knights Sportsgoods U/21 Player of the Year. The First Eleven side finished in tenth position and narrowly escaped relegation.
The Second Eleven side rallied to win their last four games, but it was not enough to make the four. It wouldn't be quite the same if John Smith and his players didn't have a close encounter with East Bentleigh Central. ANA made 236 thanks to many uncharacteristic singles from the blade of Frank Loiacono (who finished with 81) batting at number three. In reply Centrals were travelling nicely at 6/200 after 47 overs, and had a real chance of victory. Jason Sherlock managed clean up the tail giving ANA victory by 11 runs. Despite their positions on the ladder both sides have always played an even contest. If you asked Skipper John Smith who he hates losing too more than anyone else, he'll always say "next door". Four wins from the Third Eleven "D" Grade side meant the top three sides would not be playing finals this year. The most outstanding performance came in the first round when Garry Litinsky took 7/10 off 14 overs against Le Page Park to have them bowled out for 54. Litinsky took the first seven wickets before up and coming left arm spinner Adam Kain chipped in with 3/12 off 5 overs. Bob Wilson was again handy with the bat averaging 30 throughout the season. The season provided no joy for the Fourth and Fifth Elevens but provided the Club with an opportunity to "blood" some of the juniors who had success the previous year. In particular Gary Carr, David Marsh and Uhi Pardalis. All these boys enjoyed games in the Fifths and showed they will play a big part in ANA's future. Under the newly introduced "Page" system (the old VFL "final four") the "Under 14B" side went out in straight sets. In the second semi against Brighton they defended a small total of 108, with David Marsh contributing 51 of that score. Brighton passed this score two down and went on to make 217. Best of the bowlers was Ben Hyrons with 4/41. The Preliminary Final had ANA chasing Bentleigh's score of 5/190. David Marsh again led the way with 35 but the side was unfortunately bundled out for 123. The "Under 12C" side did it the hard way by dropping their Second Semi-final to Middle Park. Defending 110, with Luke Forrest 40 and Bill Biggs 32 n.o., Middle Park made 6/130 to do it comfortably in the end. The Preliminary Final was played against Elsternwick and once again only a modest total was achieved. This time however, 108 runs was enough to defend against Elsternwick who could manage only 93, thanks to a spell of 5/13 off 11 overs from Brad Muzzell. This meant ANA had another opportunity to make amends for the loss to Middle Park in the Second Semi-final. Alas another score of just over 100 wasn't enough to defend, with Luke Forrest making a fighting 32 n.o. Middle Park passed the score two down, and for the third time that year Middle Park had led the way in making big scores.
A new season and a new President. An early season election saw the Club's "First Eleven games record holder", Cedric Jansz, take up the position of President of Bentleigh ANA. In addition, the Committee gave their full support to Debinder "Tiger" Singh, as he led the way as Captain of the First Eleven. Clive Dickson departed, choosing Bentleigh Uniting as his new club. Jason Sherlock was offered a coaching role with Malvern and Russell English had a spell from the game. To offset this Peter Damyon and Barry Masefield showed further improvement and became regular players in the First Eleven side, both combining to take 46 wickets between them for the year. Robert Higgins made somewhat of a comeback to open the bowling. Peter Bishop's form continued when he became the only player to score over 50 in an innings on three occasions, to accumulate 245 runs for the home and away season. The season brought a radical change to the way the CMCA played its cricket. For the purists it was a cultural shock. The CMCA Executive made a ruling that all Longmuir Shield clubs would commence using synthetic pitches to replace the matting, that for so long had provided opening bowlers with the ability to dig one in short and spin bowlers with that extra turn. Ground improvements to the King George pitch meant ANA would continue with the mats for an extra season compared to most of the other clubs in Longmuir Shield. Whether the lack of match practice on the synthetic pitches proved a disadvantage was debatable, but a fateful day at Le Page saw ANA bowled out for 58. Only Barry Masefield avoided being bowled by Le Page Park's opening bowler who took 9/35 in a 17 over spell. Accordingly it was another disappointing season for the Firsts, winning only four games, and again fighting to avoid relegation. On-field performances were few and far between, hence the lowly ladder position. Frank Loiacono came good in the last game to record his best figures with 7/78 against Cheltenham Park. The Second Eleven was again Captained by John Smith, making it through to the Semi-finals. Five wins and an extraordinary loss to Omega (all out for 34) meant the side was sitting on top at Christmas. With only a further two wins after the break the Seconds limped into the finals. A Second Semi-final against East Sandringham, on face value, may have given the edge to ANA. A second round clash earlier in the year saw ANA bowl East Sandringham out for 62. But this was a different ANA side in the finals, with at least five changes to that earlier team, and as a result ANA were chasing a formidable 297. It never really happened for ANA that day and consequently the season ended on a disappointing note with East Sandringham comprehensively outplaying ANA, winning the game by some 200 runs. The Third Eleven were led by Michael "Buddy" Biddle who maintained his excellent Captaincy record, again taking the side through to the Semi-finals. The side suffered a gut wrenching one run loss to Bentleigh Uniting. The result was all the more hard to take following the dubious lbw decision against a shattered number eleven batsmen in Stephen Hodges. Equally shatteredwas Bob Dolman who remained 16 n.o., and who on so many other occasions, had come in "at the death" to try and save (or win) matches, when a regular for the Seconds. There was an even spread of performances within the team throughout the year, with Michael "The Professor" Whelan, Mark Canavan and Bob Wilson all having good seasons with the bat. Bob Wilson notched up another century (116 n.o.) against Hampton Central, Stephen Hodges took 7/22 against Washington Park in Round 10 and Paul Dixon 7/43 against Cheltenham Park in Round 11. Led by Graham Carr the Fourth Eleven side got through to the Semi-final, before failing by 18 runs against Le Page Park. This was a great effort by this side considering the large turnover of players that took place. Graham Carr led from the front with both bat and ball, notching up an unbeaten century against Mackie in Round 2. There were also good supporting performances at various times from Richard Cooke, Aaron King and Greg Pressey. A highlight was the maiden century by young Gary Carr.
The Fifth Eleven was led by the illustrious one in Bernard Gill, and although they didn't have a great deal of joy as far as victories go, they stuck together through thick and thin and enjoyed themselves. One senses the best part of the day is when Bernie Gill holds centre stage at the match reports. Any pain felt through the day can be easily forgotten when Bernie gives his assessment of the days play. There's always a funny side to everything.
The "Under 16B" side, under the tight reign of Graham Johnson, had a very successful season considering the side was made up of mainly first year players in this age group. The side reached the Preliminary Final before losing to Bentleigh by 71 runs. There were some exceptional performances, with David Marsh and Gary Carr having excellent seasons with bat and ball. Captain Andrew Ireson, Uhi Pardalis and Steven Kolivas also made fine contributions during the season.
The "Under 14A" side had a difficult season due to its lack of depth, but under the astute coaching of Bob Wilson, and a great deal of parental support, the side could still hold their heads high at the end of the season. The side had some promising performers, with Ryan Dolman starting to realise his potential with bat and ball, whilst Luke Forrest, Matt Costelloe and Michael Canty all showed encouraging signs at various times. Under the astute leadership of the two Adams (Kain and Stone), the "Under 12B's" again made the finals, only to be beaten by Washington Park in the Semi-final by 39 runs. The outstanding performer of the side was no doubt Bill Biggs, who had a brilliant season with both bat and ball. He was ably supported by Luke Nuske, Glenn Wilson, Joel Gebert, Stuart Levy and Tom Fitzpatrick, amongst others. There is definitely some future potential with this side and hopefully they'll continue on together at Bentleigh ANA for many years to come. In conclusion, the Club had a reasonably good season with five sides making the finals, but unfortunately, no premierships.
In the week prior to the commencement of the season, Life Member and one time Secretary, Mick Egan, passed away. Mick had been diagnosed some 18 months earlier with cancer. His efforts as Secretary, Committee member, and player always made an impact, and he was largely responsible for the preparation and organisation of the 60th Year celebrations. He always provided an alternative to any problems the Committee faced, on and off the field, but he always put the Club first. A true clubman that will be sadly missed. Two previously disastrous seasons by the First Eleven placed enormous pressure on the Committee, and the Club, to find awinning formula that would lift the side out of the doldrums. An exhaustive search for experienced players throughout the off-season failed to lure any players to the Club apart from Peter Franks, an opening bowler that would prove good support Barry Masefield. By Round 3 the Club had complied with the CMCA's regulations of having synthetic laid on their home ground at King George. This was a requirement of any club wishing to play Longmuir Shield cricket. Richard Smith had retired for the second time and took up the position of Team Manager to add some professionalism to the First Eleven. Unfortunately his impact as scorer had the reverse effect on ANA when it was humiliated by Le Page Park for the second year in a row. This time making its lowest score for 32 years, a paltry 26 (including six extras). It only improved slightly in the second innings when ANA managed to avoid outright defeat by making 8/88. A vintage performance by Cedric Jansz (124 n.o.) against Bentleigh Uniting could not lift the side to its first win of the season in Round 4. Fifteen-year-old Gary Carr was given a taste of Longmuir Shield cricket and made his debut in Round 7 against Hampton United with 13 not out. The following week he made 51 before being run out, while Debinder Singh had earlier made 119, when the score was 5/228, on the way to chasing Brighton Central's 8/283. Unfortunately ANA fell four runs short at 9/279. The last round match gave ANA an outright opportunity, thus throwing them a life-line to get off the bottom of the ladder. After being dismissed for 81 by East Sandringham, the ANA bowlers routed East Sandringham for 75, Paul Dixon taking 5/5 off five overs. With plenty of time and overs remaining, ANA again batted and were all out for 107 with Gary Carr contributing a fine 34 not out. Early breakthroughs were the order of the day, and when East Sandringham were 2/15 another opportunity had presented itself, but unfortunately the opposition put the shutters up and ANA had to settle for first innings points, having had the opposition 8/93 at the close of play. The Second Eleven had a somewhat average season with only three and a half wins from their eleven games. Adam Stone earned a debut with the Firsts after a magnificent 93 against Le Page Park in Round 1. Stephen Hodges took 5/8 against Brighton Union in Round 3. All his team mates thought they'd seen him bowl better, but for no return, such is the game of cricket. Mick Ruffin continued to push for selection in the First Eleven with 6/74 off 24 overs against Bentleigh Uniting. Mark Canavan impressed the selectors with a pre-season under his belt, and relatively injury free start to the year. This was a clear indication that he would be in for a good year. In six games for the Third Eleven side he amassed 240 runs at the healthy average of 60. Included in that was 131 n.o. against Mackie when he batted all day. He also took out the CMCA "F" Grade batting average for the year. He was well supported by Bob Wilson (252 at 25.2) and Sammy Wolfe (249 at 31.13). Fourteen-year-old Ryan Dolman performed exceptionally well in the Fourths by taking 25 wickets at 19.6. His best performance was 7/46 against Hampton Central in Round 10. Graham Carr took the batting averages with 37.63 and was unlucky not have reached a ton, when out for 99 against Mackie. Mick Biddle also had a good year with the bat compiling 318 runs at an average of 28.91.
The "Under 16B" side were the Premier side for the Club, thanks mainly to the efforts of the Carr/Marsh factor. Both posted a number of big scores throughout the year and ensured the side made the finals. The first Semi-final was considered somewhat of a shock loss to HCMW (the Hampton Central/Moorabbin West combine), who had made 153 in their first innings. ANA could only manage 114 in reply. As a result ANA was faced with a cut-throat preliminary final against Elsternwick. Batting first ANA made 2/215 with Gary Carr not out 96 and David Marsh 68. In an absolute nail-biter, Elsternwick required two runs off the last ball of the match to win. The ball was struck firmly, at ankle height, to Michael Canty at square leg, forcing him to lose balance. With the ball slowly rolling away from him, and the batsmen having already completed one run, he managed to regain his composure, and from a sitting position threw the ball to the keeper, gaining the run out by two or three metres. With scores tied, ANA were awarded the game because of their higher position on the ladder at the end of the home and away games. Earlier, controversy had possibly robbed ANA of the victory. As was the case in the home and away games, batsmen had to retire when they had reached 100, being allowed to resume their innings, in turn, once the other batsmen had been dismissed. Scorer, Graham Carr, had raised this point with the opposition once one of their players had reached his 100. They dismissed his queries out-of-hand, stating that "this was a final and that rule didn't count". As the player moved on to 116 the protests now involved the Umpires. As is the case, and it was no different on this day, the Umpires are usually volunteers that do not necessarily know all the rules associated with the Junior competition within the CMCA. The game had now come to an abrupt stop, as one of the Umpires (Tony Evans, Mackie) was now on the mobile, speaking to CMCA Executive member John Quiney, seeking a ruling. It was decided that the batsman had to retire, but the additional 16 runs would stand. Fortunately, or unfortunately, ANA then proceeded to knock over the Elsternwick batsmen, only to see the "retired" batsman return to the crease with about one or two overs to go. He took up where he left off, clubbing the ANA bowling to the fence. His wicket was the run out off the last ball. Apart from the on-field excitement, the heat of the moment was just as palpable outside the playing arena. A fire in the Bentleigh Secondary College grounds required the attendance of the Fire Brigade. We had everything. Runs, wickets, last-ball run outs, smoke, flames, sirens - and Gino Fulco leading the charge to put the fire out. It was magic.
Anyway, all that aside, the victory meant a berth in the Grand Final, once again playing HCMW. This time ANA managed to restrict the opposition to 139, and with the in-form Carr making 98, ANA were able to pass the score only four wickets down. A great year for Graham Johnson's "Under 16s", and along the way David Marsh picked up the CMCA's batting average (68.4).
The "Under 12B" team also played in the finals but unfortunately were rolled by West Bentleigh for 105. West Bentleigh went on to make 125, passing ANA with seven wickets down. A relatively successful season for the juniors and hopefully some potential for the future.

1998/99 "UNDER 16B" PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Hampton Cental/Moorabbin West
Hampton Central/Moorabbin West - 1st Innings
Dawson M . . . . . . . . . b Marsh 3
Challman M . . . . . . . . c Pardalis b Kolivas 0
Rolls M . . . . . . . . . . . c & b Morphet 39
Rawlins R . . . . . . . . . c Pardalis b Carr 12
Connelly J . . . . . . . c Canty b Morphet 31
Scott M . . . . . . . c Costelloe b Carr 10
Baird E . . . . . . . . . b Marsh 14
Sheen D . . . . . . . . . c & b Carr 14
Dimachai M . . . . . . c Wright b Marsh 1
Kilpatrick T . . . . . . . . not out 4
Hoskins N . . . . . . . . b Carr 2
Sundries 9
Bowling - Kolivas S. 1/24, Marsh D. 3/23, Carr G. 4/37, Dolman R. 0/18,Morphet P. 2/36.
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Carr G . . . . . . . . . . . . . c Dimachai 98
Marsh D . . . . . . . . . . . . . c Connelly 7
Dolman R . . . . . . . . . . . . c Scott 2
Pardalis M . . . . . . . . . . c Challman 13
Johnson S . . . . . . . not out 23
Kolivas S
Costelloe M
Canty M
Wright T.
Morphet P
Wood P
Wilson M
Sundries 4
TOTAL 4/147
Bowling - Connelly J. 1/36, Sheen D. 0/12, Kilpatrick T. 0/6, Scott M. 1/32,Dimachai M. 1/7, Challman M. 1/41, Rawlins R. 0/13.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Innings by 6 wickets.

After the disappointment of 1998/1999, where ANA was relegated to Woolnough Shield after finishing bottom of the ladder in Longmuir Shield, season 1999/2000 provided ANA with one of its biggest challenges yet. That was to win the Woolnough Shield and get back into the premier grade, or remain in the Woolnough wilderness. As many other clubs had shown, unless you win the "B Grade" Premiership immediately after being relegated, it would be likely that your standards drop, and you remain a "B Grade" side for some time. ANA's pride had taken a battering.
The Club began by making some tough decisions pre-season in order to regain a winning culture. This included changing the Captaincy to four of its five Senior sides, including the First Eleven, where Andrew "Bart" Stanes took over from Debinder Singh. ANA had its sights set solely on doing one thing - to win a First Eleven Premiership in its 70th year. As feared, a sense of complacency was beginning to show, and this was reflected with a disgraceful loss to an under-manned Cluden in Round 2. After the wake up call, ANA gave itself every opportunity to be a force in Woolnough by winning eight of its remaining nine games. The only loss occurred in a one-day game after Christmas against a powerful but robotic Carnegie South, who remained undefeated throughout the home and away season. Consistent performances all season by Cedric Jansz (433 runs at 43) and Debinder Singh (366 runs at 33) with the bat, and Barry Masefield (32 wickets at 18) and Adam Kain (25 wickets at 21) with the ball, gave ANA second place on the ladder for the finals. ANA was facing the undefeated Carnegie South at the tiny Lords Reserve for a place in the grand final. ANA batted first and with Cedric Jansz top scoring with 50, made 9/209. Despite being undefeated, Carnegie South had never chased more than 200 to win a game, and after changing dominant positions throughout the match, ANA won a thriller by seven runs. Barry Masefield took five wickets, while Mick Ruffin took three crucial wickets at the death. Ironically, the only two teams that defeated ANA throughout the season, Carnegie South and Cluden, were playing off in the preliminary final. Carnegie South contested another thriller and won by four runs.
This resulted in the Grand Final being contested between Bentleigh ANA and Carnegie South, the third time they had met for the season. The game was played at Hurlingham Park. Following the success of defending against the Redbacks, ANA won the toss and chose to bat first. After a cautious start ANA lost two wickets in the first hour, with Louis Parthenios (0) and Andrew Stanes (7) departing cheaply. Straight after the drinks break Trevlyn Crozier was caught behind (28) and then after a positive beginning, Cedric Jansz was disastrously run out for 17. Peter Bishop (0) was also run out several minutes later and at tea ANA were 5/70, with Debinder Singh and Adam Mikkelson the remaining recognised batsmen, left to do the job. After absorbing plenty of overs in order to have wickets in hand for the onslaught at the end, Mikkelson and Singh began to look aggressive until Mikkelson (20) was involved in his third run out for the day, this time being himself.
Barry Masefield then joined Debinder Singh with the score at 6/102 in the 50th over, a perilous situation. Both then unleashed. The runs started to come, and when Singh (42) departed in the 60th over, ANA were 7/151. Ashley Kitts then joined Barry Masefield. In those remaining few overs the pair provided some of the most inspiring batting ANA had seen for some time, remaining undefeated at the end of the day's play. The partnership brought 48 runs in less than six overs to give ANA a defendable score of 7/199, with Barry Masefield (40 n.o.) and Ashley Kitts (25 n.o.) each hitting towering sixes along the way. The mood was confident as the last half hour of play raised ANA's spirits while it frustrated and, ultimately, deflated the Redbacks.
The next day saw ANA provide the most disciplined bowling performance all season. Knowing the Redbacks' weaknesses, line and length bowling by Barry Masefield (2/34 off 24 overs) and Ashley Kitts (2/23 off 14 overs) put the Redbacks at 5/65 after 40 overs. Carnegie South was unable to recover, and despite some attempted hitting, albeit too late, Mick Ruffin (3/36 off 15 overs) and Adam Kain (3/23 off 5.1 overs) put the finishing touches on the game to dismiss the Redbacks for 121 in the 59th over.
ANA had won the Woolnough Shield by 78 runs. Scenes were emotional as the players hugged each other while club mates ran from the boundary to join in the victory celebration. The Thirds had just arrived at the ground after their own Premiership victory to witness the finale, and join the Firsts in an all-in Club song rendition. Debinder Singh was awarded "Best player of the final", awarded by the Umpires, for his 42 which helped steer the ship when the match was slipping away. Barry Masefield's performance was a very close second.

1999/2000 WOOLNOUGH SHIELD PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by Bentleigh ANA
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Crozier T . . . . c Handley 28
Parthenios L . . . . c Handley 0
Stanes A . . . . . . c Handley 4
Jansz C . . . . . . . . . . run out 17
Mikkelson A . . . . . . run out 20
Bishop P . . . . . . . . . run out 0
Singh D . . . . . . c Kovacs 42
Masefield B . . . . . . not out 40
Kitts A . . . . . . . . . not out 25
Ruffin M . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kain A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sundries 23
TOTAL 7/199
Bowling - Handley S. 3/30, Gallagher G. 0/53, McSwain M. 0/15, Moore C. 0/38, Kovacs A. 1/42.
Carnegie South - 1st Innings
Byrnes J . . . . . lbw Kitts 14
Kovacs A . . . . . . . b Masefield 6
Barrow N . . . . c Singh b Kitts 6
Handley S . . . . . . . c Parthenios b Ruffin 18
Bradshaw A . . . . . . . . c Singh b Masefield 14
Gallagher T . . . . . . c Bishop b Kain 25
Miles A . . . . . . c Crozier b Kain 9
Gallagher G . . . . . . . . b Ruffin 5
McSwain M . . . . . . . b Ruffin 1
Dobson S . . . . . . . . . not out 5
Moore C . . . . . . . . . c Stanes b Kain 4
Sundries 14
Bowling - Masefield B. 2/34, Kitts A. 2/23, Ruffin M. 3/36, Kain A. 3/23.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Inning by 78 runs.

The Third Eleven Premiership in "F" Grade was sealed by a side that hit its best form at the right time of the year. Batting dependence was spread across the team, with the evergreen Bob Wilson showing his consistency with 270 runs at 30. Bowling was the strength of the side, with Tim Caterson (32 wickets at 13) and skipper Russell Saunders (29 wickets at 12) performing the best. After strong individual performances by Graeme Bodley, Sammy Wolfe, Tim Caterson and Anthony Gill, ANA won its Semi-final and preliminary final to book a grand final against All Nations. ANA collapsed when it was sent in to bat, from being 1/102 to all out for 183. Bob Wilson (62) provided the resistance early, with cameos provided by several others. After looking shaky early, All Nations were 2/82 at Tea after 25 overs, and looking the goods. ANA than fought back to dismiss them for 146, thus winning by 37 runs. Bob Wilson won "Player of the final" with his 62 and Tim Caterson capped off a memorable finals series by taking four wickets, while skipper Russell Saunders snared three. The team had set itself the goal of winning the last six games of the season, including the Grand Final. They achieved this with flying colours and the confidence instilled in them by Skipper, Russell Saunders.

1999/2000 "F" GRADE PREMIERS - Match Statistics
Toss won by All Nations
Bentleigh ANA - 1st Innings
Pressey G . . . . . lbw Vydelingum 14
Whelan M . . . . . . . . c Nanya 5
Wilson R . . . . . . . run out 62
Bacon J . . . . . . . . b Nayna 24
Gill A . . . . . . . . . . . c Scott 1 8
Bodley G . . . . . . b Nayna 1 4
Biddle M . . . . . run out 0
Saunders R . . . . . . run out 4
Wolfe S . . . . . . . . . . . c Nayna 5
Caterson T . . . . . . b nayna 1 8
Hodges S . . . not out 0
Sundries 1 9
Bowling - Scott T. 1/37, Nayna A. 5/87, Vydelingum M. 1/24, Walker D. 0/13, Thomas K. 0/6.
All Nations - 1st Innings
Mathioulakis J. . . b Wolfe 1 7
Akin T . . . . c Whelan b Hodges 7 4
Thomas K . . . . . . b Caterson 0
Saad A . . . . . . b Caterson 10
Vydelingum M . . . . . . lbw Caterson 0
Vout P . . . . . . . lbw Saunders 0
Nayna A . . . . c Caterson b Saunders 10
Kofoed G . . . . . b Saunders 9
Scott T . . . . . . run out Falconer/Bacon 4
Nicholls G . . . . . . . b Caterson 1
Walker D . . . . . . . not out 0
Sundries 20
Bowling - Caterson T. 4/55, Wolfe S. 1/45, Saunders R. 3/12, Hodges S. 1/15.

Bentleigh ANA won on 1st Inning by 27 runs.

The Second Eleven also made the finals, but unfortunately bowed out after losing its preliminary final to Chelsea Heights. Throughout the year consistent performances with the bat were shared between players, however, no one really shone through. Seasoned campaigners in Frank Loiacono (180 runs at 45) and Jack Smith (178 runs at 45) were the best performers despite both being in the side for only half the season. Skipper Bob Dolman toiled hard all season with his son, young "leggy" Ryan Dolman, both taking 18 wickets each at averages of 20 and 14 respectively. Off the field ANA celebrated its' 70th year of its involvement in the CMCA. It was an historic night that was as successful as any event the Club has had in its history. Apart from acquainting themselves with old (ex) team mates the highlight of the night was the naming of ANA's "Team of the Century", which included players whose feats were unparalleled. Overall, despite not all teams reaching the finals, ANA had a very successful year. Its' top three sides made the finals, two of them achieving Premierships, and most importantly, the Club regained its deserving Longmuir Shield status. With its goals that were set at the start of the season being achieved, the season was one of the most satisfying in recent times.