Maher’s Musings | Haisman Shield season review - part one

By Tyler Maher

It is time to dust off the Maher's Musings letterhead and start penning feature-length columns once more.

The cut and thrust of the daily life of a sports editor has curtailed the output of this publication and reduced it to somewhat of a trickle in recent times.

But with the current sporting shutdown across the world the moat around Musings HQ is ready to burst and spew forth months of pent up opinions and analysis.

Strap yourselves in to your seat on the ark, it is about to get biblical.

First up though is your traditional Musings fare — the meat and potatoes of this column if you will — a post-season assessment of all of the Haisman Shield teams which will run in more than one part.

We thought it was only fair to restart by going straight back to our roots.


Record: 13th, 0-1-11.

Cloud: There's no avoiding the fact Tatura did not manage a victory in the Haisman Shield this season on the way to collecting its fifth wooden spoon in seven campaigns.

Silver lining: They say the iconic chants of "Johnny, baby" at Memorial Oval were loud back in John Ikupu's days, but those of "Scone" at Howley Oval this season put them to shame. John Kealey's Haisman Shield debut created a frenzy in the lead-up after it was announced, and the unassuming tweaker delivered on the hype in spades. Kealey snared 4-25 — and one Lightfoot Medal vote — from 11 overs against Mooroopna in round 13 to provide a bright spark for Tatura in a tough campaign.

Musings: It was a tough summer in terms of results for Tatura, but with Michael Archer at the helm the mood at the club remained great all season. After losing most of its A-grade outfit from the previous campaign it was always going to be a year of rebuilding — expect bigger and better performances next season.


Record: 12th, 2-10.

Cloud: More than six wins were required to taste A-grade finals action this season, and for the Bloods that would represent almost the combined outcome of their past three campaigns after losing their killer instinct somewhat in recent years.

Silver lining: A round 10 win against Nagambie will stand as the mark Karramomus needs to reach more consistently next summer. Mitch McGrath's 57 with the bat steered the Bloods to a defendable total before Jason Ibbotson wound back the clock with a stellar 5-23.

Musings: You can see that the Bloods are almost there when it comes to rediscovering their winning ways. The triumph against Nagambie highlighted that when it clicks Stuart Turner's troops can battle it out with the best. Throw in the continued development of the likes of McGrath, Jayden Dhosi, Lachie Keady and fresh face Angus Heslin and Karramomus is on the right track.


Record: 11th, 5-7.

Cloud: Will rue a 0-4 start to the season, for despite finishing 11th the Magpies were only nine points from sixth when the dust settled. That the outfit only managed to defeat one of the top six sides also did not work in its favour as it attempted to make up the ground later in the summer.

Silver lining: Josh Robertson began the season as a project player for the future, but finished it as a match-winner. The young wicketkeeper-batsman hit 56 from 131 deliveries against Shepparton United in Euroa's final game to showcase his talents. When he got a start (double figures) for the Magpies during the campaign he averaged 40 from five knocks.

Musings: The Magpies looked like they were going to finish with a wet sail and sneak into finals action, but just fell short. It is certainly encouraging that they did not solely rely on the work of Mahesh Priyadarshana and Sham Dadallage in their victories, but the Magpies will need more contributors to stand up if they are to take the next jump in their progression.


Record: 10th, 5-7.

Cloud: For the first time in decades — longer than accurate online records go back — the Tigers missed out on Haisman Shield finals action. That they only did so by nine points means they were in the hunt, but the streak ended nonetheless.

Silver lining: Nurturing talented youth is still a key cornerstone of what Central Park-St Brendan's is all about. Pat Cormican's 4-43 — and five total wickets — in the last match of the season and Charlie Boyer's 10 wickets across his final four games provided the Tigers with plenty of positives. The Goulburn Valley Bush Bash League title for the SRP Mud Dogs was also a highlight for the Deakin Reserve tenants.

Musings: Do not get used to seeing the Tigers in the bottom half of the table — they will not be there for long.