To be honest, without James Kennedy the “bottom six” looked lost in the AAFC (Anti - look for arguments sake I will let the reader fill in the blanks from here) derby at Coogee Oval. At times predictable and one dimensional, “long ball Kennedy” was missed purely for his ability to control the backfield.
Chad Soper - 'cool heads, big hearts'
Steve Colley had his best game for the top 5, managing to score two goals by remarkably dribbling the ball across the goal line twice without having a shot. Most improved this week went to the struggling Reece Bombas who in previous weeks has let panic take control of his game. One of the few sponsored athletes at the Gordon Club, Reece took full advantage of his new “KD” gear and attacked with purpose.
As always, Captain Harold’s post-match football speech or pre-match cricket speech was measured, calm and direct. Harry outlined the plan for the day which always fills the side with confidence. Ed Howitt offered his insight which was crucial followed by an unusually large number of cliches from the rest of the playing group.
Chad Soper was quoted as saying “cool heads, big hearts”. Charlie Stobo remarked “it will be a game of two halves” and Bombas followed with “it will be a game of two halves” in a remarkable echo of Stobo’s sentiments. We crossed immediately to Dan Smith for his reaction, the three words stayed with this reporter… “take it deep”.
How ironic, “take it deep” was the one thing the Gordon batsmen failed to do when chasing RP’s total of 263.
The author is just itching for a chance
Dan Smith opened the attack and bowled with good pace and shape. The wicket, whilst flat, was two paced, which required the quicks to hit a full length on their ‘reg’ deliveries. During his first spell, Smithy claimed the Stags first wicket, a good catch by Reece Bombas at first slip. Afterwards Reece announced that’s where he likes to catch them, low and to his right.
Meanwhile, Stobo was coming to terms with the early swing the white kookaburra offered. It didn't take long for Charlie to settle in and adjust to the conditions. In this reporter’s opinion, it is always a good sign when an athlete can adjust to the conditions whilst in the contest. Charlie proceeded to bowl his 10 overs straight, picking up the valuable wicket of Price, fielding for the remainder of the innings like a gun, all without a migraine.
Chad Soper followed Stobo from the ‘Goodger’ end. Harold set an attacking yet restrictive field and Soper delivered with his length and line. The middle overs were a point in the game the playing group identified needed to improve from last week. The bowling and fielding responded to the call, restricting the hosts to around the 110 mark at 30 overs.
What 1st Grade story is complete without a photo of Harry contributing
Josh Poysden mixed his pace up from the beginning and contributed greatly to restricting RP’s through the middle session. JP’s final figures did not reflect the way he bowled. This season I’ve been in the box seat to watch the “evolution of the mulch”. I feel JP is maturing as a leg spinner; not as a bloke. Certainly last season, our much loved “Dobby” was all about consistent accuracy. At times JP had a tremendous amount of success waiting for batsmen to miss the ball.
This season, first and foremost JP is turning the ball more. Josh is trying to be more proactive in creating ways to get batsmen out rather than skidding onto the pads. Some might argue that is why JP is not having the same amount of success as last season so far, whereas I believe JP is becoming a better bowler for it.
Our final 15 overs was not pretty as RP’s finished with 263. Agreed across the group as 40-50 runs over what we expected to chase.
The lunch break offered a genuine half time show. The majority of the bowling unit plus selected “WAGS” opted for a “Melonhead” beach run. Upon our journey, Chad Soper was left feeling white as he passed 80-90 youngsters browner than him. The real action remained at Coogee Oval though.
Controversy was sparked between Chad’s mates, when one 12 year old girl accused another 13 year old Caucasian girl of posting a photo on instagram #nofilter when clearly Valencia was used. The 13 year old responded by saying I use St Tropez fake tan and half tight lips, what would you know about taking a selfie?
The argument escalated quickly.
The crowd gathered thick and fast on the boundary line. All of a sudden, 80-90 of Chad’s mates hurdled the fence and formed a giant fight circle. One guy was seen to be carrying a trident. The chant started from an older, less mature group of adults “feed-your-self, feed-your-self”, but it was no use.
“Fight, fight, fight” swiftly took over and it was on. From all reports the girls got right into it. Hair pulling, spitting, open handed slaps the lot. Law enforcement moved in quickly and the crowd dispersed.
Josh Poysden, his bowling dissected by the author in this report
Great start by Eccles and Crawford with the stick. Admittedly it took them around 5 over to understand the surface and play shots accordingly. Tym hit some classic shots straight and over cover. He soon opened up the leg side scoring freely through mid-wicket and square leg. Cameron supported him well by ticking the strike over.
The opening platform had been set, we needed the middle order to fire. Steve made a good go if it, although not timing the ball as well as he would have liked, Colley tried his best and as usual his running between the wickets was first class.
Reece and Harry put on a decent partnership and got the chase within sight. Once again, Reece was positive with his footwork to the spinner, bringing back memories of his innings against Mosman in Round 1. The skipper is always up for a challenge and certainly tried his best to get the team in front on the board for the last 10 overs.
As reported by the webmaster on Sunday, the bottom six batted as well as they played football in the warm up.
Tym was the pick of the batters and it was absolutely the right decision for him to open the batting. If we were going to be any chance to chase 263 with large square boundaries we needed a solid start. The fact is our chase lost momentum each time we lost a wicket and by the time Reece and Harry were dismissed the lower order wasn't able to put up a fight as they usually do.
We move on, that’s what cricket is.
Back to the whites and a ball that “supposedly” doesn't swing, although across the competition the white ball run rate has been significantly slower than the two day. Food for thought. (Editor’s note: Unsure about this logic. Doesn't this prove the red ball isn't swinging, if they score quicker in the two day matches?)
Special thanks to all the supporters who ventured out to Coogee. A glorious moment to see the young Abigail Howitt at a Gordon match. Marcus Baghdatis our resident “FOB” (Fresh Off the Boat) was again in fine form cheering the lads on.
Thank you Marcos for being number 1.