1st Grade Report vs Bankstown - T20 Quarter Final
A win for the ages in Twenty 20
Dylan Connell reports from Bankstown Oval
Eighteen years is a long time any way you look at it. When it refers to the period of time it has taken to win a cricket match against Bankstown at Bankstown Oval in 1st grade, it appears even longer. Half a dozen of the Stags players in 1st grade today would have been infants or not in existence the last time Gordon won a 1st grade game at Bankstown oval.
(The victorious team is congratulated by team mascot Marcus Faulkner)
Well times have changed, a win, in a quarter final, under immense pressure, defending a small total and against a side that boasted a formidable line up. In fact the author believes that perhaps only three of the Bankstown players in today's match have not played at a higher level.
(Steve Colley, James Packman and James Kennedy in action at Bankstown)
20/20 cricket. Bash, smash, big hits, boundaries galore, a game for the spectators, a batsman's game. Well not always.
The Stags had the opportunity to post a total, on a slow wicket. What total would be enough, 120 '150, time would tell?
Packman and Beverley opened the batting. Packman was the aggressor, smashing 22 off 20 balls, before being bowled by a delivery that must have 'nipped back a bit', 1 for 27 in the 5th over. Wickets then began falling steadily, with Colley being the only batsmen to come to terms with the wicket. When Evans fell in the 9th over the Stags were in trouble at 5 for 42.
(Henry Carmichael on debut in First Grade collects his first wicket and hits out near the end of the Stags innings)
Through some sensible batting from Garratt, Colley, Carmichael (on debut) and Kennedy, the score began to rise, and when Kennedy was dismissed on the 2nd last ball of the innings, the Stags had scrambled to 105. The highest partnership for the Stags was 29 for the 9th wicket.
The consensus among the Gordon players was they were probably a little short of par, but something to defend. They would have to bowl and field well.
(A brilliant run out from Brendan McDonald who hit the stumps from side on)
Connell removed the dangerous Burke for 0 on the 2nd ball of the Bankstown innings. A partnership of 33 followed before Richtor and Carmichael were brought into the attack, taking some pace off the ball. The two young, medium pacers did a superb job, bowling with control and patience beyond their years. The pressure began to build on the Bankstown batsmen and wickets began to fall. Big shots, great fielding, a run out, catches and 12 overs later the Stags were right in the hunt with Bankstown slumping to 5 for 53, needing just over a run a ball from the remaining 8 overs.
Enter Steve Stiffler or should I say the Great Man, or perhaps just McDonald will do.
BMAC bowled with control and great variations in pace and was ably supported by Garratt at the other end. The required run rate began to rise, whilst wickets still fell. More catches, another run out and suddenly Gordon were the favourites. Bankstown needing more than 10 runs an over from the last two. It was beyond reach, the Dogs finishing 9 for 94.
The team celebrates a great catch from James Kennedy on the boundary)
A win, in a quarter final at Bankstown Oval, a superb effort from everybody in the team. The enthusiasm and commitment in the field and with the ball were exemplary.
So much for 20/20 cricket being bash and barge. Across both innings only six 4's and one 6 were hit. 19 wickets fell for 199 runs.
A young side has begun to come of age. Another chance for the next generation of Stags players presents itself on Tuesday, where a semi-final and potentially a final beckon against more quality opponents. The opportunity to become Stags legends is there to be grasped with both hands.
Get Fah you bah!