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1st Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

Casson and Eccles1st Grade go down fighting in the last over 

Well another season starting at the home of cricket, Chatswood, and the same dramas with the covers and everyone putting their 2 cents worth in but nothing getting done. Fortunately it was done in time for our bright and early warm up at 8:30am, which I am pretty sure none of the lads have seen since last season.

Casson and Eccles start the season in style

The wicket was in amazing condition and the outfield a little bumpy, with the rugby union chewing it up from their season, but didn't really matter when playing on the wicket closest to the railway line. I thought it was always going to be a tough side to defend when it came to our time to bowl, so when we won the toss we took the opportunity to have a bat.

Chad SoperLooking at the conditions we thought no less than 250 would be acceptable but 300 was definitely possible, especially with the flying start Cam Eccles(36) got off to. The boys were all excited to see our new recruit from NZ, Daniel Flynn, get the opportunity to stroke a few around. Unfortunately it wasn't the case for Daniel. Cricket gods can be very harsh sometimes, but I am sure another couple of games for us and his class will rise to the top. James Packman came out and kept the score board ticking over with a number cover drives to the boundary.

Chad Soper comes on in leaps and bounds

The Stags were starting to mount a big score with three good partnerships (Editor's note ' the author made solid contributions to all three of these with 90 odd runs) and then Reece Bombas(49no) looked like he has been playing cricket all year round, with not one ball missing the middle of the bat. Not bad for a guy that said he isn't happy with the way he's hitting them on Thursday night training' must have been taking the mickey.

All the boys that had a bat on the showed great signs particularly the urgency showed between the wickets. Ben Garratt was exceptional in this area which helped the stags reach 295.

At the start of our bowling, we were aware that we need to bowl very well, especially with a small boundary one side which was going to make it difficult to defend. Our openers Julian and Dylan bowled well and got us off to a reasonable start in the first 10 overs. Then came the introduction of our youngest player and exciting prospect Chad Soper, who got the initial breakthrough for us.

Ben Garratt BowlingAnd even more extraordinary was the dismissal. Caught at third man to a flying Dylan Connell. Yes, that wasn't a typo. A flying Dylan Connell. And as he dusted himself up off the deck, he got up with no nonsense and looked at the boys as if to say what do you expect. Not that Dyl! Not from you mate!

Can we believe that this has been caught on film? Garratt bowling?

Blacktown had a couple of big wickets which we knew were crucial to us, but they continued to mount good partnerships and did not lose multiple wickets at a time. With Paul Maraziotis and their own new NZ recruit, Tim McIntosh, playing well, we struggled to defend our total. There were some good signs, with Chad testing himself against good players and will learn heaps from game. Brendan McDonald I felt also bowled well without the results he deserved. But both our fast men Julian Stephenson (1/43) and Dylan Connell were brilliant with both bowling exceptionally in the power plays. They are something as a side we will have to keep trying to improve on. But the big feller Dylan (3/36) led from the front and did a fantastic job.

Back at home again this week against Bankstown, in two day cricket, and we are extremely keen to turn the result around and get that 1st win on board to kickstart our campaign.



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