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1st Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

kennedyA wet day makes the Sharks feel at home

Lets begin with the lunch break. I know it's an unusual place to start but I like to be different. The highlights during the lunch break involved the usual 20 questions from "Marcos" including "Do you think Mr. Jacques will sign my autograph book? Other "Marcos" statements included "Holden will win Bathurst" (unusual given that "Ford" were the favourites) and Daniel "I only eat Planktin" Flynn is my favourite Gordon player of all time. The other personal highlight was the Mars Bar I aquired from the canteen which disolved the taste of the roll I also aquired from the canteen.
James 'JK' Kennedy sends one down against the Sharks openers
We bowled first.
Jules "I now bowl heaps quicker than Big head Connell" Stevo did a great job for us. A classic example of figures not reflecting his on field performance. Stevo showed terrfic rhythm and was not rewarded for his bowling efforts. For me, other than "flashy spikes Garrat", Jules was the pick of the bowlers. His pace was the best I've seen all year and he created numerous chances. Again James "Mantus" Kennedy showed terrific consistency and improvement from last week. Yes, "JK" got hit around a bit but the effort and determination to do better was apparent. "Jakes" finished with 1 and showed great fight to consolidate in his 3rd spell.
Chad "twitter is so 2008" Soper should take away confidance and momentum from his performance last weekend. Sure, there were some up and downs during his 10, however the courage he showed to finish with figures of 3 for 62 says it all. What impressed me most about Chad's efforts was the fight he showed in a difficult circumstance. Chad persisted into the wind and showed determination at a dfifficult stage of the match to be bowling. A great experience for him and one he should take a whole heap of confidence from. No doubt this tough little nut will be will be stronger for the experience he enjoyed.

Brendan's 10 was "outstanding!". He bowled with pure confidance which is why Brendan "the great man" McDonald is destined for greater things this season. He demonstrated a fealess and competative attitude against the Sutho lads, including Jacques who was reverse sweeping. Eventually B-Mac desposed of Phillip which he deserved - and more.

Quite literally, Ben "Fancy spikes" Garrat was supurb. Finishing with 3 for 36, "BG" bowled up hill, into the wind with a wet ball to an established partnership. "BG" was unbreakable and his efforts were tireless. Not only with the ball, his energy and finess in the field lifted us. With the bat, "Beeg" again was stubborn and refused to get out even though the game had passed us. Thankyou for the motivation big man.

Once we dissolved the main partnership, our skip, Beau "gun skull" Casson got us together with 10 overs to go and we as a group decided to really push Sutherland and try to run through them. Things clicked for us as a unit and with Buzz cleverly rotating the bowlers, new batsman came and went. All of a sudden, we were playing to our potential and playing the exciting, fast paced brand of cricket that this side is capable of. We kept our composure and ended up bowling out Sutherland for 290 in the 49th. A pretty good effort considering.
With a big task in front of our batters, the top order showed good intent at the opening stages of the match. Unfortunately we lost "X" Eccles early which brought Daniel "Larry" Flynn to the crease. "Buzzy" and "Larry" for the second time this season gave Sutherland a lesson on how to run singles. These guys looked devastating together. Hard hitting by Flynn and touch by Casson. We lost Buzz which brought James "Styris" Packman to the crease. What a pair, brothers in arms, best mates, Flynn and Packman, this partnership had potential. Unfortunately again, the Stags lost wickets in pairs and too quickly and with a bit of rain about, 290 seemed to be getting away from us.
We finished with 6 for 97 in reply and the rain got us.
Sure, there is some room for improvement, however there always is. Win, loose or draw. As our Captain keeps reminding us, we need to focus on "what we did well" and build on that. There multiple positives that we can draw momentum from.
Therefore, we must keep moving forward as a unit. Learn from last Saturday. Take away from the match what we need to and hit the training paddock. We proved it to ourselves that in actual fact, we are NOT far away. Both with the bat and ball, there were glimpses of brilliance and with a bit of concentration, consistent pressure, focus and attitude our first win is not far away. In the year we made the final, 07/08, we dropped the first 5 matches and turned things around out of sight.

Finally, a special mention must be made. Daniel "Smithy" Flynn has been an absolute pleasure to play and train with. It is never an easy situation to travel overseas, set up camp in a different part of the world, walk into 1st grade and start performing. Apart from his first ball against Blacktown, Daniel was brilliant for the Stags. He conducted himself like the true professional he is and has all the hallmarks of being a great player. Never arrogant or above any situation, every opportunity Danny Boy had to get to know us better he took. Gordon is his Aussie home and always will be. There is so much ahead of him and we all look forward to following his career. As our new manager so rightly put it (Bevo Senior), "we'll see you on the TV". Wherever the game takes you Dan, I know success will not be far behind. 
Thankyou for your efforts "Bud". I'd have loved a roll this Sunday at Chatswood Bowls.


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