1st Grade Report vs Sydney Uni - Round 15
1st Grade's all-round performance disposes of the students
And so another season comes to a close, and before I get to telling the tale of a wonderful day out at the Sydney University grounds I thought I would take the opportunity to look back on what has been, on and off the field.
Harry Evans in great form on his way to 93
Firstly we've seen a number of young players making their debut in the top grade with a large percentage of the team currently or recently featuring in the club's Poidevin Gray side. This is a tribute to the hard work put in by Michael Falk, Paul Stephenson, Tony Wilson, Mark Carmichael and Ed Howitt through their ongoing work with the Gordon Academy.
Brendan 'Mayor of Crows Nest' McDonald was selected in the NSW 2nd XI during the season and is a testament to his hard work at training and application on game day.
Similarly, Steve 'The Buck' Colley has had a massive six months, not only was he selected in the NSW U19 team, and a NSW academy side to play in a national T20 tournament, the young gentlemen celebrated his recent engagement during the season with a quiet night out.
We also had a birth within the team with Reece and Dyl, the original odd couple, welcoming little Zoe Connell into the world. Congratulations to everyone on their achievements during the season, whether it be with the bat, ball, in the field or what we took from game each and every weekend.
Now, onto the weekend's activities ... Needless to say with the Uni boys chasing a win to secure a finals birth there was plenty for the Gordon boys to play for against a top 6 side. We knew we would have to execute all aspects of our game well and although this wasn't always the case we had individuals step up to ultimately shift the momentum in the game at crucial moments. James won the toss and took the initiative in the decision to bowl first. Under Mark O'Neill we've learnt that we need to earn our right to bat first and set a target by proving we can bat well under match conditions and pressure. But more on the batting later...
A batting masterclass care of Harry Evans caught on camera for all to enjoy
Our quicks did the job with the ball in hand, tying down the Uni openers who travelled at under 2 runs per over for the first ten over's. Of particular note was Dylan's incredible ability beat the bat early, but as we all know bowling in partnerships is important to building pressure. With the wiley James 'Hernandez' Campbell operating with precision at the other end it was him who made the first break through, getting his PG's bunny Henry out in a similar high catch yet again. A useful and controlled partnership ensued from the uni batsmen Moran and Hay and fielding became the key.
Unfortunately we let ourselves down here, with many singles turned into two's and quick singles taken but, with the bowlers picking away, we stuck at the job and Elliot made the break through, bowling Hay with a great yorker and nearly sending Bevo off for some dental work! At the end of the 50 overs, the Uni boys finished five down for 251 after some clever, if not frustrating shot making from Mail who took a leaf out of Brendan McCullum's book. As mentioned the quicks did the job, with Dyl and Elliot each picking up a wicket each and more importantly only going for 4 runs per over. Jimmy Campbell picked up two and kept his run rate under 5 runs per over with some great swing bowling on what became a good batting pitch. With half the job done and the last of the fielding done for the season it was time to look forward to one last crack with the willow.
Things here didn't get off to the greatest of starts; I played a horribly loose shot to be dismissed in the 3rd over, shortly followed by Steve Colley who on a positive note did manage to score 2 valuable runs and avoid his 3rd duck on the trot. Let's hope the young man can carry the momentum through to his time in England! A string of small partnerships ensued between 'Jammer' Packman (15) and 'Bomber' Bombas (29), all of this time at the crease was crucial in setting up some sort of platform to launch from in the latter stages of the innings.
Not to be outdone, anything Harry can do, Richtor can do as well.
Brendan 'BMac' McDonald chipped in with another 14, taking it to the bowlers with some attacking shots over the point and cover regions. With his dismissal we were still in trouble, 5 down and still over 150 runs still left on the board to chase down with two new batsmen at the crease in Harry Evans and Elliot Richtor. They went about their work in exactly the manner we needed, worked the singles well early and jumped all over the loose balls to capitalise and swing the momentum back in favour of the Stags. Harry took the dominate role scoring a fantastic 93 at a strike rate of over 100!
It was at exactly this point in recent games that we have stumbled, not taking it upon ourselves to turn things around and well done to these two in changing this mould. With next season now in mind this was a valuable lesson to learn and take with us to what promises to be an exciting year with many good prospects all knocking at the door to play in the top grade. But I digress...We still needed roughly 8-9 runs per over and the momentum again shifted with the loss of Harry and Elliot in quick succession in the power play, enter Bevo and James 'Mantos' Kennedy to steer the ship.
We needed a couple of those trademark Bev sweeps and being the genuine and good bloke that he is didn't disappoint, dispatching the red ball over the boundary on two occasions and later in the last over crashing into it for victory! It was a great display late in the innings and special mention must go to JK for doing the job, getting bat on ball and chipping in with a valuable 12 runs. Then there are Dylan's efforts, late cutting his first ball for a start and then running 3, who would have thought it!?
Richtor entertains the crowd as the Uni fielders helplessly watch on
Well down to the middle and lower order to get us over the line in what was a great win for the Gordon boys against a top six side. Special thanks for the 3rd grade boys for sticking around after their great win and helping with their support, also to Mark O'Neill in his role as coach which has been spot on and really taken on board by all. Looking forward to next year, stay safe and good luck to all travelling overseas during our off season!
Up the Stags!
Right on the spot, the film crew catches the momement one slips through the guard