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1st Grade vs Bankstown - Round 13 - 2015/16

1st Grade returned to Chatswood knowing that a win against the top ranked Bankstown would put us on course for a finals berth. Spirits were high on the back of an undefeated run since Christmas, a successful Coast Night and a vivid memories of Tym Crawford’s direct hit run-out of Josh Poysden the week before. 

It was a strong performance by Cam Eccles at the top of the innings, who must worry why he goes through opening partners so frequently! 

Skipper Steve Colley, as he has become accustomed to throughout this season, walked out to toss without a coin and presented the opposition captain with a free-choice decision to bat or bowl first. He chose to bowl, for beneath them was a slightly tacky and greenish pitch.

Cam Eccles strode out to the middle with his umpteenth opening partner for the season; this time it was Jack Colley who would bravely front the new ball. 

Tym Crawford plays strongly off the back foot, combining well with Cam Eccles after the skipper set a solid foundation 

Both were leaving the ball well before Jack intercepted a delivery with his elbow and deflected it quite skilfully onto the stumps.

That brought brother Steve to the crease who continued on from his form in recent weeks and stroked boundary after boundary all around the ground. 

The bowlers failed to capitalise on the early assistance offered by the pitch, as Steve and Cam were particularly punishing on anything a bit short. 

Steve Colley, 1st Grade's skipper, continues the trend of strong back foot play. Were the Bulldogs bowling too short of a length? 

They rollicked along until lunch and beyond, before Steve was out hooking, caught at fine leg for 56. Their partnership of 109 set the tone for the innings and laid the platform for a substantial score. 

Don't bowl there. Cam Eccles sends the Dogs to all parts of Chatswood.

Three more strong partnerships helped us towards the coveted 400-mark: Cam and Tym added 58 before Cam was out in identical fashion to Steve for 93; Tym and Elliot Richtor put on 75; and Tym and Reece Bombas contributed 77.

Marcus and Dan leave the field a happy pair at the end of Day 1

Elliot and Reece continued on their strong form, but it was Tym who was the standout of the innings, compiling an extremely composed and punishing 128 off 155 balls. The innings finished in the last over of the day at 8/385, slightly lower than our teatime aspirations but certainly enough if we bowled well on Day 2.

The first session of Day 2 was one of the most dramatic sessions that I have been involved in. A delayed start, 21 overs, 6 wickets, 4 dropped catches, a 45 minute rain delay, and over 100 runs were scored.

It was a game of 'Go Fetch' that Crawford had going with the Dogs 

Charlie Stobo celebrated his well-deserved call-up to the NSW 2nd XI team with his best bowling display of the season. 

Charlie Stobo has been in career best form of late 

He took a sensational 6/49 off 15 unchanged overs including a match turning 3 wickets in 4 balls to reduce Bankstown to 3/57 after a rollicking start led by English pro Mark Stoneman. 

After a slight consolidation and short rain delay, the madness continued, with Bankstown losing another 3 wickets for 0 runs to have them 6/109 at lunch, Stobo with 5 wickets and a catch. He was ably supported by Dan Smith and James Kennedy, who both appear to be finding their best form at this critical stage of the season.

The many aspects of Stobo's successful day at the crease. 6 wickets! 

After lunch the runs kept flowing and the wickets kept tumbling. Before too long the competition leaders were bundled out for 198 with more than 50 overs still to play. 

James Kennedy proved a great understudy to Charlie Stobo on this occasion. He's beginning to hit his straps - just at the right time of the season. 

The second innings was a less eventful affair. Despite some spectacular strokeplay from Stoneman, the Bankstown boys plodded along without too much urgency or difficulty. 

It was agreed that Charlie would not bowl in this innings to make it a fairer contest between bat and ball.

This gave a good opportunity for Dan, JK and Chad Soper to get some more overs under their belts. Although they did so without much success (though Dan did pick up three wickets to make up for the four catches dropped off his bowling in the first innings), they bowled tirelessly in difficult conditions and, later, with little to play for. 

It makes a huge difference when your fast bowlers can field well - James Kennedy is one of those! 

Tym, Elliot and last week’s partnership-breaker Reece also rolled their arms over, and even Steve tried out his right-arm hand grenades. Bankstown cruised to 3/203 off 45 overs when stumps was finally called. 

It was an unbefitting end to a dominant weekend performance by the Stags. 

Newman swallows another edge from Stobo as the boys get around him in celebration 

We now sit in 6th position and hope to win the final two games to consolidate our spot in the top 6. From there, who knows!

Max Newman


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