1st Grade vs Blacktown - Round 15 - 2017/18
It was an important last round clash for the First Grade toilers and big dogs, with a win and probably a bonus point needed against the Warrior Dolphins from Blacktown to lock down a spot in the finals.
The Stags lost the toss and were asked to bowl first on a slightly cloudy and damp day at the home of cricket.
The early signs were good for the spectators as Stobes channelled his inner Reagan and tried to fit as much cricket into his first spell as possible, it was all wides, wickets and boundaries from his end.
Stobes is purposely skipping leg day in the hope he'll too be nicknamed 'Pigeon'.
At the other end, the complete opposite was happening as Patto tried to keep the amount of cricket to the bare minimum. It was a spell filled with leaves, maidens and a couple of meekly guided singles to third man.
Charlie’s 2 wickets and Patto’s tight spell had the Warriors tied down and in trouble after the first powerplay, and once Elz picked up his 100th (97th on recount) First Grade wicket and removed the linchpin of the Blacktown batting order, the Stags were on a roll.
The early introduction of spin worked a treat, as another 3 members of the opposition batting order fell to our former Second Grade opening batsman and the Warriors were reduced to 6 for 40.
As is almost always the case however, a partnership was formed in the lower order between Blacktown’s skipper and their 15 year old wicket-keeper.
But the re-introduction of Stobes quickly put an end to any real threat of a competitive total being posted as he removed both batsmen fairly quickly.
The tail managed to get a couple of boundaries away, but they were no match for the flight and guile of Matty Junk as he picked up 2 wickets to clean up the tail.
Blacktown were all out for 114 and the bonus point win was in the Stags sight.
Tym delivers the left-right-goodnight to Blacktown ensuring 3pm beers.Tym got our batting innings under way in typical fashion, making hitting boundaries look really easy. He was well supported by Axel, until young Choppy decided to shoulder charge the ball and was sent to the sin bin.
He tried to plead with the umpire to reconsider because its cricket and you usually need to hit the ball to be caught, however it is now footy season and you just can’t get away with a good old fashioned shoulder charge these days.
Another couple of wickets went down in Harry and Tym (for a fine 41), and the threat of this reporter having to put his playing pants back on was looming.
However, some good hitting from Steve and Elz put that threat to bed and saw the Stags home well before time to secure a vital bonus point win.
Fingers crossed for Axel at the judiciary tonight, despite most shoulder charges incurring an automatic one week ban, we hope his clean record will see him avoid suspension.