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1st Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - Day 2 - 2015/16

Again greeted by hordes of Eastern Suburbs Milo Cricketers, the Stags arrived at Waverley Oval only to see a green looking wicket with substantially more grass than the week before. 

Although reassured by the groundsman that the grass was cut to 6mm all over, I think I would have struggled to cut through it with a whipper snipper. 

Will Smith makes a stand in the second dig - but a little too late for the side 

Regardless, while the grass coverage had definitely increased, we were confident and later shown that the wicket was still hard and definitely not the deciding factor in our poor batting performance.

Importantly, the Onions started off well in the warm up football competition, with solid defence and fluent passing across the back 4 – a vast improvement from the week before. Speed on the wings also helped as we snagged 3 easy goals to seal the victory.

Eccles and Bombas arrived at the crease with a full day ahead, and a score of 346 was definitely not out of the question for us to chase. As stated in the change room before play, one big partnership and another smaller one would see us most of the way there. Eccles departed early with the score on 21, and W. Smith began settling in against the Easts pace attack. 

Bombas was stumped for 22, leaving Captain Colley to set about steadying the ship with Smith. W. Smith batted nicely and looked comfortable before he chopped on for 35, and Axel fell a ball later before time was called for lunch. 

A disappointing session, and we would have to work extremely hard from now on in.

The skipper has a stronger showing in the second dig 

Disappointingly, wickets continued to fall as a combination of poor shot selection and good bowling saw Soper, Smith and Newman fall for 1, 4 and 0 respectively. JK managed a solid cameo of 20 – ably supporting Crawford who was in his 40s. JK fell, and Crawford got bowled trying to salvage as many runs as he could for a solid 54. All out for 173. Not good.

Having been sent in again, the Stags were 2-77 before stumps were pulled. W.Smith not out on 34 and Captain Colley at the other end on 26.

In all, a disappointing day considering our previous success in chasing down 350. 

Credit due, Easts bowled tightly and well enough to restrict runs, but I think our lack of grit and dogmatism was the real theme for the day. Although there were some patches of good batting reminiscent of our Randwick chase, wickets were lost in clumps and fell at important times. 

Snapped! Caught... well bowled in fact. Great camerawork to capture this moment Will Smith was removed 

However, our focus now shifts forward to next week, where we aim to exercise our talents in the right fashion. Preparation during the week is key, and we have plenty to work on in order to take on Penrith at Chatswood before getting back to the Orchard for the Xmas Party straight afterwards!

Bombas promises to talk to any lower grader.

Charles Stobo


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