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2nd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

Hamish Angus2nd Grade notch up a victory against Blacktown 

A quick trip down the M2 / M7 link on the way to Blacktown's home ground seems a pretty simple yet expensive journey. For some, the $9.57 to get to the game on time, without a GPS, is a small price to pay. For others who like the scenic route, albeit via Penrith, $37 in tolls seems quite a hefty dent to the austudy allowance.

The saying 'Tales never fails in New south Wales' has never rung truer.

Hamish Angus returns to a happy hunting ground

The new poster boy for the SCA fixtures program and Inaugural Inside Cricket Magazine 'club player of the month', Damon 'Reg' Livermore, won the toss and decided that the Stags Second Best XI would bat first on a hard yet grassy wicket.

On the windiest of windy days, batting was going to be difficult.

Stags openers of Colley (14) and Lindsay (19) got us off to a good start at 4 runs per over. Letting the ball go on a seaming wicket was crucial. These guys showed great respect for the good balls whilst cashing in on anything short. Both were unlucky to be out to sharp chances. Harry Evans (74) steadied the ship with a fantastic partnership with Hamish Angus (25). Both batted extremely well on a deck that had brought them premiership glory back in the Dave "Tweety" Gray era. The singles, which these guys 'stole', were unbelievable and no doubt were the difference between us winning and losing the match.

Harry EvansAngus who was unlucky to be caught off a waist high full toss, showed great temperament throughout his innings, hopefully a big innings is around the corner. His dismissal brought Elliot Richtor (25) to the crease. Els hasn't lost any of his touch whilst in England and the combination with Evans was wonderful to watch. Crisp stroke play so early in the season had to be admired. As the push for runs in the latter part of the innings brought the downfall of Evans, next man in Robert 'GPS' Edwards (25) showed his class as a finisher, knocking the ball to all parts. Will Sweeney (25) was the quiet achiever in the late flurry, knocking the ball around and rotating the strike. Sweens cover drive was in action and the bowlers had no hesitation in feeding him fodder to dispatch through the off side.

Harry Evans pumps one over the top

Chris Archer made a welcomed return to Sydney grade cricket with a run a ball 20. A total of 268 '8 was a pretty decent in those conditions. The running between wickets was sensational and to be fair about half of our dismissals were to very sharp catches. So on any other day, all those scores of 25 might turn into 50's. All the Stags batsmen performed extremely well for this initial bout for the 09/10 season, hopefully this will be a sign for things to come.

As the wind continued to be annoyingly gale force, the Stags set out to make inroads against The Blacktown batting line up. The 'J 'connection of James Campbell (1-28) and James Kennedy (1-39) performed well. Left armer opening bowlers are never easy to face and these guys are no exception. Both struck early, leaving the 'Warriors' reeling at 2 wickets down for just 5 runs. Stags were definitely on top now. The next partnership was a blur. Honestly. The next 120 runs came at 7 runs per over. We didn't bowl as badly as the score indicated. The batsmen chanced their arm on anything that was slightly wide. Balls in the air often missed awaiting hands by only centremetres and often ended up at the boundary.

Will SweeneySometimes its hard to set fields in these times as no one, not even the batsmen expect balls to be flying in those unorthodox directions. Chris Archer (0-49) was unlucky not to grab a couple of wickets. Shots just clearing the fielders and an edge to slip was grassed. Archie showed great variation with his deliveries beating the bat on numerous occasions. The drinks break was a welcomed relief. We knew that if we hung in there and just got a single wicket, we could again grab the game by the scruff of the neck. The old sugar hit did work wonders. Steve Colley (3-42) getting the vital wicket. The dismissal of their consistent left-hander came almost instantly, soon to be followed by another wicket. Add another twist, with their number 5 blazing a rapid 25 in 4 overs, a definite roller coaster was in action.

Will Sweeney performing with bat and ball

Will Sweeney (4-36) started the roll we desperately needed. Three wickets in quick succession, definitely took the wind out of the Warriors sail.

Unfortunately for us, the wind was also out of our sails. Having the opposition 8-185, a good side would have knocked over the tail without fuss. We, on the other hand, took the foot off the throat, lost all our intensity and decided to drag the finish out for another 12 overs. Eventually bowling them out for 219. Which still looks good on paper against our 268-8 but after the many twists and turns of the game, a sub 200 score would have been a much more satisfying result.

A bit of an anti-climax really. That may sound quite harsh but in reality, bonus points don't come along too often and the opportunity to grab one or two extra points definitely presented itself.

The victory was still one to be proud of. A great start to the new season and many positive signs. We have a great bunch of young men in the team with talent to burn. If we can turn that potential into runs and wickets on a Saturday, second grade will be pleasant place to be.

That's what im talking about!

Yours in Cricket



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