2nd Grade Report vs Fairfield - Round 5
Second Grade vs. Fairfield-Liverpool
The Gordon second grade team arrived at Rosedale Oval sporting several new faces to the side that mauled Hawkesbury the previous week. An injured Ed Zelma came down from the top grade to play as a bat and Neil Longhurst was making his second grade debut after a good start to the season in 3's.
(Matt Michael at Rosedale)
We won the toss and batted on what would have to be one of the best tracks in Sydney at the moment. Rasool and Livermore opened up for the Stags and both began where they had left off the previous round; middling everything. Unfortunately for Reg, just like the previous week he chopped on after making a promising start. Rasool followed suit about half an hour before lunch for 23 after being given out LBW. Zelma and Michael batted really well together to get the Stags to lunch only 2 down. Their running between wickets in this period was exceptional and went a long way to setting up a good total later in the day.
Unfortunately half an hour into the second session with the score on about 110 we lost Ed Zelma for 24 to what was an average caught behind decision to say the least. Cashman joined Michael at the crease and proceeded to watch the Cake belt the loose ball all over Rosedale oval in what was an innings of high quality and class. In a partnership of 80-90 Cuppy would have hit at least 60 eventually bringing up his hundred just after the first drinks break in the middle session. His innings was characterized by aggressive running between wickets and trademark slaps to the fence; it was evident that the Fairfield side had no answer.
Cashman was dismissed for 27 just before the break bringing Hokin to the crease. Unfortunately for the Stags we lost Michael to a tired shot on 110 and then Nick Dowsely before the tea break leaving us 6 down for 210. Although we were still in a good position and we batted deep it was disappointing to lose so many wickets on the break and it's certainly something we will have to work on in the coming weeks.
Longhurst and Sweeney fell cheaply after the break which brought Howitt and Hokin together in the middle. These 2 batted really well; both finding the fence regularly. Hokin played some great cut shots that raced into the fence and Hoppa forced the ball brilliantly through extra cover. This partnership put Gordon back on track to reach 300, however we fell short at 289 after losing Hoppa then Hokin fairly close together; Hokin out for an important and entertaining 66. Fairfield got off to a good start against the new ball leaving Day 1 0-40 in pursuit of 289.
(Rod Hokin in action)
The following week however saw the weather, bocce and poker take over. Much to the disappointment of the Gordon side we started late, not just an hour late either. We started at 10 to 3. Long story short, Fairfield had 54 overs on Day 2 to score an additional 249 runs and the game was evenly poised.
Fairfield got off to another good start against the new ball pairing of Michael and Ling. Both however bowled really well in trying conditions and were unlucky not to breakthrough early. A dropped catch off Ling and some early errors in the field were not making our task any easier.
With the score 0-82, Howitt brought himself on with immediate results cleaning up the Fairfield opener. Hoppa is a guy that is perfectly suited to this situation and he proceeded to control the game from the moment he got the wet ball in his hands. He took the first 4 wickets for not many as Fairfield began unraveling after a good start. From the other end it is important to note that Neil Longhurst helped create a considerable amount of pressure by bowling a spell characterized by exceptional line and length; in his first game of 2's he was impossible to get away.
Michael replaced Longers and got the next 2 wickets while Hoppa claimed his well deserved 5th . Unfortunately for the stags, with the score now at 7-150 the Fairfield boys shut up shop and focused on batting the remaining overs. Hoppa made several bowling changes in an effort to force the breakthrough however it was not to be; the Lions finishing 7-220 in pursuit of 289. All bowlers performed well and the fielding and catching was pleasing. Howitt finished 5-36 and Michael 2-65.
The drawn result was a disappointing way to end a game that had more potential; unfortunately though the weather cannot be helped. The second graders will go into next round confident of points after another good performance at Rosedale.