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2nd Grade Report vs Penrith - Round 9

2nd Grade Report vs Penrith

A trip to Howell Oval was exactly what the pedometers on the 2nd graders didn't need. With a little bit of rain in the air, and some strangely damp areas surrounding the wicket there would be a delayed start. It was evident that the toss was crucial. More so than in previous rounds. Howitt has nothing short of a pathetic record at the coin toss. Many people say the coin toss is a good test of character. I couldn't agree more. With there being a lengthy delay before ball one, the Stags sat in the dressing room and talked life. With the likes of O'Neill-Fuller, Livermore etc. life couldn't be any more complex... nay bizarre. The topics ranged from how the people who work in toll booths get to work, to camping with Jordan Holmes. A large portion of the 11 had been certain the game would be called of for the day, and perhaps this was evident in the way Gordon performed on Day 1.

Hoppa comes to the rescue in the first dig

Needless to say Gordon was sent in, and there was trouble from the outset. Cashman, Michael, Livermore, Dowsley, Bombas, O'Neill-Fuller and Higgins were dismissed early and cheaply seeing the scoreboard read 7-43. Hoppa and Medcalf salvaged some pride and helped take the score to 120 before we were all out. Old maid "fingers" on the scoreboard at Howell was loving every minute of the black cats bowling as he gave the no look flick of the fingers to produce perfect numbers every time in the wickets column. Brilliant score board attending. Huey needs to take note.

With around 35 overs still to be bowled in the day, Gordon was confident of being in a strong position by the end of day 1. To Penrith's credit they batted much, much better than us on a difficult batting wicket. Medcalf and Dowsley did have some success taking a wicket each - all be it due to some of the worst and according to Michael dishonest wicket keeping seen since Christopher Skase donned the gloves for the Majorca XI. Medcalf was the first to strike after receiving some sound advice from his drinking buddy Craig Simmons. He caught the edge of the left handed opening bat, Beadle, only for Higgins to drop the catch with his hands and then catch it in the flap of his right pad.

O'Neil-Fuller lets another delivery pass

Dowsley then bowled perhaps the worst ball of the day to nip the edge of the other openers slashing bat. The ball slowly descended in the direction of the keeper's gloves and it was certainly touch and go whether or not it carried. Higgins was quite confident it had carried - as was the square leg umpire, however whether Higgins was using the "two bounces - kick up - one hand" ruling is still unknown. Either way the score finished on 2-99 at the close of play.

Day 2 brought about much the same sort of weather as 7 days prior. The stags were keen for rain and a draw, however it was not to be and we started on time. Stephenson and Hokin opened the bowling and bowled straight lines to restrict Penrith to a rather sluggish run rate considering the context of the game. The 20 odd runs needed for first innings point were passed without the loss of any further wickets and came after 7-8 overs. Two direct hit run-outs from Higgins and Stephenson got the boys a little excited as evident from the wicket keepers trousers, and after Hokin claimed an LBW, Penrith declared with a 23 run lead. With 9 overs before lunch the plan was simple. NO wickets down at lunch and then maybe we could give them a target to chase after tea.

Lunch came and "fingers" had the score at 4-10. Our day was done, and we were now playing for pure survival. Michael who now boasts the record of 4 ducks from his last 5 trips to the crease had an extremely interesting round. After being bowled in the first innings and not hitting a ball, perhaps his plan should have been to use the bat to hit the red thingy coming at him. Alas, he was clean bowled again in the second dig ' again without hitting a ball. I believe he faced 9 balls for the match. Without hitting one of them. Howitt Snr. Wishes me to inform that during the lunch break he spilt a beetroot across his creams. Top match for the Christmas Cake.

Dowsley smokes one through wide mid-off

4-10 soon became 5-12 after JOF was caught in the gully. Bombas was dropped soon after by 3rd slip and the score could have been 6-13... However the catch was grassed and the score rocketed to 5-17. Cashman, the man with the most beautiful smile in grade cricket, along with "Sundry" Bombas saved the game for the stags with a 120 run stand. Bombas fell on 43, but it was the Man-Cash who stood up on a tough deck against some really controlled bowling. His textbook throw downs cover drive was ever present on his way to century number 9 for Gordon. He ended up on 110* thanks to a couple of tough drops by the keeper and a mix-up between point and cover point when on 91. Other than that a flawless innings. The rope in his cricket kit courtesy of Sherman was subsequently cut up.

The game was called with 10 or so overs to play and the score on 7-160 odd.

6 very important points to the black cats, and 0 to the Stags. But at 5-12, still needing 11 to make Penrith bat again, it could have been far worse. We almost gifted Penrith 10 points, and had it not been for Cashman and Bombas it would have been a different story. Credit must go to Penrith who completely outplayed us in every aspect of the game.

Merry XMAS.... I've asked Santa for a home game. Fingers crossed



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