2nd Grade vs Fairfield - Liverpool - Round 2 - 2016/17
In an attempt to build a stronger opening combination, Cameron New and Scott O’Brien have decided to start doing everything together. "We get coffee together, we train together and of course, we write match reports together." Can you tell who wrote what?
A sunny but blustery day greeted the Reserve Graders at Bert Oldfield Oval for their 2nd of six consecutive Saturdays at the venue.
James "JK" Kennedy was thankfully more useful bowling than with his feet in the warm up football match
And it wasn’t long before the action started, with the hotly contested warmup football match between the Top 5 Legends and the Bottom 6 Jerks. The Jerks had some key inclusions with Dom “Spectrum” Thomson providing a much needed injection of pace and skill, and James “Peter Crouch” Kennedy proving to be a tall and lanky distraction for the Legends defenders.
Their tactic of leaving the owner of the most lethal farts in Sydney Grade Cricket, Sammy “Protein Shake” Baker sweeping in defence also proved to be an important move. The Legends attackers really struggled to breathe in the gas cloud that had formed in the attacking half, let alone string any meaningful plays together. As a result the Jerks jumped out to early 2-0 lead. However, with the game reaching a conclusion, the New-O’Brien opening combination started gelling. With telepathic like synchronisation and fluency, chances were starting to fall to the Legends on the back of the pair’s dominant midfield display.
And just at the call of “next goal wins!” the Legends converted pressure into goals with the very spreadable “Sweet Chili Philly” Will Phillips slipping in behind the Jerks' backline and applying the finish under immense pressure from the methane gas cloud that had formed. A 3-2 result under the “next goal wins” rule and 2 wins from 2 for the Legends this season.
Warmup football rivalries would have to be put on ice until next week however, as the Staggies looked to continue to build upon their cricketing form after a strong victory over Blacktown in Round 1.
Max “Carters” Newman failed at his one job once again and the Lions chose to bat first on rock hard Killara wicket. Our fearless leader informed us that he has now lost 12 tosses in a row stretching back to 2014/15 and may be looking for a replacement coin tosser in the coming weeks if his coin flipping exercises and weights program doesn’t pay dividends by next round.
The inclusion of James “Bruce Reid” Kennedy looked to be a big gain early on as he proceeded to send the new ball perilously close to the outside edge on numerous occasions. Bruce was ably supported by Dan “Fingers” Stickland, who bowled with great consistency to keep the scoring rate low.
Bruce was replaced with Reagan “The Zone” Klemt and although The Zone ironically struggled to hit his zones, he was able to draw a false shot for the first wicket. Some excellent bowling from Sam "Protein Shake" Baker and Anand “The Guru” Verma saw many chances created and even though a couple were spurned by the Stags fieldsmen, this tight bowling soon resulted in wickets.
Sticky charging in and reliably hitting his line and length
The Guru finished up with 2 wickets including an LBW that was so plumb it saw the batsman walk before a very dissatisfied umpire even had the chance to send him on his way. Some more good bowling in the middle to late overs from the “part-timers” (Cricinfo reliably informs us that Sweet Chili Philly has a better First Class bowling average than Mason Crane #justsayin kept the scoring rate down and some excellent fielding from Josh “Kenny G” Doyle created a timely run out.
Restricting Fairfield to around 200 was definitely on the cards heading into the last few overs, but unfortunately a little loose bowling and some good batting from the Lions opener who batted through the innings saw the total creep up to 230.
Not the result we were looking for but still an under par score and a very gettable target.
Special mention to Bruce who bowled expertly at the death and even correctly predicted “I’ve got a feeling this guy is going to try and ramp me this over”. Try the batsman did, but the result? Stumps everywhere!
Will Phillips trying to prove that some part-timers do have wheels
After a quick rest and some of Killara East local store’s finest sandwiches, it was on to the task at hand.
“Yeah that first ball was a bit silly. Just threw my hands at it, but man did I guts it.” And so it was - and so it would be for the next 70 runs of Scott O’Brien’s classy innings.
Carrying on from his form in the previous match, "Scooby" notched up “a proper batsman’s knock” of 74 to take the Gordon Stags towards their second win in as many weeks. Some say the deadliest of weapons imbibe the characteristics of their victims, and after polishing off the Warriors and the Lions, one wonders what might lay in store for next weeks clash with UNSW….hopefully nothing bumblebee related.
In any case, as the immortal words of John Donne remind us, “No man is an island”, and this is certainly true for the Gordon batting innings. Scott’s performance was supported brilliantly by a number of batters who were content to let the ebb and flow of the game roll like the very best of a Led Zeppelin album.
Bang! Scott launches a superb straight six onto the tennis courts at Killara
Fresh from his week-long sobriety pledge, Reagan “dark hair, long neck” Klemt (39) gave No Quarter to the Lion’s attack, leaving them a little Dazed and Confused as he showcased his T20 credentials. Reagy punished the bowlers every time they missed their lengths, and worked the singles well until he was finally undone trying to launch a straight one up to the Mothership. A great innings to watch, and good signs for the future.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always in the Stags favour. "Groundskeeper Willy" Phillips copped one he'll go to his grave claiming was an absolute howler of a decision, strangling one down the leg side off his obliques for a golden (don’t worry, we’ve already alerted the Primary Club and they’re expecting your donation post haste). New man Dom “I’ve never seen a spinner I didn’t charge” Thomson, was fired shaping one beautifully onto his front pad after making an excellent start to his career in the Reserve Grade.
In spite of this, and some naggingly tidy bowling during the middle stages of the innings from the Lions’ medium pacers, Gordon rolled on towards victory thanks to patient batting by Josh Doyle (35) and Max “Ryan Carter’s younger brother” Newman (34*).
Josh holds the innings together while Scott and Reagan go on the attack
It was only fitting that our fearless leader should finish the game off by plundering one over the cow corner boundary, ensuring that the side's fresh faces were able to practice their “Get Fah you Bah’s” in true Gordon style.
Special mentions also to Anand Verma for joining the Kookaburra club and retiring that tired old paling. Runs to come!
Another great result for the 2nd graders, with more room to improve as the season progresses. A good mix of young talent and experience which have meshed well so far.
Well done to all Stags for a fantastic start to the season – 10/12 wins is a hell of a way to enter the 2-day arena with some confidence as well take on UNSW. Let’s push for another big round and more wins to celebrate down at The Orchard.
Up the Stags…and the mighty Team Turpsmen
Gordon 7/233 (48.0) def Fairfield-Liverpool 8/230 (50.0)
Scott O'Brien and Cam New