3rd Grade Report vs Bankstown - Round 13 (Day 1)
3rd Grade Report vs Bulldogs
The Trois Stags arrived at their 13th consecutive 'most important game of the year,' as Howitt, the junior, could be heard exclaiming at Chatswood, the match was sure to be 'CRUCIAL.'
Many readers may not be aware, but at present Messieurs Kelly and Durie are keenly awaiting a response to their submission to the MCC that a third option, 'decline', be afforded the winner of the toss. Unfortunately this response has not yet been forthcoming, and so when the coin came up Gordon, 'Maffew' Kelly begrudgingly chose willow over leather.
Kelly enjoying the space in the bigger changeroom
With the visitor's dressing room resembling a Shawshank solitary cell, the Stag's bats resolved to spend a significant time out in the fresh air and sunshine of the yard to stave off the impending claustrophobia and homosexuality of a stay indoors (Confession: I am a huge Shawshank Redemption fan and am watching as I type- you might enjoy imagining Morgan Freeman delivering this text. He is this scribe's preferred narrator.)
Out in the centre the skipper was reunited with Anthony 'RSVP #1' Sherman at the top of the list on a day that Pic was determined to impress (at the cricket almost as much so as at the D+D later that evening). The pairing got off to an explosive start, mixing an array of powerful cuts and majestic drives to tick the scoreboard along at 5+ an over. But as often happens when it seems only a run out will break a partnership, the Dogs keeper produced a good piece of cricket to hit the single stump on offer to catch Kelly centimetres short attempting a leg bye.
Matt Makepeace joined his desperate and dateless 'date' (Matt you can do better! Now that I mention it, so can Pic!) at the crease and together they continued to keep the scorers busy until the Gibbon (Makepeace) smashed one to mid-off. From 2-80 at drinks, the Stag's lost a succession of wickets with Sherman (50+), Ben 'Gardener' Garratt (9) and Elliot 'Junior' Richtor (13) dismissed through poor shot selection more so than good bowling; 5-140 at tea, Kieran Jones and a Boycott-esque Dave Michael with blade in hand.
The focus of the afternoon session was simple; get to the last ten overs with wickets in hand to take advantage of a tiring opposition and post a defendable total. The achievement of this end only further reflects the resolve of this 3rd grade line-up, with firstly 'Buff' Jones (78) and 'George' Michael (23 including 2 Garratt-like consecutive sixes), followed by a gem of a partnership between Will 'Wilbur' Sweeney (50+ n.o.) and Josh 'Flippers!' Ling.
The value of these partnerships can in no way be overstated; taking the Stag's from a vulnerable position to post what is a very defendable total. Buff and Shamu played particularly well, cashing in on the bad ball and running superbly between the wickets. Worth noting was the dismissal of Jordan 'JB' Holmes for the 3rd time in grade cricket (not bad for a 29 year old!), Gordon all out 314.
Narrator and avid cricket follower - Morgan Freeman
Although two overs at our opponents failed to bear fruit, the Stags will return to complete the task of securing six points (while trying to keep the ball out of the water hazard beyond the pickets! Archer will be bowling from the dry end!)
And finally, what would a third grade report be without a Sherman pearler to finish:
Kelly, naked, preparing for a shower in the shower-sized visitor's dressing room: 'Pic, I'll give you five seconds to move your gear before it gets wet'
Aptly narrated by Morgan Freeman