3rd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 10 (Day 2)
3rd Grade collects 10 points against Blacktown
Having secured first innings points at the close of week one, the third rate Stags arrived at Whalan brimming with enthusiasm for the challenge of doing it all again to secure ten points along with equal first place at the top of a congested leader board.
The day started poorly for the Stags with a reshuffle in the dressing room leading to disaster as CRASH!!... a bottle from Adair's personal selection had finally been smashed in the change room' the thick aroma wafted across the change room hinting a complex marriage of blackberry and rhubarb with medium tannins in a long finish with faint heat. How could the Bear go on?
Adair adds more wickets to his personal collection
On the paddock it was up to the leather flingers to repeat their collective disintegration of the Warriors line-up. Early breakthroughs were again made with Adair 'Judge and' Jury (4/51, giving match figures of 9/91), and Jordie 'James Blake' Holmes (3/34) bowling the merciless line and length that has seen many a batsman turn his hand to off break bowling. The performance of these two quicks, backed up by the talented Josh 'Dinga' Ling (1/27) and Chris Archer (2/32), has formed the most ruthless and uncompromising attack that this scribe has played alongside and one that could definitely cause some damage come the business end of the season.
Although Captain Kelly asserts that there is nothing sexy about our bowling strategy, it has proven successful time and again in the capitulation of opposition line-ups. Perhaps if the ball was thrown in the direction of the best looking slips cordon in grade cricket we could sex it up a bit, but at this stage this is far from requisite.
Some of the self-proclaimed 'best looking slips cordon in grade cricket' celebrating the only action they will be getting this week
The fielding, led by the skipper under the lid for the majority of our time in the field, was also first rate, yet the lightning quick outfield mixed with some fortuitous stroke play saw Blacktown dismissed in their second attempt with a lead of 152, and 29 overs remaining in the day ' certainly not beyond this side which has prided itself on positive cricket to enable numerous results and bonus points throughout the season.
With Matt 'Not War' Makepeace wielding the willow with BG at the top of list, the innings got off to a flier with numerous 10+ overs making a considerable dent in the chase. BG (25) was dismissed attempting to again find the fence and Neil 'Gilo' Longhurst (23) took up where he left off with some lovely stroke play, before falling to the hook shot. We have begun to see glimpses of Longy's true ability with the blade in recent weeks and know that a big score is just around the corner for him. Fantasy League selectors of the Pom are sure to get full value in the second half of the season.
All the while at the other end Makepeace accumulated runs to all parts of the ground. This could well be the innings that helps him find the form of seasons past, his unbeaten 71 coming from as many deliveries, steering the Stags home to a richly deserved and invaluable outright victory.
News filtered in throughout the day of the possibility of the clean sweep, and congratulations are extended to all Stags representatives for their excellent performances over the past few rounds, particularly one R.M. Stobo who completed his 48th last match (and children's sudoku) for the club. Hurrah!