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3rd Grade Report vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 14 (Day 2)

3rd Grade secure a spot in the finals

The Gordon 3rd grade team arrived at Beauchamp for day two against Randwick-Petersham with the thought that they probably had a sufficient number of runs to secure victory against a team who needed to win to stay alive. Indeed, the same topic had been discussed at the teams' dinner at wonderful Malabar on Thursday night. However, a difference of opinion between the teams' two most senior players emerged. One (let's call him Maffew) was of the view that "we've got 50 too many" (a little cocky but he did drink three times as much as anyone else that night) and the other (let's call him...well...let's just call him Pic) was of the view "nah mairn, why don't we just bat 'em out of the game mate?"

Pic shows the lower order how to "bat 'em out of the game"

It was certainly an interesting divergence of opinion, and one that the captain decided to defuse by agreeing to bat on for a maximum of 3 overs in order to get as close to 300 as possible. And so it was; despite the fact that the logic employed by "Pic" on Thursday night when taking charge of the ordering, which fell about halfway short of "enough", should have rendered him unable to even give his opinion for any other decision in 3rd grade this season.

The plan only partially went to script, as the Stags lost their final 3 wickets for the addition of 13 runs in 3 overs to finish on 291. By anyone's logic, this must have represented 63 too many.

What happened next could not have been predicted by either of Thursday night's protagonists. Durie and Sweeney opened the bowling and immediately had the men with effigies of Pegasus on their chests searching for answers. Durie struck first, a hammer blow to the opposition's chances. Barker, their captain, amongst their most productive batsmen and a truly good bloke to play cricket against, was adjudged lbw. Possibly a little unlucky but Durie's pace and movement forced him into an awkward position. One for not many and the Stags had started well.

(Chris Archer during his two wicket spell)

Sweeney was unlucky not to get a wicket as he bowled with good pace and movement, but perhaps not as unlucky as Ling not to get the new ball. Some drunk has-been was heard to say on Saturday night, "If you were going to pick a World XI to play at Beauchamp, Josh Ling would be a certainty". A ridiculously outrageous comment, because you would at least have to consider Glenn McGrath (and then probably pick Ling). Between Ling (3 for 14 off 10) and Durie (4 for 32), Randwick-Petersham were reeling at 6-40. At one stage Ling bowled 6 balls to the Randwick-Petersham number 5, that must rank amongst the best 6 consecutive balls ever bowled in 3rd grade. The 6th ball ending a brief but unhappy stay at the crease, with off pole lying on the ground.

Josh Ling will not be going to the Carribean despite his best attempts to fly there himself

A fantastic display of the combination of seam and swing bowling working in partnership. The partnership was no better illustrated than when Ling bowled a short ball above the eyes of Randwick-Petersham's up and coming opening batsman, just when he looked like he was starting to get some momentum. The shot was top edged to Durie at fine leg, who took a magnificent grab, diving forward and an inch off the ground.

Outright points were briefly considered but Otto and Magro had different ideas and combined some lusty hitting with some smart single-taking to help Randwick-Petersham into a position where the outright would not be an issue. Eventually they saw off the rampant pair of Ling and Durie on a very hot day. The ball was thrown to a new pair of Archer and Richtor to do some hard work on what was still a pretty good batting wicket and in the heat. Archer (2 for 37) turned the game back in Gordon's favour, breaking the partnership and he should be commended on the manner in which he stuck at his task. Great loop and drift, a good change of pace and an even better temperament. Arch gives it a good "rip" and he is developing into a fine bowler. Richtor (1 for 40) did his usual impression of a metronome and consistently hit line and length. He was harshly dealt with in an over, but it was due to the long handle approach as opposed to poor bowling, before he had the last laugh against a persistent critic from the previous week.

The opposition was dismissed, with Durie returning for the last wicket, for 164. As such the overnight score was more than twice as many "too many" than the musings of a mid-week drunkard. Curious. A number of after-play beers were shared with a the Randwick-Petersham boys on both day's play and they were great company. Such interaction with the opposition reinforces how the game should be played and highlights the difference that unfortunately seems to occur when we play away from Chatswood.

(Elliot Richtor at Beauchamp against Randwick Petersham)

A pleasing result, celebrated with a glass of Durie's 2004 Croser sparkling white, after the disappointment of the game against Bankstown. The second day was punctuated with excellent fielding and the result leaves the team more than unlikely to finish lower than third but with an opportunity to finish first or second. This week's preparation will be vitally important, before we take on our fiercest of rivals.

Matthew Kelly


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