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3rd Grade Report vs Wests - Semi Final

Third Grade Report - Semi Final vs Wests  

With only four sides remaining in the contest for the holy grail of third grade cricket, the Stags arrived at the spiritual home of Gordon cricket with the aim of securing a berth in undeniably 'THE most important game of the season.'

(Chris Archer during his 4 wicket spell)

With rain forecast for the weekend and the pitch spawning an array of divergent 'expert' opinions, Kell's did what he does best - losing the toss ' and the Stag's would bowl.

The Stag's pace trio were certainly not unhappy with this master stroke from 'Maffew' Kelly, however some fine strokes and fortunate slogs brought the scoreboard to 0/40 within ten overs. The prospect of a long, hot day in the field held little appeal for any of the Stags, so the fall of two quick wickets prior to drinks brought some much needed respite and shared bragging rights from the first hour.

With the danger players at the crease for the Magpies, the bowlers upped the ante significantly, as Jordan 'Rug-a-Rama' Holmes (3/27 from 9) and Chris 'I'll ask my mum' Archer (4/51 from 27) took control of the middle session and strangled the life out of the West's batting line-up. In Anthony 'covers captain' Sherman's parlance, the performance was simply 'roofless,' and given the amount of rain around, this was sure to be of concern for the West's game plan.

Only adding to the dominance of the performance was some excellent catching by all, some slick keeping from Makepeace including a sleight of hand stumping, and some superb support bowling, with Josh 'Gos' Ling (2/12 from 9), Elliot 'Geoffrey' Richtor (1/22 from 8) and Adair 'wicketless?' Durie (0/59 from 23) having Wests all out for 176 in the 75th.

(The wicketless Durie still looked good)

With 19 overs left to play on day one, Captain Kelly and 'Covers Captain' Sherman showed their respective class to post 0/66 in reply at the close of play - a fantastic start that barring the unexpected would see the Stags secure victory the following day. What was totally unexpected was the quality and quantity of the afternoon tea provided by one A. Sherman for the second day. After too many weeks of excuses for insufficient or erroneous tea contributions, Pic finally brought along his fair share ' how ironic then that he chose to do so on the day that play concluded pre-afternoon tea and so the bounty returned to North Ryde in the van!

The players arrived to grey skies and patchy downpours on the second morning, so with the covers pegged firmly in place by our expert Colts covers assistants, the Stags were left to amuse themselves with a friendly hand of five hundred. At best the table talk from Durie could be described as appalling ('seven' on second thoughts make that six hearts' and 'do you want me to win the lead?') and his ability to 'misplace' the joker mid-game is truly second to none.

Upon the resumption of play, the openers continued their fine form by despatching the loose ball and stealing singles where possible. The pair brought up their tenth century stand together before Sherman (70 from 82) fell 18 short of his 5000th grade run. Kelly (74 from 138) continued to demolish any loose bowling ' including three impressive 't-t-t-tonker' sixes.

'Powder puff' Hosking used the chance to get some solid time in the middle (17 red inks off 50) before 'the constant gardener' Garratt hacked 10 not out (from 12) including a lovely French cut past leg stump to bring up the winning runs. With the match secured, the captains agreed to an early finish and to the bemusement of some, a few less than expected hung around to celebrate our progression into the grand final (granted however that the end of a 15 season drought for some is worth celebrating!) This scribe rests assured that should all continue to plan this weekend, the celebration itself will deserve its own report!

(Pic hits out during his 70)

So get down to the home of the GDCC this weekend to watch the third choice team go around. This match represents the culmination of an enormous amount of preparation, determination and hard work by all of the players and officials of the club and a strong supporter contingent will only strengthen our resolve and lift our performance to bring the cup home as Colt's did last week ... back-to-back premierships ' a tremendous accomplishment - congratulations to Dave Millar and his troops.

Ben Garratt

 

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