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4th Grade Report vs UTS Balmain - Round 2

Fourth Grade Report vs UTS Balmain

It was an impressive 4th grade outfit that graced the hallowed turf of Ryde oval on Saturday morning. Some wondered why they were playing cricket on the biggest football weekend of the year, but nonetheless captain Iqbal ensured everyone was focused on the task at hand with his ritualistic 'sprinting' session.

There were several new faces in the side. John Sawtell was playing his first game for the club and Sticks had joined the team, much to the joy of Kannangara who was no longer the only player in the team under 5 foot.

(John Sawtell in his first spell for the club)

Captain Inzie inspected the pitch and decided it was a definite bat first pitch and upon winning the toss that is exactly what he choose to do. After smarting from a 13run loss last week, it was crucial for the top order to get off to a solid start.

Alas it was not to be as Kenner fell early.  Las joined Slocombe and proceeded to consolidate as the UTS bowlers enjoyed the early conditions.

'Puppy dog' Kannangara fell after a composed looking 14, falling from a slower ball from resident rocker and labour MP Peter Garrett. Apon entering the change rooms it was clear that Las had markedly improved his four letter-word vocabulary over the winter.

(James Kennedy at Ryde) 

At the first drinks break UTS were slightly on top with Gordon at 2/50. The spinners were introduced into the attack much to the joy of Choppy and Jonesy who proceeded to dispatch the ball to all corners of the Ryde Oval. It looked as though a match winning partnership was emerging until Choppy, after dispatching the left-arm spinner for a one bounce four, left an arm ball which pitched off and hit middle. Needless to say Choppy was bewildered as he returned to the sheds with 43.

Shenal was trapped LBW for 4 and it was time for captain Inzie to enter the wicket. Jonesy continued the carnage knocking up his 50 in quick time. After returning a first ball duck the previous work, it looked as though he was a man on a mission, showing minimal respect for the UTS spin attack as he cracked numerous 6s. Unfortunately, when trying to clear the ropes again he held out for a well-made 64.

The Tigers were back in front with Gordon at 5-160 at the halfway stage of the day. Inzie set out to continue the pain for the UTS spinners and managed to heave two balls into the construction site. Ahmed was looking good, this could be his day. Chris Lee at the other end pushes into the off side for a cheeky single, Inzie hesitates and then takes off. A diving Inzie comes up millimetres short of his ground. A disappointing end to a promising innings.

'BIC' Evans chops on for 2 and it is left to 'binga' Lee to bat with the tail. Kennedy holds up an end briefly before he is caught behind. Sawtell comes and goes and our perennial number 11 'chickens' Thomlinson comes to the wicket. Binga manages to land a couple of telling blows before he is cleaned up for 35 and the Stags are all out for 226. Thomlinson denied what would have been a glorious century.

(The boys survey the damage done by Rob Evans)

The Stags bowlers are afforded 7 overs at the UTS openers but no breakthrough is forthcoming, UTS 0/20 at the end of play day 1.

Day 2 saw Kennedy arrive at the ground still drying tears from the Swannies excruciating 1 point loss in the AFL grand final. With Inzie complaining of stiffness from his 'marathon' innings the previous day, it was time for the 'Tim Packman' sprint session, which saw some impressive performances namely from the 'puppy dog'.

The stags knew that early wickets were crucial in defending a modest total on a good batting deck. Sawtell and Binga both delivered, claiming an early wicket each and putting the Tigers under the pump at 2/30.

(The stags slip cordon)

Unfortunately our courageous skipper somehow managed to get his little finger jammed between the ball and his knee cap. Those who saw the incident were left gob-smacked at how such a bizarre sequence of events could actually happen'but it is Inzie. The injury to his spinning finger saw Inzie leave the field and Gordon's reliable 12th man M.J. Falk enter the field.

A frustrating partnership ensued. Kennedy bowled a great spell, building pressure at one end with consecutive maidens, but it was Shenal 'number 5' who reaped the rewards claiming two caught behinds in quick succession.

At 4/100 the match was in the balance. UTS's captain was now at the wicket and after having a polite conversation with Inzie yesterday felt he had something to prove. And he proceeded to prove his point beyond the balance of probabilities smashing the Stag bowlers in a match winning 60. When he eventually held out to specialist cover fieldsman Falk, UTS were only 40 runs shy of victory. Bic claimed his second wicket in as many overs, before he was rushed from the field so he could attend his wedding that afternoon. Only BIC could play cricket on his wedding day, but that is the level of commitment he shows to his club.

Just quietly the Stags had snuck back into the game, with only bowlers left to bat and 40 runs still required for victory, stand in captain Jonesy was geeing up the lads for a come from behind victory. 'Needles' bowled well in the absence of Inzie and was unlucky not to snare a couple of wickets, but unfortunately the game slipped away from the Stags as Peter Garrett landed the knock out blows to bring the Tigers home by 4 wickets.

(Shenal Siriwardhane or No.5)

Another disappointing loss for the Stags 4th grade team. It was clear that we came up short in all aspects of the game and the 4 wicket loss was a fair result. Inzie was quick to remind Kenner in the car trip home and several 1000 times at the Greengate that the game would have been different had he not bruised his pinkie. Maybe so, but I think his comment that the 4s are a one man team was a bit over-the-top'after all BIC didn't hit runs in this game.

But seriously, next week is make or break for the Stags 4th grade. Hopefully our courageous captain can recover from his debilitating injury to lead his side to victory. Until then'stay classy Chatswood.

Richie Kenner


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