5th Grade Report vs Penrith - Round 9 (Day 1)
Stobo's Back in 5th Grade
There was a familiar figure at Beauchamp Oval on Saturday morning. Was it a bird'was it a plane'NO. It was Richard Stobo. Stobs was making his long awaited cameo appearance for the club after his retirement last season, much to the delight of resident scribe Ian Higgins.
Bourne learns more about the Cryptic Crosswords whilst Frago focuses on the game
Stobs was welcomed into the 5th grade ranks with open arms on the verge of this crucial fixture against keen rivals Penrith. Some other familiar faces were back in the fifth grade sheds, namely Cubbage 'Wilson' (who is looking more and more like his mentor and admirer) and his partner in crime James Kennedy. Add to this Grafton ex-pat Dougie 'the pizza boy' Harris and the 5ths again had a very strong outfit on paper.
Tweety, feeling much better with the addition of Stobs in the side, lost the toss and the Stags were sent in by the Penrith captain (Stobo mach II) on a damp deck.
Lawry and Boycott (Kenner and Sajdeh respectively) were reunited due to some late changes and both openers were keen to survive the first hour. Alas 'Sticks' Lawry was back in the dressing rooms before he knew what happened, sporting a bump on the head and a bruised ego.
Boycott (Sunny) quickly followed as he played back to a ball which kept low. Jimmy Catlin (the 5th Grade batting, bowling and fielding coach and resident psychologist) spoke candidly to the two openers about their ability to critically analyse the change-up ball as well as the throwing arms of each fielder and their preferred meal choice and music selection. Both openers took on board Jimmy's advice with slightly bemused faces.
Cubbage takes one for the team
Dougie fell for ten soon after, playing down the wrong line of the bowler's change-up in-swinger (good call Jimmy). 'Toolies' Knight and Cubbage-Wilson took over when the Stags were teetering at 3/16. A fine partnership ensued with both batsmen playing their shots and taking the attack to the Penrith bowlers. The momentum of the innings had just started to swing in Gordon's favor when both batsmen fell in quick succession, Knight for 26 and Cubbie for 34.
When Marvell was caught at bat pad for 8, the Stags were 6/99 and in some trouble. Enter Tim Frag <enter alphabet here> (for the record it is Fragogiannis). Lusty blows off the spinners combined with crisp horizontal stroke play off the quicks were the highlights of Fraggas innings.
While the carnage was going on in the middle, a Gordon reunion of sorts was taking place in the pavilion. The likes of Stobo, Falk, Gray, Catlin, and Reynolds were present and what ensued was a brief summation of the previous 102 years of Gordon cricket. The young pups in the team looked on with awe and amazement as Mick Falk and Stobs rattled off names, stats and famous games of the past. The Wikipedia of Gordon cricket had come to Beauchamp.
Better shot selection from Cubbage
As the young pups jostled for couch position and discussed past Greenwood and Cross (Cubbs) experiences, Gray and Fraggas were busy furthering the Stags total.
The old guard cheered vehemently after each Gray boundary as he powered to 22 before being adjudged LBW. Tweety's disbelief at the decision came under close scrutiny by match referee Ranjad Matagale. It has been confirmed that Tweety will be fined half his match fee (that's half a bottle of veno and 5L of petrol).
Fraggas, realizing he was quickly running out of partners, accelerated his scoring, putting on a crucial 50 run stand with Kennedy who was bowled for five. Frags fell soon after, when he was unluckily caught and bowled off a low full toss. A potentially match winning innings had ended at 88.
'Red ink' Bourne was again stranded for the 6th time this season when Stobs fell for a duck. Another hundred went begging for the Bourne.
Gordon all out for 215.
Six overs remained to be bowled in the day. A real chance to make in roads into the Penrith top-order.
Knight pumps a short ball to the boundary
A combination of great bowling by Stobs and Kennedy (1 wicket a piece) and some fine fielding from the specialist mid-on and the Stags were able to reduce the Panthers to 3/8 at stumps.
A great fight back by the Stags have put them in the box seat for next week, but this game is not a foregone conclusion by any means. We know we will have to fight tooth and nail to secure the 6 points next week.
Until then, you stay classy Chatswood.