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5th Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

fonsekaA poor performance hands over 8 points to the Sharks  

After a long trip south of the bridge, the Stagies arrived at Sutherland's Tonkin Park. For anyone who hasn't been there before, it is right next to the water and if you bowl from that end you face being hit into the sea! It also features a full on baseball mound and various bases where it is literally just dirt. You could say it makes Turramurra look like Lords!

Fonseka makes a positive start at the top of the order

The start was delayed for a while so a game of touch footy commenced with team trackies dominating thanks to some outstanding play from Mark 'Fonzy Fonzy Moi Moi' Fonseka. Anyway, skipper and legend Tim 'Moth' Packman lost the toss and the Stagies got put in on a wicket that was quite wet and with overcast conditions. The ball could do a bit early on. And it did.

In the first over Tom 'Cockburner' Cockburn was dismissed, given out caught behind. Aaron Johnstone was the next to fall, run out, with what was a questionable single in the first place! Andy 'AC/DC' Coleman, who has already got the tag of talking too much (unlike a wicketkeeper!!), was the next to go; caught behind. Things were proving tricky with the Sutherland bowlers bowling quite consistently and in good areas.

However, new found opener Mark Fonseca and Michael Gribble then shared a partnership of 46 with Gribble particularly playing a number of good shots and looking good for his 24 before he was caught in the covers. Fonz joined him in the changing rooms soon after, with a solid innings of 29.

This sparked a collapse for the third week running, and the last seven wickets were lost for just 17 runs. Millar, Packman, Campbell, Lake and Bangs were all dismissed without making any significant contributions. Poysden was the undismissed batsmen on 2, and the Stags finishing on a very disappointing score of just 84, all out off 37.2 overs.

Lunch was interesting, which incorporated Poysden's first ever trip into the 'shire', Cronulla. Surprisingly there was a lot of young female talent around, and Dan Lake looked in his element.

Lake's excitement was carried forward onto the pitch where he nicked a batter off in his first over to give us a glimmer of hope. Bangs and Packman also bowled early on, with the Moth having to take himself off after one just one over due to an old man's hip injury. However, this was not of great concern to our great skipper as it set him up for a 'massage' later on in the day. Paul Campbell also bowled a decent spell where he showed a lot of aggression.

The next wicket did not fall until the 'Sharks' were on 52. Josh Poysden bowled their number 3 batter. Then, the heavens opened! The Stagies were quietly pleased with this as Sutherland required only 33 to win with 8 wickets left. We were off the pitch for nearly 2 hours. Highlights of this break included some epic games of iPhone Hangman and some group discussion on whom and what Moth should text next!

However, with the ground still very wet and light drizzle in the air the Stagies came back onto the field. However, when we looked at the wicket we discovered there was a massive puddle/mud patch/swamp on a good length just on the bowlers follow through at one end. After a bit of discussion we decided to carry on and see how it played. It would be cruel to deny the Sharks a chance at victory considering they had bowled so well earlier in the day.

With the batters obviously trying to get on with it, Poysden took another wicket in his next over, caught by the Moth. Dave Millar then struck in the next over, getting his wicket caught by a good catch at mid-off from Paul Campbell. With Dave bowling well and the batters aggressing, anything could have happened and we still thought the game was in the balance.

Things turned fairly farcical when the conditions got even worse and we remained on the pitch. There was literally squelching as even the slow bowlers were running up and the swamp on a length was causing serious safety concerns for the quicker bowlers run ups.

Despite these safety concerns and the resulting ineffectual bowling, the Sharks got the score just 4 down. A result they deserved, but one couldn't help but feel the match was simply gifted to them on

Although, we should not have stayed on the pitch, we must take responsibility for this defeat. We all need to take a look at ourselves and think what we can do to improve our performance next week. Batters need to avoid getting bogged down, but not throw their wicket away when they are well set. It's the big scores that win you games not a bunch of low scores.

We travel to ELS Hall Park next week and if we perform to how we know we can, we should get a result.

Up the Stagies.

Joshua Poysden



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