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Bring on the qualifying finals as four of six teams make the grade

First grade have won their last 5 games, including a bonus point win against Blacktown on Saturday, to finish in 5th spot on the ladder and face a qualifying final next weekend against Parramatta at Old Kings. 

Steve Colley is happy with his team

Fifth Grade had a mighty win with just one wicket left to finish as minor premiers, fourth grade had a strong win to finish in 4th spot while Colts also won well beating the one team ahead of them on the table to finish in second spot. 

Our top batsman were Chris Spratt with 77 in thirds, Dave Monaghan with 66 not out in fifths, Michael Roberts who scored 63 in seconds and Riley Behlevanas with 52 in Colts. In the bowling, Charlie Stobo finished with 4 for 38 in firsts, Vikrant Nehru and had a fine double taking 4 for 24 while scoring 42 not out in 4ths. Sam Watts also matched Vikrant in fifths taking 4 for 58 and scoring 43.

A special mention also to Adam Cubbage who filled in today in second grade and took 2 for 38 off his 10 overs taking him to 200 wickets for the club. Well done Cubby. 

The club finished in a credible 6th spot in the Club Championship with 1226 points. It is not hard to do the math on how to win a club championship. You need your top 2 sides near the top and the balance all performing well. We achieved the task set from last year of our age competitions (Green and Poidevin Gray) doing better, however the low position of seconds meant we couldnt get closer to the top spot. (next season!)

Chris Spratt who top scored in thirds

Congratulations to the Manly Warringah District Cricket Club for winning the club championship. All of their teams were in the top 7 of their competitions with several of them leading.

First Grade

One just had that feeling that 7 points were going to be needed in first grade to secure a finals spot, but the number 1 rule in this situation is to not play for that extra point as it can put you off your game plan. The best approach is to play your best cricket and see how the cards fall.

Gordon lost the toss and were asked to bowl on what turned out to be one of the better “cricket” wickets at Chatswood with the ball coming onto the bat with pace and bounce.'

Charlie Stobo at Chatswood

Charlie Stobo was soon in the action taking 2 wickets while Alex Patterson was frugal with 7 runs off his 5 overs. Elliot Richtor then made an early appearance with the ball to pick up the dangerous Jake Fawcett. With the score on 3 for 33, Steve Colley decided to use Scott O’Brien as his first spinning choice and he repaid him in spades with 3 wickets in his first 4 overs to move the score to 6 for 40 and put the team well on top.

A recovery was made by the Warriors but a good call to bring back Charlie paid dividends with Charlie collecting two more wickets as Blacktown edged toward 100. Matt Junk then played his part by dismissing the final two bats and the target was 115 within 30 overs to get the bonus point we needed. 

While the bowling was excellent, the fielding was exceptional with some good catches and very clean ground fielding that combined to put significant pressure on the Blacktown bats. Ash Doolan was at his acrobatic best behind the stumps continually demanding the best from our fielders. 

 
Ash Doolan against the Warriors

An example of the commitment to our fielding was a high ball hit over gully that carried all the way to deep point. Axel Cahlin who was at least 25 metres away had to turn and run toward the boundary with the ball way above his head. With the boundary only a few metres away Axel dived full length to somehow get the ball in his hands but the force of landing jolted the ball out of his grasp. The easy approach would have been simply to let it go to the fence, but not this team. 

     
Tym Crawford, Scott O'Brien and Steve Colley in form against the Warriors

Axel Cahlin and Tym Crawford started well with the aggressive Tym pushing us to 40 off the first 5 overs until Axel was unfortunately dismissed by a rearing delivery. Harry Evans only had a short visit to the crease on this occasion steering a ball to the slips, however Tym and Steve Colley continued to play aggressively.

Tym fell to a mistimed high shot on 41, however Steve continued with the assistance of Elliot Richtor to see us home in 17 overs at a rate of nearly 7 per over. This was an impressive win by a team in form having now won five in a row. At the end of round 10 we were on 21 points and no chance of a finals spot. We finished on 52 which in the end was only 6 points from top spot.

 
Axel Cahlin's amazing attempt at a catch

While form is important, the start of a final series always has to be treated almost as a new season with the big guns in the side often lifting their games. But if form is anything to go by we are certainly the best placed and we enter the finals having secured 31 points in our last 5 games. The six finalists come into the series with the following points gained since Round 11:

  • Gordon 31
  • Parramatta 18
  • Sydney Uni 14
  • Campbelltown 14
  • Sutherland 12
  • Sydney 12

First Grade Scores

Gordon 3 for 117 (Tym Crawford 41, Steve Colley 33 not out) def Blacktown 114 (Charlie Stobo 4 for 38, Scott O’Brien 3 for 37, Matt Junk 2 for 26)

Second Grade

Dan Stickland in action

After bowling first on a green wicket we started solidly but struggled to make many early inroads. Some excellent bowling through the middle overs from Dan Stickland (3 for 41 off 9.4) and first-gamer Adam Cubbage (2 for 38 off 10) reduced the opposition from 1 for 80 to 6 for 110 in a matter of overs. Blacktown then counter attacked well to put on 100 for the seventh wicket before Dan Smith scored a brilliant direct hit run out at the non-strikers end from backward point. This allowed us to wrap up the innings at 222.

Unfortunately, things did not start well in the chase with 3 wickets falling to Tony Clark in his first four overs. From there it was always going to be difficult on a wicket that offered plenty for the bowlers. Michael Roberts played extremely well for his 63 but wickets fell consistently and we were bowled out for 141.

An appropriate end to a season of underperforming for the second graders where we couldn’t get quite enough players firing at the same time. Still, lots of young players with lots to look forward to in the coming seasons.

Second Grade Scores

Blacktown 222 ( Dan Stickland 3 for 41, Adam Cubbage 2 for 38, Sam Baker 2 for 38) defeated Gordon 141 (Michael Roberts 63)

Third Grade

Matt Keevers in action against Blacktown

Gordon had a brisk opening partnership between Ryan Tullia, returning from a broken finger, and Cameron New. Ryan hit a couple of boundaries before trying to pull a ball that wasn’t quite short enough. Chris Spratt came to the wicket and batted confidently and aggressively from the start. Tom Hamblin provided steady support for Chris in an important partnership. Chris finished with a very polished 77 while Tom scored 36.

After they departed Charlie Booth scored a quick-fire 31 to help get the team to a competitive total with Gordon finishing on 9 for 222.

The Gordon bowlers got on top early and stayed on top for the whole innings. Effeney and Keevers bowled well with the new ball, taking a wicket each in their opening spell. Seniviratne and Wright came on and bowled tightly, picking up a wicket each. Charlie Booth joined the attack and picked up a couple of quick wickets. Effeney and Keevers returned to clean up the tail. Gordon bowled so well that Chris de Kretser only got a chance to bowl 2 overs.

 
Chris Spratt during his 77 at Beauchamp

A bonus point win left Gordon in seventh position at the end of the regular season, narrowly missing out on a semi-final berth. Having had more washouts than any other team in 3rd grade, they will consider themselves a little unlucky.

Third Grade scores

Gordon 222 (Chris Spratt 77, Tom Hamblin 36, Charlie Booth 31 def Blacktown 119 Matt Keevers 3 for 16, Charlie Booth 2 for 19, Pat Effeney 2 for 26)

Fourth Grade

Vikrant Nehru in action

After winning the toss and batting, 4th grade did as they often do and found themselves flailing at 7 for 57 with Ratnam 21, the only from the top 5 making over 20. 

As always, someone in the middle order picked up the slack and thanks to Nehru 42 and Andreou 38 the Stags were guided to a very defendable 166.

While 166 doesn't sound too impressive, it was a long boundary and after the terrible start, 150 was the score the skipper Stuart Bromley was confident of being able to defend with the red-hot bowling attack his side possesses. 

It was definitely a battle for the first couple of wickets with Blacktown snicking their way to 3 for 79, but the Sstags knew if they stayed patient and dried up the runs, they'd eventually see success. After the first three wickets, the bowling was just too tight and Blacktown fell away quickly. Nikrant Nehru continued his great day taking 4 for 24 and Jordan Hayes cleaned up the last few wickets taking 3 for 7.

It was a win for the stags but in no way was it comfortable or dominant as it should be against a team towards the bottom of the ladder. Hopefully it was a wakeup call we needed to step up, especially with the bat in the finals.

Fourth Grade Scores

Gordon 166,( Vikrant Nehru 42 not out, Nick Andreou 38) def Blacktown 125 (Vikrant Nehru 4 for 24, Jordan Hayes 3 for 7, Liam Windel 2 for 26)

Fifth Grade

Gordon lost the toss at Killara Park and were asked to field on a damp ground with a light drizzle falling. The game plan for Dylan Hood and Darren Jayasekera was to bowl full and straight and take advantage of any early swing. However, some powerful hitting from the Warriors bats put them off their lines and plan B was introduced with our spinners getting an early go.

Dave Monaghan is happy about his 66 not out

A great spell of 1 for 20 off 10 by Shiv Rana helped slow the Blacktown innings, however they regathered and while we secured wickets their run rate kept progressing. Sam Watts bowled very well to take 4 wickets while Dave Monaghan, Rahul Krishna and Aaron Crofts got into the action to dismiss Blacktown for a very competitive total of 227.

After some undisciplined batting against Sutherland last week, Gordon looked to make amends and Michael Fletcher’s 30 looked promising for Gordon to build a platform to get the runs needed. However, while our bats got starts they couldn’t stay in and at 7 for 137 we were in a lot of trouble.

Sam Watts on Saturday

So what do you do when you need a miracle in fifths? Simple answer – you call on Dave Monaghan to lead the team to victory.  Dave is affectionately known as the world’s greatest fifth grader, christened by chairman of selectors Mark Carmichael. He loves playing for this team and enjoys the mix of both experienced and inexperienced players with him. Dave has been playing with Gordon since 2010 with one season off with a new baby and in those 7 seasons to date has scored 1,952 runs and taken 158 wickets. Dave literally can bat anywhere in the order and will bowl whenever he is called upon. It doesn’t worry him what position that is as he simply plays to be part of the club and enjoy his cricket. You are a champion Dave.

Dave set about rebuilding the score with Sam Watts in tow and before long we were in sight of victory. An unfortunate run out to Watts with 14 runs to go meant some nervous times as Dylan Hood joined Dave. Dylan was then dropped before he had scored and the pressure was on. A few pushed singles enabled us to regain our composure and with 8 runs needed Dave hit a huge six way out of Killara Park. Dave couldn’t get to the other end however and Dylan was faced with the prospect of getting the runs. Never in doubt as they say. A classic cover drive to the fence by Dylan and Gordon were minor premiers. This concluded a terrific regular season with just two losses and a well-deserved case of beers at the end of the game.

Ironically, with our win putting us on top we will now face Sutherland who defeated us last next weekend in the first qualifying final. At least we know our opposition. The game will be at Chatswood Oval as fifth grade are our highest placed team with a home qualifying final match.

 
Catches win matches

Fifth Grade scores

Gordon 9 for 228 (Aaron Crofts 38) def Blacktown 227 (Sam Watts 4 for 58, Dave Monaghan 2 for 38, Shiv Rana 1 for 20, Rahul Krishna 1 for 21)

Colts

The Colts travelled to Rance Oval at Werrington to play the competition leaders in a possible warm up for the final. Gordon won the toss and elected to bowl.

Dillon Amjad against Penrith

The going was slow for Penrith and at 17 overs they were 3 for 55. Two quick wickets had them in trouble at 5 for 75 and we were on a roll. For the remainder of the innings we seemed to have things in control and Penrith were bowled out for 138. All of the bowlers played their part with Prashan Seneviratne taking 3 for 32 while Dillon Amjad and Steve Bristow each picked up 2. Ben Duce also did well taking 1 for 21 off his 10 overs to keep the Penrith bats in check.

After losing Oli Williams early, Mitch O’Donnell and Riley Behlevanas settled in well to take the score to 58 before Mitch was out. Riley was joined by Dillon Amjad who did what he always does and scored 43 off 32 balls to bring us to within 10 runs of a win. We lost a few wickets at the end but passed the Penrith score 6 wickets down and look forward to the final series.

Colts scores

Gordon 6 for 141 (Riley Behlevanas 52, Dillon Amjad 43) def Penrith 138 Prashan Seneviratne 3 for 32, Steve Bristow 2 for 17, Dillon Amjad 2 for 35) 

Paul Stephenson

With assistance from the grade captains

 

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