Every year Tony Wilson keeps a close eye on our players either overseas or playing in the Darwin competition. As usual Tony has been scanning every cricket site around and has come up with the following update:
Scored a brilliant 139no on day 1 of the current match with 14 fours and 5 sixers. He has now scored 351 runs @ 41, as well as taking 7w @ 29 in limited bowling appearances.
In the June limited overs strikers league he scored 313 runs at 45, as well as taking 9w @ 27. Josh will be back with Gordon this season and rearing to go.
Had a huge match on Sat scoring 65no and taking 3-17 off 7 overs. Reags had a great start with the bat, then suffered a mid-season drought, so this was a vital 65no. He now has scored 451 runs @ 30 av (incl 1 ton). His bowling has gone from strength to strength and to date has taken 26w @ 19.8 av, from 128 overs, which is an excellent return and will give him the confidence to come home as an accomplished and very successful in form all-rounder.
What a season this promising young bat is having. He scored 31 on Sat to take his tally to an impressive 758 runs @ 36 av (incl 68 fours and 14 sixers). His top score is 75 and obviously would love to score the big ton (that will come). He has excelled in opening for the T20 side and is averaging over 50. Unfortunately they have not used his Leggies a great deal with only 18 overs and taking 4 wickets.
Josh Doyle, Reagan Klemt and Dom Thomson
Up until 22nd July Matt has taken 23w @ only 18.5 av. He has also really excelled as an opening bat scoring 522 runs @ 40 av (incl 1 ton). Excellent off season practice for this near seasoned pro and he will be a great asset to us in this coming season.
Has had a magnificent season to date taking approx. 40w @ 22 (will update stats later). That is a great effort in a losing side and what wonderful experience he will gain in leading the attack. This could be Stickers opportunity to really make 2017-18 his season at Gordon.
Has had a limited Darwin off-season trying to combine his coaching commitments, plus the Greenies squad and traveling to Darwin. He still has managed to score 243 runs @ 35 av and take9 catches and 3 stumpings.
Matt Junk, Dan Stickland and Ash Doolan
Former Gordon player Darryl Quigley passed away up the north coast on Saturday 13th May after a long illness aged 63. Darryl was part of a great Gordon cricketing family. Father Jack played for many years, reaching the First Grade side in the 1942-43 season (he is no.12 on the All Grades batting list).
One of Darryl’s brothers, Warren, also played 1st Grade in the 70s (as well as 1st Grade rugby for Gordon), while another brother, Martin, also played for the club.
Educated at Riverview, Darryl captained the Green Shield team in the 1969/70 season, in a team that included John Dedman, Jim Cameron, Craig Peifer and Michael Falk, before going on to play Grade cricket that year before finishing in the 1977/787 season.
In total Darryl scored 3183 runs at 22.57. A dogged opening batsman, he played lower grades for a number of years before reaching 1st Grade in the 1975-76 season. Not long after that, the family moved to Lismore, where he had a variety of jobs before completing his Law degree and setting up his own practice in Byron Bay.
The 1974/75 Poidevin Gray team
Back row: N.Spence, P.Olsen, C. Pheifer, R. Huey (scorer), P. Baird, D. Meagher, A. McElvoy
Front Row: D. Quigley, S. McDowell, J. Dedman (Capt.), H. Crow (Pres.) M. Falk, J. Cameron, J. Crawford
He was also responsible for the formation of a rugby club – the Mullumbimby Moonshiners.
A special claim to fame for Darryl was that he played for 6 years continuously in the Gordon Poidevin Gray team, playing in the same year he played Green Shield.
Some of Darryl's mates who gathered for the funeral. From left, Michael Falk, Graham Mackie, David Gray, Jim Cameron, Warren Quigley and John Dedman
Possibly Darryl’s most memorable innings for Gordon was in the Poidevin-Gray Shield final of the 1974-75 season. After Gordon lost two wickets in the first two overs, Darryl batted for most of the rest of the day (the final in those days went over two Sundays) to score 84. It was an innings of great grit and determination which Darryl had in abundance. Gordon was able to post a total of 250 which proved to be too many for Sutherland (despite them having two batsmen, Andrew Hilditch and John Dyson, who went on to play Test cricket).
The team held a 40 year reunion 18 months ago, which Darryl attended, and were able to relive that great game (NB. That was the last time Gordon won the Poidevin-Gray Shield!)
Darryl possessed a gregarious personality and was a wonderful team man with a very sharp cricket brain. At the same time, he always enjoyed a good time and was always the life of the party.
To his wife, Julie, children Vinnie, Kellie and Hollie, and brothers Warren, Martin and Bruce, the club extends its sincere condolences – a terrific character sorely missed.
For all of Gordon's news articles - those relating to team selections, weekend wraps, human interest stories and much more - click on the articles below, or the page numbers at the bottom to go back through our stories.
The following is an update on our UK tourists following the weekend of May 26/27. Everyone is starting to hit their straps with the weather improving. Our intrepid reporter Tony Wilson has been stalking the internet for news.
Nick Miller (21yo) at Holmesdale CC in the Kent Div. One League:
Nick bowled his side to a good win taking 3-38 off his 8.1 overs and bowling the opposition out for 169 in reply to Holmesdale 214. Nick also scored 23. He now has bowled 30.1 overs taking 8w @ 15.
Ryan Meppem (19yo this month) at North Petherton CC in the Somerset West England League:
A good win for his side taking 3-28 off 9.3 overs to help dismiss the opposition them for 107 after their 9-150 off 50 overs. No luck with the bat however still has 216 runs @ 36 and now has bowled 39.3 overs for 7w @ 33.
Cameron New (23yo) at Worthing CC in the Sussex League:
Cam continues to score runs opening up in a losing side. He scored 42 runs (4 fours and the only 6 they hit) in a total of 147 after he put on partnerships of 73 before departing. Cam now has 205 runs @ 51 av, which is a superb effort in a team that has lost their four games to date.
Daniel Chillingworth (18yo) at Stokesley CC in the North Yorkshire/South Durham Central League:
Wow, what can I say about this exciting young Leggie. Yesterday he took 5-36 off 15 overs with 6 maidens in a brilliant effort to dismiss the opposition for 147 and for Stokesley to pass them 8 down. Dan scored 33 runs coming in at No 6, with 5 fours and a six, to further his all-rounder status. He has bowled a total of 85-1 overs already and taken 20 wickets at the remarkable av of only 12, plus 127 runs @ 18. Any leggie would die for those stats and especially those left arm nothings.
Fraser Wilson (18yo) at Rowledge CC in the Hampshire Southern Premier League:
Stats not up as yet however Fraser must be frustrated as he will have had only one bat after his 50 in the only other dig.
Will continue to update their progress every week or so,
The Club is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Gordon District Cricket Club legend Dick (Roley) Guy last week. Dick’s contribution to the Club and, indeed, to cricket in general, for so many years, both on and off the field, was amazing. He was a great leader, a fierce competitor, strongly opinionated at times, a terrific bowler and a top guy to have a beer with after a game. His knowledge and understanding of the game was immense and he was always willing to share his views about cricket.
Dick watching a Gordon match against Northern Districts in 2017
Dick was a right arm leg spin bowler who came in off a slightly longer run up than most spinners. He had uncanny accuracy, a good top spinner and the ability to bowl long, probing spells. Dick began his career at Gordon in Fourth Grade in the 1953-54 season at the age of 16, where he took 31 wickets.
The following season, again in Fourth Grade, he finished with 60 wickets – a brilliant performance! John Morrison, a team mate at the time, noted that the then Fourth Grade captain, Harry Crow, was pretty good at keeping young up and coming players in the side for the year in the hope of snaring a Premiership, which may account for why Dick remained in that Grade despite taking five wickets in an innings seven times and ten in a match once! Dick continued to do well but there was a very successful leg spin bowler in First Grade, Reg Giddey, who kept him out of the top side for a while.
He finally played a few games in First Grade in 1957-58 but didn’t secure a permanent place in the side until the 1959-60 season. And there he remained for sixteen seasons, taking 786 wickets at an average of 16.45 – the most by any Gordon bowler and more than 200 wickets ahead of the next on the list, the great Charlie Macartney! Without going into too much detail about his success, it is worth noting that he took five wickets or more in an innings 61 times in First Grade ( and another 15 times in lower grades) – an astonishing performance! He took more than 50 wickets in a season seven times and was the leading wicket taker in Sydney five times.
In 1967-68 he took an incredible 91 wickets (in that season he was the Daily Telegraph First Grade Player of the Year). In all for the Club he took 999 wickets (when asked whether he regretted not having taken 1000 he replied that no, it was more likely that people would remember 999!).
With stats like these, one would imagine he should have played a great deal of first class cricket. However, the NSW team of the 60s was very strong and tough to break into. In his first game for a NSW team, in the 1960-61 season, there were seven Test players! There were also another four wrist spinners who represented NSW that season (including Richie Benaud and Peter Philpott) which made it very competitive. In all, he played eight first class games for NSW between 1960 and 1969 (many would say not nearly enough!) - seven Sheffield Shield games and one game against a touring West Indies team – and took 25 wickets at 27.88.
Dick’s career coincided with that of another Club legend – Brian Taber – with whom he shared many a good time.
Brian Taber with Dick at Chatswood (with marshal Rosen in background)
In one of Dick’s appearances for NSW where he took six wickets for the game, Brian contributed to five of them (two catches and three stumpings) which must have given both men immense satisfaction.
Dick began his First Grade career under another great Gordon man, Sid Carroll, before taking over the captaincy for his last nine seasons. He had the knack of being able to demand the very best of his players on the field while being conscious of the fact that cricket is a game which everyone should enjoy both on and off the field. Dick’s teams were always a very close-knit group who did a lot of socialising together. As a result, many of his team mates have remained lifelong friends. The end of play on a Saturday did not mean the end of the game. Players remained in the dressing shed after six o’clock having a relaxing beverage. Usually, after a little while, most of the opposition would also come over the Gordon shed and long-term friendships were developed between people who, not long before, had been trying to knock each other’s heads off. Dick saw this as a really important part of the game, something that, alas, has been lost today. He was also at the forefront of many social events that the Club used to organise through the season. Tuesday and Thursday nights at the conclusion of training also meant a trip across the road to the Gordon Rugby Club for a quiet beer before the drive home (you can’t do that now!). In the Toga Parties, Hawaiian and Western Nights and other social events across under the grandstand, Dick was usually a shining light.
The 12.30 Club lunches, which started with just Roley, Ken Niblett and a handful of First Graders, and developed into most festive occasions involving a number of Gordon figures as well as outstanding sports characters from all around the place, became legendary (see Tony Wilson’s tribute following). He loved the Club song that Gerry Elkan had written in the late 60s (at Dick’s suggestion) and could find any excuse to sing it with the greatest gusto. Any Gordon function usually concluded with a rendition. Few will forget his leading the song at the Club Centenary celebrations in 2005.
In 2012, a group of ‘oldies’ had a get-together at a 1st Grade T20 day at Chatswood Oval and, following a very exciting win by Gordon, they were all invited into the dressing room to sing the song. Dick was asked to lead the song, and the players, none of whom would have seen him play (some may not have ever heard of him!), were amazed and impressed by the energy he exuded. It was also wonderful to see Dick meeting Gordon’s English import (and now English Test player!) Mason Crane at a game at Chatswood two years ago. A very interesting conversation ensued concerning the nuances of leg spin bowling and I think it was a real thrill for both men.
Dick’s involvement in and contribution to cricket extended well past his playing career. At Gordon, he was a member of the General Committee for 20 years, the last five as President (he was elected as a Life Member of the Club in 1969). He had, of course been a Club selector for many years as First Grade skipper. Graham King (also a selector for a long time) said that they had many ‘forthright’ discussions at meetings. But they always agreed at the end – and Dick got his way.
He was a delegate to the NSW Cricket Association for 20 years, serving on a number of committees in that time. He was a NSW selector for sixteen years (the chairman for nine of those years), on the NSW Cricket Board for seven years and the Australian Cricket Board for six years and an Australian selector for two years (see one of his ‘highlights’ in Norm Tasker’s tribute following). He also managed the NSW 2nd XI and Colts teams for seven years, as well as taking a NSW team to Zimbabwe in 1989. He was elected a Life Member of the NSW Cricket Association in 1981 for “… a truly noteworthy career in cricket administration”.
These few words don’t do justice to Dick Guy’s contribution to the Club and to NSW Cricket. He only played for one Club. His influence on the culture of the GDCC was immeasurable and all who played with him and under him will remember the determination and passion he had for the Club’s success. He had his own ideas and beliefs about things and was never afraid to voice those beliefs. However, they were always in the interests of the GDCC.
He was so much more than just a terrific bowler. If Sid Carroll was ‘Uncle’, Dick certainly became the spiritual ‘Godfather’ of Gordon.
In the Gordon song, the chorus goes “…There’s Roley and Hedley, Brother L and PJ…” . So sad that we’ve lost one of our greats!
To Michelle and the family, the Gordon District Cricket Club sends its most sincere condolences.
Michael Falk on behalf of the GDCC
Every year a group of Gordon players travel to the UK to play in the various premier league competitions throughout the countryside. We have a long history of players making this trip and coming back with great stories of travel throughout Europe, quaint English grounds, very hospitable hosts and at times some good cricket.
This season is similar to previous ones and we have a group of 5 players keeping very active during our Australian winter and enjoying their time in the old dart.
The players this year are Ryan Meppem, Nick Miller, Cameron new, Daniel Chillingworth and Fraser Wilson.
Our number one OS cricket follower Tony Wilson has found the website score links for the players and below is a summary of their form so far.
Nick Miller at Holmesdale CC in the Kent Division One League:
In the first game of the season Nick opened the bowling taking 2-18 off 8.2 overs. He came in at No 7 and scored 8 runs in 15 balls. A very encouraging start for Nick with a good win and it appears he is over those injury worries.
Ryan Meppem at North Petherton CC in the Somerset West England League:
Despite the team losing the two Sunday T20 games, he scored 21 in a total of 66 in game 1, batting at No 4 and took 1-34 off his 4 overs. In game 2 he top scored at No 4, with 38 (3 fours and 1 six) and took 0-24 in his 4 overs of tight offies. The Team had a good win in the Sat League 1st X1, rolling the opposition for 137 and passing them with 9 down. Ryan scored top scored with 58 runs and took 2-36 off 8 overs.
To read what Ryan thought of his first season at Gordon, please click on below for a Narrabri article prior to leaving:
Cameron New at Worthing CC in the Sussex League:
Cam is off to a scintillating start to his UK sojourn. In R1 of the Sat League he scored 50 runs in 66 balls with 7 fours.
He also played 2 warm-up games, scoring a 76 in a Friendly and 12 in a Cup game, taking his overall total to 138 runs @ 69. Unfortunately the leggies may be having a few early teething problems with 0-55 off 7 overs.
Ryan Meppem and Cam New
Daniel Chillingworth at Stokesley CC in the North Yorkshire/South Durham Central League:
This exciting young leggie has played in two League 1st X1 games taking 1-26 off his 10 and 1-32 off 10 for a total of 2-58 off 20 overs – an excellent start for Dan. In their two easy wins he has had only one bat for 7, going in at No 6.
Fraser Wilson at Rowledge CC in the Hampshire Southern Premier League:
His 1st X1 match was cancelled last Saturday unfortunately due to a wet out field that did not dry from early midweek rain. To read what the Rowledge Club put on their website about Fraser, click on below:
Daniel Chillingworth and Fraser Wilson
You could say the writing was on the wall with some below par batting performances in recent weeks by our lower grade sides, but with some solid practice we were hopring for a chance in fortune in the semi finals. As most experienced cricketers know, a semi final is not the place to try and find some form and unfortunately each of our three remaining sides in the final series were eliminated.
Liam Windell who had a fine game in fourths
Our fourth grade side put up the best performance almost catching the Manly total of 213, but we couldn’t get over that fnal hurdle. Maybe we need to bring back the Mal Hall Trophy for our fourth grade matches against Manly. I think we won 10 of those in a row. Mal we need your help. For those new to the club Mal Hall was the captain of our fourth garde side who passed away from a heart attack in the middle of a match against Manly at Chatswood. We played for the Trophy for about 10 years but it stopped through the lack of a volunteer with time to keep it going. We should never forget our past.
Will Calov bowled very well at Grahams
The minor premiers Manly were always going to be a tough nut to crack with 12 wins and only 3 losses during the season, but our bowlers werent going to be dominated and they kept at the manly batsman all day. You could see the Manly tactic was to bat for two days if they could, but by the end of the first day Manly had been bowled out for 213 afyer some fine bowling by Will Calov and Liam Windell who both took 4 wickets. Liam too the early wickets while Will worked very hard through the middle stages of the day and his persistence on a good wicket eventually paid off. Will finished with 4 for 50 off 24 oevrs and Liam 4 for 60 off 19. They were well supported by Vikrant Nehru, Matt Keane, Manus Chauhan and Naba Haider.
Manly were in for a fight and most of our batsman got starts, but wickets just kept falling as te Manly bowlers could see their season slipping away withut a big effort on their parts.
In the end it was a bridge too had with only two batsman getting inot the thirties with Liam Windell scoriong 36 and darren Jayasekera 37.While 194 is only 19 runs behind their score we couldn’t get that partnership going that would see us to a victory. Maybe just not enough runs over the last half of the season didn’t give us the momentum we needed.
Matt Keane, Manus Chauhan and Naba Haider in action against Manly
Either way, the team fought very hard against a strong opposition and I am sure the manly team will go into the final with a good workout behind them.
Fourth Grade Scores
Manly 213 (Will Calov 4 for 50, Liam Windell 4 for 60, Vikrant Nehru 1 for 21 (12), Matt Keane 0 for 21 (16) Manus Chauhan 0 for 32 (15), Naba Haider 0 for 18 (8)
Rahul Krishna in action at Merrylands
On what was a big occasion for 5th grade, arriving at Merrylands Oval made the semi-final against Parramatta even more special. A ground with slick outfields, 3 groundsmen and a wicket to die for. Gordon won the toss and decided that batting first was the best way forward. Chasing in recent times had been tough and it was only fair that Gordon tried to dictate from the front early in the match.
However, a common thread continued with two early wickets falling putting Gordon on the back foot. Full credit to Parramatta who toiled on a length all day that was hard to negotiate. Rahul Krishna batted superbly for his 56 and looked to anchor the innings in style. However, despite some resistant from Michael fletcher it was almost de ja vu for Gordon again being 6 for 86 after being 2 for 64 at one stage. The experience of Dave Monaghan and youth of Shiv Rana enabled us to get to 149, which while competitive in a lower grade finals match would take some exceptional bowling to gain a victory.
Dave Monaghan at Merrylands
Dylan Hood started superbly bowling 5 straight maidens to start the innings including a wicket. Dave Monaghan was just as tight and Parramatta were 1 for 4 off 10. Two more quick wickets fell and at 3 for 20 Gordon was on top. Just when our momentum was on the rise the rain came and the rest of the day was lost.
The second day was just as picturesque with Merrylands looking a picture. Dylan secured the early breakthrough we needed and with Aaron Crofts following up with the wicket of the stubborn opener, we were looking good with Parramatta at 5 for 74.
However, a formidable 6th wicket partnership hurt Gordon with another breakthrough not happening and Parramatta reached the 150 needed without losing a further wicket.
As with fourths, the last few games had come down to not enough runs and unfortunately Gordon had lost its way with the bat. Nonetheless a top season with a minor premiership but our form deserted us when most needed.
Fifth Grade Scores
Gordon 149 (Rahul Krishna 52, Dave Monaghan 33, Shiv Rana 28) were defeated by Parramatta 5 for 153 (Dylan Hood 2 for 38)
The Colts arrived at Chatswood Oval excited and keen to play on the first grade park; a first for most of them.
Lachlan Burrows at Chatswood
The sun was shining after 4 days of continual rain; the outfield was a little damp, but the majority of the oval and pitch were in perfect condition. The semi-final match was between Gordon and Penrith, a repeat of last season’s Grand Final and play off between the top two teams of the season.
Captain Oli won the toss and sent Penrith in. Our bowling attack was solid and precise from the start with Nathan Sequeira and Ayush Joshi opening with maidens. Lachlan Burrows then joined in and soon sent a catch to Dillon. With fast and aggressive bowling we had their openers out quickly. Prashan and Dillon kept the scoring opportunities to a minimum, with 8 maidens between them. During this session Jay sent one off for a catch to Riley. With fast and aggressive bowling, strong fielding and agile keeping, the Colts had Penrith all out for 91 after only 42.2 overs. Any other game this total would have been easily achieved.
Caught behind by Oli Williams off Lachlan Burrows
Who knows what happened but the Colts team couldn’t settle and after just 22.1 overs, one hour and 46 minutes we were all out for a mere 63 including 10 extras. We had it all, catches, lbw, run out and clean bowled. Scorers had trouble keeping up and the ‘ping’ of the team app kept coming. The crowd was becoming concerned, the mood had changed dramatically and of course there were lots of points of view of how to stop the flow of wickets. “Just stay there”, easier said than done though. Not quite the game plan, but this was a two day match and it wasn’t over yet!
A fast change, few helpful and inspirational comments from the supporters and we were back on the field. Prashan and Lachlan went in hard again and with a brilliant third over by Prashan he was on a hat trick and had Penrith at 2 for 4. Dillon and Ayush joined in next and Dillon picked up the third wicket for the session. But by 5.10pm dark clouds had turned to rain, covers were on and Penrith was left at 3 for 37 off 16 overs.
Players went home to reflect and regroup. The game was not over yet and we could certainly dig our way out of this.
Sunday morning, the warm sunshine had returned and we started on time at 10.30am. Chatswood Oval is home to many other activities apart from cricket, including yoga, Tai Chai, exercise enthusiasts, and an older group of aspiring musicians. We did however have to ask them to either play an actual tune or move on as it became difficult for the players to concentrate on the field.
Prashan Seneviratne - Why cant I get him out?
The 4th and 5th wickets came quickly to Lachlan, caught behind to Oliver, and Prashan lbw but it took another 16 overs to get the 6th, Jay had a catch to Nathan, and a further 34 overs and 84 runs to get the 7th and final for the day, bowled to Dillon. Penrith simply batted too well and no matter what we tried the Colts couldn’t get them out. At tea with Penrith 7 for 192 off 82 overs, the game was called. Penrith had an insurmountable lead of 221 and had defeated the Colts team, thereby moving into the Grand Final next weekend.
Congratulations on a brilliant season! You stayed focused and fought hard when you needed to, had fun and laughed together, celebrated the wins and reflected on the losses. The parents, selectors, committee and entire club, are extremely proud of your achievements and you should be too. First time captain, Oliver did an exceptional job; worked hard to keep the players on target, stayed calm and maintained his game plan each week. Well done!
Penrith 91 ( Dillon Amjad 3 for 20, Lachlan Burrows 3 for 13, Ayush Joshi 2 for 7) and 7 for 192 (Prashan Seneviratne 3 for 37, Dillon Amjad 2 for 35) defeated Gordon 63 (Ayush Joshi 17)
A big thank you too all our contributors to the wrap with both photos and reports especially Jennifer Williams, Catriona Coote, Damon Lesnie, Jim Wright, Peter Junk and Prasanna Punja. Also captains Max Newman, Pat Effeney, Stu Bromley, Aaron Crofts and Oli Williams for their assistance with commentary during the season.
And of course a big thank you to Tony Wilson for his contributions including photos and reports especially for our Green Shield and PG teams who certainly played a big part in an enjoyable season.
Toward the end of March 1918, having been strengthened by the capitulation of Tsarist Russia, the German Army launched their Spring Offensive against the Allies with the force of a massive sixty-three divisions over a front of seventy miles.
Colin McCulloch - Gordon cricketer
This would be the assault that would destroy the allied forces once and for all; or so they thought. The German command however, were not aware that of the 52 Gordon cricketers who had enlisted in the war, 40 of them were still on the western front and preparing to take on the German Army. If they had known that possibly the Spring offensive may not have happened and Armistice day may have arrived early.
Over the three years of the war to this stage, five of the seven Gordon cricketers who died had met their fate and their fellow cricketers were no doubt wondering when this hell would stop and they could return to their homes and that pleasant memory when they could look forward to their game of cricket at Chatswood oval on the weekend.
The remaining seven cricketers not on the Western Front who had survived, had returned home with major injuries that would see them unable to play cricket again and in some cases be in and out of hospital for the rest of their lives. But at least they were at home.
Harry Fry - Gordon cricketer
How remote that must have seemed for these battle-weary soldiers, many of whom like Harry Fry, Alister Maclean, Alan Bruce, Cliff Geddes, Dr. Claude Tozer, George Swan and Robert Prior had started at Gallipoli and were now into their third year in the trenches of the western front. Others, stirred at home by the need to keep volunteers coming to the war front, had only been there for a few months but they were soon learning the scope of the job they had ahead of them to firstly stop the German army and then somehow push them back.
Importantly, now however, the Australians were all together. The five Australian divisions, who had been split into the I Anzac Corps and II Anzac Corps alongside the New Zealand Division, were officially grouped together at the end of 1917 to form the Australian Corps. In May 1918, General John Monash would assume command of the Corp.
All the Australian divisions, which had been stationed in the relatively quiet area of Messines since November 1917, were now called in to defend against the Spring Offensive. During the following months, they would fight at various levels of intensity through small French villages in the Flanders region which had avoided substantial damage over the three previous years, as well as the burnt-out or destroyed countryside around the perimeter of Amiens.
Johnnie Moyes - Gordon cricketer
On 26 March, the Australian 3rd and 4th Divisions were positioned near the village of Hebuterne between Amiens and Bapaume and facing an onslaught from the German advance. Alister Maclean, who started with the club in its first season in 1905, and had been in reserve since Bullecourt following the losses incurred by the 4th Division, had moved back to just behind the front line with his 4th Field Company Engineers. Alister received a Military Cross for his actions that day which were described in his citation as follows:
On the afternoon of the 26th March, 1918, near HEBUTERNE and SAILLY–au-BOIS, for most conspicuous gallantry and coolness in pushing up to the villages, which were reported to be strongly held by the enemy. Although sniped at from the outskirts of the village he boldly advanced, and by a thorough reconnaissance, ascertained that the enemy only had a few scouts forward. He was thus able to furnish information which aided the Brigade, to which his unit was attached, to take up a fine position after cleaning the village of HEBUTERNE, and subsequently inflict heavy losses on the enemy.
After the brigade commanders had read Alister’s report, the 48th Battalion was called urgently into action. Johnnie Moyes, a future Gordon cricketer who had now been promoted to major, was in command of the 48th Battalion and was ready to take his men forward.
Alister Maclean - Gordon cricketer
Due to the bravery of Alister, Johnnie and their fellow soldiers, the brigade was in a strong position to repel a counter attack the following day. From 30 March to 5 April, the German Spring offensive in the Somme was at its height as both armies centered their attacks and defense in the Amiens area and in particular around Villers-Bretonneux where one of the major turning points of the war was to occur later that month on Anzac Day.
Colin McCulloch, who had written about his journey to the Western Front, his experiences at Bullecourt and a moving letter to the mother of a fallen comrade, had now arrived in Amiens. His battalion had arrived in preparation for moving out to the front line when they were loading a train at the St Roch Railway station. Seemingly out of nowhere, a number of enemy aircraft appeared above the battalion, ready to unleash their shells upon the unsuspecting troops. Sergeant Major T D Brown was nearby at the time and explained the event:
On 11/4/18 the company was in the St Roch Railway Station, Amiens, entraining back to Belgium, during the German push. Lieutenant McCulloch was supervising loading Army Services Corps wagons on the train, when a shell came over and burst about 5 yards from the Lieutenant killing him outright, together with about 4 others. I was about 100 yards away at the time, and saw the explosion; I rushed over to the spot at once and saw the Lieutenant’s body; there was no doubt he was killed instantly. I had been speaking with the Lieutenant about half an hour previous to the explosion. I saw no more of the Lieutenant as I had to entrain at once, but a party was left behind to see to the interment. The Lieutenant was the most popular officer imaginable.
Colin had written several times in his letters about his concern for shells landing in his vicinity and ironically wrote the following in his diary during the Battle of Bullecourt:
The whole sequence of sights and sounds is a nightmare that one will never forget. In one way, it is worse to listen and see a bombardment like that at night, than it is to be actually in the line where they burst – for in the latter case, one has plenty to do and besides one thinks instinctively and yet unconsciously of one’s own safety and that of the others - but in the former case one feels a great fellow feeling and sympathy for the poor chaps who have to suffer the shells, and each shell as it is fired seems to send a sudden throb through one’s heart - and then one hears the shriek and burst of a shell coming from Fritz - and one’s emotions quickly change only to change again and again all the time. It is an awful conflict of emotions.
Colin was the sixth Gordon cricketer killed in the war and he is buried at the Saint Pierre Cemetery just down the road from the station. I had the privilege of visiting the grave site of Colin McCulloch in 2008 and took a photo of his head stone. His grave sits in the first row of the Australian War section of the cemetery, and reads:
LIEUTENANT C.V MCCULLOCH,
2ND BATTALION AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY,
11TH APRIL 1918, AGE 26
AN ONLY SON
FROM WARRAWEE SYDNEY
THY WILL BE DONE
Colin McCulloch had lived in Lane Cove Road, Warawee, and had been a student at the Sydney Church of England Grammar School in North Sydney. A recent Law graduate from the University of Sydney, he had spent three years in the Commonwealth Senior Cadets before enlisting as a reinforcement in the 2nd Battalion, in January 1916 at the age of twenty-four.
He played for the Club in the 1913-1914 and 1914-1915 seasons and, after scoring a couple of 50s in Second Grade, was promoted to First Grade for one game in 1914. He only scored 1 run in his debut match. Unlike so many talented cricketers who have played for the club since, he would not have a chance to regain his spot in the team. Having read his letters and diary, however, Colin would be the first to wish them well. He embodied the true spirit of our club.
In comparison to the overall number of Australians on the western front, the remaining Gordon contingent of 40 was small, but they formed part of an impenetrable wall that refused to be broken against the greatest of odds.
The Gordon District Cricket Club has developed its culture and values from this group of men and also from the seventy cricketers who went to the Second World War. We will continue to play in their memory and for what they sacrificed for their families and fellow cricketers.
They didn't fight just to be able to come home and win cricket matches at any cost, they fought alongside their New Zealand mates to allow themselves the opportunity to enjoy the freedom to play the game they loved and play it in the spirit of comradery under which the game was first established. As our Australian cricket team go through the recovery stage from their recent misdemeanors they only need reflect on what the members of Gordon and other grade cricket clubs endured to enable them the privilege to grace the same turf as our fallen heros.
It was a bitter sweet weekend for Axel Cahlin as he broke the run scoring record in first grade in a season, however watched his team battle to a draw which saw us bow out of the first grade competition.
Axel Cahlin at Old Kings
In the end Axel scored 971 runs in a magnificent season that included 3 centuries as he went past the record of 958 set by Craig Simmons in the 2007/2008 season. For the record Craig scored his runs over 21 innings at an average of 43.55 and also scored three centuries, two of which were in the finals. Interestingly Axel also batted 21 times during the season however finished with the excellent average of 51.10.
Axel was the third youngest debutant for first grade in the 2015/16 season behind the legendary Sid Carroll and Ken Eastwood and also for the record in their first three seasons Sid Carroll scored 1,455 runs and Ken Eastwood 1,191 runs compared with Axel who has now scored 1,584 runs in three seasons which only included 7 matches in his first year.
Axel in action throughout the season
In other results, fortunately our 4th and 5th grade teams made it through to the semis with loses, being able to make it by squeezing into 4th place.
The Colts continued to fly the flag, however with a strong win against Warringah and move into a home semifinal next weekend. Also with the defeat of Penrith we now move into first spot in the semi ratings.
While the first-grade side couldn’t force a win there were two excellent performances in the match with skipper Steve Colley scoring 126 and Tym Crawford 84 in a partnership of 170, just when the team desperately needed them with the score at 4 for 67.
There was also another fine performance from Dillon Amjad in Colts who took 8 wickets for the match with 4 for 27 and 4 for 46.
The first-grade side arrived at Old Kings to find an excellent wicket with the option of bowling and trying to knock over Parramatta and not let them bat out the match or batting and facing a 40-degree day on Sunday in the field. They didn’t get the choice as Parramatta won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket that they know would have some early life but flatten out to a road by day 2.
Steve Colley during his 126 on Saturday
While Axel Cahlin and Cam Eccles weathered the initial storm, the Parra bowlers kept at them and actually increased their pace and pressure as the morning continued.
Just as lunch was approaching we found ourselves at 4 for 67 with Steve Colley and Tym Crawford at the crease. As mentioned earlier Axel had scored the 10 runs he needed to break the record, however got a leading edge on 23 and was caught at mid-off.
Steve and Tym then set about recovering the situation with some very patient batting to start and then aggressive as the wicket started to flatten out. This was one of Steve’s best innings with the club as he refused to be tied down and continued to hook and pull the short deliveries that were coming thick and fast. Tym also showed his class by withstanding the short bowling and batting with the power we know he can possess.
Tym Crawford at Old Kings
With the score on 237, Tym was dismissed as he tried to lift the runs rate and get us into a position to give our bowlers a longer chance at their batsman. This was an excellent finish to the season for Tym who contributed a fine 653 runs. Steve followed not long after being dismissed for 126 off 243 deliveries with 11 fours. In the end, Steve finished with 795 runs which is his best year for Gordon.
With runs still needed, the rest of the bats kept the score moving with Ash Doolan finishing with 35. In the end a score of 8 declared for 331 would give us something for our bowlers to work with.
To defeat a team with a strong batting line up on a good wicket and with the prospect of a very hot day ahead, we needed to have our best players firing on all cylinders, but disaster struck with Charlie Stobo breaking down with a leg injury in his second over which meant he was out of the attack for the whole innings.
The next day was simply very difficult for our bowlers as the wicket got even flatter with the heat and the Parramatta batsman, as they had every right to within the rules for finals matches, played for a draw from the beginning.
Matt Junk who toiled long all day
To cut a long, long, long story short, Parra finished the second day on 4 for 230 and as the higher placed side move onto next week with a draw. The same argument comes up every year, that with individual batsman run rates such as 25 runs off 149 balls, 89 off 219 and 77 off 161 are we getting to the point in the modern game that this option is removed. I know the argument is always used that they deserved to go through because of their performance during the year, but often these teams are only separated by very small quotients.
To take absolutely nothing away from Parramatta who had an excellent year and would have beaten us in our round match except for weather intervening, this rule of draws going through in addition to the home ground and wicket preparation advantage makes our game seem very 1970’s when you look at the direction the game is taking toward much more exciting cricket.
Our bowlers did their best in very trying conditions, without their strike bowler, with Scott O’Brien finishing with the best figures of 2 for 68 off 28 overs.
Congratulations to the first grade side for their excellent finish to the season and for their commitment at all times to play in the true spirit of our club.
First Grade Scores
Gordon 8 for 331 (dec) (Steve Colley 126, Tym Crawford 84, Ash Doolan 35) drew with Parramatta 4 for 230 Scott O’Brien 2 for 68)
Luckily, 4s have made it through to the semi final with a loss, thanks to Manly and Northern Districts maintaining their strong runs and knocking out 5th and 6th place. It was however an important wake up call for the stags batsman, who were mostly out to half trackers and full tosses. Not many would be able to blame anyone but themselves for their dismissal.
Haider 31 and Windell 26 provided some resistance but unfortunately weren't able to capitalise on a great start. Ratnam 28, Nehru 16, Keane 12 and an unbeaten Calov were able to drag us to a potentially defendable 155. Not a huge total for a two day, 192 over match, but it was a reasonably long and spongey outfield and we always back our bowlers to get us out of trouble.
Our bowlers did come out ready for a battle with Calov and Keane opening up with great pace. They weren't able to take the wickets but were tight and gave away nothing. It was Windell who quickly imposed himself on the match, taking 2 quick wickets, a bowled and one of the best leg side stumpings you’d ever see by Dash Ratnam. Nehru, Chauhan, New, Haider and Andreou also bowled well, but a true pitch with batsman not pressured to score made it tough to create chances. Windell finished up with 4 for 53 off 18 overs and Haider took 1 for 25 off his 13.
While the team continued to toil and get to a point where we had Wests 5 for 128 and half a chance of pulling off something amazing, their captain settled in, made 50 and guided his team past our total. With a lead of 27 and only 5 wickets down, there weren’t enough overs left in the day for the stags to have a chance to turn things around in a second inning and the match was called just before tea.
A good week of training will hopefully benefit the boys who are keen to make up for below average performances with the bat this weekend. We will play Manly at Graham's Reserve in the semi final.
Liam Windel and Dash Ratnam at Pratten
The bowlers tried hard with Liam Windel taking 4 wickets to keep us in the match but our score was passed with 5 wickets down.
Congratulations to the fourths on getting to the finals, and not giving up at any stage during the season.
Fourth Grade Scores
Gordon 155 (Naba Haider 31, Dash Ratnam 28, Liam Windel 26) were defeated by Western Suburbs 5 for 182 (Liam Windel 4 for 53)
The fifth grade side went into the qualifying final against a team that bowled them out for 74 only two matches ago and with our last 4 scores being 140, 139, 74 and 228 (with the no.7 and no. 9 scoring over 100 of those runs, we faced a similar result to fourth grade if we didn’t score more runs.
Jordan Hayes in action at Chatswood
The toss was won by Sutherland and they decided to bat on a very good Chatswood wicket. Our bowlers continued with their good form and consistently took wickets with aggressive bowling. Dylan Hood, Aaron Crofts and Sam Watts were in the wickets early and then Jordan Hayes came on to rip out the middle order with some excellent off spin bowlers and before long, Sutherland was all out for 120 and the fifths were on their way to victory.
They didn’t factor in however the energy of the Sutherland attack who knew they could get on top of our bats after their performance a few weeks ago.
Dylan Hood and Sam Watts at Chatswood
Wickets just kept falling with Hugh Sherwood the only bat showing resistance and with the score at 5 for 82 at the end of the day we needed to start well to ensure a first innings lead. The Sunday heat however came from the Sutherland bowlers who decimated our lower order to bowl us out for 96.
We then tried to have a second attempt at a victory by bowling out Sutherland again, but the horse had bolted and they finished at 6 for 163 to win convincingly.
We now move to fourth and will face Parramatta next week at Merrylands with only a win good enough to get us through to the final. The team showed great form many times during the year, so they can rebound.
Fifth Grade scores
Sutherland 120 (Jordan Hayes 4 for 27, Sam Watts 3 for 21, Dylan Hood 2 for 22) and 6 for 163 (Rahul Krishna 3 for 41 defeated Gordon 96 (Hugh Sherwood 42 not out)
The colts lost the toss at Beauchamp on Saturday and were asked to bowl on what seemed like a batting friendly deck. The plan for the boys was simple – bowl full and straight and force the Warringah bats to make a mistake.
Prashan Seneviratne and Ayush Joshi opened, hitting some consistently good areas, but the Warringah openers looked in good form before Prashan struck twice to put Gordon comfortably on top in the first session. Wickets fell consistently following the removal of the openers, thanks largely to the partnership between Dillon Amjad and Jay Naganayagam who were rewarded with four and two wickets respectively. After a defensive effort from the tail enders, we were set a small target of 99 to chase down.
Dillon Amjad who took 8 wickets for the match
Riley Behlevanas and Marcus Miller opened with good intent, all but securing the first innings victory for the stags with 31 and 52 respectively. We looked to increase our lead and ensure a second innings comeback wasn’t on the cards with quick scoring from Dillon and Jay, followed up by a measured performance by Ayush. We finished our innings on a respectable 216, giving the Warringah side a decent total to chase before trying to build any sort of lead.
Warringah’s second innings can only be described as frustrating. The mood in the field was flat, and we struggled to maintain a consistent line and length, bowling to the batsmen’s strengths and allowing them to tee off. However, the colts were able to regain control of the match, much with the help of Dillon again taking 4 wickets. Warringah were all out for 172, setting Gordon a run chase of 55.
Riley Behlevanas and Marcus Miller in action for colts
The Stags pulled off the chase in relative comfort, and are looking to build upon this game into the semis. With competition leaders Penrith losing their match, the Stags take up pole position in the comp, which will hopefully come in handy if we win our match this weekend. (colts report courtesy Lachlan Burrows)
Gordon 216 (Marcus Miller 52, Dillon Amjad 34) and 2 for 59 def Warringah 99 (Dillon Amjad 4 for 27, Jay Naganayagam 2 for 18, Prashan Seneviratne 2 for 27) and 172 (Dillon Amjad 4 for 46, Ayush Joshi 2 for 30)
With the semi-finals upon us it is now time for players and supporters to plan for the end of season presentation night. This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever with live music on arrival and of course the now famous “Heads and Tails” segment…not to mention the Awards to recognise many of our players in what has been another outstanding season for Gordon.
GDCC Annual Presentation night
Date: Saturday 21 April
Venue: Kirribilli Club – Lavender Bay
Cost: $100 single or $190 couples (non-playing partners)…and we are just about to confirm a cost of $85 for persons under 18 years of age
Bookings open until 31 March…simply click on the link below…
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
With assistance from the grade captains
Gordon unfortunately were soundly beaten by a strong Penrith PG’s side today at Howell Oval. Penrith scored 7-229 in their 50 overs, despite some really excellent, tight 20 overs of spin bowling from Matt Wright
(3-32) and Ryan Meppem (0-27).
Matt Wright gets successful appeal
To keep a mainly 1st/2nd grade top 6 batting order to only 59 runs off their 20 overs, was a brilliant effort from these two really promising spinners. It was a crying shame that we lost our Newcastle leggie (Dan Chillingworth) on the morning of the match from a finger injury he sustained in the field on Saturday.
The quicks toiled hard however Penrith scored a challenging 229 after their 50 overs. I must mention the exceptional keeping of Oli Zannino with one brilliant stumping and no byes. He is hungry to keep in grade again and perhaps that will happen next season, under the continued guidance/coaching from our 1st grade keeper Ash Doolan.
We started our batting in positive fashion from Axel Cahlin and Jamie Bekis, with an opening partnership of 19. Once we lost these two aggressive openers, we were never really in the race. Credit must go to this Penrith attack of principally 1st graders and a couple from 2’s, who really dominated our middle order. Matt Wright was our Man of the Match with a solid 30no, receiving some support from Liam Windel 25, Oli Zannino 19, Michael Roberts 16, Vikrant Nehru 15 and Axel 13.
Chris Searle, Ryan Meppem and Lian Windel in final
The team deserves much praise for moving through the season into the Final, despite an horrific injury toll. The Club acknowledge your efforts and despite losing the big one, we thank you for an excellent season. To move into the Finals for both the PG’s and Greenies, really augurs well for the future and we are proud of your efforts. The Club must also thank our two PG’s coaches in Charlie Stobo and Tym Crawford, as well as Fraser Wilson for accepting an early morning call to act as 12th man.
Penrith 7-229 off 50 overs - Matt Wright 3-22 off 10 overs; Ryan Meppem 0-27 off 10;
Chris Searle 1-47 off 9; Matt Keevers 1-54 off 10; Liam Windel 1-44 off 8; Vikrant Nehru 0-28 off 3
defeated Gordon all out for 145 in 43.2 overs – Matt Wright 30no (with 2 sixers); Liam Windel 25; Oli Zannino 19;
Michael Roberts 16; Vikrant Nehru 15; Axel Cahlin 13.
The Poidevin Gray Shield commenced in 1926. Les Poidevin was a renowned Sydney University and NSW cricketer who also became a NSW selector. Fred Gray was the President of the Waverley Club from 1922 to 1930.
Captain Axel Cahlin
Gordon has participated in this competition every year since then other than when it wasn’t played during the war years and has won it only three times, in 1935-36, 1956-57 and in 1974-75. One of the stars of the 74-75 team was the vice-captain Michael Falk who took 21 wickets at the frugal average of 9.66.
Michael is in fact 8th in wickets taken for Gordon in Poidevin Gray matches with 49 wickets in his 6 seasons from 1969 to 1975. Above him in fifth place is Richard Stobo with 59 wickets in 5 seasons. The most wickets were taken by Barry Eastment who collected 82 wickets in his 5 seasons.
On the batting side, the highest runs scorer was Jack Potter who played from 1933 to 1940 and scored 1,430 runs at an average of 59. Second on the list is none other than Reece Bombas who scored 1,020 runs in five seasons at an average of 42.50. The highest individual score was made by Matt Michael who scored 167 not out in a match against Wests at Pratten park in 2002. On that day Gordon scored 5 for 361 off their 50 overs.
So it can be said that Gordon is due for a win in the PG’s, however I am sure Penrith will have their reasons as well.
Reece Bombas in action
This season the team has been a talented group lead well by Axel Cahlin with a solid core of Chris Searle, Oli Zannino, Jamie Bekis, Ryan Meppem, Matt Wright, Michael Roberts and Matt Parkinson. Unfortunately the team has been decimated at different stages by injury including Nick Miller, Austyn Nugent, Dan Chillingworth, Glen Winsor, Tim Ferraro as well as representative selection for Axel in the Cricket Australia Futures League and Matt Parkinson in the England Lions, meaning that we didn’t have what may be regarded as our top side on the park at any one time.
That created opportunities for others and they have all contributed very well including Matt Keevers, Liam Windel, Ryan Tullia, Vikrant Nehru, Nick Andreou and Manus Chauhan which is why we find ourselves in the final with 18 available players who have played their part when the opportunity was presented and definitely helped us beat teams that may have been more highly regarded.
The 1974-75 Premiership team
Last time I checked however we can’t play 18 in the final and therefore the selection of the team was difficult. Everyone will agree however that no matter who plays everyone will support them to the hilt.
For the final we welcome back Nick Miller who is playing his last game of PG’s after representing Gordon for 5 years in the competition.
So to Howell we go on Sunday – unheralded, no fanfare, just good honest players who have worked hard for each other, supported each other and represented Gordon with pride and distinction.
A premiership awaits!
The team for Sunday is:
PG’s Limited 50 overs Team for Sunday 11th March
Final v Penrith - 10am at Howell Oval.
1)Axel Cahlin ©
2) Jamie Bekis
3) Michael Roberts
4) Oli Zannino w/k
5) Nick Miller
6) Liam Windel
7) Matt Wright
8) Ryan Meppem
9) Daniel Chillingworth
10) Chris Searle
11) Matt Keevers
12th man) Vikrant Nehru
13) Ryan Tullia
14) Nick Andreou