Colts Report vs Blacktown - Semi Final
Colts make it through to Grand Final
Everything was as it should be, Weaver was late (apparently ran out of petrol), Millar forgot the cordial, Rangy decided against sleeping of Friday night so that he could get in some practice before St Patrick's day and the sightscreens still needed to be set up. The stage was set for what the Colts had been building towards all season. With an undefeated record for the regular season the boys were keen to impress and what followed was one of the greatest games of touch football to warm up that has been witnessed all year.
Lappan takes 4 wickets against the Warriors
But then something went wrong. It is a well known fact that with 2 sides to a coin the chance of winning a toss is 50%. Millar being a mathematical genius should well be aware of this. Not so. A standard warm up for the Colts includes Dave losing the toss. Everyone enjoys this as it means everything is in order, and the fielding warm up can commence. On this particular occasion, by some incredible miracle Dave won the toss, (well the other captain may have in fact lost it, but we shall give Dave the credit on this occasion). An earlier inspection of the pitch revealed a rather green top. This has tricked numerous visiting captains in the past, however Dave saw something else in the pitch and the call came to bowl first. And just quietly what a decision it was.
Lappan and Skins were given the new ball and Lappan wasted no time in tormenting and generally playing with the opposition. Eventually he got bored of this and decided to take some wickets. Two caught behinds, taken gracefully by Mr Selby combined with two spectacular catches by Mr Turner at gully, with the addition of none to little runs on the scoreboard, well and truly put the Gordon boys in a strong position. Skins from the other end struggled early, he had to contend with huge headwinds and a 6-8% incline from the southern end. Eventually his superior fitness prevailed and when the batsmen failed to hit the ball the stumps were dismantled.
During the warm up, Jason 'ManChild' Russell-Jones had a stroke of genius when he described the art of 'foxing'. Typically involving one fielder 'missing' the ball on purpose, thus luring the batsmen into a false sense of security and thinking they can sneak a run. Little do they know another fielder is waiting in anticipation for this fatal mistake and then throwing the stumps down. The theory is as sound as other grand plans throughout history such as the Trojan horse, and the flying V. The opportunity arose halfway through the first hours play. However it didn't happen as Jason described, what was acted out was a comedy of errors from James Campbell, an heroic effort from Jimmy Ellison and ended in tragedy for the number 4 batsmen from Blacktown. The idea of foxing, however, is a tactic that may come in handy for the coming week.
All that remained after drinks thus was for the remaining four wickets to be taken. The boys were well aware of letting things drift and dug in to finish the innings in style. Ranney bowling consistent as usual picket up two wickets. James Campbell returned the awful figures of 1-0 to complete a comprehensive first sessions play with Blacktown out for 41.
Weaver and Cam confidently saw out the last over before lunch, and then the boys turned to the important issue of the day, the chicken shop. It is best not to go into this as it may take several more pages.
Ranney takes two wickets to dismiss the Warriors for 41
It was a wonderful change for the lads not to then have to go out and umpire and, with Ed Howitt Senior taking over scoring duties, the boys could relax and enjoy the placid shot selection of Mike Weaver. The ability to score the required runs was never in doubt, the more important job was to occupy the crease for an extended period of time, and gain some valuable batting practise.
The first wicket of Cam Crawford fell just before the Blacktown total was passed. JRJ was looking impressive. He had managed to avoid being run out and bowled by the dreaded full toss and even the run out off a full toss. He unluckily clipped one down leg side that the keeper got his hand to. Turner and Selby in the middle order were also looking solid however they came undone. Ian 'Skin and Bones' Skinner and Millar then found themselves at the crease and with tea just around the corner the mission was to just stick around. This was a tough decision, as tea was looking especially good. None the less the two dug in, and both were able to enjoy tea and the rain set in. From 0/39 the team had collapsed to 5/60 before Millar and Bones resurrected the score to 80 odd.
The rest of the afternoon was bit of a non event. It appeared at one stage that Ed Howitt, Higgins and Iqbal had turned up to take down the sightscreens however this was not to be. The day was finally called at about 17:00 hours. Not a bad day's play, still the boys were under the instructions to take it easy and rest up, as it was not known what could happen on Sunday.
Skinner dispatches one somewhere near Roseville
It is fair to say, Sunday the 18th March was the first time in many months most of the team had been up before 11:00am. With the pitch showing signs that the boys need a few lessons in laying Hessian, most of the mornings activities involved watching Ireland complete their victory over Pakistan on numerous 2x2cm mobile phone screens. Still it beat watching the grass dry. Ranney knew the match was going to be delayed, so didn't bother to turn up until just before play got underway' an hour late.
With the opposition captain eager to get going, play commenced at 11:00, with an interesting looking pitch and very slow outfield. It was an ideal chance for the middle order to gain some valuable centre wicket practise, and Skins and Millar were keen to stick around. Unfortunately, Skins, Jimmy, Lappan, and Ranney didn't do this for long enough. All got starts and looked good, (much like the rest of the team) but failed to consolidate. This is a key aspect that must be addressed for the coming week.
The morning belonged to captain courageous, a delicate combination of stroke play and defence, along with some speedy running between the wickets resulted in a well orchestrated half century. Disappointingly, though he showed no faith in his no 11 and left poor James Campbell stranded at the other end not out, attempting a full-blooded slash down to mid on. Just like his inability to win a toss all season, Millar forgot to check if there was someone fielding on the fence. A great captain's knock though, hitting himself into form, and securing the game. The match was now beyond doubt, and much to the delight of everyone involved the game was called to a close. One of the best renditions of the club song was then harmonised in a glorious D major.
A sensational win to the Colts and some solid form that will be carried into the final this week. Great stuff lads.