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Colts Report vs Hawksbury - Round 8

Colts extend lead at top with outright victory

A ten point win to consolidate top spot on the table was exactly what the Colts were hoping to find in their Christmas stocking over the festive break and, with another 'new look' side out on the park, that is exactly what the side achieved.

Perhaps the captains should get together at training and practice coin flipping, but from all the reports ' from 1st Grade right through to Green Shield ' it seems that no-one can buy a correct call. This said, it was a good toss to lose as Beauchamp as there was an even cover of grass on the wicket.

Last choice 'fast' bowler Millar in the 2nd innings

With the stocks of fast bowlers boosted by the year 12 leavers, the Colts side had Will Reed, Charlie 'Duck' Turner and James Campbell to throw at the opposition. Include the stalwarts of Skinner, Clifford, Ellison and Millar and the side was looking like a formidable bowling attack. Jason 'Two Dads' Russell-Jones, Hugh 'Gloveman' Selby and 'John' Mayur Kulkarni were all there to back up the others if needed.

It wasn't.

Hawkesbury have the highest batting aggregate of any team in the Metropolitan Cup and our boys set out to make sure they weren't going to significantly add to that total. Clifford and Reed were handed the new rock and at the drinks break the Hawks were struggling at 3/22 from 20 overs. James Campbell, bowling left arm in-swingers, snared a couple of good poles and Ian 'Bones' Skinner took two as well but the story of the 1st day was the brilliant performance of Tim Clifford (a.k.a. the big red dog) whose figures were 12 overs, 7 maidens, 5 for 5. The webmaster was glowing with pride after his suggestions paid dividends and the captain was glowing having the Hawks dismissed for 56 in 40 odd overs.

Although Millar was given a promotion by the selectors during the week (due to the apparent bias towards the bowling this round), he thought better of strapping on the pads and followed in Tweety's footsteps by taking the first stint as an umpire whilst Angus Sinclair and 'John' Mayur took guard. With a small total to chase it was imperative that the runs were knocked off quickly and 1st innings point were recorded on the first day.

After a few enthusiastic shouts from the Hawks for catches down leg side ' coming firstly from pad and then a second 'catch' off the chest ' it was unfortunate that the umpire was subjected to abuse from the opposition (mainly from the senior members of the side, including a father of one of the players acting as a substitute fielder) especially as the decisions were the correct ones. So, happily, Millar relinquished his appointment as umpire and watched from the stands after the drinks break. All players should keep in mind that 5 or 6 close shouts do not mean that the next one has to be given out. It doesn't.

Nevertheless, Sinclair was unlucky to fall to a sharp catch at gully for 12 and 'John' was dismissed for 47 after we had passed their total. Selby and 'Two Dads' forged a great partnership which included clever stroke play and lusty hitting before succumbing to the Hawks a couple of overs before the end of the day. 'Bones' and Ellison were left at the middle to see out the day and then attack from the word 'GO' next week.

Selby and Skinner watch as Millar takes cover from another Campbell short delivery

'GO'. Skinner demolished the bowling in the second week blasting 50-odd from only a few deliveries to see the Colts post 206. Ellison contributed with a handy total and with 'Duck' (0), Clifford (0), Reed (0) and Millar 5*, it was time to get some 'red ink' and declare the innings closed.

Clifford and Reed opened the attack, with the objective of dismissing the Hawks for under 140 in 65 overs to gain maximum points. Reed picked up his maiden club wickets with a sharp catch to Sinclair at point and a solid catch to Ellison in the gully.

It would be the perfect moment to recall the disastrous trip the No. 3 batsmen from Hawkesbury had over the two weekends. After being dismissed for a third ball duck in the first dig, he again returned to the pavilion without a run against his name in the second dig. However, he did last long enough to cop a searing, well-directed, short ball from Clifford square on the forearm after he failed to get out of the way. A long trip back to Hawkesbury would have resulted.

With the wind howling from the south, Skinner exerted his seniority and chose to bowl with the wind. Success followed soon with the gritty opener fending a short ball to Millar in close at short leg.

This left Campbell to come into the wind. With the wind posing a potential problem to his in-swingers, he informed his captain that he was going to bowl left arm off-spin. After setting his field, Millar informed him that 3 players behind point was a 'less than ideal' option and that he should have at least a cover point.

Bowling to his field, Campbell's first ball was short and wide and smashed to Sinclair at cover point, who took a brilliant catch to leave the Hawks 4-down. To make a mends for the first delivery, the next was full and down leg. On average they were two good balls. Like all bowlers (generally of the lawn bowls variety) the length and line were corrected for the third ball and it beat the batsman's defences to leave the Hawks floundering at 5 for not too many.

Clifford takes 5/5 in 12 overs

Millar bowled the over before the long break and was certain that he picked up the wicket of one of their danger batsmen with a good edge through to the 'Gloveman'. However, the strong appeal was turned down and the batsman was left with a massive grin from ear-to-ear as he went to tea.

That was soon wiped from his face as Campbell dismissed him shortly after tea and then picked up his forth for the innings. Clifford dismissed the captain with his first ball of his second spell. A catch to Millar at mid-off in which he delighted in. For hours.

The Hawks were 8-down and 20 overs left in the day. The next pair stuck around for a while and it wasn't until Ellison was handed the ball for the first time in the match (a credit to the strength of the rest of the bowling attack who consistently bowled tight lines) that the final two wickets fell and the Colts picked up maximum points.

Beauchamp Oval is a dream to belt out a rendition of the song and with 10 points on the board, the new boys received a great introduction into life at the Gordon club.

At the Greengate after the match, with all teams celebrating a very successful weekend, Will Reed commented (after his 4th or 5th jug) that 'We should win all the grades each round'.

With the generous donations of Messer Falk and Wilson, I can clearly see his point.

Congratulations to the grade sides who sit 5th on the club championship.


Dave Millar


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