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Colts vs Penrith - Grand Final - 2016/17

Cricket is a funny game. You win some and you lose some. It isn’t every year that you play 15 rounds of hard fought cricket to make a final. On this special occasion, the 2016/2017 Gordon Colts led by “Sir” Aaron Crofts featured in the Grand Final. 

Aaron "Ronny" Crofts - Premiership captain 

In weeks gone by the focus of the team was on the finals. A convincing round 15 win against UNSW confirmed top spot and a clash with Randwick Petersham who won a bare five matches all year in the semi final. The rain card was played in the semi and off to the final colts went.

Killara Park was the venue and the 2nd place Penrith Panthers were the opponents. After a mammoth week of preparing tactics that in fact had been organised at least two months in advance, creating a wicket and reminding the boys on the fundamental rules of cricket… (Yes Brady I am referring to you here) the weekend had arrived and the weather had cleared.
As expected a delayed start welcomed the two sides to the infamous dog park. The sluggish outfield was damp on the surface in patches, the pitch in good condition but all we needed was some heavy sun and it was game time. 

Nonetheless, it got to midday and play had not begun.

In retrospect, this gave the boys and Ken another chance to mingle in the change rooms. I must admit, teenagers and a sixty-year-old coach really do not mix. Immaturity on both ends if you ask me.

At 3:00pm play was abandoned for the day. Over the last week, we had spent a total of 24 hours waiting in the change rooms doing nothing… is that a record? The only bright side to the day was putting covers back on the wicket. I like to think as Captain I have taught the alliance of students in my team “how to put covers on and off the ground”. 

Let me just set the scene for you. We have about 6 players in the team who love standing within a 1m radius of each other. Therefore, instead of taking 5 minutes to put covers on the ground, it takes at least 15 minutes. I think it is time that each club hands out a mandatory “Guide to Covers” at the start of each season. 

Anyway… Day 1 abandoned and back to our girlfriend’s houses for a deep tissue and bubble bath after a strenuous day doing chores.

Play was scheduled for 10:00am on Day 2. The “lads” as Jory Cureton would say arrived 8:30am sharp to once again repeat the daily dose of removing and folding covers. The Dharmsala looking wicket was flat, not a tinge of grass was left. It had been rolled more times than a typical Georges River side in the 2016/2017 season…. Sorry Dayle.

The outfield was still moist but the conditions were perfect. Play was called to begin at 11:00am and a toss at 10:30am.

Captain Aaron Crofts had reminded the boys for the last three months that “all we need to do is to bat for 192 overs and we win the premiership, honestly it is that simple”. Well despite those spiteful tactics, Crofts heroically won the first battle of the match and won the toss and elected to bump Penrith out of the game.

Final words were exchanged in the dressing rooms and the realisation that the first ball of the Grand Final was under way in due course. The scene was set and thanks to the efforts of the groundmen and others involved we got to begin the Grand Final.

Let me take you to the commentary.

WICKET – OUT!!! (1/36) Dellis to Bull – Bull tries to loft one over cover but plays on the up and is caught by Crofts in front of point. A solid start by Penrith but once again Gordon continue to attack and a spirited Nick Dellis gets the breakthrough.

Brady Morrison - One to watch out for in the future 

WICKET – OUT!!! (2/37) Hood to Agius – Trapped in front on the full and the young and inexperienced green shield player goes packing for a Duck…. Quack Quack Quack. Hood find his rhythm.

WICKET – OUT!! (3/38) Nehru to Sullivan – BOWLED. Nehru has been causing trouble to Organ at the other end but his extreme sweating disease has brought about a sweaty and shaky shot from Sullivan who chops on for another quacker. Penrith have lost 3 for 2.

WICKET – OUT!! (4/41) Keane to Coyte – Caught Behind. Arguably the easiest wicket in the metro cup this season. The professional “hacker” has literally just hacked and snicked off to Oliver Williams with the gloves. This is cricket and this is pressure from the Gordon Colts.

WICKET – OUT!! (5/43) RUN OUT by R.Krishna. Suicide. Slipped on the second and Organ is run out for a well compiled 34. A gorgeous throw over the stumps from Rahul and Penrith are reeling.

WICKET – OUT!! (6/52) Dellis to Crouch – Back into the attack is Dellis and he strikes again. A healthy edge to Williams who takes his second. Penrith are in all sorts and have now lost 5 for 16.

Manus Chauhan - Unlucky with the ball in the Grand Final, but clearly kept the pressure up to the Penrith bats 

WICKET – OUT!! (7/79) Crofts to Lelliott – A healthy partnership was forming but on comes the captain with some tight bowling and Lelliot gets strangled to square leg where Rahul Krishna takes a sitter.

WICKET – OUT!! (8/79) – Crofts to Chowdhury – Crofts is on a hat trick. The battle of the captains is one by the Gordon skipper as crofts charges in and shatters the stumps first ball. In celebration, he runs off down towards his fans.

WICKET – HOWZATTT – OUT - (9/81) – Seneviratne has the last laugh as Smith plays around one and gets struck in front LBW. A pumped up Danusha gets his first.

WICKET – OUT!! - (10/87) – Crofts to Greogory – A massive shout from Gordon and Crofts has his third as Nick Dellis takes a catch at bat pad.

A phenomenal effort to take 10 wickets for 51 runs as Penrith crumbled for 87 all out.

Andrew Harvey and Brady Morrison had been cautious in recent weeks with the bat and had the best opportunity to seal the deal for the Colts side in chasing 88 runs to win the game and the Grand Final.

Harvey and Morrison were watchful and played their most elegant innings of the season. Harvey (30) left the ball with ease and punished the short and wide deliveries when he was offered them.

Morrison once again dominated bat and ball. He enjoyed clipping a ball for six over deep backward square that I am sure his Shire ladies will be hearing about during the week. Nice work Brady.

At 0/40, Gordon looked comfortable. Morrison eventually fell for 20 but Harvey was class and anchored the innings right until the score reached 80. Williams, Crofts and Krishan all chipped in a few runs to see us to the end but it was Manus Chauhan (3 not out) and Matt Keane (18 not out) who had the honour of seeing us to a 5 wicket victory and the Metropolitan Cup title.

Andrew Harvey makes a great start to the small target chase 

What a season…. What a team. 165 wickets later and over 2,500 thousand runs scored, the Gordon Colts proved that experience does not mean everything and that a strong and relentless bond is what truly counts to any success.

Beers were shared and stories were told but a big thank you must once again to our manager Jenny Williams who has worked tirelessly all year to ensure this team reached its peak.

As captain I would like to thank those who attended the match and supported us this season. Ken Wilcox you are an ideal and your enthusiasm was immense in tutoring these boys on how to sustain pressure on and off the field. Ha!

Finally, congratulations to all of those who were a part of this squad this year. I am proud of you.

Captain and Champion Player out!!

 

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