First Grade plays for the Belvedere Cup and all grade points go to the Club Championship total.
For the First grade schedule go to Fixtures
First Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
1st Grade take 3/1 to claim victory over Randy-Petes
Day 2 of the match in 1st Grade between Gordon and Randwick-Petersham started with the home side in the field defending 324. The Stags would welcome a new 1st Grade player to the ranks with Ben Garratt making his debut. Captain Zelma had organised a special cap presentation for after the match. As tradition has it at Gordon a legend of the game presents a new player with their 1st Grade Cap. In the past players such as Emery, Cant and Falk have had the honour. Today Zelma had excelled and managed to get the Captain of the GPS Team of the Century to Chatswood. The player once known as 'The Prodigy' made the presentation to an awestruck Garratt.
"Jiggy Smut" celebrates his last victory on Australian soil (for this season at least)
Back to the field and Dylan would strike early on collecting an off pole. BMac was introduced and struck in his 1st over with Rosen taking a sharp catch. The game evenly poised with the opposition 2 for 80 odd. During the break Dylan spent 40 minutes on the phone to 20 different people telling them how flat the Chatswood Oval wicket was. Apparently it was much flatter than the week before when our opening bowler could not keep a straight half volley out when facing his 1st ball late in the day.
After the break Hauritz and Mitchell began to build a threatening partnership. The Stags needed a wicket so the Captain tossed the ball to Simmons. As usual Craig "The Postman" Simmons delivered, strangling Mitchell down the leg side with his very 1st ball. Several overs later The Ship struck again with Hauritz caught sharply in the gully. I should mention that Packers took the catch. Apparently James was 'Best on Ground' throughout the day. Well that's what he called himself anyway.
Ed Zelma takes a crucial wicket to set up the victory over Randy-Petes
The game was poised with Randy-Petes at 4-143. But another partnership developed and the Stags were on the back foot. Medcalf was bowling. He had been tight for several overs. But then Medders is always tight I suppose. 2nd Grade had got rid of the pest and he was today tormenting the 1st Grade side. Fortunately for the rest of us Medders gave Dylan someone to talk to. The opposition's number 6 was looking to up the scoring. After hitting 3 consecutive fours he tried to hit a 4th. The ball was skied out to deep mid-wicket. The Prodigy Sam Hinton was at mid-on and took off in chase as though he was on speed. Sammy would have covered 30 odd metres reaching the ball just in time. The Mike Whitney celebration that followed was worth the price of admission itself.
Tea was taken and afterwards Randy-Petes pushed on well towards victory. The Stags needed 5 wickets. The opposition only 75 runs. Zelma made the move. Into the attack came Will 'Jiggy Jiggy' Smith. In his fairwell appearance Wilbur would play a cameo roll with the ball. He would strike with Packers snaring a well hit ball at cover. He would create 2 more chances but both were grassed. 37 now needed. 4 wickets in hand.
Dylan was reintroduced into the attack. The big fast bowler had spent most of the 2nd session off the field. The 36 degree heat had apparently got to him. I believe though he still had plenty more phone calls to make to tell people 'how flat the wicket was' and so needed some extra time.
To his credit Dylan has a massive head heart. When we needed him he stood up. A superb spell in difficult conditions would get us back into the match. He cleaned bowled their number 8 and gave the Stags a great chance of winning.
The boys celebrate the 10th wicket... long into the night
The score now 7 for 306 chasing 324. Cometh the hour cometh the man'.. Captain Zelma was pumped. He strode to the bowling crease. His chest pumped. He was on a mission. The over would be pivotal. An LBW and a bowled and the Stags now needed one. Next over the war-house Connell would crash through the stumps. The Stags had taken 3 for 1 and claimed a memorable victory.
First Grade in a Strong Position
Gordon was up against a strong Randwick Petersham side. Our opposition had gone down the previous weekend in the one day final and presumably where looking to get their finals plans back on track.
Gordon won the toss and elected to bat. This was a difficult decision given the green tinge on the wicket and the memories of the flat wicket against Mosman. I think Matt 'Nicho' Nicholson would have been just as happy to have lost the toss. Anyway, as the day turned out it was a good decision backing the Stags batting line up to post a competitive total.
Craig "Ship" Simmons on his way to breaking the run scoring record
The innings started soundly. Unfortunately Will "Jiggy" Smith, in his last innings for the season, was out for not many. Unfortunate because Will has certainly had the rough end of some decisions this season and hasn't been able to really demonstrate his batting abilities to the Gordon faithful. I have no doubt with another stint and some fortune that the cricketing gods owe, he will score more heavily.
Craig 'Ship' Simmons, as he has done for much of the season and previous season, provided the platform for others to carry out there work. Simmo had much to play for, most significantly the opportunity to make history for the club by breaking the batting record held by Charlie Macartney. Simmo and Packers batted well and formed a good partnership, as does tend to happen in cricket we lost a wicket in the last over of the opening session, exit Packman for 27.This was also unfortunate as Packers looked in great nick (as he always does).
The second session began with Sammy "Heavy" Hinton coming to the wicket. Sammy and Simmo played entertaining and enterprising cricket. The features of this partnership were Simmo's cover drives and Sammy's on drives. However we lost Sammy, replaced by the Beau 'Buzzman' Cassen. Like Jiggy, Buzz is teetering on the edge of a big score. The Buzzman played some entertaining shots; he plays a flamboyant game and with it comes the potential for an untimely departure. As it turned out the Buzz was out for 13. No peanut butter this weekend.
"Rocket Yeah" Rod Hokin strode to the wicket. Rod has been in really good nick in recent innings, indeed for most of the season. Rod has found his feet in First Grade and has demonstrated he not only belongs at this level but will thrive. God willing he may make Dylan's top 5 grade players. But alas it wasn't Rods weekend he was given out caught off the pad. No Pakistani willow on that.
Nicho as he had done against Bankstown steadied the ship with the Big Ship. Nicho was the sheet anchor while Simmo pulverized the Randy petes attack. Breaking the spirit of the opposition in scoring a much deserved ton and also in doing so breaking the 80 year old record for most runs in a season. Congratulations to Simmo. There will be much written about his efforts no doubt, but as a colleague of the Ship, he deserves this and really I can see him breaking his own record again.
Now, enough about Simmo. Enter the author. I joined Nicho with the team in peril. Just joking. Nicho and myself toiled away with Katich and Hauritz bowling defensive channels. It was a stratgey that paid dividends for RP's as Nicko attempted a sweep across the line and was given out leg before.
A graceful author (Zelma) in action
The batting still came thick and fast. B mac coming off a great ton (sorry an almost brilliant ton if it wasnt.........doesnt matter. ) strutted to the wicket. The Randy Pete's were impressed with his style and commented about his tight fitting slacks. Anyway B Mac took a leading role and blasted a great 31 before being cleaned up. This left Bretty and Zeddie to see the innings through. Bretty is a busy player and always ferreting runs. With a bit more opportunity up the order I think he will knock up some handy scores. After a solid sponsors afternoon tea, the sugar rush tipped Zeddie's energy levels a little over the edge and he began to swing hard with some reasonable success. His innings was over trying to hit one into orbit.
Dylan came and went. No hooks to the crowds displeasure, perhaps next game when Dylan is considered as an option as the pinch hitter. It is not surprising that Dylan was off with his batting, after the enormous outcry from Bankstown the previous week, and the war of words with Corey Richards I too would wish the cricket ground would swallow me up. I don't want to fan the flames but really Deeza your sledging needs addressing.
So the day ended well, Gordon all out for 328. A good total. The desire to win is a strong as ever. We will endeavour as we have set out to do since Sutherland way back before Christmas to take 20 wickets, if its only ten then so be it. No play offs but our sights are on the bigger picture, this match will go some way in setting us up for next season.
If you want to read more about Simmons breaking the record ...click here...
1st Grade dominate the Warriors
What a weekend for the Stags! Not one loss to speak of. As already documented, these victories have resulted in a jump to fifth position in the club championship, just another few good weekends away from top spot.
1st Grade certainly played their part in the weekend's whitewash (the only recent whitewash I'd like to talk about'), with two convincing victories against Blacktown on Saturday, in what could well have been an outright with a slice more luck, and the one-dayer against the Ghosts on Sunday.
Packman deep in the runs against Blacktown
After the toll-infested (thanks Dylan!) journey to Joe McAleer Oval, off the back of a Beau 'Buzz' Casson five-for and some solid batting from Craig 'Ship' Simmons the week before, came the push for an outright victory on a sluggish but true wicket.
All was going to plan with another classy innings from James 'Jammer' Packman and some useful lower order runs from Nicholson and Zelma. This gave us a lead of 139. A steady fall of wickets put Blacktown in trouble at 5/96, but a sixth wicket stand of 86 put paid to any lingering hopes of a ten-pointer. A good team performance highlighted by some persistent, disciplined bowling and spirited fielding boded well for a repeat dose the next day at Raby against the Ghosts.
Another great team performance followed, with the two stand-out performers yet again Beau Casson and 'Jaaaaaammer' Packman. Again some good fielding and controlled bowling meant that a target of 214 would never be in doubt. Not after a quick fire 49 from 'Ship' Simmons and a prematurely ended but comfortable 44 from the Dazzler (Brad Rasool) ensured that we could coast home. I'm sure that unless I mention that Packman notched up another half-century he will be sour all week. So, after running out the Dazzler, Packman scored 60-odd not out to guide the side home.
Sunday 14th January 2007 will stick in my memory for a long time. Firstly it was the day my 'other-half' flew home, of course I saw her off tearfully at the airport''oh no that's right, I was at Raby being dismissed by the first ball I faced from my new Durham team-mate Mitch Claydon. What a joyous day!
The Dazzler will be sorely missed
However the day will be remembered more in Gordon DCC folklore for the 2006/7 season farewell of the Dazzler. Two record breaking double hundreds in 2s, countless other hundreds both in 2s and PG's, so laidback he's horizontal and the greatest array of warm-up socks in cricket are just some of the things the Dazzler will be remembered for this season. But also for his ability to draw an excitable Moth (Tim Packman) on a night out to see him off and also to introduce Tiddles to the wonders of tequila!
The North Shore's loss is Scandinavia's gain.
Will Smith (just happy that England has won their first game on tour)
Maximum Points for 1st Grade
With the Blues Brothers available for both days of our clash with the Sharks, it was always going to be an interesting affair. Sutherland won the toss and decided to bat on a wicket that had a definite green tinge.
Dylan and Matt 'Nicho' Nicholson opened the bowling and hit great areas with Dylan at times making the in form Phil Jacques play and miss on a regular basis.
Mate vs Mate as Nicho bowls to Jacques
Sutherland battled away and only managed 120 runs. Dylan, in peak form, grabbed a great 6/34. Ed 'Zeddie' Zelma backed him up with 3/40. Oh I'm also under orders to mention that it was in fact Zeddie who got the important wicket of Phil Jacques. After being pounded for three consecutive brutal 4's the 'Polish Panesar' foxed the future baggy greener with a quick short ball which he parried skywards.
The Stags in reply, went in with a positive frame of mind. The first class duo of Will Smith (Bad Boys, Independence Day, Bad Boys 2, Hitch) and Craig Simmons got us off to decent start setting the tone at which we should chase down the runs. Play ended at tea due to mass rain. Overnight the Stags were 1/67 with a further 50 odd runs required to seal first innings points.
The second Saturday saw the boys from 'old chatswood way' coast past the Sharks first innings total. James 'that must have nipped back a bit jamma'' Packman top scoring with 51. The maroon caps were not in the mood for only 6 points. We were in search of 10. We thus declared 50 odd runs ahead with almost a days playing time still on hand. Game on.
Packers gets amongst the runs vs the Sharks
A pumped Gordon XI took to the field again with aim of bowling the Sharks out again. That's exactly what happened. Dylan, The D-train, in top form again, bagged 4/42, which saw him claim 10/76 for the match. You beauty! Ed Zelma bowled superbly, bagging a beautiful Michelle (5 for), 5/31. He claimed 8/71 for the match. You also beauty! The boys fielded and caught like champs. BMac floated in the grippers. Sambo 'Laneway' Hinton, braved it out under the lid. He's enthusiasm in the field was great and Beau Casson kept him on his toes.
In seek of the Stags first outright win in a while, Gordon needed 89 off the willow. It took us just 75 minutes. James 'Im starting to see them again' Packman steadied a rocky boat and cruised to an unbeaten 54, winning us the match. He batted with finesse and oozed class. Something tells me he'll hit a ton in the next round. (Ed: Pity you wrote this after Packers had already completed that feat)
Our Fantasy League guru, Dylan Connell, bags 10 poles for the match (200 points)
Overall it was a sterling team effort. Gordon won the game in all three departments of batting, bowling, and fielding. Watch out for the Stags snowball effect. The team is starting to execute basics and all the players are starting to put their hands up. Wait till we all start firing. Even BMac took two catches.
We sung the song with joy. We put on the covers afterwards. A few quiet beverages ensued' why not?
Round 7 out Old Kings way
The stags travelled to Old Kings confident of claiming back to back wins for the first time this season. The day began well for Gordon with Nicho winning the toss and, after inspecting both the SCG and Old Kings wicket, deciding to bat on what looked like a very good wicket.
Unfortunately Clutch Simmons fell in the first over to a delivery 'that must of nipped back a bit'.
Will Smith and James Packman then steadied the ship before Packers was out to a score that had Mitch singing well into the night. Beau Casson joined Wilbur and the score continued to flow until Beau was dismissed in the 20's from the last ball before lunch.
(Simmons supporting new shades as he makes a mends with his bowling)
3/100 at lunch.
Sam 'what corporate bidders' Hinton joined Wilbur after lunch but the partnership didn't last long with Wilbur falling for a well made 55. Wilbur has adjusted well to Australian wickets and seems to have taken a liking to all aspects of multicultural Australia.
Wickets continued to fall throughout the second session as we failed to adjust to batting on a slow wicket.
However Nicho stood firm giving us all an example of the necessary patience needed to bat on a slow wicket guiding us through to 230 with an invaluable 42 not out.
(Dylan showing good form with the leather)
Would 230 be enough?
In the end it wasn't as Parra past us 6 down, but it wasn't through any fault of the bowlers. Dylan was the pick off the bowlers taking 3 for 37 off 16 threatening overs.
Brendan McDonald took 2 for 56 off 22 controlled overs off leg spin, with Julian Stephenson bowling a dozen tidy overs in a good showing on return from injury.
The stags face Sutherland this weekend and if we want to have any chance of winning we must make over 300 and give our bowlers something to bowl at. One of the batters needs to stand up and make a ton and in the words of our inspirational, extroverted co-captain Zeddy 'I am willing to place my left nut on James 'Nails' Packman'.
1st Grade Match Report Vs Wests
It turned out to be a great day for the club and hopefully for the first grade side a sign of things to come. With only two wins on the board the side is eager to make amends of what has been an indifferent start to the year.
(Sam Hinton pierces the field on Saturday)
Saturday proved to be convincing win with a handy bonus point to take us to within striking distance of the middle of the pack. The next couple of weeks are going to be crucial to the outcome of the season. With the fearless skipper back, and the stand in (me) put back in his place, the boys were primed for the day. There was however a notable exception of West's in-form Wicketkeeper Smith, who had been called up for NSW duty.
Surprising after the toss we were batting, first win of the year for Zelma, and we were able to set the tone for the day with the willow. Unfortunately things didn't start as well as we would have liked and the top 4 produced 40 runs between them and it was up to the young guns to steady the ship. 'Bomber' Bombas and 'Shints' Hinton put on a hundred run partnership and at a reasonable pace, leaving the big hitters of the game to finish off the innings. A fine 45no by Chadwick's finest and support from Zed, Freckle and Meddes, meant we had a defendable total on the board.
(Reece Bombas on Saturday against Wests)
The bowlers started the afternoon reasonably well and Connell removed one of the openers and Zelma the other. Wickets were shared, however 'the postman' Simmons was again the destroyer taking a handy 3 for and adding to his growing tally of wickets. We managed to bowl the Magpies out for 160 within the 40 overs thus taking the crucial bonus point.
Well done lads and also to the rest of the grades for putting in such a dominant performance this week. Let's continue the good work this weekend against Parra.
First Grade Uni of NSW Match Report
After a diffcult day on Saturday, Sunday's game away at Village Green was labelled as a 'must-win'; a phrase much loved by many an English Premiership football manager was this time coined by the passionate Eddy Zelma.
(Reece Bombas leads off his skipper against UNSW)
Any overnight rain had not had an effect on the wicket, though it did play a little slow throughout the game, there were runs to be had if batters were willing to apply themselves. By winning the toss Nicho thought he would give us first use of any moisture that there may have been.
The first eight or nine overs passed without much action until Eddy, as pumped and effervescent as ever, induced a swirling, spinning, skied (''.??!!) catch to yours truly. Simply one of the best I have ever taken. Great to see the passion on Eddy's face, which I understand is customary upon getting a wicket.
Though there is a fine line between this celebratory reaction and what I imagine the natural angered response of a 100% heterosexual male to a particularly lewd homosexual advance would be! It scares me just a little bit I have to say, but long may it continue if it means wickets are rolling.
(Brendan McDonald at Village Green)
This breakthrough sparked the efforts to be increased and the pressure raised, and thanks to some disciplined bowling from Jules, Eddy, Nicho, Buzz and Macca, coupled with committed fielding - B.Mac in particular ' led to increased pressure on the students batting and the steady fall of wickets until they found themselves at the precarious position of 8/95.
The spitited running of Murray Creed, who turned an all run four into a two, then a three, then a two again, and with the help of a comical slip mid wicket, led to him being run out by a good throw from Jim Packman, and excellent ten-pin bowling technique from Buzz Casson. Added to two stunning catches from B.Mac and Buzz, meant UNSW could never break the shackles. B.Mac's a stunning one handed effort at wide first slip and Buzz's a great low diving caught and bowled chance, the legality of which was never in doubt''..!
Two spirited 9th and 10th wicket partnerships brought a bit of respectability to the scoreline, but the general feeling was that 156 would be eminently 'getable' on a flattish deck, with one small square boundary, and the other leaving scope for plenty of scurrying between the wickets.
6/157 off the first ball of the 40th over would suggest a comfortable win, the gaining of the bonus point emphasising this. However, the batting was nearly the Staggies downfall for the second time in two days, and there still needs to be much more application shown if we are to reach the standards that were set last year. The top order need to take more responsibility.
(Craig Simmons fields a ball against B-Mac)
Some lusty blows from Simmo, a mature pinch-hitting/nurdling role from Eddy, some crisp drives from Jim and a patient 29 from Jof got us to within touching distance. At 6/113 it could have gone one of two ways. All out for 120 or 6/157. Thankfully the latter eventuality prevailed, and which experienced campaigner took the game beyond UNSW's reach? ' 18-year-old Reece Bombas. Making only his second first-grade appearance, Bomber showed great maturity and calmness in what was a pressure situation. Could there be a more important 16 not out in the context of this season, I doubt it. Credit to Bomber, and also credit to Nicho for some big sixes to top it off and ensure the all-important bonus point was won too.
All in all a great win, and all the more pleasing for me was that the words to the Gordon song came flooding back, as if 2001/02 was just yesterday! A better team song I have yet to hear, and now that the first win has been notched I am willing to bet that not many sides will get the opportunity to prove me wrong.
First Grade Report vs the Hawks
Midweek discussion amongst the Stags First XI drew the general consensus that if Hawkesbury away was on the cards at some stage during the season, it was favourable to do the trip to Bensons Lane in the mild climate of October, rather than the searing heat and palpable humidity of January or February. Sure enough' Friday night's weather forecast predicted temperatures up to 35 degrees, and Bensons Lane didn't disappoint with 38 degrees reliably recorded by Mick Falk's in car Thermometer. Not so mild for October, one could argue.
(Jules Stephenson at Owen Earle)
Nonetheless the mood was upbeat as we inspected the wicket in preparation, and skipper Ed Zelma was encouraged by tinges of green and a good covering of grass. As the coin landed 'Cabanossi' Zelma called correctly and decided to offer the Hawks a bat. We knew it could be a tough day ahead, but the bowlers appreciated the confidence shown in them by the skipper and the rest were keen to support in the field.
A short time later whispers of 'Zelma' and 'Genius' were floating around the periphery in the same sentence. Although missing 2 very early chances with the new ball, the Stags had Hawkesbury reeling at 4-27 courtesy of the skipper and his new ball partner Julian Stephenson. The consistent Stephenson had first spell figures of 2 for 1 off six overs, well deserved from his impeccable length.
(Brendan McDonald against Vaugn Williams)
The Stags had a skip in their step. Their season had begun. The ball was rolling. The remainder of the first session saw Hawkesbury skipper Vaughn Williams and Nathan Carrol at the crease. Vaughn seemed eerily watchful, whilst the left handed Carrol opted for attack as the best form of defence, offering some scintillating cricket strokes. The pair safely negotiated the remainder of the session and the stags held a slight advantage at the first break, with the first session a more than entertaining one for cricket lovers.
The lunch interval was almost as entertaining for those in the Stags camp. The standard of the chicken burgers was high, and as a number of us were negotiating our second or third, Julian Stephenson began the lunchtime entertainment, albeit unknowingly. Jules' lunchtime attire consisted of shirt, a medium (at best) sized pair of blue nylon bike pants and white socks.
That's it. Normally, this may be acceptable within the confines of the changerooms, but Jules chose to carry his outfit for all to see. When questioned, Jules response was simple; 'Chafing'. He couldn't have known of the pandora's box he was about to open. BMac was puzzled'. 'What do you mean chafing' Where?' As Jules started to explain the principles of flesh rubbing to produce friction, BMac's bewilderment grew. The man with legs thinner than Tim Packman's arms demonstrated he was unable to produce the necessary conditions.
The focus then changed. Dylan offered insight into the variety of different locations that this phenomenon could occur, and BMac's mind seemed to boggle at the thought of the physics involved. Then the course of the conversation changed once again to treatment. Another member of the Stephenson family became involved, with selector Paul describing his revolutionary tactics in his earlier career of arranging extra large knee guards in problem areas and securing with sticky tape. The younger Stephenson seemed happier with the work of the manufacturers of Curash. All involved decided it was time to give the conversation away when hypotheses regarding the tactics that would be employed by renowned chafer and club coach Howitt started to be discussed.
Back on the field the second session began and the Stags toiled hard for a wicket with the introduction of spinner Casson and brisk bowling changes. The Hawks accumulated runs more freely and soon the pendulum had swung in their favour. Towards the end of the session Vaughn Williams brought up his much deserved hundred and the Hawks went to tea 6 down and in a promising position.
(The Gordon Slips cordon - up close and friendly)
Gordon's mindset was still positive heading into the last session. The wicket had flattened and the injection of leg spinner BMac into the attack would largely prove to be the answer. Having bowled just 7 overs until midway through this final session, Brendan took 2 wickets in successive deliveries inside the final hour, including that of Williams, to reignite the Stags. Dylan Connell chimed in with 2 wickets late in the day and the Hawks had been dismissed in the 95th over for 339.
I know our engine room is more than prepared to chase down this total on the back of the efforts of the bowlers, and launch into a rendition of 'We're proud to be part of the Gordon CC' come Saturday evening.
First Grade Report vs Sydney Uni Round 3
Gordon first grade travelled to Sydney Uni looking to post our first win of the season. The fist two games saw sub par performances from the stags and all in the squad agreed it was time to stop talking and start performing.
We won the toss and for some reason decided to bowl fist on a flat wicket devoid of grass and moisture. A solid start from the opening bowlers saw uni 1-30 after the first 10 or so overs, zeddie (Ed Zelma) removing mail's middle and off stumps.
Beau Casson claimed the second wicket, trapping Ian Moran on the crease and in front of all three. The students then compiled a good partnership that had them on track for somewhere between 280 and 300 until Ed Cowan toed a buzz (Beau Casson) long hop down Packerman's throat at deep midwicket, not before he pumped the cake for a large bomb that Gordon third grade skipper "Maffew" Kelly thought was a WOW moment! A lack of urgency from Uni's middle order, some fair bowling and improved feilding from Gordon saw uni finish at 4-245 at the end of their alloted 50 overs.
Jules Stepehnson bowled well, 10 straight overs at the start that were fairly miserly. Zeddy took two wickets, Buzz bowled a good spell and deserved his two scalps, Nicho (Matt Nicholson) was tight without penetrating and Macca (Brendan McDonald) worked hard.
We were happy to have restricted the students to what we thought was a very gettable total if we played well. Craig Simmons and recently arrive englishman Will Smith ( by recently I mean 6 oclock that morning!) got the innings of to a great start.
A century opening stand in the first 25 or so overs was punctuated by some classy stroke play by the Pom and some massive blows from the big ship. Both unfortunately fell soon after posting half centuries. From the 30 over mark we were chasing a run a ball, no mean feat on a slow wicket with the oposing side having the second best spin bowler in the world (Stuart MacGill) with 8 overs up his sleave.
Packers and Cake had brief stints at the wicket, Pumps and Buzz put on a promising partnership that included what I thought was the best shot played all day. Johny two pumps advanced down the wicket to MacGill (who was regularly turning it past the keeper into the hands of first slip) and played a beautiful on drive down the ground for four.
However he was caught and bowled trying to emulate the feat soon after. With no pace on the ball and some effective one day bowling from the students made it tough going for our bats and we slipped further behind the eight ball.
(James Packman vs Sydney Uni)
Zeddie faced his second and third balls of the season but unfortunately again failed to register and Macca was run out without facing.
A regular loss of wickets ensured we were fighting a losing battle and we eventually finished 9-225 at the end of our innings, "red ink" Rosen doing what he does. Buzz played well for his 35 or so, Pumps made a promising start and the two openers played well but the rest was pretty sorry reading.
We have made a slow and dissapointing start to the season and have no excuses, we have played poorly. We haven't aimed up despite our knowledge that teams would be after us. Saturdays game was an improvement on our first two outings and we are keen to get back into the winners circle. A boags on a win tastes so much better than a new after a loss! Enough said.
First Grade report vs UTS Balmain
Gordon went into the First Grade game against UTS Balmain with high expectations. After a decisive victory the previous season, home ground advantage and an urgency to get some points there was high hopes for a Gordon victory.
(Beau Casson against UTS Balmain)
Gordon lost the toss, the Tigers elected to bat. The Tigers have been busy recruiting in the off season and their batting line looked strong. We started off well, Greg Hayne just 33 runs off the all time highest first grade runner scorer out early.
Followed closely by Krezja the former Blues player with the ability to score a big one. At lunch the Tigers had moved along to 108 for the loss of 3 wickets, honours evenly shared. The second session went the same way, the Stags picked up a further 3 wickets as the Tigers moved along to 220.
Beau ' Buzz' Casson doing some good work supported by B Mac MacDonald. The third session is one we look back as the turning point in the match; Gordon grassed two opportunities and let Balmain off the hook. With fortune in Balmain's favour they batted intelligently to post an excellent total of 358 at stumps. Not an impossible task at Killara, the wicket played beautifully.
(Brett Rosen at Killara)
Congratulations to Beau Casson for picking up his first fivefa for the Club unfortunately as the teams opener he was out late in the day. Brett Rosen filled in as night watchman and did an excellent job, outscoring Craig Simmons and posting the high score of the innings. We slept soundly on Saturday night knowing that if we bat the whole day on Sunday we will win the match.
Sunday was day of a lot of promise. Gordon started the innings off well, Simmo looking solid. Bretty Rosen played a cameo knock punching some really nice cover drives. Unfortunately Bretty was out in the hour. Jimmy Packman played an entertaining innings before succumbing on 38.
The Stags top order was not able to hold off the Tigers attacks and fell away, enter the middle order. Unfortunately the Tiger bowlers had found a groove and took the scalps of our middle order for not many. It was left up to the lower order to salvage the match.
Simmo patiently and doggedly holding up his end waiting for a fellow stag to stick around. But it simply wasn't to be and the Stags were all out for 208. Jules Stephenson blasted a lovely 25, but at number 11 it was all a little to late.
(Ed Zelma picked up two early scalps)
A disappointing loss yes, but valuable lessons learnt. We play Sydney Uni this week. They have some guys in a bit of touch at present. The first two games have now been and gone and we look forward to the challenge of the students.
First Grade Report Round 1 vs St. George
Momentum is the key in one day cricket, the team that controls the match the longest wins. This rule applied to First Grade's season opener against St George. Gordon got off to a very promising start.
Winning the toss, Matt Nicholson elected to bat. After 15 overs the decision was the correct one, 1-81. Simmons bashing the Dragons opening bowlers and ably supported by James Packman. The Dragon bowlers found something however after this and began to bowl with more control and tighter lines.
(Brett Rosen trying to reach a Nicho bouncer)
Lead by Moey Henriques and Phillip Wells, the Dragon bowlers deservedly picked up wickets as just reward for their effort. Simmons out for 36, Packman 26. The loss of wickets stunted Gordon's flow.
Coupled with excellent fielding the Dragons were able to hook back into the game. There were promising signs from the Stags, starts by our bats but unfortunately starts never eventuated into big scores. John O'Neill Fuller tried hard to build a platform unfortunately the top & middle order couldn't stick around with him to do the business.
(Another Nicho fireball)
Late contributions by Brendon MacDonald and Brett Rosen gave the home side some hope and the team rallied to 201. But for the Killara faithful, 201 is a long way short of the 250+ norms and it was always going to be a difficult proposition to defend.
The Stags bowling performance could be considered par for the course. Neither bad nor above average. Our bowlers tended to mix up some tight bowling with the occasional lose one, and given the Killara track was easy pickings for the Dragons.
At 1 -50 at the 15 over mark the Dragons looked in control and never gave any indication that they were going to be knocked over. The Dragons would be well pleased with their batting performance, Stuart Heaney and Moises Henriques batted with poise and control to steer the visitor's home and didn't look to take any unnecessary risks. In the end all who viewed the match would agree the better team won on the day.
As for Stags we look ahead to next week. Things happen for a reason and we would be stupid to simply write Saturdays performance off based on it being the first game of the season.
(Beau Casson in action during his debut for Gordon)
The players were stung by the loss and the degree of loss. We all agreed that we would not re-visit that type of performance again. The beauty of the First Grade team last season was our ability to bounce back the following week after putting in a stinker. I believe we will do so again next week. We have the formula it's a matter of execution.