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 2009/10 season are provided below:
1st Grade's all-round performance disposes of the students
And so another season comes to a close, and before I get to telling the tale of a wonderful day out at the Sydney University grounds I thought I would take the opportunity to look back on what has been, on and off the field.
Harry Evans in great form on his way to 93
Firstly we've seen a number of young players making their debut in the top grade with a large percentage of the team currently or recently featuring in the club's Poidevin Gray side. This is a tribute to the hard work put in by Michael Falk, Paul Stephenson, Tony Wilson, Mark Carmichael and Ed Howitt through their ongoing work with the Gordon Academy.
Brendan 'Mayor of Crows Nest' McDonald was selected in the NSW 2nd XI during the season and is a testament to his hard work at training and application on game day.
Similarly, Steve 'The Buck' Colley has had a massive six months, not only was he selected in the NSW U19 team, and a NSW academy side to play in a national T20 tournament, the young gentlemen celebrated his recent engagement during the season with a quiet night out.
We also had a birth within the team with Reece and Dyl, the original odd couple, welcoming little Zoe Connell into the world. Congratulations to everyone on their achievements during the season, whether it be with the bat, ball, in the field or what we took from game each and every weekend.
Now, onto the weekend's activities ... Needless to say with the Uni boys chasing a win to secure a finals birth there was plenty for the Gordon boys to play for against a top 6 side. We knew we would have to execute all aspects of our game well and although this wasn't always the case we had individuals step up to ultimately shift the momentum in the game at crucial moments. James won the toss and took the initiative in the decision to bowl first. Under Mark O'Neill we've learnt that we need to earn our right to bat first and set a target by proving we can bat well under match conditions and pressure. But more on the batting later...
A batting masterclass care of Harry Evans caught on camera for all to enjoy
Our quicks did the job with the ball in hand, tying down the Uni openers who travelled at under 2 runs per over for the first ten over's. Of particular note was Dylan's incredible ability beat the bat early, but as we all know bowling in partnerships is important to building pressure. With the wiley James 'Hernandez' Campbell operating with precision at the other end it was him who made the first break through, getting his PG's bunny Henry out in a similar high catch yet again. A useful and controlled partnership ensued from the uni batsmen Moran and Hay and fielding became the key.
Unfortunately we let ourselves down here, with many singles turned into two's and quick singles taken but, with the bowlers picking away, we stuck at the job and Elliot made the break through, bowling Hay with a great yorker and nearly sending Bevo off for some dental work! At the end of the 50 overs, the Uni boys finished five down for 251 after some clever, if not frustrating shot making from Mail who took a leaf out of Brendan McCullum's book. As mentioned the quicks did the job, with Dyl and Elliot each picking up a wicket each and more importantly only going for 4 runs per over. Jimmy Campbell picked up two and kept his run rate under 5 runs per over with some great swing bowling on what became a good batting pitch. With half the job done and the last of the fielding done for the season it was time to look forward to one last crack with the willow.
Things here didn't get off to the greatest of starts; I played a horribly loose shot to be dismissed in the 3rd over, shortly followed by Steve Colley who on a positive note did manage to score 2 valuable runs and avoid his 3rd duck on the trot. Let's hope the young man can carry the momentum through to his time in England! A string of small partnerships ensued between 'Jammer' Packman (15) and 'Bomber' Bombas (29), all of this time at the crease was crucial in setting up some sort of platform to launch from in the latter stages of the innings.
Not to be outdone, anything Harry can do, Richtor can do as well.
Brendan 'BMac' McDonald chipped in with another 14, taking it to the bowlers with some attacking shots over the point and cover regions. With his dismissal we were still in trouble, 5 down and still over 150 runs still left on the board to chase down with two new batsmen at the crease in Harry Evans and Elliot Richtor. They went about their work in exactly the manner we needed, worked the singles well early and jumped all over the loose balls to capitalise and swing the momentum back in favour of the Stags. Harry took the dominate role scoring a fantastic 93 at a strike rate of over 100!
It was at exactly this point in recent games that we have stumbled, not taking it upon ourselves to turn things around and well done to these two in changing this mould. With next season now in mind this was a valuable lesson to learn and take with us to what promises to be an exciting year with many good prospects all knocking at the door to play in the top grade. But I digress...We still needed roughly 8-9 runs per over and the momentum again shifted with the loss of Harry and Elliot in quick succession in the power play, enter Bevo and James 'Mantos' Kennedy to steer the ship.
We needed a couple of those trademark Bev sweeps and being the genuine and good bloke that he is didn't disappoint, dispatching the red ball over the boundary on two occasions and later in the last over crashing into it for victory! It was a great display late in the innings and special mention must go to JK for doing the job, getting bat on ball and chipping in with a valuable 12 runs. Then there are Dylan's efforts, late cutting his first ball for a start and then running 3, who would have thought it!?
Richtor entertains the crowd as the Uni fielders helplessly watch on
Well down to the middle and lower order to get us over the line in what was a great win for the Gordon boys against a top six side. Special thanks for the 3rd grade boys for sticking around after their great win and helping with their support, also to Mark O'Neill in his role as coach which has been spot on and really taken on board by all. Looking forward to next year, stay safe and good luck to all travelling overseas during our off season!
Up the Stags!
Right on the spot, the film crew catches the momement one slips through the guard
First Grade Report vs Saints
The 1st graders turned up to Hurstville on a warm Saturday morning expecting a tough game against strong opposition who have won back to back premierships. This was definitely going to be a test for this young side. First on the agenda was to welcome Hamish Angus into the side and he was presented with his cap by Mark O'Neill.
(James Packman at Hurstville)
The wicket looked a little green and when St George won the toss they had no hesitation in sending us in especially with the likes of Hazlewood, Copeland and Henriques.
Out went one of the most inexperienced 1st grade opening combinations of Hamish Angus and Blair 'Bear' Lindsey against a very strong attack. We didn't get off to a great start by losing 4 wickets before the first drinks break. Two more wickets fell in the next hour and at lunch we were 6 ' 70, however Packman and McDonald was still there.
After lunch Packman and Bmac went about building a partnership and just as they started to get going Bmac fell and so did the rest of the tail. We were all out for a mere 98. Packman was left stranded on 32 not out. He batted very well and showed us all that to be successful on that wicket you had to be patient. Another mention must go to the St George bowlers as they bowled in good areas and every wicket was either caught behind or lbw. It was a good lesson for our bowlers too.
We went out to bowl and knew that we had to bowl very well and take all our chances to have a chance of reducing saints to under our score. JK got the first wicket with the score on 13 and then Dylan bowled an excellent over, picking up two wickets including that of Henriques who has seemed to dominate Gordon attacks in recent years. At 3-23 we were still in the game. However a few dropped catches seemed to be costly. St George strolled past 98 four wickets down. They continued to bat for the rest of the day and finished on 6-188. Dyl ended up taking 2 wickets, JK 3 and Macca 1.
(Brendan McDonald at Hurstville)
We turned up on day 2 knowing that Saints were without their 'big 3' but had some handy replacements. There was concern the run up at one end of the wicket was a little wet from the rain overnight but no time was lost. Saints declared overnight and decided to put us under the pump again.
Our second innings didn't start well with 2 early wickets falling with the score on 2. Blair Lindsey and James Packman batted well to get the score to 47, but then they both fell just before lunch.
After lunch it was up to the lower order to show some fight and bat for extended periods. Beverly and Richtor were going along nicely before Richtor was run out. Beverly then decided to go on the attack playing his famous 'wrench' and bombing Zammit for 3 sixes. However this was also his downfall as he went for one too many and skied an easy catch for square leg. He was out for 32.
JK joined macca and this proved to be our best partnership for the game. They batted together for well over an hour. This was a good partnership and showed the other batsmen how they should have batted on this wicket. Both batsmen played with positive intent and played some quality shots. When Macca fell on 29, JK (36) soon followed and then Campbell decided to walk down to Zammit and was stumped. We were bowled out for 175. Saints needed 86 for outright victory in 22 overs. The target proved to be no problem for them. They achieved it 1 down in the 20th over.
(Dylan Connell at Hurstville)
Overall this was a poor performance from the stags and more consistency is needed at this level. In terms of the batting we need to be putting more value on our wicket and need go on and make a big score once we get to 20. It was however a good experience for the young guys to come up against such quality opposition. One game to go against another strong team Sydney University, and hopefully we can finish the season strongly and take momentum into next year.
First Grade hunt down the Whales
With torrential rain washing out the previous week's play, we came into this one feeling fresh, with high spirits and the right attitude. We weren't perturbed by the early 9.30a.m. start due to 120 overs needing to be bowled in the day.
James "Mantis" Kennedy looking to out-leap the author
Secretly we wanted to bowl, and therefore weren't displeased when James 'Packers' Packman lost the toss and there we were out on the field bowling on what had appeared to be Chatswood's best wicket to date, with a nice tanned finish it looked a belter. We bowled well, with the discipline we had talked about earlier. Wickets fell at a regular rate, with 'DK mode', Dylan Connell, picking up 4 for the innings, really putting in a huge effort for the team. However of these four wickets none came close to matching his superb runout! And this was a crucial one coming right after the break. A ball turned off the batsman's hip for what some might think an easy single. But beware, for despite Dyl's resemblance to a three toed sloth and his high centre of gravity, there is no single there. It was poetry, as with one motion he picked up the ball and threw it in right above the stumps. It also was fortuitous that this was Mosman's top scorer, and he was run out by a bat length.
Mac (B McDonald), K-Time (J Kennedy) and the Buck (Steve Colley) all picked up wickets. The Whales then made a sporting declaration on 248, with 9 wickets down. A few runs more than they should have, with their 9th batter getting a quick 47 runs off 35. This was later overshadowed, by Iain 'Bevo' Beverley.
Dylan "Father of one" Connell one his way to four Whales' wickets
Gordon's innings started well with an early 100 run partnership between Packers (47) and the Buck (66). These types of partnerships set up good innings, and will always feature in a good run chase. After these two got out it was up to someone else to put their hand up and get the runs on the board. When you're so close to the score, one person is all it takes and it was Bev's innings which this report will try to focus on.
This writer, J.C.( the one recovering from surgery today after the brutal extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth,) came to the crease at 212-8. Bevo was up the other end on 4. There had been 53.2 overs and we needed 36 off 34.
I was thinking that I was lucky I'd done a few extra workouts during the week because my strength training could really pull off here. Managing to nudge the first one for a quick single I was happy to get up the other end and watch the onslaught. We didn't need 34 balls to do it. We did it in 21 balls. Bevo faced 16 and scored 56 off these 16 balls. He hit 6 6's and 4 4's on his way to getting 60 off 37. Funny that. When it looked like we could settle on a draw Bevo put his hand up, stuck his chest out and got us home.
It was clinical hitting; just plain pure bullying. Where do you bowl it when someone is hitting it this well? Well obviously you don't. Try underarm it's hard to get that away.
Iain "Big Bash" Beverley. Going from strength to strength
What made this finish all the more memorable for me was when Bevo went up to the bowler he had just hit for successive 6's. 'Well bowled mate', he said, being the nice guy he is. The bowler replied with something less friendly.
It was great sleeping with another win under our belts. Up the Stags.
First Grade Report vs Parramatta
Chatswood was the venue for the round 12 clash against a Parramatta line up who are pushing for a finals spot. With previous incidents occurring between the two sides in the past both teams were looking forward to a tough game. Like many games this season the team was welcoming a debutant to the side and with previous strong performances in second grade Blair 'Bear' Lindsay had deserved his chance in the top grade.
(Blair Lindsay gets his cap from Mark O'Neill)
Since the arrival of Mark O'Neill as coach of first grade he has instilled an attitude of being mentally tough, something of which is lacking for the less experienced first graders. He has noted that more experienced sides believe in their ability to dominate and intimidate their opposition. With this in mind we were pointed out to the fact that the Parramatta boys had taken over our warm up area. The goal was set to reclaim the area by proceeding with our warm up regardless if they were still present. After stating our intentions the warm up was completed and unfortunately another toss was lost forcing us to bat on a Chatswood wicket that had a healthy covering of grass.
Obviously the aim was to establish our innings and adjust to the extra bounce and movement off the deck. However with the Parramatta opening bowlers bowling a tight line that continued to make the batsmen play, we were quickly 3 for 17. Cameron 'X' Eccles was the only top order batsman that showed some determination to get through the tough early conditions until he was adjudged LBW for 32.
Reece 'Bomber' Bombas and Brendan 'Stiff' McDonald battled hard to rebuild the innings but after Eccles dismissal the Stags lost 6 wickets for only 27 runs and ending the innings on 92.
(Brendan McDonald encounters some of the bounce apparent at Chatswood)
Our last two batting displays cannot just be blamed on losing the toss and batting on difficult conditions. To make a challenging total for the opposition it will require more from the top order to fight for their wicket and for the team not to lose two or three wickets at a time. Batting displays like this are always disappointing but for everyone it is a great opportunity to learn and adjust for similar conditions in the future.
There was still a lot of time to be played out in this game and with the wicket still asking questions of the batsmen we were confident of putting early pressure on the Parramatta top order. This was achieved with early wickets to Dylan 'Dees' Connell and James 'Mantis' Kennedy.
Special mention must go to Iain 'Barometer' Beverley for his glove work during this innings taking three catches and a stumping. The author of this report has never seen a better catch behind the stumps off his bowling; with Beverley having to change direction, dive and catch the ball one handed just before the ground after hitting the inside edge.
At 4 for 61 at tea the team was reminded that we were still in the game regardless if Parramatta had passed the total. Unfortunately for Gordon the next partnership developed and they passed our total not long after tea. It was not until Elliot 'Emo' Richtor bowled the Parramatta opener that our luck began to change. Connell came back on with immediate success claiming three wickets along with McDonald's two wickets. Parramatta lost their last five wickets for 58 runs ending their innings on 235.
(Dylan Connell in action at Chatswood)
At the end of the day Gordon was to face another challenge with the bat; facing 9 overs until stumps. Our aim was to be positive with the bat and embrace the situation. Unfortunately Eccles was dismissed early for 4; however Steven 'Jiggy' Colley and Blair Lindsay survived the remaining overs taking the score to 1-27. With 21 wickets falling, the bowlers used the conditions well with only one substantial partnership taking place. At the end of the days play both sides were still in a position to push for points.
With the rain falling throughout the week, the players arrived to a very damp Chatswood outfield on the second day. The covers were removed and unfortunately a few dangerous spots around and on the wicket had established. It was unlikely that any play would have been completed with the constant rain occurring throughout the day making it difficult for the wicket to dry. The game was abandoned with first innings points going to Parramatta. Looking towards the next round against Mosman at the same venue, it will be interesting to see if we apply ourselves in a different manner and really push towards a win.
Stags undone in T20 Semi Final
The Gordon 1st grade side arrived at the Blacktown Complex (host of the 20/20 semi finals) knowing that if they produced another performance against Sydney University like the one against Bankstown they would be very competitive.
It seems to be a theme in 20/20 cricket that the pitches are somewhat batsmen friendly, though this was certainly not the case, and it was soon evident that the toss was going to be very crucial in the outcome of the game. Unfortunately for the Stags the Uni captain won the toss and not surprisingly elected to bowl first.
Steve Colley whips one off his legs
The 1st 10 overs saw the Stags finding runs hard to come by, and at the 10 over mark the Stags were in trouble at 4-30. Steve Colley was batted very well at the top of the order for 17, but was not able to find a partner to stick around with. It was left to Brendan McDonald and Ben Garratt to try and get to a defendable score and both batted well for 16 n.o and 18 respectively and moved the score along to 80 at the end of 20 overs.
Although not a huge score, the Stags knew that if they bowled and fielded like they did against Bankstown in the previous game, that they were in with a chance. At 2-18 there was a belief that a couple of quick wickets and we were back in the game, though a good partnership from the Uni number 3 and 4 batsmen ensured that they would get home passing the total 4 down in the 14th over. All the bowlers bowled well with Dylan and JK picking up 1 wicket each and Elliot Richtor picking up 2.
Hopefully the confidence gained from these games, can be transferred into the longer form of the game and the team can finish the season off strongly and take confidence into next season.
A win for the ages in Twenty 20
Dylan Connell reports from Bankstown Oval
Eighteen years is a long time any way you look at it. When it refers to the period of time it has taken to win a cricket match against Bankstown at Bankstown Oval in 1st grade, it appears even longer. Half a dozen of the Stags players in 1st grade today would have been infants or not in existence the last time Gordon won a 1st grade game at Bankstown oval.
(The victorious team is congratulated by team mascot Marcus Faulkner)
Well times have changed, a win, in a quarter final, under immense pressure, defending a small total and against a side that boasted a formidable line up. In fact the author believes that perhaps only three of the Bankstown players in today's match have not played at a higher level.
(Steve Colley, James Packman and James Kennedy in action at Bankstown)
20/20 cricket. Bash, smash, big hits, boundaries galore, a game for the spectators, a batsman's game. Well not always.
The Stags had the opportunity to post a total, on a slow wicket. What total would be enough, 120 '150, time would tell?
Packman and Beverley opened the batting. Packman was the aggressor, smashing 22 off 20 balls, before being bowled by a delivery that must have 'nipped back a bit', 1 for 27 in the 5th over. Wickets then began falling steadily, with Colley being the only batsmen to come to terms with the wicket. When Evans fell in the 9th over the Stags were in trouble at 5 for 42.
(Henry Carmichael on debut in First Grade collects his first wicket and hits out near the end of the Stags innings)
Through some sensible batting from Garratt, Colley, Carmichael (on debut) and Kennedy, the score began to rise, and when Kennedy was dismissed on the 2nd last ball of the innings, the Stags had scrambled to 105. The highest partnership for the Stags was 29 for the 9th wicket.
The consensus among the Gordon players was they were probably a little short of par, but something to defend. They would have to bowl and field well.
(A brilliant run out from Brendan McDonald who hit the stumps from side on)
Connell removed the dangerous Burke for 0 on the 2nd ball of the Bankstown innings. A partnership of 33 followed before Richtor and Carmichael were brought into the attack, taking some pace off the ball. The two young, medium pacers did a superb job, bowling with control and patience beyond their years. The pressure began to build on the Bankstown batsmen and wickets began to fall. Big shots, great fielding, a run out, catches and 12 overs later the Stags were right in the hunt with Bankstown slumping to 5 for 53, needing just over a run a ball from the remaining 8 overs.
Enter Steve Stiffler or should I say the Great Man, or perhaps just McDonald will do.
BMAC bowled with control and great variations in pace and was ably supported by Garratt at the other end. The required run rate began to rise, whilst wickets still fell. More catches, another run out and suddenly Gordon were the favourites. Bankstown needing more than 10 runs an over from the last two. It was beyond reach, the Dogs finishing 9 for 94.
The team celebrates a great catch from James Kennedy on the boundary)
A win, in a quarter final at Bankstown Oval, a superb effort from everybody in the team. The enthusiasm and commitment in the field and with the ball were exemplary.
So much for 20/20 cricket being bash and barge. Across both innings only six 4's and one 6 were hit. 19 wickets fell for 199 runs.
A young side has begun to come of age. Another chance for the next generation of Stags players presents itself on Tuesday, where a semi-final and potentially a final beckon against more quality opponents. The opportunity to become Stags legends is there to be grasped with both hands.
Get Fah you bah!
First Grade Report - Day 1 vs Randwick Petersham
From the beginning of the season, it appeared, at least on paper, that the Randwick-Petersham Cricket Club was going to be a formidable opponent. Irregardless of the four missing state or national contracted players, the Stags entered into the Round 7 home fixture with an introverted approach, keen for improvement upon earlier performances.
(Reece Bombas acknowledges his maiden first grade century)
A number of forced changes to the side saw youngsters Harry Evans, James Campbell and Rob Edwards (author, who hasn't played an away game since Round 2 against Bankstown) back into the side.
Given the recent streak of high scoring matches played out at Chatswood, as well as the sweltering morning, the bowling contingent were keen for Captain Casson to win the toss and leave the work to the batsmen in temperatures which saw the mercury pushing 36 degrees.
Fortunately this was the case, leaving openers Cam Eccles and Ian Beverley to enjoy the early onslaught of Randwick, intimidating enough without Burt Cockley in the side. The opening bowlers employed a WACA-esq approach, mixing controlled aggression with short-ptiched bowling, perhaps somewhat deterred by the extra bounce offered by the Chatswood wicket, leaving opener Scott Coyte to comment 'you don't get this kind of carry out at Coogee.'
(Cam Eccles hits Scott Coyte for 4 through mid wicket)
Openers Eccles and Beverley did a fantastic job to survive the initial phase, taking the shine off the ball whilst simultaneously scoring runs at a reasonable 3 runs an over rate. The openers, along with number 3 Packman, were all dismissed in their 20's, all showing early promise to establish long stays at the crease.
Casson and Ben Garratt played important innings on what appeared to be a flattening Chatswood wicket post-lunch. The match was in the balance at this point in time, but the strong back-foot play of Casson and the silky-smooth drives of Garratt saw them post 53 and 45 respectively.
But the day belonged to Reece 'Trent' Bombas. Approaching the wicket with the score at 3 for 83, Reece applied himself appropriately to the task at hand, and the Gordon innings was moulded around an exceptional and chanceless 112 not out off 201 balls. Trent celebrated his maiden First-Grade century to the applause of his entire team, who all knew his first, of undoubtedly many, was a long time coming.
(The "silky-smooth" Ben Garratt)
Of his own self-admission, Reece has been guilty of offering chances once he passes his half century, however on this day, he was not to be denied. He blasted 16 elegant boundaries all around the ground, rotated the strike expertly and held the middle and lower order of the Stags together.
McDonald (29 runs, probably about his age these days too???) was not short on providing entertainment value during his cameo innings, enjoying many slog-sweeps, deft late-cuts and innumerable moments of banter with opposition players. Quote Casson: 'He just knows someone from every team, doesn't he?'
The day ended with the Stags 9 for 354. The runs have been posted'Now the enjoyable task of bowling at Chatswood oval which has seen mixed weather during the week.
Congratulations Reece.Rob Edwards
First Grade report vs Fairfield
Lambert. Lambert. Lambert. 5/56 off 25. 205 not out off 286 balls.
There are very few blokes in the history of grade cricket whose stats compete with this mans', especially considering the top achievements tend to date back to the days of uncovered wickets and the like. This game only added to his remarkable career.
(Beau goes over the grandstand)
Day 1 saw our fragile top order fail again. A gutsy 96min stay at the crease from Benny 'BowlABit' Garratt was the first signs of heart from our blokes at the crease for some time. McDonald played a watchful role as Beau 'my next Test I'll be batting at 4' Casson continued his rich vein of form with the willow to dispatch anything short and dig in to the tight stuff. The pair put on 90 when McDonald fell just before tea, to follow the 74 from the previous partnership.
The most pleasing thing here was not the runs scored but the attitude and application of blokes to put in for their mates and club ' something that is unfortunately too intermittent at the crease these days. Two wickets fell in the four hours following the initial 4 in the first 10 mins.
Post tea saw some of the most pleasurable batting I have witnessed. Beau was in another league, and Iain 'I do the covers for PG's' Beverley was murdering them down the ground and punishing anything short.
It was most pleasing to see Bevo get just rewards for his continual hard work and his attitude towards our side and the game, a case in point to some of the younger blokes in the club that respect and your place in a batting order or team is something you earn, and are NOT GIVEN!!!! If only this bloke could convince himself that he can bully attacks, he could be anything!!! Well done mate.
(Bevo jams one out against Fairfield)
This brings me back to Beau. This bloke has been carrying our batting all year, but this was different gravy. 181 in 346 mins at the crease. He deposited 7 over the stand on the railway (think about what I just said'.) The best part about this innings was the 25 fast and tight overs he negotiated off Lambert in the meantime. It was an innings of finesse and determination. This man's character is phenomenal, and is becoming more apparent the harder people try to break him. We are blessed to have him.
Gordon 8/402 dec.
You know the rest. A massive shout on Lambert first ball of the innings could have made the innings a lot different. A drop off Dylan with the other opener under 20 didn't help either. When the opening partnership fell just over 200 runs later, the game certainly was a different one.
If we continue to field like muppets, we will continue to let each other and the club down. I put it to you that every year the bottom five teams on the table are the worst fielding sides. We are deservedly in the cellar.
James 'Mantos' Kennedy continues to try hard and learn. Dylan put in as always and will be better for the run next week (coming back from injury). Beau also got a lot out of his 22 overs with some great rhythm and confidence coming with it.
Next week is another game and another challenge. 3 games till the break, 2 wins will give us hope. Intent over the past few weeks has been improving, but do we play the game to have good intent????
First Grade Report T20 vs Campbelltown
The First grade boys gained their first twenty20 victory on the weekend against a strong Campbelltown side at Chatswood.
(Iain Beverley hits one into Orchard Road at T20)
Arriving in sweltering conditions to the site of the PG boys continuing their winning streak, the boys in the top grade talked positive and cleared out excess rubbish (PG player bags) in the changerooms with Jammer (Packman) and B.G (Garrett) exchanging ideas on where they would rather be on a 42 degree day. (Cheeeeatsoood oval playing cricket ofcourse).
With the presentation of the hat to debutant James Campbell, the tradtional warm-up was underway. With the toss lost, The Staggy boys were sent out to bowl first on a wicket that Im sure left some scars from the previous day where G.Lambert scored more runs himself than the entire career runs a certain leggie that left us last season.
Nonetheless, the boys stayed positive and within 4 balls the return of big Dylan Connell brought the Gordon boys their first scalp. Clean bowling the Ghosts opener through the gate.
Was good to see the big man running in at Chatswood again with the new ball, showing us how it is done with 2-23 off his 4.
With the loss of Midnight (Stephenson) early with a niggling injury, all bowlers stuck to their plans with the spinners B-Mac (McDonald) and Buzzard (Casson) in particular bowling very well and making life hard for the westerners. McDonald (3 for 21 off his four) despite having the batsmen coming hard at him, used good flight and guile in the middle overs and with Soper (1-32 off 4) and Casson (1 for 23 off 4) slowed down the Ghosts run rate.
(Beau Casson hits out on Sunday)
Buzz bowled very well with confidence and kept the younger Ghost bats in check.The Stags fielded very well in the tough hot conditions with no dropped catches and a very good runout to B-Mac. Special mention to Brendan, always keen to help the younger/newer members of the team, when he swapped with the debutant J.C from cover to long off to 'take the pressure off' him. Mac, known for his cricketing brain and his know-how on anticipating in the field obviously knew what was to come.
The next ball went up in the air and landed safetly in the hands of the now not so under'pressure' James Campbell. God Bless Brendan MacDonald, he is such a charismatic player.
The Stags restricted the Ghosts to 9-154 off their 20 overs.
With the job not over the boys, rehydrated and reassessed. After his 83 last week and for owning the largest cannons in the club since M.Jones, Iain Beverley was sent to open the batting with Steve Colley and from the beginning overs the two little men, went on the attack. Steve showed us why he has been picked for higher honors by punishing anything loose through the covers and Bevo showed us his cannons by dispatching anything short, hitting high and long over the top for numerous boundaries.
At 0-82 after 8 we lost a few wickets with Bevo (48 off 32 balls), Steve (30 off 21 balls) and Packers out trying to keep the pace going.
Beau took the leading role in a partnership with Reece. With Reece running quick singles and Beau opting to sweep anything flighted over the boundary. Both played 'cricket' shots and soon the target score was reached in the 17th over. With Buzz finishing 41 off 23 balls and Reece (18 off 16) both looking in good touch.
(JC on debut at Chatswood)
A commanding first win in the twenty 20 competition for the Stags with lots of positives to take out of the match.
Congratulations to J.C on his debut in the top grade, very well deserved and hopefully more games and wickets to come for him. Well done boys, now lets get some momentum going our way for these next few weeks before Christmas and continue on improving our own games. Best wishes to J.K and Jules, hopefully see you back on the paddock ASAP.
First Grade report vs Easts at Waverley
After gaining our first victory of the season, the 1st XI was eager to continue playing good cricket against the more formidable opponents in the Eastern Suburbs Dolphins. After chasing 290 the week before, we confident we could keep scoring runs, so when the coin fell in our favor, Buzz decided to bat on a flat, hard wicket.
(Chad Soper on day 1 at Waverley)
Buzz and Coll started confidently and were able to see off the Dolphins openers with about 30 on the board. Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on this start and proceeded to lose 7 for 30. Poor shot selection and tight bowling was the main contributors to this downfall. The top order can only learn from these mistakes and we are all very positive this will happen.
After lunch Gun Sculls (Bevo) and Midnight continued to bat with patience, slowly ticking the scoreboard over and trying to put together a partnership. They did this for a while until Bev was adjudged LBW. Young Chad Soper joined Midnight with the plan to bat as long as possible. Old mate Zelma had other ideas, clean bowling Stephenson not long after.
Enter The Praying Mantis, Pro Mantis, The Mantos, Mantos Bagdatos. The last pair for the Stags and the two youngest blokes in the team showed experience beyond their age in putting together a 60 run partnership, trading lusty blows with daft singles, which gave us something to bowl at. Chad ended up 50no and Mantos 30. With 25 overs left in the day, we needed early wickets to give ourselves a chance. This was not the case with the Dolphins ending the day 0-92.
(Beau Casson in action on day 2)
The plans for day 2 were simple. Enjoy yourselves, enjoy playing with your mates and anything might happen. Even though at the end of the day we were well beaten, I feel as though we achieved a lot as a team. We bowled well on a flat wicket, with our two spinners bowling the majority of the overs. Our fielding was better than other weeks and we all seemed to enjoy each others company.
As a batting unit we can learn a lot from Pete Neville's innings of 149no. He showed a great deal of patience by keeping the good balls out and putting the bad one's away.
Good luck to everyone next week against the Lion's and lets get another win on the board.
Called off due to wet weather.
1st Grade notch up their maiden 09/10 victory against Sydney
The team was eager to put together a solid performance after a mixed start to the season. On occasions we had performed credibly in one discipline whilst letting ourselves down in another. So this match was about getting it mostly right with bat and ball.
'Jammer' Packam grafts out an innings against the Tigers
With the toss lost we were asked to bowl first, our new ball attack was a blend of inexperience; Chad Soper (17y.o), James Kennedy (19y.o) and the veteran Julian Stephenson (approx. 45 y.o). The Stags also boasted two of Sydney's premier spinners in Beau Casson (test no. 401) and Brendan McDonald (test no. *).
The bowlers toiled well on a flat wicket which was at times variable in bounce, however hard work was required to get through the 10 wickets. The youngsters bowled particularly well with Kennedy taking 3-42 with good control, swing and pace whilst Soper took 2 wickets with his skiddy swingers. The spin twins also bowled some good overs for us in the middle part of the day and were rewarded with 2 to Beau and 1 to Brandan. Only one of the Sydney batsmen was able to go on with their innings and compiled a well struck 128 before being run out by some exceptional work from Stephenson.
The Sydneysiders finished with a healthy 292 all out and had it not been for a spirited effort throughout the afternoon we could well have been chasing substantially more. On the flipside had we taken our first 10 chances dare I say the target would have been considerably less.
The end of Day 1 saw us 0-53 after 13 - a very positive end to the day, Casson showing his muscle with some impressive back foot play and Eccles showing good fight against some shorter stuff.
Brendan McDonald rewarded for his toils on Day 1
Day 2 and there was a clear message delivered by the skipper, "bat all day", partnerships being the key and lets get our first win under the belt. The boys must have listened and went about executing their plans well with a dominant display of patients and aggression. Casson and Eccles continued on where they left of with Casson providing the aggression and Eccles the patience (even testing out the strength of his new helmet against the new ball). The 1st wicket partnership yielded 97 which laid some very solid foundations for the middle order who delivered on what was said at the morning briefing. Patients and partnerships developed and the 3rd wicket stand between Packman and Bombas put the game almost out of reach of the opposition taking the score to 2-238 before Packman was adjudged LBW for 79.
Bombas and Garratt then continued the grind and evetnually the winning runs were struck with the debutant Richtor's blade and Gordon had their first win. Bombas played some excellent strokes for his 67, however will be dissapointed to fall the way he did so close to getting us over the line.
Elliot Richtor presented with his 1st Grade cap, before stroking the winning runs
An encouraging performance for the boys and will look to build on this for a big game coming up against what is likely to be a strong Easts side.
James 'Jammer' Packman
A wet day makes the Sharks feel at home
Lets begin with the lunch break. I know it's an unusual place to start but I like to be different. The highlights during the lunch break involved the usual 20 questions from "Marcos" including "Do you think Mr. Jacques will sign my autograph book? Other "Marcos" statements included "Holden will win Bathurst" (unusual given that "Ford" were the favourites) and Daniel "I only eat Planktin" Flynn is my favourite Gordon player of all time. The other personal highlight was the Mars Bar I aquired from the canteen which disolved the taste of the roll I also aquired from the canteen.
James 'JK' Kennedy sends one down against the Sharks openers
We bowled first.
Jules "I now bowl heaps quicker than Big head Connell" Stevo did a great job for us. A classic example of figures not reflecting his on field performance. Stevo showed terrfic rhythm and was not rewarded for his bowling efforts. For me, other than "flashy spikes Garrat", Jules was the pick of the bowlers. His pace was the best I've seen all year and he created numerous chances. Again James "Mantus" Kennedy showed terrific consistency and improvement from last week. Yes, "JK" got hit around a bit but the effort and determination to do better was apparent. "Jakes" finished with 1 and showed great fight to consolidate in his 3rd spell.
Chad "twitter is so 2008" Soper should take away confidance and momentum from his performance last weekend. Sure, there were some up and downs during his 10, however the courage he showed to finish with figures of 3 for 62 says it all. What impressed me most about Chad's efforts was the fight he showed in a difficult circumstance. Chad persisted into the wind and showed determination at a dfifficult stage of the match to be bowling. A great experience for him and one he should take a whole heap of confidence from. No doubt this tough little nut will be will be stronger for the experience he enjoyed.
Brendan's 10 was "outstanding!". He bowled with pure confidance which is why Brendan "the great man" McDonald is destined for greater things this season. He demonstrated a fealess and competative attitude against the Sutho lads, including Jacques who was reverse sweeping. Eventually B-Mac desposed of Phillip which he deserved - and more.
Quite literally, Ben "Fancy spikes" Garrat was supurb. Finishing with 3 for 36, "BG" bowled up hill, into the wind with a wet ball to an established partnership. "BG" was unbreakable and his efforts were tireless. Not only with the ball, his energy and finess in the field lifted us. With the bat, "Beeg" again was stubborn and refused to get out even though the game had passed us. Thankyou for the motivation big man.
Once we dissolved the main partnership, our skip, Beau "gun skull" Casson got us together with 10 overs to go and we as a group decided to really push Sutherland and try to run through them. Things clicked for us as a unit and with Buzz cleverly rotating the bowlers, new batsman came and went. All of a sudden, we were playing to our potential and playing the exciting, fast paced brand of cricket that this side is capable of. We kept our composure and ended up bowling out Sutherland for 290 in the 49th. A pretty good effort considering.
With a big task in front of our batters, the top order showed good intent at the opening stages of the match. Unfortunately we lost "X" Eccles early which brought Daniel "Larry" Flynn to the crease. "Buzzy" and "Larry" for the second time this season gave Sutherland a lesson on how to run singles. These guys looked devastating together. Hard hitting by Flynn and touch by Casson. We lost Buzz which brought James "Styris" Packman to the crease. What a pair, brothers in arms, best mates, Flynn and Packman, this partnership had potential. Unfortunately again, the Stags lost wickets in pairs and too quickly and with a bit of rain about, 290 seemed to be getting away from us.
We finished with 6 for 97 in reply and the rain got us.
Sure, there is some room for improvement, however there always is. Win, loose or draw. As our Captain keeps reminding us, we need to focus on "what we did well" and build on that. There multiple positives that we can draw momentum from.
Therefore, we must keep moving forward as a unit. Learn from last Saturday. Take away from the match what we need to and hit the training paddock. We proved it to ourselves that in actual fact, we are NOT far away. Both with the bat and ball, there were glimpses of brilliance and with a bit of concentration, consistent pressure, focus and attitude our first win is not far away. In the year we made the final, 07/08, we dropped the first 5 matches and turned things around out of sight.
Finally, a special mention must be made. Daniel "Smithy" Flynn has been an absolute pleasure to play and train with. It is never an easy situation to travel overseas, set up camp in a different part of the world, walk into 1st grade and start performing. Apart from his first ball against Blacktown, Daniel was brilliant for the Stags. He conducted himself like the true professional he is and has all the hallmarks of being a great player. Never arrogant or above any situation, every opportunity Danny Boy had to get to know us better he took. Gordon is his Aussie home and always will be. There is so much ahead of him and we all look forward to following his career. As our new manager so rightly put it (Bevo Senior), "we'll see you on the TV". Wherever the game takes you Dan, I know success will not be far behind.
Thankyou for your efforts "Bud". I'd have loved a roll this Sunday at Chatswood Bowls.
A tough day ends in a heavy loss at the hands of the Dogs
The easy option may be to seek solace in clich's when you've suffered an eight-wicket loss doled out within 52 overs, but this was no clich' Stags' performance. And nor shall it become one. (Although I do concede that despite my best efforts this report shall still be laden with clich's ' hell, there's one and a half in the last sentence alone).
Another victim on the day - Connell goes lame with hamstring injury
Electing to bat first on what proved a tricky Chatswood track, the Stags failed to adapt to conditions with the requisite urgency, and consequently the collective innings failed to register anything more than a muffled whimper. With the exception of the import Flynn (26) we lacked the patience and grit to combat a disciplined and probing Bulldog's attack, with only three double figure scores posted (four if your include sundries) and the only 20+ partnership for the innings being registered by the final pair. Not a pleasant looking scorecard, especially after the promising returns of the previous week.
Defending 109 was never going to be easy, but with ill discipline again rearing its ugly head in the form of numerous grassed chances and some wayward leather offerings, we certainly didn't put our best foot forward. Adding injury to 16-over insult, Dylan 'I think my head grew during the off-season' Connell pulled up lame with a hamstring complaint in the latter overs and may be in doubt for the weekend.
Amid all the doom and gloom, perhaps the best news to come from the weekend was Marcus out punting seasoned veterans McDonald, Packman and Wilson on Saturday afternoon to the tune of $17.55. At least he was smiling. (Or perhaps that was the NZ cricket shirt he'd received from his new favourite Stag.)
Marcus' favourite Stag, Flynn, puts in a determined effort in the second dig.
Needless to say - much improvement is necessary on the field. Of prime importance is the rediscovery of the side's famed out enthuse mentality, disturbingly AWOL at key times during the first two outings. Couple this with the required application and selfishness ' as demonstrated by Skipper Casson (39*) and 'Errol' Flynn (30*) in warding off any hint of an outright result ' and the Stags will be well on the way to ending the season's duck.
BG (Final clich' count = 10- 12)
1st Grade go down fighting in the last over
Well another season starting at the home of cricket, Chatswood, and the same dramas with the covers and everyone putting their 2 cents worth in but nothing getting done. Fortunately it was done in time for our bright and early warm up at 8:30am, which I am pretty sure none of the lads have seen since last season.
Casson and Eccles start the season in style
The wicket was in amazing condition and the outfield a little bumpy, with the rugby union chewing it up from their season, but didn't really matter when playing on the wicket closest to the railway line. I thought it was always going to be a tough side to defend when it came to our time to bowl, so when we won the toss we took the opportunity to have a bat.
Looking at the conditions we thought no less than 250 would be acceptable but 300 was definitely possible, especially with the flying start Cam Eccles(36) got off to. The boys were all excited to see our new recruit from NZ, Daniel Flynn, get the opportunity to stroke a few around. Unfortunately it wasn't the case for Daniel. Cricket gods can be very harsh sometimes, but I am sure another couple of games for us and his class will rise to the top. James Packman came out and kept the score board ticking over with a number cover drives to the boundary.
Chad Soper comes on in leaps and bounds
The Stags were starting to mount a big score with three good partnerships (Editor's note ' the author made solid contributions to all three of these with 90 odd runs) and then Reece Bombas(49no) looked like he has been playing cricket all year round, with not one ball missing the middle of the bat. Not bad for a guy that said he isn't happy with the way he's hitting them on Thursday night training' must have been taking the mickey.
All the boys that had a bat on the showed great signs particularly the urgency showed between the wickets. Ben Garratt was exceptional in this area which helped the stags reach 295.
At the start of our bowling, we were aware that we need to bowl very well, especially with a small boundary one side which was going to make it difficult to defend. Our openers Julian and Dylan bowled well and got us off to a reasonable start in the first 10 overs. Then came the introduction of our youngest player and exciting prospect Chad Soper, who got the initial breakthrough for us.
And even more extraordinary was the dismissal. Caught at third man to a flying Dylan Connell. Yes, that wasn't a typo. A flying Dylan Connell. And as he dusted himself up off the deck, he got up with no nonsense and looked at the boys as if to say what do you expect. Not that Dyl! Not from you mate!
Can we believe that this has been caught on film? Garratt bowling?
Blacktown had a couple of big wickets which we knew were crucial to us, but they continued to mount good partnerships and did not lose multiple wickets at a time. With Paul Maraziotis and their own new NZ recruit, Tim McIntosh, playing well, we struggled to defend our total. There were some good signs, with Chad testing himself against good players and will learn heaps from game. Brendan McDonald I felt also bowled well without the results he deserved. But both our fast men Julian Stephenson (1/43) and Dylan Connell were brilliant with both bowling exceptionally in the power plays. They are something as a side we will have to keep trying to improve on. But the big feller Dylan (3/36) led from the front and did a fantastic job.
Back at home again this week against Bankstown, in two day cricket, and we are extremely keen to turn the result around and get that 1st win on board to kickstart our campaign.