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First Grade Match Reports 2015/16

First Grade plays for the Belvedere Cup and all grade points go to the Club Championship total, including the one-dayers and Twenty20 matches. 

There are three separate finals series for First Grade, with the Twenty20 and One-Day competitions having separate finals series to the Belvedere Cup (longer form of the game).

First Grade match reports for 2015/16 season are provided below: 

 

 

1st Grade vs Bankstown - Round 13 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Bankstown - Round 13 - 2015/16

1st Grade returned to Chatswood knowing that a win against the top ranked Bankstown would put us on course for a finals berth. Spirits were high on the back of an undefeated run since Christmas, a successful Coast Night and a vivid memories of Tym Crawford’s direct hit run-out of Josh Poysden the week before. 

It was a strong performance by Cam Eccles at the top of the innings, who must worry why he goes through opening partners so frequently! 

Skipper Steve Colley, as he has become accustomed to throughout this season, walked out to toss without a coin and presented the opposition captain with a free-choice decision to bat or bowl first. He chose to bowl, for beneath them was a slightly tacky and greenish pitch.

Cam Eccles strode out to the middle with his umpteenth opening partner for the season; this time it was Jack Colley who would bravely front the new ball. 

Tym Crawford plays strongly off the back foot, combining well with Cam Eccles after the skipper set a solid foundation 

Both were leaving the ball well before Jack intercepted a delivery with his elbow and deflected it quite skilfully onto the stumps.

That brought brother Steve to the crease who continued on from his form in recent weeks and stroked boundary after boundary all around the ground. 

The bowlers failed to capitalise on the early assistance offered by the pitch, as Steve and Cam were particularly punishing on anything a bit short. 

Steve Colley, 1st Grade's skipper, continues the trend of strong back foot play. Were the Bulldogs bowling too short of a length? 

They rollicked along until lunch and beyond, before Steve was out hooking, caught at fine leg for 56. Their partnership of 109 set the tone for the innings and laid the platform for a substantial score. 

Don't bowl there. Cam Eccles sends the Dogs to all parts of Chatswood.

Three more strong partnerships helped us towards the coveted 400-mark: Cam and Tym added 58 before Cam was out in identical fashion to Steve for 93; Tym and Elliot Richtor put on 75; and Tym and Reece Bombas contributed 77.

Marcus and Dan leave the field a happy pair at the end of Day 1

Elliot and Reece continued on their strong form, but it was Tym who was the standout of the innings, compiling an extremely composed and punishing 128 off 155 balls. The innings finished in the last over of the day at 8/385, slightly lower than our teatime aspirations but certainly enough if we bowled well on Day 2.

The first session of Day 2 was one of the most dramatic sessions that I have been involved in. A delayed start, 21 overs, 6 wickets, 4 dropped catches, a 45 minute rain delay, and over 100 runs were scored.

It was a game of 'Go Fetch' that Crawford had going with the Dogs 

Charlie Stobo celebrated his well-deserved call-up to the NSW 2nd XI team with his best bowling display of the season. 

Charlie Stobo has been in career best form of late 

He took a sensational 6/49 off 15 unchanged overs including a match turning 3 wickets in 4 balls to reduce Bankstown to 3/57 after a rollicking start led by English pro Mark Stoneman. 

After a slight consolidation and short rain delay, the madness continued, with Bankstown losing another 3 wickets for 0 runs to have them 6/109 at lunch, Stobo with 5 wickets and a catch. He was ably supported by Dan Smith and James Kennedy, who both appear to be finding their best form at this critical stage of the season.

The many aspects of Stobo's successful day at the crease. 6 wickets! 

After lunch the runs kept flowing and the wickets kept tumbling. Before too long the competition leaders were bundled out for 198 with more than 50 overs still to play. 

James Kennedy proved a great understudy to Charlie Stobo on this occasion. He's beginning to hit his straps - just at the right time of the season. 

The second innings was a less eventful affair. Despite some spectacular strokeplay from Stoneman, the Bankstown boys plodded along without too much urgency or difficulty. 

It was agreed that Charlie would not bowl in this innings to make it a fairer contest between bat and ball.

This gave a good opportunity for Dan, JK and Chad Soper to get some more overs under their belts. Although they did so without much success (though Dan did pick up three wickets to make up for the four catches dropped off his bowling in the first innings), they bowled tirelessly in difficult conditions and, later, with little to play for. 

It makes a huge difference when your fast bowlers can field well - James Kennedy is one of those! 

Tym, Elliot and last week’s partnership-breaker Reece also rolled their arms over, and even Steve tried out his right-arm hand grenades. Bankstown cruised to 3/203 off 45 overs when stumps was finally called. 

It was an unbefitting end to a dominant weekend performance by the Stags. 

Newman swallows another edge from Stobo as the boys get around him in celebration 

We now sit in 6th position and hope to win the final two games to consolidate our spot in the top 6. From there, who knows!

Max Newman

1st Grade vs Sydney University - Round 10 - Day 2 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Sydney University - Round 10 - Day 2 - 2015/16

After having a slow week as described by our fearless leader, I was very keen to take the remaining points on offer against the strengthened batting line-up of Sydney Uni after we humbled them on the first day. 

Dan Smith looked forward to the evening where he could "Netflix and Chill" with the recent bachelor 

The groundsman must have found some extra funds in the coffers at Syd Uni and was able to purchase a new mower that could cut down to 1mm compared to the 5mm he left on there on the first week. A reverse on what we saw at Easts.

We got the game underway and the pace of the batting did not get out of 1st gear. The much missed Tjaard Tait was particularly impressed with the ‘Dents’ batting and is contemplating returning the Sydney to play for them if this type of batting behaviour continues. 

Cowen was the only batsmen to get a few shots away much to the dismay of the crowd with shouts of ‘rein it in buddy’ and ‘who do you think you are’ (maybe I imagined these shouts not sure, boring cricket was had all day).

JK who bowled very well for a guy in the brink of a long term relationship and many Messina dates during the week. Rumour has it that he will no longer be participating in any more post game drinks and lunch will comprise of bread sandwiches as he is saving to buy Bae the Range Rover/Country club membership she desperately wants.

Permission granted - James Kennedy was allowed on the field by his Bae and made the most of it 

All the bowlers continued their great lines and length bowling without much luck, always probing and asking questions of the batters. The partnership of Charlie Stobo and Dan Smith is really building and I think buoyed by the fact ‘DS’ doesn’t need to go searching for a girlfriend anymore and can just “Netflix and Chill” with the recent bachelor (too soon??).

Tym also toiled with the ball for no luck always searching for number 3 for the week. 

Tym Crawford continues to provide great support for the opening quicks 

After getting snubbed for a Oscar nomination Wilbur decided not to really participate in the game, rolled his arm over a couple of times but could be heard muttering “it’s not fair” and “it was only a kiss” in between texting his agent at point. Els didn’t take his seat belt off on Saturday. 

So to recap we beat Uni comprehensively on the first day.

After the day’s play JK, after getting the all clear from Bae, and I watched 5s pull off a miraculous victory down the road. What an effort from the boys as they chased down 99 in 15 overs after waiting around all day.

Great effort from new recruit David Spies (can drink aggressively so get around him) and the former Duke for getting his 3rd wicket for the season.

Cam Eccles

1st Grade vs Sydney University - Round 10 - Day 1 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Sydney University - Round 10 - Day 1 - 2015/16

After a couple of days of heavy rain the Stags were greeted at Sydney Uni’s No. 1 ground with lush outfield and a good covering of grass on the wicket that had all the fast bowlers licking their lips.

Charlie Stobo has been in a purple patch of recent times - another 4 wickets in this match 

With the camera crew for “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” looking to start the filming of the new series in the outfield, the Stags began our day with an intense warm up aided by the little pocket rocket Iain “bevans” Beverley.

It’s great to see the club legend looking fit as ever and sharing stories of his ‘Merica exploits. Full twist please. 

Dan Smith, James Kennedy and Tym Crawford assist Stobo with wickets 

We were also buoyed by the fact that Larkin and Cowen were out as the Sixers required them to be fresh for running the drinks later that night. CA could certainly look at sorting this out - professional cricketers not playing cricket. If Pattinson wants to bowl rapid and yell at batsmen then let him. 

Charlie Stobo shows great form in this shot 

Although perhaps I might just be spending too much time with Sparky.

With thigh pad and left leg guard on ready to take down the ‘Dents opening bowling attack, I hear from the messenger that we had actually won the toss and we are bowling. My immediate reaction was to send him back to make sure as there was no possible way our skipper won a toss.

More action shots of Crawford and Stobo. Great seam position! 

To my surprise we were bowling (finally use the double sided coin I’ve been advocating).

What happened next was described as “surreal ” by some pundits (well... one pundit - Steve Colley at 5:45pm). 

Later in the day, author Eccles was equally in great form 

Dan ‘DS’ Smith and Charlie Stobo went straight through their top order; Stobs was particular devastating removing Mail and Max ‘Carters’ Newman by bowling deceptively straight deliveries. 

Unfortunately Charlie was fined 50% of his match fee and possible looming suspension after the match referee deemed his LBW appeals didn’t actually contain any appeal as he just ran down the wicket screaming with one arm aloft “on your bike son, that’s plumb champ” (this may or may not have been a direct quote). 

Head down, WIll Smith makes his mark at the top of the innings 

The rest of the ‘Dents innings is easier to describe with quotes from around the ground.

“Oh was that Carters” (Steve Colley at 10:45am)

“Just 4 more days in Cairns” (Cam Eccles at 9:24am, then every 5-10 mins afterwards)

“I’ve got enough on that” (Tim Ley, moments before Dan Smith swallowed the catch)

“If you didn’t take 4 wickets Charlie, then someone else would have had to take those 4 wickets to bowl them out” (Michael Owen)

Colley has complete faith in the men around him. Yours gents!

Jack Colley receives some attention from Marcus as the boys leave the field 

Crawford gets one to fly - and Richtor does the rest 

Anyway they were bowled out for 69 (dinner for two) in 31.2 overs. Charlie 4, DS 3, Tym Crawford 2 ‘JK’ Kennedy 1.

Plenty of cricket left in the day.

Max Newman takes one above his head 

After a quick lunch break where Charlie told us how he is a “global influence” as he is being followed on Instagram by a friend of an uncle’s cousin that lives in a small igloo in the Sahara desert (we get it mate, you’re taking wickets), we went about putting this game to bed. 

After losing the early wicket of Reece Bombas (don’t tell Lenny I bought a jet ski) to a peach of a delivery, Will and myself went about our business of taking the game away from the Students. 

The partnership consisted of some absolutely glorious shots down the ground for 0 runs as the outfield must have grown even longer over the lunchtime interval.

Great report Eccles. And a handy 76 as well. 

The partnership of 113 really set the tone for the rest of the day and set up the later session for the lower order to swing from the hip and gift Sommerville 6 wickets. 

Stags finished the day 9/216, Eccles 76, Will 'Mike Lowrey 57' Smith, Richtor 34.

Bring on day two.

Cam Eccles

1st Grade vs Manly - Round 8 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Manly - Round 8 - 2015/16

2-1. Enough said. The onions dominated again. 

The wicket had a generous covering of grass, but was still hard underneath, so it was difficult to determine just how much assistance the bowlers would get. 

Rare that a week goes past without a comment on Stobo's impressive bowling 

Nevertheless, it was a wicket that we would have preferred to bowl on first, but we lost the toss and were sent in to bat. 

While the odd ball moved off the seam or shot through to the keeper, the pitch actually played a lot better than it looked, and a par score of 250+ was no doubt on the cards. 

Unfortunately, it was not to be, as we lost early wickets to tight bowling. The middle order then went about resurrecting the innings. 

Dan Smith, the hound, tries to run though the Manly innings 

Steve Colley played very positively, particularly straight down the ground, while Jack Colley continued his run of good form with a quick-fire 35 before kicking one. 

Sadly, the tail wasn’t able to wag again and we were eventually bundled out for 142 runs in the 35th over. 

Charlie “JD” Stobo started things up with the wind at his back and straight away settled into a perfect line and length. He maintained the pressure well, but unfortunately received little to no support from the other bowlers. Stobes was eventually rewarded with the wicket of Crosthwaite to a good catch by Steve Colley at second slip. It was a bittersweet feeling seeing the back of Crosthwaite given the mediocrity of his play and chat. 

With the score at 68, Stobo then picked up the wicket of Lenton who played a very good knock for Manly. Or maybe his knock just looked better when compared to his partner up the other end. 

Steve Colley is caught short of his ground

With the exception of getting pulled for six by Sammut, Stobo has been flawless so far this season. He’s always done the job required of him and always finds a way to keep going, possibly because he’s popped more painkillers this season than Digby popped pills at Yass. 

Will Smith then applied his trade from the other end but was unable to get the breakthrough we desperately needed. To that end, Will’s bowling has been excellent so far this season, and while he may not have taken the number of wickets he deserves, his ability to build pressure and bowl to a plan has been invaluable. 

Manly eventually passed our score three wickets down. 

And so we move into the Christmas break. It couldn’t have come at a better time for us. 

From a batting perspective, we need to be more consistent. This means showing a lot more fight when things get tough. There’s no point chasing down 350 against Randy Pete’s, only to get rolled the following week by Easts on a flatty, and then bat out the day against Penrith on a tricky wicket, and then follow it up with a mediocre performance against Manly. 

The fact that Sammut has scored more first-grade centuries than most of our top 6 this season is proof of what you can do if you’re just willing to stick it out during the tough periods.

The reality is that there is no better time to be a first-grade batsman in Sydney than right now. If 350 is a par score on normal sized grounds these days, then our top 6 should all be averaging close to 50. 

The skipper's 60 was the only thing to write home about 

From a bowling perspective, the same thing goes. Too often we’ve started well with the ball, only to let things slip when things get a little tough. You can’t win games without taking ten wickets (or at the very least creating ten opportunities), and we’ve only managed this twice this season (one of which on the last ball of the day). 

We are one of the better bowling attacks going around and we should be confident in our ability to bowl six balls in the right place, and to defend any total. 

In short, our willingness to accept mediocrity must change if we’re going to be any chance of playing finals cricket come March. 

A wise man once told me that if you were able to believe in Santa for eight years, you can believe in yourself for five seconds. It’s time to start believing and show a lot more fight when we regroup next year. We have the team to win the comp this season. 

Texas Forever,

Dan Smith 

1st Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

I’m pretty sure preparation is of paramount importance in any sport, at any level. I used to play with a quite extraordinary character called Phil Mustard, who kept wicket for Durham. 

Upon scoring one of the most ridiculous centuries against Sussex and Mushtaq Ahmed in his prime, the coach at the time – and now championship double-winning Yorkshire director-of-cricket Martyn Moxon – explicitly told him to remember his preparation and repeat it exactly. 

Cam Eccles launches one onto the veladrome 

His night before had involved one of Brighton’s most ‘classy’ nightclubs and a ‘foam party’ until 5am. Phil didn’t need telling twice.

Well, in light of Gordon 1st Grade’s exceptional one-day win over St George, I shall be flying to Cairns (in fact I might already be there as you read this) and attempting to ‘aggressively drink’, contract a throat infection, while it rains incessantly for 3 days. Let me elaborate…

Two of the star performers in the win were undoubtedly Cam Eccles with an in-the-beginning-watchful-but-by-the-end-brutal 135, and James Kennedy with a skilful 3 for 42 in addition to a swooping run-out from the outfield to run out their English pro (they’re no good anyway…)

Crawford nurdles one here... is that a fair description?

Cam and James were part of what will become known as the ‘Cairns massive’ as whatever went on up there on their festive trip, they came back with huge smiles on their faces, ready to hit the ground running in 2016.

The other star performer was Tym Crawford with a tone-setting 79 from just 67 balls, which having been inserted, (win a toss please Steve, how hard?), was just what was needed to knock the St George bowlers off their plans and rhythm. 

He also contributed a disciplined 10 overs, taking 1 for 49, just when the St George batsmen were looking dangerous. Tym spent most of the festive period laid low with aforementioned throat bug.

Smith pulls out the hook shot in search of runs 

And as for the incessant rain, well those of you who were in Sydney last week will know what I mean, and therefore how little appropriate practice was possible.

It was clear when we turned up that everything would be in favour of the team batting second. It seems as if Hurstville Oval is set up for chasing anyhow, given the relative dimensions of some of the boundaries, but the tacky early nature of the wicket served to enhance the crucial nature of the toss.

Steve Colley – pugnacious young talented batsman, great fielder, positive and instinctive but considered captain in the field, all-round nice guy…horrendous tosser.

However, having been inserted, Tym and Cam set about putting together a partnership which turned the game from 30:70 in St George’s favour before a ball was even bowled to just about 50:50 when Tym departed with the score at 1/122 from around 25 overs. 

Crawford and Smith formed fruitful partnerships with Eccles 

From that point onwards, the efforts of everyone gradually ensured that the momentum gained from their opening partnership was not squandered.

I/Will/Jiggy/Wilbur (not sure how to refer to myself in these reports?!) managed to knock the ball around with Cam for around a run-a-ball 55 in a partnership of 132, while Cam received full toss after full toss from their spinners. He duly deposited them over the rope, something which I definitely wouldn’t have done so I shan’t bemoan my luck that he kept receiving full bungers…

At 2/254 with just under 8 overs to go, it was left to Jack Colley to swing himself of his feet a few times for 19 not out, and Steve to ramp his first ball and the penultimate ball of the innings for four. Without doubt this had little to do with Steve, it was Charlie Stobo ordering him to do as such as he left the pavilion. Maybe Stobes should be designated tosser…?

Clearly looking to get that one fine, Will Smith punishes the St George bowlers 

At halfway we were definitely above par on 3/308, but we knew we had to be as conditions were favouring the batsmen more as the day went on. So a good start with the ball was imperative. 

Their captain McCabe is no doubt a dangerous player, but seemingly quite one-dimensional in terms of his scoring areas – cow. That said, he was beginning to look dangerous until Dan Smith enforced a miscue into the safe hands of JK.

Eccles scores freely all around the ground 

With him and his opening partner Cazzulino back in the shed at 2/100, we had taken a definite step towards closing out the game. However, the bowling from all four seamers was exemplary throughout the innings, and kept our foot firmly on the Saints' throats.

Dan Smith secured the key wicket, Stobes bowled as well as ever and went at 3’s (which is fine in the context of the game but he should be ashamed with himself as I’m sure he never goes at more than 2’s.) 

A century in a winning side is always fondly remembered. Cam Eccles will remember this one well.

While JK was full of Cairns Mojo, and his skills with the ball were, I’m sure, a reflection of his off-field skills up in the Northern Territory. 

And Tym, no doubt buoyed by the news that his best mate Adam Crosthwaite had fallen for a golden duck in Manly’s game, shrugged off his ailment and bowled ten very disciplined overs. 

Oh, and I snuck in with two burgled wickets also, could have been three but hey ho….cheers Reece.

All in all, a great way to start 2016. ‘It’s off to Mereweather/Cairns at the finish of play…’

Will Smith 

1st Grade vs Penrith - Round 7 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Penrith - Round 7 - 2015/16

Coming off a disappointing loss the week before, Gordon 1s were determined to put in a significantly improved performance against our Penrith opponents. 

At the skipper’s behest, we’d all committed extra efforts at training during the week to ensure that we arrived more prepared on Saturday than we had been the week before.

Will Smith's preparation certainly paid off. Ton up son! 

The bowlers in particular had worked hard and were looking in great shape. They had presumably arrived at the ground the reasonable presumption that Steve would again lose the toss and we’d be in the field first. 

To everyone’s great surprise the skipper flipped successfully, forcing us to change out of our pre-emptively applied whites and offer unreciprocated throwdowns to Reece Bombas.

‘Bomba’ Bombas and Cam Eccles both started strongly, moving the score on to 37 before both fell in consecutive deliveries just before the drinks break. 

Jack Colley, inspired by his brother and Will, makes 73 from 79 

Will Smith and Steve Colley then built a strong partnership to take us to lunch. 

The wicket was not your traditional Chatty Flatty. It offered a bit of movement off the seam and the Station End ridge was exploited to good effect by one of their opening bowlers.

Steve fell not long into the second session and Tym Crawford – duly supported by brother Myke – was adjudged LBW shortly afterwards to leave us in a precarious position at 4/125. 

That brought Jack Colley to the crease for his first bat in 1st Grade this season, fresh off a match-winning hundred in 2nd Grade the week before. He looked composed and solid from the outset, and combined for a brilliant partnership with Will who was gradually accumulating at the other end. 

Jack displays his strength down the ground 

The pair put on 123 together with Jack contributing 73 from 79 balls in easily his highest score in the premier grade. Not long after Jack’s dismissal in the final session, Will moved along to his 100, although he did his best to run Chad Soper out for a diamond duck in doing so. 

Will is now averaging 79 this season and has been an invaluable addition to the team, not just in terms of the runs he has contributed but the quality and experience he has shown provides a point of reference to all Gordon cricketers who are seeking to improve their game.

All around the ground Will found runs. A hard man to pin down when he gets started. 

With the score at 262 when Will holed out, and still 25 over left in the day, the team was hoping to push on to a score of 320-340 by the close of play. However, the tail struggled to get going against some steady bowling and we finished the day at 8/308. 

And wasn't the crowd appreciative... of Adair's wines. Surely these guys could play as a 7th Grade side next year.

Whether we were to bat on the following week remained to be seen, but whatever the score, the team should have taken confidence from the atypical Day 1 pitch in our quest for 10 wickets!

Spoiler alert - we batted on in the search for some extra runs on Day 2, as the pitch seemed flat enough to negate any early morning advantage. 

12 runs were added in 3 overs before the final two wickets fell. Chad Soper finished 31*.

The run chase began in eventful fashion. John DiBartolo lived up to his reputation by blasting a four and a six in the first over, but was also dropped and played and missed twice. 

Another classic Colley pose 

Dan Smith got his man in his next over, Tym Crawford seemingly stopped time itself to hang up in the air for several minutes before claiming the overhead catch at point.

Tym’s effort was the first of three brilliant catches in the first session. First Tym, then Charlie Stobo with his left bucket at 3rd slip and Cam Eccels with his more reasonably sized left hand at gully removed danger men DiBartolo, Kohler-Cadmore and Morrissey respectively. 

We could be excused for believing that we were on to something special today, as tight bowling backed up by excellent fielding and sensational catching had restricted them to 3/53 off 24 overs in the first session.

Dan Smith is really finding a rhythm with his bowling 

But it was not to be. We proceeded to drop five slip catches for the day, including one bloke on three occasions before he reached 20. He would go on to make an unbeaten hundred.

The bowling gradually deteriorated as the day wore on. Smith and Stobo continued their consistent form, bowling tightly and with enough movement to make the batsmen second-guess their strokeplay. 

Charlies' Buckets' Stobo and Chad Soper probe away at the Penrith bats 

The biggest positive of the day was a resurgent James Kennedy, who looks to be inching his way back to his best after a frustrating and interrupted start to the season. His second spell in the middle session was excellent, and was unlucky not to pick up several wickets as there were innumerable plays and misses and a dropped catch.

Newman with a safe pair of hands behind the stumps 

We struggled to bowl consistent lines in the last session, and some good partnerships for the 6th and 7th wicket got Penrith over the line with about 10 overs left in the day.

We can lament the fact that we failed to score enough runs in the last session on Day 1, having been set up to do so by a brilliant partnership from Will Smith and Jack Colley.

Tell your story walking son! Smith has rewarded with a Penrith pole 

But given the game was played on our terms for the majority of day 2, and Penrith needed to double their score in the last session with only half their wickets in hand, we should have won regardless. 

The bowlers created enough chances to take 10 wickets, and the fielders should have given them greater support. Instead they tired in the final session and we let Penrith get away. 

Will Smith and Tym Crawford are given an opportunity with the ball 

We will need a much improved performance to beat an arguably stronger side away at Manly next week.

Max Newman

1st Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - Day 2 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - Day 2 - 2015/16

Again greeted by hordes of Eastern Suburbs Milo Cricketers, the Stags arrived at Waverley Oval only to see a green looking wicket with substantially more grass than the week before. 

Although reassured by the groundsman that the grass was cut to 6mm all over, I think I would have struggled to cut through it with a whipper snipper. 

Will Smith makes a stand in the second dig - but a little too late for the side 

Regardless, while the grass coverage had definitely increased, we were confident and later shown that the wicket was still hard and definitely not the deciding factor in our poor batting performance.

Importantly, the Onions started off well in the warm up football competition, with solid defence and fluent passing across the back 4 – a vast improvement from the week before. Speed on the wings also helped as we snagged 3 easy goals to seal the victory.

Eccles and Bombas arrived at the crease with a full day ahead, and a score of 346 was definitely not out of the question for us to chase. As stated in the change room before play, one big partnership and another smaller one would see us most of the way there. Eccles departed early with the score on 21, and W. Smith began settling in against the Easts pace attack. 

Bombas was stumped for 22, leaving Captain Colley to set about steadying the ship with Smith. W. Smith batted nicely and looked comfortable before he chopped on for 35, and Axel fell a ball later before time was called for lunch. 

A disappointing session, and we would have to work extremely hard from now on in.

The skipper has a stronger showing in the second dig 

Disappointingly, wickets continued to fall as a combination of poor shot selection and good bowling saw Soper, Smith and Newman fall for 1, 4 and 0 respectively. JK managed a solid cameo of 20 – ably supporting Crawford who was in his 40s. JK fell, and Crawford got bowled trying to salvage as many runs as he could for a solid 54. All out for 173. Not good.

Having been sent in again, the Stags were 2-77 before stumps were pulled. W.Smith not out on 34 and Captain Colley at the other end on 26.

In all, a disappointing day considering our previous success in chasing down 350. 

Credit due, Easts bowled tightly and well enough to restrict runs, but I think our lack of grit and dogmatism was the real theme for the day. Although there were some patches of good batting reminiscent of our Randwick chase, wickets were lost in clumps and fell at important times. 

Snapped! Caught... well bowled in fact. Great camerawork to capture this moment Will Smith was removed 

However, our focus now shifts forward to next week, where we aim to exercise our talents in the right fashion. Preparation during the week is key, and we have plenty to work on in order to take on Penrith at Chatswood before getting back to the Orchard for the Xmas Party straight afterwards!

Bombas promises to talk to any lower grader.

Charles Stobo

1st Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - Day 1 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - Day 1 - 2015/16

The Stags were greeted by thousands of Easts Junior Milo cricketers at Waverley Oval on Day 1. Just after 9.15, their parents in Range Rovers had picked up the horde of Eastern suburbs infants and the warm up game of football commenced. 

It seems this week's author features heavily in the photos 

I was supremely confident beforehand that the bowlers (Onions) could string some passes together and echo Barcelona FC’s recent success against Real Madrid. The Onions are a solid team when they apply themselves and play in shape, yet at times we seem too eager to release the ball up the middle, and often panic when pressured by the uneducated and unprofessional babble which is the top 5. 

I guess it makes sense when Charles Stobo takes four Easts wickets

However, a strong first quarter from the Onions had no impact on the result of the game as the top 5 scored 3 ugly goals against the run of play to seal the win. Very disappointing from the Onions but I am confident we will turn the tables next week…

Dan Smith is in a rich vein of form, taking 5 wickets on Day 1 

Now to the second most important match of the day. 

After losing another toss, Steve informed us we would be bowling on a surprisingly green, yet deceptively flat pitch. Early drizzle set in as we started, which aided the efforts of the two best looking opening bowlers in Sydney Grade Cricket – D.Smith and Stobo. 

Smith had the better of the ends; as Stobo had to put on the afterburners just to get to the crease against the howling wind. 

Smith bends his back when claiming two early 

Both bowlers claimed 2 early scalps: Smith had Moran LBW and Stobo even managed to snick off Nic Maddinson with an absolute pearl of a delivery (in reality a very slow short ball that was smashed straight to Tym at mid wicket… Nic who…?). 

Either way, with Easts 4-50 odd, things were looking good for the Stags.

However, as Maddinson and Moran departed, so did the life in the wicket. A solid partnership formed when the score had passed 100, and the Onions struggled to find a breakthrough. W.Smith bowled nicely from one end, while Kennedy managed to keep it tight and even find some bounce out of the deteriorating wicket. 

The slips are ready for Smith to snick off 

Our focus shifted from attacking the stumps to bowling dots, hoping that a mistake would arise. Nevertheless, the two middle order bats put their head down and the score soon passed 280 before D.Smith struck once again. 

The Eastern Suburbs tail managed to smash a few boundaries after Captain Colley took the new ball, and the score blew out to 340ish before there the remaining wickets were taken by D.Smith, including a run out. 

Yes Danny Boy! Another Dolphin is sent back to Bondi Beach 

An unbeaten ton and one substantial partnership are all that stopped the Stags from completing a really successful day in the field and the possibility of batting in the last session. 

Nevertheless, the score of 350 does not do our bowling efforts justice, as each bowler kept their lines tight throughout the day.

Special mention must go to Axel Cahlin, as he is a really good bloke and good player. He plays spin well, and also pace. He is great on the front foot, and also the back foot.

Charles Stobo

Ok - So here is one more of Charles taking a catch. Protect those elbows! 
1st Grade vs Blacktown - Round 5 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Blacktown - Round 5 - 2015/16

Match abandoned after Gordon batted first and made 1/37 on Day 2 before the rain came down again. No match report submitted.

1st Grade vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 4 - Day 2 - 2015/16

1st Grade vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 4 - Day 2 - 2015/16

Well well well what can I say? If your following on from my report from the first week or if this is your first glance at the game against Randy Petes in the top grade, then I recommend you take a peek at my final words from the first week report. 

Reece Bombas looks dominant out in the centre at Petersham Oval

Actions may speak louder than words but words can create something special and this reporter witnessed this first hand during a remarkable chase by the Stags.

Gordon began with the recently formed partnership of Eccles and Bombas at the top of the order looking comfortable against the new ball before Cam was unfortunately out to a ball that the umpire believed would be skidding onto the stumps with the score on 23.

Enter the man with more nicknames than cricket bats, Will Smith. 

Will "more nicknames than Eccles' instagram photos" Smith makes a big contribution to his side's run chase 

Wilbur joined Reece and together they took the score to 87 at lunch with both looking very calm and collected with Reece in particular showing us his trademark front foot drives. 

After some lunch and a coffee excursion for the younger "Onions"; Stobo, Smith and Soper, the 'Fresh Prince' and Bombas took the score further to 182 with both batsmen beginning to look like finishing the game off by tea time unbeaten. 

Will Smith is hard to contain - scoring freely all around the ground 

Unfortunately before Reece could bring up a well deserved century he decided to use the edge of his bat for the first time of his innings and only managed to guide the ball to the safe hands of the first slip and was out for a very dominant 91. 

This one from Reece was guided down the ground - effortlessly 

Imagine the scores this man could produce if he got to choose where he wants to bat in the order! One can only think that Reece, being the great delegator he is, only thought it fair to delegate a century to his partner in runs, Will "I Am" Smith. 

The skipper Colley joined William "Wallace", who continued to fight hard for our freedom with a 'brave hearted' innings and together they added a further 104 in 88 minutes which inevitable took the game away from the Randwick boys. 

According to the "Bombas Bureau of Meterology, a threat of heavy storms lingered, which obviously fueled Colley's aggression to score with brute force which proved to be a great contribution and foil for Smithers at the other end to work the ball around and edge toward three figures. 

Steve Colley displays his strong frame and technique 

Colley fell for a powerful 62 with the score at 286 with Crawford coming in with 60 runs still required with 11 overs in the day remaining. 

Dan Smith and Charlie Stobo watch the batsmen do their jobs out in the middle.
... while Marcus defects his alligence from one Smith to the other 

The keeper Newman obviously had something to do with the weather patterns and relayed the message to Will "son!" and Crawford that the rain would arrive in 8 overs time. 

Tym Crawford assists Will "Hancock" Smith in the final stages of the chase, making 35* at the end of the day 

Crawford and "Hancock" then proceeded to add 56 runs faster than it took Eccles to decide on an appropriate caption for his latest Instagram photo, with the latter bringing up a gritty and defiant century to demonstrate his maturity and class that we have been blessed to receive for the season. 

Will was dismissed four runs short of the win for a 131 and the game finished moments later, with Tym blasting a sixth boundary in his 35* off 27 balls to bring the top graders to three wins on the trot and another victory song!!

So there it is, you have read about it, the Stags chased down a large total away from home with the top order displaying their potential to bat the day with patience and intent. 

The local Petersham flora - reproduced entirely without Cam Eccles consent! #hashstags 

Bring on next week! A new challenge and an opportunity to be better!

Gordon 5-346 (Will Smith 131, Reece Bombas 91, Steve Colley 62, Tym Crawford 35*) defeated Randwick-Petersham 6 dec 345) on the first innings. 

Chad Soper


 

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