First Grade Report vs Parramatta
|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.