The fourth grade team plays for the Reid Cup. All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and young higher grade aspirants.
Points for all wins go to the club championship.
For the Fourth grade schedule go to Fixtures
Fourth Grade match reports for 2012/13 season are provided below:
Ah, finals cricket. There’s nothing like it. The elder statesmen of the Stags 4th XI were keen to have the younger members of the team appreciate the significance of a finals berth and stressed the importance of cool heads, prolonged pressure and executing plans.
Charlie Bangs leads the attack against the Bulldogs
I think it’s fair to say that the intensity of the pressure was almost palpable at Graeme Thomas over this weekend against The Dogs.
A victory in the final round would have seen the Stags finish as Minor Premiers in the competition for the Reid Cup, however a loss saw us relegated to 4th. The effect of this was certainly felt during the 2 days at Graeme Thomas, as Skipper Lin won the toss on a flat deck and inserted the Dogs to have a bat. As we know, finishing 4th meant we had to take 10 Bankstown wickets and attempt to chase down a total. Things didn’t quite go to plan.
Bankstown’s intentions were clear from the outset. Play straight, no false strokes and value your wicket - a pretty good approach for any batsman. And they executed their plans extremely well.
The first session gave the Stags a great deal of encouragement with the new ball doing a bit and the pace quartet of Bangs, Skilbeck, Perry and Stickland settling into their work. With the score at 4-100 just after lunch things were evenly poised.
This is where things got tough for the Stags with possibly the best batting conditions this veteran has ever seen.
Jack Skillbeck, resplendent in Gordon colours, puts in a massive effort for his skipper
With some close decisions not going our way, including a heartbreaking runout decision in the final over, Gordon had toiled admirably for 110 or so overs and could be pleased with the score of 6-240 at stumps.
The skipper should be commended on his innovation and attempts to create a chance throughout the afternoon, including stripping off the keeping pads and having a roll himself. The expletives from Buono on the sideline were probably audible at Chatswood.
Sunday morning saw many stiff bodies but a positive and enthusiastic group reassemble. The importance of the first hour was highlighted and the amount of cricket left to play reiterated. This 4th grade side knows its capabilities and how to score quickly, so a run chase that most would find daunting would be exciting to the batsmen.
This notion was summarised perfectly by Shayne Lin to the slips cordon part way through the day when he said, and I quote “When God put me on this Earth, he said I’ve made you to do big run chases”.
Perhaps Shayne was getting into the Easter spirit a little early. Perhaps he thinks he’s Jesus. Perhaps the effects of heatstroke were starting to settle in.
"Terry" Ahmed tries to weave his magic
Some more consistent and quality bowling, particularly from young Jack Skilbeck, meant the Bakstown side had grafted to 9-350 with around 80 overs remaining in the day. The Stags were confident. Alas, a defining moment for the match with a very confident caught behind appeal being turned down broke the back of the tiring Stags, and the rest is history. Banstown declared at 9-510, with the number 9 scoring a quality hundred and number eleven 60 not out.
The efforts of all the bowlers must be acknowledged... they charged or strode in relentlessly and did a sterling job for the skipper in trying conditions. The best was Skilbeck, with a more than promising 4/103 (37).
The Stags decided to go about the rest of the day in the only way they know how... full throttle and to enjoy it. With some lusty hitting and great strokeplay, the Stags finished their season by scoring an entertaining 187 before succumbing to the heat, exhaustion and mammoth total before them. The best was Chris Retallick with a classy 50, which earns him a promotion to the 3rd Grade juggernaut this weekend in the semi-finals. Good Luck Retro.
Finally, on behalf of the 4th Grade team, I’d like to thank Buono, Hicko, Paul Stephenson, Harry Evans and Tom Bangs for their support at picturesque Bankstown over the weekend.
We thought we'd get a second photo of young Skillbeck, who is sure to feature strongly for the Stags
Also, very big thank you to the committee and the volunteers that work tirelessly behind the scenes to allow us to walk onto the cricket field each Saturday. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and we thoroughly appreciate them.
Please, come and join us at Chatswood on Saturday from 2pm and we’ll buy you a beer as we cheer on Howitt’s 3rd Graders.
The mighty fours had the final game of the season at Killara in a One vs Two showdown for the minor premiership against our neighbours Sydney.
Finally a week of sunshine and expecting a great deck for the decider the two sides were greeted with mud. An almighty debacle resulted in a ruined square.
A patient Nick Coleman puts on 31, but it wasn't enough to build a total to defend
At approximately 2pm the two captains were bored of waiting around and decided to give it go with hessian covering the mud patches on the wicket square.
The situation was 36 overs per side. Gordon lost the toss and were sent into bat. Not to much can be said about the batting which never fired due to some poor shot selections, some poor running and some good slow bowling by the opposition. A score of 110 was always going to be a tough ask to defend. The pick of the bats was Nick Coleman who managed to bat the majority of the innings for 31.
With the pitch doing a little bit and a slow outfield we knew we were in with a chance if we picked up some early wickets. That we did. Charlie Bangs bowled brilliantly and was well supported by Richardson and Stickland as we had Sydney in all sort at 4/24 of 14 overs. Unfortunately 12 of those runs were in wides!
Confidence was high at the drinks break but the game turned quickly with 3 poor overs and the game was out of reach.
In the end it was a disappointing result which leaves us in 4th place and without a home final. As the fourth graders do we will bounce back this weekend against the Bulldogs.
After the first week washout, Gordon was pumped and ready to gain 6 points against UNSW at the lush David Phillips North. Winning would not only guarantee Gordon a top 6 finish but also create great momentum coming into the semi-final season.
The days play looked encouraging due to both Captain Shayne Lin’s strategic warm-up and a great win of the toss (heads) allowing us the red cherry first.
Mitch Kleem celebrates his hundred and 5,000 runs for the club
Both the humid conditions and the slightly green pitch made it a great win by the captain.
The Stags started strongly from the very first ball, with Jack Skilbeck and Pat Effeney tying down the batsman at each end. Jack’s constant line and length gave three early wickets and gave the Stags the advantage going into the first drinks break.
Thanks to JOF’s ‘friendly’ communication to the batsman in the slips the Stags had their fourth wicket for the morning, thanks to Iqbal setting up the batsman for a stunning caught and bowled. Luckily Iqbal was perfecting his reflexes at training during the previous week.
At this stage UNSW were 4 wickets down for 54 runs and looking nervous in the sheds. Pat made the home side even more nervous with his extremely loud appeals and celebrations. Onlookers were saying it was louder than the 747 planes passing overhead.
Shayne Lin follows on with Mitch's agression
With Pat swinging the bowl both ways the UNSW batman had no hope, Pat ended up with a great 5-wicket hall and finishing up with stats of 5 for 50 off 19 overs.
Dan Stickland also bowled extremely well and was very unlucky not to pick up a few wickets thanks to some dropped catches in the outfield ##. Sorry Dan. He finished up with stats of 0 for 32 of 12 overs. UNSW ended up all out for 172
It was really thanks to Mitch Kleem who set up the victory for the Stags. His thrilling innings included 8 sixes and 8 fours including a sweep that went for six to bring up his triple figures. As you all know Mitch also achieved a great milestone reaching 5000 runs for Gordon over his career.
Thanks to Mitch’s amazing innings and a solid supporting role by Nick Coleman (26) the Stags were 0-135. When Mitch departed for 109 the Stags lost 4 wickets for 3 runs and we were starting to get nervous in the change room, even know the team only needed 40 runs. Thanks to Shayne’s big hitting making 18 off 5 balls the certain semi-final qualification was in sight. Anthony Sherman was next in and hit 5 classic shots for 4 and the game was over. The stags chased UNSW total down with 5 wickets to spare. A great win to put us in second place coming into the final round.
After a deluge of rain the previous week the Gordon fourth graders set their sights on victory in a 50 over match against Sutherland away. The side knew the Sharks would make tough opposition and after last year’s debacle on the same ground, we were keen to make amends.
Anthony Sherman returns to bowling duties for the side
Kleem made the 50 metre journey from 90 Milson Road Cremorne Point down to 56 to collect John O’Neil-Fuller, where he stayed the night at some Mediterranean bird’s place.
With solid navigation skills by yours truly we were able to arrive at Sutherland Oval 10 minutes early.
In the old days, in second grade, late offenders were usually fined 20 notes with all funds raised going to the JOFF benefit fund. Perennial late comers such as Blaize Irving Holiday wouldn’t have fared well. Skipper Shayne Lin (otherwise known as chicken legs) takes a particular disliking to the offence, however Blaize makes up for it other areas.
Proceedings started well with Dan Stickland striking early. Blaze at the other end tried valiantly at the other end but was not quite on target in his first spell. Iqbal Ahmed back bigger and better than ever was a new inclusion to the side after Jackeon started to lose it due to a recent bashing.
Iccky bowled some nice varieties of fruit early with some delicious waist high full tosses that the batsmen dispatched into the nearby Crematorium. The Sutherland Captain batted patiently for a well made hundred but our side knew a total of 5/244 to chase was very gettable.
Dan Stickland takes a couple of crucial wickets for the Stags
The other wicket takers were Blaize with 3/37 and Dan Stickland 2/29.
Our run chase didn’t start
well with Kleem out for one however Chris Retalick and Will Phillips steadied the ship with Will making 45 and Chris 29.
Kleem was given the privilege of acting square leg Umpire for several overs to relieve one of the umpires who happened to be passing stones. I remember this happened to Kramer in Seinfeld once which also was at a sporting facility too.
Whilst I umpired, four wickets fell and Jack Colley smashed a ball in my direction forcing me to dive out of the way. That was the highlight of my day.
Fortunately an excellent partnership from Shayne Lin and Anthony Sherman consolidated the innings with both hitting some lusty blows. Shayne managed 65 and Anthony 46.
Shayne was strangely given out for obstruction after he dug out a yorker and accidentally kicked the ball back to the bowler which, according to the officials, prevented a run out.
Pic Sherman is a far more familiar role, dispatching balls rather than delivering them
That is one to tell your grandchildren Shayne.
Mick Perry and Blaize were now at the crease with Mick hitting a magnificent four to finish off the game in the last over.
Well done to the stags and now bring on the Eels.
The Stags 4th Grade side arrived at a green Killara Oval for the 2 day fixture against the Lions in 6th place on the table and looking to consolidate that position with finals only a few weeks away.
Blaize Irving-Holliday backs up his sledging (perhaps of himself) with a wicket on the first ball of the match
Immediately the technique of folding the covers was a hot topic of debate given Ed Howard’s scathing criticism of the ‘Lin and Sherman regime” of previous weeks. Fortunately, the two culprits spent most of their energy showing their discontent at such criticism, and the covers were neatly and efficiently put away.
The pre-match talk from the skipper revolved around consolidating our position on the table with an emphasis on probing the finer aspects of our game (appropriate from an Asian skipper given Tim Mathieson’s recent comments). The importance of batting in partnerships to post big totals and bowling to plans was reiterated. To be fair, it’s something this 4th Grade side has done inconsistently this season.
Given an interesting looking deck which most thought would dry out as the day went on, the skipper’s plans were to bowl first and surely enough they came to fruition. Even though he lost the toss. A few eyebrows were raised. However, reassurance came in the sheds from the self-confidence of the man with the best name in grade cricket, Blaize Irving-Holiday.
Following in 'Reg' Livermore's steps, JOF plays it up for the cameras... who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks
Blaize is possibly the only fast bowler I’ve ever seen who prefers to sledge himself, rather than a batsman. He also assures us he only shows psychotic tendencies on the cricket field and is a happy drunk.
Maybe Taity can test his theory at Cargo one night. I don’t think many of the 4th Grade team would be willing.
He promised a bag full. He also promised to come up with better excuses for being half an hour late in the future. Flat tyres were out of fashion in round 2, 1986. Blaize did show potential to come through with the goods, with a wicket off the first ball of the match... the Stags were on top.
A constant fall of wickets saw the Lions stagger to 6-51 and then 9-114. The author is hesitant to mention the efforts of ‘Chilli’ Perry, who took 5 for, given his blatant disregard of the Australian flag proudly on display on Australia day. Please also note, Chilli, that if anyone in the 4th Grade side hears you mention ‘I definitely should be batting in front of Shayne’ again, we’ll lock you in the changerooms with Blaize and Mitch with beers for an hour and let you do your best to survive.
Mick "Chilli" Perry takes 5 wickets... but really just wants to bat ahead of Shayne Lin
Most bowled well, with the other figures of note a 3 for to James Kidd.
The tail wagged a little for the Lions to see them reach 151. A very gettable total given the road that Killara became in the afternoon. Another example of the skipper’s brilliant insight.
With news that the Stags were about to embark on a run-chase, and Mitch’s imminent 5000 run milestone, the Club’s hierarchy began to arrive in force. Then we realised 2nd Grade was washed out at Chatswood.
Mitch made small inroards towards his 5000th run, with a couple of defensive shots amongst big heaves to the leg side,and despite a little support from Jack Colley, the Stags found themselves in familiar dangerous territory at 4-101at stumps.
The post-match conversation is always interesting in this 4th Grade side. Following the first week it largely revolved around our courageous skipper’s heritage, and why there is not an abundance of Peking Duck available for tea. Or at least some fried rice. The skipper was also heard to say, upon explaining his background, that his grandfather is a very powerful man in China.
Mitch was heard to reply: “I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo”. Wrong country Mitch. One does Peking duck, one does panties out of vending machines.
Perhaps that explains Mitch’s confusion and enthusiasm.
The focus of the second week was to be disciplined in the run chase to gain first innings points, then evaluate our position and hope to push for the chance of an outright. Chiris Retallick, recently promoted in the order, and Anthony Sherman at the crease.
The lofted late cut over the top of gully... make famous by Pic and now part and parcel of the T20 scene
I remember the first time I met Pic.... playing for another club against Gordon in 2nd Grade, at Killara, about 12 years ago. Piccy dispatched us to all parts for about 210 in what was a masterclass in batting on the Killara Oval ground, with salient back foot drives and fluent leg side play, often over the fence. We had no answers.
On the 26th January 2013, quite appropriately one of Piccy’s favourite days of the year, he turned back the clock and stroked, caressed and bludgeoned 157 not out to not only guide us home to 6 points but post 300 of only 40-odd overs. It was nice to be on the other side of the fence this time around. I haven’t seen a spring in his step like that since the last time I was with him at T-2.
Shayne's mum admires her handywork
Piccy was ably supported by Retro, with a mature 70-odd, and the Stags had a lead of 150 with plenty of play left in the day.
With the best of intentions, we were unable to push for that killer blow that really dominant sides would in this position. Inconsistent bowling and a dropped catch saw only 2 wickets fall for the addition of a comfortable 100 runs for the Lions, and stumps were called. A solid win, with lots of positives. But, the awareness that we need to keep improving each week to be serious contenders.
Some peking duck would surely help.
The first game back after the Christmas break. For some of us it was ground hog day. Blacktown away. Stinking hot and the base of the toilet in the changeroom still rocks like my two baby boys.
Clayton's toss. Shanye lost it again and Gordon were sent in on a good wicket.
Pic Sherman will be right alongside Mitch Kleem when he gets to 5,000 grade runs for Gordon
We lost Spratty early to a short wide one. The team has unanimously declared his mum has now taken the mantle from Stickland’s mum. So Spratt’s reward for getting a duck was to field for Colts, after a Colts player was picked even though he was 5000 miles away in another country.
Mitch and Clem developed a good partnership with Mitch showing very good discipline letting balls go through the keeper. The pair both succeeded to score fifties each before the heat got the better of them.
With twenties from Chris "I'm never buying new pads" Retallick, Shano "I can't hear because of my Bali exploits" Lin and myself, and an excellent sixty not out from Jack Colley, Gordon reached 6/257 off our fifty overs with a top dressed outfield that was more like 290, just what the captain was looking for from our top seven.
The boys enjoyed a beautiful scenic picnic at Blacktown. Then it was our turn to bowl.
With the ball we started quite well, we got a nick quite early, but because the keeper couldn’t hear, he didn’t go up and it was given not out.
Jack "Man-mountain" Colley looked "Mark Waugh-like" on his way to 60-odd
Three early wickets were taken by Blaize "how crazy am I" Irving-Holliday, Jack "which grade am I in this week" Richardson and Charlie “Bangers & Mash” Bangs returning after a brief holiday stint. But with rain around, skipper Shano "I'm getting more desperate every night, and the chicks are getting older, as long as I get a free shower" Lin brought Alex "take me back to the Greenwood" Jackson took the fourth wicket and had the Warriors on the back foot.
Then Lin introduced Jack "how big am I going to be at twenty-one" Colley to get to the twenty-five over mark to constitute a game.
The rain subsided quickly. A long partnership developed and at 4/147 it looked like the Warriors were going to give us a game. Then Shano re-introduced Blaize "I've left my whites at home, can I go back to Darlinghurst?" Irving-Holliday who turned the game on its head with four wickets in two overs, and a bizarre run-out by our flat-footed skipper who managed to run the entirelength of the wicket to run the batsman out.
All of a sudden we were looking at a bonus point at 9/151. But we had to settle for the six points.
Shayne "Let's settle on one nickname" Lin cuts one behind point for a couple
I would just like to take this opportunity to say that this team was copping a lot of stick after three rounds this year and I think we have proven to everyone at the club that we are a good team and we are developing into a better team every week. We will be a hard team to beat from now on.
I would also like to add that a team mate of mine is nearing a very special landmark of 5000 runs for the club, and his name is Mitchell Kleem, and I think he only needs roughly sixty runs this week to achieve this goal. I for one will be there to congratulate him, and I hope that fellow players and club members will do the same to celebrate this very fine achievement (welcome to the club Mitch).
If it was meant to be the end of the world last week, the top and middle order batsmen sure batted like it, acting like they had somewhere else to be. One can only make the assumption that they would have rather been batting off than batting on in their final moments (or maybe that's just me).
Author and wildman Blaize Irving-Holliday keeps one end very tight against Randy-Petes
Gordon won the toss and elected to bat, having played all my games for Gordon at Beauchamp I can tell you that this wicket can be a cruel mistress early on but if the top order can survive the first hour or so it becomes dead as a door nail.
However, equal measures of good bowling and brain spasms led to falling wickets and a fair amount of runs in short succession leaving the lower middle order and below to try to scrape something together; Master Spratt being the only top order batsman to make it into double figures. Shayne Lin, Matt Selby, Blaize Irving-Holliday and well known all rounder S. Undries all made it to double figures.
At 11:30 after 21 overs were bowled, we were out for 91 with a loss seeming to be a mere formality and everyone seemed keen to get on with the beating.
The umpires however thought they had worked hard and felt they deserved a rest, so lunch was called. Once lunch was done and after everyone stopped playing coulda, woulda, shoulda and the name blame game it was time to head out there with clear, focused and aggressive minds and with a few choice words from El Capitan and other senior players we went out there knowing if we could snag a few early wickets with the new ball, we were in with a chance.
The opening bowlers kept a tight line with the batsmen playing very cautiously trying their best not to play at anything unnecessary. The persistence paid off when their opener mistimed a cover drive and was caught at short cover.
Shayne is supported by the slips as they appeal for the last wicket
What came next was a world ending capitulation on the grandest of scales as Randy-Pete's crumbled like old fetta cheese going from 1-19 to 8-57 in the space of 15 overs. Not all the credit went to the batsmen however, as the bowlers and fielders did an excellent job at keeping the pressure on both batsmen and making them work for every run.
8-57 onwards though seemed like an absolute eternity as their No. 6 batsmen couldn't hit, or nick for that matter, a cricket ball to save himself and the runs came to an almost grinding halt. I think his first run came after 10 overs being in the middle from an inside edge that squeezed past square leg.
After 20 overs of their No. 6 batsmen missing almost every ball bowled at him (I'm not exaggerating) and the runs dribbling along they got to 83 before his wicket fell to an absolute pie outside off stump caught safely by Master Spratt.
With the game very much in the balance and everyone on edge, it would take the cool, calm Ozzie Dowler to clinch the deal with a plumb LBW leaving us with a 3 run win, 6 points and a good story to tell.
Enjoy your New Year's everyone.
Fourth Grade arrived at Beauchamp knowing a win would have them well and truly in the top 6 leading into Christmas, whereas a loss would place them back amongst the pack in a dogfight for finals positions.
Anthony Sherman rocks back an puts one through point... we're waiting for this statesman to notch up a big score
This point has been the theme constantly reiterated by the captain, Shayne Lin, for the pre-Christmas limited overs fixtures. However, everyone was already aware of the stern test that manifested itself in the form of St George. What eventuated was neither the win we desperately wanted, nor the loss we dreaded, however an overwhelmingly exciting tie that had Michael “Chilli” Perry fist pumping the air, presumably believing his efforts of the last ball had in fact won the game.
The wicket, with a solid coverage of grass and hard underneath, provided encouragement for both batsman and bowlers, and thus after winning the toss (finally) Shayne decided to bowl in order to make use of the overcast conditions. One undisclosed opening bowler was feeling a bit under the weather due to a work Christmas party the night before, although, after a barocca and cheeky vomit on the sidelines, he was ready to go.
Needless to say it was a mediocre medium pace spell yielding no returns. Dan “are they real?” Stickland bowled well from the other end, keeping the run rate down with his good line and length. However, the St George batsman showed good patience, losing no wickets and the first hour belonged to the visitors.
Chris Spratt looks down the ground in the effort to get quick runs
The introduction of Blaize Irving-Holliday into the attack, who bowled with good pace and accuracy, resulted in immediate success as he beat the bat on various occasions and eventually took a well deserved wicket, snicking off the St George opening batsman thanks to a good catch from Shayne. This week Alex “Greenwood” Jackson remembered the value of actually landing the ball on the wicket, picking up two early wickets that brought Gordon back into the match.
The middle overs were evenly balanced as Perry toiled hard, picking up his standard 2 poles. Unfortunately, in the last 10-15 overs St George accelerated their scoring and seemingly took the game away from us, ending with 270 from their 50 overs.
(Perry 2-61, Jackson 2-63, Irving-Holliday 1-50, Stickland 1-46)
The already daunting run chase seemed overwhelming as Mitchell Kleem snicked off early to some good new ball bowling. However, Chris Spratt and Jack “Bubble Head” Colley showed maturity beyond their age in adding 60 for the second wicket partnership. Colley looked solid for his 30, scoring more runs in one shot than he had in his previous 4 innings, and it was a welcome return to form.
Michael "Chilli" Perry takes control of the last 10 overs
Spratt completely dominated the St George attack from the outset, dispatching the opening bowler over the sightscreen on numerous occasions. This aggressive mindset and brilliant shot selection lead to a classy innings which unfortunately ended on 99 as he fell to a half tracker hit down the throat of short fine leg.
Chris “Retro” Retallick and Anthony Sherman looked good for their 14 and 31 respectively, both falling victim to tough leg before decisions.
The match was in the balance with Shayne and Perry at the wicket, however we fell slightly behind the 8 ball when Shayne was given out caught behind.
With 10 overs to go, the equation was approximately a run a ball. Perry and Jackson formed an invaluable partnership, keeping up with the demanding run rate required. By the last over the equation was simple, 9 runs to win. Jackson was run out for a well-made 21, selflessly giving up his wicket for the team effort.
Spratt continues to hit out on his way to 99
Perry hit a much-needed boundary in the final balls to leave 3 needed for victory of the final ball. After some cheeky shenanigans from the St Geroge bowler, in attempting to mankad Blaize at the non-strikers end, the final ball was eventually bowled. Perry was able to squeeze it into the outfield, and they were able to scramble two runs in order to achieve some points out of the game.
(Spratt 99, Perry 33*, Sherman 31, Colley 30, Jackson 21)
All in all, this was a brilliant batting display to match the intimidating total set. It was encouraging to see the top order stand up, score the bulk of the runs and set up the chase. However, it must be said that a substandard bowling effort allowed them to score too many runs in the first place. Sharing the points seemed a fair result on the day, however one must feel that this win went begging, a rarity over such a strong opposition.
The 4th grade boys rocked up at to Killara Oval knowing that a win was needed against the Whales to get us back on track after last week's loss and secure a good position heading into the Christmas break.
Clem Bromwich looks to the space on the leg-side
Upon arrival at the ground, we noticed that a singlet-wearing member of the Mosman team had upstaged Shayne Lin. Not only did he have larger biceps but also, as someone mentioned, he didn’t have Shayne’s chicken legs! We also noticed that the Killara wicket looked flat yet, but with a good covering of grass which would offer some assistance to the bowlers before flattening out later in the day.
Shayne then tossed the coin and we assume he lost it (this happens quite often) and we were ordered to take to the field. A new opening bowling combination in Jack “give me a better name than Skilly” Skilbeck and Lachy “Borgy” Borg worked wonders as both bowled in probing areas and at good pace. “Skilly” was rewarded with 2 wickets in 2 balls as a bouncer rattled the opener’s cage before sending his middle stump out of the ground.
He then followed this up with a full in-swinger that had the lefty number three plumb LBW. Unfortunately his hat-trick ball was unsuccessful but, with the notoriously slow-scoring Mosman side 2-down for not-many, the pressure was well and truly on!
Not to be out-done, Lachy Borg then went about placing further pressure on the opener at the other end and luring him into an adventurous cover drive which picked out Chris “wake-y wake-y” Retallick at cover. The plan was to accumulate dots and the openers continued to do this and create further pressure. As a result, Lachy Borg induced an edge from “Shayne’s superior” and Shayne was able to break his concentration on my mother long enough to take a well-executed diving catch.
After the openers had finished their spells (Skilly 2/8 off 5 and Borgy 2/10 off 6) the author then began one of the most frustrating spells of his Gordon career to date. With encouraging calls such as “one for your mum here” ringing out from the slips, I regularly found the edge, only for it to fly through a vacant 3rd and 4th slip for 4.
Lachlan Borg takes early wickets against the Mosman side... We wonder how Shayne motivates this young bowler...
This continued for a few overs before the number 5 edged to “Chilli” Perry at first slip. A wicket in the next ball had Mosman 6 down and a bowler with a hat-trick opportunity for the second time…but no luck.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Alex “Jacko” Jackson was bowling possibly the most deceptive full tosses ever, as the batsman continued to bunt them back to Jacko to place further pressure on the away team. Jacko was eventually rewarded with 3 top-class deliveries that had the batsman in all-sorts. The first 2 were quick straight-breaks that induced some very dodgy shots before a tossed-up a wider delivery turned and beat the advancing batsman leaving Shayne Lin to whip the bails off to perform a very neat stumping.
Chris Spratt and Clem Bromwich leave the field after a very successful run chase
Another wicket to myself and a run-out to Chris “I was awake” Retallick had the Mosman side 9 down and the Gordon boys were keen to chase down a total of under a hundred. Unfortunately, as it almost always happens with a good bowling display, the last wicket proved difficult to obtain. Some good stroke play by the number 11 put Mosman past the 100 mark and also earned him the title as “best batsman in the team”…though that was not a great achievement for this particular day anyway.
A good catch at 1st slip by Jack “Quasimodo” Colley off Borgy ended the Mosman innings at 111 and the Staggies were confident that 6 points were in the bag.
We wanted to be clinical in our run chase and Mitch Kleem and debutant Chris Spratt executed this desire in brilliant fashion. Mitch was, as always, punishing and hit the unfortunate opener to all parts with anything loose. Mitch is a great opener for us, he has a great eye and if he gets away runs are always flowing and the momentum is hard to wrestle back.
Mitch fell for 36, which he was disappointed with, but the damage was done and the two new additions in Clem Bromwich and Chris Spratt saw us home with some great stroke-play both along the carpet and over the top.
All in all, a thumping 9-wicket victory to the Staggies yet we mustn’t be complacent. St George will be a difficult task next week and we must go into the match with the same intensity in the field, consistent bowling and clinical batting we displayed on Saturday. We have the blokes in the changeroom to do it and the desire…
Up Gordon, Get Fah You Bah!
The old 4th grade batting collapse was alive and well at Snape on Saturday. For the first five rounds, the games had been played with a lack of exhilaration which customarily follows the loss of early wickets. The team, formerly the domain of ‘fence clearers’ had been moulded into a bunch of ‘nurdlers’ seemingly capable of prizing their wickets and crunching out victories, including a fine outright effort against Sydney Uni only 2 rounds prior.
Iqbal Ahmed - flying in the face of the 'fence clearers' and 'nurdlers' in this shot
Alas, the start of the one day season brought with it this exhilaration so lacking this season.
The anticipated return of Alex “Jack of all Trades” Jackson by Jack ‘BubbleHead’ Colley, was felt early, as banter began to flow following Wacko’s re-emergence from the basement of Greenwood. His return, following a night unable to control his liquor, suggests only that there are not enough club functions to improve his form in this department.
Special mention must also go to the removal of 2/3 of England from the team. It was a delight, and I thank the selectors.
Captain Shayne “Rin” Lin lost a crucial toss and the Stags were forced onto a green deck offering assistance to the bowlers. An early flourish from the evergreen Mitch Kleem, was unable to be built on by the middle order as poor shot execution and patience crippled the top order, while the middle order capitulated in the space of 4 balls, with the wickets of Axel, Shayne and Jackson falling in a flash.
Witnessing this from the other end was Michael “Chilli Bin” Perry. Unusually for a New Zealander, he did not succumb in this difficult period, but dug in in these difficult circumstances to defy the Eastern Suburbs attack, bringing the score from a perilous 7-55 to a final score of 150.
Mick Perry combines with "The Columbian Assassin" to give the bowlers a target to bowl at after the break
During this time he was well supported by Iqbal ‘The Columbian Assassin “ Ahmed as well as Jack “Skilly” Skillbeck who showed his nous early as a nurdler, before developing his own array of shots, including a six over cover. Chilli was however the star of a meagre batting effort, dispatching the later change bowlers to all parts, including taking their leg spinner for 17 in one over. He showed how disappointing it was not to have wickets in hand to take further advantage of the bowling. He was the last wicket out, with a very well made 57 in trying circumstances.
With only 150 on the board, and a lacklustre servo sandwich for lunch, we knew we needed to get off to a good start, and that eventuated with some tight dot ball bowling by the new ball pair of Stickland and Skilly, culminating in 2 wickets to Jack. Some fine fielding kept us in the game with Pic Sherman moving nicely to take a sharp catch in slips, and Colley able to keep his head in an upright position long enough to take another good catch at second slip. It was a much improved fielding performance, keeping the pressure on to a point where they needed 5 an over for the last 10.
However, a few loose deliveries, and fielders on the backfoot saw Easts scramble a win with 2 balls remaining.
A disappointing finish to a long day.
We bowled incredibly well, with Perry, Skilbeck and Stickland bowling tight, but unfortunately as is the case when you lose 3 wickets in an over, we were never in front and were chasing the entire game.
A much improved batting effort is needed next week.