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.
All points for the results from the side go towards the club championship.
For the Fourth grade schedule go to Fixtures
Fourth Grade match reports for 2013/14 season are provided below:
Well what a season. Yes, another one done and dusted for those of us unfortunate not to have made the post season. A year of “what ifs” and “if onlys”. A year of missed opportunities, especially from our skipper who could have changed the game by questioning the umpire’s decision half an over after the appeal was rejected! Nor not.
A year of swings and roundabouts. Speaking of swings, the young lady of the Killara swing park graced us with her presence again. And she had her usual two doses of swinging, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. You would think she would be getting sick of swinging… literally… but, like most of us, I am sure she will be back next season.
Now where do I start. I was great to see some old faces and one new one. I introduced myself to this bloke before the match started, said his name was Retallick or Ret-a-lack or something. Anyway I felt I made a new friend!
As it turns out this "new"bloke to the club top scored in what was an innings to remember to forget. Yes you read it correctly.
(Please insert a picture of Ret-a-lack here)
The author was particularly fussy about the photos used in this article. Retalick is castled earlier in the season
I could go through the highlights of our innings but there are just too many. Like Mitch getting caught; Crosland missing a straight one that hit him low on the front pad; Shayne (just celebrated "New Year") Lin being given out caught down the leg side; Corbin getting off the mark.
But the highlight for me was a bloke that you just wouldn't read about, probably because no one actually knows he's around; especially at night! This young lad is not only gifted (and by this I mean he doesn't manage to break an ankle every time he bowls a delivery), he is polite and intelligent, the latter is probably the reason why he decided to bat without a helmet. Oh, and he is a genuine number 11.
Yes that's right I am talking about me bruvva; Derva Nerva Therka Merka Merian* (and I am pretty sure that is how he spells his name!). Derva batted with grace and style in search of his first ever 6. He did have a couple of decent attempts and managed a boundary but alas, he will have to wait till next season to have another try.
I'm not sure what Iqbal is talking about. *Deva Nirthanakumaran is looking rock solid with the bat, resplendent with helmet as well!
So we were bowled out for 123. A target worthy of defending with early wickets, something Derva managed but his partner, the lion hearted paddle pop lion named Effeney, just bowled too well. Whatever he tried was outstanding but alas nothing to show for it in the column that matters the most; the wicket column. Plenty of fours and sixes though. But that is cricket, a funny game!
The lads from the base of the mountains or "Penriff", managed to knock off the runs in quick time so they could get back to watch the Panthers get flogged in the afternoon. But not until they lost their fifth wicket. Here is the scene 4 down, 20 to get, plenty of overs in the bank. Enter Shayne (New Year) Lin. This is how his over went. Wide, wide, wide, wide, dot, dot, four, wide, 2, wicket…….whaaaattt.
I have now seen two things on the cricket field that will haunt me forever, Ian (doesn't talk to lower graders) Higgins and Shayne (New Year) Lin both taking wickets when the game was over.
If only they had bowled when our team really had something to lose!!!!
I have to say it is always enjoyable playing the lads from the ‘riff’, they play hard but fair and a decent bunch of lads of the field. Losing is never enjoyable but it isn't too bad when you know you have been beaten by a better team, and I am sure we will have our day against them next year.
This is what cricket is all about. Playing hard on the field and enjoying the moments off it. Photo c/o Josh "Betty" Betros
So for the most part the season was enjoyable, I mean this was the first time I've broken a toe (refund for half the season?). To all that I played with and against it was emotional.
To lads who are now playing in the coming weekends all the best, I am sure to be at a ground or two and I encourage all to come and join me. Not to watch the cricket, but to soak up some sun and a couple of some fine ales. We will start with passion pop and move onto west coast coolers before the hard stuff!
As a final note I would like to congratulate Adair Durie on a fine career. It is not often that I can safely say that one bloke is the man of the match in big match occasions and nearly every big match this man delivered. A true champion. I look forward to playing with you next season. Also likes a wine I heard.
This picture has had a workout recently... but Iqbal insisted it was placed in the article
Have a great off season everyone and I am sure that I will see you sometime just before the first game next year.
The Peoples Champion
After a week of putting the feet up as the rain belted down, 4th Grade managed to trudge to Blick (or according to our esteemed captain, Block) Oval to take on the Magpies.
120 overs was to be the beat to which we played. It's something that I've not had to do all that often in my grade career.
Unfortunately not too many photos of 4th Grade were sent through this week. Effeney, the author, however, was very impressed with Wright's performance with a soapy ball
And for those who are fond of playing the rain card, the least pleasant cricketing memories often spring from such fixtures. I still, for the life of me, have no idea how Randwick Petersham snuck in 54 overs in the maelstrom the weekend previous, but so it is.
A leisurely warm-up followed by a leisurely toss, and we were thrown the cherry to field on a rather damp outfield. Yours truly opened up, and the first ball was great. Hooped into the right-handed opener; moved abruptly off the seam; the stout willow-wielder was obviously troubled by this delivery. Unfortunately, boots were also finding difficulty gripping the moist surface, leading to a rather dismal spell from Deva and the author.
Despite the poor opening showing from the seamers, the run-rate was still under 3 per-over after the 20th, and Alex Wright and Iqbal Ahmed took up the attack. A couple of times, the game looked like getting away from the Staggies. But just as a player would start dancing down the wicket and plundering runs, Alex would dismiss him. 3/ 47 with a wet ball on a middling track was a great result for 'The Wright Stuff.' He and Icky (one wicket) managed to get through their overs very quickly too, which was a real bonus after the Wests skipper had determined he would declare after 60.
There was some late hitting that saw the lower middle order plunder around 50 runs from six overs, but the Staggies thought chasing 227 was manageable in 60 overs.
It becomes even more manageable when you have Mitch Kleem and Shayne Lin in your team. After Nick Coleman copped an LBW decision he felt aggrieved about (don’t all players!), these two went about their work with all the subtlety of a Steven Seagal flick. Six, six, six.
I might as well just keep repeating it, because that's what kept happening.
Shayne departed after a well struck 23, and Mitch soon followed, hitting a spinner to mid-off on 66.
But it was never in doubt, with Andrew Crosland and Darren Jayasekera following through on their tremendous recent form. Crossy battled hard and got through the tough period. He almost guided us home, but never quite saw the reward, hitting a full toss to cover on 35.
Darren, on the other hand, had the chance to capitalise on his start and finished the game off in style. With 50 runs to get at 10 to 5, I thought we were in for a late finish. At 10 past 5 we were shaking hands, victorious. A flurry of sixes off a hereto impressive spinner, finished an impressive win for Fours; sealing our first back-to-back victory of the year.
Now to spoil Penrith’s party and get some more club championship points.
The keen nature of the Rangers captain and his quality work on the super-soaker meant that play would only be briefly delayed and not postponed like the other 21 players thought. Perry’s win of the toss meant the Rangers would field first in their all-important ‘must win game’.
Pat "Paddlepop" Effeney teams up with Stickland to rattle the Rangers
Mitchell Kleem set the tone for the Gordon innings with a ‘casual’ 18 runs of the first over, which included 2 sixes! The slow and damp pitch made scoring harder for Gordon as the Rangers picked up two quick wickets in succession. Both wickets were unlucky with Mitch (21) being caught down the leg slide and Corbin falling to a great catch in the slips.
The aggressive Shayne Lin came to the crease and showed Northern Districts the benefits of owning his own gym, muscling multiple drives out of the ground with one hitting the top of the trees on the up. Shayne and Nick Coleman put on an important partnership of 93, with Shayne falling for 59. At the tea break the Stags were 4-151.
After tea the Stags continued their solid batting effort with Captain Perry striking the ball with lots of power, hitting bags of sixes and fours which meant he had to do minimum running. Perry departed on 42 and soon the Stags were 8/252 with James Robertson being caught for 32 and Nick Coleman leaving one to be dismissed for 51.
The author, Nick Coleman combines with Lin to lay the foundations of the innings
Ikky was out to impress a particular individual swinging on the swings and he did just that with a strong 21* with strokes all around the ground. I’m sure she will be back at our next home game.
This also meant that the Stags ended up all out for 274, a strong total on a difficult batting pitch.
The disappointing call of ‘bad light’ meant that Gordon missed out of bowling 8 vital overs to the young Northern Districts top order on the first day of play. We all displayed our disappointment in the decision as we walked off the field to a hard earned beverage in the sheds.
Lifting off the covers to see a flat and dry pitch on Day 2 meant that the Stags had to bowl excellent lines in order to bowl NDs out. Dan Stickland and Pat Effeney both bowled full and straight, resulting in them picking up a wicket each. These two wickets were both caught by Darren Jayasekera in the slips, which made up for his ‘Danish’ salami efforts.
Stickland takes 5 wickets, including running through the tail
The sound of a new Tinder match from the sheds fired James Kidd up as he picked up his pace and got a vital wicket to put the Stags on the front foot with NDs 3/61.
Our bowlers continued to bowl full and straight against two experienced NDs players who added a 56 run partnership. However the sheer determination of Dan Stickland to impress his grandstand of supporters from the side line made him bowl a brilliant in swinger to clean up the NDs captain just before tea. NDs were anxious walking into the sheds at 4/120.
Thanks to Corbin’s bananas at tea, the Stags were more energised and focused to pick up the next 6 wickets. Stickland impressed his brother and his girlfriend with a fantastic run-out from point, striking down the stumps, he was so thrilled his celebration looked like he just won the Football World Cup! Pat Efferny (2/35) picked up another wicket, leaving NDs 6/178.
Shayne Lin continues his aggressive approach on a difficult deck
The NDs tail fell fast, with Stickland picking up another 3 wickets to end up with the figures 5/44 and captain Perry taking the last wicket bowling out NDs for 182.
Micheal Perry was so happy with the boys’ efforts over the two weekends, he sang the team song so loud that he ended up having a super high-pitched lady’s voice for the rest of the afternoon.
A hilarious moment for the rest of the team.
We turned up to a hot Killara Oval and the team were in high spirits looking for our first back to back victories of the season. We won the toss and batted on a decent looking deck. The openers got off to a good start with Mitch Kleem and Shayne Lin doing what they do well in scoring 60 runs off 6 overs with some impressive strokes.
James Kidd gets some support from the rest of the tail, notching up the highest score of their innings with 69*
Shayne and Mitch were dismissed close to each other. From there we lost wickets at regular intervals with a cameo from Darren Jayasereka of 32, and at 7 for 153 soon after tea we were not looking good.
Alex Wright and James Kidd had different ideas however and started to dominate the bowling playing sensibly and hitting the bad balls away to the shorter boundary. They put on 50 runs before the Pom was out for 35. James went on to score his maiden half century in great style, ending up on 69 not out and help us get to 270 all out. James played very well and showed his earlier bats how to score runs at Killara.
Our bowling started poorly with Randy Petes 0/30 after 4 overs before Pat Effeney picked up two wickets in 2 balls to swing the momentum back to centre. The score of 2/48 made for an interesting Day 2 at Killara.
Dan Stickland toiled hard but without much luck over the two days
Day 2 started again at a hot Killara oval with the wicket looking flat and good for batting. With the score at 2/48 we were still hopeful of a good day to take the points.
We got off to a quick start before the best player for the game James Kidd came on and bowled with pace to remove 3 quick wickets including an amazing caught and bowled taking the score to 5/160 at tea and certainly in the hunt. With Edgar not playing and a replacement match reporter required, this author was nominated for the report due to his lack of tea provisions.
After tea nothing went right for the Stags as the ball got old and the bats started to dominate even more. Endless edges ran to the 3rd man region as boundaries kept coming, with it being hard work trying to grab a wicket.
James Kidd fires up for his Fantasy League backers, adding 3 poles to his earlier runs
A stand out innings from the Randy Pete's opener of 116 saw them over the line winning by 4 wickets.
All in all it was a tough day for the Gordon bowlers with luck not going their way.
Picturesque sights surrounded Birchgrove Oval, creating an atmosphere for a game that could of quite easily gone either way. Based on last week’s performance, the benchmark needed to be lifted for a tough fixture against the Tigers.
No photos of 4th Grade this week due to the inability of the photographer to get to Birchgrove. We 'burgled' Crosland's facebook wall instead
Many say this week’s round was saved by a burglary. On the other hand, one bowler will say he should be playing 1st Grade. Debatable. All in all, I must admit it was nowhere near as convincing as the recent ashes whitewash.
It must be mentioned that the pre-match warm up should only be left to those who know what they are doing. Darren "I'm actually Portuguese" Jayasekera has been banned from any future involvement in the warm up, as no one could understand his alternative approach.
Showing how true captains win the toss, Michael "Chilli" Perry continued his form with the toss and was ready to set the tone for the day. Shayne "plusfitness.com" Lin and Nick Coleman set about business with a positive attitude. Shayne played his usual aggressive style dispatching the opposition to various parts of the ground including a lost ball in Sydney Harbour.
However, looking to score quick runs Shayne was caught out in the deep. Perhaps an extra gym session or two may have helped him. Nick batted patiently, ticking the scoreboard along, later to be caught by what Crosland quotes to be “the best 4th Grade bowler I have ever faced”.
Constructing a solid start quickly turned into a steady collapse of dismissals losing three of the top six batsmen for not many. Those batsmen know who they are and have promised to make runs next week. Despite consistent and clever bowling by the opposition, ‘Chilli’ and Andrew "Game changer" Crosland built a partnership that may well have changed the path of the game dramatically. Crosland looked in fine form continuing to mount his total to a highly needed and respectable 56.
All looked in control until a call of "yes!", "no!", "wait…oh no" brought Crosy's innings to a close.
Chilli was later joined by Dan “don’t ask me what she looked like” Stickland, a man in which he showed no faith refusing to take the easy single to the deep fieldsmen.
This partnership came to an end as Chilli (63) was caught out attempting to get a move on. To be fair it was a great catch, as confirmed by the umpire who applauded the catch with seemingly scant disregard of paying attention to the potential no-ball.
The tail end managed to force the total over to a psychological 200 runs, perhaps a few short of a par score.
Following what was quite possibly the shortest lunch break in Grade Cricket, the Stags were back out in the field hoping that they had made enough.
"Burglar" Crosland and "The Mulcher" Poysden
Dan "I don’t even remember her name" Stickland (3 for) and Pat Effeney (2 for) started the boys off to a solid start through patient, consistent lines. Dan managed to take three early poles by consistently making the batsmen play, building pressure proving to be a highly effective spell.
Throughout the middle overs Alex "She is also from Tinder" Wright and Rob Barker kept the run rate down, capitalising on a strong start. Balmain/UTS/Sydney… the Tigers… were struggling to support their one opening batsmen with wickets falling around him. With pressure and dismissals accumulating, it seemed as if the Stags had the game in the bag. However it wasn't until a late cameo from the opposing number 8 batsman where things started to get interesting.
Our total began to look like an easy target until the man of the moment Crosland came on, creating suspense for his well thought game plan. Dismissing their opening bat, it left the game wide open. The opposition needed 3 runs with two wickets in hand. Never feeling like he was under any kind of pressure, Crosland managed to burgle an unbelievable two wickets to save the Stags with a run to spare.
Webmaster’s Note: Thank you to John Barker who kept everyone up to date with ball-by-ball coverage on the mobile app. Cricinfo-esque.
Handy not only with updating scores, John was also on hand to capture the boys' victory
A game that goes down as the closest game in 4th Grade history, leaving Crosland on a hat trick.
Potentially for the rest of his career.
The question lies in when will Chilli bowl him again? This season hasn't always gone to plan, however this win proved to be a huge confidence booster for the remainder of the season and a contributing factor to a 5 Grade clean sweep over the Tigers, followed up the next day by a Colts victory over the same club.
Up the Stags. Glorious.
I have been thinking long and hard on the best way to report this match to the many avid readers and followers of the weekly match reports, however it is tough to do so after yet another loss for the 4th Grade side.
Nick Coleman asked me in the sheds during the changeover if this report would “be funny,” sorry Nick, but I don’t think it will be. I think a fair and honest assessment is the best way to turn things around and kick us out of the slump we unfortunately find ourselves in…
There are plenty of Fantasy League teams who have pinned their hopes on a relatively cheap James Kidd
The last line of Falky’s weekend wrap of 4th Grade sums it up perfectly for the 4th Grade stags – not good enough…
Looking at a wicket that looked as if it would nip around and offer plenty of assistance to the bowlers, Michael Perry decided to continue his method of bowling-then-chasing when the coin fell in his favour. What happened next was, in this author’s opinion, an abysmal fielding display characterised by poor catching and lack of energy.
I don’t think the bowling cartel would mind (considering I'm in it) if I said that the bowlers struggled to find consistent line and length particularly early on and failed to adapt to the fuller length required to be successful on the slow Merrylands wicket. The skipper did, however, show us how its done and his figures of 2/23 off 10 would make one think he was playing a different game when compared with the figures of the other bowlers.
Michael "Chilli" Perry is the only one the show the rest how the bowling is done
At the end of Parramatta’s 50 overs we were left with a victory target of 255, a total that looks tough yet the pitch was improving and had showed us there were considerably less demons than previously expected.
The Gordon run chase, however, showed us that the 4th Grade unit is not playing the kind of cricket that reflects where we are on the table… we are actually playing better than most would think. We are just letting it slip at crucial moments, and when you do that (whether it be at test level or junior cricket) you are forever chasing the game and you are unlikely to be successful.
Parramatta kept wickets in hand and despite a promising opening stand of 42 between Shayne Lin and Nick Coleman, and strong displays from the superbly in-form Axel Cahlin (46) and the skipper (37) we lost wickets at regular intervals and crucial times which kept us solidly on the back foot, just when it looked like we were clawing our way back. Despite an unexpectedly entertaining cameo from Pat Effeney (which included a delightful ramp shot) we fell 24 runs short.
A game of two halves, where some strong batting nearly made up for a poor and luck-lustre fielding display. With finals now out of the picture, the boys must now look to salvage some pride, collect some club championship points and, most importantly, start to try and enjoy their cricket. We need to find a reason to want to play cricket, it has felt at times that we simply do not want to be there, we don’t appear up for it and some of our collective performances have shown that…but we’re not far off it.
Looking at the team sheet there’s no reason why we can’t play some superb cricket and in all fairness we have at times (just look at our demolition of Manly to retain the Mal Hall Trophy, or our superb run chase against Hawkesbury) we just need to believe in ourselves and each other, go out with clear minds, relish the challenge and enjoy the contest.
Looking forward to Saturday lads…up Gordon!
Although a great win by the team in the end, the day didn’t start great for the captain Michael ‘Chilli’ Perry as he was the last member of the team to arrive at the ground.
His excuse, “I was just practicing my tossing”, not helping the situation.
Pat Effeney and his golden mane getting the job done
However, the team recovered and began a electrifying warm up which readied us for the start of play. Andrew ‘Crosly’ Crosland was once again mesmerising in his bowling strides during the warm up, really showing the others how to find a line and length from the get-go.
The first over included the ball of the season from Pat Effeney, which was very Ryan Harris-esque, to a very shaky left-handed bat. Pat then took the next wicket caught behind followed very shortly by Dan ‘why are my fingers so sticky’ Stickland. The two bowled in partnership to produce a great opening spell having Manly 3/27 after 9.
James Kidd then got in on the action taking two wickets and Alex ‘Swanny’ Wright managed to take 1 although clearly not in the game mind set, thinking that we were playing a two-dayer.
A great weekend for Wrighty, with performances in both 4th Grade and PGs
Manly’s innings ended, all out for 127. A great bowling effort by the boys, really showing the potential we have as a team pushing towards the end of the season.
The Staggies innings started with Connor being dismissed early on. Darren and Nick soon established a small partnership until Darren was dismissed for a solid 35. Nick soon fell, and Axel ‘Rose’ Cahlin was joined by the voluptuous looking Andrew Crosland trying to recover the rig that once was.
From there the two batted beautifully playing traditional and fluid cricket shots and getting the team home only 3 down. Although it was only a small run chase, it is these that are sometimes the most difficult and it was great to see the top order finish it off well.
Great win boys and let’s carry this momentum into this Saturday’s game against Parramatta.
Well then, it’s New Years Eve and if you have come here to read about a 4th Grade loss to Sydney Uni 2 weekends ago, you have been misled; almost as much as I have been trying to mislead the infamous Dave Millar and Mike Perry on the whereabouts of this match report!
Dan Stickland charges in... at least something has to be cricket related in this article
I can’t actually remember a vast amount of information from the game. I can tell you the 4th Grade juggernaut, as we have never been referred to, lost. Pic almost got a run out in his rumoured last game for the club and Connor Jackson was hit in the head by the opposition captain and opening bat with a vicious uppercut into the exposed flesh. Such an act brought a moment of reflection on a late Alex ‘Wacko’ Jackson, and of the night at Greenwood when young love led him astray.
Connor Jackson sports the result of his 'attack'; Older brother Alex 'Wacko' Jackson displays some 2012 'Christmas spirit', sporting the affects of his run in at Greenwood
Nick Coleman was also lucky to avoid a bat thrown at his head after some misdirected ‘banter’ (also known as verbal abuse) sent him cowering in a ball under a cold shower in the Killara Pavilion. Iqbal was also in full support down at Killara. It was great to see the old boy down there cheering the boys on in the heat after a full toss sent down at snails pace hit him on the full the week before leading to a broken toe. If that doesn’t scream OPSM, then I don’t know what will.
Max Papworth was also notable in his absence. The family holiday calling, he has been very active on Facebook, liking a number of bikini clad women conveniently popping up on my news feed. If others at the club have not had the pleasure of being ‘accepted’ as a friend of the young fox, might I suggest an alarm clock, some Velcro wicket keeping gloves and a session with Ian Healy as potential friend making gifts. This will lead to a treasure trove of news feed pictures as well as a few more wickets for the hard working bowlers of 4th Grade.
In other news:
- Andrew Crosland has lost his rig and his forehand
- Tristan Cooper continues to occupy Beauchamp sheds in the early hours of Sunday morning
- Tom Beverly still goes to Greenwood
- Tom Fulton continues to punch
- Harry Evans is the most successful man on Tinder
- Adam Fleming continues to defy Nick Coleman’s Christmas wish
- Pat Effeney remains in Bronze League
- Jack Colley’s body has stubbornly refused to grow into its head
- Happy New Years.
May the cricketing gods shine down on us all.
Round 7 saw the 4th Grade Stags match up against the Lions at Fairfield Oval. It was always anticipated to be a close game with the Lions ranking 3rd on the table and the Stags coming off a comprehensive win against the Saints.
The timeless tradition of inspecting the wicket before the game raised a few question marks as to the condition of the deck. It was quite possibly the greenest pitch the boys had ever seen with several jokes made about their keenness to bat first. Good banter. With Michael Perry going off on his cute romantic cruise with his missus for the day; ‘Hoppa’ Howitt stepped in to lead the Fours.
The crowds pay good money to see this kind of entertainment... Tim Fulton takes the long handle to the Lions
Alas, the toss went in favour of the Lions and the Stags were sent in to bat first. However, the ever experienced ‘Pic’ Sherman and Hoppa were quick to bring some of the naïve boys back to reality claiming that the deck was hard enough for it to provide some assistance for the batsman.
The goal that was set at the start of the day was to bat the whole 50 overs as it was imperative considering the condition of the wicket and outfield. Connor ‘stereo trend setter and/or trade-off’ Jackson (15) and Stan Gaynor (15) got the Stags off to a sound position, seeing off the new ball well and ensuring that the pitch wasn’t playing up as much as we had previously thought.
Connor’s and Stan’s demise brought Darren Jayasekera (46) and Max Papworth (22) to the crease, with intentions of pressing forward and building towards a competitive score. Max showed us why he’s one to watch in his ability to score quick runs, pushing singles and hitting the bad ball for four. Alas, his dismissal called for an important partnership between Darren and new batsman in Chris ‘retro’ Retallick (33).
After a few cheeky singles, Retro found his feet and began to dispatch several balls bowled at him by the Lions. At 4/127 off 37 overs, the platform was there to produce a more than defendable total. Unfortunately, wickets were falling at regular intervals that clearly didn’t help pressing towards the goal of batting the full 50.
Prior to going into bat, Tim ‘tom’ Fulton managed to convince us of his incapability to hold a bat. This was most definitely not the case as he and Pat ‘kind of reminds me of Ian Harvey’ Effeney showed the top order batsman how it’s done. As a result of their brilliant cameo, the final score was at a more than respectable 9/184.
The bowlers were keen and ready to make a dent in the Lions batting order. Pat and Dan Stickland opened the attack and bowled consistent lines to restrict the Fairfield batsman to score quick runs. Solid bowling by Rob Barker and Tim Fulton soon followed, as they were both unlucky to grab a few wickets early on.
At 3/110, the game was in the balance as disciplined bowling and fielding was imperative. Hoppa and Pic bowled stump to stump, however poor fielding resulted in the game slipping away from the Stags. Too many singles, drop catches and missed run out chances definitely put the game in the Lions’ favour.
Dan Stickland got handed the ball and delivered, pumping the boys up with two quick wickets. Dan definitely deserved these wickets, always asking questions of the batsman with his tight bowling. Two more wickets soon fell to see the Lions at 7/162. With 20 runs required off 4 overs, the game could have gone either way.
Alas, the Lions’ tail managed to secure a win in the second last over in the game.
The game was definitely for the taking for the Stags. Poor fielding was a major factor that made the difference between winning and losing. We need to learn from this game and ensure it won’t happen again, relying too much on the ‘experienced’ players to do the hard work.
With Sydney Uni next week it is essential a win is secured and I’m sure with some hard work during the week this will most definitely be the case!
A sunny day dawned and fours arrived promptly at Harold Fraser for what they anticipated was going to be a traditionally hard-fought day against the Saints.
Upon glancing on a road, Michael ‘Chilli’ Perry decided that should the coin fall in his favour the Stags would be in the field. My spies also tell me that the Saints skipper would have batted, making the formality in the middle seem all rather pointless.
Michael 'Chilli' Perry is rewarded for good work by Stickland
If you wanted to know which way the coin fell… well, you’ll have to read the whole report. I’ll slide it in there somewhere, to satiate your information cravings.
As it was anointed, the Stags bowled, with brand spanking new ball pairing Adam Fleming and yours truly given the honour.
After serving up some initial tripe, the author and Fleming began to get into their stride and had that cherry moving around some. 'Flemdawg' had worked up a good level of rage pre-match, so had good stoke for relentlessly bouncing the opening bats, softening one of them up just enough for the author to snag him in front early on. Thanks Adam.
A requested hooking after five overs saw me banished to mid on, the perfect vantage point from which to witness one of the finest bowling partnerships you’re likely to see in fourth grade one day cricket at Harold Fraser. While the sample size might be small, the effort was large, magnanimous, awe inspiring.
That'll play. Axel Cahlin rescues the top order and completes the win over the Saints with 79*
For so it was that Chilli and his worthy accomplice Daniel ‘Just outside off, back of a length’ Stickland managed to halt the slow but steady progress of the Saints’ bats to the merest of trickles.
Perry captured three wickets in this time, but importantly both he and Stickland allowed two fifths of a tenth of diddly squat runs in their 10 and seven-over spells respectively. And don’t worry Sticky, as I must have told you 13 times on the day, you were a crucial part of those wickets. In a way, they’re also your wickets.
But in a much more real and tangible way, they’re not yours, they’re Chilli’s. So hands off!
Take nothing away from Sticky’s work soaking up the runs though. The pressure gage was exploding, so much so that the batsmen sought relief in the form of a quick single to Pic at midoff. Anyone who’s played with Pic knows that’s a shocking idea, for the wily one knows when to fox and when to box. The gauntlet thrown down to the father of two, Pic gladly accepted. His bullet throw over the top of the bails allowed my newest mate Max Papworth, who apparently can play a bit, to whip them off and send another Saint packing.
More pressure was incoming, for after the master partnership from the men with the golden arms had ceased 'Flemdawg' picked up the attack from Sticky’s end.
'Flemdawg' asks plenty of questions of the Saints batsmen
As he commonly does, Fleming uttered to me in his husky, masculine tones that he was desperate for a wicket. I nodded and gave some trite encouragement, while considering how much fun a three-way interview with Adam, Darren Lockyer and Geoff Toovey would be.
As it turned out, the former occurred, and two wickets in two balls saw the Saints seven down for just 80. With two more experienced campaigners still at the crease, the Staggies took the foot off the throat somewhat, and combined with some good batting in the final overs St George managed to scramble to 170, with Chilli enjoying the cool figures of 3/35.
The toss-winning captain certainly would have taken that at the start of the day, and it was up to the willow wielders to show their mettle and track down the runs not too many wickets down.
Well, as with all things 4th Grade in my more years than I care to remember at the club, brilliance often goes hand in hand with spectacular failure. This often comes in the form of a batting collapse, and I was tempted to pull the creams on early when a slew of early poles saw us at 4/23.
'Retro' Retallick out in the first over, Coleman and Papworth following him, Jayasekera with a flurry of boundaries then getting trapped in front. I was an unhappy bowler who was full of Red Rooster.
But 4th Grade are specialists at brilliance, as I mentioned, and a steadying partnership between Andrew ‘Crosly’ Crosland and Axel ‘His name is like that bit of a car’ Cahlin steadied the ship, that at an hour ago might as well have been jettisoning vomiting passengers and praying for Poseidon’s mercy.
Unfortunately Crossy hit one of his finest shots of his 14 straight to mid wicket, and a good catch left him with no choice but to trudge back to the sheds, introducing one A. Sherman to the wicket.
I’ve seen Pic bowled early in his innings more than my fair share of times. I’ve also seen him play some of the best counter-attacking cricket in my grade career. Fortunately, this was one of those times.
Taking to the spinners like a pregnant woman to pancake mix, Pic showed the young buck down the other end how to bat your team out of a sticky situation. Cahlin, the young buck, probably didn’t need too much instruction though, for he was playing a very handy dig down the other end.
The Saints best bowlers out of overs, and the lesser lights (and that’s being generous) on with an aging ball, Cahlin dispersed the seed to all parts of the oval. He made an undefeated 79, which included at least four towering sixes, three of them over the very long boundary on the far side. It was the first time this author had seen him bat in the middle, and he looked the goods. Quality work Axe.
With Pic also playing a gem down the other end, the momentum was heimlicked out of the Saints, who lost their bubbling enthusiasm faster than a kid unwrapping a pair of socks at Christmas time.
41 not out to the run out master and Cahlin saw the Stags over the line with 6.1 overs to spare and five wickets in hand. In the smallest dressing room in grade cricket the song was sung with much passion and some quizzical looks from those who thought winning was something unique to Charlie Sheen. Maybe some word sheets might be good for next week.
Well, that will do for this spinning of tall tales. Until next week, or next year, you take it easy Gordon.