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.
Fourth Grade match reports for 2015/16 season are provided below:
4th Grade this round began with a soggy outfield, but a hard, flat wicket. Thankfully the few days of rain had not made it’s way onto the pitch, and with the excessive heat which had also been around the week before, the deck looked like a cracker.
Mitch Kleem is coming into a rich vein of form at the right time in the season
The day began with Captain ‘Les’ Leighton losing the toss and being sent in, which was something that the rest of the team was happy to go with, as we all ran around on a soggy outfield with the intense top 6 vs bottom 5 game of fielding soccer.
McMurray and Kleem started the innings off cautiously. Kleem with a flourish of 1’s around the ground, playing himself in. McMurray was not so lucky, with a good grab at first slip with the score at 1/10.
Turki, who struggles to put together one of these match reports himself, made a solid start, as usual, looking comfortable on all lengths. He was given a life early on with a sitter dropped in the slips – McMurray must have been tearing his hair out watching that.
This was just delaying the inevitable however, as Turki was, again, caught at first slip.
This bought Crosland to the crease and he looked solid with a good partnership forming. Kleem had begun a more aggressive approach against the students, hitting some great straight shots. Crosland went about his business in the standard way, rotating the strike and putting away the bad ball.
Crosland was unfortunately run out due to a communication error and departed after his good contribution.
Kleem was eventually caught at point for a great and authoritative 71. This was a great innings, giving the Stags grounding and something to build on in the middle and lower order.
The Stags were a little tested in the middle order, with a fight back from the Students in the way of some tight lines and lengths. Nick Prell and Sammy Watts made good contributions down the order, showing grit and resistance with good intent.
The Stags were eventually dismissed for 195 in the second last over of the day, hence concluding the day, given the 2 overs for an innings change over.
The defence for the Stags was unfortunately halted in the second day of the match. This was due to heavy rain towards the end of Thursday and most of Friday, with the council deeming the wicket unsafe for play.
Some good signs for 4th Grade, with a gritty batting performance, and hopefully a win around the corner.
After a disappointing run of loses before Christmas and a week of rain, the stags turned up at Killara keen and confident they could start 2016 with a good performance. The addition of Nick McMurray and Lachie Stewart strengthened our batting line-up and fielding set up to try and topple the 2nd place St George side.
Andrew Crosland was one of only a couple to contribute with the bat
Skipper Benny Leighton decided to bowl on an uncharacteristically soft Killara pitch. Sam Watts and Vikrant Nehru opened well, but couldn’t quite get the breakthrough as chances went begging in the field. It was the introduction of Andrew Crosland that snared the wicket with a much-needed LBW.
However, as the now distinguishing wides crept into the Gordon bowling line-up a change of tactic was needed as drinks arrived with St George 1-65.
Enter Ben Leighton and Lachie Stewart. Our two spinners bowled with exceptional line and consistency as the pressure started to mount on the now settled St George batsmen. By simply bowling to a field the boundaries dried up and kept the run rate below 4 an over.
'Lez' Leighton was first to strike as they raced through their overs to try and rush St George into their mistakes. The plan worked as Lachie picked up three wickets of his own including a brilliant catch by Oli Zannino behind the stumps to remove their captain. Bowling on a slow pitch Lachie was able to change his pace and build the pressure finishing with 3-32 of his 10 over spell while also bowling himself into PG’s selection the next day.
After the second drinks break Gordon were working hard to keep the runs down, but with wickets hard to come by and the pitch flattening out, the St George batsmen began to accelerate with ease and they raced to 5-171 off 41. A few tight overs from our fast bowlers restricted the scoring but without a wicket the Batsmen were able to soar in the last three overs grabbing 40 runs propelling their score to 250. It was a disappointing end to an overall good bowling performance.
With a good in-form batting line-up and a score of 270 in our last run chase, there was confidence around the group during the lunch break. Despite the pitch becoming much flatter in the afternoon, the outfield was still extremely slow as boundaries were hard to come by the whole innings unless risky aerial shots were taken, leading to poor decision-making.
Two early wickets and the costly run out of Mitch Kleem saw Gordon struggling at 3-31 and 250 looking much further adrift. Crosland (23) with some support by Lachie and Nick tried to rebuild but once again the disciplined bowling attack and good fielding and catching by a obviously well drilled St George meant the scoreboard pressure of 8 an over become too much as the wickets started to fall. The last wickets fell with little resistance and determination as we crumbled to all out for 101, 150 runs short of the target.
A disappointing batting performance including 2 run outs and an inconsistent bowling performance including 23 wides showed the fragility of the side and the lessons that need to be taken into the coming rounds. Let’s get out to training and show the potential that we have next week in the 2-dayer against top of table Sydney Uni.
It’s been a tough season to date for our 4th Grade side, with the team experiencing many changes including three Captains, before Round 5.
All three leaders have done their best, considering the circumstances, including Nick McMurray who led the side brilliantly during the washout against Blacktown!
Kleem chases down the imposing Manly target
We faced a tough prospect though against competition leaders Manly, who had a talented and highly spirited young side. This has been the case against many of the teams we’ve come up against. Anyone who thinks this grade is a walk in the park, needs a reality check.
I’m unsure who won the toss, but Manly batted first and it wasn’t long before Nick Prell made an early breakthrough with his left arm seamers. Nick has so far impressed us all with his no nonsense attitude towards his cricket.
He grew up on a property between Goulburn and Crookwell and has been exposed to the harsh realities of drought that once gripped the district. He is a great addition to the Gordon Cricket Club.
Nick was well supported by Sam Watts who snagged 4/40
Manly eventually posted a sizable total of 9/293.
A couple of observations, as a batsman who likes to get on with it, there is nothing worse than facing a bowler on a nagging line and length. That means no half volleys and nothing short where the batsman can free their arms.
It means hitting the top of off stump, where the batsman is unsure whether to come forward or back. The idea is to get him off balance and wait for the mistake.
With the right fields in place, pressure quickly builds and wickets follow. Sometimes though, you can be too attacking at Killara.
Mitch Kleem opens the shoulders in the shot - and takes aim at a few people in this report
Many of the lower graders need to hit boundaries. Take this away and their day out in the park, quickly changes to an endless grind.
To the batting and the new opening partnership of Matt Coffey and Mitchell Kleem started well adding 40 or 50 with the first wicket, before the departure of Matt who made a handy 18.
Kleem followed with 57. Clearly the dominate contributor to the initial partnership.
Saahil Turki who’s been making consistent contributions over the past few weeks, tucked the ball around and scored 40. Pity he can’t contribute off the field by submitting his reports on time. [Editor's note: Or even at all]
Meanwhile Andrew Crosland was back to his best with a very aggressive 67 that featured some hefty blows to the boundary.
We were left with a hundred to get off the last 10 overs, and this proved to be too much and were bowled out for 260 or 270.
In summary I believe our side needs to get to get back to the basics.
In a stellar weekend, Sam Watts takes 4 against Manly and other 4 against Penrith in PGs
Preparation for the next game starts on Monday, with Sunday a ‘hangover’ day. That means getting an understanding of where you’re at mentally and physically.
Ask the question what do I have to do this week, to be in tip top condition for Saturday? That could include weights sessions, going for a few runs, laying off the junk food or being more cricket specific.
Personally I don’t think those 10 minute sessions in the nets are enough, if you’re someone who likes to play their shots, you need to be hitting balls all the time.
Read books about cricketers and learn to visualise yourself performing well.
Speak to our coach Trevor Chappell, his brother Greg is an expert in this side of the game.
To end on a positive note I met a young local bat maker on Tuesday who had one of the standout exhibits at the Bowral Twilight Christmas markets.
Vandal Bats - Mitch Kleem rates the product. You can find out more by following the link below.
15 year old Billy Barge who plays for the East Bowral Blues has sourced his willow from former Test Cricketer Ian Callen who has a property in the Yarra Valley in Victoria.
People can check out his his products at this link.
Also our local cricket enthusiast Rodney Cavalier is organising a bus tour during the Bradman Festival in January that will take people to all the places around the Highlands that played a special part in the life of "The Don" and his family.
Shephards Station, one of the stops on the tour
Mr. Cavalier had terrific feedback from a tour he conducted back in January, where he spent time with Directors of the Marylebone Cricket Club and journalists from India.
Yours, as always,
Killara, once again, whether you believe it or not, produced a flat batting wicket for the game against Easts. With quite an overcast day and a thick outfield, Easts won the toss and elected to bowl.
Dom Thomson looks to make a difference in the second dig
With a prime batting wicket ready for runs to be scored on we were enthusiastic to make the most of it…. or were we.
Wickets began to fall early in our innings and partnership were very hard to come by. Easts gave us as many chances as possible to establish ourselves dropping upward of half a dozen catches, but the Gordon batsman were unable to make the most of their opportunities with only Kleem, Turki and Watts able to make double figures.
After 33.4 overs we were dismissed for a dismal 51.
We knew it was going to take a big bowling effort to at least stay in the game for second innings and James Kidd produced a quality early spell creating a few chances that went begging. After dropping Easts hot head S. Pointer early on he continued with countless opportunities to serve lip to the bowlers and make his way to an unbeaten 74, while the other Easts batsman around him looked to score quickly.
After these early chances the Easts batsman didn’t give too many more declaring late in the day at 3/176 and sending us back in with 8 overs to negate at the end of the day. Mitch and Stan saw these overs off with some diligent batting and we ended the day at 0/18. On a positive note Nehru’s 9 overs 1/25 was the pick of the bowlers, bowling a consistent line and length passing the edge frequently in his spell.
The second day was a day for Gordon to redeem its mistakes of the first innings and bat for the day to save itself from conceding an outright victory. Mitch Kleem started positively with the bat cracking a few boundaries early on, making his intentions to the Easts bowlers.
This positivity was however short lived as what seemed the impossible began to happen all over again. A moment of de ja vu had begun to creep into the Gordon batsmens heads and they began to relive the demons from the 1st innings. With a lack of intent and patience from the Gordon batsmen the possibility of batting out the day slowly began to slip away.
The only resistance of a fight back came from Lachie Stewart who made an admirable 39 before being caught trying to put one over the top of mid-off.
In the end Gordon fell 3 runs short of having to make Easts bat again. Let’s hope to see a big turn-out of 4’s players at training and turn around a very disappointing two days against Easts to have a big win out at Penrith next round!
Match abandoned due to wet weather. No match report submitted.
Having completed a convincing win against North Sydney the previous round, the 4’s were keen to continue their good form at home this time to Randwick Petersham.
3 changes were made, with run scorers Lachie Stewart and Saahil Turki coming into the top 6 while Nick Prell strengthened the bowling attack.
Ben Leighton spins his side back into contention
More importantly however, the teams for the Top 5 v Bottom 6 soccer warm up were altered. Lachie Stewart showed his enthusiasm for the round ball game by taking a commanding role in midfield on week 1, however the top 5 were unable to control possession and succumbed to the bowlers for the second game in a row.
I am confident the top 5 will hit back this week with evidence of some exciting partnerships and clinical finishing starting to show in the final third, however it is always going to be a challenge to score goals when Vikrant Nehru decides to park himself between the posts.
Now on to the cricket, unfortunately the partnerships the top 5 are creating in the round ball warm up did not materialize once being sent in by Randy Petes. Whilst the previous week Killara was paradise for batsman, this round was a very different story.
Roberts, tidy behind the stumps, watches one roll back onto the wickets
It should be noted that on Friday morning we received word from Corbin that it was highly unlikely any play would occur on Day 1 due to a drenched field, so to get started on time was a minor miracle and we must give credit to the grounds men at Killara for their work.
Stan was dismissed early on, bringing Dom and Mitch together, with Mitch continuing on his merry way with consistent run scoring, taking the attack to RP’s as he always does. Dom also looked in great touch despite the ball doing a fair bit through the air. This partnership reached 50 before Mitch was caught out, and from here wickets fell at regular intervals of 20 runs, with the innings never really gaining any momentum.
Corbin, 28, and Saahil, 24, both contributed to the total in the middle order, as did Nick Prell (26) with some clean hitting down the order. Overall though the absence of a large score from one of the batsman was telling and the innings was closed at 172 after 50 overs.
With RP’s facing the same conditions as us we were confident we had a shot at defending 172, but a good start at Killara would be vital.
Whilst a wicket did not come immediately, Nick Prell and Sam Watts gradually built up the pressure and with the score at 23 both struck in consecutive overs. For the rest of the afternoon we were treated to some excellent leg spin bowling from Ben Leighton.
Nick Prell nails one down the ground with the spin
‘Lez’, much to the delight of Tids watching on, bowled with fantastic control and swung the day back in our favour, taking 3 wickets for next to no runs. Credit should be given to Vikrant, who bowled very well at the other end to keep the pressure on the batsman that eventually fell to Lez.
Coming into Day 2, with a much more batsman friendly pitch on offer, we knew another good start was essential if we were to have any shot at a victory.
Unfortunately it was tough going early on, and the RP captain batted very sensibly around many of his younger teammates and gradually chipped away at the total.
Benny 'Lez' Leighton and Nick Prell in action at Killara
Despite a wicket to Lachie Stewart (neat work behind the stumps as well from Roberts), the 7th wicket was not taken until it was too late and RP passed the total prior to tea. Whilst there were a few chances dropped, plain and simply not enough runs were scored by the bats on Day 1.
If we can get back to how we batted against North Sydney we will give our bowlers much more freedom to attack the batsman and get the team in a better position to win some tough games coming up before Christmas.
It was good however to see everyone stick around for a drink and a chat afterwards despite the loss, some of us even were treated to the story of Corbin’s love life, but more on that later.
We arrived at Killara for the first home game of the season hoping to rectify our performance from the previous week. From the get-go, the warm-ups were sharp and we looked switched on.
Despite Mitch’s early blunder, bringing the wrong tea, he started the match off in style, hitting boundaries to all areas of the ground, whilst also being able to manipulate the ball into gaps.
Mitch Kleem in glorious form, catipulting the Stags innings towards 400
Stan at the other end was the rock, just ticking the strike over, before falling victim to a short ball. A very solid 23, but we expect more from Stanly. Meanwhile, Mitch was still firing along, reaching his 50 in no time, with Dom Thompson also looking very impressive at number 3.
As Dom continued to impress, Mitch notched up his first century of the season, it was an absolute delight to watch, he got us off to an absolute flyer and really set the tone for the day. He wasn’t done there though, he continued on his way to 115, before being caught, outstanding innings.
Michael Roberts looks down the ground for his half century
We lost a couple of quick wickets after this, with Dom being dismissed by a great catch at cover, and the skipper, Corbin Edgar, deciding to leave one…. which unfortunately took his off-stump. I’m sure this won’t happen again.
This brought two new batsmen to the crease, ‘Chambo’ Chamberlin and Lachy Borg. They continued along nicely, both notching up 50’s before both being dismissed, both caught at long on. Lachy in particular seems to be making a habit of this.
Michael Roberts continued the run scoring, making an effortless 55, looking the pick of the bats for the day, before once again bunting it to long on.
Next match hopefully we can all put our hands up to go on with the job.
Next to the crease, Charlie Booth. He came out looking very fine, playing some aggressive strokes and picking the gaps with ease. Vik Nehru, Sam ‘Watto’ Watts and ‘Lez’ Leighton all contributed down the order and brought us to a very formidable total of 9/404.
Vik Nehru plays the team role, tying up an end for Watts to capitalise
Corbin decided to declare in order to get 10 overs at them before the close of play. With the energy levels through the roof and Lezley’s chat on point, we were ready to have a real crack for a few overs.
Watto and Vik took the new ball and did a very good job for us. Watto had an immediate impact, taking the first three wickets of the match in no time. He was charging in, moving the ball in the air and really got us going in the field. Vik tied up the other end and helped force the errors of the North Sydney batsmen.
We started Day 2 with high hopes. With North Sydney already 3-22, needing a further 380 to win, we were in the box seat. However, it was no walk in the park. Watto and Vik started the day off for us again, both working very hard, but the pitch was offering very little in return. It looked to be a great deck to bat.
Almost... just short in the slips. Even against the Bears!
With this in mind, and the seamers unable to get a break trough, the skip turned to Boothy. He had an immediate impact taking two wickets in two overs. Well-deserved for Boothy who bowled extremely well in the previous match but was very unlucky.
From here we again had to toil, with Lez bowling well but unable to get a breakthrough, and Boothy continuing to bowl tight. This brought the skip to the attack. Yet to bowl for the season, he brought himself on at the perfect time, taking a wicket in his first over. He continued in this fashion to claim another wicket for the spell, a great return to the bowling crease.
I must note the catching in the slip cordon was exceptional all day. Chambo’s catch diving forward to claim Boothy’s first scalp was very impressive, Boothy took a screamer off Corbin’s bowling, and Corbin took an absolute blinder the previous week off Watto’s bowling. We hope this trend continues!
After Corbin’s break through Lachy Borg took one wicket, which took us to tea. From here we only needed to claim 2 more wickets to seal victory and with North Sydney only 156, we gave ourselves every chance to have another crack at a second innings win as well.
Sam Watts, working well in partnership with Nehru, takes the spoils this round, with 3 poles alongside his skipper
Despite our ambition, the tail certainly wagged, and the last two wickets of the match were not easy to obtain. We had to work hard and dig in, as North Sydney took a very negative approach to there batting.
Corbin’s captaincy through this period was exceptional, chopping and changing the bowlers, hoping to get that needed break through. In the end, he himself stepped up to claim the ninth wicket. However, this wicket can also be attributed to Ben Leighton’s impressive chat, talking the batman out of it.
Mitch Kleem is captured here punching multiple holes through the North Sydney field
Lachy captured the final wicket with only 20 or so overs to go in the day. As much as it was tempting to strap on the pads again, we decided to call it a day and take the 6 points.
It was a great match, with all team members contributing to the win. I think it is safe to say we are enjoying each other’s company thus far, with good banter flowing through out the day. Hopefully we can keep in good form, and push hard all year.
A long drive out to Balmoral Oval saw the Gordon boys take on Mosman. A scorching day, quick outﬁeld and cracking pitch, we planned to bat ﬁrst. Stan ‘the man’ Gaynor (26) and Mitchy Kleem (30) had a terriﬁc opening stand and got us off to a ﬂyer reaching 60 without loss.
Corbin Edgar is watchful early
However, it was a few quick wickets which brought Corbin Edgar (30) and Matt Chamberlain (31) to the crease. Both played brilliantly and were setting us up for a good total. However, consistent with the theme during 2014/15, wickets at the wrong times led to a collapse and a total of 170 - a score way below where we were aiming.
Application. Perhaps? Early season rust. Hopefully. Either way, we need to dig in with the bat if we are to play deep into the season.
So, after smashing down some of the state’s premier ﬁsh and chips and the long haired Boothie falling for every girl under the age of 75 who looked at him, we began our ﬁrst defence of the season.
During the ﬁrst over I knew something wasn’t right; Sammy Watts had started bowling no balls. Now if you know anything about Sam Watts, it’s that he quite often picks up 2-3 wickets in his ﬁrst spell and we’re away.
Lachlan Borg looks for runs through the offside
But after a poor start we were searching for the ﬁrst wicket.
Lachie Borg was the pick of the bowlers (1/15 from 10), bowling cross seam and keeping it super tight. Charlie Booth bowled some good areas and contributed with a hectic caught and bowled.
Corbin’s captaincy was on point mixing the bowlers up at the right times but on the whole, we hadn’t scored enough runs. A disappointing ﬁrst game performance-wise. But this team deﬁnitely has the potential to have a terriﬁc season, and some above average chat!
No play in the 1st Round match against Sydney after rain kept the players off the round and the match was abandoned.