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Green Shield Report vs Northern Districts - Round 2

Greenies Vs Northern Districts

The 2nd round fixture against Northern Districts at Asquith Oval proved to be an epic battle worthy of its status as one of the closest Green Shield results of the year. The team realised the importance of the match, as a second straight loss could hurt the finals aspirations of a talented side.

Captain Colley having more luck with the bat than the coin

Captain Steve Colley lost his second the toss this season and Gordon were sent into bat on what appeared to be a hard, fast track, providing little sympathy for the fast bowlers. Cries of Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston could be heard around the ground, as winning the toss and bowling could almost be considered heresy in the cricketing community since that fatal Test Match.

Opening partners Ben Cannon and Hugo Anderson once again headed towards the centre to face what is considered to be one of the best bowling attacks in the competition. After bowling out Blacktown for 93 in their last game, the Northern Districts bowlers were quietly confident they could repeat the same feats against the Stags. Cannon fell in the sixth over for 5, attempting to chip over the infield. Sam Monk joined Anderson at the crease, and the pair compiled a sensible 40 run partnership at 3 runs an over, before Anderson was dismissed by a sharp catch at second slip off the bowling of the first change bowler. Steve Colley and Sam Monk both fell with the score on 63, which brought Rob Edwards and Max Carter to the crease.

The pair began to place pressure back onto the fieldsmen, taking sharp singles to the infield, with loud early calls ensuring they made their ground comfortably with time to spare. Top scoring Edwards was dismissed for 33, with Carter second highest with 29. The pair put on a valuable 62 runs for the fifth wicket. Some solid late overs batting from Tom Drake (23) and Jono Wigham (16) saw the team's total reach 180, a score which seemed competitive, however fell well short of the benchmark made at the beginning of the day's play. The bowlers would certainly need to do their job.

Cannon with the gloves on doing a tidy job

From the start it appeared tight lines rather than fiery pace was the method of attack by the Gordon fast bowlers. Openers Drake and Edwards again failed to take a wicket in the first spell, however the number of plays and misses serve as warning signs for the batsmen of teams to come in this competition. The first wicket came in the 13th over, when first change bowler Alex Campbell, managed to tempt the batsmen into a false shot outside off stump, only to see the ball cannon off the inside edge of his bat into middle and off.

Excellent tight line and length bowling by Henry Carmichael, Tom Ledgerwood and Mark Anderson put pressure on the batsmen and ensured the run rate by the Northern District side fell to just over 2 an over. The stress level began to rise for the District boys as they faced a 5 an over task with 20 overs remaining.

The tension rose greatly after some interesting shot selections from the Districts batsmen leaving them needing 20 runs to win with 6 overs left and 4 wickets in hand. However an outstanding final spell from Campbell who took 3 wickets in his final 2.1 overs saw the pendulum swing back to the Stags. The final 3 wickets fell on scores of 171, 174 and 175, leaving Districts short, Gordon the winners by a measly 5 runs.

Drake fires one down against NDs

Campbell's ability to adjust for the fact the batsmen were trying to lift the run-rate provided a clear example to the other bowlers of the art of death bowling. His final figures of 4 for 21 off 10.1 overs were much deserved, as his persistence of line and length bowling drew batsmen into making mistakes. Cricket is a team game, however it is the individual performances within this game that contribute to a team's success, and Alex provided the team with the fight that was missing in the first game.

Supporting spells from Henry Carmichael (1 for 4 off 5), Tom Ledgerwood (2 for 38 off 9), Rob Edwards (1 for 34 off 11) and Tom Drake (2 for 37 off 12) contributed to the success, but the most pleasing aspect of the team's performance was a marked improvement in the fielding, something which coach Brendan McDonald was especially pleased to see. A lower level of sundries also meant the side mounted more sustained pressure on individual batsmen, eventually leading to their dismissals.

It was also great to see some of the old faces, Alec Brown and Seth Tulloch, from last year's 2nd placed side. We look forward to the continued support of these veterans, and indeed the entire club, as it foretells the strength of the club in years to come.

Rob Edwards


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