Green Shield Report vs Penrith - Round 7
Greenies go down in a thriller
With a record of four wins and two losses, the Gordon boys were sitting in ninth position on the table, leading into the final round of the regular season. Any position outside the top six would mean the season would come to a halt at the end of the game at Chatswood Oval against Penrith, however the Stags had high aspirations that a convincing win could scrape them into the top 6, and from there, anything could be achieved in the finals.
Henry Carmichael in action against Penrith
The day began in a common mode, with skipper Colley losing his fifth out of seven tosses for the year, meaning the Gordon side headed out to field first on a soft, grassy wicket.
Edwards was the first to strike in his second over, comprehensively bowling the left-handed opener. Drake however, was not far behind with his first scalp, claiming an LBW decision in his fourth. Enter Henry Carmichael.
After coming off a terrific spell of 5 for 5 against the North Sydney Bears, Henry managed to replicate his performance in outstanding style. His 5 for 21 off 7 overs was as good, if not better than his previous spell, claiming 5 out of the top 8 batsmen from the Penrith side. Although he did not beat the batsmen for sheer pace, he masterfully used the arts of seam and swing bowling to draw the edge of 3 batsmen, whilst trapping one in front of his stumps, and demolishing those of another.
The Penrith boys were dismissed for a modest 124 off 40 overs, Carmichael the pick of the bowlers, whilst Edwards contributed with 2 for 19, and Colley 2 for 21.
For the Stags to have a legitimate chance of making the finals, they had to attempt to collect the runs in the shortest time possible, to contribute to their overall net run rate. The order was slightly altered to cater for this run chase, sending in the big hitter Jono Wigham to potentially send the ball to all corners of the ground.
The change did not end up being a successful one, Hugo Anderson collecting his first failure of the season, along with Wigham departing for 1. This brought Colley and Edwards to the crease in the second over, with the score at 2 for 4. They compiled a partnership of 56 runs, Colley collecting 46 of them, before Edwards was stumped down the leg side off the opening bowler, with a piece of glove work that would make even Adam Gilchrist salivate.
Wickets continued to fall in bunches from this point on. The only rock in the innings appeared to be captain Colley, who mounted 67 runs before a mix-up between him and Henry Carmichael ended what appeared a flawless half-century. In a nail-biter reminiscent of the Northern Districts game Gordon eventually fell 8 runs short of the winning total, bringing for the Stags a halt to a season which had held so much promise.
Colley tries hard to get his boys into the finals
The team can now look back on the season they have embarked upon together and start to pick out the strengths and weaknesses that got them to where they stand. As Coach Brendan McDonald said, plenty of work needs to be done by all players in their enthusiasm towards the game, and their attitude towards winning.
From the squad of fourteen, seven of the boys have the opportunity to continue their Green Shield aspirations next season. It is important they learn the winning formula they have developed this year, and carry over their experience to the younger boys coming through next year.
On behalf of the entire Green Shield squad, I would like to pass on my most sincere thanks to the Coach Brendan McDonald, who has been not only a charismatic coach, but also a great friend to all the boys. Personally, this has been my second and last Green Shield season, both shared with BMac. I'm sure he has taken as much pleasure in watching me and the other second-year boys develop over time, as much as we have enjoyed watching Brendan mature as a coach.
The mothers and fathers who provided the lunches and afternoon teas once again played a fantastic role in the overall experience of the year, and the small part they play means a big deal for the reputation of the club, as it is viewed by sides who venture to the hallowed Chatswood Oval.
The behind the scenes work of Manager John Edwards must not go unnoticed as well. He, along with 'Tiddles' Tony Wilson, ensured the smooth running of all the games and training sessions, which was much appreciated by everyone.
Another "thank you" must also go out to the Gordon club for the effort put into the development of the boys through the Academies, thus ensuring the most fitting 14 boys represent their club at the peak level come competition time.