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Match Reports 05/06

2005/06 saw 2nd Grade and the Colts make the final series with the Colts winning the Metropolitan Cup under David Gray.

If you would like to read through any of the match reports from each grade, these can be found below.

A.W. Green Shield Match Reports 05/06

A.W. Green Shield Match Reports 05/06

The A.W. Green Shield is an age competition for grade clubs for players under 16 years of age. The Green Shield matches are played either on Sunday€s or on week days during the school holidays.

The competition includes semi finals and a final.

For the match schedule go to: Green Shield Fixtures. 

A. W. Green Shield match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:

Green Shield Report  7

Green Shield Report 7

Green Shield Report vs UTS Balmain

Round 7 and the Stags returned to Beauchamp in a quest to maintain their unbeaten record and secure a Qualifying Finals position. Heavily overcast conditions greeted the players and the start of play was delayed twenty minutes due mainly to a wet patch half way down the wicket. This gave Coach Brendan Macdonald plenty of time to deliver his usual rousing speech, which undoubtedly gave us that extra 1%. Harry Evans executed a perfect toss and sent Balmain into bat, giving the Gordon bowling attack first use of the damp pitch.

(Paul Campbell bowls a great ball that cuts back from outside off stump with the batsman shouldering arms)

Paul Campbell, in his second game back from injury, stepped up to open the bowling with Tom Drake. Drake held great line and length and was rewarded when he hit the wet patch and the rising ball found the glove of their opening batsman. Evans took a spectacular diving, one handed catch down the leg side. The team is coming to expect such displays of genius from Evans - BMac's persistent catching practice and report writing examples are paying dividends.

Campbell bowled with pace, hit the deck hard and landed the ball on a good length. Towards the end of his opening spell, Campbell was rewarded with his first Green Shield wicket. He again hit the suspect wet patch and the ball looped up to find the shoulder of the bat, Evans taking a relatively easy high catch.

(Richard Pengelly against Balmain) 

Rob 'Junior' Edwards returned to the line-up, however a stiff back prevented him from delivering his usual rapid opening spell. He and Seth Tulloch bowled consistently and economically. Both bowlers regularly found the edge but none went to hand.

Richard 'B1' Pengelly and Charlie 'B2' Sayers were injected into the attack soon after and the pressure built by our two first change bowlers immediately paid off. Balmain's tall opener, easily their best batsman, flicked a low Pengelly full toss to Will Sierakowski's left at midwicket, who dived low and snared a good two handed catch. The new batsman at the crease quickly signalled he was in a hurry, consistently pushing for two, and, in doing so, handed us the next two wickets running his partners out.

Hamish 'Showstopper' Angus was introduced to tie them down before lunch and get through the overs quickly. This so called 'heat' pulled out his usual repertoire including the new delivery, the bouncer. After this new ball was dispatched for three he was brought back to earth in typical Edwards style, who commented 'if you were any slower you would stop'. That said, Angus did his job and, as slow as he was, he was effective.

After the luncheon interval, Campbell was reintroduced. He claimed two wickets in his spell, one a magnificent catch by 'just don't hit it to me' Edwards (well it looked good anyway) and the other clean bowling the batsman, who did not offer a shot. Campbell finished with figures of 3/18 off 12. Sayers finished his spell, bowling all 12 with great consistency, and was unlucky throughout. He was replaced by Sierakowski, who got a yorker to hit their number 8 batsman plum in front - LBW. Tom Drake cleaned up the tail with two wickets in two balls, Sierakowski again taking a good catch at midwicket. Drake finished with 3/11 off 6.

(Tom Drake cleans up the No. 11. What happened to his leg stump?)

UTS Balmain finished with 10/116 off 52.2 overs, a total we were very happy with. A shuffle in the batting order meant that Alec 'Bransby' Brown joined Ben 'two big ones' Cannon at the top of the order. Unfortunately Ben and Alec fell cheaply, both of them getting very good balls first up. The dismissal of Tulloch brought Evans to the crease at 3-37. Sierakowski and Evans formed a good partnership seeing them through till tea. Evans was dismissed soon after, spooning a leg glance to square leg. Sierakowski fell 18 runs later for a well compiled 46; he provided a solid rock for the short run chase. Campbell and Angus saw the innings through for a convincing win in the 32nd over.

(A good decision from Tony Kingsford Smith. The opened Alec Brown shouldered arms and was on it way to hitting the stumps without a shot being played)

Overall it was a convincing victory. Our ground fielding and catching was a huge improvement. There were 4 great catches, two slick run-outs and our fielding in general saved us 20 plus runs. It was very noticeable how much more pressure this put on the Balmain bats. Bowlers need to improve their line and length and remove the loose ball from their overs, and our batsmen need to work on capitalising on their starts and building their innings.

We now face a rematch with Randwick Petersham on Tuesday, 17 January, at Beauchamp in the first of our finals. If we continue to work hard and have some fun we are a side that is good enough to keep our undefeated record in tact.

Harry Evans

Photos courtesy Prue Sinclair and Chrissy Sayers

Green Shield Report  6

Green Shield Report 6

Green Shield Report vs Sydney Uni

(Report courtesy Alec Brown, photos courtesy Prue Sinclair)

The Gordon lads went in to this game striving to continue along the road to perfection. We felt it was a fairly achievable task, given the opposition's record, but still knew it would be a tough game. The day was, to say the least, a tad warm. After an extended warm up, Uni put themselves in on a decent track.

(New reporter Alec Brown and Harry Evans)

Our bowling line-up was strengthened with the return of quickie Paul Campbell, however Rob 'Junior' Edwards was still feeling the effects of a bad back, so was rested. Tom Drake bowled very well holding great line and length to a batsman who seemed incapable of hitting the ball. He also clean bowled a batsman later in the innings. Seth Tulloch bowled a tight spell, moving the ball back in consistently, also got a key wicket, caught behind.

Tim Fragogianis came on, and bowled nothing less that typical 'frago'. Nothing loose, making them do the work. An admirable spell, including a wicket in weather that, by now, most of us had started to realise was getting fairly toasty. Charlie 'soggy' Sayers then came on, and bowled beautifully, keeping the runs down, and earning two all-important wickets.Then we unleashed our secret weapon. Paul Campbell played his first game since the trial game, due to an elbow injury. This was the first time he had bowled in a long time. He came on, and hit the deck at a very decent pace. It was a very promising spell, and all look forward to seeing what will no doubt be some very fiery spells next week. Then, our other secret weapon: Hamish Angus came on to bowl what can only be described as heat. He swung the ball, making use of the moisture in the air, and kept the runs down while getting through the overs quickly, in order to get us closer to the landmark that is lunch.

(Seth Tulloch at Beauchamp)

As B-Mac lay shirtless, baking in the sun, Henry Cooper bowled with great flight and control, using his wicket ball to bamboozle their number 4, who was starting to look settled. Richard 'Penguin' Pengilly came on, bowled really well and threatened the wickets all the time, somehow now getting one.

Our ground fielding was a noticeable improvement, with both Hamish and Henry picking up skilful run outs. However, there were numerous fines dealt out for mistakes, leaving Benny Cannon a little short of pocket, not to mention various others. Sydney Uni finished up with 8-174 off their 60 overs.

We were reasonably happy with this target, a bit under 3 an over. Our batting campaign got underway well, with Ben '2 big ones' Cannon off to a flyer. He took apart the openers to end up with a quick fire 33. Angus Sinclair once again proved himself as the rock of the batting line-up, scoring 52* off 160 balls. His innings was critical to the run-chase, and he kept his composure throughout the now sweltering heat.

(B-Mac and Jules Stephenson enjoy the cricket)

Harry Evans came in, and did his usual thing, scoring heavily with class and flair. He got to 48, before falling to a catch in the outfield, after keeping the scoreboard ticking over with regularity. Hamish Angus then came in to finish it off, with an unbeaten 24, including a 6 over the long boundary.I'd like to give a special mention to the mothers for what was easily the best tea of the season. I'm sure the whole team appreciated the effort put in. Overall, it was a solid performance, with some improvements needed to be made before we are ready for finals next week. Tomorrow we return to Beauchamp Park to play UTS Balmain and look forward to a good contest, and a chance to end the preliminary rounds with a perfect record of 6-0.

Alec Brown

Green Shield Report Round 5

Green Shield Report Round 5

Green Shield Report v Randwick-Petersham.

What a difference 12 balls can make.

Being undefeated in four rounds meant there was a lot of pressure going into round 5 of Green Shield, facing Randwick-Petersham at Coogee Oval. The opposition had lost just the one game so far, against competition leaders Campbelltown-Camden.

We lost the toss, and found ourselves batting on a grassy deck.

(Will Sierakowski at Coogee)

At short notice (Angus Sinclair sustained an injury during the warm-up session), Ben Cannon stepped up to open the innings with Will Sierakowski. Cannon defended gallantly for 39 minutes before being bowled by Randwick's first change bowler.

Sierakowski and Harry Evans put us back in a commanding position at 1/61, before Sierakowski fell for 28. Hamish Angus joined Evans, and the pair batted well together to have us progressing steadily at 2/108 at lunch.

After the break, Evans was caught for 68. Tim Fragogianis joined Angus, who was run out for 36. Fragogianis was caught after making 15 and Tom Drake unbeaten on 17.

Our final score was 8/200, our lowest total yet off 60 overs, but reasonable against a quality bowling line up, and playing on a slow outfield.

With two of our opening bowlers out of action due to injury, we were unable to begin our defense of the total as we would have liked, but Tom Drake and Seth Tulloch both bowled well to keep the runs down without getting a wicket.

First change bowler Tim Fragogianis bowled with the consistency we have come to expect from him, and at the other end Henry Cooper made the breakthrough ' the catch at mid-on taken by Richard Pengelly. Cooper struck again with a caught and bowled shortly after.

(Tom Drake in action at Coogee)

We went to tea with the match evenly poised, but few overs were completed after the break, although we did see Ben Cannon provide a rather unusual interpretation of keeping your eye on the ball ' which resulted in a premature exit of the field, and some ice to the head.

At 28 overs Randwick was 2/72, and the Umpires decided to bring play to a halt. Unfortunately, 30 overs was the amount necessary for a result, and the par score Randwick needed at that stage was 101 (ie. 29 off 2 overs) to win.

So we hung around in the sheds until 6:00 waiting for the rain to subside and play to recommence, but to our disadvantage, the weather persisted, calling an end to the match.

It was a disappointing end to what was turning into an exciting match.

Charlie Sayers

PS

The webmaster visited Coogee Oval on Thursday with a view to providing photographic training for the apprentice web photographer Chrissy Sayers. 

After providing the necessary instruction, Chrissy and the webmaster both took a photo of Ben Cannon at the same time with an amazing result...bowled twice by two cameras.

The results are below:

  

Green Shield Report Round 4

Green Shield Report Round 4

Green Shield Report vs Fairfield-Liverpool

Facing what shaped up to be our strongest opposition yet, Gordon were prepared for a tough contest in attempting their 4th straight win in the Green Shield Competition, this time against Fairfield-Liverpool.

(The Green Shield Squad come off winners against Fairfield)

The start was delayed due to wet pitch conditions, and when we finally got underway at 11.45am, nearly two hours past the official starting time, the umpires had reduced the game from 60 to 50 overs per side. Captain Harry Evans executed a perfect toss and had no hesitation in bowling on the 'grass top' wicket.

The opening bowlers Robert Edwards and Tom Drake made good use of the conditions, hitting the deck hard and moving the ball both ways considerably. The scorebook read Batsman Caught Evans bowled Edwards after the 5th over, in what is becoming a quite recurring score line.

Drake's 3rd over went for 11, but he bounced back admirably, obtaining two wickets in two balls in his next; both leaving the middle stump tilted at a sharp angle. The hat-trick was not to be, but he finished his 5 over spell with the figures of 2/28.

First change bowlers Seth Tulloch and Tim Fragogianis capitalised on the start made by our quicks, Tulloch getting the next with Alec Brown taking a sharp catch at square leg., while Frago kept the runs to a minimum at the other end.

(Rob Edwards at Beauchamp)

Gordon were on top after 21 overs and leggie Charlie Sayers was introduced, bowling consistently and economically in taking 2/20 off his 7 overs. Hamish Angus at the other end bowled well without taking a wicket, going for a mere 25 off his 9 overs.

The fast bowlers were reintroduced, Fragogianis getting his first wicket caught at mid-on, giving Will Sierakowski his second catch of the innings. Drake then produced a stunning run out from the deep to give us our 8th wicket.

Edwards bowled tightly at the other end, picking up his 2nd wicket and finishing with figures of 2/28. We were able to confine Fairfield to a total of 9/149, Gordon needing exactly 3 an over for victory.

Sierakowski opened our account in an aggressive manner, hitting the Farfield opening bowler, a spinner, over his head on more than one occasion before falling caught and bowled for 12. Angus Sinclair survived some sustained and somewhat desperate appeals from the other Fairfield opener, but fell stumped to the 1st change bowlers, yet another spinner.

Harry Evans appeared determined to bridge the gap between himself and the top two run scorers for the season, as he strode confidently out to bat, and partnered by Hamish Angus, the two of them batted in controlling fashions to have us in the box seat, before Angus was dismissed for 32, giving him a 193 run total for the season after 4 games, 8 shy of Sinclair's 201.

Such is the depth of our batting; we could afford to mix the order somewhat, with newly appointed Drake coming in at number 5. He batted well with the authoritative Evans, before falling LBW.

(Tim Fragogianis at Beauchamp)

Fragogianis came in next, hitting every ball in the middle of the bat from the outset. Another strong partnership between himself and Evans was broken with only 5 runs to win ' the latter falling for 83, giving him a grand total of 213 for the season.

Frago only needed 2 more scoring shots to finish off the match, Gordon the winners by 5 wickets.

With only 3 rounds to go, and Gordon one of only 3 undefeated teams, a quarter-final berth looks imminent, and would be assured if we were to beat Randwick Petersham on Thursday, 5 January.

Charlie Sayers

Green Shield Report Round 3

Green Shield Report Round 3

Green Shield Report vs Mosman

Mosman.

The team everyone wanted to beat.

Having played Green Shield with Mosman last year myself and many other players from both sides playing for each team over the years, the match was shaping up to be a very interesting affair.

(Will Sierakowski at Beauchamp)

We were full of expectation as our openers strode out to bat, considering we had been 2 down for more than 150 after each game we have played so far.

However we lost an early wicket with the score at 35, Will Sierakowski falling for 21. Angus Sinclair fell soon after for 20, bringing his season average down to a humbling 98.50.

Harry Evans continued the developing trend of making a start, when he was dismissed caught down the leg-side for 17.

Mosman had us on the back foot, no pun intended, and the middle-order were forced to do something previously unheard of, in attempting to put life back into our shaky start to the innings.

Tim Fragogianis played an excellent innings, hitting the bad balls for 4, and always looking in control. Hamish Angus also continued his run of form from the last two innings. Their partnership was imperative, and together the pair guided us to a steady position at 3 for 114.

(Tim Fragogianis against Mosman)

Fragogianis fell for 29 trying to lift the run-rate, caught and bowled with a straight drive that looked certain to reach the boundary; and Angus was dismissed soon after for 37.

He earned himself a $5 fine according to Coach BMac, after being stumped blocking. This was arguably not as harsh as Sinclair's $10 fine for being out on 99 the day before.

Our lower order was once again able to clobber the opposition bowlers in the latter stages of the match. Opening bowlers Robert Edwards and Tom Drake led the way, hitting 24 and 28* respectively. Ben Cannon also batted well at the close in his 26.

On a pitch that seemed to favour bowling, our total of 216 was reasonable but would need some solid bowling performances if we were to maintain our unbeaten record

Opening the bowling, Edwards obtained a wicket in his first over with the opposition yet to score. Drake continued his consistency seen in previous matches, getting the next with a caught and bowled.

(The boys celebrate a wicket)

Both bowlers bowled with fire and aggression, Edwards in particular having batsman trying to avoid deliveries in any way possible.

The match fines continued rolling in, with two individuals penalized for leaning on the fence at fine leg during their bowling spells. I won't mention any names, our opening bowlers know who they are.

When the Mosman Number 4 ambled to the crease, a few pleasantries were directed at him from the fielders and a customary over of short balls was directed at him by the bowler. We were able to have him caught behind of the bowling of Edwards without much contribution to the score line.

Fragogianis was introduced, and got 2 quick wickets in his first few overs. The visitors were looking shaky at 5/33, but resistance was shown in their 6th wicket partnership. We took our foot of the accelerator at this point, allowing Mosman to get more runs than they perhaps should have.

(Skipper Evans in action)

Edwards was reintroduced, and provided the vital breakthrough with his 3rd wicket, finishing with figures of 3/36. But another defying partnership ensured we would have to work for the final few wickets. However Mosman were never really in the chase after some good containing bowling in the middle period demonstrated by Charlie Sayers, Henry Cooper and Hamish Angus

Mosman's primary objective from then on was to just bat out their innings, and wickets eluded us, as we hoped to bowl them out cheaply to boost the all important net run rate.

Angus and Fragogianis paired up again to get a wicket apiece, the latter obtaining innings best figures of 3/17. Some dodgy running between the wickets by the Mosman batsman allowed us to get two run outs at the end of their innings, thereby wrapping up the match

We ended up bowling them out for 129 ' a victory by 87 runs. Our 3-0 record has us sitting 3rd of 20 on the table, but there is improvement to be made when we take on the likes of Fairfield and Randwick after the Christmas break.

C Sayers

Scores:

Gordon 216 (60 overs) Hamish Angus 36, Tim Fragogianis 29, Tom Drake 28 no, Ben Cannon 26, Rob Edwards 24, William Sierakowski 21 defeated

Mosman 129 (54 overs) Tim Fragogianis 3 for 17, Rob Edwards 3 for 36, Hamish Angus 1 for 3, Tom Drake 1 for 5, (2 x run outs)

(Photos courtesy Chrissy Sayers & Prue Sinclair)

Green Shield Report Round 2

Green Shield Report Round 2

Green Shield Report vs Parramatta

Gordon travelled to Old Kings for Round 2 of the Green Shield competition to meet the always unpredictable Parramatta side.

After careful consultation between coach and captain, and a successful coin toss, Gordon elected to bat on a hard and flat surface. William Sierakowski and in-form batsman Angus Sinclair saw off the new ball in terrific style, whilst maintaining a run rate of 3.5 an over for the first 12 overs, before Sierakowski was dismissed leg before wicket for 27.

(Harry Evans at Parramatta)

Whilst this was a minor setback, new batsman to the crease Harry Evans, along with Sinclair continued to mount pressure on the tiring bowlers in the 30 degree heat, continually changing over the strike to ensure that no bowler fell into rhythm. They batted with precision and grace, capitalising on any loose ball. The excellent lunches supplied at our games by scorer Leona Sierakowski seemed to slide down more easily with the score at 1 for 148 off 40 overs.

Coach Brendan McDonald was enthusiastic that the team was in reach of the elusive '300 mark', with 20 overs remaining and plenty of wickets in hand, and when Evans was run out on 75, the big-hitting Alec Brown was sent in to bludgeon the bowling attack. A quick 16 from the big man at more than a run a ball set the platform for the remaining batsmen. Next to the crease was regular number four Hamish Angus (batting at 6), scoring a gritty, but flawless 38 not out, all the while with Sinclair at the other end, turning over the strike for the other batsman and accumulating runs. Sinclair was finally dismissed for an impressive 99 off 168 balls, caught at point. A truly magnificent effort in such unforgiving weather.

(Charlie Sayers at Parramatta)

Robert Edwards and Hamish Angus added beneficial runs to the total, (Edwards being dismissed for 25 off 12 balls) and ex-Parramatta player Tim Fragogianis finished off the innings in fine style. The team concluded the 60 overs at 6 for 298, scoring at a rate of 7.5 per over for the last 20 overs, falling just a measly 2 runs short of 'B Mac's' benchmark.

The team remained inspired even whilst the two opening bowlers, Edwards and Drake, were being dispatched to all parts of the ground in their early overs, but after 6 overs, and the score at 35, the aggressive batting was replaced with tight lines from the bowlers, and even tighter fielding (something of which a shirtless coach was proud to see).

The two 1st change bowlers, leg-spinner Charlie Sayers and quick Seth Tulloch, bowled with fine control to pick up 3 and 2 wickets respectively. Henry Cooper also picked up 2 wickets with a fine display of the art of leg spin bowling, along with his 2nd change pairing of Tim Fragogianis, who bowled well with little reward.

(Tim Fragogianis in action at Parramatta) 

The team was eager to grasp every opportunity in the field, as the newly appointed fines system ensured that any minor flaw contributed important funds to the function at the end of the season at Coach McDonald's residence.

The end result was inevitable after 40 overs, with the home team going at around 3.5 an over, well short of the required run rate, and when Edwards finished off the tail, restricting Parramatta to only 197, the boys were able to get off the field and start to rest up for the game against Mosman the next day.

Gordon the impressive winners by a margin of 100 runs. The only criticism of the team's performance was the atrocious version of the Gordon club song at the end of the day's play.

Gordon 6 for 298 (60 overs), Angus Sinclair 99, Harry Evans 75, Hamish Angus 38 n.o. defeated Parramatta 197 (Charlie Sayers 3 for 40, Rob Edwards 3 for 36, Henry Cooper 2 for 29, Seth Tulloch 2 for 49).

R Edwards

(Photos courtesy of Chrissy Sayers)

Green Shield Report Round 1

Green Shield Report Round 1

Green Shield Round 1 vs Bankstown

The Stags travelled to Graham Thomas Reserve on Sunday for our first Green Shield encounter against the finalists for the last 3 years, Bankstown.

(Angus Sinclair at Bankstown)

After losing the toss and been put into field, the match started in surprising circumstances when the hosts found themselves 2/1 after 5 overs. The first wicket fell to the bowling of Tom Drake with the score at 1, caught behind, and the next fell quickly after, due to a spectacular piece of fielding by Hamish Angus at backward point. Bankstown were left scratching their heads, with both openers back in the sheds in short time.

Gordon kept mounting the pressure and the next wicket fell soon after, once again, a run-out by Angus. The unanticipated score line after 20 overs was 3/37, with the visitors firmly on top.

But Bankstown refused to give in, and the next two partnerships ensured they had wickets in hand for the final 20 overs. The only other wickets to fall were to the bowling Henry Cooper, caught at midwicket by Angus, and to Robert Edwards, bowling Bakstown's top scorer. Tim Fragogianis and Drake bowled well at the death to limit Bankstown to 5/219.

For the second time in a row, Gordon lost an early wicket, but was rescued by Harry Evans, and Angus Sinclair. They batted with excellent communication and understanding, stealing many runs through good running between the wickets. When Evans fell in the over before lunch for 41, Gordon was progressing tenaciously, the score 2/84 after 25 overs, Sinclair going steadily on 34*. The prospect of us lower order batsman actually getting some time at the crease seems to be growing dimmer after today's performance.

(Tom Drake in Action on Sunday)

After the interval, Sinclair was joined by Angus, who set out to damage the opposition's bowlers from the outset. Both batsmen were simply cruising, Sinclair achieving a commanding 50 with the score at 2/129. Needing around 3 ' per over for victory, Angus put the accelerator on once more, piling on runs all around the ground with complete ease, and achieving his 50 in short time.

With the required run rate lessening, some sloppy fielding by Bankstown made our task less demanding as the day wore on and Sinclair and Angus continued batting resolutely, steering Gordon to an emphatic win.

We scored 2/223 in 54 overs, Sinclair finishing on 78*, and Angus 87*

A commanding victory by eight wickets was the perfect way to begin our campaign towards the finals, and the team should be looking forward to the games against Parramatta and Mosman on Thursday and Friday.

Report by Charlie Sayers 

(Photos courtesy Chrissy Sayers)

Manager's Comments

A good win against one of the strongest Green Shield clubs over the past 10 years. It's always very pleasing to travel to the Western Suburbs, particularly Bankstown, and return victorious.

Some of the highlights of the day's play were:-

  • an excellent opening spell (2/5 off 10) from our two strike bowlers, Tom Drake and Robert Edwards. Also a fine last over by Edwards, when Bankstown was looking to plunder the bowling.
  • mature batting by both Angus Sinclair and Hamish Angus. Sinclair was particularly disciplined, prepared to be patient and wait for the loose ball. Angus looked in fine form. Both batsmen watched the scoreboard carefully and timed their run to the finish line very well indeed.
  • sharp close-in fielding from Angus, with two run-outs. Also Drake, whose strong throwing arm from the boundary allowed the Bankstown batsmen to take one's and two's, but never three's.
  • controlled medium pace bowling from Seth Tulloch (0/14 off 5), Tim Fragogianis (0/24 off 9), William Sierakowski (0/16 off 6) and Richard Pengelly (0/31 off 5).
  • our two leg-spinners, Henry Cooper (1/30 off 8) and Charlie Sayers (0/18 off 4), are becoming more consistent, which is inspiring confidence.
  • good umpiring when the square-leg umpire, Jon Graham, gave Angus Sinclair out (run out). This decision was quickly over-ruled by the umpire at the bowler's end, Steve McAppion, who, from where he was standing, could see that the Bankstown keeper did not have the ball in hand when he broke the wicket.

Our catching, field placement, bowling combinations and running between wickets are all areas we continually need to be working on. Run rate will doubtless be something else we will need to consider as the competition progresses.

We need to be careful when fielding on grounds where steel fencing is the boundary. One injury (Alec Brown) during our trial game against St George, and another two (Ben Cannon ' back, Richard Pengelly ' finger) against Bankstown. Right now we can ill afford additional injuries. Do your best to field the ball, but not at the risk of slamming into the fence and injuring yourself.

Our thanks to Sam Hinton for carrying out the coaching duties in the absence of Brendan McDonald. Bmac will be with us for all of our remaining matches.

Excellent scoring as always by Leona Sierakowski, who somehow finds the time to also buy and help serve the team's lunch. A fine example of a team player.

Good to see the entire squad of 14 boys present, particularly Alec Brown and Paul Campbell. Whereas Alec hopes to be fit this week, Paul's injury is going to take time to heal. Let's hope he at least recovers in time for the Qualifying Finals on 17 January, just 4 weeks away.

Great support from all parents, who were present at most if not all of the day's play.

Now it's down to earth, with only one match gone and one win under our belts. Six games to go, two in two days this week - Parramatta away on Thursday, and Mosman at home on Friday.

R. C. Evans

 

 

 

Fifth Grade Match Reports 05/06

Fifth Grade Match Reports 05/06

The Fifth Grade team plays for the Dave Sherwood 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.

Fifth Grade match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

5th Grade Report Round 15

5th Grade Report Round 15

5th Grade report vs UNSW

Saturday saw the end to a season which promised much promise for the Stags of 5th grade. When Higgins arrived at the ground he was greeted by a few lone Stags in the home dressing sheds. It was great to be back at Chatswood.

The smell of rice and construction in the air, the feel of a warm March day on my back, and the fresh dew all provided the perfect atmosphere for a days play of cricket.

When 9:30 struck on the analogue watches of the waiting crowd I realised there were only 8 Gordon representatives at Chatswood oval. When 9:35 came,

7 Stags sat in the sheds waiting on their team mates, as one player forgot his spikes and was forced to drive home to pick them up.

A home game. Chatswood Oval. The biggest game of the year up against minor premiers UNSW. 20 minutes till ball one, 4 players absent. We were fighting an uphill battle from the outset. Youth is aplenty in the lower grades, especially in 5's, but I hope to never see this type of showing again in any team.

During the usual inspection of the pitch and its surroundings, we noticed some rather unusual scuff marks on the pitch. A note had been left on the door of the home sides dressing rooms notifying the players of vandalism on the wicket. The groundsman was forced to water the pitch to repair the damage. There wasn't enough time for the wicket to dry out. The pitch was green and wet.

Captain Storey lost the toss, and thankfully we were sent in to bat. I say thankfully because we were still short of a player by the time the first 3 or 4 overs were completed. I felt sorry for opening batsmen Fitzpatrick and Slocombe. The ball would have struggled to do any more in the air and off the surface. Balls jagging every which way. Fitzy copped one on the helmet but being the man he is laughed it off. Well if he wasn't laughing the rest of the guys were.

Batting didn't appear all that difficult from the grandstands but by the time I got out there I gained appreciation for the work the 2 openers did.

Fitz and Choppy lasted around 10-12 overs before the latter nicked a ball to slip.

1-20

Lassie joined Fitz but it wasn't long till Fitzy was run out. Closer inspection from the 3rd umpire showed that Lassie should have been the one given out, as Fitzy didn't even get half way down the track.

Higgins arrived at the crease and immediately endured some pain. A ball to the ribs, and ball to either thigh played prelude to a shocking collision with the ball and Higgins cut lunch. Fortunately Higgins is so well endowed the ball rocketed straight back to the bowler without inflicting pain to either player.

Fewer times have I seen a wicket that did as much off the seam as the one on the weekend. Sometimes it became quite comical.

When Lassie was bowled for not many the score line looked troublesome. Jack Rabone joined Higgins but unfortunately never looked comfortable. In fairness to Rabbits and all the bats, no one from either team looked comfortable out in the middle. Rabbits shouldered arms to a ball that from what I saw pitched just outside off; his leg stump declined 45 degrees.

4-40

Packman, after receiving news of his brothers successes, came to the crease all guns blazing. He and Higgins set about resurrecting the score book, before Higgins' gutsy, courageous innings ended on 25.

5-75

From there not much to report. Our last five fell for 30. Our last 4 for about 15. Tim Roarty added some respectability to the total with some lusty hitting, including 3 sixes and the best shot for four I've ever seen.

Jim "Jungles" Robson was bowling when the score was 8-90. The leg side field was stacked. Jungles bowled, Roarts quickly changed hands and played a reverse slog over point for four. Unbelievable. Of course had he got out I would be reporting on his stupidity.

All out 104

A chance. A slim chance. But a chance none the less.

The lunch break saw Packman, Slocombe, Higgins and his significant other travel to the Chatswood shopping centre. Nothing really to report; just wanted to let everyone know my girlfriend was at Chatswood. Just wanted to let everyone at the club know I have a girlfriend. Just wanted everyone to know I wasn't at the Mardi Gras last Saturday night.

Packers opened up the bowling and before long found good rhythm. A wicket in his second, third and fourth over got things going. Timmy Clifford bowled superbly at the other end picking up a well deserved wicket. The ball, whilst still new, assisted the bowlers greatly. Suddenly we were every chance of winning the game at 4-15.

After the first drinks break the sun came out, and the pitched dried quickly. All the bowlers bowled particularly well. On most other days we would have rolled UNSW for maybe 50 odd. The momentum needed to keep on going. As has been the problem all year the fielding was the difference between winning and losing. I said against Wests if we continued dropping catches we will lose matches. What do you know; I was right.

Two very basic chances were spilt and the game slipped away. No less than 25-30 plays and misses from one of their batsmen kept us frustrated but at the end of the day you make your own luck in this game.

Fitzpatrick did however take an absolute screamer in the gully. Roarty bowled a bouncer to the wily old veteran which caught the shoulder of the bat. The ball ballooned to gully. Fitzy took 3 paces in, then 1 back before flying overhead and grabbing the ball 2 handed. He got up and ran; ran like Dwayne Bravo at the Adelaide Oval. No one chased him. No one could believe he could make such a dogs breakfast of the easiest catch anyone has ever seen.

I must make a mention of the effort Tim "Tommy" Roarty gave on Saturday.

Bowling 10 overs on the trot in warmish weather is no mean feat. Stores also bowled quite well without luck. Bourney may have had better days, but the pitch did suit the meds rather than the spinners. Packers and Cliffy gave their usual 110%. Things got so desperate the combination of Lassie and Choppy was used for a few overs. Choppy even ending up with a wicket. No doubt Macleans, his sponsor, would have been pleased.

All too easy in the end for UNSW as they scored the runs with 4 wickets in hand and 30 odd balls to spare.

A devastated Stags outfit returned to the silent rooms. Every one knew the opportunity we had to play finals cricket. Every one knew the opportunity we threw away. No one said it, but it was written on the faces of the 11 Stags.

So farewell it is from me to the summer of 2005/2006, the Gordon Club, and its supporters. A few things before I head off to do what ever it is I do in winter:

I would like to thank Paul Stephenson for editing 4,367 of my carefully chosen and witty words over the year. As well as this, thanks to the Webmaster for not deleting me from your website. Thanks to Stobo for being such an easy target on a regular basis. Thanks to Stobs for being Stobs (never thought I'd be saying that).

Thank you to Mitch Kleem whose poetry has been acting as both bed time material, and comedic conversation at the Green Gate. Thanks to the Green Gate for giving me beer and jugs of bundy.

Finally thanks to all the club for being who you are. I got an offer from the 5th grade captain of North Sydney at the Crows Nest Hotel to play for his club next year at about 2:37am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I checked the Norths website'.Not as good as ours.

I'll be back next year.

Cheers

Higgo

5th Grade Report Round 14 day 2

5th Grade Report Round 14 day 2

5th Grade report vs North Sydney

A disappointing way to finish the penultimate days play of the 2005/2006 regular season. Round 14 was an opportunity for the Stags to confirm their spot in the top 6, but rather the men from Chatswood stumbled at what appeared to be a hurdle of insignificant proportions. Fortunately it is only a stumble, but what an opportunity we missed over the last two weeks.

(Higgo looking good)

Gordon bowled out for 179.

North Sydney 5-191.

The loss makes life extremely difficult for the 5th graders this week, who will now have to beat outright leaders Uni of New South Wales (72 points) to assure themselves of a finals birth. The job appearing even more difficult by the fact that UNSW beat their educational counterparts and 7th placed Sydney Uni by 260 odd runs on the weekend. This counts for nothing now. UNSW will finish in first place at the end of round 15, but it is Gordon who has everything to play for this coming Saturday. A loss would mean that if either Sydney Uni or Campbelltown-Camden win then the Stags would be out.

The equation is simple.

Although it was a heartbreaking loss for the boys on Saturday, many positives can be brought out from the game. The bowling was superb. The 178 runs that were scored in the days play (North's started the day at 0-13) came from a whopping 82 overs. The wicket was of test match standard, and realistically a score of 350 in a day should have been par.

(Michael Bourne bowling without luck on Saturday) 

Full credit to all bowlers for their efforts, especially Bourne who must have churned out close to 25 overs without result.

Timmy Clifford bowled especially well to pick up 2 poles, the first of which he uprooted the opening batsman's middle stump. Exceptional line and length from the new recruit, a real asset to have in the team. But WOW can he eat.

At every opportunity he will be attacking anything the slightest bit edible.

Drinks, tea, after play, between overs, going back to his mark; all of these breaks in play offer little Timmy "Mallos" aka Clifford the opportunity to snack.

Millar, returning to cricket after his night of debauchery, didn't get as many overs as what he would have liked, but bowled a consistent attacking line, and Roarty bowled his usual sneaky overs resulting in a sneaky but deserved pole.

(Skipper Storey at North Sydney)

Storey bowled well, a yard or two slower than in previous fixtures but line and length none the less. The wicket offered all bowlers, including Stores, limited assistance. Limited is a very liberal word to describe the assistance.

Wickets were sporadic, which meant we were never really able to build pressure. Defending 180 means that a cluster of wickets would have to fall in order to win the game. Mallos picked up two relatively close together, but by this time it was too little too late.

It was before Mallos came onto bowl that Fitzpatrick may have given Mallos the greatest nickname I've heard this year. Mallos was fielding at cover and decided to dive at a ball that was rolling to him at no faster than 4 or 5 km/h. The earth shook as if Godzilla had saved four runs diving in the cover region. "Johnty" Mallos was born. The crowd erupted. The fielding, although never bad, was never good. There was no sense of urgency, no desire to attack everything. 3 or 4 sharp chances were missed, 3 of those of Mickey B, and would almost have certainly turned the game in our favour. Look for a much improved effort this week when the Gordon Club makes its long awaited return to Chatswood Oval.

A very productive discussion took place in the away dressing room at Tunks oval, late on Saturday afternoon. Mallos was evidently twitching to get away and make his debut appearance at the "Lock In" so he claimed; we all knew he was headed to a certain parade that rocked Sydney and more specifically Oxford Street on Saturday night. The discussion went on for about 15 or so minutes, thank God Plummer wasn't there other wise I'd be writing this report from Tunks, and the team is better for it. Hopefully every available 5th grader will be at training for both days this week, and I know we will beat UNSW. We have to.

Ian Higgins

The fifth Grade report is sponsored by:

www.choppychop.com

 

 

5th Grade Report Round 14 day 1

5th Grade Report Round 14 day 1

5th Grade Report vs North Sydney Day 1

The Fifth Grade report is sponsored by Choppy Chop: go to www.choppychop.com

Greg Matthews claims to have won a mind game with Richard Stobo, and therefore justifies his actions not so long ago. There is only one idiot who has won a mind game with the 'great' Stobo in recent times, and his hair is far from being an endangered species. In fact as our club coach calls it, it produces; "The nectar of the God's".

The result of the Round 14 clash with the Bears of North Sydney was surely a forgone conclusion before a ball had been bowled. 17th placed Norths vs the 4th placed Stags. Gordon would win, but by how many.

(Michael Bourne who saved the day with his batting)

Unfortunately this was the question circulating the club, especially 5th grade, in the lead up to Saturday. How funny cricket is. 5's managed to put up their worst days play of the season, at a critical time of the year. Embarrassing, ordinary, woeful are but a few words that come to mind when one reflects on Saturdays debacle.

Gordon bowled out for 179.

Higgins and Storey arrived together at the picturesque ground of Tunks Oval to find a number of players missing from the dressing sheds. Tim "Cliffy" Clifford had coaching which ran a little over time, and the great Tommy "Tim" Roarty had gone to Tunks park at Macquarie. Roarts arrived with the news that he would be leaving at 4pm to go to a wedding. No one knew of his early departure, but to be fair he had told a number of people prior to the days play, all of whom forgot. It was a bad day from the outset.

Stores won the toss, and batted on a batsman's paradise. I've never seen a better wicket to bat on. I've driven on roads which resembled less of their name than the deck at Tunks. White lines down the middle, a two lane run feast was put on offer for the Stags.

Complacency is not a good value to have but it crept into our game and we were jumped all over by the waiting Bears.

(John Mallos at Tunks)

Only one umpire was designated to Saturdays play, and therefore one member of the Stags would be forced to stand at square leg for 10 over stints.

Mallos was forced to stand at square for a full 16 overs, as the Stags were pleased to have the little penguin out there for an hour or so.

Choppy Chop was the first to be dismissed, caught behind. Perhaps his recovery from a night in lock up had started to catch up on him. Fitzy fell shortly after hooking the slowest bouncer I've witnessed to square leg.

Higgins, padding up after Fitzy's dismissal, was privy to one of the blow ups of the season as Fitzy went ballistic including a spectacular throw.

Lassie was next to fall caught behind as he attempted to smash another textbook cover drive. Higgins joined Roarty, who had been promoted in the line up to use our full 11, and the two just began to pull the game back in the Stags favour. At drinks the score was 3-60.

When Roarty attempted to bomb a straight one the score was 4-100 as his failed swipe fell into the hands of mid on.

Rabone came in, scored one run, then nicked a ball to the keeper as he tried to cut the shortest ball of the day.

5-101.

For these two crucial wickets to fall like this was very disappointing. Higgins, standing at the other end probably blew up more than the two batsmen. Mallos was the next man in, and as he waddled to the crease he was the unfortunate recipient of a Higgins earful as the long haired "man" sent a rocket up his team mate, telling him "If he gets out like the past two he would personally wrap the bat in his hand round his neck". This quote is minus a few expletives, and was originally used by Marty Reynolds. Cheers Marty.

(Higgins leaves the scene after his 36)

Higgins and Mallos took the score to 5-120 at tea. The tea was sub par I'm afraid to report. 6 plates of confectionary, 4 of which were chips of the same flavour. Matt Kelly would have blown up. Klemmy would have been pleased with the spread.

After tea, Higgins failed to add to his score and was caught at slip for the days top score of a measly 36. Mallos followed soon after.

Storey and Bourne may have saved the day for the Stags as they added 50 for the 8th wicket. It was slow going though. Their 50 run stand came in no less than 30 or so overs. But it was gutsy, determined cricket. Stores was the first to go, an inspired 20 something. From there the tail added 4 or 5 extra runs. All out 179.

The Stags had the chance of 7 overs at the Bears. No result, but plenty of promise. Look for Cliffy to take a few, he might just be a bit of a dark horse.

The worst days play I've had this year, cricket wise, but still an enjoyable one due to the company of my team mates. It's a shame none of them like me though.

Rest assured the boys will throw everything at the Bears to bring home 6 points. I may just give Mo a call, see what he does to put off the opposition.

(Storey and Bourne in action)

Mardi Gras this weekend. I wonder if there will be as many Stags attending the festivities as there was attending the 'Desperate and Dateless'. I wonder how many jokes I'll get this week regarding the Mardi Gras.

Cheers

Higgo.

5th Grade Report Round 13 day 2

5th Grade Report Round 13 day 2

5th Grade vs Western Suburbs Day 2

The latter half of Round 13 took the 5th graders out to Punchbowl oval, where Gordon sat in a strong position from the previous week declaring at 9-307. The wicket and outfield looked to be in good nick, as it did last week, however last weeks pitch played all sorts of tricks on the batsmen.

The warm-up was a good one. Each player knew where he stood, and what the task was for the days play. Captain Dave Storey got confused about the rules of cricket and stated to his team; "Let these guys know we are going to take 307 wickets here today"

(Dave Storey in action) 

Every one heard it. No one corrected him for fear of copping an earful from the ferocious and inspirational leader. Dave Storey is an inspired man, before each days play he reads 'The Bible'. 'The Bible' being Steve Waugh's knew autobiography. I was intending to buy the book over the festive season, however I'm glad I refrained from the purchase, as I have heard most passages from the holy grail of cricket novels.

On most days of play, 11 players are used on either side. Coincidently, both Gordon and Wests were unable to field all 11 players for the full days play.

Wests had suffered an injury to one of their batsmen, making him unable to bat, whilst Gordon had lost Lassie, and Packers was forced to leave early for a bucks do in the afternoon. Dave Storey frantically called everyone and anyone on Friday afternoon to see if they could find someone to field for the Stags. AJ Fry would have enjoyed his last day at the club, as both his mate, and his father joined him on the field for 80% of the days cricket.

The Stags began brilliantly in the sweltering heat due to some fine bowling from Stores and Packers. Storey struck first with a sharp chance taken at a catching mid-on by Dave "My Humps" Miller. He claimed his second 2 balls later when some fine swing bowling struck the Wests captain plum LBW.

Suddenly Wests looked to have lost all hope at 2-8.

Packman chipped in at the other end soon after the first 2 wickets had fallen with a simple caught behind to Higgins.

3-20. The wicket had yet to do anything untoward, and Gordon was perhaps overconfident of finishing off the match quickly.

Miller was introduced into the attack, and he managed to attack the same area on the deck with uneven bounce, that had troubled the batsmen so much last week. He managed to strike their young left hander in the ribs, and it clearly shook up the young lad. The batsman never recovered from the blow, and two overs later Miller bowled an absolute cracker which climbed rapidly at the batsman's body, catching the shoulder of the bat, the ball travelled quickly at chest height, and Fitzpatrick took a magnificent two handed, diving grab at gully.

(Dave Millar)

4-40. Surely there was no looking back.

An over later, Miller managed to claim his second as the batsmen attempted to slog a ball off his pads, only to see his leg stump uprooted from Punchbowl Ovals centre square.

5-50

Just before the second drinks break, Bourne was introduced with immediate success. He bowled a pretty ordinary short wide ball, as opposed to a good short and wide ball, which was cut in the air and caught well by Fry diving forward at point.

6-75. 3 wickets in hand, Wests were no hope. An outright was in the forefront of everyone's mind. The next 3 wickets, in hindsight, should have been the primary objective.

It was hot, really hot. Drinks were taken. The Stags just wanted to take three easy wickets and sit in the shade. What was to follow will put us in good stead for the finals, but it was a really tough going for the next 2 hours for the Staggies.

Fry, bowling what turned out to be his last spell for the club before starting university in New Zealand, was introduced into the attack and struggled from the get-go. He managed to bowl a few good rocks, but generally he struggled with his length. However, he did manage to entice the batsman to come down the track and push a ball back to him. Fry, deciding the chance was too easy to take, dropped the return catch. It was possibly the easiest return catch I have ever witnessed. It was grassed. It was almost comical. Although for a long time it wasn't, as the same batsman went on to add another 104 runs to his total in a partnership of 160.

(AJ Fry)

There was a period of about 10 minutes were three relatively simple chances went to ground. From there, the ground fielding became the worst I've seen this year. Balls rolling from a spinner in between first and second slip, slow chases, and no effort were the norm for about 30-35 minutes.

I will be the first to admit it was beyond hot on Saturday, but on another day with less runs on the board, we lose a crucial six points. Tea was taken. The Stags were relieved to get out of the sun.

The resumption of play saw no early change of attitude from the Stags. The score was 6-190 at tea.

Sweat poured from underneath the famous old red deer, as another obstacle soon became apparent. The weather.

Punchbowl Oval came alive, as the visitors played witness to a spectacular light show. The flare, and scintillation of lightning was matched only by the barrage and drumfire of the echoing thunder. The sheer power of mother earth was an overpowering experience and at times the fielders were ore struck by such a display of power. The game continued under threatening black clouds. Armageddon may not have been far away.

The score rolled on, and on, and on. When was the wicket coming? Where was it coming from? Questions that rolled around the 11 Stags as the two batsmen hit their straps. Tim "Tommy" Roarty was introduced, and he proved to be the match winner. Earlier in the day he had released some bodily fluids orally, and when chasing a ball had blacked out temporarily.

(Tim Roarty in action)

To his credit he came back, and won us the game. He did not credit for the role he played on Saturday in the song, but his contribution to the team certainly did not go unnoticed. The first wicket he picked up was caught behind by Higgins, the pressure had released a little. The next over the centurion skied a ball to Choppy Chop. From there it would seem to be a procession.

Bourne cleaned up the number 11, the points were ours, and the boys went mental. Utterly mental. We did it the hard way. But we did it. All out

(9down) for 257

The song was sung with tremendous gusto. Having not sung it the week before due to the conditions at Penrith, the boys sung it twice as hard. Higgins led the beat using a heavy metallic bin on the concrete surface. A fantastic song.

Stu "Choppy" Slocombe got so excited by the win he unfortunately spent Saturday night, and the best part of Sunday morning in police custody, and to be more specific gaol!! The incident which occurred on Saturday night is not for myself to discuss, and anyone interested will have to ask Choppy himself, but I can reveal at one stage he bribed the arresting officer with tooth paste instead of the normal cash payment. On behalf of Gordon Choppy, we're all just glad that you're ok mate!

(Convict Choppy Chop)

An enourmous thank you to AJ Fry's mate Ben for filling in for Lassie in the field, and to AJ's Dad, MR Fry, who replaced Packers (Tim, not Kerry). A big thank you from all the 5th graders. When we win the premiership we'll send you both a premiership cap.

A big farewell to AJ Fry who is returning to his homeland across the ditch.

It's been a real pleasure playing with Nostrildarmis. His absence will leave a hole in who Higgins can get stuck into on a Saturday, but I'm sure someone else will put their hand up. All the best AJ, we hope to see you in the not too distant future.

Finally Stobo. Selfish bloody Stobo. My good mate Will Sweeney playing in 2nd grade had the opportunity to notch up his first grade 50 batting at 9.  Unfortunately his batting partner was Stobo. Stobo was unlucky enough to receive the tricky, almost unplayable, full toss off a spinner which he managed to return to the bowler on the full. Sweeney remained 45 not out. Stobo'.Bastard. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Stobo on 45 and Sweeney got out, Sweeney would have received an absolute rocket.

Stobo..........

Ian Higgins

5th Grade Report Round 13 day 1

5th Grade Report Round 13 day 1

Gordon vs Western Suburbs Day 1

No question as to who won round twelve between Higgins and Stobo. It was like a bear, albeit a very good looking one, mauling a small greying cat. It gives me great pleasure whenever I see a Stag, they always offer me extra ammunition (as if Higgins needs it) to write something comical about the great RMS. I doubt Stobo receives the same support.

(Ian Higgins in action)

Round 13. The biggest round of the year for the Stags. I suppose next week, and the week after I'll say the same thing. However, every game now is a crunch game and the importance of this weeks fixture could not be underestimated.

9-307 doesn't do justice to the days play in a lot of ways.

How cruel cricket can be. I studied the table today, and thought of the missed opportunities the 5th grade side has had, to find themselves in a better position on the ladder. Gordon find themselves on 5th spot, on 42 points, with a cluster of 4 or 5 teams vying for a finals birth. The two wash outs Gordon has had, have been against 13th placed ND's, and last placed Manly. It wouldn't seem complacent to say twelve points went astray there.

I'm sure Captain Dave Storey wouldn't have it any other way. He loves a good struggle.

So, Round 13. Wests. Punchbowl Oval.

A superb looking outfield and a road masquerading as a cricket pitch greeted the North Shorians. Well, it appeared to be a good pitch to bat on. Stores won the toss, and batted.

Not a bad toss to lose in hindsight. The pitch turned out to have plenty in it for the bowlers. Application at the crease was what was needed.

(Stuart Slocombe)

9-307 at the end of the days play does not do justice to how well we took our chances, and applied ourselves mentally.

Sloppy Chocombe and Fitzy, returning for his third set of finals in as many years, opened up the batting at a slow rate. The ball was doing everything imaginable early on, and to the openers credit they faced out some very good bowling. Fitzy and The Dentist batted for almost an hour before the former fell caught behind on 8. Although Fitzy may be disappointed with his 8, he batted for an hour against the new pill and some very tight bowling.

Rabone joined the man with the Macleans smile, and the run rate increased accordingly. Rabone's favourite areas of behind point, backward of square and through gully were his main scoring avenues. He rode his luck but gutsed out a tricky period. Choppy was pumping balls everywhere, as usual, but fell when he looked to push on and post a big score.

2-80

Higgins came to the crease, and found just how difficult the pitch was to read, and how scoring was at an absolute premium. Higgins faced his first four deliveries, all of which hit him. Ribs, thigh, glove, and back. An interesting way to start an innings. There appeared to be a spot in the pitch, about a square foot, which had the most unusual bounce I've ever witnessed. Higgins, at this stage in his 60's and seeing the ball reasonably, went forward to a ball that was on a length. The ball proceeded to hit this patch and pop over his head. The ball was called a no-ball, as it was deemed too high to play a normal cricket stroke. The next ball was a fraction shorter, Higgins went back, the ball rolled, literally rolled, no higher than ankle hight passed the keeper for four byes.

(Jack Rabone)

It was unbelievable to witness the variety in bounce at Punchbowl oval.

Anyway, back to 2-80. Higgins and Rabbits made an important partnership.

Rabone playing a good fighting role, the best I've seen him play.

Unfortunately he threw his innings away at deep mid-wicket pulling a long hop to the only man in the deep. However, his 38 runs and probably 40-50 run stand with Higgins started to take the game away from the magpies. 10 minutes before tea the score stood at 3-130. Packman joined Higgins, and saw out the remaining time available to play cricket before a cup of tea was in order. Gordon stood in pole position at tea. Only 3 wickets down on such a difficult wicket with 130 on the board.

However, it could have and really should have been a different story. I would say Wests put down 10 or 11 chances from the top of my head. Only one being classed as difficult. At tea Gordon should have been 6 or 7-100. 3 times the ball was skied straight to fieldsman 3 times the ball hit the turf. To add to this 40 byes were added to the total, and an entire 50 sundries for the days play. It is impossible to win cricket games, especially the big matches such as this one, if a team fields like Wests did on Saturday. 9-307 doesn't do justice to how well their bowlers bowled.

(John Mallos)

9-307 does do justice to how poorly they fielded.

After the tea break Packers and Higgins set about posting a daunting total for Wests to chase next week. The body line theory was re-introduced after a 60 year absence from the game. Higgins felt honoured, if not a little nervous when the captain applied a bat pad, a leg slip, and a catching fine leg, all wearing helmets to his field. Higgins expected the same two balls to be on repeat. The bouncer, and the wide half volley.

The wide half volley was the first to arrive, on que, which Higgins drove through fine Gully for four. The keeper at this point decided the use the usual 'sledge' that Higgins receives every single week. I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Sydney Grade Cricket Community and supporters of the Gordon Cricket web site to become more lyrical, more witty, more imaginative when sledging the long haired lout. Telling Higgins to go back to Nimbin, or to catch some mullet, or that he should be in the pop group Hanson doesn't make me laugh anymore. It's all very stale. Higgins and the keeper had a short discussion before the keeper decided to say:

"Don't f=#^@% swear at me!"

An interesting thing to say. Still can't make sense of it.

Anyway, all things aside I think he was frustrated and there was no menace in the sledging on Saturday. I'm sure we'll enjoy a cold beer together after next Saturday.

The next ball was the bouncer, on que, which Higgins managed to hook for four. I don't think the plan was all that well executed. It's difficult though when your bowling to a batsman of true 5 star quality like Higgins.

The same plan stayed in place for the moth as well. He got a ball that didn't quite get up and collected him on the elbow. At the time I thought nothing of it, and neither did the bowling team, but for the rest of Packers 39, he couldn't use his top hand. What a man Tim Packman is. Sometimes, late at night, I dream a little dream. Not necessarily about The Moth, but just dreaming that I was The Moth. Although, the man really does need to buy a shirt. Just one shirt on his back would be nice. Richie Kenner and I were joking last week that his closet is just pants. Pants and Socks. Our theory has yet to be proved incorrect.

(Tim Roarty)

Packers and Higgins took the score past 200. With 15 overs to go, the score would have looked good at 275. Gordon would have been delighted with that.

Packers fell just before the partnership looked to become a monumental one.

Johnny Mallos returned to the crease after the gallstones from last week made him lie that the had lacerations in his stomach. Johnny played Green Shield for Wests and was no doubt keen to put on a good show. He struck the ball perfectly from ball one. Higgins at this stage had passed 50 and scored his next 20 relatively quickly, and with the aid of Mallosovic the score passed 265. Higgins was trapped in front on 71, but this only brought about the introduction of Tim "Tommy" Roarty. Mallos fell shortly after Higgins for a cheeky 36. From then on it was the Roarty show. With three overs to go, Gordon stood on 281. 300 was now the target. Roarty bombed the ball to the longest boundary first ball, next ball fell for 4 byes, and the next ball sailed. Perhaps the biggest six I've seen this year. Hitting with the wind, the ball flew over deep cow corner for about 100-110 metres. The ball proceeded to bounce and ended up some 150 metres away from the striker. An impressive blow.

300 was passed. A magnificent effort. Wests will rue their missed chances.

Now it's our job to take 10 wickets. Rest assured if there are 10 chances in the day, Gordon will travel to the GreenGate with 6 points. Gordon showed their hunger for finals cricket on Saturday, and we'll bring the same attitude this week as well.

Finally, what a delight it was to see my third favourite selector, Tony Wilson, stay for the hole days play on Saturday. This kind of commitment is appreciated by all 11 players.

Cheers

Higgo.

5th Grade Match Report vs Penrith Day 2

5th Grade Match Report vs Penrith Day 2

5th Grade Match Report vs Penrith Day 2

First things first.

Stobo.

Richard bloody Stobo.

Higgins showed his character and respect for Stobo by not mentioning his recent batting performance, which read more like an emergency phone number rather than a batsmen's score total, but if Stobo wants to 'throw' down the gauntlet he can be assured Higgins is more than willing to pick it up and run with it.

(Ian Higgins in fine form against Penrith)

Higgins had the pleasure of Stobo's company at the end of the ND's round.

Stobo: "I scored a duck and 1 this round, so feel free to write about that!"

Higgins, being the fine upstanding gentleman he is, decided not to take the obvious opportunity' well he really forgot about it, but that's neither here nor there. It appears Stobo actually scored a pair in that particular round.

Stobs, it's never a good season if your taking more wickets than scoring runs, unless you're the recent Allan Border Medallist.

An interesting story about Stobs. Apparently during a recent innings after he had played and missed his obligatory first few deliveries he turned to the keeper and said: "Well, I expect you've seen worse players." Silence.... He then repeated his comment. "I said I expect you've seen worse players." The keeper looked and replied: "I heard you the first time. I was just trying to think."

Saturday arrived, and another drive out to Penrith. It has become increasingly evident by the 2 weekends I have spent there this year, that it has not rained in the western suburbs since the 80's, the last time Stobo got a run.

(A classic Higgins defensive shot)

We were met with the news that John Mallos, Gordon's very own walking and talking penguin, had suffered an unfortunate case of the gallstones. The great Michael "I was the original Ricky Ponting" Falk filled in for the little Greek. We wish Johnny all the best and a slow left arm recovery.

Surprisingly, the wicket looked a little damp. Unthreatening clouds hovered above a wet wicket meant the Staggies certainly had the favourable conditions. It looked good to bowl on. It was.

Penrith had finished the days play at 5-73 chasing 167. A close finish looked on the cards.

The "Tim Packman" Moth struck early, plum LBW. The Stags looked as if they would walk in a win. Penrith had to show some fight on a seaming wicket that was keeping low in areas.

The seventh wicket was tough to come by. Runs to win began to drop faster than the chance of rain.

Dave Storey brought himself on. It was quite an experience to watch Stores cheat death on a number of occasions, as he was battling a bad cold, and a failed attempt to give up smoking. To his credit, he did nothing short of win us the game. He claimed a bowled on his 4th ball of his 1st over, and an LBW in his 2nd. Those two wickets gave us the lift we needed, and we never looked back. With two wickets in hand and 40 to win, the cats hopes rested on their one senior player and captain. AJ Fry managed to finally turn a ball after 10 years of off spin bowling. And boy, did it turn! The captain shaped up to cut a short wide ball, which pitched anywhere between 70-80 centimetres outside off stump, and turned onto the top of middle.

(AJ Fry in action)

Fry thought he was an absolute hero for the rest of the day.

The Moth picked up the final wicket. All out 129. A fantastic win from the Stags against former leaders Penrith. With many and hour left to play, the Stags went back in. Things began similar to last week, Gordon were 3-10.

Penrith couldn't pull off an outright could they?

Not while Packers was there. It was his day, as he slaughtered the attack all around the park for 73. An inspired innings. A pleasure to watch.

Plenty of support for Packers, as we declared at 7/138.

21 overs left to play. No real chance of an outright, but enough time to leave some scars in the Penrith top order. That's exactly what we did.

Packers continued his fantastic day and claimed 4 good wickets. Bourne picked up the other. Penrith finished 5 down for 105. An interesting 'moment' occurred in the cats second dig. I say 'moment' as it lasted the best part of 3 overs. What can only be described as a more than brief, frank, exchange of views' aka a domestic dispute occurred late on Saturday afternoon. I could only understand the four letter words, but that was most of the conversation anyway.

(Tim Packman)

The song was not sung, due to respect of the opposition and the fact there are no dressing rooms out at Rance oval. We didn't want to draw attention, the gang on mopeds may have returned from earlier in the day and taken our flashy mobile phones.

The importance of this win can not be underestimated. It won't be until the final round that the final 6 will be organised. 10 teams can make the finals. Gordon will be one of the 6, I'll put Stobo's house on it (just in case).

I've done the research and I'd say there is a good chance that Gordon will play Penrith in the first round of the finals. Bring it on.

A weekend to remember for myself and a handful of other Staggies. A good win on Saturday was completed by an evening at the Howitt's humble abode. My only complaint being the loss of 20 notes on a thousand games of early morning Bocce. It was worth it to see Howitt Jr. in the state he was.

Surprising to see him back on the juice on Sunday.

And of course Sunday. A fantastic day of cricket. An unfortunate loss. But a great day spent.

I had the pleasure of the peoples champion, the great Dave Storey, the infamous Dildo, the man Will Sweeney, and most importantly my own company.

Great to see so many faces at Killara.

On a sad note, it was a great shame to say goodbye to Marty Reynolds. Given by his emotion charged farewell speech, the club has done many great things for him. His services to the club will outweigh anything the club did for him, and the club did plenty.

(Marty on Sunday)

Stobo gave a speech. Talked about all the partnerships he had with Reynolds.

Stobo's rebuttal to this report will be swift. Stobes, do me a favour, and post the report at night. I haven't been sleeping that well. Damn Brokeback Mountain!

Cheers.

Higgo

5th Grade Report Round 12

5th Grade Report Round 12

5th Grade Report vs Penrith Day 1

Round 12 saw the highly anticipated return of Higgins to 5th grade, in an attempt to escort his beloved 5th graders to a finals birth. And what a fantastic bunch of men he would return to. Puppy Power, The Dentist, Moth, and Stores have been the core of 5's this year and they would like nothing more than to reach the elusive final 6.

(Ian Higgins shows a classic defence on Saturday)

The cats of Penrith sit on top of the table currently, but the Stags of Chatswood were keen to put the cat out, or something funny like that, as they travelled away from home.

Higgins arrived at Captain Storey's apartment in anticipation of a lift. When he arrived he was informed The Moth would be joining the car pool. They were forced to wait for Packers to arrive, and subsequently looked for entertainment in the Wollstonecraft 2 bed roomer. Higgins, Storey, and later Packman were privy to a not so private screening of one B-Macs independent films. No doubt the neighbours were less impressed by the unscheduled movie than the three mesmerised stags.

When the 5th graders assembled in Penrith, it was evident the heat would be a major factor in the days play. Trees are few and far between out west, and this can lead to much dehydration and fatigue. Storey, taking this into account, won the toss and sentenced the cats to a day in the field. That was the plan anyway.

The pitch looked to be a belter, but the outfield looked a little slow. As it turned out, the pitch was two paced, and the outfield was lightning.

Go figure.

Stuart Slocombe aka 'The Dentist' fell early to a ball that got big on him, and he was easily caught at short leg. Jack 'The Rabbit' Rabone fell at second slip, and John 'The Penguin/Mallosvic/The Greek Orthodox' Mallos was also caught in the cordon and we looked in all sorts of trouble at 3-15.

(Tim Roarty at Rance)

Higgins joined a defiant Las 'Puppy Power/Sangakarra' Kanangarra, and the two put on a vitally important 50 run stand. They batted for the best part of an hour, but unfortunately Lassie was caught driving on 27. A real shame he didn't go on and score a big one.

The 4th wicket of the innings brought Packman to the crease. This was the first occasion that Higgins had batted with the Moth, and he was quite apprehensive about the experience. All in all, I can say the moth is a pleasure to bat with.

When the heat was starting to get to Higgins, similar to the 4th jug of Bundaberg rum, Packers was always offering support from the other end in order to keep the striker focused. The same is said for Lassie. Cricket is a team game, and can often be intimidating for it to be 11 on 1. Partnerships amongst other things win cricket games.

(The Higgins running with the Moth)

1. Push to backward point   2. Sets off for single   3. Gets up pace in middle of wicket  4. Get me a drink  

Packman and Higgins put on a vital partnership taking the score from 60 to 130. It was tough going scoring runs. It was obvious the game plan from the cats; bowl straight and set a ring field. But there was full value for shots. The outfield was so fast boundaries, I'm sure, outscored singles.

Higgins and Packman, both being Personal Trainers, were keen to push the limits of their perfect bodies. It wasn't to be. Because they both are so, strong only 6's an 4's could be attained. What a shame.

Packers fell just short of tea. A well constructed 31. By this stage Higgins had passed 50, and looked to steer the total towards 200+.

At tea the score stood at 6-135.

Another cluster of wickets came after tea. It was the story of the innings.

Losing wickets at important stages. 3 before the first drinks break, and then the last 4 for around 20-30 runs. Higgins was trapped LB on 67, and from there it was a procession. No doubt the innings of the round was Dave Storeys knock. I lost count of how many runs he managed, but both Packers and I agreed; a hundred looked a mere certainty.

All out 167.

From the outset, I would have guessed a par score might have been 250-270.

300 was not out of the question. Fairly good bowling, and some loose batting cost us more runs we should have scored.

Captain Storey gave a typically fiery speech before we ran onto bowl. 4 letter words were the norm during his 45 second outburst. But it does the job every time. All the guys in the team look up to Stores, and some think of him as a father. Even though this is actually the case for myself, the rest of the guys think of him as a less literal father figure.

The message was clear from Stores; 28 overs to bowl; as many wickets as we can. I'd say he would have been pleased with 2 or 3. Packers opened up from one end with good fire, and was dreadfully unlucky not to pick up a few early wickets.

From the other end, Stores proved just how bad his drinking problem has become and opened up with the off spin of AJ Fry. Selector Hickman and Mallos Snr were giving plenty of stick to captain Storey who was forced to run passed them 4 or 5 times as Fry was pummelled down the ground on a number of occasions in his first 2 overs. Stores showed faith, and the first wicket was taken, just, by a diving Lassie at point. Next Fry over, plum LBW. Storey's stroke of 'genius' had paid off. Fry finished his spell with 2-39.

The wicket was doing plenty for the slow bowlers, and Mickey Bourne was brought on to replace Fry. His first over resulted in the batsmen attempting to hook Bourne with a quicker, flatter ball; bowled. And the boys were up!

3 very quick wickets from the spinners with a new ball. The momentum had noticeably shifted. There were still 10 overs to play with. Next over a piece of Rabbit brilliance in the field.

Tim 'Tommy' Clifford bowled a fullish ball that was pushed towards Jack Rabone at short cover. The batsmen set off. Rabbits dived to his left, cleanly picking the ball up. Transferred the ball from his left to his right hand, whilst spinning around. Threw the ball in one motion over the bails and Higgins was there just in time to take off the bails.

On fewer occasions have I witnessed such brilliance on a cricket field. Dave Storeys direct hit to win the game from third man earlier in the year comes to mind. But this was in a league of its own.

4-60

The pressure was right on the cats now, and their inexperience began to show. With 8 overs left to play, the batsmen stopped trying to score runs, and were just trying to survive the last 50 balls. Packman was re-introduced and he bowled quick. Packers picked up a much deserved wicket, the final wicket of the day, with an absolute jaffa of a leg-cutter; and Higgins behind the stumps did the rest.

At the close of play, Gordon has finished in the box seat having Penrith 5-73. 94 to win, 5 wickets left. It's going to be a tight finish; whoever gets up. But it is of the upmost importance that Gordon get the points here.

We sit on equal 6th, 7th on percentages, but there is a cluster from 4th-10th.

No doubt, with the heat expected to hit hard this week, The Great Western Highway will masquerade as the Rance centre wicket.

Come on the Staggies, big effort this week!

Cheers

Ian Higgins
5th Grade Report Round 10

5th Grade Report Round 10

Fifth Grade report vs Sydney Uni

It was a long trip out to St. Paul's Oval, longer for some than others. Captain Packman was greeted by damp run-ups caused by the overnight rain and only 9 players. Kannangara was last seen early on Saturday morning somewhere near George Street and Rocket'..well Rocket hadn't been seen at all. It was 9:50 when we were joined by MacDonald but luckily the game was delayed by half and hour which gave him time to remove his dark glasses and face the light of day.

Uni's captain 'Ian Chappelli' won the toss and sent the Staggies in on a pretty lifeless deck. Slocombe and Kenner got off to a cautious start with Kenner pushing hard for quick singles and Slocombe responding in true Choppy style, 'NO RUN'. Kenner chopped on for 19 just after drinks bringing Las to the crease with 2 hours sleep under his belt. Slocombe seemed to enjoy the loss of his opening partner and broke the shackles with some lofted drives off the first change bowlers. Las looked like he was building a solid foundation for himself but fell on 10 when he was a bit late on a pull shot. Knight came and went first ball and it was up to captain Packman to push the score along. The Moth and Choppy combined well to advance the score to 122. Unfortunately Packers went for one too many and was clean bowled swiping across the line against the spinner. Slocombe followed quickly as he hold out looking to loft the ball over the infield. A fine 69 by Choppy who held the innings together, and it looks like a big one is just round the corner for the big fella. Although it must be noted that Tiddles commented on his running as being a little tardy. It looks as though Choppy is due at a fitness session with the Moth after a massive festive season. Choppy's new years resolution; more quick singles and lay off the toothpaste.

Ahmed was next and he played a typical Inzie cameo hitting 27 off as many balls. At this stage the Staggies were scrambling for every run possible on a lighting slow outfield. Batsmen came and went as the staggies fought their way to a respectable 185. It must be noted here that AJ 'I want to be Leon Galaptis' Fry did make it to the middle and scored a solid 0*. Well done Leon!

The Staggies were confident with 185 on the board with a slow outfield and the 'whispering death' Packman opening up the attack. JK bowled good lines early and extracted lift from the pitch. He was unlucky not to get an early wicket. Unfortunately the openers were unable to get that early breakthrough and the student's opening batsmen got off to a great start.

0-60 off 15.

Clifford bowled with fire and had a running battle with the umpire after he called him for overstepping twice in two overs. Apparently it is impossible for Timmy to bowl a no-ball and Cliffy let the ump know it. A fiery youngster with a big future at the club.

Captain Packman was quick to react. His shrewd cricket brain was working overtime and he realized that on a quickly dying pitch the spinners would hold the key. Ajax was introduced with immediate success. A full toss that drifted and held-up against the wind bamboozled the opening batsmen into hitting a catch directly to JK at mid-off'well that was Fry's account of the delivery. Fry again bowled brilliantly with great control and variation. The doosara from Fry removed the other opening batsmen (again his recollection, realistically the ball just failed to turn) and sharp work by Knight had the number 4 stranded well short of his ground. Fry had 3.

Inzie was introduced at the other end and bowled with great rhythm. He looked in complete control from the first to the last ball of his spell taking 2-20 off his 10. It won't be long before we see the Inzie rocket back up the grades.

The spinners turned the game in Gordon's favor and with the momentum on our side we turned the screws. There was only one threat remaining, their number 3 who frustrated the Staggies with a less than solid, but effective technique.

It was up to the stand in skipper, Packers, to take the crucial wicket, caught by Knight down the leg-side. The only thing that stood between the Stags and victory was Manning-Bancroft a.k.a. The 'Pink Zinc'. Although not sporting the pink poker-dots that were seen last year he defied our bowlers, as the tail crumbled around him. A run out and an LBW to Packers left our friend short of partners. But alas even 'pinky' couldn't bring it home and he fell to JK, his off stump resembling his shattered ego.

It was left to Inzies anticipation and athleticism to take the final wicket as he charged in from the covers to effect the final run out. Chappelli committed suicide as the Staggies claimed victory. Inzie had plenty of ground to cover and he did it with ease.

Students all out for 166, 20 short of their target. 6 points for the staggies and Uni's place on the table. A great victory for 5s, admirably lead by captain Packers. Hopefully we will see him back on the field in future 5th grade fixtures as he is a great role model for the youngsters and a top bloke.

Well done to 1st grade on a great comeback victory and to 4s who capped off a solid weekend against the students who are a strong club.

Good luck to all grades against ND's this weekend.


'Sticks' Kenner

5th Grade Round 8 report Day 2

5th Grade Round 8 report Day 2

5th Grade report vs St. George (Day 2)

Well another very satisfying win for 5th Grade. We are now 4th on the ladder and another win before Christmas will set us up nicely for the break over Christmas. The atmosphere in 5th grade is brilliant and the fighting spirit displayed by all in the team is testament to the results we have seen in the last few rounds.

(Las in action)

I haven't seen a bunch of 5th grade players with as much talent and competitive nature in my time at Gordon and I hope that with dedication, training and fighting spirit we continue to bring home the wins throughout the season.

There is not much to say this week as we chased 167 fairly easily. I am also mindful of the fact that my report last week was described as a 'white paper' and to save on download times I will keep it short. I also didn't have Plums in the side so unless I wanted to write about the fanfare he received on Saturday night at the Gordon Christmas party I don't have too much material.

What a ripper of a day it was on Saturday. Absolutely perfect for cricket''..if you were batting. The sun was out, it was hot in the middle and we got to sit on the sidelines and watch some great batting from Las (Scrappy) Kannangara and Richie (Sticks) Kenner.

We had a good chat in the dressing rooms and the boys knew that we could only let ourselves down. We sincerely didn't believe that we could be bowled out for less than 167 on a hard deck that had been baking under a very hot sun all week. With the team changing each week the point was made that selectors wouldn't reward starts, to cement your spot in the side you needed to go on with the job. Sticks was obviously listening and he proved his worth with a fine knock. He was unlucky to get out for 49 but I am sure he wants that first 50 in Grade and I'll back him to get it.

After that little gee up we revisited our three P's policy of patience and producing partnerships. What happened from there was like something out of the 12th Man. Packers rightfully gave his opinion that we had to be confident out in the middle and not let them get on top of us. They only had 167 to defend so lets put it too them and dominate with the bat. His word for the day was confidence and told the boys to add it to the three P's. Little did I know that the other 9 guys in the team were walking Thesaurus's and all of a sudden we had words coming from every corner of the room. We had PPPC's, DPC's, PPC's and who knows what. In the end I said that as for as the CCP (Central Commentary Position) was concerned the three P's were enough and if we had to remember everything everyone wanted to add before each ball the bowler would be waiting a hell of a long time before you took strike. Just start out with a confident attitude and then take care of business.

Out of the sheds and things started off well. Scrappy and Sticks looked comfortable at the crease and very few appeals were going up. Runs were flowing freely and Scrappy was letting loose with his trademark cover drives and Sticks was supporting him well at the other end. After a little while Richie started to let loose with a few shots of his own and was looking very comfortable of his legs.

Scrappy and Richie were obviously liking the medium pacers but when the spinners came on the run rate slowed right down. Credit goes to both of them as they put their heads down and waited for the loose balls to put away. After a little while the run rate started to pick up again and our two openers put on a 100 partnership. Fantastic start and we were feeling more confident of collecting 6 points by the minute.

The Moth (special guest) Packman was due to go in number 4 after Craig Knight and it looked as though he may not get a bat in his one off appearance. He was looking forward to having a bat but was happy seeing 5's make such a good start. At 118 a wicket fell and Craig Knight went in to join Scrappy. Six runs later Scrappy lost his wicket at 124. His 59 saved his helmet from meeting a whole new set of dressing room walls and looked happy with his performance. We were 2 down and we needed 43 more for first innings points. Craig Knight and Packers got the runs quickly and looked in command the whole way apart from a near stumping.

Packers was obviously enjoying having a hit and was hitting them cleanly. So much so that he danced down the pitch to have a go at the spinner and was lucky that the keeper fumbled it and he got back in time.

We past the target only two wickets down but then lost another couple of wickets. Craig Knight got caught going for some more quick runs and their keeper finally got Packers and stumped him. We let it go for another couple of overs but after some thought and taking quotients into account, it was decided that calling the game off there and then would be better for us on the table if we ended up on 30 points with another side.

Back in the dressing rooms and 11 guys proudly belted out the club song. We could turn up to the Greengate with pride and enjoy a good Christmas party not to mention listen to Mitchell Kleem's imitations of everything from animals to John Howard. With a different haircut I'm sure he could be on stage ' the first one out of town. No, it was an extremely enjoyable night and a good way to celebrate half way through the season. Thanks to all those who put in a big effort to put it on.

The year's not over yet and we want to finish with a strong performance. The attitude is there and the belief in ourselves is there. We can take it to any team in the competition as long as we remain accountable, never give up the fight and continue to support our team mates.

  • Las Kannangara 59
  • Richie Kenner 49
  • Craig Knight 29
  • Tim Packman 31
  • Shivan Selva 0 not out
  • Jason Russell-Jones 4 not out

Well done to 2nds and 4ths on good wins as well. Good points for the club. Higgo's, I knew you would be part of something special. It must just be your presence in the dressing rooms with a beer in hand. I feel sorry for those who ended up with beer in their kits due to Higgo's excitement of pouring it over everyone. Everyone in 4's should check your bags to make sure you didn't get any spillage in there. I didn't check and when I opened up my kit a week later the smell was like nothing out of this world. It was like 3 or 4 local dogs had wandered into the dressing room and left me a little present. I was surprised the lads still let me get changed in there. Higgo, you're a menace.

(Missy doing the watootsie)

Dave Storey

5th Grade Round 8 report Day 1

5th Grade Round 8 report Day 1

5th Grade Report vs St. George

With a bit of luck going our way so far and some good fighting cricket 5th Grade look like they can push their way further up towards the top of the ladder. We just need to be more consistent in our efforts, improve our catching and batsmen need to go on with the job. We are in 6th position and playing St George who are in 5th position. Getting them all out for 167 on the first day puts us in a good position to pick up another 6 points providing we put our heads down and bat well next week.

(Tim "The moth" Packman)

The day started out with that 'wet deck frustration syndrome' of waiting around for the sun and wind to do its job. The covers had been on all night but it was a cracker of a storm on Friday night, and the entire deck was pretty wet and soft after a hell of a lot of water snuck in under the covers. Getting wet under the covers was obviously a good little segway for Tim (special guest) Packman to make sure he informed us of a great new venue for Friday nights. At the end of the discussion I think it was the opinion of the majority that Jelly Wrestling on a Friday night seemed to be one of the best ways to prepare for a day of cricket. Based on the special guests' great performance on Saturday I think we are onto something.

We still had an hour and a half to wait but with strong winds and the sun beating down in between cloud cover we knew we would get on fairly soon. We had some time to wait so it was either talk rubbish in the dressing rooms or do something constructive. Doing something constructive was the better option and fielding practice could only help 5th grade based on some of the catches we have dropped throughout the season so the decision was made. We also wanted to send a message out and show St George that we were serious about winning this game and that we were a well drilled unit.

After an hour and a half the deck was in much better condition and I was keen to get on. The St George captain was adamant about waiting until it the deck was harder as he wanted fairness for both sides depending on who won the toss. I was pretty keen to get on straight away and commented to the St George skipper that I had played on worse. He turned with a grin and said 'yeah well Dave, you would bat first wouldn't you'? I responded with 'well you know the old saying, you think about having a bowl but you have a bat anyway'. Smiles were exchanged, the match would start in good spirits and we decided to toss in half an hour and start 15 minutes after that. So''..half an hour later we won the toss and informed them that we were going to have a bowl.

We walked onto the ground with Packers and I sorting out which ends we both wanted. I took the far end thinking about outswingers as I honestly thought the wind was coming across the deck but in all seriousness I wanted the special guest to come with the wind. Note to Storey, pick up some grass, throw it into the air and watch which way it goes. I knew it was going to be a tough spell too when I jumped into the air for the delivery stride to realise that the wind was pushing me backwards. Not to worry though as Packers was bowling with some real fire on Saturday and it was only sensible for him to come with the wind. He started his first over off a short run, loosened up and then I think the mongrel, or just the competitive nature came out in him and he decided on the long run. He measured it up and came in firing. 2nd ball of the next over and he bowled one of the openers and St George were 1-8. With the unique sense of humour that he has, Packers joined the celebrations with his view on the situation and had his team mates cracking up with laughter. He quickly pointed out that he took two wickets with that one ball. One was LBW and the other was bowled. As everyone else was fighting back that choking sort of a laugh and he still had the stage he added to that with 'and how about Storey picking to bowl from that end into this wind '' ' '' what an idiot'. The boys loved it and we were pumped up to make the most of the breakthrough. As Plums makes this report every week it should be noted that one of the boys pointed out that the Packers' claim of getting two wickets with one ball was very Plummeresqe. The reply was swift and to the point ' 'Plummer could never bowl like that and when I say something, its to the point, I'm nothing like Plummer'. A certain wicket keeper may be doing a bit of extra fitness work this week at training.

Storey continued to toil away into the wind at the other end beating the edge a few times here and there but without luck. When he did get the edge it stopped in the air against the wind only to fall about half a metre in front of the keeper. Right, the spinners were going to come on real soon. I'm sure A.J. with his fan squad waiting in the crowd would love to see him bowl a few.

It seemed like Packers was just warming up. He started bowling at the other end with some good pace and was asking the batsmen a few questions with some short balls around the nostrils. It was either Craig Knight's comment about Plummer or it was just a good rhythm from Packers but Knighty turned around after taking a couple behind the stumps and couldn't help uttering words 'ouch'. sh*t that hurt'. Of course, the slips and gully had no sympathy for him. Soft hands mate,'' soft hands. Either that or put a piece of raw steak in each glove as well.

A couple of them might have been testing out his gloves but he made sure he took the next catch off Packers. Packers dug one in short, the guy simply didn't pick it properly and was just too slow trying to play the hook shot. It brushed the glove, Packers had his second and St George were 2-13.

St George then fought back a bit and developed a mini partnership. A.J (Ajax) Fry who seriously does look like he's used ajax in his hair was brought on to bowl into the wind. He had his cheer squad there to spur him on but Packers thought they had just been walking past the oval and stopped because they saw him bowling. When he realised they were for A.J he joined them and commented later that he thought A.J. was the pick of the bowlers for the day. A.J. was bowling a good probing length and he tied the batsmen down nicely making you think it was only a matter of time before he struck.

(AJ Fry in action)

Dave Millar came on at the other end to replace Packers and things started happening for us again. Dave was beating the bat constantly sliding it across the right handers and was bowling at a good rate. I always love having a lefty in the bowling attack that can strike and Dave stood up to be counted as a lefty on Saturday. In his second over he struck and bowled their no. 4 batsmen who was on 34. A good breakthrough and St George were 3-58.

A.J. was putting the pressure on at the other end but they were being patient and didn't want to have a crack at him. The whole way through his spell it looked like something was going to give but they almost shut up shop to him. Dave Millar kept going from the other end but without luck and I can tell you here that if you drop a catch off Dave expect some carefully chosen words in your direction on the techniques of catching. He's got some good fight him and it was great to see, he wanted to win and he wanted wickets.

The slips catching in 5's has basically been woeful. Different guys have been tried here and there but nothing's been caught and it's something that seriously needs to be worked on. Packers also suffered from chances going down so who knows if both Packers and Dave Millar could have ended up with more wickets than three each. As I said at the beginning of this report, we've had some luck but if we don't take these catches in a future, a game might slip away from us and that would be disappointing considering the position we are in. We need to build on our performances, not let ourselves down.

Packers came back on to replace Dave Millar. He wanted a quick spell of two or three overs and who was I to argue with him, he wanted wickets. It wasn't two or three overs, it was five or six overs. He knew another one was about to come his way. He unfortunately had a catch dropped in the slips, had another go just wide of the slips but he broke through again. I guess he thought he couldn't rely on the slips so he just bowled another one. He was moving them in well and with the gate open he took advantage and hit the stumps. St George 4-85.

Even though we were keeping the runs down we knew they could sneek away from us easily. We needed another wicket or two to win the next session and pull the momentum back our way. Richie Kenner was proving to be the benchmark standard in the field for the rest of the guys. He was onto everything and typified the fighting spirit of putting pressure on the batsmen and wanting the six points ' good on you Sticks.

A.J. was the next to break through and picked up their skipper. Their skipper had played with Mick Falk in his day and was obviously still a handy cricketer based on their scorebook. A couple of 50's and an 86 a week or so ago but A.J. sent him back to the dressing room early on for 24. He deserved that wicket after fighting hard for it and his cheer squad on the sideline loved it as well.

With the skipper back in the dressing room and a few younger guys coming out we took the game to them. It is always valuable having senior guys on the field and it was great having Packers there to offer his two bits worth of advice. The guys listened to what he had to say and he followed up the chat between wickets by telling them it was time to change the pace of the game on them. 'Run between overs faster and be ready to play, bowlers get back to your marks quicker and get in and bowl sooner, don't give these guys a second to settle in, rest or compose themselves, lets take the pace of the game to them. These guys are young and inexperienced and will find it hard to dictate the pace of the game'.

This plan was working well and A.J. picked up two more quickly with another catch and a stumping. The ball was popping every now and then for A.J. and Knighty did well to hang onto it and take the bails off quickly. The Fry clan on the sideline were loving it, A.J. was loving it and his team mates were loving his work. Then St George buckled down again.

We had St George 7-117 and the two guys at the crease hung around for a while and the deck seemed to flatten out considerably for them too. They were handling the medium pacers fairly easily. Packers had a couple more and Ellison, Dave Storey, and Jason Russell-Jones all had a go with the wind in short spells. Not much was working and I was beginning to think that dropped catches might cost us and that St George would sneak toward the 200 mark.

By now A.J was replaced by Bourne to let go of some leggies and we needed a wicket soon. With the score at 154 Bourne broke through and we were pretty happy with his performance. The radar is working again and after a couple of maidens, some good pressure Bourne is back and got a well deserved wicket.

We needed two more wickets and needed to get rid of this tail quickly. One of the middle order was hanging around and looking fairly comfortable. They snuck up to 167 and we needed to make something happen, not wait for it to happen. We couldn't let them push their way towards 200.

I thought I would never see it. I have been on the receiving end of many Packers training sessions in my time and it is always him saying 'right, give me one more'. In a fitness session I have had to do it and give him one more round or one more push up or one more sit up and I have had to carry out the task. I asked Packers if he could give me one more, there was two wickets left, did he want to bag 5 for the day? He looked at me and just said no. What? Packers'''No?!!!!!!!. He was seriously sore around the shoulders, the pecks, the ribs, the six pack, the quads and the calves and was pretty stuffed. Match fitness is something and I loved it but you have to give it to him, 15 overs for the day, 1st game back and not a bad effort. I think I let him off too easy but,'.. there was another guy on the field who badly wanted to have another crack. He had been working hard in the field but was ready to give.

Dave Millar took the ball and struck in the third last over of the day. Clean bowled and no. 9 was heading back to the pavilion. 9-167 and the Staggies were pretty happy about it, we just needed to finish them. 2 balls later Dave struck again with an LBW getting rid of no.11. The guy from the middle order was left stranded and a good days work done by the Staggies. St George all out for 167.

Special mention must go to Richie Kenner for his superb attitude and high work rate in the field. James Ellison also joined him and worked hard in the outfield and cut off many a second run, good intensity and angry with anything he doesn't feel was a good enough effort. Good on you mate.

If you wander past Bourne, ask him how his knee is. While in close, he copped a ball on the inside of the knee that was hit pretty hard. I've never seen a bloke so close to tears but be in too much pain to even be able to cry. Laying on the ground and he was rolling from one side to the other so violently it looked like he was having a nightmare about Choppy with toothpaste. I told him a few times during the day that he should have just caught the bloody thing. I'm sure he will continue from this day to answer it in the same way and tell you that he just saved 4 runs.

Back next week to bat well and finish the job. Its time to pick up 6 points.

Well done to Nicho in 1's this week. 2's and 3's have also had great weeks and I'm sure Higgo will be part of something special. Lets hope there are a lot of points for the Staggies this week.





5th Grade Round 7 report Day 1

5th Grade Round 7 report Day 1

Fifth Grade Report Day 1 vs Sutherland

Selections came and went during the week and the teams got announced. I looked at the 5th Grade side I was given and saw quite a few new names on the list. With a few injuries and quite a few unavailable due to Schoolies my brain started asking questions about the balance of the side and did so until Friday when the next round of selection concerns started.

(The skipper in action at Tonkin)

Every now and then, Friday turns into a nightmare for selectors and I can only say that I feel for them when last minute changes need to be made. I can remember when captains made all the phone calls to players and those who have had to do it know it can be a little testing.

I got the call from Stepho on Friday who was doing a sterling job on behalf of the selectors. I say that because Tids had told Stepho that he would have to make the decisions has he was ready for a kip after some reds at lunch and he had another function to go to. I would have loved to have seen Tids on Saturday in that heat travelling around the grounds. I'm sure that 1st Grade's great performance would perked him right up.

So, Stepho informed me of another injury in a grade above and that we were looking for another player. Apparently the injury came from an internal company soccer match or something and I have to say here that we can't let the Socceroos world cup qualifier match spur us all on to think we are Harry Kewell looking for sponsorship.

(Michael Bourne on top of things at Tonkin)

(Tonkin doubles as a baseball field at one end of the ground)

I think Missy Higgins would be the only contender in this club for sponsorship prancing around a field with his angelic face and long hair tied up into two buns. That is, until he was put in front of cameras and he opened his mouth. His desire to let go of three of four expletives in every sentence would see that sponsorship being questioned. No amount of media training would help in front of the cameras and we can be thankful that his spell check prohibits him from adding a lot of colour to his entertaining match reports.

With a lot of umming and ahhhing going on and a lot of phone calls from Stepho, the team had been decided on. Having not played with a few of the new guys the uncertainty in my voice must have been obvious. It must have registered with Stepho as well as he made another one of his on the money predictions just like he has done a couple of times this season. 'Don't worry Dave, 5's will win this week, I can feel it in my waters'.

(John Emerson at Tonkin)

Well, his prediction was right and we lead on first innings. Next Saturday will be a cracker of a day as we try and add to our 6 points with an outright win.

The day started with everyone getting to know their new team mates in the dressing room and during the warm up. Having Coach Carter (Shivan Selva) back in the side certainly helped, as he had seen the new talent operate against Hawkesbury and provided good insight. The team gelled together nicely and the atmosphere in the dressing room was brilliant. There is a lot of fight in this 5th Grade side and the new guys were aware that with players unavailable this week, this was their opportunity to show the selectors why they deserved a spot in this team. They all went out fired up and wanting a win from the first ball of the day.

We lost the toss and were asked to have a bowl. Storey and Emerson opened up and the combination worked quite nicely. Outswing from one end and inswing from the other. The pressure was on Sutherland right from the start and we picked up wickets early in the innings. Storey picked up the first in the 3rd over of the day bowling one of the openers.

In the 4th over Sutherland went for a cheeky single after pushing the ball to the right of Jack Rabone. Jack was having none of that and produced a great piece of fielding. He pounced on the ball, fired it back to Craig Knight who finished the job by taking the bails off. The boys were pretty happy having Sutherland 2/5 but we kept our heads. We knew we had to fight it out to the end and we had to maintain the standard we had set early.

(Rod MacDonald at Tonkin)

Emerson broke through in the 6th over to give us another one. He had their skipper caught behind and he could have been a danger man. He is an old 1st Grader and has scored a few runs against us in the past so it was a good job done from one of the new guys in the team. Sutherland were 3/6 after 6 overs and we had to go on with it. We said we wanted another wicket before they got to 20. Everyone had to fight hard and not let this good start slip away from us. In the 11th over Storey struck again tempting the batsmen to give him a nick through to the keeper and Craig Knight did the rest taking the catch nicely. Sutherland were 4/11 but we weren't ready to get fah ya bar just yet. We wanted to keep our foot on their throat and keep the pressure on them until the end.

The Storey wicket...caught Knight...much to the delight of the team)

James Ellison took over from Storey and Rod MacDonald took over from Emerson. James Ellison has bowled well in 5's whenever he has been with us and produced another very tidy performance. The pressure at his end helped MacDonald take his first at the other end with a fine piece of inswing bowling. Sutherland had a little partnership forming and were on 43 when MacDonald cleaned bowled a guy who looked like he was capable of getting a few. Ellison continued to bowl a great line and wasn't rewarded until his 7th over with a wicket of his own. He deserved that wicket after fighting hard for it. They were 6/64 now and we into the tail. We had won the first session and had to make sure we won the second session.

Ellison was in his last over before I had to rest him due to age restrictions. He looked like he could have bowled for another 8 overs but he went all out in his last over of his spell. The last ball of his spell was a gem and he clean bowled the opener who had hung around all innings and was on 29. Great job done by James, great spell and Sutherland were now 7/ 71.

(James Ellison at Tonkin)

Their tail looked like it was putting up more of a fight than the top order and they picked up a few runs here and there. We wanted one more before tea and that came when Storey had one caught at gully off a thick edge. They did get a few more runs before tea and were 8/106 when we went off for a well deserved break.

Phone calls were made, selectors were happy with the news but the job wasn't finished yet. We needed to make sure they didn't sneak up to 140 or 150 and make the game tough for us. We had done the hard work, we just needed to go on with it now and finish them off. 3 runs later the job was done. Storey had another one caught at cover and MacDonald finished off another with an inswinging Yorker ' clean bowled. Sutherland ' all out for 109 and great work by the Staggies.

It has to be mentioned here that Choppy Slocombe had a bowl and got 0/6 off 2 overs. You have never seen a bigger smile on a blokes face as he was thrown the ball and yes Choppy, every ball looked like taking a wicket but thank god you didn't take one because I am sure we would still be listening to the story in Round 14. We would have had a new Plums in the side. (Ah there you go Plums, still managed to get you into my match report ' didn't want you to feel left out of the side you helped to mould).

It always looked like it was going to be a good deck to bat on and Choppy Slocombe and Las (Puppy Power) Kannangara got us off to a magnificent start. They got 31 and 36 respectively and I have to say here that Las played some wonderful looking cover drives. They have become the trademark 'Puppy Power' shots and were a pleasure to witness. At the fall of the 1st wicket we were 69 off 17 overs. We were travelling at around 4 an over and were looking for 1st innings points before stumps. Jack Rabone went in at number 3 and settled in nicely. He lost Las early on but he and Hanlon set out to steady the ship.

(The slips are ready)

Hanlon went in due to Craig Knight coming down with a mystery 2 hour virus telling us he was one very sick boy. When the spinners came on, he promptly told us he was feeling better and was padding up to go in next. Was it a virus or had he just pulled a heartlidge. Only he will know but we will be keeping an eye on his batting average this season.

The run rate dropped a bit as Rabone and Hanlon played themselves in but then Rabone decided it was time to up the run rate. With some beautiful late cuts off their spinners and one towering six over cow corner he got himself to 49 not out at stumps. He hasn't had much luck this season so far but he put in for the team on Saturday, used some great footwork to the spinners and proved why he is a great future talent for the Staggies. He was supported well by Hanlon who got 17 until we lost him with a few overs to go. Coach Carter went in to bat out the rest of the overs with Rabone and we finished the day at 3/137.

It will be an interesting day on Saturday but I am sure we have the guys with the talent and the fighting attitude to give ourselves the best possible chance of picking up 10 points. It will also be nice to see Jack Rabone get his first 50 in Grade cricket.

Well done to 1st Grade for a good performance on Saturday and a stunning win on Sunday. I'm sure that even though Cashy didn't get a bat he would have loved being a part of it.

Lets pick up the points on Saturday boys. Play hard.

P.S. Weise, you are obviously not only a lazy reader but a lazy writer as well. You can't call 3 paragraphs a match report!!

5th Grade Report Round 6

5th Grade Report Round 6

5th Grade Report vs Fairfield

With the outspoken and award winning journalist Missy Higgins playing in 4's, the match report duties were offered to the team. For some reason none of the boys seemed to want the job. Maybe it was because they thought they wouldn't be able to maintain the standard set by Missy Higgins, or that without Plums in the side they would have nothing controversial or funny to write about.

(Alastair Fitzpatrick at Cabramatta)

After reading the 4th Grade report it sounded as though Plums was unusually quiet this week and didn't give Higgo as much ammunition to fire at him with his beautifully crafted and carefully scripted reports. Was that because he knew Higgo was writing the report or because he was genuinely unhappy about batting No. 11. I think Plums still managed to be the centrepiece of discussion in all grades due to his displeasure of being named No. 11. Don't worry Plums, if Higgo had sent you the email that he sent me during the week you would have had plenty to say to him and there is not much he would have been able to say in his own defence.

This match gave the writer of the match report plenty to say. This match had it all. Fitzy batted brilliantly and with great discipline through to the end of the innings to get 90 not out. He gave us a fighting chance. Elliot Richtor came to life and showed his extreme pleasure for bowling and taking his wickets during his brilliant hat trick. Richo doesn't usually say much but he certainly told us how happy he was after each wicket. He took a lot of pride in the fact that three batsmen would all be reaching for the talcum powder at the same time back in the dressing rooms. Las spent a lot of time in the dressing room on Saturday seeing if he could throw his helmet hard enough to get it to bounce off all four walls with one throw. If it didn't, he would try again'' and again, even though he was told that it would be a good idea to settle down. As for Choppy Slocombe, the reason he spends so much time in the dressing room is because he has gone back to his bag to get some more food out. I swear he turns up with two kits, one for his cricket gear and the other for food. He needs something the size of a cricket kit bag just to carry the amount of food he eats.

On Saturday we played in the sort of cricket match that (as discussed with BMac on Sunday morning) reminds us of the reason we play the game. You have never seen 11 blokes revel in the excitement, intense nervousness and moments of brilliance more than 5th grade. The incredulous tones of Tiddles answering his phone at the end of the day said it all ' 'Don't tell me you guys got up' was the way he answered the phone. Yes we did Tids.'' Yes'.. we'.. did.

(Elliot Richtor and Alastair Fitzpatrick look for a second run)

Tids dropped in to see how things were going when we were finishing our innings and was looking fairly concerned and worried that we finished with only 161. A fair point too as 161 is not a lot to defend but as I pointed out to him, the pitch was staying very low a lot of the time with uneven bounce and the outfield was extremely slow. 'Yes Dave, mmmmm' was his response delivered with that sarcastic tone that only he can produce, and which over the years has become the 'Tiddles trademark'. I went on to point out that every time I have played on that deck over the years the scores have always been very low and that Fairfield themselves had only scored 170 on it in a one dayer against Penrith this season. Again, he wasn't convinced and questioned my sanity in not as many words. Water off a ducks back as Tids hasn't believed a word I have said since I was 5 years old. If I had 5 leggies in the side he might have thought we were a fighting chance.

The day started out with a win of the toss and deciding to bat. Our 3 P's policy of Patience and Producing Partnerships was discussed but I think Fitzy was one of the guys who repeated it to himself before each ball. It was a deck that was going to require patience as there wouldn't be much to hit and there wasn't much value for your shots with the slow outfield. A few frustrated shots later and we ended up giving them 6 catches in the field. Fitzy held down one end as we crawled towards 5 /111 and then things got worse. He did have a good partnership of 44 with Richo with Richo scoring 14 of them but the runs came very slowly. After being 5/111 off 38 overs we needed to get things going but as the scorebook says, we only got 50 more. Granted, some of the guys tried to get the run rate moving along and were unselfish where their averages were concerned but we wanted more than 161. We felt 200 would give us the upper hand on that deck and be difficult to chase but 9/161 was the reality.

Beyond Fitzy who played a great knock, there wasn't too much more to say about our batting as our scorecard read 90*, 5, 14, 0, 15, 3, 0, 8, 1, 4*. I think the first duck in that list was the reason for a helmet being thrown in all directions in the dressing room. For a little bloke Las has a bit of fire in the belly and was confirmed for me when I walked into the dressing room to find Russel-Jones cowering in the corner trying to avoid the airborne helmet.

(Elliot Richtor batting at Cabramatta)

Poor bugger went in to get padded up and had to deal with Las. All I can say is that it was lucky there were no windows in there. It didn't affect Choppy Slocombe who was into his third can of baked beans and didn't even notice the helmet. If that helmet had hit Choppy's can of baked beans and disturbed his eating Las would have known all about it. Ah well, time for a new helmet Las. You inflicted more damage to it than any 5th Grade bowler could.

At lunchtime we headed to the dressing room to have a chat while Tiddles went out to have a look at the wicket. His face was dead pan serious and with his head bent downwards towards the pitch he chatted on the phone to another Gordon selector or administrator about his thoughts. With the amount of phone calls made on a Saturday between selectors and administrators, we should be sponsored by Vodafone. I think to make it easier for them, the players of the club should get them each a Christmas present and buy them those phones that are an earpiece and microphone in one. It rings, they touch their ear once and they are off and talking again. The only thing is, I am not sure if they would taken as seriously as they are now while using them but their elbows would definitely get a break. If you had to lift as many beers to your mouth with the same elbow action in one night it would definitely be one huge night out.

Back in the dressing room with Las still suffering from an onset of Tourette's Syndrome and Russel-Jones watching him carefully out of the corner of his eye, we got back to the job at hand. It was time to pay back Fitzy for his hard work at the crease and put in a good performance in the field. The instructions for bowlers were simple. On this deck we needed to bowl stump to stump and on a good length. Nothing short and nothing down leg. Little did we know what Richo had in store for us.

Their two openers came out, they were two older guys who liked to swing the bat hard and play everything in the air. They had good eyes and hit the ball cleanly but looked as though they were going to give us a chance. At 0/63 after 9 overs the thought did cross my mind that we might be driving back home at 3.30 and that I would have to listen to Tiddles' comments of 'supposed' wisdom. Then Elliot Richtor came on.

(Las with his helmet on)

It was the quickest I have seen Richo bowl and the best line he has bowled this season. 2 runs off his first over and he then took the prize wicket with the fourth ball of his next over. He picked up the danger man, clean bowled, middle stump. The boys were ecstatic, there was more work to do but we suspected they didn't have much down the order. We needed more wickets so Richo came in next ball, did it again and hit middle stump again. He had ten blokes around him cheering, congratulating him and willing him on for his hat trick. The fielders were brought in close and Richo eyed up the batsmen who was to be his third victim. I found out later that this was the guy Richo wanted the most as he had been offering Richo some friendly advice earlier in the game. In comes Richo, produces the exact same delivery again and all this guy could do was get a leg in front of it. Up goes the appeal and the umpire had no hesitation in sending his finger skyward.

Richo's follow through would have been all the way down the pitch due to his exuberance of taking yet another wicket and his hat trick but only got half way as all pandemonium had set in. 10 blokes got to him first and were going absolutely nuts. Richo was overjoyed and at a couple of stages he looked genuinely frightened by our enthusiasm. Everyone wanted to let him know he was a champion and during the frenzy of it all our keeper, Craig Knight, was belted in the back of the head by an elbow or something and ended up biting the inside of his mouth and spitting claret everywhere.

Fairfield were in such disarray that we had to wait a while for the next batsmen who obviously didn't have time to get padded up. They were 3/65 and it was definitely game on. Time for the leggy. Bourne struggled a bit last week and told me that he thought if he bowled left handed he might have had more luck. Bowlers go though rough stages here and there and Bourne was half way there this week. Half were landing in good spots and then the others were a bit off direction. Cricket being the game it is though meant that a wicket came from one of his not so good balls but we took it anyway. It was the other opener, they were 4/73 and we wanted to keep the pressure on. The pressure was put straight back on them when Richo broke through two overs later with another LBW to have 4 wickets for the match.

We tried to change it up on them as much as possible. Short spells for the bowlers to make sure we never let them get settled. Storey picked up one of the middle order who was causing us a bit of concern with 22 under his belt. A.J. Fry bowled well to pick up 2, Russel-Jones bowled a tight line and managed to pick up 2 with one of them a great stumping by Knight standing up to the stumps to put pressure on the batsmen.

(Elliot Richtor shows his style)

I can tell you that when A.J. Fry picked up the last wicket we went nuts, We commented earlier when they were 7 down that this was our match to lose now, not our match to win. Don't give up the fight and we can bring this home. All the guys put in and fought hard to the end. There were 11 very proud guys in that dressing room belting out the club song and I am sure Fairfield wouldn't have been happy listening to it.

What a great action packed game. It was brilliant to be a part of. It was a good day for cricket and the spirit of the game was kept alive by both sides. Both teams played hard all day with a good attitude and Gordon were happy to walk away from a match like that with a win.

Lets improve our batting guys and we can keep on picking up the points. Well done to 1st and 2nd Grade on their good wins as well. Good week for the GDCC.

Go the Stags

David Storey

5th Grade Round 4 report Day 2

5th Grade Round 4 report Day 2

5th Grade Report vs Manly (Day 2)

After a fantastic day 1 for the 5th graders, we were ready to try to bring home the points and possibly more with some good cricket on day 2. When we turned up at the ground, it was evident that half the battle would be with the weather.

(Daniel Mahaffey is keen and Plums looks interested)

Captain Storey and Craig Knight were at the ground a good 2 hours before play began to do everything possible to make sure we would get on. Higgins was also there 2 hours before play, but didn't really do anything, as he was battling "Andrew Symonds Syndrome" from the night before, as I'm sure were most of the club.

Rather fortuitously, the sun gave us great assistance in drying out the wicket, and we would be starting on time.

Plums and Stores opened up the attack, and bowled, to say the least, without luck. The two Manly openers rode their luck and after the first 10 overs we could have easily had them 4 or 5 down. However saying this, our fielding for all of Saturday was nothing short of ordinary, simple chances went down, and easy runs were let by.

(AJ Fry in action on Saturday)

We were lethargic, and lacked enthusiasm. Each player must pick up their games in the field, the writer included. This is not the first time our fielding has been poor. We need to work hard at training lads. One game soon our fielding will cost us valuable championship points.

The first wicket finally fell, in Dan Mahaffey's first over. Fitzpatrick held onto the catch at mid-on. Relief, is probably the best adjective I can use to describe the feeling of seeing us, finally hold onto one.

Ma-Hat-Ma-Coat picked up his second wicket by trapping the number 3 in front in his second over. The ball was now rolling for the staggies, unfortunately so was the cloud cover and the thunder.

It became evident that rain would begin to fall soon. Wickets were needed.

AJ Fry was introduced to bowl some off-spin. And he did a fantastic job. He was ably assisted by the wicket, but he still bowled in some good areas, and some great real estate. He picked up the 4th wicket, with the catch held by Coach Carter (Shivan Selva) as the rain began to fall lightly at Turramurra.

JRJ (Jason Russel-Jones) took time out from his HSC studies to take the 3rd wicket, rather cheekily. The catch was held remarkably by Stores, as he slid on one knee.

It was obvious the rain was not simply a passing shower. The umpires conferred, briefly, and we were, frustratingly, back in the sheds with a deck of cards. Well we were in the sheds anyway.

(Ian Higgins prepares to drop a leg side chance of Daniel Mahaffey)

Before too long rain began to pour. Pour like a barman giving you that first jug of Bundaberg Draught. It only rained for probably 20 minutes, but the damage was done. When we reappeared from the sheds, Turramurra oval resembled the Sydney Aquatic Centre, and not a cricket field.

The rain ceased at around 2pm, but the game was not called off just yet. For the next 2 hours Gordon players scrambled to do whatever they could to dry out the field. Choppy Chop Slocombe worked tirelessly for those 2 hours.

Fresh after a week of managing North Shore gardens with his business 'Choppy Chop Services'. I understand Stu, will be invoicing the Gordon Cricket Club.

Wild theories were brought up to dry the square, which was now, the only concern. Helicopters, hair dryers, leaf blowers, everyone breathing on the square, drinking the water; these were all the crack pot theories mentioned by AJ Fry. He enquired as to whether I knew anyone in high places, I said I knew someone who's dead. Somehow I don't think that's what he meant.

Special mention must go to all of the 5th Graders who did everything they could resume play. Especially Dave Storey and Stu Slocombe. However, it was all in vain. Singer/Songwriter Missy Higgins was accused of doing nothing, she said she didn't want to be too tired for the ARIA's on Sunday night.

(Detective Sargent Jack Rabone on duty on Saturday)

Fair enough I say.

The match was called off at 4pm.

Unfortunately it was 6 points, possibly 10, gone begging. Manly finished with 4 for 100 odd, chasing 300.

Frustrating. And since when does it rain in Sydney anyway?

Lastly, congratulations to Hoppa. 350 wickets! Well done mate. A fantastic achievement for an ok bloke. Hopefully there is plenty more this season and in the future hop. Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the annual lunch a fantastic success. Again.

It was great to see so many faces out painting the town all kinds of red, green, and a dash of grey!

Cheers.

Ian (Missy) Higgins 

5th Grade Round 4 report

5th Grade Round 4 report

The Real 5th Grade Report

Score: Gordon 8-300

Light rain and heavy cloud greeted the players at Turramurra on Saturday morning. All of the staggies seemed chirpy and fired up for the challenge that Manly would no doubt provide, and after the recent success of the club, we felt confident of putting ourselves in a position to bring home the points after day 1.

(Jason Russell-Jones at Turramurra)

Then Plummer arrived, he steamed into the dressing sheds and less than politely enquired the whereabouts of Higgins. Plummer, fresh from reading the scathing remarks from the previous rounds report was ready to have a swing at Higgins. Higgins later stated that he would have hit Plummer, however he had only recently conditioned his hair and didn't want blood all through it.

Light drizzle temporarily ceased the warm up, but there was no delay in the commencement of play.Captain Storey again won the toss and elected to bat. I think even Stores fancied some runs of his own on this deck.

Once again Fitzpatrick and Slocombe opened, and looked to get Gordon off to another good start. And once again they both did their job, saw off the new ball and kept the scorers busy. Slocombe looked to continue his recent good form, and Fitzy looked to occupy the crease and get some time in the middle.

(Shivan at Turramurra during his 40 not out)

All seemed well, with the score moving along nicely, until a Fitzy was run-out off a misfield. There probably isn't any reason to say the old saying here is there? One feels for young Fitzpatrick, who has now been run-out twice in his first four innings. He looks to be hitting the ball well, but is finding ways to get out.

The score was now 1 for 50 odd. This brought Craig Knight to the crease, who was coming off a century in colts last week, and looked to be brimming with confidence. He and Choppy moved the score to 110 in relative quick time. Both were hitting the middle on regular occurrence, and saw the ball to the boundary just as frequently. Knighty, unfortunately chipped the ball back to the bowler when on 42, for a return catch, and it was good Knight nurse for Craig.

This brought Higgins to the crease, desperate to spend time in the middle, mainly to get away from Plummer, but also to get some runs under the hair elastic. Higgins was watchful to say the least for his first 24 balls, refusing to score. It was painful to watch, like looking at the sun for too long. Never the less he remained not out. Stu Slocombe at the other end guided him through, giving him constant reassurance. Unfortunately choppy fell on the last ball before drinks. It was disappointing to see him fall, after getting another start. I have no doubt a hundred is around the corner, the application is there and so is the skill.

The score was now 3 - 127 at drinks.

Plummer joined Higgins at the crease. What was to follow was poetry in motion. The partnership perilled in comparison to that of the Man-Cash/2-Pumps partnership I'm sure, however it was an important partnership none the less. The two took the score from 127 to 201. Higgins was finding ways to hit that red thing past the square, and Plummer ran hard between the wickets as well as lofted balls in a more aggressive manner'.. I hope his shoulder is ok though!! If any one gets the chance, ask Plums how his shoulder is.

(Ian Higgins and Andrew Plummer)

All jokes aside, Plums is a fantastic guy to have in 5th grade. He is a genuine leader, and can offer a lot to the younger guys on the team. He's also become relatively handy with the willow, and he proved his worth with a well constructed 30. Unfortunately, Plums was run-out. Although like Fitzpatrick, he was extremely unlucky to be given out. Mainly because they were both thought they were well in.

A small batting collapse followed, and we went from cruising at 3-201 to 6-217. With the wickets of Plummer, Rabone, and Higgins respectively. Rabone in fairness copped probably the best ball of the day on his 3rd or 4th ball.

But Higgins has no excuses for his dismissal. On 71, he played a loose drive and managed to guide the ball onto his stumps. Like I said last week, its rare for a player to come off the field and be completely satisfied with their performance. And although I'm sure Higgins was pleased to score some runs, the job was far from over from the teams perspective, and it looked like we might limp to 240/250 odd. Higgins later claimed he got out, because he knew webmaster Stephenson was on the way. With that damn camera in hand.

(Higgins emerges from the dressing sheds) 

Even if he did score a century the picture of him getting rolled in round 1 would have been splashed all over the Gordon tabloids anyway. Higgins was seen, smirking as he emerged from the dressing sheds. This was only because news was filtering through that Stobo had managed to drive, as well as park, without incident, and the relief was evident on the faces of Gordon players all over the Sydney metropolitan region. And all motorists in general.

Anyway, runs became like gold, and gold is what we got. The lower order all chipped in. And we reached 300 on the last ball of the day. Shivan Selva once again scored runs, with a well compiled 40 not out. Thanks to Shiva's similarity to Samuel L. Jackson he now has 14, 379 different nick-names, all of them movie titles. Most of the boys just call him Coach Carter now. It's kind of catchy.

Dave Storey was nothing short of graceful for his 17 not out. I've never even seen some shots that Captain Stores manages to perform. It's like going for a check-up at the doctors, you just never know what your going to see. I think this is a fitting analogy for a man of Stores' lifestyle.

At the end of the day we reached 300. A very satisfying performance from the 5th graders. Storey decided to play mind games by not declaring as of yet' At least I think we're still batting. Storey does nothing more than confuse me a lot of the time. Funny guy though. Plummer went into the manly dressing sheds to share a beer after play. He tried to play mind games with them as well, I'm sure it worked. He claims he has learnt everything he knows from Hoppa. I can somehow believe that.

(Alastair Fitzpatrick at Turramurra)

Well done to Cashy and Pumps. Good luck to all grades for day 2. No doubt there will be some familiar faces at the Friday luncheon, in front of some familiar beverages. Hope to see everyone there!

Cheers.

Ian Higgins

5th grade Round 3 Report

5th grade Round 3 Report

5th Grade Report vs Parramatta

Cricket is a funny game. It is rare for a player to come off the field at the end of the days play, and be completely satisfied with his achievements.

However, it's days like Saturday which reminds us all of why we play the game.

(Elliot Richtor at Turramurra)

Gordon 9 for 232 of 50

Parramatta 223 all out of 48.5

As the players assembled at the 'scenic' Turramurra oval, we were greeted with cloudy skies, a cool breeze, and a pitch with a small damp patch halfway down the track. It was clear that the damp patch would play no part in the game, however the Parramatta captain insisted on waiting for it to dry out. Subsequently play was delayed for an hour or so.

When the captains met again for the toss at around 10:00am, it was decided that play would commence at 10:30. Captain Storey won the toss, and the men from old Chatswood way were throwing the pads on. Gordon was pleased to get the game underway, mainly because they were tired of hearing tales of the life and times of Plummer.

Slocombe and Fitzpatrick began the innings well. Slocombe continued his fine form, with an array of cover drives and lofted strokes. It is great to see choppy perform so well after he has put hours of hard work, months before round 1. Fitzpatrick was more conservative but never the less looked impressive. The openers brought up the fifty with out loss and with consulate ease. After 10 overs we were none for 54. I doubt if Plummer saw any of those 10 overs. Rather, he was too busy reciting lines from such Peter Sellers classics as 'Pink Panther' and 'The Party', no one really knew what he was on about, no one really cared.

(Alastair Fitzpatrick shows his style against Parramatta)

Both the openers shortly departed and we were suddenly 2/60 just before drinks. This brought Richtor and Higgins to the crease.

After drinks a small batting collapse, with the dare I say 'prize' wickets of Higgins, Plummer and Rabone. However, on a brighter note, all three look to be not far away from a big score, with the exception of Plummer of course. Most importantly though, Richtor was still at the crease, he played himself in well, then cut loose with a barrage of drives, cuts, and one enormous six over the bowlers head. He made an invaluable 64 of not many more deliveries before he fell victim to one big shot too many. Still his innings was a delight to watch, and he should be earmarked as a player to watch.

With the departure of Richtor, the score was 7 for 150. With still a lot of work to do to reach a defendable total. Shivan Selva who has worked extremely hard on his batting, made a golden 31 not out with some support from Daniel 'Ma-Hat-Ma-Coat' Mahaffey down the order. These runs would prove to win the game for us, as we scrambled to a defendable 9/232.

We were confident of defending the runs as we ran onto the field, and each man knew his job. We started a little slower than I think we had all anticipated, as no wickets fell until around the 12th over, with one of their openers coming out blazing.

(Ian Higgins not getting bowled)

Still we were able to maintain control of the game. James Kennedy bowled with good control early, but found it difficult to extract any movement off the surface, and lost patience with his line and length, and therefore went for more than what he would have liked. At the other end, Dave Storey bowled with his regular rhythm, and will no doubt soon be back to his top speed. Well, that's what he told me anyway.

With no wickets falling early, Elliot Richtor came on and found immediate success. He had the aggressive opener trapped in front with his fifth ball, and then wrapped the pads of the number 3 with his next ball, and we had them 2/34.

Daniel 'Ma-Hat-Ma-Coat' Mahaffey came onto bowl, and bowled the best spell he has bowled all year, he deserved to take probably 4 or 5 wickets, as he beat the bat on countless occasions and hit the pads just as often. He finished with 2 for 11, and was without a doubt the pick of the bowlers.

(Daniel Mahaffey during his spell on Saturday)

The fielding in 5th Grade promises to be exceptional, however the half chances just don't seem to be falling into hands and the diving saves seem to be deflecting for more runs. Our young gun in the field Detective Jack Rabone (as Plummer calls him) is a joy to watch, and sets a fantastic standard in the field, every week he can add 20-30 runs to his batting performance via his fielding. Unfortunately we put down around 6 or 7 chances, tough chances, but chances none the less and it probably should have cost us the game.

As the sun began its rapid descent on the days play, it appeared Gordon had wrapped things up. Parramatta were 7 for 150 odd and out of the game with 10 overs to be bowled.

Shivan 'Shaft' Selva bowled a teasing line and length and deserved better figures, Jason 'J-R-J' Russel-Jones took an unbelievable return catch of his bowling and Plummer was telling the captain he could give him 2 overs. Knowing Plummer though, he would have been disappointed not to get any less than 10. Everything appeared to be under control

Then things began to get out of hand. The 8th wicket partnership took them to around 221 with only a run a ball required. The inexperience and youth of our side began to show, with ridiculous fielding and wild throws. We are only a very young team, most of the guys are still in school, but this experience will do wonders for our confidence next time.

(The skipper Dave Storey in full flight)

With fading light, the umpires, unbelievably (but realistically), offered the batsmen light, and with full credit to the Parramatta team they declined in pursuit of getting a result. As I said, full credit to Parramatta.

With 9 balls remaining Plummer ran in and finally bowled their big hitting number 9. Plums did deserve the wicket as he beat the bat a thousand times, and he was quite happy to remind the batsmen of this.

8 balls remaining, 11 to win. Plummer ran in and wrapped the Parramatta captain on the pads, not out exclaimed the man in the white coat, who I would be surprised if he could even see down the other end it was that dark.

The batsmen began to run, in a suicidal effort to gain an extra single, there was confusion and Jamie Kennedy picked up the ball and lobbed it to the keeper from square leg and suddenly Gordon had them 9 down.

The time was 6:35pm and the tension around the ground was nothing short of insane. Dogs and their owners were kept waiting, but captivated by the action, as the number 11 from Parramatta strode to the increase. This truly was nail biting stuff. Plums ran in again, under now, a moonlit sky. It was shortish and wide outside off. The ball was flayed away down to third man.

(Slocombe and Fitzpatrick in unison)

Captain Dave Storey, probably the only man on the field who saw where the ball went, was about to make a hero of himself'.

He ran about 10-15 metres, slid down on one knee saving four, as the batsmen turned for the second run, gathered himself and threw the ball from 55 odd metres away. It was like something out of a movie, well a low budget one anyway. The ball seemed to hang in the air for a good solid week, before it dipped and hit the base of the off stump, leaving the batsmen a good 2 metres short of his ground. This sparked wild celebrations around the ground, and the 11 Gordon players were sent into party mode.

Dave Storey, who couldn't catch a cold all day, eventually got us the 6 points with a bit of experience, a little magic, and a whole lot of luck.

Naturally, Storey was seen in the pokies room at the GreenGate later that night trying his luck again, without that same result I might add.

It's days like Saturday which reminds us of why we play the game.

In all honesty it was a bonus six points for the stags, but an invaluable lesson none the less.

5th Grade Round 2 Report

5th Grade Round 2 Report

5th Grade Round 2 Report

Well, what a couple of great days of cricket. 5th Grade were a very proud team on Monday afternoon and for good reason. They won against Blacktown with some great performances and more importantly, they were able to contribute to a clean sweep by all 6 grades of the club.

(Lasanga Kannangara during his innings)

Yes, we had a good win but there were still some valuable lessons to be learnt from the match. A few players decided to step up with some great performances and I'm sure that the whole team watching on saw those lessons being demonstrated. A quick discussion in the dressing rooms after the win made sure of that. We wanted to make the discussion short and to the point so we could get on with enjoying our win and I'm sure that was on Plums mind too as he belted the points home that he felt it important to make.

Blacktown won the toss and decided to bat - all out for 249 of 65.1 overs

Gordon in reply - 4 / 269

The day started on Saturday with the loss of the toss. The pitch without question was a batsmen's paradise and we knew we were going to have to put in a good effort in the field to work for our wickets and keep the runs down. The spirit in the field was at a high level all day and full credit to the team for keeping the fight up to Blacktown.

(Stuart Slocombe during his 88)

Not a head dropped all day even though we had a couple of periods where a Blacktown partnership was threatening. The pitch wasn't giving the bowlers anything and the motto of line and length proved to be the reason for the bowler's success.

James Kennedy opened up and immediately had the batsmen guessing. It didn't take him long before he was letting the umpire know that he thought he had one LBW. The umpire agreed and the job had been started. Not satisfied with that start James made the most of the new ball with some beautiful balls sliding across the batsmen. When he got one to straighten and take the top of off stump he once again had ten blokes around him who very pretty pleased with his performance. I thought the umpire was walking off the field but no, he had to go to the fence to retrieve one of the bails. The pressure stayed on at both ends and we felt like something had to give, it did, and Storey clean bowled one to take the third wicket with Blacktown on 32.

Blacktown then put on a partnership of 72 but we were fighting and keeping the runs down. Everyone was looking for the chance and the pressure was maintained, the chat was that good that our slips were earned about talking it up after the bowler had started to run in.

Plums has definitely had an influence on others in supporting his fellow players but the umpires appreciation level of this enthusiasm wasn't shared. Shiva's then broke through with an LBW decision and we were creeping back into the game. Plums thought the fall of a wicket could be a good time to let out the enthusiasm that had been bottled up during the bowlers run up. Good on you Plums.

With the celebrations over we had to stick at the job again as another partnership of 84 threatened us. The run rate was still in check and the pressure in the field had to deliver us a reward sooner or later.

(Just in case you missed Ian Higgins getting out last week, here it is again)

A change of pace and Storey had one pushed in the air to mid on where Shiva's held on to a catch that seemed to just hang in the air. 5 for 186 and we needed to pick up some wickets to keep the score at a respectable total and keep our sights on the match.

Plummer offered to bowl just two or three overs as his shoulder was not good but he recognised too that we needed to strike again quickly. With a time limit on both Kennedy and Mahaffey holding me back from bowling them I agreed to Plums request and enjoyed watching him almost smile at the batsmen before he came in to release his first ball. The batsmen weren't ready for him and Plums helped us pick up two quick wickets in three overs. His pace was certainly a shock to them and it did just the trick. So, 7 for 198 and we were looking like we could get them all out fairly soon on a pitch that should have assisted the batsmen. Blacktown started to pick up a few more runs again until Kennedy came back on and bowled well to tempt the batsmen into giving an edge to Higgo who made sure we sent another back to the dressing rooms. Kennedy now had three wickets to his name and Blacktown were 8 for 232. Shiva's then plugged away for a bit longer and got their no. 9 bat to send one down to cow corner.

Jack Rabone didn't have to move an inch and looked as safe as a house to take a nice catch and Blacktown were 9 for 237. Shiva's now had 2 wickets and kept at the batsmen. He was giving the ball some good flight and it worked in getting their No. 8 bat to dance down the pitch and Higgo was waiting to show us his good glove work by taking the bails off for his first stumping of the season. All out for 249.

Now our job turned to chasing the runs. We had 16 overs left in the day and we knew that discipline and a straight bat would be required to give us the best possible chance at securing a win. Richard Kenner got caught LBW very quickly for 0 and we were 0 / 0. The nerves set in a bit but Slocombe was coming off 51 from the week before so the confidence was still there. The runs started to come quite easily and after 15 overs we were 1 for 50. Fitzpatrick and Slocombe were pushing the singles nicely, putting loose balls away when possible and showing that a straight bat does the job well. We were starting to feel pretty good about how the score would look for the end of the day and then on the second last ball of the day Fitzy was given out LBW for 24. Las went in to face the last ball of the day, blocked it out and we ended up 2 for 52 at stumps.

2 for 52 wasn't a bad position to be going into the second day on.

The scoring rate had been fairly good and the two guys in were Las and Slocombe and they had spent a good amount of time at the crease the week before. What happened throughout the day was just brilliant to watch and I'm sure the whole team enjoyed watching Las and Slocombe put on a 169 run partnership. Blacktown's heads were down in the field and as I mentioned before Las and Slocombe demonstrated to all that with discipline and a straight bat the job could be done.

We said in the dressing rooms before the game that we had to concentrate on partnerships and that we had to keep the guy at the other end focused on reaching little goals at a time. Both Las and Slocombe were in each others ears constantly and were keeping each other focused and minds on the job. There were very little chances given to Blacktown and once they were both settled we started to see some beautiful shots of the middle of the bat by both. We were witness to some beautiful cover drives throughout the day especially from Las.

(Las lets one go)

Slocombe was pushing the ball around well and taking on the fielders and his big shots starting coming later on in his innings. His cover drives were magic and then he started to go over the fielders heads until he was reminded of how close he was getting to a ton.

Slocombe has put a lot of effort in pre-season by turning up to Packers Curly fitness sessions and the effort looks to have paid off. His concentration was good, his running between wickets was good and you could see the hunger in his eyes for a big score.

Las was just enjoying being there with Slocombe as they seem to communicate well and was just as hungry for a big score.

Las started cramping up in the hammies later in the day and needed Shiva's to help him out with stretches every now and then. He fought through the pain and as the club knows, came in with 106 not out.

Brilliant stuff Las, well done. Higgo obviously enjoyed the innings as most of his first beer at the end of the day was used to give Las a good frothy shower. Well deserved too I say. Slocombe was victim to every batsmen's fear of a drinks break or a tea break. Just after tea he went back in wanting his hundred and after the second ball he tried to send one back over the bowlers head only to miss time it and get caught at mid on. He said after coming off that his head just wasn't focused again and a rush of blood let him down. As he said, it was a lesson learnt and I am sure he will make sure that all that effort goes all the way to a hundred next time.

After Plums had spent most of the day off the field telling us everything he knew about the world and dreaming up questions for Stepho to ask the Hornet he was needed to get a few runs. Stepho had a list a mile long of things Plums wanted him to ask the Hornet and obviously wasn't around anymore when Plums went out to bat. He didn't have any paper left to write on. A quickfire 20 from Plums with four boundaries helped Las get us over the line and 6 points came our way. Don't worry Plums, you're a very positive influence on the team and its brilliant having you there. You just seemed to be burnt into my memory when it came to writing this report.

Back into the dressing rooms to belt out the club song, not a bad rendition for the first of the season and then out to have a few beers with the opposition and umpires. As I said above, a very satisfying day of cricket but some good lessons learnt. One of the umpires summed it up well. Blacktown gave us chances because they kept on playing across the line. Gordon played well with a straight bat and stuck to the task of grafting out good partnerships. Let's keep it going for the season boys, there are plenty of points up for grabs and we want most of them. Well done.

David Storey

5th Grade Round 1 report

5th Grade Round 1 report

5th Grade Match Report ' Round 1 v's Easts

5th Grade turned up to Turramurra Oval ready to take on Easts and were extremely keen to get the season started with a win. Every one of us was keen to get the season underway and to be able to turn up to the Greengate at the end of the day with points under our belts.

(Ian Higgins loses his castle)

Unfortunately we lost what turned out to be a very close match but in reality it was only close because we didn't get the runs we needed and they kept themselves right on the run rate required throughout their innings. All in all we saw some extremely positive signs in regards to talent and attitude. There are points to be taken and you can tell that this side wants them and will fight for them.

Gordon 9/204 off 50 overs - Easts 5/205 off 48.3 overs

They day started well when we won the toss. We decided to bat on a pitch that we knew wouldn't have much life and thought it would keep lower as the day went on making it more difficult to bat on. Little did we know that we were going to see mulligrubbers going through to the keeper in the 5th over of the day.

The rev up and instructions from the senior players in the dressing rooms was spirited (especially from Inzy Iqbal) before sending in our openers (Las Kannangara & Stuart Slocombe). They were very aware of the fact that we wanted to bat out the 50 overs and post a good score that we could defend. On reflection maybe those words of encouragement and caution were taken very seriously as we got off to a very slow and cautious start. After 10 overs we were sitting on 10 runs and after 15 overs our score had only just nudged into the 20's.

(Stuart Slocombe hits out against Easts)

The ball wasn't coming onto the bat that well but we weren't finding the gaps and we were definitely missing out on some singles that would have put that bit more pressure on Easts. You could tell that Las and Stuart wanted to do well and were digging in but with the drinks break the message went out and the singles were then being taken and some more runs started to come. Still, we had wickets in hand and if they could up the score rate we could get ourselves into a good position to drive the innings home.

We were starting to edge our way up to 3 an over when Las played on for 25 and we had lost our first wicket. Leon Gulaptis walked to the crease keen to move the scoring along and to put pressure on the field with good running between wickets. He had obviously had a good chat with Stuart as they started pushing the scoring along and our total started to look a little more healthy. Leon got a quickfire 32 including 6 boundaries before being trapped LBW. Stuart Slocombe hung around at one end playing himself into more form and confidence with every shot and started playing some beautiful drives out of the middle of the bat. The time in the middle will do him wonders. At the other end we had a few starts of 8, 11, 14 and 5 from Jack Rabone, Ian Higgins, John Mallos and Iqbal but no-one going on with their innings to help us really push the run rate along. It must be said though that we were 5/147 with 12 overs left and everyone was trying to scramble for a few extra runs that we dearly needed.

Stuart was aiming to still be there at the end of the innings and his scoring rate was now fine for him to just keep doing what he was doing. The guys at the other end just needed to support him and keep the score board ticking over. Unfortunately we lost him with 12 overs to go. He did well for the first match of the season and ended up with 51.

The 4 guys left in the tail played sensibly to bat out the overs. They took every single they could and picked off the bad balls to get a few more boundaries. Shivan Selva picked up 14 and Dave Storey 14 not out. Our two new young bowlers, James Ellison and Daniel Mahaffey also showed they were well up to the task and helped out with 5 and 4 not out respectively. It must be said that James was unlucky to get run out with a couple of overs to go.

(Jack Rabone keeps this one out)

We had to scramble for the runs at the end to ensure we got 200 hundred and with the pitch playing very low we thought we could give ourselves a good chance to win the match with tight bowling and a few early wickets. In reality we needed another 30 or 40 runs.

We got the quick wickets we needed through Dave Storey (3/29) and Daniel Mahaffey (2/35). Dave took two with LBW decisions going his way and James Ellison took what could only be described as an amazingly stunning catch at Gully to give Daniel his first. With no's 1, 3 and 4 back in the dressing room for 38 we were feeling good about putting some pressure on and taking the game away from them. Unfortunately we were unable to break a partnership that developed between one of their openers and their no. 5. Their partnership was worth 140 runs and they were able to keep themselves up with the run rate as well as keep wickets in hand.

Throughout a lot of their innings we had the spinners on as we had three in the side and although they looked like they were going to give us a chance no wickets came our way. The chances that did come dropped short. John Mallos really had them guessing and they were being very cautious playing him, Shivan also held them down with a tidy 10 overs but it was a wicket we needed.

(Leon Gulaptis during his innings at Turramurra)

We neared the end of the innings and with the light slowly fading it was time to get the mediums back on and try and break this partnership and fight for the match. Dave Storey removed no.5 who was on 93 and then helped Mahaffey pick up his second by running backwards with left hand up and I have to say, even I couldn't believe it stuck. Those wickets put a lot more pressure on and I looked to the Easts players in the stand and they were looking very quiet and nervous. We had a fight on our hands and everyone in the team was up for the fight. As I said though, we just didn't have the runs we needed and in the final overs couldn't hold them back from scoring the winning runs with a couple of boundaries.

Taking a loss is always hard but there are some good signs that this team will have the hunger and desire to get points on the board and get themselves to the semis. This week we will be coming home with points.

 

First Grade Match Reports 05/06

First Grade Match Reports 05/06

First Grade plays for the Belvedere Cup and all grade points go to the Club Championship total.

First Grade match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

1st Grade Report qual final

1st Grade Report qual final

1st Grade Semi-Final vs. Fairfield-Liverpool

It has been almost fifteen years since the Stags 1st XI has played finals cricket and hopes were high that we would be able to progress past the first weekend of the finals campaign. However taking on the Lions at Rosedale oval is not an easy task.

(James Packman driving at Rosedale) 

Rosedale oval, it must be said, was not at its best. The outfield had been top dressed over Christmas which also coincided with the irrigation system breaking down. 3 months later and it appeared it still hadn't been fixed. The square looked good and the pitch, despite looking ok, played fairly slowly over both days.

Nicho had obviously been practicing his tossing as he called correctly and elected to have a bat. With the majority of the NSW bowling attack playing in this match it would be a good test for both batting line ups.

The Ship and Reggie opened up and set about seeing off the new ball. They almost succeeded before both fell around the first drinks break. Packers and Nicho steadied the innings with Nicho falling with the lunch in sight. Pumps was out on the break, the Stags in some trouble at 4 for 75.

After lunch Packers set out about building a total, he had struck some form the previous week and looked to again be in good touch. He unfortunately did not get much support from the middle order. We lost 3 wickets in quick succession, so quickly in fact that Zeddy was caught short of time whilst sitting on the throne.

(Matt Michael at Rosedale)

Cashy was the third of the three to fall, albeit to an apparent tough decision. BMac joined Packers and built the largest partnership of the innings. Packers was finding the gaps and BMac did a great job supporting him. They saw the Stags to tea, 7 for 180.

BMac was dismissed shortly after the break. Little Bretty joined Packers, who, realising that there was not much batting to come, started to up the tempo. Unfortunately this resulted in his dismissal a while later for a well made 97. The D-Train, who had been called up at 1830 the night before for Midnight, joined Bretty at the crease. The 2 of them were offered the light but declined and added 25 for the last wicket before Bretty was dismissed. The Stags all out for 225!!

The Lions innings was delayed due to the bad light and when we finally got back onto the field only 8.2 overs were able to be bowled before once again the light stopped play, this time for the day.

Sunday morning was overcast with some drizzle falling. However play started on time with Nicho and Zeddy pushing for wickets. Nicho struck removing Lambert, the first of 10 wickets the Stags needed to take. Zeddy bowled with out luck as did the D-Train who replaced him. Nicho continued to bowl well from the other end. Zeddy came on for his second spell with immediate success. Then the tide turned, the Stags taking a clump of wickets before lunch leaving the Lions at 5 for 103 at the break.

(Brett Rosen at Rosedale)

After the break Fairfield dug in, taking no chances. BMac was bowling his best spell of the season from one end whilst the quicks Nicho, Zeddy and D-Train rotated from the other. Wickets were hard to come by but the Stags stuck to the task. There was some controversy with a disputed catch, with the batsman being given the benefit of the doubt. It would have been a crucial wicket for the Stags but it wasn't given.

BMac finally struck, taking his 3rd wicket, but it was the only one to fall in the middle session. The Lions heading to tea 6 for 170.

The pressure was mounting on both sides after the tea break. The Lions lost their 7th wicket with 40 odd runs left to get. The Stags lifted for one last assault but unfortunately the Lions held firm passing the 225 needed 7 wickets down.

Both sides had fought hard for the entirety of the game and the crowd was appreciative of this.

Ultimately I guess we did not score enough runs but we gave everything we had to defend it.

(Brendan McDonald during his 4 for 90)

So the 05/06 season has ended. Last season we took out the wooden spoon, this season we made the finals in both the one-day and overall competitions, an amazing turn around. We will be stronger from the semi-final losses and will give it a real shake in 06/07.

Dylan Connell

1st Grade Report Round 15

1st Grade Report Round 15

1st Grade Report vs. UNSW

Gordon 261 lost UNSW 6 for 264 (45.2 overs)

The last round of the regular season, a finals spot already secured, a great opportunity to build some momentum for our assault on Everest.

(James Packman at Killara)

Somebody forgot to tell the Bumblebees this however.

Zeddy won a toss, unbelievable, it was the first toss I have seen a Gordon captain win post Christmas. The pitch looked pretty good and the decision was always going to be 'we'll have a bat'.

We lost the Ship (Craig Simmons), Hintdog (Sam Hinton)and Cake (Matt Michael) pretty early, leaving us 3 for 40 odd with Packers (James Packman) the not out batsmen. Packers and Pumps (John O'Neill Fuller) settled the innings and then set about building a reasonable total. Packers was looking good, although the days where he doesn't look good at the crease are few, Pumps providing the support from the other end.

Packers went on to score his first century of the season and with the support of the middle and lower order the Stags posted a very competitive 261.

Would it be enough?

At the start of their innings, the Bumblebees needed to win with a bonus point to have any chance of making the finals. As it would turn out later, the Ghosts knocked off Manly thus ruining any final aspirations that UNSW may have had.

Anyway the Bumblebees came out looking to tee off. Their plans went awry when Zed struck with his first ball. 1 for 3. Jules bowled well before succumbing to a rib injury and was unable to continue. Would we have enough bowling depth to cover the loss of our main strike bowler and the remaining 7 overs that he had to bowl?

The answer was no!!

Zeddy (Ed Zelma) and D-Train (Dylan Connell) tried hard but UNSW got away, with the Stags bowling inconsistent lines and more to the point lengths. With short boundaries at Killara far too many balls were flayed into and over the fence.

UNSW cruising home with 4.4 overs to spare.

A disappointing way to finish the regular season, but perhaps a wake up call before starting our first assault on the first grade premiership for 15 years.

Dylan Connell

1st Grade Report Round 14

1st Grade Report Round 14

First Grade Report vs North Sydney

The stags travelled to North Sydney Oval looking to secure a place in the 1st grade semi finals for the first time in over 10 years. The boys were pumped! not that we needed any extra incentive, but it is always great to knock off your next door neighbours on their home ground. One man in particular was desperate for a good showing.

(Jules Stephenson at North Sydney)  

The toss was won and lost, can't remember who won, but the stags were bowling. The wicket was flat, the boundaries were small and the weather was hot. Early breakthroughs were the name of the game. Nicho (Matt Nicholson) and Zed (Ed Zelma) opened up bowling searching lines. Zed in particular bowled outstandingly without any luck. The batsmen either played and missed or somehow found a gap in the cordon and the third man boundary. The bears literally edged their way to 0-40 odd. Enter Julian Stephenson. Jules proceeded to bowl the best spell of his career and the best we have seen this year by us or our respective opponents.

Midnight hit the seam regularly and consistently swung the ball away from the bat. He claimed the first three wickets with beautiful deliveries. His run was broken only by a brilliant run out!!!!!!!! Nicho continued to pound away from the other end, but the day belonged to Jules.

He finished with 6-53, his first 5 wicket haul in the top grade and just deserves for a season of hard toil in which he has been outstanding. Nicho took 3 for at the other end and then of course there was THAT runout. The end result was the Bears had been bundled out for an even 100 in just under 40 overs. a dominant display by the stags, but would the dominance continue?

(A North Sydney batsman is bowled by an outswinger from Jules)

The innings opened solidly enough until the child prodigy (Sam Hinton) drove a ball to second slip. Having hit the first ball he faced through midwicket for one of his trademark boundaries Reg (Damon LIvermore)soon followed. 2-30 odd. Packers was unlucky again and a big score is coming and I am tipping next round! The cake (Matt Michael) threw it away on 26.

Nicho and Pumps (John O'Neill Fuller)  then guided us to victory. Nicho perished in the pursuit of quick runs soon after. The logic being there was no point him remaining not out as Dylan Connell would then be opening up the following week, a proposition only the man himself could bare. Enter cCashy (Jermey Cashman). I believe this will prove to be a defining innings for the young man. He has the goods and has scored more runs in twos before earning a spot in ones than any person in recent memory at the club.

He backed himself and played some great shots, hopefully finally proving to himself that he belongs there. Certainly hope it has because no one else doubts the fact. Pumps departed, Zed and bmac (Brendan McDonald) came and went and at the end of the day the stags finished on 8-153. Hardly dominant, but 6 points in the bag.

(Matt Nicholson at North Sydney)

Day two saw the stags add another 30 to their total. Cashy was dismissed for 37, jJles followed soon after for a duck and "red ink" Rosen remained unbeaten on 17 including a majestic pull shot for four over forward point. all out 188. 10 points were on offer.

Jules once again got the ball rolling, picking up the first three to have the Bears staring down the barrel at 3-35. I think the lure of 10 points proved our down fall ( not taking anything away from the Bears remaining batsmen as they played quite well). The bowlers tried too hard for the next breakthroughs bowling too straight and moving away from the plans that have proved so succesfull for us this season. Mind you trying too hard is not the worst thing a team can be accused of doing. The afternoon draged on till a late flurry of wickets had the Bears 9-260 odd.

With a very limited number of overs remaining and the stags requiring 180 for 10 points it was decided that stumps should be pulled an hour early.

(Jeremy Cashman at North Sydney)

6 points and a garaunteed place in the semi finals was what the stags had come for and thats what we got, but what could have been? An enthusiastic song was enjoyed by all in our change room. I  beleive its the first time in a while a North Sydney 1st grade side had heard it at their home ground. We now look forward to a tough game next week against the bumble bees. A win will garauntee us fourth and if results go our way we could finish third. A win is crucial, not just for the ladder but this is the time of year to maintain a winning culture and continue to play good cricket.

Momentum is everything in this game. bring it on!

Matt Michael

The First Grade Report is sponsored by: 


 

1st Grade Report Round 13 Day 1

1st Grade Report Round 13 Day 1

1st Grade report vs Wests Day 1

First grade travelled to Pratten Park to encounter a strong Western Suburbs team. Wests have yet to drop a match in the 2-day format, and given the calibre of players in their ranks would be disappointed they are not front runners of the competition.

(Caught Rosen bowled Zelma)

Gordon trained well during the week even after losing the one-day semi to Manly the previous Sunday, testimony to the resolve of the side. The team reinforced the collective desire to win the premiership; a loss was not going to de rail this objective.

Turning up to Pratten Park is not quite the picturesque postcard, to then have to split the team into two halves because of the small demountables made available to the opposition alone was far from ideal. Wests need to do much better in this regard considering Wests themselves were suitably accommodated with a dressing room that fitted all players and had toilets and showers. However, that's cricket. Zeddie get on with it.

Toss loss by Gordon. Nothing new, in fact it's now become part of the game plan. Wests decided to have a bat on a wicket that could be considered the flattest of all wickets we have played upon this summer. The call went out early, we were going to have to grind this one out to 6 .00 pm. No problem with the grind, we love it, the hotter & flatter the better.

We started the innings off well. Nicko and Zeddie being steady and patient. We had discussed as part of the plan that Wests have a tendency to go hard at it, as such we needed to be disciplined and be ready to bunker down with some controlled line and length bowling. As it turned out, Gordon got the upper hand courtesy of a Sammy Hinton special, prodigious springs to mind when describing Sammy's talent.

(Nicho at Pratten)

After a short 5 over spell from Zelma he was replaced by Cuppy. As Zelma citing a combination of the hill, the wind and an indian curry the night before. With Nicko on song from the Parramatta Road end, Cuppy came on to tie up the other. It didn't turn out that way, Cuppy took the crucial poles of Smith and then followed up with a beauty to Phillips. Cuppy demonstrated good old fashioned outswing, catching the edge on both occasions. Bretty happy to oblige behind the stumps. Cuppy was to Wests what Geoffrey Boycott was to world cricket, a thorn in the side that never went away.

Just prior to lunch cam some more crucial poles. Nicko picking up the wicket of Burkhart. B Mac the crucial wicket of Twinning. Both these batsman have frustrated many an attack, to see the back of them was a true relief.

We went into lunch 5 for 81, a solid start nothing more. Post lunch saw a spirited fight back from Wests. Roden and Day batted well, chanced their luck and got Wests back into the game. The Stags knew Wests could bat to 11 so this was not a reason to be alarmed. We went back to the trenches. Some solid bowling from all and sundry saw the pendulum swing back to Gordon. Jules continued to hoop the ball, Nicko bowled tight and B Mac forever threatening. Zeddie a little cranky by this stage started to pitch the ball a little shorter in an attempt to at least unsettle the batters.

Late in the second session, the hard work paid off more wickets fell. Nicko picking up Roden, Zelma got Day and Barry more catches to Bretty boy.

Post tea, the third session did not start as planned. Wests came out swinging. The tail (although in all fairness the late order looked quite accomplished), swung and swung hard. Balls split fielders particularly between square leg and fine leg, (perhaps our square fielders need to do a bit more running), and catches just lobbed overhead. Not all of us can be 7 foot and able to twist and turn like a Romanian gymnast.

(The B-MAC salute at Pratten)

However, in the end the valiant effort of Wests tail came to a thundering end. Nicko cleaned up with 4 poles, Zeddie 3, Cuppy 2 and the Mac 1. Jules unfortunate not to take poles and once again remained consistently good throughout his spells.

So at 280, the Stags were satisfied with the fielding and bowling effort. Congratulations to Bretty for 7 catches, he has worked tirelessly at his game and he exemplifies the old saying that effort equals reward.

To the batting and not an ideal start. Simmo gone for 0 and Nicko following suit for 1. Enter the Packman and Hinton show. These two batted with composure and reassurance for 15 overs to see out stumps. A very good effort with high calibre bowling from Roden and Barry probing away. Sammy once again looked very comfortable as opener, and Packers looked in very good touch off driving confidently.

At stumps 2 for 31.

A very evenly poised match. We look forward to the challenge of Saturday, chasing runs is an accurate barometer of how well a team is travelling.

Thanks also to Tim Michael (home from London for two weeks) who filled in for an ill John O'Neill Fuller in the field and did the famiy proud with some energetic chases.

(Tim Michael with Matt on Saturday)

Ed Zelma











1st Grade Report vs Syd Uni

1st Grade Report vs Syd Uni

1st Grade Report vs Syd Uni

With some members of the team returning brown and buffed (yes Zeddy I am talking about you..), others well rested after a relaxed festive break, and even some still on their way home from the Christmas party, it was time for the boys to return to 'Operation finals'.

(Matt Nicholson at Syd Uni)

With a pitch showing similar characteristics to that of Razzler with the ladies, being very soft, forgiving and needing a lot of time before any play could begin, it wouldn't be until 1pm before Nicho and Cuppa could open our innings in what was to be a 38 over per side match.

The boys put on 68 before Cuppy top edged to mid wicket for 28. A job well done in difficult circumstances. Packman's misfortunes continued as he was caught with a great one hand grab at slip by Phelps.

Hokin then joined Nicholson in what would be the partnership that won the game for us. Both Nicho and Rocket played with patience and controlled hitting to take the score to 138 before Nicho was bowled with a good in-ducker for another good contribution of 61.

Then madness set in. The stags crashing to be all out for 168, losing it last 8 wickets for just 34 runs. The target was 180 and the boys were disappointed that we didn't capitalize on the great opening partnership. Only 168 runs with Sydney's most daunting of batting line ups. Some one had to do something extraordinary.

(Rod Hokin against Syd Uni)

Wolverine Stephenson and 'Do you think I could model?' Zelma opened the attack with the first 2 overs going for touch over 20. At 0 for 84 it would have been easy to roll over and die to what has been a dominant opponent for years, but the boys dug deep and just stuck to the plan.

As one door closes, another opens. John ' I am in love' Oneill Fuller had an outstanding day in claiming 3 for 34 off his well controlled 8 overs to single handedly turn the game. Phelps went first ball and Mail not long after giving JOF 2 prize scalps.

Momentum was now swinging our way and the fielding showed no sign of succumbing to the pressure. The students then settled and were 3 for 119, needing a mere 3 an over of the last 15 for an easy win. Cuppy then took the main man Moran for a solid 69, Rosen taking a fantastic grab that even a Ponting look a like at point would have been happy with.

The introduction of McDonald brought about a loud feminine cheer in the direction of the gymnasium, but before B Mac's ego could inflate he realized that it was 'the Moth' Packman just getting excited about seeing the greatest stag since Charlie McCartney come to the crease. B Mac yielded 3 for 20 and bowled in partnership with Nicho (2 for 23 off 8) to take the score to 9 for 158 off 37.

Welcome Ed 'I eat pressure' Zelma. He bowled 5 well paced and full deliveries and deserved a wicket but for JOF caught planning his wedding at Third man on the penultimate delivery. Four to tie, nine down, one ball remaining. The ball was lofted over Stevie Nix at cover and picked up on the boundary and thrown over the bails by Cuppy. Three run. Staggies win by one.

The team really pulled together after an absolute backs to the wall scenario. The effort in the field was exemplified by Rockets catch in the deep and Wolverine's fielding on the boundary in the last few overs. No one had anything left in the tank. It was certainly a feeling in the sheds that comes around only a few times and one that this team is starting to make a habit of.

(John O'Neill Fuller at Uni)

Special mention must be made of Matt 'Stevie Nix' Nicholson, who is to us what Royce Simmons was to the '91 Panthers. His captaincy and performances week in week out are invaluable to the team and its success.

ND's next week and Randy Pete's on Sunday. The points must continue to come'..

B Mac

1st Grade Report Round 9

1st Grade Report Round 9

First Grade Report vs Campbelltown 

The outcome of this match was critical for both teams as Campbelltown and Gordon sat 7th and 12th respectively on the table. Gordon went into the game with a hard fought loss to the Saints the previous week whilst the Ghosts were coming off a four match-winning streak. We geared ourselves for a tough match and trained hard during the week with the aim of maintaining our work ethic on the field. The team message remained a simple one ' effort equals reward' and we went into the match with clear intent.

(Ed Zelma against Campbelltown)

At the commencement of the game we reminded ourselves that the way we play and the effort we put in is more important than the outcome and as such focused on the steps we needed to execute in order to play our best cricket. In the end this was to be the decisive factor in a very tight match.

Day one saw Ed Zelma once again lose the toss; the tally now is 4 tosses for 4 losses. Fortunately the ghosts surprisingly put the Stags in, had we won the toss we would of batted anyway so no harm done from Zeddie's cold streak.

The stags started well, Simmons again the stand out with a brutal 68. Simmons continues to push for a Blues spot he currently sits third on the batting aggregates and the author is in no doubt he will get there and be successful at the next level. Rasool demonstrated a steely resolve to see off a fiery opening partnership. Unfortunately for the Dazzlah he was out before he could push on for a big one. Packman came to the wicket and once again demonstrated pose and discipline to consolidate after a loss of quick wickets. Zelma batted up the order but was out early for 12. Once again O'Neil-Fuller as he had done the previous match consolidated for the team.

JOF takes out the most improved player in December, he earnt his spot in First Grade and now has shown he can thrive at this level. Packman and JOF continued to thwart the opposition before Jimmy was out shortly after lunch.

(John O'Neill Fuller against Campbelltown) 

Cashman fell for not many and can consider himself quite unfortunate with a catch deflecting from point fieldsman's shoulder to gully. Matt Michael was out to a catch he thought was off the forearm.

Enter Rosen. Rosen and JOF played the perfect partnership. The team reeling from a loss of 4 wickets in the first hour of lunch. Brett came to the aid of the team when we needed it most. He batted with discipline and commitment and got our innings back on track. The events at this juncture in the game where to go along way in our victory.

JOF continued to doggedly frustrate the ghosts his defence was exceptional, however he was to fall LBW for 31.

B Mac strutted to the wicket. More hip rotation than usual so the Killara faithful were a little more titillated than a usual B Mac cat walk. The players watched on, B Mac back foot cover driving from ball one, only to miss the ball. The Skipper a little nervous as he watched on. Then the floodgates opened up. B Mac swatted balls from middle peg through extra cover and backward point, only Brian Lara could do those things. The innings was without fear or trepidation, B Mac demonstrated that backing yourself is the best policy and all credit to him for doing just that. This innings and the partnership between B Mac and Rosen and JOF's innings were critical in the final wash up. B Mac deserved a ton and I believe that given the opportunity he will do so in the not to distant future. Jules came in at 10 and Connell at 11 both doing a good job to see out our innings. The score 293, a great team performance.

The Stags had 23 overs at Campbelltown. The message was clear we needed to take early wickets and as it turned out we did so having the ghosts 3 for 75 at stumps day one. It was an interesting hour and half of play, some of the most intense game time this author has been apart of. I wouldn't have been surprised to see instantaneous combustion from some of the players given the enormous intent in their play.

(Jules Stephenson at Killara against Campbelltown) 

Day 2 the aim was to knock over Van Deinson early. VD is a leading run scorer in the competition and after tight controlled bowling from Stephenson we saw the prized wicket fall with a good catch to the Dazzlah.

The Stags took a further wicket to have Campbelltown 5 down at lunch. The game was evenly posed. After lunch Campbelltown consolidated their innings with some solid batting, but the Stags kept to the plans disciplined bowling and intent fielding. We knew that opportunities would come if we continued to execute well. As it turned out the wickets kept falling, by mid lunch we had them 9 for 215.

It was a game that you could never predict the result. We knew the Ghosts could bat right down. So the last wicket was going to be as difficult as getting the front 9. As it turned out it was, it took a good catch by Packman to win the match. Packman now stands at 12 catches for the season the most in the competition.

The result was excellent, but the most pleasing was the performance. All players contributed and some memorable stand out performances. B Mac, Rosen, JOF and Simmo with bat. With the ball Zelma, Stephenson, Connell and B Mac. The catching was excellent by all.

As we close out the year, thanks to all our supporters who have faithfully followed the team. On behalf of the First Grade team I would like to wish the Gordon faithful a merry and safe Christmas and look forward to the charge in 2006.

Ed Zelma

(The webmaster would like to add that the report author was too humble to mention his performance. 29 overs of controlled fast bowling for 6 for 91 and total committment. Zeddie is the ultimate professional on the field and bolwed his heart out for the club. Weel done Zeddie, you can have a rest, but not for long!)

1st Grade Report Round 8 day 2

1st Grade Report Round 8 day 2

First Grade Report vs St George Day 2.

351 runs on the board for the loss of 9 wickets at the end of day 1 at beautiful Hurstville Oval. Through the week that ensued there was debate about whether it would be wise to bat on and try and secure another 10 or 20 valuable runs in quick time, but the decision was made to declare and bowl the Dragons out to secure the 6 points. Only trouble was we forgot to inform them until around 10.57 am, 3 minutes before the start of play. Captain Nicholson could be excused, as he had just stepped off a plane from Melbourne to turn out for the stags after a Shield game the 4 days prior. I believe he was one of only a couple 'Blues' to do so, and his team certainly appreciated it.

(Brendan McDonald at Hurstville)

The team meeting during the week focussed on confidence without complacency and the fact that this match may well be one in which the result was determined in the 96th over. The appearance of the flat Hurstville track which almost resembled the surface of the velodrome around the perimeter reiterated this come Saturday morning. None the less the stags took to the field with a spring in their step, hopeful of early wickets to set up the day.

Zed and Julian bowled well early, extracting what little life they could out of the track, but without luck. It was left up to 'Nanna' Michael, whose first ball would have surely bruised Brett Rosen's well manicured hands with sheer pace, to claim the first scalp, a dramatised catch by Nicholson at gully.

The second hour saw the Stags toil away patiently, and Saints bat with touches of grit and class. The big ship Simmons has put out a call for potential second slip fieldsmen to do some work at training this week, after the usually safe Packman dropped a difficult chance from Catalano, on 34, the only one of the hour. Lunch saw us pondering just how costly it may be'. Over a few chicken burgers and bacon and egg rolls none the less. Saints 1-130.

(Ed Zelma at Hurstville)

The plan for the middle session was to try and stem the run flow to build some pressure for the last session, which all knew was where the match would be won. BMac bowled well to carry out the captain's plan, along with the quicks and (can it be said?) all-rounder Simmons (sorry Packers). Despite his efforts in travelling back to captain his side, Nicho was restricted to 11 overs early in the day due to a side strain. The other bowlers worked tirelessly all session for an elusive breakthrough, and Saints went to tea at 2-225, a remarkably similar score to what the Stags had posted at tea a week prior, thanks largely to a classy 120 from Catalano,

The last session would be tough, but the stags were up for the challenge. The first half hour saw BMac take 2 wickets in 2 balls and some wind come back to the Gordon sails. Still, the Saints No. 3 was at the non strikers end, on 100 not. This would be the last of the joy for the Stags on this day, as Saints cruised to 4-354, 6 points and a well deserved 146 not out to Heaney.

The mood in the sheds afterwards was positive. We had played well, they had played better. Heads were up, and looking forward to the ghosts at Killara in a week.

Bring it on.

John O'Neill-Fuller





1st Grade Report Round 8 Day 1

1st Grade Report Round 8 Day 1

First Grade Report- Round 8 (Day 1)

The Round 8 fixture against the Dragons brought the Stags to the picturesque Hurstville Oval. The ground was a little bit moist early on due to the overnight rain, but aside from that the conditions could not be faulted.

(Nicho points to the team on scoring his century on Saturday)

The day began with the Stags losing the toss and being sent into bat. The situation for both sides was simple, St George needed early wickets to justify sending us in, and the Stags needed a solid first session and a big score on the board.

With that in mind Simmons and Rasool strode to the crease. Unfortunately, with the score on 19 we lost Rasool (5) in similar fashion to the previous week, caught behind off a rising delivery going across his body.

Packers and Simmo proceeded to graft a crucial 43 run partnership that effectively dented the new ball combination of McLauchlan and Henriques. With much of the hard work done Packers (22) was caught at backward point about half an hour before lunch when he didn't quite get all of an attempted off-drive.

This brought Simmons and Nicholson together. Their partnership was brilliant to watch, both batted exceptionally. Simmons innings was solid, determined and classy whereas Nicho plundered the ball to all parts of Hurstville off the front and back foot.

(Simmons clears the fence at Hurstville)

The underlying factor of their partnership however was the fact that they didn't really at any point try to hit the good balls to the fence.

They were both solid, they both ran well between the wickets and they both punished the loose ball. Their 141 run stand left St George reeling until Simmons was unluckily dismissed for 83, stumped down the leg side 15 minutes before tea, 3-203.

As Pumps strode to the crease the topic of discussion on the sidelines turned to how long it would take to run around Hurstville's 400-metre vellodrome. Razzle seemed to think he could do it in 45 seconds; B-Mac was quick to seize this opportunity knowing full well that he wasn't going to get near it. B-Mac offered the young South African (who'd had a quiet day) 4 jugs if he could run it in under 1 minute, if he couldn't B-Mac would receive 1 jug.

This situation was not dissimilar to the time Gordon's second grade team paid Plummer to ride a bike off a wharf. In this case however, the challenger was defeated, running the vellodrome in 1 minute 1.75 seconds.

Back to the cricket, as we entered the final session of the day the instructions were clear, get a solid start, and capitalize on the previous 2 sessions.

With that in mind Nicho and Pumps continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Nicho reached his century by launching a well flighted delivery over mid wicket for six. It was clear that the run rate was about to rise.

The pair continued to find the fence, with Pumps moving his score past 50. On 118 Nicho was dismissed, the end of both a chanceless and classy innings. An innings that many witnesses won't forget in a hurry.

(Nicho in action on Saturday)

Cashman was dismissed soon after leaving the score 5-285. Zelma joined Pumps at the crease and the pair continued to push the scoring along, with Zelma slapping a quick 22 against the second new ball before he was out caught behind. Michael followed soon after.

The Devil hadn't given up hope of scoring his maiden first grade hundred, unfortunately though on 74 his well compiled innings ended when he was out caught trying to lift the run rate. Pumps innings did however ensure that the Stags reached 350.

The Stags finished 9-351; a fantastic day's play thanks largely to the contributions made by Nicho (118), Simmo (83) and Pumps (74). The feeling in the camp is good; we're gaining momentum and the boys can't wait to turn up to Hurstville next week and finish the job.

Congratulations to the other grades and Nick Dowsley for his first 2nd Grade ton, we're in good positions, let's dig deep next week and bring as many Club Championship points to the Christmas party as possible.

(John O'Neill Fuller presents a straight bat)

Jeremy Cashman

1st Grade Report Limited over 8

1st Grade Report Limited over 8

UTS Balmain 1st Grade Report.

Another lost toss, a lost team sheet and the Tiger's looking lost on what turned out to be a fantastic day for the Stags.

(Brad Rasool in action)

Well with 6 points in the back pocket and at least 6 more up for grabs, it was an important weekend for the 1st grade side as the skipper put the call out that it was a make or break time of year. It hasn't helped that on 6 or so occasions the captain hasn't won a toss and each time we are forced to dig in and produce some enterprising cricket which has earned us 32 points so far this season, our highest position in several years!

However to report more precisely on the match at hand, albeit short and sweet, there were some very pleasing highlights.

The consistency of our opening wicket taker 'big j' (possibly an action photo or two here Paul), the enthusiasm of the rejuvenated 'big dill' and Brendan 'the locks..Chadwick.. pretty boy.. baby faced.. good for an opinion .. . (i've got that many nicknames), bmac' McDonald bowled exceptionally well with great control, on a wicket without much assistance for any of the bowlers.

(Packers, some action shots of "big j". Only if you insist..webmaster)

A very tidy spell from Hoppa meant that we were well in control of the match right from the outset. Our fielding was second to none and apart from the half chance of a run-out we took all 10 chances, a first for the season. A highlight which can be put down to sheer fielding brilliance from the two new faces to the club, Bmac and the Dazzler ensured that the dangerous looking Hayne, was dismissed for a rapid 20. A back flick from daz to bmac who fired in a flat throw from near the boundary to affect a run out by more than 2meters, sent shivers through the spine of little Bretty Rosen, who brought this exact drill to the warm ups just a week ago.

Fielding points were awarded and a contentious issue as normal with Bmac looking to get on the board however could get past the likes of Bert Rosen (another solid game behind the stumps), packers who decided to get the slacks dirty this match, and the debutant Cashy, who was not only under pressure of 'first match jitters' but also some persistent heckling from his good mates on the hill.

(Brett Rosen takes a catch off B-Mac)

Ed Howitt Jnr was in the running until he ruled himself out with a ridiculous back throw (not to be confused with the back flick, when 2 fielders are involved) into the pickets resulting in 4 runs to the batsmen instead of 2!! It mystifies me as to where Ed learnt this technique as I can't think of any sport he might have been watching and developed this new style, if anyone can please let Ed know we don't use it in cricket.

At the conclusion of the Balmain innings and 43 overs bowled, we were set the small total of 113 for victory. With a 40min lunch interval, or an Hour and a half as it would be in WA if we had come off at the same time according to the 'ship', we had time to gather our thoughts and strategies to overcome this target with the possibility of obtaining bonus points for achieving the score in fewer than 40 overs (1 BP), or 25 overs (2BP).

'Coke' Simmons and 'Dollar' Dazzler made short work of the Balmain attack which looked a little weary after a long day in the field on Saturday and watching our bowlers go through their top order like uncle Reg goes through Alias's on RSVP.

Simmo dispatched balls to all parts of the ground and even caught the eye of two eager girls on the hill who were more than willing to try their arm in the game we all love to play, Cricket.

(The Gordon supporter group)

A fine partnership from the opening two meant the total was past in fine style by Dazzler, 40no and Simmo on 76 no, without loosing a wicket. A comprehensive win which left plenty of time left in the day for someone to fill the sudden vacancy of 12th man for the blues at the SCG and sign a few autographs as well.

There is talk around the traps that Gordon are the dark horse this year, lets not get ahead of it all but continue the great work that has been done thus far. Bring on the 2nd day of Sutherland and chance for more points and further northward movements on the ladder.

Packers

1st Grade Report Round 7

1st Grade Report Round 7

The Reginald Report.

Versus Sutherland, Day 1.

Isn't it great to take 6 points on first day.? Isn't it even better to only field for 38 overs? Another great day for the stags at Killara!.

(James Packman on Saturday)

Following our massive win against the Lions, the 1st 11 decided we should not change a goddamn thing going into round 7 vs Sutherland.

Our Thursday night team meeting once again consisted of our ' formula' of bowling plans, batting plans and goals. We highlighted what we have been doing well as a team, what we have to improve on and how we are going to turn ' the formula' into domination on the cricket field.

For the 1st time this season, everyone was early to the ground. Discussion in the sheds were not of cricket but of the text they received from the captain at 11pm the night before. The young pups were warned off late night dance floor action and the older, astute gentlemen were warned against playing away from home on another hot date from Rsvp.

The Killara Launch pad was looking a tad green but firm. The stags were keen for a bat but Zeddy once again couldn't get us off to the start we wanted with the coin.

Stags are bowling.

(Sutherland's 16 year old Smith was given the short mid off position against Craig Simmons in his first game. Welcome to First Grade)

Great start to the session, zeddy bowling with heat at one end, Jules bowling massive out swingers at the other. Zed struck 1st and got Brett Rosen into the game. The very next ball, Zeddy hits the top of off. Sutherland 2 /4. The boys were pumped. We are executing our plans The next few overs saw Cupcake introduced, cake bowled tight and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of Smith, bowled under his bat. The Poor kid Smithy is only 15 and the Cake was all over him like a fat kid on a Wagon wheel.

Sutherland tried to settle the sinking ship but the stags came out with the Double barrel shotgun. Bang Bang, two more sharks fell with catches going behind the wicket. Sharp catches by Simmo at 1st slip and a blinder ( as usual) taken by Reginald in the gully.

Jules bowled with great control and swing, leading the way with 4 ' 41.

B Mac came into the attack late and bowled tightly as usual. Finally taking a wicket after receiving tip after tip from Simmo, it's great to see Bmac turning those tips into wickets.

The tail was wrapped up, with bowlers taking one each at the end.

(John O'Neill Fuller at Killara)

Ed Howitt Jnr, making a return to 1st grade, was not required to enter the attack.

Special mention has to be made of Brad ' Nelly ' Err time' Rasool. Finally after 7 rounds of playing cricket for the Stags, he has taken his 1st catch.

A memorable one, diving forward to snare Jules another wicket. Hopefully the 1st of many infront of the stumps.

Sutherland all out 146. A Very gettable target on day one. Things are looking good.

Simmo once again gets us off to a quick start, anything short or full was picked up out of the gutter milliseconds later. Rasool was looking good till he knicked on behind

Stags 1/23. Enter my mate James. The blues brothers were doing it easy, puppet smoking 3 glorious on ' drives in one over. Packman is back, both parents very proud. Simmo was blazing away and fell just 2 short runs his 50.

At this time, my old mate Richie ' the hornet' brown paid the stags a visit. What commitment!! All the way from Melbourne just for the stags. (It was noticed that an UN named committee member was seen handing over cash to the Hornet ' was it for his bootiful contributions to the website? or for allowing Brett Rosen to don the gloves full time?? Who knows) It's was great to see the hornet, nothing has changed!! He biceps are still the same size. Funnily enough' so are the calves. Looked like he has been doing plenty of bench press. Unluckily for brownie, he was seen doing push ups in the car park moments before appearing.

Back to the game

Reg was looking good out in the middle until he was given out LBW first ball. He never had a chance really, Umpire Owen (aware of Reg being mates with Goldy and Mason) pulled the pistol out fired away and even gave Reg a send off'.. Apparently?

Puppet, as usual made it look effortless but once he hit 59, the monotony of hitting textbook cover drives set in. Puppet out caught, enter Ed Zelma.

(Ed Zelma)

The former Richie Richardson wannabe continues to both grind and bosh his runs. Massive 6 over cover into the bus, runs to all parts of the ground. His 43 got us over the line. Its always a pleasure to watch Edmund bat and its even more pleasurable to listen to him recreate every shot in the changerooms afterwards. We lacked a bit of discipline with our batting, and with the players we have, we should be 250 at stumps with wickets in hand, taking the game well and truly away from the Sharks.

Anyhow, with 6 points already in the back pocket, the boys are looking forward to the 2nd half of the game with hopefully another 4 points on offer.

Uncle Reginald

1st Grade Report Round 6

1st Grade Report Round 6

The BMAC report - 1st Grade vs Fairfield

The sound of second rate DJ's is piercing. Disillusion rears its ugly head, closely followed by its ever potent cousin - panic. The clock reads 7.20am and a barrage of questions on why we play the game are being asked without hint of an answer. Its Saturday morning, the show must go on'..

(Brad Rasool gets the innings underway at Rosedale)

The pain from the daunting drive to Rosedale dissolves once Nicho returns to the sheds with an ever confident 'of course I won the toss, I just can't lose them' after a smooth and enterprising warm up. The plan was 240 on a good deck and defend strongly.

C Fiddons (8) (aka Simmons) was caught on the crease off Nash with the score on 12, and the memories of 'Black Saturday' (our demise against Hawksbury) hit like the great Mark Geyer in the '91 GF, as our top order pillar was a desolate figure. After short consolidation by Mufasar (Rasool) and 'Do you want an autograph' Packman (9), the later fell closely followed by RSVP ambassador Livermore (5) to the wrath of the temple they call Lambert. When Mufasar (26) fell in the temple's next over with the score 4/64, the Staggies resembled Tiddles scrambling for a cab at 5am in the Cross ' disbelief, confusion and desperation.

Enter Ed 'I will self combust from intensity' Zelma and 'I play cricket for the chicks' O'Neill-Fuller. The pair consolidated yet kept it ticking over enough to keep us in it for the all star tail to come into fruition with yet another assault. It was patient and controlled placement and timing until JOF(30) was caught on the boundary with the score reading 5/123 with the overs quickly nearing the 40 mark. It was now the time to get things under way.

(Matt Michael despatches Nash)

Welcome Matthew 'I am the dancefloor' Michael. The pair blasted all comers everywhere with one Mr. Nash on the receiving end of some Zeddy trademarks over cover. The pair ran with great purpose on a ground larger than some Sydney suburbs, putting on 61 before Zeddy (62) was caught on the fence. The tail was left to cope with the ever daunting last 8 overs from the Temple and Bollinger. With the Christmas party looming there were some additional nominations for the 'Duck' award yet the tail managed a further 29 with the innings closing with the Stags all out for 213. We are in there with a chance.

The bowling began with 5 extras in the first two overs followed by two Lambert specials to the pickets as he looked at ease. Jules 'Wolverine' Stephenson, after bowling indifferently (inspired by some illegal monetary incentive from an unknown source), produced a peach to bowl Lambert (12) with the score on 22.

Nicho bowled as Nicho does, 4 overs of no room, good length before passing the baton to Matty Michael to bowl a well contained 0/31 off his 9. Meanwhile, Wolverine was toiling after his indifferent start, to finish with a valuable 3-46 off his straight 10 to open our campaign. Packman took time off the fence signing autographs to feature with his second sensational one hand grab inside the circle in as many weeks to reward the opener's tough spell.

(Matt Nicholson at Rosedale)

Brendan 'Fielding Points' McDonald bowled with flight and control and was rewarded with 2 for 29 off 10 and also contributed his standard 'Hollywood' direct hit run out. Word on the street is that this kid has set the new bench mark for grade cricket fielding and has to further these feats each week for any appreciation from his team mates, as they have apparently become accustomed to such displays of genius.

With word spreading of the Second Grade achievements inspiring Zeddy (2-40) and Nicho (1-31) to clean up the job for us. The senior statesman playing their role superbly, bolwling the correct lines and lengths to compress any hint of the once inevetiable, now impossible from occurring.

After undoubtedly the season lowlight last week, it was imperative to bounce back with a win that will help us well on our way. The emphasis was on ownership of responsibility for your own game. Plans were made so that no excuses or whines would be possible let alone acceptable. The team showed the sort of resolve that will make us a most competitive side with everyone contributing their part with not one person carrying us over the line.

It is this awesome feeling gentlemen, that answers all of this mornings desperate questions. Six days is too long until Sutherland!

B Mac

1st Grade Report Round 5

1st Grade Report Round 5

1st Grade Report vs Hawkesbury

Razzles review

The start of play saw us chasing a further 170 runs off 96 overs with 10 wickets in hand. An equation, which would see most bookmakers, have us odds on favourites to win. It was not to be'

(James Packman is bowled early on Saturday)  

Not even 2 overs into the session and the trouble had started. 71/0 became 71/2 as Rocket was trapped in front for 0. Packers followed 2 balls later. The time arose for Reg and Rasool to consolidate, but the latter fell just as Rocket did. 73/3.

A cool, calm two pumps strode to the wicket and he and Reg seemed to be patching up things only for Reg to loose his wicket, another victim of the LBW rule. A determined Zeddie was unleashed at 94/4, a mountain to climb at this stage, but nothing too steep for the Z-meister and JOF. The pair added 6 runs before the club captain departed for 16 (the only stag to have notched up double figures on this gloomy day.) Good on him. 100/5.

Enter the cupcake. Just as the bloke was finding his feet at the crease' you guessed it, Cuppy trapped in front for 4. This time though, no shot offered, so you couldn't really argue with that decision.

(Ed Zelma adds to his bag of trick shots on Saturday)

By this time Tiddles, who had a distinct sparkle in his smile before play, had now disappeared. Off to start his engine, we assumed. That confirmed the mess we got ourselves into. 105/6. Step up Brett Rosen, with lunch looming just around the corner, him a Zeddie seemed to have things under control until the final over before lunch. Rosen out for 8. Lets just leave it at that. Time called. Gordon panicking at 119/7.

Back in the shed, a sense of eeriness prevailed. Door shut. Zeddie fuming. Why shouldn't he be after that 'inept' performance?

At this stage the odds surely against us, but the boys gathered together and assured the batsman full support throughout the next session or their lasting duration.

With 3 wickets in hand, especially Zeddie + his Gordon grind and veteran Waardy you definitely couldn't have written us off. However, it was not to be. 124/7, became 124/9 Gordon clinging on by the hairs on their rear-ends to save the follow on. Midnight and No-beer-vember (a.k.a B-Mac) dare I say rode their luck when the inevitable arose. Gordon, all out for 140. No schooner or three. Hawksbury 6 points.

The day didn't end there. What was left in it though was for us to pick ourselves up again and claim as many Hawkesbury scalps as we could, before bad light. Plan redemption. Indeed we did. If, at all, that could be said. Midnight set the tone with an impressive opening spell bagging 2/18. B-Mac bowling with real zip and spit (I can say that, because I was under the lid the whole time) came home with 2/71 in 17 overs. Hopper, steady as ever taking 3/35 in 15 overs. Let me not forget Packers claiming a token wicket in the last over of the day. Hawksbury, 8/162. Stumps.

(Brett Rosen on Saturday)

A well-needed pep talk ensued, with its purpose of answering, 'where did it all go wrong?' Each one contributed, B-Mac, most notably we lacked guts and grind. We all agreed. We plan to rectify a day most of us would want to forget, against Fairfield next week.


1st Grade Report Round 4 Day 2

1st Grade Report Round 4 Day 2

First Grade Report Vs Manly Day 2

Saturday saw the return of Nicho and the departure of Dylan. The general consensus being that this wouldn€t hurt our chances one little bit when chasing 360 to win. After banning all talk of the cracker of an afternoon/evening the day before all minds were fully focused on the task ahead.

(Ed Zelma keeps one out from Shaun Bradstreet)

We got the start we were after with our dependable opening combo of Reg (Damon Livermore) and Simmo (Craig Simmons). Still no wickets down at the lunch break we€d achieved what we set out to do by building a solid platform from which to launch.

The start of the second session saw Manly climb back into a strong position by taking three quick wickets including both openers. The rest of the session was tough affair for our boys in the middle, Packers and Nicho as Manly bowled extremely disciplined areas. This meant we were unable to launch in the middle session as things moved slowly toward tea.

We found ourselves needing 200 to win in the final session with 7 wickets in hand. Unfortunately three quick wickets fell again as we began our assault on the target. From this point on the final four wickets fell at regular intervals as Gordon was bowled out for 224. A disappointing end considering the start the boys had worked so hard for in the first session. Looking back after the game positives were taken and lessons discussed and learned.

(The end is nigh)

Brett Rosen

1st Grade Report Round 4

1st Grade Report Round 4

First Grade Report vs Manly Day 1

The stags rolled up at Manly oval looking forward to our toughest game so far. Easts first round is a tough start but one dayers can go either way.

(Cuppy and Zeddy leave the field)

This team was looking forward to the challenge of taking on a traditionally strong rival over two successive Saturdays. The wicket was flat, the outfield deceptively uneven and Zeddy (Ed Zelma) lost the toss. We were needless to say 'having a roll.'

The new ball pairing started fairly well, zed hitting good areas early and Dillon lasting to the third ball of his spell before being spoken to by the umpire about running on the pitch (a new record for the bruised one.)

If the two were guilty of anything it was trying too hard for an early breakthrough. Knowing it was a 'flatty' both bowlers tried to bowl wicket taking deliveries and erred a little on the straight side and as a result the runs started to flow. Bildo (Dillon Connell) made the initial breakthrough with Bmac (Brendan McDonald) taking a fine catch diving forward at third slip.

Manly at this stage were 1 for 50 odd of 12 overs. Jules (Julian Stephenson) and the cake (Matt Michael) came on to relieve the openers and after a few overs from Bmac Manly had moved along to 2 for 122 by lunch with cake bowling a wide half volley that was very generously knicked through to the Adonis (Brett Rosen).

(Ed Zelma bowls the first ball on Saturday)

At 5 bucks a ham roll some of the stags decided to venture down to the Corso for lunch. Zeddy declined as he had already seen what was on offer while retreiving a bmac full toss which received the treatment during the first sessioin. A pep talk from the skipper had the boys pumped up for a big second session and we were determined to get right back into this contest.

Bowling in this middle session of the day was much improved with all bowlers bowling a more disciplined line and length than had been acheived in the first session. Manly added a further 90 runs for the loss of two more wickets to go to tea at 4 for 210 with Simmo (Craig Simmons) and the cake picked up the wickets.

The Manly boys were in a strong position to launch and push on towards a big total. with six wickets still in hand this was going to be the session that tested what this stags team is made of and how we will stand up to the tests that this season will no doubt present us with.

Launch the manly boys did and closed their innings 7 down for 359. Reg (Damon Livermore) and Simmo negotiated the last two overs of play without loss and put six runs on the board.

(Brendan McDonald at Manly)

While 7 for 359 probably looks like a pretty ordinary day for the Stags I am not sure that is the story. The boys intensity levels in the field for the full six hours were as good as this writer can remember being involved in and the bowlers all toiled hard on a flat wicket.

Special mention to Sammy, (Sam Hinton) ,rocket (Rod Hokin) and Bmac for their commitment and energy in the field. Credit goes to Manly's No.3 Cameron Merchant who compiled 144 in what was a very impressive innings. bmac bowled well all day without luck as did zed. Jules bowled a much improved spell in the final session to finish with 1 for, Simmo took 1 for, the cake took a sneeky 4 and the bruised one took the first wicket of the morning

I know all the boys are cracking their necks to get back down to Manly this Saturday and have a red hot go at knocking these runs off. What's more we are confident we have a line-up that is capable of such a chase. Good luck to all grades for the coming Saturday and i will see you all out to celebrate that bad individual Reg's birthday on Saturday night!

Cupcake

Matt Michael


1st Grade Report Round 2

1st Grade Report Round 2

1st Grade Report Round 2

First Grade went into the game hungry for a win, we had played good cricket against Easts, but good play doesn't necessarily mean points in the kitty.

A very focused Staggies team turned up to play. The game plan that had been talked about for previous weeks burned in the minds of each player. Each person new their job, it was a matter of executing the plan.

(Ed Zelma receives a been-ball on Saturday)

Winning the toss, Nicko had no hesitation in sending our visitors out for a fielding sojourn.

We got the start we had worked hard for. At lunch we were none-fa. The score didn't matter; it had been many a day since the Stags hadn't lost a wicket in a session and doing it in the first session of match got the crowd muttering to themselves.

At the break Simmons and Livermore had put on 125. One session down, won by the home side. After lunch diaster struck, Livermore was run out for 24 after 108 minutes of patient batting. This didn't perturb Simmo, the West Australian showed sheer contempt for Blacktown bowlers, he plundered 143off 139 balls including 25 boundaries and 3 zacks. After Simmo departed a mini slide. Packman gone for 13, however, one watching from the sideline just got the feeling that Jimmy is ripe for a big one. At tea the Stags had slumped to 5 for 234. Hinton, Nicholson and Hokin were gone 36, 6 & 11 respectively.

The plan after tea was simple. We bat without losing a wicket and consider launching an attack in the last 10 overs. Michael and Zelma batted with resolve to see out an hour of cricket without loss. At drinks, Stags were 5 for 272.

(Cuppy in action)

The last hour brought about a brain snap for the two batsmen. It became a massacre Gangis Khan would have sat back and watched with amusement. Whatever the Blacktown bowlers served up was plundered. Zelma led the charge, it appeared the bowlers were working in partnership with Zelma as they continued to pepper him with pitched deliveries screaming out to be pumped over cover and cow corner. Michael enjoyed the ride, as did Rosen. As Blacktown dragged their sorry bones off the field, the carnage read like a fairytale for Gordon 8 for 389. Zelma finished with 100 n.o off 64 balls including 10 boundaries and 7 sixes, Michael finished with 36 and Rosen not out 6.

Day 2 saw Gordon declare and invite the visitors for a response. It started well, Gordon took a wicket in the first over courtesy of the Zelma / Rosen partnership. The session was only going to get worse for Blacktown. Nicholson on song bowled with the control of a neurosurgeon. It drove the batsman to depths of despair and frustration, unsurprisingly Nicholson cleaned up two more for Gordon. At lunch Blacktown 4 down for 83. Michael contributing with the prized wicket of Schenke.

(Ed Zelma about to snare the opener)

After lunch Blacktown lost more quick wickets. MacDonald and Rosen worked together to remove the dangerous Clarence. This brought his brother to the crease. S Clarence and Jackson fought hard to consolidate a decimated top order. Fight they did, certainly not pretty but effective. The two shared in a 65 run partnership. Committed bowling from MacDonald, Zelma and Michael could not budge the two. It was up to Stephenson and Nicholson to bring bout the demise. Stephenson tempted Jackson into a drive and caught the edge, ably taken by James Packman the second of his three caught for the match.

It was a procession from this point. Nicholson utilised his experience and guile to get the ball tailing in to the stumps and Michael using his speed off the deck cleaned up the tail. In all the bowlers toiled hard and were well supported by the fielders. At the close of the innings Nicholson finished with 4 for 31, Zelma 1 for 48, Michael 3 for 43, Stephenson 1 for 40 and MacDonald 1 for 71 unlucky not to have picked up more.

The Stags were not finished with the game. 25 overs remained, it was not likely that 10 wickets were going to fall to win the game outright, but the players wanted to test themselves over the 96 overs. The day ended with Blacktown reaching 3 for 85.

(Jules beats the bat on Monday)

The Stags were happy to take the points however you just get the feeling that there is a desire and hunger for greater glories. Stay tuned this team there is something about this team that's worth following.

Ed Zelma
First Grade Report Round 1

First Grade Report Round 1

First Grade Report - Gordon vs. Easts - Killara Oval.

The players were greeted by near perfect conditions at Killara Oval for the start of the 2005/06 season. The outfield was quick and the pitch was hard and conducive to good cricket. Groundsman Les needs to be congratulated for the extra effort that has obviously gone into the preparation for the start of the new season.

Gordon was pleased to welcome Ed Zelma back home after a stint with St. George. The team also had the pleasure of Michael Cant's presence to present Craig Simmons and Brendan McDonald with their caps for on their first team debuts for the club. 

(Brendan McDonald receives his cap from Michael Cant)

Easts captain Aaron O'Brien won the toss and elected to bat first. Gordon started with plenty of enthusiasm and before long had reduced the visitors to 3 - 53. The highlight of the opening exchanges was a superb direct hit run out from Brendan McDonald.

Aaron O'Brien and Nick Berry then began a decisive partnership where they batted with intelligence and some risk.

Berry in particular began using the short boundary to his advantage. The Gordon effort was solid throughout this partnership and at no stage did the effort in the field drop off. Stephenson and McDonald bowled without luck through the middle of the innings and at drinks after the 37th over, Easts had compiled a threatening 3 - 180. Gordon kept at their task and with the benefit of some late wickets to Ed Zelma and some spirited fielding were able to restrict the visitors to a par score of 260.

(Ed Zelma in action at Killara)

The mood in the Gordon shed was upbeat as the total was certainly achievable on such a fast scoring ground. However, with skipper Nicholson back in the pavilion for just four, much hard work was needed if the target was to be overhauled.

The team knew if we could bat for the fifty overs we would be in the game. Simmons and Zelma then set about building a useful partnership with Zelma in fine form making use of the new ball and belting a brace of boundaries. Zelma made 24 before being sent LBW.

James Packman continued where Ed left off with an effortless 20 before falling victim to former state leg spinner Adrian Tucker. Just as Gordon looked on top Craig Simmons was out for 40 to O'Brien's first ball.

Damon Livermore and Sam Hinton then showed good composure to steer the team past 100 and soak up the pressure from Tucker and O'Brien. Hinton went to a fine caught and bowled and Hokin set about turning the strike over before he to was sent LBW.

Matt Michael and Livermore kept Gordon in the hunt until Livermore was out for a well made 44. From here Gordon needed eight an over for the last 14 overs. Tucker was finished a tight spell and O'Brien was resting with three overs left.

(Damon (Reggie) Livermore dispatches a four at Killara against Easts) 

Michael took up the challenge and with the help of keeper Brett Rosen kept the game alive. When Rosen and McDonald departed in quick succession with the reintroduction of O'Brien the task looked almost beyond the Stags.

However Stephenson and Michael refused to give up and some clever batting along with several lusty blows meant 28 was needed from the last two overs.

Stephenson then proceeded to deposit O'Brien over the fence with two successive deliveries. Fifteen needed off nine. A single and then two cracking fours from Michael meant 21 from the over and just seven to win from the last. Unfortunately this is where the fairytale ended with Kirk Powell bowling a fine last over and using the much talked about reverse swing to his advantage. Stephenson managed a single and with three balls to go Michael was adjudged caught behind for a fine swashbuckling 46.

(Matt Michael facing West Indian Kirk Powell)

Even though the Stags had gone down, the team took heart from some strong performances and the never say die attitude which has been missing from the first grade for far too long. If we play with that intensity and we can get one or two players to go on with the bat, we will win a lot of games this season. We are looking forward to the challenge of Blacktown at home this week, and our first win of 2005/06.

Matt Nicholson

 

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Fourth Grade Match Reports 05/06

Fourth Grade Match Reports 05/06

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.

Fourth Grade match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

4th Grade Report Round 14

4th Grade Report Round 14

Match report: Gordon Vs North Sydney

Cricket is a funny game, hilarious in fact. When a side gets an opportunity to truly perform to its ability a day of cricket can be come so enjoyable. At the start of the first day I stood on a cricket pitch that resembled a concrete air strip in the heart of Brazil. It was a warm day and I contemplated what the fateful toss of the coin would bring.

(Mitch Kleem against Norths)

I tossed again, the toss we lost again. Before the dulcet sounds emanated from the mouth of the North Sydney skipper I already new what we would be doing, we would spend our last full day in the field for the season at the spiritual home of Chatswood rugby on Beauchamp oval. I won't lie there was disappointment from the boys as we all new it was going to be a long tough day.

We bowled well, really well but did not have a single ounce of luck in the day. FOUR wickets off no-balls were taken, and on a road this is the ultimate cardinal sin. Mark Smith and Ian 'Four' Skinner bowled well early with plenty of vigour. The deck was hard but as always there was an early bit of assistance. The number of plays and misses were almost greater than the number of runs scored in the day. Early on we toiled but with no rewards. Smithy was fast red hot. Too fast, they couldn't play him and as a result wickets were hard to come by. One of the openers was bowled off a smithy no-ball. Smithy reprieved himself with the wicket of the offending batsman soon after. The bears were 1-36.

As the day was hot changes were made short and sharp. To the surprise of Gulapadog Dan Richtor was brought into the attack, after a few looseners Rico was on line and picked up our second wicket caught. As the celebrations of the second wicket occurred two single digits on each hand of the skipper were shoved in front of Gulapadogs face. How is that!

When a wicket is required 4th grade calls upon one man BIC Oi Oi. He has an ability to deliver time and time again. Today was no exception. His first wicket was caught in the slips with his second wicket being caught in the same area, both wickets were sharp catches. All was well North Sydney were reeling at 5-93.

(Dan Richtor against Norths)

It was fair to say we dropped off with our intensity after this point expecting the wickets to tumble but some of North Sydney's batsmen were to follow. North Sydney batted well and we bowled poorly with Smithy unfortunately getting three separate batsmen dismissed off No-Balls. We toiled long and hard and at the end of the day North Sydney were on top with a total of 9-339. Notable performers late in the day where David Thomlinson who took to wickets with his crafty off spin and James Ellison who bowled superbly to finish with figures of 2-9 off six.

Overnight the opposition declared leaving us the opportunity to rack up the runs with a full day of cricket before us. What was to follow was amazing. Mitch Kleem tore apart the North Sydney bowling attack in a sterling display. A large number of lusty blows straight down the ground were tempered with finesse and further lusty blows square of the wicket. For the first time in my life I have watched a batsman play a straight drive over square leg for six. Brilliant.

Mitch was ably supported by both Grommit and Dan Richtor. After 35 over we were 2-161 with Mitch having fallen for 122. Rob was a casualty of sitting and waiting for hours on end being dismissed for none. Richtor and Brand then steadied the ship before Brand was dismissed for 36. At this point we were 4-226. Richtor was the last wicket to fall for the day being dismissed in disappointing fashion given how well he played and the importance of his innings. Stuart Orr and Stiqbal Ahmeds knocks were superb as well and should not be left out of the equation. They were asked to complete a task and I am proud to say attacked it with gusto and achieved in very impressive manners. The win shows the grit that this team has shown all year but unfortunately a few games have not gone our way. We are a good side, and after a couple of good wins look forward to doing a job on UNSW. Good luck to all sides involved in the finals race this weekend.

Stuart Brand

4th Grade Report Round 13

4th Grade Report Round 13

4th Grade report vs Wests
 
On a hot and steamy Summer's day
Gordon 4th grade turned up to play
Wests won the toss
which eventually proved to be their loss
 
Macaffey and Smith opened up
neither bowled with luck
On came Lappan and he eventually struck
He ended with 2/33, line and length was his key.
 
The star of the day was the 3rd grade sub
no other than best in club.
Robby showed all his superb skills
determination and strongest of wills.
 
His final figures were 4/21
a great effort under the very hot sun
John blake bowled tidily with 2/14
A handy effort if you know what I mean
 
Iqbal took 1/25 showing his class
Not a bad effort by Inzi ass
In the end Wests were bowled out for 156
All the bowlers received plenty of ticks.
 
Both openers went out for the chase
Kleem in particular keen to state his case
They realised an opening partnership of forty
When Kleem was out for 23 leaving it to shorty ( Kenner )
 
Kenner was eventually dismissed for 7
And in came best in club Rob Evans.
Rob smashed 41
which made the game almost won.
 
When Captain Stuart Brand was out for 25
our run chase took a nose dive
At the end of the day we were 6/136
but those late wickets really gave us the shits.
 
Day 2 enter Iqbal and Stuart Orr
what was all the worry for
Iqbal hit a fine 38
Balls short outside offstump he ate
Orr made 33
This kid can bat you see.
 
250 was the score achieved and Wests were sent back in to bat.
They finished at 1/147 and that was that.
A good day had by all
thats what this game cricket is for.
 
By Mitchell Kleem
 
(Inzi ass shows his class) 
4th Grade Report Round 12

4th Grade Report Round 12

4th grade report vs Penrith

Another game, another tight loss. Its has become the flavour of our season. We came to Beauchamp Oval with the hope of putting in a big effort sand coming away with a win against the Cats. The day was started with the compulsory cover removal and tacking of the land sails to each end of Beauchamp Oval. When the covers were removed they showed a pristine pitch with a tinge of grass. The toss was completed the coin flew high in the air with every revolution bringing us closer to the certainty of having a bowl. Luckily Richie's trip to Killara was not in vain, the coin crashed to the ground and the opposition skipper deliberated for an eternity before deciding to bat. Thus we bowled.

(Rob Evans at Beauchamp)

The boys started well after a tough warm up. A few overs in and many half chances were created Jordie Holmes bowled well but without luck and was ably supported by Dan Mahaffey. We were cruising along without taking a wicket but our level of fielding was strong and few runs were being leaked in the first session. Rob 'Bic'hel Evans came on and took a couple of valuable early wickets to have the opposition in flux, Richie Paul also came to the for after a stint in Thailand, he appeared to be back with a high level of jaundice however he stressed it was a 'tan'. Richie Picked up a walker plumb in front and all of the sudden we were right on top of things with three wickets for very few runs.

Icky then strode forward bold and full of vigour ready to wreak havoc on a bouncy turner, he did just that. It would be fair to say many good seeds missed the outside of the bat and one batsmen managed to find the gap between the brewery and first slip on far too monotonous regularity . Icky did however remain strong and bowled good lines and slowly but surely wickets fell as the batsmen were mesmerised buy the web that Sticky was weaving. Icky had men caught all around the wicket and one great catch was taken by Alistair Fitzpatrick straight after a lumberjack spanked Icky over the Nicholson Road fence'way over.

Amongst the Hurley burley Jordie Holmes snared one scalp and Icky finished the innings off with six wickets that fell in rather quick succession. We left the field extremely happy with the performance of all bowlers and all fielders on the day. We had around 27overs to negotiate and did this quite well. We showed good application early on before Justin 'Grommet' Waller played at a wide ball to be caught. Gulaptis followed and we were 2-25. Dan Richtor then came in and applied himself well with Alistair Fitzpatrick and we finished the day at 2-53.

(Alastair Fitzpatrick)

A wet week meant a hard but very green deck on an overcast day, the bowlers had the advantage and it showed Alistair Fitzpatrick fell early on and was followed by Jack Rabone. RP fell to a misjudgement of length and then Brand fell in a similar fashion to Alistair Fitzpatrick caught on the boundary at deep fine. Rob Evans remained strong all the way trough the carnage and looked as if he would steer us to victory. Stu Orr hung around for a while before an LB  saw him back in the pavilion. Bic and Icky put on a few more runs before Rob was dismissed and the wickets tumbled after this as we fell 10 runs shy. Overall a disappointing performance after the position we found ourselves in. The bowling was very, very good and Penrith deserved their victory. We came out and again bowled well in the second innings with Tim Clifford taking 2 wickets cheaply before being super subbed due to the age rule. The game lost impetus after that and we finished the day with a few beers with the opposition.

Another tight tough loss, but that is cricket, and these young bucks are learning a thing or to from it.

4th Grade Report Round 10

4th Grade Report Round 10

4th Grade Report vs Sydney Uni

Wet weather usually means one thing ' a delayed start. It's not the worst aspect when playing at Beachamp Park. It takes time to complete the chores, Sight screens have to be erected, covers removed and Leon needs time in front of the mirror.

(Marty Reynolds at Beauchamp) 

With an hour to kill, the older crew ( Reg & Marty) talked about the good old days at the stags, when we used to wear red caps and Young Stobo put people in hospital. The young pups, all 9 of them, piled into one car and headed to Chatswood to sample its Oriental delights.

A quick warm up, a loss of the toss and the stags are batting first. The wicket looked grassy but even the greenshield boys can tell you that it should have 3 lanes marked down the center of it.

Our goal was the play old-fashioned one-day cricket, 0 down after 10 overs and no more than 4 down by the 40th over with one of the top 4 being there at the end. Reg and Fitzy opened up. Reg fell early and Leon came and went just as fast. 2 '30 after 10. The Young guns at the crease batted with patience and commonsense. Rob Evans looked in fantastic touch and every time he bombed one to the fence he looked to the Pavilion for praise. Fitzy played some fantastic shots through the covers. Both players made it look easy, runs to all parts and plenty of singles in the mix.

Fitzy fell on 73 to 'the only ball that turned all day'. Bringing Reynolds to the center. Marty was keen to finish on a high in his final innings for the stags. Unfortunately, with only 180 runs short of 5000 for the club, Rob Evans ran out Marty for 3, much to the disappointment of the crowd.

(Alastair Fitzpatrick)

When you run your captain out, you better get a Ton or expect some backlash! Rob knew this and batted accordingly. Played a lot straighter, everything along the ground, some of his cover drives were glorious. A few good contributions from our lower order and another run out to Rob Evans got us over the 200 mark by the 45th over. Rob was getting close to his ton, searching for singles. Unfortunately for Rob, and to our captain's delight, Rob ran himself out on 97. A great innings Robert. Stuart Orr's cameo of 20 not out gave us some momentum. We compiled 234 for the loss of 8 wickets. Very competitive.

We knew that we had to bowl well to stay in the game. The wicket was a road and the students are always strong throughout the grades. Chris ' call me Bing' Lee and Josh ' blinga' Ling opened up for the stags. Lee bowling with good pace and bling with good bounce. By restricting Uni to only 17 runs from the first 10 overs really put the pressure back onto the students. Two more wickets fell soon after; stags are on top at 3 '35 after 17 overs. Mallos bowled tight early and was rewarded with a wicket. As expected, Uni was going to put on a partnership somewhere. And they did. On a good batting track these things happen. Unfortunately we dropped 3 catches and missed a few run out chances in this crucial period. But we stuck to our guns, rotated out bowlers, changed our field settings and lots of chirp from Fitzy and Dan Mahaffey, and eventually got us the break through we needed.

We kept it very simple for the last 15 overs, bowlers kept aiming for the bottom of off stump and we employed a long off and long on. The bowlers were rewarded for their efforts. Dan picked up 3 '34 and Rob Evans took 2 more wickets thankfully with the ball this time. Wickets kept falling all the way to the end. Obviously Marty was going to bring himself on at some stage late in the game, only to grab a cheeky wicket, he didn't have to wait long, taking the 10th wicket on his 4th ball. A very proud moment for any batsmen come bowler.

(Rob Evans at Beauchamp)

Everyone bowled with discipline and should be very proud of their efforts. A convincing win against Sydney Uni is an achievement in itself. Wouldn't it be fantastic if everyone knew the words to the song,??? As the Beachamp Park sheds are the best place in the world to sing the song after a Victory.

Yours in Cricket

Reg

4th Grade Report Round 9

4th Grade Report Round 9

4th Grade report vs Campbelltown

The last round before Christmas was possibly if not optimistically 4th grades last chance to make an extremely late run into the finals. But alas, the 4th graders pulled the proverbial hamstring with the home stretch in sight. The wheels came off in a big way, especially in the field where our efforts could only be described as pitiful. The bowling wasn't much better.

(Chris Lee opens the bowling)

However on a much brighter note, to get 272 in any second innings dig is tremendous, and is worth commending.

The stags fielded first, under the instruction of captain "Brandy on the rocks with no ice". It appeared to be a wise decision early on as Chris "Bing" Lee bowled with good fire, exceptional pace and a troubling line.

Daniel "McHaffey Meal" Mahaffey started a little slower at the other end, but picked up his first of two wickets with a leg cutter hitting north of the off pole.

A short rain delay of 10-15 mintes interuted proceedings, and we were sitting pretty. Even though only 1 wicket had fallen, the run rate was less than 3, and the score sat on 1-54 after the first 20 overs as rain trickled from the heavens.

After the short delay, the day became some what forgettable. Runs became more frequent than, as the bowling went from bad to worse, and the fielding was nothing short of dreadful.

(Dan Mahaffey at Raby)

An instance of the debarkle that was our fielding, was when a ball was skied to deep mid-wicket, where Leon "Gulopogas Islands" Gulaptis had just been positioned. He charged in like a bull following a red flash, however Gulaptis struggled with the same kind of accuracy as a bull, and the ball landed some 5 metres within the boundary and over his head for 4.

In previous weeks I have suggested that Lady Luck had not been on our side, this week, no excuses. We lost the game because of bowling and fielding.

Only Higgins could be happy with his fielding performance, and he also failed to bowl a bad delivery all day.

(Iqbal Ahmed - the people's champion)

And then there's Mallos. Wow.

Much has been said about the little greek, and here is some more. As the score progressed through the 180's, 190's, and 200's Mallos looked above, turned to Higgins and said, "That is a big cloud"....

Higgins some what bemused replied "yeh I guess so"

Mallos then went on to say "it's probably like about 10,000 km's long!"

Higgins eyebrow raised

Mallos: "Nah, actually it's probably only 1km"

And men say they don't understand women!! Perhaps we should figure out the complexities of men in the mould of Mallos before we conjure up the courage to understand the opposite sex.

It was tough going for the reserve, reserve, reserve graders. But we didn't do ourselves any favours. In the end Mallos picked up 1 wicket, Mahaffey 2, Lee 1, and Waller claimed the centurion. It was too little too late, the horse had bolted. The peoples champion Iqbal Ahmed has had better days....Let's just leave it at that.

5-300

BIC attempted to do the calculation of what the run rate would be to win the game. Higgins helped out his team mate by saying we would need exactly pie.

(3.14) to win the game. BIC didn't think that was quite right.

The ran chase began well enough to an extent, until Fitzy fell LBW to the cover drive. Gulappa and Waller "and Grommit" then grafted a handy partnership which edged us close to 100. Leon and Justin worked hard and ran harder for their runs. Leon was caught behind the wicket driving on 42, and Justin fell some time later slogging for a well compiled 60.

(Justin Waller at Campbelltown)

Johnny "Mollosovic" Mallos got some harsh words from the opposition and was caught up in the haste as he skied one to the keeper. BIC came and hit a quickfire 36 with some important hitting, but fell at a crucial time. Brandy was run out without facing a ball, making Nikki Dowlseys innings seem like a marathon, but said he enjoyed the drive. Jack "rabbits" Rabone was caught down the ground, as was Chris Lee, and we slumped from 3-175 after 35, to 6-210 after 41. We left oursleves to much work to do. Although we let 140 runs go in the last 15, when we fielded.

Then there was Higgins. Needing 14 an over when he walked on the ground and 17 an over when he arrived to the crease. Webmaster Stephenson suggested that I would give you the ball by ball of the innings, if that's the case it won't take long because he blastered his 38 of half as many balls. Prowess and power, a pleasure to watch. The second gade game next door was temporaily halted as Higgins continued to dominate the best bowling attack in Sydney Grade Cricket. There have been some fine innings this year. Kell's 140* comes to mind, razzles 150, N.D.'s 120 last week, all of these innings combined peril in comparrison with the sheer class that was Higgins 38 on Saturday afternoon.

(Missy on Saturday against Campbelltown)

But it was to little too late, his heroics were in vein. As we fell short at 272. A good effort none the less.

Well done to 2nd grade on a tremendous win. Special mention to Hoppa who passed 4000 runs at the club.

I hope everyone enjoys their yuletide, or Christmas season for those less educated.

To Everyone:

Merry Christmas, Have a cracking New Years Eve, an ordinary New Years Day, and no doubt I'll see you all around the traps.

cheers

Higgo.

4th Grade Report Round 8 day 2

4th Grade Report Round 8 day 2

4th Grade Match Report vs St. George Day 2

Scores: St. George 5(dec.)-286

Gordon 9-287

(Rob Evans is congratulated by Missy)

Last week I asked the cricketing Gods, or the equivalent, for some luck, just any form of luck. Finally after a disastrous pre-Christmas for the defending premiers, we got some. Ironically we have played far better for lesser results this year, but who cares about that'. 6 points in the bag, and that moves us to 12 for the year.

And it was all about the B.I.C.

Many stags, and readers from around the globe will say who is B.I.C.? I have come to a conclusion as of Saturday that Robbie Evans is the Best In Club for a tight situation. His guidance and coolness under pressure earned his team a priceless win over the Saints. Many Chatswood locals underestimate the power of the GDCC website, and the links it creates. On Saturday night, for instance, a young female approached me. She was from a small island just south of Antarctica and said:

"Do you know B.I.C.?

Impulsively I replied:

"Of course!"

Needless to say she'll be running for the Higgins Best In Club campaign in 06'.

Saturday morning arrived, and boy; Sydney was turning it on! Needless to say Gulaptis wished to finish the game as soon as possible to catch some rays down in sunny Cronulla. To our surprise, sightscreens were at the ground.

(Rob Evans in defence)

Unfortunately, they had to be erected prior to play. This proved to be a more difficult prospect than anticipated. 12:30 inched closer, finally we finished and had time to stand back and admire our erections.

We queried light heartedly the rulings if the ball hit the sight screen, Brand gave an answer' no one listened. Rather humorously, the sightscreens were not moved all day, and I don't recall them actually being in the right position.

Saints finished the day at 5-286, however their captain believed it would be enough to our surprise. Obviously, he hadn't done his Beauchamp research.

Choppy Chop Slocombe fell early caught behind.

1-15

Leon "Galapagos" Gulaptis joined Fitzpatrick, and a fantastic partnership ensued. The two looked comfortable all the while they were out in the middle, ran hard, and chose the right balls to hit. The score raced past 100, Leon passed 50, before being bowled on 54.

2-110

Fitzy also moved along passed 50 as he was accompanied out in the middle by Jack "Rabbit" Rabone making his 4th grade debut. He played well, especially behind point, before he was caught behind point on 24.

Fitzy remained solid as a rock at the other end, and looked a sure thing for a cheeky hundred. Brandy "on the rocks, with no ice" was forced to face an over out just before tea. A few weeks ago Brandy on the rocks with no ice said to me that he never cuts before 50.' the first ball he faced, an over before the break, was short and wide, and was subsequently cut to the boundary for four.

The score had progressed to 3-150 and we were in the box seat.

(A Josh Ling sweep shot for the text book) 

Tea was around about par. Special mention to Gulappa's shapes, and Fitzy's bun cake as usual went untouched.

After the break Brandy on the rocks with no ice felt the effects of an aging body as he attempted to run off the back foot, and pulled 144 muscles in his hamstring. Soon after he was caught for a fine looking 38.

4-170

Richie Paul, joined the bun-cake (Fitzpatrick) but fell unluckily.

Adjudicated LBW when on 1.

5-175

This brought in BIC. It was a mixture of power and prowess. He and Fitzpatrick looked the goods. Fitzy had been tiring at a rapid rate after tea, and it soon showed as he tragically played onto his stumps on 79. Well done bun-cake, a fantastic example of how to open an innings.

6-225

Higgins strolled to the crease eager to do what he and the tail had failed to do against Sutherland, guide the team home.

Higgins pushed a ball out to the man at deep mid-wicket, exclaimed: yes! He took off half way down the wicket, before he realised BIC had decided not to take him up on the offer of the single. Higgins stood in the middle of the pitch for 2.64 seconds before ambling back into his crease at the strikers end. Three balls later he was bowled.

(Dan Mahaffey is congratulated for hanging on)  

Higgins therefore was run-out for 2. It's lucky Evans decided to push on and win the game for the team, otherwise BIC would have been crossed off the Christmas card list.

7-230

The peoples champion, Iqbal Ahmed, came to the crease and was relieved to get off the mark, and leave Richie Paul with the duck award. BIC pushed Icky hard between the wickets, but for the good. A small partnership was broken when Icky chopped one back on.

8-240

Josh "Bling-a-Ling" Ling, who had spent the best part of the afternoon explaining to his American girlfriend (Ashlee Simpson) the rules and regulations of cricket. Without any hesitation the boys constantly told 'Bling-Bling' to run to third, and used many other Baseball terminologies for humour, as we crawled towards our target of 287. No doubt Blinger was striving for home base later in the evening, and his exemption from the XMAS party was well noted.

Anyway, Bling-a-Ling deserved to be there till the end because his 18 runs went along way to winning us the game. He hit 3 or 4 fantastic boundaries, some of the best of the day.

The partnership of Evans and Ling was an intriguing one, especially for Ling. Evans crunched a cover drive for four, then next ball bombed the opening bowler for six. He ran down the wicket and gave himself a big fist clench, with an even bigger wind-up. Not dissimilar to Little Lleyton.

At the end of that over, with around 20 to get off 8 overs, BIC said to

Bling:

"10 off that over'That's good, we can block out the next 5 now"

An interesting philosophy, and one that didn't really pan out. Bling-a-Ling fell with 13 to get. Leaving Daniel "Mchaffey Day" Mahaffey, for the second week in a row the job to win the game for his team.

The next 15 minutes were nail biting. With 4 to win, and 3 to tie, Daniel Mahaffey played the shot of the day past the bowler, a textbook straight drive. It inched nearer and nearer to the sightscreen, before, alas, it was saved, and Danny Bonaduce came back for the 3rd run. Next ball, BIC got a full bunger which he dispatched for 4.

(The winning shot)

9-287.

And the boys all went up as 1.

A brilliant, brilliant rendition of the song. The relief of victory came out in oral form as we screamed the song of songs, a previous top 10 hit in the charts. Ably led by R.P. Higgins became so excited with BIC's performance that he poured all of his 1st, most of his 2nd, and all of his 3rd beer on BIC. Most of which filtered into Choppy's bag'. Sorry mate. An experience both Lassie and Stores have had to come to terms with in the past.

Finally, I read that Plummer pulled a muscle in his chest. Sounds to me that he has pulled a 'heartlidge'. It wouldn't surprise me either. And a cheeky mention to my good mate Shweens who took his first Michelle Five-for at the club, as well as Nikki "Webster" Dowlsey on his ton last week. Well done lads.

See you all at training.

Ian (Missy) Higgins

 

4th Grade Report Round 8 Day 1

4th Grade Report Round 8 Day 1

4th Grade Report vs St. George Day 1

The 4th graders were greeted on Saturday morning with an abundance of sunlight, and inconsequential cloud cover. The square was a little damp due to the tempest the night before. The covers had done a good enough job to make sure the game began on time. Brandy lost the toss, and Gordon were to be sentenced to a day in the field. Although the way we started, it appeared we would be batting by the first drinks break.

(Looks good Higgo, maybe you need to get your hands closer to the stumps next time!)

Josh 'Bling-Bling' Ling opened up and there was fear and loathing in Chatswood from ball one. Blinger bowled with fantastic control and tremendous shape. A pleasure to watch from behind the wicket, unfortunately the paparazzi were too busy circling the airport looking for prize shots of his girlfriend, Ashley Simpson, arriving from Orlando next week, and consequently could not capture 'Bling-a-Ling' in fine form.

In his second over, the third of the day, he caught the outside edge and was caught comfortably by Galapagos at first grip. Three balls later, in the same over, he caught the glove of the number 3 and was caught behind. The score stood at 2-6 after 3 overs, and we were looking to go on the offensive with a hard ball and a wet wicket.

Richie Paul at the other end found it a little difficult early, running into a strong cold front and was not able to build enough pressure to snare any cheeky poles. At the other end however, Blinger was bowling a superb line and length, constantly asking the batsmen questions. In his third over, he made the opener push at a wide ball and a sharp chance was grassed at short cover. He went on to score a hundred.

This leads me to Fitzpatrick. Fitzy as he is commonly known by his'associates is arguably the most annoying man registered at Gordon cricket.

You can give me all the names you want, I'll take all of them if only to get away from Fitzy. He is constantly attempting in vein to push Higgins over, or whoever gets in his way. Worst of all, he comments on a regular basis on Higgins' hair.

Unbelievable. Fitzpatrick. Hair!

If anyone can recall as far back as the beginning of the season, Fitzy was fashioning possibly the worst haircut/style in world sport. The Kevin Peterson. It resembles a skunk who as been misplaced in Vaucluse.

Back out in the middle, the 4th graders struggled to break through for the next application, and waited patiently for a loose ball, which rarely came.

Daniel 'McHaffey Meal' Mahaffey toiled hard all day with late success, eventually capturing the wicket of the centurion, held on by Richie Paul at deep, deep, deep, long mid-wicket.

Rob Evans came on for a sly 5 over spell, and bowled well. Not to the surprise of anyone in the B.I.C. fan club. He caught the edge on two occasions, falling either short or wide of the slips.

(Richie Paul on Saturday)

The peoples champion, Iqbal Ahmed, would be the first to admit he has bowled better in his time, but never the less could have easily had 4 wickets. On three separate occasions balls missed the off stump by literally millimetres. To rub insult to injury, 2 balls were skied and teased the fieldsman, only for them to fall agonisingly out of reach.

The partnership between the opener and their number 4 was finally broken by a sharp bit of work in the field by Jack 'Rabbits' Rabone, who ran hard all day to his credit.

The score rolled from 50 to 100 to 200, and before no time the score had rolled onto 5-280 at the close of play.

Icky, finally found some luck and found the edge to be well held by the Galapagos Islands at first grip. It should also be noted that Richie Paul came back and bowled a much improved second spell with the breeze at his back, and a big effort was put in by R.P.

(Rob Evans at Beauchamp)

It was a tough day for the lads. But for the love of cricket, give the 4th grade team some luck, give us something, anything. Every team feels unlucky at times, with edges going wide, and LB shouts being turned down, and losing the toss etc. But everything seems to be going wrong for the 4th grade team, every week, and nobody can fault the talent or the effort being put in week in week out. We are probably the only team in Sydney this year to be washed out 3 times. And this is only the beginning of our worries.

But all of this aside, we will be fired up for a massive run chase next week. We've got nothing to lose.

See you all at training.

Higgo

4th Grade Report Round 7 Day 2

4th Grade Report Round 7 Day 2

4th Grade Match Report vs Sutherland Day 2

Scores: Sutherland: 222, Gordon 4's: 217

(The webmaster unfortuately didn't make it to Sutherland Oval on Saturday, however I have dug deep into the library to find a picture of Ian Higgins being bowled as he was on Saturday. I didn't have to look far!) 

The day began inauspiciously enough, as rain battered the north shore and most of Sydney. Rain has become a regular fixture for Sydneysiders in the recent weeks and months, and I think most of 4th grade was confident the game would be called off. However, as we rolled into the shire the sun became more and more apparent. By the time we reached the ground, it was well over 25 degrees centigrade, and by late afternoon, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it probably reached 30-32 degrees. Quite a transformation, but, finally 4th grade had the chance to complete a 2-day game without the interruption of rain'. Well sort of.

The rain had obviously had some effect, the wicket was a little softer than last week, and a little grassier. But still a fine batting wicket. Play began on time, however what was to follow was nothing short of gut wrenching for the 4th graders.

The score had finished at 1-25 last week, after we lost Goldy (Dean Goldsmith) early, and it was up to Fitzpatrick, and Gulaptis to get us underway. The first few overs passed by without incidence, both batsmen had the bowlers under control. Possibly the worst (common) way of getting out is to be run-out, possibly the worst way of getting run-out is attempting a third run. Fitzpatrick managed to complete both these tasks and fell for 17. I'm sorry Fitzy but I've seen Tiddles move more swiftly, albeit running to the bar attempting his third drink.

(Fitzpatrick and Richtor show their running style)

2-40.

This abomination of a wicket brought young Richtor (Elliot) to the crease, fresh from finishing school, and a couple of good 60's in the run bank. Richtor batted superbly. He was evidently nervous, and I think lacked a bit of confidence in is own ability to succeed in higher grades. However, he batted almost without fault. Brilliant off the pads, and a good front foot player, Richtor never looked like getting out, as he strolled past 50, until he did on 63. I said it the first time I saw him play, and I'll repeat, he is a player to watch. His only downfall is that he has three 60's to his name this year, and no hundreds. There's that and also he's a typically annoying adolescent. At the other end Leon Gulaptis played a loose drive, again, and was well caught in the gully.

3-50.

Captain Brand (Stuart Brand) came to the wicket, and it was at this time that Goldy, Shweens, Delta Goodrem, and Gulappa all went for the clich' stroll around the ground. Somehow the issue arose about Michelle Leslie, and her antics in Indonesia. Then the topic moved to life in gaol. Gulaptis stated that he would do anything to get out of gaol. The conversation got a little blue after that, and I don't believe that this is one of those websites. Goldy told some stories of his experiences with gaol, no of them first hand apparently, but it was enough for Gulappa to lose sleep over. Leon stop calling me at night, call Plummer, you'll be ok, and it's perfectly safe in the shower.

Anyway, by this time we had made our way round half of the ground, and Brandy and Richo were batting elegantly and smoothly. Unfortunately the crucial partnership was broken as Brandy attempted raise the balls frequent flier mileage, and the ball ballooned to gully.

(Elliot Richtor back from finishing school)

4-100.

Richie Paul joined Richtor and the two couldn't sustain a partnership that we so crucially needed. Richo passed fifty at this stage and then was bowled shortly after.

5-140

There was still a mountain of work to do in hindsight, but we always seemed in control of the game. Sutherland probably thought the same. Runs were hard to come by, with the lush outfield, and there was a lot of hard running to be done. Richie Paul, suffering from his usual 'Cargo Bar Syndrome' or (CBS), looked a little rusty early as he struck a few balls streakily through the air, then settled down quickly and produced what should have been a match wining innings.

At the other end, Tim 'Tommy' Roarty was playing a good supporting role, pushing singles and turning the strike over. Disaster struck for the second time as both batsmen ended up at one end briefly before Tommy raced back and just fell short of his ground. Just when these two looked to be guiding us towards six points, an unnecessary run-out at a crucial time.

6-168

Higgins joined in alliance with Paul, and it looked as though these two would win the game. Both batsmen knew the significance of the partnership, and they set a target of at least 200 before the loss of a wicket. The next 32 runs were the easiest of the game. Both batsmen determined and wise in their shot selection. At the final drinks break the score was 6-198. Higgins said to RP, 'a wicket changes everything here.' And, as is so rarely the case Higgins was right. But as is so often the case, a wicket did change everything.

The first ball after tea Higgins picked up a 3, making the score 6-201. Then Paul somehow managed to be the only LBW victim of the 20 wickets. He departed to a ball that kept low and jagged back in for a gutsy 60.

(Richie Paul)

7-201

The people's champion Iqbal Ahmed came to the crease and played the first ball with consulate ease. Not so the second, as he was caught behind.

8-201

Will Sweeney, the monkey's champion, joined Higgins and it appeared it would be these two who would win the game. The score progressed to 208. Then Higgins got a ball that did nothing short of roll under her bat, and was bowled for 17.

9-208

Daniel Mahaffey joined Shweens, and the final wicket took us agonisingly close to victory, however Shweens was bowled with a ball that again stayed down.

(Stuart Brand)

All out 217.

Such a disappointing day. The point was made that we all felt we out-batted them, we out-bowled them but we just didn't seem to want the win. Their fielding was brilliant however, they would have saved 20-30 runs in the day easily.

We can make all the excuses we want about umpiring, and being the better team etc. etc. But at the end of the day it comes back to us bowling 20 no balls last week, and failing to push on after a start with the bat. A fair point to say that we didn't deserve to lose, but it's arguable to say we deserved to win.

I made the point last week we are the only team defending a premiership, let's start playing like it.

See you all at training.

Missy Higgins

4th Grade Report Round 7

4th Grade Report Round 7

4th Grade Report day 1 vs Sutherland

It's an interesting drive to the Sutherland Shire. A driver can be misled into believing he's making great time until he passes the Eastern Distributor, and then reaches the quagmire that is the roads of southern Sydney.

Ahmed had the pleasure of Higgins' company in the little 'red rocket'. Ahmed has an extensive collection of fantastic music from the era commonly known as the 1980's in CD format. Tunes were belted out like drunk businessmen on a karaoke night as we travelled south.

Brand predicted that the coin would land on its side, and called it so as it pivoted through the summer breeze, unfortunately for the captain the coin decided to land face up, and I suppose that it either read the head or the tail. The Sutherland skipper failed to procrastinate and the Stags would be fielding in the heat. The pitch was rock hard, but similar to an Australian tourist was covered in grass.

Will Sweeney was late due to his assessors examining him on his ability to become a lawyer and this meant that his pace and extraction off the seam would be missed until about 2 o'clock. Richie Paul opened up and bowled with perfect seam position, unfortunately he struggled to find his line and this led to too many runs being trickled to fine leg. In the third over however, Richie managed to pitch one on off and jag it into middle, declining the angle of the stump from 90 degrees to a mere 45. A fantastic start but more was needed as the ball was still new.

The newly promoted Daniel 'Ma-hat-ma' Mahaffey bowled extremely well at the other end, and always looked like taking a wicket. He took 2 wickets off his first three overs. The second a sharp return catch, the first a diving, tumbling, sitter in the gully to Elliot Richtor. More on Richtor later.

(Will Sweeney at Sutherland)

A wonderful start after 'Home-Brand' lost the toss. Tim Roarty and Elliot Richter took up the attack, both bowled well. Richtor, after a most fortuitous hat-trick last week, picked up the 4th wicket on the brink of the first drinks spell.

During the day Richtor had the audacity to give Higgins grief about his hair and at one stage was brazened enough to tug on the precious commodity that is the locks of Sampson. Higgins is in many ways similar to the biblical Sampson, in that he has nothing without his hair.

But for Richtor who bears the nickname 'the hair' to attack Higgins is something you just wouldn't read about. I wish on a regular basis that Elliot was more like his elder brother Dan.

Dan, one of the best men in the club according to the manager at Cabana Bar, often comments that Elliot is like the dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite - funny, but sad, very, very sad. And I have it on good authority that Elliot Richtor strikes a glaring similarity to Marilyn Manson when in a formal suit.

(The trials and tribulations of a 4th grade keeper)

At the first drinks break we were well on top at 4/50.

Shweens arrived at the ground and bowled with tremendous gusto, however by the time he was on, the ball was older, and the pitch was flattening out.

Just the one wicket for Shweens this week, a genuinely brilliant catch to Gulaptis at 1st grip.

The people's champion Iqbal Ahmed came on with immediate success and broke a crucial partnership with a simple stumping being snaffled up by the singer/songwriter. Icky bowled tirelessly, 30 odd overs on the trot in the sweltering heat at Sutherland Oval, no mean feat.

(Its OK Goldy, I found it)

The collective decibel reading for the declined L.B.W. shouts would be matched only by that of the crowd at Telstra Stadium on Wednesday night as John Aloisi calmly put Australia through to Germany 2006, an event sure to disappoint the nation more than Kleemy's impersonation of John Howard.

19 LBW appeals couldn't get us a result. 95% of these appeals were off Richtor's bowling, I suppose he didn't really deserve any wickets, although he did finish with 1.

Lucky bastard.

We managed to restrict the shire to 7/120 at tea. The bowling was good all day, everyone put in, bar Richtor who looked lethargic. The batting, to be quite honest was ordinary. 80% of the runs came through either fine leg or third man. Very few shots were played that impressed anyone from old Chatswood way.

The fiielding wasn't without its floors, however it was far from bad. Unfortunately we switched off in the stage just before tea and just after the break and Sutherland snuck to a cheeky 222. The Devils number for men the third of the size of normal. At one stage things were so desperate Leon Gulappa got a roll. He did get a wicket a brilliant catch to Goldy (who apparently holds the inter-continental belt in the WWE), and well deserved, much to the delight of Icky.

Well done to all the bowlers who have put us in a great position, they bowled hard and toiled on what turned out to be a very hot day. Tim 'Tommy' Roarty the only casualty with a groin problem. He managed to play out the second session with a plastic bag filled with ice surrounding his lunch box.

(Tim Roarty at Sutherland)

I don't even want to comprehend what happened when the ice melted.

222 was a great score to bowl the Sharks out for, but in hindsight we could have had them for half that score. The run chase began poorly, with Goldmember being bowled early on. He will be sorely missed next week, his experience and class is invaluable to the teams success.

We finished at 1-25, with 'Gulag' and Fitzpatrick seeing out the remaining ten overs of the days play.

We need these points boys. We are the only Gordon squad defending a premiership, every player must play accordingly.

Congrats to 1st grade for a wonderful weekend. As well as the mighty 5th graders ably led by the many of a thousand four letter words, Captain Storey.

Lastly, I would like to point out the efforts of our club fielding coach, Thommo. I'm not sure if he will be at training this week, due to Gulaptis breaking his foot with a trow wilder than Stores on the juice. But it's exciting to see Thommo's eyes light up as he strikes the ball with a bat thinner than Richie Kenner's forearms. Higgins has much authority at cricket NSW, I might try to get Thommo a job with the NSW team, maybe something in fielding.

See you all doing the rounds at one of his illustrious fielding drills.

Cheers

Ian Higgins

4th Grade Report Round 6

4th Grade Report Round 6

The Higgins Report -4th Grade Report vs Fairfield - Liverpool

For most men of the GDCC, Saturday is their favourite day of the week. For all of us, Saturday gives us a chance to test our skills against the very best cricketers in the Sydney Metropolitan area and its neighbours. For me, Saturday means spending the day with some fantastic men on the field, and then later in the evening, reciting tales of the days play at the GreenGate over a few cold beers.

(Leon Gulaptis)

However, Thursday evenings at the bar at Macquarie Uni are rapidly becoming one of my favourite times of the week.

I look to my left and I see the likes of Cashy, Storey, Pic and Cupcake. In front of me is the moth, Hoppa and JOF, and to my right Mitch Kleem is holding court whilst giving such impersonations as The Kookaburra, The John Howard, The Goose, The Carl Scully, and of course The Mark Latham. Even though the table is completely silent, I can't help but laugh to myself and think; it truly is a special bond that us Gordon Cricketers share with each other.

Saturday morning came and the 4th Graders unified at Beauchamp oval. As forecasted, it was simply one of the best days this season. When we arrived at the ground, we were surprised to find that the field had been inhabited by young cricketers no older than 6. The field was completely inundated with kids. We arrived at the ground at 9, but were not able to start our warm-up until 9:40, just 20 minutes before the start of play. As I looked over the sea of children, I wondered perhaps if there was the next Higgins somewhere here. Heaven forbid.

During our time waiting for the field to become available, there was a noticeable absence from the dressing rooms. Where is Goldsmith? everybody queried. Time passed further and further, before someone suggested that perhaps he thought is was a 2-day game. If this was the case he would not be at the ground until an hour and a half into the game. Not the ideal situation for anyone to be late, but in particular your opening batsmen.

(Stuart Brand)

I understand someone called him, and he would soon be on his way. I don't actually know what was said, I was too busy discovering the mirror in the dressing rooms, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when he got the call as he read the paper early on a Saturday morning.

Brandy won the toss, and elected to bat, on what was another cracker of a batting pitch at Beauchamp. Due to Goldy's tardiness, Iqbal would open the batting with Parf.

Things started well, as we didn't lose a wicket on either of the first two balls, however on the third, Parf got cleaned up and we were 1/1 in the first. In the second over Icky managed to steer a ball to gully and was caught.

Not such a great start, but with Plummer batting 11 we knew we could bat all the way down. Leon and Captain Brand came together and began to rectify the tale of the scoreboard. Brandy looked good, as he always does, minus a loose stroke through the gully, but in around the 6th or 7th over he called Leon through for a single which Slaps declined and both batsmen ended up at one end. From the sideline it appeared to be a suicide single.

Suddenly we were 3 for not many, and the signs looked ominous. Goldy, fresh from a relaxing Saturday morning joined Leon, and it seemed as though it would be this partnership that would take us out of trouble. Leon was fighting hard at one end, and Goldy looked to be in fantastic nick at the other. Goldy played some brilliant shots that one would expect from such a classy batsmen, but on the brink of the drinks break Goldmember tried to force one and was bowled for a good-looking 27. At the first drinks break we were 4/50 odd.

(Missy Higgins is all concentration)

Rob Evans looked to dominate the attack as he always does, and he played one brilliant cut-shot for four that he will no doubt dine out on for months to come. But unfortunately he fell not long after drinks.

After the break things fell from bad to worse as we lost Rob and Leon was adjudged to be thigh pad before wicket. This was most disappointing because Slapper had been battling hard and just looked to be hitting his straps again, but alas it wasn't to be our day.

Now we were 6/60 and it would seem that Parf and Leon would be able to spend the afternoon at the beach, browning up for the summer months. Chris Lee joined Richie Paul at the crease, and the two put on a small partnership that took us closer to 100. Richie was stumped for 20 and Chris Lee skied one for 19.

During the days play, it was noticeable that Plums was extremely quiet. It was obvious that he was disappointed that he was scripted to bat 11, but I've never seen Plummer in such a quiet mood. I for one enjoy the peace and quiet, but it's just not the same without Plums talking for hours on end without coming up for air.

During the batting collapse that was our innings, Skipper Brandy came over to Higgins and said: 'Higgo, I'm gonna put Plums ahead of you'

Higgins, politely enquired: 'What?' Brandy said: 'Well, I don't want you in the batting collapse, I want you to stay until the end'

Higgins nodded his head and said: 'sure mate, no dramas'

But really he was crying a river inside. This was the second time this year that Plummer would be batting ahead of Higgins. I have every respect for Captain Brandy, and would never question his decision on or off the field, but I just wish sometimes that he wouldn't drink so heavily before making changes to the batting line-up.

Although, Plums did top score with 30, and was probably the pick of the batsmen.

Plums took the score with Higgins past 140, but fell 5 overs from the end to mistimed slog.

Higgins and Sweeney, possibly the two best qualified 10 and 11's in the business with the bat in hand didn't manage to get the score to 300. Higgins again was the last to go with the score on 147, Stranding Shweens on 0*.

With 147 on the board, we knew it would be a tough task to defend, but definitely a possibility with a bowling attack that included Shweens, Plums, Bing Lee, R.P., Icky and Parf.

Shweens and Bing Lee opened up, with out luck. Sweeney bowled a superb length for the most part and found the outside edge of the bat on a number of occasions, but to no avail. He was the pick of the bowlers which was one pleasing aspect to come out of the game, because this was Shweens' first bowl this season, returning from injury. Bing Lee bowled sharply, but probably can be accused of trying to bowl too fast. Plums only got 4 overs, but bowled relatively well, Dickie Paul found it hard to extract anything form the wicket as did all the bowlers, and Icky was unlucky a couple of times not to pick up a wicket or two.

The score rolled on, and on, and on without a wicket. The closest we got at any stage to a wicket was Leon's brilliant bit of fielding as he swooped from cover with moves Usher would have been pleased to see at the Green Wood, picked up the ball one hand, had one stump to aim at, and missed by the nearest of margins. There was one LB shout off Plums, but other than that, nothing.

The bowling wasn't bad at all, we fielded without fault. It was just the wicket was that good to bat on, and it highlighted how badly we batted.

The score was 0/130 before Parf picked up a very cheeky LBW, I don't know how the batsmen missed it, but he did and we saved some face by not losing by 10 wickets.

But all in all, a very disappointing day of cricket. Brandy took us outside to chat about the game, as the Fairfield song echoed in the background. It's always a gut wrenching feeling to hear another clubs song after a game of cricket.

For a good hour or so most of the lads stayed round and tried to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with a couple of quiet ones. And for a good hour I was reminded that even a terrible Saturday is better than most days of the week, such is the quality of men this club produces, for the most part anyway.

Congratulations to the 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade teams on superb wins. Cashy, I don't care what anyone says about you, I reckon you're a good player. Richo, I may remind you that I once took a double hat-trick in the under 12's, so therefore it can't be that hard to get 3 wickets in 3 balls, let alone 4 in 4.

Lastly, Stobo. He makes it very difficult for me to not mention his diabolical bowling display. I understand my once journalistic arch nemesis went for more runs off one over than runs he will score with the bat this season. 25 to be exact. I also understand that Pic, and Hosko got an over each and didn't go for nearly as many runs as RM.

I was told of the sequence at the GreenGate last night, however, for some reason I don't quite recall. But I do know it did include a dot ball or two.

Quite a phenomenal effort for the big fast bowler. No prizes for guessing where the 3 wickets were caught.

I hope to see everyone at training including all second graders doing plenty of high catching practice under Stobo's instruction.

4th Grade Report vs Hawks Day 2

4th Grade Report vs Hawks Day 2

4th Grade Report vs Hawkesbury Day 2

Scores: Gordon 240 all out

Hawkesbury 0/10

Well, well, well. What a most interesting recount of the days play given by one RM Stobo. I for one found it to be most amusing, but I also believe it is important to laugh at one self. No doubt Stobo has had many, many opportunities to laugh at himself over the years. If I recall correctly, Stobo suggested that Higgins had long hair. I for one am not surprised he targeted this region, mainly because Stobs' aging eyes find it difficult to identify anything else about Higgins' body.

(R.M Stobo in action)

However I find it be quite comical that Stobo knows who Delta Goodrem is. I would have thought Stobo would be trying to recapture his youth by listening to the music of his day; Handel, Mozart, Beethoven etc, but as far as Higgins sharing similar appearance as the renowned Australian artist; please, Higgins is far superior looking.

Perhaps one day, Higgins will look back on the photos of yesteryear and see the brash long haired lout and think to himself, maybe I should have made Richard happy by going with the conventional short back and sides. Oh well, at least I will have photos of my youth, unlike Stobo who is forced to carry oil paintings with him.

It is also becoming evident that Stobo is losing his memory at a rapid rate. On Thursday afternoon, Higgins managed to draw out a certain four letter word from Stobo as he ordered me to get a trim from the local barber. Stobo managed to leave that out of his report.

I would also like to take this time to retract the comments I made about Dylan Connell last week. I find Dylan to be a good natured man, and is well respected around the Gordon circles. I apologize to Dill, as I have only recently discovered that it is Stobo who creates so much stupidity amongst the 2nd grade team, and not the other senior players.

Young men of Gordon beware of Stobo.

Contrary to popular belief, Higgins has absolutely nothing against Stobo. He is a valuable member of the GDCC and everyone in the club, Higgins included, can learn many things from him. I can't speak for RM, but certainly on my behalf the banter is all good natured.

But jeez, it's fun winding him up.

A most frustrating day to say the least for the 4th grade side. For the third round in succession, rain washed away any chance of a result. I suppose the farmers will be somewhat pleased, however Gordon 4th grade is less than ecstatic with mother natures decision to produce rain on a Saturday. Or any day for that matter.

And for it to rain in Hawkesbury of all places.

The stags arrived at the much more reasonable hour of 11:30 due to the daylight saving regime and were greeted with a light drizzle. It was an annoying shower, not hard enough to call the day off, yet not soft enough for play to commence. Even more bothersome was the fact that second grade had not been able to get on either, and therefore the two teams were forced to mingle with a game of undercover backyard cricket.

The deck was rock hard, not dissimilar to concrete and looked good to bat on, and new rules were introduced to please the frustrated crowd including one hand-one bounce. The game was for the most part uneventful, however I did see one of the 2nd grade umpires trying his hand in the field.

At 1:00 the rain ceased for the day and the covers were removed. The pitch was bone dry, except for the crease at one end, right where the front foot of the bowler lands. It was not only wet, it was saturated.

This was now the only concern of the players and umpires and both teams went to outrageous lengths to dry the wet patch.

Leaf blowers were brought out, and at one stage one of the Hawkesbury boys removed his shirt and began to wave it at the wet pitch in an effort to either dry the pitch or make a fool of himself. Only one of these objectives was achieved.

The umpires told both captains they would wait until 2:15 until they made their decision.

We would be forced to wait again.

Captain Brandy gave the Gordon boys the green light to leave the ground and pick up some food from the local shops. Higgins, Medcalf, and Sweeney decided they would go to the chicken shop and see what tickled their fancy.

2 Chicken burgers were ordered by Shweens and Higgins for 10 Australian dollars. Medcalf would wait to check the quality of the burgers before he would follow suit.

That's one great thing about Medders, always making an informed decision.

The chicken burgers were removed from the micro-wave, and we were walking out of there with 2 chicken burgers and a Buffalo Bill ice-cream.

Time seemed to pass slower than when in a conversation with Stobo, and the flies were just as bad as 7 days before, if not worse. Inzy managed to entice two flies inside his mouth, but had the restraint not to swallow the 'gourmet flies' of Benson's Lane. Higgins, 7 days more experienced with the Hawkesbury flies did not consume any this week. However, he did eat the chicken burger. 6 of one, a half dozen the other.

2:15 came and went and we would be waiting until 3:00 before the match would be finally called off. Gulaptis broke the news and we were somewhat relieved, because at no stage did we ever look like getting on. Just as our ground was closed, second grade took the field and soon after, they had a good win under the belt. All of 4th grade stayed for a few overs of second grade but most were keen to get home and resume living their lives.

One must feel for Jack Rabone, who got the call up to 4th grade during the week, and was no doubt keen, as we all were, to have a run around. But, alas the weather got the better of us again.

It is now the objective of the 4th grade side to complete a game of cricket. The chances are good this week, due to it being a one day match. Let's just keep our fingers crossed.

Finally I would like to highlight the efforts of webmaster Stephenson last week, as he travelled all around Sydney in order to capture the best moments from the days play. Most weeks it requires many a kilometre behind the wheel of the silver Mercedes, but this round in particular he was forced to travel to Killara, Turramurra, Hawkesbury and Auburn.

That's more driving to the boundaries than a batsmen off a Stobo over.

So thank you Paul.


See you all at training.


4th Grade Report Round 5 Day 1

4th Grade Report Round 5 Day 1

4th Grade Report vs Hawkesbury Day 1

The drive to and from Hawkesbury is always a fantastic chance to get to know your passengers and fellow club men a little better. I had the pleasure of driving with Sweeney and Gulaptis. Needless to say, we were all pleased to get to the ground.

It was clear, right from the outset, we would be playing in sweltering conditions and would have to battle the flies all day.

(Nick Medcalf)

Flies' what stupid creatures they are. Higgins managed to swallow two flies before a ball was even bowled, and he was certain it would be a long day.

Captain Stu Brand won the toss and informed the Hawkesbury captain that he would like to bat first. The deck looked rock hard, as it always is at Hawkesbury. There was some grass on it, but all in all, a good toss to win.

Goldy and Parf opened up, and both appeared to be hitting the ball well.

Both ran hard between the wickets and looked to be setting up a solid foundation for a good days cricket.

Goldsmith was the first to fall with the score on 20, as he pushed at a cover drive a fraction too early, and the catch was held at cover.

Leon Gulaptis came and went without scoring, falling to a loose drive held at gully.

It was evident more application was needed from the Gordon players, as this was a good deck. Rob Evans came to the wicket, but was bowled shortly after entering the crease after having what can only be described as a brain explosion.

(Chris Lee during his innings)

Captain Brandy strode to the crease and was most unfortunate to be adjudicated LBW first ball. Suddenly we were in all sorts of trouble at 4-28.

Meanwhile, Dave Parfett at the other end, could only sit back and watch the downfall of what should be our best batsmen. However, not one wicket fell due to good bowling. This is most disappointing from a teams perspective.

A couple of the boys needed to put their hands up, for a while it seemed as if it would be Parf, as he demolished a six over mid-wicket. Unfortunately he fell to the best ball of the day, and was cleaned up for a well constructed 27.

This brought Medcalf, and Marty Reynolds together. Reynolds, fresh from a no doubt enjoyable, and probably loose holiday in America looked a little shaky, but his class was still evident, as he quickly ran into top gear.

He was also relatively unfortunate to be given out trapped in front before a he got a chance to push on.

It now appeared we could be rolled for 70 or 80. Someone had to do something, and time was running out for the stags, as the score was now 6-50.

(Chris Lee and Nick Medcalf take quick runs)

During this period of wickets falling, the 4th graders were reminded of why not to play higher grades at the club. As some of the characters of second grade mingled with the lesser experienced 4th graders. The likes of Connell, Stobo, etc. All made fools of themselves. Connell reminds me very much of what I was like when I was 7. Running around, throwing things, asking outrageous questions. Stobo is much more annoying than Connell however. It baffles me to this day how Stobo is allowed to shape the minds of young children as a school teacher. Although, he makes me laugh, even when he does tell me to get a hair cut. There are some loose cannons in the Gordon second grade squadron. Young men of Gordon beware.

Anyway, back out in the middle, a very, very important partnership was forming with Chris Lee and Nick Medcalf doing a brilliant job for the team.

Chris Lee, who finished his HSC for the year during the week, batted aggressively but tactically. His technique is a little unusual, however it works wonderfully well for him, as proven on Saturday. He seemed to race to 50 in a blink of an eye just after tea, however soon fell LBW playing a care-free sweep on 60. Well played Bruce.

Medcalf at the other end, was a little more reserved, but graceful. Higgins joined him and soon found it was hard work out in the middle. The bowlers were bowling stump to stump, and the field as tight. Very few loose balls were bowled.

I can't say enough good things about the way muppet batted. He was just so patient, and determined. He passed 50 without giving a chance, and he pushed on with a couple of consecutive 6's taking him closer and closer to a well deserved hundred. His innings was not exactly pretty to watch, by that I mean there were very few boundaries scored, but he knuckled down and showed concentration that Rahul Dravid would have been proud of. He also ran very well between the wickets.

Higgins at the other end was more than happy to merely rotate the strike when possible and give muppet every chance to score as many runs as possible. Medcalf was also happy with this, and refused to give the strike to Higgins for around 5 or 6 overs.

Higgins and Medcalf took the score past 230, before Medders got a ball that just held up on him and was caught at short cover for a brilliant, gutsy, and chanceless 84.

Iqbal Ahmed joined Higgins at the crease and they both made sure that they knew not to take any quick singles.

Higgins was on strike, he pushed a ball just to the right of cover and took off for a quick single. Iqbal, I'm sure, couldn't believe what he heard as he took off down the other end. The throw was poor and the run was completed. However, well, Higgins is an idiot.

The next ball, Iqbal's first, he was adjudged to be LBW.

Very, very unluckily I might add.

Sweeney was the last man in and he played one glorious cover drive for 4, but before he had any chance to build the innings he had been waiting for, Higgins fell LBW for 27. He was not so unlucky Higgins. He was just out.

So the score was all out for 240 off 74 overs. A fantastic recovery from Medders, and Lee, with a few other contributions. But still, should have got more on such a good batting wicket.

We came out to bowl, fired up. However, before a ball was even bowled in the second innings, Higgins managed to swallow his third fly. This one was a little bigger, and had a slightly funkier taste to it. Unlike the gourmet flies Higgins had consumed earlier in the morning. How unlucky do you have to be to swallow three flies in one day anyway!!??

Bruce/Brett/Bing/Shane/Chris Lee and William Sweeney opened the bowling, and bowled with great pace.

However, having pace is one thing, accuracy is another and it let us down badly. One ball of Sweens' first over beat the bat and one of his second over caught the edge, falling short of first slip and wide of the keeper.

Other than that, everything else was too wayward from both bowlers and allowed through to the keeper.

With two overs to go, the umpires conferred in reference to the light. A strange thing to do seeing that second grade, not 100 metres away continued play without concern. No action was taken.

The Hawkesbury captain was vocal from the sideline in his disgust that play was allowed to go on. 3 balls later, the umpires conferred again and the light was offered to the batsmen. Needless to say they took it.

Captain Brand, within every right voiced his complaints to the umpires, who I think would be the first to admit, they made a mistake on this occasion.

As we walked off the field, Johnny Mallos picked up his first wicket in second grade via an LBW shout. Well done mate! I suppose it must have been very dark.

Hawkesbury finished none down for about 10.

It's a big job to do next week. But we've got the runs on the board, and we're all hungry and especially thirsty for a win. Expect the sun to be sizzling, and expect a few hundred more flies, most of all, expect a big effort from 4th grade come Saturday.

Good luck to all grades next week.

4th Grade Report Round 4 Day 1

4th Grade Report Round 4 Day 1

4th grade report Day 1 vs Manly

Manly 4/386

Gordon 0/2

Not a lot of happy news to report from Beauchamp on Saturday. Gordon lost the toss, Manly chose to bat on a wicket that played as well as any I've seen, and we chased leather all day. Manly's batsmen did everything right, and we had the kind of day that we'd rather forget, but which can probably do us a lot of good in the long run. There were plenty of unfortunate moments for us, but none of them really bear being related here.

(Daniel Mahaffey in action)

There were actually some very encouraging features of the game so far, not least of which is the fact that we get our turn this weekend. I dare say there are a few blokes in the team absolutely itching to get out there and have a go ' batting sure does look like fun on that wicket. A young man by the name of Colonel Gaddafi (Daniel Mahaffey) made his debut in fourth grade and his bowling looks very promising, particular the swing he produced, even when the ball (which was having a very hard day) was 70+ overs old. Also the work in the field from some of the guys was pleasing, and Las in particular made some very athletic saves. Leroy Galapagos, despite being an active member of Nick Medcalf's Muppets, was a very mature head on the field even when things were pretty tough.

The truth is, though, that we made life a little more difficult for ourselves than it needed to be, but we have the opportunity to produce a memorable chase this weekend and I for one am looking forward to it. If ever there was an appropriate moment for the fourth grade team to pull out something special, then this weekend, with the Mal Hall Trophy on the line, is that moment.

Finally I'd just like to acknowledge the quality of Andrew Plummer's report of the day's play at Turramurra. Stobo's Peter Roebuck is good, and Dave Millar's 'thesis' was an interesting idea, and well executed, but Plummer's work is in a class of it's own. Few people realise the skill it takes to write in the grammatical style of Ned Kelly's Jerilderie Letter, and I imagine Plummer's nod to our bushranging history will be lost on most of the boys ' but I thought it was great Plums, so' well done.

Mark Wiese

4th Grade report Round 2

4th Grade report Round 2

4th Grade Match Report Gordon Vs Blacktown 

The trip to Blacktown was an interesting one. After ripping the directions from where is and discovering that a major road into Whalan was out of commission the trip took a terrible turn for the worse' An hour later this seasoned traveller arrived at a field that should have its own post code.

(The boys settle into Whalan)

For all the trees in the world there was nothing to shield us from this hot day. Thankfully for a trip of this distance the field was in good shape and the track 'looked' to be solid as well. The toss was made and Gordon decided to bat. The openers were advised the deck would be either bouncy or low. It proved to be the latter and as Dave Parfett found out in his dismissal it was also extremely slow. Dave coughed one up to the well positioned short cover of a military medium pacer and Parf was less than impressed as he walked from the field. Gordon were 1-12 on a scary pitch. Ben Garratt walked to the crease and played a couple of vintage shots before being trapped stone cold in front for 4 off a ball that got no higher than the knee.

This brought Leon to the crease and he in combination with Justin Waller got the score ticking along to 53 before Justin was dismissed for 17, caught LBW. Brand came and went bowled around his legs after walking across his stumps. Elliot Richtor succumbed to a full toss and the score was looking grim at 5 for 68. Tim Roarty came to the crease and looked good before being caught for 19 which was disappointing as he was just hitting his straps, 6/109. Chris Lee soon followed being bowled around his legs off a leggy. Gulaptis skied a ball and was also caught for 42 after surviving and battling a touch deck. It was unfortunate he could not get to fifty.

(Ben Garratt in action)

Enter Icky. The man can play. He showed every one up the order how to bat and with Wiesy in support we were cruising nicely. The lunch interval came and we were 8-137 and showing signs of a rear guard action. Straight after lunch Wiesy got one that bounced viciously striking him just above the ankle and giving Bill (The umpire) no choice but to send him on his way, 9-137. Josh came out and for mine played the most important role in the whole of our innings. He showed composure and resolve in supporting Icky as the pair put on 40 for the last wicket Josh being the last to go leaving Icky on a well constructed 29 no.

We came out charged and ready to do some damage on a deck that offered little but slowness and variable bounce, two key characteristics that would pave the way for the destruction that was. In the essence of time, Blacktown all out for 78 avoiding the follow on by 1 run. Star of the inning Josh Ling with a great spell bowling into the wind 5-32 off 17. The skip was amazed he doesn't normally bowl into the wind as his control was first class and the lines impeccable. We dropped a few catches and that did hurt us as Blacktown limped to avoid the follow on. Chris Lee ably supported and Ben Garrett took three catches in the innings in close.

(Leon Gulatpis during his 42)

We finished the Blacktown boys off about 2 hours into the second day and then went on the offensive for quick runs. The top 3 contributed with Parfett scoring 21, B Garratt run out in the chase for quick runs on 36 and J Waller not out on 24. The home side was set 190 off 35, not an unattainable total.

The second innings was very different to the first with Blacktown coming at us hard. We got hit around a touch but that man again J ling came to the for with two handy wickets which eventually became 5 for the second innings giving him a match haul of 10 wickets. Josh had great support from all bowlers who bowled very consistent lines on a tough afternoon. Icky bowled well if not a little unlucky to only come out with 3 wickets. He got us back in the game and then it was up to Josh to finish off the tail. In the last over we needed to wickets.

Blinga was confident he would do it for us. No wickets off 4 balls and I thought it was all over. The fifth delivery was taken well in close by Chris Lee setting up a last ball thriller. Josh came in and thundered the ball towards the stumps only to be denied by an outside edge which trickled along the ground. Josh's performance in this game was nothing short of superb.

We had a chance to win this game and put up a competitive total in the first innings. Unfortunately we grassed way too many catches in out fielding efforts and this unfortunately cost us. Catches win matches and we did not do this well. The outcome was a ot more promising than the first week and a further improvement should see us in with a big shot against Parramatta next Saturday.

(Justin Waller at Whalan)

Congratulations to all other grades on a whitewash long weekend for the Stags.

Stuart Brand

4th Grade Report Round 1

4th Grade Report Round 1

Match report 4th Grade Game 1 Versus Easts

We came to Cahill Park on the first Saturday of the season keen to impress and continue on the trend of the Ferrari's premiership winning ways. The ground was a little under prepared which made a tough decision when it came to the toss. Luckily the skip lost his first toss for the season and East's decided to bat on a deck we expected would flatten out in the afternoon.

(Stuart Brand in action)

We started well with Josh Ling and Richie Paul bowling some tight lines with Richie being rewarded with the first wicket of the season, a great seed which deceived and ripped the left handers off stick out of the ground. Josh bowled well but went unrewarded in his first game for the season, he constantly beat the outside edge of the number three but unfortunately couldn't come away with a wicket. Chris Lee took first change from Richie Paul and due to a side strain was not bowling off the full run. Having said this Chris 'Bruce' Lee bowled with good control and took the second wicket of the day a sharp catch taken by Wiesey

The young buck interchange continued with Elliot Richtor taking the first change option from Josh Ling. Elliot's skiddy action caused a deal of trouble to the new batsmen early on and Elliot was unlucky not to take a wicket in the first over of his spell. He and Chris bowled well in tandem and Bruce picked up his second soon after. Elliot picked up the third after a superb leg side stumping from Mark Wiese that was electric, no sooner had the delivery slid down leg Wiesey had the bails off and the batsmen had fallen forward giving the square leg umpire an easy decision to make.

(Josh Ling)

Bruce was the next to take a wicket with a simple catch at point to dismiss another Eastern Suburbs batsman. Both Chris and Elliot bowled through the eight over available to them in their spell Chris ending with 2 for 20 and Elliot ending with figures of 1-40. The middle period of the innings was upon us and that brought Bourney into the attack. Bourney bowled with good control and picked up his first wicket which was a miss timed drive that was gobbled up by Justin Waller at mid off. Bourney then followed this up with a great wrong one that totally deceived the batsmen and left Weisey with a bloodied mouth from the ball careering straight off the top of off stump into his top lip.

Tim Roarty joined Bourney after a short spell from Richie Paul and bowled with great control to take three wickets for the stags and kept things extremely tight. Goldy took a good catch at short cover diving to his left to take a smart catch, Tim then rattled the castle of the next unsuspecting batsmen before Weisy capped off a great day with another superb leg side stumping that was slick as they come.

The final wicket came from a mix up and Chris lee made an easy run out with a throw to Weisy which saw Eastern Suburbs all out for 162.

We went to the sheds knowing a meagre total was easily attainable and at the end of play we assumed we would come home with the. Assume being the operative word.

(Weisy continues his form of last year)

Our plan was simple, not lose runs for the first hour and have wickets in hand to launch if required at the small total. We started slowly, almost nervously not sure where we were going to score runs. Easts did bowl well but I feel we allowed them to dictate play a little bit too much. Fitzy was the first to go being run out in a bizarre set of circumstances after a misfield in close. This brought Goldy to the crease and his mind set was all positive, he started to take charge but holed out on the boundary after being in two minds, whether to hit it out of the park or play it along the ground. Justin Waller followed trying to force the pace and skying a ball only to be caught behind. Elliot Richtor followed in the procession and was dismissed for 8.

A small partnership was put together between the skipper and Richie before a lack of footing saw Richie fall just short of his ground run out for 15. Chris Lee was victim to the same disease showing too much hustle looking for a run that wasn't there. Chris was run out for 6.

Tim Roarty joined the skip and things were going all right before a poor shot saw Brand dismissed for 48. The remaining wickets also fell quickly, Tim played a disappointing low percentage shot to be caught on the boundary. Josh was then bowled for 1 and Bourney was somewhat unlucky to be given out caught behind without the opposition appealing.

We had the game won at lunch and batted as if some one else was going to win the game for us'no one did. A distinct lack of valuing our wickets and an inability to get any sort of partnerships going resulted in the side being dismissed for 125 with 7 overs to go. An extremely disappointing end to a very promising start. We have a lot of improvement in us and it is improvement that can occur in one week. If we apply ourselves in our batting I am sure our bowling will hold up and we can come away with a much needed victory this weekend against Bankstown.

Stuart Brand

 

Gordon Colts Match Reports

Gordon Colts Match Reports

All Colts team play in the Metropolitan Cup

Colts match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

Bring on the Grand Final

Bring on the Grand Final

Bring on the Grand Final

Semi-final cricket against a strong Sydney Uni team. The match was always going to be about consistency and determination. Tweety won the toss on a good deck and sent the opposition in. Before the Colts ran out onto the field, Tweety reminded us of the need for consistent pressure to be sustained throughout the day.

(Craig Knight during his 42 in the semi)

The Colts have played well above the standard of a good 5th grade side in patches throughout the season. During this match they needed to play at that level the whole way through the two days if they were to secure a place in the Grand Final.

At this point, it must be mentioned that the tireless Gordon club officials, especially Messer A. Falk, T. Wilson and P Stephenson, were able to secure and prepare a wonderful Chatswood Oval for play when Uni were unable to find a suitable ground.

Mention should also be made of the terrific support those Gordon players from the higher grades gave as they sat in the stands enjoying the cricket. With an icy cold beverage in one hand and a gourmet roll in the other (courtesy of Iqbal), the boys seemed at home supporting the Colts down old Chatswood way.

(James Kennedy at Chatswood)

The day got off to a great start with Lappan and JK bowling a terrific opening spell. Lappan picked up the first wicket with Evans taking a good catch down the leg side. Both bowlers bowled tight lines and restricted the scoring to less than 1 an over. At the first drinks break Sydney Uni was 1/11 from 16 overs.

It wasn't until Parfett, who in the sheds earlier had shared some strange dreams about the younger members of the Colts playing cricket, had the ball in hand that Uni really began to look in trouble. Parfett clean bowled the No. 3 bat and then had the No. 4 caught just a couple of balls later. Needless to say, no-one was getting to close to Parfett to celebrate, especially Hamo and Evans.

3/31 at lunch and the Colts were looking in a strong position. The first hour after lunch would be crucial.

And it was.

After sustained pressure with the Colts restricting the Uni run rate, it was Cubbage that picked up the crucial wicket just before drinks in the middle session. Tiddles was ecstatic when, first over after drinks, Cubbage picked up the remaining opener with a good catch to Knight at slip.

(Harry Evans takes a vital caught behind off Chris Parfett) 

With Gray off the ground after lunch due to his finger (medically diagnosed as 'old age'), Millar chose to give 'Man-Child' a bowl. Russel-Jones didn't disappoint the stand-in captain picking up two wickets with the last two balls of his first over. Cubbage picked up his third in the following over, giving rise to the speculation that the damp patches on the pitch could well have been Tiddles doing'

Or as a result of Parfett's dreams' the jury is still out on that one.

Man-Child talked himself out of the hat-trick asking for extra protection down the leg-side before bowling the ball two feet wide of leg stump. Millar took him off soon after and brought himself on to apply pressure from one end whilst Cubbage tempted the batsmen into mistakes at the other.

Millar picked up a consolation wicket with the 9th wicket falling to a catch behind the stumps before Cubbage picked up the last to have Uni out for 101.

A score we had dismissed them for previously in the rounds before ourselves being bowled out for 70-odd.

A tea break' with the now infamous pikelets' and then Sticks and Cubbage, the new-look opening pair, strode out to the middle to made inroads into Uni's modest target.

(Hamish Angus during his 15 not out)

Sticks never looked comfortable and was dismissed early for 2. Knight, whilst later admitting he had been packing it, looked confident and was reigning in the small total with ease.

It was Cubbage (7) who found yet another way to be dismissed' the 'clunk' of his helmet being misconstrued as an edge through to the keeper' that brought Evans to the crease with the score on 30 and another 15 overs left in the day. Evans looked determined to stay out there ' perhaps he figured he was safe from Parfett out there in the middle - and began to find the middle of the bat just as stumps were drawn for the day with the score at 2/64

The morning of day 2 saw the Colts in high spirits and ready to tough out what would be a hard morning session to get the victory. Evans (21) was dismissed LBW after missing a full toss. His stroke play though the backward point region is a highlight of his game and he will make an impression in the higher grades in the not to distant future.

Hamish Angus joined Knight and he too looked solid out in the centre. Whilst failing to find the gaps through the slow Chatswood outfield he provided ample support to his partner before Knight edged one through to the keeper for a match winning 42. Man-Child, whose cover drives look as elegant as anyone's, was disgusted with himself after being run out within sight of the victory post ' leaving Tweety to finish off the job.

(Dave Millar in action) 

Howitt Jnr., looking considerably worse for wears after a night out with 1st Grade, turned up for the last few overs before lunch and saw Tweety turn a comfortable 2 into a desperate lunge for the line. He was straight on the phone to Tiddles (only 50 metres away) to make sure that superb piece of action wasn't missed by anyone at the ground. Tweety's better half nearly had a heart attack as she saw her husband crash into the turf. With him creating injuries out of seemingly innocuous situations, it is difficult to imagine why he would go to such lengths to put himself in such danger.

Nevertheless, the winning run came anti-climatically ' through a waist high no-ball ' and the game was called to an abrupt halt by the Uni captain.

The Colts sung the song with gusto before grabbing lunch and a few celebratory beers with all their supporters at the ground.

It was great to have the support of Sunny and Ellison who were left out of last week's victorious side and they both should know they are as much part of the team as every player that was named in this week's side.

(Adam Cubbage at Chatswood)

Out at Blacktown next week. Bring on the Grand Final!!!

It would be great to get heaps of you out there to sing the song one final time this season.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Qualifying Semi

Colts report Qualifying Semi

It's great to be Gordon down old Chatswood way!!!

An early start to the weekend saw the Colts team front up to Chatswood Oval for their first home game of the season. An entire season without after-match beers and a chance to catch up with the opposition had been a disappointment for many members of the team who had thoroughly enjoyed the initiative by the club last year.

(The Colts before the start of play) 

More importantly it was an entire season without the fabled Mrs Knight's pikelets. Leon Gulaptis knows exactly how good they were last season ' he even convinced her to bring them to the one-day matches.

With the selectors having the tough task of cutting the squad of 15 down to 12 before the start of the match, the team was looking strong but, with the unavailability of a few top order batsmen, there was a question mark about how the batting was going to withstand finals' pressure.

Tweety, back in the fray after a week off with a dislocated finger, had to find instructions on how to get covers off the ground* and flip a coin out in the centre. Resisting the temptation to call whilst the queen's bust was launched in the air, Tweety notched up another loss as the Penrith captain called correctly and sent us in.

(Andrew Lappan in action in the semi)

Tweety was adamant that he would have batted anyhow, which would have been a good decision given that Penrith had to win the match as they finished lower on the table during the regular season. This saw Sticks and Sunny stroll out to the middle to open the batting and Sam Ranney was delegated as 12th man due to the green tinge to the pitch.

In the 6th over, Kenner (0) lobbed a ball back to mid-on and Penrith achieved the start they desired. This brought Knight to the crease (after gingerly passing a fitness test due to a knee injury suffered whilst commencing winter sporting activities) who again looked solid and was playing the ball straight and firm.

Sadjeh (15) was the next to go with the score on 19 giving second slip a regulation catch as he guided the ball straight into his hands. Cubbage, returning from school duties and a week at the NSW Schoolboy championships, was next out onto Chatswood Oval. Unfortunately, he was soon back in the sheds as Knight, playing straight and firm, allowed the bowler to get a touch and run Cubbage (1) out whilst backing up at the bowler's end.

JRJ (Jason Russell Jones) looked supremely confident as he walked out onto our home ground to face a Penrith attack with their tails up and the pitch assisting the bowlers. He had every reason to be so as he has looked one of the form batsmen all season. From the moment he strode to the crease, he looked in top nick and played some lovely strokes that brought the crowd to their feet.

Knight (7) was dismissed. 4/29 in the 22nd over. Not the ideal start to our finals' campaign.

(Tweety and James Ellison enjoy and early wicket)

Kennedy looked composed but played at one he didn't have to given the situation and was dismissed for 5. Ellison, who was brought into the side to bolster the batting and strengthen the seam bowling, was next in. 'Ello and JRJ set about building a partnership and JRJ was scoring freely through the offside. It wasn't until he was caught - providing catching practice to the gully fieldsman - that he gave a chance and was dismissed for 37.

Tweety, with wife and son watching on, set about righting the Gordon ship. Unfortunately, 'Ello (10) eventually got an edge to one of the many balls he played and missed outside off stump and this brought the vice captain to the crease to join his captain.

7/86 in the 50th over. Even less of an ideal start to our final's campaign.

The name of the game was occupation of the crease. Penrith had to dismiss us and then make the runs. They had to win the game. They had to pick up 10 wickets. Millar let them know this as he let balls pass harmlessly outside off stump. There was no rush. Consolidation was the key.

(James Kennedy in action with clubman Matt Kelly watching proceedings)  

They didn't really seem to get it. Perhaps it was the plethora of one day games played in the lead up to the finals or perhaps it was the monotony of the drive down the M7 but the Penrith players were becoming increasingly frustrated as neither batsman was enticed outside off stump.

It must be mentioned that Tweety played from halfway through the second session til the close of play in immense pain. The finger he dislocated against Blacktown was still swollen and sore. Nevertheless, with Millar constantly in his ear, the pair worked in groups of 4 overs to maintain concentration and set about resurrecting the situation.

The opposition captain hinted, at 7/90, that he had seen teams get to 180 from there.

Was there ever a sense of deja vu when he saw Tweety and Millar's partnership amass towards that total!

Tweety pounced, with the new ball taken, and brought up his 50 as the rock hard leather careered into the fence at Chatswood Oval. A true captain's knock. Millar nudged a couple behind square to bring up 180 and took a quick stroll to point just to make sure the opposition captain knew that we had passed that total he had feared.

It worked, he brought himself on and Tweety went to town mowing a couple of boundaries off his one over cameo.

(A wicket to Andrew Lappan)

It wasn't until the score was on 193 and with 4 overs left in the day that Millar (33) skied a short ball and left the field with a few choice words of disgust that he wasn't there at the finish of play. He was so close to doing his job for the team but resurrecting the situation from 7/86 to 8/193 ended up being enough.

It wasn't until an exhausted yellow canary (74) played all over a top spinner that the team was all out for 205 in the second last over of the day.

Half a can of magic spray and a couple of servos worth of ice had allowed Tweety to remain at the helm whilst he righted the ship and put the Colts on the right course towards a berth in the semi finals next week.

The second day beckoned. 205 on the board and a very slow outfield. It was a tough ask for the Penrith side to win from there.

Millar walked into the change room on the second day to find that Ellison had spilt the groundsman's line marking paint all through his kit. Obviously he felt his dirty whites from the day before needed a quick fix before the Colts took the field.

1/2 in the second over as Lappan picked up his first of three and Penrith were very quickly 5/24 as Kennedy and Parfett chimed in for 1 each.

Millar, replacing Lappan, had a couple of regulation catches dropped before learning just how close the square boundaries are at Chatswood Oval. A lesson for this week. Keep the ball up.

As in all finals cricket, the pendulum began to swing in their favour as they consolidated after the lunch break and it wasn't until Cubbage took a screamer off an Ellison's first over of the day that the partnership was broken.

They crumbled from there, losing the last 5 wickets for 19 with Cubbage picking up two good wickets and Ellison 3.

Good pressure throughout the afternoon meant that Penrith never really got away. Missed chances can really hurt and this week ' a semi final against Sydney Uni ' we can be assured that they will.

(James Kennedy beats the bat)

The song was sung with great gusto and Ed Snr. got a mention due to his dedication throughout the two days with the scoring. The home change room was alive.

I would quickly like to reiterate JOF's words about the incredible sense of mateship and feeling of 'team' that has developed throughout the club this year. Especially in the Colts.

However JOF, the season isn't over. Far from it. Don't ever think it is. There are still two more weeks left and some massive celebrating if we bring home the Metropolitan Cup.

Thanks to all those supporters who turned out last weekend. Senior players and other Colts members. It was greatly appreciated. It would be awesome to see heaps of you at Chatswood Oval this weekend to see us battle Sydney Uni.


UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar **

*Delegation to the younger members of the team was the key.


** Sticks Kenner has voluntarily resigned from report writing after his articles were often left disassembled on the editing room floor.

Colts report Round 14

Colts report Round 14

Emerson stars in Colts Victory

The colts were looking for an improved performance after a disappointing loss at the hands of the Bunnies last week. We knew that if we could snare the 6 points we would be guaranteed a home semi-final at Chatswood Oval. Considering the Colts haven't played a home game all season, this was motivation enough.

(John Emerson in action)

The deck looked slightly damp as the groundsman was forced to water it in the morning following some handy circle work by the local 'bikey' gang just outside the off stump. This allowed Tweety to send the Townies in upon winning the toss.

The pitch played as expected with balls sticking in the damp patches and holding up. It was a drastically improved performance by the bowlers only conceding 5 wides. Parfett broke the opening partnership with the Townies batsman playing a fortnight early on a short ball which seemed to sink into the pitch. Parfett's second followed soon with 'Inzie' playing all round a straight one. Townies 2-36.

It took the introduction of Emerson to really blow the game open. In a tremendous spell of swing bowling the big fella took 5-37 off 10 straight overs, including 4 clean bowled dismissals, to reduce the Townies to 8-84.

Just as the Stags were starting to think about bonus points, our skipper dives for a ball in the gully and comes up clutching his little finger. On closer inspection it looked as if Tweety's little finger was clutching onto his hand by a mere thread. Clearly in distress Tweety left the field for the medical centre and the Colts were reduced to 10 and no skipper.

(Tweety in action in the gully) 

Knighty took over the reigns and immediately introduced Ranney and 'Rusty' Jones into the attack. Both bowled well without luck as Blacktown's no. 7 threw caution to the wind and wielded the willow. For those who haven't played at Whalan, the ground is 5 meters bigger than the MCG, and the leftie took advantage of the wide open spaces knocking up a quick-fire 60. Whalan is a ground where the chasing fielder prays that the ball will go for four otherwise he will require a double relay-throw to return the ball to the keeper and a wheelchair to return to his fielding position, all the while the batsmen have run 7.

A sneaky 50-run partnership for the 9th wicket allowed the Townies to reach a respectable 147 all out, but by no means a par score.

The lunch break entailed a phone call from the skipper who was at the time on the happy gas after having his little finger wrenched back into place. The news was that the finger wasn't broken but the skipper would not be able to bat.

So with 10 batsmen in the shed the Stags commenced their run chase. Sunny and Kenner got off to a solid start again but Kenner fell in the 11th over slashing into the gully for 19. 1-33. Sunny once again looked very solid and in combination with Knight took the score onto 89. Sunny was unfortunately bowled around his legs by Las Kannangara's 13 year-old brother for 37. Knight fell soon afterwards for 24 holing out to mid-off. 3-95 after 28 overs. The stags still in control as Hanlon and Rusty combined for a 25 run stand to consolidate the innings. Manchild was run-out (again) by an AB Devillers flick throw after backing up too far at the non-strikers end. He made 10. Hanlon and McDonald then fell in quick succession to the opening bowler, both caught behind. At this stage Tweety was starting to get worried that he would actually have to grace the crease to hit the winning runs.

But it wasn't to be as Emerson and Andrew 'I swear I can bat' Lappan hit the winning runs with 3 overs to spare.

So it was done. The Colts will finally be playing a home game. And to add to that it will be a semi-final. But if the Stags are to win the comp it will require greater application from the top-order. This was discussed in the sheds after the game as our top 5 batsmen had all reached double figures but had failed to go on with it.

We have one more game before the finals and it is crucial for our momentum and confidence that we have a win.

Richie Kenner

Colts report Round 13

Colts report Round 13

Colts Wide Of The Mark

The Gordon Colts side found themselves back at Alexandria Park this week, as a late attempt to have the game transferred to Chatswood oval was foiled by the South Sydney administration. This didn't phase the Colts as we have become accustomed to playing away from home by now.

(Craig Knight takes a wide against Souths) 

Some of the Staggies arrived at the ground looking a bit worse for wear. Dave Millar's federation blue hair was an early talking point as were the curious inscriptions written on his arms and legs. 'Funky' Millar had well and truly returned to the cricket field.

The warm-up reflected this lackadaisical attitude within the team, as players posed for happy snaps with the local paparazzi (Tiddles Wilson).

Tweety won the toss and sent the Bunnies in on a dead looking wicket. Theories were discussed and bonus point strategies analysed, but the Staggies main goal was to secure the 6 points.

Lappan and Parfett opened up and from the first ball of the game it was obvious the Staggies were in for a long day. Lappan's delivery slipped harmlessly down the leg-side and was promptly called a wide by the South Sydney captain. Tweety politely inquired as to which wide rule was in play and it was decided that anything down leg side would be wided.

(Dave Millar)

Unfortunately the Gordon bowler's were unable to adapt to this newly found law and 34 wides were conceded in the innings. Add to this 7 no-balls and the Staggies had given away a total of 41 extras and bowled 6 and a half extra overs. This allowed the Bunnies to post a total of 185. Very competitive considering the outfield was as slow as Millar's wit and the pitch was deteriorating faster than Knight's toilet paper.

The pick of the bowlers was Millar's 'self storage' taking 1/15 (10). 'My humps' was unlucky not to have 3 or 4 wickets as several loud shouts were turned down by the South Sydney umpires. JRJ also bowled impressively taking 1-21 (8) and Emerson returned to form with figures of 2-46 (10). Overall though our accuracy with the ball and some sloppy fielding let us down as we let the Bunnies score a motza of cheap runs.

The Staggies batsmen knew that it was going to be hard work to score the runs. Sunny and Kenner got off to a solid start surviving to the first drinks break with the score at 0-58 (17). But the dreaded drinks break struck again with Kenner being cleaned up soon after for 25. Sunny was the next to go pulling a short ball straight to square leg for a well-made 33. A disappointing end to an innings that showed great promise. JRJ was bowled for a 2 ball duck and displayed what a team man he is by commenting that he hoped someone would get a first-baller to make him feel better. Cheers Jason!

(Dave Gray practicing his umpiring for next time Craig Knight bats)

Knight was caught and bowled by the spinner for 2 and McDonald chipped a ball of his legs for a rapid fire 22. The score was 5-100 (29) and the Colts had lost 5-36.

Enter Tweety. With the calm head of experience he realized he had to consolidate the innings and ensure he batted through. Together with Emerson the pair put on 54 runs for the 6th wicket before 'Emers' was unlucky to hold out for a composed 26. At this stage the game was dead-even with the Stags needing a run a ball from the last 5 overs and the Bunnies needing 4 wickets.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be. With Millar and Lappan falling quickly and the pitch deteriorating, scoring was extremely hard for the courageous skipper and the Stags fell 10 runs short of victory. Tweety finishing with a hard-fought 32*.

The Bunnies only bowled 11 wides and 1 no-ball and in the end of the day this proved to be the difference. The Stags scored 20 more runs off the bat but went back to Chatswood with no points to show for it.

It was a disappointed dressing room after the match but the boys realized that this would be the wake up call we needed heading into the finals as our intensity had been starting to drop off.

(Andrew Lappan at Alexandria)

Look for a much improved performance from the colts next week as we travel to the picturesque ground that is Whalan number 1. Watch this space''.

Sticks Kenner


Colts report Round 12

Colts report Round 12

You are not to put that in the report

Rain had fallen in the east last Friday night. Millar knew this was the case as he was out doing some investigative work around the Coogee Bay area until the wee hours of the morning. Hence the team was eager to get to Snape early to make sure the covers were off and any moisture was allowed to dry.

All the team except McDermott. He seemed to be lost on that massive roundabout in Maroubra for the majority of the warm up.

Tiddles was on hand to chase him up. A player arrived 10mins before the game and Tiddles began to have a chat with the tardy young man in white. As he walked into the dressing room Tiddles asked 'have you got a Gordon cap?' The only problem being that the player was from the opposition and wearing a Randwick-Petersham cap at the time.

My guess is that he has been spending too long in the solarium without those little glasses they give you.

How else is he going to be able to catch up to Tweety, who is looking browner than him?

Tiddles was adamant that the incident should not appear in the report. Sorry mate!

The game started with Gordon being sent in and McDonald (2) departed on the 5th ball of the 1st over after being put down earlier in the over. The shaky start was rectified by Knight and Sajdeh.

Both were given chances early in their innings and capitalised on the opportunity afforded them. Knight began to hit the ball sweetly and Sajdeh was spending much needed time in the middle. Although a little slow, the pair was able to set a solid foundation for an attack later in the innings.

(Craig Knight in action)

Sajdeh (33) was dismissed in the 32nd over with the score at 109, flicking the ball to the keeper. Knight was joined by JRJ and the pair began to lift the run rate until Knight was caught at mid-off by the most unfortunate and unlikely of catches.

The fielder in question had dropped 3 previous catches and when Knight (66) struck the best off drive he had hit all day the leather careered into the fielder's ribcage, causing him to double over and caught the ball in his crossed arms. Never did the ball touch his hands. Come to think of it, much like the 3 previous attempts.

Hanlon came in and blasted the ball all around the park for a quick fire 28 before being unfortunately dismissed LBW when he was a good couple of metres down the pitch. McDermott, who by this time had found his way off the roundabout, joined JRJ and was able to find the gaps (mostly through the vacant slip cordon) and kept the score rolling along at an ever increasing pace. He was run out in the final over for 21.

Ranney appeared for his second bat for the season and again finished with 0* from 0 balls. Yet to face a ball all season. It must be some sort of record!

5/218 from 50 overs. A respectable score but did not put us in the clear.

Parfett and Ellison opened the attack, both bowled well and Ellison (1/19 from 6 overs) struck in his second over; LBW. In Ellison's last over for the spell it was McDonald who managed to hit the timber and have Randy-Petes 2/36 after 12. It was to be the first of 3 runouts throughout their innings.

Parfett hit the pegs in the last over of his spell, removing the new batsman. Millar, who had replaced Ellison, struck in his second over, removing the other opener caught at mid off. At this point the opposition, who were only a couple of points behind us on the table, were 4/41.

(Sam Ranney in action)

However, things were about to swing their way. Both batsmen were put down in slips and they began to get settled and were seeing the ball well. Millar was replaced by JRJ and one batsman in particular took to him, hitting 30 from his 3 overs.

They were beginning to gain momentum and the Colts began to panic. For one of the first times in the season there was some self doubt. One batsman was destructive and the other was turning the strike over. McDonald was hit for a tremendous straight 6, bouncing on the sheds and off into the distance.

Three quick wickets turned the game back in our favour. Millar took a good catch at fine leg off McDonald; he deserved a wicket having both the batsmen dropped in the slips. A runout to Ranney (another direct hit) and a wicket in his first over, after being brought on to replace McDonald (1/36 from 8 overs).

Ranney bowled tightly and applied the pressure from one end whilst it was Parfett, brought on to replace JRJ (0/30 from 3 overs), who did the damage; removing the danger man. Who also happened to be the player Tiddles thought was ours at the beginning.

Millar, who was fielding at mid off, was told by Parfett that the wicket ball was going to be a Yorker, right up in the block hole. Instead, it was a half tracker, cracked to deep mid wicket and brilliantly caught by Hanlon.

Pity this team was lacking the Angry Ant. He would have been giving the team a lecture about how the consistent line and length bowling of Parfett (2/28 from 10 overs) got the wicket.

(Dave Millar)

We were never really sure what line and length Trevor was talking about but were always attentive, just in case he blew a gasket.

Millar (2/22 from 7.2 overs) picked up a run out and then hit the middle pole to finish the innings.

Randy-Petes all out for 146.

A good win to the Gordon boys, placing them now second on the table.

It is a great feeling to be that club. They aren't in the song the Colts sing each match for nothing. They are a good strong side and it is a awesome to come away with the win and a bonus point against them.

This week sees the first of the South Sydney teams. The bowling line up looks a bit thin, with the five bowlers used to beat the top of the table Balmain no longer in the side.

Good Luck men!

Let's all hope you finished the game with these words'

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 10

Colts report Round 10

Righting Our Wrongs

Gordon 2/126 (32.3 overs) defeated UTS-Balmain(2) 125

The day started with Hamish Angus waving at the rest of the team from the wrong side of the train tracks wondering how in the hell he was to join the rest of his team by Jubilee Oval.

The day had only begun and before the end of play there would be many similarly strange events to occur.

(Adam Cubbage in action)

After a bitterly disappointing loss last week to Sydney Uni, the Colts were looking to bounce back and defeat the top of the table UTS-Balmain side. Tweety won the toss and sent the opposition in.

Which was probably what they were hoping for ' as they were lacking a couple of players who were coming back from Melbourne after the ODI at Telstra Dome the night before.

For a team that was on top of the table, it seemed strange that they completed no warm up or batting practice, but instead spent the preceding hour to play sitting in their dressing room. From the outset we felt more confident that the previous week and were determined to turn around last week's loss.

With Harry Evans being named captain of the combined Green Shield team it gave Tweety time to reminisce about the good old days when he too was playing in the side out at the two old Sydney Cricket Grounds.

The rest of the players allowed the card carrying pensioner his moment.

(The card carrying pensioner as a green shield player) 

For they knew with such a wealth of talent in the old and the young they were a good chance of a win.

Kennedy and Lappan opened the bowling in muggy conditions and were soon on top. Only 2 runs off the first 6 overs and a persistent reminder of this fact by the silly mid on meant a change of tactic by the opposition. Whilst one batsman tried to play agriculturally, the other batsman had much more success charging Kennedy.

The young gun was thrown off his game and began to spray the ball and was soon dispatched around the ground.

Lappan, however, completed his spell without a run being scored from the bat ' just 3 extras in the 6 overs ' meaning the pressure was still firmly on UTS-Balmain. Millar replaced a tired Kennedy and immediately hit a length and despite the same batsman feeling the need to charge, continued to beat the bat and kept the scoring to a bare minimum.

(Harry Evans)

Parfett charged in from the other end but never found the rhythm he possessed last week and was expensive early. Unfortunately his length and line were not consistent and was hit around the ground. However, with good areas being bowled from the other end, the opposition were 0/34 from 18 overs at drinks.

Wickets were desperately needed in order to contain the opposition and Millar provided the first just 4 balls after the interlude: knocking back the off pole with a leg-cutter.

Ellison replaced Parfett after drinks and was tight but never looked too threatening. With the opposition scoring at just 2 an over and unable to get any wood on Millar at the other end, they took to Ellison. However, a miscued lofted drive caught the leading edge and landed in Sajdeh's lap - after spending an eternity in the air.

Millar was buggered. He had done his job though. His 7 overs had conceded only 5 runs, had taken the vital first wicket and meant the opposition were taking risks at the other end. Hopefully he would be able to hide in the outfield and take no further part.

It wasn't to be.

Adam 'The Cabbie' Cubbage's first over was, by his own admission, one of his worst ever bowled. 5 full tosses and then a rank long hop. The last was lofted towards deep mid wicket and Millar 'ran' around the boundary to take a comfortable catch.

The Cabbie never looked back, dropping onto a length and imparting vicious sidespin on the ball that played havoc with the opposition.

Millar was outraged though; one or two of his team mates had the guile to shout out 'get there' as he positioned himself carefully under the high ball.

Such a (justified) lack of faith in his foot speed cannot be tolerated from anyone.

With the score at 3/80 from 36 overs, the following 11 overs became one big whirring blur. The Cabbie on the rampage and everything else simply faded into the background.

Credit must be giving to Tweety, although it would pain many a selector to hear this, but the faith he showed in his young spin bowler at the end of the innings (instead of returning to a traditional seam upright attack) allowed the Cabbie to create havoc amongst the opposition batsmen. At 3/80, the top team in the competition had the potential to post a competitive score from their remaining overs; but it wasn't to be.

The next batsman to fall was bowled around his legs.

A couple of overs later he landed the perfect wrong'un to deceive a left-hander, caught the outside edge and was taken by the 'combined Green Shield captain'.

Two balls later - a return catch to the Cabbie.

Another two balls later ' a brilliant piece of glove work by the 'combined Green Shield captain' saw the batsman stranded after failing to get to the pitch of the ball.

Two overs later ' another two stumpings to finish the innings on the last ball of his spell.

Someone assured Millar that Parfett took a wicket in there somewhere but, as mentioned before, those last overs were just a blur.

The Cabbie finished with figures of 7/23 from 10 overs. A superb effort.

It wasn't to end there.

Feeling that he hadn't done enough for the Colts with the ball, he opened the batting with Sajdeh. Although starting a little slowly, he ran well between the wickets and took advantage of some sluggish fielding to earn some extra runs for himself, Sajdeh and the team.

It was in the 4th over of the innings that one of the most remarkable things occurred.

An umpire retired hurt!

Whilst turning towards the scorers to signal an erroneous delivery down the leg side, Andrew 'Lap dance' Lappan has wrenched his knee and fallen to the ground in agony. Millar and Parfett were required to carry the injured official off the field before Parfett replaced him at the bowler's end. This comes after Lappan had dislocated his right shoulder bowling earlier in the day.

In yet another freak occurrence, Sajdeh (15) was run out after failing to ground his bat before jumping to avoid the incoming throw. Whilst in the air, but well over the popping crease, the ball careered into the stumps and Parfett was left no choice but to give him out. It was a bitter disappointment as Sajdeh was looking in good touch and desperately wants to make some runs at the top of the order for himself and the team.

Turner (3) was dismissed shortly after drinks and never looked comfortable after an early appeal was turned down. He admitted to the opposition the ball had brushed his gloves on the way through to the keeper and from that point forward, he was tormented by the opposition until he threw his wicket away.

The Cabbie began to cramp up and Sajdeh ran out some salt tablets to him before having to strap on the pads again and act as his runner ' the guy had been run out only overs before'

Nevertheless, with the 'combined Green Shield captain' replacing Turner and looking in great touch for his matches this week, the Colts were in safe hands. Evans (21*) showed the team how to build an innings; the first 8 or so runs were carefully placed singles, constantly turning over the strike before playing more expansive strokes and finding the boundary.

The heat eventually got to the Cabbie (52 retired hurt) and after swivelling to guide a full toss into the midwicket boundary he cramped up and left the field.

Kennedy (9*) was given a promotion above a long line of batsmen and struck a couple of boundaries to seal the match.

In one last bizarre event, the UTS-Balmain team had gifted themselves an extra 10 or so runs through a genuine mistake in the score book, thus the Gordon team batted well past the required total(s) and the mistake was rectified at the finish of play.

All in all a fairly ruthless performance by the Colts led by the Cabbie.

The song was sung with gusto and a water tank copped a beating. The winning habit has been restored. It must now be maintained.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH.

Dave Millar

P.S. The captain of the opposition should be commended on the most magnificent way he played the game. It was a credit to the UTS-Balmain club and made for a most enjoyable day's cricket.

Cubbage (7/23 from 10 overs), Millar (1/5 from 7 overs), Ellison (1/19 from 8 overs), Parfett (1/40 from 7 overs), Lappan (0/16 from 8 overs) and Kennedy (0/19 from 7 overs)

Colts report Round 11

Colts report Round 11

Unbeaten record broken'

Sydney Uni 8/115 (47) def. Gordon Colts 77 (40.3)

It was a disappointing loss made even worse by the fact we had the best conditions throughout the game.

The first time another team's song was sung at the end of the game. It cut through the Colts like the proverbial knife through hot butter.

(Andrew Lappan who took 4 for 21)

To be honest, the whole day was a complete shambles. The pitch at St. Andrews had more weeds than my garden. The outfield was slower than NRMA's roadside assistance. Sunil can vouch for that; being nearly two hours late to the game due to a flat battery.

After a delayed start, the Colts were first to have ball in hand thanks to Her Majesty yet again grinning at Tweety from the strip below. It wasn't too long until the combination of a soft deck, some good bowling channels and some awful shot selection left the Uni boys reeling at 3/6. Lappan and Parfett were replaced by Millar and Ellison and continued to apply the pressure having Uni 3/25 from 21 overs at the break.

Ellison (0/22 from 9 overs) continued after the break and Millar was replaced by Hamish Angus ' one of the Green Shield players so successful this year under BMac's careful guidance ' who continued to apply the pressure but was a little expensive in the circumstances. With Uni at 4/55 from 30 overs the Colts were in a prime position to tighten their grip on the Competition and stake their claim at the top of the table.

Ranney replaced Angus (1/15 from 5 overs) and was unfortunately taken to by one of the batsmen. It was a shame because Sam was bowling with good drift and turn but the ball was holding up on the soft pitch and he was always going to be a target.

Ranney (0/23 from 4 overs) was replaced by Lappan (4/21 from 9 overs) who struck immediately with a scooped ball to midwicket and stuck again later in his spell with a terrific catch by another Green Shield player ' Angus Sinclair. Parfett (1/10 from 10 overs) and Millar (1/17 from 10 overs) were tidy from the other end with Millar and Lappan finishing the innings with tight spells to allow Uni to make only 8/115 from their allotted 47 overs.

It was the Colts game. There would be no better chance to beat Sydney Uni than on this occasion.

The chase didn't start well. Sajdeh's (5) day got no better after earlier car trouble, guiding a ball straight to a backward point before Crawford (0) fell victim to another simple catch. Angus Sinclair (7) , who partnered Sajdeh, looked compact and composed but was unable to get the run rate up to a comfortable level before being dismissed pushing a ball to midwicket.

Sinclair looks like a player for the future at Gordon. He has the temperament and the skill to be a solid batsman. Perhaps it was the amount of cricket he has played recently or being overwhelmed by the age of those around him but he never looked switched on or determined in the run chase.

His dismissal brought Harry Evans and Hamish Angus ' the other two Green Shield players ' to the crease. Both of them looked comfortable out in the centre but were unable to pierce the field with any regularity. Evans (11) departed after handing midwicket another straight forward catch. Ellison (2) was runout at a point in time when the Colts were in desperate need of consolidation leaving them 5/53 needing 4 an over to win.

(Hamish Angus in action)

This quickly turned to 6/54 as Millar (1) was promoted above Tweety and then adjudged LBW to a ball he feels pitched well outside leg stump.

Tweety came in and then Angus (16) fell leaving the score at 7/60 and needing 5 an over to win.

The top 5 batsmen were all caught pushing forward at balls and playing too early on a deck that was still holding up. It was disappointing the better shot selection wasn't displayed.

Until this game, the bottom order has never been called upon to do anything other than umpire or score. It was a shock for them that they were to don the pads and gloves if the Colts had any chance of getting over the line.

Lappan (8) and Tweety (4) began to resurrect the game however Tweety was dismissed for the first time in the season after being caught behind. Nevertheless, Parfett (3) came to the crease and was caught trying to loft a ball over midwicket before Lappan was dismissed next ball giving Uni the victory.

It was a disappointing loss. We had it there to win.

Or lose.

And lose we did.

Little was mentioned in this article about Evan's wicket keeping. It was a near faultless display in all aspects with a good catch down the leg side early in the innings and a run out down the bowler's end at the finish. Lappan bowled well and should be commended for his tight spell at the end.

(Harry Evans in action)

A better performance next week with the bat will be required if we are to beat the top of the table UTS-Balmain.

Winning has turned into a habit for this Colts team. Let's hope that this loss can be quickly erased by a stellar performance next week.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 9

Colts report Round 9

All I want for Christmas'

No-one is quite sure what Richie Kenner did during 2005 but he must have been on his best behaviour. Sitting up on Santa's knee in the lead up to Christmas, he must have asked very politely for a stellar start to the post Christmas break.

And a bowl.

For that is exactly what he received.

(Andrew Lappan in action)

Tweety lost the toss!!! He obviously wasn't practicing over the break. However the result was the same. Gordon was to field first on an indifferent day with the talk of inclement weather later in the day. This result was much to the disgust of Millar who, after arriving first at the ground with a superb run through the tunnel and ED, had left his creams back in Roseville. A big cheerio goes out to his parents for bringing them out to Kensington Oval meaning that he only missed the first over of play.

Lappan and Parfett opened up on a batsman friendly pitch which provided no assistance to any bowler throughout the day. Although the ball came a little slowly onto the bat, it was a tight display of bowling and a hesitancy to take quick singles that had Randwick-Petersham bogged down at 1/60 from the first 25. The dismissal coming through a lightening piece of fielding by 'Sticks' Kenner who struck at the keeper's end with the batsman well short of his ground.

Coming into the game with only 3 recognised seamers and the 2 spinners, Tweety was in search of an extra bowler.

Cast one's mind back to the beginning of the 04/05 pre-season where a trial game was held up at Turramurra Oval. A shortage of bowlers fit for the pre-season saw Sticks open the bowling in that match. With an action that resembles Jackie Chan's martial arts movies, Sticks' first delivery was a hooping ball that cleaned up Fitzpatrick's stumps. Perhaps it was a little bit of justice for that awful skunk haircut the Mosman import was supporting but that incident will go with him to his grave. Millar, umpiring, was powerless to find a way not to give it out.

So, with Kenner not bowling in a match since, he seemed like the perfect 4th seamer to share the load. He and Millar bowled first change and kept it tight and both were unlucky not to be rewarded. Bourne replaced Millar after 7 overs and Kenner bowled through his ten, picking up their opening batsman towards the end of his spell. Ranney and Bourne bowled in tandem and neither really looked like they had found a rhythm. As a result the runs began to flow and by the 40th over they were 3/122.

A perfect launch pad for an assault on the last ten overs. However it wasn't to be for Randy-Petes.

Gordon set themselves the target of containing them to 160. A tough ask for the team but a total that would provide them every opportunity for victory.

Millar and Lappan from one end and Parfett from the other were able to contain Randy-Petes to just 169 from their full allotment. Wickets fell in regular succession thanks to a direct hit from the wonder boy Kenner and another from Hanlon.

Hanlon was without the gloves on this occasion and showed his speed around the ground, as Alex Brown made his senior debut for Gordon. His glove work in the first 40 overs was without fault; however errors began to creep into his game in the final 10 due to tiredness.

'Slow to start but a strong finish' was the comment made when Millar took a catch at mid-on in the dying stages. But honestly, it was never in doubt. It was the skill of turning a simple catch into a spectacular one to please his team mates. It wasn't enough to cancel out the fact he forgot his whites.

Lappan finished the innings with a thoroughly deserved wicket, bowling the number 8 batsman to leave them with 7/169.

Gordon could only lose it from there.

A fiery start after the interval by Chuck Lawry (29) set up the Gordon innings before lifting his head to the heavens (Tim Bailey - this boy is after your job) left his stumps shattered. It is undeniable that the new boys to the senior game have potential, however they need to capitalise on the chances they are given and learn to play patiently when it is needed.

Crawford joined Kenner and immediately set about lifting the run rate with a combination of placement and power. As the outfield was thick, many shots weren't receiving their full allotment but good judgement and speed between the wickets saw many twos and threes in the partnership that yielded 80 for the Colts. Crawford brought up his 50 before being dismissed guiding a full toss down the throat of fine leg. A disappointing end to a well constructed innings.

(Cam Crawford)

Brown joined a patient Kenner who was still in the twenties and took up where Crawford left off. A good eye and impeccable timing saw balls disappearing to all areas of the ground and on one occasion well clear of the fence. In yet another soft dismissal Brown (24) was bowled with only 3 runs to secure the victory.

Hanlon joined Kenner who brought up a well earned 50 to top off a brilliant day for the 'all rounder' before Hanlon dispatched the opening bowler over his head with a trademark lofted drive to secure the victory.

A good win to the boys who are still undefeated.

The webmaster was right. Tweety wasn't needed with the bat or ball. However he spent a good deal of time out in the middle counselling the batsmen from his role as umpire. A watchful eye is needed over a team full of youthful exuberance.

On a more serious note, Sydney Uni will be a tough opposition and the application with the bat, ball and in the field which was lacking this week will need to be displayed if we are to remain the only Gordon team without a loss to their name.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar



P.S. On a personal note, I would like to thank Marty Reynolds for all that he has done for the club. In the few games that I played with him in team Ferrari, he exemplified everything that has been written about him. He will be sorely missed.


P.P.S. Although usually having perfect recall, Stobo must have been distracted after being (self) elevated to the status of all-rounder and forgot to mention the service Marty gave to the Australian Indoor Cricket Team. Yet another string to his bow.

Colts report Round 8

Colts report Round 8

Smooth Sailing

Gordon 5/319 def. Nth Sydney 163 and 4/39

Luckily the Colts team was full of players who were all too young to join in the affairs at the Christmas party.

Backing up after a few celebratory drinks the night before was never going to provide the perfect conditioning for a tough day in the field and having to bowl on a flat deck with a quick outfield.

(Sam Ranney in action)

Saturday night was top drawer; especially with three good wins against a strong St George outfit to kick off the night.

JOF should be commended for his organisation and the lovely young lady that pulled Millar's ticket out of the hat for the lucky door prize should be given a permanent job. However, the highest acclamation should be reserved for Pic (or whatever his bloody name is this week) who, despite not being able to give his usual assortment of awards, managed to speak for 10 minutes without using his two favourite expletives.

A truly remarkable achievement.

'Sticks' Kenner, who batted well in 5th Grade this week, picked up the Colts on-field award for dropping three catches off Ellison before being sconed in the nose and having the opposition doctor attend to him. Tweety, notably absent from the party, picked up the off-field award for having trouble with anything technological and needing Tiddles to cast a watchful eye over his every movement.

(Adam Cubbage)

A little more R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Tweety please.

Reg was entertaining as always but there was a sticking point in one of his interviews. When he asked the club coach who were the emerging players there was one noticeable absence.

Adam Cubbage.

Nikki 'Webster' Dowsley and Reece 'Bomber' Bombas are definitely men to watch around the club and are very handy with the bat. However, neither of them is able to complement their batting with vicious leg spin coupled with the control and discipline of the 'Cabbie'.

The Colts knew they were in for a tough day and were lucky to have two spinners in the team who would be able to extract some turn from a hard flat pitch once the seamers had dismissed the top order.

Gordon took the field with North Sydney 1/30 chasing 5/319 dec. and the Colts were one man down ' not because of Christmas party casualties but because Ranney had not turned up to the game. News came through that he was involved in a car accident and he arrived an hour into the first session.

A car accident is a little generous a description of the event. Ranney proceeded to explain that his mate had popped the back tyres of his car doing a handbrake turn in the backstreets of suburbia at 4 in the morning. Unable to get new tyres fitted early on Sunday, Ranney was without a car and needed a cab, bus and a caring mother to drop him at the ground.

(Dave Millar in action at Tunks)

If only it had happened a few days earlier, he surely would have been in the running for the off-field prize.

Back to the game. Lappan (2/28 from 11 overs), who had trouble with his approach last week, found a good rhythm and removed the off peg twice in an over with balls that seemed away from the batsman. Kennedy (1/26 from 11 overs) followed up his good spell from the previous week with some good pace but unfortunately the Cabbie grassed one at 2nd slip and he was unable to add to his haul from last week.

Millar replaced Kennedy and, feeling a little groggy from the previous night, bowled within himself for the first couple of overs. There was, however, good movement through the air and off the deck and balls consistently passed the outside edge of the bat throughout his long spell. 'Little John' Emerson (1/5 from 6 overs) replaced Lappan and, with the assistance of the breeze, brought the ball back into the batsman. He and Millar (0/20 from 11 overs) were able to put a stranglehold on the run scoring, with most runs coming behind the wicket from edges through and above the slips and gully. Little John was able to break the partnership by removing the off stump of one of the set batsmen.

The Cabbie replaced Emerson and was immediately able to extract some turn and bounce from the wicket. Much to the delight of Tiddles who had come to Tunks for the occasion. A well disguised wrong'un took middle stump and the Colts had North Sydney 5/130 at lunch. It had been a truly frustrating session with three easy catches being grassed and many more just going wide of the fieldsmen.

Yet another week goes by without tea being provided. Such a sorry state of affairs.

Last week's report was entitled 'Catches Win Matches' and whilst the match was won soon after tea, not being able to dismiss them earlier removed the chance of picking up an outright. Each player has the skill to be able to take those catches, and plenty of tougher chances, but the concentration and application is lacking. Having said that, Charlie Lawry and 'Commando' Cam Crawford threw themselves at everything and this paid off soon after tea with a direct hit from Commando that removed the No. 3 batsman.

Ranney, whose spell began just before lunch, had many a stumping chance turned down before picking up two late in the innings. The first was a wild swing resulting in the back foot being dragged forward, whilst the second was quite bizarre. First ball following an LBW dismissal, the new batsman to the crease charged Ranney only to miss the ball and continue back from where he came. Ranney ended with 3/32 from 12 overs and bowled the best he has all season.

The Cabbie (2/38 from 15 overs) picked up the last wicket with the No. 11 playing on to dismiss North Sydney for 163. This allowed Tweety to enforce the follow-on.

Despite a couple of early wickets, 10 poles seemed a little hopeful in just over 20 overs. The Cabbie and Ranney were thrown the old ball and both picked up two wickets before stumps were drawn to have North Sydney 4/39 at the end of play.

Tweety kept an attacking field throughout the day and it was a testament to the bowlers that they were able to consistently put the ball in good areas which allowed him to do so. Although late in the day Tweety coughed up a chance, it provided Tiddles with yet another entertaining moment as he dived full length to his left at 1st slip only to have the ball spill free from his grasp.

Tweety has invented a new approach to slips fielding. The first three photos show Tweety preparing for a slips catch. The fourth one he has slipped back a pace, the fifth one he pops his head up to see if it is coming his way and then he shows the keeper how to move his hands. It is known as the Tweety shuffle)

Penrith are undefeated and will provide a top-class opposition this week. Each player must dig deep and be at the top of their game to beat them.

The day finished with another rendition of the Gordon song, bolstered by the harmony of the younger voices in the team ' Stobo would be impressed.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 7

Colts report Round 7

Catches Win Matches

Gordon 5 dec. 319 Nth Sydney 1/30

A baking hot summer's day awaited the Gordon Colts as they arrived at Tunk's Park. After the wash out the round before it would have been tempting to bowl first and try and chase a small total ' especially with Kennedy and Lappan firing from either end. However, upon inspection of the track, there was no doubt in Tweety's mind that when (note: 'when' and not 'if' ' all the practice he has been doing since pulling a groin muscle) he won the toss we would bat.

(Charlie Lawry during his century)

A curtailed warm-up fielding session followed and then the new men in the Colts line-up strapped on the pads and strolled confidently out to the centre for their first match in the Gordon Seniors.

'Men' is used in the most liberal sense of the word, as 7 of the players in this week's line-up were yet to celebrate their 21st Birthday and 5 had just finished Year 11. Ranney had just come back from Schoolies and was supporting a cough symptomatic of the Asian Bird Flu and a week-long hangover to boot. It was a true Colts team.

Some of the old(er) members of the Colts observed that all the youngsters were batters and didn't really bowl. Surely there should be 'age benefits' rather than restrictions for bowlers over 25 ' more frequent drinks breaks and permanent positions in slips were some suggestions contemplated.

(Lawry and Turner scamper for a single)

Despite not having the Kenner/Sajdeh opening partnership, the Colts team looked strong and confidence abounded around the sideline. Nevertheless, Tweety ' who was by far and above the most senior man in the team ' decided he should do the first umpiring stint so that he could give instructions to the frisky upstarts. Cam Crawford (7) looked solid as he strode forward and commanded respect but had his off stump removed by one that jagged away.

Charlie Lawry (102) was joined by Henry Turner (95) and a long and fruitful partnership ensured. Whilst it cannot be said that their innings were chanceless, both men made the most of their opportunities as catches continued to be grassed all around the ground.

Lawry played some truly classy strokes on his way to his century but most notably the cover drive and a flick off his legs that was placed anywhere between mid-on and fine leg. There were a few loose shots that need to be eliminated from his game and came as a result of chasing balls wide outside the off stump.

Turner looked in command out in the middle and despite also giving chances throughout his innings looked a masterful young player. He too was able to take full advantage of these chances and punished anything full of a length straight down the ground.

(Harry Turner shows his defence)

It must be said that the bowlers were consistently too full of a good length and gave all the batsmen amply opportunity to drive. When the ball was a bit shorter the batsmen were uncomfortable and rarely moved their feet into position to play horizontal bat shots and as a result gave chances.

Lawry was bowled the ball after his century; a shorter ball that he never got into position for. Cubbage came to the crease a few overs before tea and played himself in until the break with Gordon being 2/180 at the break.

Knight turned up for the tea break hoping to get a feed. North Sydney failed to produce any tea at all for the Gordon Colts and Knight promptly left the ground.

After the break Lawry was dismissed as the North Sydney team finally held onto a catch and this brought Hanlon to the crease. Hanlon (7) was ruing his careless shot selection after playing all over a full toss that was headed into the Northbridge marina and was bowled. Kennedy came to the crease during a period of tight bowling and the possibility of another couple of quick wickets would undo the earlier platform set by the young Colts. After the perennial no. 11 batsman was promoted to no. 1 last round and made 50 he found himself at no. 6 this week and made the most of it.

Cubbage finally hit his straps, after taking a while to feel comfortable out in the middle, and began to score freely. He brought up his 50 with a magnificent stroke through cover. It was a bit of a surprise that he had reached 50 as the top order's big scores were still playing on the minds of the spectators. Cubbage is a quiet character who accumulates his runs without the flare of other batsmen. He is technically sound and despite a couple of catches being dropped played a near faultless innings.

The run rate increased as the declaration was imminent. Emerson and Millar were waiting to impose themselves on the opposition at the fall of a wicket but were never given the chance as Tweety called a close to the innings as Kennedy (22) was dismissed LBW leaving Cubbage 76*.

(Seen at Tunks hiding behind a tree. Was he:

  • Looking to be the next North Sydney manager
  • Out for a stroll
  • Thinking he was at Killara after a long night.

Only Cats can answer these questions)

This left Gordon at 5dec. 319.

For one reason or another the bowling never really fired in the 9 overs til stumps. Lappan (0/13 from 3 overs) had troubles with his approach and didn't look as fierce as the previous round and Millar (0/3 from 1 over) took the last over from his end. Kennedy (1/13 from 5 overs) had a tough chance dropped by Lawry at 3rd slip looking into the setting sun but this didn't cost the Colts as he was dismissed shortly; skying a ball to mid-off after being beaten for pace.

North Sydney 1/30 at the end of the day.

All in all it was a quiet, yet professional and most enjoyable, day's cricket.

On a side issue, the scorer for the opposition was A.J. Gray (son of Tweety) who plays for North Sydney 5th Grade but came to watch his father play. The Gordon scorer was able to extract various titbits of information about life in the Gray household. For instance, when Tweety returned from the UNSW game after being struck in the head whilst dropping a catch, he spent the rest of the night with an ice pack across his forehead whilst Mrs Gray was furious that no-one had gone to check if her precious husband were ok.

In the Colts defence, Kenner had been struck an earlier blow which had been much more severe and the bowler at the time, Millar, had gone over to Tweety to check if he were ok (and to ask him, ever so politely, why he didn't get his hands in the way of the ball but instead used his head).

A flat deck and a must win game will mean that the Colts will have to be at their best next week. It was plain for everyone to see that if catches go down (especially 10 or 12) that the opposition will capitalise and get away.

Every chance must be taken and every possible run saved to continue building pressure. The Colts team is strong enough to win this game convincingly if we play well.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 6 Day 2

Colts report Round 6 Day 2

Yet Another'

Match Abandoned.

Although it was unlikely that play would eventuate due to the persistence of heavy rain throughout the morning, there was no reason to hang around at Castlewood as the covers had not been put on the previous evening. This left the Colts in no doubt as to where the action would be for the rest of the day.

At the Adelaide Oval.

A quick phone around in the morning determined the need to turn up to the ground to witness a pitch sodden and unplayable. Despite this, Falk was tossing up the options of Kenner at one end, trying to extract some movement off the pitch, and Thompson at the other. 

Parfett arrived in pyjamas - 3 sizes to small for his rather elongated frame ' looking like a uni student who had just finished exams.

Funny about that.

On a serious note however, it is a shame that the Colts have been unable to get onto the field twice now when they have looked in commanding positions.

Although having not lost a game, they unfortunately find themselves buried in the middle of the table.

Disappointing.

There is only one way to solve this problem and that is to continue to take the opportunities when they come to hand. With school drawing to a close and uni hols kicking in, all Colts should be making it to as many trainings as possible and working hard to continue to improve.

It has been an incredibly good feeling playing with such a good bunch of young (and old ' Tweety, Falk) men. This has only been enhanced by winning tight games. Keep working hard and the enjoyment will last until well into March.

The same goes for all the higher grades that have had a tough couple of weeks.

Get well soon Reg ' although I am sure it is just a ploy to regain a top 10 spot on RSVP.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH


Dave Millar

Colts report Round 6

Colts report Round 6

In the Driver's Seat

Gordon Colts 276 vs Holroyd-Hills 4/33

It is one of those unexplainable wonders of the universe that the closer one lives to a destination, the later they will arrive. It is always the student that lives on campus that will be the last to scuttle through the door before the lecture starts and today it was Kenner and Sajdeh, who live within 5 mins of Castlewood Oval, who were last to arrive.

(Craig Knight in action)

Where the hell is Castlewood Oval? Good Question. It is in the centre of the most frustrating maze of designer homes with streets that consistently lead to the promise of the ground being just around the next bend.

It never was.

Millar wasn't incompetent (although many maintain that he always has been) as even Mr Whippy had trouble negating the maze as he made his tea-time rounds.

With Tweety have troubles with his groin, Falky was handed his second game for the season with the Colts. He commented to Kenner that before this season he had never played with Sticks, only ever took his place as Sticks left the field with yet another injury. Memories of Sutherland last year are clear in the forefront of the mind with Kenner busting a finger in the first five overs of the first match of the season.

The warm-up was carried out as if Tweety was still there calling the shots ' but that is where the similarities ended. Falk lost the toss (after all the practice that Tweety had been putting in) and we were sent in to bat. A quick cast of the eye down the batting list found Kennedy strapping the on the pads to open with Sticks with Sajdeh to bat at four.

Kenner (3) was caught down the leg side after trying to hook a shortish delivery and this brought Knight to the crease. With the score at 1/16 after 11 overs, Kennedy had the cricket gods smile down on him as he gifted 1st slip with a waist high catch which he obligingly dropped. Again a little later he hit a return catch to the bowler who again dropped the chance.

Knight batted his way sensibly to yet another big score for the Colts. Craig showed the Colts how to play good balls on their merits and dispose of the trash that inevitably followed. Knight was first to reach his half century, scoring at a good rate, before Kennedy brought up his first ever 50. His father, proud as punch at the perennial No. 11 batsman who was finally given an opportunity (by the selectors as well as the opposition), reminisced with the players in the grandstand of a 'JOF type incident' when JK celebrated a previous '50' before actually being stranded on 47*.

(This is a cricket ball Andrew... Michael Falk)

JK (50) was fired by Thompson as he thrust forward a pad to the spinner and Sajdeh (5) followed just before lunch with a big edge that was well taken by the keeper. This brought Cubbage to the crease and made his first ever run for Gordon just before the lunch break.

It can be the case that when a team begins to find themselves trailing the opposition that they wring the bowling changes. The Hurricanes tried the novel (if somewhat ineffective) approach of rotating the wicket-keeper. Needless to say that by the end of the innings, after the gloves had been donned by countless players, they ended up where they started ' with the captain and most proficient keeper.

After lunch, with the over rate a little slow and the score on 3/153 Craig tried to lift the run rate but was caught in the deep for a well made 78. Hanlon immediately set about lifting the run rate. When Cubbage was dismissed for 18, Millar joined Hanlon, who needed only a couple more to bring up another half century for the Colts.

That was all he could manage and was caught in the deep trying to lift the run rate before the imminent declaration. Falk came to the crease and Tweety, who had promised to turn up at 1 o'clock to support his team and cast a watchful eye over Falk's captaincy, made his grand arrival. Millar top edged a pull shot to deep backward square where a fielder, who had made good ground, proceeded to not only drop the catch but knock it twenty metres into the rope.

(Greg Hanlon in action)

Seeing an exasperated bowler, sprawled out mid-pitch, Millar (24) felt compelled to go and apologise to the bowler who graciously accepted the apology. Next ball he took revenge with a lovely inswinging yorker that missed all of the bat and none of the stumps. This brought Lappan to the crease.

Fearing that his team mates may become accustomed to such brilliance in the field, the same fielder who dropped Millar thought it only fair to gift Lappan with a boundary. To do so required much skill and forethought and although countless attempts have been made, the Gordon Colts have failed to come close to a reconstruction of what can only be adequately described as a disaster.

Lappan pulled a short ball to square leg with the fielder in question giving chase. It pulled up 4 metres short of the boundary, just in front of the Colts, and the fielder slid to collect the stationary ball. In an attempt to flick it back to one of his players, he only succeeded in flicking it over his head and over the boundary ' much to the amusement of all those watching.

Next ball Lappan (8) was dismissed, followed by Falk (3), chopping onto his stumps, and Thompson (1) was run out to leave Parfett (8) stranded after playing a couple of cracking off drives.

Although Falky didn't get a chance to declare as he would have liked, it was time for the Colts to have a short sharp session at the Hurricanes. To this note, Kennedy and Lappan opened the bowling.

The second ball was hit to a vacant point and Sajdeh scampered after it. As the batsmen tried for a second, Sunny fired the ball into Craig and the opening batsman departed for 1.

Lappan (2/4 from 3 overs), recovering from a wedding the previous day, was on the spot first ball and with the third ball he struck. The batsman tried to evade a venomous short ball and only succeeded in skying it to Craig. A second followed with another skied catch to Parfett at cover. Kennedy (1/13 from 4 overs), who had been bowling quickly, although a little too short, found a good length and trapped the next batsman in front.

(Andrew Lappan in action)

There was a mad rush for gear in the Hurricanes' change room and it took well over the allotted time for the next batsman to appear. He quickly proceeded to appeal against the light and Cubbage and Thompson were brought into the attack. Each looked threatening but was only able to bowl one over before the batsmen walked off due to bad light.

In normal circumstances the Colts could understand but the over rate during the Colts' innings was so slow that it meant the match finished closer to 7o'clock than 6o'clock. Cubbage and Thompson should have been allowed to continue to bowl the remaining 2 overs to finish the day.

Despite this, the Colts were in the driving seat for most of the day. With concerted application next week an outright is not out of the question.

A wiser Millar will approach the maze next week with inspired confidence.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 5

Colts report Round 5

Colts Report vs Hawkesbury

(Photos courtesy of David Mahaffey)

It was great to see 1st Grade get up in a good win but the questions B Mac posed at the start of his report were questions only Millar could dream of asking last weekend.

To paraphrase 'Fielding Points' McDonald: 'Exam time had reared its ugly head, closely followed by its ever potent cousin ' panic. The clock read 7.20am and a barrage of questions as to why anyone in their right mind would choose to do Actuarial Studies were asked' without any hint of an answer.'

(Tweety hitting over the grass)

It was Saturday morning and as Millar slammed down the snooze button, cutting off the sound of a second rate DJ's, he could only dream of participating in the game they play in heaven (during the rugby off-season), much less ask questions as to why we play the game.

Mind you' if one has to miss a game it may as well be the one game out at Hawkesbury. By all reports it was hot and as everyone learnt from the Missy's reports from the previous round, the flies are close to unbearable ' and less than delectable.

From snippets of information gleaned from training this week the match against Hawkesbury was a close one. After 5th Grade were soundly beaten the week before and the team consisting of 7000 bowlers (some of the information may have come from less than reliable sources) it was imperative that the Colts top order fired.

Tweety, after practicing all week, again called 'Her Majesty' and as her face beamed up at him from the turf he didn't hesitate to let the opposition know they would have to spend a few hours out in the heat. Kenner and Sajdeh opened and with 14 on the board Sunny (14) departed to an incredible catch (in fact each of the batsmen were quiet determined to tell me just how unbelievable their dismissals were ' funny that).

(Richard Kenner at Bensons Lane)

Hanlon (16) followed bringing Shiv to the crease. Unfortunately for the Colts, the top order never went on with the job. Shiv (18) watched from the non-striker's end as Kenner (20) and McDonald (10) departed before himself being caught. Ellison and Tweety came to the crease with the score at 5/90 from 34 overs. There have been numerous reports that the grass was well over a foot high and consequently boundaries were as precious as gold.

Tweety decided that the aerial route was going to provide the least resistance and proceeded to deposit one of the Hawks into the fields on the far side. The grass could have been metres longer and he still wouldn't have had a problem.

Ellison (29) departed and Emerson (16*) and Tweety (32*) played out the final few overs to bring the score to a respectable 172 in tough playing conditions. To be fair, it was about 30 or so short of where they would have liked to have been but it would set up a close game.

As the Colts took the field, Mahaffey and Parfett opened the bowling and were both unlucky to not pick up wickets in their first spells. Emerson replaced Dan and was successful in both of his first two overs, his mate Greg finally gloving one of his bowling before needing no assistance as the following batsman played all around a ball that took out off stump (John swears that it moved both ways in the air and then seamed off the pitch).

However gun-barrel straight the delivery was, it was good enough to wrestle the momentum towards Gordon for possibly the first time in the match and, in partnership with Ellison, the runs began to dry up and a run out resulted as the Hawks felt the squeeze.

The tight spells of bowling were rewarded as John (3/23 from 10 overs) picked up a 3rd whilst James (1/20 from 8 overs) found the timber with the final ball of his spell to have them 5/74 after 28 and in a similar position to where the Colts found themselves.

(james Ellison in action)

McDonald and Ranney were brought into the attack and whilst attacking the stumps were unable to continue the tight spell of bowling. After going at 6 an over for his first 3, Rod trapped one of the Hawks LBW with the first ball of his 4th and picked up two more with successive balls in his next over leaving him with figures of 3/19 from 6 overs. Ranney (0/26 from 5 overs) was replaced by Parfett (unluckily 0/26 from 9 overs) who for the first time this season really fired up.

At this point in time Millar was trying to get his head around the applications of Stochastic Differential Equations in Brownian Motion modelling and would have given exorbitant amounts of money to see Chris steam in against the Hawks tail end.

It is a tremendously scary sight as a batsman to see someone so tall bringing lightening bolts down from such a great height. The fielders must have also been mesmerised as for the first time in the game, right at the death, catches were going down more frequently than girls listed on RSVP (just ask Reg).

It wasn't until Mahaffey picked up the last two wickets, by collecting the timber and leaving it out of the fielders' hands (the ball didn't seem to stick in them anyway), that the Colts were assured of victory. The Hawks had only 25 to score with 6 overs remaining and the game had been close throughout the entire day. It was imperative that someone stood up at the death ' and Mahaffey did that with the two wickets in his first over of the new spell to end up with 2/25 from 7.5 overs.

Another good win to the Colts which sees them placed high up on the ladder.

The song was sung with much gusto and whichever tune it was sung to (Stobo) it hurts the opposition that much more when:

1) Its their first loss for the season

2) The game came down to the wire

3) They are well within earshot (just ask Missy and the 4th grade team).

Just as this report begun, it will be completed by paraphrasing another literary masterpiece.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH


Dave Millar

Colts report Round 4 Day 2

Colts report Round 4 Day 2

Colts Report vs Auburn

(photos courtesy of David Mahaffey)

Daylight saving caught out many of the Colts. Millar had foresight and called to confirm the new starting time with Tweety.

Even if Tweety was wrong, Millar would be in the clear.

(Dan Mahaffey starts the innings)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ellison, determined to make amends for he tardiness last week, arrived 20 minutes early ' for the pre-daylight saving match time. Kenner and Sajdeh, experienced club men, were also caught out and arrived early to find Gaelic Football being played at Princes ' the home ground (and presumably the only ground) for the NSW Gaelic Football Club.

The opposition's captain arrived late as he and a few of the Auburn team members were witnesses to a terrible fatality involving a car and a pushbike just up the road. They had called the ambulance and tried to resuscitate but were unable to do so. They were noticeably shaken and as such we began the match a little later than scheduled.

Tweety let the opposition know that we would declare at the overnight total of 9/334. Mahaffey was left stranded on 0* whilst Tweety (50*) chose to curtail the masterful stroke making of the previous week. Tiddles assured Millar later in the day that Tweety would have been lynched otherwise.

(Greg Hanlon behind the stumps against Auburn)

Mahaffey and Ellison were given the shiny new rock and were told to make good use of it early. The Colts had missed out on the points last game due to the unfortunate wash out and needed to make early inroads into the Auburn team to make sure we capitalised on the big score we made last week.

Mahaffey did precisely that, striking in the third over to remove the opener's middle stump. His spell looked dangerous and many balls passed the outside edge as the batsmen pushed and prodded with little confidence. Ellison was tight but didn't extract the same bounce or lift and was replaced by Millar who was able to push many a ball through at chest height.

There were shades of the 'Angry Ant' ' Trevor Watling ' in the field placements. Three slips, two gullies, and two points. The other opener finally succumbed, eventually able to get an edge through to Hanlon, after pushing at countless deliveries just outside his off stump.

Parfett replaced Mahaffey and it took a few overs before he began to look comfortable. Whether it was a big night or just stiffness in the young fast bowler's body, it was only towards the end of his spell that the ball began to be released with venom. He did pick up a crucial wicket with Kenner taking the catch at mid-on ' a bittersweet feeling for Ellison who watched Kenner put down a few against UNSW, including the one that hit him in the nose.

(Jason Russel-Jones in action)

Millar's spell ended (1/7 from 8 overs) and Thompson, who was brought into the Colts as people shuffled up grades to replace Simmons, was given the opportunity to continue attacking. Although the runs flowed from his bowling (3/67 from 13), on three occasions he picked up crucial wickets and turned the game back in the Colts favour. It was obvious to all there that he has put in some hard work at training to gain greater consistency in his line and length.

Emerson took a good high catch from Thompson, the ball fizzing as it came down, and then picked up his first wicket this season with a lovely inswinger that collected most of the stumps and none of the bat on the way through. Millar put down a tough chance low and to his left whilst fielding in the slips and Auburn went to the break at 5/119.

There was little chance of Auburn chasing the runs but the Colts had to pick up another five wickets to collect the points. Sajdeh got a brief spell, searching for a cheap wicket, and was replaced by JRJ, who kept it tight but wasn't able to create the chance necessary. Mahaffey was brought on and kept the pressure on from one end whilst Thompson bowled from the other.

A partnership began to form and the Colts went twenty precious overs without a wicket. Mahaffey (1/38 from 12 overs) and Parfett (1/34 from 13 overs) both looked threatening, getting some extra bounce and the batsmen never looked comfortable, but it wasn't until Thompson collected the top of off stump as a batsman played back to a fuller ball that the Colts got the breakthrough they needed. Tweety then took a good catch at slip as the other batsman attempted to sweep Thompson and this brought two new batsmen to the crease.

(Sunny gets a spell)

Emerson (1/39 from 10 overs) had a second spell replacing Parfett and whilst creating a couple of opportunities, balls fell short or wide of fielders. A double bowling change, with only 11 overs left before stumps saw the ball passed to Millar and Ellison. Millar (1/13 from 11 overs) had a couple of balls fall short of the slips and gully and another couple fall agonisingly wide of the short leg fielder as he tested the batsmen with some deliveries in at the body.

With so many runs on the board it was possible for Tweety to set attacking fields throughout the day and it was Ellison (3/14 from 7.1 overs) who capitalised on the opportunity immediately after being handed the ball. Not unlike Matt Michael, who has a reputation in the top grade for cleaning up the tail, Ellison picked up the final three wickets in nine balls. The first was a skyed catch that the keeper ran out to square leg to take. The second was a well judged catch at mid-off by Sajdeh and the last a flick off the legs to Thompson at mid-wicket.

Celebrations began immediately for the Colts.

It must be mentioned that from his position down at fine leg, Millar noticed that after the first of Ellison's three wickets, the Auburn team walked around the ground to where the covers were kept and began to straighten out the hessian and roll out the big tarpaulin.

(Mark Thompson) 

Little faith.

But they could never be accused of having blind faith. Their actions assured them a speedy exit from the ground after their decision to prepare the covers early was justified by Ellison's spell of bowling.

It was a good win by the Colts, who dominated most of the sessions throughout the two days. Catching was greatly improved but ground fielding left a little to be desired on occasions. Congratulations to JRJ for his century the previous week, along with the three fifties from other players, and Thompson and Ellison for their crucial spells of bowling that assured the Colts of victory.

Just for the record, the fielding competition between Sticks, Sunny and JRJ, which saw them running across the outfield like men possessed, has been confirmed. The points are 4, 3, 3 respectively. No further comments will be entertained on this matter.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 4 Day 1

Colts report Round 4 Day 1

Regrets' I've had a few

Today there were 4.

The first was that the Colts haven't had much batting practice out in the centre. We have chased in every game and the top 3 have done the job. Whilst we were able to post 9/334 today, it defiantly showed that the lower order had yet to see the centre strip this season.

(Jason Russell-Jones)

The second was that I will miss the $100 I put down on Tweety not batting before Christmas. Batting first this week it was almost inevitable that he would make it to the centre.

The third was not being around in the 80's to see Tweety craft some big scores up in the top grade for Gordon. After finishing 50* today, in which there was barely a rash stroke, it was rumoured that he said 'it's just like riding a bike, you never forget how'. I bet that he has forgotten just how much work goes into scoring those runs ' but his muscles will be reminding him for a few days to come.

The fourth is that the Webmaster was absent from the game - a day in which there was much for the Colts to be proud. JRJ knocked up the ton he had been promising and Hanlon, Rabone and Tweety all made 50's.

It was a good day for Gordon Colts with many more priceless memories being created.

The day started off well with Tweety winning the toss for the second match in a row and much to our delight he elected to bat and keep the Colts out of the sweltering heat. Kenner and Sajdeh strode to the crease just as Ellison arrived to the ground.

There is a case of beer in that (very) late arrival.

Kenner (9) was caught trying to pull and Sajdeh (24) looked set and scoring freely before again being bowled, this time by an inswinging yorker. This brought Rabone and Hanlon to the crease. In quick time they both brought up classy 50's with a well balanced display of powerful shot-making, exquisite timing and finesse. Hanlon is very useful with the willow and the ball flew to the boundary numerous times as he outpaced Rabone who had a 20 run start to bring up his 50 before the break.

Tweety and Parfett have been installed as the opening umpiring combination, but as the heat got to them Kenner and Millar relieved them. Much to the delight of Millar who had spent a couple of hours listening to the self-proclaimed 'only official scorer in the Metro Cup' regale him with internet forum gossip from the Umpiring and Scorers homepage.

Enthralling.

Umpire Millar only lasted a couple of overs before having to rush back to strap on the pads. Kenner then adjudged Hanlon (50) to be adjacent to the stumps as he was rapped on the pads (although it may have been a little high, it was refreshing to see a dismissal given; especially after the last game ' Hanlon mightn't think so). JRJ strode to the crease and made a good start before loosing his senior partner, Rabone (50), the over before tea with a lazy shot to gully.

4/153 and the Colts were looking in a strong position but needed a steadying partnership after the loss of a couple of quick wickets before lunch. JRJ and Millar provided that. It was a shame that Millar (19) was just looking to capitalise on a solid start and had begun to place balls into gaps when he was caught behind. Ellison (0) followed quickly.

Enter Tweety. (Goodbye $100) Although for the first few balls he looked a little rusty, it was understandable. He was just grateful that he was still able to see them.

Especially after he took one on the forehead at midwicket a couple of weeks ago.

From that point forward, little missed the middle of the bat. Pull shots, cover drives, straight drives, glances and even quick(ish) running between the wickets.

Much the same, and more, could be said for JRJ's fabulous century. All the shots were played and although there were a few miscalculated runs through gully it was great to witness the innings that he had been promising for ages.

Many people say that you don't remember the hard work you put in at school and it is all the other things you that you look fondly look back on. Well in JRJ's case, it is almost certain the century will be remembered more readily than the HSC exams that he is currently sitting. A committed member of the Gordon Club it was a pleasure to finally see him make that big score especially during the middle of his exams.

Although it was easy to forget his knock, amidst the commotion of Tweety being out in the centre aptly supporting him, it shows that the commitment he puts into training is paying big dividends.

It is something for all club members to take note of.

Tweety gave JRJ a license to swing at anything after he brought up his hundred. It only lasted a short while and after blasting a couple of the head of the bowler JRJ departed for 109.

With only a few overs until the close of play, Emerson (1) and Parfett (5) went in search of quick runs and were able to support Tweety to his half century which he brought up in the last over of the day.

Much to the delight of the crowd and the bewilderment of Tiddles back at Killara.

The only trouble Mahaffey gave the scorers was how exactly to spell his name, but being 0* he could still post a few if Tweety decides to push for his hundred next week.

He will need a couple more pairs of gloves and a new cap if he is to do so. Sweat was pouring out of him at a phenomenal rate. He will be sore tomorrow.

It was a good day all round for the Colts against the strongest bowling attack yet. Next week will be tough and the bowlers need to keep the ball up to the bat. Square boundaries are short and the outfield is fast. All chances must be taken to ensure we get points from this game after being robbed by the weather last week.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH.

Dave Millar

Colts report Round 3

Colts report Round 3

It just wasn't Cricket

For those that think that Makybe Diva is sure thing of winning a third Melbourne Cup, it is a shame that the satchel swingers have again shortened its odds after it cleaned up at Mooney Valley.

But there is still hope. If you are looking for a good value bet in the next couple of weeks, I recommend that you go and see Tiddles. Not for one of those horses that Hornet wants to co-own but to place a bet on Dave Gray.

(Tweety the umpire)

The safe money bet is for Tweety not to wield the willow out in the centre before Christmas. Its great value at 30-1 and is sure to shorten once word gets out on exactly how he managed avoiding the centre strip this weekend; especially after the numerous photos the Webmaster took of him umpiring and conspiring to do anything else but bat.

Saturday 10:24am

After a frustrating week in the field, the Colts were looking forward to spending a long day occupying the crease and chasing a modest total set by Burwood Briars. Kenner and Hanlon, the incumbent pair, arrived early, along with Millar, to inspect the pitch.

They noticed three things awry and it began to dawn on them that the day wasn't going to go exactly to plan. Not one of the Burwood team had materialised. Tweety wasn't there (believe you me; he is punctual ' spurred on by the rousing address JOF delivered at training). But most worryingly, there was no pitch prepared.

A critical part of the oval for a cricketer, usually a crisp light brown, was a decidedly lush green colour. It was obvious Tweety had put money on himself not to bat before Christmas and had pulled the covers up over night allowing the grass to flourish in the moonlight' but that wouldn't explain the other team not turning up.

It quickly became apparent, when Tweety arrived, that he had not played a part in the lack of preparation of a wicket and that he was as annoyed as the rest of us.

Saturday 10:50am

Despite Falky being the supersub, and consequently making way for Ellison as he returned from duties in 5th Grade, the Colts team from last week had arrived (barring Thompson who was serving a Saturday detention ' despite Stobo's every effort to persuade the school otherwise). There was not a Burwood player in sight and it was obvious they had been informed earlier of the state of affairs out in the centre.

A courtesy call to the club or captain would have been nice.

Last week this report was censored by the editorial powers.The Colts had been gravely disappointed by some of the aspects of the game and these grievances were only heightened this week by the frustration of the situation. It should be followed up.

The outfield was dry and the weather had been reasonable the past couple of days. It seems a shame we were unable to get a game.

Saturday 11:15am

The benefit of players living in the vicinity of the ground means a camera is always close by, even if the photos are not sanctioned by the Webmaster himself. Sensing the opportunity, Hanlon was driven home to grab a camera and a few snaps of the pitch (and the team) were taken.

Sitting on top of the table at the beginning of the round, the Colts can further be disappointed if points are not awarded.

Saturday 11:35am

As we left the ground, disenchanted, one can only hope the upcoming game will be more enjoyable, played in a spirit in which those around Gordon have become accustomed.

Remember, 'Tweety not to bat before Christmas'. If the top order complies runs and we hold all our catches in the field those odds will continue to shorten. Get in early as the Colts are looking like a top unit.

UP GORDON GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Note*

The Gordon Cricket Club is very disappointed with the spirit of cricket not displayed by Burwood Brairs in the Metropolitan Cup and a protest will be considered.  

 

Colts report Round 3

Colts report Round 3

Tales from Yesteryear

As we stepped out onto a lush Ron Routley Oval it was noticeable that Knight wasn't present. Not because anyone actually cared (after his hundred last week, he deserved the promotion) but M Falk was in his creams at the beginning of a game. Not just to fill in.

Tweety and Falk in the same team. Legends have arisen from much less.


Tweety broke with tradition, obviously trying to impress the old club coach, and won the toss. He sent them in on a pitch that had a few damp patches but otherwise looked in good nick.

Early on in the piece there were discussions between Falk and Tweety (both hidden in the slips and gully) on Frogan's article published recently. I was privileged to be at slip as the two recounted many a day of cricket played between Manly and Gordon. Julian really does look like a carbon copy of Paul - but plays for the better side.

On a personal note, I was miffed that Frogan cites only 9 wins from the last 9 matches played. A journalist of such great (self proclaimed) talents should conduct greater research. For anyone around the ground this week would know that for the past three week the Colts have turned in strong performances that would cut it with those in higher grades. (2 wins from 2 played and on top of the table ' hope that saves some research time for you Frogan).

The thesis was submitted and so this week a different approach will be taken.

The Good Section

The Colts put in a great effort for the entire 74 overs that we were out in the field, with the bowlers tirelessly pounding the pitch and extracting movement and bounce.

Parfett and Emerson opened up and kept the bowling tight. Millar was brought on after 11 overs and in his second picked up a regulation wicket through to Hanlon behind the stumps. Parfett was finally rewarded for a gritty spell in which he dominated from the get-go and Burwood was looking shaky at 2/40 from 20 overs.

Emerson was swung around to the other end, but it wasn't until Ranney (1/16 from 4) replaced Millar did another wicket fall. Rod MacDonald, in his first game back, took a good wicket to go into lunch having them 4/90.

Parfett (2/30 from 16) and Thompson (1/17 from 7) opened up after lunch and both picked up early wickets to have them 6/96 and the Colts in a commanding position. Whilst Parfett toiled away at a good line and length, Thompson had trouble with his grip and sent a few loose ones down that were punished (either by the batsman or the umpire). This brought about a double change and M Falk was brought to the crease.

From ball one it was on a length, constantly rapping the batsmen on the pads in what could only be described as 'adjacent' to the stumps. Falky's best endeavours could not get a decision and resorted to getting a catch at mid off and a reeling leg stump to get his two wickets.

Millar (2/49 from 20) had a battle all afternoon, bowling 20 overs and having a couple of slips catches dropped. MacDonald (2/11 from 3.4) picked up the last with a great catch by Hanlon, diving backwards and juggling a top edge before hugging it to his chest.

The Stags went into bat.

The Bad Section

Although we dismissed Burwood for just under 170, there are still many places in which we can improve. Again catching has let us down and let them off the hook. Although there were no incidents like last week in which people were injured, catches that should have been taken were grassed.

Whilst I struggle to call myself a bowler, I can tell you that it is incredibly frustrating to see catches dropped. We have been lucky so far, our lapse last week didn't cost us the game, but our missed opportunities this week could do so.

It does provide some entertainment though; Dave Gray made up for coping one in the face last week by taking a good catch at second slip. However, he was extra special later. A full length dive had Tweety horizontal at least a metre off the ground!!! Unfortunately for the same bowler as last week, he grassed it. I reckon he might pull up a little sore after that one.

A couple of missed runout opportunities could also hurt later in the game. This all comes down to putting in some hard yards at training. I continue to stress the importance of using those resources we have at the club. Fielding is something we can all improve on.

The Ugly Section

Having dismissed Burwood, it was the job of the openers to see off 6 overs at the end of the day so that we would be set up for the run chase next week. Unfortunately, Sadjeh succumbed to their opening bowler and this left Hanlon and Kenner to see off the remaining four overs. Which they did so without further incident.

It was a shame that Sunny was dismissed. He oozes talent but just can't cop a break at the moment. It seemed all the not outs went Burwood's way and this was frustrating for Sunny. 

It will come, mate.

This Colts team has already shown grit and determination. That big score is just an innings away.

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

 

 

 

 

 

Colts Report Round 2

Colts Report Round 2

Colts Report vs Uni NSW 

Last week the report was critiqued by those that have editorial power and the feedback was that last week's Colts report wouldn't look out of place being submitted as a thesis. There were two ways to progress from that point; briefly summarise another convincing win, this time over UNSW, or give a blow by blow description of the events that unfolded through the day.

(Craig Knight acknowledges his century)

I chose the later.

In thesis style.

Abstract:

In a match of significantly higher standard than last week, Gordon Colts notched up a second victory under David Gray in as many matches. Craig Knight starred with the bat, supported aptly by 'Sticks' Kenner and helped Gordon make 5/243 (50 overs). Fry and Millar picked up three wickets a piece to bowl UNSW out for 214.

Introduction:

After a successful start to the season against a lacking Lindfield team, the Colts knew this week would be a much more difficult assignment. UNSW had previously disposed of a strong Sydney Uni team and the boys knew they were in for a challenge. Applying themselves to a tried an tested warm-up (from Tweety's era) the Colts were once again ready for the skipper to lose the toss ' this time to be sent in on a pitch that was dry and already starting to crumble.

Method:

Sadjeh and Kenner forced their way out to the middle, amidst the squalor of gale force winds. Kenner was late to the middle, having to put extra weight in his shoes to keep on the ground. Unfortunately, Sadjeh (9) was caught short trying to run on a fumble by the keeper and Knight came to the crease at 1/22. The next thirty overs saw a partnership of in excess of 150 until Kenner fell for 78.

(Craig Knight during his innings)

After a rough decision last week, the ledger was defiantly settled well and truly in 'Sticks' favour ' being dropped 3 times. He made UNSW pay dearly and started to look in good nick before being soundly caught on the 4th attempt. Hanlon (22) appeared at the crease and, with Knight suffering from fatigue, a big Friday night and a sore calf, pushed Knight for every run they could squeeze from the opposition before he was cleaned up by a ball that kept low.

With two overs to go Millar made his way onto the ground and next ball was able to congratulate Knight as he lifted one over covers for 4 to bring up a well deserved century. Amidst a flurry of big shots, Knight (102) was caught and Ellison (1) played all around one on the last ball, hoping to loft one through cow corner.

Halfway through and the Colts looked in good touch ' just under 5 an over and a strong bowling line-up bolstered by Chris Parfett.

A quick stop up at Randwick to sample the local cuisine and hear Tiddles complain about the abundance of prissy coffee shops and then back to David Philips to see James Ellison pick up where he left off last week, extracting an edge in the early overs which was snaffled by Hanlon down to his right. A second came as the giant Parfett, completely dwarfing his brother, induced another edge to the keeper.

(Greg Hanlon in action at UNSW)

Millar took two quick wickets, bowled and LBW, had a catch dropped and then another ferocious appeal for LBW dismissed. The score was 4/36 and the Colts looked on top. Fry and Ranny applied pressure in the middle overs, both snaring terrific catches from their own bowling.

Not being anywhere near a card carrying member of the bowling union, let alone the spin bowlers' union (don't think I have enough credit on my mobile for that kind of commitment ' nor willing English county women to get my leg over) it always surprises me how much further a bowler is prepared to go to take a return catch.

At this point our catching did let us down. Kenner was shaky under the high ball all day. The win was gusty and the poor boy was blown about all afternoon. Seeing a third catch come his way and being determined to keep hold of this one, Kenner got everything behind it ' except his hands. The result ' one straight to the honker and the claret ran freely down his shirt. A UNSW player, obviously a recent medical graduate administered the necessary first aid and Kenner was back on his feet.

UNSW needed 60 from the last 6 overs with only 2 wickets in hand. Millar was brought back into the attack and had one lofted in the direction of midwicket ' Tweety Town. Straight through the hands and cracked him across the forehead. Blood flowed and the long awaited return to cricket was looking like it could be cut down in its prime. Tiddles spent the remaining 5 overs keeled over on the sideline in hysterics. If only the Webmaster had not left after taking photos of Tweety's umpiring and had stayed around to get this on film. PRICELESS.

(Tweety signalling something...is it a no ball...bowling with a bent arm...or maybe half a four...we will never know)

Needless to say, the last two wickets were wrapped up and the Gordon song was sung with increased gusto. A job well done boys.

Results:

Gordon Colts are 2 wins from 2 matches placed under skipper Gray. Injured list includes Kenner ' massive blow to the nose ' and Gray ' copped one on the forehead. Tiddles will be in stitches for weeks and weeks. A story for the ages that one is.

Discussion:

Fielding must improve. One match it will prove crucial. Use the fabulous resources we have at our disposal. Michael Falk and Steve Thomlinson are always more than willing to help. It is always a great feeling to take that diving catch or run that bloke out. So get out there and make the most of those guys' experience.

Conclusion:

UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Dave Millar

Colts Report Round 1

Colts Report Round 1

Colts Report v Lindfield

(Sorry, no photos available. The Colts were finished before the Webmaster could get there!!) 

Those in attendance were treated to a performance fitting of the first win for the Gordon Club in any grade in season 2005/06.

Lindfield 66 (38 Overs) were defeated by Gordon 1/70 (16.2 Overs). A truly convincing display.

(Dave Gray at pre-season practice)

In a game that was widely heralded as the most eagerly awaited game in the past 20 years, David Gray was finally given the all clear from the team doctor and, after an enforced layoff of many, many a year, Tweedie lead the newly formed Colts team to a convincing victory over a Lindfield side that put up little resistance.

Perhaps the fines that JOF was threatening 2nd Grade has rubbed off in the lower grades or perhaps it was the willingness of the new blood in this Gordon outfit, but every member of the Gordon team arrived before the first sighting of the blue and gold from Lindfield. This seemed to set the empathic tone for the day.

A quick introductory season, in which new members of the club were welcomed and Tweedie laid down the rules, quickly turned into a warm up ' with Tweedie taking the bat of course.

Much to Tiddles' delight, who remarked that 'things haven't changed much in 20 odd years'.

The only disappointing part of the captain's play was that he failed to call the coin toss correctly and the Lindfield captain took no time in strapping on the pads and marching out to bat on what was a reasonable pitch for the first match of the new season.

The first few overs would be crucial in not only setting the tone for the match but more importantly for the rest of the season. A goal was set ' keep the Lindfield side to less than 25 of the first 10. With a boundary to one side that saw a conventional gully standing on the fence, this goal may have seemed a little optimistic.

It was in fact a much attainable goal; led by a fantastic opening spell from John Emerson and Mike McDermott who kept them contained to just 22 from the first 10. Whilst John was unlucky not to have one of the openers out early ' a regulation catch behind the stumps grassed ' it was the new Gordon keeper Greg Hanlon who wrapped his mitts around a tough chance of James Ellison's bowling to remove the first of the scratchy openers.

Dave Millar, brought on to replace Emerson, was keen to charge in against an old mate from back at school. After an infuriating number of plays and misses outside the off stump it was decided the batsmen should begin his shot well before the ball was in the keeper's gloves ' unlike his previous attempts. To this effect he spooned one back to the bowler and Millar had his mate out caught and bowled.

From 22 without loss, it was quickly 3 down for very few more, with Tweedie plucking one out of the air at 2nd slip. It just goes to show that class has remained with that man for many a year ' although he quickly claimed that he didn't see the ball coming.

A lesson learnt early by the colts side was that bowling in partnerships, consistent with the line and length, not only makes it easy for the captain to set fields, but will quickly lead to wickets.

A lesson that can sometimes be all too hastily forgotten at more senior levels.

To this effect, whilst Millar was toiling away at one end, putting ball after ball past the outside edge to one batsman that frustratingly found his way to that end each over, Ellison continued to pick up wickets. 5 in total. A good catch being taken at 'regulation' gully, resting on the boundary. Had he missed it, it would have been 6!

It must be said that the combined age of 5 wickets would have only just surpassed that of Tweedie; with most of the young men a little taller than the stumps themselves. Nevertheless, 5 for 5 is a memory to treasure.

A confident shout for LBW that was taking nothing but middle stump about three quarters of the way up was turned down by the Lindfield lad much to the dismay of Millar, who had begun to get the ball to nip back and now beat the inside edge of the SAME batsman he had been bowling to for what seemed like hours. He just couldn't get bat on ball.

Bowling in partnerships was all the rage, at least from Millar's perspective, who ended up with tight 1-14 from his 10, as he watched AJ Fry, the big New Zealander, pick up the same batsman with a very questionable LBW decision the very next over. At 7 for mid 40's, Gordon looked in a commanding position and it quickly became even more so as a rank long hop was missed and bowled the next Lindfield batsmen.

At this point a little bit of casualness crept into Gordon's play 'perhaps it was the omen of Tiddles returning from 1st Grade to see how his old sparing partner was holding up, especially from those who had been kept quiet in the field. Two run out chances were missed, both had two batsmen up the one end. A little bit of thought needs to go into our fielding. Throws need to go over the top of the stumps and in many instances a throw into the gloves is just as effective as a direct hit; especially when both batsmen are arguing at one end.

Whilst AJ picked up another, and set the foundation for another large haul this season (3/5 from 7 overs), the introduction of Mark Thompson meant that Lindfield would only face two more balls before being dismissed for 66 in the 38th over.

After the lunch break, which saw many a Colts' member make the quick trip to Killara to see Simmons make his maiden ton for Gordon, Sunil Sajdeh and McDermott began to hunt down the meagre total set by Lindfield. Although there was an early hiccup with McDermott playing at a wide one and being caught behind, Sajdeh and Knight steered the Colts home in record time, punishing anything that wasn't on a good length and scampering quickly between wickets. Sajdeh (32*) and Knight (30*) was all that Gordon needed to pass the 66 set by Lindfield.

Whilst Sam Ranney was unfortunate to see little of the action on the field, he spent much of the match furiously sucking on lozenges to make sure this sore throat would hold up to the team song to be sung by the majority for their first time. Knight has always been organised, religiously carrying toilet paper, extra creams, and any matter of useless items in his kit. This week he printed the Club song in anticipation of a victory. Such foresight and planning.

As the Koola change room reverberated to the sound of the Gordon song, it was noticeable that the team had already begun to gel. If further proof was needed, the whole team proceeded to travel to Killara Oval to watch the 1st Grade side play Blacktown and sink a few cold beers in the process.

Men, University of NSW will be a very different prospect, and whilst it was great to get a win under our belt, the intensity in the field must be lifted. The two run out chances missed, whilst not costly in this instance, could prove crucial and lead to the team chasing leather all afternoon. Fielding is something that we can all improve on and with Thomo there to help each week at training, there should be no excuse for players not to be showing a marked improvement throughout the season.

Congratulations on a great start to the season. It is great to get off to a flyer, but it is early days yet. Let's keep the victories coming

Up Gordon, Get Fah You Bah!


Dave Millar

 

Poidevin Gray Shield Match Reports 05/06

Poidevin Gray Shield Match Reports 05/06

The Poidevin Gray Shield is an age competition for grade clubs for players under 21 years of age.

The Poidevin Gray matches are played on a Sunday and is generally played over 7 rounds with a final for the top two placed teams.

Poidevin Gray match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 7

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 7

Poidevin Gray vs Parramatta

The under 21s arrived at Old Kings for the last round of the competition only to be informed that captain and fearless leader Hinton would not be playing after succumbing to a virus. Digga Dowsley got the call half way through a brekkie he was unable to complete, his mind racing with the boundless opportunities captaining would present him.

(Reece Bombas acknowledges his century)

He passed the first test, a good warm up was completed compounded by a win of the toss and the junior stags were batting. Justin Waller the first to fall in his debut appearance, he was followed shortly by Benny Garratt out caught behind in his last game. Dowsley and Bombas were moving things along nicely until Digga nicked one down the leg side off the newly introduced spinner, out for 29.

Dan Richtor's brother or EMO (Elliot Richtor) as he likes to be called joined Bomber and set about upping the run rate. For a youngster he must be unfit because he refused to run more than singles choosing instead to try and belt the ball to the boundary, albeit with his usual timing and style. He survived this way until on 30 he was caught at long off going for one too many.

(Ellior Richtor at Parramatta)

This brought Peace (Matt Makepeace) to the crease 'fresh' from the D&D ball the night before. Unsurprisingly he too was keen to minimise his running. The bowlers obliged him either bowling a good rock or a long hop, which he smoked to or over the boundary. On 32 the peacemaker was caught at mid on driving hard and flat.

All the while the bomber was doing what he does best, placing the ball and working hard for every run. He passed his fifty and with the departure of Peace was joined by the newly and justifiably promoted Schweens (Will Sweeney) who dinked the ball around for 12 before his dismissal. Michael came and went feeling 2 was a big enough contribution to make. The muppet (Nick Medcalf) followed Michael and according to him saw Bomber to his maiden ton for the stags. Medcalf finished not out 15 Bomber out on the last ball for a match winning 106 which was enjoyed by all especially the big man himself, Lenny Bombas a top bloke and constant fixture at all of Bomber's games, wisely choosing to drive his son down the F3 each week rather than throwing him the keys.

Having played a fair amount of cricket with the bomber over his two years with the stags I feel confident in commenting on his progress from a bat with potential who was good for 30 every game to a batsman who has reassessed the way he approaches his game. No longer relying on just talent, he has become a more mature and reliable batsman and cricketer as a whole. Bomber has developed a better sense for the game, which can only come with spending time in the middle in a variety of conditions and situations. This has been evident in his last three innings in third grade, which have all produced half centuries and has been capped off with a well deserved ton on Sunday, well done bomber.

(David Michael at Parramatta)

The lunch interval was highlighted by round two of Bochi at Old Kings. Digga having the inside running given he was present for round one when second grade played Parramatta earlier in the year. He is an interesting one Digga he throws overarm right handed but underarm left handed, go figure. Unfortunately for the competition it seems to work Digga triumphant followed by Garratt then Michael in a respectable third. Garratt appeared happy with himself but was a little quieter coming off at the end of the day after being humbled by Michael in the real competition 2-1, better luck next time Benny.

Parramatta got their innings of to a good start, a couple of dropped catches marring an otherwise solid fielding performance and allowing a 80 run opening stand. Chris Lee provided the first two breakthroughs following some good observations from Garratt. Medcalf claimed wicket number three. The run rate had slowed with the falling of wickets but Parramatta was still in a comfortable position. Emo and Michael bowled in tandem the pressure building in the middle with Digga's ring field proving hard to penetrate, this was added to by the constant remonstration coming from the grandstand.

(Reece Bombas hits the run to get his century)

Emo was rewarded for bowling full and straight two wickets both clean bowled as the batsmen tried to play across the line. The second falling for the sucker punch Garratt being dropped back to the fence leaving just the mid on in the circle on the leg side, Emo bowling an off stump line, the batsmen looked to work it into the massive gap on leg and missed, Emo didn't.

By the forty-fifth over Parramatta were nine down needing some where in the range of 8-9 an over Emo finishing with 3-32 of his 8, Michael 3-33 off his 10. The last wicket as it so often does proved difficult to take with some clean hitting for the number nine taking the bonus point away from us. Ling claimed the tenth pole with Peace taking the last of his three catches to add to an earlier stumping, to give the stags the win and valuable club championship points. Digga one from one as skip.

On behalf of the PG's squad for 05/06 I would like to thank Clive and Jan Hinton for their work as managers throughout the season it has been much appreciated by all the boys, as has Dick Huey's scoring and the ever present support of the most bronzed off all selectors T. Wilson

David Michael

(Photos Courtesy Michael Michael)

As this was David Michael's report he (modestly) didn't add anything about his bowling. Tiny Wilson would like the following added:

"David Michael bowled the best spell of spin bowling that I have witnessed this season. He dropped on the spot from his 1st over, showed superb flight, turned a little and did not bowl any short deliveries in his whole spell."

Well done David...Tiddles

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 6

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 6

Poidevin Gray Vs Mosman

The Gordon boys arrived at Killara keen to turn there season around. Unfortunately it slumped to a new low when we were beaten convincingly by Mosman. Hinton won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket which looked to have a bit of live in it but with temperatures soaring he thought it would be a good wicket if we got through the new ball onslaught.

Unfortunately this was not to be due some good bowling and some poor shots and Gordon were reduced to 9 for 80 with Bomber being the only one to show any sort of resistance. Thankfully Will Sweeney continued his good form and along with debutant Chris Lee managed to put on 50 for the last wicket to give ourselves a fighting to chance.

130 at the half way mark and the boys were confident we could knock Mosman over. Unfortunately the wicket had settled down and they knocked off the runs 4 down in the 33rd over. Nick Medcalf was his ever reliable self bowling a tight 8 over spell and was rewarded with two wickets. Dave Michael took a pole and Chris Lee grabbed one. Special mention must go to Chris Lee who batted and bowled well on debut.

One game left boys, lets fire up and a get a win to finish the season. We owe it to ourselves, the club and the academy to put in a much improved effort this Sunday.

Sam Hinton

Gordon's Poidevin Gray team is sponsored by:

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 4

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 4

Poidevin Gray Report vs Sydney University

The PG's squadron assembled bright and early on Sunday morning with the clear objective to improve on a poor last start with a victory over the SUCCer's.

Having endured a frustrating loss to the Students the day before in reserve grade, the 'coastal connection' demonstrated their eagerness for action by arriving some 20 minutes prior to Captain Puppet's ridiculously early expected arrival time (or perhaps they'd just left too early, or was it Lenny's lead right foot?).

(Nick Dowsley during his 94 at Killara)

Len's inclusion as driver was a welcome return for this scribe, having spent the previous afternoon somewhat bewildered for the length of the F3 as Dildo and Bombas quizzed each other on celebrities they would or wouldn't sleep with. Many names were floated and surprisingly enough, the only name to be deemed a 'no' from both parties was Mel Gibson- and it was hesitant at that!

Back at the ground, anticipation turned fever pitched as thoughts switched to the impending clash. After a poor performance in the previous away encounter, the top 5 were committed to maintaining their unbeaten home record in the pre-match football (soccer) match against the bottom six, who had stolen victory the match-up before. Needless to say the top six's expansive total football was too much for their ill-prepared combatants- two plays one gentlemen! Kudos to Dazzler for his inspirational efforts throughout.

Meanwhile at the cricket, the skipper, true to form, lost his third toss from as many attempts, and the Stags would be in the field.

The young Stags commenced well with Gos(Ling) removing an overly enterprising Student who (in hindsight) perhaps should have allowed himself the luxury of the 22 yards afforded him, rather than drastically shortening his odds by walking at the Big Bird.

(Sam and Nick show how well they run together) 

What followed was a commanding innings by the Uni first drop who posted an unbeaten 106. Although this innings dominated the 50 overs, the Stags did well to contain the Students to 236, who at one point appeared to be heading beyond 260.

The bowling and fielding was determined throughout, however at times it drifted from the appropriate line and length, and some bowlers paid the maximum toll- a few too many 'HORNS' for this scribe's liking.

The Captain successfully hid himself (and his elbow) in the field for the majority of the innings until he pounced on a late order run out, the first of which he would be involved in that day- more on that later.

Bowling honours went to Dowsley (3/42 off 10), Will (3/ 43 off 10), and Josh Ling with 1/28 off 10. Dowsley was particularly effective against his former club mates, prompting one observation that it 'was the first time he'd been too quick' (for a batsman) in some time.

(The Peace back in form)

The more youthful Richtor also provided able support to the attack after discovering that 'half tracker' was not his ideal length. He's a quick learner El, and we have seen glimpses of his undeniable potential in the last two PG's fixtures- definitely a player to watch out for (not just a pretty face, eh?).

During the luncheon interval, significant home town support gathered at the ground in anticipation of the chase ahead- The majority of this was made up of the Garratt rent-a-crowd who were particularly looking forward to the prospect of an early over assault from their hero and his Dazzling opening partner.

However it was not to be their, or Gordon's, afternoon.

Determined to improve upon their last match start, Bobby Dazzler was caught at first slip on the last ball of the first over, and the Garratt rent-a-crowd was devastated when their hero was struck outside the line, however still adjudged LBW on the first ball of the next (Hawkeye analysis provided by S. Hinton)

2 for 2. Not what we'd anticipated.

The Captain and Elroy went about resurrecting the innings with a delightful partnership, especially enjoyed by the crowd viewing the proceedings over the freshly manicured Killara hedge (May Reg's claim to the best hedge-job in the club be under threat?)

Unfortunately, the skipper's involvement in his second run-out for the day saw the third wicket fall, as Sam's stay at the crease came to a premature close.

As he had the previous day, Dowsley played magnificently, timing an array of seemingly effortless cover and on-drives, cuts and pull strokes. His 94 held the innings together and he was ably supported by firstly Hinton (21), then Bombas (20) and an entertaining (return to form?) 35 from the Peacemaker.

With the required rate beyond nine an over, the hope's of the assembled Gordon faithful were boosted by the return of the (in)famous Makepeace slap over mid-on and whip over square, both earning maximum rewards.

Unfortunately however, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and the total was always just beyond our grasp, all out for 216 in the 49th.

The PG's now have one win from three matches and although out of touch with the competition leaders, will regroup in the hunt for pride and all important club championship points over the remaining rounds.

(Old man wiz Marty)

P.S. On behalf of the 'future of the club', I'd like to pass on congratulations and best wishes to retiring club stalwart Marty Reynolds who himself was the future of the club way back when in the 80's. The majority of the PG's squad has played with Old Man Wiz over the past few years (some riding shotgun in his very own Ferrari) and collectively we have learned volumes from him about the game of cricket and the way in which it was intended to be played (and celebrated!).

No doubt we'll see Marty down old Chatswood way in the not too distant future.

PS. I wonder how many members of the current PG's squad will still be playing for the GDCC in 25 years time?

Ben Garratt.

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 3

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 3

Poidevin Gray Report

GORDON vs RANDWICK-PETERSHAM

The young stags arrived at Petersham oval looking to carry on the joyous mood that was created at the Christmas party. Warm up was always going to be a relaxed affair, however not that relaxed that you warm up in your circuit kit though dazzle. This left a few onlookers saying 'what about the dazzle?' but not in the same nostalgic tone that selector Wilson says it. Brad had stayed at a team mate's house the night before and his clothes were late in arriving.

(David Michael in action)

S.J Hinton called incorrectly and the stags were inserted on an overcast day on a very green batting wicket. This coupled with some very good bowler (and some not so good batting) managed to reduce Gordon to 5 for 26. The top five batsmen were all dismissed caught behind the wicket in single figures. However luckily Mr BOMBASTIC and Eliot ' Off the Richtor, off the richtor', managed to bat us out of this precarious position with some tremendous stroke play. The pair put on close to a hundred and showed the sort of discipline needed to succeed on a difficult wicket. Elliot made 53 while Bomber finished just short of what would have been a well deserved 50.

Now the make or break moment of the game arrived, Hinton turned to his right and said 'Plums you're my man.' However the gamble to elevate Plummer up the batting order failed with AP holding out in the deep for 1. On walking off Plummer was heard to say that 'even Michael Hussey fails every now and again', a comment which seemed to amuse a very sheepish looking selector Wilson. The remaining few overs played out with a couple of lusty blows as the stags stumbled to 9 for 145.

Sweeney and Plummer took the new ball with little affect and it was clear that a couple of hours of sunlight had flattened out the wicket. Mark Smith came on first change and bowled extremely well. He was responsible for the first three breakthroughs which gave the stags an outside chance. Dave Michael also toiled away manfully and returned the match figures of 1 for 26 off 9 overs, which was a tremendous effort considering he was bowling with a broken finger. This effort did not surprise his captain as Dave is one of only two players who have been hardened by 12 years of underage representative cricket for the club. Elliot Richtor bowled a couple of overs of handy meds while Dowsley one over went for 17. Hinton bowled one heavy delivery that was edged just over the dazzle's outstretched hand at first slip to finish of the match. The debate about the fifth bowler is very much alive TIDDLES.

(Andrew Plummer)

After the game Plums was the first to admit that he didn't live up to the hype today. It was one of those days that made Bowral seem a distant memory. However he was quite chuffed about the young lady he bought to the Christmas party and when quizzed about her, he replied 'Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.' I for one am sure Plums will bounce back and would like to run a poll on the Gordon Website:

Is Andrew Plummer a Match winner?

Yes No

Vote Now

Surely something can be arranged web master Stephenson.

All and all it was pretty dismal day, but the one shining light was the debut of young Richtor. This kid looks a good prospect and it would be wise of him to steer clear of his older brother and Dan's good time buddies.

This is only a minor hiccup in our season and I still believe that the PG'S side is finals bound. The foundations of the 10 year plan is still rock solid.

S.J. Hinton

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 1

Poidevin Gray Report Rd 1

Poidevin Gray Report vs Fairfield

The Poidevin Gray season began with a bang with Gordon easily accounting for Fairfield. As I scanned the dressing room before the game it was noticeable that a lot of the core members of 2004/05 season had moved on. Hosking, Richtor, Cashman, Sutton and Hopes were no longer among us and have been replaced by quality in the form of Rasool, Dowsley, Bombas, Smith and Mallos. This was a new look team bound by cries of effort and intensity from Medcalf.

(Andrew Plummer at Killara on Sunday)

Fairfield won the toss on a flat wicket and elected to bat. What transpired next I'm sure will be remembered for a long time to come, absolute genius at work. Strong praise I know but when I am talking about Andrew Plummer it is more than justified.

Plummer steamed in showing no ill effects from his heavy workload while resting his injured shoulder in 5th grade and within a few overs Fairfield were two down. He ended his first six over blast with 2 wickets but had sown seeds of doubt throughout the Fairfield ranks. All of this from a player who the selectors were considering leaving out due to a lack of match fitness. Thankfully I was able to twist their arm as a 75% fit Plums is still to say the least a match winner.

Plummer is an absolute captain dream and I am sure this won't be the last time that Plums makes me look good this season. While all this was going on Smithy, fresh from his magazine debut, was able to keep the pressure on from the other end. It was during this opening burst that Dave Michael, co-captain and sole survivor with me from the Gordon U'10s rep team, was able to swoop on the ball to affect a run out.

(Josh Ling lets one go)

The pressure built up from the opening burst was continued beautifully by Ling, Dowsley and Medcalf. Ling bowled superbly setting a great example of how to bowl one side of the wicket. His consistency began to wear down the Fairfield batsmen and was rewarded with the match figures of 2 for 15 off 7. Dowsley also chipped in with a wicket and by this stage Fairfield were reeling at 6 for 90 off 27. Dave Michael replaced Ling and was successful with his first delivery.

Now with Fairfield 7 down and prompted by a few of my teammates I decided to go for the kill and bring back Plums. Once again Plums didn't disappoint taking a wicket in his first over with a reverse swinging yorker. A small partnership developed which was broken by an excellent piece of fielding by Benny Garrett. Benny scooted around the boundary and whipped in a flat throw over the bails to find the Fairfield batsmen short of his ground. Dave Michael took the final wicket in the next over when a dipping, drifting off break was squeezed out to Bombas at short cover.

Fairfield all out for 145.

It was a great display of fielding lead by the surprisingly sober looking Matt Makepeace. A luxury which I am sure will prove to be a rarity.

During the lunch break a few of the Gordon boys overheard the Fairfield boys suggesting that ' Hinton was seeing the game a few balls before it happened'. Tactical genius or good luck, only time will tell.

(Reece Bombas smashes one to the mid wicket boundary)

The Gordon run chase began shakily thanks mainly to a dubious caught behind decision by club stalwart Billy Hendricks on fellow South African Brad Rasool but then again firing Stags seems to be the flavour of the month for Billy.

The advantage was wrestled back by BG who went after all the bowlers hitting them to every part of the ground. It seemed that BG had his heart set on the double bonus point. While this was going on Nick Dowsley was accumulating runs in a graceful manner, convincing the onlookers that big things are sure to come from this talented player.

I heard one very tanned selector say that he is the most talented player to come out of Grammar since Anthony Wilson, lets just hope he doesn't turn out like Tids.

(Nick Dowsley shows off his Grammar style)

Dowsley fell after a promising start and his wicket was shortly followed by BG for 65. Bombas and Hinton were left to see the team home and ensure that the bonus point was achieved. Bomber played a very technically correct innings in front of his batting coach watching in the stands. An innings which justified Len's decision for Reece to have a travelling batting coach this year.

A promising start from a promising team.

It's great to be Gordon down old Macquarie way.

Sam Hinton

 

Second Grade Match Reports 05/06

Second Grade Match Reports 05/06

The Second Grade team plays for The Albert 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.

Second Grade match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

2nd grade report Round 15

2nd grade report Round 15

2nd Grade Report v University of New South Wales

Round 15, 6th v 7th in the 2nd Grade competition, a semi-final spot up for grabs, yet it was a game played in the very best spirit. Disappointing to lose, but a fitting atmosphere in which to finish the season.

(Stobs at UNSW)

In my years of playing Grade cricket I have always enjoyed playing against the University of New South Wales. Many good people have played for the Bumblebees, and there is a real sense of 'club' about the place.

Some outstanding men, like Jim Dixon and Jim Robson, are still putting in down the grades, and others, like Greg Livingstone, are around about. It's a club with a soul.

And it was great to be back at the Village Green ' or 'The Hive', as I heard it referred to on Saturday. It's a terrific place to play cricket. A good sized ground, for a start. Easily the best outfield we've seen all season, and probably as good as anywhere in the state. Excellent wicket, which would certainly favour the batsmen.

And, most importantly, changing rooms in which you could swing any number of cats, if that's what took your fancy.

Howitt, of course, lost the toss. It goes without saying.

In fact, I feel like a fool, reporting it.

(Hoppa at Village Green)

It's like stating that the sun came up this morning. It's like saying summer follows spring.

It's like saying that Higgins has no friends. And doesn't know how to use an apostrophe.

Not one successful toss since Christmas. Not one in 2006.

Winning premierships involves some good fortune during the season, including winning the toss from time to time. No one's fault, of course, but it goes to show how things have got to fall into place if you want to progress in the competition. But not much you can do about it.

University chose to bat. As you would.

And they got away to a good start. Nearing five an over, they capitalized on indifferent bowling lines, and missed chances.

While the ground fielding has generally been good, the side has put down a number of catches this season, which has been frustrating. And it cost us on Saturday.

The first wicket fell as the score neared 90. We were clinging on to the cliff.

(Will Sweeney at Village Green)

Then Hokin does what only Hokin can do. He leaps about 60 feet into the air and clings on to a catch with his extendable right hand. Inspector Gadget couldn't have done it better.

From the half way point, Gordon started to claw things back. Howitt bowled well, and claimed three wickets. Hokin did a good job, as did Dowsley. Still a couple of catches went down, but all in all it was commendable to restrict them 9-231.

It could have been so much worse.

Garratt certainly did his bit in the field. He doesn't miss a beat, and hasn't all season. He was dependable on the ground, and held on to a typically good catch in the deep. I can't speak for 1st Grade, but Garratt would have to be among the two or three best fieldsmen in the rest of the Club.

Despite what others say about him, I reckon he's alright.

Our turn to bat. I missed the first wicket. Getting coffees from Randwick for the Captain and the scorer towards the end of lunch. Found a very good second hand bookshop, and Livermore was out before I got back.

After that, it all plodded along a little tenderly, and we were always just off the pace. Wickets fell at the wrong times, and innings never got the momentum that it needed. The bowling was steady, as was the fielding.

(Mark Wiese shows his style)

Hokin and Bombas passed 30, and Dowsley looked good before being run out for 45, but it was not enough.

Furthermore, during the day we got the news that University had had a point reinstated, that had been taken away some time ago for slow over rates.

This was important.

I meant that a loss would not see us home on quotient; University would be a point ahead, and in the semis.

But as this was all being confirmed, wickets continued to fall, and University was in a position to get a bonus point, making it all academic anyway. As Universities do.

In the end, chasing an improbable victory, Gordon was bowled out for 183, one run shy of the target needed to prevent the bonus point going to University.

And, unknown to anyone at the ground at the time, Sutherland had picked up bonus points in their game, and would have snuck into the semis, but for the University bonus point. So it did matter in the end.

And Gordon finished 8th as a result.

There was a sense of disappointment in the room after the game. Semis are hard to reach, and we knew that we'd let an opportunity slip.

But, to be honest, our game had holes in it, and we suffered as a result. Semi final teams hold their catches, bowl tight lines, and chase down scores. We did these things well at in patches, but were too inconsistent in the second half of the season.

(There is plenty left in the old fox)

As they say in the military, defeat in detail.

But, as it was said after the match, things can't be all bad when we are not satisfied with an 8th place finish. Gordon's come a long way in the past few years. Expectations have, rightly, grown.

To Little Ed ' THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE WORK THAT YOU'VE PUT IN, ON AND OFF THE FIELD. You are a champion to play along side, and I've loved every minute of it. The energy and perspective that you've given to the Club this season has been sensational.

The 2nd Grade Premiership remains a gap in the CV, but hopefully that will be rectified in the not too far distant future.

It's just a pity that you kept bringing your father along.

And as for next season, I'm not sure what it holds at this stage. Too far off to think about.

But I am rather hoping that Higgins takes up the 2.37am offer made by the North Sydney 5th Grade captain.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 14 day 2

2nd grade report Round 14 day 2

2nd Grade Report v North Sydney (Day 2)

First things first: WELL DONE, 1ST GRADE!! Back where we belong, fighting it out in the semi-finals. I know that there's still a lot to be achieved, but you have already given pride back to the Club in a way that no other team could have. And once you're in the semi-finals, amazing things can happen.

(Damon Livermore)

Now, 2nd Grade. Chasing 241, Gordon 1-9 overnight. Garratt and the nightwatchman, Wiese, at the wicket. Incidentally, Wiese, as nightwatchman, had a duty, I thought, to protect the recognised batsman (ie. Garratt) from the strike the evening before. But I seem to recall that he was in for twelve balls, took a single from the only ball he faced, and left Garratt to face the remaining eleven. Perhaps it was Garratt who was the nightwatchman '?

Either way, the pair commenced the day cautiously. North Sydney set a field not seen in Sydney since 1972, with a leg gully, a shortish backward square leg, and a squarish mid-wicket. It was a sort of mini-leg theory. But it was to no avail, as Wiese and Garratt slowly built their partnership with singles, and occasional boundaries.

All was right with the world.

(The Norths "Legside" theory)

Eventually, with the score on 82, Garratt was adjudged LBW (a little unlucky, a few observers thought). He had made a well judged 42. Wiese followed not long after lunch, with the score still on 82, but no bother. Given that he wasn't feeling the best, his 47 was impressive, and he had certainly done his job for the team. But having played with Wiese last season I, for one, wasn't in the least surprised.

Then it became the Livermore-Hokin show. It was a massacre. 261* put on for the 4th wicket ' one run shy of the 2nd Grade record, set by O'Neill-Fuller and Cashman earlier in the season, against Manly. To be honest, the bowling was not all that threatening.

The 241 was passed just before tea, and then the two really went to town, adding about 100 in the hour to 5.00pm. There was a queue of seven other players with pads on in the pavilion, and there was going to be a race to the gate if a wicket fell. Both Falks and even Wilson had padded up as well.

Admittedly the North Sydney boys weren't all that keen to be out there, but our quotient needed attention with the semi-finals looming. Furthermore, but not part of the decision to bat on after tea, I could not help but think that a few Gordon teams had probably been on the receiving end of similar hidings not all that many years ago, probably without a lot of sympathy from the opposition.

(Ben Garratt)

Livermore hit some glorious straight shots, including a powerful low drive to the southern end that hit the trees near the carpark as it was levelling out. He finished on 140*.

Hokin was a little more circumspect, and played a very good complementary role. His cover driving was a feature. He brought up his 100 with what would be the final ball of the day, and it was fitting.

Therefore, a satisfying day, although most of us did bugger all.

What happened after that, I can't report on.

Happily.

Because I left the ground.

Others didn't, and that makes me shudder.

UNSW this week. 6th playing 7th. Six point gap, and quotients fairly close.

But, with bonus points, 8th and 9th are in the hunt as well.

Although Picollo and Wilson have probably examined every permutation from every conceivable angle (what if an asteroid hits the Village Green before the 25 over mark of the second innings, and Eastern Suburbs have already won their game with a bonus point'?), put simply, to win is to put all other factors out of the equation.

(Rod Hokin digs one out)

It's as basic as that.

PS. A final word: this was, presumably, our last home game of the season. Therefore it was the last time that Pam and John Cosgrove would be on hand to help out at Killara for us. I have reported earlier in the year that they are legends, and I reiterate it here. Thanks, the Cossies ' you're great people to have around, and we've really appreciated your efforts. I hope that you've enjoyed the wins, and it was great to have John in the room at the end of the game, singing the song that he'd sung so often in his days in 1st Grade.

Richard Stobo

The second grade report is sponsored by:

www.fitnessinfusion.com.au

 

 

 

2nd grade report Round 14 day 1

2nd grade report Round 14 day 1

2nd Grade Report v North Sydney (Day 1)

Odd sort of a day on Saturday. Sort of good, sort of not so good. North Sydney dismissed for 241 off 93 overs, on a flat wicket, which was alright. But it could certainly have been for less, had we held our catches. Then a wicket at the end of the day meant that we finished at 1-9.

As usual, Howitt lost the toss. No real surprises there, but he was considering bowling anyway. A 9.30am start to the warm up meant that, by 11.00am, the side already had virtually a session under its belt, so it could hit the ground running.

(Rod Hokin against Norths)

There might have been a consequence for this at 5.00pm, however, as the side was deep into the fourth session.

Connell and Sweeney opened, and bowled quite well. Connell struck early, but it was slow going.

One opener was wearing a cap. He had to be bounced. Eventually Connell did, and the batsman looked to hook. The ball skied up, and Wiese completed the 'catch'.

Not out.

Why not?

Because the ball had not hit the bat; rather it had cannoned straight in to the batsman's head.

I can't explain it. I have no doubt whatsoever that the umpire was right, but why wasn't the batsman dead? He didn't even pause between deliveries, let alone rub it.

Another bouncer a short while later was indeed skied off the bat, but fell with pinpoint accuracy between three fieldsmen ' fine leg, square leg, and the keeper. It was to be that sort of day.

(Ed Howitt at Killara against Norths)

Then a piece of Hokin brilliance. A ball was hit just behind square leg, where Hosking fielded it. The batsmen thought about a run, and Hosking had a shy at the keeper's end. He missed. The batsmen then set off for an overthrow. There was pandemonium. Hokin, backing up in the covers, picked up the ball and, from a distance of about 20 metres, threw down the stumps at the bowler's end. It was like one of those 'two stump' drills that we do endlessly, and it was terrific.

Connell took his second wicket, but then a frustrating partnership followed. Frustrating for the fact that catches were put down left right and centre. Two at slip ' one each off Howitt and Stobo ' and then a piece of Hokin unbrilliance as he dived for a ball that was coming straight to him at short cover. The same batsman each time.

Eventually Howitt made the breakthrough, by bowling the North Sydney mainstay around his legs.

It was also at about this time that Garratt introduced himself to the game. He fields well, does Garratt, and is certainly committed. He has held some very good catches in recent times. But his effort on Saturday was memorable.

(Mark Wiese is all concentration at Killara) 

Chasing to the eastern side of the ground, he realised too late that the ball was going to beat him to the fence, and therefore had no choice but to vault over it. Sadly for him, at that particular place there is very little room before a bank drops steeply down for eight or so feet.

It was spectacular. All that could be seen from the other side of the ground was a pair of legs disappearing into oblivion.

It reminded me of Joe Simpson disappearing in to the crevasse in Touching the Void.

But soon enough Garratt hopped up, dusted himself down, and clambered back onto the field of play.

Howitt's wicket was followed by another. Hokin redeemed himself by picking up not just the next one, but the three after that as well.

There was one particularly amusing one.

A left hander was on strike, and it was clear that he was keen to get after Hokin if he was given the chance. Hokin realised this, and made a deliberate fielding change, dropping a fieldsman to the cow corner position on the western side.

He then delivered what is quite possibly the slowest, loopiest delivery ever bowled. It travelled at the speed of continental drift. Before it had landed, the Himalayas had risen by a couple of centimetres. The batsman fell for it, charged down the wicket, played all around it, and was stumped by Wiese, who had spent an eternity waiting for the ball to get to him.

(Like a good web photographer, the webmaster was there to catch the moment of Mark Wiese about to stump the Norths batsman from the world's slowest delivery)  

The second new ball was eventually taken, but it meant runs, rather than wickets. Eventually, however, the final few wickets did fall, to Connell, and the innings was closed.

There was a testing time remaining. Three overs.

Picollo faced the first over, and was struck on the pads with the fourth and fifth deliveries. As one can imagine, the North Sydney players were all around the bat, and screaming for anything that smelt like a chance. Both appeals were denied. However, when Picollo was struck on the pads with delivery six, the appeal was monumental, and he was given out.

It was apparently said later by one North Sydney player that the ball may in fact have hit Picollo's bat first. This would be disappointing if it was true. Particularly given that Picollo had worked hard in the field all day, and had encouraged his bowlers to a man.

Wiese was sent in as nightwatchman, but only faced one ball ' Garratt faced all of the rest ' before stumps were drawn at 6.00pm.

233 to get. Nine wickets in hand. An interesting ' and important ' day ahead.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 13 day 2

2nd grade report Round 13 day 2

2nd Grade v Western Suburbs (Day 2)

Day 2. 2-69, chasing 181. Short western boundary, and Cashman and Garratt at the crease.

Things began breezily enough, and the two quickly hit their stride, both in terms of boundaries, and running between the wickets. Both passed 50, and things were going swimmingly. Until, with his score on 61, and the team's score on 2-132, Garratt was a little slow out of the blocks ' he has a loping running style akin to an antelope ' and was comprehensively run out. The throw from midwicket never looked like missing, and took the middle pole out of the ground.

(Jeremy Cashman against Wests)

Makepeace hit a typically brisk 12 (three boundaries), before being caught. Dowsley then walked in, as Captain Howitt passed selector Stephenson and Nurse Falk, sitting in the Members Area. Howitt was wearing shorts and a tee shirt at the time. He was next in to bat. Stephenson commented that Howitt clearly had faith in his players.

Alas, Dowsley was out first ball, hit on the fall and palpably LBW. Howitt was under the pump. The changing room was a hive of frenetic activity, as Howitt searched for all of his bits and pieces. He made it, just, and survived the hat trick.

(Ben Garratt during his 61)

One can only wonder what the decision would have been had the Western Suburbs boys appealed for a 'Timed Out' decision.

It's also interesting that, when Howitt went out to bat, Sweeney, Lee and Stobo all padded up. Clearly less faith placed in Howitt than he placed in the upper order.

For the record, Howitt batted for 33 minutes for 9, but he did see Gordon to the first innings points.

Cashman, who had batted beautifully while all of this was going on, passed his hundred. His third for the season, and as impressive as either of the previous two. Importantly, he was there when the first innings points were secured; a mark of a valuable innings, and very good player.

He fell soon after, for 104, with the score on 206, and Sweeney walked to the wicket. From the moment he walked in, he looked in control, with balance and timing.

Howitt fell, was replaced by Lee and, with Sweeney, added 39 for the 9th wicket. He contribution was 4, before he was stumped, but a stylish 4 it certainly was.

(Matt Makepeace starts with a four) 

Stobo hit a reasonably ugly 18, before hitting a full toss back to the bowler, for the second week in a row. Clearly the word has got around. His Achilles' heel. The bloody full toss. He did manage one six, to the short western boundary, and learned from the man at cover in no uncertain terms that the boundary was a bloody joke, etc., etc. Stobo didn't say a word, but it crossed his mind that the boundary was in exactly the same place that it had been last week, when Western Suburb's had batted, and they weren't complaining then.

Sweeney finished on 45*, his highest score for the Club. His batting average is over 35, and his bowling average is 16, with a strike rate of 28. He's turning in to a very useful cricketer.

Incidentally, Stobo's batting average is now above his captain's. Not by much, admittedly, but it's higher nevertheless. They're certainly queuing up for the No. 8 spot.

Gordon was dismissed midway through the second session, for 270, and a lead of 89.

At lunch, when Gordon had a lead of only 8, there had been talk of declarations, etc., but this came to naught.

If an outright was to be secured, early wickets would be needed. Sweeney provided them. He targeted the left handed opener's leg stump, as he had in the first innings, and once again the ball crashed into it. Then his second wicket, an LBW.

The Western Suburbs' No. 4 came out, and looked like he didn't plan to be around for too long, as he tried to crash most deliveries through the off side field. Something had to give, and it did when he shanked one to Sherman, positioned for just such an eventually at short midwicket.

(Skipper Howitt duing his polished 9) 

Western Suburbs were 3 for not many, still a lot behind, and looking fragile. It could have been worse for them. Their captain, who opened, admitted at tea that he had touched one through to the keeper, but the half-hearted appeal at the time was not convincing.

An interesting little episode followed. The Western Suburbs' No. 5, who'd made the observation about the short western boundary, and had looked far from convincing in the first innings, was dropped at first slip. He then stuck with his captain for half and hour or so, before playing what can only be described as a very rash shot, against the spin, off Howitt. He skied the ball towards that very same boundary, where Garratt took a fine outfield catch. Perhaps the boundary was indeed further away than he thought.

It was an ordinary piece of cricket, but Stobo was wrong to observe 'That was terrible', as he trotted past the outgoing batsman. It was a comment that should never have been made, and he apologises unreservedly if it caused offence. It was certainly undignified.

The Western Suburbs captain, and the No 6, then played out overs until lightning forced the players from the field, according to the 30/30 rule.

No further play was possible, as patchy rain fell, and further lightning meant further delay.

Play was finally abandoned at about 6.15pm, and the six points were safely in the bank.

(Will Sweeney in action)

Two more rounds. North Sydney next. At Killara once again.

I love playing at Killara, but it's hard yakka bowling there at the moment.

Important game with the semi-finals looming. Nice to have chalked up another win, but the team's got to lift a cog or two across the park. Too much being done by too few; we've got to be ruthless, and give away nothing.

Our best lies ahead. I've absolutely no doubt about it. And we'll start to see it in Round 14.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 13 day 1

2nd grade report Round 13 day 1

2nd Grade v Western Suburbs (Day 1)

If Howitt loses another bloody toss, there's going to be a revolt.

He dutifully walks out to the middle, spends forever chatting happily with his opposing captain, and then listens politely as he's told whether we're batting or bowling.

(Ed Howitt at Killara)

The wicket was pretty much void of grass. We were bowling. Bugger.

Connell's first ball was a good 'un. Full, straight, and hit the batsmen on the toe. It must have been very close. At least, it looked good from gully. But no luck for Connell.

Which reminds me. I pondered last week whether or not any player at Gordon had ever been dropped from 1st Grade after a five wicket haul. It had happened to Connell.

Then, somewhat amazingly, Connell took another five wicket haul in 1st Grade, and again found himself in 2nd Grade the next week.

In 2004-05 Connell played for an entire season in 1st Grade, and barely took five wickets in total. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get dropped.

Strange days.

Sweeney took the first wicket, bowling the Western Suburbs' opener around his legs. It seemed to come against the run of play somewhat, as nothing much seemed to be happening, but there you go.

(Dylan against Wests at Killara)

The Western Suburbs second wicket then slowly set about building what they hoped would be a large total on what was a batting day.

There were a number of shouts for LBW ' all declined by the umpires ' as the batsmen were often caught playing around their front pad. In fact, I can not recall the pads being hit so frequently in a session. The fielding was good, and the bowling was tenacious, the runs were only coming slowly; one sensed that it was a matter of time before something had to give.

At lunch the score was 1 for 80-odd, off 32 overs. Quite slow going for a flat Killara wicket, near the western side of the square.

Things continued plodding along after lunch, and Western Suburbs reached 1-122 before the game changed completely.

Howitt trapped the No. 3 LBW, and then soon after dismissed the opener, caught at a shortish midwicket by a Picollo. Or was it caught at midwicket by a shortish Picollo? I forget.

Anyway, the Western Suburbs No. 5 appeared to be all at sea against the spin of Howitt, and was soon bowled neck and crop as he tried to cut a ball off middle stump.

(Richard Stobo in action from 1976 archives) 

Stobo chipped in with an LBW, which was heavily ' and, I might say, a little embarrassingly ' disputed by the batsmen as he left the field. From the bowlers' point of view, it was delivered from close to the stumps, aimed at the stumps, didn't move an inch, and looked like it was going to clean up everything.

But once again, there you go.

I wonder if any batsman has ever walked from the field after being given out LBW and said, openly, 'Yep, I was bloody plumb'' Bet it's never happened.

Western Suburbs were collapsing, and this was further assisted when, after Stobo left the field to have an injured finger attended to by Nurse Falk, Connell was thrown the ball and had immediate success. Makepeace took the catch. He took another soon after off Connell, and Western Suburbs were 8 for about 170.

Happily for Connell, he had no further success. Two more wickets, and he might have found himself in 3rd Grade next round.

Stobo returned to the field ' the word 'heroic' comes to mind ' and took the final two wickets. Western Suburbs were all out for 181, having lost their last 9 for about 60. Howitt, Connell and Stobo had three wickets a piece, and Sweeney had one.

(Jeremy Cashman at Killara)

It was a very good effort given the conditions, both with the ball and in the field.

There were 18 overs to bat. Livermore fell early, LBW, and Picollo was also given out LBW soon after. Neither batsman felt they were out, but one suspects that every Western Suburbs player was certain they were. It's just the way it goes, and it's ever been thus.

Of course, if batsmen used the middle of their bats, rather than their pads, it would probably mean no more LBWs.

Just a thought.

At 2-16, things were slightly precarious. But Cashman joined Garratt, and the two handled the final 13 overs with relative ease. Indeed, they took the score to 2-69 at the close, which was an impressive effort, and a good way to finish what had been, overall, a good day.

A beer on the verandah at Killara was, as usual, very pleasant, until Stobo missed the step as he departed with kit and bags over his shoulder, and crashed to the pavement.

And it was particularly good to see Michael Cant ' one of Gordon's finest players ' there, lending his support to the team. He was one of the most dependable players I ever had the pleasure to play alongside, and his efforts as an opening batsman (not to mention his captaincy) in the late 1980s and early 1990s was one of the key reasons that Gordon had such happy success in those years. 6th on Gordon's 1st Grade Aggregate list, with over 5,000 runs, is evidence of that.

(Pam and John Cosgrove at the Centenary dinner)

I should also take this opportunity to mention the support and help of Pam and John Cosegrove ' both great people. John was another top order bat in 1st Grade, in the late 1960s and 1970s (another strong era for the Club), and a fine man, to boot. And the work Pam does, without a word of fuss, is simply terrific.

113 to ensure first innings points. Plenty of batting to come, but plenty of work still to do.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 12 day 2

2nd grade report Round 12 day 2

2nd Grade Report v Penrith (Day 2)

This is just plain silly.

Higgins is out there somewhere, refusing to put his 5th Grade report together until the 2nd Grade report is on the web.

How childish.

Like a game of 'chicken'.

Anyway, the 5th Grade flag's flying high at the moment, having just claimed the scalp of the competition leaders, and I'm keen to find out how.

I'd also like to point out that I think Higgins might be the finest very long haired player that this Club's produced in the last two years or so, and that's certainly saying something.

2nd Grade was up against it on Saturday. Penrith declared at their overnight 8-376, and that would take some catching.

Particularly after Picollo stood on his bat as Garratt came hurtling down the wicket in the first over for a run out before a run had been scored.

Bloody hell. 1-0.

Then another run out ' this time Picollo, as he and Rasool nearly had a mid-pitch collision ' and we were reeling at 2-26.

Everest to climb, and we weren't even through the first bit of the Khumbu Icefall.

Rasool and Cashman looked to steady things, but Cashman fell to a rather disappointing dismissal, caught near the wicket. Rasool's unwise choice of shots, given the situation, saw him balloon one up for a straight forward catch, and we were in all sorts. 4-62. Over 300 still to get.

(Matt Makepeace at Killara)

Eliot Richtor's d'but in 2nd Grade looked promising but, with 16 against his name, he too fell, and Gordon was 5-85.

To this point it had been bloody ordinary. The conditions were overcast, granted, but the bowling, which was steady, didn't appear threatening, and in every case it seemed fairly clear that the batsman was responsible in large part for his own downfall.

Dowsley, after a bender the night before, then played a delightful innings, and scored 58. It was marked by boundaries on the off side in particular, and his ability to pierce the field was a highlight.

He found a willing ally in Makepeace. The Gibbon has not had the happiest of seasons, but at last he looked like he was hitting his straps. He too found gaps in the field, and sped to 42 before ' the third run out of the innings ended the partnership on 80.

(Nick Dowlsey at Killara)

Bugger, bugger, bugger.

Howitt fell for 10, Medcalf for 2.

Sweeney, batting at No. 10, was joined by Stobo, who had been relegated to No. 11 (despite, for the record, over seventy runs in his past four innings for two outs).

Both with a point to prove, they set about occupying the crease in the first instance, and building the score in the second.

For over an hour they did both, but then, after 50 had been added for the last wicket in over an hour, and within a whisker of tea, Stobo pushed a shin high full toss back to the bowler, only to be caught for 22. The score was 246, and Sweeney remained 27*.

It's a good thing there aren't 12 in a team, because there's be every reason for Stobo to think that a further demotion in the order would be on the cards.

Tea was taken ' it had been delayed by 30 minutes because Gordon was nine wickets down at 3.40pm ' and Penrith opted not to enforce the follow on. Don't quite know why, but there you go.

(Glory days. A classic Stobo back cut from the archives)

Sweeney bowled well, off a shortened run, to take 2-1 off five overs. Stobo, Richtor and Medcalf also bowled, but without success.

The day, then ground to a halt. A good win for Penrith; a disappointing loss for Gordon.

Three rounds to go. Every one is crucial to this side's success in the season.

Western Suburbs to begin with, at Killara, on Saturday.

The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson are worth pondering: Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Time to see what we're made off.

Righto, Higgins, and now you're safe to get stuck in.

Have fun.

Richard Stobo


2nd grade report Round 12

2nd grade report Round 12

2nd Grade Report v Penrith (Day 1)

Interesting to see Higgins in 5th Grade.

About time. Not sure what the selectors have been playing at before now, but it looks like they've finally got it right. Now it's up to him to hold his place.

(Dylan Connell at Kilara)

Packman (major) and Higgins as senior players in 5th Grade.

Strange days.

Anyway, tough, tough, tough day at the office for the 2nd Grade side on Saturday. In 6th place on the table, playing Penrith, who occupy 5th place on the table. Important match.

Another side wicket at Killara, which looked good, although with Australia Day during the week it was possibly a little underdone.

Penrith's 8-376 at the end of the day suggests it wasn't.

I can't remember all of the details; they've blurred into one long, tiring afternoon. I seem to recall that Connell took a wicket early ' LBW, I think. Connell took 5 wickets in the previous round, in 1st Grade.

And got dropped.

Tough school, but a great wrap for the guys who are doing the job at the top of the Club.

(Nick Dowsley at Killara)

Stobo had a catch behind in his first over, which was good, but then a dropped catch in the slips in his second, which wasn't good. Sweeney chipped in somewhere along the line, and then Howitt bowled the opener, to leave Penrith 4-130 in the first hour after lunch.

The goal was to get them to be at least 6 down, for no more than 190, by tea. But the Penrith batsmen were applying themselves on what was a docile wicket, and it was not until the final over before tea that Dowsley was able to get the fifth wicket, with the score on about 180.

The after tea, it all went haywire.

It is the dangerous session for the fielding team at Killara. Wickets in hand, and the batsmen can launch their attack.

The ball started to head towards the fence, the Penrith captain brought up his century (and about his 4,000th run of the season, apparently), and Penrith were gaining the upper hand. The new ball was given the treatment ' Connell's so-called 'warm up delivery' landed somewhere near the roundabout on Roseberry Road. Sort of took the gloss off it, in every sense.

I can't say that I'm a fan of warm up deliveries.

(A Hoppa close one)

Anyway, the last hour seemed to drag. Penrith held the upper hand, and were cashing in. Connell snared a couple of cheapies, although they actually cost plenty, and Gordon trudged from the field with 376 against Penrith's name, and still a couple of wickets to get.

Presumably Penrith will declare, and it will be our turn. The wicket will still be on the western side, and there are players in the side capable of chasing down big scores. But it will take patience, application, and grit.

Let's see what this team's made of.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 11

2nd grade report Round 11

2nd Grade Report v Northern Districts

Right. Where were we?

That's right; Northern Districts, Days 1 and 2.

Too busy to get a report done last week, so we'll cram both weeks together in this one.

(The Hoppa reaction to the Stobo pair)

Howitt lost to the toss. Bad captaincy. Second time in as many rounds, and once again we were sent in on a wicket that would clearly assist the bowlers. Cloud cover, humidity, ' Stobo had visions of 10 for '

But bloody Howitt lost the toss.

Livermore bowled by a good 'un in the first over, then wickets fell steadily during the morning. The Northern Districts' bowlers were disciplined, and their fielding were sharp. Ample evidence to support the fact that they're the clear leaders of the competition to this point.

Gordon was looking down the barrel, and was dismissed for a rather paltry 78. For the record, Stobo's contribution was 0, caught at backward point off the spinner.

(The 2's contemplate their first innings collapse)

Gordon took to the field. It's going to sound like sour grapes, but it is true that the conditions had changed to a degree, with the cloud burnt away by the early afternoon, and clear sunny day emerged.

Bugger.

Sweeney opened with Wright. Both bowled well, but disaster struck when Wright's back gave out for the second time this season. It is a sad irony that he was only fielding a slow moving ball when it happened, but it was enough to see him leave the field, and it appears that his season may be over. A disappointing thing on a number of levels, not the least of which was the fact that he is a champion fellow, with a heart as big as Makybe Diva's.

But Sweeney stepped up to the plate. With it all to play for, he shouldered the attack, and brought Gordon back into the game. He took the first four wickets to fall to a bowler ' a run out featured early as well ' and Northern Districts were 5-40. Gordon was fighting back. Unfortunately, the total was simply too small, and Northern Districts were able to get there in the end, for the loss of 7 wickets (the seventh falling when the scores were level).

(Will Sweeney at Waitara)

As often happens, the pressure released, and Northern Districts were able to take the score to 9-130 before declaring their innings closed.

Sweeney's figures were 6-36 off 12 overs; a mighty effort, and just reward for a sustained spell of fast bowling.

The lad has character, and that's the first ingredient of a good quick.

Gordon's second innings began with a 54 run deficit, and an hour or so to bat. Obviously it would be a real test, and Piccolo and Livermore had a lot on their shoulders.

They did it well.

Piccolo in particular took the attack to the bowlers. He was hit in the head by a short pitched ball, which was interesting. However, next ball was also short, and Piccolo had the gall to hook it high and handsome into the stand at Waitara.

The little fellow was pumped.

When he and Livermore walked from the field, unbeaten, with 44 runs on the board, Piccolo was a little ball of adrenalin. Rather than using the changing room door, he could quite simply have crashed through the wall.

There was enough energy in him to power a small third world nation.

(The boys wait in anticipation)

Therefore, end of Day 1, Gordon down on first innings, but only ten runs behind in total, and all second innings wickets in hand.

Rain all week, and it was clear that the wicket would be a little underdone. However, Northern Districts deserve an enormous pat on the back for making every effort to get the Green Shield semi-final up an running on Tuesday, and then again on Thursday.

Given the weather, I imagine that it would have been relatively easy for them to announce simply that the oval was unplayable, putting their team through to the final.

But they are a club with enormous dignity and character, and that was clearly evident in the case of last Thursday's extraordinary game.

Indeed, over the years I have had enormous pleasure playing against Northern Districts. I can recall many fine, hard fought contests ' including three First Grade semi-finals ' and an enormous number of terrific fellows who have worn The Tree with pride.

(Ed Howitt hits out at Waitara)

Why a tree, I'm not quite sure, but a tree it most definitely is.

And I would find it hard to imagine that any man has worn the tree with as much pride as Northern Districts' leading run scorer, Jack Moran. He epitomizes their club. It was great to see him at the ground on both days.

Interestingly, I think that only a handful of his 11,000+ runs would have been in front of square. Certainly none were against Gordon.

The wicket had less grass, and a whitish appearance but, given the limited preparation time during the week, it was unlikely to be as straight forward as it seemed.

And the bowling was, once again, tight and controlled, and it was supported by sharp fielding. Livermore and Piccolo picked up from where they'd left off, and erased the deficit. Piccolo was the first to go ' the only ball of the day to rise unexpectedly caught the shoulder of the bat and ballooned for a catch behind the wicket ' but he'd worked hard for his 27, and had given the team a good start. Hosking was looking good, until he looked to hook a short ball, only to be hit in the grille of the helmet. Then he wasn't looking so good. Blood on the whites, and the wicket, and Hosking went to hospital to have his nose examined. For a man as well preened as Hosking, this was a devastating blow.

The feisty Brad Rasool was in good touch, before he was bowled off his pads for 23. Dowsley followed soon after, and Gordon was 3-116, with Hosking waiting to be x-rayed.

Garratt was adjudged LBW, and Gordon's lead was only 73 for the loss of four wickets.

(Ben Garratt at Waitara)

But Livermore was still there, batting resolutely. His was to be an impressive and important innings. Makepeace looked to be finally finding his touch, but was caught just as he appeared to be in.

Fortunately, Livermore found an ally in the captain, Howitt.

The pair put on 26, to take Gordon closer to safety, before Livermore holed out at mid off for an excellent 68, made in challenging conditions, and with a slow outfield.

Stobo duly completed his pair, being well caught at second slip. But this report is already rather lengthy, and unfortunately there's not really room to dwell on the fact.

Never mind.

Therefore, with Hosking away from the ground being mended, and Wright at the ground, but broken down, Gordon appeared to have only one wicket left, a lead of 125, and plenty of time left in the day.

Fortunately, Sweeney once again stood tall. He joined his captain, and the two saw it to tea. Then, after tea, they took to the bowling, and put on 41 in quick time, allowing Howitt to declare with a lead of 166, and 29 overs to be bowled.

(Will Sweeney the batsman)

For the record, Hosking was back at the ground, looking a little worse for wear, but with the bloodied whites and pads on, ready to bat if need be.

Very McCoskeresque. Happily, he was not required.

It was to prove to be a very good declaration. Northern Districts began carefully, it was unclear whether or not they were going for the outright. For Gordon to be in with a show, it was important that Northern Districts took a few risks in the hope of victory.

An early wicket, once again to Sweeney, but then a partnership saw Northern Districts away. Runs were flowing relatively easily as Gordon, a bowler down, struggled to stem the flow.

Howitt then struck, with a catch to Jason Russell-Jones (subbing for either Wright or Hosking, I forget which) at backward point. Then AJ Fry (subbing for the other one) took a catch at mid on, and Gordon was hanging on to the edge of the cliff.

As it turned out, Northern Districts were never quite up with the chase, but nearly. Howitt jagged a couple of wickets, to keep things interesting and, with one over to play, Northern Districts was seven wickets down, and 11 from victory. But, with a wicket in from the third ball, Northern Districts were unable to get there, and needed eight from the final ball. None were scored.

It was a good end to a hard fought game. Northern Districts showed that they will be a real force in the final part of the season, but Gordon also showed good fight, given the number of set backs that took place. To lose the toss on Saturday was unfortunate, but to then lose a strike bowler, was tragic.

Hosking, on the other hand, was probably expendable.

Round 11 is very important.

Penrith, at Killara.

At least it's not another bloody road trip.

Richard Stobo

(The "Mark Taylor" Scoreboard tells it all) 


2nd grade report Round 10

2nd grade report Round 10

2nd Grade Report v Sydney University

An interesting day, on lots of levels.

The game itself was a closely fought affair, but in the end the Sydney University side got home with three wickets in hand. Gordon's 164 was not enough, and the fact that we only batted for 41.4 overs was telling.

And the day also provided what I consider to be one of the most repulsive acts seen in my 25 years of Grade cricket; but more on that later.

A dark looking wicket in the centre of the square, affected by rain in the previous days. A delayed start, and when Sydney University won the toss, Gordon was sent in to bat.

Things began brightly. After 6 overs Gordon was cruising along at six an over. Then Garratt looked to leave a ball outside off stump. Unfortunately, the ball stayed lower than expected, brushed his glove on the way through, and Garratt was caught behind for 15, with the score on 34. Voldemort was next to go, two balls later, cutting a high bouncing ball outside off stump, to be caught behind for 13.

At the beginning of the next over, Hosking received the only ball of the day that did anything spiteful, and was caught in the gully as the ball leapt off a length. Gordon's bright start had dimmed considerably, as the score slumped to 3-37.

Dowsley ' a former player with Sydney University ' joined Hinton, and the two seemed to regain control of the innings. The score swept along, and reached 78 off only about 15 overs before Hinton was out, caught from a skied hook.

Bombas fell soon after, then Makepeace, then Howitt.

Gordon was reeling at 7-89, off only about 20 overs.

It was during this later period that a particularly unsavoury ' nay, disgusting ' event occurred.

(Matt Makepeace at Killara)

As we all know, WA 'Bert' Oldfield Oval is a council-run park. It is open to the public, and dog walkers frequently use it. Indeed, it often looks like Crufts. As a result there are, from time to time, dog droppings on the field before the start of play. We do all that we can to deal with them and, indeed, before play started yesterday a shovel was retrieved from the shed and some were removed from the eastern side of the field.

It was at the first drinks break that a Sydney University player took two of the drinking glasses and, without a word as to his intentions, walked over to some droppings that had been missed, scooped them up in one glass, placed it back in the drinks tray held by our secretary, Andrew Falk, and then placed the other glass on top.

It was, in my opinion, a revolting and insulting thing to do.

I have not heard of anything even vaguely similar occurring in nearly twenty-five years of Grade cricket.

Furthermore, it reflected very poorly on the Sydney University Cricket Club; a club that has a particularly long and very proud history.

Andrew Falk spends hours and hours at Killara doing all that he can to ensure that the ground and facilities are in the best possible condition for our visitors. All the Sydney University player had to do was ask Andrew to remove the droppings and it would have been done quickly by way of a shovel or a plastic bag, and with no fuss.

(Andy Falk)

The player's actions were, in this writer's view, simply reprehensible. Other people at the ground ' not all of whom were connected with Gordon ' were similarly disgusted.

The ever-dependable Dowsley was joined by the ever-unreliable Stobo. An unlikely partnership developed. The bowling wasn't particularly threatening, and enough bad balls were being bowled to allow runs to be scored. Dowsley played some majestic strokes ' none better, perhaps, than an on drive for four towards the southern end.

Stobo even hooked a six. Michael Falk was there to see it. Not out of the middle, admittedly, but it was a hook shot nevertheless, and it went behind square leg. Stobo can say with absolute certainty that it is the first hook shot he has ever played. Anywhere. Ever.

The Sydney University fast bowler was under instructions from the Sydney University captain ' no, wait a minute, he wasn't the captain; he was someone else who didn't even look a bit like the captain. The real captain, who seemed like a good fellow, was actually the wicket keeper. I know, because it was on the team sheet. However, for at least the final twenty overs of the innings he did not make a positional change in the field. Instead, everything was being run from mid-on.

It was actually quite comical, but also rather embarrassing, and one could only feel for the real captain who appeared to have no control over proceedings whatsoever. I've never seen a side run like this before, and I'd hate to be part of one that was.

But it gets stranger.

At one point Stobo was encouraging Dowsley to 'keep working hard'. Sydney University's surrogate captain, who was nearby, asked what was meant by the comment. Stobo suggested that it meant 'to concentrate'. At least, that's what it does on this planet. He didn't think it needed interpreting.

A few minutes later, the same Sydney University player was calling out to his team to, among other things, 'own the towel', and 'put energy on the ball'.

Stobo didn't bother asking.

The fifty partnership was registered, but Gordon was still a long way from happy. It was then that Stobo made a decision that he was to rue for a number of reasons.

The Sydney University fast bowler was brought back and, under instruction from the surrogate captain, proceeded to bowl a succession of bouncers at Stobo. No problem with that, but it was clear that the surrogate captain was carrying out his own agenda.

In the fast bowler's last over, the surrogate captain pushed all of the fieldsmen back, with the intention of giving Dowsley the single, to get Stobo on strike, in order (as he was later told by the bowler) simply to hit him. Clearly the state of the game was getting under the skin of at least one of the Sydney University players.

What to do? Stobo suggested to Dowsley to play a game within a game within a game. It was like a Russian doll. They wouldn't take the easy single on offer, in order to frustrate the Sydney University boys still further. Sadly, things went awry when, after turning down a single on the second ball, Dowsley misjudged a cut shot and was caught behind on the third. That wasn't in the plan of either side.

And didn't Stobo cop it from the fielding side then? From all angles.

Dowsley's 45 was a typically impressive innings, particularly given the state of the game, and the fact that it was against his old club. It was composed, gutsy, resolute, and included some coruscating shots. He is an impressive player, and a great fellow to play alongside.

Anyway, the last two wickets added a further 24, and the innings was closed on 164, after only 41.4 overs. Oh, to bat for 50 overs.

Stobo finished on a rather startling 42*. He was later asked if he'd ever scored a Grade fifty. However, to that point, he'd never even scored a Grade forty-two.

164 to defend was going to be challenging. Early wickets were needed, but they were not forthcoming. Connell and Wright bowled well ' Wright did get the first wicket in the 10th over ' but a dropped catch, a missed run out opportunity, and the game was slipping away. Dowsley picked up the second wicket, Stobo the third, and Howitt the fourth, but the score reached 120, and Gordon seemed out of it.

Pressure is a funny thing, however, and two wickets in consecutive balls meant that suddenly Gordon was into the lower order, with 30 still to get. Then Connell picked up a deserved wicket, as Hinton held a good catch low down at square leg. Game on?

Probably, but the Sydney University batsmen remained composed, and steered their side home in the 47th over. One opener remained 80 or so not out, and certainly did the job for his team.

Gordon made it closer than it might have been ' indeed, had a good chance of pulling off an unlikely win ' but was made to pay for the fact that only 80% of the overs available when batting were utilised. Rule Number 1 in limited overs games when batting first ' bat for all of the available overs.

Northern Districts next week, which will provide a good challenge. They're the competition front runners, and have swept all before them to this point.

But we're not used to losing either.

R.M Stobo

2nd grade report Round 9

2nd grade report Round 9

2nd Grade Report vs Campbelltown
 
2nd grade travelled to down town Raby with high hopes of entering the festive season with another win and consolidating a top 6 position. After the euphoric victory the previous round against Saints, a game where the best supporting actor Richard Stobo broke down when the going got tough, we knew lifting ourselves for this game was vital.
 
(Rod Hokin at Campbelltown)
 
We were also freshened up, welcoming new faces Will Sweeney and Nick Medcalf, as well as the return of Mark Smith, but losing the experienced Stobo and Connell.
 
Howitt won the toss again and elected to bat on a fast Raby pitch and although losing Bob Doubleina early, Garratt (44) and Hosking (44) set about building a platform for the remainder of the innings. Both batsmen fell due to good bowling by the Ghosts and it was left to Rocket (50) to stabilise the innings, with "twentys" from Hinton and Howitt seeing the total reach 209. It should be noted Hokin was out sweeping...a contentious shot selection both he and the club coach have discussed its reliability. A reasonable total but one which we felt was a little shy of the mark given the big outfield and good paced wicket.
 
The Ghosts also lost a wicket early with the opener playing on to Smithy in his first over. At the other end, debutant Will Sweeney bowled well and kept it tight. Campbelltown were following a similar road to the Stags with the 2nd wicket proving hard to obtain but it was the nagging medium pacers of Medcalf ( 1/35 off 10) which achieved the breakthrough courtesy of a low catch to Dowsley at midwicket. The wicket of the english import saw the game change complexion and the wily off spin of Howitt ( 2/24 off 9) saw two more quick wickets fall, both to sharply turning balls.
 
It should be noted after the second dismissal, left hander stumped comprehensively, Dowsley had the hide to suggest the captain hadn't turned a ball like that for 3 years. Given he had been at the club for just 6 months,he should learn to not listen to others, pull his head in and respect the gentleman who would be deciding whether he or Hoskos would be used as the 5th bowler.
 
(Will Sweeney at Raby)
 
Medcalf finished at one end, Dowsley took over (lucky man) with Rod Hokin taking over from the captain. The next 16 overs saw these two bowl extremely well and bowl the Stags to an unexpected bonus point. Dowsley ( 3/16 off 8) bowled full and straight and Rocket ( 3/21 off 9) bowled with uncharacteristic flight and prodigious turn.
 
They dismantled the oppositions lower order and victory was ours.
 
It was a good victory and much of it could go down to the blast we copped from Mr Doubleina, Mr Bob Doubleina, at the first drinks break. We sit in 4th on 43 points, a great start, but only a start. We will enjoy the Xmas period and look forward to our game against the students in the New Year.
 
Ed Howitt
 
(Photos courtesy David Mahaffey)
2nd grade report Round 8 day 2

2nd grade report Round 8 day 2

2nd Grade Report v St George (Day 2)

Edward bloody Howitt. Junior.

After 23.4 overs he finally gets a wicket.

The No. 11.

A full toss. Missed by the bat, hits a pad ' in front ' and out, LBW.

One wicket. That's all.

And now he's a bloody hero.

The fact that the wicket won the match, by two runs, with three balls remaining in the last over of the day, is immaterial. And the fact that, as captain, he'd stayed on top of the game for nearly 100 tough overs in the day is beside the point.

Edward bloody Howitt. Junior.

What a legend.

The day began predictably enough, with a grassless wicket and the western boundary was still only a skip away. I notice that the St George scorecard describes the pitch as 'Hard'. And so it was. Hard to bowl on.

The outfield had been mown, and was always going to be fast. 369 looked good on paper, but anyone who knew Killara, and who understood the resolution of St George sides over the years, would have been well aware that it was going to be a long, demanding day.

(Dylan Connell at Killara)

Connell and Holmes commenced proceedings (I was understandably surprised that Howitt didn't recommence his spell from the previous week). The pair toiled manfully, but got little assistance from the wicket, and the score rose steadily. Stobo was introduced after an hour, and had success after a couple of overs, when he bowled the more aggressive of the two openers. Two balls later he bowled the Number 3, and Gordon was back on track, with the score 2-74.

However, a resolute left handed opener was building what might well have been a match winning innings. A partnership developed, and St George moved the score to 2-120 at lunch.

But for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's (or should we call him Voldemort?) dismissal last week, the scores of the two sides would have been almost identical.

After lunch the game continued in much the same vein. Then, with Holmes introduced from the southern end, a ball was hit to Dowsley at short cover, and the catch was taken.

3-143.

But then a frustrating stand of over 80 between the opener, and the St George captain. Connell bowled an inspired spell, with out luck, and the runs ticked over. Makepeace was unlucky not to hold on to a top edged hook, but that was the only clear chance.

Then, with Hokin's legspinners brought on at the northern end, success.

(Stobs in action)

After passing his 100, the St George opener finally had a lapse in concentration, and tried to swing Hokin to the longish legside boundary. Stobo sprinted like a gazelle, hurled himself far and wide to the right, with the sun in his eyes, and held a miraculous catch. Well, not quite like that ' exaggerated, perhaps ' but the point is that he didn't drop it, and a key breakthrough was achieved.

Hokin struck again when the Number 6 skied a leading edge to the safest hands on the planet, but unfortunately I can't tell you who it is. You'll just have to guess.

5-230, and things seemed to be well in hand.

The score passed 240, 250, 260, but on 267 Stobo snuck one through to bowl the Number 7. Six wickets down.

However, the St George captain was at the crease, and was a key player. But one run later he hit a low full toss to the hands of Hokin, at a wisely positioned short midwicket.

7-268.

Surely that would be the end of it, and the St George innings would fold? Alas, no. There was a touch more drama to come.

The next partnership was a frustrating one. The two batsmen played sensibly, and ran well. The second new ball was due. To take it or not to take it? That was the question.

(Matt Makepeace at Killara) 

Howitt decided against it for some time, but eventually the case for it strengthened, as the old ball was not getting the breakthrough. And, happily, in the first over with the new ball, a wicket fell. Not quite in the expected manner, granted ' Hokin threw the stumps down on the run from cover for a wonderful run out ' but it was a wicket none the less.

8-307. Gordon was safe now.

Not.

It was shortly after this that Stobo pulled his hamstring while running in to bowl, and left the field. Ed Howitt, Snr., or beloved scorer, ruled off the fourth ball of Stobo's 24th over with the simple word, 'RETIRED'.

Sam Hinton took to the field, wearing Stobo's spare shirt and trousers. He looked a little like David Byrne from Talking Heads. Stobo wondered how he would catch and run, with his hand at the elbow point of the sleeve, and his feet near the knee bit.

The ninth wicket fell to Connell, as a catch was taken at cow corner. But I'm not going to tell you who by. You'll just have to guess.

9-318.

St George still needed 52 runs, off about 40 deliveries, but with only one wicket in hand, the game was well out of their reach.

Except no-one bloody told them.

Stobo was sitting near to the St George captain, in the pavilion, and asked him what their plan was. A draw was not a consideration. They were going all out for the win.

The No. 11 then proceeded to play a sensibly aggressive innings, cutting both Holmes and Connell repeatedly for runs. There seemed no way to staunch the flow, and a wicket was more likely to be a product of luck, than any real pressure.

The score climbed. 330. 340. 350. 360 '

When the last ball of Connell's final over ' the 97th of the innings, and penultimate over of the match ' was dispatched to the long point boundary for four, Gordon was pretty well stuffed. St George entered the final over needing four to win. The Number 11 was on 35.

Tense.

And then Howitt stepped up to the plate. As a captain should.

The first ball was everything you didn't want it to be: a knee high full toss. Fortunately for Gordon, it was not put away, and the game remained alive.

Ball two was played sedately.

Ball three was another full toss, but lower, and the batsman swung across the line, was hit in front, and the umpire's hand was raised.

(Hoppa goes for a run)

The Gordon boys were ecstatic.

The St George boys less so.

Gordon 369 v St George 367. Each side batted into the 98th over of the innings.

It was simply a game that neither side deserved to lose.

And it's a shame that more people were not there to witness it. It's the second terrific finish to a 2nd Grade game at Killara in the past few weeks, and each has marked this Gordon side as one that can hang in there when it gets tough. And it was particularly good to bounce back from the disappointment of Sutherland only a fortnight before.

It was great to see the sides together having a beer after the game; a testament to the spirit of the two teams on and off the field.

The song was sung with gusto, and the news of the 4th Grade and 5th Grade victories was also celebrated.

Campbelltown next week.

Away, as usual.

Probably on a side strip.

R.M Stobo

2nd grade report Round 8 Day 1

2nd grade report Round 8 Day 1

2nd Grade Report v St George (Day 1)

Howitt (Jnr) took over the captaincy reigns, and had immediate success in winning the toss. You just can't beat experience. He chose, wisely, to bat.

(Nick Dowsley on Saturday)

Garratt and The Artist Formerly Known as Prince opened. Both did well, with Garratt playing watchfully, while The Artist Formerly Known as Prince tried to flay every even numbered delivery to the fence. Garratt was caught at slip after the score had passed forty.

Hosking joined The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, and the two continued to build the innings. Hosking built carefully, watchfully. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince simply whacked the blocks together, and hoped that they remained standing. 16 off one over was a case in point.

Hosking fell just as things were going well, but the ever dependable Hokin joined him. The good thing about Hokin following Hosking is that the scoreboard attendant doesn't have much work to do to change names.

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince continued to flail away, and he passed fifty. Then sixty. Of his first 68 runs, 52 were in boundaries.

Then, with one over before the break, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince was on strike.

Now we can all see where this is going, can't we?

(Matt Makepeace against St. George)

Ball one ' dot. Ball two ' swing hard down the ground, but miss as the ball passes the outside edge. Ball three ' (only a small number before lunch, if you recall) another lusty swipe, a thick outside edge, and a catch at backward point. Out for 70, from 91 balls.

The players left the field for the luncheon adjournment.

Give me strength.

Dowsley and Hokin then ensured that Gordon would compile a good score, by batting through the middle session. Both were impressive. Neither is inclined to lift the ball, and so there were few, if any, chances. Each cover drives with assurance, and both were able to pierce the gaps in a tight off side field. It was good to watch.

Eventually Hokin fell in the latter part of the second session, for a very well compiled 53. Bombas walked to the wicket for his first innings in 2nd Grade, and played carefully to begin. Just as he appeared to be settled in, he called for a run on a misfield behind point, but tragedy followed. Dowsley, who'd played the ball said no, and Bombas was a long way from home. Run out for 10, but the partnership had yielded a further 46 runs, and taken the score to 224.

Makepeace, in search or runs, did well, and helped add a further 39 with Dowsley. Then, with about 90 minutes to go, Howitt joined Dowsley, and a further 48 were added. Howitt's contribution was 15, but it was another case of not allowing wickets to fall in clusters.

Dowsley passed his century ' his first for the Club ' and it was a fine innings. Rarely a false shot, and many very good ones.

(Reece Bombas shows his style at Killara)

Howitt's dismissal brought Stobo to the crease. If ever wickets were going to fall in clusters, this was the time. But, in spite of his best efforts, Stobo stayed, and more runs followed. Dowsley hit a six over square leg (surprisingly, only his first for the innings). But, with his score on 121, he played around a full delivery, and was bowled. While he was at the crease, the score rose from 119 to 331; a fine effort.

Connell joined Stobo, and still more runs flowed. It was not until 368 that Connell fell, caught in the deep at long on. Holmes entered, tried to late cut his first ball, then pushed a ball to cover, called, was sent back, and run out. Just.

Stobo finished on 31*. Thirty one, not out. THIRTY ONE, NOT OUT. Just the two sixes. There are not enough superlatives to describe it.

Michael Falk was heard to say, rather cruelly, I believe, that he would rather have been at home, poking himself in the eye.

St George had to negotiate two overs, which they did without the fall of a wicket, but also without scoring a run.

369 to defend. A small boundary on the western side.

We look forward to Saturday.

RM Stobo

(A photo from the archives just for Falky)

(For the statisticians Richard Stobo's 31 not out on Saturday takes his season runs to 61 and his average from 5 to 12.20. Amoungst the regular 2nd graders he has moved from last to third last. In the words of RMS "If I dont get a duck I get runs..." The Webmaster) 

 

2nd grade report Round 7 day 2

2nd grade report Round 7 day 2

2nd Grade vs Sutherland

With R.M. Stobo trudging through bushland in the vicinity of the Kangaroo Valley, the report writing duties had to be palmed off to another member of the team. I, for some unknown reason, volunteered.

(Jeremy Cashman at Caringbah)

What a time to volunteer to write a report. How do I describe the events at Caringbah oval over the weekend?

Let's start with the result first, we lost OUTRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming into day two, we knew that we had to play strong, gutsy cricket to try and retrieve anything from the game. We were bowled out for 131 in our first innings and with the Sharks in control at stumps on day one, having cruised to 3 for 175, the path that the game would take was in the hands of their captain.

Play was delayed for 2 hours to allow the pitch and more to the point, the square, to dry out. Considering it is a first grade ground, it was a surprise to myself and other members of the Stags community, that the covers only stretched across about a third of the square.

At one minute past 1pm play commenced with the Sharks continuing their innings. They, as was expected, came out blazing, looking to build upon their lead. Dylan and Jordo were despatched to all parts of the ground and in some instances the surrounding suburb. R.M. and Dale were brought into the attack with immediate success, both claiming wickets quickly. R.M. at one stage, grabbing 2 wickets in 3 balls both L.B.W., with the second coming from a superb slower delivery.

The Sharks decided that a lead of 150 was enough and declared 6 down for 282, with around 70 overs left to be bowled in the day. As it turned out no where near that number were required for the Sharks to take ten wickets and score the winning runs.

(James Hosking against Sutherland)

For the second time in the game our batting disappointed. Yet again there were some rash shots and batsmen making starts but failing to build a big innings. Only Nick 'Elroy' Dowsley managed to show some fight, finishing 36n.o.

One point of interest during the innings was the amusement provided by the some of the scoreboard attendants. The scoreboard at Caringbah is large and for day 2, the players of the batting team were required to operate it. At one stage Mitch and Pic had their turn (although it didn't last long as Pic felt that because he worked during the week, he shouldn't have to do anything that he deemed to be work on the weekend, I think he applies the same theory to doing covers on Saturday morning during home games). Anyway it became apparent that the two of them had never operated a scoreboard before. It appeared they thought that if they just sat in front of it the numbers would magically change themselves. We can only wonder what the conversation between the two of them entailed.

Back to the cricket and we were dismissed for 152 in our second innings, leaving Sutherland the task of scoring 2 runs to win. Mitch Kleem took the ball and after adjusting his field between each ball, managed to deliver half an over before the Sharks scored the required runs. Bringing to an end a very disappointing game for the Stags!

Having won 5 in a row and putting our hat in the ring as possible contenders this season it was a shocking performance.

We have now won 5 lost 2.

Both of the games we have lost have been comprehensive defeats. We all have bad days but it seems that when we have one we have a really bad one, which is something we need to work on as a team.

Dylan Connell













2nd grade report Round 7

2nd grade report Round 7

2nd Grade Report v Sutherland (Day 1)

The Hornet finds my reports too long to read. Not that I could give a rat's, really, because I don't write them for him. I like the Hornet a lot, but I know that he has his limits.

(James Hosking at Caringbah)

Regardless, Hornet's shortcomings are reason enough to keep this report short.

To have been bowled out by a steady, but unspectacular Sutherland bowling line up for 131, and then to see Sutherland move effortlessly to 3-172 was, to put it bluntly, bloody awful.

I have a lot of faith in this 2nd Grade side. Players across the park have contributed, with bat and ball. The team is full of great lads, and almost every conversation is an adventure.

But, to be brutally honest, we lacked spine on Saturday. It simply wasn't good enough.

Perhaps it was the recession that we had to have. The clarion call.

If we are to be contenders ' and I know that we can be ' then we can take nothing for granted.

Every delivery counts.

Therefore, let us now look forward.

(Jeremy Cashman defends at Caringbah)

Next Saturday presents us with a terrific challenge. We have a lot to play for ' pride, mainly, as well the fact that won't allow Sutherland to get maximum points.

And who knows, should they give us an opportunity '

But, either way, pride is motivation enough. Plus some.

Let's see just what character this team has.

I suspect is has a truckload.

My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.

- Bjorn Borg


2nd grade report Round 6

2nd grade report Round 6

2nd Grade Report v Fairfield

GORDON 6-288 defeated FAIRFIELD 6-287.

JEREMY CASHMAN, 128 NOT OUT.

What more needs to be said?

In what was one of the best wins seen at Killara in recent years, the Reserve Graders got home with three balls to spare. It was wonderful to be there to see it.

(Jeremy Cashman)

Chasing an imposing total of 287 in fifty overs, Jeremy Cashman, Rod Hokin and Ed Howitt (Jnr) were the backbone of an extraordinary run chase.

With 8 overs to go, Gordon had just lost their 6th wicket, and needed a further 88 runs.

And they got them.

Bloody brilliant.

It was exciting, exhilarating, pressure-packed cricket. Gordon was never going to do it ' until they did.

Well done, lads. A terrific effort.

But back to the beginning '

Gordon lost the toss.

Bugger.

The wicket was grey, devoid of grass, had a few darker patches, and looked as though it might break up a bit later in the day. However, as it turned out, it would yield two centuries, and 575 runs in a game that lasted for 99.3 overs.

Connell and Ling ' newly promoted ' bowled well early, but wickets did not fall. The only chance in the initial period flew high and fast to Dowsley and slip, but he was unable to cling on to it.

The first wicket eventually came as Hosking held on to a good catch to his right at backward point. But the score was climbing, and was reasonably steady at a tick over four an over.

The hundred was passed before a run out saw the second wicket fall. Gordon was hanging on the cliff by its fingernails.

Every Fairfield batsman who walked in looked like they could play Linebacker for the '49ers. Clearly they weren't going to be hustling quick singles.

Howitt was bowling a typically dependable spell, but the question over the fifth Gordon bowler was less certain. Hosking was tried initially, but couldn't find his line. Piccolo ('This is my wicket, Stobes. It's my wicket, etc. etc.') was given the ball.

(Dylan Connell at Killara)

It wasn't his wicket after all, it turned out.

Hokin then stepped up to the plate, and did a good job. He stemmed the run flow to a degree, at a vital time.

Dowsley was thrown the ball, too late, alas. He bowled well for three overs and claimed a wicket. However, in all, the 'fifth bowler' had yielded 82.

But worse was to come. Stobo returned to the bowling crease.

Having bowled reasonably well for his first seven overs, he commenced his new spell from the northern end. The short boundary was on the leg side.

His first over went like this: 6,6,4,2,1,6. 1-28 became 1-53.

Ouch. Double ouch. Big hurty.

The batsmen simply swung hard at everything, connected each time, and even two mishits cleared the fence.

Stobo claimed a wicket at the beginning of his next over, and as he approached Makepeace he said that he could not recall going for anything like 23 in an over before.

Makepeace corrected him. It was 25. Bastard.

New PB.

Anyhow, normal programming was resumed in the final few overs, and Fairfield were kept below the seemingly achievable 300 mark, ending at 6-287. Ling bowled well, as did Connell, but it was a lot of runs to chase.

A relatively quiet changing room at lunch. But the task was straight forward enough: bat sensibly, and keep wickets in hand for the last fifteen overs. Howitt made the cogent ' and prophetic ' point that you could score 85 from the last 10 overs at Killara if you had wickets in hand. Another obvious point was made: someone would have to score a century, at least.

(Dan is always with us)

But, and I repeat, it was a lot of runs to chase. Particularly on a wicket that was a little gravely in appearance, and would probably take a bit of spin.

Kleem and Piccolo got us off to a reasonable start, but then Piccolo hit one to point and was caught. Fairfield had opened with an off spinner, who bowled tidily, and Kleem was bowled by him around his legs. 2-40 odd. Not really where we wanted to be.

Hokin joined Hosking, and the two stabilised things. They ran very well between the wickets, and even managed to get four overthrows following a scampered single. However, the required run rate was increasing, and soon it was upward of 7 an over.

Then Hosking was dismissed, a little controversially, caught behind. 3-100.

Enter Cashman.

He began calmly enough, and Hokin continued to pick up the odd boundary. The running was still excellent. The score climbed, but still not quite at the requisite rate.

Nevertheless, the pair was keen to ensure that wickets were in hand, so that an assault could be launched in the final phase of the game.

Hokin passed his fifty, and Cashman followed not long after. But, with his own score on 54, and the total on about 190, Hokin was dismissed, bowled as he tried to cut against the spin. Risks were necessary by this stage, but it was disappointing for Hokin that he was unable to guide the team home. Certainly he had applied himself superbly; he is a wonderful example of a team player, and I have been fortunate to see his last two innings in 2nd Grade.

(Rod Hokin at Killara)

When this game is talked about in years to come, Cashman's name will be remembered first, but in the next breath we will talk about Hokin's innings.

The inform Dowsley joined Cashman, but a mix up saw Dowsley run out, and when he was followed by a quick 9 from Makepeace, Gordon was, with eight overs to be bowled, 6-200. 88 shy of victory and, seemingly, out of the match. It had been a game chase, but in the end the target was simply be too big to achieve'

Stobo was ruing his eighth over with every minute that passed.

Enter Howitt. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And a left-handed man, to boot. That would mean that the western boundary would be in play from both ends, as the batsman alternated strike.

Howitt played and missed at the first ball, and looked all at sea. His second ball he calmly lifted over midwicket for six.

But then followed the over that mattered.

The Fairfield captain elected to bowl his eighth over of off spin. Cashman elected to make hay while the sun still shone.

6,dot,6,dot,6,1,. And a couple of biggies, to boot. Still the required run rate was around 10 an over, but one could sense a shift in the balance of the game. Self-doubt crept on to the field, while Gordon had nothing to lose. A Fairfield misfield led to another four overthrows, which emphasised the changed nature of the game.

(Ed Howitt in action)

The first ball of the 45th over, and Cashman tried to back away and hit over point. He missed. Howitt came down the wicket and had a word. Experience.

Cashman listened. He remained still at delivery, trusted his skills, and hit three of the next four balls over midwicket to the long boundary for four. Another good over for the batting side.

Four overs left, forty to get.

I can't recall the sequence of events from there on in, but with two overs to go, twenty were required, and there was a lot of tension in the pavilion. Over number 49 was a beauty, and 16 must have come off it.

Therefore, six balls to bowl, four runs to win. Too easy.

1, 1, 2.

That would do it. 'We're proud to be part of the Gordon CC ''

Cashman had won the game for his team, with terrific help in particular from Hokin and Howitt, who remained 26*.

It must be remembered that this is not the first time Cashman has done some thing like this; he scored centuries in huge and successful run chases against Bankstown in 4th Grade two seasons ago, and against Eastern Suburbs in 2nd Grade last season. But this was certainly one to savour.

(Jeremy Cashman during his 130 last season) 

It's one thing to play a good innings. It's another thing entirely to play an innings that determines the outcome of the game. Gordon had dodged a bullet, and it was Cashman who had ensured that we ducked in time.

The song was sung with gusto, although the tune it is sung to nowadays is not quite the one that I remember from a good few years back.

The Fairfield boys were understandably disappointed by letting this one slip away, but they were impressive in defeat. As a group they were a terrific bunch, on and off the field. Competitive, determined, but with perspective. Such an attitude stems from the top, and Brett Lack and John Boulos led the way.

This was a memorable match, and it was hard to fathom that we had prevailed. It was quite surreal, sitting in the changing room, sipping a beer, trying to make sense of it.

It is because of that sort of feeling that I keep turning up every Saturday.

Well done, boys. We survived Round 6. Wins like this build character, and self-belief. You can't coach those things, and all of the talk in the world doesn't do it. You simply have to step up to the plate, and perform.

On now to Round 7. Sutherland. Another bloody road trip, with a packed lunch.

The petrol bill this season has seen my family go hungry on a few occasions. But Tids doesn't care, as long as we win.

And well done to the 1st Graders ' a terrific, gusty result. To bounce back from Round 5 the way you have done is another sign that this Club has grown tremendously in recent years.

And there's some pressure from a few of the lads in 2nd Grade, which is good.

The way it should be.

RM Stobo


Post script to match report

In the ING Cup game at the SCG (a big ground) today against Queensland, Glenn McGrath had the figures of 2 for 66 off his ten overs. Stobo's figures at Killara (a small ground) against Fairfield were 3-63 off his ten overs. Clearly, therefore, Stobo is a better bowler than McGrath. The defence rests.


2nd grade report vs Hawkesbury Day 2

2nd grade report vs Hawkesbury Day 2

2nd Grade Report v Hawkesbury (Day 2)

TWAAAANG!!

Bloody Hell! Where did that come from? An Apache arrow, this far north?!

What have I ever done to appear on Higgins' radar? I thought that I'd been quite nice to the lad.

Was he even at Benson's Lane No. 2?

I thought 4th Grade was playing there.

I don't recall talking to him, seeing him, hearing him. I spoke to my old mate and former skipper, Marty Reynolds, for a bit; I asked Captain Brand how things were going; I chatted to the people's champion, Iqbal, which is always enjoyable. Medcalf was with us for the warm up; I was pleased ' but not in the least bit surprised ' to see him bat superbly, and get his mates out of a big hole. It's always terrific to see Goldsmith, as well as a few more of my mates from the Ferrari: Parfett, Sweeney, and Gulaptis. And Chris Lee certainly seems like a quality fellow.

They were all there, and it was great to see all of them.

But Higgins?

I feel like I was set upon by Cousin It.

People call him Missy Higgins, but he looks more like Delta Goodrem. Or Catriona Rowntree.

And he tried to run out my mate Iqbal, before Iqbal had even faced a ball.

Bastard.

But have I ever told him to get a hair cut? I don't think so. I don't really care, to be honest.

Yes, agreed, it does look stupid; but if Higgins wants to look as stupid as he does, he's perfectly entitled to.

Far be it from me to suggest otherwise. Anyway, I suspect that it's just an adolescent stage he's going through. He'll look back on the photos with horror some years down the track.

For what it's worth, the gauntlet didn't even hit the ground; it was caught on the way down.

Game on.

But I must say, he was right about Connell.

So, what about the second day of Round 5? Another good one for the Reserve Graders. We defended 264 by dismissing Hawkesbury for 168.

Rain had settled in over the floodplains of Richmond, and Benson's Lane was under most of it.

A lot of waiting around, which is interesting, given some of the personnel in 2nd Grade. At times I think this team's been picked by Messrs Hickman, Wilson and Stephenson just to test my commitment to the Club.

We made a start, at 2.30pm. 67 overs to be bowled, with tea at 4.45pm, which is closer to dinner than tea.

Hawkesbury recommenced at 2-46, still 219 runs from victory. Stobo and Connell opened the bowling. The ball was always going to get wet; it soon lost its lustre, and the seam softened to mush. It took a little while to get the first wicket, but the umpteenth LBW shout saw Hawkesbury's answer to Charles Atlas on the way back to the pavilion. No send off for him.

Next ball, the Hawkesbury captain followed, caught brilliantly by Dowsley. Catching the shoulder of the bat, the ball ballooned over the slips and, running back, Dowsley dived full length away from the wicket to grasp the ball inches from the ground.

There's unlikely to be a better catch this year. If there is, I want to be there to witness it. It ranked with Sweeney's effort against Randwick-Petersham last season, and that's high praise indeed.

I wonder if Higgins would have got even close?

(Nick Dowsley batting against Hawkesbury)

Two overs later, another wicket, as Dowsley held on to a shoulder high chance at slip, to take his third catch of the innings. All in the slips, and all remarkably different. He's the sort of fielder who gives his bowlers confidence.

The ball was wet, and was doing virtually nothing. Fortunately, the Hawkesbury batsmen kept going hard at it, providing chances, and we kept taking them.

Connell was reintroduced from the pavilion end, and took a wicket in the first over of his spell, LBW.

Hawkesbury were now in deep trouble, at 6-100, and it seemed to be a question of whether or not the remaining wickets would fall before rain returned, or dark settled in.

Connell's spell was important, and right on tea the No 3, who'd batted patiently since the 6th over of the innings, was caught by Mallos in the gully, after a mistimed cut.

Gordon went to tea well and truly in the box seat, with Hawkesbury reeling at 7-127.

Incidentally, Mallos had been introduced into the attack, and struggled to find his length. In his first over, the ball wasn't landing in the right 'hood, let alone the right spot. To his credit he got it right in his remaining overs. Wet and seamless balls are hard to hanlde for any bowler.

(John Mallos in action) 

He's an interesting one, is Mallos.

On Thursday, at practice, the following exchange occurred between Mallos and Stobo:

Mallos: Stobes, what subject do you teach?

Stobo: History.

Mallos: Modern History?

Stobo: Yes.

Mallos (after some thought): Are the Vikings modern history?

Stobo (after some thought): What?

Mallos: Are the Vikings modern history?

Stobo: I wouldn't have thought so.

Mallos: So, are they ancient history?

Stobo: Um, no, I think they were in what we would regard as medieval history. The Dark Ages, in fact. Why? Do you have a particular interest in the Vikings?

Mallos: Well, I built a Viking boat when I was in Year 8.

Anyway, after the tea break, Connell had immediate success, and then followed up a few overs later, to have Hawkesbury nine down. Michael then picked up his first wicket in 2nd Grade, by having the No. 11 caught behind by Makepeace. Connell finished with four, following an encouraging second spell.

Therefore, a comprehensive win. The Gordon lower middle order had failed to capitalise fully on the good work of the top six, but that aside the team played pretty well. Certainly there was a good vibe in the field, and it was clear that everyone was pulling in the same direction.

(Dylan Connell in action)

Selector Hickman had stayed for the afternoon, which was pleasing ' for the record, he's the last 2nd Grade captain to have taken his team to the Final ' and, of course, Ed Howitt (Snr) was there, scoring, despite the fact that Ed Howitt (Jnr) wasn't even playing. A champion, is Ed Howitt (Snr).

I didn't see Higgins anywhere after the game.

Fairfield next round.

Like all opponents in second grade, they're a complete mystery to me, but we'll give them a run for their money.

R.M Stobo
2nd grade report vs Hawkesbury Day 1

2nd grade report vs Hawkesbury Day 1

2nd Grade Report v Hawkesbury (Day 1)

A good toss to win, and we won it. Chose to bat.

The wicket had a touch of grass, but looked good. It was on an edge of the square, meaning a reasonable hit to the fence on one side, but a bloody big hit to the other. Is 2nd Grade condemned to playing on the edge of squares? Certainly it's been the norm this season.

(Rod Hokin in action at Benson's Lane)

A wide and a no ball meant that the first over was eight deliveries long, and Kleem pushed at the eighth, only to steer it to second slip.

Hinton joined Piccolo, and the two looked in good touch, until Hinton also steered a ball to second slip, and we were 2-25.

Then an important partnership. Hokin and Piccolo batted with patience and resolve, and saw us to lunch for no further loss of wickets. The score had also cantered along, and the hundred was passed. The first important partnership of the day was up and running.

Piccolo was applying himself very well, and it was disappointing that he was unable to notch up three figures. Certainly he looked determined to do so. But he fell for a well made 65.

Dowsley joined Hokin, and the two batted superbly. Both are good to watch, as they play fluently, and keep the ball on the ground. The score raced along, and a huge total looked possible. Hokin's first false stroke came when he was 78, and the breeze held the ball up for a catch to be taken. It was a very good response to the fact that he was in 2nd Grade; the sort of response that marks a man of character.

(A classic Nick Dowsley pull shot)

Therefore, within six or seven minutes of tea, Gordon was 4-225 and well in command.

It was at this point that Stobo had an encounter a question that only Dylan could ask. Dylan asked me how much he should eat for tea.

I thought about saying two pikelets, a jam roll and piece of pineapple, but thought better of it. It's important that he learns by making those sorts of decisions himself. Builds character.

Cashman received an LBW decision with which he was not enamoured. 5-225.

Then, in the last over before the break, Dowsley, who'd brought up his 50 with one of the shots of the day ' a cut behind point for four ' received a very controversial decision and was out, caught behind, for an excellent 54. It was an innings of class, and promise.

(Nick and Rocket scamper for a single)

6-225 at Tea. If only the break had come 10 minutes earlier.

Two new batsmen at the wicket for the start of the final session. Makepeace, and the feisty John Mallos, but more on him later.

Makepeace's poor run of luck continues, and he was adjudged LBW soon after the break. Stobo came and went for his second consecutive duck. Stumped, rather stupidly. 8-227.

It's a well known fact that if Stobo gets to 1, he's pretty much unstoppable. The sky's the limit. The world's his oyster.

However, all too often he doesn't get to 1, and this was yet another of those occasions.

Smith entered and, with Mallos, started to put some life back into the otherwise stalled innings. The score was taken past 240, before Smith was caught behind.

Unlike Dowsley, Smith hit his.

(Third umpire not required. The eagle eye of the photographer was able to get this shot as the ball missed the stumps with Nick trying to get in...the result. Out if it had hit the stumps)

Mallos was joined by Connell. Now, what a pair! Who was going to be giving the advice, the seasoned veteran or the young pup?

Nevertheless, the last wicket proved important, and hopefully decisive. The two batted sensibly, and runs came bit by bit. The score passed 250, 260, ' but on 267 Mallos skied one to be caught for a well made 34.

One hour to bowl. 16 overs.

Connell and Smith opened up. Smith was unlucky not to have a wicket in his first over, as a catch was put down at second slip.

However he did achieve the break through a couple of overs later as the culprit, Hinton, again misjudged the catch at second slip, only for Dowsley to run around behind him and catch the lobbed rebound.

The other Hawkesbury opener had retired hurt. Strained hamstring. With some more strength work during the week, he should be OK.

Stobo replaced Connell, and Mallos replaced Smith. It looked as if Hawkesbury would survive ' with a nightwatchman in ' until the final ball was bowled. With players around the bat, the nightwatchman offered no shot to Mallos, and was adjudged LBW.

He wasn't happy. He had a go at the umpire. He hit the stumps down with his bat.

(John Mallos in action)

Mallos and the non-striker were also engaged in conversation. Cashman was Mallos's adviser. It all calmed down quickly, but only after Mallos had uttered the immortal words, 'Mate, if ever you're in my 'hood ''

What does that mean?? As we play on the leafy North Shore, I suspect it means come and have a caf' latte, and a friand.

Either way, I think he's going to be a good lad to have around, and it's great that he's got his first wicket in 2nd Grade under his belt.

220 to defend. Eight wickets to get.

Good contest.

2nd grade report vs Manly Day 2

2nd grade report vs Manly Day 2

2nd Grade v Manly (Day 2)

The 2nd Grade side is powering on. A comprehensive win over the previously undefeated Manly, and a pretty solid performance all round. Two centuries, a record partnership for the 4th wicket, some good catching ' particularly by the mercurial Piccolo ' and excellent ground fielding, and a consistent bowling performance, including a five wicket haul (and a milestone) for the aging Howitt.

(Hoppa takes his caught and bowled)

381 v 244. Good job.

A good Stags Lunch on Friday to begin the weekend. Well done yet again to all the organisers, and especially Uncle Fatty. And great to see a number of the 2nd Grade boys there, including the very sharply dressed Rasool. Not sure exactly what Rasool did after the lunch, and I'm not sure that he is either, but a long day in the field was not what he needed. Took the rain gamble, perhaps? Bad decision.

Saturday began without the expected showers, and Gordon took to the field with a clear job to do. The first thing was to get an early breakthrough, and Smith provided it when, after a building good pressure with Connell, he pitched up, and took middle stump out of the ground.

(Hoppa is chased by Brad Rasool)

Connell was bowling very well, and was desperately unlucky not to get an LBW decision in his favour. However, it was not until Howitt was brought on that the second wicket fell, as he held a return catch.

He gets very excited about his wickets, does Howitt. Maybe it's because they don't come along all that often. No, that's cruel, and Howitt asked me on no less than three occasions during the day to say nice things about him in the report. So I will.

To a point.

Howitt's wicket took him to 347 wickets for Gordon, a fine effort indeed. Until you learn that A Wilson has also taken 347 wickets for Gordon. It sort of takes the shine off it a bit. Clearly wickets were much easier to come by in those far off distant days. Probably uncovered wickets.

(After doing a lap of the oval Hoppa is caught by his teammates)  

At lunch, Manly were 2-94, and things were probably pretty even. They had wickets in hand, but we had a big total on the board, and they still had a large mountain to climb. Wickets in hand at tea would probably be the key.

Connell opened up after lunch, from the northern end. The first ball was a firm push to the right of mid on. Stobo was in that position, and moved across toward the line of the ball. With every step he was weighing up the decision: hamstring or four runs, hamstring or four runs, hamstring or '

Four runs.

The wicket was benign, and rain was on the radar, to the northwest.

We learn that rain's on the way by going in to the pavilion and looking at Secretary Falk's computer.

In the old days we used to go outside and look up.

Howitt was bowling what was to be a marathon spell. Thirty overs in a row. Clearly he has O'Neill-Fuller round his little finger. This is something that has to be worked on. He's all peaches and cream when the captain's around.

(Dylan Connell during his first spell)

And I'd like to say at this point that O'Neill-Fuller is a very good captain. He thinks. He's willing to consult, but not too much. He constructs good, interesting plans, and keeps the game alive during the long stretches. And he's not really the devil.

But I think he's scared to take Howitt off.

Admittedly, so too would I be if I was in his position. I've learned that Eddie's a frightening little man when he learns that his spell's come to an end.

Howitt did take wickets, though. A plan to have the Manly No 4 caught square of the wicket on the off side finally worked when, after a dozen or so overs, Howitt decided to bowl to it. Dowsley held the catch at point.

That took him to 348, past Wilson, to equal 17th on the list, alongside his old mate, Kurt Morrison.

Then, with the rain starting to fall ' according to Falk's computer, at least ' a firmly hit drive off Howitt was held on to by Smith at mid on, after first crashing in to his chest. No 349 for Howitt. It was a key wicket, and tipped the balance back towards Gordon. Manly were five wickets down, but still with plenty of runs to get, and about 45 overs to be bowled.

(The Manly opener departs minus middle stump)

Play was halted at that point due to the rain.

Howitt resumed after the break, of course. The ball couldn't be removed from his hand, short of an acetylene torch. And O'Neill-Fuller clearly didn't have one.

The pitch was playing easily, and the damp outfield had softened the ball, and importantly, the seam.

Eventually, at the 70th over, the ball had split badly enough at the quarter seam for it to be replaced. Secretary Falk darted into the pavilion, and another ball was quickly found, of similar age.

Goodo, but sadly it also had a similar split at the quarter seam. Aren't you meant to replace a stuffed ball with an unstuffed ball? We replaced like with like.

A catch by Piccolo at mid off was well held, and saw the Manly captain depart, but it was followed by an even better effort by the very same Piccolo, running backwards, and never taking his eyes from the ball. And as soon as we got there, he made sure that we knew that he never dropped catches, and that he really was a very good fielder.

(Mark Smith in his opening spell) 

The first of these two wickets was Howitt's 350th, which is a terrific milestone, and a tribute to a genuinely great Gordon clubman. Howitt has stuck through the tough times, and that's a measure of the man. For me, playing alongside him for the first time this year has been terrific, and it's a bugger that he won't be there next week.

There is a downside, having Howitt in the team. He brings his father to the game every week. But that can't be helped, I suppose.

Through all of this, one Manly opener was still there, grinding away. He had been dropped at gully before lunch, but that aside he had been stubbornly defiant. However, he was not scoring fast enough to put pressure on us, and he was not being supported well enough by his other batsmen. As a result, Manly was digging a hole for itself.

A run out saw another wicket, and Stobo finally got himself on the board with a catch to Makepeace from the final delivery he would bowl in the day. Knowing that the second new ball was due, that this would be his last over, and that Selector Wilson had just arrived and would never let up if he finished wicketless, it was probably as important as any wicket Stobo had ever taken.

With the second new ball came an interesting piece of theatre. Smith took the first over, from the northern end, before Connell started to pace out his run at the southern end.

(Matt Makepeace shows off his glove work against Manly)

Howitt was dismayed and distraught. How dare the captain give the bloody new ball to the bloody opening bowlers. Stomping around at mid on, he had to be physically restrained from picking up a stump and driving it through O'Neill-Fuller's heart.

Only thirty overs on the trot. How dare he '?

Any way, the new ball did the job. Connell had an LBW given ' the opener finally dismissed for 115 ' then Smith took the final one, as a mistimed pull was skied and held by Makepeace behind the wicket.

Therefore, a good win. Manly is a team full of good lads, and it was a hard fought contest.

The only downside is the fact that, of the 381 that we scored, well over half were scored by two batsmen, in one partnership. The other nine only contributed 144 between them, and that's not good enough. A chance for others to step up the plate this week.

But, importantly, it was a day in the field that was good for the team. A grinding day, with a good result. We all had to work hard, and work together. There was a very positive feel all day, and lots of support across the park. [And a special mention for Kleem and Smith. Both worked bloody hard in the field all day, and it was certainly appreciated by their team mates.]

Teamness.

I've been lucky enough to see it in a good number of sides at Gordon over the years ' including recent ones. It's something that's built up over time ' it doesn't happen by accident ' and this side's definitely putting the blocks in place.

(Hoppa during his 30 overs)

Bring on Hawkesbury.

RMS

PS. I picked up a Gordon club shirt after the game by mistake. I thought at first that it might be Howitt's. But then I realised that it couldn't be, as it's only a Large. I'll take it to training on Thursday'

2nd grade report Day 1 Round 4

2nd grade report Day 1 Round 4

2nd Grade Report v Manly (Day 1)

Gordon 381 v Manly 0-8.

Looks good on the surface, but the boundary's close on the Roseberry Road side, and the wicket is good to bat on.

(JOF straight drives for four)

O'Neill-Fuller 128. Casman 108. Partnership of 220-odd. Boundaries a plenty, and some very good running between the wickets.

Good work, lads.

Gordon won the toss, after a drizzly sort of warm up, and O'Neill-Fuller elected to bat.

Club Secretary Hartigan Falk knows the Killara strip better than anyone on the planet. Stobo asked him for his thoughts, as the openers took guard.

'It certainly looks good,' said Secretary Falk, 'but there's some grass underneath.'????

Who am I to argue?

Piccolo was dismissed for 8. I'm not sure how, as I was on the coffee run to Lindfield. It was uneventful, if you're interested. No eight car pile up, but it did take a long while ' and many laps of the block ' to find a place to park without having to reverse in.

(Cashy gets his 100)

1-64, and all was going swimmingly, until Kleem skied a ball on the edge of the first drinks break. Why he chose to play the shot that he did, when he did, I will never begin to understand, but that's what happened.

Rasool didn't quite get across to a wider one, and was caught at slip. Gordon was 3-65. Then Cashman joined his Captain, and the two set about making the most of the conditions.

I have come to believe firmly that O'Neill-Fuller is the devil incarnate. I've watched him for the past few weeks, and he frightens me. He seems to represent evilness and badness. And there's a lot of evidence to support my thinking, but we needn't go there.

Ed Howitt (Snr), on the other hand, is a champion of goodness and niceness.

Therefore, I worry that, at some time during the season, there will be lightning and thunder in the dressing room as these two forces try to cancel each other out.

Sadly, I think the devil incarnate will win.

Easily.

Anyway, he was in fine touch. Most shots were along the ground, and most hit the fence. The boundaries were not all that well protected, and once through the infield, the result was inevitable.

At lunch, Gordon was 3-131. It was an odd session.

But the second session was almost sublime. Cashman and Screwtape O'Neill-Fuller set about consolidating the position. They batted sensibly, quietly. But then the runs began to flow again. Very few maidens were bowled, and lots of boundaries were hit. A false shot from Cashman was put down on the short boundary, but luck favours the bold.

O'Neill-Fuller brought up his century first, with a cracking cover drive. There were nineteen 4s, and virtually all of them were worth seeing.

(Nick Dowsley during his 44)

Cashman took a little while to move from 98 to 100, but the single that took him to his hundred was marked by a very proud salute to the dressing room.

They are both terrific fellows to play with, and it was wonderful that they shared such a good stand. Both deserved their milestones, and it is nice to think that their partnership ' over 200 ' will be recorded in the Annual Report for ever.

Unfortunately, right on Tea, Cashman skied a short ball, and was caught, bringing the partnership to an end. It was clear from the disappointment evident on his face that he knew that the job was not yet done; that, as much as anything, suggests that Cashman has a great temperament, and was batting not for himself, but for the team.

After the break, Dowsley and O'Neill-Fuller resumed, but the Captain fell for a very well made 128. His innings was watchful, but at the same time he put away the loose delivery. And he never seemed to hit the ball too hard; rather, he played within himself, and the runs flowed.

Makepeace missed out, but Howitt and Dowsley added another 30, before Howitt fell. Stobo failed to trouble the scorers, being caught at slip off the first delivery with the second new ball.

(JOF pulls another four) 

Fortunately, Smith applied himself well, and helped Dowsley take the score past 350.

Dowsley's dismissal brought Holmes, to the crease. With Smith, another 20 odd was added, and when the innings was ended with Smith's dismissal, Gordon had 381 on the board, and four overs to bowl.

Manly survived the four overs, and scored eight runs, but there were a couple of near things. An edge was too low to be clung on to by Makepeace; an LBW shout off Smith must have been agonisingly close; and Stobo nearly snuck one through.

However, the job now is to defend the remaining 373. Whether or not there will still be grass under the wicket will remain to be seen, but the boundary on the western side will still be very close.

We will have to bowl well on Saturday.

I love bowling.

Can't wait.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report Round 3

2nd grade report Round 3

2nd Grade Report v Parramatta

An odd day, of sorts. A long delayed start, a 30 over game, but a win for the good guys, which was the main thing.

We turned up to find the wicket at Old Kings bone dry, but the far edge of the square ' some fifteen metres away from the pitch ' sodden from the rain during the night. Parramatta does not possess a cover for the whole square, using instead a largish cover for most of it, and a small one to do what's left.

(Gareth Wright)

For what it's worth, it doesn't appear to work all that well, which is a shame, given that it is their 1st Grade ground.

Indeed, it seemed for a time that there would be no play at all, as the groundsman was not keen to hand the ground over. I think the word for it is 'frustrating'.

However, eventually a degree of sanity prevailed, and a decision was made to get underway at 1.50pm. 30 overs a side, 6 overs a bowler, no drinks breaks, etc.

The sooner the better as far as Stobo was concerned; not so much because he wanted a longer game, but because there's only so long that he could put up with Connell on the sidelines.

For some reason completely beyond me, Connell had decided that he was going to get seven wickets that day. How and why he'd come up with this, I've no idea. In all the years I've played, I've never known how many wickets I'd get on any given day ' if any ' until the end of the day's play. It is true that I generally had a good idea of the number of runs I was likely to score, because it was likely to be fewer than two, however, Connell was broadcasting far and wide that he'd get seven wickets. He was sure of it. He just knew.

In the end, he got one. Missed out by six. Bugger.

(Dylan in action)

For the second week in a row, O'Neill-Fuller lost the toss, and Gordon took to the field. For the second week in a row, it was probably a good toss for Gordon to lose, as we felt that we could control the tempo of the game and, most importantly, the run chase, if we fielded first, given the abridged nature of the game. It was nice to have the decision taken out of our hands.

The first ball of the game was smashed to backward point, hitting Stobo just below the thumb on the right hand. It bloody hurt, but he didn't cry. Felt like it, though. Couldn't feel his hand for the next eight overs.

However, far worse luck for Wright, who broke down at the end of his first over with back spasms. It was a sad sight seeing him struggle off the field. Hopefully it will sort itself out quickly, because he's a terrific fellow to have in the side; few players in the Club can match him for heart.

But it was an even sadder sight for Michael Falk, who'd just turned up and sat down with his lunch, only to learn that he was needed on the field. As well prepared as any boy scout, Falk had his creams in the car, and soon enough he was patrolling the western boundary like a gazelle. Only, a very old one.

(Michael Falk making the mistake of watching at an earlier game this year)

He's a legend, Michael Falk, and it was great to have him on the field. He held the catch for my first wicket in 1st Grade, a way back when, in 1983; it seemed to me that he'd been around for ages then. Now, October 2005, and he's still as dependable as ever, as we will see a little further on. It was great to be back on the field with him again.

Connell took the first wicket, as O'Neill-Fuller held a good catch low down to his right at cover. A wicket to Stobo in his first over, and then a good, tight period as O'Neill-Fuller in particular controlled the game. Very few boundaries, and wickets fell reasonably regularly.

The best of them was the catch by Falk, off Howitt. A ball skied behind the keeper, and Falk set off from backward point, lunging at the last moment to hold on the catch at full stretch on the run. However, something had to give, and it did. His left hamstring. Nevertheless, he managed to hobble around the field for the final 10 overs or so, which was terrific, and typical of the man.

There was also one other notable piece of 'fielding'.

Get this.

The ball is hit to deep midwicket. Connell gives chase. He pulls it up inside the boundary.

So far, so good.

He turns to throw. It all goes horribly Connellesque. Instead of a sixty yard throw to the keeper, the ball travels five yards backwards, into the fence.

Four runs.

I was chatting to a Parramatta player on the far boundary at the time. We both went quiet.

Howitt, O'Neill-Fuller, Connell and Dowsley all bowled well. Cashman, Rasool, and Redrup all fielded superbly. Piccolo was also very safe.

Parramatta was restricted to 7-127 off their 30 overs, which was pleasing.

Rasool and Piccolo began the run chase well, and 30 was up in quick time. Rasool then skied one, to be caught at square leg. It was the first false shot he's played in the last 200 runs that he's scored.

Dowsley never really settled before his dismissal, but O'Neill-Fuller took up the running and the momentum was regained.

(John O'Neill-Fuller)

However, just as looked under control, O'Neill-Fuller was out to a terrific delivery, spinning through the gate.

Piccolo was working hard, which was pleasing, and looked set to bat through to the end. Cashman joined him, began quietly, but hit his stride as the innings progressed. Sherman's dismissal for 30 was disappointing in a sense, but it was not a Piccolo-like 30. It was measured, and determined. It set up the win.

Cashman and Makepeace then ensured it. Both batted beautifully, and sprinkled singles with boundaries. The running was a feature. Makepeace fell with only a dozen or so required, but there was to be no last minute drama as Cashman drove a straight six and, with Redrup, reached the target with a handful of overs remaining.

A good job all round.

Rasool, Dowsley and Redrup struggled manfully to sing the song, but it's still a mystery to them, and particularly to Rasool. But they're learning, and points for effort. At least they're getting practice.

And well done again to the Club ' 11 wins in the last 11 games played. The last time was ' when?

(Matt Makepeace)

Pity 4th Grade was washed out ' was it the only game in Sydney not to get on?

Manly next week, and the first game at Killara for 2nd Grade.

The last couple of games have been pleasing, but a sterner challenge waits ahead.

Good.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report vs Blacktown Day 2

2nd grade report vs Blacktown Day 2

2nd Grade Report v Blacktown (Day 2)

Gordon 8-299 defeated Blacktown 208.

Brad Rasool ' 154 Not Out.

Cover drives regularly piercing the gap, hustled singles, straight drives, cuts '

Brad Rasool. 154 Not Out.

Outrageous. Sensational.

The fellow can bat.

The day began predictably enough, with Blacktown batting on. 97 overs on Saturday, 8-192. Thankfully, Wright picked up a wicket early ' the young lad who'd batted for over five hours for 74. Extraordinarily, it was Connell who took the catch, lunging (dare I say 'diving'?) in the gully. Given that he put one down on Saturday that travelled happily at waist height to mid off, it was quite unbelievable that he clung on to this one. But he did, and all was good.

A couple of boundaries to the No. 11 took the score past 200, but the moment he found himself on strike to Connell he learned that lobbing on to the front foot as the bowler is halfway into his run up has its drawbacks. Particularly if you don't wear a helmet. I'm not sure what protection the small piece of cardboard in the peak of his cap offered, but mercifully he gloved a ball through to Makepeace before we had the chance to pin him properly.

All out 208. 108 overs.

Piccolo and Rasool ran from the field to get padded up. Not sure exactly why, but it did give the impression of urgency in Rasool's case. For Piccolo, I suspect it was more about trying to squeeze in as many bloody cigarettes as he could before having to front up to the bowling.

Either way, they began brightly enough, and put on 33 for the first wicket, before Sherman was bowled for 21.

(Gareth Wright in action)

Dowsley looked in command for 17, but then fell to a long hop which he hit, rather obligingly, to point. At least I was told this is what happened, as at the time I was at the Plumpton Marketplace getting coffees for the Captain, the Vice-Captain, and the Scorer. Cashman looked comfortable for 18, and put on over 50 with Rasool, before staying on the crease (rather inexplicably) and being trapped in front. The Captain then settled in and also looked remarkably comfortable, before hitting a ball straight back to the spinner, who held the catch.

Gordon was certainly in command, with well over 100 on the board, but it is reasonable to say that the four dismissals to that point had all been due to batting lapses, rather than the bowling. Everyone had made a start, but only one had passed 25.

Makepeace then stepped in to join Rasool, and the two added 60 very easily, before Makepeace departed, again with a start, but not a substantial score. However, he had helped take the team to the edge of first innings points. Danny Redrup ensured that those first innings points were secured, right on Tea.

And, of course, in the period before Tea, Rasool brought up his century with a straight driven boundary; a fitting shot to mark the moment, if ever there was one.

His innings was terrific on a number of levels. Not only had he carried his bat to the first innings points, he had kept the ball on the ground, regularly placed the ball into gaps in the field, and his running between the wickets was good from the word go. His only problem in this area was when his Captain came to the wicket, pushed his second ball to the left of mid on, called (loudly) YES!, then a few moments later (almost as loudly), NOOOOOO ', by which time Rasool was accelerating. Fortunately, Rasool was able to turn quickly and regain his ground before awful things happened.

And news was filtering through about the goings on at other grounds, and the news was good. Wickets falling at Killara, buckets of runs at Beauchamp and Turramurra, and the 4th Grade side crushing them at Whalan Reserve. All was right with the world.

Falks M and A visited for a bit, as did Selector Hickman. It was noticed that Falk A turned up just in time for tea. Coincidental? Possibly. Or not.

Either way, great to see the greatest GDCC Club Secretary since T Hartigan (1916-16) at Joe McAleer Oval.

After tea, it became a matter of batting without the pressure, and in the hope of seeing Rasool to at least 150, as well as improving the quotient, if possible.

Redrup fell, and was followed by Wright. Note that it was Wright, and not Howitt. This led to a moment of tension, as Howitt hurled his bat and pads away in disgust, when told of his demotion. But no one else cared. Found it all rather amusing, indeed. Either way, he got his opportunity, and really showed his skipper by scoring a superb 4.

Stobo joined Rasool, with three overs to the final drinks break, and 8 runs for Rasool's 150. With two balls to drinks, Rasool was on 148. With one ball before drinks, Rasool was on 154, having driven the off spinner straight over long off for six. A great way to bring up his highest score in a game of cricket.

He played the last ball sedately, the game was ended, we all shook hands, and walked from the field.

Rasool's innings was superb, and marks him as a player with a real future.

Therefore, a great weekend for the Club, and for the 2nd Grade side in particular. The bowling was good, the ground fielding and keeping excellent, and the run chase was managed with relative ease. However, a number of dropped catches, and too many batsmen made starts, but didn't go on with the job. In fact, after Rasool's 154*, the next highest score was 22 (having said that, there were three partnerships over 50).

The 2nd Grade side is a good one, and this win was important. Bring on Parramatta next week.

Richard Stobo
2nd grade report vs Blacktown

2nd grade report vs Blacktown

2nd Grade Report v Blacktown (Day 1)

Better day at the office than last week. More in keeping with this team.

And great to have Gareth Wright and Nick Dowsley aboard ' both very good men, and assets to the side.

(Dylan has them standing to attention at Blacktown)

Stobo was late. Missed a bloody turn somewhere near Blacktown, and that was the end for him. No chance from there. However, for the second week running, the Captain was late as well.

Thankfully, everyone's agreed that, if the Captain's late, no one has to pay a fine. Thank goodness for that. The team discussed it at length, and the motion was carried, unanimously. Phew.

Gareth Wright was also late, having just stepped off the plane from the University games in Brisbane.

Six games of soccer, and two hours sleep before arriving. It would be interesting to see how he coped.

(Gareth getting into the action early at Blacktown)

Joe McAleer Oval is pretty, and it has Whalan Reserve covered in that department. The wicket was flat, but covered with grass ' to bowl or not to bowl, that was the question.

O'Neill-Fuller lost the toss, and Blacktown elected to make first use of the pitch. O'Neill-Fuller would have bowled anyway, as the life was going to be there early.

Connell and Wright bowled reasonably well early, but didn't really make the batsmen play enough. However, runs were kept to a minimum, and after 15 overs Blacktown had only reached about 20.

Stobo was introduced, and had some success in his second over, with a catch to Makepeace right on the drinks break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two wickets in his next over meant that Blacktown was now in trouble ' 3-20 odd, and the wicket was doing a bit. One of the wickets was interesting: the batsman squared up, edged the ball, it took the top of off stump, and Makepeace completed the 'catch'.

However, the batsmen negotiated the second hour, and went to lunch still three wickets down, but with only 40 or so in the bank.

The Gordon ground fielding was, for the most part, excellent, but the catching was not. Two wickets fell in the second session, but in the final hour a clutch of catches went down, meaning that Blacktown was five down at tea, for 117.

(Stobs, Cashy, Nick and JOF are ready)

62 overs had been bowled.

It was grinding stuff.

After tea, Gareth Wright produced a truly impressive piece of bowling. Worn out from the week away, he was coaxed into bowling more overs than he probably thought he could, and his line, length and pace were terrific. It was a spell based more on will power than anything, and it was appreciated by all; certainly by anybody who has had to haul himself up to bowl another delivery when everything says you shouldn't. Unfortunately, it was not as well rewarded as it should have been, as a number of catches went down during his spell; however, it is clear that Wright is a valuable player in this side.

19 overs, 1-20. Outstanding.

The day ground on. And on. Less that two runs an over.

Stobo and Eddie Hemmings Howitt took the second new ball. Common sense prevailed, and Connell took over from Hemmings Howitt.

Stobo was walking back to bowl, and noticed a man and his son casting a fishing line at the southern end of the oval. A pleasant pastime on what was a lovely afternoon.

Oddly, though, there was no water within five miles of the spot. Stobo wondered about this, and put it to Howitt.

Howitt suggested that they were practising.

Possibly, but who practises fishing?! Don't you just go and do it? It would be like practising going to sleep. Or walking. You just don't. You just do it. Anyway, it was an interesting distraction from what was turning out to be a very dull batting performance.

(Gareth Wright at Joe McAleer)  

Howitt was reintroduced, and took a wicket in his first over. Connell took a wicket with the last ball of the day.

Nothing much happened in between. Blacktown finished after 97 overs on 8-192. Give me strength.

But they'll probably bat on on Monday morning, and it will be our job to take the remaining two wickets, and then chase the runs. We've done a lot of very good work, and it is important that it is not undone through carelessness in the first session on Day 2.

The bowlers toiled well to a man, and showed character. All put in. I have mentioned Wright, but Connell (2-28 off 21) and Howitt (1-not many, of a lot) also did a great job.

And so did Makepeace behind the wicket, and it was good to hear Howitt acknowledge him after the game. Keepers are important, and Howitt knows the value of a keeper to a spinner. Makepeace is a good man to have behind the stumps, and in the team.

Indeed, this a good team to play in; quality players, and a terrific spirit. In particular, the new guys ' Redrupp, Rasool, Dowsley ' are all fine men and Gordon is certainly stronger, both on and off the field, for having them.

(Matt Makepeace doing line out practice)

Day One's down. Gordon has the upper hand.

But the job is far from over. It is crucial that we take nothing for granted until the last run is scored.

Richard Stobo

2nd grade report vs easts

2nd grade report vs easts

2nd Grade Report v Eastern Suburbs

Bad day at the office. Really bad day at the office.

Eastern Suburbs 2-200 defeated Gordon 199. Ouch. Big ouch.

It's tough to win a game when only one batsman in the side scores fifty, only one other passes 20, and Stobo's the third top scorer (!). And on a wicket that didn't threaten. To be honest, Eastern Suburbs gave us a lesson. But more on that later.

$20 fine for being late, as judged by the Captain's watch. Set in concrete at the team meeting on Thursday evening.

(JOF showing his style during the trip to Newcastle earlier this month)

Stobo was certainly nervous. This was pressure he simply didn't need. Only the day before he'd shelled out more money than he earns in a year on cricket gear and subs, and here he was, terrified that a traffic jam in the Tunnel was going to end up costing him more. Bloody hell.

He woke at 4.00am and couldn't get back to sleep because he was thinking of all of the things that might hold him up. A blackout during the wee early hours might bugger the alarm clock? Car has a flat battery? Flat tyre? Run out of petrol? '

He wasn't sure that he would be able to feed his children.

He was knackered and stressed before the day had even begun.

As it was, he made it in plenty of time.

Waverley Oval certainly is pretty at sunrise.

And, as it was, only one player was late.

The Captain. O'Neill-Fuller.

Of course. 'Nuff said.

O'Neill-Fuller won the toss. Elected to bat. The wicket didn't have much grass, but there was a little bit of moisture in it. The first hour would be important.

First ball of the season (and for his new Club), Rasool crashed to the point boundary. At that rate we were going to score 1,200. Plus the odd no-ball.

That would be defendable, thought Stobo.

However, at 3-20, with Piccolo, Hosking and Rasool back under the Grandstand, 1,200 was looking a little less likely.

Incidentally, the Sandman ' Steve Abbott ' was there. How good is that? Seemed like a good fellow, and was watching his son playing for Eastern Suburbs.

You know you're getting on a bit when you're facing up to the Sandman's son in a game of cricket.

Then Cashman and the Captain set about righting the ship. A good partnership ensued. Committee man Wilson, who was about to leave because things weren't looking bright, decided to stay for a bit longer.

30, 40, 50 are all passed. 60, 70 ' 100 up. O'Neill-Fuller is playing shots ' including a couple over the fence ' while Cashman is playing straight. O'Neill-Fuller reaches his half-century. The partnership passes 100. But things are not yet safe and, when Cashman is run out on 49, another tumble of wickets. 3-130 becomes 6-not many more.

Howitt the Younger ' who is actually becoming Howitt-the-Middle-Aged ' joins O'Neill-Fuller, but their partnership ends with the fall of the Captain, stumped, for a well made 88.

Gordon is 7-160, and not in the position that it could, or should, be.

Howitt falls, and the last two pairs add another 30-odd before the final wicket goes down, after 49.4 overs. All out for 199.

(Howitt the middle aged)

It will be tough to defend, given the short boundary on the eastern side, and the placid nature of the wicket.

Connell opens the bowling, and captures an early wicket, with Harry Rednap ' no, wait a minute, he's the manager of Southampton FC ' Danny Redrup taking the catch at square leg. 1-11, and the start we were after.

But it goes downhill from there. The two Eastern Suburbs batsmen were relatively limited, but they appeared to understand that, and they played within their limits. Occasional bits of good fortune, perhaps, but for the most part they kept it simple, and effective. If they batted for the better part of fifty overs, they would win the game. They did what they had to do, and didn't seem too fussed if it didn't make a highlights package.

A good lesson to learn, lads.

O'Neill-Fuller rang the changes, but without success. There were some tidy overs, and some good deliveries, but the bowling rarely threatened.

Howitt-the-Middle-Aged came on at the northern end, and claimed a good caught and bowled, but the score was 2-100, and Eastern Suburbs were on top.

And so it went on. The runs flowed steadily, and the score crept up. A bit of controversy with a possible run out turned down, after a straight drive deflected off Howitt's finger on to the stumps. But that aside, there were only one or two other chances, and the game didn't hinge on either.

Connell was the pick of the bowlers, with 1-23 off ten. Howitt also bowled well, and claimed 1-37 off his ten. Rasool, Hosking and Cashman all fielded particularly well, in tough areas.

Eastern Suburbs scored the winning run in the 47th over, which makes it seem a bit closer than it really was. Their opener scored a deserved century. If we'd scored 230, which was well within reach when we were 3-135, then we had a real contest on our hands, but 199 was simply not enough.

So a disappointing day, and made more so when the results of the other games filtered in. But the season is long, and good teams ' and Clubs ' bounce back.

At least the Swans won.

Richard Stobo


 

Third Grade Match Reports 05/06

Third Grade Match Reports 05/06

The third grade team plays for Mitchell 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.

Third Grade match reports for 2005/6 season are provided below:

3rd Grade Report Round 15

3rd Grade Report Round 15

Third Grade Report vs UNSW
 
Saturday provided Gordon's third graders with an opportunity take out its collective frustrations. A mixture of solid cricket to get the team into virtually every game but the inability to put games beyond the reach of our opposition meant that we were no chance of playing finals cricket this year. We set ourselves a goal after Christmas, win every game and we would be a chance, the results to the last round, as you have all read were:
  • Sydney Uni - lost by one wicket
  • Northern Districts - won by 180 runs
  • Penrith - draw with Penrith 9 down
  • Western Suburbs - won chasing 360
  • North Sydney - lost by one wicket.

(Brad Rasool in action)

Close but no cigar. Consequently, the game against Kensington Technical College ("Kenso") was worth nothing and, after a very frustrating season, it would have been understandable to have played a bunch of care-free shots that would have resulted in either a score to rival those witnessed at the Wanderers on Sunday night or Chatswood Oval on Saturday. Instead the team covenanted that it would put in the same 100% that it had demonstrated all year. Certainly it did so to enough teams to have heard the comment from a number of high flyers that they were not unpleased that they would not be facing the Stags at the end of March.
 
Another toss lost but a curious decision to insert by the Kenso skipper. Perhaps when you play every second week at David Phillips Oval North, every other deck looks like a green seamer. Surely it was a mistake, especially with Sherman and Kleem reunited in the side, Kenso should have been prepared to pay.
 
(Mitchell Kleem hits out at Beauchamp)
 
However, as is always the case, reputations in cricket count for little and after 4 overs Gordon had lost these soul brothers to be 2-20. Rasool came to the crease and with Kelly set about building the innings, a significant number of singles were picked up and hardly a loose ball was not put away; but Kelly (24) appeared to get bored with the bowling, that could barely have been over military medium and edged a ball that he tried to hit to Killara.
 
Three wickets down with only 70 on the board. Last game that would have spelled disaster but Rasool was up to the task and he blazed away at anything loose, whilst turning over the strike with Goldsmith, Richtor, Medcalf and Michael, up until he played well forward to a leg spinner and was adjudged lbw on 99. Stobo claims that batsmen never think that they are out lbw, that is not true, of the 86 times that I have been given out in that fashion in grade cricket I was dead to rights at least twice, actually probably only once. In any event Rasool can feel hardly done by. The umpire, a nice enough bloke who played cricket for St Ives asked Kelly at the end of play about any constructive criticism that he may have about his performance, to which Kelly replied "if you are going to give decisions like that you had better think twice about inviting comments about your performance".
 
In any event, the innings put us right into the game and showed that Rasool is far too good a player to be playing in 3rd grade and with some really good preparation and placing a high value on his wicket, such as the price placed on his wicket by Cashman, he will surely be pushing for the top team once more.
And so the Stags would take to the field for the final time in season 2005/2006 defending 239.
 
The start could not have better with two wickets falling within seven balls, one to each of Lee and Holmes. Kenso was reeling and before long they found themselves 4-33, with some great bowling from the openers. Holmes has really reasserted himself as bowler of real talent in the latter part of this season. At this point Stephenson senior arrived with M Falk to draft the services of Rasool to cover an injury in 1st grade and it may have been coincidence but, from this point Kenso put together a partnership of 120 that saw them scream back into the contest.
 
(Chris Lee in action)
 
A couple of catches went down off each player and admittedly, whilst all but one were pretty tough, it has been a bad habit to have developed in recent games. I would hate to blame the loss of Rasool but it certainly affected the rest of the team. In desperation the skipper, weary from a season of disappointments and near misses, made a petulant, some would say ridiculous move, and introduced Sherman to the bowling crease, with the welcoming words "come on mate have a crack, surely your day cannot get any worse".
 
Almost from the first ball Sherman showed all that bowling at the stumps on a length makes it very difficult to score runs. The partnership was broken, with a frustrated shot to mid off, then another in the same over and then the prize wicket of Kenso's number 4, who had previously dispatched Michael over the eastern boundary and lost the ball, was caught again of Sherman on the cow corner fence. Seven for 180 quickly became 9-190 with about 12 overs remaining. The team came together on the field for the last time and the captain said "I just want to go on record as saying, I can't believe we lost this game from here". Much laughing ensued but Kenso's last pair set about hitting anything with width and ran plenty of singles.
 
Not again. Not seven times in one year, surely such a record has never been set.
 
Twelve runs to win after some tight overs from Chris Lee off 12 balls, Kelly cowered to the deep cover fence, cursing his luck and wanting to be as far away from the opposition dressing room as possible. Sherman half volley on off stump, big swing that if connected would have meant 6 off 11 balls, off stump knocked out of the ground. Jubilation! Who knew Sherman, who finished with figures of 4-19 off 9 overs, had the zip required to knock a stump out of the ground. A fantastic finish to the season for this team, which is filled with talent and destined for better luck and higher honours next year.
 
A enthusiastic song was commmenced but for reasons best know to Goldsmith and Sherman, fell away before it finished. It was great to see so many back at the Green Gate and is again a sure sign that this club has a strong culture and a healthy future.
 
I would like to thank all 31 players who put in for the team this year. To them for being on time to games, for being in the right gear, for helping Beauchamp rise to the top of the pile in the tea stakes, for listening to me both when on the field and even singing in the shower. Thanks to Higgins for taking up the slack this season of climbing into Stobo. Further I would like to thank the "brains trust" of Goldsmith and Wiese and especially the effort put in by Michael Berman. Thanks Michael it is greatly appreciated.
 
Finally I would like to thank the selectors for always listening to me with respect to my batsman-centric view of cricket and especially to Tony Wilson for taking the bait every single time I have said something that was clearly controversial. Good luck to first grade on their quest to return the Belvedere Cup to Chatswood. Come on boys, we will be right behind you.
 
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH

Matthew Kelly

3rd Grade Report Round 14 day 2

3rd Grade Report Round 14 day 2

3RD GRADE REPORT ' RD.14 V NORTH SYDNEY

Gordon 3's arrived at North Sydney No.2 on Day 1 of our Rd.14 clash with the Bears and were greeted by a wicket that should have suited a batting line up that successfully chased 360 the previous week. During the warm-up Captain Kelly advised the team that during his usual pre-match research of our opponents, he had noticed that the Bears third grade side had been beaten outright more times than any other side in the entire grade cricket competition this year and hence we should consider ourselves favourites, and given the inter-club rivalry, must ensure that we obtain 6 points from this round.

(Jordan Holmes at North Sydney)

Our side on paper looked solid ' with all except one having played 2nds either this season or the season past and a number of those also with 1st grade experience. Things started well with the win of the toss and the skipper electing to bat. Kells and Grommet Waller looked good, putting away the odd boundary and rotating the strike well during the first hour. The score progressed to 0-72 at drinks and the Stags appeared to be in a commanding position.

Not long after drinks a rather strange dismissal occurred (certainly never experienced by the writer in his 14 odd seasons of grade cricket). Grommet Waller attempted a pull shot from what was a rank long hop from the leggie and was beaten, the keeper fumbled, Waller looked behind him saw the fumble and thought the ball had beaten everything and as such decided to take off for a run ' the keeper being a rather rotund fellow, proceed to remove the ball from his guts and took the bails off ' Waller Run Out for a well made 32. Despite a rather concerning misinterpretation by both umpires at tea (where they both claimed that Waller was stumped) ' Run Out remains the mode of dismissal in our score book after animated discussions on the laws of cricket between Goldsmith and one of the black and whites.

(Skipper Kelly during his 49) 

This brought a swinging Brad Rasool to the crease, who smoked a couple of well hit boundaries early off the spinner and medium pacer at the other end. He lost his partner Kelly soon after and was joined by Goldsmith ' what followed was an interesting decision of caught at slip off the ground and then a major collapse by the Gordon middle order. Rassol, Goldsmith, Richtor, Makepeace, Medcalf and Michael all fell relatively cheaply, with the score going from 0-72 to 8-140 odd within an hour and a half of play. This collapse was inexcusable on what was a very good deck against a rather mediocre attack. Fortunately the lower order provided some quality swinging in the form of 'Bruiser' Lee (33) and J.Ling (23) and the score progressed to 184 before we were bowled out with a bit over an hour of play remaining. I'm sure Tony Wilson would agree that in the 'CONTEXT' of the game this was not an acceptable batting performance.

Blinger and Chris Lee opened up the attack with Jordy Holmes bowling first change, and all looked a class above the 2 Bears openers ' beating the bat on numerous occasions. Blinger struck first finding the edge of the Bears skipper ' 1 for not many. The bowling was solid to the end of play and we finished with the Bears 3 for 49 .

(The thirds slips cordon in waiting)

Day 2 started with an inspired spell by Jordy Holmes who grabbed a couple of early wickets with the Bears still a hundred odd behind and only 5 wickets remaining. It looked like we may have luck on our side and despite the ordinary batting performance, may be able to pull off a win. It was not to be however, with 5 sharp chances going down in the next couple of hours and 2 or 3 solid run-out chances not converted. Overall though I thought the bowling performance and the standard of fielding were high. Once again the Gordon 3's stuck to the task and almost pulled off a win but for the sixth time this season, the 6 points were missed by a mere 1 wicket. A frustrated Captain although disappointed applauded the efforts of the bowlers who all worked hard, with Jordy finishing with 3/61 (and always looking dangerous), Gonzo Medcalf claiming 2/18 (displaying his usual radar like line and length), and Dale  Michael also grabbing 2 for 27 (with a solid display of off spin bowling).

There was a notable incident during the Bears innings that deserves to be reported. This being the dismissal of the opener who got 65 after enjoying a significant amount of luck ' caught by Rasool off Michael. Dale pitched the ball on a good length, and whilst trying to turn the ball to the leg side, a leading edge resulted and the ball flew up between Rasool and Ling. Both the big man Ling and small man Rasool called for the ball and ran towards each other looking for the catch.

(David Michael at North Sydney) 

Although Ling claims he pulled out, a collision resulted and despite the big hit applied by Blinger, Brad managed to hold onto the ball and claimed the catch and 10 player of the year points. He also claimed a rather nice cut above 1 ear and on his cheek courtesy of Josh's sunglasses and his own 4 carat diamond earing. Lingy suggested later that he was becoming gun shy of North Sydney No.2 as he had been smashed in almost the same position on the field during last year's rugby season. Razzle was happy that he had a couple of good scars to show off to the ladies later that evening. Regardless the wicket was taken.

UNSW next week ' let's hope we can finish the season on a high with a win against the students.

Dean Goldsmith

3rd Grade Report Round 13 Day 2

3rd Grade Report Round 13 Day 2

3rd Grade report vs Wests Day 2
 
It was certainly about time.
 
After battling in the field on a flat, grassless wicket and a lightning quick outfield, Gordon returned to Blick Oval needing 360 runs to claim the points. Unfortunately, the ground did not match the one that we left seven days previously.
 
(Dean Goldsmith hooks a ball for 4 to bring up his century)
 
The wicket had significantly more grass on it than the previous week, which was curious considering that in the same conditions which (predictably locals said "it has poured down here since Wednesday") a second wicket prepared for a Sunday game was far more barren. Curious also as the groundsman was at the ground up to the start of play in blazing sunshine but claimed that his mower did not have a low enough setting to reduce the thatch on the match wicket. Obviously the other wicket was mowed by someone else.
 
Disappointing also that the ground had been scarified during the week and if the ground had been on a slope Dale Begg-Smith would have felt right at home. The ground had been churned up (and therefore slowed down) apparently because of a council policy that dictates "when there is a forecast for rain Blick Oval will be cored". It is extremely hard to believe that this is in fact the policy considering the state of the ground and the rain that has fallen in Sydney since the turn of the new year. Whatever the reason, and it is hoped that the reasons given were legitimate, the third grade team were certainly galvanised to achieve a significant summit. If the reasons given were legitimate, then Wests needs to assert greater authority in the preparation of its grounds because what was turned out was not acceptable.
 
(The cored grass at Blick)
 
In a chase such as this it is important to understand that it is impossible to win the game in the first 20 overs. It is far better to be 1-60 than 5-160. Partnerships and wickets in hand were discussed as the key to victory prior to taking up the challenge in the middle. Gordon made a bad start when Kelly was out to a ball that was pitched short and wide but held up and he was caught at cover for 4.
 
Waller and Goldsmith sought to steady the ship and batted with caution but great resolve to move us through the two drinks breaks and then to Tea at one wicket down for 130. Wests only bowled 37 overs to the Tea break and it was something that was latched onto by the Stags as being in their favour in what would be a very long last sessions on a very hot day.
 
(Reece Bombas depatches a four during his innings) 
 
Goldsmith, suffering from back spasms in the morning and ever increasing incidence of cramp, opened up after Tea and raced to his first hundred for 3 seasons and one that was of high quality. He was the first to know that he had reached a hundred and acknowledged the crowd's not yet existent applause. When quizzed after being dismissed for 114, Goldsmith said, "it wasn't to hard to keep track of my score because 6 and 4 makes 10 and 4 and 4 makes 8".
 
Waller reached his 50 shortly after the break but was dismissed shortly thereafter for a mature 59. The partnership of 180 from these two was invaluable but with nearly that number again to be made the game was far from won.
 
Bombas has really announced his arrival as a reliable batsman of quality in the latter part of the season, having stepped out of the "potential" bracket and he did not disappoint with some thoughtful batting that dispatched the loose ball but saw him work very hard with Nick Medcalf (34) to push singles and turn ones into twos.
 
(Justin Waller during his 59)
 
It is salient to compare the means by which the two sides amassed their scores. Wests relied on hitting big shots, whilst Gordon worked very hard at turning over the strike but still put away the bad ball. After Medcalf's demise, Bombas was joined by Michael (44*) and with Gordon requiring 80 runs off 15 overs, the sensible batting continued. Bombas was the sixth wicket to fall for a well made 73 with 13 runs remaining for victory. A moment of tension was obvious when Wiese departed just as he had arrived but with the big hitting Smith, thankfully ignoring the captain's advice and striking a couple of lusty blows to the fence the victory was secured with 2 overs remaining.
 
A very satisfied song was belted out after a victory that was brought about by a good chase but just as much by staying in the game until the last ball of Wests' innings. The efforts of all the bowlers last week but especially Holmes was terrific and drew comment from the umpires at the end of what was a very tough day. After the batting heroics, Holmes was forgotten in the song and that was wrong. The team apologises to Jordan for this oversight.
 
It is true that the third grade side has been disappointed by failing to claim victory in games that were within its grasp. For the sake of 5 balls this team could easily find itself ensconced in the top three teams of the competition. However, cricket is a game that is not won until the final run is scored or the final wicket is taken. As Tony Wilson correctly notes, "consistency is not always rewarded with points". As such the side will continue to the last ball of its season attempting to move as high up the table as possible.
 
(Some quick running from David Michael)
 
Taking on arch rivals Norths next week ensures that the side will not lose focus.
 
Matt Kelly
3rd Grade Report Round 13 Day 1

3rd Grade Report Round 13 Day 1

3rd Grade report vs Wests Day 1
 
We turned up at Blick to be welcomed by a flat even grassed wicket, short boundaries and even shorter grass. "Tails". Heads. "We'll have a bat". "Crap".
 
Confident that our bowling could be maintained at a high level to making batting difficult, we started well. Shots were played in the air and off the edge all day, but rarely went to hand. Five hours later, after much toil and little early luck, Wests finished 8-359. However, we experienced the first "double play" that anyone has ever seen as well set fifth wicket pair were tearing us to pieces as the wicket got less and less lively.
 
(Jordan Holmes doing his Laurie Nichols impersonation)
 
A shot to backward square saw a dubious call for a second run, at which point there was a mid-wicket collision between the two batsmen sending both sprawling to the ground. Wiese took off the bails with number 6 still well short of his crease, a good result for a great piece of fielding from Waller, whose enrgy and committment was first class all day. T
 
The incident claimed its second victim, when number 4, who had had early luck was now smashing them and was on 139 not out. The collision however, was a "bell ringer" and after one more ball, smashed to long on, but saw the affected batsman standing in a dream in the middle of the pitch, it was clear that he was badly concussed and had to leave the field. Without the incident Wests may have amassesd more than Sydney Uni's first grade team on the weekend.
 
Despite a concerted team effort for the entire day, special mention must go to Holmes who is bowling as well as anyone can recall. His 4-56 off 16 overs were a just reward for the Big Pillock.  
 
Indeed. Further, the score may have been greater but for "Brother L" Richtor's 0-23 of 16 with 8 maidens. Medcalf (1-74 off 18) and Lee (0-60) bowled well without a great deal of luck and the spin of Michael (2-72) and Thomlinson (0-60) came in for rough treatment but all stuck at the task.
 
(Elliot Richtor)
 
The task looks mighty, but if we bat for 82 overs and have wickets in hand with 20 overs to go, we will have every chance to emulate the great second grade victories of the last two seasons.
 
Matt Kelly
3rd Grade Report Round 12

3rd Grade Report Round 12

Kells has right of reply

The Penrith website makes the following accusation:

"With 300 in sight and still 15 overs to bowl on the flat track and with the old ball Gordon suddenly faltered, shutting up shop to block out the last 15 overs for the loss of no wickets. Putting only a further 26 runs on the board, to finish the day at 6/268 after 83 overs. From Grdon (sic) the most negative piece of cricket most of the 'older' heads in 3rds had ever seen."

(Chris Lee in action)

I don't know who the "older heads in 3rds" comprise; but from my point of view the most negative piece of cricket that I have seen this season is a team needing to win to stay in the semi final race setting a ring field from the 20th over on a pitch that didn't get above the knees for most of the day and bowling outside off stump, expecting the other side to get bored and get out.

To suggest that one side has to make all the running in a game is naive. In these circumstances, had bigger risks been taken by hitting across the line or trying to hit over the top, we could have been all out for 280-290. The game would have then likely been over with about 10 overs in hand on the second week. It should not be overlooked that shots were played until the end on the first week but it was almost impossible to get an old ball through the ring and when that was achieved it was pretty tough to hit the boundary on a slow outfield.

The Penrith website continues:

"True to form Gordon continued batting on day two, this time showing that they did have the ability to play some shots, batting for a further nine overs to finish at 7/319. This left Penrith the remaining 71 overs to bat to score the 319, a difficult but not impossible task on the flat wicket.

Exactly why the Gordon Captain didn't decide to bat thay (sic) way for the last 10 overs of the first day, certainly no one in the Penrith camp could figure."

(Reece Bombas during his 85 against Penrith)

Predictably, the second week saw a slightly better wicket, an outfield that had been cut that morning and a new ball. The ring had also been dispensed with. Is it any wonder that it was much easier to score quickly? Further, it seems to me that it is quite easy to figure why the "Gordon Captain didn't decide to bat that way for the last 10 overs of the first week". It had a great deal to do with the fact that the Gordon Captain was sitting in the sheds because he had been dismissed in the 51st over.

The tactics for the game revolved around the fact that Penrith had to chase a total if they wanted to stay in the semis. We kept attacking fields all day, despite the fast outfield, bowled a spinner for nearly half the overs and attempted to win the game. The fact that they shut up shop with still a glimmer of hope speaks volumes for that side's attitude. As it happens, if we had taken our chances then we probably would have won.

Matthew Kelly

Third Grade scores

Gordon 7 for 319 (Reece Bombas 85, Matt Kelly 77, Elliot Richtor 48, David Michael 51no) drew with

Penrith 9 for 286 (Chris Lee 3 for 66, Jordan Holmes 2 for 46, David Michael 1 for 84)

 

Third grade report vs Penrith.

Third grade report vs Penrith.

Third grade report vs Penrith.

Willoughby to Penrith in less than an hour 'wow!' exclaimed a delighted Captain Kelly. It appeared to be the start of a good day. Kelly then proceeded to win the toss and bat on a deck that has produced few 200+ scores this season.

(Gordon on the attack against Penrith)

The usual pair of Kleem and Kelly got things going before the former departed for 15, Goldsmith followed shortly after for 1. Enter Bombas who along with Kelly battled against an ever slowing track and the sweltering conditions to take us to the tea brake two down with over 100 on the board.

Kelly spent at least fifteen minutes of the tea break in the shower. The noises that echoed throughout the rooms in those fifteens minutes wouldn't have been out of place in one of B-Mac's independent films that Higgins raves about. Still putting on his duds when the umpires called the boys onto the field Kelly remarked that he didn't think they would be able to start without him.

Bombas and Kelly continued post tea until the latter fell driving to short extra cover for a well made 77. Enter the man of the moment Elliot Richtor. Els continued his great form combining with Bomber for an entertaining stand in which they both made the difficult conditions look easy. Bomber fell playing across the line to a straight one for a brilliant 85. Muppet joined Els and the runs continued to flow before when just two shy of yet another half ton Els missed an attempted drive over the long off car park and was stumped.

Michael then joined Muppet with the instructions to see the last hour of play out without the loss of any more wickets. Penrith persisted with ring fields and slips and gully catching approach that was never going to be successful on a slow low wicket, as such break throughs were hard to come by. Muppet departed when he edged a wide one from the spinner, which brought Wiese to the crease. The stags finished day one at 6-266.

(Matt Kelly during his 77 against Penrith)

With the cats needing to win to stay in the hunt for the finals the decision was made to bat on and make them chase the game. The declaration came after Michael reached his half-century with the score at 319.

The cats came out blazing intent on running down the big total in the 71 overs they would face. Some good batting an poor catching saw the score race to 0-120 before Goldsmith claimed a wicket from his position at gully with a few well placed words of wisdom. The other opener then opted to take on the arm of Holmes and was run out after a good throw from the boundary and a good pick-up by Wiese.

The afternoon continued to unfold with wickets falling sporadically, a few run outs some good bowling and some poor batting. Penrith for the most part were chasing well, the number four in particular scored 80 odd by knowing his areas and picking his ball.

However even less can be said of some of our fielding which was nothing short of disgraceful. A full eight chances were missed, none of them particularly difficult, yet even one of them would have proved decisive. All of the bowlers put in on what was a difficult track but the inconsistency in the field was a real let down. There were some good efforts in the field, run outs to Holmes, Lee and a brilliant solo effort from Wiese up at the stumps. Also there were good catches taken by Thomlinson, Goldsmith and Richtor, but you just can't win cricket matches when you miss more chances than you take.

(Reece Bombas during his 85)

The second one wicket draw to add to three one-wicket losses this season for the thirds on this occasion we've no one to blame but ourselves. First grade have this year been a good example of how a tight fielding unit can get you across the line, an example that needs to be followed every week.

David Michael

3rd Grade Report Round 11 day 2

3rd Grade Report Round 11 day 2

3rd Grade Report vs Northern Districts Day 2

Scores: Gordon: 271 all out. N.D's : 89 and 1-44

With the recent downfall that Sydney has received, one could be forgiven for thinking that a sleep in on Saturday morning would be ok, and one could feel free to engage in some hullabaloo with a significant other the night before.

(Ian Higgins in action) 

Alas; the weather returned to some form of regularity, 30 degree searing heat. Higgins put on a brave face, and turned up early. No prizes for guessing what he was doing the night before with his significant other.Gordon sat in a choice position on the end of day 1 and a super excellent position on day 2. The wicket was damp, and looked like it would be enjoyable to bowl on. As I predicted last week, Gordon's 3rd XI batted on from last week and added a further 20 runs before we were bowled out for 271. A commendable score for the conditions at Beauchamp oval.

The quest for 10 wickets began slowly. Smithy and Josh "I wish I was Brett Dorey" Ling took the new ball. ND's openers always looked like giving us a chance behind the wicket, as they drove shakily on a seaming wicket. Bling-a-Ling was the first to break through, caught well by the good Richtor (Dan) at first slip. The next ball Higgins cheekily said to Richtor beside him at 1st grip as Blinger ran in;

"This guy is going to get out first ball"

(Ian Higgins in action)

The ball was short of a length, forcing the number 3 back, he played it with a straight bat. The rock smashed the face of the bat, as he defended. The ball went directly down and spun towards the leg stump. Everything was in slow motion from there, the ball clipped the leg stump, the bail dislodged, but not before the batsmen could turn and watch it all unfold. One felt sorry for the batsmen as he threw his head backwards in disbelief.

Suddenly Ling was on a hat-trick, and the score stood at 2-15. Blinger decided he didn't want a hat-trick just yet, and his next ball was wide of the off stump.

Smithy struggled all day unfortunately. His effort can only be hailed as 'club man of the year' worthy. I mentioned a round or so ago he is one of those players who gives his team, his club 100% in everything he does.

Smithy had some minor breathing problems on the weekend. Not that anyone can have MINOR breathing difficulties. It required the webmaster/selector/photographer/academy director/committee man (ever available) to rush down to Chatswood for a Ventolin puffer, the first time in years he has required such an aid. He managed to bowl 10 or so overs on Saturday in steaming weather.

(Ian Higgins in action)

This type of performance epitomises Mark Smith, and he deserves recognition for his efforts. Not like Stobo. Stobo would have pulled a hamstring or something. Soft bastard. Medcalf also struggled considerably in the heat, he managed to secrete some bodily fluids down at fine leg in between overs, and still bowled as good as ever.

Medders, may have just pipped Ling for the bowler of the day. Muppet hit the seam nearly 6 balls an over, and beat the bat perhaps 20 times in his spell of 6 overs. He deserved his 3 wickets. Interestingly enough he bowled with a yard or two faster. This making his medium pacers up around 130-135 km/h.

One of his wickets was that of former Stags 'keeper Joe Audet. Returning to play one of his old clubs he was hoping for a good game. Things didn't get off to the best start when he was all but stretchered off the filed in stifling heat on day one. He came out to bat, determined to drag his side back into the game. Unfortunately for Audet he was hit plum in front by Medcalf after swivelling his front foot on the popping crease. Dead, gone, finished. However, inexplicably to all at the ground Audet felt hard done by. Perhaps he was disappointed that his morning chat with umpire Arthur Watson had not saved him.

(Ian Higgins in action)

Thomlinson, bowling for the first time on Australian soil since his gap year in the UK, picked up 3 of the cheekiest poles you'll ever see. The first, a return catch after dropping the exact same catch the ball before. The second, a dubious caught behind. The third, a chopped on slog sweep. Sounds like how Howitt gets his wickets. Still, 3 wickets is 3 wickets more than Higgins took.

Although it was Thommo who finished off the job for the stags, the most exciting part of the day occurred just before, and after the tea interval.

Having ND's 6 down the over before tea, we urged the importance for a 7th before the break. On the 1st ball of Ling's last over before tea, the catch of the summer was witnessed by a lucky few. Ling bowled on middle and leg, a fullish ball that hit the seam and headed towards the off stump. The batsmen was squared up and found a leading edge. Kelly, fielding at silly, silly, stupid mid off took the smallest of paces to his left before getting air Tony Hawk would be proud of. He was a full 180 degrees as the ball looped seemingly out of reach. Kelly pushed his left arm surely out of his shoulder socket. Inspector Gadget could not have achieved such lengths, nor Higgins the night before. His hand beat the ball to the ground and the ball fell safely into the waiting hand of the captain.

(Josh is flying high)

Absolute pandemonium struck Beauchamp. Kelly got up, launched the ball towards Pluto, and just ran. An effort similar to Dwayne Bravo or that of Ed Howitt Jr. Kelly got knackered quickly in the heat and pulled up after probably 3 metres (he claims that is the fastest in the club over that distance). But still it was funny to see him try to emulate the feats of the much fitter West Indian.

After tea, Ling began the completion of his over. Much to the delight of Dean "The Talking Goldy" Goldsmith, the talkative leg-spinner graced the crease. After receiving batting tips and life coaching the week before, Goldy was quick to remind the leggy that he better be able to practice what he preached. Unfortunately for the batsmen he was caught sharply at Gully by the not-so-good Richtor (Evan or Eric or Elly or whatever his name is).

(Dan what are doing here? The ball is with Higgo. Looks good though)

This placed Ling on his second on-a-hat-trick of the day. Kells brought the field in, including a leg-gully. 14 slips and a couple of catching covers and mid offs. The entire off-side field was within 5 metres from the bat.

And then there was Kleem at a regulation mid-on. The pressure was on. Ling went for the leg side stumping, however Higgins was standing back, and unaware of Lings intentions. The ball travelled harmlessly down the leg side.

After the 10th wicket had fallen, Kells questioned the team what they thought of continuing for an unlikely outright. We thought we would give it a crack, but with 30 overs left in the day, it was never really on the cards. We picked up 1 wicket in the second dig, but the game was called after 15 overs. A wise move from both captains.

The song was sung with gusto. Everyone was evidently tired from the hot day in the field, but it was a good song none the less. Goldsmith got carried away with the prospect of drinking beer, and snapped a floor board with his bat during the song. Typical Goldsmith; idiot. The talking Goldy was deactivated after this incident.

(Mark Smith with puffer in pocket takes a good catch) 

A beer was shared after the game with the District boys. A most pleasant way to spend the afternoon. They are a good bunch of blokes when not handing out advice about how to bat on a wet wicket and, perhaps their "sledging" before the game last week was not all that the Stags thought it was, but it was Goldy who claimed he knew it was a joke. Knowing Goldy, I doubt he knows what was even said last week. He was too busy breaking floor boards.

Lastly I would like to question any Stag as to the whereabouts of Plummer.

Not one person knows where he has vanished to. Perhaps he will appear on the new channel 9 show; Missing Persons Unit. I would love to see him on that.

He would Star, Narrate, Produce, and Write the episode. It's funny though, because after all the talk he gave everyone pre-Christmas about the possible operation, it appears as though no-one was listening. And no-one really cared.

Come back Plums, we all miss you.

Cheers.

Higgo

3rd Grade Report Round 11 day 1

3rd Grade Report Round 11 day 1

3rd Grade Report vs Northern Districts Day 1

Rain again played it's part, as round 11 got underway. The pitch resembled that of a child's bed, with a huge wet patch halfway down the track, and a few damp spots on a length. The days play commenced at 1:30pm. Whilst Gordon waited for the bed to dry, Goldsmith overheard the N.D.'s squad saying that they:

"should be beating the weaker teams such as Gordon, outright, if they were to play in the finals."

N.D.'s lie 3 points ahead of Gordon. If ever there was a motivation to notch up a win against a North Shore rival, there it was.

(Elliot Richtor at Beauchamp)

It was clear from the outset that either way, Gordon would bat first, which suited the stags, as temperatures rose somewhere around boiling point. For some reason, ND's thought it would be a good idea to warm up for an hour and a half in the heat before winning the toss and bowling.

Obviously they felt confident of rolling 10 wickets by the completion of the first 5 overs.

Kleem and Kelly opened the innings. Many of our readers will be aware of the Kingsgrove Sports catalogue; and on the back page of the seasonal periodical lists the names, faces, and nicknames of their staff.

Our very own Mitchell Kleem, or "Mitch" as he is known to his colleagues for some reason, graces the back page of the most recent edition. Apparently, according by the look on his face, "Mitch" was nervous about the photo shoot, and was forced to consume 40-43 beers to calm his nerves.

Anywho, Kleemy failed to recover from the hype surrounding his legitimate magazine debut and was bowled on his 3rd ball by a beautifully bowled in swinging yorker.

(Reece Bombas at Beauchamp)

Kelly and Goldsmith forged a partnership for the best part of the first hour in the sweltering humidity, running relatively hard but sweating more than Higgins in a hairdresser. Higgins was reduced to being Goldy's towel boy, a quality that surely will get him in the Australian Open this year. The score trundled past 50, before Goldy fell caught behind playing a loose drive when on 21. Kells also fell to the heat, for 46, when a half ton appeared imminent.

Bombas, short of form, height and comedic material spent the necessary time out in the middle before he looked confident. He battled early, young bomber, but looked every bit the class act from yesteryear after tea. He and Elliot Richtor grafted out an innings on a tough pitch and a slow outfield. The slowest seen at Beauchamp this year.

Bomber fell for 54, before Richtor again fell in between 50 and 80 for the umpteenth time this season on 74. Before the partnership of the innings and maybe the round occurred, Richtor the senior dodged many pick-up lines from the cordon before he fell caught behind. At least it was hot enough for him to spend most of Saturday building his base tan.

Tea came. Not a bad spread. Not great. Not bad. Perhaps the weather played its part. The Tim Tams had melted, there were no chicken sandwiches, and there was too much skin on display for my liking. Or though, I'm sure many readers won't believe the last statement.

Kelly asked for Richtor and Bombas to be there until an hour left in the day. His wish came true, and Gordon were set up to cut loose in the last hour. Unfortunately, wickets fell, and the runs dried up. Higgins managed to be bowled round his legs, but Medcalf and Ling held there wickets till the end of day 1.

Gordon 7-255. I suggest there will be no chance of us declaring, to make sure we can't lose outright to such a dominant Northern Districts side, who had more than a few things to say to our 3rd graders all day.

What a delight it was to see Dave Storey at the ground on Saturday, arriving straight from his washed out ground to support the stags, Stores supplied much required comic relief for a good 2 hours. The 12th man was discussed, reviewed, then quoted for the majority of the 2 hours.

In fact many television shows got a run on Saturday. Higgins and Smithy read scripts from such popular shows as Seinfeld, and The Simpsons, whilst another member got involved in South Park.

Smithy, haha'. That guy makes me laugh. Wickets for him on Saturday for sure.

A special mention must go to Mark Wiese, who came down old Chatswood way to score and organise drinks and tea. Apparently the wedding, rather ironically, went off without a hitch. Congratulations Wiesey!

P.S. Well done Shweens you lucky bastard. 6-36 in 2's on Saturday. I presume all 6 were caught at fine leg.

P.P.S. You know you're doing something wrong Stobo, if Shweens is taking more wickets than you.

Cheers

Higgo.

3rd Grade Report Round 10

3rd Grade Report Round 10

3rd Grade Report vs Sydney Uni

Saturday saw the long awaited return of Higgins to third grade, whilst another Gordon great, Marty Reynolds, departed the Gordon ranks for good.

The club will miss his experience, class, and drinking ability.

(The winning six)

On the other side of the harbour city, at Killara, the Sydney Uni 2nd XI attempted to contaminate our source of life; water. Surely the consequences could be no worse than the mitochondria/cryptosporidium outburst in the Sydney water supply in the late 90's. But none the less, a questionable operation to undertake for a side presumably educated at a tertiary level!

A far more sedate days cricket at Sydney Uni's number 1 and 2 oval. Gordon 3's resuming the pre-Christmas trend by going down by a sole wicket. Whilst Gordon 1's resuming their fine form winning by a sole run.

With the precipitation levels beginning to climb for the first time in a long time, a delayed start was inevitable. The toss was lost by skipper Kelly, a result that was preferable on the green but hard wicket, and play commenced at 10:30am.

1st Grade took the chance to capture a glimpse of the opening of the innings. Mainly to witness the usually blazing Kleem. However Mitch was quite content on letting his new graphite reinforced bat warm up before he showed his cards to the opposition. Kells and Kleemy batted particularly well, opening the shoulders at every opportunity until the captain fell for 21 bowled by a yorker. The new bodyline in 20/20 cricket. The score stood at 1-38.

(Kells bolwed by a yorker)

This introduced the ever aging Goldsmith. What a character he is. I was sure that he was at least 74 years old, but apparently he celebrated his 30th birthday over the weekend. Oh well, that still appears to be old for this 19 year old reviewer. That must mean Stobo is only 56.

Goldy appeared to be in fine touch. Showing the timing of Martyn and the power of Symonds. He managed to muster a quick fire 30 odd, before shouldering arms to a ball that jagged back to clip off, but looked to be on his way to a big one. I'll back him to make a big score in the near future.

The score progressed past 85 within the first 15 overs, as Kleem and the number 1 and 3 moved the run rate upward. 2-90 off 16. It looked as if we were off to a flyer, but we needed to consolidate.

It didn't happen.

Both Richtor's fell quickly. The elder falling to a brilliant leg side stumping. Klemmy fell when on 48, and Waller "and Grommet" were caught at slip. As we slid into trouble, a major problem was we still managed to score quickly, but in the process lost quick wickets. 50 overs looked a long way away.

(Mitchell Kleem decides on the high road)

At 6-130, Higgins joined the muppet (Medcalf) and a short partnership followed before the latter was caught brilliantly, one handed, diving, at short mid-wicket. Sweeney came and went, Higgins followed soon after, and Smithy and Holmes could only add a few. All in all, 167 of 37 overs.

37 overs. 80 balls waisted.

As was mentioned briefly by Kelly, in between curses, 200 wins the game.

Never the less, one can never underestimate the power of runs on the board.

And with a green deck and a slow outfield, 167 may have resembled 190-200 on another day.

Smith and Holmes opened the bowling, and it wasn't long before a breakthrough was achieved. Smithy managed to sneak a cheeky off-cutter through the batsman's defences. 1-15.

Jordy Holmes at the other end was decking the ball every which way, and picked up the second wicket, juggled at point by the grommet.

(Justin Waller caught in slips)

2-30

The number 4 for the students looked to be in some trouble early, batting for nearly 15 minutes without a run. Holmes bowled him an off-cutter first ball which clipped the pad, and then clipped the off stump, without dislodging the bail. Another wicket was needed quickly.

Introducing Will Sweeney. In his first over he managed to bowl a bouncer, a ball he proclaimed 2 hours before he could not bowl, and the number 4 nicked the ball through to flash red gloves of Higgins, attempting to hook.

3-40

Next Sweeney over, the ball rocketed into the pads of the number 2, plum in front.

4-45

The following Sweeney over, an absolute jaffa of an inswinger claimed middle stump and the momentum had swung in the space of 10 minutes.

5-50

Shweens had done his job, and then some, and it was a delight to see him back in the wickets. For some reason, the wickets he took were the first in over 2 weeks!!??

A partnership ensued for the next little while, before Medcalf claimed the outside edge of the captain and ex-first grade batsman, caught behind.

6-90

One would think that the game was now ours to lose. Alas, the students batted with tremendous application and the wicket looked as though it was now good to bat on. But cricket is a funny game. The score edged closer and closer to 167. Smithy returned to pick up a crucial wicket, caught behind, making the score 7-125. Smithy bowled with all his heart on Saturday. He is one of those bowlers who never gives up on anything and is always giving 100% for himself and the team. The game appeared to be over when they reached 155. Medcalf was re-introduced and claimed the wicket of the half-centurion, caught at mid-off by the grommet. Sweeney bowled the number 10 for his 4th wicket, and just like that it was 9-160.

Kelly demanded "enthusiasm" if there should be an lbw appeal. Shweens steamed in again' it was a full ball, tailing into middle. The number 11 was late on it, as he jammed the bat down, the ball neared the metre wide gap of bat and pad, but clipped the final 18th of the inside edge, down to fine leg for a single.

2 balls left in the over. The next ball was speared into the hip, and uncomfortably defended for no run. The final ball of the over was a low full toss, swung away over cover, and sailed, and sailed, and then fell. Probably 5 metres over the fence. I don't think the batsman could believe it. A sort of stunned silence fell over the 3rd grade squad. A light mutter of carefully chosen 4 letter words, exhibited by the captain, could be heard in the background.

Medcalf, being the type of ordinary bloke he is, retrieved the ball from beyond the fence, then later queried Shweens as to whether he would sign the ball for memorabilia. That's the type of guy muppet is. Kicking a man when he is down. Sometimes literally.

As we walked off the field I, for one, felt in the company of 11 guys who had forgotten how to win a cricket match. If only the other 6 similar results had gone the way of the stags, how different the year and the season would have been and would be.

(The final moment Sweeney realises the ball has gone for six, neither batsman can believe it and the umpire is hoping it is not coming his way)

It was wonderful to see a small number of Stags sticking around after their respective 3rd grade and 5th grade games to support 1st grade. VB's, Tooheys' and a couple of cheeky Cokes were all consumed in the name of cricket, and in celebration of a great day for the 1st grade Stags.

P.S.

Higgins is always happy to give an alcoholic beverage a plug in his weekly article. Anyone from senior management of a brewery I'm sure can come up with some kind of sponsorship for Higgins, and all stags!

P.P.S.

Farewell Marty, we hope to see you around Chatswood way in the future whenever that may be. Congratulations on a brilliant career. Your knowledge and love of the game grows in the heart of every young stag at the club, and plenty of the senior ones too.

Higgo

3rd Grade Report Round 9

3rd Grade Report Round 9

3rd Grade Report vs Campbelltown 

Campbelltown all out 244, Gordon all out 193

Well, it turns out we didn't take the six points. Campbelltown took seven.

(Elliot Richtor at Beauchamp on Saturday)

Campbelltown won the toss and chose to bat, and lost a wicket to Holmes in the first over, with Goldsmith taking a catch of very rare quality at second slip. However at 2/124 after 18 overs they were moving along pretty well. The fact that we restricted them to 244 from that position is a credit to all the guys, and particularly Danny Redrup who dismissed both of their most dangerous batsmen with some tidy work with the ball and in the field. Adam Cubbage and Elliot Richtor also deserve a mention for the way they bowled, particularly given that they were both making their debut in 3rd grade.

A chase of 245 to win should have been well within our reach at Beauchamp, but unfortunately we were never quite in the running, eventually finishing well short.

From our point of view, though, the day belonged to Elliot Richtor, for whom Saturday was a very special day ' his 18th birthday. Goldsmith was delighted to learn of this occasion, and made the early prediction that Elliot would be driving the porcelain bus for the first time as an 18-year-old at about 11pm. Elliot starred with the bat, looking like he could win us the game if only someone could play the support role he needed. Sadly he was out for 74, but he was dismissed not so much by the ball that took his off stump, but by the previous ball, which took middle.

(Danny Redrup against Campbelltown)

Elliot at first looked to have survived the blow all right, but ' inevitably ' seconds later he was in serious discomfort. Having taken a minute or so to compose himself he was immediately dismissed, but judging by the way his eyes were rolled back in their sockets as he left the field he probably should have stayed down. The game was quickly finished, and Elliot was placed in the tender care of Dean Goldsmith, who handed him a bucket of beer. Having gulped down a good deal of the VB/Extra Dry blend, Elliot looked even more uncomfortable, but the result was still perhaps a little surprising ' Goldy's early prediction proved to be well off the mark, and the recorded time (thanks to Dan Richtor) was 6:12pm.

I hope everyone enjoys some time off over the next couple of weeks ' see you in the new year.

Mark Wiese



3rd Grade Report Round 8 day 2

3rd Grade Report Round 8 day 2

Third Grade Report vs St. George Day 2

Gordon 8/293 declared

St George 9/284

Three times this season, our team has now missed out on six points by just one wicket. We've also lost one by eleven runs, and came within a few overs of chasing down a very large total versus Manly at Beauchamp. We know that the best teams 'know how to win the tight ones', so we start to ask ourselves some questions.

(Will Sweeney against St. George) 

This team plays good cricket, and we out-played the competition leaders on both days against St George, but we can play better. The challenge for us now is to keep improving despite the lack of momentum that comes with being on thirteen points, one round from Christmas.


Fortunately, the potential for improvement in some areas is obvious. 21 no-balls was painful, but when Mark Smith bowled their number 10 with the 22nd of the day, it was excruciating. Smithy deserved that wicket, as did the entire team, because we were working hard and Smithy sets an example for everyone, the way he plays the game; he expects the best of himself, and of those around him. He bowled his 17 overs towards the lifeless end of the wicket, and deserved more than his 2.

Another area for improvement is ' as with probably every cricket team that doesn't win as often as it ought ' catching. We dropped two or three catches at crucial times. There's not much more to say about that; anyone who wants to improve their catching will find it very easy to do so on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at training.

(Mark Smith against St. George)

One man to whom training can be of little benefit is Goldsmith, who took our ninth wicket with a direct hit from midwicket. Rocket Hokin may be able to do the same, but that's because he practises. Goldy hasn't tried to throw a set of stumps down since celebrating his third catch at second slip in the 01/02 third grade semi-final versus Sydney Uni. But he still can't miss, and didn't he enjoy it.

Aside from Smith's, there were other good performances with the ball. Medcalf and David Michael are both reliable bowlers, and bowled well but without success. Perhaps the best thing to come out of Saturday's play was the performance of Will Sweeney, in his first game in 3rd grade. Sweeney ended with figures of 5-55 from 17, which was the result of some excellent bowling. As in the 4th grade finals last season, Will can swing the ball in late and accurately, and his control just gets better. He knows his job and he knows how to do it. He is also a big softy.

A few more of the little things done right, and we will take the points this weekend.


Mark Wiese

3rd Grade Report Round 8 day 1

3rd Grade Report Round 8 day 1

Third Grade Report vs St. George Day 1

Gordon 7/270

Having lost the toss and been sent in to bat, the score at the end of play in 3rd grade is very pleasing. St George's decision was understandable given the conditions, but having placed control of the game in our hands we were not about to give it back. Now they will have to accept whatever task we give them.

(From the Matt Kelly Textbook)

There were some excellent innings played by our batsmen. Kelly and Kleem made a good start, ensuring that St George's opening spells yielded no wickets. Kleem, in his usual style, kept the score moving until he was caught for 37.

Meanwhile Kelly was building his innings with intent, but he fell for 35 to a disappointing decision. Goldsmith and Richtor, our two out-of-form batsmen, both made half-centuries. Goldy, for several reasons, is an exceptionally valuable member of any team at this level and I was very pleased to see him play this innings in determined style.

Richtor's innings was ended on 53 by a truly extraordinary LBW decision, but of course that does occasionally happen in this game. Richtor has been out of form thus far, and personally I was proud of the work he put into his innings.

(Goldy against St. George...photo courtesy of Geoff Hickman)

It's one thing for an in-form batsman to make runs in favourable conditions, but I love to see an out-of-form batsman work hard to keep their wicket intact and make runs ' especially in conditions that inspired their skipper to send us in. I hesitate to say this ' because I knew Richtor when he was a mere 18 years old, and because he has had his tips redone ' but he is one of the more mature and thoughtful cricketers in this team.

Dave Michael was the other man to make runs, and he is now on 53 not out. His innings was played with authority, and he gave the impression that he has moved his game well beyond the level it was at last year.

Throughout the day the St George team was slow to play the game; slow to leave their dressing rooms, slow between overs and between balls, all for no apparent reason, and to the point where they have been penalised by the umpires. I can't help thinking that this is unwise. We, on the other hand, will be very keen to play the game hard for victory on Saturday. It's up to each one of us to prepare ourselves during the week, to match and improve upon the standard we have set thus far.

Mark Wiese

3rd Grade Report Round 7

3rd Grade Report Round 7

3rd grade report vs Sutherland 

Gordon all out 209

Sutherland 0/47

(Mark WIESE in action)

The picture for 3rd grade in round 7 looks rather bleak as it stands. However, I've seen plenty of games won from this position, and given the bowling and fielding ability in this side I think there are a few of us in the team who firmly believe we can win it from here. We need the points.

I was pleased when I arrived at the ground to find that we would not be playing on the grassless belter of the previous rounds, upon which I saw about 1100 runs scored in 3 innings (two of them declared). The pitch we used on Saturday is grassy and very hard, and although there's something there for the bowlers it is still a great pitch for batting ' which makes it difficult to put a positive spin on the current score.

In the absence of our deposed leader Kells, who at 12:30 was still sticky-taping his car back together on the way back from a delightful family holiday on the Sunshine Coast, Parfett and Benny G opened the batting. Parfett was out within a few minutes, being very unlucky to be given run out, taking what appeared to be a well-judged single.

(Mark WIESE in action)

Every other batsman to lose his wicket was out caught. Several of our batsmen made starts but lost their wicket in the 20s. I'm sure there's some good advice for our team that could be based on these facts, but I'm stuffed if I know what it is ' I might have a chat to Hoppa on Thursday.

Kelly arrived at about 2:30, and five minutes later was facing up for his first ball, batting at number nine in the order. He was heard to repeat several times after his innings of 66 that he didn't mind going straight out to bat, having not seen even one delivery of the day's play thus far ' it was just like opening the batting.

Kells, we'd all like to show up at 2:30 and walk straight out to bat ' I don't reckon I'd mind opening the batting.

Looking forward to some quality training during the week, and another performance in the field of which we can be proud on Saturday. And six points.

(Mark WIESE in action)

Reece Bombas is in the frame for his report-writing debut next week.

Dave Storey: 'i' before 'e' except after 'c', buddy.

Mark Wiese

3rd Grade Report Round 6

3rd Grade Report Round 6

3rd Grade Report vs Fairfield

Gordon all out 158

Fairfield 9/159

Round six saw Marty Reynolds take over the captaincy of the third grade team, and he immediately added to his excellent record by winning the toss and electing to bat, on a beautiful day at Fairfield Park. Unfortunately we ended up on the losing side of a very close game.

(David Michael at Fairfield)

Our total of 158 was a long way from adequate, and only Dave Michael (33*) did what was required of him. This team has had several narrow losses recently, and the determined building of big partnerships is crucial to our ability to win these games in future. Fortunately, the team is filled with batsmen who are clever enough and capable enough to move the quality of our game up a level.

Going out to defend our total, everybody in the side was determined to put in, and confident in our ability. We played some excellent cricket and Marty was justifiably very proud of the way we bowled and fielded. In the end Fairfield needed 9 runs from the last over, and they got them very streakily ' no fault of Mark Smith who had the responsibility of bowling the 50th. Jordan Holmes (1/13), Danny Redrup (2/20), and Dave Michael (2/25) all finished with excellent figures from their ten overs, and Nick Medcalf took three wickets.

I would like to add my support to Stobo's assertion that the attitude to the game displayed by a team stems from the top. Fairfield were led by the man who presided over their infamously pointless innings versus Gordon 4th grade last season, and I think the tone of the game was lowered significantly by the carry-on of some of their players, the fact that their players couldn't be bothered to get off their bums when it was time to prepare a drinks break (or to sit next to our scorer), and the fact that once again any beer at the ground was only available to their own players.

(That well known glide past point has returned. Marty is back)

Boys, we need to beat teams like that in future.

On our side, I think we are in excellent hands under Marty and Kells, and I'm proud to be part of this team.

Jordan Holmes has already volunteered to write about next week's play. Dave Storey there is no way I'm going to read a 2000-word report.

Cheers.

Mark Wiese

3rd Grade Report Round 5 Day1

3rd Grade Report Round 5 Day1

I really like Higgins' style. He has some rough edges in his use of the language; such as using "however" at the end of a sentence. However, anyone brazened enough to take on Stobo from what was previously Stobo's sounding post, the self-importantly monikered "Ferrari" is alright by me. Some, such as Plummer may not care for Higgins' ability with the metaphoric quill but Plummer is a hard marker, who incidentally tells me that he is still deciding on whether he will read either Law or Commerce at the University of Notre Dame (I presume that is Sydney as opposed to the "Fighting Irish" of Indiana). Plummer is a curious character and often makes me laugh and this revelation was no different because I always had Plummer pegged as a renal surgeon.

(Why does school teacher Stobo want Higgins to have a hair cut?)

Third grade, having come agonisingly close to what would have been a fantastic victory the week before, returned to Beauchamp to attempt to make amends and get back on track in their collective quest for the finals. Michael Michael called the captain the afternoon before the game to see whether the covers had been put down. Kelly, who was no doubt in the middle of important "business" at 5pm on Friday afternoon had not given the covers a second thought and secretly hoped that a bit of rain got on the wicket to give some interest to a cricket game in Chatswood in October. The last two two-day innings at the ground had been 5-384 and 2-280 off 50 overs. Alas, the covers where placed in situ.

On Saturday morning the teams were greeted with the same pitch that had been used for the previous 4 rounds and there was even less grass on the wicket (that is to say there was none) than was on the wicket prepared for round 3. The toss had to be won and a big innings could be begun. As the fifth of a dollar was flicked off Kelly's right index finger, the Hawkesbury skipper called "platypus", the signs were good, the amphibious marsupial had not come up all year...

Platypus.

Kelly, hoped beyond hope that the Hawkesbury skipper had watched none of the Ashes and had missed the controversial election of the Australian captain at Birmingham. The two skippers then had a conversation to the following effect:

(Jordan Holmes in action)

Hawkesbury (Cook): "We'll have a bat."

Gordon (Kelly): "No freakin' kidding."

It started well enough for the Stags as Holmes and Ling got life out of the pitch that no one predicted and importantly bowled very patient line and length. At the first drinks break and 22 overs Hawkesbury were lucky to be only 2 wickets down for 77. Many runs to that point had been mistimed drives that the had squirted behind point or flown off the edge to the third man fence. As tough a time as the batting team was having, and one felt that had the wicket had some grass on it (3rd grade have not bowled on anything with grass or pace this season) that Gordon have a very good pace bowling attack and Hawkesbury may have been in a more precarious state. However, Hawkesbury showed that remaining patient and keeping wickets in hand is absolutely vital.

At Tea, with the wicket and the ball losing life rapidly, Hawkesbury were only two wickets down with 159 on the board. A terrific launching pad for the second session. Third grade maintained its high level of spread for Tea under the respective regimes of Paul and Callinan over the last two seasons and Richtor remembered to bring the tomato sauce this week. However, one notable chink in the armour was Bombas not bringing what was requested of him by the Captain. The Captain sent a text on Wednesday to request ham and cheese sandwiches but was surprised to hear the message tone of Bombas's phone go off in the next room of his Willoughby abode. Reece, it is important to learn now that someone is not always going to be there to ensure that you have washed behind your ears, or remembered to put on fresh underwear or in this case to make sure that you have collected your wallet and phone from Graham Reserve. Not that the loss of contents of Bombas's wallet would have been cause for a great deal of concern.

(Josh Ling)

The second session was more of the same, as the partnership for the 3rd Hawkesbury wicket neared 200. The bowling had not dropped off and the enthusiasm in the field was commendable (something noted with admiration by Hawkesbury's captain after the day's play), it was just that the wicket was ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffllllllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt. The batsmen took liberties and for the most part got away with it. The enthusiasm was epitomised by a great catch taken by Garratt full stretch and left handed to deny a hundred by a solitary run and there was a glimmer of hope to restrict the total to around 300. However, the shots against pretty reasonable bowling continued and Hawkesbury posted 373.

The figures do not bear mentioning. They do not reflect the effort or standard displayed; but to say that both Holmes and Redrup took 3 wickets a piece and Ling's 1-61 off 21 overs with 5 maidens was again fantastic. Early in the day's play, on a dead wicket the batsmen were not up to the task, try as they might, to get edges to a number of his deliveries. One shudders to think what sort of challenge he and Holmes would have been on a pitch with reasonable life in it.

(Danny Redrup in action)

The challenge to chase down 380 is certainly not easy and such a result would be a great achievement. However, Hawkesbury demonstrated that if we bat for around 82 overs then we will be a good chance of winning this game; but for sake of cricket and sanity, I hope that this is the last time that we see this wicket this season.

Matthew Kelly


3rd Grade Report Round 4

3rd Grade Report Round 4

3rd Grade Report Round 4

It's a funny game.

Two consecutive wins in third grade for the first time in 2 seasons and a trip to the sarcastically termed (by the home team) "Atmosphere Park" to take on last year's third grade premiers. Unfortunately as the two days will testify Graham Reserve was not at its best being two paced and different over the two weeks. The winter soccer has also not helped the outfield.

(Ben Garratt in action at Grahams)

However, Kelly was surprised to see grass on this wicket, it must have been the first time that the green stuff has been on the pitch since Paul Stephenson played Green Shield. Kelly hoped that the presence of grass might promise some pace and bounce and so on calling correctly, heads for the fourth time in a row, decided to have a bat.

Unfortunately the grass was Pyrite, Iron Sulphide..."Fool's Gold". The grass merely served to add an inconsistency to bounce. Balls seemed to pop, which made even half volleys a tricky proposition. This cannot be a good wicket because a bowler can get away with bad bowling. Short balls stay low and full balls sit up; Kelly was quickly feeling the life drawn out of him.

However, he and new opening partner Garratt were doing their best to be positive and with some good shots and good running (and a little luck) made it to drinks with 69 on the board. It was then that it started to go wrong.

Kelly (39) copped a pretty average lbw, the bowler conceded over a Beer that he thought that it may have hit the leg stump off a second set of stumps but that can happen in the game we play.

The wickets of Garratt, with a well made 46, and then Bombas (7),

(Josh Ling in action at Grahams)

Richtor (19) and Paul followed in the next hour to drinks. All of those dismissals coming from cross bat shots to balls behaving badly but nonetheless cross bat shots early in 3 innings when consolidation on a tricky wicket was required.

The one man that was able to hang around and waited for bad balls was the man who had a point to prove. Redrup had craved to do well against his former club. The experience is difficult at the best of times but with Manly's aggressive skipper you knew that the new Stag would have to stand up. And stand up he did, with an initial field that saw every fieldsman in circle 8 metres from the bat, Redrup soon had the Manly boys chasing his shots to every "corner" (yes it is a square with and oval marked by chalk) of the Vortex.

Redrup's innings was played with authority and but for wickets falling at the other end to poor shot selections, and a comical run out that saw the "Monster" Mallos run almost the entire length of the pitch before turning in vain to reach his ground, Redrup (73*) would surely have been rewarded with a well made century.

In the end the Stags reached 227, which, despite not seeming like a winning score would be a tough chase if Manly had to endure the same conditions.

(Jordan Holmes at Atmosphere Park)

The Manly innings started with a rush of plays and misses and inside edges that would set the tone for the Manly innings. With "Monster" Mallos introduced in the last 3 overs of the day, he produced a drifting, turning delivery that Manly's young opener attempted to kick away and was bowled off his front pad on what was the last ball of the day. Manly 1-11, game on.

The poor Manly opener had dropped 3 catches and fielded indifferently, at best.

Kelly chuckled to himself, we have all had days like that, it is a funny game.

The 2004/2005 Stags' Lunch was held on the Friday before the second day and yet again the organising committee should be congratulated for a fantastic day. The "Full House" sign was placed on the door early and the number of 3rd grade players in attendance was commendable. "Monster" Mallos had initially accepted an invitation to attend but had to be politely informed by his father (whose name incidentally is not "George" if you listen to Vince Sorrenti) that he had the small matter of an impending HSC Religion exam that took priority. Of course Mallos Senior was correct as you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven with less than 65%.

In any event, after Mallos's attempt at expressing himself in the dressing rooms, one hopes that his Religion exam was better than his English paper.

Then it was back to the Vortex for day 2 and the grass had disappeared from the wicket but it was certainly thicker in the outfield. "Monster" Mallos was unlucky not to have a wicket in his remaining 4 balls of his unfinished over from the previous week with a lolly pop to Bombas that Bombas claims to have lost in the clear blue sky back ground. It was an unfortunate incident that would be repeated by the Stags on another 4 occasions. Redrup and Holmes took the first spell and bowled with pace and aggression without luck as the Manly batsmen continued on from their form of the previous week and found it difficult to gain any fluency with their batting. Ling came on and was rewarded with his first wicket in 3rd grade for the season.

Ling, supported with continued strong fast bowling by Redrup (1-66) and Holmes, on what was soon revealed as a wicket that would not offer much to the quick men, bowled at the stumps and on a length and made the batsmen uncomfortable all day. However, as the pitch, still not a good cricket wicket, had little grass on it on the second day, 227 was going to be difficult to protect.

(Richie Paul at Grahams)

They, along with Medcalf (1-23) had done well to keep the game tight and force risks to be taken to score, but with an over to go before tea Manly had put themselves in a position where they had 6 wickets in hand requiring less than 60 runs for victory.

Enter Paul. Despite a day in the field that he would rather forget for the result of attempted catches as opposed to their degree of difficulty, Paul (2-34) ripped out the two experienced and more importantly set batsmen in his second over. The game had changed and it was Tea. Game now well and truly in the balance. It truly is a funny game.

After tea the target quickly became 30 to get with 4 wickets in hand, thanks to some lusty but risky batting and it was starting to look grim.

However, Ling, who finished with 2-34 off 18, who bowled his most mature spell since joining Gordon's ranks and Holmes (2-40) combined to claim the next 3 wickets for 20 runs and suddenly the equation was 10 to get with 1 wicket in hand. Manly's number 11 on his first ball gave a tough leg side catching opportunity to Lin who, at full stretch was unable to drag it in and the home side was able to limp over the line with one of the shots of the day, a straight drive for 4 off the bowling of Ling.

It is a funny, confusing, heartbreaking game, we had 3 of the top 4 scores, our fast bowlers were better and our ground fielding and enthusiasm was first rate. Unfortunately, we were not able to claim the points.

(Well done Blinger)

Cricket just goes like that. However, to stay in a game like this until the death against a very experienced, successful and aggressive side as Manly, who have not lost at the Vortex for about 4 seasons, spoke volumes about this group. The bowlers stuck to the game plan, they were patient and yet aggressive, the fieldsman were in full voice all day and no one conceded that the game was lost until the last runs were achieved.

Kelly was very proud of the effort. Little else could have been requested than the 100% that was given by each player and the attitude, the attitude is what will take this team to something special.

What a game of cricket, what agony, what a funny game. That is why we love it.

3rd Grade Report Round 3

3rd Grade Report Round 3

Third Grade Report vs Parramatta 

Now that third grade, still without its spiritual head Reynolds or sight screens for that matter, had started its season with 6 well earned points the previous week, it was time to consolidate. The team was greeted with the same pitch as had been used for games one and two but the batsmen did not mind as they knew that it contained plenty of runs and a chance for consecutive wins.

(Shayne Lin takes the long handle)

The pitch had a couple of wet spots that were never really in play. However, in a seemingly all too familiar trend over round 3, Parramatta's skipper was resolute in his stance that the pitch should be given time to dry out. It was a curious decision but he was a good man and the home skipper was willing to give him the time he desired so long as it did not shorten the number of overs in the game. A firm start time of 10.30 was determined, which was far more civilised than the scheduled start. Parramatta hit the warm-up at about 9.00, whilst the home skipper released his charges to Chatswood Chase with the message to return for a warm-up at 9.45.

The Stags' warm up started well, with intensity and enthusiasm swelling through the team. After 3 matches and only 2 changes, this side really has a good feeling about it. The boiled over to see Lin charge in to take a catch during Medcalf's "hit-up", only to see him slide into a pile of dog poo at the northern end of the ground. Intensity, enthusiasm and then hilarity added by Lin. It was great for the team; what a team man Lin has become.

Kelly trudged out to toss the coin, the signs of weariness from spending all of the previous game on the field only 4 days before were clear for all to see. Moth can be sensed shaking his head. Wayne Bennett would have complained about short turnaround times wearing out players. Kelly did not have the forum to do likewise as no one from the press turned up for the third week in a row. The toss was won, with the opposing skipper ignoring the form and calling for the platypus on the 20 cent piece. The skipper motioned to his side that they would bat, Kleem ran off the field to prepare for another dominant display. Kelly trudged. A single, virtually walked by Kelly, growing ever wearier in the first over was all that he could handle and he was out to short wide ball that he helped to the 'keeper. Salvation?

(John Mallos on Saturday)

Probably, but certainly a chance to watch those who had been well rested throughout Monday strut their stuff.

Evans and Bombas looked good before making a single mistake each in their innings and departing the arena. All the while, Kleem, like a modern-day Jack Small, bludgeoned the bowling once more and the entire club was buzzing with the news that he had scored yet another half century. Unfortunately, the thrashing machine that Kleem has become was again dismissed between 50 and 75, when attempting to play one "big shot" too many. One does not get too many opportunities to score grade hundreds and Kleem will surely make someone pay soon. The Stags were in trouble at 4 - 125, with all aware that "par" on this ground is 230 off 50 overs. Paul, playing his first innings in 3rd grade for the season, and Richtor set about setting up a match-winning total. Smart cricket was played with quick singles taken and hard running turning ones into twos, whilst the bad ball was dispatched. Paul was dismissed to a ball that spun more than he anticipated but the fight was taken up by Medcalf.

Richtor, out to prove a point, demonstrated why he is such an important factor in third grade's fortune's this season, with a very mature innings.

He left the pretty shots in the kit bag and knuckled down to set a platform with a final assault in the last 10 overs. It was an innings, that was unluckily cut short, bowled with a slower ball coming out of the red-brick house "Beauchamp" at the northern end, the screens still not in situ. The last 10 overs saw Medcalf, Lin, stung by his team mates incessant innuendo about dog poo and then Mallos deal with the bad ball and ultimately achieve a team score of 252. It would take some catching by Parramatta but the pitch was holding up well.

(Mark Smith hits out)

Kelly, fresh from his innings long rest, led the Stags out onto the field.

Early inroads were craved and it took a single over to put the home team in the driver's seat. Holmes produced two short balls, one each off the first and third balls that took the Parramatta opening batsmen and suddenly it was 2-0. The second wicket came courtesy of a great catch from Richtor at first slip. He has been as safe as a bank so far this season in the position and it really makes a difference. Sadly, after the initial over, neither Holmes nor Smith enjoyed their best outings this season. However, with the strong wind and bowling on a 4 day old belter, their pace was probably their greatest enemy, as they were the only bowlers that really came on to the bat.

The opening bowlers uncharacteristic quiet performance provided an opportunity for Medcalf and come back kid Paul to impress. Medcalf bowled with good control in very tricky conditions and he bowled steadily, if unluckily to go for 5 runs an over. Instead it was Paul taking the glory, with a match-winning spell of 6-35 off 9.1 overs with 3 maidens. After the positive signs from the previous week, Paul bowled with great control and did not give the Parramatta batsmen a chance to free their arms. When they missed, trying to play a big shot, he hit. A very mature return indeed and it is great to see that Paul has forced his way back into the side that he so ably led last year.

A bonus point secured and another song. If we can keep winning, the new boys will learn the words fast. This week brings a bigger challenge, when we take on the only Manly team to win a premiership in the last decade. The team will be very well captained by the Penninsula's very own blonde Warn (well it used to be blonde when Kelly used to play against him in under 14's).

Last year saw a comprehensive loss. However, we were only one wicket away from dominating the corresponding fixture last season and with application we will give ourselves an opportunity to win the game.

Matthew Kelly

3rd Grade Report Round 2

3rd Grade Report Round 2

3rd Grade Report vs Blacktown
 
The second round of the season brought with it the chance for redemption. To get a win on the board, to test out the vocal chords on the club song and to really get into the new season. The game against Easts had been a game that the team was always in contention but never in control. Blacktown had been first start winners and the pitch looked like it was full of runs.
 
(Matt Kelly approaches his century)
 
Kelly talked about putting pressure on the opposition with enthusiasm in the field, tight bowling and batting in partnerships. He desperately wanted to bat with the Wests Tigers aiming for glory on the night before the second day of the match. Through his wedding and the birth of his child Kelly had not had to wipe a tear from his eye.
 
The last time that the Klennex had been called for was the last weekend in September 1989 when Ben Elias hit the freakin' cross bar...enough of that, back to Beauchamp. Kelly was devastated when for the second game in a row the old lady stared back at him with her vacant stare. It would be a tough assignment to bowl on this wicket.
 
Smith and Holmes took the new ball and it was apparent early that there was not a great deal in the pitch for the leather slingers. However, this did not sway them from their commitment and patience and they turned time and time again at the top of their marks and continually challenged the batsmen. They bowled 37 overs between them with Smith returning the impressive figures of 2 - 65 off 23.
 
(Mitchell Kleem hits another 6)  
 
It cannot not be highlighted enough how good a batting wicket this was and it is in situations such as these that the faster men come on to the bat better and, as a result, can come in for some harsh treatment. Medcalf came into the attack and kept up with the line and the length that was expected of him as a result of his consistency but of vital importance; and it was great to have Paul back in the side. Possibly with the pressure of last year's captaincy his reputation for tight bowling suffered. However, he was right on song in this game, employing a 7 - 2 field and yielding less than 3 runs an over to go with two wickets.
 
Little left arm Greek orthodox John Mallos came into the attack after tea when the score was 4 -120 and proceeded to bowl 17 straight overs, with guile and style. A young man whose gait at time's resembled Wizard's Mortgage Monster and who suffered from cramp after 3 overs he made an impressive debut in 3rd grade with two wickets and was a good man to have in the dressing room; but surely he could do with a shave.
 
And all the while the enthusiasm in the field remained high as the team continued to encourage and put their bodies on the line as they perceived that anything short of 300 was probably not going to be enough. The standard in the field was set by the new and improved Kleem who had fielded below his best in the previous week.
 
Blacktown finished the day all out on what was the last ball of the day for 274. A handy score but not enough if the side chasing applied itself.
 
Sunday came and went and even though Kelly knew he had to bat the next day he was able to enjoy a Tigers grand final victory; and when all reassembled at the ground on Monday, it was clear that Holmes also enjoyed the win, as he wore a 1989 Balmain training singlet for the entire day. Further, Holmes chided the Blacktown skipper for jumping on the Tigers bandwagon as he sported a new Wests Tigers t-shirt. He can be a most charming fellow can Jordan Holmes.
 
(Laurie Nichols reincarnated...Jordan Holmes)
 
 
 
Kelly again espoused the virtue of putting pressure on the opposition by batting in partnerships and being patient. Kleem must not have been listening because he stormed out of the blocks, bludgeoning 64 off 11 overs with six 4's and four 6's. Constantly Kelly counselled Kleem to "pick his ball" and to "wait for the bad one", Kleem nodded knowingly, took strike, good length ball on middle and off WHACK, 6 over long on. Kelly thought wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwoooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww and he must not have been the only one with selectors dotted around the ground. Unfortunately, Kleem's 420 was nipped in the bud as he got stuck ball-watching and was run out. Hopefully the same sin will not be committed next time.
 
Evans came in to join Kelly and put on a partnership of 50, with some good cricket, pushing into gaps and dispatching the bad ball but was brought undone on 20 with a premeditated hoick across the line to the spinner that he only managed to sky to mid off.
 
The ever reliable and cool as a cucumber Bombas (31*) joined his skipper still 140 runs short of victory. He played a very controlled innings and many are looking forward to a big score that must only be around the corner when he gets an opportunity to bat for a long period. It was 27 overs into the day, it was 33 degrees and Kelly was already knackered. He was paying the price for not doing more work with the Moth in preseason.
 
(Reece Bombas during his 31 not out)
 
Accordingly he walked singles and swung for the fences when given the opportunity. If it has not been mentioned how good the wicket was for batting, it should be emphasised now. It was a great wicket for batting. The runs were knocked off 5 overs after tea and Kelly enquired of the opposition skipper what he wanted to do.
 
The opposition skipper simply extended his hand to the unbeaten batsmen and said well played before virtually running off the field, lest Kelly play a cruel trick on him and keep the Warriors in the field. However, he had no idea that Kelly, now 144* and 50 overs into the day could barely walk.
And so, after an unfortunate start to the season, redemption; a win on the board and the opportunity to test out the vocal chords on the club song. We are now into the new season.
 
Kells
3rd Grade Report Round 1

3rd Grade Report Round 1

3rd Grade Report vs Easts
 
Third grade arrived for the start of its second season in green, maroon and silver but it seemed that all else had changed. A new home ground, a new captain and only 3 surviving members from the last half of season 2004/2005. Expectations were high against a club in Eastern Suburbs who listed 43 players unavailable. The selectors complain of having a difficult task fitting everyone in at Gordon but it must be especially difficult with 100 players at the club.
 
(Mitchell Kleem at Beauchamp)
 
The wicket looked in great nick and whilst the outfield was a little barren at cover on the Western side of the ground it was a billiard table when compared with Chatswood over the last few seasons. Winning the toss and batting would have seen a positive start to the new season but alas Easts skipper called the old lady who came up smiling and the Stags were in the field.
 
Holmes and new recruit Smith took the new ball and bowled with good pace and terrific control. Two wickets down for 45 off 15 on a pretty flat wicket was not bad but it was not the reward that the new ball combination deserved with the Easts top order often proving incapable of getting out despite a lack of technique. Easts opening batsman was battered and bruised after being struck in the leg on a number of occasions by Dowsley's "faster than they appear" 60 mph thunderbolts. It would not be unkind to wonder what sort of future this bloke will have as an opening batsman in grade cricket if he doesn't move his feet and he crumples to the ground after being hit on the leg softer than a Barry Hall "love tap".
 
The Easts batsmen were able to edge, dink and noodle balls in to gaps without giving the impression that they were in control of their strokes. However, cricket is a game played with a spherical object and it is often difficult to predict the path of that object with any real conviction.
 
Easts were able to pull themselves into a strong position despite the fine efforts of all six bowlers used , including Medcalf who bowled with his usual purpose and two more new comers in Archer and Evans. Archer, a left arm spinner, was unlucky not to bowl more overs but was on a pitch that was not turning and had boundaries that were not quite far enough away. The end result of Easts batting saw the Stags chasing 240 for victory.
 
(Nick Dowsley shows his style)
 
Chasing is never easy and it made even more difficult in the first round of the season. Despite this and the early loss of Kelly, who played all around a leg side half volley from former mungo and now radio host Smith, Gordon found themselves in a commanding position at 1-110, with Kleem going at the only pace that he knows and Dowsley, obviously bewildered by the batting happening at the other end, steadily getting into his first innings for the club.
 
Kleem was dismissed for a brutal 72 in the 30th over when caught on the fence trying to up the pace and Dowsley within a run of his first milestone for his new club perished to a harsh lbw decision after stepping down the wicket before trying to sweep. The decision was all the more disappointing for the fact that the umpires gave only one lbw for the match despite some very close shouts against Easts' batsmen. Bombas entered the fight with his signature under 12's pads and immediately impressed with timing and placement and whilst he was ably supported by the lower middle order, Gordon never really had control of the game after the Dowsley wicket.
 
(Matt Kelly glides a four at Beauchamp)
 
Ultimately the Stags finished 12 runs short of their target and certainly had the worst of the new wide rule in lower grade cricket. There are a number of cynics who play this game that will no doubt employ this new leniency to their advantage. Without making such an allegation against Easts, who played this game in great spirit, there were possibly 4 wides in the first over of the day under the old rule. It was disappointing to start the season with a loss to a side that could have been beaten. However, the simple message that came out of the game was that the side that saved 30 runs in the field and ran twice as many quick singles as their opponents won the game.
 
Matt Kelly

 

 

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