2006/07 was a successful season for the Gordon club. 6th overall in the Club Championship and 3rd Grade and the Colts were minor premiers. 3rd Grade, 5th Grade and Colts made the final series with the Colts retaining the Metropolitan Cup and 3rd Grade narrowly missing out in the Grand Final.
The match reports for each grade can be found below.
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:
Greenies go down in a thriller
With a record of four wins and two losses, the Gordon boys were sitting in ninth position on the table, leading into the final round of the regular season. Any position outside the top six would mean the season would come to a halt at the end of the game at Chatswood Oval against Penrith, however the Stags had high aspirations that a convincing win could scrape them into the top 6, and from there, anything could be achieved in the finals.
Henry Carmichael in action against Penrith
The day began in a common mode, with skipper Colley losing his fifth out of seven tosses for the year, meaning the Gordon side headed out to field first on a soft, grassy wicket.
Edwards was the first to strike in his second over, comprehensively bowling the left-handed opener. Drake however, was not far behind with his first scalp, claiming an LBW decision in his fourth. Enter Henry Carmichael.
After coming off a terrific spell of 5 for 5 against the North Sydney Bears, Henry managed to replicate his performance in outstanding style. His 5 for 21 off 7 overs was as good, if not better than his previous spell, claiming 5 out of the top 8 batsmen from the Penrith side. Although he did not beat the batsmen for sheer pace, he masterfully used the arts of seam and swing bowling to draw the edge of 3 batsmen, whilst trapping one in front of his stumps, and demolishing those of another.
The Penrith boys were dismissed for a modest 124 off 40 overs, Carmichael the pick of the bowlers, whilst Edwards contributed with 2 for 19, and Colley 2 for 21.
For the Stags to have a legitimate chance of making the finals, they had to attempt to collect the runs in the shortest time possible, to contribute to their overall net run rate. The order was slightly altered to cater for this run chase, sending in the big hitter Jono Wigham to potentially send the ball to all corners of the ground.
The change did not end up being a successful one, Hugo Anderson collecting his first failure of the season, along with Wigham departing for 1. This brought Colley and Edwards to the crease in the second over, with the score at 2 for 4. They compiled a partnership of 56 runs, Colley collecting 46 of them, before Edwards was stumped down the leg side off the opening bowler, with a piece of glove work that would make even Adam Gilchrist salivate.
Wickets continued to fall in bunches from this point on. The only rock in the innings appeared to be captain Colley, who mounted 67 runs before a mix-up between him and Henry Carmichael ended what appeared a flawless half-century. In a nail-biter reminiscent of the Northern Districts game Gordon eventually fell 8 runs short of the winning total, bringing for the Stags a halt to a season which had held so much promise.
Colley tries hard to get his boys into the finals
The team can now look back on the season they have embarked upon together and start to pick out the strengths and weaknesses that got them to where they stand. As Coach Brendan McDonald said, plenty of work needs to be done by all players in their enthusiasm towards the game, and their attitude towards winning.
From the squad of fourteen, seven of the boys have the opportunity to continue their Green Shield aspirations next season. It is important they learn the winning formula they have developed this year, and carry over their experience to the younger boys coming through next year.
On behalf of the entire Green Shield squad, I would like to pass on my most sincere thanks to the Coach Brendan McDonald, who has been not only a charismatic coach, but also a great friend to all the boys. Personally, this has been my second and last Green Shield season, both shared with BMac. I'm sure he has taken as much pleasure in watching me and the other second-year boys develop over time, as much as we have enjoyed watching Brendan mature as a coach.
The mothers and fathers who provided the lunches and afternoon teas once again played a fantastic role in the overall experience of the year, and the small part they play means a big deal for the reputation of the club, as it is viewed by sides who venture to the hallowed Chatswood Oval.
The behind the scenes work of Manager John Edwards must not go unnoticed as well. He, along with 'Tiddles' Tony Wilson, ensured the smooth running of all the games and training sessions, which was much appreciated by everyone.
Another "thank you" must also go out to the Gordon club for the effort put into the development of the boys through the Academies, thus ensuring the most fitting 14 boys represent their club at the peak level come competition time.
A win against the Bears for Greenies
The classic Stags versus Bears encounter was the challenge faced by the Green Shield boys in round six of the prestigious competition. The boys were placed mid-table leading into the fixture, a win potentially placing them within finals contention. Coach Brendan McDonald was adamant the boys 'control the 'controllables,'' focusing on their own performance before considering the performances of the clubs around them.
Carmichael, the pick of the bowlers
The day got off to a dream start, with captain Colley winning his second toss of the season and electing to bat first. More often than not, this would bring a smile to the team, however there were sceptics more than happy to bring up the last time the skipper had won the toss against Campbelltown-Camden, claiming that losing the toss was the catalyst for the Stags previous successes.
The innings began in typical Gordon fashion. Ben Cannon bullied the openers with some impressive boundaries. Captain Colley headed to the crease with the score on a miserly 11 runs, however the situation did not overbear him. He proceeded with his naturally aggressive game, capitalising upon any loose bowling from the new ball bowlers.
Anderson became the second scalp for the Bears with the score on 45, and this brought Rob Edwards to the crease. He and Colley batted with terrific intent to take the game to the bowlers, their partnership of 72 coming at over 5 runs per over. Further down the order, there were valuable contributions from Jono Wigham (36) and Richard Pengelly (20). They provided quite a show with their confidence to hit over the infield, deciding to deal in boundaries rather than singles.
The Gordon innings came to a close in the 59th over with the total on 256. The inability of the side to bat out the 60 overs was becoming and issue, and BMac was not alone in his frustration that the middle and late order batsmen were not putting up their hand and being accounted for. Nevertheless, a score of over 250 would take some smart batting from the Bears to overcome.
Opening bowler Rob Edwards claimed a wicket with his first ball, along with his counterpart Tom Drake having success in his second over. For the last 4 games, the two openers had dismissed 13 batsmen in their opening spells, providing a terrific platform for the forthcoming bowlers. With the Bears struggling at 2 for 15, there was plenty of confidence that the local rivals could be dismissed for a total less than in their previous game, a miserly 64.
The cordon eagerly awaiting a catch
Some expert batting stabilised the innings for the Bears, however it appeared the boys were playing more to bat for the 60 overs than to win for their team, scoring at less than 3 runs per over. When skipper Colley took a sharp caught and bowled with the score on 80, the tail crumbled, with the rest of the side being dismissed, only contributing 45 more runs between the 7 of them.
Henry Carmichael was quite easily the pick of the bowlers, taking 5 for 5 in only 4.2 overs. He frustrated the batsmen by constantly hitting correct lines and lengths, and it was a testament to his persistence that he was rewarded with such outstanding figures.
Gordon were impressive winners by a margin of 131 runs. A win by the Stags in their final home match against Penrith may allow them to slide into the top 6, however there is still much improvement in the field and the development of partnerships by the boys before they can phase the top teams in the comp.
Greenies vs Easts
The 5th round game against Eastern Suburbs was a very important game for the Stags, as it was a must win. Once again the Greenies were off to a bad start when captain Colley lost his 4th toss for the season which is becoming a familiar way to start the day. However, Easts decided to bowl which proved to be an interesting decision.
(Steve Colley in action)
Gordon was off to a great start with Ben Cannon and Hugo Anderson reaching 42 without loss at nearly 4 an over. It all came undone when the Easts first change bowler claimed Cannon's wicket. Enter captain Steve Colley who had a good platform to work with. Colley (30) and Anderson (42) were cruising having had a 60 run partnership until both fell in consecutive overs, leaving the score at 3/102.
Enter Rob Edwards and Tom Drake. The two big hitters put on solid partnership of 92 in very hot conditions until 'wards' fell to a sharp catch for 41. Drake continued to dominate the bowlers sending them to all parts of the ground. Henry Carmichael provided valuable assistance to Drake adding a handy 27 in quick time before he was bowled. Drake ended up making 76 in a very good display of powerful batting. Gordon finished their innings at 7/253 which coach Brendan McDonald described as a 'par' score for Chatswood oval.
The Gordon boys were very fired up going out to field and when Edwards got a great reflex caught and bowled in his first over the boys were right on top. Drake and Edwards were bowling tight lines until Drake had to go off with an injury. Alex Campbell came on in the 7th over and had immediate success in finding the batsman's edge. Edwards struck again giving him match figures of 2/10 off 10 overs. Great slips catching by Anderson and Edwards saw 5 catches between the two of them (4 in the slips) and the visitors were struggling at 6/21. However some sensible batting got them to 75 without another wicket being taken.
Alex Campbell bowled an outstanding spell finishing with the great figures of 5/30 off 11, proving to be a great birthday present for him. Mark Anderson, Henry Carmichael and Richard Pengelly starved Easts of runs by bowling extremely tight lines which the Easts batsman had trouble dealing with. Colley and Fessey then bowled valuable spells grabbing 1/13 and 1/16 respectively. Easts ended up being bowled out for 109 off 42 overs.
Henry Carmichael playing a good supporting role
A great improvement from the top order after the effort in the previous game. Many players stepped up to the occasion well. Special mention to Tom Drake who finished with 76, Alex Campbell with figures of 5/30, good catching in slips and improved fielding with a runout.
Greenies vs Campbelltown-Camden
This was the highly anticipated Grand Final rematch of the 2005/2006 Green Shield season. Gordon ventured out to the Raby ground in hope of seeking revenge for last year's humiliating defeat, only posting a miserly 55 on the board.
Captain Steve Colley won his first toss of the season on his fourth attempt, and with little hesitation, decided to bat on what seemed to be a solid batting track.
Henry Carmichael bends his back as he hurls one down
Without too much reminiscing on last years epic final, the pitch had grown a strong reputation as being conducive to sharp sideways movement for the seamers and right-angled turn for the spinners, and an inexperienced Gordon side met the wrath of the green top last year, being dismissed before lunch in the final.
Normal opener Ben Cannon was missing in action for ball one of this year's match. Sitting upon his kit awaiting his lift from Hawk's Nest, this never eventuated and meant Sam Monk replaced him at the top of the order.
They began quietly, with extremely tight lines and smart field placing meant runs were kept to a minimum. Wickets fell in clumps however, and partnerships never developed. The standouts with the bat were Colley with 28, Hugo Anderson with 17 and Henry Carmichael with 14. Gordon was eventually bowled out for 87. The total sounded small, however there was plenty of belief within the squad that if the opening bowlers were able to claim a few early scalps, they were well within reach of stealing the points.
Cannon... M.I.A. ... last seen here with large webbed hands
Drake and Edwards once again led the side with the ball for the fourth match this season. They continue to show the form that has brought the team such great success over the past two seasons. Drake completed his first spell with 1 for 17, and was more than unlucky not to have at least two more in the wickets column.
Edwards bowled well, supporting his performance in the previous game against Uni of NSW with 4 for 25 off his opening 6 overs. With Campbelltown 5 for 41 the Gordon team had a terrific chance of claiming what was an unexpected victory after what was an unimpressive performance from the batsmen. However some aggressive batting got Campbelltown over the line.
The team still has much to play for, regardless of their current position on the table. With three impressive performances at Chatswood Oval, there is absolutely no reason why the team cannot move into the top 6, and from there, it is anyone's game!
Greenies Vs Northern Districts
The 2nd round fixture against Northern Districts at Asquith Oval proved to be an epic battle worthy of its status as one of the closest Green Shield results of the year. The team realised the importance of the match, as a second straight loss could hurt the finals aspirations of a talented side.
Captain Colley having more luck with the bat than the coin
Captain Steve Colley lost his second the toss this season and Gordon were sent into bat on what appeared to be a hard, fast track, providing little sympathy for the fast bowlers. Cries of Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston could be heard around the ground, as winning the toss and bowling could almost be considered heresy in the cricketing community since that fatal Test Match.
Opening partners Ben Cannon and Hugo Anderson once again headed towards the centre to face what is considered to be one of the best bowling attacks in the competition. After bowling out Blacktown for 93 in their last game, the Northern Districts bowlers were quietly confident they could repeat the same feats against the Stags. Cannon fell in the sixth over for 5, attempting to chip over the infield. Sam Monk joined Anderson at the crease, and the pair compiled a sensible 40 run partnership at 3 runs an over, before Anderson was dismissed by a sharp catch at second slip off the bowling of the first change bowler. Steve Colley and Sam Monk both fell with the score on 63, which brought Rob Edwards and Max Carter to the crease.
The pair began to place pressure back onto the fieldsmen, taking sharp singles to the infield, with loud early calls ensuring they made their ground comfortably with time to spare. Top scoring Edwards was dismissed for 33, with Carter second highest with 29. The pair put on a valuable 62 runs for the fifth wicket. Some solid late overs batting from Tom Drake (23) and Jono Wigham (16) saw the team's total reach 180, a score which seemed competitive, however fell well short of the benchmark made at the beginning of the day's play. The bowlers would certainly need to do their job.
Cannon with the gloves on doing a tidy job
From the start it appeared tight lines rather than fiery pace was the method of attack by the Gordon fast bowlers. Openers Drake and Edwards again failed to take a wicket in the first spell, however the number of plays and misses serve as warning signs for the batsmen of teams to come in this competition. The first wicket came in the 13th over, when first change bowler Alex Campbell, managed to tempt the batsmen into a false shot outside off stump, only to see the ball cannon off the inside edge of his bat into middle and off.
Excellent tight line and length bowling by Henry Carmichael, Tom Ledgerwood and Mark Anderson put pressure on the batsmen and ensured the run rate by the Northern District side fell to just over 2 an over. The stress level began to rise for the District boys as they faced a 5 an over task with 20 overs remaining.
The tension rose greatly after some interesting shot selections from the Districts batsmen leaving them needing 20 runs to win with 6 overs left and 4 wickets in hand. However an outstanding final spell from Campbell who took 3 wickets in his final 2.1 overs saw the pendulum swing back to the Stags. The final 3 wickets fell on scores of 171, 174 and 175, leaving Districts short, Gordon the winners by a measly 5 runs.
Drake fires one down against NDs
Campbell's ability to adjust for the fact the batsmen were trying to lift the run-rate provided a clear example to the other bowlers of the art of death bowling. His final figures of 4 for 21 off 10.1 overs were much deserved, as his persistence of line and length bowling drew batsmen into making mistakes. Cricket is a team game, however it is the individual performances within this game that contribute to a team's success, and Alex provided the team with the fight that was missing in the first game.
Supporting spells from Henry Carmichael (1 for 4 off 5), Tom Ledgerwood (2 for 38 off 9), Rob Edwards (1 for 34 off 11) and Tom Drake (2 for 37 off 12) contributed to the success, but the most pleasing aspect of the team's performance was a marked improvement in the fielding, something which coach Brendan McDonald was especially pleased to see. A lower level of sundries also meant the side mounted more sustained pressure on individual batsmen, eventually leading to their dismissals.
It was also great to see some of the old faces, Alec Brown and Seth Tulloch, from last year's 2nd placed side. We look forward to the continued support of these veterans, and indeed the entire club, as it foretells the strength of the club in years to come.
Greenies vs UNSW
After two rounds of the Green Shield season, the Gordon side were sitting mid-table. They ventured to the Village Green full of confidence they could replicate the successes achieved against Northern Districts two days previously.
With what looked like a fast, bouncy pitch, and an outfield good enough to play billiards on, the University of NSW skipper had no hesitation to bat when the toss landed in his favour. Fair to say the Gordon side were less than impressed with their skipper's inability to buy a successful toss of the coin for a third time in succession.
The author, Edwards, sends one down
After last match report for the Northern Districts match, it was stated that it was only a matter of time before openers Tom Drake and Robert Edwards found their form and collected a handful of wickets each. Between them, they scalped the first four wickets of the innings in the space of ten overs, leaving the students crumbling at 4 for 25.
A minor fight back was staged by the home team at this point, compiling a 5th wicket partnership of 42, before Henry Carmichael found the edge of the established batsmen, with a sharp catch effected by Edwards in the cordon. Interestingly, 7 out of the 10 dismissals by the Stags were catches by either keeper or slips (H. Anderson 2 catches, S. Colley 2 catches, R. Edwards 2 catches, B Cannon 1 catch as keeper) with another good one by Max Carter running backwards in the deep at mid on.
The Gordon method of attack was to keep the ball as full as possible, and ensure the students were attempting to play outlandish shots through and over the infield in a desperate attempt to increase their scoring rate. This in turn led to the inevitable final dismissals of the tail, with Steve Colley taking two and Alex Campbell backing up from his last game with another. Uni of NSW finished on a modest 120 from 44 overs, something which seemed could only be defended by the possibility of rain looming in the dark clouds above.
Opening pair Hugo Anderson and Ben Cannon took to the crease after the ten minute changeover, and battled smartly for the first 8 overs, exchanging the strike to ensure no bowler could sustain any pressure on particular batsmen. Cannon was the first to be dismissed in the ninth over, compiling 14 runs before doing so (12 of those runs coming in 3's). This brought captain Colley to the crease, who was in much need of some time in the middle after a couple of small scores.
Captain Colley frees up his arms to get Gordon over the line
Steve's personally projected total was 50 not out, however with quick singles and silky strokes, he managed to go 13 better than that. When Edwards came in at 2 for 58, he and Colley collected the remaining 63 runs with little difficulty in the 35th over, the last before tea and the arrival of the rain.
Greenies go down to Manly
Following last seasons' second placing, plenty of expectation had been placed upon the shoulders of the incoming players to replicate the successes of the squad and uphold the reputation of the club as being one of the more formidable sides in the competition. After trial matches against Barker and an Under 18 academy side, there was much reason for optimism as the team took on Manly in the first round of the Green Shield competition at Chatswood Oval on Sunday.
Drake sends one down in the opening overs
The team took to the field, as an unsuccessful coin toss ensured the bowlers would be in the thick of the action more prematurely than desired. The two opening bowlers, Drake and Edwards bowled tightly without reward, and it wasn't until the first change of Campbell and Mark Anderson that the Gordon side appeared to be mounting any sustained period of pressure. A catch at first slip by Hugo caused headaches for the scorers, as caught Anderson bowled Anderson became the first of hopefully many wickets for the side this season.
Although the run rate for the first 25 overs was less than 2, the side continually let themselves down, failing to get their body behind the ball, and mount any sustained pressure on particular batsmen. The second break-through came when skipper Steve Colley bowled the big left handed opener attempting to sweep.
From here on in however, there would be little joy for the bowlers, as the Manly numbers 3 and 4 mounted a 172 run partnership in only 26 overs. The two played extremely well, however, Gordon failed to capitalise on the opportunities provided, proving to be expensive to say the least. Edwards received a consolation wicket with his third last ball, meaning the final Manly total would be 3 for 264, something which seemed well within the capabilities of the Gordon batting to chase down.
A quiet day for Cannon with the gloves - much more fruitful with the willow
Openers Ben Cannon and Hugo Anderson began the Gordon reply in terrific style, leading the side to 76 without loss at the 17 over mark. Both batsmen were dismissed in similar style, attempting to hit the leg spinner over the top of the infield, and misjudging the spin on the ball, only to see the keeper whip off the bails behind them. They scored 77 and 40 respectively, and provided a platform from which the middle order could attempt to win the game from.
The middle order could not benefit from the solid start of the openers, losing wickets 3 through to 7 for only 24 runs, the only resistance coming from Henry Carmichael with a quick-fire 40 that sparked a temporary fight back, however, with third stumping victim Ledgerwood departing from the crease with the team's score on 199, the game ran away from us, and eventually fell 42 runs of the winning target.
Tough work with the ball for Carmichael
Much improvement in the team's enthusiasm and precision in the field will need to be experienced in the crunch re-match against Northern Districts in the first round after the holiday break. There are no easy games in the Green Shield competition; however there is extra spice in the Northern Suburbs derby on 4 January, after a superb performance last year from current player Tom Drake, allowed Gordon to sneak under the radar and into the final against Campbelltown-Camden.
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.
For the Fifth grade schedule go to Fixtures
Fifth Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
5th Grade remain in finals despite loss
The epic battle between 3rd and 2nd continued at Killara. With the Stags ending at 9-188 over night and it was up to Turner and Campbell to add some more runs onto the board and to eat up some overs. Alas this was not to be as Campbell was caught at fine leg of a top edge without being able to add to his over night total off 7 and the teams total remained at 188.
Colley picks up a "cheeky one" with his spinners
With a small total for Killara to defend and the cricketing gods not watching, Kennedy and Fragogianas opened up looking for early wickets. With Randy-Petes 0-77 off 18, it didn't happen. Both struggled with their lines, particularly to one batsman, who couldn't play an off side shot. He made 52. It was Siriwardhane (Scotty) that got the break through and then an over later Turner got the other opener with a looping slower ball. Nothing so far had gone right, with dropped catches, balls falling into gaps and numerous edges over the slips and more to come. It was just not going to be our day.
The flyer of a start that they got meant that it was a real struggle for the bowlers to contain them. Cruising to victory at 2-125, Marvel produced a marvellous run out to give some hope, but with a flat Killara pitch, 188 was never going to enough as they passed us 4 down with Colley picking up a cheeky wicket. All the bowlers toiled hard in the heat, with Kennedy 0-35 (10), Frag 0-24 (6), Scotty 1-24 (5), Turner 1-25 (6), Cubbage 0-25 (11), Campbell 0-29 (7) and Colley 1-21 (6).
A much better performance is needed for the last game, as it will depend wether we finish 6th or 4th.
Until some time next week,
5th Grade battles against Randy-Petes
It is 2nd Vs 3rd at Killara, with the match in the balance. After the earlier rain during the week the Killara pitch was not at its usual hardness. Tweedy won the toss, and decided he didn't want to field in the heat of the day, so he put Randy-Petes into the field.
Trapped on the crease - the captain in trouble
Steve 'Pup' Colley and Sunny 'Boycott' Sajdeh opened up, and made a good start. They put on 30 for the first wicket. Sunny (19) was the first to go, and after his ton the week before he was disappointed that he wasn't able to back it up. With two short covers in place, Sunny tried to split the two in a blaze of glory. Unluckily for him, one stuck out his hand and it ballooned up into the air for an easy caught and bowled.
With the score on 51, Steve was caught behind for 23. This was a trend for the day as batsmen made it to twenty and got out. Cubbage and Marvell looked at righting the ship, but a mix up accoutred and Marvell was run out for 12, just when he was starting to look good. At 4/88 with Lawry walking back to the pavilion for 7, the Stags were looking shaky.
The Randy Petes bowlers bowled tight lines out side the off stump, and made it difficult to drive through the off side. Cubbage was out LBW (to another Leggie again!!) for 24 made off about 30 overs. He really struggled to hit it off the square. Fragogianas and Siriwardhane (Maybe and Scotty) both made 24 before getting out. At 7/147 we were praying for a captains knock for Tweedy, who had earlier in the week fallen off a ladder, and was forced to play as Falky was already filling in for colts. Yet the captain's knock never came, as he was adjudged LBW attempting to play a leg glance.
Kennedy walked to the crease confident for resurrecting the stag's innings, and started off well playing a lovely on-drive that Gilly would have been proud of. Unfortunately he play all-round a straight one to be knocked over for 15. This left Turner and Campbell, number 10 and 11 respectively to hold out for the remaining 5 overs. To which they did putting on an unbeaten 14 partnership. With a case on the line Turner is hoping Tweedy bats on.
Until sometime in the near future,
A big win for 5th Grade
Whalan, what a place. So many stories. So much history.
Every person you talk to in the club will tell you his own story Whalan, from the dirt bikes flying along side the ground to dead magpies in the middle of run ups. Alas we arrived to a ground that did not have any bikes, dead birds or any trees, yet was the size of the MCG. Where we at the right place?
Mahaffey playing a little closer to home
Unfortunately yes and to make matters worse, it was about 35 degrees under the solitary piece of shade in a 100-mile radius.
Tweedy won the toss and batted on a flat track. Weaves, whose GPS got him lost again and Boycott (Sunny), missing his partner in crime Lawry (Kenner) were sent out to open. Both did well in seeing off the new ball. Sunny (7) was the first to go, with a faint tickle down the leg side, as Weaves used up all the luck of the partnership, being dropped by the opposition captain off a catch that he would normally catch with his eyes closed. The rest of the day was spent listening to how Sunny has no luck, yet Weaves can be dropped twice.
After being dropped twice Weaves luck ran out and was adjudged LBW playing across the line for 22. This brought the partnership of Charlie Lawry and Hamish Angus. Both looking very comfortable out in the middle. Yet the heat got to Hamo as missed a ball on the stumps and was bowled for 19. Cubbage came and left the crease after being caught behind for 10 off yet another leggie. At this stage Lawry had been batting superbly in the heat and was on 58*.
Tim Fragogianas joined Lawry at the crease; the pair added 40 runs, when Lawry was run out after a Frag drive was deflected back on to the stumps by the bowler. Charlie constructed a well-made 77 in trying conditions, in which he hit 3 fours and had about 10 all run fours.
Frags and Scotty both fell after making starts. Frag, stumped for 29 and Scotty LBW for 19. This brought the experienced campaigner to the crease to keep the innings alive, yet nearly killing him self in the process as emergency oxygen was ordered as Tweedy ran many fours. With a partnership of close to 50 with Bourne, Tweedy was caught and bowled for 45. The innings fell away quickly after that as Bourne was out LBW after edging the ball through keeper and first slip and McHaff was bowled for a globe.
Hamish Angus... the new 'all rounder'
Stags all out for 286 with 17 overs to bowl at the Blacktown openers. The bowling was not at its best, which allowed for Blacktown to escaped relatively unshaved at 1/37 as McHaff picked up the solitary wicket.
Week 2 saw Whalan live up a place where things go wrong. As the Stags walked onto the field, a body could be seen near the bushes, and was later found out that it was a young boy of the age of 14 or 15, that had been bitten by a brown snake. Soon two Ambulances arrived and rushed him off to hospital to which they thought would be in vain, a he was said to be dead, but to the Ambos credit they some how got a pulse and gave the young boy hope. A news report on Channel Nine read out by Mike Monro told of the sad new the young boy had passed away in Hospital.
Our sympathy goes out the boy's family in this hard time.
During this hectic time, McHaff was having a McHappy Day as he rolled through the top order claiming 4 wickets and 5 for the game (5/29 off 14). He bowled tight lines and gave the batsmen nothing. He was well supported by lap dace Lappan as he kept a strangle hold at the other end. His wicketless run continued.
Cubbage replaced McHaff and was bowling into a strong wind. Cubbage's 8-round dry spell finally got some much-needed rain as he claimed 3/46 of 21 overs. His first wickets since round 2. Scotty and Bourne both bowled tight finishing with 1/34 and 0/10 respectively. It was the last wicket that proved to be the most difficult as the last two Blacktown batters held out for over 20 overs until Laps (1/28 off 15) was brought back into the attack and claimed the allusive wicket.
Blacktown bowled out for 163, 23 runs behind the follow on. At this stage news had come through that all 6 grades were going for outright so Tweedy followed suit and sent them back in. 25 overs left in the day to get 10 wickets and to knock of any runs that Blacktown posted.
A surprise tactic was used by Tweedy as he opened up with Bourne and the fast becoming all-rounder Hamish Angus, much to the disgust of Sunny. Both bowled tight with Bourne picking up two cheeky poles and finishing with 2/23 off 6. At the other end Hamo ended with figures 0/14 off 4. Much to the relief of Sunny, Charlie missed a catch and a stumping off Hamo. (We would never have heard the end of it if he got a wicket)
Bourne picks up a couple of cheeky poles
With 5 overs to be bowled Tweedy called the game off, as he could not see us collecting 6 wickets in a hurry.
The day's honours would have to go to McHaff picking up 4 wickets and 5 for the game, 2 catches and a run out to top it off.
6 valuable points leading up to the final with the top 7 very close. Well done to all grades on the wins, and a BIG thankyou must go out Tids and Andy Falk who were kind enough to shout the club a few beers.
A slow going draw for 5th Grade
Day two of the Penrith clash saw the introduction of the nominated players. Shanal 'Scotty' Siriwardhane was in for Fraggos and Hamish Angus (specialist bowler) replaced Brett Marvel.
Penrith were resuming at 3/8 chasing 215. The going was very slow to start, as the Penrith batsmen moved along at two an over. Stobs and JK (James Kennedy) both bowled tight lines and beat the bat on numerous occasions but unfortunately no edge was forthcoming.
Look Guys - No hands! - Stobo magic on display
It was a frustrating session for all the Stags players. The addition of Angus into the team definitely livened things up, though. With constant banter coming from his specialist position, mid-off, all the Staggies fielders were kept on their toes, especially Dougie Harris. At times of extreme boredom the Stags could always count on young Hamo to scream 'up the gays!' or 'good talk Dougie!'.
While the Stags fielders were trying their hardest to entertain themselves on the field, the Penrith batsmen were doing their best impersonation of Lawry and Boycott. 'Suncreen' Sadjeh, still recovering from his earlier encounter with spray-on sunscreen in the dressing sheds, noted that both batsmen displayed excellent techniques and sound running between the wickets.
It was 'Scotty' Siriwardhane who finally made the break through, taking the 4th wicket 27 overs into the day. The new batsmen was dropped first ball by an ever alert Dougie at first grip, but he made up for his indiscretion by catching the same batsmen off the same bowler (Scotty) several overs later.
... and after consultation with Captain Tweety, the sleeve gets rolled up
Tea saw the score at 5/83 and the Stags still well and truly on top. Stobo resumed after the break bowling in front of his family, strategically positioned on the Stobo Hill ' formally Jimmy Cattlin Hill. Stobs did not let the family down, picking up the crucial wicket of the Penrith number 3 who had toiled hard for his 28.
The game was far from over. With the gritty Penrith captain striding to the crease the Stags knew it would not be an easy kill. Stobs and JK both had numerous LBW shouts turned down as the Panthers started building momentum.
Talk started to circulate around the mid-off/mid-on region that it was time for a bowling change. Both Hamo and Sticks started to loosen up as it seemed inevitable that one of the two most underrated bowlers at the club would get a trundle. Alas rain started to fall at Beauchamp and the players were sent scuttling from the field. Angus and Kenner would have to wait.
After a brief rain delay, play continued with Penrith at 6/120. Bourne was toiling away at one end, restricting the runs while JK was having no luck at the other. The Penrith keeper reached his 50 and it seemed the game may slip away from the Stags. Enter Stobo.
With a seemingly harmless push on the onside, the batsmen set off for what seemed a fairly regulation 2. Stobs chased hard and delivered the return right over the bails, whereby the batsmen, having hesitated earlier, was caught short of his ground.
But Stobs was not finished yet. In the following over, the Penrith captain lofted a drive over covers. With seemingly no chance of the ball going to hand, Stobs set off from his position at mid-off and with the ball continuing to tail away from him made a Glenn McGrath dive and clasped the ball between his finger tips. A clear contender for catch of the season and what at the time seemed like a match winning effort.
Knight goes up one of numerous LBW appeal
At this point Penrith were 8/165. 12 overs remained in the day. A relatively achievable run rate of 4 an over. It was obvious that Penrith didn't think so. With 6 points on the line the instructions were clear'don't let Gordon win.
Adam Cubbage was on fire, constantly beating the bat. Both batsmen were tied in knots, and when the number 10 played back and didn't offer a shot the Stags were sure they had their 9th wicket. The appeal was miraculously turned down. Cubbie had come to the end of his spell. A desperately unlucky 0-29 off 15 overs.
The new ball was taken in one last attempt to steal the match, but with 5 slips in place and two bat pads, the batsmen were still not interested in playing shots. Kenner, at bat-pad, was focusing hard on the batsmen's knee roll (as instructed by Stobs) and tried everything to entice the batsmen to try for victory, but they wouldn't have a bar of it.
An extremely disappointing draw ended with the batsmen offering no shot. Loud celebrations came from the Penrith camp upon securing the 0 points. The Gordon lads were less satisfied with the result'both teams will now be leap-frogged on the ladder.
Not the best result to take into the Christmas break, but the 5s can hold their heads high knowing that they attacked all day and never stopped putting in for the club.
Until 2007, you stay classy Chatswood.
Stobo's Back in 5th Grade
There was a familiar figure at Beauchamp Oval on Saturday morning. Was it a bird'was it a plane'NO. It was Richard Stobo. Stobs was making his long awaited cameo appearance for the club after his retirement last season, much to the delight of resident scribe Ian Higgins.
Bourne learns more about the Cryptic Crosswords whilst Frago focuses on the game
Stobs was welcomed into the 5th grade ranks with open arms on the verge of this crucial fixture against keen rivals Penrith. Some other familiar faces were back in the fifth grade sheds, namely Cubbage 'Wilson' (who is looking more and more like his mentor and admirer) and his partner in crime James Kennedy. Add to this Grafton ex-pat Dougie 'the pizza boy' Harris and the 5ths again had a very strong outfit on paper.
Tweety, feeling much better with the addition of Stobs in the side, lost the toss and the Stags were sent in by the Penrith captain (Stobo mach II) on a damp deck.
Lawry and Boycott (Kenner and Sajdeh respectively) were reunited due to some late changes and both openers were keen to survive the first hour. Alas 'Sticks' Lawry was back in the dressing rooms before he knew what happened, sporting a bump on the head and a bruised ego.
Boycott (Sunny) quickly followed as he played back to a ball which kept low. Jimmy Catlin (the 5th Grade batting, bowling and fielding coach and resident psychologist) spoke candidly to the two openers about their ability to critically analyse the change-up ball as well as the throwing arms of each fielder and their preferred meal choice and music selection. Both openers took on board Jimmy's advice with slightly bemused faces.
Cubbage takes one for the team
Dougie fell for ten soon after, playing down the wrong line of the bowler's change-up in-swinger (good call Jimmy). 'Toolies' Knight and Cubbage-Wilson took over when the Stags were teetering at 3/16. A fine partnership ensued with both batsmen playing their shots and taking the attack to the Penrith bowlers. The momentum of the innings had just started to swing in Gordon's favor when both batsmen fell in quick succession, Knight for 26 and Cubbie for 34.
When Marvell was caught at bat pad for 8, the Stags were 6/99 and in some trouble. Enter Tim Frag <enter alphabet here> (for the record it is Fragogiannis). Lusty blows off the spinners combined with crisp horizontal stroke play off the quicks were the highlights of Fraggas innings.
While the carnage was going on in the middle, a Gordon reunion of sorts was taking place in the pavilion. The likes of Stobo, Falk, Gray, Catlin, and Reynolds were present and what ensued was a brief summation of the previous 102 years of Gordon cricket. The young pups in the team looked on with awe and amazement as Mick Falk and Stobs rattled off names, stats and famous games of the past. The Wikipedia of Gordon cricket had come to Beauchamp.
Better shot selection from Cubbage
As the young pups jostled for couch position and discussed past Greenwood and Cross (Cubbs) experiences, Gray and Fraggas were busy furthering the Stags total.
The old guard cheered vehemently after each Gray boundary as he powered to 22 before being adjudged LBW. Tweety's disbelief at the decision came under close scrutiny by match referee Ranjad Matagale. It has been confirmed that Tweety will be fined half his match fee (that's half a bottle of veno and 5L of petrol).
Fraggas, realizing he was quickly running out of partners, accelerated his scoring, putting on a crucial 50 run stand with Kennedy who was bowled for five. Frags fell soon after, when he was unluckily caught and bowled off a low full toss. A potentially match winning innings had ended at 88.
'Red ink' Bourne was again stranded for the 6th time this season when Stobs fell for a duck. Another hundred went begging for the Bourne.
Gordon all out for 215.
Six overs remained to be bowled in the day. A real chance to make in roads into the Penrith top-order.
Knight pumps a short ball to the boundary
A combination of great bowling by Stobs and Kennedy (1 wicket a piece) and some fine fielding from the specialist mid-on and the Stags were able to reduce the Panthers to 3/8 at stumps.
A great fight back by the Stags have put them in the box seat for next week, but this game is not a foregone conclusion by any means. We know we will have to fight tooth and nail to secure the 6 points next week.
Until then, you stay classy Chatswood.
5th Grade fall short against the Sharks
car'pool [kahr-pool] 'noun. Also, carpooling, car pooling. An arrangement among a group of automobile owners by which each owner, in turn, drives the others or their children to and from a designated place.
Saturday morning again saw Kenner's phone running hot, as both Iqbal and star import Craig Knight pestered him for a lift to Beauchamp. He knew it would be a torrid drive and it proved to be the case with Inzie discussing the many ins-and-outs of his Christmas party the previous evening and Knight giving both passengers his weekly run down on the state of play at the Gold Coast and the current Toolies situation.
Pale Ale restricting the impact of the Sharks' batsmen
Grade cricket would not be the same without carpooling.
It was pure relief on arrival at Beauchamp and not just because the covers had already been removed by the advanced party. Tweety was quickly into discussion with the Sutherland captain, attempting to forge an agreement whereby both teams would have an opportunity to win the match. It was agreed that Sutherland would bat on for another 28 overs and then declare leaving the Stags 50 overs to chase whatever runs were on the board.
The Stags were fairly confident of victory if this agreement was upheld, as the Sharks had only scored 104 runs off 45 overs the previous week.
Again it was a slow start by the Sutherland batsmen, as 'Pale Ale' Lappan and Iqbal 'Inzie' Ahmed tied down the batsmen with great control. Lapdance was the first to break through, picking up a well deserved wicket. Inzie then broke through for two wickets in two overs and the Stags were well on top.
When Emile took his second, the opening batsmen for 95, the Stags were looking the goods, having Sutherland 5-160 having already used 20 of the agreed 28 overs.
Unfortunately the total got away from the Stags in the final overs as the Sutherland captain, after having plenty of practice last week, played some thunderous sweep shots from the bowling of the people's champion.
Feeling the Sharks did not have enough runs on the board the skipper decided to bat on for one more over and it proved to be costly for the Stags with the final two balls of the innings being dispatched onto the Jimmy Catlin Hill.
Please Sir, just one more Pina Colada - Tiddles would be jealous of this tan!
The declaration was made and tea was taken, as not to lose the 2 overs for the change of innings. So the equation read 216 runs required off 51 overs, a required run rate of just over 4 an over. Not an easy task on an extremely slow outfield and a pitch that was still showing signs of life.
Inzie was promoted to open the innings with Lawry (Kenner), due to his enforced early departure to attend KJ's wedding. He was faced with about 40minutes of batting, but unfortunately he only lasted only 1 as he was caught behind slashing at a wide one.
Weaver, who struggled to find his way to the middle, fell in similar fashion 5 overs later, after crashing 2 boundaries.
This left Lawry stuck in the middle with Knight. This is always a difficult experience for any batsman, with Knight's incessant commentary explaining 'how far he missed the ball by' or 'how he missed hit that last six' wearing away at the non-strikers patience (not to mention the bowlers and close in-fielders).
Surprisingly Kenner and Knight were able to forge a solid partnership until the former was struck on the thigh pad and adjudged LBW. This dismissal started a slide for the 5th graders with Marvell falling first ball and Fraggas and Knight both holding out for 8 and 62 respectively.
Johnny Mayur Kulkarni was then run out in a suicidal quick single and the Stags were reduced to 7-131, having lost 5 wickets for only 26 runs.
Our tropical skipper Dave Gray and 'Red Ink' Bourne did their best to rescue the situation with Tweety landing some long blows over cover. But when the human 'pina colada' was caught for 20, the victory appeared gone.
The dressing room was sent into disarray when Lappan announced that he had no batting gloves. Being the only left-hander in both teams the situation appeared futile. With Emile still looking to push for victory it appeared that 'Pale Ale' would have to bat and this was the case when Emile was caught half-way down the track - forgetting to hit the ball.
The "Red Ink" Supremacy with ball in hand
Strolling out to the middle for only the second time this season, sporting a pair of right handed batting gloves, it appeared to the 5th graders that the result of this game was now in the hands of the gods.
With only 9 balls remaining in the game, 'Pale Ale' edged one to the keeper looking to work the ball behind point, and the Sharks had won the game by 28 runs.
A disappointing loss after it seemed the 5th graders would cruise to victory, and only the second loss of the season.
Next weeks fixture now shapes as a massive game. Gordon and Penrith are tied second on 36 points and both sides will be desperate to gain outright second before the Christmas break. Tickets are available at the gate or online at www.mikeweaver.com.
Until then, you stay classy Chatswood.
An unlucky 5th Grade hampered by the rain
An early morning phone call announced the arrival of Craig Knight back in Sydney for Saturday's 5th grade game against Sutherland. Knight was taking time out of his toolies experience to answer a desperate plea from selectors.
Another familiar face had returned to Beauchamp. Yes, you guessed it. Dave Gray was back from the tropical paradise of Hawaii. Still reeling from his numerous pina-coladas and late nights, Tweety was keen to speak to the lads and find out the details of last weeks outright victory.
Add to this the arrival of Emile, flying in straight from the luscious shores Byron Bay, and the 5's were looking very strong on paper.
A tanned Tweety, watchful Knight and high-flying Emile back from Schoolies to play against Sutherland
The covers were removed revealing an unusual sight at Beauchamp'grass. A new pitch had been prepared and it was covered in the green stuff. While 'pale ale' Lappan was licking his lips the batsmen were less enthused.
It was obvious that the toss would be crucial and Tweety did what was needed. Employing a double-sided coin, Tweety ensured the Stags would be bowling.
Without 'Dizzy' Dan this week, the new ball was passed to Lappan and Emile. Both openers consistently beat the bat, bowling great lines. Unfortunately the edge was not forthcoming and when finally an edge did come, it fell tantalizingly short of slips. There were early signs that this would not be Gordon's day.
Sutherland were struggling along at 1.5 runs per over and the Stags just couldn't seem to get the break through. With Inzy (also answering a desperate plea from selectors) and Bourne operating from both ends, the batsmen continued to almost give chances but somehow managed to survive.
'Pale Ale' Lappan sends down another on a greenBeauchamp pitch
It was Emile who finally got the breakthrough, an inswinging yorker catching the opener plumb in front.
Unfortunately this would be the only joy for the Staggies fielders as the big dark cumulus-nimbus clouds that had been building all day finally produced the goods. With lightening forcing the players from the field, Sutherland had posted 1-100 off 45 overs and it seemed unlikely there would be any more play for the day.
This ended up being the case, despite both teams best efforts to clear the mud and puddles from the square area. Craig Knight was clearly in his element as he maneuvered the super-sopa like he was back cruising Cavell Ave on the Gold Coast. Frago was less elegant in possession of the device but his efforts were certainly appreciated by onlookers and will certainly improve after a stint at schoolies.
Frago must wait his turn until next year for Schoolies
So it seems that in order for a result to be manufactured out of this fixture it will require some aggressive captaincy and creative minds. I'm sure Tweety has got something up his sleeve. Watch this space.
Ps. Directions to all grade grounds in Sydney are available at www.mikeweaver.com
Saturday 20th November, 2006: McHaffey Day
It was a dazed and confused Kenner who arrived at Princess Park on Saturday morning. After sitting an excruciating 2 hour psychology exam, he had come no closer to understanding the workings of Craig Knight's mind, a mystery that dates back to the days of Freud and Pavlov's dogs. To add to this he had forgotten the scorebook, there was no match ball and captain David Gray was not present. Was this Princess Park, or a nightmare?
(Andrew Lappan and friends appeal for a rare stumping of a fast bowler)
Luckily Michael Bourne was present and quickly informed the team that Tweety had taken annual stress leave for the weekend. His reason: too much aggressive batting and having to captain Knight and Plummer'fair enough.
So it was Bourne's supremacy at Princess Park. And he quickly took control. Choosing to run before stretching, for the first time since Trevor Watling captained the mighty fives, Bournie then had the lads involved in an intense game of fielding soccer. What innovation!
Just when we thought he could do no more, Bourne won the toss and sent the opposition in on a wicket which possessed more grass than Ian Higgins' top drawer.
(Dan Mahaffey in action at Princes Park)
Something was wrong though. Where was Weaves? Only 20 minutes until kick off and still no sign of the recently elevated opening batsman. Rumor had it that he was somewhere in Auburn'where exactly was less clear! If Bourne was concerned he didn't show it, as he hastily went about stealing a team sheet from the opposition's scorebook.
As it turns out everything worked out perfectly, with Weaver appearing, closely followed by Paul Stephenson brandishing a brand new Kookaburra and Mr. Kenner brandishing a not so new scorebook.
It was game on. Once again Mahaffey picked up a wicket in his first over clean bowling the opener. He then proceeded to take wickets in his 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 8th overs ending his enforced 8 over spell with figures of 5/16.
His ability to swing the ball in to the batsmen and then seam it away left the Parramatta top order searching for answers which were not forthcoming. He was aptly supported by Andrew 'can't wait for Christmas' Lappan who once again was desperately unlucky to go wicketless.
(It must be out this time)
It was early on in the piece when the fifth graders experienced their first falcon of the season when Mike 'Einstein' Weaver, fielding at gully, proceeded to lob the ball to backward point in an effort to get it back to the bowler. Unfortunately young Fraga, not familiar with Weaves' abstract interpretation of geometry copped the new cherry smack on the jaw. Needless to say the 5s were hysterical except for Fraga, who was slightly concussed. Think about it Weaves!
The wickets kept coming with the introduction of Emile 'Stobo' Van Schalkwyk into the attack. Once again the youngster from Shore impressed the onlookers by bowling straight and consistently beating the bat with 'Stobo-esque' leg-cutters, picking up figures of 3-11. Fraggas held up the other end, with Parramatta going into the sheds at tea at 8-98.
It was imperative that the Stags finished the deal quickly after the break and that is exactly what happened with Shiv Ul-Haq being run-out by Bretty Marvel and Bournie picking up the ultimate fantasy cricket dismissal, caught and bowled, to finish the innings.
Parramatta all out 116.
The Stags wanted to close the deal that afternoon to cover against rain next weekend and Lawry and Weaves went about the job, taking 45 off the first 12 overs. The ball was still moving around measurably and Kenner fell victim to some astute out-swing bowling.
1-45. No problems. Weaves decided it was his day and really started to accelerate pouncing on anything short. He fell in the 22nd over for a rapid 61. Most of the 5th graders have already heard about Weaves magnificent innings, but if you would like further details go to www.mikeweaver.com/rd7.
(Emile van Schalkwyk in action on Saturday)
This left Boycott (batting in his new found no. 3 position) and Knight to finish the job. Both looked extremely solid and we can look forward to some big hitting from Knight next week after he dispatched the opening bowler over the roof of the pavilion in the penultimate over of the day.
Knight 31*, Sadjeh 18*, Gordon 2/142 at stumps.
A real outright chance on the cards next week at Princess Park. Tickets will be sold at the gate. No passouts.
The way it is, Saturday 17th Novermber. I'm Richard Kenner. Good Night.
5th Grade Report vs Wests
Finding parking at Beauchamp Oval on Saturday morning was harder than finding a park outside Jerry Seinfeld's apartment. It appeared that every six year old in the Willoughby shire had turned out to 'have-a-go'. The only notable exception was Tiddles. Don't worry Tids, didn't see any young Cabbage's doing the rounds'maybe in a couple years.
(Emile Van Schalkwyk in his first grade game for Gordon)
Setting up the screens was even more of a challenge for the fifth graders this week as they had to negotiate their way through a sea of youngsters.
A delayed start followed, with Wests winning the toss and electing to bat first. A decision that appeared rich in logic, with a belter of a pitch on offer. Tweety of course was more than happy to be bowling. Like a warm bath after a long night, Tweety is most comfortable fielding first.
Mahaffey and Lappan opened proceedings, and it didn't take long for the Mahaffey to pick up a pole. First ball of the match infact, a 'solid' catch at cover by Emile Van 'Hoogenban' (Schalkwyk). The two openers continued to bowl tighter than Kenner's back pocket. With the pressure building on every dot ball the second wicket seemed inevitable as mid-on took a simple catch. Wests were 2/30, when a short break was taken at 11am to commemorate the diggers.
Wickets fell at a steady pace after the break with all bowlers cashing in. Lappan claimed 1-23 for his spell and was unlucky not to have a couple more wickets. The pale ale was obviously inspired by his hero Kane West who he had seen perform the previous evening. Emile van der Hoogneband bowled an impressive 8 overs, returing 1-20. The youngster toiled hard and varied his pace superbly, in what was his first trundle in over 8 months.
(A Gordon wicket)
The spinners finished the job with Michael 'old man legs' Bourne snapping up 3-18 and 'John' Maya taking the last two wickets for 22 runs. At one point Bourne collapsed with cramp in almost every muscle in his body. In fact it would be quicker to describe which muscles weren't in cramp. The old stager fought hard though. Shortening his run up to 'stand-and-bowl', he managed to claim two more wickets.
Wests all out for a sub par 100. A disappointing score on a relatively docile deck.
Lawry was without regular partner Boycott this week. Instead he was joined by young gun Cameron 'fun' Crawford, fresh from the bright lights of the HSC. Cam hadn't donned the pads for several months but that didn't seem to effect him as he pasted the opening bowler over cover for a one bounce four.
At 0-49 and looking set for a 10 wicket win, 'fun' tried to loft one straight and was caught at mid-on. Dougie Harris picked up from where Cam had left off as he worked the spinners to all parts of the ground.
(Craig Knight in action against Wests)
Just as it looked as the Stags were cruising to an 8-point victory within 25 overs, Kenner was adjudged caught at first slip and Knight and Kulkarni followed in quick succession.
It was up to Dougie 'the pizza boy' to deliver the goods, and that he did with a composed 27 not out. For a man who looked sicker than Fidel Castro, he batted more like a Damien Martyn, to cement his place in the 5th grade outfit.
On Saturday the Stags held serve to love. From ball one, when 'twinkle toes' Mahaffey claimed a pole, the 5th graders never took the foot from the throat. It was a dominating performance.
With all 6 grades having tremendous victories it was off to the Gate to enjoy some free largers and a laugh at Dave Michael's ridiculous sun burn.
And who did I see talking to a mysterious old man (potentially NSW selector) outside the Gate. None other than David Gray. Is the skipper thinking of a comeback into state cricket? Who knows? More on this story next week.
Until then, I'm Richard Kenner, you stay classy Chatswood.
Fifth Grade Report vs Fairfield
Sunglasses were required to view the pitch at Beauchamp on the first Saturday and not just because Thomlinson and Lappan were removing the covers. It looked as though the council had produced a top-grade batting deck. A Beauchamp special. Tweety's thoughts'.bowl. It must have been a slip of the tongue at the toss which saw Sadjeh (Boycott) and Kenner (Lawry) striding out to open the Stags innings.
(Michael Bourne in the dark at Beauchamp)
Anthony Wilson has had much to say about the Stags opening pair, and much of the dribble rang true on the first morning, as the openers made a cautious start. Lawry, who struggled to find the fence early, was the first to fall for 19.
Boycott and Knight continued, as quality spin bowling tied the two batsmen down at both ends. 'Bollywood' finally attempted to break the shackles and was caught at square leg for 38 (Tiddles, I swear it was an aggressive stroke). Knight fell soon after, bowled round his legs for 25. This left BIC and John 'Mayur' Kulkarni at the wicket.
Rob Evans proved that fortune favoured the brave as he tempted the Lions fielders with some lusty driving. 'Bevans'' luck ran out, though, and he was caught for 33. Johnie Mayur looked the goods but was also struck down, just when he looked set to unload, for 31, proving that there is room for squares. Tim Fraga''your guess is as good as mine' took the strain and looked cool and composed in top scoring with 43. Bourne was not impressed with Fraggas though, as he fell just 2 runs short of the 50 partnership, costing Bourne crucial fantasy points. Bourne is the king of the 50-run partnership (he averages a 2.65 run contribution).
(Rob Evans at Beauchamp)
It was up to Bourne and Gray to see out the days play, as the dismissed batsmen fought for couch position and a share of Thomlinson's rug. Tweety, feeling that the side had lost faith in his aggressive nature, pumped two 4s off the last 3 balls of the day. Botham or Gray? 'Mullet' Wilson seemed confused! (it seems that Wilson has been visiting the same hairdresser as Mahaffey)
Gordon 6/228 at stumps. A relatively slow run rate, considering the quality of the track. But contrary to popular opinion, it was the batsmen's inability to capatalise on their starts which cost the Stags a 300 plus score. Never-the-less, the 5th graders believed in victory.
The second Saturday brought gloomy skies and the possibility of a wash-out. Tweety looked nervous. More nervous than normal. An intense session of dressing room cricket ensued, with the 'have-a-go' gear receiving a thorough work-out. BIC clearly dominated the morning session. Sorry BIC, no fantasy points on offer there!
(Mayur Kulkarni at Beauchamp)
As the mizzle continued to fall, tutorials took place in the change rooms. Pull-a-string bowling techniques were discussed, as well as the rock-and-bowl and Bourne's juggling. After a quick visit to the pristine food court of Chatswood Chase (the pros of playing at Beauchamp), it was decided that play would commence at 3pm.
Tweety quickly declared, ensuring red ink and leaving Fairfield 229 to score at exactly four an over.
'Twinkle toes' Mahaffey was unable to bowl from the northern end, as he was sliding on delivery. It had to be BIC who would take the new ball and success came immediately dismissing the danger man in his second over.
A great bowling partnership followed with Andrew 'never gets wickets before Christmas' Lappan and Rob 'always takes wickets no matter what time of year' Evans cleaning up the Fairfield top order. Evans snared 4 and Lappan 2, and Fairfield were 6/75. A victory loomed, and it seemed all the Stags had to do was 'think about it' to secure the 6 points.
With the light fading fast and memories of Plummer at Bensons resurfacing, Tweety introduced the tweakers. The move proved a masterstroke as 'John' Mayur stole a cheeky 2 wickets and 'frequent flier' Thomlinson snared 1. Bowling into a stiff breeze Thommo clocked an average speed of 12.3km/hr as his hand grenades confused the Fairfield batsmen. After the match Thommo was heard to say, 'I don't think I've ever bowled slower than that, even in the under fives'.
(Sunny shows his fielding prowess at Beauchamp)
So at nine down, the match seemed like a mere formality. The lads were getting worked up, except for the perennial skipper David Gray who's comments included, 'everyone settle down', 'lets regain our composure' and of course, 'think about it'.
No doubt the skipper knew what was coming. The number 9 and 11 opened their shoulders, hitting and hoping'with surprising success. The spinners came in for a severe belting with one ball almost collecting the devious Buno's Holden Commodore.
With Tweety's heart rate rising about 200 and Mick Falk preparing to substitute field, even though no one was injured, it seemed that the game could slip away from the Stags. Enter BIC. With a subtle leg cutter that left the number 11 searching for the ball (BIC's recollection, not mine) Evan's claimed his Michelle Five-for and more importantly the 6 points. The team song was sung with gusto, and the dressing room floorboards were given a fair work-out. It must be noted here that Kenner will be attending choir practice this week after an unforgivable slip up which left conductor Knight dazed and confused.
A win against the competition leaders is always morale boosting, but as they say you haven't broken serve until you hold, and this will be the case against Wests this week'
The 5's must hold serve.
Full credit must be paid to Fairfield, who never gave up on the victory and fought all the way to try and grab the 6 points. It was refreshing to see such an aggressive attitude and it made for great cricket, on a day that promised so little.
Gordon may have claimed the 6 points but cricket was the winner.
Until next time'stay classy Chatswood.
Fifth Grade Report vs the Hawks
With a great wicket presented by the Hawks it left Tweety in no doubt, the Stags would bat on. A Mahaf-a-thon greeted the Hawks in the morning session with three generations of Mahaffey's present. 'Dizzy' did not let the family down scoring a crucial 29 in putting on a 10th wicket partnership of 60, with Bournie.
(Andrew Plummer at Benson's Lane)
That took the Stags to 251, which no longer looked that attractive given the batting friendly conditions on offer, but the Hawks had to score at a clip over 4 an over. 50/50 was the call from Tweety and the lads agreed.
John Saw- 'Bensons Lane then left' 'tell (thanks to Mitch for that one) was again not present and it was up to BIC Evans to field for the day. This is why Rob is the best-in-club. He will drive all the way out to Richmond in sub-zero temperatures just to fill in for the 5th graders. A true Australian Hero.
The weather conditions were slightly different than the previous week. It was akin to stepping off the sun onto a polar ice-cap. With fielders rummaging feverishly through their kit-bags to find their sweaters and cardigans, the team-cream was left chillingly un-loved.
It was ying (Plummer) and yang (Mahaffey) who opened the bowling. The Hawks were scoring at around 1 an over and the openers were bowling great lines. Plummer beat the bat on 1000 occasions and finally claimed a pole, LBW. Much to Plummer's dismay a catch went down the ball before tea and the Hawks went to the break one down.
It was clear the Stags were going to have grind out their wickets. With a gale-force wind keeping the fielders honest, the toil began. 'Scotty' was really bending his back and putting-in-for-the-club (PIFC) and his ever growing fan base.
'Scotty' bowled the number 3 and was almost on a hat-rick when a diving Craig 'Schwarzer' Knight pushed a catch past the post. 'Sunscreen' Sadjeh kept applying himself in the field and pulled off a run-out from his specialist position at mid-off.
'John' Mayur Kulkarni's bowling was a wonderland. After a slow start he found his rhythm and was rewarded with a 'sharpish' stumping from Knight. All this left the Hawks at 4/60 and the Stags well and truly on top.
A good Hawks partnership ensued, and the game tightened up. It seemed that time would be both teams major adversary, but at the same time it meant that both teams kept attacking. It was 'pup' Colley who made the break through, picking up two relatively quick wickets. This left the Hawks a required rate of 6 and only 4 wickets in hand. At this point it was probably time to secure the draw.
It was time. Plummer was to be re-introduced for one final crack at victory. He promptly clean bowled the number 8 and soon after skittled the in-form batsman, only to be denied by a no-ball. The umps then agreed the light was not improving and decided that Plummer could no longer bowl. The virile fast bowler was devastated. It was equivalent to watching Monica Seles being cut down in her prime. Just when it seemed Plums would skittle the Hawks tail, he was put to pasture.
Anyway, it was left to a brave Bourne to battle through the last few overs of the day. And to finish off we were blessed with 6 balls from 'sunscreen' Sadjeh, which I promised I would not mention'oops.
In the end a draw. The players were exhausted from putting-in-for-club all day, especially Scotty, and some had even contracted a slight bout of pneumonia.
The disappointment however was quickly replaced by hopps and barley, as the Staggies celebrated some awesome batting performances at the Greengate. Notably Razzel and Hintdog. The The Crow Nest beckoned and the days play was temporarily wiped from memory
Stay classy Chatswood. I'm Richie Kenner?
The car drive out to Bensons Lane is always an interesting one, and the presence of Craig Knight made Saturday no exception. Sunny also joined the car trip halfway down the M2, as has become tradition. It was there that a maroon Volvo, appearing to carry some form of rock group, steamed past the 5th graders, doing 1000km/hr. On closer inspection it turned out to be Higgos, Emo and Hosko's, Gordon's resident Beatles'.
Richie "Sticks" Kenner plays his infamous late cut
An RBT greeted the two car loads of Staggies on arrival in Richmond, and after a relieved looking Higgins departed the scene, Kenner was cleared to go through after the police officer explained that the previous motorist had actually disabled the breathalyser.
Bensons Lane had really turned it on for the Stags. A 40 degree day with a dry westerly wind blowing off the mountains. A great day to bat, said the bowlers, and Tweety agreed. A new look 5th grade saw the introduction of Steve 'pup' Colley (who I believe is actually only 15 years old), Shenal 'Scotty' Siriwardhane, Mayur Kilkarni and John Sawtell (who we are still waiting on the arrival of).
But it was the old heads Kenner and Sadjeh who opened the innings. After a slow start Sadjeh was clean bowled for 6, and this saw the introduction of 'pup' Colley. Immediately the older heads in the Hawks team started sledging the 12 year-old, but he proved to be above their childish games, batting with maturity and class well above his years. Kenner at the other end was fatiguing quickly and was struggling against a bowler affectionately know as 'The Unit'. The pair struggled to tea on a variable wicket with the score at 1/75.
After tea Kenner was adjudged caught behind for a patient, some times excruciating, 48, after leaving a hole in the Bensons Lane pitch. 'Pup' brought up his maiden grade fifty, this after being verbally abused by the Hawks captain for getting some water after the fall of a wicket. The 9 year-old fell to 'the unit' for 59, but be sure to watch this space.
It was a disappointing afternoon session as the Stags slumped from 1/109 to be 8/215 at the end of the days play. Knighty chipped in with a cameo 32 and Andrew 'see you in court' Plummer hit 16, after surviving a first ball shout for LBW.
Although Shenal 'number 5' or 'Scotty' as he is affectionately known, did not contribute with the bat he definitely enjoyed his scoring stint where he proceeded to knock up some runs off the field. I think his message tone summed up the sentiments of the afternoon. Kenner, also sporting an off field slump, attempted to join in on the action, but had no luck, much to the amusement of 'bollywood'. Oh well lads'.there's always next week!
This sentiment can definitely sum up Gordon's day. At one stage we looked set for 250 but we lost our way after tea. With Bournie and Mahaf-my-coat still at the wicket, however, and a virile, young bowling attack waiting in the wings, the Stags can definitely look to next week as a great opportunity to grab 6 points.
Until next week'stay classy Chatswood (and Bensons Lane).
Fifth Grade Report vs Sydney Uni
The Stags travelled across the harbour bridge to take on the students in Round 3. St. Pauls was the venue for the eagerly anticipated showdown and the ground looked in fantastic knick. One often feels as though he is playing country cricket when playing at Sydney Uni, such is the ambiance which the campus exudes.
(Rob Evans showing why he is best in club)
Jason Russell-Jones had the unfortunate experience of almost being run-off the harbour bridge by fellow teammate Andrew 'the voice' Plummer. Rumour has it that Plums was attempting to show off his prized wicket from the previous evening. Others speculated that he was dropping his cousin off in the city. Anyway we'll leave those ramblings to the team at Who weekly and move on to the game.
Our evergreen skipper David Gray lost the toss and the students had no hesitation in padding up and heading out to bat. A fast outfield and good batting deck was all the motivation they needed. The ultimate odd-couple once again opened the bowling with Plummer and Mahaffey having no early success. Dan 'dizzy' Mahaffey bowled some great lines, only conceding 6 runs in his first 6 overs.
But it was up to grade newcomer, Nick Cheadle, to claim the first scalp of the day, a fine leggie spinning between bat-and-pad. Needless to say Tiddles was a smiling wreck at the sight of yet another young Staggie wrist spinner strutting his stuff in the Gordon colours.
This wicket failed to stem the Students momentum and it was up to Michael Bourne 'supremacy' to stem the tide as he took 3 quick wickets in his first four overs. It was off Bourne's bowling, that 'the voice' Plummer suffered one of his many life threatening injuries. Over the space of five overs Plummer managed to chip a fingernail, bruise his wrist and lose complete feeling in his right forearm, not to mention take two spectacular catches. Plums truly was the life-blood of the party.
The students now stood at 4-124 after 31 overs and the Stags were confident of a quick kill. This was not to be as Uni's number 3 cut loose taking 80 runs of the Stag bowlers. Although 'Rusty' Jones and Plums chipped in with a wicket each late the Students finished on 5/241 after their 50 overs, a very defendable target.
(Evans and Russell-Jones during their 5ths wicket partnership)
The lunch break was spent crammed in the very cosy change rooms shooting the breeze with fellow Stag players Bourne and Sadjeh. It was interesting to hear their take on life and the match at hand and it was also extremely relieving not to hear from Plummer and Knight for the first time in the day.
Tweety promptly informed the batsmen of the required run rate, 10, 20 and 30 over targets, expected wind direction, maximum and minimum temperatures, and a brief family history of each Uni bowler, before the confused openers Sadjeh and Kenner strode to the crease.
Once again the equation was simple. Keep wickets in hand so BIC can win the game for us later. Unfortunately the top order had other ideas in mind with Kenner and Knight falling early to loose shots. Sunil 'Bollywood' Sadjeh tried hard and was set to explode before he was run out in a horrific miscommunication with BIC. 'The Voice' fell first ball to another controversial LBW decision and the Stags knew they were in for a long afternoon, especially in the pavilion.
As BIC and 'Rusty' promptly set about rescuing the team from 4/49, 'The Voice' entertained the masses with a 2 and a half hour speech about the subtleties of cricket. Other topics that were addressed by Plums included umpiring, West Indian cricketers' social habits, beverage choice, all GPS cricket and rugby results of the past two decades and a thorough review of his life in the fast lane. Plummer was even heard to say, at the rare occasion when Knight got a word in, 'geez Knighty, you really can talk, can't you?'.
Anyway more important things were happening in the middle. BIC and Rusty had given the Stags a shot at victory, dragging us within 120 runs of our target. Just when it seemed that both would explode and bring us home they both lost their wickets in quick succession, Rusty for 30 and Bic for 43. This left the Stags with an ever mounting run rate and the young (Cheadle) and the old (Tweety) at the wicket. The equation was too much for the Stags and they fell 50 runs short of victory.
A disappointing loss for the Stags in a game they could have easily won. They say cricket is a game of inches, and this clich' held true for the Stags on Saturday with several crucial chances falling agonisingly short of fielders. Who knows, if these had gone our way it may of been a different story'but in the end it was the top-order who had themselves to blame, for not setting the required foundation.
Tweety was philosophical about the loss in the sheds after the game, and The Voice once again mesmerised his team mates with an extended match review which touched on the true meaning of life. One final quote ensued from our resident Richie Benaud, 'boys'it was the loss we had to have'. Not to sure about this one Plums, I know I would have loved to have won the game.
Until next time'stay classy Chatswood.
Fifth Grade Report Round 1
Saturday morning saw the beginning of a new season for the Stags and the 5th grade side resembled that of the victorious colts team from the year before, with some notable inclusions, namely 'needles' Thomlinson who had no doubt been working hard in the gym over the off season, Dan 'dizzy' Mahaffey who had failed to locate the barber throughout the winter and new face Laurence Legg joining us from the coast. Oh, and of course there was the evergreen Andy Plummer who started the day in great fashion by managing to get intimate with some of Beauchamp's finest fertiliser during stretches. A quick shower in the change rooms and Plums was ready to roll, although the prevailing odour forced Tweety to place him at fine leg during the opening overs.
After the lads had managing to assemble the IKEA DIY Beauchamp sidescreens (thanks to Tweety's handy work with the Allan-key), it was time for the warm up. Again Knight and Tweety debated the correct order of proceedings'run then stretch or stretch then run, a question that has puzzled cricketers for decades. Of course Tweety's experience and inability to actually run without stretching saw him get his way and Knight was forced to bite his tongue (something he finds extremely hard).
Tweety won the toss and decided to send a young looking Saints side in to bat on a docile-looking Beauchamp track, a decision that no doubt reflected the side's bowling strength. Plummer and Mahaffey opened up and it was a slow start by the fielding side. A couple of costly fumbles saw the Saints out to a flier and Plums left cursing his luck as he proceeded to dig a hole the size of the grand canyon out of the Beauchamp popping crease.
(Jason Russell-Jones in action on Saturday)
While Plums was busy digging his way to China, 'Dizzy' Mahaffey managed to not even leave a scratch at his end of the wicket prompting an observant mid-off fieldsman to label him 'twinkle toes' Mahaffey. The man who floats on air was solid in his opening spell and snared the opening wicket when Jason Russel-Jones rediscovered his recent AFL form by snaring a one-handed grab in the centre half forward pocket (the covers).
Gordon was unable to break the second wicket partnership as the Saints built a solid foundation from which to launch. Dave 'my humps' Millar bowled extremely well, only conceding 20 runs from his 10 overs and Andrew 'pale ale' Lappan was unlucky not to claim any wickts in his spell.
The wheels started to fall off a dilapidated looking Gordon outfit after the last drinks break until Thomlinson snared two late wickets to put the brakes on the opposition.
(David Thomlinson shows that style)
Some tight bowling by Mahaffey restricted the Saints to a modest total of 230 on a relatively good batting deck. Gordon fifth grade would like to thank the little St.George supporter who once again showed up at Beauchamp to sledge the Staggies fielders. He also managed to scare our resident fielding guru Steve Thomlinson into leaving the ground.
The lunch break saw a hungry Kenner reaching for the sambo's from the fridge. Unfortunately he had failed to check if they were actually his and after taking the first few bites was surprised to see the umpires stern face staring him down as he asked for his sandwiches back. A tasty treat may have cost Kenner his wicket but fortunately Mrs. Knight saved the day providing the hungry umpire with some of her world-famous and critically acclaimed pikelets. Thank you Mrs. Knight!
The staggies batsmen knew what they had to do, and if they didn't, well Tweety reminded them about three thousand times. 'No rush', 'Keep wickets in hand', 'No stupid shots', 'Don't get run out', 'Make sure I don't have to bat''etc.
Our resident Bollywood star Sunil Sadjeh and Kenner strolled out to the crease to open the innings and things started brightly. With the pair never scoring a 100 run partnership before, it was only the 23rd over when they achieved this milestone and the Stags were well on their way.
(Sunny against Saints)
Sunny batted like a man possessed, concentrating hard and punishing any loose ball he was presented with. Rusty-Jones was calculating his fantasy cricket points in the sheds when Kenner was caught for 65. Looking for sympathy on his way into the sheds Jason managed to provide the forlorn batsmen with, 'thanks mate, you just cost me points!'. As I have said before Rusty-Jones'team player!
Laurence came to the wicket with Sunny eying up what would have been a massive comeback ton, but unfortunately it was not to be with both batsmen holding out for 7 and 80 respectively. It was great to see Bollywood back in the runs and you couldn't wipe the million-dollar smile off his million-dollar face.
So it was left to Plummer and Knight to finish the job. This was done in style as Plummer, after a shaky start, set about tearing apart the bowling attack on his way to his maiden Gordon 50.
With Gordon requiring 1 run for victory and Plummer on 49 runs there were shouts from the pavilion for the bowler to bowl a wide but alas it was not to be with Plummer crunching the ball over the covers for which can only be described, by Plummer, as a magnificent shot.
(The winning runs)
So the staggies were home and Plummer had something to talk about at the Greengate. 6 points on the board and Tweety's magic run continues. All the boys are looking forward to the first 2-dayer against UTS next week, where we can expect to see some sterling performances from the stars of Gordon 5th grade. Until next week'stay classy Chatswood.
First Grade plays for the Belvedere Cup and all grade points go to the Club Championship total.
For the First grade schedule go to Fixtures
First Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
1st Grade take 3/1 to claim victory over Randy-Petes
Day 2 of the match in 1st Grade between Gordon and Randwick-Petersham started with the home side in the field defending 324. The Stags would welcome a new 1st Grade player to the ranks with Ben Garratt making his debut. Captain Zelma had organised a special cap presentation for after the match. As tradition has it at Gordon a legend of the game presents a new player with their 1st Grade Cap. In the past players such as Emery, Cant and Falk have had the honour. Today Zelma had excelled and managed to get the Captain of the GPS Team of the Century to Chatswood. The player once known as 'The Prodigy' made the presentation to an awestruck Garratt.
"Jiggy Smut" celebrates his last victory on Australian soil (for this season at least)
Back to the field and Dylan would strike early on collecting an off pole. BMac was introduced and struck in his 1st over with Rosen taking a sharp catch. The game evenly poised with the opposition 2 for 80 odd. During the break Dylan spent 40 minutes on the phone to 20 different people telling them how flat the Chatswood Oval wicket was. Apparently it was much flatter than the week before when our opening bowler could not keep a straight half volley out when facing his 1st ball late in the day.
After the break Hauritz and Mitchell began to build a threatening partnership. The Stags needed a wicket so the Captain tossed the ball to Simmons. As usual Craig "The Postman" Simmons delivered, strangling Mitchell down the leg side with his very 1st ball. Several overs later The Ship struck again with Hauritz caught sharply in the gully. I should mention that Packers took the catch. Apparently James was 'Best on Ground' throughout the day. Well that's what he called himself anyway.
Ed Zelma takes a crucial wicket to set up the victory over Randy-Petes
The game was poised with Randy-Petes at 4-143. But another partnership developed and the Stags were on the back foot. Medcalf was bowling. He had been tight for several overs. But then Medders is always tight I suppose. 2nd Grade had got rid of the pest and he was today tormenting the 1st Grade side. Fortunately for the rest of us Medders gave Dylan someone to talk to. The opposition's number 6 was looking to up the scoring. After hitting 3 consecutive fours he tried to hit a 4th. The ball was skied out to deep mid-wicket. The Prodigy Sam Hinton was at mid-on and took off in chase as though he was on speed. Sammy would have covered 30 odd metres reaching the ball just in time. The Mike Whitney celebration that followed was worth the price of admission itself.
Tea was taken and afterwards Randy-Petes pushed on well towards victory. The Stags needed 5 wickets. The opposition only 75 runs. Zelma made the move. Into the attack came Will 'Jiggy Jiggy' Smith. In his fairwell appearance Wilbur would play a cameo roll with the ball. He would strike with Packers snaring a well hit ball at cover. He would create 2 more chances but both were grassed. 37 now needed. 4 wickets in hand.
Dylan was reintroduced into the attack. The big fast bowler had spent most of the 2nd session off the field. The 36 degree heat had apparently got to him. I believe though he still had plenty more phone calls to make to tell people 'how flat the wicket was' and so needed some extra time.
To his credit Dylan has a massive head heart. When we needed him he stood up. A superb spell in difficult conditions would get us back into the match. He cleaned bowled their number 8 and gave the Stags a great chance of winning.
The boys celebrate the 10th wicket... long into the night
The score now 7 for 306 chasing 324. Cometh the hour cometh the man'.. Captain Zelma was pumped. He strode to the bowling crease. His chest pumped. He was on a mission. The over would be pivotal. An LBW and a bowled and the Stags now needed one. Next over the war-house Connell would crash through the stumps. The Stags had taken 3 for 1 and claimed a memorable victory.
First Grade in a Strong Position
Gordon was up against a strong Randwick Petersham side. Our opposition had gone down the previous weekend in the one day final and presumably where looking to get their finals plans back on track.
Gordon won the toss and elected to bat. This was a difficult decision given the green tinge on the wicket and the memories of the flat wicket against Mosman. I think Matt 'Nicho' Nicholson would have been just as happy to have lost the toss. Anyway, as the day turned out it was a good decision backing the Stags batting line up to post a competitive total.
Craig "Ship" Simmons on his way to breaking the run scoring record
The innings started soundly. Unfortunately Will "Jiggy" Smith, in his last innings for the season, was out for not many. Unfortunate because Will has certainly had the rough end of some decisions this season and hasn't been able to really demonstrate his batting abilities to the Gordon faithful. I have no doubt with another stint and some fortune that the cricketing gods owe, he will score more heavily.
Craig 'Ship' Simmons, as he has done for much of the season and previous season, provided the platform for others to carry out there work. Simmo had much to play for, most significantly the opportunity to make history for the club by breaking the batting record held by Charlie Macartney. Simmo and Packers batted well and formed a good partnership, as does tend to happen in cricket we lost a wicket in the last over of the opening session, exit Packman for 27.This was also unfortunate as Packers looked in great nick (as he always does).
The second session began with Sammy "Heavy" Hinton coming to the wicket. Sammy and Simmo played entertaining and enterprising cricket. The features of this partnership were Simmo's cover drives and Sammy's on drives. However we lost Sammy, replaced by the Beau 'Buzzman' Cassen. Like Jiggy, Buzz is teetering on the edge of a big score. The Buzzman played some entertaining shots; he plays a flamboyant game and with it comes the potential for an untimely departure. As it turned out the Buzz was out for 13. No peanut butter this weekend.
"Rocket Yeah" Rod Hokin strode to the wicket. Rod has been in really good nick in recent innings, indeed for most of the season. Rod has found his feet in First Grade and has demonstrated he not only belongs at this level but will thrive. God willing he may make Dylan's top 5 grade players. But alas it wasn't Rods weekend he was given out caught off the pad. No Pakistani willow on that.
Nicho as he had done against Bankstown steadied the ship with the Big Ship. Nicho was the sheet anchor while Simmo pulverized the Randy petes attack. Breaking the spirit of the opposition in scoring a much deserved ton and also in doing so breaking the 80 year old record for most runs in a season. Congratulations to Simmo. There will be much written about his efforts no doubt, but as a colleague of the Ship, he deserves this and really I can see him breaking his own record again.
Now, enough about Simmo. Enter the author. I joined Nicho with the team in peril. Just joking. Nicho and myself toiled away with Katich and Hauritz bowling defensive channels. It was a stratgey that paid dividends for RP's as Nicko attempted a sweep across the line and was given out leg before.
A graceful author (Zelma) in action
The batting still came thick and fast. B mac coming off a great ton (sorry an almost brilliant ton if it wasnt.........doesnt matter. ) strutted to the wicket. The Randy Pete's were impressed with his style and commented about his tight fitting slacks. Anyway B Mac took a leading role and blasted a great 31 before being cleaned up. This left Bretty and Zeddie to see the innings through. Bretty is a busy player and always ferreting runs. With a bit more opportunity up the order I think he will knock up some handy scores. After a solid sponsors afternoon tea, the sugar rush tipped Zeddie's energy levels a little over the edge and he began to swing hard with some reasonable success. His innings was over trying to hit one into orbit.
Dylan came and went. No hooks to the crowds displeasure, perhaps next game when Dylan is considered as an option as the pinch hitter. It is not surprising that Dylan was off with his batting, after the enormous outcry from Bankstown the previous week, and the war of words with Corey Richards I too would wish the cricket ground would swallow me up. I don't want to fan the flames but really Deeza your sledging needs addressing.
So the day ended well, Gordon all out for 328. A good total. The desire to win is a strong as ever. We will endeavour as we have set out to do since Sutherland way back before Christmas to take 20 wickets, if its only ten then so be it. No play offs but our sights are on the bigger picture, this match will go some way in setting us up for next season.
If you want to read more about Simmons breaking the record ...click here...
1st Grade dominate the Warriors
What a weekend for the Stags! Not one loss to speak of. As already documented, these victories have resulted in a jump to fifth position in the club championship, just another few good weekends away from top spot.
1st Grade certainly played their part in the weekend's whitewash (the only recent whitewash I'd like to talk about'), with two convincing victories against Blacktown on Saturday, in what could well have been an outright with a slice more luck, and the one-dayer against the Ghosts on Sunday.
Packman deep in the runs against Blacktown
After the toll-infested (thanks Dylan!) journey to Joe McAleer Oval, off the back of a Beau 'Buzz' Casson five-for and some solid batting from Craig 'Ship' Simmons the week before, came the push for an outright victory on a sluggish but true wicket.
All was going to plan with another classy innings from James 'Jammer' Packman and some useful lower order runs from Nicholson and Zelma. This gave us a lead of 139. A steady fall of wickets put Blacktown in trouble at 5/96, but a sixth wicket stand of 86 put paid to any lingering hopes of a ten-pointer. A good team performance highlighted by some persistent, disciplined bowling and spirited fielding boded well for a repeat dose the next day at Raby against the Ghosts.
Another great team performance followed, with the two stand-out performers yet again Beau Casson and 'Jaaaaaammer' Packman. Again some good fielding and controlled bowling meant that a target of 214 would never be in doubt. Not after a quick fire 49 from 'Ship' Simmons and a prematurely ended but comfortable 44 from the Dazzler (Brad Rasool) ensured that we could coast home. I'm sure that unless I mention that Packman notched up another half-century he will be sour all week. So, after running out the Dazzler, Packman scored 60-odd not out to guide the side home.
Sunday 14th January 2007 will stick in my memory for a long time. Firstly it was the day my 'other-half' flew home, of course I saw her off tearfully at the airport''oh no that's right, I was at Raby being dismissed by the first ball I faced from my new Durham team-mate Mitch Claydon. What a joyous day!
The Dazzler will be sorely missed
However the day will be remembered more in Gordon DCC folklore for the 2006/7 season farewell of the Dazzler. Two record breaking double hundreds in 2s, countless other hundreds both in 2s and PG's, so laidback he's horizontal and the greatest array of warm-up socks in cricket are just some of the things the Dazzler will be remembered for this season. But also for his ability to draw an excitable Moth (Tim Packman) on a night out to see him off and also to introduce Tiddles to the wonders of tequila!
The North Shore's loss is Scandinavia's gain.
Will Smith (just happy that England has won their first game on tour)
Maximum Points for 1st Grade
With the Blues Brothers available for both days of our clash with the Sharks, it was always going to be an interesting affair. Sutherland won the toss and decided to bat on a wicket that had a definite green tinge.
Dylan and Matt 'Nicho' Nicholson opened the bowling and hit great areas with Dylan at times making the in form Phil Jacques play and miss on a regular basis.
Mate vs Mate as Nicho bowls to Jacques
Sutherland battled away and only managed 120 runs. Dylan, in peak form, grabbed a great 6/34. Ed 'Zeddie' Zelma backed him up with 3/40. Oh I'm also under orders to mention that it was in fact Zeddie who got the important wicket of Phil Jacques. After being pounded for three consecutive brutal 4's the 'Polish Panesar' foxed the future baggy greener with a quick short ball which he parried skywards.
The Stags in reply, went in with a positive frame of mind. The first class duo of Will Smith (Bad Boys, Independence Day, Bad Boys 2, Hitch) and Craig Simmons got us off to decent start setting the tone at which we should chase down the runs. Play ended at tea due to mass rain. Overnight the Stags were 1/67 with a further 50 odd runs required to seal first innings points.
The second Saturday saw the boys from 'old chatswood way' coast past the Sharks first innings total. James 'that must have nipped back a bit jamma'' Packman top scoring with 51. The maroon caps were not in the mood for only 6 points. We were in search of 10. We thus declared 50 odd runs ahead with almost a days playing time still on hand. Game on.
Packers gets amongst the runs vs the Sharks
A pumped Gordon XI took to the field again with aim of bowling the Sharks out again. That's exactly what happened. Dylan, The D-train, in top form again, bagged 4/42, which saw him claim 10/76 for the match. You beauty! Ed Zelma bowled superbly, bagging a beautiful Michelle (5 for), 5/31. He claimed 8/71 for the match. You also beauty! The boys fielded and caught like champs. BMac floated in the grippers. Sambo 'Laneway' Hinton, braved it out under the lid. He's enthusiasm in the field was great and Beau Casson kept him on his toes.
In seek of the Stags first outright win in a while, Gordon needed 89 off the willow. It took us just 75 minutes. James 'Im starting to see them again' Packman steadied a rocky boat and cruised to an unbeaten 54, winning us the match. He batted with finesse and oozed class. Something tells me he'll hit a ton in the next round. (Ed: Pity you wrote this after Packers had already completed that feat)
Our Fantasy League guru, Dylan Connell, bags 10 poles for the match (200 points)
Overall it was a sterling team effort. Gordon won the game in all three departments of batting, bowling, and fielding. Watch out for the Stags snowball effect. The team is starting to execute basics and all the players are starting to put their hands up. Wait till we all start firing. Even BMac took two catches.
We sung the song with joy. We put on the covers afterwards. A few quiet beverages ensued' why not?
Round 7 out Old Kings way
The stags travelled to Old Kings confident of claiming back to back wins for the first time this season. The day began well for Gordon with Nicho winning the toss and, after inspecting both the SCG and Old Kings wicket, deciding to bat on what looked like a very good wicket.
Unfortunately Clutch Simmons fell in the first over to a delivery 'that must of nipped back a bit'.
Will Smith and James Packman then steadied the ship before Packers was out to a score that had Mitch singing well into the night. Beau Casson joined Wilbur and the score continued to flow until Beau was dismissed in the 20's from the last ball before lunch.
(Simmons supporting new shades as he makes a mends with his bowling)
3/100 at lunch.
Sam 'what corporate bidders' Hinton joined Wilbur after lunch but the partnership didn't last long with Wilbur falling for a well made 55. Wilbur has adjusted well to Australian wickets and seems to have taken a liking to all aspects of multicultural Australia.
Wickets continued to fall throughout the second session as we failed to adjust to batting on a slow wicket.
However Nicho stood firm giving us all an example of the necessary patience needed to bat on a slow wicket guiding us through to 230 with an invaluable 42 not out.
(Dylan showing good form with the leather)
Would 230 be enough?
In the end it wasn't as Parra past us 6 down, but it wasn't through any fault of the bowlers. Dylan was the pick off the bowlers taking 3 for 37 off 16 threatening overs.
Brendan McDonald took 2 for 56 off 22 controlled overs off leg spin, with Julian Stephenson bowling a dozen tidy overs in a good showing on return from injury.
The stags face Sutherland this weekend and if we want to have any chance of winning we must make over 300 and give our bowlers something to bowl at. One of the batters needs to stand up and make a ton and in the words of our inspirational, extroverted co-captain Zeddy 'I am willing to place my left nut on James 'Nails' Packman'.
1st Grade Match Report Vs Wests
It turned out to be a great day for the club and hopefully for the first grade side a sign of things to come. With only two wins on the board the side is eager to make amends of what has been an indifferent start to the year.
(Sam Hinton pierces the field on Saturday)
Saturday proved to be convincing win with a handy bonus point to take us to within striking distance of the middle of the pack. The next couple of weeks are going to be crucial to the outcome of the season. With the fearless skipper back, and the stand in (me) put back in his place, the boys were primed for the day. There was however a notable exception of West's in-form Wicketkeeper Smith, who had been called up for NSW duty.
Surprising after the toss we were batting, first win of the year for Zelma, and we were able to set the tone for the day with the willow. Unfortunately things didn't start as well as we would have liked and the top 4 produced 40 runs between them and it was up to the young guns to steady the ship. 'Bomber' Bombas and 'Shints' Hinton put on a hundred run partnership and at a reasonable pace, leaving the big hitters of the game to finish off the innings. A fine 45no by Chadwick's finest and support from Zed, Freckle and Meddes, meant we had a defendable total on the board.
(Reece Bombas on Saturday against Wests)
The bowlers started the afternoon reasonably well and Connell removed one of the openers and Zelma the other. Wickets were shared, however 'the postman' Simmons was again the destroyer taking a handy 3 for and adding to his growing tally of wickets. We managed to bowl the Magpies out for 160 within the 40 overs thus taking the crucial bonus point.
Well done lads and also to the rest of the grades for putting in such a dominant performance this week. Let's continue the good work this weekend against Parra.
First Grade Uni of NSW Match Report
After a diffcult day on Saturday, Sunday's game away at Village Green was labelled as a 'must-win'; a phrase much loved by many an English Premiership football manager was this time coined by the passionate Eddy Zelma.
(Reece Bombas leads off his skipper against UNSW)
Any overnight rain had not had an effect on the wicket, though it did play a little slow throughout the game, there were runs to be had if batters were willing to apply themselves. By winning the toss Nicho thought he would give us first use of any moisture that there may have been.
The first eight or nine overs passed without much action until Eddy, as pumped and effervescent as ever, induced a swirling, spinning, skied (''.??!!) catch to yours truly. Simply one of the best I have ever taken. Great to see the passion on Eddy's face, which I understand is customary upon getting a wicket.
Though there is a fine line between this celebratory reaction and what I imagine the natural angered response of a 100% heterosexual male to a particularly lewd homosexual advance would be! It scares me just a little bit I have to say, but long may it continue if it means wickets are rolling.
(Brendan McDonald at Village Green)
This breakthrough sparked the efforts to be increased and the pressure raised, and thanks to some disciplined bowling from Jules, Eddy, Nicho, Buzz and Macca, coupled with committed fielding - B.Mac in particular ' led to increased pressure on the students batting and the steady fall of wickets until they found themselves at the precarious position of 8/95.
The spitited running of Murray Creed, who turned an all run four into a two, then a three, then a two again, and with the help of a comical slip mid wicket, led to him being run out by a good throw from Jim Packman, and excellent ten-pin bowling technique from Buzz Casson. Added to two stunning catches from B.Mac and Buzz, meant UNSW could never break the shackles. B.Mac's a stunning one handed effort at wide first slip and Buzz's a great low diving caught and bowled chance, the legality of which was never in doubt''..!
Two spirited 9th and 10th wicket partnerships brought a bit of respectability to the scoreline, but the general feeling was that 156 would be eminently 'getable' on a flattish deck, with one small square boundary, and the other leaving scope for plenty of scurrying between the wickets.
6/157 off the first ball of the 40th over would suggest a comfortable win, the gaining of the bonus point emphasising this. However, the batting was nearly the Staggies downfall for the second time in two days, and there still needs to be much more application shown if we are to reach the standards that were set last year. The top order need to take more responsibility.
(Craig Simmons fields a ball against B-Mac)
Some lusty blows from Simmo, a mature pinch-hitting/nurdling role from Eddy, some crisp drives from Jim and a patient 29 from Jof got us to within touching distance. At 6/113 it could have gone one of two ways. All out for 120 or 6/157. Thankfully the latter eventuality prevailed, and which experienced campaigner took the game beyond UNSW's reach? ' 18-year-old Reece Bombas. Making only his second first-grade appearance, Bomber showed great maturity and calmness in what was a pressure situation. Could there be a more important 16 not out in the context of this season, I doubt it. Credit to Bomber, and also credit to Nicho for some big sixes to top it off and ensure the all-important bonus point was won too.
All in all a great win, and all the more pleasing for me was that the words to the Gordon song came flooding back, as if 2001/02 was just yesterday! A better team song I have yet to hear, and now that the first win has been notched I am willing to bet that not many sides will get the opportunity to prove me wrong.
First Grade Report vs the Hawks
Midweek discussion amongst the Stags First XI drew the general consensus that if Hawkesbury away was on the cards at some stage during the season, it was favourable to do the trip to Bensons Lane in the mild climate of October, rather than the searing heat and palpable humidity of January or February. Sure enough' Friday night's weather forecast predicted temperatures up to 35 degrees, and Bensons Lane didn't disappoint with 38 degrees reliably recorded by Mick Falk's in car Thermometer. Not so mild for October, one could argue.
(Jules Stephenson at Owen Earle)
Nonetheless the mood was upbeat as we inspected the wicket in preparation, and skipper Ed Zelma was encouraged by tinges of green and a good covering of grass. As the coin landed 'Cabanossi' Zelma called correctly and decided to offer the Hawks a bat. We knew it could be a tough day ahead, but the bowlers appreciated the confidence shown in them by the skipper and the rest were keen to support in the field.
A short time later whispers of 'Zelma' and 'Genius' were floating around the periphery in the same sentence. Although missing 2 very early chances with the new ball, the Stags had Hawkesbury reeling at 4-27 courtesy of the skipper and his new ball partner Julian Stephenson. The consistent Stephenson had first spell figures of 2 for 1 off six overs, well deserved from his impeccable length.
(Brendan McDonald against Vaugn Williams)
The Stags had a skip in their step. Their season had begun. The ball was rolling. The remainder of the first session saw Hawkesbury skipper Vaughn Williams and Nathan Carrol at the crease. Vaughn seemed eerily watchful, whilst the left handed Carrol opted for attack as the best form of defence, offering some scintillating cricket strokes. The pair safely negotiated the remainder of the session and the stags held a slight advantage at the first break, with the first session a more than entertaining one for cricket lovers.
The lunch interval was almost as entertaining for those in the Stags camp. The standard of the chicken burgers was high, and as a number of us were negotiating our second or third, Julian Stephenson began the lunchtime entertainment, albeit unknowingly. Jules' lunchtime attire consisted of shirt, a medium (at best) sized pair of blue nylon bike pants and white socks.
That's it. Normally, this may be acceptable within the confines of the changerooms, but Jules chose to carry his outfit for all to see. When questioned, Jules response was simple; 'Chafing'. He couldn't have known of the pandora's box he was about to open. BMac was puzzled'. 'What do you mean chafing' Where?' As Jules started to explain the principles of flesh rubbing to produce friction, BMac's bewilderment grew. The man with legs thinner than Tim Packman's arms demonstrated he was unable to produce the necessary conditions.
The focus then changed. Dylan offered insight into the variety of different locations that this phenomenon could occur, and BMac's mind seemed to boggle at the thought of the physics involved. Then the course of the conversation changed once again to treatment. Another member of the Stephenson family became involved, with selector Paul describing his revolutionary tactics in his earlier career of arranging extra large knee guards in problem areas and securing with sticky tape. The younger Stephenson seemed happier with the work of the manufacturers of Curash. All involved decided it was time to give the conversation away when hypotheses regarding the tactics that would be employed by renowned chafer and club coach Howitt started to be discussed.
Back on the field the second session began and the Stags toiled hard for a wicket with the introduction of spinner Casson and brisk bowling changes. The Hawks accumulated runs more freely and soon the pendulum had swung in their favour. Towards the end of the session Vaughn Williams brought up his much deserved hundred and the Hawks went to tea 6 down and in a promising position.
(The Gordon Slips cordon - up close and friendly)
Gordon's mindset was still positive heading into the last session. The wicket had flattened and the injection of leg spinner BMac into the attack would largely prove to be the answer. Having bowled just 7 overs until midway through this final session, Brendan took 2 wickets in successive deliveries inside the final hour, including that of Williams, to reignite the Stags. Dylan Connell chimed in with 2 wickets late in the day and the Hawks had been dismissed in the 95th over for 339.
I know our engine room is more than prepared to chase down this total on the back of the efforts of the bowlers, and launch into a rendition of 'We're proud to be part of the Gordon CC' come Saturday evening.
First Grade Report vs Sydney Uni Round 3
Gordon first grade travelled to Sydney Uni looking to post our first win of the season. The fist two games saw sub par performances from the stags and all in the squad agreed it was time to stop talking and start performing.
We won the toss and for some reason decided to bowl fist on a flat wicket devoid of grass and moisture. A solid start from the opening bowlers saw uni 1-30 after the first 10 or so overs, zeddie (Ed Zelma) removing mail's middle and off stumps.
Beau Casson claimed the second wicket, trapping Ian Moran on the crease and in front of all three. The students then compiled a good partnership that had them on track for somewhere between 280 and 300 until Ed Cowan toed a buzz (Beau Casson) long hop down Packerman's throat at deep midwicket, not before he pumped the cake for a large bomb that Gordon third grade skipper "Maffew" Kelly thought was a WOW moment! A lack of urgency from Uni's middle order, some fair bowling and improved feilding from Gordon saw uni finish at 4-245 at the end of their alloted 50 overs.
Jules Stepehnson bowled well, 10 straight overs at the start that were fairly miserly. Zeddy took two wickets, Buzz bowled a good spell and deserved his two scalps, Nicho (Matt Nicholson) was tight without penetrating and Macca (Brendan McDonald) worked hard.
We were happy to have restricted the students to what we thought was a very gettable total if we played well. Craig Simmons and recently arrive englishman Will Smith ( by recently I mean 6 oclock that morning!) got the innings of to a great start.
A century opening stand in the first 25 or so overs was punctuated by some classy stroke play by the Pom and some massive blows from the big ship. Both unfortunately fell soon after posting half centuries. From the 30 over mark we were chasing a run a ball, no mean feat on a slow wicket with the oposing side having the second best spin bowler in the world (Stuart MacGill) with 8 overs up his sleave.
Packers and Cake had brief stints at the wicket, Pumps and Buzz put on a promising partnership that included what I thought was the best shot played all day. Johny two pumps advanced down the wicket to MacGill (who was regularly turning it past the keeper into the hands of first slip) and played a beautiful on drive down the ground for four.
However he was caught and bowled trying to emulate the feat soon after. With no pace on the ball and some effective one day bowling from the students made it tough going for our bats and we slipped further behind the eight ball.
(James Packman vs Sydney Uni)
Zeddie faced his second and third balls of the season but unfortunately again failed to register and Macca was run out without facing.
A regular loss of wickets ensured we were fighting a losing battle and we eventually finished 9-225 at the end of our innings, "red ink" Rosen doing what he does. Buzz played well for his 35 or so, Pumps made a promising start and the two openers played well but the rest was pretty sorry reading.
We have made a slow and dissapointing start to the season and have no excuses, we have played poorly. We haven't aimed up despite our knowledge that teams would be after us. Saturdays game was an improvement on our first two outings and we are keen to get back into the winners circle. A boags on a win tastes so much better than a new after a loss! Enough said.
First Grade report vs UTS Balmain
Gordon went into the First Grade game against UTS Balmain with high expectations. After a decisive victory the previous season, home ground advantage and an urgency to get some points there was high hopes for a Gordon victory.
(Beau Casson against UTS Balmain)
Gordon lost the toss, the Tigers elected to bat. The Tigers have been busy recruiting in the off season and their batting line looked strong. We started off well, Greg Hayne just 33 runs off the all time highest first grade runner scorer out early.
Followed closely by Krezja the former Blues player with the ability to score a big one. At lunch the Tigers had moved along to 108 for the loss of 3 wickets, honours evenly shared. The second session went the same way, the Stags picked up a further 3 wickets as the Tigers moved along to 220.
Beau ' Buzz' Casson doing some good work supported by B Mac MacDonald. The third session is one we look back as the turning point in the match; Gordon grassed two opportunities and let Balmain off the hook. With fortune in Balmain's favour they batted intelligently to post an excellent total of 358 at stumps. Not an impossible task at Killara, the wicket played beautifully.
(Brett Rosen at Killara)
Congratulations to Beau Casson for picking up his first fivefa for the Club unfortunately as the teams opener he was out late in the day. Brett Rosen filled in as night watchman and did an excellent job, outscoring Craig Simmons and posting the high score of the innings. We slept soundly on Saturday night knowing that if we bat the whole day on Sunday we will win the match.
Sunday was day of a lot of promise. Gordon started the innings off well, Simmo looking solid. Bretty Rosen played a cameo knock punching some really nice cover drives. Unfortunately Bretty was out in the hour. Jimmy Packman played an entertaining innings before succumbing on 38.
The Stags top order was not able to hold off the Tigers attacks and fell away, enter the middle order. Unfortunately the Tiger bowlers had found a groove and took the scalps of our middle order for not many. It was left up to the lower order to salvage the match.
Simmo patiently and doggedly holding up his end waiting for a fellow stag to stick around. But it simply wasn't to be and the Stags were all out for 208. Jules Stephenson blasted a lovely 25, but at number 11 it was all a little to late.
(Ed Zelma picked up two early scalps)
A disappointing loss yes, but valuable lessons learnt. We play Sydney Uni this week. They have some guys in a bit of touch at present. The first two games have now been and gone and we look forward to the challenge of the students.
First Grade Report Round 1 vs St. George
Momentum is the key in one day cricket, the team that controls the match the longest wins. This rule applied to First Grade's season opener against St George. Gordon got off to a very promising start.
Winning the toss, Matt Nicholson elected to bat. After 15 overs the decision was the correct one, 1-81. Simmons bashing the Dragons opening bowlers and ably supported by James Packman. The Dragon bowlers found something however after this and began to bowl with more control and tighter lines.
(Brett Rosen trying to reach a Nicho bouncer)
Lead by Moey Henriques and Phillip Wells, the Dragon bowlers deservedly picked up wickets as just reward for their effort. Simmons out for 36, Packman 26. The loss of wickets stunted Gordon's flow.
Coupled with excellent fielding the Dragons were able to hook back into the game. There were promising signs from the Stags, starts by our bats but unfortunately starts never eventuated into big scores. John O'Neill Fuller tried hard to build a platform unfortunately the top & middle order couldn't stick around with him to do the business.
(Another Nicho fireball)
Late contributions by Brendon MacDonald and Brett Rosen gave the home side some hope and the team rallied to 201. But for the Killara faithful, 201 is a long way short of the 250+ norms and it was always going to be a difficult proposition to defend.
The Stags bowling performance could be considered par for the course. Neither bad nor above average. Our bowlers tended to mix up some tight bowling with the occasional lose one, and given the Killara track was easy pickings for the Dragons.
At 1 -50 at the 15 over mark the Dragons looked in control and never gave any indication that they were going to be knocked over. The Dragons would be well pleased with their batting performance, Stuart Heaney and Moises Henriques batted with poise and control to steer the visitor's home and didn't look to take any unnecessary risks. In the end all who viewed the match would agree the better team won on the day.
As for Stags we look ahead to next week. Things happen for a reason and we would be stupid to simply write Saturdays performance off based on it being the first game of the season.
(Beau Casson in action during his debut for Gordon)
The players were stung by the loss and the degree of loss. We all agreed that we would not re-visit that type of performance again. The beauty of the First Grade team last season was our ability to bounce back the following week after putting in a stinker. I believe we will do so again next week. We have the formula it's a matter of execution.
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.
For the Fourth grade schedule go to Fixtures
Fourth Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
4th Grade finish the season in style
The last game of the season for 4th grade saw the return of Gordon's prodigal son, Iqbal Ahmed, to the captaincy position. Las had kindly relinquished the prized position to allow Inzie a final swansong for the season. For those who haven't been reading the tabloids this season, Iqbal lost the captaincy earlier this season after an unfortunate run in with a dressing room wall. Inzie was sidelined for 6 weeks and the wall copped an 8 week suspension. Las was heard to say that a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders; one could only assume he was talking about Inzie.
Inzie is back at the helm and order is restored
With Inzie back in charge the warm-up session was full of life. A 45 metre jog followed by a stretching session which could only be described as an extra 10 minutes of sleep and the 4s were ready for the Rangers. Stuart 'Choppy' Slocombe was notably absent from the vigorous warm-up session. He was enjoying his standard pre-game ritual of a bacon and egg roll and intense meditation.
Our courageous skipper lost the toss and NDs elected to bat on a relatively flat wicket. The lads were thrilled with Inzie and let him know about it. It looked like it could be a long morning in the field for the Stags and this bleak outlook became bleaker when Choppy dropped the opener first ball of the match. Schweeens (Will Sweeny) bowled one of his text-book half-volley's which caught the edge and lobbed to Choppy. Some may say his hands were still a bit greasy from his pre-match roll. Fortunately it made no difference with Wilbur picking up the same batsmen 3 balls later, plumb LBW.
James Campbell, who had just arrived at the ground, bowled the second over. Inzie was prepared to let this late appearance from Jimmy slide, as he lives so far from the ground'two blocks on last count. Jimmy thought it was a two day game'a common error made by many grade cricketers.
Wilbur had another catch dropped off him next over. The poor Chop who couldn't escape the action floored a tough high-ball running backwards from first slip. Many thought it should have been Shane Lin's catch (keeper) and considering Choppy was able to get to the ball with plenty of time to spare, this humble scribe would tend to agree.
The offending breakfast roll - the Moth will work Choppy hard at Curly's this off season
Mr. Punctual, Jimmy Campbell, picked up the dangerous number 3 towards the end of his spell. This was a crucial wicket as the no. 3 was threatening to take the game away from the Stags. At this stage the game was quite even with the Rangers at 2/50. Enter Iqbal.
The skipper, who's only instructions before the game was to have fun, certainly led by example as he proceeded to rip apart a depleted NDs batting order. In a superb exhibition of leg-spin bowling Inzie returned the figures of 5/19 off his 10. Even Inzie's long hops were beating the batsmen. Let it be noted here that Choppy took two catches off Inzie's bowling at first slip. Inzie was heard to remark that the ball must have been wrapped in bacon'well it may have been before Choppy caught it but not after.
Inzy was amply supported by 'Scotty' Shenal Siriwardhene who bowled a tidy spell at the other end, claiming one scalp himself. Wilbur came on to clean up the tail. With his lethal half-volleys doing the trick, he was able to pick up two more wickets and end the innings. NDs were skittled for 105 and the Stags had the pleasure of enjoying an early lunch.
Mitch Kleem opened the batting with an unlikely partner in Jules Stephenson. Many though Jules would swing from the hip but his approach was in stark contrast to this. Jules attempted to play in the 'V' early and looked relatively solid. At the other end Mitch Kleem was being Mitch Kleem, swinging hard at the ball and chasing the two bonus points.
Julian hits one through the covers as opener
Jules fell first. A drive low to the cover fieldsman. Choppy and Mitch took complete control of the game and it seemed as though the 4s would stroll towards a 2 bonus point victory. Alas nothing seems to come easy in life and this was to prove the case. Mitch fell for 30 odd, Las was caught at slip, Shane was beaten by a well flighted full toss, Choppy was stumped chasing the 2 bonus points, Shenal was unluckily run out at the non-strikers end and Wilbur was clean bowled by a big turner. All of a sudden one bonus point had been forfeited and the 4s were 7/90.
So it was left to the hairiest No. 8 in grade cricket Richie 'Sticks' Kenner and the MOM Inzie (also fairly hairy) to hit the winning runs. The 4s got home in the end by 3 wickets. An unconvincing victory'but a victory nonetheless and a great way to end a marvelous second half of the season.
Finishing 8th on the table was a great improvement on last years performance and full credit must be given to the 4th grade stalwarts, mainly; Inzie, Las, Mitchie, and Choppy.
And so as the sun set over the Killara grandstand for another Saturday afternoon the 4th graders enjoyed some cold beverages and reminisced on times gone by. And if you happened to be driving past Killara on this particular afternoon you may of heard the voices of Falk, Cashman, Hokin, John Howard and of course the Kookaburra transcending the hallowed turf. There could only be one man'
Until next season, you stay classy Mitch Kleem.
4th Grade Report - Round 13 vs. Bankstown (Day 1)
4th grade made their first trip to Killara in many a year with the goal of trying to keep their slim chances of making the finals alive with a victory over Bankstown - a team towards the bottom end of the ladder. The author was looking forward to only his 2nd game at this venue, the first being that bittersweet 2nd grade match against Parramatta where Bradley Ronald 'But What About The Dazzler' Rasool broke the 100-year record by scoring 236* in setting 3-431 declared ' and then losing the next week as they chased them 8 down. Ouch.
Dan shows his class at Killara
A confident side after last week's excellent performance had a different look to it yet again as 4th grade so often does, with Anthony Sherman up to 3s and Lasanga Kannangara up to 2s due to Ian 'What's a heartstring?' Higgins' achilles tendonitis. At least I can still play on my 'injury', Missy. We also lost Umayr Amir to a sprained ankle late on Friday night, so we welcomed back Shayne Lin to 'keep for his first game in a couple of years. Tim Roarty made his 4th grade debut for this season and we welcomed down Julian Stephenson who was unable to bowl due to a side strain and was playing as a batsman. This meant that John 'JB' Blake was captain, taking over from Las.
It started badly for him ' or so we thought anyway ' by losing the toss and Bankstown had no hesitation to bat first on what looked to be a very good pitch. Later on we proved that it was. However like most pitches they will do a bit early doors with the new ball and it is crucial the bowling side must extract anything out of it whilst they can. And thanks to some excellent bowling and fielding, we did just that. Bankstown were all out for a below par score of 84 in just 24 overs.
Andrew 'Plums' Plummer and Chris 'Hungry' Lee started the tremors in the Bankstown batting with superb opening spells with the new ball, both claiming 3 wickets a piece. The pitch nipped about and had pace in it, which enabled both bowlers to mix up their lengths and keep the Bulldogs' batsmen guessing. Lee picked up the first with a regulation nick to 1st slip where Dan Richtor took a smart catch low down, the start of a good day for him. Hungry then induced the number 3 to try and force one of the back foot to one that nipped back and Lin made a hard catch look easy taking it down low to his left from a thin inside edge.
Plums then removed the skipper for a duck with a sharp ball aimed at the ribs which could only he fended off the gloves and Lin took the most athletic of diving catches when the ball looked to be sailing down to fine leg for 4. Plums then bowled the other opener with one that came back in and after JB took another tricky catch, just scraping his fingers underneath the ball at gully from the bowling of Lee, Bankstown were already 5 down inside 8 overs thanks to magnificent spells from the new ball pairing.
"One for you, Dad" - Dan salutes his father
A little bit of fight was then shown as the Bankstown number 6 acquitted himself quite well, and the occasional blow from the other end kept the runs flowing, but then another sharp edge from the number 7 found the left mit of Jules low down at 3rd slip for probably one of the catches of the season, it certainly looked impressive from fine leg. Some might say luck, others pure skill, I'm sure Jules will tell you which one it was at training!
Neil Longhurst and Tim Roarty replaced the openers, the latter with instant success clinging onto a low down caught-and-bowled chance. Tim then struck again with his massive away-hoopers soon after with an edge destined to go straight to first slip, until Lin dove across one handed to claim it in the webbing, the last of his 3 impressive grabs of the day. It was then up to the Pom to finish things off, clipping the top of off with one that nipped back over bat and pad to bowl the number 6 for 30 and then knocking over the young number 11 next ball to leave him on a hat-trick next week. All round a brilliant team effort. I wouldn't class any of the 7 catches as easy and all 4 bowlers put the ball in the right place. Plummer ending with 3-25, Lee managed 3-33, Roarty 2-1 (the 1 being a comical overthrow from Plums), and Longhurst 2-16.
We then had to make sure we finished the job and not take this lightly. Any talk of an outright at tea was quickly quashed. Stuart 'Choppy Chop' Slocombe and Mitchell 'The Kleemster' Kleem opened up and looked confident from ball 1, indeed Mitch did clip the first ball he laid bat on for 6 over square leg. The score had progressed to 40 or so before Bankstown introduced their 15-year-old Green Shield opening bowler into the attack. Coming off a run-up Shoaib Akhtar would've been proud off, he surprised both Choppy and Mitch with his skiddy pace and he did remove both of them, first bowling Mitch and then trapping Choppy LBW.
Both were disappointed as they looked fairly comfortable up to that stage and had both made solid starts. Choppy's dismissal at 2-50 meant Longhurst joined Richtor at the crease who was on about 10 and looking good. Simply put, the next 30 overs or so was carnage. The pair added 170 for the 3rd wicket in that time with Richtor deservedly bringing up his first grade ton for the Stags and Longhurst almost doing the same, but falling at the final hurdle.
Longhurst pastes one to the cover boundary
After passing the Bankstown score the pressure was off and both batsmen played freely, tucking into all the bad deliveries with aplomb. Richtor comfortably outscored Longhurst and by the time the last drinks break rolled around with 20 overs left in the day Dan was in the 90's whilst Neil was in the high 50's. The plan then being to have a go for 10 overs and declare, leaving the Bulldogs a tricky half hour or so. Longers took it upon himself to go long, leaving Rico to make sure he got his ton, and a great moment indeed, with his dad being there on one of the rare occasions he manages to get to see Dan play due to work commitments. On 105 a top-edged pull ended his wonderful knock.
Apart from being dropped at the wicket in the 60s from a wild swing, Dan's knock was chanceless and it was a pleasure for the Pom to bat with him and watch the many sumptuous cover and on drives from the other end, also the running between the wickets was excellent apart from one incident where both were at the bowlers end and the ball never more than 15 yards from the wicket and any time, yet Longers managed to scramble home.
In came the skipper to accompany Longers on his long-handle mission, and inside 7 overs he'd gone from 60 to 90. The next over saw a one bounce four over long-on followed by a full toss despatched to the cover boundary. 98, 2 to go. Or so he thought, not realising he'd missed a single the previous over. The field all came up even telling him he was on 99. So did he grab the single?
What the hell was I trying to do??
No, trying to go for the glory shot over mid-off he ended up spooning a dolly straight to the fielder there. A comical end to what had been a good knock. And much delight to many members of the club, especially 2nd grade who all sent him the same text message afterwards. Thanks lads'.
Jules got a brief knock before we declared at 4-257, and despite a close LBW shout from Plums we couldn't get a wicket in Bankstown's 2nd dig as they ended the day 0-15, still 158 away from making us bat again.
A similar effort next week should hopefully see us claim an outright victory which will throw us right into the mixer, possibly being just 1 point outside the top 6 if results go our way. Hopefully the rain will not come to Bankstown's rescue, the same way that it didn't come to Australia's! Ha ha ha, simply glorious'.
4th Grade Report vs Mosman
Greetings fellow turkeys. May I begin this report in passing comment on Higgins column titled Missy's Mail. In this column Higgins takes great delight in making fun of Kleem's pursuit for the perfect female companion via rsvp. I find this hilarious and only wish there were a few other people in the club like me but I am told there is no-one. He also passes judgment on the issue of haircuts. A particularly sensitive issue to both of us. Higgins was recently seen with a new lady by his side a couple of weeks ago. Higgins, I tell you when you're batting not to chase the wide ones. This also applies off the field.
Plummer impresses his captain with 3 crucial poles
4th grade ventured to Allan Border Oval on the weekend to take on the Whales. Our inspirational leader Las Kanangara (the 10th for the year) was to keep stumps. He won the toss and elected to bowl. Las's captaincy since being at the helm has been fantastic. He provides an environment where everyone's opinion is welcome and this suits this team with the particular individuals we have.
While on the subject of wicketkeepers what does Michael Jackson and Ian Higgins have in common? They both where gloves for no apparent reason.
I feel this was a good decision by Las due to the fact the pitch would only get better as the day went on and there was a lot of dew in the outfield because of the early start. Unfortunately Chris Lee forgot it was a one dayer and did not arrive until 11:30. All the guys were pretty cool about it and went about there jobs as if nothing happened. The first wicket occurred in about the tenth over on about 50, but the opposition failed to have enough skill in taking advantage of the one less fielder.
Mitch, you and Missy aren't the only ones with average haircuts - Fitzy in Gordon colours
Enter Alistair Fitzpatrick a former Gordon player. Very reminiscent of a young Geoffrey Boycott in his heyday managed 38 off 40 overs. Their number 7 batsman managed some hefty blows down the ground to excel the run rate. In the end they were all out for around 230.
The bowlers all chipped in with Pic, Umayr and Longhurst picking up one each and Plummer taking three.
Our batting from the start showed intent with Anthony 'the Shermanator' Sherman dominating early proceedings. During his brief stay at the crease he played some lusty pull shots and shots down the ground. He was out for 39 trying to play one of his favourite cut shots. Kleem took off where Pic left while Dan Rictor kept the score moving along. Eventually Kleem was out trying to hook one which skied to square leg for 48.
Longhurst brings home the side with 75*
Five ' Neil Longhurst entered the fray and looked confident from the start. The game never really looked in doubt. Stuart Slocombe managed to hold tight while Neil kept dispatching balls to the boundary. We eventually passed them down with 3 wickets.
A good day had by all and the song was sung with great gusto. We look forward to our game against the Bulldogs this week.
4th Grade Report v Blacktown - Day 1
A good 1st day for the 4th Grade lads on Saturday. Gordon 9dec/305 v Blacktown 4/20. A nice position to be in, and the result of some very good batting ' three players passed 50 ' and sensible bowling late in the day. Also nice to see some spare parts of the Ferrari back together in the same team, playing again at Chatswood Oval. I'd reckon that when bits of the Ferrari are in a team, things are probably going to be OK.
The engine room of the Ferrari fine tunes his motor
Captain Michael won the toss and, after some earlier consideration of the grassy wicket, elected to bat. It was the right move. Sherman and Steve Colley (watch this space) got the team off to a great start and we raced to 60 without loss, from only a dozen overs. Sherman then chased a wide one, and was caught behind for 29. He could have scored 1000. Mitchell Kleem took up the reins, and was clearly determined to make a big score.
Steve Colley fell soon after, however, also for 29. He is a very likely prospect. Only 15, but with a temperament apparently well advanced of that, he was selective in his shot making, and looked in complete control.
If he applies himself sensibly ' and I strongly suspect that he will ' then his future is very bright indeed.
Kieran Jones joined Kleem, and the two commenced to give momentum back to the innings. Jones was the first to fall, for 52, but by then the side was in good shape. Stu Slocombe missed out, but Captain Michael ensured that his side was not going to let a good opportunity slip, and with Kleem, got a third good partnership up. Kleem eventually fell for a very well made 58 ' one of the most mature innings that I've seen him play.
Stobo has big expectations of this young pup Colley
Kanangara, among other things a very fine trampoline salesman in his spare time, looked a little scratchy early, but then found his feet, and helped Michael take the score well past 250. Michael fell for 58, Kanangara for 38, but by then a good total was secure.
Sweeney played his usual competent innings in the lower order, and Stobo got his usual duck. Again. Two innings this season, and no runs to show for it.
And this one was particularly embarrassing. A lusty swipe to the third ball he faced, a short one outside off stump. Ball skied, and catch duly taken at mid-on.
Even by Stobo's standards it was appalling.
The declaration followed soon thereafter.
Van Schalkwyk and Stobo opened the bowling. Van Schalkwyk bowled a particularly good spell, continually made the batsmen play, and was always a threat. He claimed the first wicket, with a beauty that clipped the top of off stump. A true fast bowler's wicket. Three more were to fall before the day was out, and Gordon was very well placed going into Day 2.
The Blacktown side is young, but they certainly seem like a good group of fellows. They stuck to their guns during what must have been a long day for them, and I admire that. Their captain is a good man. I enjoyed having a beer with him after the game, and he has the pleasure of playing in the same side as his son (who happened to capture four of our wickets). No doubt they are disappointed by the state of the game, but they'll turn up on Saturday determined to make a fist of it.
4th Grade' According to Mitch
I managed to to get hold of Mike Weaver on Friday evening to arrange a lift to Cook Oval. At 6am my alarm goes off and I struggle to get out of bed. Must be the muggy weather of recent time. Although in a slight rush I manage to stop off at the local bakery and collect an assortment of wholemeal bread rolls which was to provide sufficient carbohydrate nourishment for the long day ahead.
Blake ensuring his chargers are well hydrated
I arrive at Weaves place and the lazy sod is still in bed. I remind him of our obligations to arrive punctual and eventually we get on Parramatta Road. Kleem is dissatisfied with Weaves alternative selection of music and decides to make the change from triple j to triple m. Weave manages to proceed between the white lines which gives Kleem confidence to observe the tags and graffiti scrawled along Parramatta Road.
Onto the M4 and along came the Mamre Road exit and we get to the ground. However, the interesting thing is there is no driveway leading to the ground. Instead you must proceed over the kerb. Surely the local council could look into providing the ground with this additional amenity as Weaves was very concerned with damaging his vehicle. There is no way B-Mac would get his bomb over it.
With a number of new players selected, due to unavailability, this day would prove to be a real test of character for those involved. John Blake was made captain and handled himself very well. He was very diplomatic and happy to listen to other people's opinions.
Weaves and young Colley were listed to open. Colley was unlucky and tried to flick one off his legs which went sky high to mid on and the catch was taken. Colley out for a globe.
Due to the festive season Kleem went about his merry way and proceeded to hit successive boundaries while Weaver provided a solid platform at the other end. Kleem dispatched strokes through the covers, off his legs, on and off drives, Late cuts and pulls until he was dismissed a little after the drinks break for 69 trying to flick one off his legs over fine leg.
Kleem going about 'his merry way'
Weaves at the other end managed to play some impressive strokes including a glorious off drive to the boundary and couple of pulls. He was finally dismissed for 36 trying to lift the run rate. Mike always has the team's best interest at heart.
Stuart Slocombe managed to play the stroke of the day a smashing back foot cut through point for 4. He was finally dismissed for 28. Stuart is due for a big one but in the meantime he manages to peel off 20's, 30's and 40's in good fashion.
John Blake was able to compile a useful innings of 52 while Richtor, Lawry, Lee and Mahaffey all departed cheaply. One of the stars was Emile Van Kwik (Schalkwyk) who smoked 30 odd to take the score to a respectable 245 off 59 overs.
We all knew early wickets would be the key. Chris Lee was almost unplayable, bowling deliveries which off a length seared past the batsmen's head. Unfortunately the opening batsman who scored seventy was dropped in slips early in his innings which would prove costly - but hey these things happen. Emile Van Kwik was very impressive taking 3 wickets. John Blake managed a great caught and bowled chance and got an lbw when the batsmen was hit on the full. Elliott Richtor was unlucky not to collect a wicket bowling a yorker which hit the batsmen's toe on the full. It's never easy explaining or writing about a loss as the memories begin to arise.
Weaver dispatches one to the square leg fence
In hindsight there were a few chances which should have been taken. In previous matches that I have played at Gordon we usually get over them and bowl the batsmen out but we paid dearly this time. I know myself have become quite conscious this season of making an effort at training in the field. Mick Falk is only too happy to assist in giving hundreds of catches. When you think about it, catching is a difficult art. You are trying to get a tiny round red thing stuck between your hands. The application requires constant repetition and confidence. If you make an effort during the week you can be satisfied knowing you tried your best and that's all your team mates can ask. There is enough serious talent at this club that things will start going your way and catches will stick.
Merry Christmas and have a fabulous New Year
4th Grade gets up over Parramatta
Coming off a narrow win last round, 4th grade needed a strong performance to secure 6 points and keep us in touch with the leaders . Facing a strong Parramatta team, and with some of our batsmen missing from last round, we did at least have the home ground advantage.
Another game at Chatswood and another glass surface to play on. Man of the match from last week, Inzie, won the toss and decided that we would have a shot at batting first on a flat deck [is it ever any different at Chatswood?].
Captain Courageous leads from the front
Again, the formidable partnership of the free hitting Kleem and young gun Colley set up a solid platform with a 50 partnership for the first wicket until a mix up resulted in Kleem being run out for 27. I was not there for this, but second hand information suggests Kleem looked as though he was swatting flies as he ran back trying to make his ground in poorly disguised attempt to avoid the ball hitting the stumps!
Kleem's wicket brought Choppy Chop to the crease and he combined with Colley for a lively 70 run partnership. Runs flowed freely for the pair throughout their partnership and they both made batting look as easy as a stroll through the Mandarin centre. Colley's innings ended on 70 as he tried to chip the bowler over mid-wicket only to pick out one of the tallest in the team who took a superb one handed catch.
Dr Jones and Choppy looked to keep the runs flowing after our solid start. Some clean hitting from Jones and some well-timed drives from Choppy moved the score along to 2/133. Then, much to the Doctors disgust, he was run out backing up too far when Choppy Chop hit another clean drive only for the bowler to brush it back on to the stumps leaving Jones stranded on unlucky 13.
Choppy was caught soon after for 40. Captain Courageous joined Tips and continued his aggressive form. Although this may have been a case of showing off to someone in the crowd, he produced a fine innings of 57 which included some sparkling shots. After a partnership of 45, Tips fell 3 short of another half century out caught.
The Umpire and Choppy both keep close watch over the young fast bowler Emile
The in-form batsman BIC or Robbie Williams combined with the captain to post a very quick 53 run partnership of which BIC contributed 15 and was caught trying to lift the run rate. Cubbage-Wilson joined the man of the moment and within a few balls, Iqbal charged the spinner only to miss it by a good 2 foot and was stumped for 57. At this stage the score was 7/310.
With about 15 overs to be bowled in the day Lass (3*) and Cubbs (22*) thought of having a bit of a look at the bowling for an over or two then let lose with about 10 overs to go. However, a message from the captain and we had 3 overs before a declaration would be made. This brought about cheeky singles and some lustrious blows to leave the score at 7 dec. 337. We left ourselves 6 overs to bowl at the young Parramatta openers.
The spearhead of our attack, Judge, opened up from the Nursing Home end and broke through early with both the opener and first drop back in the sheds. At the end of the day he finished with 2/14 off 3. At the other end Plumer toiled hard without luck and was replaced by the captain for the last over of the day as is fast becoming tradition. El Capitano picked up an LBW when he turned towards the umpire and ever so quietly asked the question as the batsman shouldered arms. The ump agreed with him and the batsman was sent on his way. Parramatta 3/30 odd at stumps and things were looking good.
Week 2 was the day after the Stags luncheon which didn't seem to affect 4th grade to the same extent as other grades with only Captain Iqbal being able to attend lunch, he was the only one looking a tad worse for wear. The thought of Parramatta being 3/30 seemed to relax the team a bit and to arrive at the ground the full of confidence.Plummer toils away on a flat Chatswood deck
Plummer picked up an early wicket but then to our surprise and to Parramatta's credit, they put on a superb159 run stand for the 5th wicket of which the opener made 109 and the captain 97. This partnership showed that fortune favours the brave and riding your luck is what it's all about given both batsmen were dropped on numerous occasions. It was throughout this partnership that we lost our intensity and allowed them well and truly back into the game.
It was Plums who finally got the break after toiling hard throughout the day, dismissing the opener and the number 5 batsmen. But runs continued to flow and slowly another partnership formed until a fatal mistake of trying a quick single to square leg to where yours truly was fielding. With all three stumps to aim at, Cubby was just able to clip the side of off stump and at 7/270 with plenty of overs to go, the game was still in the balance.
Emile, Inzi and Las congratulate Cubbage on his direct hit
The man of the moment then provided another 'Brilliant' bowling change to bring himself back on and wrap up the last 3 wickets giving him 4 for the match. Parramatta all out for 301.
All the bowlers worked hard all day in the heat,
Plummer (3/88 off 16) was our break through man,
Emile (0/53 off 13) with his second week in the field bowled well with out luck,
Frago (0/32 off 11) worked hard with tight lines, and was unlucky not to have some poles next to his name but took two crucial catches.
BIC (0/16 off 4)
Cubbage (0/30 off 7)
A win's a win but a stronger fielding performance will be needed for next week.
Fourth Grade report vs Fairfield
After 4ths first victory for the season, it was out to Fairfield to try and set ourselves up to make it two wins on the trot.
(Mitchell Kleem in action)
The day started off well with every one arriving on time, except Kleem and Plummer (who is up for the injured Kennedy). Both excuses were of high quality, but Kleem's 'I got a flat on the M5' was the pick of the two. Plums, not be out done, told us how he got home at 5:30 that morning, he continued on to tells us why'''''.
To cut a 3-hour story into a short paragraph, he moved on from the Cargo Bar with a few numbers and a female under his arm. As he headed off to this young lady's home for a cuppa and to his surprise, discovered she lived with a group of nuns. As to what happened next, I will let Plums fill in the missing details if he so desires but he left her place in Randwick at around 4:30am filled with goodwill towards mankind.
Anyway, back to the cricket.
The deck seemed to be hard and had a healthy covering of grass. The coin fell Iqbal's way and the Stags found themselves batting. Again, a new opening pair of Stuey Slocombe and Steve Colley, who received a promotion due to his good form in fives. This move to have Colley open was due to Kleem arriving about 11 overs into the game at which time, he asked Iqbal if he could still open.
(Steve Colley in action)
Steve was first to fall, trapped in front for 5. This young man shows great potential and he was not fazed by the daunting task of opening. Makepeace went in at 3 and joined Choppy. But the partnership was short lived when Stuey chased a wide one to be caught behind for 13. Jones came and went. On the back of some sparkling form, he was only able to last 3 balls and chipped a half volley on his legs straight to square leg. The newly appointed PG's captain and Dan 'tips' Richtor came together for a 79 run partnership and an extra 25 fantasy points each.
While Richtor and Makepeace were fighting it out in the middle, Plummer and Iqbal were arguing over a myriad of topics after which, a few beers at the Greengate and an exam or two, has still left me wondering what the hell they were on about. But throughout these friendly discussions, I was advised to take note of juicy quotes from either Kleem or Plummer. Kleem was at his usual best and came out with this one as he lit up. 'Don't you just love the smell of smoke? It's just like going to the petrol station and sniffing the petrol'.
After the departure of Richtor Kleem joined 'The Peace' and to the delight of the Fairfield boys creamed a drive straight back down the pitch which the bowler got a touch to. Makepeace stranded a few steps down the pitch for a superb 92. He had shown us just about every shot from the book plus a few never recorded and had blasted the bowlers all around Fairfield oval.
(The peace is back to form)
Iqbal and Kleem continued on with Kleem once again in great touch scoring freely. On the other hand, Iqbal decided to take up Dave Michael's batting style of noodle and run, noodle and run until what could be described as a 'WOW' moment when the fielder at fine leg took a Ricky Pointing style, one handed catch, when he dived full length to snare the ball millimetres from the ground. Iqbal's innings of 13 came to a sudden end. Cubbage joined Kleem at the crease and put on a 50 run partnership. Kleem kept the bowlers guessing as he flicked and pulled balls from out side off stump to the mid-wicket and square leg boundaries. It was only when he tried to flay one over cover that he was caught behind for 64. Lass came to the crease and stayed for a while. But as we decided to up the run rate a bit, he was caught at mid-wicket attempting a Steve Waugh slog sweep that didn't get above waist height. He was out for 5.
Lee joined Cubbage me at crease the partnership ended with Cubbage out LBW for 43. Lee continued on with some solid blows and Plummer was able to chip in with a solid 1 when he was caught and bowled.
307 was a good score on what was quickly becoming a slow and low wicket, and should prove difficult for the Fairfield boys to chase providing we bowl well.
Until next week
'Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of'
4th Grade Report Day vs Hawkesbury
Week 1 of Round 4 and the second home game of the year on what was a scorching October day. Great relief by all that we weren't out at Woop Woop somewhere in 40 degree heat surrounded by swarms of flies but rather, we were enjoying the temperate climate of Chatswood, a mild 35 degrees and the unmistakable smell of fried rice wafting across the ground.
(The judge is back - Adair Jurie)
The day began on an excellent note when captain Iqbal, who seems to have recovered from his career threatening bruised pinkie, decided that in this sort of heat, we wouldn't be doing any sprinting. It then got even better when he had the difficult task of deciding whether to bat or bowl after winning the toss on what appeared to be the Pacific Highway masquerading as a cricket pitch.
New faces joined the team this week as Mitchell Kleem came down to strengthen our batting line up, Dan Richtor returned from injury, Umayr Amir came along to let rip at some young fourth grade batsmen and Adair 'Judge' Durie made a welcome return to the Stags after a long absence.
(Umayr Amir in action)
The new opening pair of Kleem and Stuart 'Choppy' Slocombe set out to build a strong foundation in the mid-day heat. It was Choppy who was first to melt when he held out to deep mid wicket off a low full toss for 18. Mind you, the score was 1/80. Despite the loss of Choppy, Kleem (60 odd) continued on his merry way thrashing boundaries to every corner of Chatswood Oval including over the top of the grandstand. Matt 'The Peace' Makepeace joined Kleem in the clean hitting, but was undone by a well-flighted full toss, to which he advanced down the pitch and attempted a baseball style home run only to top edge to point . It was a disappointing end to what was looking a very fine innings.
As the runs flowed, Mitch got closer and closer to his century but on 98, fell to the Hawks off spinner when he tried to cut behind point to bring up his ton managing only to edge it into the waiting keeper's gloves. A special mention must go to Mitch, as there had been some talk, that he was a bit of a spinner's bunny. However, he batted brilliantly against the two spinners and was unlucky to be dismissed so agonisingly short of what would have been a well deserved century.
This brought together Keiran Jones and Dan Richtor. Both batted beautifully and each of them made a well compiled half century. Some clean hitting from the in form Jones and some well timed drives from Richtor but a mix up between wickets found both Jones and Rictor occupying the same end of the pitch and someone had to go. Richtor had turned back when he'd heard a call of 'wait' from one of the Hawks fielders while Jones had taken off for a sharp single. Jones was declared run out for 59. After the days play, the Hawks captain came into the Stag's shed and asked who had run out Jones. Richtor slowly raised his hand and the Hawks captain declared he owed him a case as he didn't think they would ever get the prized wicket of Jones.
In the space of an over, Richtor found himself trapped in front for a well made 54. The fall of his wicket brought the two spinners together. With Iqbal not having facing a ball as yet, he advised Cubbage to just play straight and have a look at what was happening. An over later and Inzy was trapped in front of all three pegs for 0, playing across the line to a top spinner from the Hawks captain. Lass strolled out to the crease half asleep. Only just been woken up from his afternoon nap with Umayr. Both had been fast asleep on the couches that were out on the new balcony. It wasn't long until Lass shuffled too far across the crease to be bowled around the legs by the 1st change bowler.
The Stags had gone from 3/250 to 7/260 in the space of 3 overs.
The duo of Cubbage and Kennedy were together again, and after a quick discussion about the upcoming HSC and how much study had been undertaken, they set about rectifying the situation. After a few good drives and cheeky singles, Cubbage was stumped for 27 trying to heave a leg side ball from the off spinner over the backward square boundary. Kennedy and Umar scratched around for some singles and following a sledge from Tids and a call over the loud speakers for the batsmen to tee off at the first hole, Kennedy and Umar started to have some fun. Umar was well caught on the deep mid-wicket boundary which brought the Judge to the crease. It only lasted 3 balls however as he and Kennedy both found them selves in the middle of the pitch yelling yes! yes! Wait'.. No!
It was an ordinary finish to a Stags innings that started so well with Mitch's quick fire 98 and Jones and Richtor's partnership in the middle order. The Stags were all out for 314. This then gave the stags the opportunity to have a quick 8 overs at the Hawks openers.
'The Judge' and Umayr opened with the new rock. Both bowled well but it was Adair who claimed the only wicket to fall. The Hawk's opener, who had taken an instant dislike to Cubbage in undertaking the duties of close in fieldsman, slashed at a wide one only to under edge it to the keeper who took a smart catch.
The bottom line for the Stags is that we have the runs on the board. Good luck to all the grades next week. Hopefully all 6 grades can get up.
Until the next week
'Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of'
4th Grade Report vs Sydney Uni
Down old Chatswood way, the 4ths had the pleasure of a their first home game at the picturesque ground of Chatswood Oval. With a good vibe coming out of the Gordon camp in search of our first win of the season, as stand in skipper, Jones informed the team that the now acclaimed Ahmed 'sprinting' session would not be undertaken but rather, a light jog and a few fielding drills would do the trick.
In between dodging the morning traffic and viewing the pitch, Jonesy decided that, if he won the toss, he would bat. Yet the luck of the coin didn't fall his way as Uni's skipper Greg Matthews said his team would have a bat.
(David Thomlinson in action)
With early assistance from the pitch, the Uni openers struggled against the swing of Lee and the pace and bounce of Sawtell yet were able to survive the early onslaught and they were then able to pounce on some lose bowling. After the 10th over, the signs were not looking good for the young stags as Uni raced away to be 0/80. The introduction of Dave 'Tomo' Thomlinson (1/40 off 10) and James 'Keno' Kennedy (0/37 off 7) enabled us to slowly peg back the students as Tommo managed to sneak one around the legs of a sweeping opener. From then on they both bowled beautifully without luck but kept the scoring rate down.
Replacing Kennedy was Cubbage (2/44 off 10) who had been copping some flack due to the high expectations from punters keen to get valuable fantasy points. He was able to bowl tight lines and find a bit of turn in the wicket. At the other end Mayur 'insert nickname here' Kulkarni (0/60 off 10) was also introduced and bowled well, resulting in a mixup with the batsmen, as Uni's No. 3 punched the ball down to deep mid off only for Mayur to stick out his hand on his follow through then stroll to the stumps and remove the bails. Students 2/136. Cubbage picked up 2 quick wickets to have the Students at 4/170 with ten to bowl.
(James Kennedy at Chatswood)
With tight bowling from Kennedy and Siriwardhane at the death, our young team was able to restrict the Students to a very gettable total of 260 on what seemed like a great wicket.
After an sumptuous lunch and numerous stories of Matty Makepeace's trips through Europe, Stuart 'Choppy' Slocombe (36) and Lass Kannangara (23) set about chasing down the total. Both played fine knocks but to Lass's disappointment, he was out missing a full toss on the first ball from the newly introduced Uni leggy. Choppy continued his sparkling form playing some lustrous drives but was undone by a jaffer that seamed in through the minute gap between bat and pad. Makepeace, Mayur and Shenal all fell cheaply. With wickets falling around him, Jones took it upon himself to resurrect the Stag's innings, with some mighty blows that cleared the pavilion and landed on the train tracks which required 2 new balls. Soon after Jones fell for a well made 46. Lee was then at the crease showing solid defensive techniques but fell to a rising bouncer that he top edged down to deep fine leg.
This brought the two youngsters Cubbage and Kennedy together at the crease and together, they set out to chip away at the total. Both batted well as Kennedy unleashed some of his signature cover drives and the pair combined for a 65 run partnership to bring the Stags within reach of the total. Kennedy lost his wicket falling to a topspinner from the leggy and was caught and bowled for 35. Dave 'Tomo' Thomlinson then joined Cubbage and after some long hits, held out to deep mid-on. With one wicket, 18 balls to be bowled and 25 runs to get, the game was still there to be won but, to the delight of the students, Cubbage (41 n.o.) and Sawtell had a mix up only for Sawtell to find himself short of the crease.
(Adam Cubbage at Chatswood)
It was a disappointing end to what was a good game of cricket. The Stags had every opportunity to win but for the second time this season, fell agonisingly short. We now look forward to next week when hopefully we will be back on winning terms.
Until next week
'Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of'
Fourth Grade Report vs UTS Balmain
It was an impressive 4th grade outfit that graced the hallowed turf of Ryde oval on Saturday morning. Some wondered why they were playing cricket on the biggest football weekend of the year, but nonetheless captain Iqbal ensured everyone was focused on the task at hand with his ritualistic 'sprinting' session.
There were several new faces in the side. John Sawtell was playing his first game for the club and Sticks had joined the team, much to the joy of Kannangara who was no longer the only player in the team under 5 foot.
(John Sawtell in his first spell for the club)
Captain Inzie inspected the pitch and decided it was a definite bat first pitch and upon winning the toss that is exactly what he choose to do. After smarting from a 13run loss last week, it was crucial for the top order to get off to a solid start.
Alas it was not to be as Kenner fell early. Las joined Slocombe and proceeded to consolidate as the UTS bowlers enjoyed the early conditions.
'Puppy dog' Kannangara fell after a composed looking 14, falling from a slower ball from resident rocker and labour MP Peter Garrett. Apon entering the change rooms it was clear that Las had markedly improved his four letter-word vocabulary over the winter.
(James Kennedy at Ryde)
At the first drinks break UTS were slightly on top with Gordon at 2/50. The spinners were introduced into the attack much to the joy of Choppy and Jonesy who proceeded to dispatch the ball to all corners of the Ryde Oval. It looked as though a match winning partnership was emerging until Choppy, after dispatching the left-arm spinner for a one bounce four, left an arm ball which pitched off and hit middle. Needless to say Choppy was bewildered as he returned to the sheds with 43.
Shenal was trapped LBW for 4 and it was time for captain Inzie to enter the wicket. Jonesy continued the carnage knocking up his 50 in quick time. After returning a first ball duck the previous work, it looked as though he was a man on a mission, showing minimal respect for the UTS spin attack as he cracked numerous 6s. Unfortunately, when trying to clear the ropes again he held out for a well-made 64.
The Tigers were back in front with Gordon at 5-160 at the halfway stage of the day. Inzie set out to continue the pain for the UTS spinners and managed to heave two balls into the construction site. Ahmed was looking good, this could be his day. Chris Lee at the other end pushes into the off side for a cheeky single, Inzie hesitates and then takes off. A diving Inzie comes up millimetres short of his ground. A disappointing end to a promising innings.
'BIC' Evans chops on for 2 and it is left to 'binga' Lee to bat with the tail. Kennedy holds up an end briefly before he is caught behind. Sawtell comes and goes and our perennial number 11 'chickens' Thomlinson comes to the wicket. Binga manages to land a couple of telling blows before he is cleaned up for 35 and the Stags are all out for 226. Thomlinson denied what would have been a glorious century.
(The boys survey the damage done by Rob Evans)
The Stags bowlers are afforded 7 overs at the UTS openers but no breakthrough is forthcoming, UTS 0/20 at the end of play day 1.
Day 2 saw Kennedy arrive at the ground still drying tears from the Swannies excruciating 1 point loss in the AFL grand final. With Inzie complaining of stiffness from his 'marathon' innings the previous day, it was time for the 'Tim Packman' sprint session, which saw some impressive performances namely from the 'puppy dog'.
The stags knew that early wickets were crucial in defending a modest total on a good batting deck. Sawtell and Binga both delivered, claiming an early wicket each and putting the Tigers under the pump at 2/30.
(The stags slip cordon)
Unfortunately our courageous skipper somehow managed to get his little finger jammed between the ball and his knee cap. Those who saw the incident were left gob-smacked at how such a bizarre sequence of events could actually happen'but it is Inzie. The injury to his spinning finger saw Inzie leave the field and Gordon's reliable 12th man M.J. Falk enter the field.
A frustrating partnership ensued. Kennedy bowled a great spell, building pressure at one end with consecutive maidens, but it was Shenal 'number 5' who reaped the rewards claiming two caught behinds in quick succession.
At 4/100 the match was in the balance. UTS's captain was now at the wicket and after having a polite conversation with Inzie yesterday felt he had something to prove. And he proceeded to prove his point beyond the balance of probabilities smashing the Stag bowlers in a match winning 60. When he eventually held out to specialist cover fieldsman Falk, UTS were only 40 runs shy of victory. Bic claimed his second wicket in as many overs, before he was rushed from the field so he could attend his wedding that afternoon. Only BIC could play cricket on his wedding day, but that is the level of commitment he shows to his club.
Just quietly the Stags had snuck back into the game, with only bowlers left to bat and 40 runs still required for victory, stand in captain Jonesy was geeing up the lads for a come from behind victory. 'Needles' bowled well in the absence of Inzie and was unlucky not to snare a couple of wickets, but unfortunately the game slipped away from the Stags as Peter Garrett landed the knock out blows to bring the Tigers home by 4 wickets.
(Shenal Siriwardhane or No.5)
Another disappointing loss for the Stags 4th grade team. It was clear that we came up short in all aspects of the game and the 4 wicket loss was a fair result. Inzie was quick to remind Kenner in the car trip home and several 1000 times at the Greengate that the game would have been different had he not bruised his pinkie. Maybe so, but I think his comment that the 4s are a one man team was a bit over-the-top'after all BIC didn't hit runs in this game.
But seriously, next week is make or break for the Stags 4th grade. Hopefully our courageous captain can recover from his debilitating injury to lead his side to victory. Until then'stay classy Chatswood.
Fourth Grade Report Round 1
The fourth grade season began with a lot of new faces in the team and expectations were high. We turned out to find a ground in beautiful condition and a rock hard pitch, it later became obvious St George had hired a team of mexican's to roll the pitch 24/7 though-out the winter. The toss was going to be important knowing that first use of this pitch would be the best time to bat, but Inzy lost his first toss as captain and we were asked to bowl.
(Harry Evans in action)
The great man (Inzy) put us through our warm up's and inspired us with his first of many team chats, we all hung on his every word. The opening bowlers Kennedy and Amir showed good control and bowled tightly on an un-responsive pitch for no reward. It was Lee who picked up the first two wickets of the season with some smart bowling regularly varying his pace. The boys battled hard, fielded well and bowled good lines however the Saints maintained their wickets and built solid partnerships to finish 6-180.
We left the field confident of chasing the runs down besides we had the loaded gun bic in the sheds. Our run chase started terribly being 3-12 after 8 overs with balls regularly rolling. We never really got back into contention, there were some starts with Slocombe 30, Mayur 23 however more was needed from the top order. Harry Evans (no relation to Rob Evans) was keeping us in the game playing some quality shots and never looked troubled in difficult conditions. I'm sure much more will come from this exciting young talent and look forward to tracking his success.
(James Kennedy in action)
Unfortunately the boys fell 12 runs short with four balls remaining ( bic was firing blanks today). The top order must learn valuable lessons from this and ensure wickets are hard earnt all year. To be successful and have premiership aspirations the top six must get 200-250 week in week out.
I look forward to getting to know the new boys and hopefully the team will gel better in up coming weeks. I'll never tire of the Great man's charisma and seemingly endless supply of cricket knowledge, but I do miss the quality and sometimes non-repeatable humour and general chat Dave Story can bring to a dressing room. Stores if you ever get unleashed from the miss's ( not Missy, as much as he may wish ) it'll be great to have you playing and educating or corrupting a new generation of young cricketers.
Well done to 2nd, 3rd and 5th grade and all who performed well and 4th grade boys let pull our finger out and do the job next week-end, everyone should be striving to turn this season into something special!
Stuart Slocombe (Choppy)
Article sponsored by:
The Gordon Colts team plays in the Metropolitan Cup
For the Colts schedule go to Fixtures
Colts match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
How To Scrap For Position - Colts Report
Late changes in higher grades left the Colts a player short for the trip out to Whalan to play Blacktown this week. Tiddles had been on the phone all of Friday trying to rustle up another player but was unsuccessful in his quest. Millar assured him that Blacktown would win the toss and bowl and that we wouldn't need the 11th player until next week.
(Another LBW from Skins)
Whilst Blacktown did win the toss and bowl, the Colts could have done with the 11th player after throwing away a good start to be dismissed for a tick under 200. Legge and Weaver (29) provided a solid start to the innings and it wasn't until the later was rapt on the pads that Blacktown even looked like they were in the game.
At this point in the season, the Colts had only lost 8 wickets and 5 of them were adjudged LBW by their own team mates. It is about time that Tweety had a good word to the Colts about how to umpire. We could never ever be accused of cheating.
Marvz (1) quickly followed Weaver after being troubled by one of the quicker bowlers in the Blacktown team and Legge (47) guided a ball directly to mid-wicket to have the Colts in a precarious position a few overs before tea.
Skins and 'The Pizza Boy' Harris set about rectifying the situation and saw the Colts to 3/130 at the break. Not much to report from the tea break. Most of the team stayed within the confines of the dressing sheds as there were numerous warning signs about concealed used syringes. This, however, didn't stop Skins, who cited that 'you can only catch HIV once'. He brought back most of Mt Druitt's food supplies to an ever-so-grateful team. A real team player even when struggling with the demands of Falk's delicate palette.
Although this was the first time Skins (20) had batted out in the middle, he blasted balls to all parts of Whalan Reserve before lobbing a simple catch to mid-off after the break. It was a disappointing end to his innings and set in motion the next couple of wickets to fall. Harris (40) checked a shot to mid-off and Selby (6) was unlucky to be given out after jamming the ball into the ground before popping up to 1st slip.
This brought Millar and Falk to the crease and they set about creating a platform for the lower order to compile some much-needed runs. However, it wasn't to be with Millar (28) blasting a short ball to backward square and then Ranney (0) confirming that he isn't in the team for his batting.
Clifford, a late - but important - inclusion into the Colts, saw out a couple of balls before Falk (9) was fired by Skins. 6 LBWs!!!
It was 3 groups of 3 quick wickets each that kept Blacktown in the game and prevented the Colts from gathering momentum and putting a respectable score on the board. Too many cheap wickets fell to lazy, misguided shots and cost the Colts posting a formidable target.
A tight spell of 18 overs by the Colts saw Blacktown close out the day at 2/28, with Ranney picking up the two wickets to fall.
It would be great to see everyone at training this week, working hard at their bowling and fielding. Whalan is a big ground, the outfield will be fast and the pitch will more than likely be rolled, cut and will provide little for the bowlers this coming week. We need to work hard to wrestle back this game and continue our push for points.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Back - to - Back!!!
Oh what a team. The day had finally arrived the boys had been waiting for all year. Having gone through the main draw undefeated, and a great victory in the semifinal, there were those that thought, you just had to lose at some stage. Well this just wasn't the case. The pitch looked fantastic, however the opposition, knowing they would win the toss with one Mr Millar projecting the coin into the air, had a tough decision. They were well aware that they needed to bowl the Colts team out if there were to have any chance at victory. Just two weeks earlier the Colts had dismissed Randwick for 72 on a similar looking pitch.
The Metropolitan Cup... and assorted others
The wise old figure head of the opposition more commonly referred to as 'Grouch-o' (not a real terrifying nickname) made then the only appropriate decision and sent Gordon into bat. It was a warm day and the Gordon players had stuck to their standard pre-game routine the night before. They were all fairly tired. But this was no deterrent on their undying spirit and will to win.
Mike Weaver who has had an exceptional season in the lower grades, was full of confidence striding out to open and Cam Crawford certainly looked the part with his armband strategically positioned. The two started very positively, there was certainly some life in the pitch but the boys diffused this magnificently and created a solid foundation for the rest of the team to build from. At this stage Dave Millar, who for the 15th time for the season had told us this was an important game, (yes, now it finally was an important game) was nice and relaxed.
That was about the last time for a few hours that Dave was a relaxed individual. For while the remaining batsmen didn't by pure definition of the word 'collapse' they came very close to it. It is true that the batting has never really been tested all year, but full credit to the Randy Petes boys, they bowled consistent lines, and waited patiently for a mistake. There were a few loose shots, some unlucky dismissals but all in all, the boys knew they could have posted more than 182, that was the eventual innings total.
At this stage tea was called and it is fair to say it was the best tea of the year by far. With co-ordination from Mr Millar, some delightful treats from the lads, it was a spread to be proud of. Twas just a shame it couldn't be enjoyed more.
This is a rare shot of Skins NOT playing through midwicket
With four sessions to bat for and only 180 odd runs required the ball was surely in the Randwick-Petersham camp. The Colts team were not used to this and decided in very quick time to do something about it. Cam fired the boys up with a speech Al Pacino, or Mel Gibson would have been proud of. But as the saying goes it was deeds not words that were going to be required for victory.
Andrew Lappan is not your typical fast bowler, for one he wears glasses, none the less, the kid can bowl, and for the last three weeks he as terrified and ripped the opposition top order to shreds. He did exactly the same thing on Saturday. Skins isn't exactly a typical fast bowler either to be fair, and after 4 overs was suitably stuffed and retired to 2nd slip (one wicket under his belt and a massive batting performance to boot ' Ed.).
James Campbell was the star with the ball. His left arm swinging, dipping, cutting, sliding, ripping, balls caused all sorts of trouble for the batsmen, He finished his spell with 3 beautiful wickets. Co-incidentally three is also the number of drinks that James can handle. More on that later. Dave Millar also picked up a cheeky wicket. Sam Ranney was unlucky not to pick a wicket. But oh well.
This sudden rush of wickets in very short time left the opposition in disarray to say the least. The Colts were going for a SB (Season Best) and trying to bowl them out for less than 72. The day was called to a close when it was determined the light was to dark. Randwick Peterhsam 6/28. Dave was happy again.
The covers were then placed in expert fashion. There has been some speculation that Skins needs a lesson in how to peg down covers. However, these claims are totally unjustifiable. And if Today Tonight would like to issue a lie detector test he would be more than happy to step up. Dave asked for the covers to be 'rigid' (still not sure what that means exactly) and rigid they were.
James Campbell in fine form with the ball - pity about his efforts off the field
The covers blew off in the middle of the night.
This unfortunately meant the Gordon boys were denied the opportunity to finish the game in style. Mike Weaver unfortunately wasn't there for the presentation, not being a very big fan of resorting back to non-daylight saving hours, he launched a silent protest. He just forgot to tell anyone.
However such is life and the Gordon Colts were deemed Premiers for the 2006/ 2007 season. Dave took it upon himself to inform the dog walkers at Beauchamp Park, and put the white spray paint to good use on the field. Just a shame Dave can't spell. Gordon Dave, not Gondon. Stick to Maths buddy.
While the man might not be able to spell, he did lead a young team through the season undefeated in his first year as captain to claim back to back premierships. Not a bad effort at all. Everyone who has played under him this season has enjoyed their time immensely. Congratulations Dave. Great work.
All that was left now was to retire to the Greengate for some refreshing Lemon Squashes and a casual game of chess. Somewhere along the way however something went wrong. Drink spiking is a growing problem in Sydney and the Colts team were victims of this on Sunday night. Thus hear Endith this lesson, as after 9:00pm no-one has any recollection of anything really.
Finally good luck to the Thirds in their grand final this week, a great display last week that you can defiantly back up this week. Good Luck.
A great season, with a great finish, and a great bunch of blokes.
(It should be noted that Ian batted with maturity well beyond his years to ensure the Colts posted a defendable total. With wickets constantly falling around him, he chose the right balls to dispatch to the boundary. A clever and powerful display of hitting ensured that the Colts were in with a big chance. He then backed it up with the ball taking an important first wicket to set the match up for the taking ' Ed.)
Colts make it through to Grand Final
Everything was as it should be, Weaver was late (apparently ran out of petrol), Millar forgot the cordial, Rangy decided against sleeping of Friday night so that he could get in some practice before St Patrick's day and the sightscreens still needed to be set up. The stage was set for what the Colts had been building towards all season. With an undefeated record for the regular season the boys were keen to impress and what followed was one of the greatest games of touch football to warm up that has been witnessed all year.
Lappan takes 4 wickets against the Warriors
But then something went wrong. It is a well known fact that with 2 sides to a coin the chance of winning a toss is 50%. Millar being a mathematical genius should well be aware of this. Not so. A standard warm up for the Colts includes Dave losing the toss. Everyone enjoys this as it means everything is in order, and the fielding warm up can commence. On this particular occasion, by some incredible miracle Dave won the toss, (well the other captain may have in fact lost it, but we shall give Dave the credit on this occasion). An earlier inspection of the pitch revealed a rather green top. This has tricked numerous visiting captains in the past, however Dave saw something else in the pitch and the call came to bowl first. And just quietly what a decision it was.
Lappan and Skins were given the new ball and Lappan wasted no time in tormenting and generally playing with the opposition. Eventually he got bored of this and decided to take some wickets. Two caught behinds, taken gracefully by Mr Selby combined with two spectacular catches by Mr Turner at gully, with the addition of none to little runs on the scoreboard, well and truly put the Gordon boys in a strong position. Skins from the other end struggled early, he had to contend with huge headwinds and a 6-8% incline from the southern end. Eventually his superior fitness prevailed and when the batsmen failed to hit the ball the stumps were dismantled.
During the warm up, Jason 'ManChild' Russell-Jones had a stroke of genius when he described the art of 'foxing'. Typically involving one fielder 'missing' the ball on purpose, thus luring the batsmen into a false sense of security and thinking they can sneak a run. Little do they know another fielder is waiting in anticipation for this fatal mistake and then throwing the stumps down. The theory is as sound as other grand plans throughout history such as the Trojan horse, and the flying V. The opportunity arose halfway through the first hours play. However it didn't happen as Jason described, what was acted out was a comedy of errors from James Campbell, an heroic effort from Jimmy Ellison and ended in tragedy for the number 4 batsmen from Blacktown. The idea of foxing, however, is a tactic that may come in handy for the coming week.
All that remained after drinks thus was for the remaining four wickets to be taken. The boys were well aware of letting things drift and dug in to finish the innings in style. Ranney bowling consistent as usual picket up two wickets. James Campbell returned the awful figures of 1-0 to complete a comprehensive first sessions play with Blacktown out for 41.
Weaver and Cam confidently saw out the last over before lunch, and then the boys turned to the important issue of the day, the chicken shop. It is best not to go into this as it may take several more pages.
Ranney takes two wickets to dismiss the Warriors for 41
It was a wonderful change for the lads not to then have to go out and umpire and, with Ed Howitt Senior taking over scoring duties, the boys could relax and enjoy the placid shot selection of Mike Weaver. The ability to score the required runs was never in doubt, the more important job was to occupy the crease for an extended period of time, and gain some valuable batting practise.
The first wicket of Cam Crawford fell just before the Blacktown total was passed. JRJ was looking impressive. He had managed to avoid being run out and bowled by the dreaded full toss and even the run out off a full toss. He unluckily clipped one down leg side that the keeper got his hand to. Turner and Selby in the middle order were also looking solid however they came undone. Ian 'Skin and Bones' Skinner and Millar then found themselves at the crease and with tea just around the corner the mission was to just stick around. This was a tough decision, as tea was looking especially good. None the less the two dug in, and both were able to enjoy tea and the rain set in. From 0/39 the team had collapsed to 5/60 before Millar and Bones resurrected the score to 80 odd.
The rest of the afternoon was bit of a non event. It appeared at one stage that Ed Howitt, Higgins and Iqbal had turned up to take down the sightscreens however this was not to be. The day was finally called at about 17:00 hours. Not a bad day's play, still the boys were under the instructions to take it easy and rest up, as it was not known what could happen on Sunday.
Skinner dispatches one somewhere near Roseville
It is fair to say, Sunday the 18th March was the first time in many months most of the team had been up before 11:00am. With the pitch showing signs that the boys need a few lessons in laying Hessian, most of the mornings activities involved watching Ireland complete their victory over Pakistan on numerous 2x2cm mobile phone screens. Still it beat watching the grass dry. Ranney knew the match was going to be delayed, so didn't bother to turn up until just before play got underway' an hour late.
With the opposition captain eager to get going, play commenced at 11:00, with an interesting looking pitch and very slow outfield. It was an ideal chance for the middle order to gain some valuable centre wicket practise, and Skins and Millar were keen to stick around. Unfortunately, Skins, Jimmy, Lappan, and Ranney didn't do this for long enough. All got starts and looked good, (much like the rest of the team) but failed to consolidate. This is a key aspect that must be addressed for the coming week.
The morning belonged to captain courageous, a delicate combination of stroke play and defence, along with some speedy running between the wickets resulted in a well orchestrated half century. Disappointingly, though he showed no faith in his no 11 and left poor James Campbell stranded at the other end not out, attempting a full-blooded slash down to mid on. Just like his inability to win a toss all season, Millar forgot to check if there was someone fielding on the fence. A great captain's knock though, hitting himself into form, and securing the game. The match was now beyond doubt, and much to the delight of everyone involved the game was called to a close. One of the best renditions of the club song was then harmonised in a glorious D major.
A sensational win to the Colts and some solid form that will be carried into the final this week. Great stuff lads.
Colts Finish the Regular Season Undefeated.
The Colts faced the also undefeated Randwick-Petersham Green team at Beauchamp Park, already assured of top spot by virtue of three outright wins but knowing that an undefeated season is very rare and something to really aim at. It was fantastic to see a great number of future Stags (along with their ancient Stag parents ' Tim Conde, Billy Wawn, Mike Amos etc) having their last Have-A-Go session on the park before they enjoyed a most distracting (you know ' that smell of cooking sausages?) barbecue.
(Skinner despatches ball into park on Saturday)
All these youngsters, proudly wearing their Gordon t-shirts, created a fantastic scene and it's a real credit to Michael Berman and all the other organisers.
The wicket looked a belter and Captain Millar, having won two tosses on the trot (taking his tally of wins for the season to three), felt relatively confident. He lost. Gordon were fielding first and strode out to the centre to the cheers of the largest crowd many of them had ever played in front of. Unfortunately, after about half an hour once the sausages ran out, this crowd diminished to a gentleman sleeping off a hangover on the hill and a dog with only three legs.
It quickly became clear that it was not such a bad toss to lose. The ball moved substantially off the deck and swung a fair bit as well.
(Colts No. 1 spectator)
The early Randwick-Petersham batsmen played and missed a number of times and it was not long before Andy Lappan and Ian Skinner (more about him later) struck. As wickets fell, discussions arose amongst the more mathematical Colts as to how many balls had been faced without runs being scored off them. These comments were challenged by the more academically-gifted humanities students in the side who had to speak slowly, using only monosyllabic words so that the mathematicians could understand them. A couple of good catches were taken, one by the Lapman who was having some trouble focusing. Fortunately, the ball hit him and popped forward into his hands. Captain Millar, bowling with good movement, took four wickets in the middle order and no partnerships of any proportion ensued. The Randy-Petes' innings folded at 72 ' an excellent performance by the Colts who bowled and fielded most capably.
The Gordon innings commenced and again the ball moved around a fair bit. The going was tough and the Colts found themselves 3-27. Two of the early wickets were run-outs. Both were careless and could have been avoided (Jason R-J will be running a seminar on his dismissal on Tuesday at Chatswood Oval at 5.15pm ' don't miss it!).
Harry Turner batted very sensibly, hitting the loose ball through the field and running well. Hugh Selby was dismissed after looking excellent and things were a bit rocky at 4-44. Skinner strode to the crease, obviously with a 3 o'clock appointment. A couple of very solid defensive strokes were followed by some less subtle shots, including a big six. Game over after 21 overs with Harry on 24* and Skins 19*. Two bonus points and Minor Premiers by 19 points. A fantastic season, so far. Particularly meritorious because of the number of players and fill-ins during the year.
(Harry Turner drives on Saturday at Beauchamp)
Now to Skinner. Skins. The Skinster. Skinnyman. Opening bowler and hard-hitting batsman. Never out of the game. Early wickets. Later on, the first ball pitched up to him would end up in the Beauchamp hedge. A match winner, one would say. Will play much higher grades next year. One interesting decision in this game, however. A rank full toss was met with an equally rank stroke by a Randy-Pete batsman. The ball is skied towards mid-on, a fairly regulation catch. But no - the call comes from Skins (fielding somewhere near the Fresh Produce Department at Chatswood Chase) ' 'MINE!' Realising that Skins is built more like a Matthew Hayden than a Steve Colley, the other fieldsmen stand aside.
As the ball enters the downward part of its arc (with due deference to our mathematicians), Skins is still coming. As the ball hits the ground with three fieldsmen standing within two metres of it, Skins is still coming. As the drinks break is taken two overs later, Skins is still coming.
As the innings closes and the other Gordon players meander up to the chicken shop for lunch, Skins is getting closer. He eventually reaches where the ball landed just as the Gordon opening batsmen are striding to the crease. Unlucky!
(Never fear Sam was in next)
So, the new season starts now. Semi-finals are a different breed and bring out a whole new range of emotions. There is no reason why this team should not continue on their winning way if they play sensible, thoughtful cricket and take their chances. All Club members are encouraged to support them next weekend (probably at Beauchamp Park) as they go for two in a row.
A solid win against Randy-Petes Gold
Late changes to some of the more senior teams saw the Colts side have around 15 new players this week. In a preparation rivalling the constant changes seen in the lead up to the All Blacks' world cup side, let us all hope that we don't mirror the perennial chokers in one aspect of our game.
Millar started his game more like Ranney - with one hour's sleep. This, however, was due to running the Orientation Week program at UNSW (of which Harry Turner attended) and not because of the lack of buses going to Lane Cove at 5:30am. With no coin tossing practice to speak of, Millar strode out their confidently and won the toss. Electing to bat on a green deck and a slow outfield. This may have been considered by many to be a poor decision; however, it paid dividends later in the day.
Ellison smacks one off the back foot
Turner and Weaver opened the batting and it wasn't long until Turner was caught playing at a wide one. This brought Millar to the crease, who stuck around for a while but was fairly useless without a full quota of shut-eye. With the shine off the ball, Hugh Selby began to make light work of the bowling before being trapped in front for a quarter century. Weaver, who had played a good innings, was run out in strange circumstances. However, this isn't all that unusual for Weaves; so perhaps one should have written 'in usually strange circumstances'. 4/122
Ellison and Jono Wigham, who kindly offered to play for us on the first Saturday, put together a good partnership before Jono was softly dismissed, pushing at one off the spinner. Matt Selby played his part before holding out at mid-off playing a little too hard at a slower delivery. Falk soon followed, but not before Ellison began to play himself into some good finals form.
The past three games have really seen a coming of age and maturity of James. He is batting with purpose and has performed well at critical times with both the bat and with his safe pair of hands in the field. This game saw him tough it out and play a supporting role to Selby (Hugh and Matt) and Jono Wigham, until he was comfortable and then when he knew he had to get on with it, he began to find the gaps and keep the scoreboard ticking over. This made it all the more disappointing to see him smash one straight to mid-wicket to be dismissed for 30.
Lappan was dismissed cheaply and Ranney, looking to prove he has some magic with the willow in hand, added a few more to the total before Will Reed was trapped in front. In two attempts, Will has failed to score a run off the timber, but has added at least 10 valuable leg byes. A true team player.
All out for 208 in the last over of the day. With the long grass and a forecast of rain throughout the week, it was a good total. The bowlers would have to bowl well the following week to contain this Randwick-Petersham side.
Lappan performs with the ball in hand - a miserly spell of top quality bowling
Day 2 saw Millar Snr put on the creams for the second time this season, however, he was unable to join in the warm up as he was busy putting a cord into Millar Jnr's slightly larger pants. Last time, against UTS-Balmain, he fielded more than half the balls during the day. This time he came prepared. Kingsgrove Sports Store was paid a visit and a brand new pair of spikes was purchased. Pity he only fielded about 5 balls throughout the day.
Lappan and Reed opened the attack and bowled ridiculously tight lines. Lappan had 8 runs hit off 12 overs and Will Reed had 5 hit off his 6 overs. Some good catching behind, and in front of the wicket, saw the opening pair pick up the first three wickets and in doing so, remove a couple of danger men in the Randy-Petes side.
Millar came on and, with some advice from Matt Selby, took two poles, knocking stumps back, to take 2/16 from 10 overs. Ranney and Falk, bowling in tandem, picked up the remaining wickets between them shortly after the luncheon interval to dismiss the opposition for 111, just the wrong side of the follow-on target for the Gordon boys to have another tilt at them.
With that, the Colts took an unassailable lead into the final round, in which they play the other Randwick-Petersham side. It will be interesting to see how many of the boys in the Green side were in the original Gold side when we played them at the start of the season.
For the fourth time this season the Colts will be playing the highest run scoring side at that current point in time. Let's hope we continue our good form into the last game against the second placed team and then on into the final series. Good luck boys!
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Hard fought win for Colts
After playing out at Alexandria the week before, it was a great feeling for the Colts side to be back at Beauchamp. The outfield was lush. It is always lush at Beauchamp. The groundsman has been doing a fantastic job this season and it is great to be playing cricket at Beauchamp. The pitch was consistently hard, had a slight tinge of green and would be a great deck to bat on if we were able to negotiate the new ball.
"Bones" Skinner on his way to an important 93
Normally Millar wouldn't even consider the deck or the outfield. That would be the job of the UNSW captain. The coin has only fallen in his favour twice this year ' even worse than Howitt jnr. However, with some advice from Cam Crawford and some scientific backing from Rod MacDonald, the coin came down with the Queen smiling back and Millar chose to bat.
Crawford and Weaver, another new opening pairing for the Colts side, strode to the crease and were tempted into a few shots wide outside the off stump. Both looked scratchy and need to get in a few good net sessions before the finals begin. Crawford smoked a couple of lovely shots before being caught in the slips flaying at a wide one.
Harry Turner and Hugh Selby were soon in together and both were dismissed chasing balls wide of the off stump. It was a shame, because both of them had made a resolve to dig in and build their innings. Nevertheless, it was left to Ian 'Bones' Skinner and Jimmy Ellison to bring the team out of a precarious position at 4/50.
Both players have spent some time in the middle recently and they are beginning to get to know how each other plays. Bones is a great judge of length and sweats on those balls he knows he can put away. Otherwise, he is careful and calculating in letting balls pass and defending balls into gaps. Ellison is beginning to rise to the occasion and build not only his own innings but partnerships as well. Whilst not as powerful as Skinner, he kept the score ticking over with singles and well run twos.
With the score at 140, Ellison lost his wicket to another catch behind the wicket and this brought Rod MacDonald to the crease. Known solely for the fact that his is required to fill in for games against UNSW and South Sydney, Rod made the most of some tired bowlers to whisk the score along and continue to swing the pendulum back Gordon's way. Bones began to loosen the shoulders and deposit balls into Chatswood Chase, giving the run rate a much needed boost. However, on 93, just 7 short of a much deserved and important century, he gave a simple catch to the UNSW boys and brought an impressive and valuable innings to a close.
Ellison crunches one off the back foot
Millar joined MacDonald and knocked a couple of balls into gaps to ensure Rod would have the strike against the older spinner from the Students. Rod decided that some of Skinner's powerful blows had been given too much credit and despatched the spinner for 6-4-6 and brought up his half century. Whilst the Students were searching for the ball in some rose bushes in a house deep in Roseville, Rod informed Millar that he would block out he remaining deliveries in the over because he felt the bowler didn't want 'some little upstart pumping him to all corners when all he wants to do is have a bit of a bowl on a Saturday arvo'.
Fair enough. Millar didn't really understand and replied, 'Just don't get yourself out doing anything cute and fancy'. Rod stepped back, gave himself room and late cut a ball onto his stumps. The skipper was thoroughly unimpressed with that 'less than ideal' shot. This brought Falk to the crease.
Millar smacked successive fours off an old school sparing partner before being dismissed for a run-a-ball 24 by the UNSW captain with a well disguised slower ball. Falk had punished a few deliveries but wasn't afforded the opportunity to continue as Ranney came to the crease and, in only his 4th bat this season, played like his has done so in the nets all season. Pity for Sam there is fielders in the real game. His excuse, 'Falky said we were going to declare so I had to go for it'. The day finished at 9/268 leaving Falk and Campbell not out on 15* and 0* respectively.
Rod has become a regular fixture for UNSW matches
Day 2 saw Campbell hitchhiking down the Pacific Highway after no-one was willing to give him a lift to the game. Turning up with no batting gear, Campbell left Falk stranded on what would have been a magnificent triple hundred and left Millar with no option but to declare.
A few tired (sore) heads struggled with the weekly sightscreen construction and they were even more confused by the removal of some of the benches within the change room. Would this be a sign? Cricketers are an absurdly superstitious bunch. Would the tables be turning for the Gordon boys?
Weaver was late to the game. Although there weren't too many of the boys that noticed. 5th and 6th grade have been highly amused by the number of different excuses that Weaver has given the boys as to why he has been consistently late to games. However, the well seems to be dry. No good story, no funny anecdote, just a simple 'I had things to do and' well' I didn't leave enough time for them'.
The Gordon boys took the field with confidence and it wasn't long until they struck. After playing and missing at a few balls one of the openers made the fatal mistake of getting bat on ball and in the process following Rod MacDonald the last week and chopping onto the stump off Jimmy Campbell. Bowlers are generally much more useful with the ball than they believe they are with the bat.
Bones picked up the next one, removing the off stump of the other opener.
When Campbell picked up the 3rd wicket, Gordon were in a strong position at 3/21 after 20 overs. It was a grind for the UNSW boys. The bowling was tight, although not always penetrating, and gave nothing to the opposition.
Soon after the break Ellison took a screamer off Ranney just behind square leg. It was the first of three match winning catches that Ellison took throughout the day. With a solid innings to pull the Gordon boys out of trouble at 4/50 coupled with the 3 catches in the UNSW innings, Ellison had a massive impact on the outcome of the game.
Perhaps it has been the fact that other teams have easily capitulated or perhaps it was the lack of incentive with a finals place already assured, but the boys took the foot off the accelerator and the other foot off their throat. Regulation waist high catches were put down and fielding became sloppy at best. The boys stopped enjoying their cricket and the bowlers began to get frustrated.
Always a Gordon man, Falk put in for the Colts
With only 60 runs being scored in the first 40 overs, for the loss of 4 wickets, the UNSW team ' who are fighting for a spot in the finals ' needed over 200 runs in the final 40 overs to take something away from the match. After lunch they began in a flourish. Quick running between the wickets and some hard hitting began to get them closer to the 5 runs an over they needed to win the match. It took some brilliant fielding and a good throw by Cam Crawford, forever lurking the covers, coupled with a good take from Selby, to bring about a run out that ended the 5th wicket partnership.
In came a bloke who proceeded to score 50 runs over the top of gully. The bowlers struggled to find a good line and length and began to despair with the luck the batsman had. It didn't help that he was put down in a regulation 2nd slip catch but he made the most of the one shot he could play. The batsman at the other end was put down very early and by this time had made 60-odd and was looking to take the game away from the Stags. It took a good catch by Ellison, again fielding just behind square, to dismiss this batsman and then another good catch at deep long off to dismiss the UNSW captain. 2 big turning points in the match.
It was now a matter of whether the Gordon boys could pick up the final three wickets to secure the victory. The match was out of reach of the UNSW boys, needed 80 from 10 overs with only 3 lower order wickets remaining.
A good ball at the end of Skinner's spell and a high catch to Crawford saw the first of the 3 to fall. This brought the UNSW player they call 'Spinal' to the crease. He proceeded to shut up shop with the other player, clamping down on anything, no matter how inviting the bowlers were making it. It took a premeditated dive across the pitch for Millar to snare a fingertip catch, right handed, square in the middle of the pitch. It could have ended in disaster if the batsman had hit the ball hard but that was never ever going to happen.
Most players were just surprised that Millar could move that quickly. Millar was too. Never have the words agile and athletic been heard in the same sentence as Millar. They probably never will again.
A less promising fielding position for Millar
Crawford too the last catch. A good one, looking right up into the sun. It brought a close to a tough match in which the boys twice brought themselves out of danger to secure another 6 points and remain undefeated. UNSW all out for 190
Plenty of beers were shared with the opposition and, with the arrival of some late, but fabulous, afternoon tea, it was the most enjoyable post match gathering this season. Hard cricket was played on the field and the UNSW boys were a great bunch of blokes off the field.
Two rounds to go against the two Randwick-Petersham sides. The boys need desperately to get to training and work on their catching and general fielding. They all need to take the net sessions seriously, batting like they would in the first fifteen minutes of the match and bowling like they would throughout the day.
Each player needs to stand up and be counted over the next few weeks. With a few players coming back from injury and holiday this week, there will be a fight for positions as the finals approach. It is time for tough and accountable cricket to be played by all eleven players. Most of all, it is time to have fun and enjoy the experience. Let's work towards the joint goals of an undefeated season and more importantly, a premiership.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Colts Match Report vs South Sydney
Having played on the 'interesting' Alexandria Park wicket last year, the captain was quite convinced about what he would do when he won the toss. He would bat'or bowl'probably. The toss was lost (thank goodness!) and Souths decided to bat first. A worrying event as the captain was also the groundsman! What was going to happen later?
Lappan in action last year at Alexandria
Andy Lappan and James Campbell opened the bowling and immediately the ball beat the bat repeatedly, not necessarily always through good bowling ' the variation in bounce was 'interesting'. A couple of early wickets and no great urgency in the run scoring department ' survival was the key ' had the Stags in a good position, although there were a number of sundries from wides and byes (particularly from balls that ran along the ground, making it almost impossible for Hugh Selby) which was a little disappointing. After 24 overs, Souths were 4-46, with James Ellison and Tim Roarty also bowling well. James took 2 wickets and kept an excellent line while Tim beat the bat continually. After drinks, two more wickets fell and the possible score of about 130-140 moved further and further away. Sam Ranney bowled without luck, but, despite some handy slogs, Souths were dismissed in the 41st over for 91 ' not exactly par but something that would be no pushover.
Cam Crawford and Mayur Kulkarni opened the batting with alacrity. At the end of the first over, Mayur and Hugh Selby had been dismissed and there was a general scrambling for pads as 91 became 150. Cam, who batted well under the circumstances, stuck around for a number of overs but just as he seemed to be getting on top, he was well caught behind. Harry Turner showed an excellent temperament and with Tim Roarty filling in for the day, the two of them added 30 runs before Harry was bowled attempting a drive. Tim and Rod McDonald then added another 20 or so quickly which was important, as Souths would have felt that they were almost on top.
The Roarty dismissal, which will be commented on later meant there were still 28 to win. Rod and James Ellison got most of them through some intelligent batting and, although they were both dismissed, there was little to do for the following batsmen. Rod's innings of 24 was very similar to what he did last year at the same ground to help win the game. He may be one of very few batsmen who have mastered this wicket.
Stumped for words... athletic Ellison!!
So, another win for the Colts in difficult circumstances and a really good experience for some of the younger players who would not have played on a wicket like this one. As well, a good indication of the depth of young players in the Club as there were seven changes from the team of the previous week. And a two bonus points win was secured in the 25th over.
Some points of interest:
1. James Ellison bowled the lowest (in height, not unpleasantness) ball in the history of cricket to knock over one young batsman who was fighting very hard to survive. After it landed it actually had some the shine rubbed off it on the way to the off stump. No-one would have hit it!
2. Tim Roarty's dismissal. Tim tried to pull a ball from a medium pacer which did not get up quite as high as he expected. In a mixture of bat, glove, body and pad, the ball ballooned up in the air. In Tim's own words, in the corner of his eye he saw what he thought was the ball and immediately took measures to keep it away from the stumps. This was a very sound ploy except what he'd seen was the shadow of the ball! He managed to knock the shadow well away from the stumps. However, the ball itself lazily bounced once and nudged the off stump. Unlucky!
An 'interesting' day's cricket.
An outright victory over last year's finalists
The past two weekends have seen the Colts side play Penrith for the 5th time in the past two seasons. Whilst last year's final saw the Colts amass 450 odd runs to secure the premiership, this game saw a 5th consecutive win over the boys from the far west and 10 points to put the Colts 11 points clear on their table.
Marvell destroying the opposition bowling
Millar, who practiced his coin tossing skills over the summer break, lost his 7th toss from 9 attempts this season. Much to his delight, and surprise, the Penrith skipper chose to subject his boys to the 35+ degree heat by choosing to field first.
Without a second opening batsman, Millar went back to the sheds to get his whites on and head out to the middle to take guard. Alas, no whites. A quick trip home (something that can't happen if Colts move to Killara) to obtain the whites and a couple of cheeky throwdowns saw Millar and Kulkarni open the batting for the Colts.
When Kulkarni was dismissed for a well made 38 and with the score at 60, the platform had been set for another big score for the Colts side. 'Two Dads' Russell-Jones came to the middle and, with the opportunity to bat for a long time, made the most of the opposition wilting in the sun to compile a solid innings.
Millar was dismissed for 74 and Marvell took up the fight with Two-Dads, belting ball to all corners of the ground. If he removed the open-faced glide through 1st/2nd slip which gets him in a bit of trouble, it will not be long before he will post his first hundred for the club. It would be great to have this man in the Colts side for the finals, although with his skills, he may be needed up the grades.
Two-Dads was dismissed for 44 and Marvel for 78 but with Skinner at the middle punishing the wayward bowling, the Colts were 4/300 before Skinner (43), Ellison (3) and Wigham (14) were all dismissed trying to lift the run rate. Millar declared at 7/311 telling an eager Lappan that he would be of more use with the ball than the bat. Turner was left in the middle after making 1*.
Eight overs were left to try and pick up a couple of Penrith wickets. With Lappan the more senior bowler, Reed was left to earn his strips bowling up into a breeze that miraculously seemed to pick up as the Colts entered the field. 2 wickets to Reed and 1 to Lappan saw the Penrith side finish the first day at 3/8 from the 8 overs. The Colts were in a strong position.
Immaculate pitch work by Millar and Lappan
With the wind swinging around to the other end, Lappan wanted to change ends at the start of the second day. How could his captain refuse? This gave Charlie 'Duck' Turner the chance to bowl an over so the bowlers could swap ends. He made the most of this opportunity taking a key wicket in the first over of the day. Needless to say, he received a couple more overs before the gale-force wind got the better of him.
With the wind behind Lappan, the ball was being delivered with some serious heat and he was often too good for the batsmen to get an edge. Reed took a third wicket to have figures of 3/7 from 8 overs. However, with the wind ever increasing, Ranney was put on from the north end to bowl into the gale.
Skinner picked up a couple of good wickets with a long spell with the breeze at his back and Gordon had the Penrith side on the ropes. With a couple of full tosses from Ranney ' obviously a plan all along ' that were bunted to mid off and mid on, the Penrith side was dismissed for a touch over 100 with 41 overs left in the day.
At this point it should be mentioned that it was in fact Marvell that made the full toss a wicket taking ball in Colts ' Ranney does not want the credit. It should also be noted that Russell-Jones has been dismissed in his last 4 innings by mishitting (or even missing) full tosses.
Tea was taken and Millar sent their boys back in with a promise to assess the situation after 20 overs.
Snr should consult Lappan and Millar for help
Turner and Ellison were given the new ball and Turner made the most of his opportunity picking up one of the danger men to a terrific catch by Two-Dads. Ellison was troubled by no-balls and full tosses and was soon replaced by Ranney who again picked up a couple of wickets to end up with 5 for the match. Luckily for Ranney he only has to take a couple of steps to deliver the ball because he was chafing so badly he had the gait of a cowboy when he walked.
Reed was given an opportunity to bowl with the breeze at his back but was unfortunately nowhere near as effective as when he was bowling into it. His first innings effort really set up the match for the Colts and it was a shame it didn't continue in the second.
However, it wasn't helped by Two-Dads showing that he was human when he dropped two catches in two balls straight after the drinks break. After taking a screamer off Turner earlier on, he asked his captain if their was a spot on the field with a hole deep enough for him to hide. Unfortunately, the outfield at Beauchamp is in top condition and he was left to cop the ridicule of his 'mates'. He has now gone to Fiji or somewhere for 3 weeks. This may or may not be related.
Lappan replaced Reed and struck immediately by removing the stalwart opening batsmen then removing the off-stump of the next man in. Although he claims he hates hitting people half his age, he managed to unsettle the No. 11 batsman when hitting him flush on the shoulder. This is not an isolated incident. There are many cases of 'Pale-Ale' Lappan replicating the feats of the slightly more tanned West Indian bowlers of the 80's. The batsmen he is hitting weren't even alive in the 80's!
"Pale Ale" Lappan excited about the win
Marvell got a few overs into the breeze and took two vital wickets to finish off the match and the Colts collected the full ten points with 5 overs to spare.
A great performance by the top 5 batsmen (none of whom got less than 38) followed by a dominating performance by the bowlers, which was supported by the fielders, has given the Colts a commanding lead on the table.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Colts extend lead at top with outright victory
A ten point win to consolidate top spot on the table was exactly what the Colts were hoping to find in their Christmas stocking over the festive break and, with another 'new look' side out on the park, that is exactly what the side achieved.
Perhaps the captains should get together at training and practice coin flipping, but from all the reports ' from 1st Grade right through to Green Shield ' it seems that no-one can buy a correct call. This said, it was a good toss to lose as Beauchamp as there was an even cover of grass on the wicket.
Last choice 'fast' bowler Millar in the 2nd innings
With the stocks of fast bowlers boosted by the year 12 leavers, the Colts side had Will Reed, Charlie 'Duck' Turner and James Campbell to throw at the opposition. Include the stalwarts of Skinner, Clifford, Ellison and Millar and the side was looking like a formidable bowling attack. Jason 'Two Dads' Russell-Jones, Hugh 'Gloveman' Selby and 'John' Mayur Kulkarni were all there to back up the others if needed.
Hawkesbury have the highest batting aggregate of any team in the Metropolitan Cup and our boys set out to make sure they weren't going to significantly add to that total. Clifford and Reed were handed the new rock and at the drinks break the Hawks were struggling at 3/22 from 20 overs. James Campbell, bowling left arm in-swingers, snared a couple of good poles and Ian 'Bones' Skinner took two as well but the story of the 1st day was the brilliant performance of Tim Clifford (a.k.a. the big red dog) whose figures were 12 overs, 7 maidens, 5 for 5. The webmaster was glowing with pride after his suggestions paid dividends and the captain was glowing having the Hawks dismissed for 56 in 40 odd overs.
Although Millar was given a promotion by the selectors during the week (due to the apparent bias towards the bowling this round), he thought better of strapping on the pads and followed in Tweety's footsteps by taking the first stint as an umpire whilst Angus Sinclair and 'John' Mayur took guard. With a small total to chase it was imperative that the runs were knocked off quickly and 1st innings point were recorded on the first day.
After a few enthusiastic shouts from the Hawks for catches down leg side ' coming firstly from pad and then a second 'catch' off the chest ' it was unfortunate that the umpire was subjected to abuse from the opposition (mainly from the senior members of the side, including a father of one of the players acting as a substitute fielder) especially as the decisions were the correct ones. So, happily, Millar relinquished his appointment as umpire and watched from the stands after the drinks break. All players should keep in mind that 5 or 6 close shouts do not mean that the next one has to be given out. It doesn't.
Nevertheless, Sinclair was unlucky to fall to a sharp catch at gully for 12 and 'John' was dismissed for 47 after we had passed their total. Selby and 'Two Dads' forged a great partnership which included clever stroke play and lusty hitting before succumbing to the Hawks a couple of overs before the end of the day. 'Bones' and Ellison were left at the middle to see out the day and then attack from the word 'GO' next week.
Selby and Skinner watch as Millar takes cover from another Campbell short delivery
'GO'. Skinner demolished the bowling in the second week blasting 50-odd from only a few deliveries to see the Colts post 206. Ellison contributed with a handy total and with 'Duck' (0), Clifford (0), Reed (0) and Millar 5*, it was time to get some 'red ink' and declare the innings closed.
Clifford and Reed opened the attack, with the objective of dismissing the Hawks for under 140 in 65 overs to gain maximum points. Reed picked up his maiden club wickets with a sharp catch to Sinclair at point and a solid catch to Ellison in the gully.
It would be the perfect moment to recall the disastrous trip the No. 3 batsmen from Hawkesbury had over the two weekends. After being dismissed for a third ball duck in the first dig, he again returned to the pavilion without a run against his name in the second dig. However, he did last long enough to cop a searing, well-directed, short ball from Clifford square on the forearm after he failed to get out of the way. A long trip back to Hawkesbury would have resulted.
With the wind howling from the south, Skinner exerted his seniority and chose to bowl with the wind. Success followed soon with the gritty opener fending a short ball to Millar in close at short leg.
This left Campbell to come into the wind. With the wind posing a potential problem to his in-swingers, he informed his captain that he was going to bowl left arm off-spin. After setting his field, Millar informed him that 3 players behind point was a 'less than ideal' option and that he should have at least a cover point.
Bowling to his field, Campbell's first ball was short and wide and smashed to Sinclair at cover point, who took a brilliant catch to leave the Hawks 4-down. To make a mends for the first delivery, the next was full and down leg. On average they were two good balls. Like all bowlers (generally of the lawn bowls variety) the length and line were corrected for the third ball and it beat the batsman's defences to leave the Hawks floundering at 5 for not too many.
Clifford takes 5/5 in 12 overs
Millar bowled the over before the long break and was certain that he picked up the wicket of one of their danger batsmen with a good edge through to the 'Gloveman'. However, the strong appeal was turned down and the batsman was left with a massive grin from ear-to-ear as he went to tea.
That was soon wiped from his face as Campbell dismissed him shortly after tea and then picked up his forth for the innings. Clifford dismissed the captain with his first ball of his second spell. A catch to Millar at mid-off in which he delighted in. For hours.
The Hawks were 8-down and 20 overs left in the day. The next pair stuck around for a while and it wasn't until Ellison was handed the ball for the first time in the match (a credit to the strength of the rest of the bowling attack who consistently bowled tight lines) that the final two wickets fell and the Colts picked up maximum points.
Beauchamp Oval is a dream to belt out a rendition of the song and with 10 points on the board, the new boys received a great introduction into life at the Gordon club.
At the Greengate after the match, with all teams celebrating a very successful weekend, Will Reed commented (after his 4th or 5th jug) that 'We should win all the grades each round'.
With the generous donations of Messer Falk and Wilson, I can clearly see his point.
Congratulations to the grade sides who sit 5th on the club championship.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Gordon wins top of table clash
Father Christmas came early this year with a get out of jail free card for the Colts side after just scraping home in a thrilling finish against the second placed Sydney University. After finally winning a toss, Millar sent Uni in to bat on a deck that appeared to have some life in it and an outfield that had just recently been top dressed.
Lappan - 11 overs, 6 maidens, 0/9
The deck was dead. No movement. No bounce. No life. A mistake? Perhaps. It would be hard work for the bowlers. However, with the outfield very heavy and the batsmen having to make the pace, it would not be easy for the batsmen either.
'Pale Ale' Lappan and Ian 'Bones' Skinner were given the new ball to do damage with. Both bowled great lines but suffered due to the lack of any assistance from the deck. The batsmen couldn't get the ball off the square and when Ellison took the first wicket - a great diving catch to Cam Crawford at square leg - the score was 1/28 from 20 overs. It was boring, grinding cricket and the Colts would be in for a challenge.
Will 'I rival Fragogianas for an impossible last name' Sierakowski, was thrown the ball after the captain, knowing little of his youngest and newest member of the Colts side, asked the opening batsmen if he could also roll his arm over. This move - which the captain will maintain was an 'inspired' move - paid dividends with Will removing the opening batsmen and the number 4 within the space of a handful of deliveries.
Ranney, whose custom is to arrive within 60 seconds of the players taking the field, came on and struck early and often. 4 wickets, mostly LBW, came at crucial times throughout the first day. A brilliant spell of bowling was only outshone by a marvellous diving catch to 'Bones' Skinner at 1st grip. Hickman, sitting on the sideline, was astounded by the big man's nimbleness. He then backed it up with a crucial wicket and having Uni having only 90-odd on the board with only one wicket in hand.
Sierakowski playing Uni in last year's Green Shield team
A couple of missed opportunities and some lusty hitting saw Uni get to 136 when Millar finally picked up the final wicket - caught and bowled. A score similar to the previous year, but with many more overs to chase down the target, the Colts were confident of victory.
With only 18 overs left in the day, Millar stressed the need to have wickets in hand the following week to chase down the small total. Angus Sinclair and Will Siera... opened the batting and took the score to 31 before Sinclair was adjudged LBW for 7 and then Cam Crawford was dismissed next ball.
"John" Mayur Kulkarni was next in and with only 5 overs left in the day he was instructed by his captain to be there at the end of the day. A couple of very loose shots saw him lose his wicket with an over left to play and, needless to say, saw an unimpressed captain having to send in the No. 5 batsmen in with only 47 on the board and 6 balls to play.
Russell-Jones, knowing that Marvell would be taking his spot the second week, played a straight bat to everything sent his way and ensured that Gordon would be only 3-down at the end of the day.
3/47 chasing 136. 90 runs to get. 7 wickets in hand. 1st vs 2nd. An interesting second day was sure to ensure.
Day 2 saw the top dressing give way to some excessively long grass and the pitch still had little life in it. During the warm-up, the captain stressed that it would be critical that all players got onto the front stool and remove any chance of balls trapping them in front. Nothing would get up high enough to cause them any trouble and each of the 90 runs would be like gold.
It was Will Sierakowski to fall first, playing all around his front pad and having his leg stump removed. It wasn't long after that Marvell was trapped dead in front of all three sticks playing back to a ball that never ever looked like getting up above ankle hight. 5/85. 5 wickets. 52 left to get.
Frago, Skinner and Millar all fell to a combination of tight bowling and trying to force the pace. Frago, playing back, was unlucky to be trapped in front for 1. Skinner, also playing back, was cleaned up for 9. Millar, getting down the pitch, gave a return catch to the bowler for a meager 1 run.
8/110. 27 runs would do it and ensure the Colts would go into Christmas on top of the table.
Selby, who had been put down twice whilst going for runs, was instructed to be there at the end by his captain. After greatly help win the Penrith match a few weeks before, Selby had become the rock in the middle order of the Colts team and he needed to stand up again this week.
A huge performance from Selby got the Colts over the line
Lappan, who was given instructions from his departing captain on the way out to the middle, knew it was his time to dig deep and play a solid innings for his club. With the words "Get on the front foot... Play forward... Get forward... Play straight" ringing in his ears, he knew what he had to do.
Although the Colts team is not part of the Grade Comp, the boys are proud of their winning record this season. With a trophey in the cabinet from last year's premiership, the boys are determined to recreate that winning feeling week-in week-out. They know how to dig themselves out of a hole and that is exactly what Selby and Lappan did.
A combination of patient play and the ability to put away the loose ball, often via an aerial route, Selby single-handedly put on the next 26 runs to take the score to 8/136. The scores were level and Lappan, who had faced 40-odd balls without scoring a run, stole the limelight from Selby by scoring his one and one run for the game. The winning run.
Selby 38* and Lappan 1* (46 balls) saw the Gordon boys home with Ranney sitting in the dressing room assuring his captain he too could do the job for the side.
The song was sung with gusto and the 6 points kept the Gordon boys on top of the table in the lead up to Christmas. Congratulations boys. A job well done.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Colts frolic despite their age
Youthful would not have been the term to describe the Colts composition for the game against UTS-Balmain. Experienced would have been kind. Old may have been more accurate.
With the club a few players short due to injuries, schoolies and weddings, the Colts gladly welcomed Dave Storey and Matt Selby out of retirement to showcase their experience against one of the cellar-dwellers of the Metropolitan Cup. Michael Falk was also amongst the line-up ' just happy that he wasn't making another one of 'those' trips to Sutherland to which the Stobo Salute glowing referred.
With the former captain of 5th Grade in the side, Millar was hoping for some advice regarding the coin toss. Storey was of little use. 'Tails never fails, blah blah blah'. Well' it hasn't failed for the opposition all year.
The Colts were sent in to bat on a slow track and an even slower outfield. There were patches of grass so long that tickled the calves of the players during the warm-up. There was no fielding soccer ' more a gentle easing into physical activity for some of the players.
Falk and Matt Selby ease gently into the game
Russell-Jones accompanied Sajdeh out into the centre but departed at the end of the first over after he played all around a full toss to be dismissed for 2. Doug 'The Pizza Boy' Harris, who yet again was suffering from poorly cooked prawns, was seeing two or three balls out in the centre, but not getting firm contact on any of them. Millar, from his position as umpire, continued to remind Harris of the handful of centuries he has seen during his time at the club from batsmen who, too, had eaten a few bad prawns the night before.
Sajdeh, probably feeling a little bewildered by his estrangement from long term batting partner, Richie 'Sticks' Kenner, put his head down, got his feet moving and set the Colts up for a big score. The partnership between Harris and Sajdeh was broken when Sajdeh was adjudged LBW for 48.
Selby, younger, didn't last long and was dismissed for a fluent 11 when he hit a return catch to the bowler. Hugh has looked in good form the past couple of knocks and his skills will be invaluable this coming week against Sydney Uni.
Selby, older, blasted a few balls to the ground's extremities before missing a straight one and was cleaned up for 15 in his return to the batting crease. Passing Millar on the way back to the pavilion he provided the useful insight that he 'seemed to have missed that one - sorry skipper.' 4/170
Hugh Selby - an integral part of the Colts successes
Millar and Harris combined, with Millar still in Harris' ear about the possibility of his first century for the Gordon club. Unfortunately he was caught directly in front of the sticks for a very well played 92.
Falk joined Millar and began to build on the 190 runs already amassed. However, with the light fading and the clouds encroaching, the run rate needed to be lifted. Millar tried one too many big shots and was well caught for 25. Falk was left on 24* overnight as the rain began to fall. It was 6:20pm and the Tigers had only managed to bowl 70 overs throughout the day. Too many needless underarms at the stumps ' almost ever ball ' and generally very sluggish between overs meant that the game continued to drag on and on. Hopefully this wouldn't hurt the Colts on Day 2.
The second day began badly. Sajdeh's mate, Aran, who had kindly offered to fill in for us, failed to show and it was left to Millar to find a replacement at the last minute. Mr Millar immediately sprung to mind, and with a Gordon shirt, whites and shoes, he combined perfectly with Falk and Storey to boost the 'experience' of the Colts side.
Although the rest of the ground seemed bone dry, the covers had left a wet spot on a good length. After a quick discussion with the UTS-Balmain boys, it was decided that the match would go ahead as planned and, with Falk on 24* and Aran 'John Sawtell' Nagandra 0*, Millar declared with the score at 6/245.
Storey, who didn't get an opportunity to wield the willow the previous week, asked Sajdeh for advice from which end to bowl. Sajdeh confidently replied that he thought the ball was definitely doing more in the air from the south end' Storey, amused and slightly bewildered at Sajdeh's response, chose the north end from which to 'charge' in. Millar allowed this as there was a significant gale coming from the north and Storey was looking for all the assistance he could find.
Tom Millar - It was a long day for the body!
Clifford, who arrived just moments before the game after changing yet another one of Sam Ranney's 'flat tires', was forced to work uphill into the gale.
Well' what does one write about the performance of Storey? I'm sure that the like of Packman or Tiddles would have already heard about the 'massive amounts of movement [he was] getting in the air and off the deck' (quote: Storey ' like Medcalf, I too choose to acknowledge my sources). Whilst it would be hard to argue this point, for he was consistently beating the bat, the lack of pace was a noticeable talking point amongst the 8 players he had positioned behind point 'for the edge'.
Falk was cutting a lonely figure at deep mid-on ' placed there by Storey for the miscued drive.
It was Clifford that struck first, then Storey chimed in with a couple, Ranney came on and bowled an impressive spell which drew three wickets from the Tigers including a spectacular catch in his follow through. Always a team player, Ranney stuck to a line outside off stump to ensure that any balls hit in the air would find their way into the safe hands of those players he had included in his fantasy team. The plan paid off with Clifford taking catches as well.
Millar picked up a couple of wickets, including a good catch at second slip to Sajdeh, whose regular position at mid-off/on was filled by Millar Snr and Falk, and then Clifford cleaned up the tail.
The Tigers were dismissed for 92 in 30 odd overs leaving the Colts a distinct chance of an outright victory.
Over the tea break Storey took a quick nap, after his 8 overs in the first innings, and Millar Snr attempted to keep warm after chasing nearly every ball throughout the afternoon. The ball just seemed to follow him around the park. He was going to be sore the next day.
Dave Storey recharges the batteries between innings
The second dig saw Clifford grab an LBW decision with his first delivery, Storey pick up 3 good wickets and Millar grab a good catch from his own bowling to leave the Tigers at 5/17 with plenty of overs remaining. Unfortunately for the Colts, Storey began to seize up and despite the wind assistance keeping his pace above that of a gentle spinner, the body couldn't handle having a couple more overs squeezed out of it. He retired to fine leg after picking up a total of 6 top order wickets for the Colts. A fine comeback and very much appreciated.
Ranney, who bowled so well in the first dig, copped a hiding from the only UTS-Balmain batsmen to show any fight and ended with 55 runs being taken from his 6 overs. He was replaced by Russell-Jones and, after Clifford had rearranged the woodwork on another 3 subsequent occasions to end up with 7 poles for the match, Falk was given his first opportunity with the ball.
It only took about 10 balls for Falk to complete the outright victory. The last batsman was bowled, stumps were drawn and the Colts had found their place on top of the Metro Cup table after 6 Rounds.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Note: Tom Millar pulled up pretty well on the Sunday' How about Storey??
Colts wrap up another solid win
With 1st innings points under the belt and a desire to watch the English crumble to a 1st test loss, the Colts resumed their day at 6/159 with a lead of 11 on the board. The Rance Oval wicket was a lush green colour. In the middle of a drought! The Colts have solved Sydney's water problem. Stop flood irrigating Rance.
A quick check of the Sunday paper confirmed our suspicions. The Penrith 5th grade side had been bowling the previous day and had skittled their opposition for very few.
(Tweety lifts the trophy after a victory against Penrith last year - this round Tweety was away on Schoolies)
Selby and Millar strode to the crease after a warm-up game of football in which the non-hat side won 3-1. It didn't take long for the runs to begin to flow with Selby immediately finding the form that delivered the 1st innings victory last week. In the second over of the day he brought up his 50 and then, after Millar was cleaned up, proceeded to butcher the attack with clever, powerful stroke play.
Dan Lake, like Jono Wigham the previous week, set about showing why the future of the club is in good hands. Both boys excelled in their first game for the Gordon seniors. Dan set upon anything short and the highlight of his innings was consecutive pull shots off the front foot that rocketed past mid wicket for 4.
After drinks were taken, Lake fell to a full toss ' caught at mid on ' and then Lappan to a rank long hop shortly after.
Ranney, who had only just arrived after <insert any number of his stories about poker, alcohol, next door, Crowie Howie, etc>, had just enough time to strap on the pads and leave his first delivery before Selby (a masterful 70) fell to another full toss to see the Colts dismissed for 230.
With the Ashes beckoning and no reasonable chance of any further result, the captains decided that it was best to pull up the stumps and return the whinging Poms back to Bondi where they could drown their sorrows of the dismal display of their fellow countrymen in the 1st test.
Victory over last year's Grand Finalists.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
How To' Strike Concern In Your Captain
The Colts made the trip out to Penrith to face the team they defeated in the Grand Final last year. Both teams were depleted of regular players and had to look far and wide in order to get 11 on the paddock. Needless to say, the quality of the Gordon juniors who were called upon was top class and they all contributed well throughout the day.
(Tim Fragogiannis in action)
After most players negotiated the RBT just off the M4 (and thankfully Ranney was instructed to take an alternate route), the warm up consisted mainly of observations by the Poms of just how far away from the motherland (Bondi Beach) they were.
Millar lost the toss' again' but maintained that he would have sent them in anyway.
Lappan struck early. 3 times. However, the Penrith side adjudged that a catch to gully wasn't out, nor one to a diving Selby in front of 1st slip. Ironically it was an LBW that was cause for the Colts first celebration of the afternoon. Frago bowled well but without luck before age restrictions resulted in Dan Lake being called upon for 1st change duties. He didn't disappoint his captain, taking a wicket with his 2nd delivery.
Millar took what can only be described as a bizarre wicket with his first ball after a huge shout for LBW. The batsman was sure that he had hit the ball into his foot and loudly vocalised his opinion. The Penrith umpire adjudged this to be the case and in doing so was then forced to give the batsman out as the ball had ballooned off the batsman's foot into the 'safe' hands of Sam Ranney. Only in Colts.
(Andrew Lappan in action)
In order to recreate last year's atmosphere, the Penrith side had decided to bolster its middle order with some of the senior grade players (not Clary Dent... but those in Colts last year will get the picture) who had been successful with the willow the previous day.
It took a while for the next break through, but ManChild picked up the captain and his batting partner in the space of a few deliveries to swing the game back in Gordon's favour. After their departure, wickets began to fall at regular intervals and the Penrith side was dismissed for 147. Ranney, Frago and Millar shared in the spoils.
35 overs were left in the day to secure first innings points and without any recognised opening batsmen, ManChild and one of Rod's Poms took up the challenge. Unfortunately, Ben fell to a well struck, but misguided, lofted drive through the covers. Marvz joined JRJ out at the crease but neither were able to get on top of the bowling; both falling to their captain and opening bowler.
When 'Tom the Pom' Stretton, coming off the back of a solid 78 to secure victory against UNSW last week, and Frago fell cheaply, the Colts looked to be in trouble at 5/60 and the captain gave instructions to Selby and the young gun Jono 'I've gone through 6 growth spurts and I'm only 14' Wigham to be there at the end of the day.
A platform was built and the ball began to find the boundary with regularity. Both batsmen saw off the senior grade spinner who had picked up 5 wickets the previous day. A highlight was Selby getting down on one knee and putting him well over the deep backward square fence for a maximum score. In fact, the smoke coming from Wigham and Selby's bats was only matched by a group of guys doing burnouts behind the local bottle-o.
With 55 runs to get from 8 overs to secure the points before the day's end, Wigham began to pump the ball to all corners of the ground, showing skill and power well beyond his years. Combined with Selby, they reduced the target to just 4 runs from 8 balls before the fun and games started. They were cruising to victory for convincingly than the cops on constant patrol around Rance.
Wigham, trying to secure the points with one clean hit, was cleaned up by the Penrith captain and began to walk off the ground. Millar left his seat to join Selby out in the middle, only to be informed that it was a no-ball and that Wigham could return to the middle. Millar added one run to the score and sat down again.
Wigham, trying to secure the points with one clean hit, was cleaned up by the Penrith captain and began to walk off the ground. That's right. D'j' Vu! This time there was no infringement by the bowler's front foot and Wigham was on his way.
Millar, hoping to see off the last ball of the over and give Selby the strike in the final over, blocked the ball to gully but was called through for a run. Despite being over half a pitch short, Millar survived due to an errant throw.
A couple of byes saw the anti-climatic end of an enthralling run chase and the first innings points for the Colts through some top class batting by Wigham and Selby.
Whilst the trip out to Penrith this coming Sunday will conflict with the desire to be supporting the Australians reclaim the Ashes, it is comforting to know that the bottle-o across the road from Rance is open well before the bakery and supermarket.
With first innings points under the belt and a few lower order wickets in hand, it will be a good opportunity to get in some batting practice and enjoy a solid bit of Pommy bashing. (in good fun of course)
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Colts Report vs UNSW
With University exams and a spate of injuries within the club, the Colts were looking a little undermanned and a couple of Rocket's pommy mates and the ever faithful Rod MacDonald were called upon to fill in for the weekend. This wouldn't stop Macca from enjoying his Friday night, messaging Millar at 4am to confirm a lift to the ground in just a few hours time.
(James Ellison in action)
The toss was lost, almost a formality these days, and the UNSW captain chose to don the pads and have first use of a great looking batting track. After a warm-up that involved more introductions than actual physical activity (much to Macca's delight), the Colts took the field with Clifford and Skins sharing the new rock.
Skins bowled an inspired first spell conceding only a handful of runs in his first 5 overs and picking up the important wicket of the UNSW captain. It was a display that wouldn't have been out of place in 3rd grade and set the Colts towards victory.
Clifford unfortunately struggled to find his rhythm and was replaced by Ellison after a few overs. Now a high school graduate, Ellison bowled tight consistent lines that troubled the New South bats and, in partnership with Ranney, kept a lid on the run rate.
Ranney looked a little rusty - delivering 6 full tosses in the first over ' but confused the New South batsman into playing all 6 gently to cover. After that he found his length and restricted them to only 20 runs from his full allotment. It was a great spell and was unlucky not to be awarded a bagful of LBW's by the UNSW umpired.
(Skipper Dave Millar in action)
After Ellison exhausted his age restricted overs, JRJ was thrown the pill and continued to starve the New South batsmen of runs on a top quality batting strip.
The problem came towards the end of the innings with 12 overs that needed to be found. Clifford was expensive early and Millar was dispatched to the fence on numerous occasions before Skinner had taken a marvellous catch running around from mid-off to take a one handed specky at mid-on (who knows what Ranney was doing at mid-on, but he was nowhere to be found). Unfortunately, Skins pulled a quadricep in the process and was unable to back up his first spell. Hence the dilemma.
Millar took one end and kept it fairly quiet ' even bowling a maiden in the 50th over ' and Clifford took the other before being replaced by Ellison for his final two. A few loose deliveries saw the New South batsmen creep over 200 and a few dropped catches and a handful of missed run outs meant that UNSW posted a score of 6/233 - well past what we should have got them for.
It was going to be a hard chase and the Gordon batsmen needed to get off to a good start ' Weaves didn't let the captain down.
In true Weaves fashion he chanced his luck and played a well constructed one-day innings. A couple of cheap early wickets fell - Ben 'Rocket's mate' Linfield bowled for 6 and JRJ caught playing at a wide delivery for 14 ' before Tom 'The Pom' Stretton settled into his innings and began to dominate the bowling.
(Jason Russell Jones in action)
The pitch remained true and the two men continued to pile on the runs and frustrate the New South bowlers as they consistently found gaps in the field. Weaves (92) was unselfishly dismissed trying to secure a bonus point and Stretton (78) fell a couple of runs short of the target which left Selby to get the Colts across the line with 6 overs to spare.
The only thing to tarnish the day was the way in which the UNSW captain failed to really congratulate our boys after a comprehensive victory by all 11 players.
It was a real team effort. Everyone stood up to be counted. It was a dominant display that will hopefully be repeated this week against the grand finalists from last year.
With the news that all of the other 5 grade sides had defeated Wests, the song was heartily sung and the boys retired to the Greengate to celebrate in style.
Congratulations to all those involved in such a successful weekend and thanks to Tiddles and others for the generous bar tab that assisted all those in enjoying their Saturday evening. Let's hope this weekend brings much of the same!
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
Colts Report vs Randwick-Petersham
How To' Comprehensively Destroy Randwick-Petersham
Pic complained that my article last week was too long. I understand. He finds it difficult to read.
So this week I will keep it short. Just for Pic.
1/196 chasing 186.
Weaver made 109* and Marvz backed up his four wickets with 58*. Legge, the only wicket to fall, made 21 good looking runs before being trapped LBW. In a Colts game.
It was a great win and the boys have consolidated their position on the ladder at this early point in the season.
Oh, and Pic, the grass needed mowing.
Now, for all those who are still with me here is the rest of the report.
The day started terribly. Beauchamp, like Killara, is a dog walker's paradise. Apart from all the unnecessary time it takes to clean up after them, and ensure another Sydney Uni/Greg Matthews debacle doesn't occur, sometimes you wonder if the dog has more brains than their owner.
Sometimes you don't even need to wonder.
(Tim Fragogiannis at Beauchamp)
Some bloke decided that he should padlock the large gate shut so that his dog wouldn't escape. Top bloke he was.
Then his wife had a go at me because I had left the small gate open whilst taking out the stumps to the ground. Then the dirty big mutt chased balls thrown across the pitch (I'm not talking about the wife' although she could have done with a collar as well). Hardly the dog's fault, but the owners need to be put down.
A quick trip home to get an oversized pair of bolt cutters (don't ask why I own them' I just do) and we were finally able to get the trolley off the ground and the game underway.
Legge looked solid and scored freely until being fired by Selby (another LBW in Colts). Weaver, up the other end, had put away a couple of his 'get out' shots and was punishing the ball to all areas of the park. It was a big turn around from the previous match.
To be honest, the rest of the match passed by very quickly. There were three things to note.
1) Skins is a good team player: a trip to the chicken shop saw more chips and dips and sauces than was good for the cardiovascular systems of all the Colts batsmen. Thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks mate.
2) Marvz is a classy bat: he dispatched balls to all parts of the ground will little effort and was a great calming influence on Weaver.
3) Weaver is a wealth of strange knowledge: after coming off the ground with his first century at Gordon and a second Colts win for the season, Weaver let the boys in on a night out on the town with Pic (I'm sure he has stopped reading by this point anyhow). The story involves a large amount of booze, women and a none-too-sober Pic at the start of play on a Saturday morning. And a subsequent tribunal hearing after the Gordon team narrowly lost. Weaver is a vault of information' with the door slightly ajar.
Well done Colts on a fantastic thrashing of Randy-Petes. A great one to get under the belt. Congratulations Weaver, well batted mate. A much improved performance with the willow.
Again I must stress, winning at Beauchamp and belting out that song so close to the opposition is an awesome feeling.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
P.S. Thanks to Knight and Tiddles whom helped with covers on the Friday night. It was much appreciate
How To' Get Your Season Of To The Right Start
Welcome to this season's collection of How To's from the Colts side 2006/07 ' Defending Premiers.
A new look side from last year has brought together talents from a net cast far and wide. A team every bit as talented as the previous year and a team that will be hunted by all others. Fresh from a commanding lead in the fantasy league and with a few hours of captaincy experience whilst Tweety was off the field during last year's tilt at the premiership, Millar led his side to a comprehensive victory over Hawkesbury, gaining a bonus point in the process.
(James Ellison is bolwed at Beauchamp)
After winning the toss, Legge took advantage of a batting strip that resembled the F3 he had driven down earlier. However, after waiting patiently whilst the opening bowler from Hawkesbury bowled wide after no-ball, Legge (9) succumbed to the lack of pace, caught the leading edge and floated a catch back to the bowler. Weaver at the other end looked comfortable but lacked timing and placement before being adjudged LBW for 29 just after drinks.
It was Brett 'Marvz' Marvell and Doug 'The Pizza Boy' Harris that set about making the most of the fruit delivered by the Hawks' spinners. They took the score from 2/77 to 195 with some stylish straight drives and some well judged lusty blows which sent the Hawks to all corners of the park to retrieve the ball. Both of these blokes are recent additions to the club and look to have a real future in the higher grades. The Pizza Boy (61) and Marvz (76) fell in quick succession bringing Tim 'Frago' Fragogianas and Millar to the crease. Both set upon the bowlers and lifted the run rate in the final ten overs, with a target of well over 260 in their sights.
(Tim Fragogiannis and James Ellison)
Millar foolishly thought all that beach running with the Moth during the off season had made him quicker between wickets and was run out taking a second that was never on. After making 16 from 7 balls, he was left to ponder if it was the Curly's breakfasts that were his undoing. Ellison (9) was next in and after getting onto a couple was cleaned up, giving the webmaster his first action photograph of the woodwork being rearranged this season.
Lappan was next in and quickly followed Ellison back to the pavilion after being fired for 0. 3 LBWs in the first game of the season!! Tweety would have been pulling his hair out at the thought of his old team giving out their own players 'leg before'. Its ok Tweety, they were all were VERY adjacent. Your mentoring and sentiments will be held in high regard by all those in the Colts.
Frago (34*) was joined by Ranney (3*) and they saw the score to 7/279 at the end of the 50 overs. An above average score on Beauchamp, but the bowlers were going to have to keep a tidy line after the Hawks gave over 40 sundries and an extra 5 overs during the Colts innings.
Lappan and Skinner opened the bowling after the break and both immediately applied the pressure. Lappan (0/44 from 10) had a couple of close shouts and at the end of his first spell had contained the Hawks openers and placed them in a difficult position to maintain the fast climbing required run rate. Ian 'Skinny' Skinner had a solid first spell but strayed a little in line and length, being hit for a maximum in his first over after some jock in the slips quipped that the batsmen should be reminded that they were playing a one-day game.
Frago (0/2 from 2) came on to replace Skinner but was soon troubled by an ankle injury that saw him leave the field after just a couple of overs. Millar replaced him and continued his tight one-day lines, frustrating the batsmen into playing false shots. Ellison (0/10 from 4) replaced Lappan before Ranney was introduced into the attack and immediately settled into tight lines that contained the batsmen.
(The skipper in action)
When Millar (1/22 from 7) took the first wicket, they needed 8 an over from the remaining 30 and the Colts were looking for bonus points. Weaver was providing encouragement from slips even though he confused about which team he was playing for ('Go the Hawks'). The only disappointing facet of the day was that a few regulation chances were missed behind the wicket but they didn't prove costly.
Ranney's spell (1/28 from10) helped seal the victory and deserved more than the one wicket he picked up. His skills will be vital if the Colts are to bowl teams out on such a great batting track. 'Skinny' Skinner came back for a second spell and picket up a couple of vital wickets bowling much improved lines and end with the figures of 2/52 from his full allotment.
The pizza boy (1/33 from 4), fresh from his debut half-century was thrown the ball and, despite seeing it sail over his head a couple of times, picked up his maiden wicket at the Gordon club. Selby (0/15 from 3), who has been press-ganged into keeping for the Colts, gave the gloves to the injured Frago and had a go with the ball in the dying stages of the match before Lappan bowled out the game.
Entire articles should be devoted to the tireless way Lappan applies himself in the field and with the ball in hand. Still looking for his first wicket this season (on an unforgiving Beauchamp Oval), his last ball of the day cut the opposition captain in half and sent stumps and bails to the four corners of the oval' 'No ball''Wow' has Lappan vocabulary substantially improved over the off-season.
Unfortunately, the story gets no better. The final ball saw the reprieved Hawks captain dispatch Lappan for a maximum back over his head to finish the match. Only the stumps at the bowler's end went flying this time as the poor bowler relieved his frustration.
However, with a good bunch of blokes coming together for 2006/07, talent to spare and a mindset of application and commitment, the Colts will again be a force this season.
How To' Beat The Heat
The Colts stepped out onto a scorching Beauchamp Oval knowing that taking off the covers and setting up the sight screens would safely constitute a solid warm up. 'Inzi' sprints wouldn't filter down the grades this week. In fact, most of the Colts were ready just to sit in the stands and watch as the top order to full advantage of another piece of highway masquerading as a pitch.
(Andrew Lappan at Beauchamp)
Unfortunately, the Pommy captain from Randy-Petes Gold stuck with Her Majesty at the toss and the Colts were out in the field. Short spells for the quicker men were going to be the order of the day and Lappan (who at the start of the day was on a total for 4 fantasy points from 3 rounds) continued his tight lines from last week from one end, whilst Skins honed in on the stumps from the other' but allow me to digress.
Much has been said recently about the friendliness of the Australian cricket team towards the Poms and pinpointing this as a reason for why they lost the Ashes. Personally, I don't believe that was the case. The Aussies played hard on the field and then shared a beer or four off the field. Cricket was most definitely the winner and, unfortunately, this time the Aussies were outplayed.
Those same qualities are found in each and every member of the Colts team. Already the team is beginning to gel. The guys are ready to get stuck in and support their mates. Lift themselves and those around them. Continue to set high standards. Retain their spots in the team. Put pressure on those in higher grades. Enjoy their cricket.
I'm sure you will all agree, there is hardly a better feeling than coming out, playing well and beating Randwick-Petersham. They are a good grade club and play hard cricket. I, however, wouldn't be jumping at the opportunity to provide any of them with a character reference. Jim Cattlin, who is giving up his time this season to provide assistance at Beauchamp, was left no alternative but to manage scoring, updating the scoreboard, organising drinks and a variety of other tasks whilst the Gordon boys were out on the field. There was no voluntary assistance offered by the Randwick-Petersham captain or his team.
Incidentally, I was very pleased with the way that the boys handled numerous decisions that went against the Colts in the first session of the day. Although there were a few choice words (nothing like Lappan's outburst last week), everyone kept their composure and continued to plug away.
With umpires from the opposition adjudicating on LBW's and catches down the leg side, decisions can often appear to favour the batting side ' especially when Skins had numerous deliveries that appeared very adjacent' but back to the game.
After the quicks had been denied many good shouts for LBW and a couple of catches as well, it was the spin combination of Ranney and Marvell that began to apply the pressure. Ranney continued to bowl tight lines, but failed to pick up a wicket. It was Marvz that struck twice before the long break ' good catches to the opening combination of Weaver and Legge - and Skins picked up a third to put the Colts in a very respectable position with Randy-Petes 3/108 from the 40 overs.
(Sam Ranney in action)
After the break it was the Lappan and Marvz show with the 'Moon Tan' Lappan breaking his pre-Christmas wicket drought. As he constantly assured his captain, once the first comes, the rest just follow. And they did.
Marvz took a specky in close on the off-side and then was granted an easy one the following over ' both from Lappan. He then chose to do it all himself in his final over, knocking poles every which way, before coming off for a spell. Marvz was then given another opportunity by his skipper to clean up the remaining wickets.
As skipper of Colts, leading (and collating) the Fantasy League, rumours must be rife around the club at the moment. Marvell, already well over 200 points and only into his second game, is priced well below market value ' at $40,000 ' and is looking a considerably better buy than that one-hit wonder priced (appropriately) at $70,000. A trade for Craig Knight ($30,000), as he ships off to Perth, during the Christmas trading period would certainly be on the cards.
I thought I should lay my cards on the table.
Kelly (captain), Kenner, Knight, Bombas, Longhurst. Hugh potential, PG's games, 1st grade one-dayers, proven wicket takers. An outstanding top 5.
(The Millar fantasy league captain Matt Kelly)
Medcalf, Cubbage. Match winners and (hopefully) PG's superstars.
Rosen. Surely plenty more catches this season.
Archer, Ling, Thomlinson, Mahaffey. Lethal with the ball in their respective grades. PG's potential as well.
Only $850,000 and nearly all have had strong performances yet again this week. Keep it up boys.
Pity Marvell wasn't around when the fantasy teams were being picked. I don't have the added incentive to bowl him from one end all day' but I digress.
JRJ, eager to get his hands on the leather and prove to the selectors that he should be picked in 5th grade or higher, bowled a sustained line and length and was rewarded with two quality wickets and the miserly figures of 2/9 from 7 overs.
Marvz, the man of the moment, took yet another catch off JRJ, before picking up the final couple of wickets and taking a well earned rest in the sheds.
Randy-Petes were bundled out for 186 and everyone had forgotten about the heat. The constant stream of wickets was a sure fire way to put the discomfort behind us.
Weaver (20*) and Legge (8*) saw the Colts through to stumps and have set up a good platform to build on next week. 0/28 chasing 186. The job isn't over. Not by a long-shot. But good inroads have been made.
UP GORDON, GET FAH YOU BAH
The Webmaster apologises to Dave Millar for not running last weeks report vs Hawkesbury. Simply an oversight.
Click here to read report
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.
For the PG schedule go to Fixtures.
Poidevin Gray match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
Poidevin Gray Report vs Penrith
Penrith 7-249 (Amir 3-45, Richtor 2-16) 'defeated' Gordon 4-169 (Bombas 60, Richtor 60*) on run rate.
(Reece Bombas in action)
A Gordon U21 side dripping with talent had high expectations as the boys fastened their e-tags and got ready to kick off the PG campaign at Howell Oval on Sunday. Everyone was well prepared to hit the ground running as we lined up for Rd 1 against Penrith, although in hindsight some training on how to get onto the M2 and where to find the elusive M7 might have been worthwhile!
Skipper Matt Makepeace inspected the deck and decided that it would be a good toss to lose. Fortunately or unfortunately, he managed to call correctly and allowed Penrith to bat. Josh Ling was fantastic and finished his 10 over opening stint with 0-18, with Nick Medcalf, Elliot Richtor and Umayr Amir all contributing to contain the top order to 2-40 off 21 overs.
A slight drop in intensity during the middle section, however, cost Gordon dearly as Penrith set about building a platform from which to launch. Despite solid bowling and fielding in the latter stages, it was always going to be difficult to contain the boys from the West as they took full advantage of wickets in hand to smash 96 off the last 10 and compile 7-249 from their 50 overs. Amir finished with 3-45 off 9 and Richtor 2-16 off 8.
(Elliot Richtor in action)
During the lunch break, as Gordon reflected on the importance of staying switched on for the full 50 overs, skipper Peace (along with the coach!) would have been wise to reflect on the importance of understanding the bowling restrictions on our U19 contingent. Let's hope Richtor will be allowed to finish his 10 next time and Reece Bombas will never ever be called upon for a 2-over spell again (a decision with which selector Wilson apparently was not entirely comfortable')
The chase started badly for Gordon and, at 2-4 after the first over, a slight dent in the Stags' confidence might have been understandable. But Bombas (60) and Richtor (60*) were outstanding as they raced along at 5 an over and laid the foundations for a victory. It was sensible batting with an unmistakable degree of urgency that allowed Gordon to make its way into a commanding position (4-169 off 35 overs) when the rain came.
If the fairest system of deciding rain affected games had been used, Gordon would be sitting pretty on 6 points after Rd1. Unfortunately, due to the technical difficuluties of running the stats needed for the Duckworth Lewis system, the SCA still uses run rate in PGs' and the Stags were caught 6 runs behind where we needed to be.
There was no doubt that the signs are seriously promising for the rest of the season, with both selector Wilson and the coach agreeing that a platinum performance is surely just around the corner'
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.
For the Second grade schedule go to Fixtures
Second Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
2nd Grade Report vs Randwick-Petersham
For the 2nd grade Stags, an apt name considering the second rate individuals that occupy the XI, the season was over, but by no means was that a deterring factor for the round 15 fixture against the joint venture of Randy-Petes. With regular captain Howitt Jnr. on the "to be repaired list"
(Emile "Emily" van Schalkwyk in action at Petersham)
Livermore was to take over the reigns and lead the side for the second time this year. His introduction as captain saw a change of fortunes at the coin toss, as he won the toss and elected to bat first. It would have been an interesting contest if Howitt was at the coin flip, as the Randwick-Petersham captain had a record of 1 win from 12 tosses coming into the battle. Hoppa boasts a similar record.
Livermore and his 93rd opening partner for the year, Nick Medcalf, displayed good patience and ability at the opening of day 1. Both Reg and Medders got to 20 before the former was bowled around his legs, much to the delight of a smiling Cupcake, and Medcalf spooned a simple catch to mid-on.
Throughout the day it was a tough grind. The pitch was low and slower, and the order of the day was for batsman to lose patience and play rash shots rather than good balls getting out batsman. Field settings were placed according to this strategy. The run rate never even teased the 3 per over mark all day. It was probably the slowest day I've ever played in.
(Neil Longhurst at Petersham)
However a procession of wickets fell due to some tired batting, or lapses in concentration. Bomber was run-out, JOF was caught at mid-wicket, Cake was trapped in front, as was Higgins, and Longers was caught behind. Although we batted a considerable part of day 1, the innings never really got off the ground. Jeremy "I see you Jerry Jerry" Cashman was the only batsman to show the required amount of concentration. He score 46 off probably 170 balls.
103 of which he would have smoked to either mid-off or cover. He would have easily scored 130 at Killara or Chatswood. But we were at Petersham, and 46 was his total before he was caught at cover. The tail was wrapped up quite quickly bar Dave Michael who struck a relatively rapid 20 not out.
Gordon all out 187.
With 6 overs to bowl, our plan was clear. Take 1 or 2 wickets and we're front runners come next Saturday. With one of their players moving up to 1st grade the following week, and his replacement being a number 11, the make-shift opener was able to swing from the hip and obviously had noting to lose. His bludgeoning of all bowlers was incredible considering the previous 86 overs that had taken place before the onslaught. He would have hit probably 45 of the total of 51 before stumps were called.
(The great man Ed Howitt Jnr at Petersham)
Randwick-Petersham 0 - 51
Day 2, and with the return of Howitt, replacing Dane Tills in the back row the 2nd graders felt a sense of belief that this could be our day. Emile Whatever took the first wicket of the day removing the incumbent in the 3rd over of the day.
With a superb opening partnership of Julie"Hahn" Stephenson and Emily, pressure was building from both ends. An essential component to the fantastic start we were to deliver. Longhurst, fresh from giving everybody a verbal for the past 6 months, was introduced into the attack and with immediate success. The last ball of his first over was wide and on a length.
The number 3 smoked probably the shot of the match through backward point, were a surprised Howitt Jnr was waiting at gully. Seeing the ball go in his direction and evidently scared, the hoax dove full length to his right in an attempt to avoid being hit. Somehow the ball slipped, or more accurately cannoned into his right claw and it stuck. A candidate for the catch of the year. JOF will never field at gully again.
Another Longhurst over passed and his following saw a loose drive catch the edge to be held by the waiting hands of the devil, O'Neill-Fuller.
(They are ready. The slips field at Petersham)
A mistimed pull shot and a diving catch from D. Michael at mid-on saw Gordon well on top in the first session with the score sitting on 4-68. From there it was the same story as so many other games this year for the 2 graders. 3 missed chances which should have been taken cost us in a partnership of 80 odd - the biggest of the match.
The Cake was re-introduced and claimed a scalp which briefly kept us entertained but with 20 runs to paly with and 5 wickets to take, the game had gone and Randwick Petersham passed us 5 down.
Randy-Petes declared once they had surpassed our mediocre 187 and gave us another stint in the middle. We lost 5-79 in our second dig, but it's not a true reflection of the game I feel. We called the game a about 5pm and it was time to shake some hands and head off into the city to experience the colours, the lights, and the homosexuality that Sydney is renowned for'or is that New Orleans?
The highlight of my day had come a few hours before Mardi Gras, when 3 young kids of the tender age of 10 came up to myself and Dave Michael. Wait, I'm going somewhere with this. One of the kids asked Dave and I if anyone famous was playing, and I decided to tell the kids how good I was at everything and that I've got a NSW contract. I was a hero for 8 minutes. For some reason Len Bombas told them Dave Michael was Waratahs fullback Peter Hewitt.
(Matt Michael against Randwick Petersham)
Anywho, one of the kids removed his Australian ODI cap and asked me to sign it. I laughed to myself and felt sorry for this mislead youth and told him that I shouldn't. I went back into the sheds for Reg's rant and then went back outside to grab myself a refreshment where I was met by my new legion of 3 fans. I was asked once again to sign the young lads cap. How could I say no? Say I signed it Nathan Bracken. Well, not really, but I did sign my own name.
Last game for the year for the most of us against north shore rivals Northern Districts. Let's get 6 grades up.
PS. Tiddles horse (Gently Bentley) is a hoax.
2nd Grade report vs Bankstown
The Stags second graders arrived for their first match at Chatswood oval in a long time. And what a beautiful setting it was. Upon inspection on the first morning, there seemed to be a fair bit of moisture and a definite green tinge to the wicket which has yielded many runs this season. Consequently, captain Howitt won the toss (wonders will never cease) and the Stags were in the field, hoping to make the most of the conditions.
(The JOF cover drive)
The new ball bowlers Durie and the man with the most unpronounceable surname in grade cricket, van Shalkwyk (he has been conducting lessons on how to pronounce it phonetically) toiled hard and were disappointed to see the lack of response from a wicket it was hoped would offer some assistance. A number of sharp chances were put down in the first session, a factor that would prove very costly in the context of the game as it progressed.
Two such chances were offered by a young fellow named Etteridge. I remembered the name. Good allrounder' I think he has scored a hundred in at least one other encounter I've been involved in. surely it wouldn't happen again today?? Time would tell.
Captain Howard Howitt seemed to be struggling in the field a little. You might describe his movement as sluggish compared to the normal gazelle like pace which normally exemplifies his fielding. A quick query was thrown his direction from a concerned teammate, and it was revealed he had torn a muscle in his foot. (I don't know how one does that either, mind you). Our leader and only spinner was battling, with a Chatswood wicket drying out and becoming flatter by the minute. It could be a long day.
(The Nick Dowsley cover drive)
The middle session saw some inspired bowling from Matt Michael, who toiled hard and deserved more than the 2-62 he finished the day with. This session also saw Howitt show great ticker to bowl through the majority of the session from the 'Artarmon' end (as described by Dick Huey when recounting the feats of the 1970-something final winning side), to keep the pressure on the Dogs and keep the Stags within reach. The tea break arrived and the Dogs were 4-220 odd. And that bloke Etteridge was still there.
The final session saw Gordon adopt a more defensive approach to try and limit the total for the run chase next week. Medcalf carried out the plan well and finished with an impressive 4-79. One of those wickets was that of Etteridge, with about 30 mins to play. He had plundered 184 quality runs to all parts of Chatswood in a superb knock.
The dogs finished at 8-366. The preparation for the run chase was already underway.
The second Saturday saw bright sunshine and even brighter smiles on the faces of both teams as we enjoyed observing some of the locals out for their early morning exercise. Even young Andy Falk was impressed. 'Reg' Livermore and volunteer opener Nick Dowsley opened up for the Stags and had negotiated their way to about 7 mins before lunch, when they both fell with the score on 98, in successive balls., with Reg having just brought up his 50. A solid start I think the skipper would have taken at the start of the day, but it typified the starts that most of the order were to get, without anyone really going on.
(The Nick Medcalf cover drive)
Cashman and young Reece Bombas got through to lunch, and then pushed on to midway through the middle session. Cashy played over the top of the newest wicket taking delivery, the 'slow, straight rock'. (Cake had used one of these to remove Mosman captain Marty Hayward a round earlier). O'Neill-Fuller joined Bombas and slowly but surely started to push the scoring rate and build towards the Bankstown total with positive strokes and good running. Just as there was no question that they were starting to assert the ascendancy, Bombas fell to the off spinner who was persisting from the Artarmon end, for a mature and well constructed 55. Medcalf joined JOF and the pair continued the climb towards the 367 for victory, and congratulated themselves in making it to 5-300, with 6 an over required for the remaining overs. Things were under control.
Then, the game took another twist, as this wonderful game of ours tends to do. Medcalf facing, and strikes a lovely straight drive back down the pitch. The arm of the 6'lots' bowler was thrown out to attempt the catch but only succeeded in deflecting the ball onto the stumps at the bowlers end to run JOF out for 70.
O'Neill-Fuller's prolonged pause before departing summed up the situation.
(and yes...the Damon Livermore cover drive)
Enter Howitt, already eyeing off the short square boundary to the railway side as he strode to the crease. He and Medcalf continued the assault and had their team mates enthralled and on the edges of their seats as the looked like pulling off a great victory. Howitt took 18 off one of his opposition off-spinners overs, which I'm sure brought a smile to his face. The Departure of Medcalf trying to force the pace even further and then that man with the unpronounceable surname the very next ball, Gordon were teetering at 9-340 odd, still with 26 to get. Who had done all the damage for the Bulldogs I hear you ask?? That's right, that bloke Etteridge. (told you he was a good all-rounder).
Howitt was last to fall with the score on 342, to a catch in the deep just metres from the fence. The Dogs had dug deep to defend their total and effectively put an end to the Stags finals campaign.
A brilliant game of cricket, with some great performances. The free beers were had in good spirits at the close of play. 2 rounds to go with Club Champ points and pride on the line. The season is far from over.
2nd Grade vs Mosman
The Stags 2nd XI arrived at Rawson Oval with the intention of making amends for the previous week's performance against Easts.We were greeted by the Cheshire cat himself, Jimmy Cameron. Gleefully smiling upon completion of his latest artwork ' 22 yards of dirt and weeds.
Jules working hard for early poles
With reports during the week in the local Mosman rag about the inconsistent state of the wicket, the Stags were hoping that a win at the coin toss might give us a glimmer of hope in controlling our destiny. Once again, Ed 'The Dunce' Howitt lost the toss and the Stags were sent in. The wicket looked flat with a hint of grass. If we could get through the 1st hour unscathed, we believed we could put the opposition under pressure by posting a decent total.
Damon 'Reg' Livermore and his 9th opening partner of the season, Matt 'Cupcake' Michael, strutted to the crease. Cake looked in great touch; smoking his 1st ball to the cover fence. Was this a sign of greatness? Maybe not, the Cake missed a straight one and was out LBW.
Jon Fuller (John O'Neil-Fuller), as he is known on the Lower North Shore, entered the arena and was personally greeted by all 11 of the Mosman players. Pumps didn't last long, edging an angled delivery to 2nd slip. Reg played some nice leg glances before he smashed one to the keeper attempting his 1st offside shot for the season. The wicket continued to seam around with the new ball.
Once again, the Stags were 3 for not many. Jerry Cashman and Nick 'Digger' Dowsley steadied the sinking ship. They batted with maturity, kept it simple and worked the singles accordingly. Rotating the strike and hitting the loose one was crucial at this stage. Dowlsey scored a patient 15, which doesn't sound much but he de-buffed the ball and flattened the seam.
Reece Bombas looked solid and tight. He batted within himself to see off former stag and usual 1st grader Adlam. Bomber and Cashy played well under the conditions. Cashman particularly liked the spin of Maxi Raynor's old mate Issey Gray, bombing 2 consecutive 6's. Cashman's 30 was also integral, putting the Stags in a position where we could finally bat with some intent.
Bombas once again made it look easy, did all the hard work until he was on 49 and decided to late cut one straight to the keeper. Medcalf, who has worked hard on his batting at practice, paced himself nicely. He played some nice drives, worked the ball off his pads well including a flick over midwicket for 6 bits.
With 7 overs to go, we had built a platform from which we could launch an attack.
We accelerated, sent the cherry to the fence regularly but more importantly we ran extremely well between wickets. Higgins and Howitt were great examples of pushing the fielders to the limit. Medcalf remained not out on 50.
With 210 on the board, we thought we were in for a real shot especially as the outfield was slow and the wicket seamed around for the duration.
We were up against a Mosman side, which were coming 4th on the table and boasted a quality batting line up. Jules down for the week from 1st grade and Emile, impressing at the Greengate after the Blacktown game, were the new ball pairing.
If only you made it up to the Greengate Reg - look what it has done for Emile!!
Jules bowled extremely well, beating the bat on numerous occasions. Emile, on debut, bowled great areas (in-between chatting to his fan club on the fine leg fence) regularly hitting the seam. He finished with 3-21: a great start to his 2nd grade career.
We kept it tight with everyone fielding well and bowlers doing the business. Howitt, Cupcake and JOF took some good catches. Higgins' confidence continued to rise, taking 3 good grabs including a 'hanger' in front of 1st slip. We were right on top, but we knew we had to continue to grind away and break through a solid Mosman line up.
With the dismissal of Haywood, one rolling through the gate, Howitt exclusively thanked the groundsman. Medcalf, probably didn't bowl his best but his figures proved otherwise, claiming 4 '24. Adlam came and went thanks to a great catch to the Cake at point. We had the double bonus point in sight. At 7 '65 the Stags went a bit quiet in the field - maybe we just expecting it to happen?? The Mosman tail batted with some intent and luck fell their way, once again Jules beating the bat on numerous occasions and catches not going to hand.
With Stephenson Snr lurking with the camera, hoping the capture the moment of the double bonus point'. It was not to be. We missed out on the double bonus point by only a handful of runs but, with Howitt taking a great driving catch to wrap up the innings, we did enough to gain a bonus point. This, after being 3 for not many earlier in the day, ended up being a great effort by all 11 Stags.
Justifying the selectors' faith - Emile takes 3 top wickets
The song was performed with gusto. A great song, sung by a great team of men. A lot of players in the club enjoy playing in the 2nd X1. It's a team with a lot of love between us. Reg and Missy were even seen to be exchanging numbers after the game.
Well done to all grades. A great day for the club and another $1000 on the bar at the Greengate Hotel. If I only knew where the Grengate was'
Yours in Cricket,
The much anticipated 2nd Grade Report
Captain Howitt reiterated the importance of this match against easts in the context of our season during the warm up.
The rest of the side reiterated the importance of winning the toss and batting on what looked like a great Killara wicket, on a blistering hot day. Sure enough, the coin toss gods continued to frown upon Howitt and the Stags were in the field.
No mention of this in the report?
The first session saw some brilliant bowling from the 3 medium pacers, Durie, Medcalf and Michael. 2 late breakthroughs saw the Stags go to lunch with 2 Easts wickets in the bag, the product of some persistence with both ball and in the field.
It would be fair to say we were also happy with the runrate, less than 3, which is unheard of at Killara.
The second session saw two contrasting hours. The 3 aforementioned bowlers, again continued to toil in the heat, and between them claimed another 5 Easts scalps within the first hour after lunch. Easts 7-120. However, the heat and flattening wicket gradually started to take it's toll, and the most intelligent batting of the day saw them still 7 down at tea, with a sizable partnership building.
It would be remiss of me not to mention here the amazing spread that is turned out, week in week out for tea, by Marea Michael and friends. Many agree it is rivalling the best in grade cricket at the moment, as evidenced by the empty trays and plates at the conclusion of the 20 min break.
The aim in the final session was to wrap the innings up quickly, with our target being 230. The injection of young Chris Archer into the attack proved a stroke of genius, one of a few from Howitt through the day, and our goal was more or less achieved with Easts all out for 231.
"Cuppy" Michael picks up an Easts' pole
12 overs remaining in the day saw the Stags confident we could etch away at the total, however the Easts bowlers had other ideas, utilising the new ball and deteriorating pitch to the utmost, claiming 3 Gordon wickets in the short spell. At 3-25 at stumps, with a little over 200 to chase down, the game hangs in the balance. However, Easts wont be counting on the desire of this group of boys to continue our roll and momentum towards semi-finals.
2nd Grade Report vs Penrith
A trip to Howell Oval was exactly what the pedometers on the 2nd graders didn't need. With a little bit of rain in the air, and some strangely damp areas surrounding the wicket there would be a delayed start. It was evident that the toss was crucial. More so than in previous rounds. Howitt has nothing short of a pathetic record at the coin toss. Many people say the coin toss is a good test of character. I couldn't agree more. With there being a lengthy delay before ball one, the Stags sat in the dressing room and talked life. With the likes of O'Neill-Fuller, Livermore etc. life couldn't be any more complex... nay bizarre. The topics ranged from how the people who work in toll booths get to work, to camping with Jordan Holmes. A large portion of the 11 had been certain the game would be called of for the day, and perhaps this was evident in the way Gordon performed on Day 1.
Hoppa comes to the rescue in the first dig
Needless to say Gordon was sent in, and there was trouble from the outset. Cashman, Michael, Livermore, Dowsley, Bombas, O'Neill-Fuller and Higgins were dismissed early and cheaply seeing the scoreboard read 7-43. Hoppa and Medcalf salvaged some pride and helped take the score to 120 before we were all out. Old maid "fingers" on the scoreboard at Howell was loving every minute of the black cats bowling as he gave the no look flick of the fingers to produce perfect numbers every time in the wickets column. Brilliant score board attending. Huey needs to take note.
With around 35 overs still to be bowled in the day, Gordon was confident of being in a strong position by the end of day 1. To Penrith's credit they batted much, much better than us on a difficult batting wicket. Medcalf and Dowsley did have some success taking a wicket each - all be it due to some of the worst and according to Michael dishonest wicket keeping seen since Christopher Skase donned the gloves for the Majorca XI. Medcalf was the first to strike after receiving some sound advice from his drinking buddy Craig Simmons. He caught the edge of the left handed opening bat, Beadle, only for Higgins to drop the catch with his hands and then catch it in the flap of his right pad.
O'Neil-Fuller lets another delivery pass
Dowsley then bowled perhaps the worst ball of the day to nip the edge of the other openers slashing bat. The ball slowly descended in the direction of the keeper's gloves and it was certainly touch and go whether or not it carried. Higgins was quite confident it had carried - as was the square leg umpire, however whether Higgins was using the "two bounces - kick up - one hand" ruling is still unknown. Either way the score finished on 2-99 at the close of play.
Day 2 brought about much the same sort of weather as 7 days prior. The stags were keen for rain and a draw, however it was not to be and we started on time. Stephenson and Hokin opened the bowling and bowled straight lines to restrict Penrith to a rather sluggish run rate considering the context of the game. The 20 odd runs needed for first innings point were passed without the loss of any further wickets and came after 7-8 overs. Two direct hit run-outs from Higgins and Stephenson got the boys a little excited as evident from the wicket keepers trousers, and after Hokin claimed an LBW, Penrith declared with a 23 run lead. With 9 overs before lunch the plan was simple. NO wickets down at lunch and then maybe we could give them a target to chase after tea.
Lunch came and "fingers" had the score at 4-10. Our day was done, and we were now playing for pure survival. Michael who now boasts the record of 4 ducks from his last 5 trips to the crease had an extremely interesting round. After being bowled in the first innings and not hitting a ball, perhaps his plan should have been to use the bat to hit the red thingy coming at him. Alas, he was clean bowled again in the second dig ' again without hitting a ball. I believe he faced 9 balls for the match. Without hitting one of them. Howitt Snr. Wishes me to inform that during the lunch break he spilt a beetroot across his creams. Top match for the Christmas Cake.
Dowsley smokes one through wide mid-off
4-10 soon became 5-12 after JOF was caught in the gully. Bombas was dropped soon after by 3rd slip and the score could have been 6-13... However the catch was grassed and the score rocketed to 5-17. Cashman, the man with the most beautiful smile in grade cricket, along with "Sundry" Bombas saved the game for the stags with a 120 run stand. Bombas fell on 43, but it was the Man-Cash who stood up on a tough deck against some really controlled bowling. His textbook throw downs cover drive was ever present on his way to century number 9 for Gordon. He ended up on 110* thanks to a couple of tough drops by the keeper and a mix-up between point and cover point when on 91. Other than that a flawless innings. The rope in his cricket kit courtesy of Sherman was subsequently cut up.
The game was called with 10 or so overs to play and the score on 7-160 odd.
6 very important points to the black cats, and 0 to the Stags. But at 5-12, still needing 11 to make Penrith bat again, it could have been far worse. We almost gifted Penrith 10 points, and had it not been for Cashman and Bombas it would have been a different story. Credit must go to Penrith who completely outplayed us in every aspect of the game.
Merry XMAS.... I've asked Santa for a home game. Fingers crossed
Stags bite the Sharks
2nd Grade travelled to Caringbah looking to avenge the disappointing loss to Parramatta the previous week. A new wicket-keeper with an odd haircut, a much anticipated pre-match soccer contest and a punctual John O'Neill-Fuller were a few of the fresh changes that would hopefully get the Stags' season back on track. Some things never change however, as the bottom five won the match convincingly and Howitt lost the coin toss. With a bit of grass on the surface it wasn't a bad toss to lose and line and length bowling would be the key to success.
Another big score for Smokin' Hokin
Jordy (Jordan Holmes) opened the bowling with Medcalf and both bowled good lines to frustrate the batsmen and keep the runs to a minimum. After a quick word to Howitt at the top of his mark, Medcalf threw in a slower ball and found the edge of the flashy opener's bat with Reg taking a regulation catch at slip. Dowsley replaced Medcalf from the McDonalds end with immediate success, taking the edge of the Sharks' dangerous looking captain and setting up a solid hour for the Stags. Jordy and Dowsley continued to toil away and were unlucky not to pick up more wickets for themselves, as they beat the bat on numerous occasions with good pace and bounce.
The skipper (Ed Howitt) inserted himself into the game with immediate success, forcing the struggling opener Williams into a rash, lofted shot to mid-on. This was a big wicket for Gordon, as Williams was the man replacing JOF's close mate Phil 'Jaquesy' Jaques in the 1st grade squad for week 2. Apparently Phil and John were old cricket or school friends somewhere down the track. Howitt reminded us that it wasn't only JOF with famous mates, as Dylan Connell seems to have quite close friendships with TJ, Sully and Lambos just to name a few.
The skipper was always good at musical statues
Blinga (Josh Ling) and Jordy joined the party after the drinks break and deservedly picked up a wicket each after tying the Sutherland batsmen down and forcing them into error. Enter Rod 'Smokin, Hokey Pokey, Rocket' Hokin. Rocket continued his excellent form this season by picking up two wickets at a vital time for the team. His leg-spin was controlled and he bowled with good flight and variation.
The clouds rolled in and the heavens opened up in the afternoon, forcing an early finish to proceedings on Day 1. Sutherland were 7/260 odd.
Going into Day 2, the Stags knew that quick wickets were needed, and any score under 300 was the target set by Skipper Howitt. The day really belonged to Rocket, as he picked up another 2 wickets and threw down the stumps in what he regarded as a 'regulation' run-out.
An interesting talking point during the breaks in play was the large, banana-like object protruding from the pants of Missy (Ian Higgins). After debating whether it was the biggest box we have ever seen, Missy assured us that it was probably time he put safety first and went out and bought a box for himself this week- I'm sure if you ask him nicely, Mitch might personally fit it for you Missy!
One of the most lethal combinations in Sydney Grade Cricket - Missy, Mitch and the Banana
Chasing 299 for victory, 2nds started the chase well, with Reg (Damon Livermore) and Cashy (Jeremy Cashman) leading us into battle. After looking good early, Cashy fell to a sharp catch at gully. Reece Bombas joined Reg and together they kept the runs flowing, with Reg in particular continuing his purple patch of form with a well-made half century. Wickets continued to fall and soon Nick Dowsley joined Rocket in the middle for what would be a match-winning partnership. Looking for some much needed time in the middle, Dowsley hammered cover drives and sweep shots at will and re-established the form that scored him so many runs last season. Rocket was equally punishing, cutting and driving the spinners to all parts of the ground. With only 20 runs or so to win, Dowsley fell to the toiling leg-spinner and was out for 78- an impressive and well-timed knock. Rocket was joined by Medcalf who guided Rocket to his hundred and the Stags to the Sharks' total. It was a big win for the team and the club, as Sutherland have traditionally been a strong outfit in the higher grades. It was also good to see the Stags move up the table in the Club Championship- keep up the good work everyone.
Watching big partnerships unfold is always exciting for the other players watching from the grandstand, but it also leaves a bit of spare time to tell stories or play games. In between signing petitions, naming 10 parts of the body that are only 3 letters in length, naming the 3 European states that end in the letter 'o', or hearing about Reg's good friend and shopping partner 'Fat Shazza', Jordy Holmes' stories really take the cake, but I refuse to go there now- ask Choppy if you're really interested.
After doing some research I realised that Rocket has now scored 3 hundreds in his last 8 innings for Gordon. He has also taken around 10 wickets for the season and is probably one of the most under-bowled and underrated players at the club. If I have learnt anything from my university education over the past 3 years, it's that you should always acknowledge your sources when repeating information - lest it be plagiarism - so I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod for providing me with those stats for the report- cheers Rocket.
From the Hokin personal collection of memorabilia
2nds will travel to Howell next week to tackle the Panthers in what will be an extremely important game in the context of our season.
Remember one thing Gordon,
'Winning isn't everything''' it's the only thing'
2nd Grade upset loss to Parramatta
After skipper Howitt won the toss and elected to bat, the long 2nd grade batting list was keen to get some runs on the board. Amazingly, for the third game in four, only half the lineup was required as Brad Razool, Damon Livermore and Rod Hokin all showed their class and plundered the Parramatta attack. Players such as Cashman, Dowsley and Longhurst once again watched on from the pavilion.
The Dazzler celebrates in his own chilled out way
Brad's innings may be described as masterful, sublime or epic, yet those simple, powerful words fail to adequately describe his feats. He amassed 236 runs off 244 balls, with 32 boundaries and 2 sixes, in a phenomenal 6 hours of concentration. It was an innings of extreme class, with many runs scored along the ground with exquisite timing. He broke a number of records. Most notably, it was the highest score ever by a grade batsmen, breaking the previous record of A.E. Carroll of 228* in 1906. Furthermore, he was only the 2nd player ever to score two double centuries for the club, alongside the great Charlie Macartney, and was the only player to ever do this in one season. At the tender age of 19, one wonders what other records Brad has in his sights.
Remarkably, Brad only gave two chances in his innings, both rather comical. First, he was close to being run out after celebrating almost too extravagantly after reaching his double hundred and then later, he was again almost run out when completing his record breaking 229th run after dropping his bat whilst turning for a second and resorting to a baseball style slide into his crease.
The supporting roles played by Damon and Rod can't be forgotten. Coming off an unbeaten century the previous week, Damon continued his great from and scored a solid 84, and was unfortunate not to score back to back centuries. With his wily experience, Damon knew his innings wasn't enough to catch the eye of the photographers and proceeded to run onto the field after Brad's record breaking run to give his opening partner a handshake and get his picture on the website.
There I am... I'm the one next to The Dazzler
Rod started his innings rather nervously as he saw off the last few overs before tea, but from then on played a devastating innings, with many powerful shots straight off the spinners. He effortlessly amassed his first century of the season and could well have scored many more had the declaration not been announced with the score 3 for 432.
We had 7 overs at the youthful Parramatta openers at the end of the day, and riding high on the euphoria created by Brad's efforts, we were confident of claiming a couple of scalps. Unfortunately, none of the bowlers were allowed to settle and a dropped catch meant Parramatta ended the day at 0-32, a mere 400 runs behind.
You can't lose with that many runs, can you? Surely only the weather could stop us from claiming six points, or maybe even ten. Wrong. We lost. It was extremely disappointing that the superb individual efforts on day one were wasted a week later. Frankly, Brad, Rod and Damon deserved better.
All the bowlers toiled hard, with Holmes and Hokin impressive, yet in contrast, the fielding was shocking and a real disappointment. We dropped a further 8 catches and missed a couple of run out chances. Even when Parramatta were 8-300, the game still seemed well beyond the reach of our opposition, and this was reflected in our relaxed, over confident attitude. They eventually passed our total 8 down, with a few overs left in the day.
The Dazzler and his more than capable understudy, Rocket, on his way to a flawless century
It seemed that we had too many runs of the board. I seriously believe if we were defending 350 or even less we probably would have won the game. Every time a chance went down we simply shrugged it off and waited for the next chance to come. By the time we realized that we may actually lose the game it was too late and we were punished. We must learn from this.
The 2nd day performance was embarrassing and to put it simply, we have to improve. We have a target to reach before Christmas, and despite this setback, it is still achievable.
We owe it to ourselves to bounce back next weekend, so let's do it
2nd Grade Match Report ' Round 6 v Wests
A determined Gordon side looking to make up for the disappointment of the previous drawn game against Fairfield-Liverpool, rolled up to Pratten Park on Saturday morning to find the ground in superb condition and weather fit for a perfect days cricket. The pitch looked flat and with no clouds in the sky, it goes without saying that Hoppa lost the toss and the Stags were out in the field first.
(John O'Neill Fuller hits the turf)
Yet another new new-ball attack in Josh Ling and the in-form debutant Umayr Amir bowled well without much luck early on, the Wests openers chancing their arms and this was summed up with a flick of the wrist by the Wests opener ( a la Gilchrist) into the seating on the short point boundary.
Despite Ed Howitt and Neil Longhurst dragging the run-rate back a little, drinks came at 0-70 off 14 overs and Wests looking in a strong position to take the game away from us. Whether it was drinks, the minute's rememberance silence or John O'Neill-Fuller's chirping at the young left-hander, but Hoppa picked him up thanks to a smart catch at mid-wicket by Damon Livermore diving forward. Two overs later Longhurst picked up the number 3 caught by Brad Rasool as the ball lifted and nipped away just brushing the glove as he defended forward. I don't care what anybody says, it was 'a pearler!' 2-80 off 20 and it was a different game.
(Josh Ling goes to the skies)
Nick Dowsley and Matt Michael were both successfully introduced into the attack, with Digger picking up the obligatory wicket with that 'heavy' short ball well caught again by Reg at mid-wicket, and Cupcake coaxing a feathered edge to Rasool from one that left the batsman. With numbers 5 and 6 getting themselves established and looking to up the momentum of the innings once again, Longers was re-introduced and picked up both of them in his more familiar line of burglary ' caught at long-off ' both well taken by the Cake and Jeremy Cashman to make it 6-165. Dowsley finished his 10 straight for great figures of 1-29, and Longhurst also bowled out with 3-53.
Michael (2-40 from 10) and Howitt re-entered the fray at opposite ends to pick up another wicket apiece with catches from Digger and Longers respectively, whilst keeping the run-rate down, and coupled with superb direct hit run-outs from JOF and Waaaard the innings was brought to a close after 48.1 overs, with 197 runs scored. The team effort in the field was superb with 8 guys taking a catch or a run-out, and everyone contributing in some shape or form which was an excellent effort on a very good batting pitch.
(Umayr Amir in action at Pratten)
Despite his excellent field placings, great run out and metronome-like figures of 2-19 from 8 overs, Howitt was also involved in possibly the worst piece of fielding ever witnessed. Shortly after the 9th wicket fell, the Wests tailender dropped the ball at his feet off Hoppa's bowling and set off for a quick single, alas managing to kick the ball when setting off straight to Hoppa with accuracy Steven Gerrard would have been proud of. Howitt then proceeded to swivel on a sixpence, a yard from the popping crease and bang in front of all three. He could have walked to the stumps, or even thrown it to The Dazzler at the other end. Instead he went for the underarm technique. And missed. Wasn't even close apparently. And it also cost us an overthrow as the Pom was actually on the fence for once where he was supposed to be down at long-off. Hoppa if you want to come and join in with the Green Shield guys for some fielding next week you're more than welcome, I'm sure Wilbur will mind the nets for you!
Despite only having a modest total to chase, we found ourselves at 2-54 at 15 overs with some accurate stuff from the Wests openers. (But what about) The Dazzler played round one and was trapped LBW for 4 and Cupcake caught at point off a leading edge trying to pump one over the square-leg fence for 19. However during this period Reg was looking solid as a rock steadily building his innings, and once he was joined by JOF there was no turning back. The pair added an unbeaten 144 for the 3rd wicket seeing us home in the 38th over to comfortably claim a bonus point. Reg scored runs all around the oval, the highlight being a huge 6 over long-on off the left-arm leggie.
JOF was extremely fluent from ball 1 and was particularly punishing off the back foot through the off side, and along with great running between the sticks they hardly gave Wests a sniff of their wickets. Reg ending with 101 from 126 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes, and Pumps 56 from 60 with 8 boundaries.
A rip-roaring rendition of the song which shook the foundations of the temporary changing rooms, followed by the news from Tiddles that BIC had taken the last wicket in 4th grade to give us 6 out of 6 left a very happy and confident camp, knowing if we can keep to the skipper's target of what is now a minimum of 2 wins from our next 3 matches then we can really kick on after Christmas and cement our position within that top 6.
And finally ' is there anything in that we didn't train all week yet we won all 6 grades? Same again next week? Except for Hoppa and his underarm practice'
(Hi Mum, Its Neil here from down under)
Second Grade vs. Fairfield-Liverpool
The Gordon second grade team arrived at Rosedale Oval sporting several new faces to the side that mauled Hawkesbury the previous week. An injured Ed Zelma came down from the top grade to play as a bat and Neil Longhurst was making his second grade debut after a good start to the season in 3's.
(Matt Michael at Rosedale)
We won the toss and batted on what would have to be one of the best tracks in Sydney at the moment. Rasool and Livermore opened up for the Stags and both began where they had left off the previous round; middling everything. Unfortunately for Reg, just like the previous week he chopped on after making a promising start. Rasool followed suit about half an hour before lunch for 23 after being given out LBW. Zelma and Michael batted really well together to get the Stags to lunch only 2 down. Their running between wickets in this period was exceptional and went a long way to setting up a good total later in the day.
Unfortunately half an hour into the second session with the score on about 110 we lost Ed Zelma for 24 to what was an average caught behind decision to say the least. Cashman joined Michael at the crease and proceeded to watch the Cake belt the loose ball all over Rosedale oval in what was an innings of high quality and class. In a partnership of 80-90 Cuppy would have hit at least 60 eventually bringing up his hundred just after the first drinks break in the middle session. His innings was characterized by aggressive running between wickets and trademark slaps to the fence; it was evident that the Fairfield side had no answer.
Cashman was dismissed for 27 just before the break bringing Hokin to the crease. Unfortunately for the Stags we lost Michael to a tired shot on 110 and then Nick Dowsely before the tea break leaving us 6 down for 210. Although we were still in a good position and we batted deep it was disappointing to lose so many wickets on the break and it's certainly something we will have to work on in the coming weeks.
Longhurst and Sweeney fell cheaply after the break which brought Howitt and Hokin together in the middle. These 2 batted really well; both finding the fence regularly. Hokin played some great cut shots that raced into the fence and Hoppa forced the ball brilliantly through extra cover. This partnership put Gordon back on track to reach 300, however we fell short at 289 after losing Hoppa then Hokin fairly close together; Hokin out for an important and entertaining 66. Fairfield got off to a good start against the new ball leaving Day 1 0-40 in pursuit of 289.
(Rod Hokin in action)
The following week however saw the weather, bocce and poker take over. Much to the disappointment of the Gordon side we started late, not just an hour late either. We started at 10 to 3. Long story short, Fairfield had 54 overs on Day 2 to score an additional 249 runs and the game was evenly poised.
Fairfield got off to another good start against the new ball pairing of Michael and Ling. Both however bowled really well in trying conditions and were unlucky not to breakthrough early. A dropped catch off Ling and some early errors in the field were not making our task any easier.
With the score 0-82, Howitt brought himself on with immediate results cleaning up the Fairfield opener. Hoppa is a guy that is perfectly suited to this situation and he proceeded to control the game from the moment he got the wet ball in his hands. He took the first 4 wickets for not many as Fairfield began unraveling after a good start. From the other end it is important to note that Neil Longhurst helped create a considerable amount of pressure by bowling a spell characterized by exceptional line and length; in his first game of 2's he was impossible to get away.
Michael replaced Longers and got the next 2 wickets while Hoppa claimed his well deserved 5th . Unfortunately for the stags, with the score now at 7-150 the Fairfield boys shut up shop and focused on batting the remaining overs. Hoppa made several bowling changes in an effort to force the breakthrough however it was not to be; the Lions finishing 7-220 in pursuit of 289. All bowlers performed well and the fielding and catching was pleasing. Howitt finished 5-36 and Michael 2-65.
The drawn result was a disappointing way to end a game that had more potential; unfortunately though the weather cannot be helped. The second graders will go into next round confident of points after another good performance at Rosedale.
Second grade report v Hawks
With the promise of a 35 degree day, the captain was under immense pressure to win the toss and bat. He didn't, he tries to say a good toss to lose cause there was a bit in the wicket'the boys weren't having it. The Stags were in the field!!
(Brad Rasool at Killara)
Gordon bowled well for the opening session, particularly Ling and Medcalf, but dropped catches would prove costly (as they generally are). Lunch saw the Hawks in a good position only 2 wickets down with 120 on the board. Gordon only had themselves to blame and looked to redeem themselves in the middle session with amore polished session and seering heat. At least we weren't engulfed by flies!!! Further dropped catches (6 in total) and balls going everywhere in the air but to fielders and at tea the Stags were looking down the barrel of chasing 400+ the following week.
To our credit we fought hard in trying conditions and managed to restrict the Hawks to 354, with Gordon taking the last 5 wickets for 90 runs. Pick of the bowlers were Nick Medcalf ( 3/57) and Matt Michael (3/64), with Josh Ling bowling particularly well and whose figures did not reflect his two good spells.
We ended up the first day at 0/14 and were confident of reaching our target the following week given the quality of batsmen we had in the side. The day ended with the Gordon sipping on the communal beers on the balcony of the Killara pavilion, with the Hawks particularly keen to get back home and not mingle after a days play with a beer or softie. A bit disappointing given every other club comes out of their dressing room for a beer after the game with the home team. (Ditto 2nd week)
(Matt Michael at Killara)
DAY 2 (Wow!!!)
The day was chilly and again Howitt was reminded of the toss last week and who had the better fielding conditions. Rasool and Livermore saw the Stags through the first hour and the Hawkesbury bowlers only breakthrough came when Livers (41) played on after an opening stand of 81 (19 short of 25 fantasy partnership pts each). Hinton strode to the crease and a few of the boys were happy he was at the crease and not in the pavilion (captain particularly) as he was rambling on as only Hinton can.
I am not going to beat around the bush, talk about scores at lunch and when each player reached milestones. Lets get straight to the point'.Rasool and Hinton absolutely belted Hawkesbury. Balls flying into and over the fence at an unbelievable rate.
They scored 120 in the first hour after lunch, and even though Hinton departed for 103 through the 2nd hour, the 2nd hour (with Matty Michael at the crease) reaped another 110 and at 2/390 the game was called off at tea. 1st beer consumed at 2:15 and a few boys were a little worse for wear prior to the league test commencing.
(Sam Hinton at Killara)
Rasool completely dominated the opposition attack and scored an incredible 201*, with 7 x 6's and 26 x 4's. The Dazzler and Hintdog put on a 2nd grade record partnership of 244 for the 2nd wicket. The club record individual score is 228, but I think the Hawks had been through enough and Dazzler was pretty content with his double. Lets also not forget this was Sammy Hinton's 2nd hundred for the club, both coming in the space of 4 games. But, it is all about the bloke who gets the double and Rasool takes all the accolades, just as bloody James Packman did when he scored 204 many years ago and some other bloke got 107 and was completely forgotten.
This was batting at it's best and the boys kept all in the pavilion warm with constant clapping of boundaries. Even when Hinton departed, Matty Michael (34*) came in and absolutely smoked'em .The complete dominance saw the talent of Cashman, Hokin and Dowsley not get a hit and I know when there time comes they are more than capable of emulating, maybe not to the extent of the Dazzler, more three figure scores.
So'.at the end of the day we won easy so it was a good toss to lose. There was something in the wicket and the boys better have more faith when losing the toss in the heat. Fielding in oppressive conditions is character building and maybe just we needed after two fairly comprehensive losses. Who knows what may have happened if we batted first? Well done, but we now must focus on our trip to Rosedale and work hard on our catching.
2nd grade report v Sydney Uni
Having experienced a heavy loss at the hands of a strong UTS Balmain outfit over the long weekend, 2nd grade were looking to bounce back to the winners circle against the students from Sydney Uni.
(Reece Bombas at Killara vs Uni)
Howitt won the toss, albeit a dubious toss of the coin and his first toss win since prior to Xmas in 2005, and elected to bat on a used and worn Killara wicket. With Sydney Uni boasting former state squad rookie Martin Paskal returning from a back injury, Gordon were under pressure early and lost the wickets of Livermore and Hinton ( both without scoring) to loose shots and we were under the pump at 2/7 0ff 7 overs.
Brad Rasool stood firm and played some superb shots and with Jeremy Cashman looked to consolidate the innings. Rasool (44) fell after doing the hard work and soon after Cashman was back in the pavilion and the Stags had to consolidate again through Rod Hokin ( 19) and Reece Bombas (48).
They batted well up to the 2nd drinks break and with wickets in hand our goals were set at a score of 200.
However, two wickets fell with the departures of Hokin and Sweeney to the Uni skipper, leaving another consolidation at a time where we needed to lift the run rate. Bombas batted extremely well and with Medcalf saw our total begin to reach our revised drinks target, until Bomber fell just short of a fifty. Reece has really matured as a batsman this season and his innings thus far this season can be attributed to the work he has put in both on and off the field.
(Brad Rasool during his 44)
The captain (28) joined Medcalf (33*) and they enjoyed a flurry of runs at the end of the innings, putting together 56 in just 5 overs and enabling Gordon to reach a very defendable total of 216. The Killara pitch was very two paced and quite uneven and we knew with this as ally, together with a good fielding and bowling effort, a victory could be achieved.
Dylan Connell and Will Sweeney (a timely return to form) took the new ball and pressured the Uni batsmen, but only one breakthrough was achieved in the initial 12 overs when Connell trapped the opener LBW. After this, the remaining bowlers failed to bowl a consistent length and too many 4 balls were dished up to the opposing batsmen and Uni began to take control.
They remained in control throughout their innings, with only Rod Hokin causing any real concerns with his sharp turning leg spinners. Even on a slow Killara wicket, 216 was too small a total to defend given the short boundaries and quick outfield. We didn't drop any catches but did miss at least 5 run out opportunities.
2nd grade are now looking forward to the next clash with Hawkesbury and getting back on the winning trail. This will be achieved through hard work at training and playing smart cricket both in the field and with the willow.
Ed Howitt Jnr.
Second Grade Report vs UTS Balmain
Coming off a convincing win in the 1st round of season 2006/07, the B Stag's arrived at the picturesque Drummoyne Oval eager to back up their solid start to the season. The Stag's would be without their courageous captain who retired hurt for the match, and his prot'g' Hosking whose excuse for missing the match revolved around an anniversary with a lucky young lady. Pre-game discussions among the ranks couldn't decide whether this excuse was worse than the actual reason for his omission, but all agreed that he'd have plenty of time to think about it next week in 5's.
(Brad Rasool shows his keeping skills)
After a dominant performance in the warm-up, stand in skipper Reginald won the toss and the Stag's would bat. On what looked a great batting wicket, the skipper stressed the importance of approaching the game an hour at a time, with an emphasis on batting all day to ensure that the guys in the sheds could watch the Swans go round later in the day. However, a lack of patience mixed with poor shot selection meant that the Stag's innings didn't extend to the first bounce at the MCG, a bitterly disappointing result for the side.
The innings got off to a slow and steady start, with honest contributions from Uncle 'Tell us a story' Livermore (32), Rod 'Rocket, yeah!' Hokin (46), and Reece 'desperately in need of a hair cut' Bombas (35) getting us to lunch 3 down for around 90 ' probably fair to say that we were just a bit off the pace at this stage' the next session would be vital. And so it proved to be with the Stags succumbing to poor shot selection more so than any great bowling feats from our opponents, as we lost the last 7 wickets before tea with the scoreboard reaching a meager 179.
(Chris Archer at Drummoyne)
Looking around the sheds, we knew that we'd missed out on a ripe opportunity to bat all day and amass a mountain of runs, but could we restrict the Tiger's to less? The short answer to this is unfortunately no. But this was definitely not through lack of effort or application. Although the scoreboard read 0/80 by close of day one, we were almost always in the hunt for a wicket, with D-Train Connell beating the bat consistently and having a sharp chance grassed at bat pad early on.
The clear difference between the 2 sides was plain for all to see. The Tiger's consistently took better options in all facets of the game and this led them to their strong position on day 1. It's fair to say that they as players knew their limitations much better than those among the Stag's ranks. The majority of our 10 wickets fell to extravagant strokes, and we too often bowled that 1 bad ball an over that released the pressure and ticked over the scoreboard. The Tiger's did not make these same mistakes.
(Nick Medcalf with an attacking field)
Day 2 came down to damage control for the Stag's, and with the exception of our final half hour in the field, we were always well in the hunt for wickets. The majority of the bowling was of high standard and the fielding was excellent, it was just never going to be our day. The chances came, but when they did they were sharp and tough, and the Tiger's showed us how to build a 300+ score on a quality-batting wicket. Archie bowled well for 2/80 off 20, with Elliot and Dylan taking the left over poles.
The declaration came at 5/320 just before tea, and the some more applied batting got us to 3/99 at close of play, with unbeaten 33's to 'Slam'n' Sam Hinton and Elliot 'brother of Dan' Richtor.
(Yours - Sam Hinton and Reggie Livermore)
So not the best of performances from the B graders, but we certainly learnt a great deal from the first 2-day game of the season, as I think the rest of the grades did. Best of luck to all grades in getting back in the winners circle this weekend!
Second Grade Report vs. St George
Second Grades' first match report for the 06/07 season and I have the privilege of writing it. After the lofty standards set last year by the likes of Higgins (Brokeback) Stobo, Plummer and Kleem for his poetry, it is a tough ask to kick off a new season.
However this season Stobo has decided not to play and thus will not be writing match reports, instead he is showing his age be writing articles of events that occurred on the cricket field at a time when most of the clubs current players were in nappies, the womb, being conceived or hadn't even been thought of.
The third grade match report will be interesting with a number of strong contributors from last season in the same team, which may cause endless bickering in the change room each weekend to decide on that week's writer.
Anyway enough of the past or future and onto the events from Hurstville from the weekend.
A very strong 2nd grade side assembled in the home/away change room at Hurstville oval. For some reason, after many years, St George appear to have decided to swap change rooms. It was a surreal experience being in the 'other' change room at Hurstville this time around.
The pitch looked good, hard and with good covering of grass. Much discussion was entered into about the merits of batting or bowling first, luckily Howitt didn't have to decide as he called incorrectly and was informed that St George would be batting.
Connell got the 06/07 underway and the signs were not good as the very first ball found a thick edge, producing a fairly regulation catch for 2nd slip only for it to be grassed.
A few overs later another edge was found this time Uncle Reg (Damon Livermore) took a great catch low to his left, St George 1 for 20.
A good partnership followed with Gordon missing a number of opportunities. Medcalf and Archer bowled solidly but it was Rasool who made the breakthrough with a great run out in his debut as wicketkeeper in 2nd grade, St George 2 for 120.
Howitt brought himself on and with Hokin at the other end pegged back the St George innings, 2 more wickets fell in the closing stages. (I would normally use flurry in this situation however it does not suit as St George batted rather sedately towards the close of their innings). Leaving the Stags chasing 224 for victory.
Things did not start well for Gordon with Uncle Reg and Rocket (Rod Hokin) falling early. Rasool at the other end was looking good before being carried from the field having dislocated his knee cap whilst slapping the ball to the boundary through the covers. Leaving the Stags 2 ' for 30.
Reece Bombas joined Sam Hinton at the crease and the 2 of them compiled a masterful innings, steering the Stags out of trouble and all the way home. Hinton bringing up his hundred with a six, Bombas finishing in the 70's, the Stags home with 9 balls to spare and with 8 wickets in hand.
The team was congratulating Hinton and Bombas as they walked from the field, when the former was heard to say in the direction of Ed Howitt Jnr something along the lines of 'Pretty good value for $70,000', a reference to the fact that he felt he was undervalued in the inaugural Gordon fantasy league.
The song was sung with much gusto, a great way to start the season!!
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.
For the third grade schedule go to Fixtures
Third Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
Third Grade Report - Semi Final vs Wests
With only four sides remaining in the contest for the holy grail of third grade cricket, the Stags arrived at the spiritual home of Gordon cricket with the aim of securing a berth in undeniably 'THE most important game of the season.'
(Chris Archer during his 4 wicket spell)
With rain forecast for the weekend and the pitch spawning an array of divergent 'expert' opinions, Kell's did what he does best - losing the toss ' and the Stag's would bowl.
The Stag's pace trio were certainly not unhappy with this master stroke from 'Maffew' Kelly, however some fine strokes and fortunate slogs brought the scoreboard to 0/40 within ten overs. The prospect of a long, hot day in the field held little appeal for any of the Stags, so the fall of two quick wickets prior to drinks brought some much needed respite and shared bragging rights from the first hour.
With the danger players at the crease for the Magpies, the bowlers upped the ante significantly, as Jordan 'Rug-a-Rama' Holmes (3/27 from 9) and Chris 'I'll ask my mum' Archer (4/51 from 27) took control of the middle session and strangled the life out of the West's batting line-up. In Anthony 'covers captain' Sherman's parlance, the performance was simply 'roofless,' and given the amount of rain around, this was sure to be of concern for the West's game plan.
Only adding to the dominance of the performance was some excellent catching by all, some slick keeping from Makepeace including a sleight of hand stumping, and some superb support bowling, with Josh 'Gos' Ling (2/12 from 9), Elliot 'Geoffrey' Richtor (1/22 from 8) and Adair 'wicketless?' Durie (0/59 from 23) having Wests all out for 176 in the 75th.
(The wicketless Durie still looked good)
With 19 overs left to play on day one, Captain Kelly and 'Covers Captain' Sherman showed their respective class to post 0/66 in reply at the close of play - a fantastic start that barring the unexpected would see the Stags secure victory the following day. What was totally unexpected was the quality and quantity of the afternoon tea provided by one A. Sherman for the second day. After too many weeks of excuses for insufficient or erroneous tea contributions, Pic finally brought along his fair share ' how ironic then that he chose to do so on the day that play concluded pre-afternoon tea and so the bounty returned to North Ryde in the van!
The players arrived to grey skies and patchy downpours on the second morning, so with the covers pegged firmly in place by our expert Colts covers assistants, the Stags were left to amuse themselves with a friendly hand of five hundred. At best the table talk from Durie could be described as appalling ('seven' on second thoughts make that six hearts' and 'do you want me to win the lead?') and his ability to 'misplace' the joker mid-game is truly second to none.
Upon the resumption of play, the openers continued their fine form by despatching the loose ball and stealing singles where possible. The pair brought up their tenth century stand together before Sherman (70 from 82) fell 18 short of his 5000th grade run. Kelly (74 from 138) continued to demolish any loose bowling ' including three impressive 't-t-t-tonker' sixes.
'Powder puff' Hosking used the chance to get some solid time in the middle (17 red inks off 50) before 'the constant gardener' Garratt hacked 10 not out (from 12) including a lovely French cut past leg stump to bring up the winning runs. With the match secured, the captains agreed to an early finish and to the bemusement of some, a few less than expected hung around to celebrate our progression into the grand final (granted however that the end of a 15 season drought for some is worth celebrating!) This scribe rests assured that should all continue to plan this weekend, the celebration itself will deserve its own report!
(Pic hits out during his 70)
So get down to the home of the GDCC this weekend to watch the third choice team go around. This match represents the culmination of an enormous amount of preparation, determination and hard work by all of the players and officials of the club and a strong supporter contingent will only strengthen our resolve and lift our performance to bring the cup home as Colt's did last week ... back-to-back premierships ' a tremendous accomplishment - congratulations to Dave Millar and his troops.
3rd Grade secure a home semi
Well the day started with the senior players debating whether to bat or bowl on what look to be a flat wicket. Fortunately that was taken out of our hands as we lost the toss and were put into bat by the Tigers who had to win to progress. The innings started positively as Matt Kelly and Anthony Sherman used their (many many years) experience to get the Stags of to a solid start as the score reached 70 before Kells missed time a pull shot to mid-on and was out for 38.
(Elliot Richtor during his century on Sunday)
In getting to 38 Kells also broke the third grade record for most runs in a season, (well done mate).
James Hosking the joined Sherm and moved the score to 110 before the latter played a very loose shot and was caught at mid -off for 55 just 20 minutes before lunch. This triggered a collapse and left the Stags 5-120 at lunch and the less said about that passage of play the better.
Matt Makepeace and Elliot Richtor started after lunch trying to get the Stags innings back on track and the partnership just started to blossom before Peace lost his wicket. Archie (Chris Archer) joined Elliot who at this time was starting to look very solid.
(Adair Durie shows his batting style in semi)
The two formed a good partnership before Arch forgot to ground his bat behind the line when going for a quick two and had to go back for a second grounding. This meant an unfortunate run out just when he was looking good. The big Teddy bear (Josh Ling) joined Emo (Elliot Richtor) and the pair batted until tea with Emo on 51. Tea proved to be the end of the day as the heavens opened.
Day two started with the Stags trying to bat as long as possible. Emo with the help of Dinger (Josh Ling) got us through to a comfortable position with Emo on the verge of great ton before Josh was out caught at mid wicket. Judgie (Adair Durie) joined Emo and started to delight us with his late cuts but the real delight came when Emo guided a ball to third man to bring up his ton.
(Kells collects one of his fours)
We were finally bowled for 307 and left the Tigers 67 overs in which to get them.
There are not many time's that I agree with Mr. Positive (Sam Buono) but the innings that Emo played was full of class, elegance and most of all determination it was a fantastic innings and showed the rest of us what it takes to win finals. Well done Emo and I hope this is the start of great career in the higher grades.
With the Tigers facing a big total they came out hard and were 0-40 before Judgie struck twice, LBW and then bowled, before Jordy Holmes joined the party by removing Balmain's best bat and the Tigers where facing a uphill battle after that. More wickets to Jordy and Jugie had the Tigers at 5-89 as they both bowled long spells and put us in unbeatable position before having a rest.
Emo and Josh put the final nails in the coffin both with two wickets apiece along with a brilliant run out by James (powder puff) Hosking. A good win by the boys after being in trouble. "So bring on the Magpies".
(Jordan Holmes during semi)
Finally I would like to wish the Colts the very best of luck in pursuit of back to back premierships and hopefully one of three for the club this season.
Australia's Most Wanted
3rd Grade secure Minor Premiership
There were a number of wider smiles than usual at Asquith due to the quasi home ground feeling the location gave our Cental Coast contingent. Those smiles were distinctly contrasted to this author's regular annoyance at playing away from Chatswood and Captain Angry's (Matt Kelly) usual disposition.
The ground presented itself with very heavy dew and a pleasing tinge of green on the pitch. After the usual self-appointed team of Gordon 3rd Grade vice-captains provided Angry with the usual significant amount of conflicting advice, both captains decided to bowl with Northern Districts winning the toss.
Emo Richtor whips one off his legs on the way to 40
For those interested in seriously trivial trivia, Asquith is one of the only Sydney Grade grounds with its grandstand due east of the pitch; David Phillips and Hawkesbury's 3rd Oval being the others.
Angry and Pic opened with their regular aggressive strategy. This proved successful for the first 5 overs but a few overs of accurate bowling stopped the momentum. The re-implementation of those tactics proved disastrous, with Pic (10 off 19 balls) mistiming to mid-on in the 9th over (1-29) and Angry (16 off 35) slicing a knee high delivery to fine leg in the 10th (2-30). Pic was advised by first slip that a man of his age should not give his wicket away so softly, whilst Angry walked off the field sledging the groundsman for the slow, popping wicket. Angry later told Pic that he should have been hitting over mid-wicket, as opposed to over mid-on, given the in-swinging nature of the bowler. Good advice to take into the finals!
Peace and BG looked as if they would add some backbone to the innings with BG showing Angry and Pic how to hit over the infield, even on the slow, popping pitch. Peace was playing the perfect foil with classy drives and cuts. Unfortunately both were caught behind, Peace (26 off 29) driving in the 19th over (3-83) and BG (33 off 31) in the 21st (4-91) attempting to cut. Once again, one wicket brought two!
The webmaster made it there for Dale's brief stint at the crease
Buff Jones and Emo combined very well. Buff (31 off 39) dealt severely with the bowling for 10 overs including lifting his 3 pound 1 ounce bat horizontally on a number of occasions including a very flat six over square leg. Unfortunately Buff's forearms tired in the 31st over (5-152) with a cut going straight to the keeper similar to BG' either that or was too tired running threes on the long boundary.
Dale (1 off 6) joined Emo briefly before trying to cut the left arm orthodox hard to gully in the 32nd over (6-153).
Arch followed Emo's lead with sensible stroke-play and keen running; despite the groans from the tail when a number of balls from ND's spinners were hit along the ground as opposed to out of it. However, it did not take long for Arch and Emo to utilise their feet and the air once their eyes were honed. Both players looked very comfortable against the spin and took the team to the end of their spells.
The reintroduction of the opening bowlers was effective with Arch (27 off 52) out in the 44th over (7-210) flicking to square leg. Emo played correctly and sensibly throughout his innings with drives, cuts and glances combined with field-pressuring running. Despite his appearance of comfort, he was bowled by an in-swinging yorker in the 45th over (8-213) for the innings high 40 runs off 59 balls.
Adair checks out Jordon Holmes' MySpace page whilst waiting to bat
Ted's (Durie) stay at the crease was very short, out leg before in the 46th over (9-215) for 1 off 3 balls. As always though, he looked good and was unlucky with the ball pitching outside leg stump, although Jordan 'George The Animal Steele' Holmes (http://www.georgesteele.com/) later mentioned he looked 'plum' from the grandstand due-east!
The Animal Holmes joined Dingaling for some heart-stopping cricket; most particularly Jordie's calling and running between wickets. Despite the challenge of batting with Jordie (4 not out off 13), who showed clearly why he was number 11 and should not be promoted despite his burgeoning average, Dinga's timing and confidence with the bat was evident. Nonetheless, in the penultimate over Dinga (8 off 13) was given out leg before wicket' although he would have been dismissed a few balls earlier had ND noticed the umpire's finger prematurely going up before any appeal for caught behind.
At the change of innings, despite ND's 29 extras, the match was probably slightly in ND favour, although no one in the Stag's bowling armada seriously thought that 226 was not going to be enough.
The ND innings started like so many others this year with their opening batsmen either missing Jordie's and Ted's deliveries or letting the ball go through to the keeper. Unfortunately for The Man of Steele, the line for a wide was a foot outside off stump enabling the ND run rate to stay around 2 an over.
The Animal was soon able to hit the edge of an opener's bat and fortunately Emo was able to withdraw himself long enough from the slip cordon's discussions about fashion, jewellery, shoes and arms bands to take an absolutely screaming catch diving to his right at 3rd slip.
Not long after, ND's number 3 batsman edged a ball through gully, flicking Dale's fingers. Having not running a 2 yet, the batsmen were baffled by the possibilities and found themselves stranded mid-pitch with the ball in Peace's gloves from the usual bullet-like arm of Dale.
2 for not much soon became 3 for not much with Ted taking out the middle stump of another batman with the last ball of his spell. George 'The Animal' Steele finished his first spell of 5 overs with 1/14 and Ted had 1/5 off 7 overs.
ND had a long way to go and Emo and Dingaling were never going to allow them back in to the game with season economy rates of 3.48 and 3.73 runs per over respectively. Emo bowled his regular unyielding lines at medium pace with good movement, generating comments from the slip cordon that he should consider himself a bowling all-rounder. Emo was not impressed!
Is that ball going between Archer's legs?
On the other hand, Dingaling was uncharacteristically wayward; that was until Chairman of Selectors Geoff Hickman turned up to the ground between Dingaling's 3rd and 4th overs. The first ball of his 4th over rocketing into leg stump and the rest of his spell lifted to its regular standard. At 4 for not many, even ND did not believe the result of the game was not in doubt; bonus points and finals training became the focus for the Stags.
Then came something this commentator has never witnessed from fanatically observing all forms of cricket since the Windies bowled Australia out for 76 in the First Test of the 1984-85 Australian Summer; a batman getting into position to pull/hook a rising delivery, in this case from Dingaling, then having to uncomfortably pull out of the shot at the last micro-seconds, and then have the delivery adjudicated to be a wide. Wow!!!
In this tame section of the match I received my first age discriminatory sledge, from ND's teenage, middle-order, blond-headed upstart. It reminded me of my first 1st Grade game, back in the 1995-96 season against Penrith, when I found myself in dialogue with a chap unknown to me at the time named Rod Bower; when Rod informed me of his rather gigantic 1st Grade run tally, I replied that it sounded as if he should retire! Nonetheless, I spent the next few balls of this game in not altogether uplifting communication, mainly analysing our young protagonist's batting abilities and the position of ND in the game. This dialogue did not continue for long as the youngster soon misjudged the ground and throw speed of Dingaling in the outfield and was run out a long way from home.
Arch replaced Dingaling and Dale replaced Emo (0/14 off 7). Arch (0/33 off 7) didn't bowl as superb as we have come to expect, dropping short a few times, but everyone is allowed a day off. To Arch's disappointment, Pic at first slip soon strengthen the hypothesis that he only takes catches off no-balls. Although difficult to write, I am duty bound to mention that Pic actually took a clean, well-judged catch off Dingaling later in the innings.
Dale's (0/15 off 5) off-spinners were, and this is stated due to not seeing Dale bowl much, delivered with excellent flight and variation in pace and with good grip. Another arrow in Angry's quiver for the finals!
Although happy to allow 2 bonus points to pass without struggle in the name of finals training, Angry bought back his speed arsenal to ensure the 1 bonus point. Unusually, his pace triumvirate; The Animal (1-28 off 10), Dingaling (2/31 off 10) and Ted (3/11 off 10) were not able to complete the job, leaving one wicket standing. What better time for Angry to bowl his last over in grade cricket! You know he has opened the bowling for 1st Grade on a number of occasions!.
Josh Ling can never be accused of not putting in for his team
Sincerely, the 49th over was a pleasure to watch; so much so that I needed to view it closer, moving from fine leg to first slip. For the record, each ball was bowled with good pace on the line of off-stump with varying lengths but mostly up there. The over went for 1 run with the batmen not looking comfortable, inside-edging numerous deliveries.
After Jordie's next over, the ND innings concluded on 9/138, much further away than Pic's 'we've got 50 too many' hum predicted at the beginning of the ND innings.
Thanks to the erratic Sydney University team defeating Sutherland, the Gordon 3rd Grade team finished the preliminary season as minor premiers; this commentator believing any other position would be a disservice to this team's potential.
There is no doubt in this commentator's mind that if the Gordon 3rd Grade fields with the intensity all observers have come to expect, if it bats with the skill, confidence, judgement and patience that it has done throughout the preliminary season, and if the pace triumvirate lead as they have done for most of the season with the craft and patience of Arch and Emo in solid support, the next 3 weekends at Chatswood Oval with be truly memorable. However, cricket is indeed a funny game, one that punishes less than the best possible efforts, no matter of skill, experience or past performances. A 3rd Grade premiership only deserves to be won by the team that gives it all to that quest; and that team will also enjoy the joys of the victory most.
Bear, Ted, Teddy, or even Dairy (thanks Moth)' just not bloody Judge!
3rd Grade secure a spot in the finals
The Gordon 3rd grade team arrived at Beauchamp for day two against Randwick-Petersham with the thought that they probably had a sufficient number of runs to secure victory against a team who needed to win to stay alive. Indeed, the same topic had been discussed at the teams' dinner at wonderful Malabar on Thursday night. However, a difference of opinion between the teams' two most senior players emerged. One (let's call him Maffew) was of the view that "we've got 50 too many" (a little cocky but he did drink three times as much as anyone else that night) and the other (let's call him...well...let's just call him Pic) was of the view "nah mairn, why don't we just bat 'em out of the game mate?"
Pic shows the lower order how to "bat 'em out of the game"
It was certainly an interesting divergence of opinion, and one that the captain decided to defuse by agreeing to bat on for a maximum of 3 overs in order to get as close to 300 as possible. And so it was; despite the fact that the logic employed by "Pic" on Thursday night when taking charge of the ordering, which fell about halfway short of "enough", should have rendered him unable to even give his opinion for any other decision in 3rd grade this season.
The plan only partially went to script, as the Stags lost their final 3 wickets for the addition of 13 runs in 3 overs to finish on 291. By anyone's logic, this must have represented 63 too many.
What happened next could not have been predicted by either of Thursday night's protagonists. Durie and Sweeney opened the bowling and immediately had the men with effigies of Pegasus on their chests searching for answers. Durie struck first, a hammer blow to the opposition's chances. Barker, their captain, amongst their most productive batsmen and a truly good bloke to play cricket against, was adjudged lbw. Possibly a little unlucky but Durie's pace and movement forced him into an awkward position. One for not many and the Stags had started well.
(Chris Archer during his two wicket spell)
Sweeney was unlucky not to get a wicket as he bowled with good pace and movement, but perhaps not as unlucky as Ling not to get the new ball. Some drunk has-been was heard to say on Saturday night, "If you were going to pick a World XI to play at Beauchamp, Josh Ling would be a certainty". A ridiculously outrageous comment, because you would at least have to consider Glenn McGrath (and then probably pick Ling). Between Ling (3 for 14 off 10) and Durie (4 for 32), Randwick-Petersham were reeling at 6-40. At one stage Ling bowled 6 balls to the Randwick-Petersham number 5, that must rank amongst the best 6 consecutive balls ever bowled in 3rd grade. The 6th ball ending a brief but unhappy stay at the crease, with off pole lying on the ground.
Josh Ling will not be going to the Carribean despite his best attempts to fly there himself
A fantastic display of the combination of seam and swing bowling working in partnership. The partnership was no better illustrated than when Ling bowled a short ball above the eyes of Randwick-Petersham's up and coming opening batsman, just when he looked like he was starting to get some momentum. The shot was top edged to Durie at fine leg, who took a magnificent grab, diving forward and an inch off the ground.
Outright points were briefly considered but Otto and Magro had different ideas and combined some lusty hitting with some smart single-taking to help Randwick-Petersham into a position where the outright would not be an issue. Eventually they saw off the rampant pair of Ling and Durie on a very hot day. The ball was thrown to a new pair of Archer and Richtor to do some hard work on what was still a pretty good batting wicket and in the heat. Archer (2 for 37) turned the game back in Gordon's favour, breaking the partnership and he should be commended on the manner in which he stuck at his task. Great loop and drift, a good change of pace and an even better temperament. Arch gives it a good "rip" and he is developing into a fine bowler. Richtor (1 for 40) did his usual impression of a metronome and consistently hit line and length. He was harshly dealt with in an over, but it was due to the long handle approach as opposed to poor bowling, before he had the last laugh against a persistent critic from the previous week.
The opposition was dismissed, with Durie returning for the last wicket, for 164. As such the overnight score was more than twice as many "too many" than the musings of a mid-week drunkard. Curious. A number of after-play beers were shared with a the Randwick-Petersham boys on both day's play and they were great company. Such interaction with the opposition reinforces how the game should be played and highlights the difference that unfortunately seems to occur when we play away from Chatswood.
(Elliot Richtor at Beauchamp against Randwick Petersham)
A pleasing result, celebrated with a glass of Durie's 2004 Croser sparkling white, after the disappointment of the game against Bankstown. The second day was punctuated with excellent fielding and the result leaves the team more than unlikely to finish lower than third but with an opportunity to finish first or second. This week's preparation will be vitally important, before we take on our fiercest of rivals.
3rd Grade pumped to defend solid total
Here's to Kells, he's true blue!! A fantastic ton from Matt helped put 3rd grade in a strong position against Randwick-Petersham on Saturday, as we again look to bounce back at Beauchamp Park after a hard fought defeat at Bankstown.
It was a good start to the day from our skipper who won the toss and batted, then proceded to get us off to a cracking start along with Pic. They shared an opening partnership of 120, both scoring at a solid pace. Pic was out first for 52 but not before playing some trademark slaps through cover and over backward point.
Kelly goes over square in another delightful innings
Matt "Peace" Makepeace batted three. Full toss. Bowled. Zero.
Ben Garratt then came to the crease and formed another handy partnership with Kells before our skipper was eventually dismissed caught on the fence, ending a great knock of 101. Ben continued to bat well and and its promising signs to see him in form at this end of the season as he second top scored with 70.
A warning to anyone playing at Beauchamp thinking about taking a lap around the ground while your mates are batting, its not the best place to walk around and actually see the cricket, especially if you dont like spiders. But our wander around the perimeter on Saturday was quite eventful none-the-less thanks to our VB loving supporter Steve Makepeace, who entertained us as his beer frothed over as he walked past an attractive female, questioned young locals about whether they were having a good time as they made out on the park bench, and then proceded to fall down the embankment attempting to avoid a spiders web. Thanks Steve.
Back to the cricket and a rain/lightening delay had taken the momentum out of our innings after we had been set for a big score. Upon resumption, the Richtors, and then Shane Lin, found the scoring tough in dark conditions on a slow and now damp outfield. But they soldiered on and with the help of a couple of nice shots from Sweens at the end of the day brought the total to 7-279 at the close of play.
This could be Pic, anytime, anyplace. Another spanking shot square of the wicket.
A handy score on a slow outfield and a deck that Adair is positive will be very green this coming Saturday. Whether that is our final score or Kells decides to bat on, it will give our near full-strength bowling attack - sadly missing Jordy but very much glad to have Adair back after he missed our two recent failed attempts to defend scores, no doubt a factor in those scores being chased down - a great chance to bowl Randwick out and remain in the all-important 2nd position going into the last round.
3rd Grade Report vs Bulldogs
The Trois Stags arrived at their 13th consecutive 'most important game of the year,' as Howitt, the junior, could be heard exclaiming at Chatswood, the match was sure to be 'CRUCIAL.'
Many readers may not be aware, but at present Messieurs Kelly and Durie are keenly awaiting a response to their submission to the MCC that a third option, 'decline', be afforded the winner of the toss. Unfortunately this response has not yet been forthcoming, and so when the coin came up Gordon, 'Maffew' Kelly begrudgingly chose willow over leather.
Kelly enjoying the space in the bigger changeroom
With the visitor's dressing room resembling a Shawshank solitary cell, the Stag's bats resolved to spend a significant time out in the fresh air and sunshine of the yard to stave off the impending claustrophobia and homosexuality of a stay indoors (Confession: I am a huge Shawshank Redemption fan and am watching as I type- you might enjoy imagining Morgan Freeman delivering this text. He is this scribe's preferred narrator.)
Out in the centre the skipper was reunited with Anthony 'RSVP #1' Sherman at the top of the list on a day that Pic was determined to impress (at the cricket almost as much so as at the D+D later that evening). The pairing got off to an explosive start, mixing an array of powerful cuts and majestic drives to tick the scoreboard along at 5+ an over. But as often happens when it seems only a run out will break a partnership, the Dogs keeper produced a good piece of cricket to hit the single stump on offer to catch Kelly centimetres short attempting a leg bye.
Matt Makepeace joined his desperate and dateless 'date' (Matt you can do better! Now that I mention it, so can Pic!) at the crease and together they continued to keep the scorers busy until the Gibbon (Makepeace) smashed one to mid-off. From 2-80 at drinks, the Stag's lost a succession of wickets with Sherman (50+), Ben 'Gardener' Garratt (9) and Elliot 'Junior' Richtor (13) dismissed through poor shot selection more so than good bowling; 5-140 at tea, Kieran Jones and a Boycott-esque Dave Michael with blade in hand.
The focus of the afternoon session was simple; get to the last ten overs with wickets in hand to take advantage of a tiring opposition and post a defendable total. The achievement of this end only further reflects the resolve of this 3rd grade line-up, with firstly 'Buff' Jones (78) and 'George' Michael (23 including 2 Garratt-like consecutive sixes), followed by a gem of a partnership between Will 'Wilbur' Sweeney (50+ n.o.) and Josh 'Flippers!' Ling.
The value of these partnerships can in no way be overstated; taking the Stag's from a vulnerable position to post what is a very defendable total. Buff and Shamu played particularly well, cashing in on the bad ball and running superbly between the wickets. Worth noting was the dismissal of Jordan 'JB' Holmes for the 3rd time in grade cricket (not bad for a 29 year old!), Gordon all out 314.
Narrator and avid cricket follower - Morgan Freeman
Although two overs at our opponents failed to bear fruit, the Stags will return to complete the task of securing six points (while trying to keep the ball out of the water hazard beyond the pickets! Archer will be bowling from the dry end!)
And finally, what would a third grade report be without a Sherman pearler to finish:
Kelly, naked, preparing for a shower in the shower-sized visitor's dressing room: 'Pic, I'll give you five seconds to move your gear before it gets wet'
Sherman: 'Yeah mate, give me two secs will ya?'
Kelly: Well I'm giving you five; I think that's more than fair!'
Aptly narrated by Morgan Freeman
3rd Grade Report Vs Mosman
A big game for the third XI. Mosman on the fringes of the top six looking to make an impression and the Stags looking to back up from a loss the previous week to Easts.
Captain Kelly stressed the importance of keeping in the habit of winning. And win they did! It is unclear who won the toss but the Whales were batting. A slow start would have been slower if not for the assistance of the second top scorer Sundries who has hit a rich vein of form over the past few weeks and will no doubt feature in the team talks come finals time.
Adair Durie in action
Durie struck first with what was a magic delivery. Bowling over the wicket to one of the nine left-handers in the Whales line-up the ball hooped in and hit the top of off stump with the batsmen offering no shot. Next ball Durie struck again the number three going back to a length ball and being adjudged LBW.
A good piece of fielding and some terrible running saw the next dismissal. The ball went through the vacant cover region with Archie in pursuit from point; he reached the ball turned and threw to the bowler responding to Garratt's fervent cries. The runout was completed quite easily as it turned out the batsman had snapped his achillies. James Hosking was particularly aggrieved at the news after earlier informing the batsman that 'you don't get a runner for a broken heart'.
A partnership developed prior to the introduction of Elliot 'Emo' Richtor and Ling. This pairing changed the game quite dramatically as they bowled with great discipline. Emo tying up one end with his miserly medium paced noodles (1-19 from 8) and Ling (3-21 off 9) striking regularly to make short work of the Whales middle order.
Durie was reintroduced to the attack and picked up the wicket of the resilient opener. It was not what you would call an ordinary dismissal. Not by a long way. Durie pitched it short, the batman leaped up and back and looked to struggle with the pace as the ball cannoned straight into the ground then ballooned up behind him.
From the author's vantage point at square leg the ball looked set to land right on the bails. The batsmen assumed as much and in an attempt to get in the way of the ball extended a glove before realising that this would lead to his demise anyway and retracting it. Then it happened, it must have been some sort of brain explosion because he lashed out at the ball with his foot and only succeeded in making a mess of his off stump.
Holmes replaced Durie and was rewarded with a wicket holding on to a return catch. Archie was dotting it up from the other end as usual and he too was rewarded for his efforts claiming the final wicket with a ball that looked like clearing mid-on until it was realised that Josh Ling was in that position. Dinga did well to get down to it, taking it comfortably around his waist.
The successful opening combination, or the coast connection if you will, of Garratt and Makepeace was reunited with Kelly desperate for red ink to take his average above that of Hosking.
No red ink for Garratt but did he impress his (much) better half?
A steady start was interrupted when Garratt, seemingly caught in two minds, slapped one to mid off. The general consensus was that he was trying to convince his much better half in the crowd that he was a legitimate batsman, apparently the jury is still out (NB: Ben Garratt will be writing next week's report after shirking this week's editorial duties)
Hosking joined Makepeace and the two moved things along nicely until Hosking was adjudged LBW for 38. Kelly joined Makepeace with the intention of reaching the required 123 in less than 25 overs so as to assure the much-coveted double bonus point.
Makepeace fell twenty or so short of the total and Kelly who by now was off the mark and a few clean (and not so clean) hits into his 19* was joined by Richtor. Judgie was in quite a mood, unsure as to Kelly's plans regarding said double bonus point, was counting down the balls remaining on the scoreboard. A few more clean hits and the win was achieved two balls shy of the twenty-five over mark. Eight points.
The third XI is back on track and looking forward to this weeks clash with Bankstwown.
3rds go down to Easts
A close game of cricket but a very frustrating result.
There are many who are of the opinion that a close game of cricket is a "good" game of cricket. Evidence the Ashes contests in 2005. People forget that the close nature of day 5 of the tests 2 through 5 were each preceded by 4 days of unspectacular cricket at best, but more accurately described as banal, where the ball barely moved off a straight line on the first two days and hardly bounced above the knees.
Kelly in cracking form with the willow
To experience good cricket, a pitch has to be hard (not dry but hard) and have an even covering of grass. Fast bowlers should be able to see good bounce and carry and not be forced to rely upon rolling their fingers down the side of the ball or merely await a batsman's frustration of the ball not coming on to the bat. Equally, batsmen enjoy these characteristics so that they may punish bad deliveries and get full credit. Sadly, Trumper Oval at Paddington, named after one of the legendary attacking figures in our game, is unable to produce a surface that produces such cricket. Instead it is a war of attrition that forces a team that is used to playing on the surface every second week to set a 7 - 2 field (with no more than two slips) for the majority of the day and bowl few balls within two feet of the stumps. Smart thinking but bad for the game of cricket.
The result is a bowling team waiting for mistakes by frustrated batsmen, as opposed to being able to create opportunities. It is a credit to the home team's seam bowlers that they keep turning up each week for what they know will be a fairly tough day, before the slow bowlers come on to take even more pace of the ball and demand runs only be scored via the aerial route. The home team must be commended for sticking at their task for the duration of a very hot day.
After the first day's effort of posting a reasonable score of 7-302, which was the highest score made at Trumper Park in third grade this season and 25 runs more than the home team had been able to amass in a single innings this season, a declaration was made. If Gordon bowled and fielded well, it had more than enough runs to win. Holmes and Ling bowled extremely well, which was followed up by Sweeney on his return to third grade. All induced a number of plays and misses, some false shots but not much attacking, on a pitch that offered no assistance and prompted the home team to surmise that it "seemed to be a pretty ordinary bowling attack". Both untrue and unfair.
Holmes was unlucky not to take two wickets in his first over with offerings from each of the opening batsmen falling just short of fieldsmen. No wickets fell in the first session as the home team scored 100 runs off 40 overs, leaving them 5 runs an over in the second half of the day. In the second session Holmes took two early wickets to get Gordon back in the game. However, a 60 run partnership from the home team's two best and most experienced batsmen turned the game their way.
"Gordy" Holmes gets praise from Frogan
It is a credit to Gordon that the team never gave in and despite some awful fielding that saw 5 catches (4 were not easy but need to taken) and some missed run out opportunities, were in it until the last over. Blake, in his first game in third grade, bowled well in tricky windy conditions and dismissed Easts best batsmen with a well flighted delivery that deceived the batsmen and bowled him, which gave Gordon a sniff of victory. Ultimately, the home team passed Gordon's total with three balls to spare and 8 wickets down. The result, if nothing else, was a credit to Easts, who have suffered a tough year in third grade, for their application and perseverance to the task at hand and they thoroughly deserved their victory.
But, a good game of cricket? Certainly a close result.
It is a wake-up call for the approaching post-season. A timely reminder that hard work must continue to be done on the training paddock and nothing taken for granted on the field. Possibly the game was lost after Gordon was 1-140 last week and then 6-230, with batsmen falling to big shots, as opposed to being prepared to do the hard work that was required. Momentum was lost to be able to post a score in the vicinity of 340, which may have been beyond Easts. It is a bad result when one team produces each of the stand-out individual performances of the game, with a batsman making 150 (double the next best score of any other player) and Holmes a magnificent 5-61 off 18 and yet still lose.
3rd Grade stands tall around Captain Kelly
Another stinking hot Saturday for the 3rd grade boys to contend with and usually this means that regardless of the result of the toss Captain Kelly would be informing his troops that they would be fielding first. Amazingly enough, Kells won the toss. And even more amazingly he decided we would get first use of what looked to be a pretty good deck. Hurrah! Perhaps he had another agenda today.
(Kells in action)
3rd Grade was a much different team from the one which defeated Blacktown outright last week, as Adair Durie, Ben Garratt and Chris Archer were all promoted to 2s and Dan Richtor was unavailable. This meant we welcomed back Anthony Sherman ('I'm back boys!') and Dave Michael, with Will Sweeney making his way back through the grades after a return from injury. John Blake completes the line up after deservedly gaining his 3rd grade debut after some impressive performances in 4s.
The start was just as expected from Kelly and Anthony 'Pic' Sherman, the ball disappearing to all parts mainly off Pic's blade with cuts and pulls over the infield being the highlights of his brief stay at the crease. He was dropped on the fine leg boundary which was spilled for 4, shortly before being given out LBW for 19 to a contentious decision, the ball appearing to be missing leg comfortably. However he reined back his usual instincts and left the field in an extremely dignified and quiet manner. Pic, we're all proud of you mate that was a real effort. And especially because you paid me back on Saturday ' well done!
Jimmy Hosking arrived at the crease at 1-30, and once the skipper let him have the strike after he faced only 2 balls from his first 6 overs, he started the trademark cover and lofted straight drives that have helped him score so many runs this season. Kells was a little bit more limited than he usually appeared to be, leaving a lot of half-volleys outside off and struggling a bit reaching out there. As I enquired as to why this might be, I was delightfully informed by Pic that he had 'pulled an arse muscle'. Having completed a degree in Sport, Health and Exercise I tried to search for the proper terminology of said pulled muscle, but as I was scoring at the time I couldn't concentrate properly. Note to selectors; please drop Chris Archer, we need Bob back!
Hosking smokes one in usual style
The longer Kells batted the more comfortable he seemed to get with his injury, he waited for the ball to come to him and duly dispatched his pulls and clips of the legs with aplomb. The run-rate continued to lift and all of a sudden we had brought the 100 up and not so long after the skipper grabbed his 50. At this point we knew he only needed another 13 for him to reach 5000 grade runs for the club, which he hunted down quickly and brought it up with a searing cover drive to the boundary which followed with an eruption of applause from the Stags' camp. An excellent achievement pal and I hope to see many more runs. Well, until the end of this season when you pack in anyway!
It was head down again though for Kells and Hosko started to take the limelight, pumping two straight sixes off the off-spinners, one of which cleared the Trumper Oval pavilion. However, the ball after the second six, he went for another drive and was yorked for 43 to make it 2-139. This ended a super partnership of 109 which helped to put us right on top. Matty Makepeace was at 4 after his superb knock last week, and he safely negotiated the last few overs until tea and we went to the sheds at 2-148.
During the break Kells stressed the need to play tough, hard cricket, especially as Easts were being very defensive in having ring fields and bowling well outside off stump when the seamers were on. The Gibbon carried on from where he left off last week and looked in great nick smoking a huge six, but just when he looked like really going on he clipped the spinner to mid-on trying to hit over his head and we were 3-193, the Peace departing for 27. Elliot Richtor and I obviously weren't listening to their captain at tea as we both departed cheaply playing flamboyant shots early in our innings. All of a sudden we were 5-202 from 60 overs and we'd lost the momentum as the game evened up.
(John Blake in action)
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Firstly, Kells brought up his well-deserved ton. Then after some rubbish personal sledging from the Easts' players who were chirpy all day, he went ballistic nailing them to all parts of the oval. We added exactly a hundred from the last quarter of the day thanks to some massive hitting from our captain which included two 'WOW-esque' sixes, and coupled with handy contributions from Dave 'DM' Michael (8) and John 'JB' Blake (25 not out), who batted with supreme confidence and ability towards the end with Kells, helped us to reach the 300 mark.
Kells was eventually out with three overs left caught at mid-wicket for 159, which included 22 fours and 2 sixes. I'd tell you how many balls as well but after mine and Josh Ling's excellent scorebook standard early in the day, it quickly fell away. Apologies for the mess Bob. Two words ' Will Sweeney'. It was a fantastic effort from Kells, made all the more exceptional when you take into account the situation of the match with wickets falling around him, the slowness of the pitch and defensive nature of Easts' tactics, his impeding injury and the sheer heat of the day meaning the required concentration to bat for 5 hours was immense.
Ending on 7-302, we're in a superb position to wrap up the points next week, now it will be up to the new ball attack of Holmes, Ling and Sweeney, the meds of Longhurst, Richtor and Sherman (sorry Hosko) and the twirlies of DM and JB. With Balmain already gaining 6 points from this round it is imperative we win this fixture to stay up there.
Neil asked for a second photo of Kells looking exhausted and content - we didn't have access to his personal collection
When asked whether anyone could break his world record amount of Test match wickets, Fred Trueman replied in his typical Yorkshire style, 'Aye, but whoever does it will be bloody tired'. I wonder if the next person to score 5000 grade runs for Gordon D.C.C. will be as tired as this. Matthew Kelly everybody!
Neil Longhurst reporting
3rd Grade collects 10 points against Blacktown
Having secured first innings points at the close of week one, the third rate Stags arrived at Whalan brimming with enthusiasm for the challenge of doing it all again to secure ten points along with equal first place at the top of a congested leader board.
The day started poorly for the Stags with a reshuffle in the dressing room leading to disaster as CRASH!!... a bottle from Adair's personal selection had finally been smashed in the change room' the thick aroma wafted across the change room hinting a complex marriage of blackberry and rhubarb with medium tannins in a long finish with faint heat. How could the Bear go on?
Adair adds more wickets to his personal collection
On the paddock it was up to the leather flingers to repeat their collective disintegration of the Warriors line-up. Early breakthroughs were again made with Adair 'Judge and' Jury (4/51, giving match figures of 9/91), and Jordie 'James Blake' Holmes (3/34) bowling the merciless line and length that has seen many a batsman turn his hand to off break bowling. The performance of these two quicks, backed up by the talented Josh 'Dinga' Ling (1/27) and Chris Archer (2/32), has formed the most ruthless and uncompromising attack that this scribe has played alongside and one that could definitely cause some damage come the business end of the season.
Although Captain Kelly asserts that there is nothing sexy about our bowling strategy, it has proven successful time and again in the capitulation of opposition line-ups. Perhaps if the ball was thrown in the direction of the best looking slips cordon in grade cricket we could sex it up a bit, but at this stage this is far from requisite.
Some of the self-proclaimed 'best looking slips cordon in grade cricket' celebrating the only action they will be getting this week
The fielding, led by the skipper under the lid for the majority of our time in the field, was also first rate, yet the lightning quick outfield mixed with some fortuitous stroke play saw Blacktown dismissed in their second attempt with a lead of 152, and 29 overs remaining in the day ' certainly not beyond this side which has prided itself on positive cricket to enable numerous results and bonus points throughout the season.
With Matt 'Not War' Makepeace wielding the willow with BG at the top of list, the innings got off to a flier with numerous 10+ overs making a considerable dent in the chase. BG (25) was dismissed attempting to again find the fence and Neil 'Gilo' Longhurst (23) took up where he left off with some lovely stroke play, before falling to the hook shot. We have begun to see glimpses of Longy's true ability with the blade in recent weeks and know that a big score is just around the corner for him. Fantasy League selectors of the Pom are sure to get full value in the second half of the season.
All the while at the other end Makepeace accumulated runs to all parts of the ground. This could well be the innings that helps him find the form of seasons past, his unbeaten 71 coming from as many deliveries, steering the Stags home to a richly deserved and invaluable outright victory.
News filtered in throughout the day of the possibility of the clean sweep, and congratulations are extended to all Stags representatives for their excellent performances over the past few rounds, particularly one R.M. Stobo who completed his 48th last match (and children's sudoku) for the club. Hurrah!
3rd Grade in strong position
3rd grade trekked out to Whalan Reserve to begin the New Year looking to hit back after copping the worst of the conditions and being outplayed by Penrith last round.
We hit back pretty hard.
We arrived to find a deck that looked reasonable for batting - although had not received a whole lot of preparation during the week. This being the case, Captain Kelly was more than happy to loose the toss and asked to field. Winning the toss was where Blacktown's fun stopped.
Chris Archer toils away as Blacktown crumble
The innings started poorly for our opposition and never really got better. Jordon 'Gordy' Holmes was just a bit too big, bald and hairy for the liking of their batsman and caused trouble early, unlucky to only snare one pole, decking one back to take out the middle peg. His opening partner Adair 'Judge' Durie, the pick of the bowlers, also knocked over the castle of two of their top order; the first with his first ball that was on its way to Jimmy Hosking at 2nd slip before bending back to take the off stump of their left-handed opener shouldering arms.
Blacktown then put on a small partnership for the fourth wicket until Josh Ling snared us two handy wickets during his tight spell while Longie bent his back at the other end and was unlucky not to have a wicket of his own, beating the bat too many times to count. Special mention has to be made of Linga's catch at mid on, which looked more like he was reeling in a touchdown pass in the Superbowl - but still he got the job done.
The Judge came back on for his second spell and cleaned up the tail all too easily, taking the edge on three occasions to bring his tally to five wickets for the innings and helping us finish Blacktown off for just 113 inside 40 overs.
"Judge" Durie cleans up the Blacktown tail
Once back in the dressing room and feeling pretty good that we were off the ground and out of the heat in pretty quick time, our skipper hinted at the idea of knocking off the runs and bringing up a valuable 6 points inside the first day. That is exactly what our batsman set about doing with Hosko and Benny Garratt setting us up before the brothers' Richtor (Elliot and Dan) took us past Blacktown's total for the loss of only 3. Hosko carried on his great season with 39 and Elliot top-scored with 40 not out.
Once first innings points were secured, and with the Judge and Gordy fired up for another crack, Kells made an aggressive declaration just three runs in the lead. Once again Adair troubled their left-hander, but there was no way he was leaving the first rock this innings and he managed to survive to bat on next Saturday. The other poor fella, however, was no less troubled by the sight of big Gordy running in this innings as he was the last and eventually edged one onto his thigh pad and lobbed a catch to Kells in close. That brought us our eleventh wicket of the day and set us up for a good crack at 10 points next week.
Garratt and Kelly take a quick single
3rd Grade in Trouble Against Penrith
The last minute omission of two-thirds of the best looking slips cordon in grade cricket had the Third Squadron looking far worse for wear than usual for the round vs Penrith. On the sidelines Lenny Bombas also appeared a little worse for wear having made the scenic trip from the Central Coast to Penrith with Reece, before returning to Chatswood with third grade debutant Steve Colley. How they'd still managed to arrive at the ground before this scribe remains an utter mystery, but it's a credit to the fantastic bloke that Lenny is.
Colley amongst the runs against Penrith
Out on the paddock, the strip greeted both sides with its (becoming) typical green tinge, but not to be perturbed, Captain Kelly exclaimed, 'Bat' at the winning of the toss.
Kelly and the returning Sherman (12) (just what had he fed young Elliott Richtor the night prior the match?) commenced the innings on a steady and solid path until the Ant hit too far under a clip off the pads and skied to square leg, 1/17. Makepeace (8) and Kelly (26) followed shortly after with the scoreboard stuttering to 3/52. Young Colley joined Garratt (22) in the centre, and the man of few words accumulated runs steadily, looking very much the part in 3's. Meanwhile at the other end, Garratt, the 'Third grade bully', played as though he was still not out from the previous week, only to be dismissed attempting to subdue his newly found adventurous stroke play, 4/81.
At tea, discussions turned to the much anticipated Stag's Christmas Party's with Sherman vigorously campaigning for a large attendance at his not so official version. When it was pointed out that the Greengate function was the way to go due to the free beers from 6- 6.45pm, Sherman snapped back, 'Yeah, but how long's that gonna last?!' The cacophony of 'About 45 minutes' was just priceless, as was the realisation that Pic had managed to construct a sentence without employing any of his favourite four-letter words.
Sherman focuses on his musings on his bowling
After tea, Dan "D-Rix" Richtor (18) and Dave "D-Mikes" Michael (13) batting on with Colley to see the score pass 150, but the partnership that the Stag's sorely needed was never to eventuate. Colley (48) showed great maturity in his innings, mixing patience with positive running between the wickets and some fine strokeplay and it was a shame for him to miss out on a 50 on debut (Me thinks he will have many more chances in the future).
Longhurst (13) and Adair (9) added some late runs only to see the Stag's dismissed for 183 in the 66th over, the only consolation being a short tilt at our opponents. In the fading light Lee and the Judge asked some serious questions of the Black Cats openers before being deemed too quick to bowl in the fading light. Despite being deemed too slow to bowl by his team-mates, 'Smiley' Longhurst took over with immediate success, claiming the wicket of the opener who had firstly called for his spectacles midway through a Judge over (surely not!!!), continually complained about the light while playing and missing at everything (put us out of our misery!!!), before being smashed on the front of the grill by a Longhurst bouncer attempting the pull stroke!!!
Ling will be on display this weekend in 3s
On his exit from the field, the batsman went on to receive the loudest ovation heard at a third grade fixture since scores of fans turned out to witness the acclaimed sledging of Messieurs Goldsmith and Reynolds.
This Saturday play will resume with the match precariously balanced with the Black Cats 1-25, and some very positive signs for the Stag's who will be welcoming back the combo of Holmes and Ling for what promises to be the most potent 3rd grade attack of the season.
3's Sit On Top Of Table
"Lads, this is our biggest game of the season."
Captain Kelly utters these words or something similar every game, but this time it was certainly true. Being tied with Sutherland on 40 points atop the table with the likes of UTS Balmain (the only team to beat 3rd grade so far) and next weeks opponents Penrith breathing down our necks we couldn't afford any slip-ups if we want to remain top of the pile come March. However Kells broke tradition a little bit later in winning the toss and, after a bit of deliberation, decided to bowl first on a greenish Chatswood wicket, the overhead conditions also being of help to the fielding side.
3rd Grade celebrate Longhurst's wicket
Adair Durie and Chris Lee made great use of these conditions in hitting the deck hard and swinging the ball and keeping the Sutherland openers under the pump. It was this pressure that lead to the breakthrough with a run out. The tall left-hander pushed one to cover point, called his mate through, realized it was a bad call and sent him back, and for Dave 'Paul Collingwood' Michael the rest was easy. The trademark swoop, sharp pick up and bullet throw was backed up by Benny Garrett's celebration when the throw was only halfway to its target at the bowlers end stumps.
Despite this great start and the standard of bowling on display, Sutherland ended the shortened first day 4-140 off 40 overs when the heavens well and truly opened. Adair Durie ended with 2-for and Ben Garrett claimed a run-out. Lee, Neil Longhurst and Elliot Richtor toiled hard unfortunately for no reward; it would be fair to say that with a bit of luck and without the ridiculously short boundary on the railway track side the score could've been completely different.
When the game was officially abandoned for the day, it was followed by a collective groan in the changing rooms when we discovered that if we'd have bowled another over, we could've started at the normal 12:30pm instead of having to get 120 overs in next week by starting at 9:30am.
Arriving 'bright' and early at Chatswood for Day 2 we discovered that there was a few damp patches on the wicket even though the covers that had been put on perfectly by the Pom and Emo the previous evening. Despite following Captain Kells orders of putting down both the white and blue covers we didn't realize there were two white ones ' we put the old one down which obviously didn't work quite so well. Little did we know at the time it was a master stroke....
The Pom, Longhurst, is used to the damp wickets anyway
The Sutherland batsman seemed to be worried about the wet patches at either end and came out all guns blazing playing a shot a ball. Yet despite a few balls keeping low, and a couple taking off, they weren't actually anything to do with those areas, and no wickets fell due to the ball doing loads from having pitched in them. Chris Lee got what he deserved from the previous week by picking up both the not out batsman from last week, one bowled after a dreadful pull shot to a ball that kept a tad low, and the other one edged a cut to 1st slip where Dan Richtor took a smart catch low down. The Stags now right on top after Lee's spell, and Longers came on and claimed the 7th wicket immediately with a yorker that hit the batsman flush on the toe in front of all three.
At the top end, Judgie had been toiling away and despite bowling superbly hadn't added to his tally from the previous Saturday. When he cleaned up the last recognized batsman (who should have been caught by Gilo earlier in the gully off Chris Lee if he hadn't have slipped in trying to dive forward), that was the beginning of the end as he then cleaned up numbers 10 and 11 with, as Kells so nicely put it, 'straight half volleys'. A lovely way to congratulate your opening bowler on his figures of 5-69 and first 'Michelle' (5 for) since his comeback. It was brilliant to watch Judgie reeling off over after over, bowling 15 overs unchanged on day 2 and if we're going to compete for the Premiership his experience and ability will be crucial in helping us attain this.
The Judge, Adair Durie, impresses the young Pom with a fine display of bowling and figures of 5/69
Chris Lee also bowled really well for his 2-49 and Longhurst chipped in with 1-56. Chris Archer did not get a bowl in seamer friendly conditions, however Archie will be required for many overs in the upcoming games. So Sutherland dismissed for 218, which was going to be hard work on a bowler-friendly wicket, and this also left us with a tricky 16-minute session til lunch.
Kells and Benny 'The Right-Handed Mitchell Kleem' Garratt looked like getting through it with no problems, especially after Kells dispatched one onto the train tracks. Alas a few balls later he left one that nipped back a long way and brushed the top of his pad. Despite the height and the length of the patented front-foot Kelly stride he was adjudged LBW, and not overly impressed with it. Longhurst made the point that Harmison was given out the same way in the 2nd test debacle in a equally questionable and intriguing decision, but when he looked round to see where a reply might come from he realized everyone had already run for cover. 1-16 at lunch.
That's one more for the City Rail staff to retrive
James Hosking joined BG and they immediately took the game straight to the Sutherland attack. We were 57 after 10 overs and the run rate continued to be sustained thanks to some sparkling strokeplay from the pair. BG was being especially harsh on the seamers including one of the trademark sixes over extra cover and Hosko punishing any bad balls straight to the fence and lifting the spinners straight over their heads.
The score was around 150 when Jimmy tried one too many aerial shots off the young Talay, who bowls both right and left arm off spin, and found mid-on. Matty Makepeace, who had a solid if quiet game with his first effort with the gloves in a while, unfortunately also tried to clear the in-field early and was caught at mid-off. The Peace gone for a duck. A collapse on our hands? No chance, as yet another man in form Elliot "Emo" Richtor came to the crease and nailed a couple of his favourite square drives to the fence to wrestle back the initiative. BG brought up his ton shortly before tea in a pretty much chanceless knock, and his first ever grade century. It really was entertaining to watch and considering the wicket its up there with any innings I've seen this season, the likes of tons from Reg (Damon Livermore), Rocket (Rod Hokin), Cake (Matt Michael), Hosko (James Hosking) and a little knock of 236 from the Dazzler (Brad Rasool).
Congratulations Ben on your maiden Grade hundred
We reached tea 3 down needing 30 or so, and the final session of play was dominated by the young Emo Richtor, matching anything seen throughout the day regarding timing and shots off both the front and back foot. We eventually coasted home with almost a full session left having knocked off the target in 45 overs. Emo ending on 34 not out and BG on 112 not out. An extremely happy and euphoric Gordon camp belted the song out knowing we'd gone top out on our own, and it's only ours to lose now. The ability and the confidence is there, its just a case of producing week in, week out as we have done pretty much so far.
Congratulations to first and second grade and the Colts for their excellent victories, and lets try and keep this momentum going for the Penrith game and finish on a high for Christmas and get ourselves up that club championship table to a position that befits the talent throughout the club.
'3-2, we're gonna win 3-2''
Neil Longhurst (slightly delirious with his prediction about the Pom's chances in the Ashes)
Third grade report v Parramatta day 1
Merrylands, it sounds much further away than it actually is. Which is lucky as the captain refused to leave his humble abode without his morning carb hit of pasta mixed with the previous night's Mexican meat mix.
(Elliot Richtor in action against Parra)
Twenty minutes later a desperate call from Garratt 'are you still picking me up? You said yesterday in your email that you would pick me up, bit you're not here yet!' Again twenty minutes later and team strike force had arrived much to the relief of the waiting Holmes, Archer and Lee who at one stage thought it might be eleven on three.
El Capitano Kelly lost the toss and the thirds were bowling. The deck was flat and hard and the boundary towards the grandstand was short. The openers struggled with no balls and rhythm early and Parramatta capitalised racing out to 0-70 from the first ten.
Richtor was called upon to slam on the brakes very similar in fact to the breaks he was slammin' to on Thursday night. The missus was in bed sick so Els got involved on a boy's night out. So involved in fact that he booted mid step in the middle of the df at one of North Sydney's most popular hangouts. Ever the stylist he insists that not a step was missed and he avoided the tap on the shoulder from the boys in black.
Els (3-15 from 8) grabbed the first wicket, the more aggressive of the two openers bowled after a deflection off the pad then his glove the, ball hitting the stump with just enough force to dislodge a solitary bail. Els also grabbed the next two wickets both cleaned bowled. He was accurate to the point of precision but then sprayed them like his third double JD and coke on Thursday, keeper Higgins less than impressed with the twelve or so byes down leg side.
(The miserly Anthony Sherman against Parra)
The germinator then stepped up to the crease and while bowling in tandem with Archie managed to remove four of the Parramatta batsmen finishing with the miserly figures of 4-36 from 17 overs. Archie (2-88 from 24) was toiling away at the other end all the while and was rewarded with two wickets after taking some stick early on.
One of the dismissals was a regulation catch at deep mid off. Garratt at deep mid on saw Lee wasn't interested and ran around then in and at the last minute threw his hands in the air and managed to pull the ball in. A great catch but there are some questions as to the efficiency of BG's depth perception.
Garratt then finished off the innings with a classy runout assist, succeeding where Michael had failed earlier in the arduous task of returning the ball to Higgins at the keepers end.
(Chris Archer at Merrylands)
A good fight back from the thirds led by Els, Archie and the germinator had contained Parramatta to a total of 236 including a staggering 44 extras. With Kelly unable to open after being belted on the point of the knee off an Archie full bunger the dream team of Garratt and Sherman was reunited at the top of the order.
With ten overs to play in the day the boys were looking merely to finish the day none down and launch an assault on the total next week. BG after learning that second grade had batted and he faced the possibility of two straight weeks in the field wasn't going to miss out on the chance to capitalise on his recent good form.
22 balls later and after two consecutive sixes over the cover boundary, one bouncing off the bike track and onto the roof, the other just going a bloody long way BG brought up his fifty. Unfortunately two wickets did fall late with Sherman and Hosking both being adjudged LBW.
The day finished with the stags at 2-71 in response to Parramatta's 236. A concerted effort from the boys this week should see the six points come down old Chatswood way.
If you don't eat pigs and I don't eat pigs why don't we just not eat pigs together?
Third grade report vs Wests
A new look third X1 turned up to Chatswood oval on Saturday for the one-day clash with Wests. The two teams had played an epic game last year where over 700 runs were scored across the two days. Captain Kelly was missing from the line up this time, as was Jordan Holmes.
(Pic clears the fence)
Captain Michael (?) won the toss and elected to bat on what was a very good deck. Garratt joined Sherman at the top of the list and the two well honestly they just belted them. 0-4 after one, 0-18 after two, 0-36 from three, the fifty coming up in just the sixth and well it never really abated. The two had put on 163 in twenty two overs when Garratt fell for 86.
It was the best any one had seen him hit them. The Wests openers were flayed to every part of the ground, a six over cover point being the highlight of the innings. Sherman playing a mute hand, as he seemed to battle his way to the ciggie, sorry drinks break. In fact he was smoking them too but looked to be going slow because Garratt was intent on not missing Kayne West opening for U2 for the second night in a row.
Hosking joined Sherman and did what he is in the team to do, sure he may tell you he's an all rounder, but really he's there to bat. And he's good. Jimmy negotiated a tough little spot playing the silent partner as Sherman picked up where Garratt left off. Germs really started to up the tempo combining solid hitting and good placement with good running (only for his runs though). Sherman was eventually dismissed for 97 caught at mid off a disappointing end to a brilliant display of third grade cricket.
(Ben Garratt during his 86)
The younger less brown Richtor joined Hosking and the two added 40 odd before Richtor helped one on its way to deep square leg. It can be difficult trying to continue such momentum when you're new to the crease. The Peace was run out trying his best to keep the score ticking over. Chris Lee was promoted with explicit instructions to get a wriggle on. He took one sighter then bopped the next ball for four then smacked the next one for six but was caught on his third attempt. The brown Richtor fresh from a week of sunning himself at Mona Vale beach came and went as did Michael who had stepped outside briefly on cup day without applying sunscreen and was more red than usual.
Higgins had been whinging for a bat all day and when he did get one what did he do? Run Hosking out. Higgs played well finishing 15 not out and while his strike rate wasn't quite 200 this time it was very handy. Hosking was actually run out for 66 on the last ball scampering for a second, which is hard to understand because the run would've gone to Higgins. It does go along way to demonstrating the good nature of the affable number three though.
(Higgins having a quiet day at Chatswood)
The score finished at 8-308 which the boys agreed was a little disappointing given the platform set up by Garratt and Sherman, but 308 in the bank is still a very good 50 overs.
Durie took the first over from the nursing home end and after two pressure building dots the Wests captain was hurried in to a pull shot that ballooned to Archie at mid-on 1-0.
The next wicket came nine overs later with the score on 33 after a couple of tight overs induced a big shot form the remaining opener. The ball went high and long over mid on, Michael at mid off made eye contact with Archie' it was Michael's catch the new skipper needed very much to prove himself to the boys after failing with the bat, he ran and ran and ran and then stuck out both hands the ball hit flush in the palm of the right and that was it, nothing much else to tell really- except that respect had been earnt.
Lee struck again gifting Higgins yet another dismissal, he was whinging that he was having a quiet game and it occurred to a few of the boys that it may be because Holmes wasn't playing. I'm sure the many devotees of the Third X1 report will remember the point being raised after the Fairfield game that all of Holmes wickets had been caught behind. Well no Holmes equals a quiet game for Higgins. Case closed.
(Jimmy Hosking hits out at Chatswood)
The next wicket was a piece of Archie magic. Captain Michael shrewdly putting the teams sole left-hander at mid on. The batsman played Lee straight back down the ground, Archie ran across, slid, scooped the ball up in one hand and while still on the ground pinged the ball at the stumps- direct hit, pandemonium.
Lee had been bowling extremely well, demonstrating his athletic prowess from his younger years and was rewarded with his third wicket on the final delivery of his tenth over with a slower one that bemused the batsman and hit the top of off stump.
Archie was introduced into the attack and started with a maiden, his second over yielded his first wicket, caught and bowled after the batsman failed to get to the pitch of the ball and got a leading edge. His second came from a drifting, dropping full bunger the obliging batsman hitting it to Garratt who took a good catch moving to his right at mid wicket.
It must have been Garratt's day, first runs then a catch and to finish it off a direct hit after the batsman worked a good Judgie rock just backward of point. He must have had about one and a half stumps to aim at, which as it turned out was more than enough. He seemed just happy to have hit them as his hand was raised it the air before the umpire had done the same.
The next ball Judgie hit the stumps himself a reverse swinging yorker that was too much for the young number 10 first up. The last wicket, Archie's third, came after the Peace held on to a looping prod at cover. The third X1 had put in what was pretty much a perfect day of cricket, brilliant batting backed up by disciplined bowling and exceptional fielding. Eight very well deserved points putting the boys equal top of the table after six rounds.
I said where'd he go, and Hollywood said where'd who go!
Third grade report v Fairfield day 1
It was good to be back at Chatswood oval after two weeks on the road. And speaking of roads wow! What a belter we were faced with. Fairfield won the toss and did the only sane thing.
(Well caught Missy)
Captain Kelly urged the boys to be patient, disciplined and to hold it together in what could have been a very long day. Amir and Holmes took the new rock and both bowled well. But with little assistance from the deck wickets were hard to come by. A couple of good overs tightened things up and Amir took the first wicket caught Higgins. Next ball Holmes struck, caught Higgins, the next ball was a rather anticlimactic dot however the ball after that Holmes struck again, caught Higgins (sensing a bit of a pattern?).
In the space of an over the game had changed dramatically. The fourth wicket was harder to come by as some good running and clean hitting took the total up. Amir did however claim his second with what he will admit was not the best ball he bowled, a full toss that the batsmen some how managed to miss to be adjudged LBW (at least Higgins wasn't involved).
The runs kept ticking over as the Fairfield number five moved his way past fifty. Soon enough though Amir took his third a leading edge from the lefthander slicing off the bat and looping up to Benny Garratt at point who came in, then moved out, then took another step in before launching into a vertical leap George Castanza would have been proud of and plucking the ball out of the air just as it seemed destined to get past him.
The bowling had been good from the stags just what Kelly had asked for full credit to Amir, Holmes, Judgie, the germinator and Emo. Amir's third introduced the Fairfield Captain to the crease who is quite an imposing figure. He nudged the ball around while the not out number five worked his way along.
(Looking good Higgo)
Emo struck removing the captain, how out you ask? How else? Caught Higgins, bloody hell, he still hadn't had to move for one of them. And the scary thing is just after the first wicket fell (caught Higgins) the catcher stumbled over to a bemused Michael and proceeded to unwind some story about having a dream the night before where he caught a man in a yellow hat!
The Fairfield number five reached his ton and then fell one or two runs later to what can only be described as a cunning Holmes plan, fiendishly conceived and executed perfectly.
A short wide one outside off stump an edge and who is there to clean up? Bloody Higgins, still without having to move!
(Who is the wicketkeeper in 3's?)
Holmes struck again not long after caught Higgins, funnily enough all Holmes eight wickets this season have come in this fashion. Which is why Higgs has managed to grab somewhere in the realms of 17 dismissals in the first five rounds! Oh and he trains and stuff, but mainly its because of Gordy.
Archie came on as the innings was coming to a close and bowled well in partnership with Holmes to keep the score from getting away. Archie grabbed himself two, neither of which were caught by Higgins.
With 18 overs still to bat the secondary mission of the day had been achieved, get Pic enough time in the middle to smoke'm. Higgins fresh from taking six catches and well just being himself asked Pic who had been promoted to open whether or not he would need a night watchman as he had requested in the previous round. Apparently not.
Kelly and Pic opened and after six overs the score was 0-40 odd thanks to some smooth stroke play from the pair. However the stags did suffer two setbacks loosing Pic to a half tracker which he smoked, unfortunately straight to the obliging fieldsman at cow corner. And then Kelly fell trying to paddle a full bunger that dropped sharply and hit leg stump.
Hosking and Garratt saw out the remaining overs the stags finishing the day at 2-74 after having dismissed Fairfield for 243.
And that's the end of that chapter'
Third grade report v Hawkesbury- day 2
What a difference a week can make! Anyone at who read the report from last week or was actually at Bensons Lane last Saturday can testify to the overwhelming heat. This week however it was freezing!
The wicket was hard and with plenty of grass on it. Kelly and Hosking resumed the innings at 1-74. The early stages were tough, the ball was moving in the air and off the deck. The two grafted their way to half centuries and looked well set to bring up the hundred run stand when Kelly was dismissed pulling for 62.
(James Hosking takes one in the ribs against the Hawks)
Sherman joined Hosking and blasted one through cover then mistimed an attempted drive and was caught at mid-off for 6. At this stage there was still some runs to be chased but more importantly there was still the vast majority of the days play left and wickets were at a premium. Richtor Joined Hosking and was looking in fine form until he attempted to pull successive balls for four off the opening bowler and was caught at square leg off the second for 13.
Longhurst joined Hosking, who was still working away ticking the runs over, and the total set by Hawkesbury last week of 163 was eclipsed. On 166 Longhurst was caught at point after he skied an attempted pull shot. At 5-166 still a while before tea the game was in an interesting place the third XI had secured the six points but needed runs to have any chance of obtaining the full ten.
(oops, that was close Kells)
Michael joined Hosking and the two set about getting to the tea break without losing another wicket. Prior to the dismissal of Longhurst, Michael had been explaining to JOF his style of play. Which involves nurdling, then running hard. Hardly elegant but on this occasion it got the job done. Hosking continued his innings playing some lovely strokes through and over the field and adding to Michael's total by running really hard as well.
The tea break was reached without the loss of another wicket and Hosking and Michael resumed, Hosking not too far short of his century. Soon after the resumption Kelly gave the order to wind things up, Michael slogged his way from 40 to 55 courtesy of some stroke play straight out of the Stuart MacGill text book- clear the front leg and swing till you hit something.
The next over Hosking brought up his hundred by despatching a loose one to the back ward square leg fence for four. It capped off what was a brilliant innings in sweltering heat one day, then bitter cold the next on a wicket that was more conducive to seam bowling than any other likely to be encountered throughout the year. Throughout Jimmy was a model of application, working with his partners putting on 99 with Kelly then 100+ with Michael. The declaration came at the end of the over, Michael out last ball trying to slog one more.
(The Hosko pull shot)
With a lead of over 100 the stags took to the field again with Holmes and Lee opening up and both bowled extremely well consistently beating the bat. The break through proved elusive until Archer was introduced and Sherman took a good low catch at first slip. No more wickets were to fall as bad light prohibited the seamers from bowling and Archer and Michael were having little more success. With nine wickets still needed Kelly moved to reintroduce the pace men and bad light stopped play.
(Dave Michael plays a rare defensive shot)
The stags third XI had secured six points and achieved their preseason goal of winning three of their first four games. It was a good team effort over the two days, with good partnerships when batting and also bowling being the decisive factor.
OHHH chicken Salad!
Art Van De Lay
Third grade report- Hawkesbury day 1
Hawkesbury. Away. Hmmm. As Stobes outlined in his salute earlier in the week there are many good people involved in the Hawkesbury cricket club. Their hospitality is second to none. Drinks-breaks every forty-five minutes, ice available to the fielding side, drinks placed at fine leg for the bowlers. It sure is hot but they do an outstanding job to make sure the players are looked after.
(Neil Longhurst at Benson's Lane)
The amount of cordial consumed across the three grades at Bensons on Saturday must have been enormous. No shirking either, they were all good mixes. This intrepid reporter was heard to suggest that maybe the SCA could look into providing the Hawkesbury CC with a cordial subsidy, in an effort to alleviate some of the cost incurred by their good natures.
Cordial aside. Kelly won the toss and bowled, it was 38 degrees but there was a fair bit of grass on the wicket. Masterstroke or mistake time would tell. Holmes opened with Lee with the former taking first wicket the opener caught behind attempting a pull shot. The bowling was good from both ends but the runs were coming freely as the ground provided good value for shots. Lee struck next with a full straight one hitting the bottom of off stump.
At two for fifty after about 13 it seemed to be even stevens. The ball was still moving around courtesy of the grass on the deck and some handy bowling, but the lightning fast ground and aggressive field placings meant runs were there to be had. The score was climbing steadily but a wicket never seemed more than a ball away.
(Chris Lee takes to the air)
Longhurst and Richtor were introduced and the runs started to dry up. The grassy wicket seeming to aid Longhurst who bowled extremely well, always just back of a length and on the one spot. The wickets came, four of them all up over the course of his 14 overs at the cost of just 44.
This reporter was last year somewhat critical of the young Richtor's fitness, his dad agreed, but the hard yards in the off season seemed to have paid off. He toiled away repeatedly staring down the barrel of his seven step run up coming in ball after ball, one team one dream Els. One team one dream. He did bowl extremely well though claiming 2-16 of 11 overs with a couple of fantasy points for maidens included, the Flintoff impersonations was a bit much though, even for a Richtor.
Yet to get much of a mention in the third grade archives in season 06/07 is one Ian 'Missy' Higgins. Sure he has been paid out for his long hair and swagger, and rightfully so. But his keeping has been of a top standard so far this year, an excellent stumping up to the pegs last week and a brilliant one handed catch low to the left to give Holmes (3-35) his third on Saturday.
(Chris Archer gives it a tweak against the Hawks)
The above has accounted for all ten wickets and usually that means no other bowlers get a mention. However it would be remiss, neigh unethical of this 'journalist' to file this report without mentioning the efforts Chris Archer, or Archie as he has been creatively christened. Eight of the ten wickets were taken from the grandstand end of the ground. The seamers must have taken seven while Archie was dotting them up from the other end. His figures of 0-44 don't look all that glamorous but if not for a missed chance, some late slogging and some unlucky decisions Archie could well have had a cheap bag himself.
So often there is talk of team plans and bowling in partnerships Saturday was a good example off how it can work with the GDCC third X1 dismissing Hawkesbury for 163. With still twenty overs to play in the day and time drawing on due to what can only be described as a lack of urgency showed by the batting side, the top order would have a tricky little time to negotiate.
Kelly and Garratt opened Hosking padded up at three and Sherman cowering in the corner begging Michael to go in as nightwatchman if a couple of poles did fall. It would seem that not even his lucky Zebra stripe underwear could help him in this situation.
(Elliot Richtor at Benson's)
Fortunately Michael wasn't needed as Garratt and Kelly took the score to 25 or so before Garratt was cleaned up by what was a very handy rock indeed. Hosking (21*) joined Kelly (41*) and the two saw out the remaining overs bunting the score along to 74 in the process.
The third X1 are in a good position going into day two but there is still a lot of work to be done before any points can be claimed.
The snosberries taste like snosberries'.
Third grade report v Sydney Uni
Kelly wins the toss hazzah! Gordon are batting. Uni number two is quite small, very fast and has a true deck. A score in excess of 250 would be needed.
It looked as if that would be a formality after the departure of Kleem early brought Kelly and Hosking together. Those initial overs saw a good contest with the first grade experience of Bowlers King and Gell up against the equally experienced Gordon duo.
(Josh Ling lets one go)
The partnership blossomed and the score was ticking along nicely when on 40 Kelly was adjudged caught behind. Garratt joined Hosking and the two kept up the momentum with some good running and clean hitting.
Hosking was looking special when on 86 he smashed the ball straight to short cover, the loss was compounded by the dismissal of Garratt for 22 in a similar fashion soon after. At this point the stags were in a good position but the introduction of two new batsmen understandably slowed the run rate. Richtor and Sherman set about building on the good platform that was until Sherman was too early on a straight-ish delivery and produced a leading edge carrying to mid on.
The Pom, Longhurst joined Richtor and the two again set about steering the ship home and were doing well until Richtor holed out to long on for 27. Michael Joined Longhurst and the pair saw the stags through to the last over setting little targets along the way the score went past 240,250, 270 then Longhurst was unluckily run out in the last over having made 53, this first half century for the club in only his second innings.
(Elliot Richtor at Uni)
Higgins sauntered to the crease hair flowing eerily from behind his worn purple hat and finished with 2* from 1 delivery he let everyone know just how impressive a strike rate that is but luckily no one was listening.
The run chase for Uni couldn't have started any worse, Ling striking in the first over, then Amir soon after then Ling again to have the home side reeling at 3-12. Just as Gordon had done the week before Uni were preoccupying themselves with the score they had to chase instead of the ball they were facing. Despite the loss of early wickets the runs flowed until the fourth wicket was taken by just prior to the drinks break.
Michael landing the ball in the right area, according to Garratt at deep point and Holmes on the sideline the ball must have hit something as it moved back through the gate and onto middle stump, the author however would like to think that even if it didn't spin as insinuated by his so called 'team mates' that it took great skill to hit the only protruding piece of turf on the road like wicket big enough to set the ball on such a drastic change of course. But that is neither here nor there.
The Uni total was still edging up but so was the required rate with Richtor and Sherman bowling tight while also picking up poles. A good return catch from Sherman got rid of an aggressive looking number six and a combination of clever bowling and sharp glove work for the irrepressible Higgins saw another wicket fall Richtor's way.
(A wicket to Josh Ling at Uni)
Writing these reports in the third person allows the author certain scope to cover events concerning themselves that if written in the first person would sound nothing short of indulgent. The event to which I am referring occurred after a Richtor delivery had been slapped out towards the deep point boundary, Michael walking in, ever attentive raced around from his sweeping position at deep cover managed to pick up the ball cleanly for the first time not only on that day, but in the week! And then proceeded to spread his arms thumbs pointing down, holding the ball across the seam in the tips of his fingers, turned his wrist so the ball was facing the boundary swivelled his hips as he looked over his left forearm using the force of the lead arm to pull his throwing arm around at a level satisfactorily above his shoulder releasing with a flick of the wrist after an extension of the forearm and sent the ball hard an flat the 30 odd metres to the single stump in sight hitting half way up on the bounce, wicket, pandemonium'..special! And no indulgence what so ever.
With the job still not done Gordon stuck to the task with Kleem capping off an inspired performance in the field with a sharp catch at short fine leg off Richtor. After the batsman flicked a full ball away from around a middle stump line to the waiting hands of Kleem. Sherman, apparently a regular dinner guest of Kleem's couldn't believe his eyes, either that or he couldn't actually see form his place at long off. As he skipped to join the joyous group like a saucy third grader in an Enid Blyton novel he could be heard shouting 'was that Mitchy Kleem!'
The final wicket fell with a runout to Kelly. Gordon 7-282 had defeated Sydney University 10-253. Special mention to Josh Ling who finished his ten overs with the exceptional figures of 2-38 and Elliot Richtor who bowled 8 overs in the tough middle section of the innings finishing with 3-27. Congratulations must also go to the Syndey Uni number five Hay who bombed the deserving Michael for 26 of one over. Thank you Hay.
With the preseason goal of two wins from three starts achieved with a couple of bonus points to boot the Gordon C graders will be looking to build on a solid start to the season when they face Hawkesbury this weekend.
Until then my fellow travellers
3rd Grade Report vs UTS Balmain Round 2
After the reserve, reserve graders gave what Pic described as a "dog-licking" to St. George in Round 1, 3rd grade had to fancy their chances in round 2. However UTS Balmain were to prove a much tougher task than Gordon's opposition 7 days prior. Kelly lost the toss and his side were sent into the field. The pitch was flat, and the Chatswood Oval outfield was as classy as Richie Kenner has been suggesting. Josh "Blinger" Ling and Umayr "insert nickname here" Amir opened the bowling with steady lines and patient bowling which saw the score stand at 1-20 at the first drinks break after Amir claimed a sharp caught and bowled in his 3rd over.
(Missy Higgins shows his style)
Anthony "The burglar" Sherman stole a sneaky pole somewhere in the midst of his 115 overs on Saturday. For the record he actually bowled 19, before succumbing to a rib injury sustained by Sweeney in the nets. Sweeney subsequently is now in the running for peoples champion 06'. Germs'
(Sherman) quote of "Me f'n ribs are f'd" will no doubt go into the chronicles of history as an insight into the mind of the pocket sized rocket. Dave Michael claimed an important wicket in the context of the game, his first of the season, and at the tea interval the score stood at 4-120.
(Anthony Sherman at Chatswood)
Gordon were certainly on top considering the conditions. It was a matter of persistence and hard work to wrap up the middle order and tail. Neither was applied and the Stags were forced to pay for their mistakes. The day could have been far worse had it not been for a bizarre run-out created by the brilliance of Michael and the recklessness of Kleem. The ball was pushed to mid-on (a position that Mitch had held all day), Dave Michael scooted 10 yards to his right, slid and saved a handful of runs. The non-striker, now at the strikers end turned blindly assuming that Kleem had given it the green light to run passed him, and set off for a second. By this time Michael had thrown the ball and Higgins waited patiently to dislodge the bails and leg stump. This was a crucial wicket as the dismissed batsman had already passed 50 and had an eye on posting a maiden 200 had he been given the chance.
In the final session Captain Kelly urged his bowlers for more discipline.
They did not oblige and Kelly saw his team go from a position of dominance to being behind the 8 ball as the Tigers strolled passed 300. Longhurst was unlucky not to finish with more than his 2 wickets due to some ordinary fielding performances. Cubbage ending the day with 1 pole off his 6 overs.
(David Michael at Chatswood)
Tiddles was furious.
Sunday saw the Tigers declare their innings closed at 7-320, leaving the Stags optimistic with their chances of winning the game. Gordon had every right to fancy their chances with the current batting prowess in the squad.
With all the momentum swinging the way of the Tigers it was important for Kleem and Kelly to build a solid start. Once again Kelly was let down by his top order batsman as Kleem, Longhurst, and Sherman all played some regrettable shots to have Gordon reeling at 3-30. As the captain made mention to after the fixture, we surrendered the game within the first hour of the days play. Kulkarni and Evans departed without any major contribution to the run chase and it was left to Kelly to save the team. The captain was soon back in the sheds as the scoreboard showed 6-100 as he left the ground.
Kelly on 68. Higgins and Michael managed to not loose their wickets before tea, however Michael didn't last long after, nor did Higgins. Cubbage battled bravely for a short time before playing an ordinary shot to be caught at point. Ling and Amir couldn't score the extra 150 required and the Stags were rolled well short of the target.
(Mitchell Kleem in pursuit)
An extremely disappointing start to the 2-day fixtures. Let's hope our 1-day form continues against the students next week. I advise second grade to carefully guard their drinks and drink glasses.
Third Grade report vs St. George
The GDCC third XI began Season 06/07 in the best possible fashion on Saturday with a comprehensive victory yielding two bonus points over last year's premiers St George.
(Neil Longhurst in action at Chatswood)
St George Batted first. What little movement there was in the deck was exploited to perfection by some ridiculously tight bowling from the opening pairing of Jordan 'Gordy' Holmes and Josh Ding-a-Ling. After 10 overs the score was 1-12.
All the early talk of working together as a unit and bowling to plans seemed to be paying dividends. Michael and Richtor took over and the former released the pressure with two loose over costing twenty odd, not offering Emo the support that had been afforded by each of the opening pair.
Germs (Anthony Sherman) replaced Michael and bowled full and straight. This improved discipline in line and length dried the runs up and eventually yielded wickets with Germs picking up one then Cubbage, overcoming some early nerves, to grab two important wickets in the middle stages.
(Anthony "Germs" Sherman)
Michael re-entered the game with Holmes unable to bowl as a result of an injury sustained while bowling his seventh over. Tighter lines resulted in a wicket and a lower run rate.
The English import Happy Healthy Harrold Longhurst (Neil Longhurst) bowled ten straight from the nursing home end to finish with a well-deserved 3-29 including the scalp of opposition captain and club sponsor Hamish Solomons.
At the conclusion of their 50 overs St George had registered 161 for the loss of 9 wickets. The Gordon boys left the field full of confidence that the chase would go well. Just how well we couldn't know until about the fourth over when the combination of Kelly and Kleem had already plundered 40.
The Gordon innings highlighted the balance needed when playing cricket between taking the runs offered in the infield as well as despatching the bad ball to the outfield. Gordon were never really challenged in the infield, being allowed to sit on the ring and control the tempo of the game and the run rate much easier than St George were able to.
(David Michael in flight)
Kleem departed for 38 with the score on 80 and Garratt joined the party, running well and playing some nice wristy shots including one six over cover off the off spinner. (If you would like to hear more about this shot just ask Ben that is if he hasn't managed to work it into your conversation already)
Twenty-three overs in and the score was 1-162 Kelly playing masterfully for his 74*, Garratt contributing 48* from about 30 rocks. A good win for the boys first up.