2008/09 was another very successful season for the Gordon club. Third grade won a premiership, whilst fourth grade were grand finalists and fifth grade were semi-finalists. The club again ranked highly in the Club Championship.
The match reports for each grade can be found below.
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
We missed it by that much... or did we?
For those avid readers of fifth grade reports, it may have occurred to you that fifths always seem to have the most ridiculously close games. Narrow escapes with the bat, miracles with the ball, a marvellous catch or just a piece of luck always seems to go our way and we escape. So it has been. So it was.
Cam Brown scores a handy few, before the bowlers take over the mantle
The equation for the finals was remarkably simple. We lose, we were out. Manly, Sydney Uni win and ND's win with a bonus point, we were out. We win without a bonus point and Sutherland get one, we were out. As it turned out, Manly and Sydney Uni won, ND's lost, but Sutherland won with a bonus point, and this is what happened in our game...
We turned up on a nice sunny day to David Phillips, eagerly anticipating the final one-dayer of the year and potentially the final game. The team had a little bit of a different feel to it, with season regulars Sunny Sajdeh, the brothers Selby and Mark 'Lay into Effeney in the report' Fonseka out and 'Buff' Jones, Mitchell 'Inside Cricket' Kleem, the Marvellous one (Brett Marvell) and Dan 'Number two' Mahaffey coming in.
Surely a wealth of higher grade experience in both wickets and runs columns would ensure a clinical performance from the stags? It really didn't work that way. At 6 for not many after Millar had won the toss and elected to bat, it seemed the sudden influx of batting talent had not payed off. Kleem got a few before holing out to mid wicket, Avendano had his off-pole rocked by the opener, Marvell got a roughie, edging onto the pad, adjudged LBW. 'Buff' looked great for 25, before going for one shot too many, and gave mid-wicket more catching practice. McKeith and Brown came and went, Brown for a handy knock, McKeith less so. It was down to Millar again to save the Gordon innings.
He was out before any saving was done, leaving Effeney, Lake and the Mahaffey to post some scores and give themselves something to bowl to. Effeney and Lake endured patiently before Effeney was caught in front, LBW. Lake and Mahaffey then showed their promise with the bat with a more than handy partnership of forty-odd, leaving the Stags all out 161. The selectors' decision to bring in batting talent was more than justified, with Mahaffey firing with the willow for 20 odd, ensuring his probable elevation to 3 next week. Lake finished unbeaten on 21.
So with 161 on the board on a wicket that was settling down as the day went on, UNSW would have really felt in a commanding position. This should have been even moreso after the openers spells failed to yield any wickets, though they were desperately unlucky in the process. Kris Colley also managed to cement his number two rank in fifth grade fielding with a very sharp run out from square leg.
With McKeith and Lake replacing the openers, the pressure started to mount, with both bowling very miserly spells, drying up the runs. It could only lead to one thing. Wickets started to tumble, McKeith picking up 3 (full toss being the strike ball - learning from the successful Avendano) and Lake 2 in a brilliant spell of 8 overs, 2 for 9. After McKeith's ten overs were exhausted, it was left to Avendano and Millar to clean up the rest. Millar bowled one of the worst spells I have ever seen from the usually consistent captain, but still managed to pick up 3 wickets ' doubling his tally for the season!!
We knew we had to win with a bonus point if we were going to have a realistic chance at finals. With this in mind, Millar bowled what was to be his final over with UNSW in sight of that threshold. Three catches were dropped in this over, as a delighted fourth grade team (fresh from a win) watched on the sidelines. The first, a dolly to McKeith at cover, was put down. The next, a mistimed cover drive to Mahaffey at short cover went in, then out. Finally, a lollypop went to 'Buff' at point. At this stage I, at third man, was walking off the field. Surely 'Buff' wasn't going to drop that one? He did, and our heads dropped. Surely they were going to deny us a bonus point now'
Avendano bowled the next over and Buff 'Matt Selby' Jones managed to get the ball tangled up in his arm (gut ' just ask Selby how this works) at slip after an attempted cut. The game was over. The Stags had won with UNSW within 1 run of denying us the bonus point. We found out later that night that ND's had lost and Sutherland had won with a bonus point. That one run really saved a lot of embarrassment for the likes of McKeith, Mahaffey and Jones. Better not drop those sort of chances in the final'
So onto St George, number one on the ladder. Take solace, though, in the fact that the last time we clashed we beat them in a thriller. Hopefully it is not as close but the result is the same. Fire up fives!
Also, more personally, a big thanks to Matt Nicholson whose leadership and advice have been so appreciated around the club, not to mention the haul of wickets and runs his career yielded.
A miraculous turn-around gains 6 points for the Stags
We all arrived at Raby on time apart from Effeney, who took the M2, M7, M4 and M5 before finally reaching the destination a bit late. Apparently our state government needs the revenue.
Kris Colley provides a target for our bowlers to bowl to
Having won the toss for the second time this season, Dave chose to bat on what looked to be a very good pitch. Moments later he found out that four of their players were attending a wedding and they would have subs on all day ' top stuff Dave. A few early wickets left and we were in a bit of strife before Will McKeith (28) came together with Kris Colley (54) and gave us a somewhat decent total. The tail did not wag and the Stags were left defending 154 with 20 overs still left in the day.
So out on the field we went, knowing our season was on the line. Pat 'I'm bringing Shenal home to meet my parents' Effeney grabbed the first wicket in his first over. However, wayward bowling during the next five overs leaked 50 runs. Improvement was much needed and so too was a wicket as we only needed to take six wickets today and they would have to close their innings. Lake dropped one short and the batsman fended in the air towards square leg, Colley came rushing in and a great diving effort onto the square saw a catch being taken and a few grazes on the elbow.
Cam Brown takes it to the Ghosts in the second dig
A runout followed soon after and the hosts were 3/89 (Editor's note: The author was too humble to talk up the side on hit at the bowler's end after running around from point, but it deserves a mention!). McKeith picked up the final wicket of the day beating the batsmen with his loop, dip and spin. The Ghosts ended up 4/116 a daunting task we needed 6 wickets and they only needed 40 runs.
Again Day Two did not start of well, with Kris Colley being injured during warm-ups; his sunglasses breaking near his eye when the ball struck it. Warm-up catches were missed and there was a general lack of intensity.
This didn't change with the first over which saw Avendano go for 9, 28 needed and still 6 wickets in hand. Effeney came in and got a wicket next over, a fish outside off-stump that landed in Avendano's hands. From then the wickets fell at both ends, Avendano taking two with his usual wicket taking deliveries, with good catches to Dan on the boundary and then Matt Selby at 1st slip. Next over Pat had the batsman fishing outside off, again guiding one to Matt Selby at slip. In his next over Kris 'Stevie Wonder' Colley took a screamer at cover to leave them 9 down and now over 20 runs to get.
Avendano was then charged with taking the last wicket. A well-flighted ball was stuck to the skipper, who grassed the chance. I don't tell a lie when I write that he was the most relieved man on the field when an LBW decision was granted just a couple of balls later.
A fantastic win unfolded within 30mins of the start of play.
5/126, 6/126, 7/126 8/126, 9/134, 10/134. All in all, the Ghosts were in shock, whiter than their namesakes having lost 6/8, the match and their place at the top of the table.
Pat Effeney sends one by the batsman
Effeney ending up with 4 for the game and Avedano 3. what an exciting come back, it proves that runs on the board do count, and anything is possible.
Again the openers padded up with still more than 70 overs left in the days play. The second dig saw Avendano compliment his bowling and notch up a well deserved half century, however he fell to a rank half tracker and upon returning to the players area, who were congratulating his dig, he remarked 'so this is what it feels like getting out to one of my deliveries'. Pure genius. It must suck.
We ended up 7/166 when the Ghosts skipper called it quits and the boys from Chatswood went home with a well needed 6 points.
We now sit equal 6th and need a win this weekend against the Bumble-bees to see us through to the finals.
Come on Stags! Let's make this happen!
The 5th Grade boys celebrate with each other after the win
5th Grade get home in another nail-biter
These are the games we must win
After heavy rain, and lots and lots of it, for the week leading up to the 1st day of play, the decision was made by the SCA to turn this fixture in to a one day match. This meant an earlier start, no tea and a longer day of cricket for the next Saturday. Not to worry though, at least it was a home game and we should have the advantage there.
5th Grade remember those lives lost in the bushfires - Courtesy of Blacktown C.C.
Wrong. Blacktown's Whalan was the venue for this fixture, only about an hour from where anyone in the team lives ' except Sunny of course, who famously waits on the M2 for any chance of a lift to the grounds. It was quickly realised there would be no home crowd here to cheer us on.
The day started in regular fashion with Captain Dave 'lucky' Millar again losing the toss and being sent it to bat on a field where runs would not be easy to come by. After missing the previous match over in South Africa on 'business', we would have been better suited if the coin skills of Selby were still employed. Nevertheless, the pitch was a belter, hard and flat, however we were playing on one of the largest grounds in Australia, 2nd only to the MCG we were repeatedly told. The boundary's only 2 meters shorter straight and the same length square, but, with the previous week's rain, the grass was about four times longer. This would set up an interesting day of cricket.
Iqbal and Brett opened up the batting and started well, keeping the score ticking over at a good rate. Iqbal showed his prowess with numerous square and late cuts which had the fielders diving and scrambling. Brett was also looking good until a good low, sharp catch sent him on his way. Justin came and went quickly bringing Kris to the crease. Kris added a handy 11 runs before getting a leading edge and popping up a simple catch to mid on. Cam didn't trouble the scorers and was on his way back to the change room in quick fashion ' that walk from a big ground is never pleasant!
Will McKeith then joined Iqbal and the two started building a decent partnership. Will was dismissed for a well earned 24 (with more in the offering), whilst Iqbal continued his brilliant shot making and was looking the goods until he called for new gloves. The new gloves didn't seem to work for him and he soon followed his sweaty gloves back to the pavilion for a well earned 59. The tail wagged and added a few handy runs taking our total to 166. By no means a large total, but it going to be a tough chase on a damp outfield where boundaries were extremely hard to come by.
Mitch Sweeney came out firing showing good speed and length which really troubled the batsmen, he picked up 2 wickets but was perhaps unlucky not to snare a couple more. Dan Lake also bowled well to good lines and was rewarded with good figures of 1 for 19. Dave and Will bowled well in tandem not allowing the batsmen any free runs which helped restrict there total and set up an exciting finish. Blacktown was looking in a dominant position before the youngster Avendano stepped up to the plate. He bowled very well in tough conditions for spin, putting the ball in the right areas and giving it good flight. He really troubled the batsmen and was rewarded with good figures of 4 for 33.
Matt Selby called into action for a supurb over at the death
Blacktown's progress was again halted when Brett 'I'll run you out from anywhere' Marvel broke up a partnership with an excellent direct hit from deep in the outfield. This really gave us the upper edge and left Blacktown's tail to do all the work if they wanted the win.
After some big hitting from their no. 9 bat Blacktown were '9 for' needing 10 runs off the final 12 balls, after a fine over from Matt Selby yielded just two the over before. With 7 balls left, and only 5 needed, the ball was hit just behind point where Mitch dived to his left and in a swift motion threw it to Millar at the bowlers end who whipped off the bails and gave us the victory by 4 runs.
Justin "JA" Avendano picks up another crucial 4 wickets for the Stags to get the back in the match
It was exciting match with an excellent finish, and with the 4th grade boys winning right next door we were able to sing the team song in style as a big group. If we can keep the momentum going into the next 2 rounds we should be able to get the wins and sneak into the finals.
Cam "Cam" Brown
5th Grade Cricket Report vs Eastern Suburbs at Snape Park (Day 2)
An indifferent performance on Day 1 and a sporting declaration by the Easts' skipper saw the Stags return to Snape Park for Day 2 of their clash with Easts full of renewed hope. Fuelled by the threat of dehydration, Friday night hydration at a suitable watering hole was essential for all. Bearing that in mind, the game plan was simple: double our score from last week, declare, and bowl Easts out.
Kris Colley whips one off his legs
At 1 for 14 overnight, then 3 for 30 and 4 for not many more, the perky banter from Easts reached fever pitch. Enter Will McKeith and Matt Selby. Being stewards of the moral high ground, both Will and Matt focused on playing cricket and punishing the loose ball. A valuable partnership of 46 ensued, before Matt was unlucky dismissed. Will continued on his way, taking a liking to cow corner off their leggy. A 50 partnership between Will and the skipper, saw the score to 6/129 at tea. The declaration was imminent, and with this in mind Will and Mark Fonseka hit 24 off the first over after tea, including a broken windscreen from a McKeith bomb. A couple of overs later and the declaration was made, leaving Easts with the 165 runs to win and Gordon 35 overs to claim ten poles.
A good opening spell by Pat Effeney and Dan Lake, saw Easts make an edgy start. Dan claimed the first in his first over, with the Pat grabbing the second in the seventh over. A change saw Adrian Widders replace Dan with immediate success, bowling their other opener, to leave Easts at 3/49. Matt Selby replaced Pat, and with a couple of split chances in Matt Selby's first over, the pressure looked to be increasing on the Stags as Easts were 3/87. Avendano and McKeith were now on, with Will claiming two wickets in three overs and Justin one, bringing Easts to 6/91 off 26.
Pat replaced Will, with immediate effect, 7/91 off 27. Some tight bowling, plays and misses, then edged Easts to the hundred mark off 30 overs. Persistent, aggressive bowling by Pat saw him claim two wickets in consecutive balls in the 31st over, setting up a dramatic finish. The plan was simple; the more balls bowled at the No.11, the greater our chances.
Some anxious moments followed, a highlight including Avendano producing a leading edge from the No.11 in the second last over, which somehow lobbed over the bowler and between Mid-on and Mid-off. Enter the final over, with Easts at 9/107 and the No.11 on strike. Effeney to bowl. Ball 1 ' just kept out, Ball 2 ' LBW shout, Ball 3 'kept out, Ball 4 ' Huge shout LBW, caught bat pad surely something(?), Ball 5 'nervously left, Ball 6 another LBW shout, but to no avail - Easts just held on to claim victory on the 1st inning. A superb over from Pat and congratulations to all the Stags involved, for regaining focus in trying conditions and really put the screws on Easts.
5th Grade Cricket Report vs Eastern Suburbs at Snape Park (Day 1)
With Captain Millar on an overseas jaunt, we saw a new captain at the stand in home ground of Snape Park, Maroubra. On a rare occasion Gordon won the toss on what appeared to be a good deck. Despite the prospect of some early life, the deck was expected to flatten out and the decision to bat was made.
(Cam Brown in action at Snape)
The openers appeared to have started well until a mix up saw Sajdeh run out, then two overs later Avendano was caught down the leg side. The tail of woe continued with regular dismissals on a deck which showed some uneven bounce. Runs were hard to come by on a lush outfield; some poor shot selections and reasonable lines from East's resulted in Gordon being dismissed for 83.
Early wickets were required and Effeney, (the ginger ninja), ripped in with fire in his eyes and a howling gale at his back. His second over saw their opener trapped in front then on the next ball their number three watched a ball rip through his stumps. The hat-trick ball was an anticlimax but the ball after resulted in Effeney's third pole. The last ball of the over was a close shout but to no avail. Some sound batting saw the score tick over, before Lake grabbed the fourth wicket with a ball that rolled from short of a length. Avendano then turned one through the gate of a lefty, before East's passed our total five down.
East's declared with a lead of four, and gifted Gordon the opportunity to recover some points. Some positive play had Gordon ending the day at 1 for 14 with a plan in mind to dominate Day 2.
Fifth Grade report vs ND Rangers.
On a Saturday that was so obscenely hot that it drew comments from every Gordon player in relation to Millar winning the toss and bowling, Millar made a tactical call of tails. Turns out tails does fail in New South Wales and Gordon were told to field first in the heat, rather gleefully, I'd imagine, by the ND's captain.
(Pat Effeney in action)
The only Gordon player who did not sink in their spirits a little was Avendano, but we realised that was only because he did not connect us warming up fielding and bowling, as well as Millar running through the bowling line-up with us fielding that day. Eventually he deduced, as we began to get our whites on, that we were indeed bowling and sent his father to buy four more powerades, on top of the three already sunk that morning.
The wicket was grassy, to say the least, meaning that swing was a possibility throughout the day, pending overhead condition's permission. The duo of Lake and Effeney opened up, both coming off the long run in the forty plus degree heat. After two overs each they recognised it wasn't a day for extreme heat, and they shortened their runs dramatically. Lake was replaced by Widders, who bowled economically and with penetration, snaring the first wicket, catching the ND opener in front of the stumps. In an excellent spell he was unlucky not to have a second with a dropped chance at slip.
Otherwise, it was tough work for the quicks, with Millar also bowling a good long spell in the heat for little reward. After the quicks realised the middle of the day wasn't really their thing Iqbal and Avendano were thrown the ball. Couldn't have come quick enough, but you didn't hear me say that.
Iqbal managed sixteen overs in the heat, restricting the scoring effectively before tea, leading to ND's having a snack at 1 for 80. Avendano also bowled well, with his control being the highlight of his long spell. As a fifth grade leg spinning duo, I couldn't think of a better pair in the competition, and although the wickets didn't come cheaply on Saturday, both bowled with good control. It looked like a situation where restriction was the key to taking wickets and the two spinners bowled accordingly.
(The master Iqbal in action)
The highlight of tea was definitely the ample selection of fruit. Watermelon, grapes and apples were on offer and were welcomed on such a hot day. The lowlight of tea was the refusal of the umpires of our suggestion that a game of cards could settle this battle, rather than this futile struggle with the forty plus degree heat. Surely a good old fashioned game of hold 'em would have been a fairer and less sweaty way of settling this fierce rivalry' It wasn't to be.
After tea, with Lake suffering from some sort of heat related illness ('I don't sweat when it's dry heat!') the stags retook the field. The spinners suffered a little in terms of control after the break, with both spinners bowling shoulder high full tosses first ball back. Call it a wicket ball all you like, but they both went for four (deservedly, said in true medium bowler fashion). ND's looked like they were trying to up the run rate, and did so relatively effectively, though relative to the first session anything would look like a six over a side game.
They upped the run rate though, with the captain and his number three partner both reaching half centuries. Number three went to Ahmed trying to increase the scoring rate, lobbing a full toss straight to Kleem at mid off. Number four looked like he was told to hit them to a big score, and was successful for a period before succumbing to Avendano LBW.
Time passed and eventually Colley was introduced, only for one over though. Millar had another go, and Effeney replaced him. The big surprise at the other end, though, was Kenner being thrown the ball. His first delivery was a rather comical wide, about two pitches away from the target. Kenner will tell you it shaved the off stump, but from the position of Brown it would seem Kenner is fighting a losing battle. Aside from the wides, he actually bowled a good spell. With ND's hitting out towards the end, he managed to snare a dangerous new batsman after Effeney had dismissed the captain, who finally nicked one after several hundred plays and misses.
(I searched the archives for Kenner bowling, but I did find Kenner howling)
These two bowlers finished off the day, with a runout leaving them six down for 265. A good effort to restrict the run-rate to just over three, especially on such a hot day. The honours were shared, with five bowlers taking one wicket each. Fielding was generally good, with few errors made and only the one easy catch going down.
Sunday was not so hot and rather pleasant for bowling, so it was fitting to find out that ND's were declaring. The pitch was still good for batting though, and the cool weather meant the helmet would be saved some extra moisture.
Avendano and Kleem opened up, though not for long, with the embryo falling in the first over, caught at slip. Not really the start we desired. Kenner came in and looked assured pretty much from the start, with a few plays and misses the only blemishes on a fine 88. Kleem also looked good, but fell after another start. Colley continued his good form on his way to a solid twenty, but again fell after a start. The run rate was good but two quick wickets before tea (Colley and Lamont) did not help as we went into tea 4 ' 115. Brown came in and looked good, and another fifty partnership with Kenner swung the game in our favour again.
Unfortunately, Kenner fell just short of his century to what he thought was a dubious LBW decision, claiming he hit it. That's when I started to pad up, and get nervous. Iqbal came in and survived what was apparently a very good LBW shout. I guess luck is a funny old mistress. With Brown falling LBW, captain Millar came in, and looked aggressive from the get-go. ND's had their chances to dismiss both of the larger (and elder) statesmen in the stags side, but were unable, with both striking the ball very cleanly to get us over the line in seventy overs.
(Dave Millar hits out)
Fittingly, Millar bombed a six over mid wicket to finish it off, leaving Iqbal scratching his head at the other end on 47 not. Sorry Iq, but as you say yourself, that might be the last time this season you're that close to a half century. A very good win by the stags, assisted by the fact that ND's had two quickies playing injured (as my pal from their side didn't hesitate reminding me) but the six points are now ours, leaving us in a good position to pounce and hopefully consolidate a top six spot at the end of the season.
Did I mention how hot it was on Saturday?
Til next time'
Patrick 'Ginger Ninja' Effeney
5th Grade back in the hunt
Not since bygone days has this writer had the opportunity to write a 5th grade report. In fact it maybe before Justin Avendano was born.
Pat "Ginger Ninger" Effeney takes 4 poles against the Bears
First of all, one of my new features in this issue is LOST AND FOUND. Found at Chatswood Oval just recently 1 bottle of Loreal Paris dermo expertise sublime bronze, self'tanning milk + smoothing effect with AHA, even, natural'looking tan, 12 hours hydration 150 ml face and body. If lost please phone Tony (040-FAKE-TAN).
As it turned out Millar lost the toss, things don't change, and surprisingly we were sent in on what looked like a hardish even deck with a good cover of grass. North Sydney can never be accused of a lacklustre effort with their grounds. Their grounds people definitely earn their keep. Credit must be given where credit is due.
There was a little life in the wicket early with balls seeming around a little and bouncing. Plenty of swing early too. Don't tell Justin how to play, he''ll tell you how to play. Justin cruised his way to a brisk 25 before trying to noodle one through the mid ' wicket area and moving well across his stumps. He was adjudged LBW.
Kris Colley (Kris Kros) arrived at the crease fresh faced and bouncing with enthusiasm. Up until date Kris's results have been modest, but today there was a feel of self assurance. I only wish I had started playing this young. Kleem made it to 39 before looking to break the shackles trying to loft one over mid on. Kleem looked calm and collected while at the crease but looked for that trigger to really set the innings on fire. It was not to be - however both 'special Ks' contributed a good partnership to the team's cause
Cam Brown has been impressive this season with a string of handy scores. Unfortunately it was not his day and he was dismissed lbw early. Henry Carmichael came to the crease and, with Colley, were watchful and contented early on taking what runs were on offer . We went to the tea interval at about 3/100 with the rest of the afternoon to bat. During the break it was found out Justin Avendano 'Googles' his own name approximately 2-to-56 times per day. According to him there around 200 pages of articles relating to the great man himself. Most are the resultsvault pages, but it is good to be popular nonetheless.
Kris Colley punches one down the ground on his way to 101
Sometimes when bored I'll often 'Google' people I know just to see what they have been up to. Just recently I typed Anthony Sherman and found all kinds of articles relating to his exciting escapades in the Northern hemisphere. I then decided to type in Tony Wilson ' SHEEP but for legal reasons I am not permitted any further.
What took place after lunch was extraordinary Kris Colley and Henry Carmichael took apart the North Sydney bowling attack apart. I t was relentless. In particular Carmichael was devastating. Kris Colley was eventually dismissed for 101. This was a partnership of 208, the highest ever 4th wicket partnership in all grades. A total of 4/321 was realised at the end of the day.
I can't comment about the warm-up on day 2, I was stuck in the terrible traffic between Cammery and ... well' Cammery. However, I do note that on day 2 we were presented with very similar conditions. Pat Effeney broke through early and eventually achieved the figures of 4/50. The spin twins Justin Avendano and Iqbal Ahmed tightened the screws. Justin ended up with the very impressive figures of 3/13 while Iqbal was very unlucky claiming just the 1 wicket for 55. I have played plenty of cricket with Iqbal and 5th grade are extremely lucky to have his services. At some clubs he'd be playing as high as 2nd grade. It should also be noted David Millar chimed in with 2/24. They were dismissed for about 180.
An excellent win by the boys and 5th grade will be looking to improve on their position against well placed Northern Districts. Until next time stay tuned.
Kris Colley and Henry Carmichael leave the field with 3 figures against their names
5th Grade back on track
5 airports, 4 flights, 3 delayed flights, 2 missed transfers and 1 free hotel in Hong Kong later, I have begun to write. Sorry about the report being late guys.
Cam Brown launches one down the ground
Yes, I am in Turkey and no there is no cricket here. There are, however, many kebab shops. many drug users and lots of people with no idea about English. Thus we adapt. Currently I am writing in an internet cafe in Istanbul. I got here from Ankara in a converted ambulance with a movie director, a paraglider and a dog. I sat with the dog in the back. I know you are all waiting for the cricket report though, so here goes.
A rather crowded vehicle shuttled us to the ground on the day, leaving us all reaching for our deep vein thrombosis guides on arrival, as well as our game faces. Between Dan Lake's abundance of stories about old girlfriends and Shenal's pumping hip hop, not to mention that 5's were on the brink of a much needed victory, there was a lot to be excited about .
This excitement was channelled into a game of touch American Football, with Brett Favre (McKeith) squaring off against Eli Manning (Effeney). Favre proved that age is no barrier for a QB, something I put down mainly to the deceptive running of Dan 'Wide Receiver' Lake. In fact, don't beleive anything Favre tells you about his Gridiron skills.
Cam Brown and Harry Turner (Replacement midweek) resumed on a deck that looked as good as any for batting, conditions promised to be much better for batting this time around. With only 87 to chase it was a very simple equation. Cam carried on his good form from past weeks and managed (37). Other notable contributors were Kris Colley and Will 'Favre' McKeith with (20) and (25) respectively. Despite wickets falling relatively consistently we were able to pass the target 6 down.
Harry's replacement, Matt Cain, watches as the snick is taken by the keeper
Once a few more had been added, Millar decided batting was boring and declared at which point Effeney and Lake were called into action. Lake begun extremely well, picking up two wickets in his first two overs. Effeney also managed one the over before tea, and with 3 wickets down and the Hawks still in negative territory, we were looking for an unlikely outright.
Tea was good, not just chips this week which was an immediate improvement. After tea, however, was not so good. Lake bowled well but without luck. Effeney picked up another wicket but after that two of the more experienced Hawks played very sensibly and stayed at the crease before playing some big shots. A lesson to be learned by all batsmen, perhaps, on the value of building an innings. Once again, Millar got bored and called it quits.
A satisfying victory and the team song was sung with great gusto.
If this report contains undotted I's (i) I apologise, but it's the computer's fault. Til next time, from Turkey
No match - Abandoned due to rain
5th Grade in a strong position
5th Grade arrived at Bensons Lane, (almost) everyone on time, only to find out the pitch had a sizeable damp spot halfway down, and thus play would start at around 2:30. That gave a few of us two hours to enjoy the atmosphere of Richmond. Some chose the safest route and went to Maccas, others chose to sample the local cuisine and townsfolk. Piling into Will 'the symbol' McKeith's rather unsanitary car littered with his shoes, socks, unfinished washing and assorted crayolas, a few of us went to the hippest cafe in Richmond to see if lattes are made the same way.
Effeney earlier in the season
Turns out they are, for all those who were curious. This isn't supposed to be a restaurant review, but for anyone interested portions were ample, service was friendly and eager and flavours were on point. I forget the name of the cafe though'
The two hours simply flew by viewing the local flora and fauna, puzzling over why some radios don't pick up AM, and determining whether Effeney or McKeith's car is the bigger heap of junk. At around one-thirty the umpires announced that play would begin in an hour. Time for relaxation was over, and 5ths were all business.
After an intense game of touch in which the bottom five defeated top six with a try on the bell, we were told by captain Millar that we would be in the field for the day. The quicks couldn't have asked for better conditions for bowling and they were thankful that the captain had won the toss. He hadn't ' nothing new there ' but the Hawks had chosen to bat first. The pitch was bestowed with rather variable bounce, and ample cloud cover and a cross breeze meant that swing was very probable. Lake and Effeney were chosen to open up despite Avendano's protestations.
Over one dictated the rest of the day's play, with several plays and misses and no runs scored. Lake had to be the unluckiest bowler of the day, with no batsmen seemingly able to put bat on any of his well controlled deliveries. None for six off eight was the result, and this ensured pressure was on from the very start. The benefactor of Lake's control was Patrick 'The Ginger Ninja' Effeney, snaring the first three poles. On a hat-trick, and with a leg slip for the first time in his life, the batsman watched despairingly as the ball went straight through the gate and over off stump.
Once the openers were off, a piece of inspired captaincy brought the captain himself to the crease. Even with an injured ankle, Millar is still one of the finest seamers in fifths, with his loop, guile and drift coming to the fore on this occasion. He blames his ankle for his lack of pace, but a full time move to Gordon's swelling spin stocks are on the cards, so goes the rumour mill.
Avendano delivers a well-flighted full toss to dismiss another batsman
So with Millar snaring the wicket of the opener who had stayed at the crease for a good time (his first for the season, he did not hesitate in reminding everyone, even the opposition) Gordon were well on top with four down and not many on the board.
'Cougar' McKeith, 'Silent Bob' Kinny and 'The Foetus' Avendano did the remainder of the bowling, mopping up the tail in relatively quick time. McKeith snared three wickets, making use of the damp patch (as he does so well away from the field) for his first, but after a change of ends had two more. Avendano bowled effectively, with his wicket ball being the full toss, to which two opposition batsman succumbed. It seems an Avendano full toss is like none other in terms of the regularity in which it takes wickets. But who can argue with three wickets from four overs, right? This scribe certainly can.
A particularly amusing incident in the field was Harry Turner's catch in the outfield off one of those drifting, looping, ripping, non-bouncing full tosses of Avendano's. It seemed Turner had not made the full transition from rugby to cricket season, with the techniques being confused somewhere between ball flying off bat and ball thudding into chest. As the sickening thump echoed around the ground, Turner smacked his hand against his chest to secure the catch, the wicket and a rather painful bruise for the days to come.
Otherwise, The Foetus and The Cougar made short work of the last six, barring a handy sixth wicket partnership, and the Hawks innings came to an end on 87. A great effort by all the bowlers who showed good control from the get go, and maintained it throughout the innings. The fielding was also good, with no real chances missed and sharp ground fielding all throughout.
In reply, we lost more wickets than we would have liked, finishing the day at 3/26. Millar, Sajdeh and Avendano were all disappointed not to be there at the finish of play, but the total posted is not exactly a mammoth, and with the shine coming off the new ball, we should be able to convert this into a solid win.
Til next week'
Patrick 'More nicknames than is reasonable' Effeney
Another victory is left behind
With Killara out of action, the 5th Grade Stags made the journey to Rance Oval to play our 'home' game against Penrith.
Kris Colley lets one go through to the keeper
The removal of the covers revealed a large wet patch, just outside the off stump of the left-handers and meant that play would not start on time. The intervening hours between arriving at the ground and the start of play were spent making fun of 'Grandpa' Millar who made his way to the ground with the aid of a walking stick and Will 'Cougar' McKeith who enlisted the help of his girlfriend for support to get to the ground. His late arrival at the ground was greeted with an entertaining story about how he was forced to stop off at McDonald's for a happy meal in order to get this week's toy and then stop at the local newsagency to find coloured pencils and a colouring book!
At tea time both captains agreed to start play and try and salvage what was left of the day. Fortunately 'Grandpa' managed to win the toss and sent Penrith in on a green top. A fiery opening spell from James 'Billy' Kidd and Pat 'Twinkle Toes' Effeney deserved more reward for their toil. Each managed to get through the defences of the Penrith openers and put Penrith on the back foot right from the start. When the umpires called for the cordial Penrith were 2/38.
The second session saw a change of tactic from 'Grandpa' Millar yielding to the immense expectation and pressure from the crowd, bringing Justin 'I would have taken 20 wickets in Nagpur' Avandano at one end and 'Cougar' McKeith at the other. This was a great little session where we fielded with enthusiasm and built up lots of pressure with consistent dot balls. Both bowlers troubled the batsmen and were unlucky to not pick up more cheeky player points each. However 'Cougar' McKeith did pick up a kiss and a hug for his efforts from his number 1 fan.
As the light faded and the threat of poor light beckoned the end of the day, Avandano and Sajdeh took up the attack in tandem until the batsmen cut the afternoon short, calling for bad light at 5/108. A disappointing end to a good day of cricket, with the opportunity to get more overs at the batsmen it was conceivable that Penrith could have been really looking down the barrel.
Avendano on his way to a good couple of poles
A good start on day 2, with some early scalps, was imperative to give our batsmen a good chance to knock over the runs. The day started off well with 'Twinkle Toes' Effeney and 'Billy' Kidd troubling the batsmen right from the first ball. Special note must go to 'Twinkle Toes' who ran into the roaring gale force wind all morning. With the addition of only fifty more runs for the last 5 wickets, we were set a very reasonable target of 156 in 57 overs.
Both Sajdeh and Kennar knew that a good confident start was necessary, with both having to last the one-hour session prior to tea. A good couple of overs from the Penrith quick's kept both openers in check, both patiently waiting for the bad ball to put away. We had two crucial LBW decisions early in the piece, which put us on the back foot and in a precarious position at 2/20, a position made worse by the loss of a third wicket in the over prior to tea.
The second session started off much like the first with the loss of wickets in a quick succession. A 5th wicket partnership between Mark 'Pup' Fonsaka and Cam 'Gilly' Brown, which included great running and lusty hitting, stole all the momentum from the Penrith bowlers. This partnership looked like it would take us to a well-deserved victory. Unfortunately the cricketing gods had other ideas and we lost another bundle of wickets in quick succession before succumbing to defeat 15 runs short of the target.
(James Kidd lets one go)
A good effort with the ball, especially the quick's, they did a great job to restrict Penrith to 160 but a very poor effort with the bat with the exception of Brown who provided a backbone to our innings. An all too familiar sight this season has been the lack of partnerships right throughout the innings; something that I am certain will be fixed this week on the long road trip to Benson's Lane this coming week.
Another weak performance sees victory slip away
The day started like any other, Dave lost the toss and we were in the field, (we really should be getting use to this by now). The bowlers worked hard on a batsmen friendly deck and stuck to their lines and bowled to their fields. The fielding was standard. We are still lacking that extra bit of energy. We are doing the basics right, it's just time to take it to that next level now. A bit of enthusiasm and anticipating the ball, it's something we're going to have to find otherwise we can expect more long days in the field.
Avendano bowled beautifully on the first day
The pitch was flat and the batsmen waited and punished us for bad bowling or lazy fielding. Their score kept ticking along. A surprise declaration at 5/264 saw the Stags with 4 overs to see off before the close of play. The pick of the bowlers was Pat Effeney, (3/66 of 19), who bowled well throughout the day and was lucky not to have a few more victims. Avendano picked up the other two scalps and bowled very well in the early periods of the game on a deck that gave him no assistance.
So with 4 overs left in the day Dave Millar and Sunny Sajdeh took to the crease, just wanting to make it through to next week. This was made harder by the consistent wides by the Uni opening bowler who prolonged their stay at the wicket. The day ended 0/9 for the Stags; a reasonable and very gettable chase with 10 wickets in hand. The second week would be a good test for the Stags.
We rocked up the next Saturday ready to bat all day and hopefully take away 6 points from University. We did end up batting all day; however we did not receive any points.
Cam Brown was one of the few that successfully took the attack to the University bowlers
The day did not start well, before we had even warmed up Dave Millar had tripped over the stairs leading onto the ground and his ankle swelled up, nearly to the size of Justin's head. Not a good start. He retired hurt, and Justin took his place at the top of the order.
To say that regular wickets fell at intervals would be a great understatement as the top and middle order collapsed and we were 5/28 and then 6/49. When Cam Brown (47*) joined Will McKeith (33) they showed the resistance that the rest did not. They batted positively punishing the attack, even when the field was moved into their scoring zones. McKeith fell just after the 50 run partnership and the score was 101.
Effeney had talked himself up, as usual, and stated how good he was batting in the nets, and he struck 18 in quick time, playing shots of the back foot, and piercing the field. When Effeney fell at 9/140 we were still 24 shy of the follow on target and our clumsy skipper came out to bat, with the aid of a former University player as his runner. Cam and Dave added another 19 to the score, before Dave was bowled, just 5 short of the follow on.
The Uni skipper, then sent us back in for some much needed batting practice. Cam unbeaten of 47, paired up with Sunny and had 27 overs to face out. The batting was slightly improved however wickets still fell and at the end of the day we were 5/79.
Not a great game and a lot to think about. Application is worth more than skill or talent at this level and that is what we are lacking at the moment. Losing is a habit and not one I'm sure any of us would like to get use to. We have a week to turn it around before Penrith.
Lets step in up boys.
5th Grade takes away a well-earned draw
Useless bloody skipper. There is a rule, somewhere, buried within the laws of this great game, which allows the captain to nominate another player to do the coin toss for him. The 5th Grade skipper should utilize this rule. Every bloody game.
Kenner's 90 was one of the few talking points... along with his 2 wickets
To say we were behind the 8-ball from the start was a bit of an understatement. Beauchamp was looking a picture; the grass was short, the pitch was rock hard and the temperature would make it uncomfortable to be chasing leather all day. Added to this, the Stags had a bowling attack that opened up with Millar - into the breeze mind you ' who had injured himself lifting the covers onto the trolley before play. The ball barely reached the other end before it was dispatched into the distance.
And dispatched we were. 380 odd runs came from the 80 overs in the day. It was a long day in the field chasing the ball through the Beauchamp carpark and retrieving it from Roseville, Lindfield and, towards the end of the day, as far as Sutherland. A couple of crucial catches went down. Both were struck firmly but should have been taken. We needed them. As a result, nearly 200 runs were scored by these two bats after those chances were grassed.
Our intensity in the field was not up to scratch. Although there weren't really any misfields, overthrows or other mistakes, players were not anticipating in the field. Not expecting the ball to come to them. Not wanting the ball to come to them. There were a lot of stationary bodies throughout the day and not enough support given to the bowlers who had to toil away on a lifeless deck.
I will not dwell on this much longer than to say our best bowling performance, after Millar had kept it very tight from his end early, was from Richie 'Sticks' Kenner, with a couple of consolation wickets at the end of the day. After almost leaving the field in protest, after Wigham was given an over before him, the man with more moving parts in his bowling action that any other person known to mankind struck with his first ball ' a mistimed swot at a ball travelling well down leg side that caught the top edge. I was told that Kenner's insistence in the group huddle that 'it was all planned' was reminiscent of Trevor 'The Angry Ant' Watling who used to drum into his troops the idea of line and length. Before having a bloke caught on the boundary from a rank short ball.
Day 2 could only get better.
Some good work from the groundsman saw a deck that was in good shape, although still a little soft, after all the rain during the week. Unfortunately, neither of the openers were able to adjust quickly enough to the deck 'popping' early on.
It was imperative that they saw us through the opening 10 overs or so, until the deck settled down, and then built a platform to attack during the later session. I have been told, and all those playing at Beauchamp should be aware of this, that you can almost score twice as many runs in the session after tea if you have wickets in hand. The deck always flattens out and becomes a pleasure to bat on.
Losing those two wickets for just ten runs meant we were not looking to good at this stage. Any dreams of getting 400 went out the window. However, Kenner and Wigham set about rectifying the innings. Sitting back in the stands, it was a pleasure to see Wigham flourish in these conditions. He waited for the ball to come onto the bat and guided plenty of runs behind square on both sides of the wicket. When he had to, he dropped his hands and wore the ball, rather than risking popping it up to the men in close. Kenner, usually a quiet accumulator of runs, was patient, determined and looked like he wanted to see out the full 80 overs for his side and club. It took a full 90 mins for him to get his first 10 or so runs. But it was just what we needed ' from the openers.
Unfortunately Wigham's chanceless innings was cut short by a good piece of fielding and a direct hit at the keeper's end. Decisions tend to even themselves out over the long run and Jono is due for plenty of it to come his way soon.
Jono carves one out through the covers
Another close all to Kenner, who was very lucky not to be following Jono back to the sheds, saw the team's luck even up and we went into tea was 7 wickets in hand.
At this point I had to leave the game and field for the injured Stephenson in 1st Grade. However I was told that after tea the deck had settled out and Kenner began to put the Sutherland bowlers to the sword. McKeith, Selby and Qureshi all had the chance to capitalise on an afternoon in the sun, plenty of overs and plenty of red ink next to their name come the end of the day. All three failed to support Kenner and quickly followed each other back to the sheds.
Fonseka, looking to find some form before the game against his old club, joined Kenner and soaked up the pressure. The field came in closer and men were to be found all around the bat. A patient start to his innings and an application that wasn't evident in the previous batsmen saw him there the whole way to the end of the game.
Kenner was unlucky not to be there at the end, but an edge through to slip brought his innings to a close a handful of runs short of what would have been a well deserved 100.
This brought Cam Brown to the crease and, after a few hairy runs, was dismissed with half an hour or so to go in the day. Kinney took his place out in the centre and when he feathered a ball through to the keeper there were 2.2 overs left in the day.
It was down to Fonseka and Millar to see out the day and ensure that the Sharks did not return home with any points. As McKeith was entertaining those in the stands with his wildly fluctuating preferences for the age of his love interests, Cam Brown's sister dropped by and then wisely left before McKeith could do any damage. Best any women under 18 - or over 50 - stay well way from the game.
With an imploring shout by the Sharks on the penultimate ball of the day for an LBW that hit Fonseka directly in line with the middle but somewhere around his Adam's apple, and the final ball left untouched, the game was over and the Stags had seen out the day, 9 wickets down, still 140 runs behind.
From the start of the day, the Sharks never really pressured the batsmen, having a ring field with a couple of slips. It wasn't until the ship had almost sailed that they began to turn the screws. Perhaps they should have declared the previous week or simply just got under our noses from the start, but we were happy not to concede points, knowing that next week we will have a stronger bowling attack with plenty of potency.
Let's get this season back on track Stags.
5th Grade fail with bat and ball
After taking Tuesday and Friday nights to set up sight screens and put down covers at Beauchamp Oval, the Gordon 5th Graders were ready for another great game of cricket against Wests. The Gordon boys knew that it would be a tough game, however after two good wins against traditionally tough opponents to start the season, the mood from the change room was good.
Sajdeh makes a few runs early
The day got off to a great start when we realised that the council had put a lock on the change room door that nobody had a key to. This was not a huge problem as the rooms could be entered through the main room of the pavilion; however we later realised that for Wests to get to their change room they had to walk straight through ours, this had the potential to cause many awkward moments throughout the match.
The sight screens were up, covers were off, and before we knew it Dave 'Millsy' Millar was out in the centre losing the toss. The wicket had a bit of green on it and as mentioned Millar lost the toss and the Gordon boys were sent in to bat. The innings started nicely with Kris Colley and Sunny Sajdeh pushing the ball around before Kris was unfortunately dismissed. This brought Kenner to the crease. Kenner and Sajdeh, the stalwarts, pushed on and with some great shots and quick singles the Gordon innings was well underway.
In bizarre fashion and something I have never seen before in my cricketing life, the Wests left arm opening bowler was dismissed from the bowling attack by the umpires after three warnings for following through on the pitch. The boys in the pavilion did not know what had gone on until Kris Colley told us about the footmarks he had left right down the middle of the pitch (ironically the problem itself being a "left, right down the middle of the pitch") . One big black footmark on a good length on off-stump and another short of a length outside off-stump. He must have had a very weird follow through.
Kenner and Sajdeh continued to play very well and got the score to 79 before Sajdeh was dismissed. At 2-79 the Gordon boys where not looking too bad. (The worst was yet to come). Unfortunately 5 wickets for 4 runs in the 6 overs placed Gordon at 6-84 and suddenly not in the best position! The middle order had failed to do its job.
There was no need to panic just yet as Selby and Millar were at the crease. Selby decided that it was a good idea to get off the mark with a massive six over mid-off into the houses across the road almost taking out a white van. The two managed to keep the score ticking over and had put on 40 runs in 8 overs before Selby top edged a sweep shot to the square leg boundary where a flying Wests player took a great catch low to the ground. There was some doubt about the catch and the two umpires met in the middle. Despite some serious doubts voiced by the square leg umpire Selby was required to depart the field.
Next ball Millar did the same thing and a suspect catch was taking. A Wests player dived caught the ball and then hit the ground. To the people on the field he had his back toward them and they all thought it was a catch however from where we were sitting, those who saw it saw the ball come out of his hands as he hit the ground before he re-gathered it and claimed it. Millar had to depart and two big moments in the game had fallen in favour of Wests.
It is fair to say that both wickets deserved to be theirs. Both shots were miscues that sailed high in the air and should have been taken much more cleanly than they were.
"Sticks" Kenner whips one onto the leg side
Before long, with another collapse of 4/6, the Gordon innings was wrapped up on 128 well before the full allotment of overs. This score was disappointing; however we knew we had a chance if we bowled well.
Gordon took the field in an effort to roll Wests for under 128. Tim Fulton and Patrick Effaney bowled well early but somehow the scoreboard kept ticking over for Wests. Dave Millar and Vaughan Patterson also bowled well throughout the middle overs however catches went down and Wests started to run away with the game. Matt Selby assured us he would take 10 for 0 if the captain would let him bowl and after his first over of 1 for 0 with a great catch from Richie Kenner it looked possible! Unfortunately Wests picked up the scoring and before long they had reached the total only 1 down.
This was a disappointing result for the boys as they had started the season so well. I hope there are plenty of men hurting from such a result. The middle order batting let us down; however we have a chance to redeem ourselves on Saturday! I'm sure all the players will be looking forward to it and we hope we can get a win for our fantastic club, GORDON!
5th Grade gets over the line to grab points
A full compliment of players arrived at Jensen Oval on Saturday morning, confident after a bonus point win in the previous week with a man short. However, Bankstown, our opponents had pulled off a bonus point win in their round one clash as well, so we entered the contest with a very cautious approach.
Sajdeh gets the batting off to a handy start
Rain delayed our start of by half an hour with the Bulldogs skipper keen to head home and Captain Dave Millar champing at the bit to bowl with the wind again. After winning his 3rd toss from 20 attempts we sent Bankstown into bat on a pitch that looked like it would offer a bit to both bat and ball.
Not after the Gordon boys had pulled the home team's covers on and off the deck a couple of times.
A heavy downpour sent us from the field after only 2 overs during which we were able to knock off one of the openers. With the rain getting heavier and a now freshened up pitch the opposition skipper again pushed for calling the day off. But armed with his laptop and wireless internet Millar was on the bureau of meteorology's website studying the radar as if he were Tim Bailey. He managed to convince the umpires (but not the opposition skipper) that the rain would pass and we would be back on the field at 1:30 before fitting in the rest of the days play.
As predicted, the rain stopped and we were able to take the field again. Despite losing another two early wickets, Bankstown got off to a fairly quick start and were 3 for 40 before Justin 'Embryo' Avendano gave his hat to the umpire. Turing the ball square and landing them in the right spot he was able to keep the Bankstown batsmen scoreless for his first 6 overs. Dave Millar supported the young leggy well going for just 6 runs from his 8 overs.
The pressure was building and Justin, grunting like Maria Sharapova, was able to get wickets consistently throughout his spell including a LBW, two bowled and a handful of catches using great pieces of deception. He bowled 22 overs straight with figures of 5 for 18. After each wicket he took he made sure to reminded us how many fantasy points he was worth this week which and encouraged us to pick him as captain in our own sides. No-one did.
Mark 'Lotto' Fonseka also bowled a good spell, managing to keep the batsmen, the keeper and more often than not himself guessing as to what ball would come next ending with figures of 1 for 23. The day ended with Bankstown in trouble at 9 for 129.
Justin "Maria" Avendano with 8 wickets already this season
At the start of day two we were keen to knock off the last wicket without giving Bansktown any bonus runs. Luckily the Embryo, fresh from a warm-up in his backyard net, hadn't lost any of his form and was able to clean up the final wicket in just 3 balls with one run added to the Bansktown total to finish with figures of 6 for 19 ' this one round his legs and all!
Sunny Sajdeh got our chase to a great start, playing shots on both sides of the wicket ' but mainly his trademark leg-side nudges, noodles and knocks - and had a crucial partnership with Jono Wigham to steady the top order after the loss of some early wickets. Sunny was trapped in front for 38 to a well bowled wrong-un by Bankstown's very own fetus, aged 14. Boy did Justin feel old!
Rain, once again stopped play at the tea break. As Millar again studied the weather radar, Kris Colley's grandfather showed us the best way to kill time during a rain delay by visiting the local strip club for a cappuccino. He rated the coffee and Sefton's Monday morning line up as 'not the best he's ever had.'
Once the rain cleared, play restarted and we found ourselves in a very comfortable position at 3 for 70. The runs were ticking over nicely before Jono Wigham fell for 30 and Mark Fonseka departed after making a solid contribution. Only a handful of runs were needed with 5 wickets in hand and it seemed as though a relatively comfortable win was on the cards.
In the closing stages only 5 runs were required with 5 wickets left in the shed before three quick wickets sent nerves throughout the side. But Nathan Kinny and Tim Fulton were able to steady the ship and score the remaining runs for the win. Not a moment too soon either as the remaining 2 wickets fell without adding to the score, so we won by a solitary run.
The Bankstown captain felt it appropriate to have second dig for 9 overs, despite there being less than a snowflakes chance in hell of a result, before both captains agreed to call it a day. Overall a good win set up by a great spell of leg spin bowling by the Embryo.
5th Grade vs Randy-Petes
1 man down, but 7 points on the board
A hot sunny morning welcomed the 5th grade team onto the field. We warmed up with about 6 players and we knew that it was going to be hard against last year's grand finalists. Were we going to have another John Sawtell moment? Surely not, it wasn't that hot out there. We've been told that Knox boys are made of tougher stuff. Nevertheless, the captain, and former Knox boy, Will Sweeney was confident with the reduced line-up, called heads and opted to bowl first. Brave move!
Justin "The Embryo" Avendano - growing out of his trousers
Actually I have no idea if he won the toss, but we found ourselves in the field nonetheless. With only 9 men on the field, and an opening bowler down, Sweeney's hand was forced and Millar shed the keeping pads and took up the challenge to run into the breeze and up a hill in order to pair up with Tim Fulton to open the bowling (Tiddles would be ashamed if he found out Sweeney allowed Millar to run with the breeze in the first half).
The opposition found hard to score under Millar's (fast ' well slow medium) bowling which had them jumping all over the place. After 12 overs for almost no runs and now with 10 players on the field, the players knew that we were on top. With a couple chances going down on the field, James 'Billy' Kidd got the break through with sharp bowling with figures (1 for 24).
When the opposition started to increase the run rate, Will decided to put spin from both ends; both bowlers rewarded the captain with some very tidy figures. Justin 'Embryo' Avendano (2 for 34 after 10) put in a much bigger performance much to the chagrin of Kenner, who is now both smaller and slower than the 15 year old. Mark 'The Fonz' Fonsaka (0-5 after 5) has been imported from Sydney Uni and bowled a very mixed bag of deliveries that kept the batsmen, wicketkeeper and usually himself guessing as to what was coming next. His athleticism in the field, a tidy pair of hands and a solid arm meant that there were very few runs scored through the point region.
A few runs were leaked in the final few overs, but the score was kept down to a very manageable 190. With only a couple of wickets down and 10 overs to go, Randwick-Petersham would have been looking for a much bigger total. But credit to the bowlers and especially the fielders in restricting them to a very gettable target.
Millar on his way to 0/15 from his ten
After lunch, our openers Kris 'Steve' oh, sh!t' sorry mate' Colley and Richie 'Sticks' Kenner got us off to a very good start, with Richie flying to his first 50 of the season. Colley fell, bowled around his legs, with the score on 60-odd and Vaughan 'Micky V' Patterson was caught lofting the ball down the ground. Our stand-in wicket keeper Jono 'Chief' Wigham lifted the run rate with Kenner in search of an early season bonus point. Sticks finished with 71 after chopping a ball back onto his stumps, bringing the skipper to the crease.
For those watching, it brought back memories of Dave Gray as he strode out to the crease to meet the young pup Wigham. The order was issued that there was to be no quick singles due to his age / lack of fitness / desire to win it in boundaries. For those of you who are unaware of Will's background ' Will was a regular in 2nd grade before succumbing to the curse that has stopped Ed Howitt Snr from returning to the field in recent years (bad knees). Opting not to have titanium replacements, Will is currently recovering from tendinitis and is playing as a batsman whilst captaining 5th grade. A true club man and you would struggle to find a person who could say a bad word about the man ' despite what Higgins would have you believe.
The Chief and our captain kept pushing on towards the bonus point for the team and after a quiet start the Chief showed some very classy shots through and over the field. Sweeney butchered the bowling from ball one and sent some lusty straight drives cannoning into the picket fence. With only 3 runs to win within 11 balls to get the bonus point, The Chief tried to finish it with a pull over mid-wicket. A great catch was taken by a bloke who had done nothing all day and this then saw both the Fonz and the Embryo fall in the remainder of the over.
Thinking it was all over, Millar, missing a right pad, left glove and his bat, strode to the crease to finish of the game with his skipper. Luckily it was the end of the over and he had time to retrieve his missing gear.
Steve... sorry Kris Colley opening the innings for the Stags
Sweeney knocked the first ball through the covers for 1. Fittingly he brought up his 50 with this ' not that any of his teammates even clapped. Perhaps they too may have a bad word to say about him. But more than likely they were engrossed in the finish.
A quick single to Millar, testing out Sweeney's knee, and a leg bye saw the side home with a couple of balls inside of the 40 overs.
It was a solid win to the 5th Graders who played a man down all day. The song was sung with gusto and the new players will hopefully get a chance to learn the words in the coming rounds.
Finishing an hour early, a few players packed into the local pub to watch the end of the AFL Grand Final. We publically apologise for an unnamed player's first ever trip inside one of these hallowed drinking establishments.
To borrow a phrase 'You stay classy Livingston Hotel' ' and all its patrons
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
1st Grade now need a miracle after loss to Ghosts
First Grade arrived at Raby 1 with it all to do in the second half of this season defining clash. With 7 wickets needed for less than 120 and the prospect of another juicy wicket, there was a lot of possibilities in 96 overs.
A bright note during the day: BMac congratulates Colley on a fantastic catch
Upon arrival, all plans had to be immediately reviewed as the wicket presented could not have been more different from week 1. A hard brown featherbed was going to make the task very difficult. Indeed Campbelltown needed 10 points to stay in the running for the season and the wicket presented was certainly not conducive to that. We had been on the wrong side of conditions 5 or 6 times this season and triumphed and would have to do it again. On the plus side the wicket was so dry it looked like it might spin for Macdonald and Colley.
Connell and Edwards bowled good consistent initial spells but were never really in the game with the lack of pace and bounce stifling their considerable efforts. Connell struck the edge a few times only to see the ball die a few metres from the bat.
MacDonald appeared the only hope as he was brought on with out a wicket going down. He responded to the challenge, gaining some turn and consistently challenging the previously unhindered McKell and Croese. Unfortunately 2 catches went down, both from Brendan's bowling and it wasn't until the score was past 100 that he held onto a sharp shoulder high caught and bowled from the night watchman, Croese. Croese had batted for 80 minutes for less than 20 on a very good wicket, soaking up valuable time in the game. Mckell was holding the batting together but was getting very tired and began playing some loose shots.
The new batter was state representative Scott Coyte, 3 men were immediately dispatched to the deep on the leg side. Coyte obliged by smashing his second ball high to mid on where Steve Colley took a great catch close to the fence. Colley and MacDonald were both turning the ball and causing problems, Adam Coyte and Mckell put together a partnership taking the score past 130, only 5 down. Nicholson came back into the attack and pre lunch the Stags needed something. McKell was very tired and helped Gordon by smashing a half tracker from MacDonald straight to Ben Garrett at mid on where he held a scorcher above his head.
Steve Colley extracts some turn out of a flat dusty deck
The door was ajar at 6-140 with ten minutes to lunch. Ian Beverley then combined with MacDonald to dismiss Adam Coyte with the catch of the season. A low edge from the cue end of the bat was held only an inch from the turf. In a testament to Bev's technique and hard work throughout the season, it had all come together in one perfect catch. A great example for others to follow.
At 7-143 at lunch it was game on for the six points. Gordon had done an excellent job to hang in the contest against the odds. Alas there was no more joy after lunch. Campbelltown mixed resolute defence with some attacking flair to peel off the runs relatively easily after the break. It felt like a long season of the bowlers getting the team out of trouble had caught up with them. They can't be expected to do it every week.
Campbelltown declared straight away and Gordon set about trying to set some sort of target. Looking for about 150 ' 160 from 22 overs was always going to be tough. Due to the flat pitch and the time taken to earn first innings points, a ten point match was almost impossible. On that wicket, any small chase was always going to favour the batting side. Gordon couldn't get enough of a target with enough overs to bowl Campbelltown out, and despite the disappointment of Tony Clarke, the game was called off. This game was highlighted by some very good bowling by Brendan MacDonald, supported as usual by Dylan Connell and some good spells from Rob Edwards. Iain Beverley had a very good all round game and Cam Eccles burst back into form in the second innings with some crunching straight drives and pulls.
This looks to be the end of the line for the first grade side. Only a miraculous result this week against cellar dwellers UNSW will see us progress to the finals. A very, very disappointing situation, given our dominance before Christmas. Unfortunately we haven't had enough consistent contributors this season. Too many relying on too few will not win you a flag
Bombas supervises the 5th Grade warm-up: Not quite Merv Hughes & Bay 13
1st Grade bowlers to do the work... again
The Gordon First Grade side travelled down the M5 for a must win encounter against the Ghosts. Recent weeks have seen their powerful position on the table eroded as the batsmen have squandered opportunities to shine.
Nicholson won the toss on a grassy and somewhat damp pitch. The decision was to bat first and try and get some sort of score on the board as our attempts to chase in recent times had been ordinary to say the least.
Packman, who fought hard and provided a backbone to the innings
Steve Colley, on debut and Cam Eccles went out to face the music. Both players fought hard on a tough wicket, it was fortunate for Gordon that the bowling was not particularly accurate in the opening exchanges.
It wasn't long before Colley was trapped LBW for two and Bombas followed shortly after, playing one on from veteran Tony Clark. Normal transmission had resumed and the Stags were 2-20. James Packman was asked to perform his weekly rescue mission along with Eccles, who was uncomfortable but fighting hard. The board was creeping along at one run per over and both players were hanging in there. A change of bowling saw Campbelltown's English import Gidman trap Eccles in front and once again it was Nicholson and Packman set with the task of rebuilding from 3-30. Both players applied themselves and batted selectively and positively to take the score to 3-58 at lunch. This continued after the break until the score was 103 when Nicho chopped one on from the spin of Burke. This wicket facilitated a collapse and as is so often the case the Gordon batting appeared soft and listless.
Before the captain had his pads off, Garrett and Evans had both been caught in front by Burke who had completed a hat-trick. Packman was soon gone as well for a hard fought 40, Burke had 4 and the Stags were in tatters at 7-109. MacDonald played his usual breezy knock which was cut short by teenage leg spinner Brain, this brought Beverley and Edwards together for a partnership that gave Gordon something to bowl at. Beverley combined hard sweeps with solid defence for a vital 35, while Rob showed his growing maturity with a patient 19 not out. The less said about Dylan's contribution with the bat the better. At the end of the innings the Stags had limped to 175 and once again it was down to the bowlers.
Nicholson - before he had the pads off
Nicholson and Dylan started well and the usual 2-10 was posted. A great catch from Bombas at first slip and an LBW had Gordon in the game. From there, John McKell showed the Gordon top order how to play on a seaming pitch. Controlled aggression, mixed with good technique and patience. Rob Edwards bowled with good aggression and to everyone's delight got rid of dangerman Burke just prior to sumps. With the Ghosts poised at 3-56, the game could go either way. One of the premier bowling attacks will try and prize out a very respectable and deep batting line up. The task: 7-120. We will need to take all our catches and play with enthusiasm throughout.
Beyond the first innings result, there could be a possibility of further points, given the Ghosts position on the table and the state of the pitch.
1st Grade vs. Blacktown, Feb 2009
The lads from the Stags premier side arrived at Chatswood Oval having dropped out of the top 6 for the first time in 08/09 season. With the club also in the mix for the club championship, it was imperative that a win was registered.
Nicholson charges in against the Warriors
The ground was in outstanding condition and the pitch looked pretty good considering the amount of rain it had received. Matt 'The Great Man' Nicholson won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Dylan 'D-Train' Connell and Jules 'Midnight' Stephenson opened up, with Jules claiming a wicket with his first ball back from injury. All the bowlers stuck to their task, bowling good lines and not allowing Blacktown any chance to hit out. The fielding was also of high standard, although special mention must be made of Rod 'Rocket' Hokin who provided all those watching with his own highlight reel. Rod, who had already taken 2 very handy grabs, was fielding at square leg, next to the umpire. The Blacktown batsman attempted a pull shot, off Nicho's bowling. Rod immediately turned towards the boundary and began to chase the ball, or so he thought. Rocket ended up three quarters of the way to boundary when the ball landed about 3 paces from where he had initially been standing. Enough said.
A storm hit the ground around 1pm, with Blacktown 6 for 80 at the time. Play did not recommence until 3:20, with the game revised to 42 overs per side. Blacktown was eventually dismissed for 130, with Brendan 'BMac' McDonald the pick of the bowlers.
There was another rain delay following the change of innings which left Gordon chasing a revised total of 120 off 38 overs.
Once again the batting struggled, chasing a small total, it crumbled to be 6 for 39. James Packman with the assistance of BMac did their best to dig the Stags out of the hole, but unfortunately the task was too great, with Gordon being bowled out in the 32nd over for 101.
"BMac" - Dylan's pick of the bowlers, handy with the willow as well
With results falling our way, luckily we are still only 2 points out of the top 6. With the rest of grades winning their games and the club striving to win the club championship, it is time 1st Grade stood up and show what they are truly made of!
It was a shame not to be able to farewell Will Smith with another rendition of the team song, and the next couple of round will be interesting with the young top order required to step up and build a platform for the club to launch its assault at numerous titles.
Gordon v Easts First Grade Day Two
36 runs or three wickets ' the equation was pretty simple at the start of day two.
Given the general nature of Sydney grade wickets (early wickets seem a formality) and conditions due to any lingering overnight moisture, it was always going to take something special to secure those priceless runs.
(Beau Casson...another wicket)
Given the fact that it was our lower order who were entrusted with the job, hard as they usually fight, it was to prove even tougher against a fresh bowling attack, and eventually would prove beyond them. Only a further eight runs were added, and while Ed Zelma did the damage last week, this time it was his new ball partner Ritchard who took all three wickets to fall.
There was an upshot to losing so early on the second morning ' there was still plenty of time for a spirited fightback in the hope of securing outright victory.
On a wicket that ended up being expectedly flat come the middle session, early wickets were a necessity, in larger quantities than usually come about. We got three (3/32 ' I'm sure 80% of grade innings see this scoreline) before a decent partnership ensued. And as the heat and the pitch stifled a willing Stags attack, Easts progressed to 4/131 just before tea. It was looking like the inevitable handshakes would be done with early. That is not accounting for the resilience which this side possesses with the ball and in the field. Three quick wickets and a tea-time score of 7/138 set up a potentially intriguing last session ' tea was taken upon the seventh wicket and completion of Easts' number seven's pair. Just ask the poor guy whether Beau is due a stint in higher level games ' six balls faced, four of them from Beau, none of which were read correctly, and two of which claimed his wicket.
Unfortunately, Easts' lower order managed to bat long enough to ensure no outright result was possible. 13 overs were left in the day when they were bowled out for 196, leaving the Stags 223 runs adrift.
(Brendan McDonald during his three wicket spell)
If only Beau (75 off 44 balls) had told me he was going for them ' if I (29 off 40 balls) had pulled my finger out then we may have got close... Nonetheless it was great striking from Buzz and a chanceless (!!?) innings to boot. It capped another good day for Beau (3/90 off 27 overs), as he again bowled probingly and with slightly more help from the surface, could have engineered an unlikely outright win. Brendan (3/55 off 22 overs) bowled beautifully also, and like Beau, I'm sure he would have appreciated a drier track.
It is now the pointy end of the season, and a meagre six points separates second place and us in seventh. Two wins out of the last three games, and a finals spot should be all but secured. There is no questioning the resilience, skill and quality of our bowling and fielding efforts. Now is the time for the batting to come good ' with more calm and more steel. The fickle nature of the game and of people means that a couple of brave and positive efforts now, and the struggles of the recent past will all be forgotten.Will Smith
Gordon First Grade v Easts ' Day One
Those spectators who could have been forgiven for leaving this game at afternoon tea, will not have believed their eyes when they saw the scoreline in the morning's paper, following a chaotic final session.
(Beau Casson in action during his 4 wickets)
Both teams contrived to lose winning positions, and also win losing ones. Maybe it was the heat that made everyone go slightly crazy. Either way, the final sessions saw ten wickets fall for nigh on 150 runs, scored at four per over. Three more wickets than the first two sessions combined, and 50 more runs too. The end result being a game that is well and truly still on a knife edge, be it for first innings points and outright.
Losing the toss was not ideal, as the wicket looked hard and true, (thus it seemed to play for most of the day), and the weather set fair. A perfect batting day. The Stags bowlers however had other ideas, and throughout an intriguing first two sessions, the ball firmly held sway over the bat. The wicket soon revealed itself to have accentuated bounce and carry, but the fact that it was not inconsistent might have suggested scoring would have been found easier than the Easts batters portrayed. The paltry scoring rate was down to a highly impressive and disciplined display, (as has been the norm), by every Gordon bowler.
A tea-time run-rate of under two per over, and the fall of seven Easts wickets looked a fair result, given both team's apparent intentions. It proved to be the calm before the storm. And for storm, read E.Zelma. The last three Easts wickets fell soon after tea, for 143, and due to a show of greater intent from their lower order.
(An early wicket is celebrated)
For all his apparent craziness and whatever misgivings there may be on his return to Chatswood, Eddy Zelma it seems can't be accused of being anything less than whole-hearted, and possessing no little skill in his bowling either. His 5 for 31 included four of the Stags top order, and he then took the prize wicket of Nicho late in the day, to break the biggest partnership of the game (66 with Rocket), and one which was hinting at winning the game. As ever with our batting this season, nothing has been plain-sailing. Apologies for praising an opposition player, but I feel it is case of credit where credit is due. And anyhow, given a similar Stags bowling effort and more assured batting come next week, then we may have cause to celebrate first innings points, and perhaps an outright win too...
On a mixed day for Gordon, two guys in particular can hold their heads deservedly high. Apart from Nicho of course, who at nearly 2m tall does so anyway, plus he puts in match-winning performances week in, week out. He, as ever, was talismanic. Dylan, Robby Edwards and Macca were able support also.
But I feel Beau 'Buzz' Casson was without doubt the pick. For a guy who has had his fair share of ups and downs, through that shines his commitment and the ability to enjoy a team-mates success more than his own. Figures of 4 for 38 from 21 probing overs are perhaps a little under-done. He could have had more wickets, certainly had Easts batters intent been more apparent. He is accumulating menacing rhythm with every spell he bowls, and for his sake, one hopes he wont be with us much longer.
(Bevo shows his style at Chatswood)
Commitment and enjoyment of other's success are also a forte of Iain 'Beaver' Beverley. The guy undertakes a triathlon every time he takes the field, has not misjudged or fumbled a ball for weeks, and had his innings not been unluckily (!!) cut short on Saturday, I have no doubt Bev would be 30 not out going into next Saturday. His efforts should never go unappreciated.
Without wishing to sound glib, there were many positives to take from a performance otherwise marked by underwhelming batting.
First Grade Report vs Northern Districts
On a very hot Saturday morning 1sts found themselves travelling to Waitara Oval and very keen to get back on winning ways after a disappointing couple of loses. This match sees Raging Rocket and Bevo return to a much familiar ground. With the heat reaching high thirties at 9 in the morning the obvious inclination was to throw the pads on and bat.
(Nicho during his innings at Waitara)
Nicho kindly won the toss and with a quick pep up for the top order to fire we were ready to post a big score. Will and Cam went about there business and worked there way through the new ball. After bringing up the first wicket partnership to 50 Jiggy (19) hit a catch to short cover and Cam (31) fell 1st ball after the 2nd drinks break to leave us 2-56 and needing a partnership.
Unfortunately it didn't come and we lost Packers (8), Bomba (11) and Rocket(1) for less than 30 to have us looking down the barrel at 5-82. Nicho joined Buzz at the crease and went about starting a middle order partnership. With every over with no wicket the ND players were noticeably getting frustrated and with the searing heat their concentration was reducing. Beau(28) was the next to leave edging one to the keeper and Macca(8) pushed one to first slip and we were back on the ropes at 7-137 and ND's with there tails up could sense that they could be batting soon after tea.
However Nicho and Bev had other plans with some brilliant batting and great temperament Bev and Nic's batted well after tea. The innings included some superb cover drives from Nicho's blade and Bevo the sweeping master showed that no spin bowler is safe when he is on strike.
(Bevo, Australia's number 1 sweeper)
Nicho brought up his half century and was far from finished. Their partnership was edging closer to 100 but on 99 Nicho fell for 76. Jules and Bev continued to tick the scoreboard over and Bevo brought up his 2nd first grade half century. Soon after he fell for 54. Jules was joined by Darren McConnell at the crease and sensing that the Tree's were getting tired went about smashing 30 including 7 boundaries.
At 9 for 278 stumps was called with a hefty total reached.
The second day was looking very bright for us as there was a change overnight and instead of temps of 40+ it was back down in the twenties. Dylan and Jules continued on from last night and added six more to the total before Jules nicked one behind and D-train wondering what could have been at the other end.
With 284 on the board the boys were sure with our bowling attack that it was enough we just needed to take every chance that comes our way. Backing up after spending most of Saturday in the sun Nicho got the first, with a good catch from Reece, and third break through and with Beau getting the other we had ND's 3-45 and well and truly on top. After lunch we continued our enthusiasm with the ball and the field saving runs all over the field and bowling very tight. This led to a few more wickets one for Macca, Buzzy and Dylan to have them 6-102. The talk was to have them dismissed before or just after tea and it looked that way at 8-144 with Jules and B Mac picking up more wickets.
However there number 5 bat was still working away and having reached 50 just needed someone to hang around with him. The next partnership lasted a little over an hour and added 64 to the total. With Mac taking his 3rd wicket we were edging very close to victory so the paceman were brought back on to take the last wicket.
(The slips are ready for the new ball)
However their number 11, although not looking convincing at all and a few comments such as 'when did Matt play Test cricket' and 'gees this is quick' didn't give his wicket away and was determined to get his partner to 100. On 98 Ball ran the ball down to Dylan at fine leg and set off very hard determined to get his hundred. Coming back for his second dyl ripped it into Bevo's gloves and with shouts of 'bowler' he twirled around and flinged it at the stumps and ran out the non striker for 0 and leaving Ball on 99*. A very good victory by the mighty stags.
1st Grade vs. North Sydney
The lads from the Stags premier side were to resume hostilities after the Xmas break at one of Sydney's finest cricket venues, North Sydney Oval. Reinvigorated after two weeks of relaxation and festive season indulgence, the boys looked fit and raring to go.
Julian "Midnight" Stephenson in action against the Bears
Cricket is one of the few sports around the world where the result can at times hinge on the toss of the coin prior to the start play. Unfortunately this was scenario that presented itself to the North Sydney and Gordon captains, as the pitch appeared to have also had an extended break over Xmas and New Year. The playing surface was green, soft and cracked, a combination the defies all logic considering that pitch cracking is due to heat and a lack moisture, yet it was soft and green which normally means there is ample moisture. The science boffins would do well to study this freak of nature.
Nicholson lost the toss and Gordon was sent into to bat.
The entire Stags batting line up fought extremely hard not to give their wickets away, yet despite their intentions, the pitch at times was unplayable. The bounce was inconsistent and the ball seamed and turned at right angles. Nicho's dismissal was probably the best example of the variability as he was out LBW to ball that landed half way down the wicket and then proceeded to strike him on the ankle. Bomber fought hard for 38 before being bowled by a ball that pitched on leg and clipped the top of the off bail. The Stags dismissed for 159 after 66 overs.
Early wickets would be they key for the Stags bowlers; however the North Sydney openers rode their luck, surviving the opening spells. Bowling changes were made which saw Rob 'the youth' Edwards claim his maiden 1st grade wicket, whilst 'Midnight' Stephenson worked over the other opener, before he edged a ball and was well caught. At stumps North Sydney were 2 for 55.
Day 2 saw the pitch improve slightly which would only further aid the home team. The Gordon attack all bowled good lines and lengths, constantly troubling the North Sydney batsmen. When the 7th wicket fell on 144, the Stags had a sniff, but some lusty hitting from the North Sydney number 9 saw them pass the required total. The remaining wickets were taken fairly quickly, the final score 172. With Beau 'Buzz' Casson finishing with 4 for 57.
With just under 50 overs left in the day and nothing to lose, the Stags set about chasing quick runs, with the aim of setting North Sydney a total to chase. Will 'Jiggy' Smith scoring the only half century of the match with 58 runs off 48 balls. The innings declared closed at 7 for 138. The opposition would require 126 runs to win off 23 overs.
It's good to see "Buzz" Casson back on the field
The 23 overs turned into a blur, wickets were taken, run outs executed, balls dropped and caught, boundaries hit and sixes smashed. With 2 overs to go, North Sydney required 9 runs with 4 wickets in hand. D-Train (3-21 off 5) bowled the 22nd over and Midnight (2-26 off 8) the 23rd, both doing a fine job in restricting the runs whilst trying to take wickets. The match finished with the score at 8 for 123, both sides having gone within a whisker of an outright victory. But unfortunately the Stags had been defeated on 1st innings. In the match 592 runs had been scored for the loss of 35 wickets.
There is little doubt that on a level or maybe a less uneven playing field the Gordon boys would have been victorious. It is one of the few times when a team has lost that they could honestly say they played better cricket than the opposition. Although disappointed with losing, there is so much that can be taken away from the contest.
1st Grade Report v Manly
After a deluge of rain on Friday and overnight it was a testament to the ground-staff and Gordon volunteers that play began only 2 hours late. The Stags were inserted on a wicket which offered the bowlers plenty of side-ways movement. The Gordon top order resisted well before wickets began to fall at regular intervals. Eccles made a valuable 34 before Nicholson (38 not out off 33 balls) showed good intent in the final overs to push the score up to a competitive 7 for 191 off 49 overs.
The boys celebrate Chad's first pole
In reply Manly struggled early against a formidable attack. Nicholson twice induced an edge to Beverley before Connell struck to remove the dangerous Cruickshank for just 4. The ball was then given to Chad Soper, the fourth youngest debutant in the history of the Club, who announced his arrival with a wicket in his first over. The Sea-Eagles were reeling at 4 for 33.
From here the Stags took the foot of the gas and some poor fielding and missed opportunities saw the visitors mount a fightback. A superb three over spell from the captain built pressure and resulted in a crucial wicket to break a dangerous partnership. Meanwhile Casson was deceiving with expert flight and guile. His subtle variation reminded some of Peter McDonald at his best. Despite beating the bat on a number of occasions luck seemed to elude him.
The young gun in action for 1st Grade
With 71 runs needed of the last 14 overs with 5 wickets in hand Will Smith threw down the stumps for a crucial run-out. The captain then showed faith in our 17 year old debutant. Two dot balls followed before another run-out (Brendan 'BMac' McDonald's 1stfor the season'Player of the Year points here we come) and then the wicket of Cleary for 57 next ball. Another couple of wickets followed shortly after before a last wicket partnership created a few nerves in the camp. When Packman under-armed for a direct hit run-out the Stags were home by 21 runs.
Behind the stumps Beverley was superb. 5 catches and an outstanding stumping off Casson was just reward for his efforts all season. Overall though, it was a very average performance from our team. All batsmen made starts but we once again failed to convert them into match winning scores. Our fielding was poor with a number of opportunities missed. The 'enthusiometer' was disappointingly low throughout the match. We all have a lot to work on at the training paddock this week.
It's great to see Buzz Casson back in the fray
Good sides however win matches when they don't play well. With tougher matches to come as we close in on the business end of the season we need to start playing with more intent and dominance. It is an exciting prospect for players and supporters that the team currently sitting 2ndin the competition has such substantial room for improvement. We all look forward to seeing this team at its peak.
First Grade report vs Parramatta at Old Kings
As the clock hit 10am, the boys found ourselves in Merrylands with the Parra boys instead of in bed with our girlfriends! Match referee Marcus carefully watched as 'Great man Ghandi' Nicholson won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket that looked as though it had 240 plus in it. Cam 'I must sit on my girlfriends lap at all times' Eccles and Wilbur 'bowl me a full toss and I'll SeeYouLater!' Smith were cautious early to good a first 10 from Parra.
(Brendan "why use two hands" McDonald improvises)
Reece 'My hair is a vert ramp' Bombas arrived when Cam cut one to the keeper and looked good until he too was out cutting. James ' Can you paint my house after work?' Packman came and went and when Rodney 'I have a dog whistle for a voice box' Hokin was out in a period of cricket impersonating the collamity of 60's Country and Western, we were in strife at 4 for 115.
Ben 'Agassi' Garratt came in and forehanded a few beauties whilst Wilbur compiled his neat 50 at the other end before falling victim to yet another fully on 65. Both Benny and 'Ghandi' Nicholson fell trying to up the rate for team, and when B 'I can't speak German' Mac fell for 21 it was up to our trusty quicks to continue their onslaught from the day before. This was not to be and our innings terminated on 182, some 40 or so short of par.
The bowlers spoke of having to come hard at this young Parra line up and when Dylan '........' Connell snicked off the opener with a peach, signs were ominous. 'SeeYouLater' Smith's off spin was introduced early with great effect as he soon had the other threatening opener LBW, and then brought our new friend into the game due to a neat stumping off Iain 'I don't work yet am always too busy to do the covers' Beverley.
(Will Smith proves to Tiddles how he actually does flight the ball)
This brought danger man Wood to the crease, the key to Parra's line up for some years now. Julian ' Upside down Head' Stephenson stormed in and cut one back to dismiss him LBW for one, leaving them 4 - 56. BMac then drifted one in to bowl their No 6, and Nicholson claimed his first of two in a timely spell to dismiss thier captain with a catch that met all 1 million strict criteria needed for Packers to catch one!!!!!!!!
Nicholson then bowled a ball that went off the HawkEye radar before gently kissing the No 9 on the toe, brilliantly decieving him with a slower ball for 0. Whispers of 8 points were rife..... Julian then opted for a more 'unorthodox' method in taking a great catch to dismiss the hard hitting keeper, and when a BMac quicker one bowled Jackson for 4 it was locked and loaded. 8 points. 14 for the weekend. WE'RE BACK!!!
After only 7 days since 'black Sunday' the boys showed the character of a team hardened by a Grand Final loss to dispell any thoughts that we are not the real deal this year. With only two games till Christmas the training and enthusiasm is far from fading.
(Jules Stephenson and Brendan celebrate his unorthodox catch. Jules must have caught it in his pocket)
It was great to be able to sing the song twice in a couple of days, and singing it with so many of the old boys on the Sat (including Gerry Elkan, the great man that penned our song) was an experience not lost on the boys in a team very proud of a strong tradition at our great club.
Having now been asked on two previous occasions (strangely enough both at Bankstown Oval) to act as the First Grade team manager I always wondered what it is that the manager does. On my last assignment as manager at Bankstown earlier this year when long time manager Ian Packman was ill, I had to go past their home and collect the bag from Gilly.
Upon reaching the ground and wondering what was inside I found:
Two packets of snakes (three weeks past used by date) an empty sun cream tube, five empty packets of dressing tape, one pair of scissors still in its packet, an empty water bottle, two packets of 2002 chewing gum, one packet of Nurofen Plus, one packet of codiene, one packet of panadol, three loose aspros, an empty tube of dencorub, a spare sun hat flat in the bottom of the bag and three 200 over cricket balls.
Having completed the day still unsure what the manager does, I thought I would investigate further at Old Kings last Sunday.
Now I know what he does all day:
1st Grade suffer a heavy defeat
It was with great confidence after Saturday's play that we headed to Rosedale Oval to face Fairfield Liverpool in a one-day game. Word had it there State players were available. Beau Casson was the captain for the day as Nicholson was unavailable for personal reasons.
Will Smith sends one down - in sunnies
We lost the toss, so into the field we were sent. Lambert and Liddell opened with a steady partnership before Dylan struck to dismiss Lambert. Enter Rohrer with Liddell, they both scored 70's to setup their score. Sensible batting and good running between wickets set up an imposing target on a tough wicket. We were to be set 5 for 246 by the hosts.
Lunch was had as it was Fairfield Liverpool Sponsors day.
So, as we left the dressing room, we were quietly confident we could chase down the total, even without our captain who injured himself and had to leave the game to have stitches in his injured hand.
Well to say things didn't go to plan was an understatement.
Lambert opened the bowling with a devastating spell to have us reeling at 4 for 17. Cameron Eccles first followed by Will Smith then Reece Bombas and Rod Hokin.
Packman (24) and McDonald (15) showed some resistance but they finally dismissed us for 61.
Unfortunately it was an embarrassing result for us and hopefully this will battle harden us for our future games. It was a day where nothing went right for us and I hope we realise that it takes a lot of hard work for the rest of the season to make sure that it is successful.
Let's make sure we have 2 wins from 2 games over the weekend.
Reece (Bomber) Bombas
There has been silence from everyone in writing as report about the first grade one day match against Fairfield last Sunday, but to maintain our standards there should be an explanation.
Cricket is a funny game'.and importantly it is a game. Things seem to conspire against us for this match and everyone is keen to move on.
(Will Smith during his 1 for 25 on Sunday)
It started with Matt Nicholson and his wife Nat being confronted with every parent's nightmare, a very sick little son Jett in intensive care. Cricket is only a game and the Gordon Club is a family. Matt would be by his son's side and Beau Casson would take over the captaincy with Matt Michael coming in. Beau lost the toss and we knew that was important as the wicket would get slower and lower as the day wore on and scoring would be very difficult.
Fairfield batted and batted well. We bowled good lines outside off stump and balls kept low, however their experience on their wicket showed and they ran very well. Then Beau tried to intercept a missile coming back at him and after frantic calls to the NSW Physio, Beau was off to have 4 stitches in a cut across the webbing of his thumb and first finger on his bowling hand. He was due to fly out the next day to play against Tasmania in Hobart. 246 runs was the end result and we would need to bat well without our captain and top 6 batsman.
Enter Grant Lambert, nominated by Sam Buono as the best allround cricketer in Sydney for many years. A big call but who would argue wth Salvatore Buono.
Grant coming from a higher delivery point than our bowlers and bowling straight on a wicket that by now was very variable in pace and height and as Grant said in his response to a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald. 'It wasn't a good cricket wicket and things just went my way'.
Grant is very humble and sure things did go his way but he knew how to use the wicket and bowled very straight and fast. Soon we had stumps falling over and pads in the way of his direct deliveries and four of our top order were in the pavilion for almost single figures. Matt Michael was then run out with a throw that was well wide of the stumps and was literally deflected onto them by Grant in his follow through. It was certainly his day. Surprisingly after 6 overs Grant was given a rest. However Fairfield captain Tony Clarke obviously knew better.
(Brendan McDonald on Sunday)
Iain Beverly came in at 7 and hit a drive in the air that looked like it was through the covers. An outstretched arm appeared and a magnificent diving catch was made to dismiss him. Did I say who caught it? Yes it was Grant Lambert.
Brendan McDonald then joined James Packman who was holding up his end and they put on a few runs to give hope of a score of maybe around 100 or even avoiding one of the bonus points at 123.
Unfortunately James was taken in the gully and after Jules was caught at slip it was left to Brendan and Dylan Connell to see out the match as Beau was away getting his stitches. It was time to bring back Grant so he could get 5 wickets.
Brendan slashed a cut and another smart catch was taken in the gully. Grant had 5 for 6 off 7 and we were all out for 61. Maybe Salvatore is right.
A quick call was made to Graham King and'phew' we had scored 54 against Bankstown previously in a one dayer and there were four or five other first grade scores less then this including a 40 in a first grade final in Dick Guy's time. That was only cold comfort as the team packed their bags and left for home in a sombre mood.
(Bevo about to stump a Fairfield batsman off Brendan McDonald)
It is pointless to say anything other than we were comprehensively beaten on the day by a better side, but as they say, there is always next week and the team will look forward to another opportunity against this very good side. Hopefully in the semi finals'at Chatswood.
A thank you also to the Fairfield players who were very humble in victory and to the club's administrators who put on a sponsor day at Rosedale and kindly provided lunch for our team and supporters.
And the good news.. Jett Nicholson is now out of intensive care and on the improve. That's what everyone wanted to here.
P.S. Grant Lambert finished with 0 for 40 off 8 overs in Tasmania's second innings in Hobart with 5 wides. Cricket is a funny game.
First Grade Match Report ' Penrith Day Two
When seven batsmen get to double figures chasing a respectable but imminently 'getable' target of 264, you might be expected to win the game fairly comfortably.
(Nicho collects four through point)
This however was not the case. Firstly, seven batsmen shouldn't have been needed, let alone have the chance to reach double figures, and secondly, the fact that the highest score was the captain's unbeaten 63, combined to allow this crucial game against one of our closest pursuers, Penrith, to slip through our fingers.
It will be a great test of this team's resolve and individual's own sense of responsibility when it comes to winning matches, as to how we learn the lessons of this loss. Both were lacking in the chase and from here on in match-winning efforts with the bat need to be summoned up. Precious little is technically wrong, what needs to be worked on now is the mental process of scoring big runs and taking games by the scruff of the neck. It is hard graft and Nixon's effort, while gallant as ever, would not ideally be necessary.
The day started badly as we lost Cam Eccles to useful left-armer Lalor's very first ball. On a flat and dry wicket, (again great credit to Glen for preparing a belter), Reece and myself set about compiling the biggest partnership of the game to take the score beyond 100. Partnerships are crucial to reeling in targets such as this, and this really should have been turned into a match-winning one. Reece and I both fell to innocuous deliveries from Penrith's spinners and at 3 for 124 at lunch, the game was evenly balanced.
To lose Jammer, given the great touch he is in, so soon after lunch was a big body blow. Nicho and Nicho Jr. (Rocket) then wrestled the advantage back towards the Stags with a fighting partnership for the fifth wicket. Again just at the wrong point, a wicket was lost, emphasizing the need for greater recognition of crucial match situations.
The match swayed firmly towards the visitors, after a handy spell of reverse-swing bowling from McNamara had left us 8 for 214, and it was only a spirited partnership between the skipper and Jules that got us close. Any proximity to their score, while it gave us hope, only masks a poor batting effort. All out for 255 on such a good deck was below standard.
On the whole it was a disappointing day for a side who are, on paper, one of the most talented in the competition. Cricket is not played on paper however, and how quickly we learn from this and start consistently getting hundreds as a batting unit, will determine how far this team can go. Every one of the top four is capable of scoring really big. Cam and Reese are two excitingly talented young batsmen and have shown exactly what they can do at various points this season.
Jammer and I are experienced cricketers now, and much more influential innings' are required. We have both shown in the past, and for this side to prosper, will have to show it at vital times for the remainder of this season. With Rocket and Nicho (and Beau to come back in when available) following that, the middle has a solid look about it.
The challenge is now to put this disappointment to one side, not forget about it, but move on as a group. The next two weekends have cricket on both days, and are an ideal chance to prepare for the mental challenges that winning games of cricket involve. Next Saturday can't come quick enough.
First Grade Match Report ' Penrith Day One
After a dry and hot week (perfect beach weather for some'!) had allowed Glen the Groundo to produce a hard and true wicket, coupled with a Friday night storm and showery start to the morning, skipper Nixon had a choice to make at the toss.
(Who is the tallest? Brendan, Nicho or Reece)
Conditions were conducive for pace bowling ' cloudy and damp. Such weather never fails to prompt people to point out that it must make me feel at home. Yes I'm English, yes we have clouds, yes it rains a lot. Get over it!
Upon winning the toss Nicho chose to insert Penrith in the hope of using the bowler-friendly conditions to blast out their top order. Ably assisted by Marcus the match referee, who ensured there was no skullduggery, and whose debut in the whites is surely creeping ever closer, this looked a good decision.
It looked a great decision when the captain's loosener clipped the edge and found itself nestled somewhere in Rocket's lower abdominal/crotch area at third slip. Knowing Rocket, he would probably claim it was a new catching technique, but for the rest of us it produced one of the longest, most uncomfortable silences on a cricket field.
(Brendan McDonald, Jules Stephenson and Rob Edwards on Saturday)
Thereafter some disciplined bowling from the Stags seamers was met with equally disciplined batting. Robby 'Youff' Edwards started his spell brightly and on another day would have had his maiden first grade wicket. Unfortunately he was cut short due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury, but once fit again it will surely not be long before he picks up a hatful. He is due a change in luck. Left with two balls of the over to bowl after Robby's injury, Nicho performed his trick of picking up another wicket with a loosener.
Robby's misfortune brought about the need for a 12th man to field. I could see Marcus' eyes light up and just as he began to pull on Jammer's spare whites and my batting spikes, than Macca's 'Pommie mate' had snatched them from under his eyes. I refer to him as 'Pommie mate' as that's all Macca had introduced him as. We are people too you know'
(Macca's Pommie mate...)
I soon found out his name was Matt and hope that in future we all address him by his real name ' Matt 'Ting Ting'. Thanks for your efforts Matt ' not since Gary Pratt running out Ricky Ponting have I seen such an assured effort from a fielding 12th man.
Meanwhile at the other end the Penrith number three was playing and missing exquisitely at Juli-Hahn's swinging deliveries, one of which was too good for the left-handed number four, as he exhibited perfectly one of the two types of leave ' a bad one as opposed to a good one. That made it 3 for 65 and Gordon had a sniff.
The fourth wicket pair played watchfully and progressed the score to 3 for 130 with the biggest partnership of the innings. Things soon changed however, with the introduction of Brendan 'Baby Blue' McDonald. He claimed two wickets in two balls thanks to an LBW decision and a neat leg-side stumping from Iain 'The Enthusiast' Beverley. Though I feel Bevo should count himself lucky to even be playing, following a disgraceful outburst in the Twenty20 game against Sydney Uni last Sunday. In my opinion it was worth at least a two game suspension. He may have a nice guy image, but deep down there's a vicious, swearing, fighting larrikin itching to get out. I suggest anger management.
(Matt Nicholson and Dylan Connell show their bowling style while Rod Hokin shows his catching style according to the rocket handbook)
After surviving Jules' mauling, the Penrith number three then made it his mission to either chip the ball in the air to me or to tap it straight to me and run. Thankfully I saw through his cunning plan as I am a master of reverse psychology. Not only did it throw his concentration of kilter, it also allowed the D-Train to claim his only wicket of the day with without doubt the worst executed slower ball I have ever seen. Ever aware of team-mates morale levels, I felt the big man was waning slightly, so knew that if I spurned every chance Betros put my way, then Dylan would surely pick up his wicket. Genius if you will.
When Juli-Hahn nicked off another one the score was 7 for 149, and a sub-200 score was on the cards. More determined batting from Penrith and a wicket that was growing ever flatter and truer enabled them to squeak out a respectable score of 9 for 263(dec). On another day, being a tad more ruthless with chances, and allowing for a share of luck, then we could be chasing a smaller target.
(Nicho and Juli-Hahn are happy about the "nick off")
However, the score is well within our sights, and with a disciplined and patient showing next Saturday another 6 points could be ours.
Will (Jiggy, Wilbur) Smith
Comprehensive victory to 1st Grade over the Students
With a solid total on the board, there was confidence in the camp that with a determined bowling effort we could take 10 wickets and pocket 6 valuable points. There was sympathy, and some degree of relief, when 'news came through' that Sydney University opener Greg Mail had broken his finger in the Shield match during the week. It left the Students with a large void at the top of the order and a majority of the chase now focusing around young Ed Cowan.
Brendan 'BMac' McDonald on his way to 6 wickets
The Stags found themselves leaderless for the first 30 mins with Nicholson attending some urgent matters away from the cricket field. The game started with a steady pace, with both bowlers, Connell and Edwards, unlucky not to strike in the early overs. It would have appeared that slightly thinner, more match-stick like stumps had been erected in the morning and decisions were being awarded on that merit. Some said tooth picks, I say match sticks' Anyway no wicket fell until the 60's where McDonald began filling his bag. Nicholson was beginning to warm to the task at the opposite end. With the onset of what looked like some steady wet weather, Nicho had Cowan trapped LBW after beginning to look comfortable on a flat Uni pitch.
The remainder of the day was eventful with wickets taken consistently by McDonald, who bowled a superb spell of leg skid (sorry spin) and finished with a well deserve 6 wicket haul. Said to be one of the finest ever produced by Chadwick's Agency, Brendan may also be pushing for higher honours in the cricket world with the consistent results he is posting. Another worthy mention must go to the Skipper, after an eventful morning, bowled consistently to take a very tidy 3-10 from his 9 overs.
Congratulations to Nicho for taking 200 first grade wickets for Gordon on Saturday and was aptly welcome into the '200 club' by the great Dylan Connell. Nicho said he was looking forward to welcoming Dylan into the '400 first class wickets club', which shouldn't be too far away!!! After spending considerable time in the 'bath tub' during the last week, Dylan seemed a little prune like (even after the match) and admitted that he had an off day, only taking the one wicket!!!!
Connell made it first past the 200 post, with Nicho passing the point in this round
'Youth' Edwards was unlucky not to open his first grade account and the first one will undoubtedly put him on his way to 200 as well.
A good day's grind in the field and a well deserved 6 points puts us in a strong position with a number of important games leading into Christmas. A somewhat abrupt finish to the report but my wine glass is now empty.
See you next week
Two centuries as Stags put runs on the board
The boys travelled to Sydney University Oval with high expectations after a successful start to the season. A positive culture and increased confidence in each other's ability to perform as a team has prompted some success from the new blood and the old. Performances so far this year have been shared and each match report features a new name which continues to drive the competitiveness of the 1st grade side.
A "free flowing" Eccles on his way to his maiden 1st Grade ton
The match began no differently with the players well drilled now in terms of what to expect for the warm up; jog to the opposite end, leg swings, limber up and stretch - listen to Brendan 'BMac' McDonald discuss Friday nights adventures- and run back! Following this, a quick fielding drill consisting of at least two groups'and then 'do what you got a do' to be ready to play. For example Craig Simmons used to get someone to throw him 15 balls and head back to the sheds with his gloves still on ' this was to ensure that there was no chance of any reciprocal throw downs. For BMac it's a bowl with 'Buzz' Casson, and for Rod 'Rocket' Hokin it's .'' well it depends if he thinks he's a chance of bowling that week! For some things don't change and that is true for the skipper, 'Ghandi' Nicholson, with the usual obligatory chat prior to the tossing of the coin (although not so on this particular occasion). Another success and the Stags were batting on a not so hard but flat grassless wicket at University No 1.
The formalities over and the game begins' a steady opening stand of 40 runs on a wicket which proved difficult to score on with the new and old ball. Will 'The Jiggy Jig' Smith and Eccles (known to some as 'X') saw the shine off the new ball until Jiggy was cleaned up with a Paskal special, cart wheeling his off stump towards Parramatta Rd. Bombas was his patient self until he was adjudged LBW for 13, while 'X' was slowly accumulating at the other end.
At this point in the report it might be wise to grab a tea or coffee because the next partnership may take some time to get through' ball by ball!!!! At 2-69 the Stags were travelling OK. Packman joined the youngster Eccles and both moved the scores slowly to take us to the lunch break in a good position. Lunch provided some great eating opportunities for the boys with Casson, the next man in, devouring the largest chicken burger I have ever seen eaten by any man. Luckily he wasn't batting for a couple of hours, so had time to digest it!
Stand and deliver as Packman notches up another 1st Grade ton
The plan after lunch was to set up the last session by ticking over the scoreboard and keeping wickets in hand. Eccles had other ideas and began flourishing with a mixed array of shots during the middle session and both players began to wear down the Uni attack. The scoreboard started to flow and so did the partnership. 'Jamma' Packman had given 'X' a reasonable start and began to close the gap with a particular liking to the university spinners. However the youngster won the race to record his maiden 1st grade century in a deserved innings which featured an array of strokes by a very talented young cricketer. There will be many more of these for 'X' if he approaches the game in the same manner. Packman notched up a hundred in a partnership which totalled 188, putting the Stags in the box seat, posting a competitive 334 on a wicket which gave little to the bowlers and batsmen.
I look forward to reporting back to you next week after a hard fought match, which will hopefully yield six points to the mighty Stags.
1st Grade put on another thriller
After winning a game earlier in the season on the last ball, in very similar circumstances, this time around Mosman were the victors.
It must be brighter in Oz - Will Smith bowls in sunnies
Gordon won the toss and elected to bat on a very good Chatswood wicket. Eccles fell early before "Jiggy" Smith and Bombas took control, both scoring half centuries in quick time. Jiggy was unluckily run out after the ball deflected off his bat and onto the stumps before he made his ground taking a quick single. "Jammer" Packman never got going and the Stags were 3 for 138. Mosman's spin bowlers then turned the game, building pressure and cutting down the scoring options. The pressure began to build and led to a collapse with Gordon losing 4 wickets for 16 runs, the score the 7 for 195.
McDonald and Beverley put together a very solid partnership over the last half a dozen overs ensuring that a competitive total was posted, the innings finishing at 7 for 239. Probably 20 -30 short of where it should have been given the start that Gordon had.
Mosman's innings began well for the Stags with the Dyland "D-Train" Connell collecting a wicket off his first ball. From this point on though some solid batting had Mosman in control. Once again the "Great Ghandi" Nicholson turned the game on its head through some inspired captaincy and brilliant bowling. Using his bowlers very effectively and himself taking crucial wickets and bowling very tight lines, the tide began to turn the Stags way.
The last 5 overs became a blur, Mosman 5 wickets in hand needing less than a run ball. The Gordon fielding was brilliant with 2 run outs executed, the bowling was also excellent, an LBW and then Ghandi clean bowling the Mosman danger man with a brilliant slower ball, suddenly at the start of the final over Mosman where 9 down and needing 12 runs to win.
McDonald worked well with Will Smith throughout the day
Alas lady luck did not shine on the Stags. The Mosman number 11 managing to hit a six off the 2nd ball of the over and suddenly Mosman were back in it. A couple of singles off the next few left Mosman needing 3 to win off the last ball. The final delivery manag ed to squeeze past bat, pads, stumps and a diving wicket keeper to roll into the boundary for 4 byes.
A highly entertaining game of cricket in which both teams fought tooth and nail for supremacy.
Bowling in tandem, Gareth "G-Banger" Wright and bustling Dylan "D-Train" Connell
Outright win places the Stags on top
The boys returned to what was expected to be a very wet deck at Chatswood in the hope of adding to the lead of 65 in the hunt for that ever elusive white whale ' 10 points. However, Glen (our amazing groundsman) had different ideas, producing what certainly must have been the best deck in Sydney for the weekend. Good boy.
Packman during his glorious century
Bombas departed for 70 after doing the hard work yet again and falling short of an inevitable first 1st Grade hundred, leaving James 'I am banned from all TAB's in Sydney' Packman to put on a display that could only draw parallels to the delights of Miss Klum's efforts at this years Victoria's Secret Underwear show - Resplendent. After resuming the day on 19, 'Jammer' Packman played every stroke in his arsenal to post what can only be called the classiest of centuries. Straight drives and flicks over midwicket being a feature in his 110* that could only be stopped by 'Ghandi' Nicholson's declaration.
The Stags led by 200 hundred, with Brendan 'you can't whine this week because you batted at 7' McDonald being the other not out batsman with 20.
The bowlers set about their business and got an early one before a positive partnership of around a hundred tested the resolve of the boys. Some good bowling by Will 'I bowl with sunglasses on' Smith was rewarded when Cam 'I can sit on a fence' Eccles took a 'relieving' catch at square leg. Julian 'I look like the bandage man in chemist windows with my whites off' Stephenson bowled an absolute peach to remove the resilient Sutherland captain by cutting one back to have him lose his off pole without offering, before Julian had to leave the field with his 486th injury during his seven year tenure at the Stags.
Thanks to Kris Colley for fielding like a little champion all afternoon, not only are you clearly a better fielder than Jules but you are a better bloke, hands down!!!!
3 for 140 at tea. The Stags hanging on in the heat with all bowlers pulling their weight, knowing that a massive final session was required.
The boys celebrate after taking home 10 points
Enter Ghandi our 'saviour'. Nicholson bowled with good pace and control in what was a dominant and match winning spell of bowling. He finished with 5/56, a result well deserved after weeks of consistency. Dylan 'I drop catches off McDonald on purpose just to stay ahead of him in the wickets tally' Connell picked up a further 2 to add to his 6 in the first innings, to top off another great game for the big bustling fast bowler.
Sutherland all out for 214. It was a great effort by the boys and left 8 overs to knock off the remaining 15 for victory. Smith did just that in just the third over with a big six over mid wicket for what was a great TEAM win with many contributors. This group is having great fun both on and off the field and are a very tight knit side.
We have identified spreading around our match winners every week and not relying on one bloke as being the key to our season's fortunes. With Gordon currently having two batsman in the top 20 run scorers in the competition and 3 bowlers in the top 5, this couldn't be more evident.
A good start boys, but with Uni, Penrith and Hawkesbury in the coming weeks we are certainly not done. Well done to all other grades in contributing to 1st place in the Club Championship. Let's do this!!!!
"Ghandi" Nicholson bagging a "Michelle"
Special Mention: It is great to see so many past legends coming down to show their support, tell their stories and sing the song with the boys. In a club with a very proud tradition, the boys cannot get enough of their stories and escapades of years gone by, and look forward to their continued involvement.
1st innings points to 1st Grade
With a tight knit unit making the most of a wet weather week and still riding high on the back of some decent results in some tight ones, Sutherland was the new task at hand. Losing the toss on a good deck and 26 degree heat, we were staring down the barrel of red vee necks, a multiple shower day and Julian Stephenson producing enough fluid to get the Murray flowing again.
Enter Matt 'Gandhi' Nicholson and Dylan 'The Complete Human' Connell.
Dylan bustles in on his way to 6
Nicholson played an all too familiar role, beating the bat repeatedly and keeping the scoring options as stagnant as Sam Hinton's love life. Gandhi not only has impressed with his off field efforts this year but his leadership with his bowling has been inspirational. Whilst the wickets column may reflect a solid start for Nicho, he constantly puts his hand up for a 2 over spell to get the big wicket when things start to go astray and then returns to the other bowlers. I know the bowlers acknowledge that 90% of the wickets to fall this year have been whilst 'Gandhi the great leader' is at the other end and are enjoying the fruits of his labor.
Not only can Dylan drive a 'lazy' 400m of the tee, bowl low 150's 'in the shade', and also identify young talent more astutely than Artie Beetson, I believe he is the best opening bowler in the competition. This was vintage D-Train. 13 bustling overs, 6 maidens with a return of 6 for 29. This man plays every game a year, consistently topples the top order and for a big bloke puts in like a miner on Christmas Eve. He consistently found the edge and bowled with great shape to halt a young Sutherland side on 115.
Stephenson bowled a patient spell for a well deserved 2 wickets and McDonald chimed in with what Matt 'Cuppy' Michael gladly calls 'cheapies'- thanks Cup, what a man to have beside you in the trenches' Cuppy also made his return to the bowling crease and grew in confidence with every ball. His final two overs were quick with rising lengths to the left handers and he was unlucky not to open his account for the year.
Will 'Evelyn' Smith made his anticipated return to the crease with our new opener Cam 'I don't talk because I just score hundreds' Eccles. The pair put on 50 before a stylish Smith innings was halted on 34, with Wilbur showing some very ominous signs for what lies ahead.
Cam went about his business (as he does) with a confidence that only the prettiest girl at the party possesses, not brash or overbearing but well timed and confident with the certainty of results. The silent assassin launched one on to the stands for a maiden 1st grade half century before departing not long after for 59. This opening partnership could prove equally as punishing as 'Gandhi and TCH' opening up with the ball.
Reece 'I have to hide my hat' Bombas played a fluent and compact innings with all of his new found confidence in his abilities at this level. It is amazing what a year in the UK can do to a bloke from the coast - isn't it Reece!! His cover driving a feature as he notched up his second half century of the year. Jammer Packman fought well and looked comfortable as we finished the days play with a lead of 65 for only the loss of 2 wickets, with unbeaten scores of 57 and 19 respectively to the boys.
Packman and Bombas cop an eyeful!
Overall, a solid day's play with still plenty of room for improvement. This is a young and talented Sutherland side that is well respected by our mob, thus will take a huge effort to get the 10 points. Congrats to Dylan 'TCH' Connell on yet another outstanding performance for us, and to Karen I offer my condolences to the loss of your Saturday night, having to listen to your husband talk you through all 78 of his deliveries!!!
Special mention must also got to Beau 'I have pets named in my honor' Casson, who was able to travel to Carringbah in Sydney's south to support second grade after unfortunately being ruled out of our fixture with a shoulder injury. I wish you a speedy recovery mate. This kind of clubsmanship could only draw parallels with the great C. Simmons.
First Grade report vs Sydney...Sunday 21st October
Julihaan reports on limited over match against the Sydney Tigers
For the last 5 years I have successfully avoided writing a match report for any team I have been part of for Gordon. However the time has come, my back is against the wall and here we go'
(Nicho and Dylan, what a combination)
We arrived at Chatswood to the disturbing news that our inspirational leader had run over a Paris Hilton like Chihuahua after dropping off Marcus our No. 1 supporter to Allambie Heights. This could be why Nicho thought we were a bit flat in the morning.
The team were up against another potential top 6 side in the Tigers led by former Gordon and Victoria all-rounder Jon Moss. The tigers won the toss and put us in the field.
We started well with Dyldo (Dylan Connell) continuing his form from Saturday snicking off Nathan Ball in his first over. Nixon (Matt Nicholson) followed by removing the other opener and they were 2 for 5 off 3. Soon after they were 3 for not many and behind the eight ball. A partnership then developed between Moss and Crosthwaite to steady the ship.
A tactical bowling change by Nixon saw Jiggy (Will Smith) come on for his first bowl of the season and immediately he had Moss caught at mid on by Bomber (Reece Bombas) with a looping, dipping, ripping, reversing, flighted full toss.
(Ziggy bowls that important ball)
Wickets started to fall consistently which kept us on top despite a well controlled innings from James Crosthwaite and some poor fielding from our team.
All the bowlers contributed well to dismiss the Tigers for 162 with Nixon and Midnight taking 3 each, Sunshine (Brendan McDonald) 2 and Dyldo and Jiggy 1 each.
The stags went into bat on a wicket which was starting to become two paced and we knew 160 was not going to be easy against a strong bowling attack. Before we had time to take our positions on the couch we were three down for not many. This brought together two of our most experienced batsman in Jammar (James Packman) and Rocket (Rod Hokin) who consolidated with a partnership of 66 which brought us back to level pegging.
More wickets were to follow with Rocket and Nixon both falling to Ettridge and Cuppy (Matt Michael) falling LBW to Adam Maher. When Jammar left the scene it was left to Sunshine and Bevo (Iain Beverley) to see us home. This they achieved through gritty determination and aggressive hitting when needed.
(Jules batting wasn't needed on this occasion)
With Bevo slashing a four over gully off the second last ball of the 39th over meant we had secured an important bonus point. Overall it wasn't a performance that was up to our highest standard but nevertheless a competent victory.
So its on to next week and 10 points against the Sharks.
1st Grade triumphant in a thriller
Last ball of the game Wests are 3 runs behind Gordon as opening bowler Dylan Connell charges in towards the crease. A full ball is squeezed out and BMac pounces and underarms a direct hit as the batsman try to complete the second run. Gordon had taken 7 wickets for 58 runs and completed a remarkable fight-back. The celebrations had started, a superb team song was rendered, and 7 hours later the boys were still in the sheds enjoying the entertainment. Connell had delivered on all fronts'!
Author and dispatcher of 6 - Rod Hokin
Earlier in the day 1st Grade caps were presented to debutant Cam Eccles and returning quick bowler Gareth Wright. Captain Nicholson had won the toss and Gordon were off to a solid start. Beverley worked the singles well and Eccles pounced on anything lose. He is a player with a superb eye and drove powerfully and cut with flair that James Ayliffe would be proud off. The debutant was dismissed 61 runs short off a 3rd consecutive century but his performance in this round and in 2nds last week and 3rds the week before is a reminder to all lower grade players at the Club that you are all so much closer to the top grade than you may think.
After reaching 72 without loss, Gordon disappointingly lost 4 quick wickets. Nicholson joined Hokin at the crease and the pair patiently went about recovering the situation. Their 95 run partnership would be crucial to the end result of the game. Nicholson was particularly aggressive scoring an excellent 59 off 66 balls. As a Captain he leads from the front, backs his ability and sets an outstanding example for the rest of his players. Hokin was dismissed in the final overs leaving Matt Michael and Jules Stephenson to take the Stags to 7 for 224 off their 50 overs.
In response Wests were cruising at 1 for 84 before Gareth Wright claimed his 1st top grade wicket with a superb dipping slower ball to clean bowl danger man Singh. Meanwhile at the other end Islam was playing aggressively, riding his luck and quickly taking the game away from Gordon. He was within one shot of his century when McDonald claimed a crucial caught and bowled that gave the Stags a sniff of victory. From here the home team was outstanding. Stephenson bowled a superb containing spell to build pressure as MacDonald (4/39 from his 10) continued to take wickets at the other end. The fielders lifted, highlighted by an excellent catch on the boundary to Packman as the ball was sailing over the fence.
Debutant Cam Eccles in the 1st Grade side
With the game reaching a climax Nicholson bought himself and Connell back on to bowl the finals overs with the ball going Irish. 16 runs needed off 3 overs with 3 wickets in hand. Connell bowls a yorker to send the stumps flying. 11 runs off 2 overs and the Captain bowls a compelling over of death bowling. Beverley was superb behind the stumps saving a crucial 4 runs with a full length diving take. The last over began with 8 runs needed and 2 wickets in hand. Connell bustled in and was marvelous. A middle-stump was sent cart-wheeling much to the delight of the sizeable crowd. It all came down to the last ball.
Gordon under pressure were outstanding. We had fought back with the bat. We bowled superbly at the death and held a number of crucial catches. We had never given in when Wests were cruising towards victory. We deserved the win. We had clearly out-enthused our opposition.
9.5 hours for a tough draw against Bankstown
A place still fresh in our minds from last years final, 1st grade returned to Bankstown Oval expecting a tough couple of days cricket.
Rob Edwards is congratulated by Jules after his first half-century for the club
As it turned out, Saturday consisted of rain, more rain, a plethora of chicken burgers and a "head off". The highlight was the "head off". For those unfamiliar with a "head off", basically it is a show down of the melons, 3 measurements are taken and added together to determine the physical size of a players head. The judges of the competition seem to think a regular head comes in around the 190cm mark. Connell took the event with massive measurement of 204 cms. Daylight was 2nd with Bombas taking the wooden spoon with tiny 176cm's.
Monday's coin toss was always going to important given the rain we had over the weekend and consequently Gordon were sent in by Bankstown.
The openers Beau "Buzz" Casson and Iain "Bevo" Beverley ground out a difficult opening patch with the new ball doing heaps. It did not take long before Buzz unleashed a trademark pull shot, dispatching Jackson Bird for 6 over the square leg boundary in the 3rd over. Under the difficult circumstances, this was an amazing shot which left the opposition slip cordon gob smacked.
Beverley went first and Casson followed shortly after which brought Reece "Bomber" Bombas and James "Jamma" Packman to the middle. Again, positive batting seemed to be the way to go and Reece pushed forward where possible an executed some beautiful cover drives. Jamma followed suit and began to find rhythm and timing as lunch approached.
The wet ball continued to seam around without reason as we lost Bombas and "The Skipper", Nicholson in quick succession. Packman continued to guts the difficult circumstances out until a good spell from Thompson brought his innings to a close.
Celebrations ensue after Nicholson snares a ripper
Rod "Rocket" Hokin was called upon quickley. Armed with his "mysterious" Irish piece of willow (seriously boys, do yourself a favour and check this thing out at training, it is amazing!), Hokin constructed a positive innings that gained momentum. Unfortunately he lost potential danger man Matt Michael to a ball that kept low and Gordon looked in slight trouble. With a "Go B-Mac" from Marcus, Brendan McDonald stormed out through the gates on a mission. Ready to take down the Bankstown attack similar to last season, B Mac batted without fear from the outset and put some great strokes together. Unfortunately on 22 he feel victim to Bird having put on some crucial runs with Rock.
Hokin continued to improve. B Macs dismissal provided an opportunity for Edwards who was making his debut with the bat. Edwards approached his early innings with caution from the outset which worked in favour for the young man. Hokin and Edwards built "a true partnership". Both players took the pressure off each other by turning over the strike. Hokin looked unstoppable at times. Rocket started to really time the ball on the front foot and even brought out the occasional pull shot for the crowd. Similarly, Edwards continued to create havoc behind square. The boys witnessed some of the latest of late cuts with incredible hand speed, squeezing the ball into impossible places which created frustration for opposition skipper Waugh. Unfortunately Hokin's innings came to a close, LBW on 79.
Stephenson came to the crease and supported Edwards well by turning the strike over which allowed Edwards to power on. Even on one leg, Edwards continued to dominate and demonstrated how strong he is with a huge six over the square leg boundary which rolled into the fruit market across the street. After 65 overs, the skipper pulled us in as Gordon declared 8/232.
Typical Hokin, classy through the off-side
Now it was our turn, and the bowlers were looking for some pay back in a short spell prior to tea. Nicholson and Connell set off on a track that was getting flatter by the second. The "bustling" Connell was inspirational with his tireless work rate and gave "The Dogs" nothing early on. Nicholson was a class above and applied an enormous amount of pressure on the openers. This lead to Gordon's first wicket for the afternoon where Nicho turned Ridley inside out who edged to Beverley.
Stephenson replaced Nicho and bowled with patience and vigour. His consistent line to the left handed Gane paid dividends and was well caught by the horizontal Nicholson in gully. A handy spell from Stephenson set the platform for the Buzz and B Mac show.
B Mac played a crucial role by frustrating and restricting the scoring at his end whilst Buzza applied the screws from the other.
Once Casson trapped Cassell in front without playing a shot, he was away. Buzz and Mac were creating an atmosphere and the stags were on the verge of breaking through. The infield consisting of "Matt "Cake" Michael, Jamma, Rod "Rocket" Hokin and Bomba" lifted and worked even harder in the ring. Special mention must go to Ian "Missy" Higgins who replaced the injured Edwards in the field and covered plenty of turf.
Bowling into gail force winds, Casson continued to bamboozle batsman and prove how good he really is in the testing conditions. After deceiving Keen with a massive leggie, Buzz was unlucky not to pick up Waugh straight away by creating 2 chances. "The Dog's" kicked the score along with a brief partnership before Waugh finally hit one to Jamma at long on. Buzz continued to create havoc on a wearing surface and kept us in the game with fine support from Connell and Nicholson at the other end, however the game was slipping away from us as we required to take 6 wickets to win.
With the weather closing in, an eerie scene was set with Bankstown requiring 31 off 35. With the deadly combination of Nicholson and Casson proved too tuff for Bankstown and in the end they feel well short of a target they should have reached. To restrict Bankstown from taking the 6 points was an incredible effort in the end and a job well done to those who bowled at the death.
The match resulted in a draw. Some would argue that having played 9.5 hours, 120 overs of cricket for no result was a tad frustrating. I believe we can take a lot away from last weekend. Once again we demonstrated we are now playing a tougher brand of cricket. There continues to be an excellent vibe amongst the side and team harmony is at a high. More importantly we "out - enthused" our opposition, which is what we set out to achieve and looked the better side. Had we won the toss, I imagine we would have been home by 2pm, just in time to catch the friends marathon on Arena + 2.
Paul Stevo (stand in Manager for the unwell Packers on Monday) mentioned and confirmed that this side has the potential to grow and improve. The ability is present and we should build on this early season momentum and take it to West's this week.
First grade report vs Randwick Petersham by Matt Nicholson
A hot sunny morning greeted the mighty Stags first grade team as they turned up at Petersham Oval, now known as "The Beach" thanks to a late decision to topsoil the outfield. Much was expected of the new look side with the inclusion of Rob Edwards for the first time and Matt Michael and Julian Stephenson back in the top grade.
(Rob Edwards receives his cap for his debut)
All the players were naturally a little nervous leading into this first encounter. Everyone wondering what this season had in store, who would be the heroes and could we go one better this time around. A great match up for Gordon in the first round, the club champions from 07/08 and the side we vanquished in the epic semi-final at Chatswood last season, Randwick-Petersham.
The skipper won the toss after a lengthy coin roll on the dry and slightly ridgy wicket. The Stags would bat first, try and get a decent score on the board and then apply the pressure.
Beau Casson and Iain Beverley took up the fight against the new ball and with anticipation in the air, went about getting gordon off to a positive start. Casson soaked up the pace of N.S.W. bowler Burt Cockley, wearing a few for the team and dispatching one short ball over backward square with a powerful pull shot. This resistance was complemented be Beverley who punctured the offside field with some lovely drives from the skiddy Whichello.
(One of those Bevo drives)
Hauritz introduced himself early and with immediate effect as he had Bev playing back and trapped L.B.W. with the score on 27. The only encouragement from this dismissal was that the ball was already turning on the dry surface.
This brought Reece Bombas to the crease who immediately set about ticking the scoreboard over and getting used to the wicket. Casson was out shortly afterwards and was livid with himself after doing all the hard work only to fan at a wide one from the generally accurate first change bowling of Byrne.
Teetering at 2-43, Gordon needed a partnership and that is exactly what they got when James Packman came together with Bombas. Both players timed the ball well and ran hard in the opressive early season heat. Bombas played some lovely drives off the front foot and some delicate cuts from the spinners to be the first player to 50 for the season.
(The players celebrate a great catch by Rod Hokin)
The message at 2-100 after 30 was that 220 would be a good score on that outfield and wicket. Packman set about catching Bombas with some powerful pulls and lofted drives. All the while both players nudging balls into gaps to keep the board moving. Packman rode his luck as he was dropped four times but made the Randwick-Petersham boys pay with a half century peppered with class. After a patient and professional stand of 139, Bombas was unfortunately run out coming back for the second, or not as the case may be, with the score on 182.
Nicholson and Packman then punished the errant "death" bowling and the last 5 overs yielded 42 runs with a tired and cramping Packman holing out at deep long on for 87. Nicholson finished 28 not out and the Stags had their 220, plus four.
After a short lunchtime speech from the Randwick Petersham president, N.S.W. and Australian great Mike Whitney, the Stags took the field for the afternoon's work. Determined to catch everything and out enthuse the opposition. The batsmen had done a very professional job and had us what we thought was a winning total in those conditions.
(Beau and Bevo celebrate the catch to remove Semple)
The plan was for a few early wickets and then let Casson and Brendan Macdonald go to work with their wrist spin on a deteriorating surface. Jackson came out swinging for the hosts, connected with a few and missed a lot but it was his partner Usman Khawaja who came unstuck first. The fledgling N.S.W. player was strangled by an immaculate spell from Connell. Eventually playing a big drive and edging to Nicholson at 2nd slip. Jackson continued to take huge risks but the board was only trickling at 3 an over, despite all the bat swinging. Both Nicholson and Connell swung the ball and looked dangerous at times but it was the introduction of Julian Stephenson that brought the next wicket. Jackson swung lustily at a slower ball and dragged it to deep backward square leg where Rod Hokin pulled in a marvelous catch, diving forward and looking into the sun. The fielding standard had been set.
Semple struck some sweet drives and together with McLoughlan then took the total to 73 when the latter was trapped lbw by Nicholson. A double strike as next ball a deadly Casson googly was inside edged by the left handed Semple and snapped up on the third attempt by Iain Beverly who was unsighted and continued a fine game behind the stumps. At 4-73 and both spinners about to get into their work in tandem, the game was there for Gordon.
(Beau in action at Petersham)
Nathan Hauritz had other ideas and began mixing clever touch with power against both spinners. He was the danger man and as he passed 20 Gordon began to give him singles and pressurise the more inexperienced players at the other end. Both spinners and the fielding unit fulfilling the game plan beautifully. This strategy paid off almost immediately as Hauritz punched firmly into the covers from Macdonald and immediately called for the run. Rob Edwards who had already bowled a very tidy 5 over spell, sprang to his right, reeled the ball in one handed, threw across his body and hit the stumps directly at the keepers end. This ended the day for the stuttering Taylor and signalled the opportunity for a bonus point victory at 5-73.
Hauritz continued to play a limited lone hand as Otto held out to Stephenson at mid off and Doolan was well stumped, both from the impressive Macdonald. Byrne joined Hauritz and the Stags could smell a first up win. The big wicket came when Hauritz, frustrated by the good spin bowling and limited opportunity for boundaries went for one big hit too many off Macdonald and was again pouched by Stephenson at deep mid off. 8-150 and the bonus point was within reach, Byrne had other ideas, as Connell was reintroduce he began to put on a hitting display.
(That run out by Rob Edwards)
One mammoth six over long off will be talked about for a long time by everyone except Dylan. Unfortunately for him his partner Whichello couldn't provide the necessary support and was caught by Macdonald from Connell at deep, deep, deep long off. At 9-171 and only batting bunny Cockley to come, the boys were cock-a-hoop. The batsmen had crossed and next ball Byrne smoked one straight to Smokin' Rod Hokin at deep, deep cover and it was game over.
A very sound win first up, with everybody contributing. Bombas and Packman set it up with the defining partnership of the match and the fielding and catching honoured their earlier work. Randwick-Petersham played the game hard and in excellent spirit but on the day Gordon had more contributors. Using pressure to their advantage, Gordon always had the opposition behind the run rate and eventually losing too many wickets.
(Dylan Connell at Petersham)
Onwards and upwards to Bankstown Oval next week, a notoriously hard place to win but the boys will be full of confidence after a top effort first up. Nicho
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
4th Grade take home the Minor Premiership
The Gordon fourth graders travelled out to face UNSW for the final game of the regular season, chasing the minor premiership. After winning the toss we decided to have a bat on a good looking pitch and a short outfield. Before heading out to bat, we discussed the need to be selfish when you are batting and not giving the opportunity for someone else to score the runs, its up to the two men in the middle to do the job. We got of to a very good start with Pic hitting boundaries to all parts and looking like a big score could be had. However, through some excellent bowling, the Uni boys managed to take three quick wickets to leave the Stags at 3 for 40. Tait and Lin steadied the ship to get the side back on track. The bowling and fielding was very good and runs were very hard to come by and at the half-way mark we were only 100 runs. The loss of Lin sparked another collapse and in real danger of scoring less than 150. Adam Cubbage played a great cameo knock of 31 not out to guide us to a total of 170. Not very much could be said of the Gordon batting which a times looked like park cricketers trying to see who could hitting the biggest six, which resulted in some very ugly dismissals.
The skipper, Lin, playing straight down the ground
After the lunch break the Stags went out onto the field to defend 170 and claim the minor premiership. After a good chat before going out, all the members of the side were pumped up and full of energy. Mitch and Tim opened up and bowled very well restricting the run rate and applying pressure on the UNSW batsmen. Shenal replaced Mitch and continued the good work and was rewarded with the first breakthrough. As the runs dried up the wickets continued to fall. We knew at the start of the innings if we could restrict the runs and place pressure on the batsman the wickets would come. Tait and Pic continued through the middle overs and bowled very tidily with Tait getting a wicket and Pic get two for his work with the ball. At 6 wickets down we stepped up a notch, with Shenal back in the attack claiming the prize wicket of the UNSW skipper with a healthy edge through to the keeper. Whilst Shenal was tightening the screws at his end, Cubby was turning the ball beautifully and managed to pick up 3 wickets to go with his 31 not out. Shenal claimed the final wicket with another catch to Tait, his third for the day. Shenal collected four wickets in two excellent spells of bowling. The afternoon fielding was no doubt the best of the season with the intensity and not a quiet voice on the field. It is this intensity that we need to carry through the next three weeks. The bowlers again, as they do week in week out, bowled to the plans that were set out for them, it is now just a case of the batsman applying themselves and putting more runs on the board.
2008/09 has been a great year for the 4th graders claiming first place after the regular season. This is a great achievement and well deserved. We now look ahead to Saturday and face Penrith In the first of the final series. I personally am pumped and cannot wait to step out onto the field next week.
Good luck to 3rds and 5ths next week as well and let's make it three from three.
4th Grade have a good win over the Ghosts
This game shaped as true test for 4s coming into the semis, as a win would cement us a spot in the top 3 and potentially wrap up the minor premiership.
Mitch Sweeney makes the most of his promotion back to 4s
Continuing his good from with the coin, Lin won the toss and sent Campbelltown into to the middle to swing the willow around. As 4s have shown before, we have played our best cricket when chasing totals.
Timmy Fulton and Dan 'Mahaf' Mahaffey were in charge of getting early wickets; both bowled good lines ensuring runs were hard to come by. After the Ghosts moved there score 42, the ever reliable Timmy 'my sister is a minx' Fulton took two wickets in quick succession. Motivation for wickets were at an all time high after this point, due to Tjard Tait promising all wicket takers that after the game they would receive signed copies of the 1984 Miss South Africa Calendar, which his mum, 'Miss January', has personally signed.
Shenal 'Smithy' Siriwardhene took the next wicket, spurred on by that promise, with a beauty that nipped back and took the top of middle stump; momentum was starting to swing the Stags way. Mitch Sweeney and 'Smithy' bowled well in tandem to create pressure on C'town, which ultimately rewarded us with 3 more wickets before the tea break. We were in a good position at this stage to wrap up the Ghosts in the final session of the day.
This was not to be, unfortunately wickets dried up and the fielding was starting to slip after a long day in the field. Spin was introduced; Cubbage and Tait (keen to get a copy of the calendar) both bowled tight and made the batsman work to maintain their wicket. Cubby was very unlucky not to have the ghosts number 7 stumped after the batsmen appeared still out his crease when we were appealing. Timmy took one more wicket to leave the Ghosts at 7-220 at the end of the day's play.
Shayne Lin takes a good catch, low down
Special commendation goes to our captain Shayne for his efforts behind the stumps, with 5 catches under his belt for the day and one absolute specky, diving low to his left and taking it in front of the first slip. The 'Dog on ya' mates' award goes to Tait for never delivering the promised Calendars!!
The boy's were very enthusiastic to finish of the Ghosts innings in quick fashion early on day 2. Timmy and Mahaf both got wickets in their first couple of overs to wrap up the ghost innings on 9-230. Timmy was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 4-48 and continuing his good form coming into the semis. Sweeney and Smithy provided good support by picking up 2 wickets each with Mahaf also collecting 1.
The Stags were faced with the challenge of chasing 231 from 72 overs, but with the outfield being on the slow side was more like 250. Nevertheless, this was a total which was more than gettable with our batting order.
Our innings didn't get off to the best start after losing 'Pic' Sherman and Mitch 'K'dog' Kleem early, but the newly promoted number 3 Tjard Tait and 'Captain Planet' Shayne Lin set out to resurrect the Gordon boys' innings. With the mix of power and precision the boys put on a partnership of over one hundred, again momentum was swinging our way. After bringing his 50 up with a massive six over the club house, Shayne tried to put the next ball into the Vodafone tower, only to have his castle re-arranged. As not to let the game get boring and predictable the middle order decided to build the drama and let the Ghosts take their wickets without bothering the scorers to a great extent; after all sport is about entertainment. Smithy, Cubbage and Bill Piccolo showed good intent but didn't spend much time in the middle. Thanks must go to Bill, though, for filling in for us for the game.
Things were starting to look shaky, then enter Iqbal Ahmed. Iqbal and Tait steadied the ship, with Iqbal taking the role of his skipper as the aggressor smashing sixes and fours to every part of the ground (well, actually mainly straight). on a number of occasions smacking the ball into the front yards of houses over the other side of the street; locals were seen to be scrambling for safety fearing that Kim Jong-il was bombing them. Tait continued on his way passing 50. On 74 Tait fell to the trap of the deadly spinners wicket ball (full toss) spooning a catch straight down the mouth of mid-off.
Skipper Lin leads from the front
Needing 43 to win of 20 overs Mitch Sweeney came to the middle with instructions to tell Iqbal just to poke singles and twos around. After having a brief chat about this, we went about our business. But after running a quick single the senior member of the partnership pulled up a little lame, the following mid-pitch conversation followed Iqbal: 'Sweens, mate, mate, think I did something to my groin, mate, don't think will be running many more quick ones mate' mate'. Sweeney: 'Yeah sorry about that one. Probably was a little risky'. Iqbal: 'Mate, Think I will just keep on moving my feet, mate, if it's there, it's going for six, mate'. Sweeney: 'Yeah, good idea!' The next ball subsequently landed in the front yard of the house across the road.
With 10 overs remaining we passed the total 7 down, Iqbal unbeaten on 48 and Sweeney not out 20. The run chase was by far our best batting performance this year, with Shayne making 54 and Tait 74.
Tait steers the side to within victory
It's very re-assuring to have both aspects of the game firing especially coming into the semis. We look in good stead to be a force to be reckoned with come finals time. Hopefully we can continue our form next week against UNSW and take the minor premiership!!! Up the Stags!!
P.S. The author received many a kind word from his team mates for again denying Iqbal a half-century this season. Higgins was also quick to follow up with numerous text messages from Raby and wall posts on Facebook as soon as possible.
Good bloke Higgins is.
4th Grade stay in the top 2
The Gordon fourth graders traveled out to blacktown after a week off keen to get some cricket in and continue our march to the semis. Despite the rain the pitch was an absolute belter, flat and hard. however after winning the toss we decided that we would bowl first as the outfield was wet and slow and there was threat of rain in the area.
The skipper, Shayne Lin, dives to make his ground
The first few overs were disappointing and it seemed the boys didn't turn up to play with a few edges sneaking through the cordon. Through some good bowling by mahaffey we were able to get a couple of early breakthroughs to wake us up and start the day off. Again as we have seen all season Tim Fulton was excellent with new ball bowling straight and tying the blacktown batsman down. Pic was brought into the attack and runs dried up and wickets continued to fall with a bit of luck and some poor shots. The sherminator bowled excellent lines and managed to pick up a couple of wickets for his efforts. At 6 for 80 Gordon was well on top but a few late partnerships enabled blacktown the continue to push the score along. We knew on this type of wickets patience was the key to restricting the blacktown total. Tait, cubbage and shenal all bowled with good consistency and the fielders backed up the bowlers allowing the Stags to keep the total to 191. All the bowlers managed to pick up a couple of wickets each and all provided a valuable contribution.
After the lunch interval play resume in heavy rain but the wasn't stopping the Gordon openers. After only seeing one boundary so far in the day Richie Kenner played some beautiful cut shots to get us off to a cracking start. Pic was again playing with his usual flair before being bowled for 30. Kenner continued on with Mitch Kleem and Harry Turner playing a lone hand before he was dismissed for a well made 57. After a great start the 4th graders had set up a great chance at gaining a bonus point. However during the chase for the bonus point we lost Harry the Tait. Shayne Lin and Shenal steadied the ship and brought the Stags total close to the 191 needed before shenal was dismissed. After a big shout for LBW and a nervous wait for the umpire to say not out Cubby smashed the final few runs we needed for victory.
After singing the song is was great to go over and watch the 5th graders complete a remarkable win and join in whilst they sung there song.
Although we had a good result we know that our batting needs improving. Each batsman must put there hand up and take it upon themselves to do the job. We need to put a much higher price on our wickets. The next two rounds a crucial for the 4th graders so its time to step up.
Good luck to all teams over the final rounds and bring on the semis.
Fourth Grade report vs Easts (Day 1)
Nine fourth graders arrived at Trumper Park in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs ready to turn around some recent disappointing losses. For those observant readers you would of course realise that a cricket side comprises of 11 players and hence you may well ask why the numbers don't add up?
(Adam Cubbage at Trumper)
The missing candidates'Kidd and Johan Botha (Tait). Word on the street was that Kidd was stuck in bumper-to-bumper on the Pacific Highway as he made his way from the leafy suburbs of the upper north shore to the leafy suburbs of the eastern suburbs. Botha on the other hand was making his way to the ground on the 11.15 all staions to Cronulla. A predictable City Rail delay due to track works and incompetence meant that Tait would arrive 20min before the start of play. You know what they say, never rely on a Knox Boy and City Rail to get you to a cricket game on time.
Anyway enough of the semantics and onto the cricket. A good toss to lose for newly elected 4th grade skipper Barrack Obama'.I mean Adam Cubbage, saw the Stags bowling on another hot and humid Saturday afternoon.
The pitch was a motley one with sporadic grass covering resulting in some uneven bounce for the seam bowlers. The message from the sheds was simple''change is inevitable' and 'stick to your lines, be patient and work for your wickets'.
In one of the best 4th grade performances of the year the bowlers stuck to their lines, the fielders caught their catches and Easts were restricted to 175 all out just after the last drinks break of the day.
(Anthony Sherman sends one down against Easts)
It was a great team effort with the wickets shared between Fulton (3), Cubbage (3), Kidd (2), Pic (1) and one run out to 'el Masri' Turner. Highlights of the innings was Pic's awesome catching - snaring one of the best caught and bowls early in the innings and a sharp catch at first slip just after tea to dismiss the Easts danger man. It's good to see that hard work at training paying off.
One of the off field highlights of the innings came during the tea break when the Stags fielders were not provided with a drink after surviving 45 degree heat in the field for 2.5hrs. Well it was up to the 4th grade spokesman to voice his displeasure at such a pitiful display. The 6 year old child charged with the responsibility of preparing the tea may never recover.
As has been the case in recent two day matches the Gordon openers were required to negotiate an awkward period of 10 overs before stumps. Again, Kenner's pleas for two night-watchman were ignored and in him and Pic went. Pic wasted no time, smashing 12 off the second over including one of the biggest sixes every witnessed at Trumper Oval. Unfortunately the heckling from the yobbos in Bay 13 brought Pic undone as he tried to dispatch the same bowler over the mid wicket fence 'bowled for 12.
This brought recently reinstated Mitch 'Sweet 'n' Sour Pork' Kleem to the wicket to face the Easts bowlers as well as Yabba and his mates. Some close calls and some very aggressive heckling - including the abuse of Kenner for his negative approach to batting - and the Stags were relieved to get to stumps at 1-21.
Sticks cordially invites the yobbos on the hill at Trumper Park on Saturday to join him next Saturday at 12.30pm to watch him block the Stags to victory'I think it's pretty safe to say we won't be seeing them again.
Until then, you stay classy Trumper Park and your beautiful inhabitants.
4th Grade report vs Northern Districts
With a new captain we finally won a toss a decided to bat on a very hot day.
The new opening pair of Sherman and Drysdale tried to get the stags of to a decent start but unfortunatley Sherman fell for the second week in a row caught hooking, a little while later Pete thought he was still in the warm up and gave the keeper slips practice (or maybe it was a mirage) and the Stags once again were two for not many.
(Hamish is congratulated for his century)
Brett (i will have a throw at the bowlers end for a change) Marvel joined Hamish (how much can a be like Harry Evans) Angus and together they tried to steady the ship but Marv's was given out caught behind.
Harry Turner came to the crease but unfortaunately I did not see much of Harry's innings (for the first time in my grade career i forgot my afternoon tea) but apparently he played some lovely shots before being trapped l.b.w.
Hamish was joined by Tjaard(let's win with two bonus points) Tait and again they tried to build a partnership but TT was caught at slip.
Enter Adam(I do nothing for the club) Cubbage and he to tried to again build a partnership with Tony's new kid on the block but shouldered arms and lost his off stump.
(Anthony Sherman in action)
While all this was happening Hamish was carving a great innings for himself. He was joined by our Green Shield keeper James Ryan and he looked a very handy with the bat until he let one go a was given out l.b.w (what is our green shield coach teaching these guys).
Mitch(how many friends has he got in Sydney) Sweeney waddled to the crease and played some typical Sweens shots before hitting a full toss to fine leg.
With Hamish closing in a ton, Timmy Fulton hung around long enough for Hamish to bring up a great hundred. To score 100 out of a score of 170 says it all. Tony's camera got a work out (not to mention something else) and i'm sure you will see some great shots of Hamish's innings on the website.
Shortly after Tim and James kidd were out and the Stags could only manage 170.
The stags entered the field on day one with 9 overs to bowl but had no luck and ND's were 0/32 at stumps.
Day two started with ND's attacking our bowling before tim made the break through caught in the gully. Shortly after James Kidd bowled their number three and the Stags were still a chance but the other opening batsmen was blasting us to all parts and ND'S were cruisiing at 2/130.
(Mitch Sweeney at Beauchamp)
Mitch Sweeney come on and delivered straight away getting the dangerous opener out hooking and the stags were back in the hunt. With Tim and Mitch bowling very well the scoring dried up and Mitch then nicked another one and Marv's justified all that throwing he does by affecting a run out. In the end ND'S past us five down and the fourth grade lost there third straight game.
A special mention to two players, Hamish for a outstanding innings, he showed the rest of the top order how to do it, and young James Ryan who kept really well for us in his grade debut and we look forward to seeing him in club colours in the future.
Finally to all my team mates we are still in second place after some results went our way so our destiny is still in our hands so let's get back to winning ways.
4th Grade fail to seal the deal
The Gordon 4th graders arrived at Sydney's premier grade oval, Beauchamp Park, with some extra kg's around the waist line after a fruitful festive season. Smarting from their first lost of the season in the last round before the Xmas break and a debortuous evening at the Bristol Arms Hotel (or for those from lesser grange, the Retro), the fourth graders were hungry for a victory against fierce rivals, the North Sydney Bears.
Shanye Lin in fine form
Brett Marvel was the late inclusion, replacing Angus who moved into third grade with the selection of Brendan McDonald into the NSW 2nd XI. Brett Marvel brings a lot to a team. The man is not only the world's best cover fieldsman but he is also the world's #2 rated 20/20 cricketer, behind David 'asterix' Warner. For those not reading the papers, Brett was selected in the Australian Universities 20/20 XI, a team that Warner has never and will never be selected for.
Anyway, enough about my hero. With a batting heavy side, Pic's advice was to bat first. Of course, this advice was useless as Captain Will 'Beyonce' Sweeny lost another toss and the Bears elected to wield the willow.
With Mitch 'Cotton Mouth' Sweeney and Tim 'Work Horse' Fulton opening the bowling on a typical 'first hour' Beauchamp deck, the boyz (intention spelling error) were confident of picking up early wickets.
It wasn't long before Fulton struck, taking two early wickets with some crafty out swing bowling. Fulton is a graduate from the Dennis Lillee school of seam bowling. With a broad upright action and the gold chain to boot, Fulton continues to impress (his bowling is going pretty good as well).
Sweeney replaced Sweeney at the Chinese Bakery end and had immediate success. Sweens was not fortunate enough to receive a new pair of cricket slacks from Father Christmas this year and consequently was showing more junk than Beyonce in a Jay-Z video clip. With his pants round his ankles, Sweenes was able to deliver a viscous bouncer that caught the gloves of the opener and spooned to Shane Lin for his second catch of the day.
Pete Drysdale plays one backward of point
The ensuing partnership was a frustrating one for the Stags, with some simple catches going down, not to mention yours truly who probably dropped one of the easiest catches ever put down in grade cricket. One two many Breezers for this modest scribe.
Pic Sherman made the break through, with Beyonce taking an extremely sharp catch at first slip. This was the crucial wicket for the Stags, and the next 6 wickets fell at regular intervals.
It would be negligent of me not to mention the off spin bowling of Peter Drysdale. The brother of an Olympic bronze medallist took control of the match with his disciplined tweakers, picking up 3 crucial wickets and tying the batsman down. As Cubbage watched on at backward gully, Drysdale and Tait, closed out the innings, with Tjaard taking his mandatory wicket, a full toss that deceived the batsman with bounce and turn.
North Sydney all out 195. Gordon with 6 overs to negotiate.
After ignoring Kenner's suggestion of sending in two nightwatchmen to open the batting, Sweeney sent the openers on their way to face out the fiery Bears openers.
Luckily Pic and Kenner showed dazzling skill and stroke play to land the Stags at 0-25 at stumps, with Pic slog-sweeping the off-spinner for four off the last ball of the day. Apparently the number 9 is unlucky, so he wanted to make sure he was 13 not out overnight?
With the Thursday thunder storms taking their toll on the Beauchamp pitch, the Stag batsman were faced with a Gabba green top. However, the boys were still confident due to the long batting line up. (leg-spinner come #9 specialist batsman Adam Cubbage was batting' at 9).
Two wickets fell early, with Pic holding out at fine-leg swivelling on a pool shot and Angus trapped in front to a viscious in-swinger. (Doctor reports would later show that Pic tore his gluteus maximus while turning for a swift two in the first over of the day - thankfully Professor Pic's professional diagnosis about D.Way's injury earlier in the season wasn't as dire as forecast - let's hope Pic gets back on his feet shortly).
Kenner, batting like a park cricketer at the other end, managed to survive the first hour with Drysdale but fell to a lose shot out side off stump to the misley Hopwood (who would later end the day with figures of 1-22 off 106 overs).
Tjaard Tait, a very, very happy South African at the moment
Turner made a quick 10 before he was brought undone by an unplayable leg cutter, leaving Tait & Drysdale to steer the Stags into tea at 4-106, still well on track.
With two of the best scorers in world cricket, Harry 'Hudini' Turner and 'Sticks' Kenner, controlling the books after tea, the boys were confident of a 6 wicket victory.
Alas, Drysdale ran himself out by about 6 meters coming back for a second run. Unfortunately Peter does not quite possess the speed of his Olympic brother who may have actually got home. Tait fell soon after chasing a wide one.
At this point the Stags were about 25 runs from victory and had 4 wickets in hand. A seemingly easy task with the 4th grade cowboy, Shane Lyn smoking them as he always does. What happened next had to be seen to be believed.
The 4th grade machine lost their last 4 wickets for 20 runs falling 5 runs short of the target. A combination of loose stroke play and good catching saw the young off spinner for Norths take 3-8 in an awesome spell of pressure bowling.
The loss was the most deflating I have ever been involved with and hopefully will act as a rocket for the 4th graders after two close losses in a row.
Lets hope they can bounce back next week against the Rangers.
Until then, you stay classy Chatswood.
4th grade report vs North Sydney
The Gordon 4th graders arrived at Sydney's premier grade oval, Beauchamp Park, with some extra kg's around the waist line after a fruitful festive season. Smarting from their first lost of the season in the last round before the Xmas break and a debortuous evening at the Bristol Arms Hotel (or for those from lesser grange, the Retro), the fourth graders were hungry for a victory against fierce rivals, the North Sydney Bears.
(Brett Marvel in action)
Brett Marvel was the late inclusion, replacing Angus who moved into third grade with the selection of B Mac into the NSW 2XI. Brett Marvel brings a lot to a team. The man is not only the world's best cover fieldsman but he is also the world's #2 rated 20/20 cricketer, behind David 'asterix' Warner. For those not reading the papers, Brett was selected in the Australian Universities 20/20 XI, a team that Warner has never and will never be selected for.
Anyway, enough about my hero. With a batting heavy side, Pic's advice was to bat first. Of course, this advice was useless as Captain Will 'Beyonce' Sweeney lost another toss and the Bears elected to wield the willow.
With Mitch 'cotton mouth' Sweeney and Tim 'work horse' Fulton opening the bowling on a typical 'first hour' Beachamp deck, the boyz (intention spelling error) were confident of picking up early wickets.
It wasn't long before Fulton struck, taking two early wickets with some crafty out swing bowling. Fulton is a graduate from the Dennis Lillee school of seam bowling. With a broad upright action and the gold chain to boot, Fulton continues to impress (his bowling is going pretty good as well).
(Tim Fulton at Beauchamp)
Sweeney replaced Sweeney at the Chinese Bakery end and had immediate success. Sweens was not fortunate enough to receive a new pair of cricket slacks from father Christmas this year and consequently was showing more junk than Beyonce in a Jay-Z video clip. With his pants round his ankles, Sweenes was able to deliver a viscous bouncer that caught the gloves of the opener and spooned to Shane Lin for his second catch of the day.
The ensuing partnership was a frustrating one for the Stags, with some simple catches going down, not to mention yours truly who probably dropped one of the easiest catches ever put down in grade cricket. One two many Breezers for this modest scribe.
Pic Sherman made the break through, with Beyonce taking an extremely sharp catch at first slip. This was the crucial wicket for the Stags, and the next 6 wickets fell at regular intervals.
It would be negligent of me not to mention the off spin bowling of Peter Drysdale. The brother of an Olympic bronze medallist took control of the match with his disciplined tweakers, picking up 3 crucial wickets and tying the batsman down. As Cubbage watched on at backward gully, Drysdale and Tait, closed out the innings, with Tjaard taking his mandatory wicket, a full toss that deceived the batsman with bounce and turn.
(Pete Drysdale in action)
North Sydney all out 195. Gordon with 6 overs to negotiate.
After ignoring Kenner's suggestion of sending in two nightwatchmen to open the batting, Sweeney sent the openers on their way to face out the firey Bears openers.
Luckily Pic and Kenner showed dazzling skill and stroke play to land the Stags at 0-25 at stumps, with Pic slog-sweeping the off-spinner for four off the last ball of the day. Apparently the number 9 is unlucky, so he wanted to make sure he was 13 not out overnight?
With the Thursday thunder storms taking their toll on the Beauchamp pitch, the Stag batsman were faced with a Gabba green top. However, the boys were still confident due to the long batting line up. (leg-spinner come #9 specialist batsman Adam Cubbage was batting'9).
Two wickets fell early, with Pic holding out at fine-leg swivelling on a pool shot and Angus trapped in front to a viscious in-swinger. (Doctor reports would later show that Pic tore his gluteus maximus while turning for a swift two in the first over of the day).
Kenner, batting like a park cricketer at the other end, managed to survive the first hour with Drysdale but fell to a lose shot out side off stump to the misley Hopwood (who would later end the day with figures of 1-22 off 106 overs).
(Shayne Lin against Norths)
Turner made a quick 10 before he was brought undone by an unplayable leg cutter, leaving Tait & Drysdale to steer the Stags into tea at 4-106, still well on track.
With two of the best scorers in world cricket, Harry 'Hudini' Turner and 'sticks' Kenner, controlling the books after tea, the boys were confident of a 6 wicket victory.
Alas Drysdale ran himself out by about 6 meters coming back for a second run. Unfortunately Peter does not quite possess the speed of his Olympic brother who may have actually got home. Tait fell soon after chasing a wide one.
At this point the Stags were about 25 runs from victory and had 4 wickets in hand. A seemingly easy task with the 4th grade cowboy, Shane Lin smoking them as he always does. What happened next had to be seen to be believed.
The 4th grade machine lost their last 4 wickets for 20 runs falling 5 runs short og the target. A combination of loose stroke play and good catching saw the young off spinner for Norths take 3-8 in an awesome spell of pressure bowling.
The loss was the most deflating I have ever been involved with and hopefully will act as a rocket for the 4th graders after two close losses in a row.
Lets hope they can bounce back next week against the Rangers.
Until then, you stay classy Chatswood.
(Richie Kenner for the uneducated)
4th Grade maintains its grip on the Mal Hall Trophy
Yet another road trip for 4th grade on the weekend saw the team's combined distance travelled for the season tick over the 15,000 km mark. Sutherland, Canterbury, Penrith, Richmond, Broome ' where else could the 08/09 draw send the competition leaders? Of course it was Graham Thomas Reserve in Manly, fondly known as 'Atmosphere Park'. The boys remained upbeat after previous wins and were confident of another victory away from home, especially given the added incentive of playing for the Mal Hall trophy, a quest in which no Gordon team has ever failed.
Dan Lake celebrates a wicket at the end of a good spell
Given all the rain, the ground was in surprisingly good condition and only a delay of about an hour and half ensued before play was underway, with each innings reduced to 45 overs. This provided plenty of time for the usual pre-game antics with Sherman sharing the first instalment of the 'Diarrhoea Diaries,' and Tait giving the details of his latest oriental delight. During this time Paul Stephenson also took the opportunity to briefly explain to both teams the unfortunate story of Mal Hall's passing, as well as the history of the fixture to date. With this in mind and having won his first toss as skipper, Will 'Passenger 57' Sweeney sent the Manly boys into bat on a pitch that looked to have a little bit of life. His surrogate brother Mitch 'Penguin Man' Sweeney took the new ball along with Dan 'I need a haircut' Lake and although both were slightly erratic at times, they also bowled some unplayable deliveries.
Towards the end of his spell, Dan made two crucial breakthroughs to put Manly on the back foot. Coming on at first change, debutant James 'Brian' Kidd showed no signs of any nerves and bowled with good accuracy and pace, but without luck. Fortunately, Anthony 'has anyone got a nappy?' Sherman managed to claim a Manly scalp after a controlled spell to have Manly in some early trouble at 3 -35. However, through luck rather than judgement (and skill for that matter), Manly managed to consolidate after the early trouble and proceeded to swing the game back into the balance.
The cameraman wasn't the only one focused on Shayne Lin all day
The Stags' cause was not helped by some very poor catching (6 grassed chances) as well as the loss of the Kieran 'Buffalo' Jones and his cheetah-like speed and presence in the cover region. According to him he was forced from the field suffering from a recurring back injury - the truth is he slipped a disc in attempting to race Shayne 'Orangutan' Lin to the top of the large palm tree outside dressing sheds during the warm up. Fortunately, Michael Falk was on the sidelines and proved a more than able replacement roving the long off fence 'thanks again Falky.
After a fairly uneventful middle part to the innings, another brisk spell from Kidd saw him pick up 3 quick scalps and very nearly a hatrick. This left Manly reeling and they finished their innings on 8 ' 187, a seemingly gettable target for the Stags.
After a cigarette and cup of tea to compliment the 35 degree heat and 98% humidity, Sherman took the field with Richie 'Kenae' Kenner to begin the Gordon chase. In typical Sherman style (and very atypical Kenner style) the innings got off to a blazing start with the score reaching 41 from a mere 4 overs. After Kenner was bowled for 15 by a pretty handy rock that decked back, Sherman was joined by Mitchell 'these stains won't come out!' Kleem and the two proceeded to move the score to around 80 before Sherman fell for 41 guiding one to first slip.
... Straight to 1st slip for Pic
Kleem was joined by the skipper, promoted up the order due to the injury to Jones, and these two took the score past 120. At this point in time, it was decided an attempt would be made at the bonus point. This proved to be a slightly silly decision, and almost led to the team's demise. As has happened too many times this season, the middle order collapsed, primarily due to some poor shot selection, and the Stags lost 4 wickets within a matter of overs.
Suddenly even a win was in doubt.
However, once again the ever-reliable Tjaard 'KP' Tait and his partner in crime Mitch Sweeney were able to steer the side home, running extremely well between the wickets and also landing some lusty blows in the final overs. They both finished close to 40no.
It was a relief for the team, who scraped yet another victory after playing very poorly given the talent in the side, as everyone will openly admit. It is clear we all need to get our heads in the game if we are going to compete at the end of the season. Although clear at the top of the table, we are all still waiting for the real 4th grade to stand up.
Will "Passenger 57" Sweeney making sure he inserts himself everywhere as skipper
4th Grade on top of the table
The Gordon 4th Grade side arrived out at Bensons Lane and faced a frustrating day waiting around to see when or if play would begin with the square saturated from overnight rain. Finally at 3:00 we managed to get a game. Gordon lost the toss and were relegated to the field for the remaining 50 overs of the day.
Always eventful, Pic was left without is castle
The pitch was an absolute belter and we knew we would have to work hard for our wickets. Mitch Sweeney and Tim Fulton opened up with both bowlers managing to get a couple of early wickets for the Stags to put us in a good position. Iqbal Ahmed then entered the attack and managed to capture the wicket of the Hawks opener who was going along very well by spinning one past the bat as he was half way down the wicket. Inzi managed to strike three more times on the 1st day though a mixture of full tosses, half trackers and a few beauties that turned and bounced. Looking back on day one the 4th grade side can look back and see that in order to maintain our position at the top and continue to improve we must lift the intensity and the quality of our fielding.
Day two and the Stags needed only three wickets to have a bat. Tim Fulton bowled an excellent spell managing to produce movement out of a very flat wicket and we able to reduce Hawkesbury to 212 with 60 overs to chase the target. It must be noted that we did show improvement in our fielding on the morning of day two after a few words from our captain at the start of the day.
The Stags innings started well with Sherman and 'Sticks' Kenner getting us of to a good start. Sherman was dismissed in his 20's whilst Mitch (Kleem) and Sticks continued the run chase. We were cruising along at 1 down before losing a few quick wickets with Sticks being dismissed for a well made 69. He showed patience at the start of his innings and built into some beautiful stroke play when he was set (mainly that noodle and nudge through gully!).
Kenner caught in the act - a powerful noodle through gully!
At 7 down for 160 it looked like the wheels may have come off but we were able to hold on with some good partnerships amongst the lower order. After a slight scare with one run to get, the Stags passed the total of 212, 8 wickets down, with a couple of overs to spare.
Whilst we do have areas to improve on it is always a sign of a good side when we are in trouble someone will stand up and do the job. We cannot win this competition relying on the efforts of one or two players and it is great to see contribution from every player in the 4th grade side. Its off to Manly next week for an important game for 4th grade and the club.
[Ed. Note: Shayne himself was instrumental in getting the side home, steering the tail and the team to victory late on the second day to remain not out on 42]
"Sticks" Kenner bounds backwards to defend A more convential Mitch Kleem on the attack
A solid victory over the Panthers
With the growing popularity of 20 over cricket throughout the world, some skeptics have questioned the future of longer forms of the game. But after the two days of pulsating cricket which took place at Cook Park this round, you would be hard pressed to find any doomsayers about longer versions of the game in the St. Mary's area. I think the advice of Kieran 'Buffalo' Jones at drinks on day one sums up the pace of the game' 'Lets out bore them'.
Siriwardhene performed well for 4th Grade
An in-form Gordon fourth grade outfit arrived on day 1 with the chance of extending their lead at the top of the table. Given the exciting brand of cricket fourth grade have been playing so far this term, the condition of the pitch was initially a worry for the Stags, which had as much life in it, as Richie Kenner's dream of growing a moustache as thick as Michael Falk's. Speaking of moustaches, props must be given to Adam 'Tom Skerritt' Cubbage and (for the first week at least) Brett Marvell, who belonged to a generation past, with his curly hair and Latin-American mo.
Wilbur lost the toss and we soon found ourselves in the field. Despite being a young side, everyone knew that a day of discipline was needed to have any success on a wicket that didn't offer much for the quicks. Wilbur, though relatively new to captaincy, was quick to experiment, where after one over he pulled Tim Fulton from the attack to bring on Siriwardhane, who managed to snare one of the openers. Wilbur then kept all the quicks guessing by pulling Siriwardhane after his one over, and putting Tim back into the attack; a master stroke from a wily captain.
With one wicket under their belt, the Stags toiled hard in the field. The monotony of the opening session was broken by the arrival of a few familiar faces from fifth grade, who had a delayed start due to a wet wicket. With Richie Kenner, who remains an inspiration to match reports everywhere, and Sunny Sajdeh, the 'dark secret' of the Hills District, in support, the boys worked hard until drinks. Despite strong efforts from Mitch Sweeney, Tim Fulton, Shenal Siriwardhane and Dan Lake, it became clear that the crucial middle-order wickets were going to have to come from the spinners. In step Adam Cubbage. Someone, somewhere, decided this was to be Cubby's day.
Whenever he landed it on a length, he had all their batsmen in trouble and this showed as he picked up wickets consistently throughout the day. With Cubby operating at one end, Tjaard Tait, the 4th grade resident party-boy, supported him well at the other with his off-spin. The party-boy ended up with figures of 1 ' 19 from 14 overs. At tea, Gordon had made inroads in the Penrith middle order with not all that much on the board.
Tea was a welcome break for the Stags who took the opportunity to reassess their plans. But for one Dan Lake, the tea break had a whole new meaning altogether, as Penrith provided Icy Poles in all the flavours Dan had been telling us about. After some refreshments, and a pocket full of Dan Lake's gummy bears, Gordon were back in the field.
The patience shown by all the bowlers is worth mention, and the final session proceeded in much the same way as the first, with wickets falling fairly consistently. Brett Marvell tried to speed up the fall of wickets by continuously trying to throw down the stumps from his post at short cover (not 5m from the stumps). Marvs' attempts to hit the stumps grew more aggressive given the taunting from Cubbage at mid-off. (Word is, he's still trying to hit them).
At the end of play Gordon had Penrith 9-198, which was a strong position to be in given the conditions.
The Stags had a disjointed morning of day 2, least of all Mitch Sweeney who was delayed because of a surprise house inspection, and Tjaard Tait who apparently due to his party-boy lifestyle, doesn't see midday all that often. But with only one wicket needed to finish of the Penrith innings, the Stags were quickly in focus. Siriwardhane picked up the early wicket to finish with 4 ' 37 from his 20 overs and Cubby, pick of the bowlers, ended up with 5 ' 80 of 21 overs. Also an important mention goes to Shayne Lin who ended up with 4 catches behind the stumps. Shayne had a tough day of it during day 1 where, apart from the spinners, not many balls got through to him on the full.
Penrith ended up with 203 from 84.4 overs. A tough chase lay ahead for a Stags line up without Pic and Reg who had been in good form in recent weeks for fourth grade.
Cubby, the Jack of all trades, opened up with Mitch Kleem who, despite spending much of the warm up quoting lines from the episode of Seinfeld he watched the previous night, looked hungry for runs. The duo set off well setting up a solid platform of 30-odd before Cubby fell. Marvs and Buffalo Jones fell shortly after. At this point, Tim Fulton who was penciled to come in at 11, had ideas of having a go in the middle order and soon had his pads on to go in at number 6, but Wilbur quickly sorted out the miscommunication to Tim's obvious disappointment.
Cubbage had a top game with the ball
Throughout the fall of wickets, Mitch kept his calm and went about grafting out a 50 on a wicket that would not normally aid his style of batting. This proved to be a crucial innings that brought stability to a run-chase which could have easily gone the way Dan Lake's new hairstyle. Mitch was supported by the Party-boy Tait, who was still trying to work out whose bed he woke up in that morning, and then by Wilbur, who came in and played his shots and put the pressure back on Penrith.
Tea on day 2 was again a chance to reassess the state of the game. Gordon were in a strong position and needed only to bat out the majority of the final session, and a win would be theirs. But shortly after the break Mitch was dismissed for a crucial 52 and that brought Shenal and Wilbur to the crease. They started to apply pressure on the bowlers through attack and both looked to be confident, due mainly to Dan Lake's motivational 'Jessica Mauboy Mix Tape'.
Wilbur and Shenal were looking in control until Wilbur fell to a sharp catch at short cover, and then Shayne Lin fell shortly afterwards to give Penrith a slight chance of coming back into the game. But Mitch Sweeney coming in at no. 9, who had regained his composure after the surprise house inspection, played a little cameo to take away Penrith's chances. Mitch and Shenal finished off the job, with 24* and 63*, and Gordon came away with the points.
It was a big win for 4's, as the conditions required disciplined cricket and also because Penrith were close to us on the table. There is certainly a lot of good to take out of this performance, and it will be good benchmark for a lot of the tough cricket still to come.
It feels good to be on top.
An outright victory for the Stags
First of all, I must apologise for the tardiness of this report. With the current economic crisis that grips the nation and the world, it has been hard to find some time to put pen to paper (or finger to key, as it is these days).
Anyway onto the tale that lies ahead'
In Anthony Sherman's 17 years of grade cricket he had never won a game of cricket outright'well that was until last Saturday. At Beauchamp, over two days of hard work and excellent cricket, the 4th graders stole maximum points from a very strong Students' outfit.
Dan Lake performing well outside the classroom
The game started with 'Mo' winning the toss in his boat shoes and creased Salvation Armani shirt, and electing to bat. It was a toss that a skipper enjoys losing. The deck looked ok on the surface but there was definitely some life hiding just below the innocent grass clippings. Anyone who has played more than a handful of games at Beauchamp, knows that if the deck is going to do anything it will do it early.
In fact, I remember a wise scholar once said, 'Now guys, lets get to tea 2 down for 80 and we can hit 500 in the second session'. I'm not sure if that scholar is still alive but if he is I'm sure he is in a bath tub somewhere sipping on a glass of Merlot.
The old adage was never more true than on this particular morning, with Tim Fulton ripping through the Uni top order in quick time. Tim bowled a clinical spell of outswing bowling having the top 3 batsmen caught behind and Uni's best batsmen clean bowled with a peach of a ball which started at least two yards outside leg stump and hit the top off.
Mitch Sweeney bowled some raw heat at the other end and was rewarded for his toil with a wicket from the last ball of his spell. At which an interesting dialogue took place between the Uni #4 bat and Sherman.
(Mitch Sweeney against the students)
Pic: 'Mate, you can't leave those' (after the #4 had stood his ground after being given out)
# 4: 'Yea, but I was a long way down the deck'
Pic: 'Mate, what do you expect?' (being very conservative on word choice')
# 4: 'Yea I guess you're right. Oh well, enjoy the rest of the day fellas' (#4 departs slower than Marcus Trescothick)
One of the longest and most diplomatic send offs I have ever seen in the game of cricket. It's good to see the spirit of cricket alive and well!
The Uni middle to lower order did not put up much resistance to be honest. Some reckless batting saw them score some quick runs but also lose wickets at regular intervals. The benefactors of their cowboy attitudes were Dan Lake (1), Tait (2), Cubbage (1) and of course a Brett Marvell run out (what would a game of cricket be without a Brett Marvell run out).
If anyone has seen a Brett Marvell run out they will know what I'm talking about when I call him the silent assassin. Brett actually looks like he is sleeping on the field. Don't be fooled! When a ball is hit in his general direction and a risky run taken he switches into stealth mode, swooping on the ball and throwing down the stumps from any angle. I have never seen a more accurate throw in the game of cricket. Brett can throw down the stumps left-handed while blindfolded, pants down & receiving favours from a lady of the night.
Anyway enough about Marvell. Lets talk about Pic. With the Uni boys all out for 120 in only 29 overs it was up to the Gordon batsmen to chase down the runs in the remaining overs.
Timmy Fulton in great form with the ball
Enter Pic. In true trail blazing fashion Pic hit the bowling to all parts of the ground and showed no mercy to any poor bowler who got in his road. Classics quotes during Pic's ininigs were;
1. 'I wish I would start middling the ball' (after Sticks congratulated him for reaching his 50 (off about 23 balls). Sticks would go on to share a 45 run partnership which Pic, whereby he would score 2 runs)
2. 'Can you blokes keep the scoreboard updated!!!' (again conservative on word choice) (at drinks whist 80* and the team was congratulating him on his performance ' after this comment a permanent scoreboard attendant was put in place.)
His 100 (off probably around 80 balls) was Pic's 37th. A great knock and one that gave us a great shot at an outright victory. Gordon were bowled out for 206. Other notables with the willow were Brett Marvell (no prizes for guessing his score'.30) and Shane Lin (20 odd).
In my mind the best chance we had of winning this game outright was to bowl early on the second day, so being bowled out last week was a blessing in disguise. The stags knew we would have to work a lot harder for our wickets this week as a proud Student's outfit would be out to prove a point (and 'Mo' would have the boys fired up).
As it turned out, the Students did put it a markedly improved effort, with the openers surviving for more than 5 overs. Dan Lake took the first wicket, caught by Sweeney at first grip. Pic then chipped in with a fiery bouncer that had the other opener rushed and pulling to Mitch Kleem who took an athletic catch at mid on. (those two words do not come together very often, but when they do one can not describe the pleasure of being witness to such a feat of humanity)
(Pic in action at Beauchamp)
Dan 'Jonas Takalua' Lake bowled an awesome spell from the Chatswood Chase end. This was definitely the best I have seen him bowl as he constantly beat the bat with some class outswing bowling and also cut the ball back off the seam. Dan finished with 3 wickets from his two 6 over spells. All genuine outswing wickets.
In fact, it was a top effort from the Gordon bowlers all round. Patience was the word of the day. We knew that we could chase down any total in any amount of overs with our aggressive batting line up (Sticks not included). Even though there were some frustrating partnerships throughout the day the boys stuck to their task and bowled well. Highlights included Adam 'better than Cam White' and 'sorry Beau' Cubbage taking two wickets in three balls and Mitch Sweeney clean bowling their best bat with a fierce yorker that probably would of got through the defences of VVS Laxman (something the Aussies were unable to do ' did he even get out once in the whole series?).
When Tjaard Tait, the young Afrikaner from the high velt, had 'Mo' trapped LBW, the students had 209 and Gordon needed 126 to win off 21 overs. (6 an over, as had to explained to Dan Lake several times ' I think he is currently attending Gum Nut college?)
With quick runs now being the order of the day, Kenner was demoted to #11 and the chase could begin. Enter the A-team, Sherman and Kleem. After Kleem was run out batting with Pic in dubious circumstances last week the pair had a chance to really bond together and achieve something special.
The A-team had the 4th graders off to a flyer going at 10 an over for the first 4 or 5 overs (thanks to some wayward bowling from 16 year old man child). Some thunderous batting from Pic and Kleem left 'Mo' in a state of psychosis and changing his bowlers every over. I think he actually pulled a bowler mid over?? Tough School!
(Adam Cubbage at Beauchamp)
Kleem fell to the spinner in controversial circumstances. 'The Kleem' had little luck in this game and I think his time is just around the corner, keep trucking big fella! Marvell & Pic fell shortly after holding out to the young 'Mo' who bowled pretty well under the watchful eye of his father.
Enter Tait & Cubbage. After a few quiet overs where they got themselves set and had a good chat they unleashed the tiger. Tjaard Tait is a strapping young fellow much in the mould of Hackett'& Thorpe, Thorpe & Hackett there's nothing in it. He pummelled the bowling to all corners of the ground and brought the team home with a long bomb off the opening bowler carrying the trees at the east side of Beauchamp.
The boys were home and now sat firmly at the top of the table. The song was sung with gusto as Shane 'Retro' Lin tried his best to punch some holes in the Beauchamp dressing sheds. Keep trying mate, I'm sure you'll get many more opportunities this year!!
Until next time, keep playing straight and be good to your mother (you expected something different??)
4th Grade turn the tide against the Sharks
Punctuality to the game was an issue of concern the previous week. Under the guidance and tutelage of our new skipper Will Sweeney we all made it on time. The Sherminator (Anthony Sherman) was heard mumbling in the background '' You're all on time for Wilbur you cockroaches''. Geoff Hickman tried to coax Mitch to own up who was late but Mitch being the team man, he refused to say. [Editor's Note: If the tardiness of this report is anything to go by, Mitch would have been unable to tell Geoff who was late as he would have been last there!]
Classic Mitch - Blazing through the offside
A mild workout began and a sense of new found inspiration was sought with the return of Damon Livermore. Damon's grandparents grew up next door to where I grew up in Cremorne. We would often run into Damon's uncle Reg Livermore and soon become interested in his outrageous live performances act. Damon's cousins were often heard singing too, practising for their next recital. The Livermores were often responsible for teeing off golf balls on the neighbours below while I just spray painted the park down the road.
The Shermanator and Anthony (Please wax my back) Cubbage opened the batting. Shermsy captures the imagination of the Australian people (people of Australia - or if Mark Taylor (Stralya ) with some gorgeous strokeplay. One particular shot was a superb drive through extra cover on the rise. You just had to be there. Anthony was dismissed for 28.
Our star with the ball Adam Cubbage was dismissed early in his innings off the gloves to the wicketkeeper. Adam will soon decide soon whether or not whether the opening position is for him. In fact while I screen through the team sheets I notice the selectors have made that decision for him. The opening batsman is usually the most nervous and selfish person in the side because he knows he has to bat straight away or he has to bat for 2 overs at the end of the day. However I read that nerves are there to motivate you.
Cubbage on his way to a bag of wickets
Kleem joined Livermore and the two set about building some sort of partnership. With the score on 110, Kleem skied one off the edge of the bat to midwicket for 48. Enter Will Sweeney who came to the crease to support Livermore. These two once again stabilised the innings but Wilbur was dismissed in the late thirties which was a very handy knock.
Our new South African recruit Tjaard Tait coming off some useful contributions in recent weeks made a concerted effort not to lose his wicket early. He made a useful twenty adding to his ever - growing bag of wickets. Fitness guru and personal trainer Shayne Lin entered the fray but was there only briefly. Young Justin Avendano (the frozen one) looked a million bucks. After three balls at the crease Justin asked for the scoreboard to be updated. Justin has impressed us all with his can do attitude, work ethic and is not frightened of anyone. We eventually ended at 278 with a day to play.
On day 2 we resumed batting with two wickets in hand however Avendano fell sick the day before and was unable to bat. We lasted one over. The Sutherland opeing batsman had only three overs to prepare and we eagerly anticipated a flurry of wickets. Pat Effeney made an early breakthrough dismissing one of their openers. However progress was not to come with two left handers at the crease taking proceedings to tea with the score a hundred or so. It was a break we needed to recharge the batteries. Soon after tea the boys worked hard on shining one side of the ball and Dan Lake began to move a few around. Tjaard Tait dismissed one of the lefties with the ball going away.
Timmy Fulton delivers a beautiful outswinger for his skipper
After this, they were no match for Cubbage, who began drifting in and spinning away from the right handers. Cubby ended with 5 for and Tjaard 4. A great example of how things can quickly change. They were dismissed for 140 odd.
Sydney University this week and as usual they will have a couple of older heads around guiding their team. We will have to be switched on.
No play due to rain
4th Grade notch up their second win
As kick-off against Wests loomed, a poor attendance of Gordon players saw Pic's face turning red during warm ups ' and not just due to his intense fitness regime. After the toss we were destined to bat.
Another Coastie... Damien Way in great touch
And once again Mitch Kleem had his trademark moment of foolishness: 'Mitch to Pic': 'Mate I left my bat at home, can I just drive back home and get it from Mosman. I'll be there and back in 20 minutes'.
This all being said at around 10am, 30 minutes before going in to bat with Mitch being placed at 1st drop.
The innings started rather worryingly with Cubbage getting a globe, lobbing a full toss straight back to the bowler, and Pic dismissed for 8 after being bowled around his legs by the opener. Kleem was showing good signs only to be dismissed for 15. But with Mitch's departure, we saw the new breed of 'coasty' talent step up to the crease. Damien Way slowly revived Gordon's innings, playing his array of shots comfortably around the ground. Will Sweeney had a brief cameo appearance in the batting line up only to construct a 'Great Tactical Leave' on middle peg. Sweeney bowled for 3. Tjaard Tait then joined forces with Damien to help post a defendable score. Damien's innings came to an end on 77; a very convincing knock. Tjaard was eventually bowled by a full toss for 56; also a top innings. Shenal then looked to have good technique before his innings ended on 13, which then started a poor tail end finish of 5,1,0,0.
At the interval the boys received a 'SUBTLE' team talk from Pic, and then everyone parted ways for lunch. Speaking of lunch'we shall forever remember Shenal's Maccas order: 'A Cheeseburger with no meat', in other words a $2 bun with cheese.
Definitely a talking point - the dietry habits of Siriwardhene
The bowling started off very well for the Gordon boys, with Mitch Sweeney (1-33 off 5) clean bowling one of the openers in the first over. Then Dan Lake (3-22 off 6) claiming a 2 wicket maiden in his first over and then a wicket maiden in his 2nd. The 4th scalp brought on the likes of a Mr. Di Bartolo, with Pic warning us of this guy's ability. Scoring faster than Ron Jeremy in a movie I swear I've never seen before! In the blink of an eye Wests were 4 for 100 odd. This sparked the likes of Justin Avendano, who bowled good lines and lengths and combined well with Adam Cubbage (3-36 off 7). His patience persisted when Di Bartolo finally made a mistake and put one right down Mitch Sweeney's throat at deep mid-off.
Justin ended up on 3-24 off 6. One off his wickets was all thanks to an 'Absolutely Screaming Catch' by Cubbage, diving 'horizontally' to his right at mid-wicket and sticking it with one hand. Well deserving of a KFC classic catch.
All in all a good day's cricket won by the Gordon boys, who sung the song with gusto.
A special mention to Shayne Lin for keeping very well for us. We very much appreciate it mate. Thanks a ton.
4th Grade chase 294 to beat the premiers
Fourth Grade couldn't have got off to a better start this season. With a new captain, many a new face and a great result against the reigning premiers.
The day got off to a bit of a shaky start with some of the boys forgetting over the long and tedious winter break what time we were meant to start which resulted in a rather lackluster warm up.
The more "mature" Mitch Kleem on his way to 70-odd
With the toss of the coin falling the defending premiers way, the Stags found themselves in the field. What followed had our new skipper Anthony "Pic" Sherman very worried as we managed to give Randy Petes 36 extras, which, included 29 wides. Shenal Siriwardhene(2/63 from 10) and Patty Effeney (1/26 from 5) took the new rock with a mixture of wayward delivers and unplayable balls. This seemed to set the trend for the innings as no-one other than the experienced Pic (0/29 off 7) and the youngster Dan Lake (0/21 off 6) were able to keep a tight Line. Mitch Sweeny (0/35 off 4) struggled with his line and length and Cubbage (1/51 off 9) kept dishing up a juicy full toss once an over.
But all that said, honorable mentions must go to Tjaard Tait (2/66 off 9) who finished the innings well. Unfortunately, 30 were taken off his last 2 overs by the Randy -Petes hard hitting captain. Although the bowling was wayward the fielding was particularly good with many run out opportunities created, but just not finished. Randy-Petes were kept to par score of 294 at Killara.
After some inspiring words from the Captain, the new 4th grade opening partnership of Pic and Cubbage strode out to the middle. The partnership began to blossom as both batsmen found boundaries easy to come by, but with the score at 47 Cubbage was caught down the leg side for 20 off the first ball from the spinner. This brought Kleem to the wicket to continue on the stroke play. But what surprised everyone was that, in-between the Mitchy we all know was some one that actually took quick singles and it must be said, it was the most mature innings from Mitch that I have seen - probably the captain's experienced words in his ear.
Pic was next to go for 45 and then Damien Way showed a touch of class for his 39. Marvel join Kleem (yes, he was still in) and put on 78 until Mitch, trying to up the run rate, was caught at cover for a well made 73. 4/231 off 41 quickly became 6/246 off 43 as Bilal (3)was caught behind and Marvs out LBW for 42 and there were some serious nerves beginning to be felt from the huge crowd of spectators. Shenal had other ideas though and, with Tait, put on 44 until the most nerve racking last over. Needing 5 off the last over, this is how it played out;
49.1 over; Tait skies a full toss to deep fine leg. OUT! (batsmen crossed)
49.2 over; Shenal dispatches a length ball over mid-wicket for 4. SCORES TIED!
49.3 over; Shenal plays and misses outside off.
49.4 over; Shenal plays and misses outside off again.
49.5 over; Shenal plays and misses outside off yet again. He claimed to anyone in the sheds afterwards that he left this one Brian Lara style, just for the effect.
The poster in Shenal's bedroom
49.6 over; Shenal hooks the ball round to fine leg for FOUR!!
With a first up win under the belt, we will look to improve in the bowling department against Bankstown next week. Good luck to all grades next week!
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
Poidevin Gray ' Semi Final
Report by Ed Howitt Jnr.
Sunday'Howell Oval'Semi Final. The Stags were out numbered 5:1 in the supporter stakes and victory against a strong Penrith was going to be a difficult task. They are a strong club and currently sit on top of the club championship. But semi finals are great levellers and the attitude and the way players handle pressure has a great influence on the result. Today was no different!!
(Steve Colley watched intently by Sam Buono)
So' try and win the toss, bat 1st and set a target. 1st objective achieved as Harry and Marcus called heads and we would bat on a flat, hard wicket which may slow up as the day wore on. We talked about being positive, against two 1st grade opening bowlers, and look for singles at every opportunity. Steve Colley (61) and Cameron Eccles (56) did this perfectly. Some wonderful attacking play, good pull shots (except when Cam got lidded and the grill cause a minor cut under his nose) saw the Stags dominate up until the first drinks break. No wickets down and 75 runs after 18 overs. Penrith were excellent in the field, in particular their ground fielding, but Colley and Eccles remained patient and provided a platform. No targets were set, just to give ourselves every opportunity to put Penrith under pressure in their run chase. Eccles was to first to go, but the in form Bombas (51) (well, in form for PGs) continued where
Cameron left off and played a beautifully controlled innings. He was 2nd last man out and held the innings together somewhat as players fell rapidly around him. Some average shot selection and even less than average running between the wickets saw the Stags struggle to 215, with 9 balls to spare (cardinal sin). Apart from the top 3, nobody else reached double figures and our likely total of 250+ fell well short. However, runs on the board in a semi final is a big advantage and we went out after the break full of confidence and enthusiasm.
(Cam Eccles at Howell)
Penrith started their chase cautiously and looked in control without really getting away from us. They played, seemingly, to keep wickets in hand for an assault at the end (or at some stage). Sometimes that can be dangerous!! The run rate quickly climbed to 5 and 6 an over and the wickets began to fall. The early bowling of Campbell, Kennedy and Soper was disciplined, and even though they went wicketless, the standard of bowling had been set. Steve Colley was introduced with immediate effect and the opener (who the day before became the youngest player to score a 1st grade hundred on debut) was caught behind by the skipper. Steve bowled superbly. An unchanged spell yielding 2/30 (10), with his 2nd wicket a brilliant catch by Hamish Angus at short midwicket.
The batsmen, who were set, were dismissed and forced incoming batsmen to score quickly as soon as they arrived at the crease. The rate was climbing and the pressure increased. Not easy for the opposition given the slow wicket, excellent bowling and superb ground fielding. Please note, I didn't mention catching as we did manage to put down 5 catches!! Edwards and Richtor maintained good line and length and were rewarded with 2 and 1 wicket (s) respectively.
(James Campbell at Howell)
They did a great job through the middle overs. Harry Evans led the team superbly. The opposing coach commented on the way he kept ahead of the game, placed his fieldsman diligently and remained composed under pressure. A very justified appraisal of a guy who has been a major contributor in moulding this team into possible competition winners. Gordon ended up winning by 9 runs, with Kennedy, Campbell and Edwards bowling the last 10 overs. The victory sparked a wonderful team song with all the supporters who had made the journey to the base of the mountains cramming into the dressing room. The guys have come along way together and there is just one more match. For two of them only, (Bombas and Richtor) their last PGs game!!
So off to the final we go against Bankstown. We must improve our catching and must bat more intelligently in the middle and lower order. The enthusiasm, bowling, top order batting, captaincy and ground fielding has been first class. Lets hope we can put it all together in the final. We are on a roll, having won our last 6 games!!
Many thanks to those who travelled out to support this ever developing team. To Tony Wilson, Paul Stephenson, Jim Cattlin, Andrew Falk, Jamie Soper, The Colleys, The Cheadles, Steve Eccles, The Campbells, Sam "Happy" Buono, Dick Huey, Len Bombas, Roger Evans, Ed Howitt Snr and of course Marcus (apologies if I missed anyone). We were terribly outnumbered, but it was great to see one side of the oval get behind our team and help us over the line. A once rowdy bunch of Penrith supporters became awfully quiet in the afternoon!!
(Hamish Angus definitely looked the part)
All Stags, please try and get out to the game on Sunday at Grahame Thomas Oval (next to Bankstown Oval). This is not just a final for these guys but for the club as a whole. Our last PGs final was in 1974/75!!
PG's into the semi-finals
Well, incredibly some would say,it all came down to the last round!! Gordon (6th) playing Parramatta (3rd) at Chatswood Oval on a wicket that would do a bit, given the scores in 1st grade the previous day. Parramatta win they are through to the semis..Gordon win and some results would need to go our way.
Bombas in good form at the top of the order
The boys had come along way since the disappointing results against Fairfield and Easts. They had achieved comfortable wins against Sydney, Randwick Petersham, Mosman and Northern Districts and had put themselves in a position to gain a semi final spot. But this would be a difficult assignment against a team with 5 current 1st graders and placed 3 spots higher going into the final round.
Harry won the toss and we batted, with some sceptics out there thinking we should have bowled. Reasoning'.it was felt the wicket would be the same all day and the added pressure of batting second. The stags lost Cam Eccles in the first over, but a solid partnership between Steve Colley (19) and Reece Bombas (69) saw Gordon reach 1/67 at the first drinks break. A very good start!! Both players played very well and it was a shame Steve knicked one straight after drinks to end the promising partnership. The skipper Harry Evans (57) entered the fray and batted superbly, scoring at less than a run a ball.
He took the pressure of Reece with some beautiful shots and the pair put on 83 and set the Stags up for a very competitive total. Harry departed when he hit a half tracker down the throat of mid wicket, but Reece remained defiant and his innings was both mature and full of class. A little cameo from Rob Edwards (28) and small contributions from the lower order saw a very defendable total of 217. The running between the wickets, especially by Harry, Reece and Steve was 1st class and showed our positive intent toward the game.
Skipper Evans leads by example
Parramatta came out blazing and this has obviously been the way they have played in picking up double bonus points in 3 of their victories this season. But the stags were disciplined, with Kennedy and Campbell bowling very well and not letting the Parramatta bats intimidate them. Plenty of balls were going in the air and after 12 overs, Parramatta bludgeoned 60 runs but had lost 3 wickets in the process. James Campbell (3/34 off 8) took 2, with Chad Soper ( 2/19 off 6) chiming in to dismiss the dangerous No.3. Parramatta continued to attack and also continued to lose wickets.
One can only assume this was their game plan and they would stick with it.
Their game plan didn't work!! Good controlled bowling, excellent fielding and infectious enthusiasm saw the visitors bowled out for 127 in the 28th over and thus handing Gordon a bonus point victory. Rob Edwards (3/27 off 6) and Nick Cheadle (2/23 off 4) took the last 5 wickets, with Harry Evans leading the team with great skill and innovation.
It was then a waiting game to see if we would make the semi finals. As results filtered through it looked like we would miss out on net run rate and rue the missed bonus point in our previous 2 matches. But Campbelltown, who led going into the final round, were belted by Randy-Petes and their quotient took a battering and we jumped them into 4th place. A perfect way to celebrate a few beers and sausage sizzle at Tiddle's place afterwards!!
The boys celebrate the victory
So, the team now play the semi final on March 8 at Howell Oval against a very good Penrith outfit. The boys are on a roll, are playing as a team and have that winning feeling. A spot in the final is on the line and they are playing the sort of cricket which just could book that place in the decider.
James Campbell delivers big in-hooping deliveries to his waiting victim
PG's too strong in all areas for Randy-Petes
The under-agers travelled to Coogee Oval, or atmosphere park, for round 5 of the Poideven-Gray Shield. On the back of one of the most comprehensive PGs victories in recent years, confidence was high. With Lindsay and Campbell both being unavailable, Damien Way and Elliot Richtor were welcomed back into the side. Colley moved to the top of the order.
The scoreboard tells the story of the 1st innings
Casting my mind back to around this time last year, the 2nd grade Gordon side had been involved in two days of cricket yielding over 700 runs for the loss of about 8 wickets... even the Slug got runs that day. Obviously we were expecting a great batting deck.
Coach Howitt spoke about the need for the top order batsmen to stand up and produce big partnerships: an 80 and 60 was required from two of the top 4. At the toss, the skipper's run of good fortune continued, and Randwick were put into the field.
Eccles and Colley made a solid start to the innings. The running between the wickets and driving was a highlight. After 15 overs Gordon had scored 45 runs, but most importantly had not lost a wicket. A good start. Rob Edwards was not so sure, thinking that the start was sluggish, and an indication of Eccles' reluctance to switch hit.
Cam began to play more aggressively, placing their first change bowler over midwicket for successive deliveries and a six to bring up his 50 (75 balls). Steve also brought up his half century off 87 deliveries. After a score of 131 the previous day, there was a chance that Steve could crack successive hundreds. However, Steve was out lbw, trying to sweep the spinner, for 61. Steve and Cam combined for an opening partnership of 150 in 33 overs, an excellent platform for a large total.
A fantastic effort by the boys, Cam and Reece
Reece Bombas joined Cam and these two produced another excellent stand, seeing us through the 50 overs. It would be a fair comment to say that once Cam reached his hundred he decided to attack. His last 50 runs came from just 23 balls. Anything on a length was put onto the road. Cam finished with 153* with seven 6s and nine 4s. His fourth hundred for the season. Reece was the perfect foil running very well and punishing anything loose. He raced to 45* at the close of the innings. We finished with 275 for the loss of one wicket, a very good total.
With a score of 275, Randwick needed to score at a fair clip. JK (1-15 off 6) and Chad (0-16 off 4) produced a very good opening spell on a lifeless deck, restricting them to 1-31 off the first 10 overs. JK had knocked over the openers off stump. Edwards (2-38 off 10) took up the attack from one end, managing to impersonate each member of the Australian attack, meanwhile containing the batsmen. Richtor (0-23 off 4) was introduced just as the number 3 began to settle. At drinks the two batsmen had started to look very comfortable and were capitalising on bowling that strayed onto the pads one to many times.
At this point Evans decided to turn to the spinners, with Colley (1-38 off 10) and Way (1-43 off 10) to work in tandem. Colley immediately had success, claiming their no. 3 with his second delivery. He came down the track and played for turn, leaving a simple stumping. Damo was also bowling nicely, drifting the ball a long way, and was rewarded with an lbw in his second over.
Rob Edwards does a great job of containment and wicket-taking
The two Randy-Petes 1st graders where now together, and they proceeded to score single after single when about 9 an over was required. As the game slipped away from Randwick, they began to take a few risks, one hitting a few successive fours and sixes. Enter James "JK" Kennedy.
So far this year "The mantis" has brought three things to this side: Aggressive opening bowling, an amazingly oversized cricket helmet and sledging. Perhaps fielding should be added to this list? Well probably not .. but on Sunday JK unleashed a throw from the boundary to within a millimeter of the bails to run out the Randwick number 4. Superb fielding. The mantis was pretty happy with himself.
As often happens, the rest of the batting offered little resistance, with only a few lusty blows been struck. Damo and Hamish Angus also collected run outs. Robby Edwards showed how to bowl at the tail, with stump to stump bowling and great variation.
Soper backs up the batsmen's performances
Randwick finished with 9-222 off their 50 overs. This was a superb fielding effort on a very flat wicket and good batting lineup. We still need to concentrate on bowling to our field, and reducing that one poor delivery (There were 17 wides).
It is the first time in recent memory that PGs have strung together consecutive wins, a very good feeling. Now we are currently just one win outside of a finals' berth and with two matches to play, we have a strong opportunity to grab one of those spots.
Finally, It was really pleasing to hear at training during the week that the team was looking forward to PGs. It seems that we are finally enjoying our cricket. What a difference winning makes!
Bombas in fine form Steve Colley playing brilliantly Eccles nails a big one
PG's Report Vs Mosman at Chatswood.
On a fine and sunny Sunday PG's found themselves at home against a strong Mosman side. After the 'debacle' that occurred at Waverley oval last game against Easts, the team was looking to prove themselves before the Christmas break. The side saw the inclusion of Hamish Angus and the return of Rob Edwards. The dressing shed was a buzz of enthusiasm with the usual talk of Jones's weights regime and stories from the previous week's outings. Unfortunately no word was said about Largo as I'm sure that Bombas and fellow central coastians would have all gathered there for what I hear is the best night out in the world.
Rob Edwards - It's great to see him back!
Anyway back to cricket. The pitch was looking a gem and people were asking questions about how a team could get only 91 on such a flat track. And that question is still being asked. Harry 'I wanna see someone's head knocked off' Evans kindly won the toss and elected to bat. Blair 'Ice-man' Lindsay (so many nicknames I can't keep up) and Cameron 'Pinger' Eccles kept the board ticking over for the first 8 overs and looked very comfortable on such a flat deck, before Ice-man was deceived by a slower ball and lost off stump. Reece 'I don't need to hit singles' Bombas came to the crease with a glint in his eye suggesting he meant business. With Cameron up the other end hitting singles Reece continued to find the boundary to make 29 off about 30 balls before chopping one on. Harry 'Bouncer' Evans came and went edging one to the keeper and Steve 'Chupa Chup' Colley very kindheartedly gave the bowler a fairly straightforward caught and bowled to see the team at 4-85.
In strolls Rob 'Are you Genuine' Edwards to the crease. After hitting his first scoring shot behind point for 4 he continued to play every shot he could in that region. Cameron brought up his fifty with a flat six in front of square and then a quick single. Next over he skied one to be caught on the fence two days in a row (should learn from my mistakes I guess). We were 5 for 150 needing at least 230 with 14 overs to go when Matt 'White Knight' Jones came to the crease and after a nervous start which included a missed stumping he found his range and started hitting the bowlers around the park. Rob continued to bat well and was finally dismissed for 47 which include a six over cover and 41 through point.
Hamish 'Blow-in' Angus joined Jones in the middle and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over. In a blas' of glory the White Knight dispatched the bowling all over the park and over the fence to reach 62 before miss hitting one. We finished with 8 for 248, the highest score this season by far. A much better batting performance from the team and the bowlers now had something to defend.
Bombas gets right in behind one
With the batsman finally standing up to the task it was now up to the bowlers and fielders to get the side home. With 'JK' Kennedy, the Ultimate fielder, and Chad 'Prot'g' Soper opening the bowling, and looking fired up for the challenge, what hope did Mosman have at all really. Chad took the first wicket trapped plumb in front and JK the second caught snicking behind, which was lucky because he didn't hear the call from our bouncer happy captain to knock his head off and bowled a good length ball that found the edge. With Chad picking up another LBW Mosman, were in trouble at 3 for 60 and whispers of a bonus point came into everyone's mind.
Then came some brilliant fielding and bowling which included James 'Triple Bonus Point' Campbell taking 2 for 28 and then JK hitting the stumps at the keeper's end from mid off. Wait, not enough information on that amazing dismissal. The ball was hit back to the bowler, beat him, it then ricocheted off the stumps to mid off where Ice-man was fielding but being wrong footed he had no chance of getting to the ball and getting the run out, out sprinted JK from mid on to pick up the ball one handed and yells of 'keeper' saw him zone in on the stumps and hit middle stump half way up. In an instant it was over, the batsman in disarray everyone erupted and we knew this was our day.
Rob 'I see a Man of the Match opportunity' Edwards was throw the ball and with the help of some quality slips and cover fielding was able to take 3 for 14 to have Mosman 8 for 67 and 9 for 85.
Eccles nudges one back down the pitch, watchful at the start of the innings
With just one wicket needed JC could smell a triple bonus point, on correcting him that only two is possible he agreed that that would suffice. Chad was brought on to finish them off so to speak and did so by shattering the stumps. We finally bowled them out for 105 and secured that double bonus point.
This was a much improved effort from the side and it now opens the possibility of semi-finals with more wins and a few more bonus point. Well done lads.
Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year Everyone
Cameron 'Pinger' Eccles
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
2nd Grade unable to seal the deal
This round of fixtures vs Campbelltown saw many new faces putting on the creams against the Ghosts and as would later be mentioned by keeper Brett Rosen, a completely different attitude in the field particularly ... we were rowdy now. The warm up was run by captain Rod Hokin and good energy shown early for the penultimate game of the season. Rocket must have carried this energy with him to the coin toss where he outplayed his opposition to take an early lead, Gordon won the toss and elected to bat.
James Campbell sets about getting the boys on the right track
In a game of so many ups and downs, the first session was a massive down for the Gordon boys. We desparately wanted to get off to a good start, knowing all too well that being just a couple of wickets down at lunch would set up a very defendable total. Wickets fell consistently through the first session and suddenly we found ourselves reeling at 7 down going into lunch ... far from ideal some would say. This left Harry Turner on debut and Chad Soper (2nd grade veteran) with the difficult task of regaining some pride on the scoreboard. And the good news is they did, Harry and Chad batted perfectly together both making extremly well constucted 50's in very difficult circumstances.
Harry in particular took to the attack after reaching 50 with some punishing stokes over cover and mid-wicket, he'll see much more time in the higher grades next year, I'm sure of it. Chad on the other hand was more reserved, taking over the aggressive role once Harry was dismissed he helped the score along nicely to 190. Considering the position we were in at lunch and the dismal totals we have been dismissed for at Chatswood in the past, it was a total we work with.
Harry Turner fitting in comfortably into 2nd Grade as he sets about attacking the bowling
A tricky afternoon session lay in store for the visitors with the possibility of early runs to be made for them, and wickets to be taken for us. An upper hand in the game was there to be had for either side as the ball was still moving late in the day. As it turns out both teams had good patches in the last session, play ended at 4-99 and a very tight game lay ahead. We stressed that our bowlers had to bowl very good channels in order to earn our wickets, drying up the runs would be sure to bring about the wickets. We stuck to our guns and it saw Jules and JC pick up 2 wickets each. Rocket stressed at the end of the days play that there was plenty of work to be done during the week, both for the bowlers who had the task of taking 6 more wickets and the batsmen to score quick runs when the opportunity came .. 10 points was still on our mind with so much cricket left to be played.
Day two of the fixture saw the Stags take to the field with supreme energy, getting right behind opening bowlers Jules and JC who bowled a whole session each, an incredible effort! Jules in particular was in pain through most of his spell and Rocket urged us to get behind Jules so we could get 2 more overs out of him, I think he probably bowled 4 or 5 more. Peter Siddle eat your heart out. The Ghosts only needed 90 odd runs for victory and we needed 6 wicket ... cricket has a funny way of bringing things right down to the final straw, called early by Brett Rosen too I might add! Jules and JC through their spell picked up another two wickets each and JK didn't let up. Maybe he was angry that he didn't get the new rock, maybe it was the ongoing fued for the no.10 batting spot, whatever it was he bowled at the head and picked up a wicket to boot! The energy continued well from all 11 Stags but try as we may, just couldn't get the umpires to lift that finger for the 10th wicket and the Ghosts took 1st innings points and declared straight away.
Now the batsman's turn to show some guts and post a total for our bowlers to bowl at and the visitors to chase, we were aiming for 150 from 20 overs ... plenty in it for both sides. We achieved our goals and then some, giving the opposition 160 odd to chase from 20 overs thanks to some excellent batting from Nick Dowsley in particular and well supported again by some powerful batting from Harry Turner. Nick used everything in his arsenel, deft touches, powerful strokes and the short boundary ... it was great to see him back amongst the runs and even better to see him do it under pressure as we did lose early wickets again. It was all so exciting this short period of batting that the boys felt like we again had the upper hand heading into the last 20 overs of the match, so much to gain for us and so much for them to gain or lose.
They made their intentions clear early on with some attempted lofted drives not quite finding the middle of the bat as much as they found the middle of James "sledger" Ledgerwood's hands. He fielded beautifully as he often took to the air, the word graceful comes to mind. Whatever it was it worked and Ledge took 2 catches to throw the game in our favour. Shots were played and wickets were taken as our bowlers faced the task of bowling a side out in 20 overs.
Jules during his unchanged spell on the 2nd day
Never before have I seen so many men standing behind the wicket, or within 10 metres of the batsmen. Rocket wanted to get airborne so our 4 slips merged into two gully's and Hamish at catching point, Chad at extra cover and Blair at batpad. Attacking cricket some may say .. unfortunately the Campbelltown batsmen were able to hold out but not before we were able to take 7 of their wickets! Within 3 wickets of taking 2nd innings points from a side, which would have been the 2nd time we've done that this season .. thanks for the 6 points Sydney Uni!
For those who were there to watch the game they will be able to tell you of the standard of cricket that was played over the last two weeks, even though we lost the game it was not a feeling of loss that we felt. All 11 guys gave their all and played some very very good cricket to lose a game. We honestly felt we played the better cricket in the 2nd week, but to Campbelltown's credit they were up to the task, the sign of a team that's at the top of the table and something we'll all learn from. To quote a wise man (James Campbell) - "Cricket was the winner"
A team performance sees 2nds home
With the second grade finals hopes slim (to none), our round 20 clash with Blacktown at Joe McAleer Oval was a chance to extend our winning streak to two games and gain some vital club championship points.
Young Chad Soper takes on the Warriors
Evans and Dowsley was required to make a significant detour to pick up skipper/navigator Ben Garratt. Fortunately, Benny knew the shortcut to Whalan... For once Evans had an excuse for being late.
Gordon won the toss and decided to bat. Lindsay and Garratt fell reasonably cheaply, but with one S. Colley cracking boundaries at the other end, we reached 51 for the loss of 2 wickets. When Steve was out for 58, the team score was just 87.
Through the middle overs, Evans, Hinton and Richtor kept the run rate at around 4 an over, nudging ones and hitting the odd four. With the departure of Evans, Richtor brought out the charge and hit some excellent shots though and over cover. On 49, with his first 50 of the year beckoning, Richtor was caught .. shame. However on Sunday it was revealed that James Campbell (scoring at the time) had Richtor on 50, while the Blacktown scorebook had Els on 49... Richtor was given 50.
Edwards continued the nudging, playing with typically fast hands. Eventually Rob opened up and hit one of the biggest bombs I have seen, smashing into the upstairs window of the pavilion (and not breaking it).
After a few late wickets, we had reached 9/247 off our 50 overs, a very competitive total. Importantly it was the first time this year that four batsmen threatened to reach 50 ' Colley, Evans, Richtor and Edwards. It was probably one of the better team batting displays this year from the young Gordon side.
After knocking over Easts cheaply last match, we were confident of defending 247. At 4-211, with 8 overs remaining, Gordon were definitely ruing five dropped chances. Earlier, Blacktown's experienced opening batsman had collected an aggressive 50 (140 not out looked on the cards) only to be knocked over by Chad.
Gordon bowled very tightly in the final 10 overs. Steve Colley bowled until the 45thover, and collected the vital wicket of the number three for 80 odd. Rob also collected some good poles with excellent change ups. JK was given the final over with 15 required for a Blacktown victory. Only 4 runs were yielded. Blacktown were restricted to 8/235
Edwards on his was to 3-for
Finally, 2s would like to thank Sam Hinton for playing. He contributed a solid 6 .. only to be run out at the bowlers end off a deflection.. and two dropped catches. However it was great to have some fresh stories and ideas in the dressing room. Hopefully we will be seeing some more of the Hint dog.
As it stands 2ndgrade sit in 11thplace, 10 points off 6thplace. A couple of wins and you never know.
2nd Grade fight back to secure vital points
After an energetic game of football, Harry won the toss and decided to bat on reasonable wicket with an outfield that looked a little slow. Blair Lindsay and Steve Colley strode to the crease and made a positive start before a few quick wickets left us at 3-31.
Elliot "Emo" Richtor finding some form and precious runs for 2nd Grade
Nick Dowsley and Elliot Richtor then struggled their way through the next hour, taking the score to 3-49 over the course of 13 overs. The ball didn't come on to the bat very well and the outfield made it difficult to beat the infield. With only 2 overs before lunch, we were reasonably happy with the recovery. But then disaster ' Nick was out caught behind and then Matt Jones was bowled by an in swinging yorker and suddenly we were 5-50 at lunch.
After lunch Shenal 'ABCs' Siriwardhane and Elliot Richtor set about rebuilding the innings. They played very controlled innings and got the team to a defendable position before both being dismissed in the 40s. Elliot played with much more confidence as the conditions improved and used his feet well against the spinners. Shenal batted very impressively and belied his position in the order. He played very straight and looked very composed throughout. The pair added 87 before Elliot was dismissed and after a handy 19 from Chad Soper, we ended up with a very defendable 188 of 86 overs.
We had eight overs to bowl before the end of the day and were keen to continue our momentum. After a wayward start, Chad got the vital wicket we wanted and Easts were 1-21 at the close of play. With innings scores of 89, 141, 163 and 4/70 in the previous Easts matches at the ground this season, we probably should have guessed that runs would be difficult to come by, but in the end we recoved into a very winnable position for next week.
With the imminent hot day, the young twos had additional incentive to take the remaining nine wickets as quick as possible. Easts started well with some risky hitting, but it was only a matter of time before the wickets started to fall. Once we took some early wickets we were always in the dominant position, but the last wicket partnership certainly gave us a scare. After some high scoring overs, Easts went from needing over 50 runs to win to only 19, and their remaining batsman was hitting the ball cleanly.
Fortunately, a good tight over from James Kennedy to their batsman left the number 11 on strike to face Chad the next over. Chad delivered, thanks to a great catch from Blair at 2nd slip and the six points were in the bag.
James Kennedy keeping the Easts batsmen at bay
Harry rotated the bowlers effectively as everyone contributed. James Kennedy bowled one of his 'fired up' spells to take two important wickets. Steve and Elliot both took two important wickets and bowled quite tight and Chad took another two with his nippy outswings/cutters to add to the one from last week. James 'one leg' Cambell bowled another 14 overs in the heat and took the vital wicket of their opener.
The fielding was very good and the catching almost flawless. Overall, it was a very pleasing performance after being in a tough position.
Nick "I feel like the Grandpa of the side" Dowsley
2nd Grade take on board more lessons
Round 11 saw the B-Stags return to Chatswood to take on the Districts from Waitara way. With Fifi Box forecasting 1st day temps in the low 40s and the suddenly single skipper in career best tossing form, the lads were looking forward to a long stint at the crease' Fast forward eight hours and the Stags had endured an energy sapping day and last session onslaught that saw the Rangers post an imposing 9/ 381. With the exception of some overpitched early overs and a sprinkling of overly generous first and last ball options, the bowling was well disciplined throughout and was for the most part well supported by high standards in the field, including two run outs ' one a direct hit Matty Jones special.
Benny "BG" Garratt smokes one through the off side
In his return to 2-grade Nick "I'm a certainty if I get 5" Medcalf (4/116, 26 overs) took the first 3 poles ' one to a screamer from Steve "The Levitator" Colley at backward point ' and was the pick of the seam up bowlers. He was ably supported by James "F" Kennedy (2/67, 19 overs), Rob "Better late than never" Edwards (1/64, 20 overs) and Shenal "Siriwardhane" Siriwardhane (0/29, 8 overs) who each toiled manfully in the Chatswood sunshine.
Day 2 brought a welcome declaration as the Stags switched focus to batting for long periods of time, placing high value on wickets, and batting deep into the last hour to see what just might be. Unfortunately we encountered the almost immediate setback of the loss of two recent run-getters in Lindsay (2) and Colley (24). Not the ideal start. Harry "PC" Evans joined the skipper, and together set about rebuilding the innings against a very experienced and disciplined ND's attack. The pair added 136 for the third wicket before an Evans (63) leading edge was gobbled up by a diving mid-on: 3/173. Nick "First hit in 3 innings (and 10 months!)" Dowsley played some trademark crisp strokes before falling for 13 in the lead up to tea, and when the skipper (84) offered a return catch to his opposite number, the Stags had stumbled to be 5/214 at tea. Despite the pre-tea setbacks, the determination to bat deep into the last hour persisted and the knowledge that our opponents had been 6/201 24 hours before gave reason for belief in something special.
What happened next saw our rom-com script discarded for something from the horror section as the Stages capitulated, losing the last 7 wickets in the space of 15 overs for a meagre 23 runs. A flick through the thesaurus, though depressing, provides many apt descriptors' Disastrous. Deplorable. Humiliating. Pitiful. Pathetic. Adding insult to injury was the knowledge that although we'd endured the worst of the elements against a talented and determined foe, we were still well and truly in the fight after the first 5 sessions, and such a swift curl-up-in-a-ball surrender showed scant regard for the courageous efforts of comrades earlier in the contest.
Harry Evans puts together a partnership with his skipper
There is no disputing that this team has talent. The battle continues to be the transferral of this talent into performances and results. As ever we will live and learn and be hungrier for the disappointment. Bring on the Dolphins.
A top match at a frenetic pace gets 10 points against the Bears
After returning from the festive season stability is probably something you're going to be looking for, especially given the fact that 2nd grade needs to win far more games then lose or even draw in the hunt for a semi's birth. As it turned out stability is not something we retained with Harry Evan's getting another well deserved chance in 1st grade, this brought the ever energetic Brett Rosen in behind the wicket.
Steve Colley goes long... onto the railway
We also welcomed back season 2007/2008 2nd grade captain Nick Dowsley, who donned the creams after an extended holiday, stories to ensue I'm sure. However with the luck of the coin toss we were able to send the Bear's into bat on a Chatswood pitch that looked promising to the opening bowler's and the weather to complement this.
Young and fellow coastie Chad Soper took the new rock with great enthusiasm, unlucky not to end up with more than his 2/48. The Bear's opener's got off to an indifferent start; although it looked good on the scoreboard what was witnessed on the field was less than charming. We stuck to our guns well and once the first wicket fell to a chance at 1st slip of Chad's bowling, the wickets kept falling. James Campbell may have been one of the reasons for the continual demise of so many Bear's batsmen; his 6/31 from 11 over's included 5 maiden overs. All in all, there is not much to report from the Bear's first innings, we fielded well, took most of our chances and had some luck with certain decisions, some misfortune with others but in the end that's cricket. North's bowled out for 144 from 36.5 over's, plenty of cricket left to be played in the day, little did we know another 340-odd runs would be scored for the loss of 3 wickets, two of which were ours.
Again young coasties Steve Colley and Blair Lindsay would begin the Gordon innings and to some apparent success I might add. Steve was in devastating form after the holiday break and once reaching his 50 decided to dispatch the Bear's attack to all parts quickly taking the score to 130, almost within reach of the North's target of 144. Unfortunately Lindsay attempted to repeat Colley's efforts and while he rode his luck for a short while was dismissed by a low full toss, enough said I think. Ever consistent captain Ben Garratt chimed in for an extremely well made 67*, with some classic BG lofted drives and excellent running between the wickets.
Blair matches Steve stroke for stroke
Unfortunately for Steve running between the wickets saw an end to his marvellous innings when he was run out for 131 (off 121 balls I might add) and seeing us to a first innings victory. Well done Steve on another great innings this season. Special mention should be made to Matt Michael, especially as a hand injury would later rule his out of week 2 in the Bear's clash. Cupcake faced one ball, for no runs and was exceptionally lucky not to be sent on his way LBW. On a positive note Matt bowled extremely well early in the day with little luck, but worked hard for his 2/37, get well soon champ. And with that Ben called an end to the Gordon first innings, finishing with 2/267.
Yet more runs were scored in the 11 over's remaining in the first day's play, however the Stags had the final laugh with the snaring of one wicket in the final over. Damian Way was brought into the attack very very late in the day for his uncanny ability to break partnerships and today was no different with one of the Bear's openers being dismissed by one of the two deliveries' that Damo managed to land on the pitch, our condolences go out to the young man. Day one complete, North's 1/71 and roughly 50 runs behind the Stag's total.
Stability ... Harry Evan's returned to us this week with school associate Rob Edwards who funnily enough was making his 2nd grade debut. This in turn meant we lost Brett Rosen and also Matt Micheal although his departure was injury related and apparently self induced, the jury is out on that one. This week the Stags took to the field and kept up a good level of energy and enthusiasm throughout the innings despite grassing some crucial chances behind the wicket and plenty more escaping the grasp of the waiting fielders. However, there is always room for improvement especially if we have aspirations of playing finals cricket, or first of all putting ourselves in a position to play it. 2nd innings hero James Kennedy stepped up well when things were not going our way, North's batsmen on their way to a sizeable 2nd innings total of 351.
James "Lightstick" Kennedy bowled exceptionally well for his 5/68, especially in his 2nd and 3rd spells. I talked to JK after the game and picked up on the fact that I believe he only bowled 3 really loose balls all day, all in 1 over, all of which whizzed past my ear at short leg. As mentioned his 2nd and 3rd spells more than made up for this, ending up with his first 5 wicket haul for the club. Good signs for the future. Chap Soper also bowled extremely well and could have just as easily ended up with similar figures to JK, sorry Chad ... he knows what I mean, I'll buy you a beer champ, sorry Jamie. All in all the Stags were left to chase 219 from 31 over's, requiring a hasty 7.06 runs per over.
James Campbell takes 6 in the first dig
A first ball full toss helped the situation immensely and with no cover in place it would have been a travesty had it not been dispatched to the boundary, thankfully Blair obliged and the Stags moved to 0/4. The North's bowling tended to lack consistency and anything wide or short was pounced on by both openers and the scoring rate crept along at a steady 8 or 9 runs per over. When Blair and Steve fell for a rapid 68 and 52 respectively, the platform was set for a great run chase and the chance to take 10 points right out of North's back pocket. Harry Evan's played a wonderful stabilising innings of 25* while our powerful stroke makers in BG (15) and Matt Jones (16) were sent in to drive the score along. Rob Edwards, on debut, showed no signs on nerves with some excellently timed off side shots, targeting the short boundary. He achieved this with great success, bringing up the Stags outright victory with successive maximum value strokes and a well made 33* for himself.
At the end of the day we played well as a team, a vast improvement on some games from before the break. Against North's the bowlers did their job, the batsmen did theirs and as a result we took home 10 much needed points and a great deal of confidence. If anything our fielding in the 2nd innings still has some questions about it, but there's nothing a week of hard training can't fix especially in such a young and talented side. Till next time.
Blair Lindsay... on behalf of Matt Jones
2nd Grade humbled by St George
Finally we were back to Chatswood after a string of away games, the extra sleep in much appreciated. But the extra sleep proved to have little effect later in the day' We arrived and did the covers in a most organised fashion; this young 2nd grade side is quickly learning the many tricks of the trade required for what would seem to many like a simple task. Some among the team gave into their 'immature side' early in the day with an attempt to run myself over with the covers trolley, revenge will be sweet boys. With the covers out of the way it was time to turn our attention to some fierce competition, but not with St George, not just yet.
Steve Colley works through the "danger zone", scoring most of his team's runs
It was time for the warm up and the weekly top 6 vs. bottom 5 sporting extravaganza. Although I can't actually remember who won this week I daresay it was the top 6, with the experience of Matt Michael and Ben Garrett and the youthful energy of Matt 'I broke the window because it's on a length' Jones, who can deny our sporting prowess? Another energetic warm up, a win at the toss and things looked to be in our favour early '
However as we've learnt over the past weeks cricket is a game where things are rarely in your favour for certain. Our batting was again less than impressive, however having scored in excess of 300 in the not too distant past we know we are very capable of turning things around with some hard work at training and harder work on game day. Special mention must be made to Steve 'Danger Zone' Colley for a well made 55. Nick Cheadle and I were deep in conversation about Steve and his danger zone. Steve had an uncanny knack early in the season for putting the bad ball away to the boundary, consecutively and then he'd do it again just for fun. Now Steve would find himself in the 'danger zone', getting carried away in a whirlwind of boundaries and often losing his wicket prematurely. Against St George however Steve negated the danger zone by pushing singles and applying himself well. These are good signs for the team and also the club as a whole. As mentioned our batting was less than impressive, we were skittled for 91 and a real challenge loomed for the bowlers.
We made a positive start to this challenge with the top 3 St Georgian's losing their wickets for a combined 15 runs, unfortunately this is where the fairy tale ends with our opponents reaching our total 3 down. Recent 1st grade debutant Chad Soper applied pressure early, going for only 11 runs from his 6 overs. James 'Lightstick' Kennedy managed the catch the edge early on and a sharp chance was taken by Nick Cheadle at 2nd slip, no chances were going to go begging today! Jimmy Campbell did his thing and bowled some big hooping deliveries and picked up a wicket for his troubles. Man of the moment Steve Colley again contributed with a good run out, setting the standards early.
With all players currently enjoying the Christmas break we have the chance to think about our own games, the contributions we have made and the contributions we can make for the rest of the season. Personally I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and I feel this attitude is carried strongly throughout the team, a positive thing I'm sure. As this report winds to an end I'd like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, I'm sure there will be many a tale to tell from the happenings of the festive season.
Cheers, Blair Lindsay
Another close thing slips away
For the second game in a row the B graders were faced with a trip to the foot of the mountains. Owen Earle Oval, the setting for this week's encounter is an experience that the new Gordon cricketers would be familiar with. Upon arrival you will generally be served with hot westerly winds and a flat deck (you can see I'm a bowler!). However, this time round we were also greeted with a long delay due to overnight thunderstorms. The major concern of the ground staff was over the bowlers run up at the southern end of the pitch. With another assessment to be made at 11:30 am everyone was finding ways to pass the time. The mature members of the team were reading books and solving crosswords while the newest recruit Chad 'the Rock' Soper was swatting flies.
Matt Michael at his destructive best
The days play continued to be pushed back until the ground staff were willing to hand over the ground at 2:30 pm. They did a sterling job at getting play underway as soon as suitable. During this time we had welcomed 4th and 5th grade to the stands as they also were experiencing a delayed start. It's not often that you share your Saturday with club members across the various grades, however Anthony 'Pic' Sherman saw it as a great opportunity to persuade the likes of Blair Lindsay and Harry Evans to join him on his 'Heart Starters' Harbour cruise later that evening.
After last week's middle order collapse which cost us the game against Penrith, the boys had a point to prove with the bat. With the outfield still being rather wet and the wicket in surprisingly great condition the skipper decided to bat. Peter 'beached as' Drysdale gained a recall to the side in the absence of Matt 'diuretic' Jones who is at schoolies on the Gold Coast. The second grade team, in fact the whole club is looking forward to the stories that Matt will produce on this trip. Pete joined Blair at the top of the order to get things finally under way after 5 hours of waiting.
Steve Colley taking up the charge on Day 2
A reasonable start followed until a change in the bowling saw the downfall of Pete as he flirted with one outside the off stump. Ben Garratt came and went with a shot that he would rather forget. This dismissal however brought Harry to the crease where he was to share a 121 run partnership with Blair. Both Harry and Blair built their innings nicely as boundaries were hard to come by with a slow outfield. Harry's innings was a display of well timed cut shots and powerful drives. Blair on the other hand was continually looking to accumulate runs and punish the wide overpitched delivery. What has been most impressive about Blair over the past two games has been his determination and ability to value his wicket.
Unfortunately Harry was stumped for 58 late in the day as he looked to dominate the spin bowling. Matt 'Cupcake' Michael saw us out till the close of play with Blair on 83* and a week to think about his first grade ton for Gordon. Special mention must also go to Peter Drysdale and James Campbell who had to field for 4th grade late in the day due to an injury and an early departure.
Damien Way in powerful form - Get better soon mate!
The second day meant that 120 overs had to be played, which saw the second grade outfit arrive out at Richmond at 8:30 am. For the coasties, this meant a very early start to a long day. Matt Michael proved this fact, informing Chad that he would still be driving on the F3 at 8 pm that evening. For some reason, Peter Drysdale had made his way to Richmond via a train from Central. Because Ben Garratt picked Pete up from the train station, it had meant he was the last to arrive, after all week constantly reminding everyone to be there on time. The team had also welcomed Brett Rosen to the side replacing Harry Evans who had moved up to first grade in the absence of Beau Casson. Unfortunately for Brett, because Harry was dismissed the previous week, he would not be batting on a wicket that would later see over 500 runs scored.
Once the typical second grade warm up was performed, we were ready to add to last week's score of 3/180. With Blair Lindsay in fine form after the 'Heart Starters' cruise and a new girl on the cards he was looking to complete a very successful week. Blair started the morning well; however fell 6 runs short of the milestone when he was bowled. Although this was the end of a very good innings, it had set up the platform for a middle order that contains some very powerful stroke makers.
Steve Colley joined Matt Michael out in the middle and another successful partnership developed consisting of excellent running between the wickets. Matt was given a life early on, trying to pull a ball which he skied to mid off. After this chance however, he went on to display the powerful batting that we all know he possesses. His innings typified by his slashes outside off and his flicks off his legs brought the team quick runs.
James "JC" Campbell putting in for the "B" Graders
Steve was also scoring quickly as he began to dominate the spin bowling with lofted straight drives. However once he was out for 39 it meant that Damien 'Milky' Way was the next man in. Although Damien's innings only was to last for 10 balls it was a very exciting time to watch. He dispatched the bowlers around the ground and was caught for 20 before he could do any more damage. Throughout the morning there was discussion taking place amongst everyone as to when would be the appropriate time to declare. Matt's hundred was also being taken into consideration and it was decided that we would bat until lunch. Unfortunately Matt was caught for 98 a few overs before lunch. Damien Way would have also felt very guilty if he was to be dismissed on 99, as during their partnership he had run one run short. With Chad and Nick seeing us to lunch Gordon declared 7/348.
The Hawkesbury innings could be summed up in the first ball. A slash outside off sent a sharp catch through the slips which went for four. This was the first chance of many provided by Hawkesbury throughout their innings that Gordon didn't capitalise on. The Hawkesbury openers began to score at a fast rate as they punished the inconsistent bowling. It wasn't until a change of pace brought about the first wicket. Wickets soon followed with Chad 'the Republic' Soper claiming his first second grade wicket and Matt Michael dismissing the Hawkesbury captain as he chopped the ball back on to his stumps attempting to pull off a length.
Chad Soper on his way to his first 2nd Grade pole
With Hawkesbury 4/120 and looking to continue to score, Gordon were in with a chance to take more wickets leading into tea. However what followed was one of the most frustrating periods of cricket that I have been apart of. I lost count at how many opportunities were presented to us, with countless catches put down, and numerous runs outs and stumpings missed.
Even if one of these could have been taken, it would of changed the match. The bowlers toiled hard to no avail as they were lacking the support in the field. Every time we began to put pressure on their batsmen it was to be released by a missed chance. How are the likes of Nick Cheadle and Matt Michael supposed to gain confidence in their bowling if they are continually let down by the fielders? It is something that all of second grade must endeavour to improve on because everyone's efforts in the field can clearly turn a match. By the time Pete Drysdale took a spectacular catch at mid wicket a large partnership had accumulated the majority of their runs.
After this moment of brilliance we fell back into the nightmare of misjudging balls and watching them fly beyond the fielders. Hawkesbury soon reached our total with 4 wickets to spare. Unfortunately during the final session of play Damien Way while collecting a ball from the outfield suffered a knee injury. The extent of the damage is unknown however we are hoping he will return later in the season.
Rosen mops up down the leg side
Hawkesbury should not have even come close to winning as we were in control of the momentum for the majority of the game. It is a habit that this side is beginning to become too familiar with where we lack concentration in one facet of our game each week which costs us the points. On three occasions this year we have lost 6 points that we should have won. I for one feel a bit embarrassed when twice this year we have let the club down when all other grades have won their games. Although we can continue to dwell on this, there is a lot of cricket to be played in the 2008/2009 season. Our next goal is to travel to Manly and bring home the points that will set our season back on track.
Close loss to 2nd Grade
A dampish Howell Oval & several hundred thousand flies set the scene for the first morning of Round 6. Another toss victory & the locals were strapping on the pads, half an hour later than first scheduled.
The skipper sets the standard for 2nd Grade with the willow
There was much debate as to what actually happened in the first two hours of the match, with most of the team drifting off as the opposition firmly concentrated on just looking the part, forgetting that runs are possibly the most important part to a cricket match. It was arguably one of the most boring sessions cricket has seen
However, the Penrith boys maintained wickets in hand throughout the entire day, going to lunch only 1 down, & losing only a few wickets throughout the second session. Long spells were the order of the day & all toiled hard. With wickets being so hard to come by, it was unfortunate that there was more than one chance spilt. The determination & patience of the home side proved to be crucial, as Penrith finished the day 6-321, scoring well in excess of 100 runs in each of the final two sessions, showing how important it can be to keep some wickets in the shed. It was a long day for the bowlers where the wickets were shared evenly.
With the local supporters gearing up for a big one, & yet another victory to the bottom 6 (soccer was the sport of choice this time ' thanks for the contribution Evans), the Stags set about chasing a large total with plenty of confidence. Although 1-0 off 1 wasn't ideal, Ben 'B.G.' Garratt & Blair 'the Witch' Lindsay decided that this pitch was just to their liking. Some classic drives & pushes, & good running between the wickets saw the total climb ever higher towards the 6 points that a total of 322 would provide.
A magnificent 125 to the skipper & an equally as important 77 from Blair set up a wonderful run chase for the lower order, both falling before they would have planned I'm sure. A handy 35 from Harry 'Own goals are my specialty' Evans pushed us closer, however it must be handed to the home side for never giving up. Some tight bowling saw the rest of the order struggle as poor shot selection proved pivotal in a run chase that ended 20 odd runs short of victory.
A top knock by Blair
A disappointing end to such an encouraging start to the day, especially considering the wonderful foundation provided by Benny & Blair. With two long trips so far this season (Sutherland & Penrith) & two less than perfect losses, I'm thinking its got to be third time lucky, & with a trip to Hawkesbury on the cards for the upcoming round, I'm thinking the fly-swatting practice we've had & some good preparations through the week will get us over the line.
Bring on the Hawks!
'Yes We Can' - 2nd Grade does!
The warm up was 'fifa08', which didn't churn out a result and caused early friction between the bowlers and the bats. We were bowling and together with the cloudy conditions and a grassy wicket meant the ball was going to be the winner today and everyone was pretty keen to don the whites. It was a slow start; the Students were playing and missing more often then not. The Mantis 'JK' James Kennedy got one early; effective in getting an edge to 'CoCo Monkey' Steve Colley in the slips.
Campbell taking wickets with the trademark leap
The students moved the score along to 3 for around 120, playing in the right temperament on that wicket, slashing hard when the ball was up.
Enter 'The Muppet', or when I was first introduced to him he told me 'In the field I turn 3s into 2s' 'Nick Medcalf'. One could say an unlucky guy, when he bowls the ball is cursed to fall safely. Sure enough there was a drop; too bad Meddes. Better luck next time. He still managed 4 for the innings. He still suffered another drop, proving he was still cursed, just lucky he was attacking the stumps and not relying on us to catch any. Uni at this stage were 7 down and I had three in the bag already and quite badly wanting the elusive 5 for the innings. However Medcalf had to steal the show with 2 tail batsmen and there was a special Jonah 'Mat Jones' run out. I guess all the gym training has payed off because he threw it in from the boundary and it was flat and hard and it was sheer stupidity for the batsman to have even attempted to run on that arm. It must be noted the runout was for his girl 'ji ji'.
With some drop chances at the end the opposition got more runs than they should have. However with 160 we were more than happy to depart the field and return with bats in hand.
Our 1st innings batting performance could be summed up in one sentence. I (batting at 10) was padding up after 15 overs. Over the innings there were small patches where we looked good; Harry Evans hit some great drives, Benny Garratt was lofting the infield and Matt 'Cake' Michael pulling well. All this showed that yes, we can do it and had it within ourselves to get the total. However the Muppet and I were left to do all the work with the bat and successfully stayed in 'til stumps.
Harry Evans and Steve Colley hungry in the slips
Bring on Week 2!
With all that weekly batting practice and determination we were unfortunately unable to chase down their score. We did however put on 30 runs, much of it thanks to Jungle Jim 'James Kennedy' who didn't mind being tested with the short ball because he would punish anything that was full and on his pads. One over went for 12 curtesy of 3 JK boundaries. As a bowler/all rounder (in his own eyes ' Ed.) I know how good it feels being hit for boundaries by the 'jack'. It was this sheer stubbornness by JK that really set the day up for us; he even top scored for the innings with 20*.
We hit the field and with the new ball in his hand Jungle Jim struck immediately. Tight bowling kept them from gaining any momentum and I was able to pick up three wickets at the other end (just quietly). The students then started to find the middle of the bat, and I say that as I was carted out the park. Drop chances again let us down and they settled for 6-181, a 216 run lead. Special mention to Damien Way who had clocked 65km/h on his skateboard, and had the scars to prove it, took a wicket in his 2nd grade debut. With a temporary rain delay which led into lunch, no-one really was sure about how many overs were left in the day. However we were hardly through half of the day with 44 overs remaining.
We came into the sheds and with the political race in America ending earlier that week, still fresh in our minds were the words of Obama's 'Yes We Can'. We knew how important a good start would be, 2/15 wasn't what we had imagined. However Jonah 'Mat Jones' told me as we were coming off that he was just going to play his natural game. I told him to play for his average knowing full well that this was way more important then 6 points. It wasn't long before he swiped at one and it landed one bounce into the fence. Gordon really has a thing for these aggressive opening bats, appearing in just about every grade. He took it to their openers, setting the tempo for our innings and really turned the game on its head, scoring 62.
Matty Jones going after them against the students
Harry Evans was firm in his belief that we could do it, and told us he would be in the sheds at the end of the innings celebrating a win. Correct. Someone had to grit it out, hit the loose one and be there at the end. And if you look at all the second grade wins this season there is always one individual who has taken it upon themselves to do this. It was Harry's turn this week. Harry never looked like getting out, and was determined to get the runs himself. It really was an amazing victory. 6 points! After loosing outright, and down on first innings, we have bounced back and won outright.
Looking back at this match we were outplayed in many a session but I'll put down the three pivotal points in the 2nd day's play that got us the win.
1. JK's stubbornness batting 11 and determination to be there at the end, these runs swung a lot of the early momentum to us and made a lot of the opposition frustrated. (Sorry, the webmaster doesn't have a photo of JK with the willow)
2. Jonah 'I have no respect for opposition bowling attacks,' attitude. Swung the matches momentum in our court
3. The pivotal innings of Harry Evans, did I mention that he did score 114*.
James 'Just quietly'' Campbell
2nd Grade go down to Sutherland
The Gordon boys rocked up to beautiful downtown Sutherland to see a glorious batting strip & a toss-winning Harry Evans. 'We'll have a bat thanks.'
Evans takes up the charge after winning the toss
Not the greatest of starts to the morning however, Drysdale back in the pavilion before the end of the first over for 2. Enter Jones (47) & Lindsay (29) & a classy, hard fought partnership of 68, against some good tight bowling to push the total up towards 100. Unfortunately for the Stags wickets fell at regular intervals throughout the day & lunch was taken at 3/93. Steve Colley (29) on debut struck four boundaries in a row & played exceedingly well throughout the middle over's as did James Ledgerwood (29) and both were unfortunate not to go on after looking so confident whilst at the crease.
Medcalf (10), Cheadle (20) & Campbell (7) added to the total however Gordon were bowled out shortly before tea with the score at 195. All in all a reasonably disappointing start to the game after winning the toss; a lack of application on a good batting deck coupled with poor shot selection was the downfall in this innings, allowing the opposition leg spinner 4 wickets.
The bowling performance of the 2nd Grade side after an early tea break was nothing short of excellent, building pressure initially through Kennedy (1-30) & Campbell (1-28). Medcalf was introduced into the attack in the 11th over & produced the initial breakthrough, with a little touch going through to Evans behind the sticks. Special mention, at this stage, must go to Harry's spray-on white's, a sight I'm sure will not be forgotten for a while to come, particularly by one T.Wilson. Campbell took advantage of having a new batsman at the crease, trapping him in front & sending him packing for 0.
2nd Grade celebrates as Medcalf grabs the initial breakthrough
Evans introduced the spinners into the attack after the initial 'onslaught', which saw some good, aggressive spin bowling, resulting in a wicket each for Drysdale (1/19) & Cheadle (1/37). A good fightback from the Stags late in the day saw some wonderfully tight cricket, & the boys were unlucky not to finish with more than 4 wickets. Even so, with the scores evenly poised over night at 4/85, & the Gordon boys feeling confident, we were well aware that this game was there for the taking the following week, despite the best efforts of a rather enthusiastic Sutherland supporter.
Vintage Medcalf ensured the Gordon boys got off to a flyer in the warmup, with the bottom 6 taking yet another victory in the pre-game game. Touch footy was the warm up of choice this week ' same time next week boys. The Stags took to the field with everything to play for, & with Kennedy on song from ball one, Gordon had their 5th wicket with the score on 87.
Unfortunately it was all downhill from this point on, with some average fielding & poor catching the main contributor to the first innings loss. 3 dropped catches & countless fielding errors saw the start of the 3rd innings of the match commence shortly after Sutherland had passed the Stags total of 195, declaring at 5/199.
Peter "Monkey Magic" Drysdale sends one down against Sutherland
With plenty still to play for the first goal was to get through to lunch relatively unharmed. Unfortunately Drysdale succumbed to some tight opening bowling & was able to enjoy a slightly longer lunch than first anticipated. Lindsay (51) was the pick of the bats in the second dig, showing his patience and class, hitting through the line of the ball with ease to produce his first half-century of the season & the main contribution to the second innings Gordon total. It was a valuable lesson for the rest of us, as we were again lacking in application & patience at the crease as a whole. Evans showed good support with 22 & was unlucky to be on his way after sweeping, however, even with the opportunity to appear in the paper the following day, the tail wasn't able to wag as enthusiastically as anyone would have hoped & the end total was 137. Another disappointing result considering how easily & freely the opposition batsmen had played throughout the morning.
19 overs were left in the afternoon as Gordon took to the field for the second time in a day. Whilst the bowling was fair, more poor fielding saw us struggle, & some lovely hitting & placement from the Sharks saw an outright loss for the Stags, & some fairly average bowling figures for all involved, particularly yours truly.
Whilst early on in the piece, it is always disappointing to be outplayed, especially after such a fairly contested first day. It is now important for us to learn from our mistakes as both a team & individuals & come out next week on top of our game & playing some good cricket. Nicho asked us at training the other week what we would like other clubs to think of us as a club & as a team, & I know that no-one who was involved the past two Saturdays would be happy with the impression that was left with the Sutherland 2nd Grade team. From here it is all about restoring that image & how we go about it, & I have no doubt that there are 11 guys who are looking forward to doing just that.
Bring on Uni!
Garratt century gives 2nd Grade the points
Round 3 saw 2nd grade make the trip out to the Western Suburbs, where we were greeted by a gloomy morning and an interestingly sloped pitch. Despite the interesting conditions we warmed up well with the bowlers claiming a narrow 2-1 victory in a hotly contested game of fielding soccer, to be continued I'm sure. Unfortunately Ben was not able to come up trumps in the coin toss and we were asked to take to the field for the first 50 overs of the day.
C'mon... A photo please webmaster! To remember my 100 - Ben Garratt
This task was going to be harder this week, with the loss of Gareth 'Banger' Wright to promotion, but when the times get tough, the tough get going. And so Nick Medcalf took the new rock and provided the stability and control we were looking for early. Bowling a good line and length were crucial on what was a good deck to bat on, enter debutant James 'JC' Cambell. The clouds lifted and the temperature rose but JC was up to the challenge, tying down a threatening partnership and ultimately getting the well deserved break through. However, it wasn't just the batsmen that proved to be the only challenge, half the battle was waged between fielder and outfield. Ben Garratt making the remark that 'I'm going to run on everything today, good luck to them if they can pick it up'. The old saying of 'body on the line' was really tested by everyone; special mention must go to James Ledgerwood. Although he didn't get a chance to make his mark on the game with bat or ball he provided a great level of intensity with good attack on the ball and vocal support for the whole team. There's no doubt Ledge will come to the fore, a promising talent just gagging to have a good go at it.
Two players on the way up, James Kennedy and Nick Cheadle showed how devastating they will prove to be to any top order. When they get it together, anything can happen, providing great momentum for the side as a whole. Still room for improvement in the field from the Stags but then again that's not always a bad thing. We would have liked to keep West's to the 220-230 run mark given the stamp we made during the middle of the innings, but some late hitting saw West's reach 8-242 from their 50 overs. Well done again to our bowlers and support in the field.
The afternoon session saw our round one opening pair of Matt 'It's getting better' Jones and Blair 'Witch' Lindsay reunited. All present were witness to some vintage Matt Jones with at least two balls being clubbed, timing isn't really the word ' clubbed over the mid-wicket region. Like any true partner would, Matt was reminded that no matter how ugly it looks, it's all the same in the scorebook. Sadly Jones departed far too soon for my liking, but that's not to say the excitement was departing too. Ben Garratt took to the crease in a dramatic fashion with some glorious, lofted cover drives and otherwise good batting on a true deck. The look of surprise on his face after hitting West's captain for a big old six was one not to be forgotten. 'I just wanted to clear the infield and take two' ' far too modest Ben.
Vintage Garratt clearing the infield... and fence
Harry Evans and Ben saw the team through a trying period, forcing West's onto the back foot with some of the best batting I've witnessed. 'There's just not a run there' ' Matt Jones, sums up how well these two were running between the wickets with hardly a risky shot. Harry departed for a very well made 40, bringing fresh legs to the crease in the form of Elliot Richtor and a decidedly tired Ben Garratt. Elliot didn't give West's the chance to take any control away from our innings, picking up exactly where Harry left off. Many a deft touch through what would have been 1st slip helped to tick over the scoreboard, and provide a good chuckle for those in the grandstand. Speaking of those in the grandstand, the support was brilliant this week and is something that we can make a regular occurrence.
Thanks to the efforts of Ben, Harry and Elliot who left the crease for a quick and well made 25, the game was there for the taking. Fresh legs were again brought the crease, Nick 'wasted talent down the order' Medcalf came in with such speed between the wickets ' Luckily this week was a one day fixture, Ben was definitely out of puff. These two saw the Stags home, 4-243 and with 6 overs to spare.
A really good effort from every team member to take home the 6 points, well done lads.
2nd Grade take the points against the Dogs
Day 1- Saturday 4th October
The alarm clock starts buzzing in Tony Wilson's Wollstonecraft home. He's had a restless night......and for good reason......it's a big day for the club this weekend.......especially 2nd grade. As he made his way to the kitchen for brekkie you could tell he had something on his mind.......he didn't even stop to say good morning to the packman boys on his bedroom wall.
One of the Packman boys!
As he played with his coco pops at the table, Wilson was anxious as he looked through the photos he had taken the previous week......Cheadle.......Cubbage.........Avendano........BMac........Cheadle again. It didn't take him long to find the man he was looking for......the man whose day it was really.........Harry Evans.........was that sweat above Tony's eyebrow??? ' Not like kind that day at Chatswood recently when a combination of red wine and the Moth's 'surefire remedy' of an OzLotto truck full of Nurofen made him sweat more than a dog in a Chinese restaurant ' Just a nervous sweat.
His hands were clammy as he cursed the morning rain outside.......nothing was allowed to spoil this day!! After picking up his camera, red cardigan and bottle of spray tan, Tiddles made the march down to Chatswood Oval......it was still only 6.10am.......he had to have the prime seat for this captain's debut.
With Garratt's sudden departure to a wedding up the coast....soft.....Evans had been given the reigns....and what a superstar line-up to lead. 2nds welcomed our recently recruited Kiwi and all-round good guy Pete "Denise" Drysdale and 3rd grade centurion Cam "Pinger" Eccles.....don't get excited Pic....he doesn't actually have any....it's just a nickname. Undoubtedly the best looking 8, 9 and 10 batsmen in the Sydney Grade competition.....Cheadle, Medcalf and Wright....greeted each other in the car park and discussed the rain the previous night.....pretty boring......but pretty standard cricket talk really.
Captain Evans in the field at Chatswood
Onto the cricket now. There wasn't any. Well 4 overs were bowled but it felt like we hadn't really played. I never realised Jonesy could be so annoying either. He used to say nothing and keep to himself. Now he just takes his shirt off and asks everyone what size bra would fit his recently sculpted pecs. He is also really proud of his fully shaved body.....apparently his mates up the coast had a good time using the(ir ?) Nads on him. On the topic of shaving a bit of a comparison started to occur amongst the 2nd graders. This is where the man of the moment Harry "Daintree" Evans comes up again. Let's just say he has a deadset rainforest......there must be at least 13 birds living in there. Oh yeah, and no wonder they call Gazza Wright "Donkey" around the traps. Wow!
It was a real shame that the rain spoiled the day as most of the team agreed that they hadn't really thought about what a normal Saturday without cricket would be like. So we all trudged off home not knowing what to do........all of us except one Tony Wilson......realising this was a golden opportunity not to be missed, he made a detour on his way home to Wollstonecraft.........and ended up at Knox Grammar. After sifting through the archived videos from the mid 2000's he found enough footage of Evans to make sure he could make it through to Monday without sleeping.
Day 2- Monday 6th October
The boys arrived ready for a good battle against a strong and experienced Bulldogs line up. The Captains agreed to play 60 overs each and make a game of it. Gordon resumed in the field and it didn't take long for Gazza Wright to skittle the stumps of the top order. The boys were pumped and the fielding was good......at times...... Each bowler showed discipline and made the Doggies batsmen work for every run. Matt "Camp Quality" Jones (nickname courtesy of James "Praying Mantis" Kennedy due to his newly sported haircut) picked up two crucial wickets and looked pretty hardcore with his new haircut and no eyebrows......that's right.....no eyebrows.....there mustn't be anything to do up the coast. Medcalf and JK bowled pretty well too. Special mention must also go to Cheadle, Drysdale Richtor and Ledgerwood who bowled tight channels all day and really kept the batsmen guessing. Gazza finished off the innings and ended with 4 wickets. Well bowled 'Donk'.
Gordon were chasing 142 for victory (I think) and memories of last week's devastating loss must have been flooding back into the minds of this truly tightly knitted band of brothers (definitely not individuals- except for JK maybe). Who knows whether it was Tony's heartfelt psyche up speech or just a desire to beat Bankstown, but the Gordon boys looked determined from the start. Unfortunately Blair "Witch" Lindsay went early and 'Camp Quality' soon followed. It was starting to get tense as the bowling was tight and the runs weren't really flowing. Enter man of the moment Cam Eccles. Supported well by 'Daintree' Evens and ex-shires star "Legendwood", Eccles played an attacking and mature innings to see the boys over the line and finish with his 2nd hundred in his 2nd game of the year. Apparently he was wearing his 2nd pair of undies and 2nd pair of socks for the day too.
We promise a photo of Eccles this week, with the Webmaster in attendance at his 1st Grade debut
A great win to the Stags overall, especially against an experienced and successful team. If we can keep this confidence and courage flowing I'm sure the guys would agree that we're in for a great season. Probably the only disappointing thing to come out of the game was that no one got to see the "tail" of Cheadle, Medcalf, Wright and 'Mantis' bat......what a shame.....such a good looking bunch....and so much talent being wasted!!!
Until next time,
The one that got away'
Glorious morning to kick the season off against Randy-Petes and the 2nd grade boys turned up to Chatswood plenty excited and ready to go. We got off to a shocker though, with possibly the worst attempt at folding a cover I've been involved in at cricket. But after a few '1'2'3'LIFT's' we eventually got it on the trolley and safely hidden away in the synthetic nets where it couldn't be easily spotted (apologies to the next team that has to get them out).
Archer in his final game... for a while
Thinking back to the second grade team last year, it was hard to see how we could get a less experienced side this season, but looking around the change room with the likes of Gareth Wright, Ben Garrett and Nick Medcalf being the oldest blokes and no-one else above the age of 21, we must have been close to matching it at least.
Benny lost the toss and we were made to bowl first on a ripper of a deck that looked like it could produce a huge score if the bowling and fielding weren't spot on. But ours were very good and we managed to restrict them to a modest total of 4/204.
Banger got our season underway, claiming the first scalp from a leading edge to mid-off with the score still in single figures. He and James Kennedy bowled well in partnership to keep the opening overs quiet and JK should have had his first but for a dropped catch. Those two I'm sure will continue to put batting sides on the back foot early all season.
Archie and Meders then helped keep the score down with some more tight bowling through the middle overs, and Jonesy chipped in with a wicket as well to have them just 3/74 after 27 overs.
The fielding continued to be very good although they managed to put together a handy partnership with their Number 3 still in and starting to strike them well scoring 79 and their Number 5 french cutting and outside edging his way to an ugly 68. It was 68 valuable runs though for Randy-Petes as they managed to get their score to something defendable.
We were very happy with our bowling and fielding effort overall with everyone doing their bit without too many blemishes. James Ledgerwood in particular was outstanding in the field, especially in the deep, regularly cutting down 2's into 1's charging in off the fence. JK also appears to have improved his fielding out of sight from last season, looking sharp in the circle and producing some pin-point throws from the deep.
G. Wright-1, C.Archer-1, M. Jones-1, N.Medcalf-1.
Our good form continued with the bat in the early part of our innings with Jonesy and Blair Lindsay getting us off to a solid start with a partnership of 91 from the first 25 overs. Blair was first to go for a well compiled 30, and he looks ready to step up to the 2nd Grade opening spot more permanently this season. Jonesy looked the part, batting quite sensibly while playing some beautiful cricket shots, and waiting for the right ball to use his trademark slap over mid-wicket. He was eventually dismissed for 59 with us just behind run-rate but still well placed at 2/125.
Benny Garratt kept us going with some trademark shots of his own over the top of the off-side field and put on a partnership of 30-odd with Elliot Richtor before Ells was out for 13. From there it just got away from us with Harry, Ledge, Benny (52) and Cheads falling fairly quickly. Although looking good early, we were always just behind the run-rate and never pushed in front, and when a few tight overs were sent down and the pressure built up, it told and we just fell short in the end, with the 9 runs off the last over required just beyond Meders and Arch.
B. Linsay-30, M. Jones-59, B. Garratt-52, E. Richtor-13, H. Evans-13, J. Ledgerwood-1, N. Cheadle-6, N. Medcalf-2*, C. Archer-4.
Some more support and involvement from the sideline was required in my opinion, not only to help the blokes out in the middle but in order to stay focused on the game and be ready to take on the task at hand when it is your turn. There may have been a general feeling of 'we'll be right' and then it took us by surprise when we began to struggle and we didn't respond well. This could be down to inexperience though, and I'm sure every game will be a learning curve for the team.
There was quite a despondent Tony Wilson lurking around the pavilion after the loss drowning his sorrows, but Iqbal and Missy had come back from 3's and were there to put a positive spin on things for our beloved selector, pointing out that 4 out of 5 is the perfect result for him considering we get the maximum club championship points we can without him having to shout us all grog for the night.
Overall, there are some very positive signs going forward for 2nd Grade and there will be more songs sung than listened to this season. Congratulations to all the other grades on their victories, a great effort against last years club champions.
Finally, as some would have heard, I won't be playing for the Stags for an indefinite period, most probably the rest of the season, due to my new job requiring me to work on Saturday mornings. I'm greatly disappointed and will miss playing for the club very much until I return, but it's a decision I had to make to get my career started. I would like to say thanks to everyone at the club who, over the last 2 seasons, has made me feel at home at Gordon and has helped me improve myself on and off the field. I will do my best to get down and lend my support when I can, and hope that I'll be back playing sooner rather than later.
Love to all,
Sonny Bill Archie.
Message from Tony Wilson:
It is with a sad heart that I would like to add a few words to the 'delayed' Gordon career of Chris Archer and as such of his Dad, Bob. Both have been vital cogs in the Gordon club since we first sighted Chris at the Academy sessions during the 2005-6 season. One could never forget the magnificent letter that Chris wrote to our then president (Ian Carroll), to ask if Gordon would accept him into our Academy. It was a delight to read. We could all tell then what a quality young man Chris was going to be and nothing has changed. His cricket ability was well known to us from an early age. Due to school restrictions, Chris played his first game for us in 3rdgrade in Sept 2005 and could only manage another (in 4's) in March 2006, taking a couple of wickets. Many of us were pretty excited about snaring a young orthodox left armer that could actually turn the ball, whilst maintaining a perfect loop (sorry Falky). His first full season in 2006-7 saw Chris take 29 wickets; in 3rdgrade (19), in 2ndgrade (4) and PG's (6). It was the perfect learning curve that prepared him to take the next step. He did not disappoint in 2007-8, finishing again with 29 wickets in 2's (16), PG'S (12) and made his 1stgrade debut in March 2008 to secure his first scalp in the top grade. He was the dominant bowler in PG's and there was none better in any other club. He has come of age as a quality 2ndgrade spinner that would have played a lot of 1stgrade this season, with Beau Casson on State and Aussie duties.
Career, work and families must take precedence over cricket and unfortunately Chris must take this opportunity to further his career. We sincerely hope that this is only a temporary delay in becoming a regular Gordon first grader. We also believe that this is simply a minor glitch in not catching up with Bob Archer, who has been a wonderful friend of us all and a tremendous worker for the Gordon club. To the 'Archie's', come back soon and in the meantime, please do not lose touch with the Highlanders.
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 2008/09 season are provided below:
3rd Grade Report. V UNSW
With 6 straight wins under the belt, Gordon's 3rd best XI was to enjoy the home ground advantage versus the lower placed UNSW side.
Sweeney, late in the day, delivers for the Stags
We arrived at Beauchamp Oval at a tick after 8am. An hour later, we had the sight screens erected, covers off the wicket, scorers table set up and the rearrangement of the dressing room so that no-one had to sit next to Hamish Angus. With everyone's best mate being dropped to 4th grade for poor article writing, the lads knew we had to lift our game, not only in dressing room banter but the on-field chat as well. Plenty of rain during the week, saw the outfield quite moist and the wicket softer than a punch thrown by Elliot 'E.Ric' Richtor. Much chat was made about the council's efforts with the mower for the 4th game in a row. Anyway, with the long grass in the outfield and the fractionally shorter grass on the wicket, home games are often low scoring affairs; playing at home these days doesn't seem to be an advantage after all.
With a pleasurable warm up without the likes of Medcalf, Captain Howitt won the toss and sent his own men in on a difficult batting wicket. Those who are familiar with World War 1 history would liken this act to those of a one General Hamilton.
Australia vs Turkey, Gallipolli fields, April 1915.
Liddle and Ledgerwood faced the pointy end of the UNSW attack, both batsmen played some lovely drives and cuts for just singles. Any other day, on any other ground, we would have been 40 after 5 overs. But with just 20 on the board, we lost Liddle and then Legerwood soon after. Brett Rosen, who incidentally does not have a nickname after 10 years of playing grade cricket, well not one that we say to his face anyway, used his season's supply of luck up in the first 5 mins of his innings. Gordon 2 ' 30, Brett 3 for 5 runs. Once Rosen settled down, he and 'Reginald' Livermore steadied the innings. As the batting conditions slowly improved, the run rate ballooned to 3 per over. Bretty hit some wonderful straight 6s and also some quality pull shots for 2.
To score a big hundred at Beauchamp, one needs to play over the top with regularity. Traditional stroke play is not rewarded with boundaries but with mere singles. Rosen made a gallant 91, some would say it was worth 130 at Killara, others would say he scored 6-91. Either way, Bretty got us back into the game. Reg finally reached 50 and then decided to play some shots, which included a 6 over cover. Reg was out for 62 after his one and only boundary.
With 6 overs to go, the Stags lower order batted with intent. Mecalf dispatching anything full. Emile got his chance to get his batting average back down to a more realistic 45 and Howitt proceeded to wrench a boundary from the final ball of the innings, which incidentally was also a 'Hat Trick' ball. The Thirsty 3rds managed to raise 216 runs from their 50 overs. A decent total in those conditions.
Medcalf (3-28) and Emile (2-24) opened the bowling on a wicket that was improving with each minute of sunshine. The new ball pairing terrorized the UNSW batsmen. Both bowlers had the batsmen jumping around and also had them 'playing and missing'. This is all well and good but there was a big fat zero in the wickets column on the scoreboard. The Bumblebees were 0-17 from 10 overs. The run rate started to improve ever so slightly. Emile finally got us into the game, by finding the edge, which was nicely taken by Cheadle at 2nd slip.
Funnily enough, cricket games often take twists and turns. The students put on a partnership, albeit aided by 2 wickets taken off no balls. We went flat in the field, the energy and chat in the field was minimal and the momentum was starting to turn in the favour of the Bees.
Cheadle(1-51) was introduced and took a wicket early in his spell. Unfortunately for Cheads, this brought the left-handed UNSW skipper to the crease. It was obvious he was going to end his season by going down swinging. He made a swift 50, I do believe 20 balls for 50 runs is still regarded as swift, bludgeoning the 156grams of leather to all parts of Beauchamp.
Howitt, our captain, still fuming from the 2 no balls earlier in the innings, had to throw the ball to our number 1 strike weapon ' himself.
In usual Howitt style (2-17), he kept his 1st over to a miserly 2 runs. His second over produced a much-needed wicket and no doubt the most important wicket of the match. Medcalf in his 2nd spell, bowled better lengths ( fuller) and was rewarded with a couple of wickets.
Finally, our energy was returning along with the chirp and the self belief which all good teams display.
Darkening clouds and the apparent lightning bolts within 200km of Chatswood halted the match for 30mins. A painful delay to those who have lives (and things to do on a Saturday night) but in cricket terms an essential break. It could not have turned out any better for the Stags. With the remaining 3 wickets taken within 2 overs of the restart. Sweeney (1-13) bowling superbly, was rewarded with a handy caught and bowled. Wrapping up the opposition for 164. Not only had the Thirsty 3rds completed the 7th victory in a row, we also finished the regular season with a bonus point.
Well done to all grades. Winning all 5 grades with a bonus point is a remarkable achievement. Good luck to all teams who made the finals. Hopefully, the song will be sung on 3 more occasions by each side.
See you at Chatswood.
Yours in Cricket
Another step towards the premiership for 3rd Grade
After a series of strong performances, 3rd Grade arrived at the scenic Raby Sports Complex with the hope of continuing their winning streak and possibly even leap-frogging a faltering Sydney University side at the top of the table. However, the boys were to be up against it, having to confront a strong Campbelltown outfit.
Will Sweeney fighting fit and performing with the ball
Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt won another toss and given the seemingly placid nature of the wicket and quick outfield, decided to bat. As the innings commenced, the casual passer by may have easily confused the match for an U13 fixture, the new opening partnership of Richie Kenner and Jordan Liddle without doubt the smallest in the history of the competition. However, they didn't last long together with Jordie falling early to a handy delivery piercing his usually solid defence. This brought 'Reg' Livermore to the crease who looked to build on his good form. After the dismissal of Richie for 26 and Elliot Richtor shortly after, Ian 'let's talk about my catch for a while' Higgins joined Reg and both exhibited some classy stroke play pushing the score past 100. After 'Missy' Higgins fell for a well-constructed 35, Marvell played a supporting role to Reg before the latter was dismissed for a valuable 72. With the tail not having batted for several weeks, there were suddenly some doubts over whether a competitive score could be posted. However, Marvell showed his talent with a clever 60 odd and he was ably supported from the big-hitting lower order, one shot in particular from Cheadle almost reaching the small cluster of shacks just over yonder. The day finished with the Stags sitting nicely on 9-285.
With a solid score to defend on Day 2, Hoppa declared confident the bowlers could steer the team to another victory given the pitch had been slower than expected the previous week and was also covered in a small spattering of grass. In typical style, the Campbelltown batsmen came out blazing but it wasn't long before Emile and Medcalf found their groove. As out of place at gully as a penguin in Africa, Sweeney grassed one early off 'Medders' Medcalf; this is something that has become almost habitual over the years. However, only two balls later the outside edge was found once again and Cheadle swallowed a simple catch. The ball was rolling. Enter Hoppa, who commenced an excellent spell from the car park end. He picked up wickets intermittently to keep the opposition constantly on the back foot, finishing with yet another bag of 4.
He was ably supported by Sweeney, Cheadle and Richtor who managed several breakthroughs between them but not without help from replacement keeper Higgins. Initially concerned his hands would feel more like hooves given an extended break from the role, Missy found form taking a screamer diving to his right as well as a clever stumping from a ball that bounced and turned ' but I'm sure he has already found an opportunity to tell you this, so I shan't dwell on it any longer.
With the Ghosts eventually 9 down and victory in sight, the Stags began to tire and slipped off their game slightly. However, an ever alert Emile at deep cover produced a moment of brilliance firing a throw over the bails to run-out their number 11 who was pushing for a second. What an arm! This completed a solid 60 run victory for the Stags who are building some nice momentum with finals approaching.
3rd Grade within sight of Minor Premiership
With the Thirds on a roll and looking to build momentum heading into the final series the clash at Beauchamp was an important game to consolidate our position on the ladder and ensure a home semi's berth. After day one was washed out the 2nd day turned into a limited overs contest or as the younger generation like to call it a Fifty/50.
Playing the ball on its merits - Ledgerwood knocks one over the fence
With the early start, the removal of covers had to be planned out tactically as the Gordon Kanga players were out showcasing their skills. Jordon Liddle was late to covers as he was busy with playing commitments with the Kanga blues while Nick 'two stoke' Medcalf was planning an early retirement and a possible inclusion in the Kanga program in the years to come.
After the removal of covers what greeted the players was a pitch that would play a few tricks and an outfield that would keep even the best of shots to 1. With a must win toss for both teams, Blacktown came out on top and elected to bowl.
James Ledgerwood and Jordon Liddle walked to the crease with confidence and a simple game plan of surviving early and keeping wickets in hand. James Ledgerwood had different ideas and after less than 2 overs went aerial to clear the fence with a flat pull shot. Looking to force the pace 'Legend' Ledgerwood played some interesting but effective strokes to keep the run rate ticking over while at the other end Jordy was playing a very mature innings, playing each ball on its merits. Blacktown bowled short with the new ball on a wicket that was offering assistance to full and straight deliverers. With the change of bowler came a wicket. 'Legend' was bowled for 31 which was worth a half century on a normal paced outfield. Brett Rosen was in at first drop and was out to a good piece of consistent full bowling caught at first slip.
Enter Damon 'Reg', 'Nomad' Livermore, after his hundred against East's 'Nomad' walked to the crease with confidence while in the sheds Ian 'Missy' Higgins was contemplating a possible triple zero. Although starting watchfully, Reg was turning the strike over for Jordy to dominate the attack. Reg soon found his feet and played some great shots before being adjudged LBW for 35. Enter a nervous Higgins.
What happened next could have gone down in history of as one of the greatest moments in third grade history. Having been thinking about a possible 'triple zero' 'Missy' threaten to walk off and get straight in his car and leave if he was to get a globe. The bowler approached left, right, left right in quick succession. And released a full ball on leg stump, Higgins attempts a leg glance the ball goes through to a diving keeper. Big Appeal. Missy thinking not again'.laughter from the Gordon supports was the reaction to the 'not out' decision from the umpire.
Missy then unleashed a 'maximum' onto the hill and took the attack to the bowlers as the Stags approached the 40 over mark. Jordy brought up a well earned 50 and continues to show maturity beyond his years with a fantastic knock in tough conditions. As the Stags began there final assault the heavens opened and the covers were replaced. Jordy finished not out 63 while Missy was a run-a-ball 12 not out.
Jordan Liddle takes control out in the centre
During the rain delay lunch was taken and over began to be lost. The rain stopped but Beauchamp had turned into a lap pool. The covers couldn't be removed because there was too much water and a super ' soper had to be brought up to help remove the water. This delighted Tony Wilson and Nick Medcalf as they began to frolic in the puddles. Medcalf even went as far as to spill the water on the square so that the game could be delayed even longer. All Medcalf could say was 'You will be thanking me when I get 5 wickets' 'still waiting Medders' perhaps in 5th Grade.
Michael Falk must be thanked for his work in getting the game back under way as should Brian Liddle and Tony Wilson together with both teams. Emile even got Beth to help out with the cover, which Tony was very thankful for. After a long delay the match was to be completed with Blacktown having 40 overs to chase a revised total.
We got off to the best possible start with early wickets and good standards in the field restricting the visitors to 6/60. The openers did the job with the ball with 'Two stroke' picking up two together with a classy runout off his own bowling. Emile was bowling at great pace and putting the ball in the right spots to claim 3 for 26 off his 8 overs.
Blacktown then produced a partnership that threatened to derail the home side. Having put 2 chances down we were making the job a lot harder than it had to be. With 20 runs needed off the final 8 overs with 3 wickets in hand, Blacktown were looking the goods. Enter Captain 'Hoppa' Howitt. With his first ball of his 2nd spell he produced the break through and followed it up with another wicket to produce a double wicket maiden. Hopper finished with figures of 3/19 off 7 overs. Will Sweeney followed it up in the next over to claim a wicket which gave Gordon a gusty win in condition that favoured the opposition.
With other results going our way at the top of the table, the Stags are now 5 points off first place and 5 points clear of third and building momentum in their run towards the finals. Character buildings win for the Stags and a good tight game to get us ready for finals cricket!
Howitt leads his successful troops from the ground
3rd Grade play all over Easts
What a stunning toss to win with everyone praying to their own gods, Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt managed to get up the first battle to win a favourable toss as the thermometer surged up to the mid 30's by the start of play.
"Reg" Livermore makes the most of the day with a fantastic century
Ledgerwood and Jordan Liddle put on a solid opening stand to see off the openers on a hard green ' top, which seemed to have a bit of life in it but never really did much.
A mini collapse saw the Stags lose 3 quick wickets, allowing Easts to sigh a momentary breath of relief.
Brett 'first grade' Rosen played a short but steadying role to calm the situation at the crease. In came 'the Reg' and Hamish 'Wilson,' I mean Angus.
A flurry of runs following the tea break saw these two very capable bats steer the total to 330 at Stumps, about 800 at any other ground.
Reg was instrumental in guiding young Angus to a great knock of 89 with good running between the wickets and waiting for the right ball to hit positive signs for 3rd Grade in their march to the finals.
Reg finished with the red ink on 109 N.O. with a late cameo by Nick 'I love stealing stuff' Medcalf at the end of play to well and truly break the camels back for Easts, with a few zacs onto Cheadle Hill.
A few beers after and a good chat about the days play seemed in order. And it was.
So we did.
Hamish "Wilson" Angus is the latest graduate from the "Tiddles Tuition" Academy
Week two was a very fun day, with 330 on the board how couldn't it be?
The deck looked good with a fair amount of life in it early, however Easts played well early to set up a solid base from which to attack.
The majority of the day truly belonged to the Stags, with excellent fielding (except for Ledgerwood) and an upbeat hungry attitude quashing any attempt at increasing the run-rate for the boys from Coogee. Poor running between the wickets and a few hamstrings gone combined with a lack of bad bowling, saw each session playing into the hands of the Staggies.
Medcalf bowled particularly well, snaring 3 wickets in the day's play, the first a lovely in swinging delivery to get rid of the openers off peg. With a sniff of blood the team surged and pounced as we do with Hoppa the standout bowler taking 5 for in a controlled and patient display of spin bowling.
Jubulient Stags as Howitt finally finishes his 40-over spell... oh and 5 wickets!
Cheadle bowled well in partnership with Hoppa and grabbed himself one to have Easts looking down the barrel of a 5.9 req. run rate at tea for victory.
Following tea, the Stags made relatively quick work of an arrogant tail to secure the 6 points and take 2nd spot on the ladder from the Easties.
A very good performance all round, with controlled batting and patient bowling proving a deadly combo, with the score finishing up at a measly 211.
Good luck this week. Get far ya bah.
Emile 'overthrows' van Schalkwyk
Third Grade Report vs. Northern Districts
The third graders turned up to Asquith Oval on a hot humid day. After a good win last week against the Bears we needed to continue our good form to push for a high position come finals time.
(Brett Rosen in action during his 89)
A few changes from last week included losing Medcalf and Shenal 'alphabet' (as one Ian Higgins would call him) to 2's and welcoming back Emile Van Schalkwyk (and his new Brad Pitt nose) and Will Sweeney.
Hoppa lost the toss and we were bowling.
Emile, Chewy and Sweens all bowled well early with no luck. With the score on 60 Cheadle arrived at the bowling crease (pity Tony wasn't there to see it). He made an instant breakthrough by enticing the batsmen to sweep and the ball fell right into the hands of Mahaffey.
Howitt bowled like his typical self, tying the batsmen down which eventually led to a false shot and demise of the no.3.
Cheads picked up another pole just before tea and at 3-100 the game was in the balance.
The message at tea was to bowl full and straight, as the deck was very much a road.
Cheads continued after tea and struck very early, getting the crucial wicket of the opener who was set and looking good. An over later, Howitt demonstrated great captaincy in moving Richtor 5 metres to his left from short cover. Two balls later the ball went straight to him and Cheads had his 4th.
(Nick Cheadle during his 6 wicket haul)
After this the wickets tumbled with Cheadle picking up 6, Sweens picking up 3 late wickets and showing that he is getting back to his best. In the past 2 games this side has taken the last seven wickets for 17 and 39.
This team possesses the great characteristic of loving the hard grind.
ND's set a target score of 165 and with 22 overs left in the first day James 'Heath' Ledgerwood (29) and Jordan Liddle (10) started the innings of well. Ledgerwood looked the goods playing all the shots but both openers were dismissed before the end of play. Brett Rosen and Reg finished not out at the end of the day with the score at 2-77.
Day 2 didn't start off the way we had planned losing Reg and Higgins early. Rosen and Richtor steadied the ship and put together a handy partnership that took Gordon past the required total of 165. Rosen tried to persuade the ND's skipper to make a game of the remaining time, however the ND's skipper didn't want any of it and therefore Gordon continued to bat on. Rosen was very dominant playing some great straight drives and shots over the infield. He was unluckily given out caught behind short of his century for 89. Still no one in the current third grade side has reached three figures this season. Cheadle joined Richtor 20 minutes before tea and they put on a quick 30.
At tea Howitt decided to send ND's back in. With the score at 5-210 we were 45 ahead.
(Brett gets excited about a caught behind chance)
Emile and Sweens opened up and picked up early wickets. With the score at 4-20 we suddenly sensed an outright victory was on the cards. However the next two batsmen proved to be difficult to get out. We kept pushing and picked up 3 late wickets though when there was no possible chance of an outright the game was finished.
This was a good win for the 3rd graders with outstanding performances from Rosen and Cheadle and, once again, the fielding and catching was of high quality. However, it would be nice if two or more people put their hand up and made a big score especially with finals approaching.
We need to continue this momentum with a big game against second placed Easts this week, with a win enabling us to jump past them in the table and with Manly hot on our heels in 4th.
3rd Grade continue their march to March
Here I am. Back to my roots. Back to where it all began. Match report writing. Giving the ever loyal reader the ball by ball. Let's hope I haven't lost the touch.
Jordan Liddle continues his good run of form
Round 10 is always an interesting one. Everyone's a little heavier, a little browner, a little more relaxed and a lot worse at cricket. It's amazing how the most inform batsman in the world can take two weeks off and look more out of place in the middle than Craig Simmons at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Or how the competitions leading wicket taker loses his rhythm like an aging jazz bands last swing. However this season, Round 10 pitted two fierce rivals together and losing ones touch was inexcusable. I can not speak for the Bears, but I know for a fact that beating North Sydney gives any Gordon player extra ordinary satisfaction on a Saturday afternoon. Commonly referred to as 'The Pacific Highway Derby' it must be said that the Bears have had the better of the derby in recent years. 3rd grade were looking to continue an impressive start to the season, whilst North Sydney's incentives were perhaps more dire as they strove toward a finals berth.
Captain Ed Howitt won the battle of the coin and bravely chose to send the Bears in on what looked to be a grassy wicket. Medcalf and Mahaffey took the new ball, but due to some rather wayward spells were unable to penetrate, which has been a huge problem for particularly Medcalf so far this summer. Shenal Alphabet was given the responsibilities of first change bowler and for this fledgling report writer was the pick of the bowlers on day 1. Consistently beating the bat, always asking questions of the batsman, and himself, and hardly bowling a loose ball (apart from the required 1 bad ball an over rule in 3rd grade). His reward came soon after he was given the ball as he caught the edge of the opening batsman to set the ball rolling for the Stags who had endured a tough first hour after requesting the opposition to have first use of the facilities. One quickly brought two as "Prince" again had the bats scratching.
Missy: 2 hangers behind the stumps.
On the stroke of the tea interval Gordon were well and truly behind one of two-pumps' 8-balls as the scoreboard read 2-140. However, a moment of magic from fresh meat Hamish Angus after he ran from cover-point and threw down the stumps completely changed the mood in the dressing rooms during snack-time. Suddenly the lads from slightly further north of the KFC at Artarmon had reason to be hopeful.
This article was re-published to include this photo of Nick Cheadle - at the expense of a "Missy hanger"
Post tea on day 1 well and truly belonged to Gordon, but it appeared it would be along day when I checked over my shoulder to see the score at 3-185. Two batsmen were set at the crease picking off ones, twos, and the occasional boundary at apparent ease until Dan Mahaffey did something special. A ball was played to backward point where "Sampson" was hiding. Foxing more than anything. In his relaxed stance of one leg crossed over the other, arms folded with barely an interest in the game The Mahaff swooped. As the ball trickled towards the fieldsman I overheard a cry of "ARRGHHH!!! C'mon Dan!!" from the captain - most displeased with his charger for giving away an easy single. But alas, don't hassle the haff. Like a gazelle he glided toward the ball, collected with one hand and with barely 4 stumps to aim at, the ball cannoned into leg, sending the bails to jubilant heights as if selling a Japanese car.
Pandemonium struck North Sydney #2. Had 1st grade known there was another game on besides their own, they would have heard the eruption of joy from across the way. This single moment completely turned the session, the day, and the match. Who would have thought it would have come from the bloke who has a small family of rodents living in his head?
Suddenly there was a buzz about the 11 in the field. Blokes running between overs. Chatter between deliveries. It was as if someone had got into Richtors kit bag and handed out some of his "headache tablets". Cheadle, who had struggled for early rhythm found some guile, and began throwing them up like a bulimic after a pasta, enticing the willow wielders into false strokes. He went from 0 to 4 poles in the space of 15 minutes as the Bears crumbled under a barrage of pressure from the Stags. Howitt collected another 2/not many and somehow it was apparent that Gordon would be batting by the close of play. Norths lost 7-19 thanks to two huge run-outs either side of tea and some exceptionally controlled bowling. After cruising at 3-186, the Bears would have to defend 206 if they were to win this derby.
Unfortunately James "Heath" Ledgerwood was lost like Cheadles silver bracelet before the allotted 8 overs were bowled on day 1, however all in all a remarkably good day for Gordon.
Damon "Reg" Livermore in control against the Bears
Batting proved to be tough work on day 2 thanks to some handy spells by North Sydneys bowlers and perhaps some rather negative field settings from ball 1. Night watchman (who had evidently been watching night for 6 days) Shenal Alphabet was dismissed in the first over leg before meaning the stags were precariously placed at 2-10. Jordan Liddle, as has been the case all year proved to be most difficult to remove from the crease. Like a stubborn child who refuses to be dismissed without his candy, Jordy has consistently provided a solid platform for the thirsty thirds in season 08/09. This round was no exception as he grafted away. His runs were harvested rather than gathered, inching his way across his stumps, always playing the line of the ball. 1 here, 2 there. Before long the shine had well and truly worn off and his most important task had been complete. I think he will be a tremendous player. Particularly post-puberty.
Bretty Rosen at the other end continues on his way. Scoring freely to 50 and then playing a considerably loose stroke to be dismissed. 52 for Brett today. Livermore raced to 20 with 5 boundaries and played a mature innings on his way to 52 also. Higgins played a standardly attractive 30 before playing the worst shot in 2009. Medcalf and Richtor were grateful for some time in the middle as they scored 46* and 35* respectively. The closing of play 70 runs after the 6 points were captured with Medcalf 4 runs short of a 50 proved to be most popular with players and administrators alike. Matt "The Cake" Michael was most pleased with Howitt.
A well rounded batting performance by all those who made it to the crease. We did not allow wickets to fall in clusters and subsequently batted North Sydney out of the game with some patient innings, eventually passing the required total 6 wickets down. Another 6 points for 3rd grade who are now within 2 points of 2nd placed Easts. Momentum is indeed a powerful tool, especially come the end of the summer.
Patience for Rosen will bring a big score shortly
A good song was sung, nay, harmonised upon the winning captains request with this seasons most capped 3rd grade player Matthew Kelly and son Deklin joining in on the anthem.
3rd Grade narrowly miss out in a shortened game
The 3rd Grade Stags side were determined to continue their recent winning ways against a struggling Manly side, however heavy weather on Friday night and Saturday morning meant that the early 9.30am start was pushed back to 3pm, with the game being reduced to 27 overs a side. There were mixed emotions for both sides, with Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt confirming that Damon 'Reg' Livermore actually was playing for Gordon today, despite Reg actually warming up and conversing freely with the Manly players. Both captains agreed it was better to see a result from the game rather than a draw, and this played to the Stags advantage, looking to consolidate their outright 3rd spot on the ladder.
If you were to believe the author, this skipper has 40-odd year's experience under his belt
Both sides returned at 3pm to discover the pitch had changed from what Higgins had described as the worst pitch he had ever seen, being much more suitable to tee his driver off than to play cricket on, to a fair (if not slightly green) cricket wicket. This change was due to the fact that the groundsman was actually able to roll and prepare the wicket in the short period of time he was given between 9.30am and 2pm, giving up most of his Saturday to ensure a result could be achieved in the match. A big thankyou to the groundsman for a job well done.
Hoppa won the toss, and elected to bowl on the juicy Beauchamp wicket, a desirable result for the Stags, hoping to claim early poles and put the Manly boys on the back foot. 'Muppet/ None for' Medcalf continued his good form early with the new ball, taking an early wicket, nicking off one of the Manly openers in his 2nd over, caught well by Reg at first slip. 'Medders' Medcalf returned the figures of 2 for 28 off his 6 overs, and showed that wickets could be obtained by bowling in disciplined areas, and was well supported by Dan 'The Haff' Mahaffey at the other end. Unfortunately after losing two early batsmen, the Manly side developed a handsome partnership, with both their young number three and their captain taking advantage of some ill-disciplined Stags bowling. These two batsmen advanced Manly's score considerably, and took full advantage of the strong breeze blowing into the recently named 'Cheadle Forest', sending a few long bombs into the trees.
Enter Peter Drysdale. After delivering a couple of lovely half trackers to start off his spell, the young New Zealander produced what will now be known as the 'ball of the century' to the Manly captain, a vicious skidding and spinning, dipping full toss, which was so juicy, the batsman sent it straight to an ever lurking Medcalf at short mid wicket. Pete continued his good form with the ball, ending up with the figures of 3-38 off 5 overs. After batting well, the number 3 Manly player was dismissed by Hoppa, who as always was steadfast with the ball, showing that 60 or so years of his grade experience is no match for any 3rd grade batsmen. Hoppa finished with the figures of 3-17 off 4 overs, proving that even cricketers approaching their own half century in terms of age can still comprehensively play at a top level. After some good late hitting, Manly finished up 9-158 off their 27 overs, setting Gordon a tough, but gettable target.
The Gordon run chase began poorly, with the experienced Manly opening bowler delivering a maiden first over. To make matters worse, a suicidal run-out left the Stags 1-1 at the end of the second over. Reg was also dismissed by a good piece of bowling, leaving the Stags reeling at 2 wickets down. However Brett Rosen steadied the ship, batting superbly for a well complied 32 of 33 balls, including pumping the opening bowler for a towering six onto the also newly named 'Cheadle Hill'. However luck was not with the Stags as Bretty 'First Grade' Rosen was brilliantly run out (from Manly's perspective), when the score was at 51, after backing up just a little too much. Higgins joined the steadfast Drysdale at the crease, and immediately set about rectifying the ever- increasing task of chasing down the Manly runs, with some brilliant stroke play, scoring runs off both the pads and through the off side.
Although the Gordon batsmen were batting well, the required run rate was still increasing, and Pete Drysdale fell trying to do the right thing by the team and play his shots, scoring a steady 32 off 46 balls, providing the solidarity needed by the Stags at the top of the order. Next to fall was Higgins (29 of 27 balls), who struck good form, looking ominous at the crease, unfortunately middling a cover drive straight to the short cover fieldsman. Thus the task was left to the Stags lower order, and despite some good wrenching/ swatting by Captain Howitt (25 off 17 balls) as well as educated over-the-top hitting by Jordie Liddle (16 off 17 balls), the Stags fell short at the final hurdle, ending up 6/151 off the allotted 27 overs.
A few areas could be improved by the Stags. Firstly the solid fielding performances of the past few weeks which has defined the team was not replicated in this game, with the main indicator of this being the lack of 'chat' in the field. The bowlers struggled to bowl 6 good balls, giving one or two boundary balls each over. Finally, the top order did not maintain partnerships, with players batting really well for 20-30 but getting out when they were needed the most. Despite all this, the game was played in great spirit, and the Stags still came within an inch of winning a game that we played at probably only 85% of our potential. Encouraging signs to take the traditionally strong Saints next week.
A fantastic win for the Stags
After a dominating first day's performance, Gordon 3rd Grade returned to Beauchamp requiring only 7 runs to win, thanks to a tight bowling and fielding effort and a rapid run chase at the end of day one, with some brilliant hitting from Brett Rosen. We received a scare leading into week two with our replacement keeper Ian Higgins needing stitches in his foot and unsure whether he would be playing ' apparently walking barefoot outside Scruffy Murphy's isn't all its cracked up to be!
Ledgerwood belts one over the top
We started week two with the instructions to get the 7 runs required as quickly as possible so we could have an early crack at the Hawks top order. Damon Livermore and Nick Medcalf knocked off the runs within two overs giving the Stags the opportunity to utilise whatever early advantages there were in the pitch.
Our medium pace bowlers toiled hard on a wicket, which was quite different from last week, and didn't offer as much to the bowlers as we anticipated. The bowlers threw everything at the Hawks batsmen with various change-up deliveries but the second time around, as expected, the Hawks batsmen showed much more determination.
After taking the first wicket reasonably early, two of the Hawks younger batsmen worked hard and in most parts were quite painful to watch. During the innings trying to produce a shot from the batsmen, Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt was throwing the ball so high that low flying aircraft were in danger of being hit.
Jordan Liddle lashes out
However Hoppa's years of experience and control (read: countless overs from one end) paid off as he went on to grab all the wickets in the Hawks second innings taking 5 for 51.
The fielding was again at an extremely high standard, holding all crucial catches and was highlighted by Elliot Richtor's fantastic reflex catch at short cover.
The Hawks captain declared at 5 for 155. Leaving us 19 overs to get the required runs.
Facing such a tough task Hoppa decided to take a gamble and change the batting order. Enter James Ledgerwood and Emile van Schalkwyk.
James who is known for his good technique and classy shots, and Emile who, as far as I know isn't really known for batting at all, showed some of the most amazing, controlled hitting of a cricket ball I think many of the spectators at Beauchamp had ever seen.
Both batsmen had the foot on the accelerator right from the word 'Go'. James hit the ball as far, if not further, than anyone, whilst still playing good cricket shots and Emile took the more 'stand and deliver' approach.
Emile smashes one through the off-side
Both batsmen surpassed their half centuries in extremely short time. James was the first to fall, hitting the ball superbly right to the end to finish on 70. Emile fell shortly after also striking the ball unbelievably well throughout his innings for 72.The partnership between these two batsmen amounted 131 off just 13 overs.
We ended up losing four wickets in the process of chasing the runs but the damage had already been done by James and Emile.
It was a fantastic win for all the 3rd Grade boys. With a special congratulations going to Hoppa for his first outright win.
Yours in Cricket
Dan Mahaffey "flies" through the crease Bretty Rosen goes up and over through point
3rd Grade regain their winning ways
After getting beaten on the 1st day's play against competition front runners Sydney Uni in round 5, the Gordon 3rd Grade boys were faced with another tough ask against the 2nd ranked Penrith team. Matches against Penrith have never been easy to say the least. With their blend of experience coupled with the flamboyance of youth, it is no wonder they are leading the comp in most grades.
"Young", "Little" Bretty Rosen
How does a team turn its momentum around 180 degrees? Well losing the toss is not an ideal start and we were asked to bowl. But within a single session, the Stags had truly turned it around. The Thirsty 3rds were playing like a German Band. The perfect start from Chad Soper, producing an inswinging yorker to claim an LBW in the 1st over of the day. Dan Mahaffey also started well, knocking over the other opening batsmen, also with an inswinger. The standard of fielding by the Stags was superb, Jordan Liddle in the covers executing 'Rocket like' dives, Higgins at point chasing down balls that were destined to hit the pickets and even the ever youthful 36yr old body of Howitt was seen sliding at mid on to save valuable runs.
Before we even had a chance to get over the excitement of 2 glorious 'hangers' at 1st slip, the Stags had Penrith on the ropes at 5 for 50. On a two paced wicket which also offered variable bounce, the more experienced Penrith batsmen (ok, the old blokes) showed that if you were prepared to play within yourself and just wait patiently to score from the bad ball, batting really wasn't that difficult, therefore the bowlers were going to find it hard to penetrate. Elliot Richtor bowled extremely tightly and his subtle variations of pace, not only brought him 7 maidens on the bounce but also a well-deserved wicket.
With our bowlers piling on the maidens and the scoring rate being strangled by the minute, we needed to entice the batsmen into some sort of stroke play. With a former 1st grade leg spinner looking on from the safety of the boundary, Iqbal Ahmed was introduced into the attack. He brought almost immediate success with a well flighted, drifted and what ever else you could call it - full toss. Howitt now saw a window of opportunity to clean up the tail, bringing himself on to take a few cheeky poles and also nudge the career tally into the 460's. Not as easy as he had hoped. The Penrith batsmen dug in and almost refused to play a shot against Gordon's most experienced off spinner. 20 overs later, Howitt claimed his 4th wicket for a miserable 15 runs. Ending the Penrith innings on 179.
A week of rain followed. Practice being cancelled' not an ideal preparation for claiming 6 points against the Panthers. (Spending 4 days camping with a whining female with a toothache and other pains prior to a match is also not an ideal preparation) Good efforts by the boys to get the covers down early on Tuesday to prevent an excess of water being on the wicket during the week.
Jordan Liddle - the "old-fashioned" opener
We knew if we batted well, 179 was within our reach. The opening pair of Jordan and Pete Drysdale got us off to a cautious start. Both are of the old-fashioned openers mold, letting the ball go outside off stump and taking the shine off the ball is what they do best. Pete was the 1st to go in the 10th over. Young Brett Rosen played some great shots for his 30, a very positive display of batting but he should know, with his experience, that a 30 is just a start and with a bit more mental application, he should have no problem turning those 30's into 50's. At tea, we were 2 down. Not a bad position to be in. The score was slowly ticking over at this stage. We needed to have at least one big partnership. We started well after tea with 'Reginald' Livermore hitting the 1st ball of the session for 6. Jordan batting well to surpass 50. A few wickets soon fell and the Stags steamroller had lost its momentum. Higgins played some well timed drives for his 17 and was unfortunate to 'play on' while being so comfortable at the crease. Chad Soper came and went after a nice pull shot off the spinner for 4. Enter Edward Howitt the 2nd.
The skipper batted with gusto, swiping, or wrenching rather, a couple of much needed boundaries and taking the game away from Penrith. Elliott also batted well in this partnership, he was conservative in his approach which led him to being not out on 17 and getting us home. The Panthers kept up their enthusiasm and intensity in the field for the whole day, which is an aspect that we could improve on. On any given day, 179 is not a lot to defend at Beauchamp Park and they made us work hard for it.
If that what it takes to collect the 6 points every round, so be it. I'm sure we will learn a lot about the game of cricket but more importantly, we will learn about our own strength of character.
Hopefully we can take this winning momentum into the Christmas break. With 2 games to go against the lower placed sides of Hawksbury and Manly, we have an opportunity to be in the top 2 of the competition. At the half way stage that's not the worst place to be.
The thirsty 3rds win again.
Yours in CricketReginald
3rd Grade defeated by the Students
3rd grade travelled to Sydney Uni fully aware of the challenge lying ahead given the Students were undefeated and on top of the table. Howitt won the toss and elected to bat on a seemingly good wicket, but at 8/50 the decision to bat may have been the wrong one. Not entirely correct. Uni bowled well and we played some poor shots which culminated Gordon being a position we would never recover from. Howitt (44), Soper (16) and Ahmed (13*) saw us reach 121, a total which gave us a glimmer of hope. Everything would have to go our way and luck would need to be on our side.
Skipper Howitt makes a few runs to give the bowlers a chance
It wasn't to be, however, as the students followed up their good bowling with a dominant batting display and finished the day at 4/171, with Damien Way picking up three wickets with his leg spinners. We have all had better days and on this particular day we were comprehensively out played unfortunately.
Uni declared before play started on Day 2 and, being 50 runs behind, the Stags took the opportunity to avenge the disaster of our first innings with the willow and, if possible, declare later in the day in order to get some points out of the contest. However good bowling again and a ring field really prevented Gordon from dominating Uni at any stage of the game and the game ended with Pete Drysdale being run out by his partner at the time, whom shall remain un-named, for 91. The un-named player felt he did the club a favour as Drysdale is of New Zealand origin. Many of us agreed!!! At stumps, Gordon ended 4/155 and with this we showed much better application and concentration against good bowling.
All in all a disappointing display but one which I hope we learnt from and realise the standards at which we need to play in order to compete with the better teams. It doesn't get much easier this week against Penrith, but I am sure we will get back in the winners circle and return to the top 6.
Ed Howitt Jnr
A solid performance by 3rd Grade secures the points
Let's begin with a round of applause for our Club Coach and 3rd Grade Captain Ed 'I've finally won the toss' Howitt enabling us to bat on a handy batting wicket. No doubt the skipper will be back to his old tricks next week.
Soper picks up a handy few to help the Stags across the line
Jordan & Marvell got the Stags off to a great start with sensible and patient batting, putting all the bad balls away to the fence. Unfortunately Brett was the first to go with a well compiled 21. Bretty Rosen and Jordan continued where Marvell left off and we cruised to be 1 down by tea. After tea Jordan (63) & Brett (44) were dismissed, 'Buff' Jones came and went for 11, and then it was up to 'Missy' Higgins & Damien Way to rebuild the innings. Missy played a well complied 39, it won't be long until we see Missy scoring triple figures. Damien Way destroyed the Sutherland attack with powerful drives, pulls, cuts for a very important 64. Howitt's wrench was on the money with a quick 30* and Shenal's 21* to help the stags reach 7 for 313 at the end of the day.
After a week of rain, we arrived to find a pretty good deck considering the week of weather we had. Dan 'Chewy' Mahaffey & Chad Soper began with great lines, good rhythm and control. It was Chewy who struck first with his ability to hit the stumps and did just that with a great yorker. Great pressure in the field with plenty of enthusiasm saw the wickets start tumbling. Chad picked up 3 wickets, Chewy picking up 1.
Little Bretty Rosen tidy behind the stumps
Howitt bowled very well with good flight and length and was very unlucky not to have a wicket first rock, but unfortunately a catch went down at first slip that could be the winner of the simplest catch of the year! Sorry Ikky. Shenal and Ikky took over and, after some more good bowling, saw the Sharks slump to 7 for 80-odd at tea. After tea saw the Sharks start to take control with some excellent batting from their skipper and good support from the lower order. A brief lapse in concentration from the Stags saw Sutherland get on top of the game before Chad worked his way through the tail to finish their innings off at 234.
A good win from the lads but we need to concentrate for whole sessions and not except things to just happen.
Lets keep up the winning ways when we venture over the bridge to visit the students.Keiran Jones
3rd Grade leaves the field victorious
3rd Grade unable to chase down a big total
After a relatively successful first outing with the covers, the boys looked to get off to another good start against Wests this weekend. A bit of slap and tickle from one opener who soon deservedly had his castle knocked over by a Mahaffey off-cutter and the boys were on their way. It took an initially circumspect and later dominating innings from an experienced ex-first grader to put us under pressure. Together with his captain the pair gave the Stags a lesson in how to run singles. Something I hope we do learn from.
Captain Howitt gets down a little late
Unfortunately we were not at our best in the field, putting down a couple of chances and giving away a few extra runs which turned out to be crucial ones in the end. By the time we'd gotten rid of the Wests' captain, they were in a strong position with wickets in hand. However, it was at this time that the lads showed the character that had produced a first round win over Randy - Petes and second round thrashing of Bankstown. Although looking at the scorecard may not show it, the Stags put in a huge effort to give ourselves a shot at containing Wests.
Once again it was only one man that was too good and enabled Wests to reach a gettable 276. Mahaffey and Soper bowled particularly well, as their figures suggest, and were both unlucky not to have more wickets next to their names. Other bowlers saw what it was like to bowl to a really good bat and should not be discouraged by one innnings.
At the break, captain Howitt spoke of our need to score several big 50's or for someone to go on to get the big ton if we were to successfully chase down our target. Unfortunately only one of our top 7 could do this. Credit is due for not losing wickets in bunches, but once again quick singles and rotating the strike are crucial' eh Howitt...
3rd Grade contemplates further wickets
Well batted once again to Higgo, who's showed the patience and determination the rest of us need to apply to our innings if we are to chase down big totals in the future. All of us got starts and managed to lose our wickets just when we were getting ready to cash in. This team has showed in the first three rounds the character that I've only seen in the very successful Stags teams of the past. It's this toughness and character that has made it a pleasure to be a part of this team as well as being the reason that it will continue to be a pleasure as well as a success. We should all still have heads held high whilst taking with us some very valuable lessons out of the match against Wests. I'm predicting a lot of practice singing the Stags' song throughout the rest of the season.
Gordon 8-269 (Ian Higgins 69, Kieran Jones 37, Brett Rosen 28, Jordan Liddle 21, Iqbal Ahmed 21*, Steve Colley 19, Brett Marvell 19, Emile Van Schalkwyk 16*) lost to Western Suburbs 5-276 (Dan Mahaffey 2-28 off 10 overs, Chad Soper 1-32 off 9 overs).
Stags triumpant within a day
Well welcome to the long weekend but not just any long weekend as this was the grand final long weekend, Manly v Melbourne, the Sea Eagles v the Storm. Was a repeat of last year on the cards?
James Campbell finishes off the Dogs number 3
Anyway let's start with the cricket on Saturday. We arrived at the ground with the knowledge that rain was in the air. That however didn't stop a joint effort of Stags and Bulldogs pulling of the covers 10 minutes before a downpour that would see the end of any hopes of play as the covers leaked and the pitch was the victim. Sure we stuck around till 2 pm but it was worth it, especially for little Bretty Rosen as he was joined by two of his ex-team mates from 1st grade.
Sunday, well you wouldn't have read about it'''40 to 0 to the Sea Eagles. Enough about that as the League is now over'..until the World Cup starts in few weeks.
Monday saw a very early start as it was agreed that we would play 120 overs in the day and thankfully we started on time.
I'm not really sure which way the toss of the coin fell but it saw the Stags in the field. James Campbell and Dan 'Chewy' Mahaffey started us of on the right foot with Chewy picking up 2 early ones. Then we saw something I'm sure none of us ever want to see again, or even really talk about, as the two left handers at the crease tried to bore us and everyone who yelled 'howzat' from their cars to death. They must have batted for'..well I don't really know but it felt like an eternity.
Campbell thankfully broke the partnership with a superb delivery that knocked out the off stump, the first of his well deserved three poles.
The Skipper Howitt and Chad 'the super' Soper kept up the fine bowling performance with Howitt finishing with 4 for 23 off about 5000 overs with Iqbal barely seeing the red leather in his hand.
We went to the lunch break with Bankstown at 7-59 off 40 overs, and take it from me it was almost as interesting as the final the night before.
After lunch one of the bulldogs lads came out with some conviction, and tried to see his side to a reasonable score, and he did quite well against the leg spinner (yours truly) as he knocked me around for a quick fire 42. I got him though''''''. (My first for the season and probably the most important of the day!), Howitt finished them off from the other end for 117.
Mitch and Liddle started off well, ticking the scoreboard over with a mixture aggression and delicacy. We lost Liddle first for not many and then Mitch for 21. Rosen and Higgins were ticking off the runs easily enough until Higgins decided that the player at point needed catching practice''He's a real giver that Higgins.
Marvell then joined Rosen and moved the scoring along to within about 8 runs when Marvell, like Higgins, gave some catching practice to the outfielders. So Jones and Rosen finished the game off in the 32nd over. We batted on only for the purpose of the skipper having a chuckle over making me pad up and wait until Jones and Soper were out to declare the game over, but hey I'm a team player!
5 catches to the smiling assasian - Keiren Jones - all straight in the breadbasket
The last highlight of the day was watching Higgins run around in the outfield for first grade as Rob Edwards was injured, oh and he dropped one of Casson. I told you a real giver.
I can't finish this report without acknowledging the fine performance of Keiran 'the Buffalo' Jones in the field''..5 catches''''WOW'ok' that's enough.
Well done to everyone! Get far ya Bar!!!!
Iqbal 'Inzi' Ahmed
GDCC vs. Randwick Petersham (3rd Grade)
What an introduction to an intensified grade season sure to be full of quick outfields, hard wickets, extremely successful results, broken tables and camaraderie between the Gordon 3rd
Chad Soper sends one down on debut
Jordon Liddle [Debutant #2] was at the forefront of the action early in the day as he went about tidying up the rare loose deliveries from the opening pair of Emile Van Schalkwyk and James Campbell. The rest watched in awe at the both the speed and stealth of the young lad from the coast, essential in allowing Van and James 'JC' Campbell (who repeatedly tried to creep up behind and take advantage of the crouched position the kiwi Pete Drysdale [Debutant #1] was forced into by Captain Ed Howitt as some sick joke) to bowl miserly allowing only 20 off the first ten overs.
Off-spin will this year be revolutionised in 3rd Grade as the stalwart Ed Howitt will grow a liking for bowling in tandem with the kiwi. Amazingly Howitt, Pete Drysdale and JC were all on hat tricks during the bowling innings. All failed miserably. Luckily JC is still on his hat trick and can redeem himself by removing the Bankstown opener for a Royal Duck (Ask Pete if you don't know and are too Australian to work out what this is) next Saturday to regain some pride after gaining wickets through stumpings. He was really getting it through! Great wheels buddy!
Brett Rosen must gain a mention after a superb day behind the stumps. Two stumpings, one caught behind, ASSISTED in a run out and showed all round good demeanour especially after watching some beautiful efforts in the field from the likes of Iqbal 'I had it covered' Ahmed. Truly graceful.
A top effort from the lads in the field restricting Randwick - Petersham to 235 on a decent wicket with a tiny boundary on one side of the wicket
Gordon's turn at bat brought the star of the show Cameron Eccles to the fore. Cam played a superbly measured knock with sexy drives and the fairy tale six runs to bring up the hundred (we have seen it all before). The standard has been set for the rest of the season as the determination showed from Cam to bat the team home has to be embraced from all. 105 and only a direct hit run out could end an invaluable knock securing the Man of the Match Award. A somewhat tougher decision after someone (name suppression granted) managed to induce panic from Captain Howitt after stealing his Manly Jersey shortly after the game.
Ian Higgins taught a valuable lesson that a lot of young batsmen can learn from. Once you get stuck in a bit of a rut and hitting fielders, have a meltdown showing explicitly your frustration to the opposition until you lure them into a false sense of security. From there play cover drives to pierce and tease the six man offside ring hitting boundary after boundary as well as running hard to see your side home to their first win of the season. A superb support role played by Missy ending up with 59 not out.
James Campbell with his trademark long leap to the crease
Chad Soper [Debutant #3] was spectacular in everything he did; sending a stump flying and from ball one hitting over the top to just give a taste to the opposition that if GDCC 3rd grade really wanted to hit the ball in the air we could have won in 25 overs (we just chose not to). Kieran Jones must have missed this general consensus, 'that hitting over top is lame and would make other teams in 3rd grade too wary of us dark horses for the premiership this year' but did play some fine shots over the leg side ring field.
In the end GDCC surpassed the 235 with ten or so deliveries to spare and only 6 wickets down after a run chase that could have been more formidable for a lesser side so early in the season. A thoroughly enjoyed day and from a debutants perspective, I can't wait till next week. The GDCC song is wicked and the kiwi shotguns banging his bat next week during it and making a better attempt than Emile to break the home sides, visitors dressing room table.
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.
A. W. Green Shield match reports for 2008/09 season are provided below:
Gordon Green Shield Report vs Sydney
Another year, another season of Green Shield as the Gordon boys finished off with a home game against Sydney. After failing to yet again remove the sightscreens from the ditches they currently lay in, we set about our warm up in a rather sombre mood. Amil 'the REAL joke master' Premawardhana was recounting the story of the naming of his two newborn bunnies, one being very appropriately Peter Siddle, and Jack 'I want KFC' Emery was busy wondering what he would have for breakfast. Nonetheless, substitute coach Michael Falk issued a much needed wake up call with a very fast paced and intense warm up.
With the boys right and raring to go, Jordan Liddle won the toss and decided to have a bat on a rather sticky wicket. With a win, we could possibly sneak into the top six if we ensured a healthy win over the boys from Balmain. With regard to the Club Championships, a win would also do the club a world of good. The in-form batsman of Justin 'Six fa' Avendano and Jordan Liddle strode the crease for the final time in Green Shield. With both men in contention for the combined Green Shield teams, a positive start was in need. Unfortunately Justin was undone early with a quality piece of fast bowling in where his off stump was knocked out of the ground. The Stags reeling at 1-2. After a stylish 66 two days prior, Amil was searching for another big score and intent was shown early as his cracked his first ball for four. Both Jordan and Amil accelerated the score nicely with a combination of streak and class. With spin being introduced, there was none needed for Jordan as he delivered a lovely slog sweep over mid wicket for four late in the over, a sendoff to Green Shield, courtesy of the skipper. Amil played some handsome strokes before he was dismissed for 23, a positive start to the game with the boys being 2-49 after 15.
Jordan was dismissed soon after with a leading edge back to the bowler for a well deserved 23. Jimmy 'Irish breakfast' Ryan joined Kris 'I reckon he'll hit a six over long on' Colley in the middle and the two put on a healthy 25 run partnership before Jimmy was trapped in front for 17. Darren Jayasekara replaced Ryan, but managed to top edge a short ball early in his innings for 3. Darren was looking for a big score in his last game as he turns 10 next Thursday. Once again, the boys were struggling, but Kris kept the finals dream alive with some classy stroke play and finesse throughout to middle innings. Wickets were however falling more frequently than a fat man on ice as Hugh 'don't they have to appeal first?' Sinclair was given out lbw for 1.
Taylor Francis began to steady what was soon becoming a sinking ship and put on a good partnership with Kris as Kris reached his fifty. Both were dismissed during the late overs trying to cart a part time spinner into Archer Street. Unfortunately there was no wag in this puppy's tail and we were bowled out for 171, a defendable score we thought, but we had to perform well with the ball to keep them under 2.5 and over.
We did not start in the ideal way with too many loose deliveries allowing the Tigers' batsmen to pounce (no pun intended) on some wayward bowling. However Hugh Sinclair worked his magic early with a smart catch in the gully to Amil 'that'll be classic catch number B'. Justin was in the mood for another six wickets, or so he thought using his superior linguistic skills (like Amil) to outthink the opposition batsman: 'so how do you reckon I'll get you out? I'm thinking lbw, maybe bowled.'
As this author can safely say, I don't know how he does it, but by christ he does it well.
Justin picked up the two danger men in successive overs with some crafty spin bowling; the man with the golden arm, today it was probably more of a bronze arm. At tea, Sydney were 3 for 49 after 19 which put us in a very strong position for the win. At the resumption of play Amil struck early with an lbw to have Sydney on the back foot, but an 87 run partnership for the 5th wicket saw the men from the inner west back in the game.
Darren 'Birthday boy' Jayasekara was re-introduced into the attack and after copping a bit of stick from the Sydney captain, removed the dangerous batsman at the other end with a smart catch to Shaun 'bruised hand' Chandiramani. Amil, at the other end, bowled a beautifully flighted sucker ball which was hit straight into the safe hands of Jordan Liddle. Unfortunately for us, we were bleeding ones and twos in the field which allowed Sydney to take full control in the middle session. But could we pull off an historic win and just perhaps squeeze into the top six?
The answer'. Was no.
Unable to tie down the number 7, we let the game just slip away, a small consolation was to 'Huge' Sinclair who dismissed the number 8 with a scooped cover drive to who else but the skipper himself. The Sydney boys getting home by 4 wickets and two overs.
And so the season comes to an end. It is a season that this reporter has thoroughly enjoyed and is sure that many others have. Special mention must go to Rod Hokin, our coach who has supported our efforts throughout the season whilst in the middle of study at university, Iain Beverly, our fill in coach for two games, Jim Catlin and the ground staff for ensuring the wicket and the outfield was to a more than satisfactory playing standard, Tony Wilson and Michael Falk the head of selectors, Martin Ryan, our manager, Neil Jayasekara and Lauren Ryan our scorers and of course the parents for supplying afternoon teas and taking up the role of taxi driver for a week.
Until next year,
Green Shield Report vs Randwick Petersham
Beauchamp Park was the venue for the Green Shield match between Gordon and Randwick Petersham. After a narrow loss against Fairfield Liverpool, Gordon was keen to put another win on the board and make it 3 wins from 6. After helping out with the sightscreens and covers, the Gordon boys prepared for the match by warming up with the help of coach Rod 'Rocket' Hokin. After the high-quality warm up including the usual throwdowns and fielding drills, Captain Jordon Liddle proudly walked out to the pitch and did the toss. The result was that Randwick had won the toss and elected to bat.
(Justin Avendano takes 6 wickets)
A well prepared Gordon unit strolled onto the field with a plan of taking early wickets and putting Randwick on the backfoot. Darren Jayasekera and Hugh Budden, the opening bowlers applied immense pressure to Randwick keeping them to a tidy 0/13 off 10 overs. The next bowlers, Hugh Sinclair and Niddy Singh bowled exceptional line and length as this was shown through scorecard viewing 0/41 of 20 overs. Gordon started to become a bit anxious as no wickets had fallen and the runs were building.
A calm Jordon Liddle signalled over to Justin 'ever so reliable' Avendano to warm up and prepare to bowl. This was destined to be one of the best decisions Jordan has made this season. The first wicket Justin picked up was the opening batsman getting him plum in front of the stumps making the score 1/49 at the end of the over. The second wicket of the game was again picked up by Justin, clean bowling the number 3 batsman.
(Amil Premawardhana during his innings)
Another wicket (LBW) was picked up by Justin the next ball getting him on a hat trick. After immense pressure, wicket number 4 and 5 fell quickly by Justin, both caught by Jimmy Ryan behind the stumps. Finally, his 6th and final wicket was made through an absolute blinder of a catch by Jordon Liddle. However, even though Justin picked up a magnificent 6/28 off 12 overs, we cannot forget the pressure created by Kris Colley who proved that he really is a 'force to be reckoned with'.
Other contributions were made by; Hugh Budden ' 1/42 and Darren Jayasekera ' 1/47(this wicket including a spectacular catch by Taylor Francis diving foreword on the boundary.) After 60 overs, Randwick scored a decent 8/225.
After the quick break, the opening batsmen Jordon Liddle and Justin Avendano (who was high in confidence) walked out onto the field preparing to set a good platform for the innings. However this was not the case as Justin (9) got out LBW to a peach of a delivery. At 1/11, Amil Premawardhana strode onto field without anything actually wrong with his gear as this proved to be a positive sign.
(Everyone seems to have interest in this shot from James Ryan)
This was clearly shown as Amil out of nowhere smashed a ball to midwicket for 6 at the start of his innings surprising everyone. A solid 45 run partnership between the two was ended by Jordon Liddle (19) unlucky to get out trying to smash a ball which he and the crowd thought was a no ball. Jimmy Ryan entered the field and in no time he and Amil ticked over the strike, very steadily with no trouble at all.
After a wonderful tea provided by the parents, Coach Rod Hokin told the boys that our goal should be that we must score a minimum 160 runs by 50 overs. This goal looked extremely possible, as Jimmy and Amil dominated the bowlers from Randwick hitting them all around the park. In no time, Amil brought up his 50 in fine style and kept the runs flowing with Jimmy at the other end.
At 3/147 Gordon was cruising until a superb catch at mid on brought Amil back to the pavilion after a fine knock of 66 (including 6 boundaries and 1 six). A magnificent 91 run partnership was put on by both James Ryan and Amil Premawardhana.
(Taylor Francis shows his style during his important partnership with Hugh)
The next batsman to come was Darren Jayasekera. Unfortunately, after a fine knock of 44 (including 3 boundaries) James departed after trying to keep the runs flowing, edging it to the keeper.
Number 7, Hugh Sinclair marched onto the field at 5/152 with a determined look on his face. After some rebuilding, Darren and Hugh put on a 29 run partnership until Darren (17) got out with a leading edge towards mid off. When Taylor Francis came to the crease the equation was that Gordon needed 44 runs off 6 overs.
It was time to get quick runs and the perfect man for the job, Hugh Sinclair relived immense pressure hitting numerous boundaries with absolute class and style. His strength and power dazzled everyone watching. Smashing 18 off the 57th really closed the gap as we ended up getting the runs in the 58th over.
Hugh Sinclair played a marvellous innings, one that won't be forgotten, smashing an outstanding 45 runs. Special mention also to Taylor Francis (10*) who played his natural game providing good support for Hugh.
(Winners are grinners...Taylor Francis and Hugh Sinclair enjoy their win)
The end of the day brought many smiles to the faces of the Gordon boys, who sung the Gordon song with pride and passion.
Special Thanks to; Shaun Chandiramani for coming all the way to Chatswood to support the boys, the parents for another outstanding afternoon tea and the scorer (Jimmy's sister).
Come on Gordon; let's finish our season on a high by beating Sydney!!
Green Shield Report vs Fairfield
A cloudy day welcomed us to a quite large ground of Rosedale. With the sprinklers on early morning we were ready for our warm up. Matthew Nicholson our coach for the day put us through our paces and Jordon won the toss a decided to bowl on a very slow and wet outfield with a pitch looking to do a lot.
(James Ryan in action at Rosedale)
Our opening bowlers Hugh Buddin and Darren Jayasekara did a good job with the ball, bowling tight lines and great lengths. Nidhi Singh and Hugh Sinclair followed with Nidhi getting the first wicket of the game and with Hugh getting one next over through a good catch in slip by our skipper.
Fairfield were 2 for 48 off 20 overs. After this good start, Jordan decided to bring on spin from both ends with Justin and Amil. Both bowlers bowled well and kept the runs down with a couple of wickets. Amil was unlucky not to get a wicket and finished with 0 -20 off his 9 overs.
At the other end a ball was skied high in the air off Justin and after running around in all directions Shaun Chandiramani was able to take an excellent catch. Justin finished with 3 for 28 off his 12 overs.
The lunch break came and Nicho's instructions were to try and keep Fairfield to 130 -140 if possible.
With the score at 4 for 88 we were finding it hard to get the wicket until Hugh Buddin flicked passed it to Hugh Sinclair with a return back to the bowler for the run out to get our fifth wicket.
Shaun Chandiramani then came on with his off spin and picked up his first wicket which was soon followed Nidhi and Hugh Sinclair also getting one each and we were looking like reaching our target at 8 for 130, but we needed to get the last two quickly. Unfortunately this did not happen and the last wicket put on 30 runs to finish with 9 for 160 off their 60 overs.
(Hugh Sinclair picks up a wicket)
The bowlers figures were: Nidhi (2-20 off 8) Hugh Buddin (0-16 off 6) Darren Jayasekara (0-27 off 10) Shaun Chandiramani (1-7 off 4) and Hugh Sinclair (2-29 off 11).
With such big boundaries, our opening batsman Jordan Liddle and Justin Avendano were told by Nicho that most of our runs were going to be singles so we had to be on our toes.
The openers got us off to a good start pushing the singles and twos as required before Jordan played one to the keeper for (8). Amil then came in and showed his confidence playing some beautiful cover drives for 2's and 3's. Both batsman were scoring runs above the run rate before Justin hit one back to the bowler and was out for 30, with the score at 2 for 50.
Kris Colley came to the crease, however Amil was bowled for 15 and James Ryan joined Kris to try and up the run rate, using their feet well to the spinners.
The fall of Kris also for 15 brought in Darren Jayasekara and were looking good before a mix up in their running saw Darren back in the sheds for 14 and the score was 5 for 130. James Ryan kept playing his shots through the covers and midwicket before he edged one to the keeper for 34. Hugh Sinclair fell shortly after to make the score 7 for 132.
(Justin Avendano in action against Fairfield)
Taylor Francis and Jack Emery then had a partnership with Jack playing his cover drives and cut shots through the field and when we reached 7 for 144 we only needed 16 to win. Unfortunately both Taylo and Jack were bowled soon after leaving us at 9 for 148. With the pressure building Nidhi Singh and Hugh Buddin were at the crease with just 12 runs to win however going for the quick single Nidhi was run out by a direct hit. We were all out for 149.
A very special thanks to Matthew Nicholson for coaching our team for the day. Let's finish strong these next couple of games boys.
Green Shield match report vs Eastern Suburbs Dophins
The Stags arrived at their home ground Beauchamp Park , eager to redeem themselves from their two recent losses When the team got there, everyone was overjoyed to help out help fix the sight screen and take the covers off. After that riveting start to the day, the team started its warm up with replacement coach Iain Beverley (Bevo) (Rod Hokin is away for a few matches).
(Jordan Liddle hits out during his 148)
The usual warm ups were completed with high intensity and this put the team into a focused and positive frame of mind. Special mention to Niddy Singh and Hugh Sinclair who gave solid throw downs to our top order batsman.
The captain Jordan Liddle went out to the toss and lost it again. Easts elected to bowl first on a flat and hard wicket. High on confidence after smashing numerous throw downs, Jordan Liddle and Justin Avendano strode to the crease and looked solid from the start. After a watchful start to the innings, Jordan and Justin started to pick up the pace as they nicely worked the singles into two's with the occasional boundary. By the first drinks break the score read 0/50. After drinks the batsman were fully hydrated and picked up the run rate. This session was integral to the innings as the pair put on 100 runs in the space of 16 overs. The batting in this part of the match was majestic as Jordan timed the ball to perfection and Justin found the gaps with ease. From the sideline it was a thrill to watch as evident by the quote from Shaun Chandiramani '...This is a thrill to watch'.
By the lunch break we were 0/177, with Justin and Jordan not out in the 70's and keen to make centuries. When play resumed again runs continued to flow but this time at an even higher rate. Jordan began taking the aerial route as he demolished the bowlers with absolute class while Justin kept the scoreboard ticking. After an abundance of fours and sixes by Jordan, he raced into the 90's. In no time Jordan reached his 100 and was ecstatic; his maiden century in Green Shield.
(Justin Avendano shows his style)
After he reached his hundred he was like a cheetah who had escaped from the local zoo; he was an unstoppable force. He butchered, battered and creamed every bowler the Dolphins through at him, whether it was spin or pace.
Meanwhile Justin continued to consolidate. Trying to up the run rate to an even greater extent Justin Avendano (86) was unlucky to be deprived of his century, edging one to the keeper. The partnership between Jordan and Justin had been 241, a record partnership for Green Shield. In came Jimmy Ryan who helped Jordan along his way to his gargantuan score. Jordan's memorable innings came to an end when he held out in the deep for 148. Kris Colley joined Jimmy at the crease and played a smart innings of 45. Jimmy later departed for 11 which was important in the 57 run partnership with Kris. Amil Premawardhana and High Sinclair were both unbeaten on 1. From our 60 overs we finished with 4/310.
With Tea looming, we were required to bowl 24 overs before the break. Bowlers were asked to bowl full and straight and try and get as many overs in as possible for as little runs. Our opening bowler Darren Jayasekera was vital in building pressure as evident in his economical spell. While this pressure was maintained in the field, Hugh Budden struck early taking two wickets.
(Hugh Budden is successful with his LBW appeal)
Not long after that Niddy Singh claimed the wicket of the number 3 batsman thanks to a blinding catch by Darren Jayasekera in the gully. Hugh Sinclair bowled his heart out and was extremely unlucky not to take any wickets. During the twentieth over Jordan Liddle chose to introduce spinner Justin Avendano into the attack. Justin displayed excellent control and discipline in his bowling and it showed when he took the fourth wicket of the innings.
Soon we had the Dolphins 4/52 in the 25th over as Amil Premawardhana, Shaun Chandiramani and Alec Benson all kept the runs down. Even though we had played superb cricket the whole day, it could be said the last hour of play was a bit sloppy from us. Some loose bowling and mediocre fielding was capitalised by their batsman. One of which who scored a well deserved century. He was caught beautifully by Taylor Francis on the boundary diving forward. The last over of the day was bowled by Kris Colley and proved that his leg spin was a forced to reckoned with.... The Dolphins final score was 5/193 from their 60 overs. Gordon Stags won by 117 runs. (Thanks to all the parents for tea)
Green Shield Report vs Parramatta
It was the beginning of the New Year and the boys from Gordon were ready to fire after a well deserved rest. The Gordon boys arrived at Parramatta's home ground Old King's Oval, behind the well known Parramatta Stadium. Preparing to make it 2 wins from 3, Gordon warmed up through different activities. Soon after, Captain Jordon Liddle won the toss and elected to bat. This was the correct decision due to the batting friendly pitch.
Kris Colley throws the full face of the bat at it
After numerous throwdowns, the openers Jordon Liddle and the man in form, Justin Avendano were prepared to get the team off to a good start. Alas, Justin(0 ) and Jordon(4) couldn't get the team off to a good start as they were unfortunate enough to receive some beauties. Once Jordon was dismissed, Jimmy Ryan met Amil Premawardhana to the crease. However, Jimmy fell 2nd ball (4) was bowled with a peach of a delivery. At 3 for 18, Gordon started to lose some confidence as Parramatta's was rising.
Kris Colley and Amil Premawardhana had both made a solid partnership of 27 which consisted of a four, and many worked singles and twos around the ground which kept the score board ticking in a sensible manner. Kris Colley (16) was looking in fine touch, but was bowled in the 20th over. Soon after the partnership had been broken, Amil tried to smash the ball over mid on but was caught. Amil showed patience and determination while he was batting.
Dazza Jayasekera started to dominate the show and steadily pile on runs with an abundance of majestic shots around the ground which lifted the team's morale in the grandstand. In the 34th over, his partner at the other end, Hugh Sinclair, was given out to an unfair decision which was clearly missing leg stump. This left Gordon at 6 for 82 which shocked all the team members.
Darren "Dazza" Jayasekera later on with the ball
Dazza (34) was looking in fine form with no troubles until he was stumped. Taylor Francis found the middle of the bat from the word go and played master strokes down the ground for four with confidence. Taylor (20) was unfortunate to get out as he tried to charge the legspinner but had spun back onto the stumps.
Gordon were all out for 115 with 14 overs to spare.
Gordon ran onto Old Kings Oval with a total to defend and apply early pressure. The new ball was given to Dazza, who took a wicket in the 1st over with an outside off stump ball making the batsman play as this resulted in what Richie Benaud would call 'a marvellous catch' which was caught at 1st slip by Justin Avendano.
The number 3 batsman played an unstoppable innings in which contained a numerous of aggressive strokes. The Gordon bowling attack tried their best to dismiss this batsman, but to know avail. He was at his peak.
The game was finished in the 21st over.
Amil strong in defense
The Gordon Green shield team has learnt from their mistakes and will have to win every game from now to make the finals.
Best of luck, and may victory prevail on our home ground.
Go Gordon Go!!!
Parramatta (1st inn) K Milne 85, T Crittenden 26
Gordon (1st inn) D Jayasekera 34, T Francis 20, G Joseph 4/16, T Ortiz 3/19, N Bertus 2(c)
Green Shield Report vs ND's
The Stags arrived at a pristine Asquith Oval, eager to replicate their convincing win over Mosman two days earlier. The top-of-the-table team was feeling confident after their win and players were excited to face the Northern District opposition. After loosing the toss and being sent to field first, Captain Jordan Liddle and Coach Rod Hokin were not too disappointed, for the pitch looked as if it would hold up, or even improve as the day went on.
The team ran onto the field switched on, ready to enforce pressure early and nab quick wickets. However, after the openers got off to a quick start the boys became unsure as to how the partnership would be broken. Our worries were soon put to rest as Darren Jayasekera dismissed an opener with a classic piece of pace bowling, the batsman being caught behind by keeper, James Ryan. The next wicket fell soon after with the other opener being given LBW off the first ball of Nidhi Singh's spell. After a couple of overs of miserly bowling from Singh and Hugh Sinclair the third wicket fell with the batsman being run-out by Liddle and Alec Benson after a mix-up between batsmen, reducing the 'Rangers' to 3/24.
The next partnership turned out to be one that took the advantage away from the Stags. With each run scored, the enthusiasm in the field dropped, allowing the pair to put on an 80-run partnership before lunch leaving them 3/152 after 40 overs. After lunch the boys re-took the field re-energised and re-focused on the task at hand. The mind-set worked with a series of tight overs, namely Justin Avendano's and Alec Benson's economical spells mounting pressure upon the batsmen. However, a few overs later, the number 3 batsman reached his century in an innings of equally good patience and stroke-play. After reaching his ton and trying to hit-out, Hugh Sinclair soon bowled him for 113 after frustrating him with consecutive overs of accurate bowling. The next over saw the other member of the partnership being bowled by Justin, trying to hit over the field. The next batsman then scored a few runs before he too fell to the spin of Avendano, hauling one out to deep mid wicket to Amil Premawardhana, who took an outstanding catch, one of the best that any of us have seen, diving backward and to his right, leaving the score at 6/220.
With two new batsmen at the crease the Gordon boys set about restricting the batsmen to as few runs as possible. This meant bowling tight and full and stopping the flow of boundaries, the stand out was Hugh Buddin's spell frustrating the batsmen allowing for the wicket to fall. Such bowling was achieved for much of the time, with Taylor Francis taking a solid outfielder's catch at deep mid-on, off Singh's bowling. Nonetheless, Northern Districts ended up with 5/279 from their 60 overs, a defendible total, but one that was gettable on such a ground.
The Gordon openers, Justin Avendano and Jordan Liddle strode onto the pitch both confident after strong scores in the last match. However, in the second over, Jordan (0) was dismissed for a duck on the ball that appeared to be going down leg. The next wicket was soon to follow, Amil (0) being caught after being fooled into thinking that a 'No Ball' had been called as a passer-by yelled out as the ball was bowled. At 2/5 the team looked to be in a bit of strife. Then James Ryan (8) was caught in the slips, leaving the score at 3/15, the opening bowler claiming three wickets in consecutive overs. At this point the Stags were hoping for a strong partnership to bring them out of the situation, and that's what both Justin and Kris Colley provided, steering the team to 3/72 after 21 overs at tea, with a combination of determination and lavish stroke play, bringing the team right back into the game.
After tea, and some more encouraging words from coach and captain, the batsman went back to the crease with renewed belief that the game was still there to be won. The pair got off to a good start before a bowling change saw Justin being caught at a catching cover for an unfortunate 49. In such a position Gordon knew that another strong partnership was needed in order to reach the total. Kris took the burden upon himself, playing some excellent cuts and drives quickly advancing to 28. Here though, a slower ball deceived him, lofting it to mid off. Darren, the batsman left at the crease looked to be in good touch before he ran himself out after a mix-up between the two batsmen for 8. The wicket left Gordon at 5/84, with Taylor Francis and Hugh Sinclair at the crease. The pair tried to play a determined innings scoring off bad balls while playing a predominately defensive innings before Francis was caught for 1. Hugh was soon to follow with 14. The final 2 wickets came in the space of less than 10 runs, with Singh (3), Jack Emery (1) and the not out batsman being Alec Benson. The final score being a sorry 112, some 165 runs short of the opposition's 279.
After the game, the team was reminded that they were now not in the junior teams, and players had to lift themselves to the task to taking that crucial wickets or runs. Coach, Rod Hokin used the example of Mitchell Johnson's recent bowling efforts to illustrate his point adding that for the talent that the team possessed, the result was not one to simply regard as a loss, but one to use to better our individual games. All players must remember to continue training during our break, to come back after a stronger team.
Northern Districts 7/279 (Bowling: Nidhiraj Singh 2/34 (11), Justin Avendano 2/61 (12), Darren Jayasekera 1/14 (6), Hugh Sinclair 1/62 (11); Catches: James Ryan, Amil Premawardhana, Taylor Francis; Run Outs: Jordan Liddle/ Alec Benson)
Gordon 10/112 (Justin Avendano 49, Kris Colley 28, Hugh Sinclair 14, James Ryan 8.)
Have a great Christmas and New Year.
Green Shield match report vs Mosman 21/12/08
Another year of Green Shield commenced today at the always beautiful Allan Border Oval. On a pitch that seemed fairly benign, Mosman decided to bowl after winning the toss. Captain Jordan Liddle was satisfied as similar to our Thursday trial game, a lost toss still resulted in what he initially wanted.
Justin "Fetus" Avendano in sparkling form with the bat
The Gordon boys strode to the wicket with great confidence. We knew that these two games leading up to Christmas would be essential to win if we were to consider our finals hopes. We did not disappoint as early signs looked good with Jordan spanking one through the covers, second ball of the day. Knowing it could only get better from here, Justin Avendano began to open up with an excellent array of strokes. Before long, the fifty was up and we went to drinks 0-61. A brilliant start to the match and the Green Shield season. Rod 'Rocket' Hokin was pleased with the boys efforts as we worked well to the plan that was set at the beginning of the match.
After drinks, Justin wasted no time, blasting his way to fifty, which included at huge slog sweep for six over the long on boundary. According to Justin, it was the biggest six he had hit since U10's. But the carnage did not stop there. Jordie brought up his fifty in the 29th over, and was determined to equal Justin's big hitting, with his very own 'bread and butter' leg glance for a big six.
Another leaping leftie, Hugh Budden in action against the whales
With the introduction of a new bowler, this brought about the loss our first wicket. Jordan caught and bowled for a well compiled 50. Amil 'good luck with the surname' Premawardhana came to the crease in typical style, shirt out, pads not done up properly, but nonetheless a very impressive batsman indeed. Runs became free flowing and after an edgy start Amil began to find the middle of the bat and hit some beautiful boundaries. Justin at the other end was working diligently at the crease and was determined to get to lunch unbeaten. Unfortunately, Amil was out caught behind just before lunch for 20 and the Stags went into the dressing room at 2-159 with Justin not out on 85. A very good position with wickets in hand.
At the resumption of play, James Ryan and Justin strode to the crease with only one thing in mind: let Justin get his hundred, then work from there. Regrettably, that was not to be the case. After a terrible mix up, Justin was left stranded short of his ground, run out for 92. Jimmy and Kris Colley continued ticking the run rate over with some good running between the wickets before Kris was out for 4. Hugh Sinclair joined Ryan and the two put on a handy 17 run partnership before Ryan was caught trying to recreate a sweetly timed straight hit for four the previous over. Sinclair was dismissed before the close of play with Darren Jayasekera and Taylor Francis bringing the end of innings total to a healthy 233 off 60 overs.
Skipper Jordan Liddle shows his classic style during his 50
With Tea looming, we were required to bowl 27 overs before the break. Bowlers were asked to bowl full and straight and try and get as many overs in as possible for as little runs. The Stags struck early with a wicket keeper's run out from Jimmy Ryan and immediately the boys began to lift in the field. Credit is due to our fielding unit as there was another 30 or 40 runs which we were able to save due to exceptional fielding efforts from the boys. As one wicket falls, another is not far behind with big Hugh Sinclair dismissing the dangerous number three batsman, who was also a good school chum of Hugh. No doubt words were said, but there was still a job at hand. Mosman went to Tea at 2-42 off 26 overs and were looking somewhat uncomfortable.
Gordon resumed play refreshed and restored and this payed off with 'Big Al' Benson striking in his first over with a stumping to Jimmy Ryan. Wickets soon tumbled like a house of cards, but the elusive wicket of the remaining opener was hard to come by. As was quoted in the field: 'he's like a cat, got nine lives'. Shortly after Big Al's second wicket, a ball skied high to the safe hands of Justin Avendano; Jordan Liddle struck with the valuable wicket of the opening batsman for 56. However his cameo with the ball was short lived with Justin being brought back into the attack and immediately followed suit with a dismissal in the first over of his spell with a ripping catch from Nidhi 'Testy Pop' Singh which reminded me of a catch Younus Khan took in a Ford Ranger game a week earlier.
A top win to the Greenies boys as they celebrate in style
Hugh Budden and Justin wrapped up the tail with relative ease and the Whales were dismissed for 111 off 47 overs, an excellent start to the season which now puts us at the top of the table after Round 1.
Gordon 5-233 (Justin Avendano 88, Jordan Liddle 50, James Ryan 34, Amil Premawardhana 20, Hugh Sinclair 13, Taylor Francis 12*) defeated Mosman 112 (Justin Avendano 2-5, Hugh Budden 2-12, Alec Benson 2-16, Hugh Sinclair 1-7, Jordan Liddle 1-8).
Jimmy Ryan smashes one through mid-on Justin Avendano in full flight, this time with ball