The 2014/15 season for the Gordon DCC will not go down in history as the best season on the park. After a number of strong years for the club, none of the teams made the finals across the five grades. Nevertheless, there were a number of milestones achieved by individuals throughout the season, and plenty of fantastic accounts of the matches written by the players./
The match reports for each grade can be found in the sections below.
First Grade plays for the Belvedere Cup and all grade points go to the Club Championship total, including the one-dayers and Twenty20 matches. There are three separate finals series for First Grade, with the Twenty20 and One-Day competitions having separate finals series to the Belvedere Cup (longer form of the game).
First Grade match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
After a month of 2 day games, it was back into one day mode for the 1st Graders. This would be our last game at Chatswood Oval for the season and the last game before Josh (JP) Poysden headed back to the motherland.
A glorious late cut by the skipper, Harry Evans
The football warm up game would see different teams turn out due to the transfer market opening during the week. The top 5 were happy with their purchase of Tym Crawford (Crunchy Nut) whilst the bottom 6 reclaimed Iain Beverley (Bevo).
The dewy conditions would allow the ball to skid on more than usual which would disadvantage the bottom 6 with their style of play, booting the ball up field and hoping for the best, it has however come off for them more often than not this season.
The top 5 showed a lot of skill, determination and control to put one past JP, the goalkeeper. You could really tell the bottom 6 were rattled and in the end were not able to get an equaliser in which they only had 31% of possession. An overdue but well-deserved victory to the top 5.
Now to the serious stuff. Harry won the toss on what looked to be a good wicket, and chose to bat. Cam Eccles and Steve Colley got us off to a good start, posting 50 for the first stand until Cam was caught behind. Steve soon followed. Harry Evans and Elliot Richtor put on 50 more before Harry was bowled with the score on 115.
Cam Eccles nails a hook shot early in his innings, before being caught behind the wicket
As has been our downfall this season, we lost wickets again in clumps and were struggling at 5/118. Bevo and Els Richtor put on 50 before Iain was out LBW. Chad came in and continued his good form from last week putting on another 50 run partnership, before Els was bowled for 84 with 2 overs to go. Chad and JP were able to pick up valuable runs in the last 2 overs to get us to a total of 234. Par score would have been around 260, but if we bowled well we were definitely in with a chance.
Our bowlers didn’t get off to the best start and Penrith’s opening batsmen came out swinging. They were scoring at 8 an over before Dan Smith, as he has done so often this year, got the breakthrough. Penrith’s batsmen continued to score freely until Chad got the dangerous DiBartolo out caught by Reece “trench foot” Bombas.
From there Penrith batsmen accumulated and got closer to the required total. A flurry of wickets at the end wasn’t enough to stop Penrith winning the game by 4 wickets with 2 overs to spare.
Steve Colley looks down the ground for runs against the Panthers
It was a disappointing day for the Stags. We simply didn’t post enough runs, and our bowling started poorly which allowed the opposition to get a big portion of the runs in the first 15 overs.
One more game to go against Campbelltown. Hopefully we can forget about this game and put in a big performance to finish the season on a high.
The many facets of Elliot Richtor's game
We would like to thank JP for coming back to the Stags this season. Everyone has enjoyed playing with him and he has been a great clubman off the field.
The self-proclaimed “best dj” in the team (let’s see your mixing skills), most (not all) enjoyed the variety of cheese he played in the change rooms. All the best for your upcoming UK season and hopefully see you back here in September.
Elliot “ERIC” Richtor
Moving into the back end of the season, sitting outside the top six, we knew we had to win the last three games of the season to be playing deep into March. The Onions (minus Reece) couldn’t have got off to a better start scoring an early goal in the warm up, as the top 5 were clearly agitated.
On debut, Blaize receives plenty of encouragement from his teammates
The loss of one of the greats Onion soccer players, Stobes, did not stop the dominance and he was replaced by our debutant Blaize Irving-Holliday (congratulations on your debut mate), and proved vital in assisting Poysden park the bus at the back.
Numerous balls in from wide areas from Chad and Smithy proved difficult to deal with, especially for Steve as he found himself up the wrong end of the field in his defensive goal box. The top 5 plus coach Howitt skipped flustered and became immediately rattled.
2-0 up with a couple of minutes left on the clock, the London double decker bus was well and truly parked and not moving. Jose Mourinho would have been happy as the defense could not be broken down and Chad escaped on the counter attack and slotted home another to take the lead out to 3-0. Another famous victory for the Onions.
Chad Soper. Great value all-rounder for our fantasy sides
On a green wicket at Chatswood Oval, Gordon was sent into bat on an overcast and rain threatening day. Bev and Cam got off to a solid start and they managed to keep out a strong opening bowling attack before rain interrupted play. On the resumption Sutherland came out firing and had Gordon in trouble, 4 wickets down at lunch. Most players were able to get starts but would be disappointed they couldn’t go on with it and take it deep into the day.
However, our lower order combined to do this and a brilliant innings by Chad Soper displayed his full potential as a batsmen. Sopes started off slowly and was met at the crease by Josh with the score at 213, below par at Chatswood.
Cam Eccles provides the side a good start before the rains closed in
Sensible batting mixed with class and precision saw Chad dominate the partnership placing the ball into gaps on the fast outfield and scoring off many balls whether it be boundaries or quick singles.
Josh played a great anchor role and ensured his wicket was not taken easily. They put on 89 for the last wicket, which was a club 1st grade record partnership for the final wicket. Congratulations! Chad finished on 78 and Josh 24*, which finished the days play and gave the bowlers something to bowl at on Sunday.
Sunday morning, and the pitch was rock hard and early wickets would be needed to defend the total on the board.
It didn’t take long before the Onions got into their stride, less than an over and Dan 'Hound' Smith had raced away to an early start thanks to a great diving catch in front of the parrot at first slip. Chad was the other Onion who opened from the North end and it wasn’t long before he added one to his tally as Reece fed himself off Harry’s hands, well done Parrot, staying true to yourself.
Poysden. I'd frame this pull shot. Classic.
Chad bowls with great consistency, which means the opposition won’t get off to a quick start when he opens the bowling. Not long later Hound had another wicket, through some short pitched bowling. Another brilliant catch by Bev down the leg side this time, sticking out his left hand out and snaring another beauty, tongue out and all. YES! YES!
At lunch, Sutherland has battled well to not lose another wicket and steady the ship.
Tym guides one through the gully region
Although there was some attacking bowling, we were not able to break a partnership that slowly edged their way closer to our total. From here on in, it was a hard slog on a good batting wicket, the bowlers struggled to consistently put the ball where they wanted to develop enough pressure and force a mistake.
Blaize bowled well in patches and fielded well diving around getting himself dirty. It was a tough debut but you’ll be better for the experience. Back yourself because you got here through consistent performances and there is no reason why you can’t continue that.
Josh bowled well for no reward in the scorebook and Harold rolled out some off spin picking up a stumping and removing their centurion. Smithy was the pick of the bowlers running in all day and ended with another wicket to his tally, and could have been more.
Sutherland were the better team and were able to bat for long periods without losing wickets, making batting towards the end of the day a lot easier and past our score 5 wickets down. We should learn from the oppositions’ ability to keep wickets in the shed for later in the day where the batsmen can take the advantage of tiring bowlers.
Sparky, here is where you stop reading.
Bombas rocks back and makes light work of this one
Match of the day was on when we challenged the locals to a game of soccer. The Guzzler joined the group to match the numbers of the opposition and the game was on, football boots and all. The Onions, plus the top 5 got off to the ideal start with an early goal to show our intent. Our tactics of hoofing it to Harry and see what happens differed a lot from our counterparts who played the Barcelona like passing game.
The Guzzler thought we were playing Rugby League at some points and ran through a couple of blokes, in similar style to Jason Taumalolo and the football boots became a problem when they met with the unprotected Nike shoe, so fair was fair.
Such a particularly classy player, Elliot Richtor is due for a big score in these final two rounds of the competition
There was also some friendly fire when Evans’ head met with the Guzzler’s right eye. Evans 1 Guzzler 0.
The Guzzler was rattled. After being ahead, early on the locals managed to sneak away with victory 7-6. It was a tough day!
"It’s a numbers game.” These are words from the mouth of a Gordon player who may one day compose a novel about the disadvantages of stretching before and after games and how delayed onset of muscle soreness is all a big lie.
Although these words rang true in many ways for the Gordon 1st Graders against a determined Parramatta outfit set on disrupting any plans of progressing into the finals.
Reece "Facebook legend" Bombas skips down the track
Our day began with a slight scare, no this was not the victory of the “Onions VI” in the pre-warmup/pre-stretch soccer game because in the eyes of the writer this was “a given” but rather after the toss of the coin and electing to bat, our skipper Evans and our veteran Richtor both succumb to injuries that left some “Onions” feeling a little nervous in our decision to bat first.
The openers Possum and Squirrel (Eccles and Beverley) saw off the new ball with Beverley (38) in particular showing his improved shape and aggressive running between wickets to take our score to 29 before Eccles (13) was unfortunately adjudged LBW.
Squirrel... we think... Beverley at the very least
Beverley then formed a sturdy partnership with Bombas (37), the mastermind behind infamous facebook statuses and the quote above, moving our score to 85 and taking the shine off the new turf ball before Beverley was caught trying to find the boundary rope before the lunch (Prego) break.
With Evans suffering as mentioned above, the batting order was adjusted with Colley joining Bombas, which was only short lived as Reece was dismissed soon after lunch chipping to mid off also in his 30’s. Richtor and Colley both continued their strong season of batting performances sharing an excellent partnership of 99 before Elliott was out for a well-made 59.
Steve also went on to score a dominant 59 reminding us where not to bowl to him with 6 boundaries and one large 6 before being undone by a tough period of pressure from the Parramatta bowlers, who were clearly sensing a chance of a middle order collapse and with Soper following soon after leaving the Stags score reading 6-233 this looked highly likely.
Harry "Thank" Evans! continues to score through mid-wicket
Unbeknown to the Parramatta supporters and bowlers but Gordon possessed possibly the best No. 8 batsmen in the grade and Thank Evans we did!
Tym Crawford combined with our captain and together they blasted 102 runs before Bombas figured out what he could take to the moon!
Tym was eventually dismissed for 59 (“it’s a numbers game”) and Harry scored a quickfire 63 from only 49 balls and despite a few wickets at the end Gordon finished the day with a total of 347. A competitive score, highlighted by a consistent batting effort but in the eyes of captain hindsight possibly 50 runs short.
Crawford punches one through the point region
Another win to the Onions VI on Day 2 saw plenty of energy amongst the bowling unit in particular a vocal Poysden, who was reportedly heard singing victory songs about driving a bus prior to the first goal that was scored. Onions VI 3 - Top 5 - nil.
The early Gordon bowling was tight and although the score of 1-66 at lunch confirmed this, the Onion VI would have to apply more pressure to ensure wickets continued to fall.
In the second session, the Stags bowlers toiled hard on a flat wicket but failed to make a breakthrough and when the tea break came around the score was 1-183 with the Affleck brothers showcasing contrasting innings to the Stag batsmen the previous week.
The final session could’ve resulted in multiple outcomes but despite a few wickets falling the runs continued to flow and were eventually accumulated in the 2nd last over of the days play leaving the Gordon players without 6 vital points and a lot left to be desired.
Soper charges in on Day 2 to grab the Eels wickets
A disappointing end to a tough day in the field for the Stag bowlers with captain hindsight speaking volumes about grassed chances and no one going on to score greater than 59 but all in all, the team with the most number of wickets and runs wins the contest. Cricket is a numbers game indeed.
The Captain of Australia playing at Chatswood Oval aside, 1st Grade had a brilliant win against Wests which now sees us 8th in the ladder, only 2 points behind Randy Ps who are 5th, with four rounds to go.
Poysden celebrates the wicket of Clarke shortly after lunch
I was awoken on Saturday morning to a message from our illustrious coach Edward Howitt II- check the Daily Telegraph. To my amazement I was greeted by one of the sports pages by a big photo of three of our players. Congratulations to Smith, Stobo & Crawford on their new modelling deals.
Some tough words were spoken in the paper- ‘No free runs for Clarke’, Crawford bellowed, ‘Take it deep’, Smith followed up with. But the words that will stay with me came from Stobo. ‘Onionati for life’.
After a piccolo and doing the covers, it was time for the main event, warm up football. In a big transfer window coup, the bottom 6 had managed to acquire the current leader of the Mark Noble Medal, Tym Crawford in a part exchange (+heavy cash) swap for Iain Beverley. It was a close, nerve wrecking game, but in the end the bottom 6 did enough to bring home the bacon.
Evans went out to do the toss with Wests skipper Ridley, and it was decided that Wests would bat first. The wicket looked good considering the rain throughout the start of the week- good on ya Glenny boy.
Dan "Hound" Smith keeps the seam in perfect position as Clarke finds it difficult to score
It didn’t take long for us to take the first wicket, Dan ‘Hound’ Smith snicking off the opener. This led to the great man Reece Bombas’ first contribution of the game. In the words of some he ‘just doesn’t drop them’. It was a fair catch considering it was not to his much preferred low and to the right area. He took it ‘just casually’. Not many people would know (until he told all of us), that not only has he taken the most outfield catches in the club, he is third in the whole comp.
Then out walked the person most people were there to see - Michael Clarke. There was a strong crowd at the ground, with lots of Gordon Juniors (great to see), Channel 9 (Tym Crawford was heard to be hanging around the Coogee Pavillion a lot more in the last couple of days), and Fox Sports all there. Even the main man & club president Andrew ‘three’s a crowd’ Falk was on ABC grandstand.
However there was someone missing- selector Tony ‘salt n pepa’ Wilson was nowhere to be seen. He claims he was watching one of his many horses race (how long until ‘The Mulcher’ wins the Melbourne Cup?), but my sources (tomato & bbq), have told me that he was frequenting one of his favourite spots, The Blackout Café in Lindfield. Are the trumours about this place real Tiddles? If so we can expect a dinner there with H.Evans and H.Angus to be on the cards soon.
Anyway, back to a bloke who has scored 28 test hundreds batting at Chatswood. “Hound”, Stobo and eventually Chad & Evans bowled well to him, and didn’t bowl many loose balls- as seen by his 51 being scored off 128 balls. Wests got to lunch without losing another wicket- although the run rate was well under control.
Soper is pushed through the offside by Clarke for a couple
Clarke had to give some interviews to the press at lunch and was swamped by all at the ground. It was nice to see Clarke signing all the autographs and having genuine conversations with lots of the spectators. In an era where modern sportsman is permanently under the microscope, with the merest whiff of a disturbance used to sell papers, he was a true ambassador for the game and everyone who came to watch would have made some memories for life.
After lunch, I was introduced into the attack and managed to get us a breakthrough. As Paul Stephenson has said in his wrap, old mate Clarke suggested I move my field to try and get him to hit against the spin. Definitely the first time a batter has told me where to put my fielders. However, Evans decided this wasn’t the way to go and so we kept our two catching mid wickets, which were the result of some serious studenting from the man formerly known as “Mulcher”.
Clarke tried to go over these mid wickets but managed to pick out Evans (who else), who took a quality diving catch. The standard of this catch cannot be underestimated - it was a great grab. With the Fox & Nine cameras trained on Clarke, it was left to one of the Gordon parents to capture it on their phone. We’re still sourcing the raw file, but it’ll be up on our site soon.
Stobo gets his chance to bowl to the Australian captain
We then managed to get on a bit of a roll. There were more wickets for myself, Chad had their Pom caught at mid off by “Crunchy Nut” Crawford , and there were also wickets for Evans and Crunchy Nut got in on the act with ball in hand (not for the last time in the weekend). This was a great period for the Stags, and Hound said to me that he could hear one spectator playing the song by Bingo Players- Rattle.
The number 8 was nutmegged by a googly and then my new mystery ball ‘the dobby’ took its first wicket (not counting its hat trick vs “Guzzler” in the nets). Watch this space and when you see the kids I coach cleaning up test cricket with it in ten years’ time, you know where the name came from.
A brief last wicket partnership then came as we also took the new ball- but this was also finished by the man “formerly known as Mulcher”.
Wests were bowled out for 260, a performance the bowlers’ onion were happy with considering what kind of scores we have been seeing at Chatswood this year.
A humble, well-loved Pom, Josh Poysden leaves the field after a strong performance. We're looking forward to the tweets, re-tweets and Facebook likes from his folks back home!
Everyone chipped in and did their part, and it was good to back up such a strong morning football performance. Unfortunately we lost a few quick wickets to finish the day 2/12, but the consensus was if we batted properly we could still chase the score down.
After a trip to the Orchard Tavern, our local, and top-notch feed in Chatswood, it was an early night for all of us (apart from “just casually Bombas” and his new Mrs).
Well done to the Socceroos for beating that famous footballing nation South Korea and winning the Asian Cup. A highlight was the opening goal being scored within warm up football rules, taking two touches and using his third to slot it in the corner.
Bombas picked me up in the morning, it was my long awaited debut in the TaTa. I did wonder about how he has already managed to spill yoghurt on the back seat when he has only had it for such a short space of time though. Thanks for the lift!
Shock me! Another win for the bottom 6 in warm up football to really stamp our authority as the renowned champs.
It was a tough first session for the Stags, despite a brief partnership between Eccles and Evans, with us being 4/65 at one point. Cam got a well-made 30, fresh from his warm weather training camp at the Scone 6s tournament.
This was when Els & Steve ‘brother of the Guzzler’ Colley came together. They really got us back into the game with a nice partnership. Els has been extremely consistent this year and his importance for our team is not to be underestimated. After Els (by the way- congrats on your recent award as third best DJ in first grade – and the second best in your family) was dismissed, “Just Casually” himself came to the crease.
I don’t use this word often in relation to Bombas, but he played a seriously mature innings. He was playing some of his textbook straight drives and was unlucky to keep hitting the fielders. He was patient, and didn’t give anything away.
"Mature" Bombas... surely that's a typo. One thing's for sure, the journalists missed out on some great quotes by not pointing the microphone in his direction
Steve batted beautifully for his 76, and the only reason he didn’t go on to get a hundred was due to a serious catch at first slip. Again, “Buckets” Colley also didn’t give anything away. A highlight was his trademark pull shots. I’m sure anyone who bowls at him at training knows you just can’t bowl short to him.
Buckets was eventually dismissed with still 70 runs to get. These were nervy times, with some “medium-stitious” people getting a bit edgy. However, there was no need to fear, because due to us using a night watchman we had Crunchy Nut Crawf strolling out at number 8.
He and Reece weathered a mild storm and then Tymmy ended it in style, with two 4s and a 6. These two both ended on 50odd red, a just reward for playing such an important innings for us. It’s brilliant to see our middle order firing and this will hold us in great stead.
Tym "Cindy" Crawford... if cricket doesn't work out... it appears "Page 3" in the Telegraph might be a viable alternative
My favourite part of our performance was the fact we are learning- we have spoken a lot about losing wickets in clusters and this was one thing we just did not do. It’s a sign of a good team to learn from their past mistakes, and this does bode well with an important run-in coming up.
With some Carlton fluid refreshments in hand, and some on some people’s heads, the song was sung loudly safe in the knowledge that we are a serious chance to play some finals cricket if we keep working hard and performing like we know we can.
Up the Staggies,
To be honest, without James Kennedy the “bottom six” looked lost in the AAFC (Anti - look for arguments sake I will let the reader fill in the blanks from here) derby at Coogee Oval. At times predictable and one dimensional, “long ball Kennedy” was missed purely for his ability to control the backfield.
Chad Soper - 'cool heads, big hearts'
Steve Colley had his best game for the top 5, managing to score two goals by remarkably dribbling the ball across the goal line twice without having a shot. Most improved this week went to the struggling Reece Bombas who in previous weeks has let panic take control of his game. One of the few sponsored athletes at the Gordon Club, Reece took full advantage of his new “KD” gear and attacked with purpose.
As always, Captain Harold’s post-match football speech or pre-match cricket speech was measured, calm and direct. Harry outlined the plan for the day which always fills the side with confidence. Ed Howitt offered his insight which was crucial followed by an unusually large number of cliches from the rest of the playing group.
Chad Soper was quoted as saying “cool heads, big hearts”. Charlie Stobo remarked “it will be a game of two halves” and Bombas followed with “it will be a game of two halves” in a remarkable echo of Stobo’s sentiments. We crossed immediately to Dan Smith for his reaction, the three words stayed with this reporter… “take it deep”.
How ironic, “take it deep” was the one thing the Gordon batsmen failed to do when chasing RP’s total of 263.
The author is just itching for a chance
Dan Smith opened the attack and bowled with good pace and shape. The wicket, whilst flat, was two paced, which required the quicks to hit a full length on their ‘reg’ deliveries. During his first spell, Smithy claimed the Stags first wicket, a good catch by Reece Bombas at first slip. Afterwards Reece announced that’s where he likes to catch them, low and to his right.
Meanwhile, Stobo was coming to terms with the early swing the white kookaburra offered. It didn't take long for Charlie to settle in and adjust to the conditions. In this reporter’s opinion, it is always a good sign when an athlete can adjust to the conditions whilst in the contest. Charlie proceeded to bowl his 10 overs straight, picking up the valuable wicket of Price, fielding for the remainder of the innings like a gun, all without a migraine.
Chad Soper followed Stobo from the ‘Goodger’ end. Harold set an attacking yet restrictive field and Soper delivered with his length and line. The middle overs were a point in the game the playing group identified needed to improve from last week. The bowling and fielding responded to the call, restricting the hosts to around the 110 mark at 30 overs.
What 1st Grade story is complete without a photo of Harry contributing
Josh Poysden mixed his pace up from the beginning and contributed greatly to restricting RP’s through the middle session. JP’s final figures did not reflect the way he bowled. This season I’ve been in the box seat to watch the “evolution of the mulch”. I feel JP is maturing as a leg spinner; not as a bloke. Certainly last season, our much loved “Dobby” was all about consistent accuracy. At times JP had a tremendous amount of success waiting for batsmen to miss the ball.
This season, first and foremost JP is turning the ball more. Josh is trying to be more proactive in creating ways to get batsmen out rather than skidding onto the pads. Some might argue that is why JP is not having the same amount of success as last season so far, whereas I believe JP is becoming a better bowler for it.
Our final 15 overs was not pretty as RP’s finished with 263. Agreed across the group as 40-50 runs over what we expected to chase.
The lunch break offered a genuine half time show. The majority of the bowling unit plus selected “WAGS” opted for a “Melonhead” beach run. Upon our journey, Chad Soper was left feeling white as he passed 80-90 youngsters browner than him. The real action remained at Coogee Oval though.
Controversy was sparked between Chad’s mates, when one 12 year old girl accused another 13 year old Caucasian girl of posting a photo on instagram #nofilter when clearly Valencia was used. The 13 year old responded by saying I use St Tropez fake tan and half tight lips, what would you know about taking a selfie?
The argument escalated quickly.
The crowd gathered thick and fast on the boundary line. All of a sudden, 80-90 of Chad’s mates hurdled the fence and formed a giant fight circle. One guy was seen to be carrying a trident. The chant started from an older, less mature group of adults “feed-your-self, feed-your-self”, but it was no use.
“Fight, fight, fight” swiftly took over and it was on. From all reports the girls got right into it. Hair pulling, spitting, open handed slaps the lot. Law enforcement moved in quickly and the crowd dispersed.
Josh Poysden, his bowling dissected by the author in this report
Great start by Eccles and Crawford with the stick. Admittedly it took them around 5 over to understand the surface and play shots accordingly. Tym hit some classic shots straight and over cover. He soon opened up the leg side scoring freely through mid-wicket and square leg. Cameron supported him well by ticking the strike over.
The opening platform had been set, we needed the middle order to fire. Steve made a good go if it, although not timing the ball as well as he would have liked, Colley tried his best and as usual his running between the wickets was first class.
Reece and Harry put on a decent partnership and got the chase within sight. Once again, Reece was positive with his footwork to the spinner, bringing back memories of his innings against Mosman in Round 1. The skipper is always up for a challenge and certainly tried his best to get the team in front on the board for the last 10 overs.
As reported by the webmaster on Sunday, the bottom six batted as well as they played football in the warm up.
Tym was the pick of the batters and it was absolutely the right decision for him to open the batting. If we were going to be any chance to chase 263 with large square boundaries we needed a solid start. The fact is our chase lost momentum each time we lost a wicket and by the time Reece and Harry were dismissed the lower order wasn't able to put up a fight as they usually do.
We move on, that’s what cricket is.
Back to the whites and a ball that “supposedly” doesn't swing, although across the competition the white ball run rate has been significantly slower than the two day. Food for thought. (Editor’s note: Unsure about this logic. Doesn't this prove the red ball isn't swinging, if they score quicker in the two day matches?)
Special thanks to all the supporters who ventured out to Coogee. A glorious moment to see the young Abigail Howitt at a Gordon match. Marcus Baghdatis our resident “FOB” (Fresh Off the Boat) was again in fine form cheering the lads on.
Thank you Marcos for being number 1.
The game against the Students is always a match that the Stags look to lift for. With some tight contests in the last few seasons, it was yet again going to be a close encounter at Chatswood Oval. With the Big Bash league taking place in town, Ed Cowan was set to make an appearance down old Chatswood way.
Harry Evans hits out at the top of the innings
However it was noted that the once capped Aussie had forgotten his playing gear, in particular his batting pads as he was preparing to walk out on to the pitch. Who knew what the in-form batsmen would bring out to the middle.
Well we didn’t have to wait long as the Students won the toss and decided to bat on a hard and flat deck. Daniel “animal” Smith has been bowling well of late and after three years has been granted first use of the downward slope from the Southern end. The animal has been missing of late after an extended absence in Europe. It is only now that he is starting to let loose once again. The animal took an early bite at the students by dismissing Faraday in the third over of the day.
James “Mantis” Kennedy started well from the northern end having a few close calls before he ended up losing the use of one of his limbs. A frustrating time of late with injuries forced the Mantis from the field, which meant the coach Ed Howitt Jnr to make his return to the field. How many decades of cricket have you participated in Hoppa?
Poysden looks to use his premier grade experience against the Students
Unfortunately for the Stags being one bowler short against two first class batsmen was not going to be an ideal situation. Scott Henry decided to place pressure on the bowlers lifting the tempo of his game. Cowan was building a comfortable innings down the other end, trying to intimidate our very own first class player Josh “Bendicii” Poysden. However our Pom got the better of Cowan (33) sneaking a leg spinner between bat and pad.
This brought out the crafty Greg Mail who, with Scott Henry, formed a solid partnership that was striking at 6 runs an over in the middle period. Both players gave tough chances throughout their innings and with a bit of luck going our way it could have been a different total scored.
Eventually Henry got his hundred, while Mail was dismissed for 65. Harry “Evans!” Evans and Bendicii bowled well late in the innings. However, a few late strikes over the fence allowed the students to post 285 runs from their 50 overs. A very good score but a total that could be chased down on a good batting wicket.
The Stags got off to a solid start however found it difficult to hit the boundary early on due to some very tight opening bowling. Unfortunately both Cameron “X” Eccles (20) and Steve “Virat” Colley (7) lost their wickets before the score had reached 50.
Not the best of starts but this soon changed with a promising partnership between Evans! and Elliot “Erriott” Richtor. With a loss of concentration from Evans! (61) and the quick departure of Erriott (28) on the same score of 124, the Stags lost a fair bit of momentum in their run chase.
Bombas makes a late charge towards the total
Fortunately Reece “Boom” Bombas and Tym “Roachie” Crawford consolidated the innings by putting on 70 runs between them. Although this was an important partnership for our run chase neither one went on to score a big total. Both Bomber (52) and Roachie (35) lost their wickets consecutively when the score was on 210.
From here it was a tough ask for our lower order to chase 8 runs an over for 10 overs with minimal wickets in hand. Wickets were lost consistently in the final overs with the required run rate climbing to over 10 an over.
The Stags made it to 261 when a run out occurred in the final over of the game. 25 runs short and definitely another match that we will look upon as a possible 6 points that should be going against our name and not the oppositions.
Time will tell whether these tight losses will make a difference come the business end of the competition.
With Christmas around the corner the 1st Graders were keen to finish off the year in style against our rivals up the highway. Charlie Stobo was warmly welcomed for his first grade debut and with his genetic makeup there is no doubt that he will succeed at this level.
Els Richtor is congratulated by SCA Player of Round 6 - Chad Soper
Chatswood was looking the goods and the stage was set for an excellent day of cricket. NDs won the toss and politely asked the mighty Stags to don the colour pads and set a score for them to chase. Glenn has done a great job this year with the Chatswood wickets this year with plenty of runs on offer and games usually going down to the wire late in the day, today seemed that it was going to be similar so a score of 260-300 was going to be key.
Stags tactically lost an early wicket to bring the golden arm to the wicket to continue on his merry way of destroying the confidence of all bowlers in Sydney Grade Cricket.
You'd have to think our skipper is in line for Player of Round 7
For future reports I have included a template for all to use. Feel free to fill in the blanks and alter as appropriate.
“Harry Evans again showed his prowess with the (ball/bat) taking (enter amount of wickets here) and scoring (enter amount of runs here). The (enter poor opposition name here) had the impossible task of taking Evans wicket. Golden Arm took a particular liking to (enter poor bowlers name that will probably end his career soon, I mean what’s the point sometimes) with figures of (enter bowlers figures aka 0/150 off 4 overs) and continued his onslaught for the rest of the innings. With the form that this young man is in I’m sure that he will be picked for (Sixers / Thunder / Blues / Australia / Hall of Fame / Time Magazine’s Sportsman of the Year Award).”
You're welcome future report / biography writers.
We were able to post a very respectful score of 281 with some good contributions from Colley and Bevans with 36 apiece.
Colley did make a handy contribution, looking for runs behind square
With 281 on the board we were quietly confident that we had enough to win the game as long as we bowled with tight line and length and continually take wickets and that’s exactly what happened. Special mention to Charlie on debut with figures of 1/22 off 10 straight overs he really set the tone for the innings and denied any momentum in the Rangers chase.
All bowlers chipped in with a wicket and, paired with our fielding, the points were always staying in Chatswood.
Evans, feeling that he hadn’t quiet done enough for the match, also bowled 10 straight taking 1/44 and Richtor was not going to be ‘out-burgled’ and mopped up the tail taking 4/28 off 7.
We bowled them out for 195 from 49.1 overs.
A couple of notable mentions for the day.
• Most amount of squirrel grips in use in a 1st Grade game
• Evans was out burgled
• Someone other than Reece carried the team to victory. Thank god for this I was worried his shoulders were getting a little tired and his posture was not looking well.
• First time 12 people named Gordon were seen playing on one cricket field. Previous record was 11 in a game held in Brisbane.
Only one wicket skipper - But a well-deserved salute with the willow
Coast Committee met again on the Friday night, with some new developments: Kris and Jack were made to finally sort their act out and get the ‘draw’ done. One job. How hard.
Football took place in the warm up and it was an absolute thriller- a last minute goal from the top 5 equalizing to leave it at one all.
The plan for the day was clear: wrap up the 6 points early doors and crack on to try and present ourselves with an opportunity for an outright. The boys got off to a bang; Smithy taking a pole in the first over. This just set the tone for the whole day, with the Warriors being bowled out for 78, a long way adrift from our first innings 226. ‘JK’ Kennedy and Smithy finished with 4 each, with 1 apiece for Chad and the author.
Dan Smith captured 4 wickets, as did JK, in Blacktown's first innings of 78
Unsurprisingly, Evans! enforced the follow on and sent them straight back in. The Warriors came out swinging and managed to get to 62 before we got a wicket just before lunch. There was a #gamechanger moment at lunch, with ‘Buckets’ Colley having an inspired moment to put the lashes in the freezer, to help motivate the boys for the remaining two sessions.
After a Subway was enjoyed by most (apart from the batters who just filled their boots with chicken and chips) we were back out. A JK bouncer bought us our second wicket, with 3, 4 and 5 coming in quick succession. Fair to say that the cricket gods were out in full force. These all fell to the little superstar Chadley.
Two brief partnerships followed- with the boys being patient and knowing that if we dug in we still had a great chance. After a few more wickets, Blacktown found themselves at 8-230, a lead of 80 and around 25 overs left in the day.
Chad then found a crucial breakthrough. This meant Chad now had a 6fa, a massively deserved reward for one of the hardest working members of our team. His efforts every week do not go unnoticed and is someone who everyone loves it when he does well. Looking forward to him celebrating his haul at the Beery next week with some schooners on his head.
When the author picked up the final wicket this meant that we were set 117 from 16 overs for a big win.
Chad Soper took 6 wickets in Blacktown second innings
Tym ‘Roachy’ Crawford was put up the order to give it a whack as only he does. He and Eccles got us off to a great start and this just carried on. Between them they scored freely until Cam was removed and Evans! came in. Tymmy continued to whack them as the boys in the shed got more and more giddy as the realisation of what we were about to do hit home.
Tym finished with a boundary to take us over the line with 2 overs to spare and Tymmy himself finished on 74 off only 50 rocks. It is exciting to think how Tymmy could go in the upcoming one dayers, and in the bigger picture how he can whack them in future years for the Staggies. I haven’t seen anyone else in the comp this year hit them as clean as he does.
This win was massive for the boys- this took us from 15th to 8th and so now we are in contention for a top 6 spot. The one dayers coming up will be a vital period for us. Our challenge is to prepare ourselves to perform and get a method in one day cricket. It is important we work hard this week to give ourselves the best possible chance to do this.
One of the most pleasing things about this game was the way it was a real team effort; all the bowlers chipped in and, similarly with the batting, Tym and Els led the way. Too much in recent years we have relied on the same bloke, so it was great to see everyone chipping in even when the great man Evans! doesn’t score a big hundred.
Tym Crawford scored a quickfire 74 to lead Gordon's chase to victory
The win was celebrated properly, the lashes went down like an absolute treat. Various team members went and had dinner and some beers, Evans! went off to Hamish Angus’s wedding (congrats mate) and off course Bombas went and had some cheese and wine on the bonnet of his TaTa.
Special moment also goes to Crosy for his hundred in 3s. He and his family are so kind to put me up and I will always be thankful to them!!
Up the Staggies
Pom (Josh Poysden)
After a productive ‘Coast Committee’ meeting on the Friday night, the 1st Grade Gordons arrived at Chatswood Oval in high spirits. Refreshed after a short break from the great game, there were a number of questions on our mind. Will the wicket be ok after all the rain? Is it going to storm later? What does the day entail? Are you scared?
This was far too good a photo not to lead with - James Kennedy's cover drive
There was a new addition to the warm up this week, after a successful trial the week before at a middle practice, football (yes football, not soccer) was introduced. Top 5 played Bottom 6, and I’m pleased to say that Bottom 6 produced the goods and won. Stand out performers were James ‘Leighton Baines’ Kennedy (more on him later), and Tym ‘Roachy’ Crawford (also more on him later).
Evans! proceeded to lose the toss and we were sent in on a wicket that was slightly soft with a bit of grass on it, but on the whole didn’t look too bad. We agreed this wasn’t the end of the world, and although the new ball may be difficult, once we got through this period we should be ok. It is Chatswood after all.
Tym Crawford rocks onto the back foot to dispatch the Warriors bowlers
However, this was not to be the case, with Eccles, Beverley, Colley, Evans!, and Bombas all back in the hutch for only 50 runs as the ball moved around.
Erriot Richtor and Tym came together and produced a partnership just when we needed one. They both made the wicket look a lot easier to bat on as they each helped themselves to a 50. This was just another highlight in Tyms ‘perfect day’. Not only did he perform well in football, scored a 50 and also later fielded well, but it all ‘happened’ later in the night. Some would say he was mad(dy) for it.
Els batted particularly well for his 68 and it is great news for our side that he is performing consistently. He really seems to know his game now, and it is very enjoyable to watch him pile them on.
Richtor looked comfortable out there in the middle, despite the lack of support from the top order
However we lost both of them in very short succession, which was a real shame as losing wickets in clusters is an area that we have highlighted to improve on as a side. A few more quick wickets fell, and the last pair managed to keep Blacktown out in the dirt for an extra hour, which helped to gain us some valuable momentum. This helped us get up to 226. JK batted really nicely again, he is always improving as a batter and anyone who looks at his stats from the last few years would agree with this.
JK copped a bit during his innings- and this just stirred him up. A combination of anger and some ‘pent up frustration’ from having a long distance girlfriend meant that the big man was fired up and was about to unleash all over Blacktown- a storm was brewing.
Richtor acknowledges the crowd as he reaches 50
A change of ends with ‘The Hound’ Dan Smith meant that JK was running in from the Colley Tower end and with the wind (and the well wined Stag Old Boys) behind him, he found a rhythm. He galloped in as if he was on the home straight at the Melbourne Cup, and after his first 5 overs his figures were 5 overs, 5 maidens, no runs and 4 wickets. This is not something you would expect to read about. He was snicking people off, hitting people on the toes, bowling quick in swingers combined with bouncers that really unsettled the Blacktown top order.
It felt like there could be a wicket every ball. After not much luck this year, JK really deserved a haul like this- hopefully he can get to a 5fa next week for a beer and chorizo on his head. I’m sure he will also be rewarded with his accessory for coast night.
We wanted to get a photo of JK bowling... but getting one of Josh batting was much better... next week JK... if you get 5!
At the other end The Hound also bowled beautifully, himself putting another batter back in the kennel. And just to finish the day off, Chad got us a 6th wicket, sending one of the opposition home. A great opportunity for 6 points next week. Good luck to the rest of the club for day 2, and thanks goes to the old boys for their support. It was nice to have a beer with Jammer after the game, and make the most of seeing his face in the sheds before Tiddles removes his photo.
Josh 'Pom' Poysden
The 1st Graders came back to Chatswood knowing if we batted the 96 overs we could chase the 387 runs required to win. With the Lions declaring before the start of play, openers Cam Eccles and Iain (Bevo) Beverley went out to face the Fairfield attack.
Bevo sets a solid platform along with Cam Eccles
Bevo and Cam started well, dispatching many deliveries to the boundary. Unfortunately, with 20 minutes until the lunch break Bevo was given out LBW for a well-made 40 in a partnership of 92.
Cam was out shortly after the resumption, caught at fine leg for 65. He was disappointed to get out knowing a big hundred was on the cards. Steve (Buck) Colley followed Cam, chopping on for 10 with the score on 175. Elliot Richtor and Harry (H) Evans were looking to bat until the tea break but unfortunately Elliot was caught and bowled, and Reece (Toucan) Bombas came and went before the tea break. With the score at 5-240, the game was in the balance.
Tym (the Pest) Crawford and Harry continued after the break with “H” batting ‘bootifully’, continuing his fine form from the Manly game. It was looking like he would score another first grade hundred, but on 99 he chipped one to short mid-wicket.
Chad Soper tries to get the side across the line with the rest of the lower order
He was unfortunate to not to reach ‘three figures’ but it was another good captain’s knock.
Tym fell the next over with the score on 280 and suddenly Fairfield were on top. Cricket is a funny game, and there can be multiple twists in the tail.
Dan (Greyhound) Smith and Chad (Sop) Soper formed a partnership and were looking like they would get the side home. But with the required run rate at 7 per over, Dan was forced into a false shot and was bowled for 45. James (JK) Kennedy fell the next ball and suddenly the side was 9-347.
Being 9 wickets down, most would think we would bat for the draw but Chad and Josh (Mulcher) Poysden had other ideas. They were playing aggressive cricket and going for the win.
"The Pest" Crawford punches one down the ground
They backed themselves to get there but Josh was caught playing one big shot too many, and we were bowled out for 369 with Chad being 37*.
It would have been good sneak home. But the result came down to our poor fielding performance in the third session last week and the fact we lost many wickets in clumps this week.
If someone got a big hundred it probably would have got us home, but positives can be taken from our batting this season. We have posted over 330 in three of the four games this season. We will be looking to bounce back and bag the points against the Tigers next weekend.
The Second Grade team plays for The Albert Cup over 15 rounds of competition matches.
All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and young higher grade aspirants. Points for all wins go to the club championship.
Second Grade match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
The 2nd Grade team arrived on Day 1 of Round 14 at Howell Oval to taken on Penrith, once again aiming to provide a solid performance that would reassure the selectors of the talent and potential of Gordon’s youth.
Jack Colley looks to make the most of a hard pitch
The crisp morning atmosphere was bursting with stereotypical ‘Penrif’ themes –numerous V8s on the surrounding roads, a slight blaring of a siren, fast food joints nearby, and – of course – a rock hard pitch that would become our nemesis for the remainder of Day 1.
Having lost the toss (again), the Gordon youth were once again forced to bowl first. With high hopes, the opening attack was seeking early poles and possibly even a bit of movement off the pitch.
Cubbage and Newman on Day 2 take the attack to the Penrith bowlers
The latter, however, was not to be found. Stickland broke through early, but partnerships formed throughout the day that would prove hard to break.
The Penrith line up seemed to have been practicing their French cuts throughout the season, as a number of balls came close to hitting the stumps. Alas, a fine performance from the opposition number 4 (174*) resulted in a mass of runs being compiled throughout the day, with a sprinkle of wickets here and there. Adam “Nathan Cabbage” Cubbage grabbed 3 for the day, and Stickland 2 wickets as well.
Skilbeck looks to contain the Panthers batting line up on a particularly good track
A Penrith total of 381 seemed daunting having fielded for 96 overs, but with the wicket as good as it was, the total was definitely gettable(!) with the right persistence.
A note must be made, however, of the poor fielding standards of the Gordon youth, which aided the Penrith side to scoring nearly 10 and over for the last session. A flat wicket, drop catches, missed opportunities, and one extremely good batting performance seems to sum up the day nicely. Bring on Day 2.
It brings a tear to our eyes to have this caught on film - Charlie Stobo in the pads
I think it was Charles Dickens who wrote “optimism and positivity is key for chasing big totals,” and 6 points were not out of reach for the “Youth” on Day 2 if they heeded Dickens’ advice. After the bottom order’s annihilation of the top 5 during the warm up game of fielding soccer – including a ridiculously good front flip goal from Skilbeck – the batsmen began the chase.
Skilly and Yours Truly also set about the weekly crossword, but were stuck on damn 20 down not long before lunch. Newly appointed opener Darren J flew under the radar as per usual, but fell for 10 as small partnerships were formed, but were not maintained. Spratt compiled a classy 46, which ended up being the highest score as the “Youth” were bowled out for 182 after 64 overs.
In his natural environment, Stobo keeps that seam bolt upright
However, as a result Penrith’s need for 10 points to make any chance of finals, their captain decided to forfeit their second innings, leaving us 200 runs to get with 34 overs remaining in the day – a cracking shot at the ol’ reverse outright win.
So, with nothing to lose, the Youth’s batsmen set about doing their thing. Shakespeare’s ‘positivity’ must have only just hit home with our batsmen, as Spratt and Liam “McElmuscles” McElduff absolutely destroyed the Penrith opening attack. The Youth were sitting on 50 or so runs after only 3 overs, and the carnage continued until Spratt was caught on 29 off 15.
The aggressive nature of Liam McElduff, capitalising on his chances in the 2nd dig
Liam continued to bat positively while being supported by Superstar Cahlin (36). He reached 50 but was cruelly run out by a deflection from a Colley straight-drive soon after. Probably the only thing Jack has middled all season. Liam’s well made 62 included powerful stroke-play and the attitude that he should go out and play with every time he bats. Bravo.
Skipper Newman and Cubbage formed another partnership, and when Max fell for 23 Nick “McSurf” McMuffay cooly arrived at the crease while Cubby hit the winning runs to secure 6 points for the Youth.
Watching, waiting, anticipating - anything yet boys?
A number of things can be taken from both days of round 14 – one of those being the potential carnage that the young batting line up can produce in the future. A little risky and unnecessary at times, sure, but definitely an attitude that can produce a stable foundation for the bowlers in the future.
Cubbage and Newman look for a second
The 2nd Grade team arrived to a picturesque Chatswood Oval to take on Parramatta. The batsmen knew it was time to put their hand up and support the bowlers who have been putting in a great deal of effort throughout the season.
Blaize continues to take poles and make runs in 2nd Grade
Tai Chi enthusiast Anand Verma was keen to embrace us on the ‘Water’ concept, which involved harnessing the mind to produce ‘fluid-like’ movements. Could this be the key to the batsmen’s success?
Gordon unfortunately lost the toss and bowled first on a wicket that offered some assistance. Erratic bowling didn’t help the cause as Parramatta got off to a healthy start at 0-84 off 13. Adam Cubbage managed to break the partnership with Dan Stickland taking the catch. A run out by Darren commenced a string of wickets by Jack Skilbeck and Blaize Irving-Holliday.
Skilly and Blazie bowled particularly well, beating the bat on several occasions. A steady partnership in the middle brought Parramatta’s score to 7-176. As they have done all season, the bowlers managed to clean up the tail and force Parramatta to a score of 224.
Tom Carruthers looks back to the crowd of supporters as he reaches 50
Special mention goes to Chris Spratt who took a blinder of a catch and Blaize for finishing up with figures of 4 – 51.
With a wicket falling early, Gordon didn’t get off to the best of starts. Axel Cahlin and Tom Carruthers endeavoured to rectify this by keeping patient and waiting on the bad ball. Ax was unlucky to be dismissed off a good ball that brought the score to 2 – 25. This score quickly turned to 4 – 61.
Despite the constant chat and tight bowling from the Parra boys, Darren and Tom managed to see out the day at 4 -99. Tom batted very well and showed a great deal of maturity for his 50.
Blaize takes the Eels to task with the willow
He was able to rotate the strike well and preserve his wicket in a solid fashion, a task that hasn’t been achieved by a top order batsman for a while in 2nd Grade.
On Day 2 (Valentine’s Day), the boys were keen to reach the Parramatta total as soon as possible to maximise the time getting ready and looking fresh for their inevitable dates in the night (Liam McElduff). After their efforts in the previous week, Darren and Tom (54) were dismissed early on and with the score at 6-104 a big partnership was required.
Captain Max Newman (37) and Blaize (76) both put their hand up and showed everyone how to do it. A 123 run partnership brought us home in the end with both Max and Blazie dispatching the Parramatta bowling attack.
Parramatta batted briefly, however the game was called off after 13 overs before tea.
Max Newman plays second fiddle to Blaize as they mow down the Eels
Special mention must also go to myself for bringing quality tea and to Tom Carruthers for buying roses for Valentine’s Day and showing them off to all the boys.
Congrats to the boys for a fine win!
It was a case of another week, another improbable comeback that came ridiculously close to being pulled off for Gordon’s reserve grade. Two weeks running 2nd Grade have bowled themselves into a great position to then have the top order collapse and be well behind the game.
He might be having a blinder of a season... but we know he's only in it for the Fantasy League points -- Blaize Irving-Holiday
Both times the opposition has been so far ahead that they were cruising but the belligerent Stags’ lower order has made more than a few hearts palpitate as they have brought Gordon to the edge of victory only to fall agonisingly short.
Bowl them out cheaply and then get bowled out for less is not a new trend this season and after being spoilt with a batting line-up featuring the likes of the mercurial Packman, the dependable Lewis, the rampaging Rosen and the talented Bombas, this reporter could have been excused for thinking, bowl your heart out, put your feet up then sing the song was what happened in Gordon 2nd Grade.
This year, that has not been the case. I feel sorry for the skipper, who for his extensive vocabulary, has run out of new ways to say ‘We need to stop being 5 for nothing’.
On to the game.
We arrived at Pratten Park and waited patiently on the cold dewy grass to be given the code to the change rooms. There was an aura of hope in the sheds this day, it was palpable. 6 points and a song, it had been so long now. At least that was the case for this reporter anyway, who needed to think back to Round 3 against Manly to remember his last song.
Max ‘Big Show’ Newman lost the toss and Wests elected to bat on a superb batting track.
The going was slow early for Wests as the opening combination of Stickland (10-0-1-43) and Blaize ‘Everything I touch turns to gold’ Irving-Holliday (10-3-3-20) started with all the accuracy of a special forces sniper. In fact, Blaize was into his fifth over before a misfield (we won’t name names) let through his first run.
Skilbeck (10-1-2-49) came into the attack with immediate effect, castling their opener, but Wests built nicely in the face of sustained pressure from the bowlers to be 1-83. Verma (10-0-0-43) bowled well without luck and helped to control the run rate but the game swung open again when Cubbage (10-0-3-41) and Blaize took 4-30 between them to reduce Wests to 5-113. From there, Wests built to 9/202 off their allotted 50.
Another very chaseable score. While there were no demons in the pitch, this reporter was more worried about what demons might be in the heads of the top order after what has been a tough year. As was the norm, Gordon started well. The ball found the middle of the bat and it felt like anything was possible.
When Tom ‘Do you even lift’ Carruthers was dismissed on 6, the wheels as they so often have, fell off the Gordon innings. Axel struggled to find his usual consistency and was sharply stumped after a good bit of bowling from experienced 1st grade offie, Barber.
Liam McElduff held the innings together with a gritty 25 but hit one back to the bowler to be dismissed caught and bowled. Spratt (22) showed great courage and took a stand for the batsmen, backing his ability and scoring freely but was dismissed in comical fashion taking off for a single when the ball was 2 metres from the keeper. Darren and Max both departed cheaply and before you knew it, Gordon were 6 for less than one hundred*.
Cubbage and Irving-Holliday both strode to the crease but struggled for fluency early. As they built their innings the runs started to come and the rate at which they came started to increase. They batted sensibly and picked up the ones while finding the boundary. Cubbage fell for a well-made 33 but this was the partnership that started to change the game and I would love to tell you how much it was worth**.
In strode Verma and the runs continued to flow. Verma did a good job of finding the one and giving Blaize the strike. Blaize, who had found another gear, was doing everything short of playing the ramp shot and finding the gaps to plunder boundary after boundary. Gordon were doing what it took to make the 12 an over they required for the last five overs and there was definite concern written on the faces of the Wests’ players and supporters and with each over the hope returned to the Gordon dugout.
After an unfortunate mix up, Verma was runout, leaving Gordon 8 down with work to do but Skilbeck came in and did his job of finding the one perfectly. From out of nowhere, it had come down to 18 off the last 6 balls with Blaize on strike.
First ball, two down the ground (16 off 5 required). Second ball, single (15 off 4).
Third ball, Skilly caught at mid-on (it’s okay they crossed. 15 off 3 but Blaize on strike).
Now the fourth ball is where the game opened wide up again. Blaize had already cleared the straight boundary twice in the last over and managed to do so once more now. The bowler came in, Blaize moved back deep into his crease and whack! With all the power of an independent MP in a hung parliament, Blaize cleared the long Pratten mid wicket boundary and then some.
However 18 off the last over proved too much as only one run could be mustered off the last two balls and for the second week running the Stags finished 8 runs short (9/194) of their allotted 50.
Special mention must go to Blaize Irving-Holliday who ended with an absolutely amazing 74 (72) which included 4 fours and 4 sixes. Add this to his phenomenal figures of 3-20 off his 10 overs and it is plain to see that he is a player with that ‘X’ factor that can win you games with the bat or the ball.
His season stats in 2nd Grade reflect this, where his batting average is just shy of 48 and his bowling average under 20. I’ve also been told that his fan club is growing exponentially and is expected to be on par with Axel Cahlin’s in coming weeks.
In summary, a great bowling display, a dismal top order showing, the lower order almost finds a way. Blaize is a champion. About business as usual for second grade.
*There was no fall of wicket information for the Gordon innings (probably because it was too embarrassing to enter in the system) so this is my best guess.
Despite a solid dusting up at the hands of Sydney Uni the previous week, the 2s were nevertheless confident ahead of our game against Randy-Petes.
We welcomed back Cubby (or ‘Andrew’, as he is known to former-teacher-turned-umpire Gary) from his extended Christmas break and he brought with him tales of African safaris, wine-tasting and street muggings.
Blaize tries to get the boys across the line after earlier bowling well
The opposition skipper won the toss and elected to bat on a flat-ish looking wicket that had a good covering of grass. We were happy to bowl first; we’ve done so in each of our one-dayers this year and taken 10 wickets on all but one occasion (we took 8 wickets at NDs).
The openers got RPs off to a good start, batting positively despite the early swing. Attention soon turned skywards in search of some relief from the punishing morning heat. ‘Spot-the-cloud’ has become a popular pastime on the field in recent weeks. Anand alleges he found one at Sydney Uni, but the wispy creature must have evaporated before anyone else in the team could spot it. Anyhow, we were playing beneath a solid blue canvas for the third week running – quite remarkable considering how much mid-week rain there has been since Christmas.
The introduction of Jack Skilbeck brought immediate success. His first spell of seven overs changed the game, picking up 3 wickets with some fine outswing bowling. He would later return to claim a 4th scalp. Skilly was ably supported by Anand who bowled a disciplined line and was rewarded with the wicket of their attacking opener.
Carruthers looks to put a dent in the Randy-Petes total
Also of note, Liam doubled his season tally of catches within about 20 minutes, taking the first three catches in three different fielding positions!
The Stags were on top for the rest of Randwick’s innings. Catches were held, balls were stopped, good balls were bowled, wides were not. We knocked them over for 170 in the 48th over, clearly a below-par total despite the at times unpredictable nature of the wicket.
As has been our undoing throughout the season, we struggled with the bat. Some poor shots were played against a disciplined Petersham attack, and a loss was inevitable.
Blaize, ably supported by Cubby and the Verm, got us remarkably close to the target with his enigmatic yet effective style at the crease. In the end we fell 7 runs short, but the bowlers certainly can’t be blamed for not getting us over the line.
Skilly changes the game with his first spell, and ends up with 4
It was the top order’s responsibility to lay a strong platform for this average-sized chase and bring the team a deserved win.
The boys know that application at the crease and understanding the match situation is paramount, and it is something that all the batsmen are working on in their first season of higher-grades cricket. With determination and concentration, we will see an improvement in this department, and we have another chance to do so next weekend against another lower-table side.
Full credit to the bowlers though, they were outstanding on Saturday and did all they could to get us a win.
The Bears. The true rivalry round!
My favourite quote of the season so far was during the previous round by Crossland when someone posed the question. "Why is this the rivalry round? There's been no animosity shown between us or [the Rangers]." Take it away Crossy… "because we all can't play North Sydney at once."
We seemed to be missing a photo of Blaize. So here's one of Dan Stickland instead
There were legitimate ‘lolz’ being thrown around after that and I thank him for it.
The only animosity I hold for ND's is due to the fact they're the only team I haven't beaten, not due to their on-field behaviour. The same cannot be said for North Sydney Bears, living in Darlinghurst the word "Bear" means something else entirely.
We rocked up to Chatswood Oval eager to try and get post-Christmas season off to a good start and try to use the muggy and humid conditions to work off some of the fat that we (I) had accumulated from too much wine and cake over the break.
During the warm up we were treated to a fantastic display of physical strength as we saw a 70 year old Chinese man hold a hand stand (apparently he's called handstand man) for about 5 minutes. This could only be a good luck charm.
Max ‘The Big Show’ Newman , won the toss and decided to bowl on a deck which looked a lot greener than it has done in previous rounds - a good toss to win.
Keeping his head still, Carruthers punches one over the top of slips
Blaize and ‘Skillzorz’ Skilbeck opened up the bowling with success early from Skilly and Blaize keeping it tight from his end. The new ball swung and was doing the occasional shenanigan off the wicket to keep everyone interested.
Although Skilly struck early, from what seemed to be more of a brain hemmorage than a fart from the opening batsman, Stickland was brought on and was given a go with what was still a very new ball. He did not waste his chance either with a very sharp bouncer catching the other opener off guard and gloving it straight back to him with what became a very simple caught and bowled. One of many examples where bowling in partnerships is key to getting wickets.
Blaize finished his first spell with 0/8 off 5 and Scott "Scoobs" O'Brien was brought on for his debut 2nd grade match. Scott bowled brilliantly, I know a great big pile of nothing when it comes to leg spin but he did well. Bowling tight lines, he didn't give the batsmen any loose balls and picked up two wickets. One being a straightforward catch by Sticky - he'll say it was a hard catch by having to run in from the boundry and dive forwards catching it just before the ball hit the ground – but take it from me though, it was simple. The second being a sharp catch Darren "A.K.A Tax Return A.K.A Doctors Certificate A.K.A Double Deductions" Jayasekera at first slip. Scott finished with figures of 2/25 off 10.
Nick Miller was welcomed back into 2nd Grade by picking up a wicket with his first legal delivery. It seems that if there is any life/demons/movement in the pitch, Nicky Miller will find it almost immediately, much to the chagrin of the batsmen and much to the delight of his teammates.
Newman! Talk about coming of age. Or leading from the front. The skipper stands tall.
It got quite boring rather quickly as North Sydney were struggling to score from tight bowling and good fielding and by good fielding I mean the batsmen were hitting the balls straight to the fieldsmen. When they eventually did find gaps we chased hard and stopped quite a few runs so although some would say we were quiet in the field, we were still focused and willing. I can't remember what happened in too much detail as I'm getting old (second oldest front line seamer in the club now...not happy) but we bowled the fat hairy bears out for 179. Very good bowling from everyone.
Skilly did an excellent job fighting back from a less than ideal start and finished with 2 wickets. Sticky bowled very well finishing with a well-deserved 3 for not many. Nicky Miller finished with a cheeky 2 wickets and Blaize got a runout. although it doesn't come up on the wicket tally it still counts in fantasy league, which is what really matters.
Throughout the course of North Sydney's innings, they seemed fine, no one really said anything untoward, there didn't feel to be any animosity between both teams. Having left North Sydney like a bad break up, I have as much of a reason to harshly dislike this club as anyone, but after their innings I was left feeling like they weren't so bad and maybe people just like giving them a hard time.
Skilbeck makes a difference for his side at the top of the innings
When we came out to bat though, we were all quickly reminded about their true nature, relentless sledging and inane banter/chat, over appealing and pressure appealing, abusing fieldsmen for making mistakes etc.
In spite of the happenings around them, McElduff and ‘TC’ Carruthers made a quick start thanks to good stroke play and generous bowling from their openers. Being 0/58 after about 10 or 12 or so things were looking easy breezy beautiful cover girl, but like in all good movies there is no tension without drama and we proceeded to lose 4 quick wickets for not above 85 or thereabouts.
The Big Show came in and set about steadying the ship which he did very well. After Spratty got out chopping on, Nicky Miller came out and looked set to take the innings home with Maxi. Things were looking good until Nick was bowled a ball that seemed to nip back off the deck.
Blaize came in at his newly appointed 8 spot and looked to take things home with Max to seal the win, unfortunately he decided to punch one straight to cover on 4. Scott came in at 9 and looked pretty solid, with about 40 runs to get and overs not an issue, he and Max set about patiently chasing the total down.
Looking [pretty] solid. Blaize reflects on Scott's lower order batting.
They did this through good running between the wickets, keeping out the good balls and punishing the bad. You couldn't ask for a much better start to your 2nd grade debut without getting greedy.
With the scores tied, Max decided to give North Sydney one last middle finger and punish a ball over cover for 6 while also bringing up a well deserved 50 and Scott finishing on 21 not out.
A nervy finish chasing a below par score but we got there in the end and thank god we got there against North Sydney.
Up and Stags and if you're that way inclined, up the "Bears".
2nd Grade was greeted at Mark Taylor Oval by a very flat looking pitch, Max lost the toss and we were asked to bowl. Blaize (1/36 off 10) and Skilly (1/36 off 9) stared proceedings exceptionally well bowling tight lines and not letting NDs get any momentum.
That's a good crop of hair Anand is maintaining. And a nice allotment of wickets as well!
This continued throughout the innings with Stickland 1/22 off 10, Cubbage 2/46 off 9 and Anand continuing his great form with the ball taking 3/32 off his allotment. After 50 over’s NDs finished 9/185. A fantastic effort by the bowlers, also not conceding one wide down the leg side or a single no ball! Hoppa’s yelling is paying off!
Heading into the batting side we were very confident that we could chase this down and it was very much looking like we would, with Carruthers (20) and Mcelduff (17) getting us off to a solid start. Cahlin (69) then joined Macca and made batting look easy, hitting the NDs attack to all parts of the oval.
This young man, Cahlin, is currently in a purple patch of form. Keep it up!
At 1/103 it was looking like we would canter home but then that quickly changed to 5/122 and even quicker 7/135. The NDs bowlers squeezed the life out of our chase on a slowing pitch. Blaize (30*) gave the score some creditability and even gave us an outside chance of winning with 16 off the final over needed.
Alas, we were bowled out for 173. A disappointing loss, after getting ourselves into a position to win the game. Hopefully this break will give the batters time to clear the minds and come back in the new year firing.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the club and all supporters out there.
2nd Grade rocked up to Blacktown after the hour’s drive west to get to the ground. It’s undoubtedly the case that some of our younger, more sheltered, team members were surprised to find that people actually live further west than Newtown.
Not sure if the photographers made it out there this week... so here is Anand earlier
With the amount of rain that had poured down over the past couple of weeks we were surprised to see a wicket that didn’t look like you needed gum boots to walk on it. What we did see was a solid wicket, decent pace, decent bounce, no real demons, nothing the seamers would have been licking their lips over but certainly wouldn’t have been turning our noses up at it either.
In the words of my favourite cricket commentator, Danny Morrison: The Stags have won the toss…and they’re gonna have a boooowwwl.
Charlie and Jack started off the innings picking up a wicket each in their first spells, Charlie removing the left handed opener slashing outside off and Jack bowling the Cricket Superstar contestant after he tried to hoick him over mid on. With the score at 2/20, we were very much in the driver’s seat and things were looking good. Blaize took two quick wickets to have the score at 4/40 odd.
What happened next was quite bizarre; Anand took four wickets (that’s not the bizarre bit), Cubby bowled very tightly for his 5 overs and two run outs occurred in short succession to have Blacktown all out for 81 in 34 overs.
Cubby performed with bat and ball
Looking at the score you would think that the bowlers bowled the house down, this was not the case. Everyone bowled well without being spectacular just every chance that was given to us we took, every loose shot they played either found an edge which found someone behind the stumps or found their way to a fieldsman.
We went back into the sheds feeling confident as you would expect and thinking that an outright win was all but a formality. I’ve heard the phrase “you wouldn’t read about it” thrown around quite a bit recently but what happened next you really wouldn’t read about, not in a Sydney Grade Cricket scoresheet anyway.
Barring Darren’s 24 I don’t think anyone else hit double figures; if they did, I certainly don’t think they’d be bragging about it. Like a trauma patient, I can’t quite recall what happened in detail but there was a top, middle and lower order collapse and we were bowled out for 50… chasing 80.
Big bad Blaize tells it as he sees it
It was certainly a combination of things, I think we went out over confident, one bowler had the spell of his life and before we knew what to do with ourselves we were 5 down. After the last wicket fell, the umpires called time due to impending thunder storms.
The next week we were to play 120 overs which meant we had to get there at 8:00. The day’s performance is still a bit raw so I’ll keep it short. Charlie picked up Cricket Superstar on the first ball of the day, two injuries occurred to their top order batsmen, the wicket was such that once a few overs had been bowled it was very hard for the seamers to get any solid footing on the front crease which meant the spinners did the bulk of the work which apart from the odd loose ball they bowled very tightly.
Anand picked up 4 wickets to end up with 8 for the match and Cubby picked up 2 but certainly deserved more. After 67 overs and a lot of luck Blacktown left us with 240 to chase in 53 overs.
Very achievable on that wicket and with our batting line up.
T’was not to be as we fell to 3/20, then 5/50 pretty much meant our chances of collecting 6 points were all but gone. We finished the day at 7/150, the two highlights of our innings was Darren’s 20 odd and Cubby’s 49. Both batted well, Darren, I thought, was unlucky to get out LBW and so was Cubby - the Umpire could have at least let him raise his bat first.
Darren has been in good form over the first part of the season
I will say this, for a team that basically had us dead to rights for most of the game they played in a very unsportsmanlike manner. I’m all for sledging to either release built up tension or if it’s a tight game and you either need to fire yourself up or try and get underneath the oppositions skin, but to sledge the opposition when you’re dominating the game was just not necessary. There is a lot more I’d like to say on this matter but I’ll save it for when we play them next time.
To sum up this match in a word: Frustrating.
The young Gordon 2nd Grade team arrived at a sunny Rosedale Oval for Round 4 against Fairfield Liverpool, with high spirits off the back of a great win against Manly the week before. With many of the boys not having played at Rosedale, we were impressed by both the quality of the outfield and its sheer size; any total set on this ground would involve a lot of running between wickets.
The author, Charlie Stobo, continues to make inroads
Skipper Max Newman won the toss and elected to bat on a flat, glossy wicket that looked to offer consistent pace and bounce.
King McElduff and newly appointed opener Jack “Fielding Yips” Colley strode out to bat, and I was confident that Colley had worked hard enough on his defence throughout the week not to miss another straight one (touch wood).
The pair got off to a solid start, turning the strike over and managing to hit a bit of shine off the new ball. With the score on 40, Jack was caught (I was silently pleased that at least he got bat on ball this time) and the King followed soon after having compiled a steady 25.
Max Newman keeps his eye on the ball
Axel Cahlin, who is simply amazing, also managed a start before being trapped in front for 24 – I know Spratty shed a few tears for his fallen idol.
Darren “Oi don’t you reckon that Anil Kumble flew under the radar as an international cricketer?” Jayesakera did indeed fly well under the radar in his innings of 11 , and two more wickets fell soon after as the Stags collapsed to be 6-89.
However, some smart and controlled batting from Max Newman (47), aided by Charlie Stobo (18) and ‘4:20’ Blaize Irving-Holiday (11) allowed the Stags to present a reasonable total of 199 in the first innings.
Credit to the skipper again for exemplifying the patience and control that is needed on a pitch like that one. With the same application from our middle and top order a mountain of runs will follow for the 2nd Grade batting line up in the near future.
So, with a total of 199 on the board, the Stags looked to snag a few early poles in the remaining 20 or so overs of play on day 1. After a bit of confusion as to who was taking the first over, I respectfully allowed Blaize to open up down wind, in the hope that the Blaize Irving-Holiday we all love and cherish would rip through the opening pair with a torrent of bitter curse words muttered under his breath, or in some cases, said directly to the batsman’s face.
Cubbage is making the most of his opportunities
Charlie Stobo and his moustache managed to grab two cheeky wickets caught by the skipper and Spratty’s favourite player (Cahlin), while 2nd grade debutant Daniel “Skilbeck” Stickland took the 3rd for the afternoon. Thus, at the end of Day 1, Gordon were in a reasonable position with Fairfield standing at 3-79.
I was glad to arrive at Rosedale for the second day with a nice cool breeze and overcast conditions that favoured the bowling side that day. With two fresh batsmen at the crease, we were confident we could take 7 wickets and tie up the victory.
Fun fact: No bowler in history has won India more test matches than Anil Kumble. Darren?
The opposition batsmen started steadily, and formed a handy partnership that could have been dangerous for the Stags. However, the first wicket of the day fell with the score on 129, and then a steady stream of wickets continued into the second session. Blaize, Stobo and Stickland bowled good channels and lengths, and the opposition were finding it hard to score runs freely.
Big bad Blaize ensures Charlie works up into the wind
It became apparent that the game would be a close one, as the opposition slumped to 9-190, a tantalising 10 runs short of victory. Adam Cubbage was bowling extremely well (much like Anil Kumble in his 619-wicket test career), and had taken the last 3 wickets and was in search of his 5th for the day, and Blaize was still steaming in from the other end in an attempt to smash through the tail enders and ensure another Gordon win.
However, the opposition number 11 came in with confidence and obvious experience, and managed to crash a few balls to the boundary and win the game for the Lions.
With the total chased, both captains decided the end the game then and there, with Fairfield taking the 6 points.
Another 20 or so runs in the Gordon innings might have been enough to ensure victory, but on the whole it was a performance that we should be proud of. Defending a total of 199 on a wicket like Rosedale’s was never going to be easy. Our bowlers were consistent throughout the day, and our fielding allowed us to stay in the game right down to the last wicket. Special mention to Max’s 47 and Adam Cubbage’s 4-32 off 16, and Axel Cahlin for, well, just being Axel. God bless him.
We turned up to Manly Oval on a nice Saturday for cricket with the sun out, a refreshing sea breeze and some decent sorts walking past the oval on the way to the beach. Although luckily for these Manly girls, Blaize has recently formed a relationship with a female with the kind assistance of the very popular Tinder app. You wouldn’t read about it. I can’t quite remember if we won or lost the toss, I was probably off with the fairies.
Our opening bowlers started strongly with Jack “whipped” Skilbeck swinging the ball for the first time since under 12’s, as he snicked off their opening bat. Believe it or not he generally worked over the other opener as he bowled two out swingers then a gentle inny that left the batter not offering a shot. It didn’t really matter if it was hitting or not, you just can’t do that.
Jack Skilbeck gave the team a great start by removing both the openers
Chucky Stobo bowled like his usual self when he continuously beat the bat. Blaize started his day with a Steve Harmison like wide which surprisingly didn’t set him off too much. His calm attitude must have something to do with that girl friend he publically announced to the team.
Anyway the wicket got slow and low and their number 3 batted within himself but quite ugly as we failed to take the few chances he gave us. Cubby the Cabbage bowled extremely well, with the two blokes that sat on the hill and drank all day calling him Warney. Anand bowled well to set batsmen and despite me being loose all day, I was never called up to the crease. Our last session was extremely good, as we restricted their runs before they declared for 329 with 3 overs for us to bat.
Liam ‘The King” McElduff tested the strength off the cricket gods when he was telling me how well he has been hitting them just before he went out, however he must have been doing some serious sucking up to these gods, or they took an early mark from Manly on that Saturday because in the first over mid wicket absolutely bottled a catch, in what was a real test of the relationship between the king and the Cricket Gods.Anyway Liam and Kris finished the day without a wicket falling and both went home happy humans that night.
Anand Verma bowled well
The next week was a hotter day and we were quite keen to make Manly field for a long period. The day couldn’t have started better for me when Kris combined with me for a lovely short ball as I ran a line like Taumololo to cross over for the first try. Anyway enough NRL for one report. Kris fell mid session which saw Darren and Liam both make it to lunch, which was a pleasant feeling for the team as in previous weeks we would be thinking about how we were going to go out and field again.
Although first over after lunch Darren edged one for 58 which bought myself to the crease. I snicked one to gully for 26 - shock me. The Spratt man came out at his newly appointed position of number 5 and absolutely dominated the attack. Liam fell for 76 odd just before rain and lightening stopped play.
Liam McElduff made a fine 76
After a significant delay Max “the big show” Newman and Spratty put on a solid partnership before Max was given out for a skeptical caught behind. None of this would have been an issue if he just played his infamous switch-hit. Cubby came out and instantly looked good, “squirrelling” the ball to all parts of the ground. Spratty fell shortly after as he belted a ball straight to cover after a excellent quick fire 61.
Anand came out to the crease and as things started to get out off our reach he decides to pull a hammy whilst nearly being stumped, which saw The King come out and run for the Verm (and no Liam its not acceptable to be a runner with your thigh pad on the outside). Cubby soon fell and this caused Charles to come to the crease, as no one panicked because we heard the umpire refer to the Charles, as “a gentlemen and a scholar just like his father”, well-done Stobes keep up your efforts. As the runs dried up, the pressure continued to build and soon Anand was hobbling back in the sheds asking PE students what to do when injured. RICER mate RICER.
The big Blaize staunched his way to the crease and instantly punished the ball to all parts. I don’t want to rap him up to much because after all it is Blaize we are talking about, but they were genuine cricket shots. After Stobes got a ball that jumped we were soon 9 down with the definition of legs 11 walking out to bat. Skilly did well to keep out necessary balls as Blaize belted our way to 6 points off the last over. It was a great win and one that hopefully sets up the rest of the season.
Chris Spratt dominated for an excellent 61
However there was one really unsatisfying part of the day. After a thrilling win like that, and being as nervous as they come, all I felt like was one of the Very Best whilst singing the song. However as we went to purchase these beverages we were told that there’s only enough for Manly Players. You have to be kidding me right? Your bowlo is next door where everyone is; just give us some goddamn beers. SERIOUSLY how hard Manly? You had one job. Anyway that just made the song extra special and extra loud.
You Wouldn’t Read About It.
Match report duties are usually easy to unload in the second grade post-match court session. However, this week the system failed. Not even Spratty was fined. Alas, I am left to write my first match report for the club in over two years. Here goes…
The stags arrived at Chatswood oval looking to get their season rolling after a slow start in round one. The team was confident due to the return of Anand Verma, although he refused to offer any chat during the warm up, simply claiming, “I don’t speak to lower graders”. Good bloke.
Max won the toss and chose to bat. The wicket was green, but we all know that if you can get through the first session at Chatswood, the runs will come thick and fast later in the day. Sadly, we didn’t quite make it to ‘later in the day’.
Our innings started horribly, losing a wicket on the first ball. It didn’t get much better as we struggled our way to 4 for 13. Credit must be given to the strong St. George bowling line up who rarely deviated from a good line and length, forcing our top order batsman to play a shot just about every ball. You know a team is bowling well if they can dismiss the superstar Axel Cahlin before he raises the bat.
Sixteen year old Axel Cahlin made his maiden ton for the Stags
There was a strong fight back from the stags, led by Jack Colley. Jack showed how damaging he could be on his way to a well made 40, but was unlucky not to go on with his innings after missing a straight one (shock me!).
Again, wickets began to tumble and it looked as though we would be skittled for fewer than 100. Enter Max Newman. Max started his innings cautiously, showing us all how to play on a deck that is doing a bit. He played the ball late, under his eyes, and put away the booming cover drive in order to grind his way though the tough stages. Max also batted brilliantly with the tail by scoring consistent boundaries and taking control of the strike. His 77 was a great captains knock that got our team total to a somewhat respectable 156, a score that seemed unreachable earlier in the morning.
The Gordon quicks started the bowling innings well, finding their line and lengths much quicker than they did in round one. Two early wickets had St. George 2 for 23 and it looked as though we could make a game of it.
Charlie Stobo was the pick of the bunch, bowling with good pace and accuracy to snag both of the poles.
However, from then on, the St. George batsman did well to dig in. They refused to play a loose shot and waited for the pitch to flatten out, and that’s’ exactly what happened after tea. Despite the bowlers’ best efforts, St. George slowly chipped away at the total, eventually knocking it off 3 down with a couple of overs left in the day.
A confident declaration from the St. George captain followed, and the Gordon openers had an ugly 3 overs to see out in fading light. Credit to Kris and Chris, who denied the saints attack and saw out the day out unharmed.
With first innings points already lost, the goal for day two was to use the second innings as batting practice to get some much needed form under the belt. However, in what has become a bad habit this season, we slumped to 3 for 24 and an outright victory looked on the cards for the saints.
From then on it was the Axel Cahlin show. What can be said...the kid’s a gun. Axel dispatched the ball all over Chatswood oval and the St. George bowlers quickly realised that there is nowhere you can bowl when Axel is in the mood. He ended up with a cheeky 137 not out (red ink!!), more runs than I have scored in aggregate in my 53 matches for the club. I agree with Spratty, Axel is also my favourite person. Axel was well supported by both Jack Colley and Nick McMurray and the Stags finally proved that they could bat for long periods of time.
At teatime, Max made a sporting declaration at 6 for 237, leaving the Saints a tantalising chase for 10 points. The Gordon quicks once again set about their business, starting well to keep the run rate down. However, in the middle overs the saints batsman gave the target a red hot crack and looked as though they could get the required 7 or 8 runs an over to win the match. Anand Verma came into the attack and bowled brilliantly to initially keep the runs down, and later take two wickets. His spell was crucial in denying the saints any chance of the outright victory. Eventually the game petered out as the saints ended up 5 for 155.
The Axel Cahlin masterclass
Overall, it was a positive fight back from the young second grade team, who arguably took day two honours from a strong St. George line up. However, points are not awarded for simply winning days of cricket and we will need to start scoring big totals in the first innings if we are to open the account for the season.
The third grade team plays for Mitchell Cup over the 15 rounds of competition matches. All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and younger higher grade aspirants.
Any points accumulated throughout the season go towards the club championship.
Third Grade match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
The sight of none other than Damon ‘Reg’ Livermore opening the bowling in Third Grade at Killara would have shocked many. Even more shocking was that with a few handy outswingers from around the wicket, Reg was able to set the Penrith opener up to pop one to short cover where Reagan took a comfortable catch.
Papworth whips the bails off in a flash, and Scott O'Brien looks to celebrate a wicket
Some would call it a ‘soft’ dismissal while others would insist it was a genius tactical ploy which affected the Penrith opener’s mental game. Regardless, they were one down for not many and Sam Bueno was posting feverishly on the mobile app.
Patrick Effeney, the grade cricket veteran, opened up at the other end and seemed to be beating the bat every second ball. Nick Miller soon joined the attack, bowling a good line and length, assisted by two catches at mid-on by Matt Keevers. I may have been described as “Bambi on ice” under the ball, but I caught the ball and that’s what matters.
Australian captain Steven Peter Devereux Smith walked out onto the field and was in a grumpy mood, getting stuck into Tiddles’ favourite youngster Tim “Evans” Ferrero. Smithy adorned all his usual New Balance gear and stepped back and across, but he was unable to dominate the Stags’ attack, as Scott O’Brien delivered a great spell of leg-spin bowling.
Having said before play that the wicket would offer no turn and instead would only skid straight on, Scott disproved his own theory with his first ball which drifted and gripped, turning sharply past the batsman’s outside edge. This was typical of Scott’s spell which was highlighted by two wickets.
Nick Miller... might be pushed down the list of Tiddles' favourites in the Fantasy League...
The first one bowled the batsman through the gate, but the second was even better. Quicker and sneaking around the batsman’s legs it then turned and tapped the top of leg stump.
The addition of Tiddles’ favourite has also seen a vast improvement in the Gordon tea. While Reagan’s sausage rolls from the local bakery have been a long-time favourite, the addition of Chookas chicken was well appreciated on both Saturdays.
Post-tea, Scott continued a good spell and almost pulled off a screamer off his own bowling, diving to his right in his follow through. Scott’s control from one end allowed Keevers to pick up a few at the other end, which included a spectacular catch from Tom Carruthers running backwards from point to collect a skied slog-drive.
Following this, two Penrith tail-enders developed a partnership, with the ball continuing to evade the edge of the bat. The occasional bad ball was punished...for one, as the usually quick Killara outfield was replaced by a verdant meadow which held the ball up.
... with Tim Ferrero bursting on to the scene after a fantastic Green Shield season and an impressive finish to the grade competition
Just as it appeared Penrith’s tail was going to wag and cause issues for the Stags, Effeney came back and pegged back the off-stump with a well bowled inswinger. Next ball a somewhat dubious LBW decision was made against the number 11, once again to an Effeney in-ducker.
Time for a bat.
Tom Carruthers was supposedly dismissed by what Shane Warne would deem a ‘good cherry’, but on this matter I can’t comment as I wasn’t watching. Reg and Kris continued to plod on against a fine and disciplined new ball attack before Kris played a loose drive to slip. Reg then edged a ball angled across him to first slip who took a one-handed blinder low to his right.
Reagan battled intelligently and seemed to be wrestling the momentum back before he played a false stroke and was out caught behind. Andrew Crosland stuck in and was joined by Ferrero who was out with the score on 40. Max Papworth entered the crease to a lot of chat from the Penrith team and was able to see out the day.
Resuming on day two the batting folded in just over a session. Max was out first with the score on 50, followed by Crossy on 66. Entering at 9/72 I was once again unable to get off the mark, finishing on 0* and perhaps doomed to go the entire season without scoring a run.
Captured at the moment of delivery. Something Scott only hopes to hear on the cricket field.
Gordon were bowled out for 80, losing on first innings, and likely any hope of making the finals was gone with St George and Sydney Uni both in good positions in their matches.
Paddy Effeney did his best to give the Stags a chance, with an excellent show of aggressive short-pitched bowling. Digging the ball in at the batsmen’s chests, Effeney struck thrice, with the most memorable wicket being courtesy of a ridiculous catch from Scott O’Brien.
Honing in on the splice of the bat, having rattled the batsman the ball before with a well directed bouncer, Effeney managed to catch a thick edge which flew at pace towards the gully region. Here Scott flung himself to his left, and with a glorious sound of ball hitting palm took a catch while horizontal in the air, reminiscent of some of Steve Smith’s catches this summer.
Bizarrely, having begun at a quick rate, Penrith then shut up shop. Batting until the final drinks break, Penrith made it to 6-91, before stumps was called and a Penrith victory confirmed on first-innings.
Another Saturday, another sunny day but not another wicket. As the 3rd grade side rocked up to Killara for another one dayer, we discovered that we were playing on the same wicket for third week in a row.
Damon Livermore cuts an opposing figure, with gracious thanks to Paul McMurray for these great photos!
A dry wicket with some patches of grass and the 40 metre short boundary towards the road, had the makings for what might have been a good game of cricket… and that it was.
The usual warm-up followed with some great touches and some great intercepts, gave Jack Colley his second intercept leading to a try in two weeks. These good standards continued as until Reg decided to lose the toss and we were sent in to bat.
Kris Colley and Max “recently promoted to opener” Papworth got us off to a good start. Kris continued his form of getting off to a great start and Pap was looking to score runs quickly. A good ball and a good catch from the keeper saw Pap out for 11 and Kris was out 2 runs later for another solid start of 20 putting us at 2/40.
With Reg and Nick McMurray now at the crease we were confident in some runs being scored without the fall of a wicket. Another great captain’s knock from Reg, along with some good stable batting from Nick, Jack and Reagan, saw us at 5-129 after 40, now looking to score some quick runs.
Reagan, did that make it to the pickets?
Reg continued his great batting partner by Saahil “Gobble Gobble” Turki who continue the flow of runs. Reg was later dismissed for a great 94, despatching the bowlers to all parts and the bottom four chipping in with 20 runs before we were all out on the last ball for 205.
Confident in our bowling and fielding and our overall standard out in the field, we felt we would be able to bowl Wests out, or at the very least defend our total.
Our bowling effort was once again led by Pat Effeney and Nick Miller who didn’t disappoint with some great bowling preventing Wests from scoring many runs. In the 3rd over, a run out chance was narrowly missed, and another in the next over had the Stags eyes set on an early run out. An unfortunate dropped catch saw some annoyance but we still toiled to get our first breakthrough.
We gave Wests some good bowing but they returned it with some good batting with some, but not much, luck. Some half chances came and went and even Reagan got a 3 over spell, 2 more than previous weeks, but still that first wicket eluded us.
Eventually Scotty O’Brien found our first wicket with some great bowling and we were confident that one or two more would lead to a collapse in their batting order. But the other opener for Wests prevented that happening, even with a run a ball needed in the last 9 overs.
Nick Miller looks to contain the Wests' opening batsmen from the playground end
Scoring quicker than the required run rate, the opener for Wests got his team over the line with one over left.
At this point I will mention the great wicket that Scott O’Brien got in the final few overs of the game. After a splendid bowling performance, consistently bowling the ball in the right areas, he was rewarded with his second wicket, a great hanging one handed caught and bowled that surprise many and didn’t require a replay as the whole wicket was conducted in what appeared to be slow motion.
Overall, a loss that we can learn a few things from. Yes we bowled well and in the right areas and yes we did bat well as a team but it was the little one percenters that lets us down. Hustling a little more to the ball or being a little more attentive and accurate in our fielding and we could have won the match.
Don’t be disheartened boys! Let’s nail the one percenters and be ready to smash Parramatta in this upcoming two-dayer. Up the Stags!
Rob “Barks” Barker
We were very happy to be playing at Petersham Oval for this round; the team feels it’s a much better playing ground then Killara at the moment. Our skipper Reg won the toss and selected to bat on a good wicket.
The author doesn't stop with Killara, but looks to Scott O'Brien's performances as well
With 4 quick wickets we were looking in trouble, Reg, Colley and more back in the sheds. However, we knew with Tjaard Tait and Nick McMurray the ship would be steadied. Nick played a well-constructed innings giving us a great position at the end to have a real go at the bowlers. Nick and Tjaard both got out playing for the team trying to put on quick runs. With Max being unwell during the week and that morning he did not show it with the bat scoring a quick 31 with a spectacular ramp shot.
The fat that Nick Miller and Scott O'Brien are coming in down the order really demonstrates the batting strength of our side, as they are both very capable to be batting in the top 4. Scotty, playing shots all over the ground including a cover drive that had us all out of our seats, got to a very quick 25 not out.
Nick also played some exceptional strokes and with good running between the wickets they managed to put on 45 in the last 27 balls which was a match winning partnership. With 201 to defend we were very confident that our bowlers could get the job done.
Colley is happy to sit back and watch Scott O'Brien perform with bat and ball
With a great start from the bowlers and some good fielding the momentum, we built on the pressure that we created at the back end of our innings. We constricted the runs and took 3 quick wickets to have Randwick-Petersham 3/34 after 11 overs. Pat Effeney bowled exceptional like always and showed the rest of the bowlers the standard. Nick Miller also backed Pat up and got himself 2 wickets.
It was time for spin and Nick McMurray got two crucial wickets with some excellent bowling.
McMurray earlier in the day, putting on some runs for the Gordon boys
Scott O'Brien also came on and still unsure why he was playing 3s as he is good enough to be playing 1st Grade. He spun Randwick-Petersham out of the game with beautifully flighted leg spinners. Scotty picked up 3 wickets, although should of had more with a few chances gone their way and a dropped catch in the slips.
Randy-Petes fought hard, however was unable to get on top due to the constant falling of wickets. The last wicket was clearly gloved to first slip and was not given out. However the batsmen, who was looking good in the middle, showed great sportsmanship and walked.
It was a great game and played in good spirit.
This Saturday was one for the history books. Whenever you draw a team such as Sydney Uni you always have in the back of your mind that they will be a tough team. In all the years I have played cricket this win is one of the best.
Livermore does what good captains do best, and leads from the front
Our captain Damon Livermore lost the toss for the first time and was sent in on a wicket, which had a bit, more grass on it than usual. Sydney Uni was at full strength with state players coming back to represent in the club cricket, which means all players would filter down. This however did not concern us at all.
Jack & Kris Colley both look to press their claims back on 2nd Grade spots
As a captain you always want to lead from the front and Damon did just this with hitting all bowlers around the park for fun. A great opening stand with our openers set up the game perfectly. All the rest of the bats got small starts but our captain kept on batting ending up on 97 out. We finished up on 257.
Taking the field everything fell into place. It seemed that the Sydney Uni boys have been sitting too much on the bowling machine and waited for the half volley cover drives all day. All the bowlers took full advantage of this and work each batsman over with a few shorter balls followed up by some great swing bowling.
Chris Spratt is caught out by the photographer... being castled
All bowlers chipped in with a few wickets each and the captain stood up again taking a one-handed screamer diving full body length. This was one of those classic catches that you remember for a long time and his catch puts most recent Steve Smiths catch in the shade.
All and all an amazing win from 3rd Grade. Everyone doing their job in a great team effort.
Confucius' cricket proverbs are some of his lesser known works. That doesn't make any of them any less impactful on the way humans have lived their lives since his untimely demise, in the late (or early, for as with all things Jedi, it depends on your point of view) 400s BC.
Pat Effeney opens up the innings... and is responsible for this great read
One of his most esoteric and little known proverbs went thusly: "Gordon bowled North Sydney out for just over 200, having had them 6 for bugger all. Gordon failed to chase down said total. Gordon should have done better, with bat, and ball."
And that, my friends, is what happened to Gordon 3rd Grade on a misty Saturday at North Sydney 2. We learned a lot about cricket, about each other, and about Confucius that day, including the fact that he didn't mind the odd rhyming couplet.
Like all great cricketing tails (pun intended webmaster, if you leave it out I will come at you! Leave in that threat too!), this one had a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Let's start in the middle. The best bit was probably the middle, you see, as it featured some of the finest chicken burgers you'll ever purchase from a cricket ground. The catering ladies at North Sydney 1 are doing a bang-up job. No matter what you think about the rest of the club, having piping hot chicken with the finest mayonnaise you can buy with the name Praise on it, the freshest frozen tomatoes and lovely lettuce hit the spot.
Though you felt like the chicken had gone through one too many mincers, taking on a texture more akin to abalone plucked from the waters of Tasmania, it was still moist and juicy, and clearly the pick of the lunch options.
Unfortunately, the hearty lunch did not help our eyes, hands or temperament. Such delicious morsels deserved better cricket from those who had consumed it, and chasing 200 on a North Sydney 2 wicket that hadn't misbehaved at all in the first innings should have been much easier than we made it look.
Kris Colley looks to the leg side in search of runs
But why were we chasing 200 in the first place? This, dear reader, brings us to the start of the cricketing contest, ironically placed in the middle of this chronicle. The flip of the coin was judged correctly by Sir Damon of Livermore, and having said to me before the contest, in his mellow tone: "Paddy, if we win the toss, I think we'll bowl".
They don't call him Sir Damon the True for nothing, and the prophecy was fulfilled half an hour later when this lowly scribe had the new red nut in his hand and was hurling it down at extreme pace at the North Sydney openers. Note that it may or may not have been at extreme pace, and that my first ball was clobbered for four through cover.
Bob Barker was at the other end, and the big unit looked likely early, banging the ball into the wicket before snicking off the opener to a fine piece of bowling.
Nick McMurray, the envy of every beach-going male in Sydney, was the star of the day with the ball. He bowled two spells of some of the best one day off-spin you're likely to see this side of the Bay of Bengal. Watching him start slow, and get slower and slower, moving his trajectory higher and higher was very impressive. It captured him three wickets in his first spell. The first was sheer persistence outside the off stump, with a mistimed drive the result, the catch gleefully gobbled up at cover.
His second dismissal could be chalked down to equal parts deception and luck, with a lefty trying to deflect a leg stump full toss behind square, only the leading edge it straight back to the bowler. He'll tell you it was flighted. I'd tell you it was terrible batting.
There was nothing lucky about his third dismissal though, with yet another lefty edging gorgeously into the outstretched buckets of Kris Colley at slip. I was at mid-on for that gem, and watched it turn, right off the edge, straight into the mitts. Lovely stuff. He finished with 3/33, and was the pick of the bowlers.
The innings trudged along, and at 6/70 odd, we thought anything below 150 was par from there. To let them get 200 was disappointing. A couple of good partnerships took the impetus away from the Staggies, but in those situations you have to field tightly, take your chances and not give them an inch.
We gave them plenty of inches, bordering on giving them feet. A few too many loose balls on the leg side, as well as a couple of bombs over the fence late in the innings saw North Sydney scratch to 204 all out.
Some statistics, to keep you nerdlingers entertained. Three bowlers finished their 10 overs having conceded 33 runs. We already know McMurray was one. Barker and Effeney, the bozo writing this tripe, were the other. That meant that 1, 2 and 3 bowlers in the scorebook all conceded 33 runs. Coincidence? I think not!
Sam "Call in the SWAT team" Watts conceded 34 from his 10. That statistic is not nearly as interesting as the one before, but had he conceded a run less, it would have made the above statistic vastly more interesting. So it goes.
Nick McMurray - We don't think this shot does justice to Effeney's comments
The batting side of things started much like the bowling. Steady, accurate and with little fuss. At 3/100, I thought we could cruise home. Sir Damon had reached 30 before being caught sweeping by the man positioned at 45. Kris Colley had got a ball that kept a little low, that he plumped to square leg. Jack Colley had hit a few well before succumbing, and Nick McMurray and Reagan were at the crease, seemingly getting into their groove. It was time to kick back for a cup of tea to warm the vocal chords up for a victory song.
Alas, if only cricket were a humourless game, not, as Ed Howitt would say, a funny game, that would have come to pass. Reagan played a silly shot. Max Papworth was clearly sick of Nick McMurray being at the wicket, so he ran him out, before falling on his own blade after realising the horrible atrocity he had committed.
Michael, our new import, who no one quite understands due to his impressive accent, apparently middled one straight to a fielder, and Bob Barker just decided he didn't like batting, so was bowled. I smashed one straight to the cover fielder, who must have gone to hospital after the match, such was the velocity that the ball was travelling (It wasn't really. It was pretty regulation), and by that time we were nine down, I was over it so I don't know what happened after that.
All I knew was I was shaking the guy's hand who had sledged me from first slip, and I was listening to an awful team song for the first time this season. I remembered what losing felt like, and I didn't like it one bit. I'm not confident the lads did either.
So gentlemen, shall we not be as useless as a hat full of arseholes next week, and instead get back to playing the type of cricket that won us all those games before Christmas? It's agreed then. No more terrible cricket. I'll quite look forward to that.
Oh, and I walked past Justin Avendano at the innings break. People tell me he's playing first grade now. What a thing.
The 3rd Grade boys turned up to Killara Oval and were confronted with a patchy, yet flat looking pitch. Reports came in that, during the week, Green Shield had quite lively wicket to play on. So what to do at the toss? Who knows? It was out of my hands, as the Northern Districts captain called correctly. We were asked to bowl first.
What a fantastic shot of Reg Livermore, reminding us of just how destructive he can be with the willow
A new look team, with a couple of bats down from 2nd grade & a couple of bowlers up from 4th grade, we were hoping we had the right team to win a game of cricket.
The Northern Districts batsmen came out hard at us and, even though we took a wicket early, NDs were 2/100 in not many overs. Rob Barker (3/35) & Harry Middlebrook (2/23) bowled admirably in their first 3rd Grade match for the Club, often surprising the batsmen with pace and bounce. The more experienced Nick Miller (1/29) was the spear-head of our youthful attack.
After clawing our way back, thanks to a tight spell from Scott O'Brien (3/18), and a handy run-out, we were soon taking wickets at regular intervals. Soon we had the visitors 6/129 after 34 overs.
Regan Klemt looks to stamp his mark on the game and make his way back to 'Reserve Grade'
Special mention should be made of O'Brien's bowling. He had the difficult task of bowling to many of the NDs left-handed batsmen, with the short side of the field only a mis-timed top edge 6 away.
At 9/156, with O'Brien bowling to the former Stag, Beau Sadler, a dropped catch on the outfield caused us to fear another 30-40 runs would come quickly, but luckily for the Stags, Sadler was out the very next over with no addition to his score. Bad luck, big fella.
Gordon's run chase started off quite briskly considering the very slow outfield at Killara.
Nick McMurray punches one to the Killara fence
With some lovely shots square of the wicket, Chris Spratt (46) & Damon Livermore (37) put on a very handy partnership to take away the game from the Northern Districts, but it was left to Nick McMurray (16no) & Reagan Klemt (28no) to get the Stags over the line with 12 overs to spare.
A very convincing win. Sitting on second place with 30 points is not a bad place to be at the halfway point of the competition.
A big thanks to firstly our scorer/manager/best supporter, Ed Howitt Snr, your selection each week has been crucial to the success of our team.
Chris Spratt assists his skipper to lay the platform for their victory
Also a big thanks to all the parents of players who have helped out with preparation of drinks & afternoon tea. It is most appreciated.
Yours in cricket
Day 1 appeared to get off on the wrong foot for the Stags 3rd XI as Kris ‘Jingle Bells’ Colley and myself failed to open the door to the Killara clubhouse. But after some much needed support from Daniel ‘Harwood’ Stickland, the team was able to gain entry to the sheds.
It turns out you need to push, not pull.
On top of the door issue, frequent thunderstorms throughout the week had left some wet and muddy sections around the Killara Park square. So the start of the day consisted of the boys stamping on old hessian to mop up the moisture, carrying grass clippings from the shed to the square and avoiding the spiders in said grass. Matt ‘House’ Keevers in particular was very lucky to escape unscathed.
But after some good work from the makeshift ground staff, and contrary to the body language of the umpires, play was allowed to get under way an hour and a half late.
The seamers bowled out Blacktown for 45 - Nick Miller took 3-5
Reg did his one job by winning the toss and the Stags were soon on the attack in helpful conditions with new ball in hand. Pat ‘Lion’ Effeney and House opened up strongly hitting good areas and making it very difficult for the Warriors opening batsmen. Soon enough we had our first victim, as Lion induced a Blacktown opener to smash a low full toss straight to cover.
House appeared to have our second wicket the next over when he got one of the openers to scratch one but unfortunately it went to ground. Luckily for the Stags, it did not cost us anything as 2 balls later the batsman also smashed a ball to cover where Stickers Harwood completed an excellent low catch.
Before the start of play it seemed that Blacktown were not very interested in getting any play in on Day 1 and this mentality was definitely reflected right throughout their innings. Consistent bowling from the Gordon seamers and a lack of application from the Warriors batsmen had the wickets falling at a rapid rate.
House schnicked another one up, which Max ‘The Smear’ Papworth gratefully accepted on this occasion and Lion, bounced out another to have Blacktown in all sorts of trouble. Nick ‘Funky’ Miller was then introduced into the attack and made an impact straight away as another Warriors batsman crashed a ball straight to cover, Reg being the beneficiary this time, catching a hot chance just as it was about to take his head off.
A couple of overs later, Funky had another wicket as another chance was gobbled up by The Smear. The very next ball, The Smear had another victim as the new batsman shouldered arms to a good length delivery only to linger outside the crease a bit too long. Quick as a flash, The Smear threw the stumps down underarm with his gloves on from 10 metres back and the batsman embarrassingly on his way. A stumping off a fast bowler while standing back, you wouldn’t read about it!
As if the Blacktown side hadn’t been through enough misery already, Stickers Harwood was introduced into the attack and swiftly removed the tail to complete the innings. In just under 23 overs, Blacktown were all out for 45, with 3 wickets a piece to House and Funky and 2 wickets each for Lion and Harwood.
Andrew Crosland (Crozzie) made not out 52 to steer Gordon to first innings points on Day 1
The Stags began their run chase as the apocalypse appeared to be forming somewhere off to the west and closing in. Things started well as Jingle Bells crashed a pull shot to the boundary early on, but he was soon jingling all the way back to the sheds as a ball from the Blacktown opening bowler snuck through his defenses.
Reg and ‘Crozzie’ Crosland then got together and were looking the goods until Reg shouldered arms to ball that came back in and just clipped his off pole. Our skipper could take solace in the fact however, that at that stage he was the only batsman in the match to have made it in to double figures, a well compiled 10. Crozzie was then joined by Nick ‘Lemon Juice’ McMurray and the pair steered us safely to tea at 2 for 30-odd.
During the team talk at tea (a tea highlighted once again by the Klemt sausage rolls), it was decided that we were going to declare as soon as we passed their score so we could have another crack at them that evening. However, as Crozzie and Nick got us safely past Blacktown’s total the weather seemed to be closing in faster and it was decided that a few quick runs that evening would be more beneficial to us than losing some overs with the change of inning.
The batsmen then set about the task of chasing some quick runs before the storm hit with Crozzie taking a particular liking to their leg spinner crunching a number of boundaries through the off side. Lemon Juice, Reagan ‘The Zone’ Klemt and Funky all fell before the end of the day’s play in the pursuit of quick runs and the Stags made it to 5 for 91 before some big black clouds turned off the light, with Crozzie a fantastic 52* at Stumps.
Day 2 began with surprise from most players, as we couldn’t believe how good the deck was considering the tremendous amount of rain that had come down during the week. The Killara groundsman must definitely be commended for getting such a good pitch up in those conditions. It was also a great effort from all the lads that helped out getting covers down early in the week and getting them off at various times so we could maximize our chances of getting 10 points.
The plan for Day 2 was to bat for 10 overs or so and try and build a lead over 100. This would then give us a healthy lead and a good number of overs in which to try and bowl Blacktown out again. The start of the day definitely went to plan as after a couple sighters, Crozzie picked up from where he left off the week before. With the field set up, so over the top was the way to go as Crozzie and myself set about building on our lead. Dealing mostly in boundaries, the score was building at a fantastic rate and after launching a huge six into the mini mansion across the road; Crozzie was approaching a well deserved hundred. He brought up his ton by walking across his stumps to the medium pacer and flicking a ball to the vacant fine leg boundary. He was then out the next ball for 101 as he slashed at a wide one and edge it through to the keeper. A fantastic innings Crozzie, well played son, the boys absolutely loved it too. The next over I was run out for 33 attempting a quick single and Reg declared our innings closed at 7 for 171, a lead of 126 with 68 overs left in the day.
The Stags got the perfect start in the second innings as House managed to get one of the Blacktown openers to play on to the second ball of the innings. However, things got decidedly more difficult from that point on. House and Funky were bowling good areas but the left-handed opener from Blacktown seemed hell bent on batting the day out and was proving difficult to dislodge.
Crozzie completed a fine century on Day 2
The number three on the other hand was looking for anything to free his arms at and launch over the infield. Luck must have been on his side this time around as a couple of difficult chances went to ground and a very confident LBW shout from Lemon Juice was turned down. The No. 3 managed to swipe and slash his way to 53 before his luck ran out, when he swatted a short ball from Harwood straight to Jingle Bells at mid-on.
After the departure of their first drop, the Warriors batsmen well and truly shut up shop as they tried to bat out the day. Harwood toiled away and was eventually rewarded with another wicket as he got a batsman to guide a wide delivery to myself at gully. The Zone was then introduced into the attack and regarded as the biggest burglar in the team, he did not disappoint as he managed to get their left-handed opener to squeeze a wide and full ball once again to me at gully.
Wickets were beginning to fall steadily but we were running out of overs. The next two wickets were run outs, the first of which a wonderful individual effort from Lion, our super-sub in grey Asics. Moving from mid-on with his weight going away from the target and on a difficult angle, he threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end to find the batsman short of his ground. The second run out was more luck than skill as the striker smashed a cover drive straight to Reg at short cover, and before he could get out of the way, the ball struck his foot and ricocheted off into the bowler’s end stumps to find the non-striker stranded a few steps out of his ground. The Zone then burgled another one, getting a healthy nick through to The Smear, but that would be the last one as Blacktown ended up seeing out the 68 overs on 7 for 128.
We probably created enough chances to bowl Blacktown out for the 2nd time, but unlike the first week, some tough chances went down and a couple close decisions didn’t go our way and that made all the difference.
Not the 10 points we were hoping for at the start of Day 2, but an emphatic 1st innings win nonetheless and 6 points that sees the Stags 3rd XI sitting pretty at 2nd on the ladder.
Great work lads.
Clear blue skies and scorching heat would have swayed any captain’s decision to immediately choose to bat first. Perhaps the opposition captain forgot to check the wicket, failing to notice the many craters forming beneath the grass covering. I’m thankful Damon ‘Reg’ Livermore does not win tosses - batting first may have been a problem.
Dan Stickland looks hopeful as he seeks confirmation from the umpire
The first session was vital in setting the tone for the day. The opening bowlers Matt ‘The Cockatoo’ Keevers and Patrick Effeney did just that by putting the top order under pressure. Keevers controlled one end by shaping the ball in all directions, feeding catches to Max ‘Smear’ Papworth behind the stumps. Matt definitely did the job with figures of 4 for 9 off 8 overs.
Whilst Keevers went about business, Effeney bowled with a fierce ambition to deliver the ball as sharp as he could targeting the batsman’s chin. This furious bowling could well be linked to Patty’s recent anger in not being allowed to open the batting the last two rounds. ‘The Eff’ has signed a batting sponsorship deal with an unknown source, entitling him to several bats free of charge. It’s a real shame as Patty really feels he’s the right man for the job. However Effeney’s bowling was unplayable and should have been rewarded with more than 1 pole.
With the momentum truly heading in the Stags direction, Dan Stickland and Nick Miller came to join the party. They both bowled consistent lines and length, showing that if you stay patient on a bowler’s paradise the reward is not far off. ‘Sticko’ managed to grab 4 wickets with Max continuing to show what an easy game it is, finishing with 6 catches. To be fair Papworth could have had 8 catches; however being the modest man that he is, he chose to put the other two down.
A big mention must go out to Ben ‘fresh cut’ Leighton for bringing what was quite possibly the biggest tub of hummus ever to be brought to a cricket match. Although he didn’t get a chance to bowl he knows how to pack a good Eskie.
Long story short the Tigers had little to show for in the batting department with 111 seeming a very approachable target. Perhaps a good toss to lose in the end.
Papworth tries to get Reg involved in this dismissal
This seemed to be the case until the 3rd Grade boys found themselves at 3 for not many in the third over. As another wicket fell the left arm opening bowler looked as if he were about to take the game away. The Stags slowly were managing to steady the ship with Reagen Klemt and Tom Carruthers doing their best to fend off some ferocious chin music by the left arm bowler.
A change in the bowling attack saw a sigh of relief on Gordon’s behalf. The momentum began to change and the Stags managed to bring the score up to 79 before Klemt was dismissed for a much needed 18.
Just over 30 runs to win and 5 wickets in hand seemed a highly possible task. The main obstacle was to counter the spontaneous ball which would roll down the pitch after hitting one of the many depressions in the wicket. This did not pose a problem for Nick ‘Millsy’ Miller who calmly, scored at just under a run a ball and assisted Carruthers in surpassing the total.
The tail end wagged as much as they could given the conditions, adding a few bonus runs before being all bowled out. Well done lads, we will take 6 points. The Stags stand with a lead of 20 runs at the end of Day 1.
Everyone will know exactly what to expect from the wicket on Day 2. The Stags have every reason to do it all again next week as an outright victory is up for the taking.
The morning of November 8th, clear blue skies and a wonderful batting wicket was revealing of a positive and fruitful mindset for the boys. However, this quite quickly changed as Reg lost the toss and we were sent into bowl on an absolute belter.
Kris Colley sets a good platform for the chase
The early bowling was very tight and the Lions progress was slow. At tea the score was 3-90 and, when Matt “is that a plastic bag or snake” Keevers took his second wicket straight after the break, the Stags were on top.
Although not indicative in his figures, Scott O’Brien’s spell was nothing short of a masterpiece and he most certainly deserved better figures. A ripper of a delivery to produce a stumping and shortly after a plum LBW meant Fairfield were struggling at 7-142.
A rearguard action slowly built the score and it looked like the Lions would possibly bat out the day. However, Pat “The Paddle-Pop Lion” Effeney took a good wicket and Will Calov took wickets off successive balls to see the innings end at 190.
Tom Carruthers joins Kris in ensuring a good start in the Stags innings
An extremely good effort from the boys considering the rock hard and flat condition of the pitch.
Kris Colley and Tom Carruthers saw off the final 4 overs with no loss and that ended Day 1.
November 15th, just as last week had, revealed a great batting wicket and a positive mindset by the boys - until Matt Keevers opened his mouth. The day, however successful, was constantly bust by an attempt at humour or a story in which Matt would describe how “loose” he got or how many “birds” he would smash. Does he run the Grade Cricketer twitter account?
Despite this, the cricket was kicked off by a brilliant opening partnership of 63 from Kris and Tom before Tom was dismissed. Kris and Reg then added another 41 to take the score past 100. The Fairfield bowling was tight and the Stags batsmen were certainly made to work.
Photobomb? Will Calov knuckles down and does his role for the team
I feel it is necessary to take a paragraph to describe what I would say, the pull shot of the century. Kris Colley looked extremely solid throughout his innings and had played elegantly, looking effortless in his strokes. Mid-way through the day, Kris received a short ball in which he dispatched to the long boundary in what seemed no longer then a second and no more than 5 metres high off the ground, also clearing the fence by a mile. The browsing crowd were astounded and let out gasps, “Oh my”, they said. Kris was then, not long after, dismissed for 59 by an excellent catch by the keeper.
Matt Chamberlain fought hard and was dismissed just short of the total. However, it was the innings of Reagan Klemt that carried them home. He played several commanding cover drives on his way to 31no and the chase was completed 6 down. Another strong win by the boys.
Keep it up lads. I love winning.
We all arrived at Killara for our first official home game for the season, none of us knew what to make of the pitch, one side covered in grass and the other dry and not much grass.
After we finished the warm up, we started Crossy's fielding drill in a circle,(Crossy no one gets it).
New captain Tjaard Tait was captaining the team for first time this season (and did a good job), but can he follow Cubs toss record.
Yes Taity won the toss making it 3 from 3 for 3rd grade and elected to bat.
New captain Tjaard Tait won the toss and scored a patient 44
Unfortunately the tone was set from the very first ball Tom Colverd being bowled.
That brought Max Papworth to the crease to join Tom Carruthers, both batsmen smashing anything over pitched, things were looking good but Taity had to jinx it by saying "what a great day for batting” the next ball Max was caught behind for 26.
Tom and Taity batted patiently waiting for the bad ball but when Tommy was out LBW for a well made 51 that sparked a bit of a clasped losing, Reagan, Matthew and Taity within 10 runs.
Tom Carruthers was out for a well made 51
With Scott hitting the boundaries with ease, we were still confident in posting a good score ,but when he was out, we found ourselves all out for 213.
Week two and in the soaring heat, the bowlers toiled away on a good batting wicket, the stand out was Matt Keevers with a 2 wicket haul.
Sticky bowled great line and length and was unlucky not to get a wicket with a catch being dropped from his bowling.
On a pitch that didn't offer the bowlers much, Max thought some banter with the batsmen might help. (Max I don't think many of them have watched Lord of the Rings)
All the bowlers bowled well and were unlucky not to take more wickets.
Long story short we fell about 60 runs short of what we needed to be competitive, but the bowlers kept at it and Manly scored less than 3 runs an over for most of their innings which was a great effort.
Manly chase 213, 4 wickets down.
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.
All points for the results from the side go towards the club championship.
For the Fourth grade schedule go to Fixtures
Fourth Grade match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
The 4th Graders made the long trek out to Sutherland with the aim of playing some good cricket and get a win under our belts.
Another toss lost and Sutherland elected to bat on a typical slow Sutherland wicket. We knew anything under 200 would put us in a good position to chase down.
Corbin provided the boys hope down the order
The medium pacers got us of to a solid start picking up an early wicket. Spin was on early however the rains came down making it difficult for them to grip the ball. With the score at 3/100 after 28 overs, we were off for rain.
I must point out that the attitude of the Gordon boys was fantastic during this period with one end of the bowling crease very wet not one complaint was made on our part.
Whilst the Sutherland batsmen seemed to have something to say after every delivery about the conditions. The attitude from the 11 Stags players was screw it, just a bit of rain let’s play, which is great to see after a tough year.
Once we got back on wicket fell regularly with Sam Watts again being the pick of the bowlers. Fielding let us down as it has so often with a couple of catches going down again. Not even the threat of post round 15 fines could stop a couple of costly chances going down and an attempted defense of he smashed it at me was not well received by the boys. 170 was the total and it was our turn to bat.
After losing Stan early we were going along reasonably well then as it seems to every week disaster struck. Two run outs cost us the game. A word of advice for all young cricketers, when the ball is smashed to short fine leg there is generally not a run! With Corbin still at the crease there was hope but alas it was no to be falling about 40 runs short and another disappointing loss.
So another loss for the 4th graders but we look forward to taking on the Panthers in round 14 and taking the points. To sing the song a couple of times over the next three weeks is what keep this team motivated.
After a disappointing season so far, our side was keen to show the rest of the club, our supporters and our opposition that we still have some fight and pride in our performances.
Shayne won the toss and elected to bowl against a Parramatta outfit that was still in finals contention.
Sam Watts takes wickets when needed for the boys
It has been discussed within the senior player group that we were losing large clunks of wickets on pitches that were doing a bit early on.
Some of our best batting performances have been on wickets that were flattening out later in the day as was the case at Killara against Randwick-Petersham. However when you put the opposition in you can't afford to drop two silly catches early on at crucial moments, which was the case on day one.
Parramatta's first wicket came courtesy of a bad mix up between their openers, with both stranded at the non-strikers end. A terrible feeling for any batsman.
In the bowling ranks Matt Keane was developing some good rhythm and chimed in with a wicket to make the score 2/23. Matt has the potential like all of the bowlers, to go up the grades if he can hit the top of off stump each ball. There is nothing more annoying as a batsman than not getting enough half volleys to feast on.
On top of that us batsman are always on the look out for short ball that we can get inside of and pull and balls that we can free our arms and late cut or cut through point. This is part of what Steve Waugh described as '' mental disintegration '' with a few choice words thrown in on top of that.
Tim Ferrero rocks back and punishes the Eels bowlers
Back to the match and the Parramatta progressed to 106 when Sam Watts broke through. Sam is a real lion hearted performer and ended with 3/40. At 6/156 the games was ours for the taking, but the Eels managed to take the score to 236 with some lusty blows at the end of day 1.
We all knew that if we batted like we did against Randy Petes the match was winnable, however like any struggling young side doubts linger.
Kleem and Gaynor put on 63 for the first wicket in good style before Kleem was dismissed for 44. He'll be looking to address his inability to convert good starts this season. Saahil Turki who is developing into a fine player was out early. He was philosophical about his dismissal telling me '' hey look it happens ''.
Stan was also dismissed soon after for 37. The man from Moree is working hard on his game including ball where he plays around his front pad, a bit like Shane Watson. Stan is trying to come more down the ground, so balls that he plays to square leg, should be on drives. Some technical advice from Sparky should do the trick and some concentration techniques that can be used when your set.
Kleem also take note.
Enter Michael Strauss (The Marshes we call him for similar traits possessed by Mitch and Shaun). At the start of the match Straussy asked the side in warm up. “So tell me if we get the runs today, do we win the match?” Hello!! Hello!!
Benny Leighton is looking good for Shayne's side
Anyway Michael is a very gifted cricketer and is fun to have around. He also wants to be chartered accountant. His insights into the political turmoil facing his homeland are invaluable.
In the game he was dismissed for 19, but watch this space, if he can screw his head on he could be something very special. From there we just crumbled and 6/164 we were hoping for some resolute batting.
One good thing that came out of the game is the emergence of Tim Ferrero who's had some great success in Greenies. For a young bloke Tim showed plenty of aggression and was prepared to back himself. He has a good head on him and will hopefully do well in third grade this weekend.
He was unfortunately dismissed for a well-made 63 and our side ended up being bowled out for 212.
The side will be hoping for a change of fortune when they take on Sutherland at Sutherland this weekend. They are usually very strong and well led around the park.
We will have to be on our game to get the biscuits.
After a strong performance last week against Randy Petes, 4th Grade were looking to continue and get another win on the board. We rocked up to a relatively small, Blick Oval with a very flat wicket, a strong bowling and fielding performance was going to be needed.
Crofts. Occupation: Burglar of wickets. Wanted for theft of one Wests wicket
As has been the trend this season, the toss was lost and we were bowling first. Another trend that has developed has been Watts getting a wicket in his first over and he didn’t disappoint, removing one of the Wests openers. Sam continued to bowl well, taking another before the author also chipped in with one. Aaron ‘The Burglar’ Crofts also thieved another Wests wicket before drinks.
The Stags have found that pushing fast through the middle overs seemed to keep us in a very good position late into the innings, as was seen last week, and Shayne decided that today would be no different. Leighton and Ahmed bowled well, pushing through the overs, keeping it tight.
Wests continued to build strong partnerships through their innings; with the opener being their foundation and this had them in a good position coming into the last 10 overs. Here, they were looking to launch off.
A few wickets fell and Gordon were looking as though we could keep them under 200. This included a sensational run-out from Corbin who, from the boundary, swiftly retrieved and released the ball, hitting middle stump from deep mid-wicket.
There was some good death bowling and some not too good death bowling and this was not helped by the small boundaries. Wests did well with big hitting late to get their score to 228 before being bowled out in the last over. If we batted as we did last week, this would be an achievable score.
It's a shame all the photographers were competing to get "that" shot of Clarke. When Mitch Kleem is on fire, there is little better in this world
After some Maccas runs and a relaxed lunch break. Mitch and Stan went out to start our innings. The start was not good due to some great bowling from the ex-first grader for Wests Barry. Stan was out to a great catch at third slip, which was not too dissimilar to our very own Iqbal’s catch from last week.
Another 2 wickets fell quickly and Gordon stood at 3 for not many.
This brought Strauss to the crease and with Kleem put on a show. The pair ticked the score board over at seven an over. Kleem seemed to not be able to hit a fieldsman, smashing balls through the field to all parts of the ground, before being dismissed for 43.
Meanwhile Strauss has absolutely no issue clearing the boundary doing so many times and hitting it a very long way. After an exciting innings, one was mishit and Strauss departed for 45.
The Stags were looking in a shaky position here, being 5 for 100 odd and needed a few more big partnerships. Some resistance was seen from Crofts, Lin and Watts but due to some really good fielding, all were dismissed. Gordon fell around 80 runs short.
It was a good effort from the boys but Wests fielding really turned the game for them. Had a few more shots been played along the ground and a bit of luck our way, it could have been a different story.
Lets look to next week and make it a really strong performance to show what this team is capable of.
Keane – 2, Watts – 2, Crofts -2, Ahmed - 2, Strauss 45, Kleem 43
With a poor start to the new year a big turnaround was dearly needed. It was established early in the morning by the inspirational skipper, Shayne ‘Rin’ Lin, that our attitude was simply not good enough. With that in mind the lads took to the warm up with intensity that looked like a winning outfit.
Stan Gaynor... this shot was similar to his first for Gordon, down at Balmoral. The webmaster dropped him in his fantasy team immediately
Due to our dismal batting display on our last hit at Killara, Shayne was a bit unsure whether to bat or bowl on what looked like a good batting deck. Fortunately Shayne didn’t have to make a decision, as is the trend this season he lost the toss and the opposition elected to bat.
Sam Watts was absolutely terrific with the ball opening up. 2 wickets in three balls gave us more to cheer about than we have since the New Year. This was essential in setting the tone in our fielding effort. Sam was practically unplayable in his first spell and was well supported by Matt.
This set a perfect platform for the young Dylan Hood on debut in 4's to execute his skills and continue the pressure created by the opening bowlers. Generally pressure and tightening up runs leads to wickets. This was no exception but not without some magic. Iqbal "magic fingers" Ahmed was the wizard that executed one of the catches of the season.
Kleem, without the trademark red helmet, but in a good vein of form
A thick edge raced to the big man, with a slight movement to the left he stuck out his right hand and he never looked like dropping it. This shifted momentum on our side and throughout our entire innings we were exceptional in the field; lead by Lez "pineapple head" Leighton.
Ben deserves plenty of credit for Gordons energy and talk in the field. Ben and Iqbal bowled very well in patnerships managing to keep the runs down. Randy-Petes were tracking towards a total below 200, however some fine power hitting from one of their youngsters threatened to build a total far greater than that.
Fortunately Sam Watts couldn't put a foot wrong at the death and managed to pick up more wickets and keep the runs down. Sam ended up with a 5 for and deservedly so.
Gordon were set a total of 212 and with our recent run of things we thought 212 could be a competitive total. However all of us were wrong.
Sam Watts sets his side up for the win
212 was far too little for the class of Gordons top 3 (as that’s all it took). Mitch Kleem was clearly excited about his recent texts from a new friend he made in the Philippines. She/He would be very proud as he smoked his way to 41 and laid an excellent platform. Unfortunately whilst thinking about the photo “they” sent, Stan took a run that was a bit too risky and he was run out.
The fall of wicket bought Saahil to the crease. The pair capitalised on the great start and took the game away from the opposition. Both played some excellent shots and made it look far too easy.
Stan and Saahil batted till the end and scored 75* and 68*. It was a wonderful all round performance. Let’s take this momentum to the next match and see where the season takes us!
Having experienced a less than desirable start to 2015 against the Bears, 4th Grade travelled to the prestigious surrounds of St. Paul’s College ‘within the University of Sydney’ looking to regain lost ground on the top half of the table.
The author, Stan Gaynor, follows up from Mitch's explosive start
Unfortunately the team was faced an uphill battle before a coin was tossed, with the college oval proving a tricky final destination for some lost stags, leaving many driving or walking within the labyrinth that is the University campus. This proved to be a good thing for those who did allow time for transit, as the side was greeted with possibly the smallest change rooms imaginable.
Surely some money could have been spared on the brand new Australian Institute of Nanoscience being built next to the ground to allow for more than 7 people to have a seat in the rooms. For those not quick enough to secure seating, floor space next to the urinal and the heating unit would have to suffice.
It was not all bad news however, with Gordon actually winning the toss (shock me) and getting another chance to bat first. Few if any had played at the ground before, so we set off with nothing but the advice of the accommodating Uni captain; ‘It stays a little low’. Thanks mate.
Having being bundled out for 100 the week before, you would not be surprised if we started cautiously, however Mitch Kleem had other ideas, and the score began to tick over nicely from numerous wides and several sparkling Kleem cover drives. The Uni captain then introduced himself, and after the score had passed 0/40 he had Mitch adjudged caught behind for 21.
Saahil and Stan then dug in, looking to keep wickets in hand for later in the innings and not be drawn into any stupid dismissals like the week before. We went to drinks one down with the score past 70. Following drinks Stan departed after being trapped in front. Corbin Edgar then joined Saahil and the two continued to work the ball around nicely.
While not scoring at a high rate we were confident that if we kept wickets in hand we had a strong middle-lower order capable of getting quick runs later on. Unfortunately, wickets fell at regular intervals of around 20-25 runs, and although some clean hitting from Edgar, Strauss, and Lin helped the total keep moving we never really put enough pressure on the Uni bowlers, who were backed up by a solid fielding side.
Tim Ferrero, on debut, and Sam Watts both batted patiently to ensure that we batted until the 50th over, which allowed those watching to see Michael Strauss have his first run in with Australian wildlife, apparently a spider resembling a tarantula had creeped up on him on the hill.
Corbin Edgar join Turki to consolidate in the middle
Ben Leighton, cap on as always, was the standout at the end with a composed 23* which included excellent running between the wickets. Gordon all out 186 in the 50th. It was a telling figure that pretty much every batsman got into double figures but no one carried on past the 20’s.
Following lunch at Ralph’s café, the Stags trudged back past several more magnificent University buildings, one with a water fountain, only to end up back in the changeroom with seven seats.
Keane and Watts started the innings with the new rock, with the uni openers starting steadily before Keane bowled the former first grader Crowley. The bowlers continued to work hard but the Uni batsmen were able to find a steady stream of singles and twos around the ground.
Watts and Ferrero did well to contain the runs with their medium pacers, and it was good to see Tim get a wicket on debut. Our three leg spinners in Iqbal, Ben Leighton and Corbin Edgar also bowled well without much reward and eventually the students passed the total in the 42nd over 5 wickets down, including one of the most suicidal run outs being gifted to Ferrero.
All up an improvement on last week but as a batting unit we need to continue to apply ourselves better in setting a competitive total.
After a sub-par performance prior to the Christmas break, the 4th Grade side headed into the New Year optimistic of every cricket team’s fortunes….. A WINNING STREAK!
Sitting mid table, the match against North Sydney beckoned to be a must win! Shayne Lin’s side was once again challenged by a few changes to the starting XI.
Stan Gaynor's trademark glide through backward point has always been successful
Corbin Edgar, Michael Roberts, Dave Monaghan playing for the first time in 4ths, whilst the googly Iqbal Ahmed returned from injury. With an in depth batting line up, the team epitomised the match upon their batting strength.
For the 7th time this season, Captain Lin lost the toss and North Sydney sent Gordon in to bat. Whilst rumours throughout the week led the team to believe that batting was going to be a dying art. Openers Stan Gaynor and Mitch Kleem ridiculed the rumours after posting 50 runs off the first 5 overs, not to mention half of those runs were granted from a 15 ball over!
At a run rate of 10.0 an over , the Killara Pavilion settled into their regular pre-bat rituals. Tjaard Tait in his undies even though he was due to bat at 4 and Captain Lin shirtless as always. You would’ve thought that the Gordon side were cruising early in the innings, however as we all know from a lifetime of cricket, only one ball can change the entirety of a match.
After this photo of Mitch Kleem, there weren't too many more of the batsmen
Openers Gaynor and Kleem fell within minutes of each other and with the score at 2 for 60, the Stags were still in command of the match. In an unexpected twist, Gordon lost 7 wickets in a matter of 11 overs. A combination of poor stroke play and inability to adjust to an inconsistent Killara Pitch ultimately led to the downfall in the Gordon innings.
Michael Roberts and Corbin Edgar looked threatening during their time at the crease, however the Gordon innings tumbled for consecutive innings this season. The top scorers belonged to the innings extras, accumulating half of the Gordon total of 107 all out.
A quick turn around and the Gordon side hit the humidity of Killara Oval. Matt Keane and Dave Monaghan (2/39) were lively in their opening spells, creating havoc for the opening pair. Shayne Lin and the cordon looked certain to snare a few behind the wicket, as the openers played and missed more than enough times.
Monaghan (LBW) struck for Gordon’s first wicket with the score on 10, to enlighten the chances of a strong bowling performance. However, with a small target to reach, North Sydney went on the attack and scored with intent and purpose in their attempt to win with a bonus point.
Iqbal Ahmed claimed two wickets in a spell that produced turn, kick and bounce. A fine effort from the man as he returned to the bowling arena after his time away. North Sydney ended the match 3 for 108 in the 24th over.
Once again, the Gordon side faces an uphill battle in need of multiple wins. Next week’s match against the students could ultimately dictate whether finals will be played for the fourth grade side this season. With plenty of potential, the boys need to soar above the oppositions in rounds to come.
With most of the boys turning up to Asquith park for the earlier start, a couple of the boys decided that they would follow their GPS and prefer to play a game of under 10s down the road.
Once the remainder arrived, the toss was completed and for the first time this year Shayne was able to guess correctly and decided to have a bat.
Saahil Turki provides a anchor role in an innings that never really got going
We did not get off to a good start, losing 3/30, with the majority of these runs coming from wides. This brought Saahil Turki and Matt Chamberlein together who first prevented the fall of another wicket and then began to progress the score with ease.
They were able to combine for a 100+ run partnership before Matt was dismissed for 30. This lead to a steady fall of wickets before we were able to get to 8/174 with Saahil ending up on 66 and total extras of 39.
We thought this was going to be a competitive score but the loss of Tim Fulton 3 balls into the first over the innings was always going to make this a struggle being a bowler down. However we were able to bowl well in the first 20 overs limiting runs but were unable to take all the chances they offered with the score at 2/50.
As the pitch became even flatter the bowlers were unable to break the partnership that was forming. As the two batsmen became more set they became more attacking but still only provided minimal chance. When we finally took the third wicket with them needing only 4 runs with 2.4 overs remaining, there was little mutters of “Ive seen stranger things happen on a cricket field”, but they were soon squashed with the next ball going for 4.
The 3 wickets shared between Tjaard Tait with 2/44 and Crofts 1/21.
Thanks must also go to Mr Crofts who assisted in the field to replace Tim.
The final result was disappointing leading into the Christmas break, but it provides more motivation to get a roll on post Christmas.
The fellas rocked up to Fairfield Park at 11:15, as per Shayne’s request. Nice. There was talk of a green pitch in the change rooms, it looked like we wanted to bowl. After having lost the toss (for a change, Shayne 0 & 4 for the season) we were bowling.
Shayne 'Rin' Lin whips off the bails t0 give 'Lez' another pole
The opening spell set the scene for the rest of the innings, Rob Barker appeared to be bowling grenades, the Lions opening bats couldn’t get him away leading to the first wicket, a quality, Knox boy, run out from Ben ‘Lez’ Leighton. Shortly there after with poles to Rob and yours truly the Lions were 3 for not many. The Stags were looking the goods.
As we continued to mount the pressure the wickets continued to tumble. After the opening onslaught followed up with strong support from Sam Watts, Lez bagged a magnificent 6 wickets haul. He bowled every ball in his repertoire, bamboozling the batsmen at will. The Lions were all out shortly after tea for 133.
The boys congratulate 'Lez' on his wickets
Mitch and Stan set about taming their attack, a solid partnership was brewing. With the score on 53, the mood in the change rooms was confident. But a mix up lead to a run out and an LBW shortly after had both openers enjoying our company for the rest of the afternoon.
However, the strong opening partnership had wore the bowling down and set us a strong platform for the remainder of the chase. Nick Fagan and Aaron “Hair clip” or “Chesty” Crofts took us to stumps.
In the car on the way to the ground for Day 2, ‘Ronny’ Crofts informed me that “today I will be wearing a hairclip” when he bats. After my complete, understandably, shock, horror and banter, he explained that his hair “was too long”, with embarrassed panic in his voice.
And here is 'Lez' Leighton in action against the Lions
Good thing his hair wasn’t in his eyes, because he copped a good nut first ball of the day and was out, caught, with nothing to blame.
JOF was with us almost as quickly as his off peg cartwheeled half way to the boundary. Was there an all too familiar 4th Grade collapse pending? Sort of.
We had stumbled to 5/80 as Nick was dismissed after lasting out several early overs. Shayne went out, and well, he smashed them around a bit for 26 before his stumps were rattled. As Adrian, Rob and Sam all accelerated us past the total we soon declared with a lead of 97 (first team red ink for the season).
As the Lions stumbled to 5/38 thanks to some great bowling from Rob and Sam, we figured we were in with a shot of an outright.
Sam Watts accelerates the score towards the end and gives the boys a chance at outright points
But after a rare Lez full toss, leading to a replacement ball being required, some of the sting went out of our ascendency, the new ball must have been a leftover ball from 1st Grade as it didn’t move the same as the initial ball.
The Lions batted on reaching 6/117, with the close of play approaching stumps were pulled.
A well earned win to the Stags, rutting beauty!
With another Saturday comes another game of cricket and the Gordon 4th Grade side travelled to Graham Reserve to do battle against the Waratahs for the Mal Hall Trophy. Some new faces to the team and some returning one, confidence was high, so was the temperature and the slope of the pitch. All hopes were on Shayne winning his first toss of the season and batting. Unfortunately, Shayne shattered our hopes, lost the toss and we were bowling.
Some good bowling from Harry Middlebrook and myself saw a slow start from Manly with few runs being scored from proper cricket shots. With the no wickets falling, Shayne brought Iqbal on to bowl. The reason that most fast bowlers hate spinners is because they seem to get wickets fairly often from crap balls and the first wicket for the Stags came from such an occurrence.
Harry Middlebrook bowled well to keep the runs down early
A short ball from Iqqy saw the batsmen rock back and smash it only to be out to what was described by Stan as “probably the best catch he has ever seen” as yours truly dived spectacularly to his right and snared it with one hand.
After this, another wicket from Iqqy and 2 from Will saw Manly 4 for not many. More good bowling followed for not many wickets as on batsman form Manly slowly made his way to 100. An inspired bowling change by Shayne to bring Aaron “Chesty” Crofts saw a wicket on his second ball as he “bowled one back up the hill”.
Tea was taken and after a good motivational speech from Shayne we went back out to get the last 5 wickets quickly.That unfortunately didn’t happen. The bowling was good but some dropped chances and some occasional slack fielding saw the number 3 for Manly make 100 and for 3 batsmen in the lower order to make 20’s.
Iqbal Qasim (Iqqy) took 3 wickets
After some more good bowling Aaron was able to take 2 more wickets as he continued to send the ball “back up the hill” and I was able to dismiss the number 3 after he had made his hundred.
Iqqy took another as he played with the batsman until he got his desired stumping. As the day drew to a close and the batsmen weren’t scoring runs Manly declared 9-260 and sent us in for 2 overs of batting. Mitch and Stan diligently faced those 2 overs without a hitch and we left to hopefully come back and win this game.
As we rocked up for the second week, the pre-game catch up consisted of Ben “Boogie Board” Leighton’s week, Shayne “getting use to this Tinder” Lin’s female meet ups and thanking Shayne for losing the toss as the day was hot. Warm up was good and confidence was high as we started the run chase.
Mitch and Stan continued their good batting and had a 50 run opening stance before Stan was dismissed for 28. Mitch continued to bat well and stayed at the crease as 3 more wickets fell before he was dismissed for 66, which was probably the only positive to come out of our batting performance. Now at 5-121 the storm hit and we were off the field for an hour after some lightning and thunder decided to halt our game.
Mitch Kleem batted well for 66
When we went back out on the field, the hard work that Mitch and Stan had put in at the start of the day became useless as we allowed for 2 spinners to get into a rhythm and with our terrible batting performance we were all out for 145. After a stern talking to from Shayne we left with our heads down and determined to never let that sort game ever occur again. Unfortunately, the Mal Hall Trophy had to go to Manly, the first time have won it since the inclusion of the award.
Let’s work hard boys to win our next game and not stuff it up like we did this round.
The Stags 4th best side arrived at Killara to take on the Saints on the back of a comprehensive victory against the Whales in round 1. The pre-match chat revolved around the chance to get a good indication of exactly where we stand against an undoubtedly strong side in St George, and Shayne’s Friday night Tinder date. The latter was a relatively short conversation. No signature moves.
Harry Middlebrook captured 2 wickets for 86 on a tough day for the bowlers
It was shaping to be a brilliant day for cricket.... if you were batting. A flat, hard Killara track with possibly the world’s smallest boundary on one side, 30+ degrees, an outfield resembling the surface of the moon in parts and a resident film crew which was there undoubtedly to capture all the action. Sure enough the skipper lost the toss and we were fielding. Our illustrious captain is now 0 from 2, and memories of the legendary Ed Howitt’s season of (a mathematically) almost impossible 0 from 13 a few years ago came drifting back. That’s a one in 8192 chance. Let’s hope Shayne doesn’t emulate and starts calling correctly.
It was a day in the field that had almost everything. At 30+ degrees by the start of play we knew we would need to execute our plans precisely and consistently to avoid a long day and ensure Iqbal wouldn’t require copious amounts of Savlon cream come stumps.
However, our new ball bowling was wayward at best and the scoreboard was ticking over at more than 6 an over. 1-100 off 15. Then there was the smoke rolling in from back-burning in Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. Things were looking ominous. Then the first swarm of bees arrived, punctuated by the voice of the People’s Terrorist “Ah, we have some bees. I think we should get down’. The sight of men falling to the ground in fear of anaphylaxis was a common one through the rest of the afternoon.
The skipper decided to change things up with the introduction of Harry Middlebrook from the northern end. Charging in through the smoke and the bees, the world’s biggest ATAR candidate drew a half chance from his first delivery, a thickish edge through point for a comfortable 3 to the long boundary.
Aaron Crofts scored a fine 70
With the throw safely back to the keeper, skipper Lin, Shayne decided it musn’t have been a comfortable 3 and fired a throw at the bowlers stumps. Well, more like he fired a throw at deep long off, as the ball flew away from the voluminous Middlebrook and the disengaged mid-on and mid-off. They really should have been backing-up.
A 7 to start the over and an economy rate of 42 from ball 1. Things didn’t improve much in the next Middlebrook over, as 4 overthrows eventuated again, this time to gift a 5. I don’t remember who that was. Probably Shayne.
A difficult afternoon highlighted only by a post tea spell from Harry Middlebrook (2/86) and the guile of Iqbal Ahmed’s legspin, finishing with 1-30 of 13. Iqqy bowled beautifully, and for the majority of the time at two left-handers who were well and truly set at the crease. Things may have been different if he had a crack at a right-hander or a new batsman, but we simply couldn’t remove the top order. One bloke finished 160 not and Saints had amassed 6-366 by the end of a day.
Despite some rain around early in the week, day two saw another flat hard track and similar conditions from week 1, only 10 degrees cooler and the notable absence of the bees. A great day for a run-chase. The Stags started cautiously and after 15 overs were 2-45, having disastrously lost a composed looking Tom Carruthers and the run scorer from the previous week, Sahill Turki to rare bad balls down the leg-side.
Stan Gaynor, along with Tom Carruthers and captain Shayne Lin, batted out the last 27 overs
Run chases are always interesting, not least of all because you get the chance to get to know your team-mates a little. This process can result in life-long friendships over the years. With some new faces to the author in the 4th best side, I started to find out a little about some of the younger teammates.
Take Aaron Crofts for example. I learnt he likes swimming. I learnt he likes taking selfies and sending them to his mates.
Then there’s young Matt Keevers. A good kid, emerging as a quality quick bowler. Having played with Keevers for the majority of last year, I also learnt he likes to be an informant.
Exhibit 1 - Aaron Crofts and his swimming / snapchat exploits
Most noticeably, he likes to keep me informed of the certain individuals going about their day around the various cricket grounds we visit. Particularly if they’re female. Quite coincidentally, he also informed me of something via the great social network this morning, just as I’d made my flat white and began penning this report. This time it involved, once again, the one and only Aaron Crofts. This picture may well be shared only on our Facebook page.
Along with learning of his affiliation for social media, we learnt the kid can bat. Aaron was the only one to provide any resistance in the run chase, compiling a quality and dominating 70 whilst others fell around him.
To sum up our first attempt at the run chase, I’m going to quote Catts. His simple message from the motivational pre-season launch of ‘Don’t f@#k it up’ was blatantly ignored on this occasion as we slumped to 6-64, losing 3 wickets in an over to the wily medium pace of St George veteran Wark.
Catts, always the inspirational motivator, could still provide some solace in quipping ‘Well, at least we’ll get to bat twice”. Brilliant stuff Catts.
And he was right. Despite some resistance form that man Ahmed, whose 38 was likened to an innings of Mark Waugh more than once, we capitulated to be all out for a modest 157.
With 27 overs remaining in the day, Saints (possibly justifiably based on recent events) thought there was the chance of an outright and invited us to bat again, the full 27 overs negotiated by Carruthers, Stan Gaynor and a (self) promoted Shayne Lin to see us 1-81 at the close. If only those numbers were involved on the first attempt.
1 win from 2, 6 points and middle of the table. This team is much better than that, if we consistently get things right. The Mal Hall trophy and another 6 points up for grabs against Manly this week.
I’m off for a swim.
JOF (John O'Neill Fuller)
The Fifth Grade team plays for the Dave Sherwood Cup, which they looked to defend during 2013/14 after winning the cup in 2011/12 and 2012/13. All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and young higher grade aspirants.
All points for all wins go towards the club championship.
Fifth Grade match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
The 5th Grade team arrived at a moist Beauchuamp Oval on Day 1 for Round 14, ready for a tough game against the consistent Panthers. On the fringe of qualifying and a great win the week before, the Stags were confident they could pull out another victory to help secure a spot in the finals.
Dom Thomson gets in behind a Panthers delivery and returns it with interest
However, ominous signs pre-game of the entire Panthers team already warming up upon our arrival were to reflect the days play.
Gordon batted first and looked solid early with Dom Thomson (12) and Pic (18) facing out the opening quicks however in consistent style this year, the fifth grade team lost 5-8. Some poor shots, good bowling, a run-out and some LBW decisions knocked the top order completely over.
Apart from a tidy innings by Dave Monaghan (15) and a late effort from Tim Fulton, Gordon fell for just 90; a very disappointing effort. Whilst the Panther’s bowled consistent good lines, Gordon batsmen gave their wickets away for the main part; a ‘jaffa’ to Coops first up didn’t help either.
Always looking to attack, Pic Sherman begins the Gordon innings
With depleted spirits, the Gordon unit moved out to hopefully roll Panther’s for a similar score however never really got close. Tim Fulton bowled well early on and snared a quick wicket however no-one effectively backed him up. Ricey bowled consistent however was unable to get any breakthroughs we desperately needed.
Furthermore, our strike bowler Toddy was unable to bowl due to some chest pains. Some sloppy fielding and very positive batting, Penrith passed our score one down. Tristan bowled well in patches however a couple too many full tosses and a wicket off a no-ball proved it was never our day.
Gordon belatedly trudged off the field with Penrith 2-115, the only seemingly excited person being Dom Thomson who had a Future Festival ticket in his back pocket.
Chest pains maybe... but Matt Todd has a number of useful skills off the field. Despite being proficient, spinning basketballs isn't one of them.
After a week’s recovery, Gordon returned to a faster drier Beauchamp with low expectations, seemingly a futile unwinnable contest. None-the-less Gordon showed great fight in the field with a positive attitude focussed on enjoying our cricket. Apart from some late hitting by the Panthers and ultimate declaration at 9-242, Gordon were on top that session due to some much needed strike bowling from Toddy.
Toddy tore through the middle order eventually taking 5/63 and much needed confidence into the change room. Gordon required 152 to avoid an outright loss.
We suspect this ended up being a solid catch. Pic?
Think Matt Keevers' description in the 3rd Grade report.
Similarly to the week before, Dom Thomson and Anthony Sherman looked positive to start, playing their shots and moving the team to 50 without loss. However, a couple of decisions once again proved pivotal in the match; with Pic being given caught after it had appeared to have bounced.
Monaghan, Thomson, Coleman & Craig display their wares at Beauchamp
Throughout the innings Gordon seemed to build strong bases for good partnerships however consistently lost wickets at key times. Furthermore, some poor running between the wickets didn’t help.
After Andrew Coleman fell for 23, it looked like this could come down to the wire. Whilst still quietly confident the last over of the day began with Gordon 8-150, either needing to score 2 runs or survive 6 balls.
Todd walks off with Cooper and Coleman, the brains trust of the 5th Grade side
However, the pressure proved too much. With Adrian Craig stranded at the other end, our last two batsmen were both out by the 4th ball and Gordon had been beaten outright by 2 runs.
Praise must be given to Adrian Craig who batted valiantly near the end with 28* however probably should’ve faced the last over.
A small BBQ and arrival of past and present players however proved a bitter sweet end to the game as Gordon were convincingly beaten with only a couple of positives to draw from.
5th Grade were out to get their season back on track after some disappointing performances since Christmas, and we were doing this by playing a Randwick Petersham team sitting 6 points above us on the ladder.
Cooper pleads with the umpire for an LBW... perhaps it was one of the 10 on the day?
Playing at Kensington Oval, Randwick won the toss and chose to bat first on a good looking deck. The morning started slowly with missed opportunities and wides costing us, but the breakthrough was never too far off with Pat Rice getting our first wicket soon after he was brought into the attack.
When Toddy started bowling the runs dried up. The pressure built on the Randwick pair until a rash shot gave Toddy a wicket and saw them two down just before drinks.
At 2/95 the game was starting to drift away from us before BANG BANG ! Crofts had 2 in 2 balls and was on a hat trick at the start of his next over. With our tails up Tristan joined the party with a wicket of his own. Croftsy didn’t get the hat trick, but got another wicket with his next ball to have 3 in 4 balls!
With 4 wickets falling in the space of 10 balls Gordon was now well on top with Randwick 6/98.
With not a lot in the pitch we knew we had to bowl at the stumps. Coops chipped in with one more, before ‘Pic’ Sherman polished off the innings taking 3/9 - all LBW’s. The bowling unit was excellent combining tight overs and wicket taking balls to bowl Randwick out for 135 in 38 overs.
Aaron "Bang Bang" Crofts turns the tables for the Stags
135 could have been one of those tricky totals to chase down especially with our recent batting form, but openers Pic and Dom Thompson got off to steady start of 0/40 to make Gordon always look in control.
Dom eventually went LBW for 22 looking to increase the scoring rate. A run out and some rash shots saw wickets start to tumble, with Pic falling on 45, just shy of a half century in his man of the match effort.
Lucky enough we weren’t chasing a bigger score, and we got there 8 down in the 42 over.
I’m not sure what it says about the wicket, or was it the batting, or maybe the lack of Channel 9’s full blown technological innovations – but, out of the 18 wickets that fell on the day, no less than 10 went LBW.
A much needed result for the Stags - our first win since round 7, getting our season back on track as we push towards the finals.
Unfortunately a second consecutive disappointing loss for 5th Grade. Usually these kind of game days I try to forget, reminisce the good days, build the confidence back up and focus on the next match.
So apologies in advance of the sketchy account of loss to Sydney Uni below.
Aaron Crofts pleads with the umpire
Starting with a positive, normally I'm one of the first to rock up to a game but this time I arrived with the covers already peeled back and packed onto the trolley. I thought to myself the boys were keen to hit back after a loss to the Bears. Actually my initial thought was whether day light saving kicked in ...
For a bit of humour, I was greeted with yet another nickname "Man Monners" created by who else but Toddy. On par with "Joel" I reckon... I'll let Toddy explain where these originated.
To the game, winning the toss and bowling first could be seen as more confidence in our bowling over batting and which also bucks the trend or the old adage of having 'runs on the board'. To be blunt, our bowling lacked consistent pressure from both ends, whether it be due to extras or only 4 or 5 good balls in the over. For myself it was both extras and the occasional bad ball which released pressure - much improvement is required.
Saying that we had some great individual performances by crafty Croft and who else but Toddy; Croft bowl great line and length with rewarding figures of 3-27 off 10. Toddy confused batsmen again with the googly scoring figures of 3-31 off 10.
Skipper, and good Fantasy League earner, Cooper looks to reign in the Students' total
I must mention the skipper keeping his eye on the ball to the point of impact after the ball being thrown back by keeper Roberts whilst returning to his bowling mark. The impact caused Coops to leave the field for a couple of overs. We're obviously nervously awaiting the results of the scans!
I also must mention the fielding efforts of Elton; watching a usual keeper in the outfield, riding the boundaries, demonstrating skills of picking up the ball whilst sliding, being directed each and every way by the skipper, coughing and splattering because of a cold, ... I felt sorry for him but at the same time I was amused. We all were.
With Sydney Uni batting all but the final two balls, posting a total of 201 on a slow Beauchamp outfield, we knew it was a strong total. With 35 extras, including 27 wides it could / should have been lower.
On paper our batting line up appeared worthy of the chase and we started promisingly with some confident stroke play. Unfortunately when the first wicket fell (yours truly) around 40, five more wickets followed with little to no runs being added. A glimmer of hope resided when the skipper looked to boundaries with some success but when he fell with a top score of 28, the match slithered away to an early 2pm finish. All out for 115 in the 32nd over.
Shot of the day went to 'crackers' Rice with a crisp 6 pulled in front of square - Pat finished 10 not out.
Toddy. C'mon. Sir! It's plumb!
My synopsis for the remainder of the season is;
1. We're only one win and a bonus point outside the top 6
2. The competition is pretty even across the clubs so wins won't come easy
3. With a surprising four more 1-day matches and only two 2-day matches to go, we need to quickly adapt to the 1-day format and fine tune the simple things, e.g. consistent pressure with the ball, maintain energy in the field, and value our wickets more (It would be great to see if the top 4 bats could set a target of being there for at least 30 overs in a 50 over match)
On a muggy, overcast day at Tunks Park, Tristan Cooper won the toss for GDCC. As the coin was flipped, only 7 other Gordon players were actually there to see it; Coops had no choice but to bat first.
This tone pervaded the subsequent few hours in which it took the game to finish.
Falk & Todd both very good 1st Grade bowlers, but with quite different styles
Craig and Sherman opened up, and were immediately faced with aggressive swing bowling. Craig negotiated an uncomfortable 5 deliveries before the 6th found its way through. Gordon were 1-0 after the first over of the day.
Coleman came to the crease and did well to send a few fielders chasing, putting on 20 with Sherman before the former fell for 8. With Tom Colverd and Nick Kelland having had engine problems on the journey to the ground, 4 and 5 rightly went to O’Neill-Fuller and captain Cooper.
Having at least survived for his team, Sherman fell 2 runs later, for 7. O’Neill-Fuller and Coops then put on 17 together, but the bowling side looked on top and it’s fair to say that neither batman looked comfortable. O’Neill-Fuller fell for 13, caught, with Gordon 4-39.
We're not sure if anyone has put in a close enough guess as to how many grade games these 4 have played together.
The task was thus left to the middle order, with Tom Colverd and Kelland the next 2 batsmen. It took North Sydney 4 balls to dismiss both batsmen for 0. Rice came in, supporting Cooper valiantly and the runs began to flow steadily. However with a moving ball there is always a threat and Rice fell for not many, despite being part of the biggest partnership of Gordon’s innings.
When Cooper fell with the score on 75, the clouds tangibly thickened as Gordon’s hopes dissolved along with Cooper’s average. One more run was added before Gordon fell for 76.
The task was mammoth and with a dropped catch behind the stumps early on, it was only a matter of overs. The North Sydney batsmen never looked fully comfortable, with chipped shots falling just behind fielders and seemingly endless play-and-misses, but North Sydney knocked the runs off none-down and the ironic ‘well-played’ handshakes ended a dismal performance.
Words in the changing room made clear that the attitude towards this game was not acceptable as a unit. Training will be vital before the team’s next game, and well played to those who dug in with grit.
It was the round before Christmas and as per usual Beauchamp Oval looked a picture. Captain surveys the scene - good deck, slowish outfield, a few blokes showing signs of a late night - we’ll have a bat.
The skipper, and author, puts in a good effort with the ball - He's in the webmaster's fantasy... team
Runs were not a problem early on, with the scoring rate at over 5 for the first 16 mainly thanks to extras and Andrew ‘Elton’ Coleman’s brisk 24 - where another two drops were added to make his season tally in the order of 15 - a figure most wouldn’t dream of over 3 seasons. The problem was that we were losing wickets at an equally quick rate with 6 lost in this period.
Enter Michael Strauss, our South African import who decided to take to the bowling, upping the scoring rate through a bevy of lofted drives and powerful back foot strokes. From 6/85 we moved to 7/134 with the score then reaching 200 by the 33rd over.
With the selectors getting word of Straussy’s innings we soon had a crowd, and when he moved to 90 Tiddles quietly voiced his concerns to Hicko that he would miss his fantasy captain and known ultimate Harry Evans’ potential 100 who was also in the 90s. Luckily Tiddles’ best mate Sam Buono was able to talk him into staying however on 91 Straussy holed out to leave the score at 8/205.
Dave Monaghan, along with Pic Sherman, return to the playing field after having children. Will we see Ed Howitt Jnr back soon?
It goes without saying that there is a new member in both Tiddles’ fantasy and fantasy team.
After another quick wicket, Matt ‘Fester’ Todd strode to the crease with one of Straussy’s fresh blades (literally never used) showing the youngsters that sharing is caring. A few whacks later and we were all out for 221 in the 38th over with Dave ‘Joel’ Monaghan the last out for a well made 24. I repeat, the 38th over!
While runs were slow in the early going, wickets were unfortunately not coming and the score was 0/44 after 15. It was not until the 24th over that we bagged a wicket courtesy of the author which Fester described as a bouncing, gripping and beautifully flighted offie. In the next over our import bowled a ball that would have missed by a good foot, however the finger was raised in what can only be described as a ‘square up’, with the prior ball hitting halfway up middle.
With the incorrect thought that we were about to rissole the opposition, some short balls and full tosses were dispatched and before we knew it the score was 2/135 after 36 with the match very much in the balance.
Pat Rice provides a close match after being 'bombed' into Chatswood Chase in the penultimate over
Wickets to Anthony ‘Pickle’ Sherman, Fester and yours truly in succession were very helpful (as was a run out) however just as we were back on top the injury bug struck Fester depriving us of our strike bowler and an extra fielder.
The score went from 154 to 187 in 3 overs and suddenly the equation got to less than a run a ball with 4 wickets and 8 overs left. Everything was very tense with the opposition seemingly finding every gap and Mick Falk hiding suspiciously in the treeline 'updating the app’.
2 wickets with the score on 195 including a well deserved pole to young Pat Rice swung momentum our way but still only 18 were needed off the last 2. A tight 5 balls by Ricey and it appeared we were home on a large ground but then I think the young man wanted to make a game of it and got bombed to Chatswood Chase!
Michael Strauss makes an impression on everyone during his debut.
Most transferred player in the Fantasy League?
It was now 9 needed off the last over and isn’t it great to have the weathered veteran Joel Monaghan back in the team. The first 5 went for 7 meaning the equation stood at 2 to win and 1 to tie off the last ball (and Mick Falk still lurking in the shadows). Big swing big miss, Elton runs up to the stumps and hits down all three - STAGS WIN.
A win for the good guys however improvements necessary with the bat and especially in the field.
Gordon 221 (M Strauss 91, A Coleman 24, D Monaghan 24) def Northern District 9/220 (T Cooper 3/50)
After the washout on the first day due to the previous night’s downpour, the Stags turned out bright and early for the long day’s cricket ahead, with the hopes of a full day’s play to make a push for the 6 points against the Blacktown Warriors.
Adrian Craig... 6 down the ground and over the sightscreen!
The ground showed two things: that it was a good deck that would offer little for the bowlers, and that the outfield would be extremely slow.
There was a bit of a delay in the start however with the Blacktown captain wanting to wait in the change rooms for an extra 15 minutes before beginning play. The Warriors captain won the toss and we were batting on wicket that would provide the opportunity for plenty of runs.
The openers Adrian Craig and Andrew Coleman both strode out to the crease looking to get the Stags off to a good start. After a cautious beginning that didn't produce many runs due to a combination of both tight bowling and a slow outfield the shackles were broken and both batsmen were looking in good touch.
Both openers played a number of powerful straight and leg side shots with Adrian striking a lusty blow onto the road over the side screen. They looked sharp and produced a solid platform before Adrian was out caught behind with the score on 69 for a well-played 26.
Andrew Coleman acknowledges the boys after reaching 50
Andrew Coleman continued to play in a solid fashion to pass his 50 with the support of Dante Otto and Tristan Cooper who both played some good shots before being dismissed. Looking to push on to a big total, Andrew Coleman was dismissed caught for a well-played 78 (may cost him a few dollars for a new bat.)
With a declaration looking likely, the Stags went after quick runs with Anthony Sherman and John O'Neill-Fuller playing aggressively before being dismissed. Unfortunately in the attempt for quick runs we lost a few wickets before Tristan decided to declare the innings at 8/201, a score that we could defend but could also be achieved with the wicket still looking good and the outfield becoming faster as the day progressed. We needed to bowl well.
Tim Fulton, Tristan Cooper and Harry Middlebrook contribute to their side's success
We started the bowling effort in good fashion with Tim Fulton bowling some tight lines which saw him snag two early poles. With the introduction of Harry Middlebrook and a sharp catch behind the stumps resulting in another wicket, the Warriors were in trouble at 3/17. The Stags continued to bowl well at the opposition batsmen limiting there scoring options until Matt Todd struck trapping the batsmen right in front, an easy decision for the umpire.
A small partnership followed with a couple of lusty blows going over the fence until the introduction of Tristan Cooper with a good catch in the deep from Harry Middlebrook broke the partnership getting out there most dangerous player.
Tristan Cooper persevered with his off spin to collect his second, third and fourth in the space of a couple of overs to put the game beyond doubt and leave himself with the tidy figures of 4-9.With the score at 8-105, Matt Todd was then brought back on making up for dropping what was described by many as an absolute sitter by sneaking through the gap between bat and pad, rattling the pegs.
The closure of the game. And what a great photo of Andrew Coleman's work!
The game was finally finished off with a bit of good work from Tim Fulton and a tidy bit of keeping from Andrew Coleman resulting in the last wicket being a runout, crushing Tristan's chances of a five wicket haul. A solid all round performance achieving the 6 points, let's carry the momentum into next week.
Ahh the first home game of the year, how good is it. The young boys in 5th Grade turned up to what was for many of them their first home game for Gordon with great expectations. It was a nice and hot day which many thought would be a great day for batting. But Captain courageous, Tristan Cooper elected to bowl after winning the toss on what seemed to be a deck that would offer many runs. With much enthusiasm the Gordon boys took the field looking to finish off the seasiders early.
Things weren't looking so great after the first over of the day went for 11. We thought to ourselves at this stage that we should be batting but there was a stark turnaround with the ball and in the field. A great excellent opening spell by Sam Watts grabbing the first two wickets of the opener and the 1st drop. Then all of a sudden we had Manly 3-41 after some crafty bowling by the wiley old veteran, Matt Todd, to claim our 3rd wicket for the day. At drinks we had the seasiders 3-53 after 19 overs Sam with 2 and Matt 1.
Matt Todd captured 2 wickets with some crafty bowling
Immediately following the drinks break Richard Armour joined the party with his 1st and left manly reeling at 4-55. Just as we thought seasiders were developing a partnership, a young 15 year old kid by the name of Ben Parker picked up his first Grade wicket and left Manly at 5-72. After two quick wickets to Nick Fagan and another one to Matty Todd, the Stags were in prime position having the seasiders 8-90 at Tea and everything was going alright. Then straight after tea it wasn't looking so great as a 30 odd partnership started to develop for the tourists which got them to 8-119 but two wickets to Richard Armour dismissed Manly for a modest 136.
Gordon were then asked to bat 28 overs to see the rest of the allotted overs out. Losing some early wickets left Gordon in a vulnerable position at 3-33 after the wicket of Nick Fagan but with some glimpses of hope Dante Otto smashed his way to 29 before he was undone and left Gordon in a very bad position at 4-45. But with some smart batting by Andrew Coleman and Tristan Cooper the score moved along to 61 before Andrew 'Elton' Coleman was dismissed with 6 overs left in the day. Pat Rice and Tristan Cooper played out to stumps and the game was very much in the balance at at 5-72.
Nick Fagan took 2 quick wickets
Anything could have happened this week. Gordon started the day off with some promise but the early dismissal of Pat Rice meant that Gordon were 6-77 and in much need of a partnership and guess what ....to our joy this came true. A great batting display by Sam Watts and Tristan Cooper. Although it wasn't all smooth sailing for Tristan 'Upright' Cooper who took a blow which every man at the ground felt. There is not much that needs to be said after this except he was on the ground for the best part of 10-15 mins and cracked box and all. Luckily For Upright the great Andy Coleman had a spare box and was able to assist a man in dire straits.
After this disruption Upright and Sam got back to business and blasted their way past the score with Sam finishing with a well hit 70no and Tristan playing a true captains knock finished with 55. The Boys put on a great partnership to win the mighty Stags their first home game and after a massive six over deep backward square hit none other then Sam Watts the ball was lost and that was the game with Gordon finishing 7-199 and an early mark.
Tristan Cooper played a captain's knock of 55
Boys have started off well this year in 5s with 2 wins to some of the stronger grade clubs and with a tough challenge against the Lions next week the boys look forward to hopefully notching a win up to continue the form.
We arrived at Cahill and, after looking at the deck, we were very surprised when the St George captain invited us to bat first. After losing an early wicket, Mitch Kleem and Jack Clinton put on a good partnership. Mitch put me to shame as he was batting - I was telling all the young guys how much of a blaster he is, yet Mitch calmly just pushed the ball around the field – so unlike Mitch!
Will Calov makes his maiden half century for the Stags, and his skipper couldn't have been happier with the timing
The Kleem and Clinton partnership got us off to a good start with 68 for 1.
Unfortunately for the second game in a row we lost a lot of wickets for not many runs and found ourselves 8/98 within no time and things were not looking so good for us.
But with such a young team and everyone not knowing each other, sometimes people are batting lower down the order than they really should.
Ben 'Les' Leighton with his distinctive tweakers
This became more evident when Will Calov, Matt Keane and young Pat Rice showed all the people above them how to apply themselves on a flat pitch. With two great partnerships (Will & Keano and then Will & Pat) the Stags ended up with 205 which was reasonable with Will compiling a magnificent 67.
Unfortunately Will and Keano, after batting so long, were unable to take the new ball. Reluctantly yours truly took the new ball with no success.
He may have missed out with the bat, but Coleman's glovework is the best in 5th Grade. Comfortably
At the beginning of the second day, the mood was really positive in the warm up and we all knew the roles each of us had to play, even if Coops was still having trouble negotiating the Eastern Distributor as normal.
The day started off really well for the young Stags, with the young bowlers sticking to our plans. Then the man of the moment, Will, struck 3 times in his first spell and bowled with control and pace (probably releasing the stress of the HSC – Free Willy!). With the old timer controlling one end and Keano as well, the run rate came to a complete stop and two more wickets fell.
Enter the two leg spinners, ‘Les’ Leighton and Adrian Craig, and wickets continued to tumble. Before we knew it, St. George was 8/90 at tea.
Calov decides for many out there that he is a must have in their Fantasy Teams. Plenty of wickets to add to the runs.
With the captain telling us at the tea break that there was still a lot of work to be done, Will decided to quash all those theories by taking 2 wickets in his first two overs after tea. A first innings victory for the Stags had been achieved.
With the captain forcing the follow on, it was always going to be difficult to force an outright result on a flat deck. However, Will again showed his all-around talents by taking another 2 wickets and capping off his great performance.
The game was called off early. The song was sung, even if half the team had to look at the app for the words as no one really knew the song!
Great win – bring on Manly!!
The opening game of season saw 5th Grade travel away to Balmoral to take on Mosman. There was many new faces to the young team with a few players making their Stags debut.
The day started well with our skipper Tristan winning the toss and electing to bat, but we soon found ourselves in strife losing 2 quick wickets.
Dante Otto... you're going to have to talk a few of us through this one
Michael and Dante were able to steady the innings by ticking the strike over, and with some power hitting from Dante including a standout 6 smashed straight back over the bowler’s head. Michael also showed his class and timing in a good knock of 32.
After Dante departed and then Michael got an awful ball that kept low and trapped him in front, the experienced hands of Pic and Tristan joined forces for a productive partnership that took the score along to 4/100. Pic played with great positive intent for his 43, hitting plenty of boundaries. We were looking forward to building something of a total… when out of nowhere the game turned in one freakish over.
Michael Roberts punches one through the offside, while Wall Calov and Matt Todd try to get through the strong Mosman batting order
First a hat-trick, then a fourth wicket in five balls saw us lurch from a reasonable position to one where were were deep in trouble. Suddenly batsmen were scrambling to get padded up, and Toddy even ended up putting on young Ryan McElduff’s pads before he took to the crease.
Tristan watched the carnage from the other end, and tried to get things going again with a 4 in the next over. But things didn’t get any better, with the same bowler polishing off our tail in two balls in his next over. Yes, if one hat-trick wasn’t enough he would be on a second hat-trick when he bowled in our second innings.
Anthony 'Pic' Sherman looks down the ground for runs against the Whales
We all knew 104 wasn’t enough runs on the board, and we had to really put in and stay positive in the field. Our young bowlers stuck to the task and bowled well early without any luck.
Again experience came to the fore when Pic and Toddy were bowling in tandem and picked up 3 wickets. Mosman were suddenly 3/62 and looking a little shaky.
Then a steady partnership from two Mosman young guns got their team the first innings points with some mature batting, but all the Stags kept putting in as we searched for more wickets.
Jack Clinton looks to make inroads into the Mosman total
We stayed as positive as we could and were rewarded late in the day with 4 wickets, including a Matt Keane thunderbolt that sent the middle stump cartwheeling.
The day ended with Mosman on 7/212. If one or two things had gone differently the day could’ve been ours, and while we had a slim chance of coming back to force an outright, we also knew we had a lot of work to ensure we didn’t end up loosing outright ourselves.
On the second day Mosman batted on. Pat Rice took his maiden grade wicket with an LBW within the opening overs.
Here is Pat Rice. 5th Grade debutant and wicket taker
A young overnight Mosman batsmen went on to post a century and guide his team to 9-286. Once he was dismissed the Whales declared.So the Stags were behind by 182 needing to bat a minimum of 59 overs. We again lost early wickets before some determined batting from Jack who put on 25 and along the way survived the hat-trick ball from the Mosman bowler who starred in the first innings.
Dante, despite having a fractured knee, scored a brisk 42, including more shots down the ground in the manner of his six in the first innings.
Pat Rice in the action again... with a catch?!?
When a few quick wickets fell, skipper Tristan again steadied the ship along with great support from Matt and Will. In the final overs Mosman had every man around the bat, every ball a hand-granade.
When we lost Matt Keane with a couple of overs to go, Pat Rice joined Will Calov and the two kept up the resistance to see us safely to stumps at 8/155.
The question remains... was Ryan McElduff wearing Matt Todd's pads?
Some positives from the game for the young Stags, but clearly we need to get our heads down and place a higher value on our wickets. And if we do that - the the only way is up.
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 consists of 3 T20 matches and 4 one-dayers, with the top 6 sides making their way through finals.
For the PG schedule go to Fixtures.
Poidevin Gray match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below:
The Gordon boys arrived at a hot and humid Chatswood Oval, our spirits only amplified by the Ger’s efforts in making sure we were looked after and that we prepared well. Up & Go’s, banana bread, fresh fruit and enough sunscreen to lather up Tids’ whole body thirteen times over. Not that he’s ever worn sunscreen.
Darren Jayasekera stands tall while others depart around him
The toss was lost by Captain Stobo and we were sent into bat. A great opening spell by the Bankstown bowlers saw us loose Liam “Kate” McElduff and Chris “Anyone got a spare pair of spikes?” Spratt early on. At 2/29 Jack Colley and Darren Jayasekera set out to rebuild, but Jack was dismissed and at 3/39 things weren’t looking great.
Out came Max ‘Pappy’ Papworth and that signaled the intent to put the pressure back onto the bowling side. Taking a liking to the spinners, Max and Darren put on a handy partnership until Max was dismissed for 30 and the score at 4/90. Wickets fell consistently and we found ourselves at 9/156, with Darren finally out for a well deserved 72.
Our innings ended at 192 in the 50th with Skilbeck and Dan Stickland putting on an awesome final wicket partnership. Skilly’s form with the bat epitomized by 3 blistering boundaries in the same over, two of which were picturesque cover drives. Sequences even Sparky would have admired.
Unfortunately Chatswood Oval copped the full brunt of the big storm and many puddles formed all over the ground, which meant play was not possible. Although ending a draw, I know the boys were positive and believed that we were truly still in the game if we bowled and fielded as well as we know we can.
Nick Miller looks through the offside to pierce the Bulldogs' field
However, fines/court is a wonderful yet punishing experience and as the match report was unloaded to me, so was the idea that I should create a scenario for our innings in the field and an end result for the match.
The Bankstown openers were petrified at the long legs of the one we call Charles “Tree beard” Stobo. As he steamed in you could see the flourishing moustache after a fresh comb in the sheds. The first over ended with a wicket, a stunning catch by Pappy behind the stumps; well in front of first slip.
10 overs gone and Skilly had taken two poles and Stickland 1, removing the dangerous top order. With Bankstown 4/43 things were looking good for the Stags, until a partnership began to build and the pressure began to even out.
Max... what is going on with this tall tale?
At 4/123 at the start of the 25th over, things were easy going for the Bankstown lads with their No. 6 bringing up his 50. All of a sudden, ‘Millsy’ Miller struck with a screamer of a caught and bowled, dismissing the in form batsmen. Followed by another caught behind for Pappy the very next ball, this giving Millsy the chance to take an unforgettable hatrick.
What followed next was truly extraordinary. Miller strolling into bowl, catchers crowding the bat in close, 5 slips and two gullies in place, the ball pitching in line with middle, straightening and completing the hatrick by taking off the bail a top the off stump. Congratulations Millsy, well deserved mate.
A huge capitulation saw Bankstown be bowled out for 137, the innings finished off by a leg side stumping by Pappy keeping up to Stobo.
A great win, well fought lads. Its charming to see us, as a team, come together when the going gets tough and when the pressure is at its highest. See you at Campbelltown for another belter and some fine banter.
A long drive out to Village Green saw the Gordon boys take on UNSW. It almost goes without saying that this was a big week for cricket; reminding us it is just a game. But it’s a game we love playing and really enjoy and to treasure every single moment on and off the field.
Max Papworth looks to get the Gordon chase back on track
Josh “I forgot the bowlers chat” Poysden led the warm up in his usual fashion, a warm up that I still find bizarre. He reminded us during the “Starfish” exercise to visualise our roles in the game and to play like Hughesy, ‘motivated, driven and hard as nails’. What followed was one of the highest quality warm up’s I'd been involved in.
A scorching day, quick outfield and cracking pitch, we planned to bat first (we have not batted first in 2 years of PG’s). Predictably, we were sent in to bowl, a sign of things to come and during the first over I knew something wasn’t right, Charlie bowled a wide… something that happens “Once in a Blue Moon”.
Turns out our Captain was injured.
A bigger weight was on Dan's shoulders with the captain hurt
UNSW were off to a flyer on 100 runs and hadn’t lost a wicket as all the bowlers were rotated after struggling to hit their spots. A very disappointing first session, however we were confident of turning things around.
Spin was introduced very early on and after a few overs it proved the right move as the opener and no.3 were removed. A casual run out from Nick “Kit & Kaboodle” Miller and a wicket from Darren “I can actually bowl” Jayasekera had the score at 4/160.
Ex-stag, Connor “I have long hair and wanna be like Max and Spratty” Jackson, came to the crease and some banter followed. The dangerous partnership was broken by Reagan “I get caught at fine leg” Klemt who really bowled well in the middle overs and deserved a wicket.
Ben Leighton takes the first two wickets, while Nick Miller contributes with the ball and in the field
Nicky Miller had a fantastic run out, and Dan “Am I the leading wicket taker?” Stickland was the pick of the bowlers deservedly picking up 2 wickets and closing out the innings to leave a run chase of 262. Special mention to Chris “I hate mid on” Spratt who provided excitement with some excellent one hand dives and numerous longgggg chases to the boundary. He was really not happy with these fitness sessions…
So, we were ready for this chase. The intention was to have a player in the top order to score a big one so that a few partnership could develop and to chase down the runs.
Spratty and Jack “Pingu the Penguin” Colley played well but fell for solid starts (19 & 21). They knew how important it was to get some big scores. With the loss of Liam and Darren too, we were in trouble at 4-73. Reagan (27) and Nick (25) also looked comfortable until they fell leaving us in dire straits at 6-119.
Papworth works one to the legside as his skipper watches from the far end
This left us with Max Papworth and Charlie Stobo who set about rescuing the innings, and Max’s brilliant 61 from 51 balls lifted our hopes as the required run rate was climbing to over 8 an over. Amusingly Maxs’ dad Brett was heard shouting “Keep your shape Max!” but we didn’t care how he picked up runs, as long as he did.
However, losing the wicket of “Pap-Smear” saw the loss of the tail as we didn’t have enough wickets in the shed to combat the rapidly rising run rate.
We wonder if "Pap-Smear" is too recently a "thing" to have been a nickname for Max's old man, Brett
A disappointing loss and an ‘off’ day for most of the team, but in the context of the tragedy this week, not an important loss at all. We really look forward to taking on Bankstown this Sunday so that we can showcase our ambition to be the best team in the Poidevin-Gray Competition.
An exceptional start last week transitioned momentum gained last season into our current campaign. However, continuing our positive start was of paramount importance if we were to fulfil our goal of bettering last season and taking it a step further.
Chris Spratt looks aerial. What's new?!?
Although our new-found statistician Ben “watch out Poysden I’m gunning for your spot” Leighton pointed out a weak start from our opposition the previous week, we were careful not to let this information ensue overconfidence.
Arguably the best part of PGs is the unique and engaging warm up, ensuring both mental and physical readiness for the day ahead. With the return of the Ger creating excitement amongst the group, we got stuck into the warm up featuring team specialities including the house, starfish and some collar bone massaging thing with a proper name that always escapes me.
So after some utilisation of Google’s predictive text, I found this: “Myofascial release is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. This alternative medicine therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.”
Charlie Stobo applies the pressure early
So with a combination I'm going to call “myofascial visualisationary preparation”, or in other words our warm up, we were ready for action. Although we had the intent of batting first, we were always going to end up bowling. To this day, not one PGs game in the last two seasons has resulted in Gordon chucking on the pads first. So it was safe to say we were in our element, or where we felt most comfortable at least.
An exceptional start from Charlie and Jack saw early wickets for the Stags, alongside some poor bloke getting hit in the head. Although it was a good delivery, I especially can empathise with the guy. However he was soon sent on his way, and an early domination of Gordon was occurring.
Tight fielding, immaculate bowling and catching saw the score reduced to 5/20. However it was vitally important we were ruthless and continued the onslaught if we were to assert our dominance over the opposition. For some stage, we did this. With Charlie and Jack finishing with figures for 3-27 and 3-39 respectively relatively early in the game, it was important that the change bowlers continued the momentum.
And they certainly did. A welcome return for Nick Miller with 1-8 off 7 over, alongside Dan Stickland with 1-5 off 6, a stranglehold was definitely in place. However good batting from their lower order and a quick Chatswood outfield saw their total increase to all out for 141.
Liam McElduff cuts a strong figure out in the middle of Chatswood
Congratulations also goes to Ben Leighton with outstanding figures of 1-31 off his 10, backing up a superb performance the day before and in previous matches. Good things to come for you bud!
With 142 required, a calm run rate of under 3 was required for victory.
However instructions from coach for everyone to play their natural game saw a steady start followed by an acceleration of boundaries. Credit goes to Liam (39) and Spratty (62) for an excellent start to see us lose our first wicket with most of the damage already done. A true display of potential and talent from these two, and plenty of good things to come in this space for the rest of the season.
Two cameos from Jack Colley and Darren saw us home with each of them finishing on 19 and 20 not out respectively. Gordon had chased the total in 24 overs, securing a bonus point and a continuation of an extremely good start for the boys. Hopefully we can kick on and continue these winning ways into Christmas.
The first game of the season brought the Gordon PG’s team to Waverley Oval to take on Easts. Coach Josh Poysden was eager to set the tone from the start by ensuring that all team members arrive early for a solid warm up. I will put my hand up and say that arriving even one minute late is not good enough, as a detailed route to Chatswood Oval will be prepared by myself to ensure all the boys arrive safely and on time for round 2.
Skipper Charlie Stobo won the toss and elected to bowl on a wicket that looked like it could offer some assistance to the bowlers early on. This was definitely the case with the skipper and Jack ‘Don’t follow me home’ Skilbeck bowling tight lines to restrict the Easts’ batsmen from scoring freely early on. Dan ‘gossip girl’ Stickland managed to trap the opening batsman on the pads to obtain the first wicket of the season.
With Reagan ‘friendzone’ Klemt applying pressure on the other end, Ben ‘5 serves of Veges’ Leighton was able to showcase his ability of leg spin bowling. Picking up 4 wickets, Benny bowled a match-winning spell, as he was able to beat several batsmen in flight where Max ‘Big Six’ Papworth finished off with his fine glove work behind the stumps.
Axel scored a quality 55
Not to take any light off Dan Stickland who turned the game around during the middle overs with his persistent bowling as he also picked up 4 wickets. Reagan and Charlie picked up a wicket each towards the end as Easts were all out for 144 in the 44th over. Other moments to note in the 1st innings was Liam ‘The King’ McElduff’s chat throughout the innings and Charlie’s ability to change up the bowling attack effectively and at the right time to ensure the Easts’ batsmen were never comfortable with the same bowler.
With a score that the stags felt they could obtain, it was important not to be complacent to guarantee a first up win. The boys knew the ball was keeping low on a pitch that was deteriorating, as it was imperative to play the ball straight. Openers, McElduff and Chris ‘nail biter’ Spratt were unlucky not to get off to a better start. Their dismissals brought the man in form, 16 year old Axel ‘little master’ Cahlin to the crease.
Jack ‘Is Axel on 50?’ Colley was supposed to prepare a player profile of Ax to present in this match report. Alas, it had not been prepared, as he will soon be issued a fine for his forgetfulness.
The score was 4/58 when Darren got out, as things weren’t looking that promising for the stags. Fortunately, Reagan (35) managed to effectively support Axel, hitting some solid shots and making use of his speed for quick singles. The pair managed to bring the score to 128 with only 17 runs required (with Axel finishing up on a quality 55). Despite a loss of a few wickets towards the tail, the game was won in the 49th over.
Congrats to the boys for a fine win. One game down and six to go; let us hope this good run of form continues.
Up the Stags!
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 Sundays or on weekdays during the school holidays. The competition includes semi finals and a final.
A. W. Green Shield match reports for 2014/15 season are provided below.
Rocking up to the carpet-like Waverley Oval in the Eastern Suburbs, the youngest of the Stags teams knew that a win against the Dolphins would put them in good stead for the rest of the competition.
After warming up sharply (although overshadowed by a soft knee collision between Harry “Wally” Wallace and Conor “Beej” Fahey), skipper Max Magee strode out to the middle in search of a first toss win. Unfortunately, this did not go our way (for the third time) and Easts sent us in to bat on a somewhat green and lively looking deck.
Later in the innings, Josh Hayes goes past the outside edge of the bat
The openers Jake “Jakeyboi” O’Donnell and Max Magee walked out in search of a positive start against the new rock. They both started strongly, and quickly realised that boundaries were hard to come by on a slow outfield. Both batsman were dismissed early despite looking good. It was 2-25 after 8 and the Stags were in a bit of trouble.
Andrew “Harvs” Harvey and “Beej” were now out in the middle as they looked to reconstruct the Stags innings. Harvs kept the scoreboard ticking over, while Conor looked to hit the odd loose one while still keeping his head. During Conor’s innings, his eyes lit up on a short one and pulled him over mid wicket for a maximum. Soon after, although looking good, a misjudgement (to say the least) took out his off stump.
In came Matt “I have two bats – one for astro and one for turf” Wright, who was looking to have a good start to his Green Shield campaign after missing out the first two games with an injury. Harvs also looked good before hitting one straight to short cover, gone for a tidy 14.
In came Oliver Zannino at #6, but was back in the sheds for 2 after edging a long hop from a leggie to the keeper. The score was 5 for 53 after 15 and a partnership was needed to resurrect our innings. At this stage, the Dolphins thought they had their noses in front, but weren’t aware of the batting depth to come.
Ferrero displays his wares with the bat, before later charging in with the ball
Harry Wallace - one of the best, if not THE best #7 running around in the competition - came to the crease, and intended on adding to his successful start to the season.
Wrighty and Wally steadied the ship and added a valuable partnership of 54. Both used their feet well to both spinners and effectively dispatched the loose one through the infield. It was hard going out there for the Stags, but in true Gordon style, the boys dug in and took their spinners out of the game.
Unfortunately, Matt fell victim to an LBW shout from a medium pacer and was sent back to the pavilion for a classy 36. This brought about Ryan “Rhino” McElduff to the middle who aimed to work the ball around. Harry started to throw the bat at some wide(ish) deliveries, which payed dividends for both himself and the team. He then snicked off for a well played 37, much to the disappointment of the Gordon supporters.
Matt Wright gets back into the swing of things after returning from injury
It was 7-138 off 37 when Tim “Bana” Ferrero came in, who had positive intent early on in his innings. As the 40th over neared, Ryan and Tim looked to up the run rate. Unluckily Ryan got caught at wide mid on for not many. Upon returning to the boys, he said, “I actually middled it, I just didn’t hit enough of it”. All I can say is back in the gym big fella.
Out in the middle, Tim played a couple of slashing shots that even on the Waverley outfield, raced to the fence. Trying to continue his momentum, he went after a short one only to sky it to square leg for a more than handy 18. With one more wicket in hand, our main objective was to bat out the 50 overs, however we were unsuccessful in doing this, and were bowled out for a sub par 166 in the 44th. Nevertheless, we knew it would be enough if we bowled and fielded to our full potential.
Heading out onto the field, we were called in by Skipper Magee who fired us up in the huddle. From the first ball we were up and about, buzzing around the bat like a swarm of bees. Charlie Sennitt and Josh Hayes took the new rock and immediately looked convincing, keeping the runs to a minimum and having a couple of close shouts.
Howzat!?! Sir? Surely that's an edge through to Oli!
“Bana” Ferrero also had a crack at the openers, however luck wasn’t in our favour at this point in time - it did not seem to be our day. The amount of play and misses was unbelievable – brutal to watch.
After the 19th over rain started to come down and lightning became present, which called the umpires to take the players off the field; leaving the Dolphins at 0-47. After a long delay – in which time was killed by witnessing Rhino’s electric enthusiasm in the change room – we were back on at 4.30pm. Coach JK gave us some words of wisdom before running out, which lifted the team spirit.
Ryan McElduff and Josh Hayes, who continued from where he left off, began building the dots and mounting the pressure on the openers straight after the rain delay, helped by some good fielding in the infield.
Harry Wallace looks square for his runs, labelled by this author as the best No. 7 in Green Shield
Bowling great areas, we knew a chance would come our way soon. Finally, the opener cut one to Tim Ferrero at 2nd slip, only for Tim to bobble it up and Harry to dive to his right from first slip (with a bung knee) and catch it millimetres off the ground. Outstanding stuff. Skipper Magee called us in and told us that those half chances would be what could win us the game, to stay patient and enforced the importance of bowling tight lines and lengths.
Not long after, one of the batsman hit a cut which neared the fence, and the ambitious non-striker decided to run on Matt Wright’s rocket arm. His flat and accurate throw to Zannino behind the stumps allowed him to take off the bails and have the batsman left short of his ground by about 2.5m. It was now 2-57 and the Dolphins were around the half way mark of their innings.
Hayesy was back in the action again taking the all important scalp of the skipper, thanks to a brilliant catch by Magee at mid on, in which he dove forward and took it just off the ground. Meanwhile, amidst all the chaos, Ryan was looking promising at the other end, getting some vicious turn and some nice shape. Eventually, he got his reward, with another – this time – running back catch to the skipper at mid on. 4-66 off 30 with Easts needing another 101 runs in 20 overs. Ryan finished with a magnificent spell of 1-12 off 10.
Wally and Charlie Sennitt were back on to bowl and kept piling on the pressure. Eventually, the pressure got to much for the Dolphins, and decided to take a quick single at Ryan at short extra cover off Sennitt’s bowling– only for him to dive across to his right, stop a cover drive with his right hand and throw down the bowlers’ end stumps with a direct hit.
Tim Ferrero keeps it tight and applies the pressure to the Dolphins
I think the boys lost count of the amount of times he said “carn Stags” with a high pitched “yew” when celebrating, but full credit to him for that outstanding individual fielding performance.
From here the Stags had their noses in front and we could smell a victory as the run rate continued to mount. Easts needed another 88 runs in 13 overs with 5 wickets remaining.
Sennitt kept bowling in the corridor of apprehension and not long after the run out, he took a great reflex caught and bowled catch – a deserved wicket to the Stag that always gives 110%.
Skipper Magee then put himself on to bowl to “save the best bowlers for the end” and “tie up the runs”. Well, much to the excitement of the boys, especially the ecstatic Harry Wallace, he cleaned up the tail with two wickets in his first over. His sharp turn and bounce surprised the lower order and they did not have a clue as to how to play him. The skipper finished with the outstanding figures 4-6 off 3 and a bit.
Wallace pairs with McElduff to tie down Easts during the middle overs
All the Eastern Suburbs wickets had fallen for 104 in the 46th over. The Staggies had won by a convincing margin from the underdog position! In fact, after we resumed play due to the rain, Gordon had taken 10 wickets for only 50 or 60 runs.
As the song was rightfully “belted” out, the Stags realised that we can defend any total if we bowl and field as if our life depended on it. However, in saying this, a stronger batting performance will be needed after the Christmas break to ensure victories.
Looking good Stags. 3 from 3!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The young Stags arrived to an overcast Killara morning to play Parramatta in the opening game of the Green Shield campaign. Once the covers were off it quite obvious that the conditions were bowler friendly. After a standard ‘JK’ coach Kennedy warm up, it was time for the toss, one that you wanted to win…nevertheless the author lost the toss and Gordon were sent into bat.
Oliver Zannino during his 64 on Thursday
It was evident that it would be hard work early on for the openers. Ryan Tullia and Ryan McElduff set out to lay a solid platform for the team, unfortunately this didn’t happen with Ryan Tullia being dismissed early by some excellent fast bowling by Parramatta. The author joined Ryan McElduff as they attempted to steady the ship; this was achieved by some determined batting by young McElduff.
Max Magee dismissed for 14 and McElduff unluckily dismissed for 17. At the first drink break the score was 3 for 52 and Gordon were in need of some runs from the middle order and in came very confident Oliver Zannino. Zannino lead from the front with great positive batting, he was supported by Conor Fahey who made a solid 26. Once Conor was dismissed Harry “Tim” Wallace joined Zannino at the crease.
Conor Fahey on his way to his accompanying 26
Some aggressive batting saw a terrific partnership being built. Harry and Oliver took the score to 208 before Oliver Zannino was dismissed for a crucial 64 and Harry Wallace followed him to the sheds not long after for an aggressive 53. Some great end of inning hitting by Tim “Bana Boy” Ferrero (27 off not many balls) saw the Stags score end at 7 for 251 off 50 overs.
A great effort in supposedly bowler friendly conditions.
Charlie Sennitt takes #2 and #3 to leave Parramatta at 3/60
After a brief hiatus, Gordon took to the field to defend a healthy total of 251. The Stags’ fielding innings was started in the best way possible with James “Go Barker” Rowse taking a wicket in the first over. The Gordon bowlers toiled hard in search of a few more top order wickets, the calls were answered when Charlie Sennitt changed ends and picked up two more wickets making the score 3-60.
Parramatta hacked away and got themselves back into the game but were always behind the run rate due to some great economical bowling by Josh Hayes (0-16 off 6) and Dermott Beattie (0-25 off 10). Tim “Bana Boy” Ferrero and James Rowse took Gordon home in their second spells with some terrific end of innings bowling with figures of 3-27 off 9 and 3-23 off 7 respectively.
James Rowse sets the scene with a wick in his first over
Parramatta bowled out for 165; great win for Gordon to start the Green Shield season.
With many things still to improve on for the young Stags (especially the song) it all looks very positive as we continue through the Green Shield campaign.