Not enough runs to make the grand finals as fourths, fifths and Colts finish season
You could say the writing was on the wall with some below par batting performances in recent weeks by our lower grade sides, but with some solid practice we were hopring for a chance in fortune in the semi finals. As most experienced cricketers know, a semi final is not the place to try and find some form and unfortunately each of our three remaining sides in the final series were eliminated.
Liam Windell who had a fine game in fourths
Our fourth grade side put up the best performance almost catching the Manly total of 213, but we couldn’t get over that fnal hurdle. Maybe we need to bring back the Mal Hall Trophy for our fourth grade matches against Manly. I think we won 10 of those in a row. Mal we need your help. For those new to the club Mal Hall was the captain of our fourth garde side who passed away from a heart attack in the middle of a match against Manly at Chatswood. We played for the Trophy for about 10 years but it stopped through the lack of a volunteer with time to keep it going. We should never forget our past.
Will Calov bowled very well at Grahams
The minor premiers Manly were always going to be a tough nut to crack with 12 wins and only 3 losses during the season, but our bowlers werent going to be dominated and they kept at the manly batsman all day. You could see the Manly tactic was to bat for two days if they could, but by the end of the first day Manly had been bowled out for 213 afyer some fine bowling by Will Calov and Liam Windell who both took 4 wickets. Liam too the early wickets while Will worked very hard through the middle stages of the day and his persistence on a good wicket eventually paid off. Will finished with 4 for 50 off 24 oevrs and Liam 4 for 60 off 19. They were well supported by Vikrant Nehru, Matt Keane, Manus Chauhan and Naba Haider.
Manly were in for a fight and most of our batsman got starts, but wickets just kept falling as te Manly bowlers could see their season slipping away withut a big effort on their parts.
In the end it was a bridge too had with only two batsman getting inot the thirties with Liam Windell scoriong 36 and darren Jayasekera 37.While 194 is only 19 runs behind their score we couldn’t get that partnership going that would see us to a victory. Maybe just not enough runs over the last half of the season didn’t give us the momentum we needed.
Matt Keane, Manus Chauhan and Naba Haider in action against Manly
Either way, the team fought very hard against a strong opposition and I am sure the manly team will go into the final with a good workout behind them.
Fourth Grade Scores
Manly 213 (Will Calov 4 for 50, Liam Windell 4 for 60, Vikrant Nehru 1 for 21 (12), Matt Keane 0 for 21 (16) Manus Chauhan 0 for 32 (15), Naba Haider 0 for 18 (8)
Rahul Krishna in action at Merrylands
On what was a big occasion for 5th grade, arriving at Merrylands Oval made the semi-final against Parramatta even more special. A ground with slick outfields, 3 groundsmen and a wicket to die for. Gordon won the toss and decided that batting first was the best way forward. Chasing in recent times had been tough and it was only fair that Gordon tried to dictate from the front early in the match.
However, a common thread continued with two early wickets falling putting Gordon on the back foot. Full credit to Parramatta who toiled on a length all day that was hard to negotiate. Rahul Krishna batted superbly for his 56 and looked to anchor the innings in style. However, despite some resistant from Michael fletcher it was almost de ja vu for Gordon again being 6 for 86 after being 2 for 64 at one stage. The experience of Dave Monaghan and youth of Shiv Rana enabled us to get to 149, which while competitive in a lower grade finals match would take some exceptional bowling to gain a victory.
Dave Monaghan at Merrylands
Dylan Hood started superbly bowling 5 straight maidens to start the innings including a wicket. Dave Monaghan was just as tight and Parramatta were 1 for 4 off 10. Two more quick wickets fell and at 3 for 20 Gordon was on top. Just when our momentum was on the rise the rain came and the rest of the day was lost.
The second day was just as picturesque with Merrylands looking a picture. Dylan secured the early breakthrough we needed and with Aaron Crofts following up with the wicket of the stubborn opener, we were looking good with Parramatta at 5 for 74.
However, a formidable 6th wicket partnership hurt Gordon with another breakthrough not happening and Parramatta reached the 150 needed without losing a further wicket.
As with fourths, the last few games had come down to not enough runs and unfortunately Gordon had lost its way with the bat. Nonetheless a top season with a minor premiership but our form deserted us when most needed.
Fifth Grade Scores
Gordon 149 (Rahul Krishna 52, Dave Monaghan 33, Shiv Rana 28) were defeated by Parramatta 5 for 153 (Dylan Hood 2 for 38)
The Colts arrived at Chatswood Oval excited and keen to play on the first grade park; a first for most of them.
Lachlan Burrows at Chatswood
The sun was shining after 4 days of continual rain; the outfield was a little damp, but the majority of the oval and pitch were in perfect condition. The semi-final match was between Gordon and Penrith, a repeat of last season’s Grand Final and play off between the top two teams of the season.
Captain Oli won the toss and sent Penrith in. Our bowling attack was solid and precise from the start with Nathan Sequeira and Ayush Joshi opening with maidens. Lachlan Burrows then joined in and soon sent a catch to Dillon. With fast and aggressive bowling we had their openers out quickly. Prashan and Dillon kept the scoring opportunities to a minimum, with 8 maidens between them. During this session Jay sent one off for a catch to Riley. With fast and aggressive bowling, strong fielding and agile keeping, the Colts had Penrith all out for 91 after only 42.2 overs. Any other game this total would have been easily achieved.
Caught behind by Oli Williams off Lachlan Burrows
Who knows what happened but the Colts team couldn’t settle and after just 22.1 overs, one hour and 46 minutes we were all out for a mere 63 including 10 extras. We had it all, catches, lbw, run out and clean bowled. Scorers had trouble keeping up and the ‘ping’ of the team app kept coming. The crowd was becoming concerned, the mood had changed dramatically and of course there were lots of points of view of how to stop the flow of wickets. “Just stay there”, easier said than done though. Not quite the game plan, but this was a two day match and it wasn’t over yet!
A fast change, few helpful and inspirational comments from the supporters and we were back on the field. Prashan and Lachlan went in hard again and with a brilliant third over by Prashan he was on a hat trick and had Penrith at 2 for 4. Dillon and Ayush joined in next and Dillon picked up the third wicket for the session. But by 5.10pm dark clouds had turned to rain, covers were on and Penrith was left at 3 for 37 off 16 overs.
Players went home to reflect and regroup. The game was not over yet and we could certainly dig our way out of this.
Sunday morning, the warm sunshine had returned and we started on time at 10.30am. Chatswood Oval is home to many other activities apart from cricket, including yoga, Tai Chai, exercise enthusiasts, and an older group of aspiring musicians. We did however have to ask them to either play an actual tune or move on as it became difficult for the players to concentrate on the field.
Prashan Seneviratne - Why cant I get him out?
The 4th and 5th wickets came quickly to Lachlan, caught behind to Oliver, and Prashan lbw but it took another 16 overs to get the 6th, Jay had a catch to Nathan, and a further 34 overs and 84 runs to get the 7th and final for the day, bowled to Dillon. Penrith simply batted too well and no matter what we tried the Colts couldn’t get them out. At tea with Penrith 7 for 192 off 82 overs, the game was called. Penrith had an insurmountable lead of 221 and had defeated the Colts team, thereby moving into the Grand Final next weekend.
Congratulations on a brilliant season! You stayed focused and fought hard when you needed to, had fun and laughed together, celebrated the wins and reflected on the losses. The parents, selectors, committee and entire club, are extremely proud of your achievements and you should be too. First time captain, Oliver did an exceptional job; worked hard to keep the players on target, stayed calm and maintained his game plan each week. Well done!
Penrith 91 ( Dillon Amjad 3 for 20, Lachlan Burrows 3 for 13, Ayush Joshi 2 for 7) and 7 for 192 (Prashan Seneviratne 3 for 37, Dillon Amjad 2 for 35) defeated Gordon 63 (Ayush Joshi 17)
A big thank you too all our contributors to the wrap with both photos and reports especially Jennifer Williams, Catriona Coote, Damon Lesnie, Jim Wright, Peter Junk and Prasanna Punja. Also captains Max Newman, Pat Effeney, Stu Bromley, Aaron Crofts and Oli Williams for their assistance with commentary during the season.
And of course a big thank you to Tony Wilson for his contributions including photos and reports especially for our Green Shield and PG teams who certainly played a big part in an enjoyable season.