The Second Grade team plays for The Albert Cup.
All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and young higher grade aspirants. Points for all wins go to the club championship.
For the Second grade schedule go to Fixtures
Second Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
2nd Grade Report vs Randwick-Petersham
For the 2nd grade Stags, an apt name considering the second rate individuals that occupy the XI, the season was over, but by no means was that a deterring factor for the round 15 fixture against the joint venture of Randy-Petes. With regular captain Howitt Jnr. on the "to be repaired list"
(Emile "Emily" van Schalkwyk in action at Petersham)
Livermore was to take over the reigns and lead the side for the second time this year. His introduction as captain saw a change of fortunes at the coin toss, as he won the toss and elected to bat first. It would have been an interesting contest if Howitt was at the coin flip, as the Randwick-Petersham captain had a record of 1 win from 12 tosses coming into the battle. Hoppa boasts a similar record.
Livermore and his 93rd opening partner for the year, Nick Medcalf, displayed good patience and ability at the opening of day 1. Both Reg and Medders got to 20 before the former was bowled around his legs, much to the delight of a smiling Cupcake, and Medcalf spooned a simple catch to mid-on.
Throughout the day it was a tough grind. The pitch was low and slower, and the order of the day was for batsman to lose patience and play rash shots rather than good balls getting out batsman. Field settings were placed according to this strategy. The run rate never even teased the 3 per over mark all day. It was probably the slowest day I've ever played in.
(Neil Longhurst at Petersham)
However a procession of wickets fell due to some tired batting, or lapses in concentration. Bomber was run-out, JOF was caught at mid-wicket, Cake was trapped in front, as was Higgins, and Longers was caught behind. Although we batted a considerable part of day 1, the innings never really got off the ground. Jeremy "I see you Jerry Jerry" Cashman was the only batsman to show the required amount of concentration. He score 46 off probably 170 balls.
103 of which he would have smoked to either mid-off or cover. He would have easily scored 130 at Killara or Chatswood. But we were at Petersham, and 46 was his total before he was caught at cover. The tail was wrapped up quite quickly bar Dave Michael who struck a relatively rapid 20 not out.
Gordon all out 187.
With 6 overs to bowl, our plan was clear. Take 1 or 2 wickets and we're front runners come next Saturday. With one of their players moving up to 1st grade the following week, and his replacement being a number 11, the make-shift opener was able to swing from the hip and obviously had noting to lose. His bludgeoning of all bowlers was incredible considering the previous 86 overs that had taken place before the onslaught. He would have hit probably 45 of the total of 51 before stumps were called.
(The great man Ed Howitt Jnr at Petersham)
Randwick-Petersham 0 - 51
Day 2, and with the return of Howitt, replacing Dane Tills in the back row the 2nd graders felt a sense of belief that this could be our day. Emile Whatever took the first wicket of the day removing the incumbent in the 3rd over of the day.
With a superb opening partnership of Julie"Hahn" Stephenson and Emily, pressure was building from both ends. An essential component to the fantastic start we were to deliver. Longhurst, fresh from giving everybody a verbal for the past 6 months, was introduced into the attack and with immediate success. The last ball of his first over was wide and on a length.
The number 3 smoked probably the shot of the match through backward point, were a surprised Howitt Jnr was waiting at gully. Seeing the ball go in his direction and evidently scared, the hoax dove full length to his right in an attempt to avoid being hit. Somehow the ball slipped, or more accurately cannoned into his right claw and it stuck. A candidate for the catch of the year. JOF will never field at gully again.
Another Longhurst over passed and his following saw a loose drive catch the edge to be held by the waiting hands of the devil, O'Neill-Fuller.
(They are ready. The slips field at Petersham)
A mistimed pull shot and a diving catch from D. Michael at mid-on saw Gordon well on top in the first session with the score sitting on 4-68. From there it was the same story as so many other games this year for the 2 graders. 3 missed chances which should have been taken cost us in a partnership of 80 odd - the biggest of the match.
The Cake was re-introduced and claimed a scalp which briefly kept us entertained but with 20 runs to paly with and 5 wickets to take, the game had gone and Randwick Petersham passed us 5 down.
Randy-Petes declared once they had surpassed our mediocre 187 and gave us another stint in the middle. We lost 5-79 in our second dig, but it's not a true reflection of the game I feel. We called the game a about 5pm and it was time to shake some hands and head off into the city to experience the colours, the lights, and the homosexuality that Sydney is renowned for'or is that New Orleans?
The highlight of my day had come a few hours before Mardi Gras, when 3 young kids of the tender age of 10 came up to myself and Dave Michael. Wait, I'm going somewhere with this. One of the kids asked Dave and I if anyone famous was playing, and I decided to tell the kids how good I was at everything and that I've got a NSW contract. I was a hero for 8 minutes. For some reason Len Bombas told them Dave Michael was Waratahs fullback Peter Hewitt.
(Matt Michael against Randwick Petersham)
Anywho, one of the kids removed his Australian ODI cap and asked me to sign it. I laughed to myself and felt sorry for this mislead youth and told him that I shouldn't. I went back into the sheds for Reg's rant and then went back outside to grab myself a refreshment where I was met by my new legion of 3 fans. I was asked once again to sign the young lads cap. How could I say no? Say I signed it Nathan Bracken. Well, not really, but I did sign my own name.
Last game for the year for the most of us against north shore rivals Northern Districts. Let's get 6 grades up.
PS. Tiddles horse (Gently Bentley) is a hoax.
2nd Grade report vs Bankstown
The Stags second graders arrived for their first match at Chatswood oval in a long time. And what a beautiful setting it was. Upon inspection on the first morning, there seemed to be a fair bit of moisture and a definite green tinge to the wicket which has yielded many runs this season. Consequently, captain Howitt won the toss (wonders will never cease) and the Stags were in the field, hoping to make the most of the conditions.
(The JOF cover drive)
The new ball bowlers Durie and the man with the most unpronounceable surname in grade cricket, van Shalkwyk (he has been conducting lessons on how to pronounce it phonetically) toiled hard and were disappointed to see the lack of response from a wicket it was hoped would offer some assistance. A number of sharp chances were put down in the first session, a factor that would prove very costly in the context of the game as it progressed.
Two such chances were offered by a young fellow named Etteridge. I remembered the name. Good allrounder' I think he has scored a hundred in at least one other encounter I've been involved in. surely it wouldn't happen again today?? Time would tell.
Captain Howard Howitt seemed to be struggling in the field a little. You might describe his movement as sluggish compared to the normal gazelle like pace which normally exemplifies his fielding. A quick query was thrown his direction from a concerned teammate, and it was revealed he had torn a muscle in his foot. (I don't know how one does that either, mind you). Our leader and only spinner was battling, with a Chatswood wicket drying out and becoming flatter by the minute. It could be a long day.
(The Nick Dowsley cover drive)
The middle session saw some inspired bowling from Matt Michael, who toiled hard and deserved more than the 2-62 he finished the day with. This session also saw Howitt show great ticker to bowl through the majority of the session from the 'Artarmon' end (as described by Dick Huey when recounting the feats of the 1970-something final winning side), to keep the pressure on the Dogs and keep the Stags within reach. The tea break arrived and the Dogs were 4-220 odd. And that bloke Etteridge was still there.
The final session saw Gordon adopt a more defensive approach to try and limit the total for the run chase next week. Medcalf carried out the plan well and finished with an impressive 4-79. One of those wickets was that of Etteridge, with about 30 mins to play. He had plundered 184 quality runs to all parts of Chatswood in a superb knock.
The dogs finished at 8-366. The preparation for the run chase was already underway.
The second Saturday saw bright sunshine and even brighter smiles on the faces of both teams as we enjoyed observing some of the locals out for their early morning exercise. Even young Andy Falk was impressed. 'Reg' Livermore and volunteer opener Nick Dowsley opened up for the Stags and had negotiated their way to about 7 mins before lunch, when they both fell with the score on 98, in successive balls., with Reg having just brought up his 50. A solid start I think the skipper would have taken at the start of the day, but it typified the starts that most of the order were to get, without anyone really going on.
(The Nick Medcalf cover drive)
Cashman and young Reece Bombas got through to lunch, and then pushed on to midway through the middle session. Cashy played over the top of the newest wicket taking delivery, the 'slow, straight rock'. (Cake had used one of these to remove Mosman captain Marty Hayward a round earlier). O'Neill-Fuller joined Bombas and slowly but surely started to push the scoring rate and build towards the Bankstown total with positive strokes and good running. Just as there was no question that they were starting to assert the ascendancy, Bombas fell to the off spinner who was persisting from the Artarmon end, for a mature and well constructed 55. Medcalf joined JOF and the pair continued the climb towards the 367 for victory, and congratulated themselves in making it to 5-300, with 6 an over required for the remaining overs. Things were under control.
Then, the game took another twist, as this wonderful game of ours tends to do. Medcalf facing, and strikes a lovely straight drive back down the pitch. The arm of the 6'lots' bowler was thrown out to attempt the catch but only succeeded in deflecting the ball onto the stumps at the bowlers end to run JOF out for 70.
O'Neill-Fuller's prolonged pause before departing summed up the situation.
(and yes...the Damon Livermore cover drive)
Enter Howitt, already eyeing off the short square boundary to the railway side as he strode to the crease. He and Medcalf continued the assault and had their team mates enthralled and on the edges of their seats as the looked like pulling off a great victory. Howitt took 18 off one of his opposition off-spinners overs, which I'm sure brought a smile to his face. The Departure of Medcalf trying to force the pace even further and then that man with the unpronounceable surname the very next ball, Gordon were teetering at 9-340 odd, still with 26 to get. Who had done all the damage for the Bulldogs I hear you ask?? That's right, that bloke Etteridge. (told you he was a good all-rounder).
Howitt was last to fall with the score on 342, to a catch in the deep just metres from the fence. The Dogs had dug deep to defend their total and effectively put an end to the Stags finals campaign.
A brilliant game of cricket, with some great performances. The free beers were had in good spirits at the close of play. 2 rounds to go with Club Champ points and pride on the line. The season is far from over.
2nd Grade vs Mosman
The Stags 2nd XI arrived at Rawson Oval with the intention of making amends for the previous week's performance against Easts.We were greeted by the Cheshire cat himself, Jimmy Cameron. Gleefully smiling upon completion of his latest artwork ' 22 yards of dirt and weeds.
Jules working hard for early poles
With reports during the week in the local Mosman rag about the inconsistent state of the wicket, the Stags were hoping that a win at the coin toss might give us a glimmer of hope in controlling our destiny. Once again, Ed 'The Dunce' Howitt lost the toss and the Stags were sent in. The wicket looked flat with a hint of grass. If we could get through the 1st hour unscathed, we believed we could put the opposition under pressure by posting a decent total.
Damon 'Reg' Livermore and his 9th opening partner of the season, Matt 'Cupcake' Michael, strutted to the crease. Cake looked in great touch; smoking his 1st ball to the cover fence. Was this a sign of greatness? Maybe not, the Cake missed a straight one and was out LBW.
Jon Fuller (John O'Neil-Fuller), as he is known on the Lower North Shore, entered the arena and was personally greeted by all 11 of the Mosman players. Pumps didn't last long, edging an angled delivery to 2nd slip. Reg played some nice leg glances before he smashed one to the keeper attempting his 1st offside shot for the season. The wicket continued to seam around with the new ball.
Once again, the Stags were 3 for not many. Jerry Cashman and Nick 'Digger' Dowsley steadied the sinking ship. They batted with maturity, kept it simple and worked the singles accordingly. Rotating the strike and hitting the loose one was crucial at this stage. Dowlsey scored a patient 15, which doesn't sound much but he de-buffed the ball and flattened the seam.
Reece Bombas looked solid and tight. He batted within himself to see off former stag and usual 1st grader Adlam. Bomber and Cashy played well under the conditions. Cashman particularly liked the spin of Maxi Raynor's old mate Issey Gray, bombing 2 consecutive 6's. Cashman's 30 was also integral, putting the Stags in a position where we could finally bat with some intent.
Bombas once again made it look easy, did all the hard work until he was on 49 and decided to late cut one straight to the keeper. Medcalf, who has worked hard on his batting at practice, paced himself nicely. He played some nice drives, worked the ball off his pads well including a flick over midwicket for 6 bits.
With 7 overs to go, we had built a platform from which we could launch an attack.
We accelerated, sent the cherry to the fence regularly but more importantly we ran extremely well between wickets. Higgins and Howitt were great examples of pushing the fielders to the limit. Medcalf remained not out on 50.
With 210 on the board, we thought we were in for a real shot especially as the outfield was slow and the wicket seamed around for the duration.
We were up against a Mosman side, which were coming 4th on the table and boasted a quality batting line up. Jules down for the week from 1st grade and Emile, impressing at the Greengate after the Blacktown game, were the new ball pairing.
If only you made it up to the Greengate Reg - look what it has done for Emile!!
Jules bowled extremely well, beating the bat on numerous occasions. Emile, on debut, bowled great areas (in-between chatting to his fan club on the fine leg fence) regularly hitting the seam. He finished with 3-21: a great start to his 2nd grade career.
We kept it tight with everyone fielding well and bowlers doing the business. Howitt, Cupcake and JOF took some good catches. Higgins' confidence continued to rise, taking 3 good grabs including a 'hanger' in front of 1st slip. We were right on top, but we knew we had to continue to grind away and break through a solid Mosman line up.
With the dismissal of Haywood, one rolling through the gate, Howitt exclusively thanked the groundsman. Medcalf, probably didn't bowl his best but his figures proved otherwise, claiming 4 '24. Adlam came and went thanks to a great catch to the Cake at point. We had the double bonus point in sight. At 7 '65 the Stags went a bit quiet in the field - maybe we just expecting it to happen?? The Mosman tail batted with some intent and luck fell their way, once again Jules beating the bat on numerous occasions and catches not going to hand.
With Stephenson Snr lurking with the camera, hoping the capture the moment of the double bonus point'. It was not to be. We missed out on the double bonus point by only a handful of runs but, with Howitt taking a great driving catch to wrap up the innings, we did enough to gain a bonus point. This, after being 3 for not many earlier in the day, ended up being a great effort by all 11 Stags.
Justifying the selectors' faith - Emile takes 3 top wickets
The song was performed with gusto. A great song, sung by a great team of men. A lot of players in the club enjoy playing in the 2nd X1. It's a team with a lot of love between us. Reg and Missy were even seen to be exchanging numbers after the game.
Well done to all grades. A great day for the club and another $1000 on the bar at the Greengate Hotel. If I only knew where the Grengate was'
Yours in Cricket,
The much anticipated 2nd Grade Report
Captain Howitt reiterated the importance of this match against easts in the context of our season during the warm up.
The rest of the side reiterated the importance of winning the toss and batting on what looked like a great Killara wicket, on a blistering hot day. Sure enough, the coin toss gods continued to frown upon Howitt and the Stags were in the field.
No mention of this in the report?
The first session saw some brilliant bowling from the 3 medium pacers, Durie, Medcalf and Michael. 2 late breakthroughs saw the Stags go to lunch with 2 Easts wickets in the bag, the product of some persistence with both ball and in the field.
It would be fair to say we were also happy with the runrate, less than 3, which is unheard of at Killara.
The second session saw two contrasting hours. The 3 aforementioned bowlers, again continued to toil in the heat, and between them claimed another 5 Easts scalps within the first hour after lunch. Easts 7-120. However, the heat and flattening wicket gradually started to take it's toll, and the most intelligent batting of the day saw them still 7 down at tea, with a sizable partnership building.
It would be remiss of me not to mention here the amazing spread that is turned out, week in week out for tea, by Marea Michael and friends. Many agree it is rivalling the best in grade cricket at the moment, as evidenced by the empty trays and plates at the conclusion of the 20 min break.
The aim in the final session was to wrap the innings up quickly, with our target being 230. The injection of young Chris Archer into the attack proved a stroke of genius, one of a few from Howitt through the day, and our goal was more or less achieved with Easts all out for 231.
"Cuppy" Michael picks up an Easts' pole
12 overs remaining in the day saw the Stags confident we could etch away at the total, however the Easts bowlers had other ideas, utilising the new ball and deteriorating pitch to the utmost, claiming 3 Gordon wickets in the short spell. At 3-25 at stumps, with a little over 200 to chase down, the game hangs in the balance. However, Easts wont be counting on the desire of this group of boys to continue our roll and momentum towards semi-finals.
2nd Grade Report vs Penrith
A trip to Howell Oval was exactly what the pedometers on the 2nd graders didn't need. With a little bit of rain in the air, and some strangely damp areas surrounding the wicket there would be a delayed start. It was evident that the toss was crucial. More so than in previous rounds. Howitt has nothing short of a pathetic record at the coin toss. Many people say the coin toss is a good test of character. I couldn't agree more. With there being a lengthy delay before ball one, the Stags sat in the dressing room and talked life. With the likes of O'Neill-Fuller, Livermore etc. life couldn't be any more complex... nay bizarre. The topics ranged from how the people who work in toll booths get to work, to camping with Jordan Holmes. A large portion of the 11 had been certain the game would be called of for the day, and perhaps this was evident in the way Gordon performed on Day 1.
Hoppa comes to the rescue in the first dig
Needless to say Gordon was sent in, and there was trouble from the outset. Cashman, Michael, Livermore, Dowsley, Bombas, O'Neill-Fuller and Higgins were dismissed early and cheaply seeing the scoreboard read 7-43. Hoppa and Medcalf salvaged some pride and helped take the score to 120 before we were all out. Old maid "fingers" on the scoreboard at Howell was loving every minute of the black cats bowling as he gave the no look flick of the fingers to produce perfect numbers every time in the wickets column. Brilliant score board attending. Huey needs to take note.
With around 35 overs still to be bowled in the day, Gordon was confident of being in a strong position by the end of day 1. To Penrith's credit they batted much, much better than us on a difficult batting wicket. Medcalf and Dowsley did have some success taking a wicket each - all be it due to some of the worst and according to Michael dishonest wicket keeping seen since Christopher Skase donned the gloves for the Majorca XI. Medcalf was the first to strike after receiving some sound advice from his drinking buddy Craig Simmons. He caught the edge of the left handed opening bat, Beadle, only for Higgins to drop the catch with his hands and then catch it in the flap of his right pad.
O'Neil-Fuller lets another delivery pass
Dowsley then bowled perhaps the worst ball of the day to nip the edge of the other openers slashing bat. The ball slowly descended in the direction of the keeper's gloves and it was certainly touch and go whether or not it carried. Higgins was quite confident it had carried - as was the square leg umpire, however whether Higgins was using the "two bounces - kick up - one hand" ruling is still unknown. Either way the score finished on 2-99 at the close of play.
Day 2 brought about much the same sort of weather as 7 days prior. The stags were keen for rain and a draw, however it was not to be and we started on time. Stephenson and Hokin opened the bowling and bowled straight lines to restrict Penrith to a rather sluggish run rate considering the context of the game. The 20 odd runs needed for first innings point were passed without the loss of any further wickets and came after 7-8 overs. Two direct hit run-outs from Higgins and Stephenson got the boys a little excited as evident from the wicket keepers trousers, and after Hokin claimed an LBW, Penrith declared with a 23 run lead. With 9 overs before lunch the plan was simple. NO wickets down at lunch and then maybe we could give them a target to chase after tea.
Lunch came and "fingers" had the score at 4-10. Our day was done, and we were now playing for pure survival. Michael who now boasts the record of 4 ducks from his last 5 trips to the crease had an extremely interesting round. After being bowled in the first innings and not hitting a ball, perhaps his plan should have been to use the bat to hit the red thingy coming at him. Alas, he was clean bowled again in the second dig ' again without hitting a ball. I believe he faced 9 balls for the match. Without hitting one of them. Howitt Snr. Wishes me to inform that during the lunch break he spilt a beetroot across his creams. Top match for the Christmas Cake.
Dowsley smokes one through wide mid-off
4-10 soon became 5-12 after JOF was caught in the gully. Bombas was dropped soon after by 3rd slip and the score could have been 6-13... However the catch was grassed and the score rocketed to 5-17. Cashman, the man with the most beautiful smile in grade cricket, along with "Sundry" Bombas saved the game for the stags with a 120 run stand. Bombas fell on 43, but it was the Man-Cash who stood up on a tough deck against some really controlled bowling. His textbook throw downs cover drive was ever present on his way to century number 9 for Gordon. He ended up on 110* thanks to a couple of tough drops by the keeper and a mix-up between point and cover point when on 91. Other than that a flawless innings. The rope in his cricket kit courtesy of Sherman was subsequently cut up.
The game was called with 10 or so overs to play and the score on 7-160 odd.
6 very important points to the black cats, and 0 to the Stags. But at 5-12, still needing 11 to make Penrith bat again, it could have been far worse. We almost gifted Penrith 10 points, and had it not been for Cashman and Bombas it would have been a different story. Credit must go to Penrith who completely outplayed us in every aspect of the game.
Merry XMAS.... I've asked Santa for a home game. Fingers crossed
Stags bite the Sharks
2nd Grade travelled to Caringbah looking to avenge the disappointing loss to Parramatta the previous week. A new wicket-keeper with an odd haircut, a much anticipated pre-match soccer contest and a punctual John O'Neill-Fuller were a few of the fresh changes that would hopefully get the Stags' season back on track. Some things never change however, as the bottom five won the match convincingly and Howitt lost the coin toss. With a bit of grass on the surface it wasn't a bad toss to lose and line and length bowling would be the key to success.
Another big score for Smokin' Hokin
Jordy (Jordan Holmes) opened the bowling with Medcalf and both bowled good lines to frustrate the batsmen and keep the runs to a minimum. After a quick word to Howitt at the top of his mark, Medcalf threw in a slower ball and found the edge of the flashy opener's bat with Reg taking a regulation catch at slip. Dowsley replaced Medcalf from the McDonalds end with immediate success, taking the edge of the Sharks' dangerous looking captain and setting up a solid hour for the Stags. Jordy and Dowsley continued to toil away and were unlucky not to pick up more wickets for themselves, as they beat the bat on numerous occasions with good pace and bounce.
The skipper (Ed Howitt) inserted himself into the game with immediate success, forcing the struggling opener Williams into a rash, lofted shot to mid-on. This was a big wicket for Gordon, as Williams was the man replacing JOF's close mate Phil 'Jaquesy' Jaques in the 1st grade squad for week 2. Apparently Phil and John were old cricket or school friends somewhere down the track. Howitt reminded us that it wasn't only JOF with famous mates, as Dylan Connell seems to have quite close friendships with TJ, Sully and Lambos just to name a few.
The skipper was always good at musical statues
Blinga (Josh Ling) and Jordy joined the party after the drinks break and deservedly picked up a wicket each after tying the Sutherland batsmen down and forcing them into error. Enter Rod 'Smokin, Hokey Pokey, Rocket' Hokin. Rocket continued his excellent form this season by picking up two wickets at a vital time for the team. His leg-spin was controlled and he bowled with good flight and variation.
The clouds rolled in and the heavens opened up in the afternoon, forcing an early finish to proceedings on Day 1. Sutherland were 7/260 odd.
Going into Day 2, the Stags knew that quick wickets were needed, and any score under 300 was the target set by Skipper Howitt. The day really belonged to Rocket, as he picked up another 2 wickets and threw down the stumps in what he regarded as a 'regulation' run-out.
An interesting talking point during the breaks in play was the large, banana-like object protruding from the pants of Missy (Ian Higgins). After debating whether it was the biggest box we have ever seen, Missy assured us that it was probably time he put safety first and went out and bought a box for himself this week- I'm sure if you ask him nicely, Mitch might personally fit it for you Missy!
One of the most lethal combinations in Sydney Grade Cricket - Missy, Mitch and the Banana
Chasing 299 for victory, 2nds started the chase well, with Reg (Damon Livermore) and Cashy (Jeremy Cashman) leading us into battle. After looking good early, Cashy fell to a sharp catch at gully. Reece Bombas joined Reg and together they kept the runs flowing, with Reg in particular continuing his purple patch of form with a well-made half century. Wickets continued to fall and soon Nick Dowsley joined Rocket in the middle for what would be a match-winning partnership. Looking for some much needed time in the middle, Dowsley hammered cover drives and sweep shots at will and re-established the form that scored him so many runs last season. Rocket was equally punishing, cutting and driving the spinners to all parts of the ground. With only 20 runs or so to win, Dowsley fell to the toiling leg-spinner and was out for 78- an impressive and well-timed knock. Rocket was joined by Medcalf who guided Rocket to his hundred and the Stags to the Sharks' total. It was a big win for the team and the club, as Sutherland have traditionally been a strong outfit in the higher grades. It was also good to see the Stags move up the table in the Club Championship- keep up the good work everyone.
Watching big partnerships unfold is always exciting for the other players watching from the grandstand, but it also leaves a bit of spare time to tell stories or play games. In between signing petitions, naming 10 parts of the body that are only 3 letters in length, naming the 3 European states that end in the letter 'o', or hearing about Reg's good friend and shopping partner 'Fat Shazza', Jordy Holmes' stories really take the cake, but I refuse to go there now- ask Choppy if you're really interested.
After doing some research I realised that Rocket has now scored 3 hundreds in his last 8 innings for Gordon. He has also taken around 10 wickets for the season and is probably one of the most under-bowled and underrated players at the club. If I have learnt anything from my university education over the past 3 years, it's that you should always acknowledge your sources when repeating information - lest it be plagiarism - so I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod for providing me with those stats for the report- cheers Rocket.
From the Hokin personal collection of memorabilia
2nds will travel to Howell next week to tackle the Panthers in what will be an extremely important game in the context of our season.
Remember one thing Gordon,
'Winning isn't everything''' it's the only thing'
2nd Grade upset loss to Parramatta
After skipper Howitt won the toss and elected to bat, the long 2nd grade batting list was keen to get some runs on the board. Amazingly, for the third game in four, only half the lineup was required as Brad Razool, Damon Livermore and Rod Hokin all showed their class and plundered the Parramatta attack. Players such as Cashman, Dowsley and Longhurst once again watched on from the pavilion.
The Dazzler celebrates in his own chilled out way
Brad's innings may be described as masterful, sublime or epic, yet those simple, powerful words fail to adequately describe his feats. He amassed 236 runs off 244 balls, with 32 boundaries and 2 sixes, in a phenomenal 6 hours of concentration. It was an innings of extreme class, with many runs scored along the ground with exquisite timing. He broke a number of records. Most notably, it was the highest score ever by a grade batsmen, breaking the previous record of A.E. Carroll of 228* in 1906. Furthermore, he was only the 2nd player ever to score two double centuries for the club, alongside the great Charlie Macartney, and was the only player to ever do this in one season. At the tender age of 19, one wonders what other records Brad has in his sights.
Remarkably, Brad only gave two chances in his innings, both rather comical. First, he was close to being run out after celebrating almost too extravagantly after reaching his double hundred and then later, he was again almost run out when completing his record breaking 229th run after dropping his bat whilst turning for a second and resorting to a baseball style slide into his crease.
The supporting roles played by Damon and Rod can't be forgotten. Coming off an unbeaten century the previous week, Damon continued his great from and scored a solid 84, and was unfortunate not to score back to back centuries. With his wily experience, Damon knew his innings wasn't enough to catch the eye of the photographers and proceeded to run onto the field after Brad's record breaking run to give his opening partner a handshake and get his picture on the website.
There I am... I'm the one next to The Dazzler
Rod started his innings rather nervously as he saw off the last few overs before tea, but from then on played a devastating innings, with many powerful shots straight off the spinners. He effortlessly amassed his first century of the season and could well have scored many more had the declaration not been announced with the score 3 for 432.
We had 7 overs at the youthful Parramatta openers at the end of the day, and riding high on the euphoria created by Brad's efforts, we were confident of claiming a couple of scalps. Unfortunately, none of the bowlers were allowed to settle and a dropped catch meant Parramatta ended the day at 0-32, a mere 400 runs behind.
You can't lose with that many runs, can you? Surely only the weather could stop us from claiming six points, or maybe even ten. Wrong. We lost. It was extremely disappointing that the superb individual efforts on day one were wasted a week later. Frankly, Brad, Rod and Damon deserved better.
All the bowlers toiled hard, with Holmes and Hokin impressive, yet in contrast, the fielding was shocking and a real disappointment. We dropped a further 8 catches and missed a couple of run out chances. Even when Parramatta were 8-300, the game still seemed well beyond the reach of our opposition, and this was reflected in our relaxed, over confident attitude. They eventually passed our total 8 down, with a few overs left in the day.
The Dazzler and his more than capable understudy, Rocket, on his way to a flawless century
It seemed that we had too many runs of the board. I seriously believe if we were defending 350 or even less we probably would have won the game. Every time a chance went down we simply shrugged it off and waited for the next chance to come. By the time we realized that we may actually lose the game it was too late and we were punished. We must learn from this.
The 2nd day performance was embarrassing and to put it simply, we have to improve. We have a target to reach before Christmas, and despite this setback, it is still achievable.
We owe it to ourselves to bounce back next weekend, so let's do it
2nd Grade Match Report ' Round 6 v Wests
A determined Gordon side looking to make up for the disappointment of the previous drawn game against Fairfield-Liverpool, rolled up to Pratten Park on Saturday morning to find the ground in superb condition and weather fit for a perfect days cricket. The pitch looked flat and with no clouds in the sky, it goes without saying that Hoppa lost the toss and the Stags were out in the field first.
(John O'Neill Fuller hits the turf)
Yet another new new-ball attack in Josh Ling and the in-form debutant Umayr Amir bowled well without much luck early on, the Wests openers chancing their arms and this was summed up with a flick of the wrist by the Wests opener ( a la Gilchrist) into the seating on the short point boundary.
Despite Ed Howitt and Neil Longhurst dragging the run-rate back a little, drinks came at 0-70 off 14 overs and Wests looking in a strong position to take the game away from us. Whether it was drinks, the minute's rememberance silence or John O'Neill-Fuller's chirping at the young left-hander, but Hoppa picked him up thanks to a smart catch at mid-wicket by Damon Livermore diving forward. Two overs later Longhurst picked up the number 3 caught by Brad Rasool as the ball lifted and nipped away just brushing the glove as he defended forward. I don't care what anybody says, it was 'a pearler!' 2-80 off 20 and it was a different game.
(Josh Ling goes to the skies)
Nick Dowsley and Matt Michael were both successfully introduced into the attack, with Digger picking up the obligatory wicket with that 'heavy' short ball well caught again by Reg at mid-wicket, and Cupcake coaxing a feathered edge to Rasool from one that left the batsman. With numbers 5 and 6 getting themselves established and looking to up the momentum of the innings once again, Longers was re-introduced and picked up both of them in his more familiar line of burglary ' caught at long-off ' both well taken by the Cake and Jeremy Cashman to make it 6-165. Dowsley finished his 10 straight for great figures of 1-29, and Longhurst also bowled out with 3-53.
Michael (2-40 from 10) and Howitt re-entered the fray at opposite ends to pick up another wicket apiece with catches from Digger and Longers respectively, whilst keeping the run-rate down, and coupled with superb direct hit run-outs from JOF and Waaaard the innings was brought to a close after 48.1 overs, with 197 runs scored. The team effort in the field was superb with 8 guys taking a catch or a run-out, and everyone contributing in some shape or form which was an excellent effort on a very good batting pitch.
(Umayr Amir in action at Pratten)
Despite his excellent field placings, great run out and metronome-like figures of 2-19 from 8 overs, Howitt was also involved in possibly the worst piece of fielding ever witnessed. Shortly after the 9th wicket fell, the Wests tailender dropped the ball at his feet off Hoppa's bowling and set off for a quick single, alas managing to kick the ball when setting off straight to Hoppa with accuracy Steven Gerrard would have been proud of. Howitt then proceeded to swivel on a sixpence, a yard from the popping crease and bang in front of all three. He could have walked to the stumps, or even thrown it to The Dazzler at the other end. Instead he went for the underarm technique. And missed. Wasn't even close apparently. And it also cost us an overthrow as the Pom was actually on the fence for once where he was supposed to be down at long-off. Hoppa if you want to come and join in with the Green Shield guys for some fielding next week you're more than welcome, I'm sure Wilbur will mind the nets for you!
Despite only having a modest total to chase, we found ourselves at 2-54 at 15 overs with some accurate stuff from the Wests openers. (But what about) The Dazzler played round one and was trapped LBW for 4 and Cupcake caught at point off a leading edge trying to pump one over the square-leg fence for 19. However during this period Reg was looking solid as a rock steadily building his innings, and once he was joined by JOF there was no turning back. The pair added an unbeaten 144 for the 3rd wicket seeing us home in the 38th over to comfortably claim a bonus point. Reg scored runs all around the oval, the highlight being a huge 6 over long-on off the left-arm leggie.
JOF was extremely fluent from ball 1 and was particularly punishing off the back foot through the off side, and along with great running between the sticks they hardly gave Wests a sniff of their wickets. Reg ending with 101 from 126 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes, and Pumps 56 from 60 with 8 boundaries.
A rip-roaring rendition of the song which shook the foundations of the temporary changing rooms, followed by the news from Tiddles that BIC had taken the last wicket in 4th grade to give us 6 out of 6 left a very happy and confident camp, knowing if we can keep to the skipper's target of what is now a minimum of 2 wins from our next 3 matches then we can really kick on after Christmas and cement our position within that top 6.
And finally ' is there anything in that we didn't train all week yet we won all 6 grades? Same again next week? Except for Hoppa and his underarm practice'
(Hi Mum, Its Neil here from down under)
Second Grade vs. Fairfield-Liverpool
The Gordon second grade team arrived at Rosedale Oval sporting several new faces to the side that mauled Hawkesbury the previous week. An injured Ed Zelma came down from the top grade to play as a bat and Neil Longhurst was making his second grade debut after a good start to the season in 3's.
(Matt Michael at Rosedale)
We won the toss and batted on what would have to be one of the best tracks in Sydney at the moment. Rasool and Livermore opened up for the Stags and both began where they had left off the previous round; middling everything. Unfortunately for Reg, just like the previous week he chopped on after making a promising start. Rasool followed suit about half an hour before lunch for 23 after being given out LBW. Zelma and Michael batted really well together to get the Stags to lunch only 2 down. Their running between wickets in this period was exceptional and went a long way to setting up a good total later in the day.
Unfortunately half an hour into the second session with the score on about 110 we lost Ed Zelma for 24 to what was an average caught behind decision to say the least. Cashman joined Michael at the crease and proceeded to watch the Cake belt the loose ball all over Rosedale oval in what was an innings of high quality and class. In a partnership of 80-90 Cuppy would have hit at least 60 eventually bringing up his hundred just after the first drinks break in the middle session. His innings was characterized by aggressive running between wickets and trademark slaps to the fence; it was evident that the Fairfield side had no answer.
Cashman was dismissed for 27 just before the break bringing Hokin to the crease. Unfortunately for the Stags we lost Michael to a tired shot on 110 and then Nick Dowsely before the tea break leaving us 6 down for 210. Although we were still in a good position and we batted deep it was disappointing to lose so many wickets on the break and it's certainly something we will have to work on in the coming weeks.
Longhurst and Sweeney fell cheaply after the break which brought Howitt and Hokin together in the middle. These 2 batted really well; both finding the fence regularly. Hokin played some great cut shots that raced into the fence and Hoppa forced the ball brilliantly through extra cover. This partnership put Gordon back on track to reach 300, however we fell short at 289 after losing Hoppa then Hokin fairly close together; Hokin out for an important and entertaining 66. Fairfield got off to a good start against the new ball leaving Day 1 0-40 in pursuit of 289.
(Rod Hokin in action)
The following week however saw the weather, bocce and poker take over. Much to the disappointment of the Gordon side we started late, not just an hour late either. We started at 10 to 3. Long story short, Fairfield had 54 overs on Day 2 to score an additional 249 runs and the game was evenly poised.
Fairfield got off to another good start against the new ball pairing of Michael and Ling. Both however bowled really well in trying conditions and were unlucky not to breakthrough early. A dropped catch off Ling and some early errors in the field were not making our task any easier.
With the score 0-82, Howitt brought himself on with immediate results cleaning up the Fairfield opener. Hoppa is a guy that is perfectly suited to this situation and he proceeded to control the game from the moment he got the wet ball in his hands. He took the first 4 wickets for not many as Fairfield began unraveling after a good start. From the other end it is important to note that Neil Longhurst helped create a considerable amount of pressure by bowling a spell characterized by exceptional line and length; in his first game of 2's he was impossible to get away.
Michael replaced Longers and got the next 2 wickets while Hoppa claimed his well deserved 5th . Unfortunately for the stags, with the score now at 7-150 the Fairfield boys shut up shop and focused on batting the remaining overs. Hoppa made several bowling changes in an effort to force the breakthrough however it was not to be; the Lions finishing 7-220 in pursuit of 289. All bowlers performed well and the fielding and catching was pleasing. Howitt finished 5-36 and Michael 2-65.
The drawn result was a disappointing way to end a game that had more potential; unfortunately though the weather cannot be helped. The second graders will go into next round confident of points after another good performance at Rosedale.
Second grade report v Hawks
With the promise of a 35 degree day, the captain was under immense pressure to win the toss and bat. He didn't, he tries to say a good toss to lose cause there was a bit in the wicket'the boys weren't having it. The Stags were in the field!!
(Brad Rasool at Killara)
Gordon bowled well for the opening session, particularly Ling and Medcalf, but dropped catches would prove costly (as they generally are). Lunch saw the Hawks in a good position only 2 wickets down with 120 on the board. Gordon only had themselves to blame and looked to redeem themselves in the middle session with amore polished session and seering heat. At least we weren't engulfed by flies!!! Further dropped catches (6 in total) and balls going everywhere in the air but to fielders and at tea the Stags were looking down the barrel of chasing 400+ the following week.
To our credit we fought hard in trying conditions and managed to restrict the Hawks to 354, with Gordon taking the last 5 wickets for 90 runs. Pick of the bowlers were Nick Medcalf ( 3/57) and Matt Michael (3/64), with Josh Ling bowling particularly well and whose figures did not reflect his two good spells.
We ended up the first day at 0/14 and were confident of reaching our target the following week given the quality of batsmen we had in the side. The day ended with the Gordon sipping on the communal beers on the balcony of the Killara pavilion, with the Hawks particularly keen to get back home and not mingle after a days play with a beer or softie. A bit disappointing given every other club comes out of their dressing room for a beer after the game with the home team. (Ditto 2nd week)
(Matt Michael at Killara)
DAY 2 (Wow!!!)
The day was chilly and again Howitt was reminded of the toss last week and who had the better fielding conditions. Rasool and Livermore saw the Stags through the first hour and the Hawkesbury bowlers only breakthrough came when Livers (41) played on after an opening stand of 81 (19 short of 25 fantasy partnership pts each). Hinton strode to the crease and a few of the boys were happy he was at the crease and not in the pavilion (captain particularly) as he was rambling on as only Hinton can.
I am not going to beat around the bush, talk about scores at lunch and when each player reached milestones. Lets get straight to the point'.Rasool and Hinton absolutely belted Hawkesbury. Balls flying into and over the fence at an unbelievable rate.
They scored 120 in the first hour after lunch, and even though Hinton departed for 103 through the 2nd hour, the 2nd hour (with Matty Michael at the crease) reaped another 110 and at 2/390 the game was called off at tea. 1st beer consumed at 2:15 and a few boys were a little worse for wear prior to the league test commencing.
(Sam Hinton at Killara)
Rasool completely dominated the opposition attack and scored an incredible 201*, with 7 x 6's and 26 x 4's. The Dazzler and Hintdog put on a 2nd grade record partnership of 244 for the 2nd wicket. The club record individual score is 228, but I think the Hawks had been through enough and Dazzler was pretty content with his double. Lets also not forget this was Sammy Hinton's 2nd hundred for the club, both coming in the space of 4 games. But, it is all about the bloke who gets the double and Rasool takes all the accolades, just as bloody James Packman did when he scored 204 many years ago and some other bloke got 107 and was completely forgotten.
This was batting at it's best and the boys kept all in the pavilion warm with constant clapping of boundaries. Even when Hinton departed, Matty Michael (34*) came in and absolutely smoked'em .The complete dominance saw the talent of Cashman, Hokin and Dowsley not get a hit and I know when there time comes they are more than capable of emulating, maybe not to the extent of the Dazzler, more three figure scores.
So'.at the end of the day we won easy so it was a good toss to lose. There was something in the wicket and the boys better have more faith when losing the toss in the heat. Fielding in oppressive conditions is character building and maybe just we needed after two fairly comprehensive losses. Who knows what may have happened if we batted first? Well done, but we now must focus on our trip to Rosedale and work hard on our catching.
2nd grade report v Sydney Uni
Having experienced a heavy loss at the hands of a strong UTS Balmain outfit over the long weekend, 2nd grade were looking to bounce back to the winners circle against the students from Sydney Uni.
(Reece Bombas at Killara vs Uni)
Howitt won the toss, albeit a dubious toss of the coin and his first toss win since prior to Xmas in 2005, and elected to bat on a used and worn Killara wicket. With Sydney Uni boasting former state squad rookie Martin Paskal returning from a back injury, Gordon were under pressure early and lost the wickets of Livermore and Hinton ( both without scoring) to loose shots and we were under the pump at 2/7 0ff 7 overs.
Brad Rasool stood firm and played some superb shots and with Jeremy Cashman looked to consolidate the innings. Rasool (44) fell after doing the hard work and soon after Cashman was back in the pavilion and the Stags had to consolidate again through Rod Hokin ( 19) and Reece Bombas (48).
They batted well up to the 2nd drinks break and with wickets in hand our goals were set at a score of 200.
However, two wickets fell with the departures of Hokin and Sweeney to the Uni skipper, leaving another consolidation at a time where we needed to lift the run rate. Bombas batted extremely well and with Medcalf saw our total begin to reach our revised drinks target, until Bomber fell just short of a fifty. Reece has really matured as a batsman this season and his innings thus far this season can be attributed to the work he has put in both on and off the field.
(Brad Rasool during his 44)
The captain (28) joined Medcalf (33*) and they enjoyed a flurry of runs at the end of the innings, putting together 56 in just 5 overs and enabling Gordon to reach a very defendable total of 216. The Killara pitch was very two paced and quite uneven and we knew with this as ally, together with a good fielding and bowling effort, a victory could be achieved.
Dylan Connell and Will Sweeney (a timely return to form) took the new ball and pressured the Uni batsmen, but only one breakthrough was achieved in the initial 12 overs when Connell trapped the opener LBW. After this, the remaining bowlers failed to bowl a consistent length and too many 4 balls were dished up to the opposing batsmen and Uni began to take control.
They remained in control throughout their innings, with only Rod Hokin causing any real concerns with his sharp turning leg spinners. Even on a slow Killara wicket, 216 was too small a total to defend given the short boundaries and quick outfield. We didn't drop any catches but did miss at least 5 run out opportunities.
2nd grade are now looking forward to the next clash with Hawkesbury and getting back on the winning trail. This will be achieved through hard work at training and playing smart cricket both in the field and with the willow.
Ed Howitt Jnr.
Second Grade Report vs UTS Balmain
Coming off a convincing win in the 1st round of season 2006/07, the B Stag's arrived at the picturesque Drummoyne Oval eager to back up their solid start to the season. The Stag's would be without their courageous captain who retired hurt for the match, and his prot'g' Hosking whose excuse for missing the match revolved around an anniversary with a lucky young lady. Pre-game discussions among the ranks couldn't decide whether this excuse was worse than the actual reason for his omission, but all agreed that he'd have plenty of time to think about it next week in 5's.
(Brad Rasool shows his keeping skills)
After a dominant performance in the warm-up, stand in skipper Reginald won the toss and the Stag's would bat. On what looked a great batting wicket, the skipper stressed the importance of approaching the game an hour at a time, with an emphasis on batting all day to ensure that the guys in the sheds could watch the Swans go round later in the day. However, a lack of patience mixed with poor shot selection meant that the Stag's innings didn't extend to the first bounce at the MCG, a bitterly disappointing result for the side.
The innings got off to a slow and steady start, with honest contributions from Uncle 'Tell us a story' Livermore (32), Rod 'Rocket, yeah!' Hokin (46), and Reece 'desperately in need of a hair cut' Bombas (35) getting us to lunch 3 down for around 90 ' probably fair to say that we were just a bit off the pace at this stage' the next session would be vital. And so it proved to be with the Stags succumbing to poor shot selection more so than any great bowling feats from our opponents, as we lost the last 7 wickets before tea with the scoreboard reaching a meager 179.
(Chris Archer at Drummoyne)
Looking around the sheds, we knew that we'd missed out on a ripe opportunity to bat all day and amass a mountain of runs, but could we restrict the Tiger's to less? The short answer to this is unfortunately no. But this was definitely not through lack of effort or application. Although the scoreboard read 0/80 by close of day one, we were almost always in the hunt for a wicket, with D-Train Connell beating the bat consistently and having a sharp chance grassed at bat pad early on.
The clear difference between the 2 sides was plain for all to see. The Tiger's consistently took better options in all facets of the game and this led them to their strong position on day 1. It's fair to say that they as players knew their limitations much better than those among the Stag's ranks. The majority of our 10 wickets fell to extravagant strokes, and we too often bowled that 1 bad ball an over that released the pressure and ticked over the scoreboard. The Tiger's did not make these same mistakes.
(Nick Medcalf with an attacking field)
Day 2 came down to damage control for the Stag's, and with the exception of our final half hour in the field, we were always well in the hunt for wickets. The majority of the bowling was of high standard and the fielding was excellent, it was just never going to be our day. The chances came, but when they did they were sharp and tough, and the Tiger's showed us how to build a 300+ score on a quality-batting wicket. Archie bowled well for 2/80 off 20, with Elliot and Dylan taking the left over poles.
The declaration came at 5/320 just before tea, and the some more applied batting got us to 3/99 at close of play, with unbeaten 33's to 'Slam'n' Sam Hinton and Elliot 'brother of Dan' Richtor.
(Yours - Sam Hinton and Reggie Livermore)
So not the best of performances from the B graders, but we certainly learnt a great deal from the first 2-day game of the season, as I think the rest of the grades did. Best of luck to all grades in getting back in the winners circle this weekend!
Second Grade Report vs. St George
Second Grades' first match report for the 06/07 season and I have the privilege of writing it. After the lofty standards set last year by the likes of Higgins (Brokeback) Stobo, Plummer and Kleem for his poetry, it is a tough ask to kick off a new season.
However this season Stobo has decided not to play and thus will not be writing match reports, instead he is showing his age be writing articles of events that occurred on the cricket field at a time when most of the clubs current players were in nappies, the womb, being conceived or hadn't even been thought of.
The third grade match report will be interesting with a number of strong contributors from last season in the same team, which may cause endless bickering in the change room each weekend to decide on that week's writer.
Anyway enough of the past or future and onto the events from Hurstville from the weekend.
A very strong 2nd grade side assembled in the home/away change room at Hurstville oval. For some reason, after many years, St George appear to have decided to swap change rooms. It was a surreal experience being in the 'other' change room at Hurstville this time around.
The pitch looked good, hard and with good covering of grass. Much discussion was entered into about the merits of batting or bowling first, luckily Howitt didn't have to decide as he called incorrectly and was informed that St George would be batting.
Connell got the 06/07 underway and the signs were not good as the very first ball found a thick edge, producing a fairly regulation catch for 2nd slip only for it to be grassed.
A few overs later another edge was found this time Uncle Reg (Damon Livermore) took a great catch low to his left, St George 1 for 20.
A good partnership followed with Gordon missing a number of opportunities. Medcalf and Archer bowled solidly but it was Rasool who made the breakthrough with a great run out in his debut as wicketkeeper in 2nd grade, St George 2 for 120.
Howitt brought himself on and with Hokin at the other end pegged back the St George innings, 2 more wickets fell in the closing stages. (I would normally use flurry in this situation however it does not suit as St George batted rather sedately towards the close of their innings). Leaving the Stags chasing 224 for victory.
Things did not start well for Gordon with Uncle Reg and Rocket (Rod Hokin) falling early. Rasool at the other end was looking good before being carried from the field having dislocated his knee cap whilst slapping the ball to the boundary through the covers. Leaving the Stags 2 ' for 30.
Reece Bombas joined Sam Hinton at the crease and the 2 of them compiled a masterful innings, steering the Stags out of trouble and all the way home. Hinton bringing up his hundred with a six, Bombas finishing in the 70's, the Stags home with 9 balls to spare and with 8 wickets in hand.
The team was congratulating Hinton and Bombas as they walked from the field, when the former was heard to say in the direction of Ed Howitt Jnr something along the lines of 'Pretty good value for $70,000', a reference to the fact that he felt he was undervalued in the inaugural Gordon fantasy league.
The song was sung with much gusto, a great way to start the season!!