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Second Grade Match Reports 09/10

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 2009/10 season are provided below:

2nd Grade Report vs Sydney Uni - Round 15

2nd Grade Report vs Sydney Uni - Round 15

Hamish Angus2nd Grade go down... but not without a fight 

Cheaaatswood Oval was the venue for second grades last game of the season, against the Students. As Harry Evans had moved up to first grade, Hamish 'Torah' Angus dropped back down after his close encounter with Josh Hazlewood. Matt Kelly went back into retirement, so the other change was Reg coming back into the side after a run in the threes due to work commitments. Ben 'Parratt' Garratt was the stand in skipper and after winning the toss he elected to bat on a sunny day.

Hamish Angus rocks back and cuts through point

Justin 'Salad' Avendano was the first wicket to fall, possibly distracted by a women walking round the ground which would have been the 'first girl he's seen in three weeks!' Reg joined Torah at the crease and they both looked good as they added a partnership of 73 before Reg got caught for 41 off a rank ball off the Students leg spinner, which was not the last time it happened that day!

Parratt, 'Missy' Higgins and Henry 'Perez' Carmichael all departed quickly and were also soon joined in the sheds by Torah and Sweeney to leave the Reserve Grade at 135-7 (note I listed the score the proper way, how it should be)! Torah batted well for his 61, and it was the solid innings we needed at the top of the order. Archer came in and played some good looking shots including a big six over to the home changing rooms before he was dismissed. Rob 'Deano' Edwards was the next man out after a handy 29. Poysden and Sadler managed to swat a few runs before Sadler was cleaned up and the Stags were all out for 190, a score that we thought was defendable as long as we were disciplined, and fielded with lots of energy.

Damon Reg Livermore  Damon Reg Livermore  Damon Reg Livermore

Reg Livermore works the Uni bowlers around Chatswood Oval

The students came out firing and dispatched first Sweeney, then Beau, then the spinners, Archer and Poysden, until the score was 113-2 off 14 overs as they went for a double bonus points. 'Salad' Avendano was awarded the chat captaincy for the first five overs of their innings and was a bit quiet until the gauntlet was passed to Poysden and he kept it going for the next 33 overs, making sure he made the most of his last game in Australia.

The game then changed dramatically with the spinners taking five wickets for one run, with Archie taking one, and Poysden getting 4 wickets in ten balls. The Students were 114-5 and seemed a long way from home. This livened everyone up and was one of the most enjoyable passages of play the author had played in since his arrival. Two Sydney Uni batters then put together a solid partnership to see the game home. It was a disappointing end to the season which at times promised more but we have learnt lessons and will be back stronger next year.

I just want to take this chance to thank everyone from the club, Tids and Catts for helping me get here, the rest of the committee,  Hoppa for his advice at training, and of course all the players for making this such a quality 7 months for me. I will be having leaving drinks at Chelsea on the 3rd April and would love people to come so I can get a good chance to say goodbye. We are a talented club and next year should perform a lot better! I can promise I will be back soon, maybe even as soon as next season depending on how my cricket goes at home.

Proud to be a Stag!


 Hamish Angus  Hamish Angus  Hamish Angus

 Hamish Angus  Hamish Angus  Hamish Angus

Hamish Angus shows off his ability to the captive media contingent

2nd Grade Report vs Hawkesbury - Round 10

2nd Grade Report vs Hawkesbury - Round 10

sweeney2nd Grade gets picked off by the Hawks

Better late than never. It's taken over a week and a good win at UNSW to get to the point of being able to bear a recount of our worst loss of the season to the Hawks in the round 10 one-dayer.

Will Sweeney toils hard at the start of the innings

We never should have lost this game after being in strong positions throughout each innings. 'Reg' Livermore decided to bowl first with the wicket looking a little sticky and it looked a good decision as we had them 3-40 early on. However, we couldn't capitalise on our good start as we bowled too many loose balls and conceded too many sundries. The extras count of 32 proved to be close to the winning margin at the end of the day.

Bad balls and fielding mistakes happen, but it is important that when they do the whole side rallies and shows the energy and spirit to lift the standard. This is something we can do better in 2nd grade but certainly took steps in the right direction at UNSW on Saturday.

Henry Carmichael was probably the pick of the bowlers despite not taking a wicket. He had 0-13 off 6 overs and in hindsight it perhaps would have been helpful if he had got his full 10. Bowling restrictions on the younger quicks must be a headache for the captains.

As we know, wickets in hand are a great asset toward the end of an innings at Chatswood. We allowed Hawks this luxury and paid the price with 63 runs coming from the final 6 overs of their dig, taking their total to 8-264 from 50 overs.

Our top order started the chase nicely with Reg scoring 38 and Harry at number three scoring 32. Blair Lindsay was also in top form with 80 until he was run out from a direct hit taking a tight single. He was the third wicket down with the score at 180 with 14 overs still remaining. This meant a run a ball chase for the remaining batsmen which we backed ourselves to achieve at Chatswood with 7 wickets in hand. We struggled to keep the board ticking over though, and as the run rate lifted so did the intensity and spirit of the fielding side who showed good fight to stay in the game after being in such a poor position.

The pressure told with 5 of the last 7 batsmen dismissed in single figures to leave us all out 229 and ending any chance of keeping our finals destiny in our own hands. Even after our win in at UNSW in Round 11 we still need to win our last 4 games and hope results go our way but it's a funny old game and we'll be doing our best to give ourselves every chance. Fingers crossed.

Chris Archer

2nd Grade Report vs Randwick - Petersham - Round 7

2nd Grade Report vs Randwick - Petersham - Round 7

angus2nd Grade lose the battle of the bats

A new look 2nd Grade side traveled away to confront Randy-Petes in Round 7. Coogee Oval was the scene of a beachside festivity and drunken hilarity, but also a very docile wicket which would almost certainly favour the batting side. As it turned out, the carnival like atmosphere would do nothing to overshadow the intriguing nature of the run-an-over cricket on display over the two days.

Hamish Angus taps one down to mid-off

Hopes were high on the first morning as skipper 'Reg' Livermore won the toss and elected to bat. Whilst Blair fell LBW in the first hour to a handy delivery, Hamish joined the skip at the crease, and the two proceeded to build the foundations for a solid total. The cricket was tedious at times during the first couple of sessions with the batsmen unfazed and score progressing extremely slowly. A disillusioned 'Fester' Todd commented, 'Oh'I have never seen two batsmen look more solid at the crease than these guys.' I swear I didn't detect any sarcasm in this statement at the time. In light of this sentiment, and also underestimating the ability of both batsmen to 'block the sh!t' out of the ball for extended periods, 'Missy' Higgins promised to wear his full batting kit out that evening if he was not at the crease by tea.

If my calculations are correct, he remained in his pads and whites for approximately 17 hours last Saturday, not appearing at the wicket until close to 4.30. Despite the wait, he knocked up a useful 41 in as many balls to get the score moving along. To be fair the wicket was slightly slow and the opposition attacked bowled accurately all day. Reg and Hamish both batted extremely well to reach chanceless centuries in the final session, giving Gordon the upper hand in the game. Useful contributions from Dowsley and Carmichael saw the final total reach 333.

Taking the field mid-way through the first hour on day 2, the Gordon attack were solid, but largely ineffective on a wicket which offered very little. Forgetting we had 6 other medium pace bowlers in the team, Reg opened up with Archer at the Civic Video end. Whilst he didn't get a wicket, Archie consistently worried the batsmen, bowling a long and economical spell. Fester was equally as good, turning the ball sharply at times and unlucky not to pick up several wickets in his spell. At lunch, the scoring graph was taking a painfully familiar shape, with Randy Petes 0-45 at lunch.

It was not until Effeney came on after an hour and a half that the first breakthrough was achieved. Bowling some very heavy deliveries on debut, he collected 2 big wickets to give the Stags some momentum and get them back in the game. Unfortunately, the attack tired in the afternoon, and Randy-Petes cruised home scoring 160 runs in the final session, a good demonstration of what a side can do with wickets in hand. Whilst there were some positives to take out of the game, there is some work to do for 2nd Grade to get their season back on track.

Will Sweeney 'Todd'
2nd Grade Report vs Fairfield - Liverpool - Round 6

2nd Grade Report vs Fairfield - Liverpool - Round 6

livermoreSecond Grade Report vs Fairfield  

The second XI continued their good start to the season with a complete performance against Fairfield Liverpool at Rosedale. With Chad Soper returning to Second grade the bowling stocks were strengthened and the team looked threatening with both bat and ball.

(Reg Livermore in action)

The pre-match warm up went to plan besides the most critical. The toss was lost and the stags were in the field on a hot day and a pitched that looked more like the Hume Hwy. Super Soper and JC took the new ball and bowled with great control. Chad picked up a wicket in the 3rd over with a regulation catch to Elliot Richtor at gully. This was the first of many for El, at least he caught this one with a hint of technique. JC was unlucky not to pick up a wicket in his opening spell but produced many deliveries that troubled the batsman and had numerous appealed turned down.

Chris 'Patty' Archer took the ball and bowled unchanged for the rest of the day with an enduring 26 over spell of class. Patty showed why he is involved in the Sea FM cricket clinics picking up 6 wickets and turning the game to the stags. Archie is a perfect example someone who puts in 110% and how with hard work come the rewards. Well done Patty! Arch was well supported by Henry 'H C Bomb' Carmichael who bowled tight to build pressure. JC returned to pick up a wicket as did Sweeney. Super Soper also took a second wicket to finish with 2.

archerThe bowling effort was well supported in the field, particularly considering the trying conditions. The standard of catching in the reserve grade has set the standard for the club and is making life easier for the bowlers. Although we still need to address our energy levels over the whole day as we have periods of high energy and some with low. Some would say a little like a night out with Ricky. Speaking of Ricky, he self proclaimed himself Man of the Match honors with a great set of ALF marks in the field finishing with 4 catches (Harry Evans couldn't believe this considering his display in PG's against ND's last year) and 5 not out. Well done Els.

(Chris Archer in action)

With half the job done, the message from the captain was to get to stumps without loss and reassess for the following Saturday. Reg and Bear Grills took to the field and came off an hour later with the stags in a commanding position. Reg was unnaturally the enforcer and played attacking cricket whilst taking minimal risk. Bear '1 of 2 in the whole world with this name' Grills played a mature innings and played himself in. Bear played within himself and the boys got us to stumps on day 1 at 0-67 (Damon Livermore 48*, Blair Lindsay 14*).

The next Saturday rolled around and it was even hotter with JC nursing a rather large head ache and sleep deprivation the stags new the job at hand and the bowlers were enjoying their well deserved break. The roles reversed in the morning session with Blair taking the attacking roll and Reg the supporting. The boys took the score to 97 before Blair was caught at gully for a well complied 34. I am sure a big score is just around the corner. Harry Evans took off from Blair and continued his good run of form with some beautiful stroke play which would have made Roger proud. Harry is on the move and hopefully will soon be out of 2nd grade so that others can get some runs. Harry 'as normal' rode his luck but played a very attacking and aggressive innings that was fully of majestic boundaries and dangerous running. Harry was out for a well made 68.

evansMeanwhile Reg was doing everything required of himself in trying conditions whilst grinding the opposition into the ground. Ian Higgins strolled to the crease with the umpire asking why he had blood shot eyes; Missy was quick to point out that he was a champion at Play Station 3 and offered free tutoring. These two took us passed the required total with Damon Livermore bringing up his 9th century for the club. His knock was one that showed the younger guys in the team just how to apply them selves when they bat and wait for the balls in their areas.

(Harry Evans in action)

A great knock from Reg and a well deserved hundred. Ian was unfortunately out to a full toss which he didn't pick up and was adjudged LBW for 17, the author was then out next ball LBW and might have well, just not have picked it up. Man of the match Eliot Richtor took us tea with a majestic 5 not out.

A fantastic effort for the whole team with a comprehensive win and a good platform to build on for next week. Well done to Archie's 6 wickets and Reg's 116* for putting us in such a strong position. Still areas of improvement but we showed that we have the potential to match it with all teams in this competition. A complete performance'Up the stags!

Stay out of trouble..

Hamish Angus

2nd Grade Report vs Easts - Round 5 - Day 1

2nd Grade Report vs Easts - Round 5 - Day 1

campbellCampbell takes 7, before batsmen falter at the close

Round 5 of the Sydney grade cricket competition pitted two posh rivals against each other. Eastern Suburbs with its trendy bars, architectural sights and harbour views against Gordon's leafy surroundings and suburban living, at Chatswood Oval - the epicentre of multiculturalism this side of the bridge. And Chatswood was its usual hive of activity with a procession of bottles smashing, sirens singing to the sound of emergencies and tires screeching in perfect harmony with honking horns. This, coupled with misled youths experimenting with all forms of life, makes Chatswood oval a wonderful place to play cricket.

The only man to stand up, James 'JC' Campbell takes seven

Mother nature played her part too, treating both sides to a fine Sydney summers day in September. Easts' captain Kirk won the toss and elected to have first use of what looked to be a green Chatswood wicket. His decision proved a poor one for himself personally as he was dismissed by a rank half tracker that seamed significantly back at him from Sweeney and only managed to play on. Sweeney himself having attempted to tackle a fence the over before was heard to say "oh no!" as he released the ball. The first wicket epitomised how the mornings session was to play out, as Gordon continued to pick up easy wickets thanks to some hapless batting from the dolphins top order.

James Campbell was his ever steady self from the Trumper Pavillion end. His consistent display of left-arm-finger-spin-off-the-long-run was rewarded by some poor shot selection and exceptional fielding. His first wicket of Schutz was brilliantly taken down the leg side by Evans standing up to the stumps. The best, or more accurately, fortuitous moment of catching saw the dismissal of the ever dangerous Warner whose run scoring prowess is well respected amongst grade cricketers across the city.

After a out witting the talented opener Robson leg before, Warner came to the wicket in his ever confident stride. Campbell pitched a half volley on leg stump which Warner happily clipped of his legs for what would have been a certain boundary had it not been for Higgins standing at bat-pad who managed to stop the ball mid flight with a combination of groin, forearm and a prayer. His arrogant celebration of a shrug of the shoulders and a flick to square leg either suggested that this occurrence was a regularity or that he had no idea what had happened. I'm rather inclined to lean towards the latter. A better bloke would have apologised to Steve, but having copped the rath of some more than accurate sledging in the past, perhaps this was a square up.

When Rob Edwards claimed an athletic caught and bowled on the stroke of the subway interval, Gordon stood at a false position of having Easts at 5-70. Edwards claimed to have injured his abdominal region, however upon further inspection, Missy could only see the workings of a perfectly formed abdomen that Jay Cutler would be proud of. There's no way Edwards could ever be injured, it would be like Jesus crying - it just wouldn't happen.

After the lunch break, Easts' Dai Williams looked to grab back the ascendancy with a succession of dominant front foot play. Williams was brilliant. Technically sound, although never properly tested on the back foot, his prowess through predominately cover, point and square leg both reflected a man in good form and plenty of ability with shots around the wagon wheel and some wayward bowling which was deservedly punished. Gordon did give him a life however when on 80 off the bowling of Campbell. Evans, again standing up to the stumps, shelled a difficult chance as Williams looked to push off the back foot through cover. His hundred came up a few overs later as he superbly stroked Archer through cover for his 16th four of a near flawless innings.

carmichaelWilliams bonded fruitful partnerships with wicket keeper Mitchell - who batted for more than hour for his 20 -and David Richards who made an aggressive 60 batting at 9, notably hitting two large sixes over long-on off Archer who unfortunately never got into his rhythm.

Henry Carmichael pushes through the slippery conditions

Richards should have been run out just after tea, but Gordon's inability to seize key moments again cost them and the partnership between he and Williams continued to flourish on its way to 129 before Campbell returned to the fray and claimed the wicket of the hard hitting Richards. Captain Livermore was hard pressed to find a bowler to support Campbell, whose 25.2 overs not only yielded 7 deserved wickets, but only conceded 69 runs. The four other bowlers used were rotated, but neither could find a consistent rhythm and regularly bowlers slipped at the crease at the moment of delivery. Sweeney at one point asking for sawdust to lay in the crease.

The last 3 wickets fell in the space of 10 minutes, leaving Gordon a tricky last hour to negotiate before the close of day 1. Lindsey was the first to fall for 2, unluckily given out caught behind. Gordon 1-13. Night watchman Archer could only survive 12 minutes and 6 balls before a clever bit of bowling from Bernhard Ballin saw him caught at bat pad, his first of 3 evening wickets. Gordon 2-18. Eccles looked in decent touch, driving well down the ground and swiftly avoiding short balls before he was adjudicated leg before from that man David Richards. Eccles appeared displeased with the decision, but he had to go and Gordon teetered at 3-19.

When Livermore was caught between leaving a ball and playing, he could only manage to chop onto his stumps and Gordon crashed to a woeful 4-21. Evans played out the last over with 3 confident boundaries, whilst Higgins happily watched at the non-strikers end on 0*. Gordon 4-33. 

Eastern Suburbs stand in a more than dominant position and will be entertaining thoughts of an outright victory during the working week, whilst Gordon will look to consolidate and try to get into a position where they can once more win the game. A tense first session is set to ensue at Chatswood on day 2.


2nd Grade Report vs Sydney - Round 4

2nd Grade Report vs Sydney - Round 4

james campbellThree brilliant performances give Twos number one spot

What a great little ground Chatswood Oval is, just ask Steve [Colley] and Harry [Evans]. If I had to describe our efforts over the last fortnight I think that 'a superb team effort, punctuated by individual brilliance' sums it up nicely. Although we didn't always have things our own way, as the final scoreboards may have suggested ... The flip of the coin didn't land our way and it's definitely an area we can improve in, I'm looking at you 'Reg' Livermore. We were obviously sent to the field to bowl on what some had described as one of the flattest wickets they'd ever seen. But that's cricket and it was a cracking day to be out in the sun.

James Campbell leads the boys from the ground after taking 5-for on the first day

There were some concerns early in the day as to who would actually be bowling all of our overs with so many of our team placed under bowling restrictions. Chris Archer was quickly nominated to step up and bowl long spells from one end, which he did, taking 3-59 from his 21 over's. Talking to Chris after the game he felt he was improving each week, and taking 3 wickets in the conditions we faced is a great platform for improvement. A great performance from such a consistent cricketer and team man.

But the talk of the first weekend was all about James 'Supremely fit' Campbell who bowled 30.3 over's in what was a mammoth effort from the left arm speedster. He took 5-68 and showed that patience with the ball will be rewarded, it was an important lesson to learn and one we must carry forward right through the season. Well done Jim, many more to come I'm sure.

colleyAnother great sign of things to come was the bowling of HSC student Henry Carmichael. He took 1-48 from 16 over's that included 5 maidens and delivered exactly what captain Reg wanted, that is, full and straight bowling to a well set field. From memory we only dropped one chance which if taken would have been very close to the best catch I'd ever seen.

Steve 'What HSC?' Colley gets some revision in whilst Sydney searchs for balls at Chatswood Bowls club

Not only was the bowling of the highest standard so too was the fielding with our energy and discipline being outstanding pretty well the whole day. It was one of the best fielding performances that I've been a part of for quite some time. Sydney all out for 298 and plenty of work left to do next week.

Well the work that was left to do was taken squarely on the shoulders by yet another HSC student Steve 'Col Doctor' Colley and Harry Evans whose record breaking 284 run partnership took us to within inches of victory, well before tea. Both never really looked like getting out, until Steve dragged his foot and was stumped down the leg side and Harry run out after a tap on from the bowler's foot after a Reg straight drive. Where to start with their innings? Harry's innings could have been over with a dropped chance at 2nd slip with him still on 0 proving a costly mistake. After that early chance, Harry batted with a fierce determination and scored in a positive manner with quick singles and some punishing pull shots that cleared the boundary.

evansSteve on the other hand was more aggressive, especially in the period between reaching his hundred and getting out. Singles weren't so much of a worry for Steve and he managed to capitalise, scoring consecutive boundaries on many an occasion to make up the difference. It was a pleasure to watch but did come with mixed emotions as one [unnamed player] of the top 3 did miss out big time on the weekend. Well done also to Reg and Missy who both picked up some time in the middle scoring 25 a piece to see us through to tea and the end of the match.

If you're sick of seeing his photo, spare a thought for the opposition! - Harry Evans scores a ton

Well done lads and bring on Easts!

Blair 'Bear' Lindsay

2nd Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

2nd Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

Chris Archer

2nd Grade Match Report vs Sutherland

Another disappointing round overall for the Stags, however second grade can certainly hold their heads high after a close defeat at the hands of a strong Sutherland outfit. Only a few crucial moments and a powerful batting display from a first class opponent prevented us from taking this one out.

Archer is congratulated after a sharp catch off James Campbell

10 of our 11 were present to remove the covers form a surprisingly dry Chatswood Oval, but unfortunately for Rob Edwards, he is now $20 lighter as a result of Reg's new rule that a fine will be incurred if a player arrives more than 20 minutes late. Fortunately for the rest of the team this money will be going straight into the beer fund.

A bad toss to lose saw us sent in on a deck doing plenty early on. Steve Colley fell victim to it in just the first over, edging behind for 0. Steve has had an unlucky start to the season, copping some good deliveries early in his digs, but looks too good in his technique not to post some big scores as the season goes on. Blair Lindsay also went within the first 10 overs after not quite getting on to a short ball and was caught at mid wicket.

After this slow start the ship was steadied by Reg, who didn't score many but batted for more than 10 overs to see off their quicks who were doing the early damage, and Harry Evans, who batted beautifully for 97. It was a very mature innings from Harry who got himself in on a tough wicket with determined defending and smart running between wickets. He then accelerated the scoring by taking advantage of the short Chatswood boundary and some loose bowling from their spinners to hit three sixes and numerous fours.

Ian HigginsIan Higgins and Elliot Richtor have both returned from England in fantastic form to play great supporting roles for Harry with 43 for Missy and 48 not out for Emo. Some excellent striking from both players, in particular Emo late in the innings, along with some helpful dropped catches, saw us reach 8/242 at the end of our 50. A good total considering the early batting conditions, we ground it out well after a poor start and our running between the wickets was key in reaching our score, as it was against Blacktown in Round One. We must continue this good cricket.

Higgins back from England and in form with the willow

Reg has spoken to us about the importance of momentum, particularly in one-day cricket, and we certainly took the momentum from the back end of our batting innings into our bowling after lunch. James Campbell and Will Sweeney were tidy in the opening overs, with JC the pick of our bowlers overall. His 5th over was taken for 16 runs by one of their openers but credit to Reg who had faith in him and to JC for coming back next over to get his man. Another wicket in the same over and two more in his 10th saw JC finish with 4/39. Some sharp catches from Archer, Edwards and Reg had us in the box seat with Sutherland stumbing to 5/73 from 21 overs. Rob was the other wicket taker with his second scalp for the season.

A magnificent partnership from their 6 and 7 then took the game away from us. Their number 6, who apparently has played plenty of first-class games across the ditch (or is that dutch?), scored a match-winning 82 including five sixes, two of which made Reg very unpopular with CityRail staff - in particular one train driver - when he went to fetch the ball off the tracks. It took a great catch from Henry Carmichael off the bowling of Emo to finally get rid of him. He was also well supported by the number 7 who ended up with 69 not out. Our bowling and fielding was still quite good throughout the partnership of 138 and we never put our heads down. Perhaps maintaining a fuller length for longer periods would have helped the bowlers create more pressure but all in all it was good cricket that won Sutherland the game, we certainly didn't hand it to them. I'm sure the bowling group will continue to improve and learn to better build pressure through consecutive tight overs and bowling in partnerships, and this will make us very tough to beat as the season progresses.

The mood in the sheds after the game was as positive as can be after a loss. We knew that we were close to taking down a good side that consisted of 10 players with first grade experience. Only a crucial toss and an excellent partnership prevented us from doing so and we all know where we can improve to make sure we are back on the winners list next week.

Also good to see plenty of the boys stay back for a beer and get across to Chelsea for dinner as well. Let's make sure that continues lads.

Chris Archer

evans Harry Evans Harry Evans

Harry Evans Harry Evans Harry Evans

Harry Evans on display: Smash, Bash, Crash, Punch, Flick, Closure.

2nd Grade Report vs Bankstown - Round 2

2nd Grade Report vs Bankstown - Round 2

No report submitted

Rain washed out most of the first day and all of the second.

Please see match results for individual player's statistics.

2nd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

2nd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

Hamish Angus2nd Grade notch up a victory against Blacktown 

A quick trip down the M2 / M7 link on the way to Blacktown's home ground seems a pretty simple yet expensive journey. For some, the $9.57 to get to the game on time, without a GPS, is a small price to pay. For others who like the scenic route, albeit via Penrith, $37 in tolls seems quite a hefty dent to the austudy allowance.

The saying 'Tales never fails in New south Wales' has never rung truer.

Hamish Angus returns to a happy hunting ground

The new poster boy for the SCA fixtures program and Inaugural Inside Cricket Magazine 'club player of the month', Damon 'Reg' Livermore, won the toss and decided that the Stags Second Best XI would bat first on a hard yet grassy wicket.

On the windiest of windy days, batting was going to be difficult.

Stags openers of Colley (14) and Lindsay (19) got us off to a good start at 4 runs per over. Letting the ball go on a seaming wicket was crucial. These guys showed great respect for the good balls whilst cashing in on anything short. Both were unlucky to be out to sharp chances. Harry Evans (74) steadied the ship with a fantastic partnership with Hamish Angus (25). Both batted extremely well on a deck that had brought them premiership glory back in the Dave "Tweety" Gray era. The singles, which these guys 'stole', were unbelievable and no doubt were the difference between us winning and losing the match.

Harry EvansAngus who was unlucky to be caught off a waist high full toss, showed great temperament throughout his innings, hopefully a big innings is around the corner. His dismissal brought Elliot Richtor (25) to the crease. Els hasn't lost any of his touch whilst in England and the combination with Evans was wonderful to watch. Crisp stroke play so early in the season had to be admired. As the push for runs in the latter part of the innings brought the downfall of Evans, next man in Robert 'GPS' Edwards (25) showed his class as a finisher, knocking the ball to all parts. Will Sweeney (25) was the quiet achiever in the late flurry, knocking the ball around and rotating the strike. Sweens cover drive was in action and the bowlers had no hesitation in feeding him fodder to dispatch through the off side.

Harry Evans pumps one over the top

Chris Archer made a welcomed return to Sydney grade cricket with a run a ball 20. A total of 268 '8 was a pretty decent in those conditions. The running between wickets was sensational and to be fair about half of our dismissals were to very sharp catches. So on any other day, all those scores of 25 might turn into 50's. All the Stags batsmen performed extremely well for this initial bout for the 09/10 season, hopefully this will be a sign for things to come.

As the wind continued to be annoyingly gale force, the Stags set out to make inroads against The Blacktown batting line up. The 'J 'connection of James Campbell (1-28) and James Kennedy (1-39) performed well. Left armer opening bowlers are never easy to face and these guys are no exception. Both struck early, leaving the 'Warriors' reeling at 2 wickets down for just 5 runs. Stags were definitely on top now. The next partnership was a blur. Honestly. The next 120 runs came at 7 runs per over. We didn't bowl as badly as the score indicated. The batsmen chanced their arm on anything that was slightly wide. Balls in the air often missed awaiting hands by only centremetres and often ended up at the boundary.

Will SweeneySometimes its hard to set fields in these times as no one, not even the batsmen expect balls to be flying in those unorthodox directions. Chris Archer (0-49) was unlucky not to grab a couple of wickets. Shots just clearing the fielders and an edge to slip was grassed. Archie showed great variation with his deliveries beating the bat on numerous occasions. The drinks break was a welcomed relief. We knew that if we hung in there and just got a single wicket, we could again grab the game by the scruff of the neck. The old sugar hit did work wonders. Steve Colley (3-42) getting the vital wicket. The dismissal of their consistent left-hander came almost instantly, soon to be followed by another wicket. Add another twist, with their number 5 blazing a rapid 25 in 4 overs, a definite roller coaster was in action.

Will Sweeney performing with bat and ball

Will Sweeney (4-36) started the roll we desperately needed. Three wickets in quick succession, definitely took the wind out of the Warriors sail.

Unfortunately for us, the wind was also out of our sails. Having the opposition 8-185, a good side would have knocked over the tail without fuss. We, on the other hand, took the foot off the throat, lost all our intensity and decided to drag the finish out for another 12 overs. Eventually bowling them out for 219. Which still looks good on paper against our 268-8 but after the many twists and turns of the game, a sub 200 score would have been a much more satisfying result.

A bit of an anti-climax really. That may sound quite harsh but in reality, bonus points don't come along too often and the opportunity to grab one or two extra points definitely presented itself.

The victory was still one to be proud of. A great start to the new season and many positive signs. We have a great bunch of young men in the team with talent to burn. If we can turn that potential into runs and wickets on a Saturday, second grade will be pleasant place to be.

That's what im talking about!

Yours in Cricket




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