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Second Grade Match Reports 2015/16

The Second Grade team plays for The Albert Cup over 15 rounds of competition matches.

All of the lower grades generally contain a number of experienced players and young higher grade aspirants. Points for all wins go to the club championship.

Second Grade match reports for 2015/16 season are provided below:

2nd Grade vs Bankstown - Round13 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Bankstown - Round13 - 2015/16

The Reserve Graders arrived at Bankstown Memorial fresh from an excellent win over the Rangers and keen to press on and pick up another victory in the tail end of the season.

The boys got right into the warm up with a spirited game of touch and the usual team fielding exercises. 

A quick Google search of "Bankstown Memorial Oval" and a photo of Chris Spratt pops up  

The outfield seemed longer and a bit slower than Old Chatswood and with the deck looking a fair bit greener than its 2nd XI counterpart, the Staggies were not too unhappy about being sent into the field. 

Unfortunately, any thoughts of the ball not rolling through the outfield were put to bed as the second ball of the innings was sliced through backward point for a boundary.

The openers toiled hard with the new ball, hitting the deck and getting plenty of movement out of it and making a couple of Bulldogs look very ordinary (not much you can do when the ball seams 6 inches). Their hard work was rewarded as Skilbeck removed the first batsman with a little edge through to Max (1-29). 

Reagan Klemt, [4-25 (8.3)] Captain Cubbage [1-45 (10)] and Charlie Booth [2-27 (10)] combined excellently during the middle part of the innings to apply pressure to the Bulldogs and keep the wickets flowing especially in the face of a few partnerships which were threatening to put us on the back foot.

Axel Cahlin was also in that same PG's match and his photo also makes the Google front page 

Special mentions to the excellent fielding efforts by Chris Spratt for his superb catch running backwards at mid off and to Corbin Edgar who stepped up brilliantly to the 2nd Grade arena and affected a direct hit run out from the third man boundary to remove the Bankstown danger man.

Skilbeck and Stickland returned to the crease to toil again although they finished with figures of 2-43 (10) and 0-31 (9) respectively, the score sheet didn’t reflect properly how well both bowled throughout as each could easily have picked up a few extra poles along the way.

Late innings resistance once again frustrated the 2nd Graders as a potential chase of under 150 was stretched out to 174 before Reagan came back on to burgle 2 more wickets…although just quietly the “stumping” by Max should really have been a run out to the keeper…

Gordon began the chase well, moving to 30 before Cam New fed the keeper a simple catch trying to run one down to the open third man. Axel Cahlin joined Liam McElduff at the crease and after successfully blocking his first 17 deliveries, began the task of compiling a very good 58 off 70-odd deliveries showing that he is good both on the front and the back foot, against both spin and pace.

‘Macca’ continued his job playing the Rock of Gibraltar, compiling a stolid 49 from 104 deliveries, and getting in some much needed time at the crease in the lead up to this rounds fixture against the Ghosts. 

Liam tonned up in that same PG's match... this time falling just short of 50 

Unfortunately he couldn’t complete a deserving 50 as he was fired by the umpire.

The Stags lost 2 more wickets in short order and were sitting at 5-153 in the 44th. Chris Spratt and Corbin Edgar combined again, this time with the bat to lift the boys to a second straight victory with an excellent partnership and the loss of no further wickets.

Two wins in a row for the 2nd Graders, a rarity this season unfortunately but with the opportunity to go 3 from 3 this round against Campbelltown-Camden and a potential 4th consecutive win vs Hawkesbury the following round at Chatswood. 

The reserve graders will be very keen to make the most of this opportunity and take some good momentum into next season and push for a finals berth of their own.

Cam “Mango” New

2nd Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs St George - Round 9 - 2015/16

The first round of the New Year saw the Gordon Stags Second Grade facing off against St George at Chatswood Oval in a one day match for what was sure to be a great game of cricket befitting of these two great clubs.

Chris Bateup pushes hard against the Saints 

The Stags day began with the usual inspection of the pitch. At first glance it was clear that this green top was going to be a wicket on which scoring would be difficult early, but once the batsmen got themselves in runs would be able to flow. 

With that said it was the overall opinion that whoever won the toss would opt to bowl first.

After a quick session of covers the Gordon's boys got into their warm up where shortly after commencement they received word from captain Adam Cubbage that he had actually won a toss and had sent St George in for a bat.

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Stags looked to opening bowlers Chad 'instagram upload' Soper and Jack 'school bag' Skilbeck to get them off to a good start and get St George on the back foot. The innings began well with Chad starting off the Gordon boys with a maiden.

The economic bowling seen in the first over was short lived with the strict enforcement of leg side wides soon showing some impact on the bowlers economy with St George on 20 off 4 overs. 

However it did not take long for the Stags bowlers to strike back with Jack Skilbeck taking the first scalp of the day in the 6th over making the total 1 for 27 off 6.

With a new batsman at the crease the Gordon bowlers began to tighten their grip on the St George run rate. With the help of Reagan Klemt and Chris Bateup Gordon were able to keep St George to 1-48 off 15 going into drinks.

After drinks it was clear that a change of pace was needed in order to get a break through for the Stags, this saw Anand Verma come to the crease. The combinations of Anand, Chris and Reagan saw the stags hold on the St George run rate tighten and eventually this pressure resulted in a wicket for Anand who at this point had bowled 7 overs 1 for 21.

With the total at 2 for 89 and a second drinks fast approaching the Stags knew that a wicket before the break would hold them in a good position going into the final session of the St George innings. 

In order to get the break through the Stags turned to their captain Adam Cubbage to break through for them. Well, the skipper turned to himself actually. But Cubby's impact was felt immediately as he claimed the wicket of the St George captain and saw the visitors go into drinks 3 for 108 after 32.

The final session of the St George innings saw both highs and lows for the Gordon Stags. First over back after drinks saw captain Cubbage strike again for his team and left the total at 4 for 116 after 33. Morals were high in the field for Gordon, and this saw the persistence of Chris Bateup eventually pay off with a wicket to him in the 38th. 

With the total at 5 for 135 after 38, the Stags were looking to keep the pressure on their opponents and hold them to a low score. However patches of loose bowling and some good batting from St George saw the run rate begin to increase. Even with wickets falling as a result of some great bowling from Skilbeck and Soper, St George entered into their change rooms at 8 for 214 after 50.

After a tidy bowling performance, on a wicket that did far less then what was expected of it the Gordon batsmen headed out after lunch. Focused and confident that they would be able chase down the total set by their opponents the Stags set to work building their innings and after a few tidy overs by the St George bowlers, Gordon were 0 for 16 off 10 with Liam McElduff and Cameron New at the crease.

The disciplined bowling from the St George opening bowlers eventually took its toll and this saw the dismissal of Liam, caught in the slips attempting to cut for 8 with the score at 1-16. Liam would shortly be joined in the sheds by 1st drop Axel Cahlin who was unfortunately caught attempting to cover drive just a ball after Liam was dismissed, this left the score at 2 for 16 after 11.

The fall of Axel saw notorious boundary hitter Chris Spratt come to the crease to help steady the ship, however a gem of a ball from one of St Georges' opening bowlers saw Chris dismissed LBW for 1. With the total at 3 for 18 after 12 things were not looking good for Gordon.

Inform batsman and keeper Max Papworth then took to the crease to help build a resistance for Gordon, things began to steady for Gordon as Max took the total from 18 to 34 in 4 overs. 

The resistance was quickly dismantled by the St George bowlers however as we saw the fall of Cameron for 10 in the 16th and then shortly after the fall of Reagan Klemt in the 17th, this left the total at 5 for 39 as we entered into the 18th over.

As Chad Soper came to the crease moral was low in the Gordon change room, however together the combination of Max and Chad gave the Gordon boys something to cheers about as they began to build a partnership. Together from the 18th to the 28th Max and Chad took the total from 39 to 100 setting an example for the rest of the team and showing that if you apply yourself and occupy the crease there were runs to be had. 

However the 29th over and confusion between the two saw the dismissal of Soper, who was run out for 23 leaving the score at 6 for 104.

Unfortunately the dismissal of Chad saw the fall of the Gordon innings, with Chris Bateup falling for 6 and Max following shortly after for a well ground out 45, leaving the total at 8-115. 

Defeat was imminent at this point and both Anand and Cubby fell leaving Jack Skilbeck at the crease and the total for Gordon 10 for 115 after 36.

Overall it is clear that it is the batsmen in 2nd Grade that must step up and support their bowlers if the side is going to succeed in the future.

However moving into the second week at Chatswood again Sydney University the side feels confident that they will be able to chase down the total set.

Liam McElduff

2nd Grade vs Manly - Round 8 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Manly - Round 8 - 2015/16

Rocking up to another Chatswood flatty, the 2nd Grade side were in search for a win before the Christmas break after an outright loss to Penrith in the previous round.

Captain Cubbage was confident in the side bowling first as 2nd Grade's track record of chasing down totals at Chatswood is outstanding; in saying this we won the toss and sent the Manly side into bat. 

Anand Verma, known for his actions off the field as well. You must read below. 

After a positive warm up in the heat and a few wise words of wisdom from the warmly welcomed Axel Cahlin, the boys were ready to come out firing. 

After a consistent opening spell from Jack Skilbeck and Chris Bateup the Manly batsmen had seemed to set themselves in, well at least one of them. First change bowler Tim Ferrero picked up the wicket of a streaky opening batsmen with a genuine half volley spooned to cover for simple catch. 

When the ‘disease’ of a left hander walked to the crease, Ferrero along with the rest of the side did not want this bloke to hang around so Tim decided hoop one into his pads and dismiss him for 0 after 3 balls, leaving the visitors at 2-63. A collapse was on the cards but close chances didn’t go our way with Reagan Klemt bowling an elegant spell of consistency and patience doing his best to make the break through. 

Jack Skilbeck provides a consistent opening spell, before cleaning up the tail 

As the pitch and players roasted in the heat, pace bowling began to be no good so Cubby bought upon himself and Anand Verma to see how the spin would prove. It proved to be the right call with Anand taking the vital wicket of the Manly opener early in his spell proving that dot balls and high intensity in the field brings wickets. Cubby wasn't far behind snagging the next wicket, with a sharp catch by Anand leaving the visitors at 4-116. 

As another small partnership began to build the spin proved to be the right call with Cubby again taking another wicket. From here the Manly side began to throw their wickets away with poor shot selection as Skilbeck and Bateup easily cleaned up the bottom order for a tidy 185.

In the lunch break the 2nd Grade side were introduced to an interesting character who was known as “Mark’s Brother?” The boys thought nothing of it as he looked more harmed than harmless. 

Ferrero dismissed the left-hander cheaply and continued to apply pressure 

He worked his way to all corners of the change room whether it be the showers or behind the mini fridge, then helping himself to some of Anand’s mothers lovely food that she had whipped up for the boys. 

One corner that he then regretted moving to was the corner that Chris Bateup was sitting in. As he parked up right next to the door, perfect for his getaway, he glanced down into Chris’ bag seeing a nice mobile device sitting right on top of the bag, so he decides to lean down and pick it up. Before old mate had the chance to have a good look at it, Chris gave him a few words… and that was the end of that bloke, until later on in our batting innings of course.

As Cameron New and Steve Bristow walked to the middle in the hottest part of the day, their intent was good as they put on a gritty 35 run opening stand before Cameron was dismissed for his final grade game this season before he leaves to Rome to pursue his dream career.

This bought Axel to the crease. Yes. However, the excitement felt by the boys of having Axel at the crease was short lived when Bristow was bowled to a good length ball. Chris Spratt and Max Papworth were the next 2 batsmen in, both looking to play positively but fell to good Manly bowling.

It's almost not a proper 2nd Grade report without a photo of Axel Cahlin 

At 4-104 Reagan came in looking to steady the ship along side Axel. They both worked the ball incredibly well rotating strike on the good balls and dispatching the bad ones. Axel was dismissed for a hard earned 44 as he did his very best to bring us back towards the end of the innings leaving the Stags at 5-127. 

It was at this time in which Tiddles asked the question that no one would ever refuse, that being if anyone from our top 5 would like to go help out fielding for 5th Grade across at Beauchamp Park. Chris Spratt being Tiddles target, jumped on the offer with great excitement (as you could imagine) and was on his way! Another reason to stay at the crease. Or be a bowler.

Although Axel's dismissal bought stress to the Stags, it also bought our best mate ‘Mark’s brother’ back to the oval but this time he was caught scavenging through the vacant Manly change rooms while they were on the field. 

Bateup and Verma took it into there own hands to kick old mate off the field but some unnecessary backchat from the Manly players on the field sparked the intelligent brain of Mark’s brother, which made him throw a glass bottle into the fence, shattering glass along the boundary line. The 15 minute delay was over as our dear friend left the oval ‘calmly’ in the grasps of Tim Cubbage and we continued our attempt to chase down Manly’s total. 

Manly re-introduced their opening bowler, who had more of a slinging type action to say the least, and was brutal in knocking over our bottom order. By bringing the ball from right behind his back, afternoon sun and deteriorating pitch, the ability to pick up the lengths of the balls was proving difficult as our final 6 wickets fell for just 12 runs, falling 47 runs short of the required total.

A disappointing way to finish 2015 for 2nd Grade but a break may do us the world of good as we will come back fighting in the first round of 2016 more determined for the win we deserve to have.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Tim Ferrero

2nd Grade vs Penrith - Round 7 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Penrith - Round 7 - 2015/16

This may well be the shortest match report of all time but, alas, a reporter can only write about what is in front of them. And when what is in front of them is an outright loss before tea on the second day, there is not much good to reflect upon. 

Cam New opens the batting for the 2nd Grade side 

The Gordon 2nd Grade team were pleased to have their fixture against Penrith moved from the geographically impossible Howell Oval to Killara. However, I am sure they would have preferred to pay the $20 in tolls if it meant winning 6 points (or at least not conceding 10).

The skipper, Adam Cubbage, finally won his first toss for the season and elected to bat on a wicket that would prevent some challenges early but would flatten out after tea. 

Batting was tough in the early overs with the wicket providing inconsistent bounce as well as some sideways movement. However, the experienced Penrith bowling attack must be given some praise for putting the ball in the right spot more often than not, allowing for the wicket (and some questionable shots from the GDCC batsman) to do the rest. 

The Gordon innings never really got moving, with wickets falling constantly at both ends. Eventually it slumped to all out for 89 – nowhere near enough runs for this standard of cricket. 

Tim Ferrero whips one off his legs as he partnered Reagan Klemt 

The only batting performance worth mentioning was Reagan Klemt’s hard fought 28*, which could have been more if someone else showed enough application to stick it out with him. 

Penrith immediately set about chasing down the runs before the close of play on Day 1. They came out with an aggressive attitude, knocking off a fair chunk of the total from Gordon’s seamers. They passed Gordon’s total only 2 down and were in strong command of the game. The match slightly changed its course in the evening session, as the Gordon spinners bowled extremely well to both restrict runs and take wickets, restoring some respect to the day’s play. 

Penrith slumped to 8 for 163, giving Gordon a slither of hope for the reverse outright. 

The pick of the bowlers was Anand Verma (5-46 of 19), who’s excellent control frustrated the Penrith batsman. An honourable mention also goes to Adam Cubbage (1-47 for 20) who worked in strong partnership with Verma, keeping it tight whilst also picking up a crucial wicket. 

Penrith immediately declared at the start of play on Day 2, giving them the maximum time to dismiss Gordon for the second time. There is not much to say about Gordon’s second innings that was not previously mentioned in this report about the first innings. 

Another lusty blow from Tim Ferrero 

Some slight nuances were that they were dismissed for 104 instead of 89, and Reagan made 29 instead of 28* (again the only batting performance worth any mention). 

This gave Penrith 31 runs to chase in their second innings for the outright victory. Gordon’s opening bowlers, Jack Skilbeck and Dan Stickland, bowled well to pick up a wicket each. However, they simply did not have enough runs to bowl at and Penrith made the runs comfortably with 8 wickets in hand. 

Overall it was a tough two days of cricket for the young Gordon second grade side. 

The batting was not good enough and needs to drastically improve if they are going to be competitive at this level. Hopefully lessons will be learned, improvements made… and all that jazz.

Jack Skilbeck

2nd Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Eastern Suburbs - Round 6 - 2015/16

Following a disappointing loss to Blacktown, the Gordon Stags 2nd XI entered Round 6 staring into the abyss of being limited to a ‘mathematical’ chance of finals cricket far too early in the season.

With reasonable batting conditions on offer and nothing less than victory acceptable, Captain Cubbage dutifully lost the toss. 

Textbook Spratt. Fetch that one gents! 

It would prove a masterstroke with the Dolphins electing to bat shortly before persistent rain forced the square to be covered.

Close enough to 45 minutes play was lost before Stickland and Skillbeck went to work with conditions conducive to swing bowling. Both begun well – Stickland picked up 2 early wickets to continue a rich vein of form with the new ball – but in giving the ball a chance to swing the pair were guilty of straying too full.

Cam New is looking solid at the top of the 2nd Grade order 

Bateup and Ferrero were introduced and begun to slow the scoring rate. Some persistent pressure yielded two wickets before a pair of Easts batsman combined for the most productive partnership of the innings. 

Cubbage operated steadily, as is the captain’s prerogative, whilst the rest of bowlers were rotated in an effort to prize out a wicket on a surface that felt increasingly familiar to a weary attack. Verma’s spin broke the 145 run partnership but before long Easts had steadied and sat 5/275 at the midpoint of the last session.

Jack Colley's return from 1st Grade on day 2 was a massive boost for the side 

QC Comms proudly supports Jack Colley

It was here that the Stags exorcised the demons of Round 4 – Cubbage started the rot by removing Ezekiel for a flawlessly complied 182. Some fizzing leg breaks and a touch of reverse swing saw the final 4 batsman all dismissed for nought. All told, Easts were dismissed for 288 and in doing so had slumped to lose 5/13.

About time skip! Papworth and Verma celebrate the skipper's breakthrough 

Gordon were arguably unlucky not to enter day 2 with all ten wickets intact when opener Bristow’s front pad once again fell afoul of the umpires judgement. The men in maroon suffered no further loss, reaching 1/30 at the close of day one.

Day two saw the Top 6 welcome back their spiritual leader in Jack Colley whom returned from 1st XI duties. Jack’s impact was felt immediately with the Top 6 finally able to muster a challenge in pre-game touch football. Some generous extensions of play allowed the Top 6 a scarcely believable return from 3-0, with the 3-3 deadlock to be decided by each group’s contribution to the run chase.

It can only be thought the Bottom 5 was trying to spur on the batsmen. Upstairs for thinking!

Tim Ferrero leans into his work in the reserve grade side 

The Top 6’s campaign began brightly, with New and Spratt sharing a sparkling second wicket partnership of 114. Spratt (49) combined an impressive range of shots with resolute defence before holding out whilst New (61) was particularly harsh on any overpitched deliveries, driving down the ground with great authority.

The lunch break arrived just one over too late for the home side with their pursuit suffering a significant setback when New and Papworth (0) were dismissed on the stroke of 12:30. It seems the boys were following 1st Grade far too closely!

Mortgageport proudly supports Chris Spratt

A number of useful partnerships followed the break, but each time it appeared the chase was under control a wicket was lost. 

The common thread through each of these partnerships was Colley (117*), who produced a gem to anchor the side’s chase. Colley showed great maturity and an impeccable sense of timing – both in his choice and execution of stroke play. 

Chris Bateup provides yet another option for the skipper after Skilbeck and Sitckland's opening spells 

As if to mock the notion of any nerves Colley sprinted through the 90s with a pair of towering 6s to bring up a well-deserved and ultimately unbeaten century.

To express Verma (12) and Stickland’s (4) contribution by their own runs would horribly understate how well each played their supporting role in a number of invaluable partnerships (45 and 34 respectfully). 

Whilst the home side ensured a nervous finish by losing their 9th wicket with just 6 runs left to win, Skilbeck (8*) cooly carved out a well struck boundary through cover to seal a crucial victory for the Stags and the Top 6.

We're keen to know where the photo of Skilbeck is hiding - surely someone caught that 'well struck boundary' on camera 

With renewed belief, the side now confronts a Penrith side flying high in 2nd position at Killara Oval.

Chris Bateup

2nd Grade vs Blacktown - Round 5 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Blacktown - Round 5 - 2015/16

After a week of rain and a multitude of cancellations the reserve graders endured the lonesome journey out to Blacktown, one of Sydney’s greatest cultural centre, unclear of what conditions awaited them. 

The boys were hopeful that the early rise was not wasted for fear of being locked in a change-room listening to the ramblings of Stickland and Reagan’s theories of betting on a sport he hadn’t known about until 3 weeks ago.

Dan Stickland is congratulated after an early wicket in their defence of 145

Fortunately the ground was in exceptional condition, and we were all stoked to see a ball actually roll along the surface. A month at Chatswood has floated the idea that one should field with boxes on for added comfort, security and peace of mind. 

A nervous groundsman informed us that the pitch is a bit soft but will “be sweet” to bat on once it baked out. I was sceptical, seeing as the sky was in fact grey.

The warm-up has been an area needing improvement, so too has the top 6s touch rugby skills. I am pleased to report that the former was outstanding, plenty of energy and enthusiasm as the stags look to improve on recent outings in the field. 

The latter however remains the same: despite a one man advantage the top 6 cannot find a way to get through the bottom 5, who prevailed 3-0 with some fleet-footed running and excellent tactical nous. There were rumblings of discontent from the top 6, claiming we took the game too seriously, but if running into holes and releasing a winger with a significant overlap is too serious, then lock me up and throw away the key. 

Plenty more of this young man to see at the Stags - Michael Roberts 

I think Cubby lost the toss, I'm not actually sure, but he has the last 3 rounds so I’ll just assume he did. We were batting, and looked to apply what worked so well against North Sydney mainly “Play straight, be great.”

Debutant Matt “Dingo” Chamberlain and Cam New looked to do just that, but scoring was tough going with a pitch difficult to drive on and a sluggish outfield. 

Dingo fell pulling and Chris Spratt joined Cam. Full of confidence after making a point of removing his yellow clads (he represented Australia you know!?) and reminding us that he has a Cricinfo page, Spratty knocked it around in typical Spratt fashion. 

Once the bowlers actually put a ball on his stumps he nicked it into his pad and was given LBW (it’s a batsman’s game). 

Reagan, fresh out of the friend zone and fresh into the runs, steadied the ship with our second debutant Nick “Rocher” Ferrero until lunch once New had found his way back into the sheds. At 3/64 it wasn’t an ideal start but if we kept wickets in hand we’d be able to cash in later on…

When this man is fit... what a star. Jack Skilbeck troubles the Warriors 

Alas it wasn’t to be as Ferrero left a straight one second over after lunch, he told us it came in viciously - but I'm writing… so it was going with straight. 

Unfortunately it didn’t get much better as a flurry of quick wickets saw the departure of Reagan, last week’s centurion Chris and Cubby. At 6/84 things weren’t looking great, fortunately Tony Wilson was creating the finest hour of conversation in 2nd grade history. 

Topics ranged from the Melbourne Cup, during which Tiddles surprisingly supported female jockeys, to the standard discussion of player’s mothers. According to Tiddles, a mother-daughter combination at cricket is best, but he would like to see more of Mrs Spratt in attendance.

During this our third debutant Michael “Blue” Roberts was at the crease and looking sublime, let me tell you, the boy can bat. He and “Dogs best friend” Anand Verma put on 35 and Michael in particular looked in great touch for his 46, definitely one to watch. There’s not much else to ride on, a final score of 146 was simply not good enough and a lot of our batsmen would probably regret the shots that got them out. 

Dan Stickland did his best to bundle out the Blacktown boys 

After an extended tea break due to a light shower the stags were out in the field looking to make life difficult for the warriors. Life was indeed difficult for 7 of the 8 batsmen who took the crease, Stickland found some rhythm and movement from the top end removing the top order with 3 wickets, Skilbeck back from injury and back with a vengeance bowled some great areas and was rewarded with his two opening poles for the season. 

Unfortunately one batsman (I don’t know his name, oh wait yes I do! It’s all over the Gordon mobile team app… thanks Tids) took it to the bowling and dominated the innings compiling 81* at the end of the days play. The day ended with Blacktown 6/131, a meagre 15 runs behind.

The many facets of Michael Roberts' game on display here 

Day 2 arrived and so did the rain. Play started at 12 and Blacktown knocked the runs off in 5 overs. Skilbeck delivered a faint glimmer of hope when he snicked off the number 8 in his first over. However, the pitch was significantly flatter and with a wet ball the bowlers were on a hiding to nothing. Blacktown passed the score 7 down and declared with a lead 32. Gordon survived 4 overs before the rain came (again) and the game was called off.

Obviously 146 was never going to be enough, and despite some great bowling from Skilbeck and Stickland (3/44 off 9 and 3/52 off 13) Gordon always had their backs against the wall. You could turn around and say “well Gordon had the worst of the conditions” which is true, however 9 of the 10 dismissals were poor shots and errors of judgement rather than unplayable deliveries. 

It’s such a shame we couldn’t fight that little bit harder on day one, who knows an extra 50 runs could’ve seen us walking off Joe McAleer a lot happier. 

We'll leave you with this one. Great camera work by Tiddles! 

We have the talent and ability to play some seriously good cricket, you just need to look at our chase of 350+ against North Sydney and you can see the potential of this side. Easts represent a great chance for the boys to get back to the playing the kind of cricket we all know we’re capable of. Let’s work hard during the week lads and get around it for Saturday! 

Dan Stickland

2nd Grade vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 4 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Randwick-Petersham - Round 4 - 2015/16

Both teams had stopped warming up and eagerly watched the toss. You could cut the tension with a knife as both bowling units prayed for the signal from the skipper of a high elbowed forward defence that would signify that they could put their feet up and watch the other side toil on what resembled the German Autobahn. 

Chris Bateup finds the photograph after playing a pull towards the Chatswood fence 

Anticipation turned to fear and that fear turned to dread as we heard the elated cries of the opposition. We were disappointed (but not surprised) to find that Cubby had lost the toss and that we were fielding. 

The quicks kept it tight but could not find any penetration on a placid wicket and Randwick-Petersham started solidly and moved to 0-72. When the breakthrough did come, it came through skipper Adam ‘Cabbage Patch’ Cubbage. Adam (22-8-1-80) started fantastically and collected the top of off to remove one of the openers. 

Cam New compiles a gritty half century 

Continued pressure with the ball led to a runout and when Anand ‘Mr V’ Verma (26-2-2-98) struck twice, at 4-185, the door was open to restrict the trotters to something very chaseable. This brings us to tea, the Stags walked off knowing that they were giving the equines a good tussle. 

The scoring rate had not exceeded 3 for most of the day which at Chatswood is an absolute mission. 

This reporter wishes that he could end the transmission here but what happened after tea was diabolical. It was as if we had decided we were in the lower grades and that we would only play for two sessions. And we’re not – Bombas still talks to us.

After tea, the fielding fell away considerably. The batsmen got on top and the Gordon reserve side flat lined. 

Out of ideas and deflated, the Stags stumbled and were put to the sword by a Randy Pete’s side intent on dominating the third session. Randy Pete’s young gun Henry Tornton had looked vulnerable till this point, chipping many balls into a packed offside and being dropped off a sharp chance but he along with the skipper Mclaughlin put a deflated Stags to the sword with a ruthlessness that would make any four star military general proud.

Keevers snags his first 2nd Grade pole 

The bowlers continued to toil but the wickets did not come and as they tired, the scoring rate lifted. Of the chances we had, Thornton, on 70, hit the ball straight down the throat of long off. The catch was misjudged and landed safely. 

After this he did not look like getting out and Thornton went on to finish the day at 185 not out. Of the other blunders, the stags bowled a lot of overs of spin and were so far ahead of the game (in terms of overs, not in terms of being ahead of the opposition) that they bowled an extra 8 overs in the day (which went for about 100). McLaughlin (60) holed out on the last ball of the day to give Keevers (13-2-1-44) his first 2nd grade scalp and with that the day ended with Randy Pete’s 5-422 (dec). 

In the warmup on Day 2, a bottom 5 with the sheer weight of experience (age) beat a sprightly top 6 at touch footy. The fight shown by a resolute bottom 5 would serve as a sign of things to come from the tenacious tail later in the game. 

This man may well be the next all-round start - Chris Bateup! 

Lads, the warm up is a microcosm of your life. The way you do the warm up is the way you do life. One of the old Tai Chi masters that frequents Chatswood Oval told me this at the lunch break and I believe it rings true. 

Nicknamed the ‘Collapso Kings’ last year, 2nd grade was notorious for a cheeky crumble. After chasing down over 350 last game to defeat the Bears, this scribe dared to hope that the ghosts of the past would not be back to haunt the second grade batting lineup. 

With the score at 0-44, we were doing it very easily in the face of some quality quick bowling. Steve ‘Log’ Bristow (14) was the first to go, trapped infront and when Jack (20) ran down the wicket trying to hit the spinner for 8 only to be bowled a collapse was triggered. 

Gordon was now 2 for 76. Not the worst start, and it could be worse. A ball later Gordon was 3 – 76. 

Not ideal, but it could have been 4-76. Two balls later it was 4-76. 

Still it could have been worse, and we did avoid conceding the hattrick. Not long after it was 5-76 and then 6-88. At this stage, we could easily have collapsed, been all out for 100 and then been able to blame the groundskeeper for preparing something unfit for cricket. 

Dan Stickland toiled hard on the German autobahn 

However, just like in the touch footy warm up, the bottom 5 didn’t get the memo. In the face of some fiery pace bowling by Durham quick Barry McCarthy, Gordon started to stand tall. Although it doesn’t take much to get the ball around the nose of Verma, an intense battle ensued with bouncer after bouncer whizzing past the nose. 

Verma negotiated the spell with Zen master like focus while Chris ‘The Man from Parra River’ Bateup, took a different approach. Chris decided to sledge the bowler, and the fielders, and anyone else who was within earshot. He took great delight in reminding the fielders of their failures in the Randy Pete innings (which is impressive considering their total). 

After struggling to face the leg spinner early, Bateup (118no) found an approach that worked and proceeded to plunder the Randy Pete’s attack to all parts. The bowlers tired and the run rate started to increase. Boundaries and singles started to come with ease but the 70 run stand ended when Verma was caught in the deep taking the aerial route to the spinner. 

Chris Bateup showed the fighting resolve that the top order failed to muster 

Dan ‘Fingers’ Stickland (13) came in and supported Chris but fell after adding 50 runs for the ninth wicket. At 9 down and 190 behind the opposition, the match rested on the debutant shoulders of Matt Keevers. As he strode out to the crease, questions were asked in hushed tones about his ability to bat. 

Answers including, ‘he made his first run in round twelve last year’ were given. 

With the dressing room not totally filled with confidence, Matt was quick to dispel any doubt in his ability. Timing the ball well and murdering the ball through cover. He scored quickly to finish on 36 before being undone by a masterful half tracker (by the leggie). 

In total we put on 206 for the last 4 wickets which is a great sign. Sadly, 422 was just too many to chase from 6-99. Another plus from the top order was a fighting 51 from Cameron New. Cameron batted with conviction in the face of a collapse and helped hold the first half of the innings together.

A disappointing result considering that for two sessions on the first day and all but 15 overs on the second day we were right in the game. 

Get fah’ you bah’

Anand Verma

2nd Grade vs North Sydney - Round 3 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs North Sydney - Round 3 - 2015/16

Let's be honest, with a victory over North Sydney, completing 5 from 5 across the grades, it's a pretty piss-poor effort by Max Papworth not to submit his report for the round 

2nd Grade vs Mosman - Round 2 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Mosman - Round 2 - 2015/16

Anand VermaA postponed Round 1 saw the Stags eager to get the ball rolling with a win to set up the season. A new kit ignited a previously absent enthusiasm about training gear, with the topic being consistently conversed for most of the day. Props to the committee for a big win, and really this is where the success starts. 

Anand Verma begins the 2015/16 season in good form 

However as only one set has been handed out to each player, high probabilities of theft is most certainly an issue... So keep them locked up or on at all times. Rumours circulated that some were being worn under whites for extra security, an interesting strategy. 

Anyway, newly appointed 2nd Grade captain had a considerably hard job of attempting to get the side to Allan Border on time, especially with 3 returning from uni games the previous evening. Luckily your author was in bed by 9 on most nights during the week and definitely did not circuit, however could the same be said for Spratt "the perfect week" or Miller "the closet fiend"?

Reagan KlemtI certainly thought I was 0 chance of having to actually write this match report, because really Spratt was paying $1.10 to be late, but as he walked in at 8.20, my heart sank and I cancelled all plans for the weekend to reach the Webmaster's strict deadline. 

Reagan Klemt adds to his Fantasy League value - is he in your side? 

Cubby lost the toss and we were sent into the field on a relatively flat deck and quick sandy outfield. Gordon would have to bowl well to keep Mosman to a chase-able total. 

Dan Stickland started very well at the top and his tight lines and lengths were rewarded with his opening pole for the season. Mosman then began a consolidation and batted well for an extended period of the first session without getting away from us. 

Welcome A Verma. With his writing taking a backseat due to a pending lawsuit, he has obviously re-invested his time toward cricket, and it certainly paid dividends. Bowling with exceptional control and really dictating the pace of the game saw the Stags get back on top. Anand then continued to bowl tight throughout the innings returning figures of 3-28 off 10 overs. An exceptional start to the season mate well done. 

No doubt he has booked his spot into various fantasy teams, alongside D Stickland with equally impressive figures of 3-27 off his 10. 

Adam CubbageChris Bateup, the Stags new recruit, also came back well to finish with figures of 2/48 off his 9. Both him and Cubby really restricted late scoring seeing Mosman all out for 216 off their 50 overs. 

We're looking forward to many overs of the Cubbage / Verma partnership with the ball 

A great all round effort in the field for a first hit out with no drop catches and a very commendable team bowling effort. It was now down to the batsmen to get the job done. 

Unfortunately 2/0 was not a good start, and credit to the Mosman bowlers they bowled really well. However other then Darren with the top score of 39, the batsmen really didn't offer much resistance folding for 125. 

Although a disappointing effort, hopefully this performance will make the 2s top order more determined to prove to the selectors and the club why they belong in the higher grades. 

Let's get on the board this week against North Sydney! 

Reagan Klemt

This article is proudly sponsored by 'Write Now Communications', Australian Industry writing and editing specialists and backers of Reagan Klemt

2nd Grade vs Sydney - Round 1 - 2015/16

2nd Grade vs Sydney - Round 1 - 2015/16

No play in the 1st Round match against Sydney after rain kept the players off the round and the match was abandoned.


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