The third grade team plays for Mitchell 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 third grade schedule go to Fixtures
Third Grade match reports for 2006/7 season are provided below:
Third Grade Report - Semi Final vs Wests
With only four sides remaining in the contest for the holy grail of third grade cricket, the Stags arrived at the spiritual home of Gordon cricket with the aim of securing a berth in undeniably 'THE most important game of the season.'
(Chris Archer during his 4 wicket spell)
With rain forecast for the weekend and the pitch spawning an array of divergent 'expert' opinions, Kell's did what he does best - losing the toss ' and the Stag's would bowl.
The Stag's pace trio were certainly not unhappy with this master stroke from 'Maffew' Kelly, however some fine strokes and fortunate slogs brought the scoreboard to 0/40 within ten overs. The prospect of a long, hot day in the field held little appeal for any of the Stags, so the fall of two quick wickets prior to drinks brought some much needed respite and shared bragging rights from the first hour.
With the danger players at the crease for the Magpies, the bowlers upped the ante significantly, as Jordan 'Rug-a-Rama' Holmes (3/27 from 9) and Chris 'I'll ask my mum' Archer (4/51 from 27) took control of the middle session and strangled the life out of the West's batting line-up. In Anthony 'covers captain' Sherman's parlance, the performance was simply 'roofless,' and given the amount of rain around, this was sure to be of concern for the West's game plan.
Only adding to the dominance of the performance was some excellent catching by all, some slick keeping from Makepeace including a sleight of hand stumping, and some superb support bowling, with Josh 'Gos' Ling (2/12 from 9), Elliot 'Geoffrey' Richtor (1/22 from 8) and Adair 'wicketless?' Durie (0/59 from 23) having Wests all out for 176 in the 75th.
(The wicketless Durie still looked good)
With 19 overs left to play on day one, Captain Kelly and 'Covers Captain' Sherman showed their respective class to post 0/66 in reply at the close of play - a fantastic start that barring the unexpected would see the Stags secure victory the following day. What was totally unexpected was the quality and quantity of the afternoon tea provided by one A. Sherman for the second day. After too many weeks of excuses for insufficient or erroneous tea contributions, Pic finally brought along his fair share ' how ironic then that he chose to do so on the day that play concluded pre-afternoon tea and so the bounty returned to North Ryde in the van!
The players arrived to grey skies and patchy downpours on the second morning, so with the covers pegged firmly in place by our expert Colts covers assistants, the Stags were left to amuse themselves with a friendly hand of five hundred. At best the table talk from Durie could be described as appalling ('seven' on second thoughts make that six hearts' and 'do you want me to win the lead?') and his ability to 'misplace' the joker mid-game is truly second to none.
Upon the resumption of play, the openers continued their fine form by despatching the loose ball and stealing singles where possible. The pair brought up their tenth century stand together before Sherman (70 from 82) fell 18 short of his 5000th grade run. Kelly (74 from 138) continued to demolish any loose bowling ' including three impressive 't-t-t-tonker' sixes.
'Powder puff' Hosking used the chance to get some solid time in the middle (17 red inks off 50) before 'the constant gardener' Garratt hacked 10 not out (from 12) including a lovely French cut past leg stump to bring up the winning runs. With the match secured, the captains agreed to an early finish and to the bemusement of some, a few less than expected hung around to celebrate our progression into the grand final (granted however that the end of a 15 season drought for some is worth celebrating!) This scribe rests assured that should all continue to plan this weekend, the celebration itself will deserve its own report!
(Pic hits out during his 70)
So get down to the home of the GDCC this weekend to watch the third choice team go around. This match represents the culmination of an enormous amount of preparation, determination and hard work by all of the players and officials of the club and a strong supporter contingent will only strengthen our resolve and lift our performance to bring the cup home as Colt's did last week ... back-to-back premierships ' a tremendous accomplishment - congratulations to Dave Millar and his troops.
3rd Grade secure a home semi
Well the day started with the senior players debating whether to bat or bowl on what look to be a flat wicket. Fortunately that was taken out of our hands as we lost the toss and were put into bat by the Tigers who had to win to progress. The innings started positively as Matt Kelly and Anthony Sherman used their (many many years) experience to get the Stags of to a solid start as the score reached 70 before Kells missed time a pull shot to mid-on and was out for 38.
(Elliot Richtor during his century on Sunday)
In getting to 38 Kells also broke the third grade record for most runs in a season, (well done mate).
James Hosking the joined Sherm and moved the score to 110 before the latter played a very loose shot and was caught at mid -off for 55 just 20 minutes before lunch. This triggered a collapse and left the Stags 5-120 at lunch and the less said about that passage of play the better.
Matt Makepeace and Elliot Richtor started after lunch trying to get the Stags innings back on track and the partnership just started to blossom before Peace lost his wicket. Archie (Chris Archer) joined Elliot who at this time was starting to look very solid.
(Adair Durie shows his batting style in semi)
The two formed a good partnership before Arch forgot to ground his bat behind the line when going for a quick two and had to go back for a second grounding. This meant an unfortunate run out just when he was looking good. The big Teddy bear (Josh Ling) joined Emo (Elliot Richtor) and the pair batted until tea with Emo on 51. Tea proved to be the end of the day as the heavens opened.
Day two started with the Stags trying to bat as long as possible. Emo with the help of Dinger (Josh Ling) got us through to a comfortable position with Emo on the verge of great ton before Josh was out caught at mid wicket. Judgie (Adair Durie) joined Emo and started to delight us with his late cuts but the real delight came when Emo guided a ball to third man to bring up his ton.
(Kells collects one of his fours)
We were finally bowled for 307 and left the Tigers 67 overs in which to get them.
There are not many time's that I agree with Mr. Positive (Sam Buono) but the innings that Emo played was full of class, elegance and most of all determination it was a fantastic innings and showed the rest of us what it takes to win finals. Well done Emo and I hope this is the start of great career in the higher grades.
With the Tigers facing a big total they came out hard and were 0-40 before Judgie struck twice, LBW and then bowled, before Jordy Holmes joined the party by removing Balmain's best bat and the Tigers where facing a uphill battle after that. More wickets to Jordy and Jugie had the Tigers at 5-89 as they both bowled long spells and put us in unbeatable position before having a rest.
Emo and Josh put the final nails in the coffin both with two wickets apiece along with a brilliant run out by James (powder puff) Hosking. A good win by the boys after being in trouble. "So bring on the Magpies".
(Jordan Holmes during semi)
Finally I would like to wish the Colts the very best of luck in pursuit of back to back premierships and hopefully one of three for the club this season.
Australia's Most Wanted
3rd Grade secure Minor Premiership
There were a number of wider smiles than usual at Asquith due to the quasi home ground feeling the location gave our Cental Coast contingent. Those smiles were distinctly contrasted to this author's regular annoyance at playing away from Chatswood and Captain Angry's (Matt Kelly) usual disposition.
The ground presented itself with very heavy dew and a pleasing tinge of green on the pitch. After the usual self-appointed team of Gordon 3rd Grade vice-captains provided Angry with the usual significant amount of conflicting advice, both captains decided to bowl with Northern Districts winning the toss.
Emo Richtor whips one off his legs on the way to 40
For those interested in seriously trivial trivia, Asquith is one of the only Sydney Grade grounds with its grandstand due east of the pitch; David Phillips and Hawkesbury's 3rd Oval being the others.
Angry and Pic opened with their regular aggressive strategy. This proved successful for the first 5 overs but a few overs of accurate bowling stopped the momentum. The re-implementation of those tactics proved disastrous, with Pic (10 off 19 balls) mistiming to mid-on in the 9th over (1-29) and Angry (16 off 35) slicing a knee high delivery to fine leg in the 10th (2-30). Pic was advised by first slip that a man of his age should not give his wicket away so softly, whilst Angry walked off the field sledging the groundsman for the slow, popping wicket. Angry later told Pic that he should have been hitting over mid-wicket, as opposed to over mid-on, given the in-swinging nature of the bowler. Good advice to take into the finals!
Peace and BG looked as if they would add some backbone to the innings with BG showing Angry and Pic how to hit over the infield, even on the slow, popping pitch. Peace was playing the perfect foil with classy drives and cuts. Unfortunately both were caught behind, Peace (26 off 29) driving in the 19th over (3-83) and BG (33 off 31) in the 21st (4-91) attempting to cut. Once again, one wicket brought two!
The webmaster made it there for Dale's brief stint at the crease
Buff Jones and Emo combined very well. Buff (31 off 39) dealt severely with the bowling for 10 overs including lifting his 3 pound 1 ounce bat horizontally on a number of occasions including a very flat six over square leg. Unfortunately Buff's forearms tired in the 31st over (5-152) with a cut going straight to the keeper similar to BG' either that or was too tired running threes on the long boundary.
Dale (1 off 6) joined Emo briefly before trying to cut the left arm orthodox hard to gully in the 32nd over (6-153).
Arch followed Emo's lead with sensible stroke-play and keen running; despite the groans from the tail when a number of balls from ND's spinners were hit along the ground as opposed to out of it. However, it did not take long for Arch and Emo to utilise their feet and the air once their eyes were honed. Both players looked very comfortable against the spin and took the team to the end of their spells.
The reintroduction of the opening bowlers was effective with Arch (27 off 52) out in the 44th over (7-210) flicking to square leg. Emo played correctly and sensibly throughout his innings with drives, cuts and glances combined with field-pressuring running. Despite his appearance of comfort, he was bowled by an in-swinging yorker in the 45th over (8-213) for the innings high 40 runs off 59 balls.
Adair checks out Jordon Holmes' MySpace page whilst waiting to bat
Ted's (Durie) stay at the crease was very short, out leg before in the 46th over (9-215) for 1 off 3 balls. As always though, he looked good and was unlucky with the ball pitching outside leg stump, although Jordan 'George The Animal Steele' Holmes (http://www.georgesteele.com/) later mentioned he looked 'plum' from the grandstand due-east!
The Animal Holmes joined Dingaling for some heart-stopping cricket; most particularly Jordie's calling and running between wickets. Despite the challenge of batting with Jordie (4 not out off 13), who showed clearly why he was number 11 and should not be promoted despite his burgeoning average, Dinga's timing and confidence with the bat was evident. Nonetheless, in the penultimate over Dinga (8 off 13) was given out leg before wicket' although he would have been dismissed a few balls earlier had ND noticed the umpire's finger prematurely going up before any appeal for caught behind.
At the change of innings, despite ND's 29 extras, the match was probably slightly in ND favour, although no one in the Stag's bowling armada seriously thought that 226 was not going to be enough.
The ND innings started like so many others this year with their opening batsmen either missing Jordie's and Ted's deliveries or letting the ball go through to the keeper. Unfortunately for The Man of Steele, the line for a wide was a foot outside off stump enabling the ND run rate to stay around 2 an over.
The Animal was soon able to hit the edge of an opener's bat and fortunately Emo was able to withdraw himself long enough from the slip cordon's discussions about fashion, jewellery, shoes and arms bands to take an absolutely screaming catch diving to his right at 3rd slip.
Not long after, ND's number 3 batsman edged a ball through gully, flicking Dale's fingers. Having not running a 2 yet, the batsmen were baffled by the possibilities and found themselves stranded mid-pitch with the ball in Peace's gloves from the usual bullet-like arm of Dale.
2 for not much soon became 3 for not much with Ted taking out the middle stump of another batman with the last ball of his spell. George 'The Animal' Steele finished his first spell of 5 overs with 1/14 and Ted had 1/5 off 7 overs.
ND had a long way to go and Emo and Dingaling were never going to allow them back in to the game with season economy rates of 3.48 and 3.73 runs per over respectively. Emo bowled his regular unyielding lines at medium pace with good movement, generating comments from the slip cordon that he should consider himself a bowling all-rounder. Emo was not impressed!
Is that ball going between Archer's legs?
On the other hand, Dingaling was uncharacteristically wayward; that was until Chairman of Selectors Geoff Hickman turned up to the ground between Dingaling's 3rd and 4th overs. The first ball of his 4th over rocketing into leg stump and the rest of his spell lifted to its regular standard. At 4 for not many, even ND did not believe the result of the game was not in doubt; bonus points and finals training became the focus for the Stags.
Then came something this commentator has never witnessed from fanatically observing all forms of cricket since the Windies bowled Australia out for 76 in the First Test of the 1984-85 Australian Summer; a batman getting into position to pull/hook a rising delivery, in this case from Dingaling, then having to uncomfortably pull out of the shot at the last micro-seconds, and then have the delivery adjudicated to be a wide. Wow!!!
In this tame section of the match I received my first age discriminatory sledge, from ND's teenage, middle-order, blond-headed upstart. It reminded me of my first 1st Grade game, back in the 1995-96 season against Penrith, when I found myself in dialogue with a chap unknown to me at the time named Rod Bower; when Rod informed me of his rather gigantic 1st Grade run tally, I replied that it sounded as if he should retire! Nonetheless, I spent the next few balls of this game in not altogether uplifting communication, mainly analysing our young protagonist's batting abilities and the position of ND in the game. This dialogue did not continue for long as the youngster soon misjudged the ground and throw speed of Dingaling in the outfield and was run out a long way from home.
Arch replaced Dingaling and Dale replaced Emo (0/14 off 7). Arch (0/33 off 7) didn't bowl as superb as we have come to expect, dropping short a few times, but everyone is allowed a day off. To Arch's disappointment, Pic at first slip soon strengthen the hypothesis that he only takes catches off no-balls. Although difficult to write, I am duty bound to mention that Pic actually took a clean, well-judged catch off Dingaling later in the innings.
Dale's (0/15 off 5) off-spinners were, and this is stated due to not seeing Dale bowl much, delivered with excellent flight and variation in pace and with good grip. Another arrow in Angry's quiver for the finals!
Although happy to allow 2 bonus points to pass without struggle in the name of finals training, Angry bought back his speed arsenal to ensure the 1 bonus point. Unusually, his pace triumvirate; The Animal (1-28 off 10), Dingaling (2/31 off 10) and Ted (3/11 off 10) were not able to complete the job, leaving one wicket standing. What better time for Angry to bowl his last over in grade cricket! You know he has opened the bowling for 1st Grade on a number of occasions!.
Josh Ling can never be accused of not putting in for his team
Sincerely, the 49th over was a pleasure to watch; so much so that I needed to view it closer, moving from fine leg to first slip. For the record, each ball was bowled with good pace on the line of off-stump with varying lengths but mostly up there. The over went for 1 run with the batmen not looking comfortable, inside-edging numerous deliveries.
After Jordie's next over, the ND innings concluded on 9/138, much further away than Pic's 'we've got 50 too many' hum predicted at the beginning of the ND innings.
Thanks to the erratic Sydney University team defeating Sutherland, the Gordon 3rd Grade team finished the preliminary season as minor premiers; this commentator believing any other position would be a disservice to this team's potential.
There is no doubt in this commentator's mind that if the Gordon 3rd Grade fields with the intensity all observers have come to expect, if it bats with the skill, confidence, judgement and patience that it has done throughout the preliminary season, and if the pace triumvirate lead as they have done for most of the season with the craft and patience of Arch and Emo in solid support, the next 3 weekends at Chatswood Oval with be truly memorable. However, cricket is indeed a funny game, one that punishes less than the best possible efforts, no matter of skill, experience or past performances. A 3rd Grade premiership only deserves to be won by the team that gives it all to that quest; and that team will also enjoy the joys of the victory most.
Bear, Ted, Teddy, or even Dairy (thanks Moth)' just not bloody Judge!
3rd Grade secure a spot in the finals
The Gordon 3rd grade team arrived at Beauchamp for day two against Randwick-Petersham with the thought that they probably had a sufficient number of runs to secure victory against a team who needed to win to stay alive. Indeed, the same topic had been discussed at the teams' dinner at wonderful Malabar on Thursday night. However, a difference of opinion between the teams' two most senior players emerged. One (let's call him Maffew) was of the view that "we've got 50 too many" (a little cocky but he did drink three times as much as anyone else that night) and the other (let's call him...well...let's just call him Pic) was of the view "nah mairn, why don't we just bat 'em out of the game mate?"
Pic shows the lower order how to "bat 'em out of the game"
It was certainly an interesting divergence of opinion, and one that the captain decided to defuse by agreeing to bat on for a maximum of 3 overs in order to get as close to 300 as possible. And so it was; despite the fact that the logic employed by "Pic" on Thursday night when taking charge of the ordering, which fell about halfway short of "enough", should have rendered him unable to even give his opinion for any other decision in 3rd grade this season.
The plan only partially went to script, as the Stags lost their final 3 wickets for the addition of 13 runs in 3 overs to finish on 291. By anyone's logic, this must have represented 63 too many.
What happened next could not have been predicted by either of Thursday night's protagonists. Durie and Sweeney opened the bowling and immediately had the men with effigies of Pegasus on their chests searching for answers. Durie struck first, a hammer blow to the opposition's chances. Barker, their captain, amongst their most productive batsmen and a truly good bloke to play cricket against, was adjudged lbw. Possibly a little unlucky but Durie's pace and movement forced him into an awkward position. One for not many and the Stags had started well.
(Chris Archer during his two wicket spell)
Sweeney was unlucky not to get a wicket as he bowled with good pace and movement, but perhaps not as unlucky as Ling not to get the new ball. Some drunk has-been was heard to say on Saturday night, "If you were going to pick a World XI to play at Beauchamp, Josh Ling would be a certainty". A ridiculously outrageous comment, because you would at least have to consider Glenn McGrath (and then probably pick Ling). Between Ling (3 for 14 off 10) and Durie (4 for 32), Randwick-Petersham were reeling at 6-40. At one stage Ling bowled 6 balls to the Randwick-Petersham number 5, that must rank amongst the best 6 consecutive balls ever bowled in 3rd grade. The 6th ball ending a brief but unhappy stay at the crease, with off pole lying on the ground.
Josh Ling will not be going to the Carribean despite his best attempts to fly there himself
A fantastic display of the combination of seam and swing bowling working in partnership. The partnership was no better illustrated than when Ling bowled a short ball above the eyes of Randwick-Petersham's up and coming opening batsman, just when he looked like he was starting to get some momentum. The shot was top edged to Durie at fine leg, who took a magnificent grab, diving forward and an inch off the ground.
Outright points were briefly considered but Otto and Magro had different ideas and combined some lusty hitting with some smart single-taking to help Randwick-Petersham into a position where the outright would not be an issue. Eventually they saw off the rampant pair of Ling and Durie on a very hot day. The ball was thrown to a new pair of Archer and Richtor to do some hard work on what was still a pretty good batting wicket and in the heat. Archer (2 for 37) turned the game back in Gordon's favour, breaking the partnership and he should be commended on the manner in which he stuck at his task. Great loop and drift, a good change of pace and an even better temperament. Arch gives it a good "rip" and he is developing into a fine bowler. Richtor (1 for 40) did his usual impression of a metronome and consistently hit line and length. He was harshly dealt with in an over, but it was due to the long handle approach as opposed to poor bowling, before he had the last laugh against a persistent critic from the previous week.
The opposition was dismissed, with Durie returning for the last wicket, for 164. As such the overnight score was more than twice as many "too many" than the musings of a mid-week drunkard. Curious. A number of after-play beers were shared with a the Randwick-Petersham boys on both day's play and they were great company. Such interaction with the opposition reinforces how the game should be played and highlights the difference that unfortunately seems to occur when we play away from Chatswood.
(Elliot Richtor at Beauchamp against Randwick Petersham)
A pleasing result, celebrated with a glass of Durie's 2004 Croser sparkling white, after the disappointment of the game against Bankstown. The second day was punctuated with excellent fielding and the result leaves the team more than unlikely to finish lower than third but with an opportunity to finish first or second. This week's preparation will be vitally important, before we take on our fiercest of rivals.
3rd Grade pumped to defend solid total
Here's to Kells, he's true blue!! A fantastic ton from Matt helped put 3rd grade in a strong position against Randwick-Petersham on Saturday, as we again look to bounce back at Beauchamp Park after a hard fought defeat at Bankstown.
It was a good start to the day from our skipper who won the toss and batted, then proceded to get us off to a cracking start along with Pic. They shared an opening partnership of 120, both scoring at a solid pace. Pic was out first for 52 but not before playing some trademark slaps through cover and over backward point.
Kelly goes over square in another delightful innings
Matt "Peace" Makepeace batted three. Full toss. Bowled. Zero.
Ben Garratt then came to the crease and formed another handy partnership with Kells before our skipper was eventually dismissed caught on the fence, ending a great knock of 101. Ben continued to bat well and and its promising signs to see him in form at this end of the season as he second top scored with 70.
A warning to anyone playing at Beauchamp thinking about taking a lap around the ground while your mates are batting, its not the best place to walk around and actually see the cricket, especially if you dont like spiders. But our wander around the perimeter on Saturday was quite eventful none-the-less thanks to our VB loving supporter Steve Makepeace, who entertained us as his beer frothed over as he walked past an attractive female, questioned young locals about whether they were having a good time as they made out on the park bench, and then proceded to fall down the embankment attempting to avoid a spiders web. Thanks Steve.
Back to the cricket and a rain/lightening delay had taken the momentum out of our innings after we had been set for a big score. Upon resumption, the Richtors, and then Shane Lin, found the scoring tough in dark conditions on a slow and now damp outfield. But they soldiered on and with the help of a couple of nice shots from Sweens at the end of the day brought the total to 7-279 at the close of play.
This could be Pic, anytime, anyplace. Another spanking shot square of the wicket.
A handy score on a slow outfield and a deck that Adair is positive will be very green this coming Saturday. Whether that is our final score or Kells decides to bat on, it will give our near full-strength bowling attack - sadly missing Jordy but very much glad to have Adair back after he missed our two recent failed attempts to defend scores, no doubt a factor in those scores being chased down - a great chance to bowl Randwick out and remain in the all-important 2nd position going into the last round.
3rd Grade Report vs Bulldogs
The Trois Stags arrived at their 13th consecutive 'most important game of the year,' as Howitt, the junior, could be heard exclaiming at Chatswood, the match was sure to be 'CRUCIAL.'
Many readers may not be aware, but at present Messieurs Kelly and Durie are keenly awaiting a response to their submission to the MCC that a third option, 'decline', be afforded the winner of the toss. Unfortunately this response has not yet been forthcoming, and so when the coin came up Gordon, 'Maffew' Kelly begrudgingly chose willow over leather.
Kelly enjoying the space in the bigger changeroom
With the visitor's dressing room resembling a Shawshank solitary cell, the Stag's bats resolved to spend a significant time out in the fresh air and sunshine of the yard to stave off the impending claustrophobia and homosexuality of a stay indoors (Confession: I am a huge Shawshank Redemption fan and am watching as I type- you might enjoy imagining Morgan Freeman delivering this text. He is this scribe's preferred narrator.)
Out in the centre the skipper was reunited with Anthony 'RSVP #1' Sherman at the top of the list on a day that Pic was determined to impress (at the cricket almost as much so as at the D+D later that evening). The pairing got off to an explosive start, mixing an array of powerful cuts and majestic drives to tick the scoreboard along at 5+ an over. But as often happens when it seems only a run out will break a partnership, the Dogs keeper produced a good piece of cricket to hit the single stump on offer to catch Kelly centimetres short attempting a leg bye.
Matt Makepeace joined his desperate and dateless 'date' (Matt you can do better! Now that I mention it, so can Pic!) at the crease and together they continued to keep the scorers busy until the Gibbon (Makepeace) smashed one to mid-off. From 2-80 at drinks, the Stag's lost a succession of wickets with Sherman (50+), Ben 'Gardener' Garratt (9) and Elliot 'Junior' Richtor (13) dismissed through poor shot selection more so than good bowling; 5-140 at tea, Kieran Jones and a Boycott-esque Dave Michael with blade in hand.
The focus of the afternoon session was simple; get to the last ten overs with wickets in hand to take advantage of a tiring opposition and post a defendable total. The achievement of this end only further reflects the resolve of this 3rd grade line-up, with firstly 'Buff' Jones (78) and 'George' Michael (23 including 2 Garratt-like consecutive sixes), followed by a gem of a partnership between Will 'Wilbur' Sweeney (50+ n.o.) and Josh 'Flippers!' Ling.
The value of these partnerships can in no way be overstated; taking the Stag's from a vulnerable position to post what is a very defendable total. Buff and Shamu played particularly well, cashing in on the bad ball and running superbly between the wickets. Worth noting was the dismissal of Jordan 'JB' Holmes for the 3rd time in grade cricket (not bad for a 29 year old!), Gordon all out 314.
Narrator and avid cricket follower - Morgan Freeman
Although two overs at our opponents failed to bear fruit, the Stags will return to complete the task of securing six points (while trying to keep the ball out of the water hazard beyond the pickets! Archer will be bowling from the dry end!)
And finally, what would a third grade report be without a Sherman pearler to finish:
Kelly, naked, preparing for a shower in the shower-sized visitor's dressing room: 'Pic, I'll give you five seconds to move your gear before it gets wet'
Sherman: 'Yeah mate, give me two secs will ya?'
Kelly: Well I'm giving you five; I think that's more than fair!'
Aptly narrated by Morgan Freeman
3rd Grade Report Vs Mosman
A big game for the third XI. Mosman on the fringes of the top six looking to make an impression and the Stags looking to back up from a loss the previous week to Easts.
Captain Kelly stressed the importance of keeping in the habit of winning. And win they did! It is unclear who won the toss but the Whales were batting. A slow start would have been slower if not for the assistance of the second top scorer Sundries who has hit a rich vein of form over the past few weeks and will no doubt feature in the team talks come finals time.
Adair Durie in action
Durie struck first with what was a magic delivery. Bowling over the wicket to one of the nine left-handers in the Whales line-up the ball hooped in and hit the top of off stump with the batsmen offering no shot. Next ball Durie struck again the number three going back to a length ball and being adjudged LBW.
A good piece of fielding and some terrible running saw the next dismissal. The ball went through the vacant cover region with Archie in pursuit from point; he reached the ball turned and threw to the bowler responding to Garratt's fervent cries. The runout was completed quite easily as it turned out the batsman had snapped his achillies. James Hosking was particularly aggrieved at the news after earlier informing the batsman that 'you don't get a runner for a broken heart'.
A partnership developed prior to the introduction of Elliot 'Emo' Richtor and Ling. This pairing changed the game quite dramatically as they bowled with great discipline. Emo tying up one end with his miserly medium paced noodles (1-19 from 8) and Ling (3-21 off 9) striking regularly to make short work of the Whales middle order.
Durie was reintroduced to the attack and picked up the wicket of the resilient opener. It was not what you would call an ordinary dismissal. Not by a long way. Durie pitched it short, the batman leaped up and back and looked to struggle with the pace as the ball cannoned straight into the ground then ballooned up behind him.
From the author's vantage point at square leg the ball looked set to land right on the bails. The batsmen assumed as much and in an attempt to get in the way of the ball extended a glove before realising that this would lead to his demise anyway and retracting it. Then it happened, it must have been some sort of brain explosion because he lashed out at the ball with his foot and only succeeded in making a mess of his off stump.
Holmes replaced Durie and was rewarded with a wicket holding on to a return catch. Archie was dotting it up from the other end as usual and he too was rewarded for his efforts claiming the final wicket with a ball that looked like clearing mid-on until it was realised that Josh Ling was in that position. Dinga did well to get down to it, taking it comfortably around his waist.
The successful opening combination, or the coast connection if you will, of Garratt and Makepeace was reunited with Kelly desperate for red ink to take his average above that of Hosking.
No red ink for Garratt but did he impress his (much) better half?
A steady start was interrupted when Garratt, seemingly caught in two minds, slapped one to mid off. The general consensus was that he was trying to convince his much better half in the crowd that he was a legitimate batsman, apparently the jury is still out (NB: Ben Garratt will be writing next week's report after shirking this week's editorial duties)
Hosking joined Makepeace and the two moved things along nicely until Hosking was adjudged LBW for 38. Kelly joined Makepeace with the intention of reaching the required 123 in less than 25 overs so as to assure the much-coveted double bonus point.
Makepeace fell twenty or so short of the total and Kelly who by now was off the mark and a few clean (and not so clean) hits into his 19* was joined by Richtor. Judgie was in quite a mood, unsure as to Kelly's plans regarding said double bonus point, was counting down the balls remaining on the scoreboard. A few more clean hits and the win was achieved two balls shy of the twenty-five over mark. Eight points.
The third XI is back on track and looking forward to this weeks clash with Bankstwown.
3rds go down to Easts
A close game of cricket but a very frustrating result.
There are many who are of the opinion that a close game of cricket is a "good" game of cricket. Evidence the Ashes contests in 2005. People forget that the close nature of day 5 of the tests 2 through 5 were each preceded by 4 days of unspectacular cricket at best, but more accurately described as banal, where the ball barely moved off a straight line on the first two days and hardly bounced above the knees.
Kelly in cracking form with the willow
To experience good cricket, a pitch has to be hard (not dry but hard) and have an even covering of grass. Fast bowlers should be able to see good bounce and carry and not be forced to rely upon rolling their fingers down the side of the ball or merely await a batsman's frustration of the ball not coming on to the bat. Equally, batsmen enjoy these characteristics so that they may punish bad deliveries and get full credit. Sadly, Trumper Oval at Paddington, named after one of the legendary attacking figures in our game, is unable to produce a surface that produces such cricket. Instead it is a war of attrition that forces a team that is used to playing on the surface every second week to set a 7 - 2 field (with no more than two slips) for the majority of the day and bowl few balls within two feet of the stumps. Smart thinking but bad for the game of cricket.
The result is a bowling team waiting for mistakes by frustrated batsmen, as opposed to being able to create opportunities. It is a credit to the home team's seam bowlers that they keep turning up each week for what they know will be a fairly tough day, before the slow bowlers come on to take even more pace of the ball and demand runs only be scored via the aerial route. The home team must be commended for sticking at their task for the duration of a very hot day.
After the first day's effort of posting a reasonable score of 7-302, which was the highest score made at Trumper Park in third grade this season and 25 runs more than the home team had been able to amass in a single innings this season, a declaration was made. If Gordon bowled and fielded well, it had more than enough runs to win. Holmes and Ling bowled extremely well, which was followed up by Sweeney on his return to third grade. All induced a number of plays and misses, some false shots but not much attacking, on a pitch that offered no assistance and prompted the home team to surmise that it "seemed to be a pretty ordinary bowling attack". Both untrue and unfair.
Holmes was unlucky not to take two wickets in his first over with offerings from each of the opening batsmen falling just short of fieldsmen. No wickets fell in the first session as the home team scored 100 runs off 40 overs, leaving them 5 runs an over in the second half of the day. In the second session Holmes took two early wickets to get Gordon back in the game. However, a 60 run partnership from the home team's two best and most experienced batsmen turned the game their way.
"Gordy" Holmes gets praise from Frogan
It is a credit to Gordon that the team never gave in and despite some awful fielding that saw 5 catches (4 were not easy but need to taken) and some missed run out opportunities, were in it until the last over. Blake, in his first game in third grade, bowled well in tricky windy conditions and dismissed Easts best batsmen with a well flighted delivery that deceived the batsmen and bowled him, which gave Gordon a sniff of victory. Ultimately, the home team passed Gordon's total with three balls to spare and 8 wickets down. The result, if nothing else, was a credit to Easts, who have suffered a tough year in third grade, for their application and perseverance to the task at hand and they thoroughly deserved their victory.
But, a good game of cricket? Certainly a close result.
It is a wake-up call for the approaching post-season. A timely reminder that hard work must continue to be done on the training paddock and nothing taken for granted on the field. Possibly the game was lost after Gordon was 1-140 last week and then 6-230, with batsmen falling to big shots, as opposed to being prepared to do the hard work that was required. Momentum was lost to be able to post a score in the vicinity of 340, which may have been beyond Easts. It is a bad result when one team produces each of the stand-out individual performances of the game, with a batsman making 150 (double the next best score of any other player) and Holmes a magnificent 5-61 off 18 and yet still lose.
3rd Grade stands tall around Captain Kelly
Another stinking hot Saturday for the 3rd grade boys to contend with and usually this means that regardless of the result of the toss Captain Kelly would be informing his troops that they would be fielding first. Amazingly enough, Kells won the toss. And even more amazingly he decided we would get first use of what looked to be a pretty good deck. Hurrah! Perhaps he had another agenda today.
(Kells in action)
3rd Grade was a much different team from the one which defeated Blacktown outright last week, as Adair Durie, Ben Garratt and Chris Archer were all promoted to 2s and Dan Richtor was unavailable. This meant we welcomed back Anthony Sherman ('I'm back boys!') and Dave Michael, with Will Sweeney making his way back through the grades after a return from injury. John Blake completes the line up after deservedly gaining his 3rd grade debut after some impressive performances in 4s.
The start was just as expected from Kelly and Anthony 'Pic' Sherman, the ball disappearing to all parts mainly off Pic's blade with cuts and pulls over the infield being the highlights of his brief stay at the crease. He was dropped on the fine leg boundary which was spilled for 4, shortly before being given out LBW for 19 to a contentious decision, the ball appearing to be missing leg comfortably. However he reined back his usual instincts and left the field in an extremely dignified and quiet manner. Pic, we're all proud of you mate that was a real effort. And especially because you paid me back on Saturday ' well done!
Jimmy Hosking arrived at the crease at 1-30, and once the skipper let him have the strike after he faced only 2 balls from his first 6 overs, he started the trademark cover and lofted straight drives that have helped him score so many runs this season. Kells was a little bit more limited than he usually appeared to be, leaving a lot of half-volleys outside off and struggling a bit reaching out there. As I enquired as to why this might be, I was delightfully informed by Pic that he had 'pulled an arse muscle'. Having completed a degree in Sport, Health and Exercise I tried to search for the proper terminology of said pulled muscle, but as I was scoring at the time I couldn't concentrate properly. Note to selectors; please drop Chris Archer, we need Bob back!
Hosking smokes one in usual style
The longer Kells batted the more comfortable he seemed to get with his injury, he waited for the ball to come to him and duly dispatched his pulls and clips of the legs with aplomb. The run-rate continued to lift and all of a sudden we had brought the 100 up and not so long after the skipper grabbed his 50. At this point we knew he only needed another 13 for him to reach 5000 grade runs for the club, which he hunted down quickly and brought it up with a searing cover drive to the boundary which followed with an eruption of applause from the Stags' camp. An excellent achievement pal and I hope to see many more runs. Well, until the end of this season when you pack in anyway!
It was head down again though for Kells and Hosko started to take the limelight, pumping two straight sixes off the off-spinners, one of which cleared the Trumper Oval pavilion. However, the ball after the second six, he went for another drive and was yorked for 43 to make it 2-139. This ended a super partnership of 109 which helped to put us right on top. Matty Makepeace was at 4 after his superb knock last week, and he safely negotiated the last few overs until tea and we went to the sheds at 2-148.
During the break Kells stressed the need to play tough, hard cricket, especially as Easts were being very defensive in having ring fields and bowling well outside off stump when the seamers were on. The Gibbon carried on from where he left off last week and looked in great nick smoking a huge six, but just when he looked like really going on he clipped the spinner to mid-on trying to hit over his head and we were 3-193, the Peace departing for 27. Elliot Richtor and I obviously weren't listening to their captain at tea as we both departed cheaply playing flamboyant shots early in our innings. All of a sudden we were 5-202 from 60 overs and we'd lost the momentum as the game evened up.
(John Blake in action)
But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Firstly, Kells brought up his well-deserved ton. Then after some rubbish personal sledging from the Easts' players who were chirpy all day, he went ballistic nailing them to all parts of the oval. We added exactly a hundred from the last quarter of the day thanks to some massive hitting from our captain which included two 'WOW-esque' sixes, and coupled with handy contributions from Dave 'DM' Michael (8) and John 'JB' Blake (25 not out), who batted with supreme confidence and ability towards the end with Kells, helped us to reach the 300 mark.
Kells was eventually out with three overs left caught at mid-wicket for 159, which included 22 fours and 2 sixes. I'd tell you how many balls as well but after mine and Josh Ling's excellent scorebook standard early in the day, it quickly fell away. Apologies for the mess Bob. Two words ' Will Sweeney'. It was a fantastic effort from Kells, made all the more exceptional when you take into account the situation of the match with wickets falling around him, the slowness of the pitch and defensive nature of Easts' tactics, his impeding injury and the sheer heat of the day meaning the required concentration to bat for 5 hours was immense.
Ending on 7-302, we're in a superb position to wrap up the points next week, now it will be up to the new ball attack of Holmes, Ling and Sweeney, the meds of Longhurst, Richtor and Sherman (sorry Hosko) and the twirlies of DM and JB. With Balmain already gaining 6 points from this round it is imperative we win this fixture to stay up there.
Neil asked for a second photo of Kells looking exhausted and content - we didn't have access to his personal collection
When asked whether anyone could break his world record amount of Test match wickets, Fred Trueman replied in his typical Yorkshire style, 'Aye, but whoever does it will be bloody tired'. I wonder if the next person to score 5000 grade runs for Gordon D.C.C. will be as tired as this. Matthew Kelly everybody!
Neil Longhurst reporting
3rd Grade collects 10 points against Blacktown
Having secured first innings points at the close of week one, the third rate Stags arrived at Whalan brimming with enthusiasm for the challenge of doing it all again to secure ten points along with equal first place at the top of a congested leader board.
The day started poorly for the Stags with a reshuffle in the dressing room leading to disaster as CRASH!!... a bottle from Adair's personal selection had finally been smashed in the change room' the thick aroma wafted across the change room hinting a complex marriage of blackberry and rhubarb with medium tannins in a long finish with faint heat. How could the Bear go on?
Adair adds more wickets to his personal collection
On the paddock it was up to the leather flingers to repeat their collective disintegration of the Warriors line-up. Early breakthroughs were again made with Adair 'Judge and' Jury (4/51, giving match figures of 9/91), and Jordie 'James Blake' Holmes (3/34) bowling the merciless line and length that has seen many a batsman turn his hand to off break bowling. The performance of these two quicks, backed up by the talented Josh 'Dinga' Ling (1/27) and Chris Archer (2/32), has formed the most ruthless and uncompromising attack that this scribe has played alongside and one that could definitely cause some damage come the business end of the season.
Although Captain Kelly asserts that there is nothing sexy about our bowling strategy, it has proven successful time and again in the capitulation of opposition line-ups. Perhaps if the ball was thrown in the direction of the best looking slips cordon in grade cricket we could sex it up a bit, but at this stage this is far from requisite.
Some of the self-proclaimed 'best looking slips cordon in grade cricket' celebrating the only action they will be getting this week
The fielding, led by the skipper under the lid for the majority of our time in the field, was also first rate, yet the lightning quick outfield mixed with some fortuitous stroke play saw Blacktown dismissed in their second attempt with a lead of 152, and 29 overs remaining in the day ' certainly not beyond this side which has prided itself on positive cricket to enable numerous results and bonus points throughout the season.
With Matt 'Not War' Makepeace wielding the willow with BG at the top of list, the innings got off to a flier with numerous 10+ overs making a considerable dent in the chase. BG (25) was dismissed attempting to again find the fence and Neil 'Gilo' Longhurst (23) took up where he left off with some lovely stroke play, before falling to the hook shot. We have begun to see glimpses of Longy's true ability with the blade in recent weeks and know that a big score is just around the corner for him. Fantasy League selectors of the Pom are sure to get full value in the second half of the season.
All the while at the other end Makepeace accumulated runs to all parts of the ground. This could well be the innings that helps him find the form of seasons past, his unbeaten 71 coming from as many deliveries, steering the Stags home to a richly deserved and invaluable outright victory.
News filtered in throughout the day of the possibility of the clean sweep, and congratulations are extended to all Stags representatives for their excellent performances over the past few rounds, particularly one R.M. Stobo who completed his 48th last match (and children's sudoku) for the club. Hurrah!
3rd Grade in strong position
3rd grade trekked out to Whalan Reserve to begin the New Year looking to hit back after copping the worst of the conditions and being outplayed by Penrith last round.
We hit back pretty hard.
We arrived to find a deck that looked reasonable for batting - although had not received a whole lot of preparation during the week. This being the case, Captain Kelly was more than happy to loose the toss and asked to field. Winning the toss was where Blacktown's fun stopped.
Chris Archer toils away as Blacktown crumble
The innings started poorly for our opposition and never really got better. Jordon 'Gordy' Holmes was just a bit too big, bald and hairy for the liking of their batsman and caused trouble early, unlucky to only snare one pole, decking one back to take out the middle peg. His opening partner Adair 'Judge' Durie, the pick of the bowlers, also knocked over the castle of two of their top order; the first with his first ball that was on its way to Jimmy Hosking at 2nd slip before bending back to take the off stump of their left-handed opener shouldering arms.
Blacktown then put on a small partnership for the fourth wicket until Josh Ling snared us two handy wickets during his tight spell while Longie bent his back at the other end and was unlucky not to have a wicket of his own, beating the bat too many times to count. Special mention has to be made of Linga's catch at mid on, which looked more like he was reeling in a touchdown pass in the Superbowl - but still he got the job done.
The Judge came back on for his second spell and cleaned up the tail all too easily, taking the edge on three occasions to bring his tally to five wickets for the innings and helping us finish Blacktown off for just 113 inside 40 overs.
"Judge" Durie cleans up the Blacktown tail
Once back in the dressing room and feeling pretty good that we were off the ground and out of the heat in pretty quick time, our skipper hinted at the idea of knocking off the runs and bringing up a valuable 6 points inside the first day. That is exactly what our batsman set about doing with Hosko and Benny Garratt setting us up before the brothers' Richtor (Elliot and Dan) took us past Blacktown's total for the loss of only 3. Hosko carried on his great season with 39 and Elliot top-scored with 40 not out.
Once first innings points were secured, and with the Judge and Gordy fired up for another crack, Kells made an aggressive declaration just three runs in the lead. Once again Adair troubled their left-hander, but there was no way he was leaving the first rock this innings and he managed to survive to bat on next Saturday. The other poor fella, however, was no less troubled by the sight of big Gordy running in this innings as he was the last and eventually edged one onto his thigh pad and lobbed a catch to Kells in close. That brought us our eleventh wicket of the day and set us up for a good crack at 10 points next week.
Garratt and Kelly take a quick single
3rd Grade in Trouble Against Penrith
The last minute omission of two-thirds of the best looking slips cordon in grade cricket had the Third Squadron looking far worse for wear than usual for the round vs Penrith. On the sidelines Lenny Bombas also appeared a little worse for wear having made the scenic trip from the Central Coast to Penrith with Reece, before returning to Chatswood with third grade debutant Steve Colley. How they'd still managed to arrive at the ground before this scribe remains an utter mystery, but it's a credit to the fantastic bloke that Lenny is.
Colley amongst the runs against Penrith
Out on the paddock, the strip greeted both sides with its (becoming) typical green tinge, but not to be perturbed, Captain Kelly exclaimed, 'Bat' at the winning of the toss.
Kelly and the returning Sherman (12) (just what had he fed young Elliott Richtor the night prior the match?) commenced the innings on a steady and solid path until the Ant hit too far under a clip off the pads and skied to square leg, 1/17. Makepeace (8) and Kelly (26) followed shortly after with the scoreboard stuttering to 3/52. Young Colley joined Garratt (22) in the centre, and the man of few words accumulated runs steadily, looking very much the part in 3's. Meanwhile at the other end, Garratt, the 'Third grade bully', played as though he was still not out from the previous week, only to be dismissed attempting to subdue his newly found adventurous stroke play, 4/81.
At tea, discussions turned to the much anticipated Stag's Christmas Party's with Sherman vigorously campaigning for a large attendance at his not so official version. When it was pointed out that the Greengate function was the way to go due to the free beers from 6- 6.45pm, Sherman snapped back, 'Yeah, but how long's that gonna last?!' The cacophony of 'About 45 minutes' was just priceless, as was the realisation that Pic had managed to construct a sentence without employing any of his favourite four-letter words.
Sherman focuses on his musings on his bowling
After tea, Dan "D-Rix" Richtor (18) and Dave "D-Mikes" Michael (13) batting on with Colley to see the score pass 150, but the partnership that the Stag's sorely needed was never to eventuate. Colley (48) showed great maturity in his innings, mixing patience with positive running between the wickets and some fine strokeplay and it was a shame for him to miss out on a 50 on debut (Me thinks he will have many more chances in the future).
Longhurst (13) and Adair (9) added some late runs only to see the Stag's dismissed for 183 in the 66th over, the only consolation being a short tilt at our opponents. In the fading light Lee and the Judge asked some serious questions of the Black Cats openers before being deemed too quick to bowl in the fading light. Despite being deemed too slow to bowl by his team-mates, 'Smiley' Longhurst took over with immediate success, claiming the wicket of the opener who had firstly called for his spectacles midway through a Judge over (surely not!!!), continually complained about the light while playing and missing at everything (put us out of our misery!!!), before being smashed on the front of the grill by a Longhurst bouncer attempting the pull stroke!!!
Ling will be on display this weekend in 3s
On his exit from the field, the batsman went on to receive the loudest ovation heard at a third grade fixture since scores of fans turned out to witness the acclaimed sledging of Messieurs Goldsmith and Reynolds.
This Saturday play will resume with the match precariously balanced with the Black Cats 1-25, and some very positive signs for the Stag's who will be welcoming back the combo of Holmes and Ling for what promises to be the most potent 3rd grade attack of the season.
3's Sit On Top Of Table
"Lads, this is our biggest game of the season."
Captain Kelly utters these words or something similar every game, but this time it was certainly true. Being tied with Sutherland on 40 points atop the table with the likes of UTS Balmain (the only team to beat 3rd grade so far) and next weeks opponents Penrith breathing down our necks we couldn't afford any slip-ups if we want to remain top of the pile come March. However Kells broke tradition a little bit later in winning the toss and, after a bit of deliberation, decided to bowl first on a greenish Chatswood wicket, the overhead conditions also being of help to the fielding side.
3rd Grade celebrate Longhurst's wicket
Adair Durie and Chris Lee made great use of these conditions in hitting the deck hard and swinging the ball and keeping the Sutherland openers under the pump. It was this pressure that lead to the breakthrough with a run out. The tall left-hander pushed one to cover point, called his mate through, realized it was a bad call and sent him back, and for Dave 'Paul Collingwood' Michael the rest was easy. The trademark swoop, sharp pick up and bullet throw was backed up by Benny Garrett's celebration when the throw was only halfway to its target at the bowlers end stumps.
Despite this great start and the standard of bowling on display, Sutherland ended the shortened first day 4-140 off 40 overs when the heavens well and truly opened. Adair Durie ended with 2-for and Ben Garrett claimed a run-out. Lee, Neil Longhurst and Elliot Richtor toiled hard unfortunately for no reward; it would be fair to say that with a bit of luck and without the ridiculously short boundary on the railway track side the score could've been completely different.
When the game was officially abandoned for the day, it was followed by a collective groan in the changing rooms when we discovered that if we'd have bowled another over, we could've started at the normal 12:30pm instead of having to get 120 overs in next week by starting at 9:30am.
Arriving 'bright' and early at Chatswood for Day 2 we discovered that there was a few damp patches on the wicket even though the covers that had been put on perfectly by the Pom and Emo the previous evening. Despite following Captain Kells orders of putting down both the white and blue covers we didn't realize there were two white ones ' we put the old one down which obviously didn't work quite so well. Little did we know at the time it was a master stroke....
The Pom, Longhurst, is used to the damp wickets anyway
The Sutherland batsman seemed to be worried about the wet patches at either end and came out all guns blazing playing a shot a ball. Yet despite a few balls keeping low, and a couple taking off, they weren't actually anything to do with those areas, and no wickets fell due to the ball doing loads from having pitched in them. Chris Lee got what he deserved from the previous week by picking up both the not out batsman from last week, one bowled after a dreadful pull shot to a ball that kept a tad low, and the other one edged a cut to 1st slip where Dan Richtor took a smart catch low down. The Stags now right on top after Lee's spell, and Longers came on and claimed the 7th wicket immediately with a yorker that hit the batsman flush on the toe in front of all three.
At the top end, Judgie had been toiling away and despite bowling superbly hadn't added to his tally from the previous Saturday. When he cleaned up the last recognized batsman (who should have been caught by Gilo earlier in the gully off Chris Lee if he hadn't have slipped in trying to dive forward), that was the beginning of the end as he then cleaned up numbers 10 and 11 with, as Kells so nicely put it, 'straight half volleys'. A lovely way to congratulate your opening bowler on his figures of 5-69 and first 'Michelle' (5 for) since his comeback. It was brilliant to watch Judgie reeling off over after over, bowling 15 overs unchanged on day 2 and if we're going to compete for the Premiership his experience and ability will be crucial in helping us attain this.
The Judge, Adair Durie, impresses the young Pom with a fine display of bowling and figures of 5/69
Chris Lee also bowled really well for his 2-49 and Longhurst chipped in with 1-56. Chris Archer did not get a bowl in seamer friendly conditions, however Archie will be required for many overs in the upcoming games. So Sutherland dismissed for 218, which was going to be hard work on a bowler-friendly wicket, and this also left us with a tricky 16-minute session til lunch.
Kells and Benny 'The Right-Handed Mitchell Kleem' Garratt looked like getting through it with no problems, especially after Kells dispatched one onto the train tracks. Alas a few balls later he left one that nipped back a long way and brushed the top of his pad. Despite the height and the length of the patented front-foot Kelly stride he was adjudged LBW, and not overly impressed with it. Longhurst made the point that Harmison was given out the same way in the 2nd test debacle in a equally questionable and intriguing decision, but when he looked round to see where a reply might come from he realized everyone had already run for cover. 1-16 at lunch.
That's one more for the City Rail staff to retrive
James Hosking joined BG and they immediately took the game straight to the Sutherland attack. We were 57 after 10 overs and the run rate continued to be sustained thanks to some sparkling strokeplay from the pair. BG was being especially harsh on the seamers including one of the trademark sixes over extra cover and Hosko punishing any bad balls straight to the fence and lifting the spinners straight over their heads.
The score was around 150 when Jimmy tried one too many aerial shots off the young Talay, who bowls both right and left arm off spin, and found mid-on. Matty Makepeace, who had a solid if quiet game with his first effort with the gloves in a while, unfortunately also tried to clear the in-field early and was caught at mid-off. The Peace gone for a duck. A collapse on our hands? No chance, as yet another man in form Elliot "Emo" Richtor came to the crease and nailed a couple of his favourite square drives to the fence to wrestle back the initiative. BG brought up his ton shortly before tea in a pretty much chanceless knock, and his first ever grade century. It really was entertaining to watch and considering the wicket its up there with any innings I've seen this season, the likes of tons from Reg (Damon Livermore), Rocket (Rod Hokin), Cake (Matt Michael), Hosko (James Hosking) and a little knock of 236 from the Dazzler (Brad Rasool).
Congratulations Ben on your maiden Grade hundred
We reached tea 3 down needing 30 or so, and the final session of play was dominated by the young Emo Richtor, matching anything seen throughout the day regarding timing and shots off both the front and back foot. We eventually coasted home with almost a full session left having knocked off the target in 45 overs. Emo ending on 34 not out and BG on 112 not out. An extremely happy and euphoric Gordon camp belted the song out knowing we'd gone top out on our own, and it's only ours to lose now. The ability and the confidence is there, its just a case of producing week in, week out as we have done pretty much so far.
Congratulations to first and second grade and the Colts for their excellent victories, and lets try and keep this momentum going for the Penrith game and finish on a high for Christmas and get ourselves up that club championship table to a position that befits the talent throughout the club.
'3-2, we're gonna win 3-2''
Neil Longhurst (slightly delirious with his prediction about the Pom's chances in the Ashes)
Third grade report v Parramatta day 1
Merrylands, it sounds much further away than it actually is. Which is lucky as the captain refused to leave his humble abode without his morning carb hit of pasta mixed with the previous night's Mexican meat mix.
(Elliot Richtor in action against Parra)
Twenty minutes later a desperate call from Garratt 'are you still picking me up? You said yesterday in your email that you would pick me up, bit you're not here yet!' Again twenty minutes later and team strike force had arrived much to the relief of the waiting Holmes, Archer and Lee who at one stage thought it might be eleven on three.
El Capitano Kelly lost the toss and the thirds were bowling. The deck was flat and hard and the boundary towards the grandstand was short. The openers struggled with no balls and rhythm early and Parramatta capitalised racing out to 0-70 from the first ten.
Richtor was called upon to slam on the brakes very similar in fact to the breaks he was slammin' to on Thursday night. The missus was in bed sick so Els got involved on a boy's night out. So involved in fact that he booted mid step in the middle of the df at one of North Sydney's most popular hangouts. Ever the stylist he insists that not a step was missed and he avoided the tap on the shoulder from the boys in black.
Els (3-15 from 8) grabbed the first wicket, the more aggressive of the two openers bowled after a deflection off the pad then his glove the, ball hitting the stump with just enough force to dislodge a solitary bail. Els also grabbed the next two wickets both cleaned bowled. He was accurate to the point of precision but then sprayed them like his third double JD and coke on Thursday, keeper Higgins less than impressed with the twelve or so byes down leg side.
(The miserly Anthony Sherman against Parra)
The germinator then stepped up to the crease and while bowling in tandem with Archie managed to remove four of the Parramatta batsmen finishing with the miserly figures of 4-36 from 17 overs. Archie (2-88 from 24) was toiling away at the other end all the while and was rewarded with two wickets after taking some stick early on.
One of the dismissals was a regulation catch at deep mid off. Garratt at deep mid on saw Lee wasn't interested and ran around then in and at the last minute threw his hands in the air and managed to pull the ball in. A great catch but there are some questions as to the efficiency of BG's depth perception.
Garratt then finished off the innings with a classy runout assist, succeeding where Michael had failed earlier in the arduous task of returning the ball to Higgins at the keepers end.
(Chris Archer at Merrylands)
A good fight back from the thirds led by Els, Archie and the germinator had contained Parramatta to a total of 236 including a staggering 44 extras. With Kelly unable to open after being belted on the point of the knee off an Archie full bunger the dream team of Garratt and Sherman was reunited at the top of the order.
With ten overs to play in the day the boys were looking merely to finish the day none down and launch an assault on the total next week. BG after learning that second grade had batted and he faced the possibility of two straight weeks in the field wasn't going to miss out on the chance to capitalise on his recent good form.
22 balls later and after two consecutive sixes over the cover boundary, one bouncing off the bike track and onto the roof, the other just going a bloody long way BG brought up his fifty. Unfortunately two wickets did fall late with Sherman and Hosking both being adjudged LBW.
The day finished with the stags at 2-71 in response to Parramatta's 236. A concerted effort from the boys this week should see the six points come down old Chatswood way.
If you don't eat pigs and I don't eat pigs why don't we just not eat pigs together?
Third grade report vs Wests
A new look third X1 turned up to Chatswood oval on Saturday for the one-day clash with Wests. The two teams had played an epic game last year where over 700 runs were scored across the two days. Captain Kelly was missing from the line up this time, as was Jordan Holmes.
(Pic clears the fence)
Captain Michael (?) won the toss and elected to bat on what was a very good deck. Garratt joined Sherman at the top of the list and the two well honestly they just belted them. 0-4 after one, 0-18 after two, 0-36 from three, the fifty coming up in just the sixth and well it never really abated. The two had put on 163 in twenty two overs when Garratt fell for 86.
It was the best any one had seen him hit them. The Wests openers were flayed to every part of the ground, a six over cover point being the highlight of the innings. Sherman playing a mute hand, as he seemed to battle his way to the ciggie, sorry drinks break. In fact he was smoking them too but looked to be going slow because Garratt was intent on not missing Kayne West opening for U2 for the second night in a row.
Hosking joined Sherman and did what he is in the team to do, sure he may tell you he's an all rounder, but really he's there to bat. And he's good. Jimmy negotiated a tough little spot playing the silent partner as Sherman picked up where Garratt left off. Germs really started to up the tempo combining solid hitting and good placement with good running (only for his runs though). Sherman was eventually dismissed for 97 caught at mid off a disappointing end to a brilliant display of third grade cricket.
(Ben Garratt during his 86)
The younger less brown Richtor joined Hosking and the two added 40 odd before Richtor helped one on its way to deep square leg. It can be difficult trying to continue such momentum when you're new to the crease. The Peace was run out trying his best to keep the score ticking over. Chris Lee was promoted with explicit instructions to get a wriggle on. He took one sighter then bopped the next ball for four then smacked the next one for six but was caught on his third attempt. The brown Richtor fresh from a week of sunning himself at Mona Vale beach came and went as did Michael who had stepped outside briefly on cup day without applying sunscreen and was more red than usual.
Higgins had been whinging for a bat all day and when he did get one what did he do? Run Hosking out. Higgs played well finishing 15 not out and while his strike rate wasn't quite 200 this time it was very handy. Hosking was actually run out for 66 on the last ball scampering for a second, which is hard to understand because the run would've gone to Higgins. It does go along way to demonstrating the good nature of the affable number three though.
(Higgins having a quiet day at Chatswood)
The score finished at 8-308 which the boys agreed was a little disappointing given the platform set up by Garratt and Sherman, but 308 in the bank is still a very good 50 overs.
Durie took the first over from the nursing home end and after two pressure building dots the Wests captain was hurried in to a pull shot that ballooned to Archie at mid-on 1-0.
The next wicket came nine overs later with the score on 33 after a couple of tight overs induced a big shot form the remaining opener. The ball went high and long over mid on, Michael at mid off made eye contact with Archie' it was Michael's catch the new skipper needed very much to prove himself to the boys after failing with the bat, he ran and ran and ran and then stuck out both hands the ball hit flush in the palm of the right and that was it, nothing much else to tell really- except that respect had been earnt.
Lee struck again gifting Higgins yet another dismissal, he was whinging that he was having a quiet game and it occurred to a few of the boys that it may be because Holmes wasn't playing. I'm sure the many devotees of the Third X1 report will remember the point being raised after the Fairfield game that all of Holmes wickets had been caught behind. Well no Holmes equals a quiet game for Higgins. Case closed.
(Jimmy Hosking hits out at Chatswood)
The next wicket was a piece of Archie magic. Captain Michael shrewdly putting the teams sole left-hander at mid on. The batsman played Lee straight back down the ground, Archie ran across, slid, scooped the ball up in one hand and while still on the ground pinged the ball at the stumps- direct hit, pandemonium.
Lee had been bowling extremely well, demonstrating his athletic prowess from his younger years and was rewarded with his third wicket on the final delivery of his tenth over with a slower one that bemused the batsman and hit the top of off stump.
Archie was introduced into the attack and started with a maiden, his second over yielded his first wicket, caught and bowled after the batsman failed to get to the pitch of the ball and got a leading edge. His second came from a drifting, dropping full bunger the obliging batsman hitting it to Garratt who took a good catch moving to his right at mid wicket.
It must have been Garratt's day, first runs then a catch and to finish it off a direct hit after the batsman worked a good Judgie rock just backward of point. He must have had about one and a half stumps to aim at, which as it turned out was more than enough. He seemed just happy to have hit them as his hand was raised it the air before the umpire had done the same.
The next ball Judgie hit the stumps himself a reverse swinging yorker that was too much for the young number 10 first up. The last wicket, Archie's third, came after the Peace held on to a looping prod at cover. The third X1 had put in what was pretty much a perfect day of cricket, brilliant batting backed up by disciplined bowling and exceptional fielding. Eight very well deserved points putting the boys equal top of the table after six rounds.
I said where'd he go, and Hollywood said where'd who go!
Third grade report v Fairfield day 1
It was good to be back at Chatswood oval after two weeks on the road. And speaking of roads wow! What a belter we were faced with. Fairfield won the toss and did the only sane thing.
(Well caught Missy)
Captain Kelly urged the boys to be patient, disciplined and to hold it together in what could have been a very long day. Amir and Holmes took the new rock and both bowled well. But with little assistance from the deck wickets were hard to come by. A couple of good overs tightened things up and Amir took the first wicket caught Higgins. Next ball Holmes struck, caught Higgins, the next ball was a rather anticlimactic dot however the ball after that Holmes struck again, caught Higgins (sensing a bit of a pattern?).
In the space of an over the game had changed dramatically. The fourth wicket was harder to come by as some good running and clean hitting took the total up. Amir did however claim his second with what he will admit was not the best ball he bowled, a full toss that the batsmen some how managed to miss to be adjudged LBW (at least Higgins wasn't involved).
The runs kept ticking over as the Fairfield number five moved his way past fifty. Soon enough though Amir took his third a leading edge from the lefthander slicing off the bat and looping up to Benny Garratt at point who came in, then moved out, then took another step in before launching into a vertical leap George Castanza would have been proud of and plucking the ball out of the air just as it seemed destined to get past him.
The bowling had been good from the stags just what Kelly had asked for full credit to Amir, Holmes, Judgie, the germinator and Emo. Amir's third introduced the Fairfield Captain to the crease who is quite an imposing figure. He nudged the ball around while the not out number five worked his way along.
(Looking good Higgo)
Emo struck removing the captain, how out you ask? How else? Caught Higgins, bloody hell, he still hadn't had to move for one of them. And the scary thing is just after the first wicket fell (caught Higgins) the catcher stumbled over to a bemused Michael and proceeded to unwind some story about having a dream the night before where he caught a man in a yellow hat!
The Fairfield number five reached his ton and then fell one or two runs later to what can only be described as a cunning Holmes plan, fiendishly conceived and executed perfectly.
A short wide one outside off stump an edge and who is there to clean up? Bloody Higgins, still without having to move!
(Who is the wicketkeeper in 3's?)
Holmes struck again not long after caught Higgins, funnily enough all Holmes eight wickets this season have come in this fashion. Which is why Higgs has managed to grab somewhere in the realms of 17 dismissals in the first five rounds! Oh and he trains and stuff, but mainly its because of Gordy.
Archie came on as the innings was coming to a close and bowled well in partnership with Holmes to keep the score from getting away. Archie grabbed himself two, neither of which were caught by Higgins.
With 18 overs still to bat the secondary mission of the day had been achieved, get Pic enough time in the middle to smoke'm. Higgins fresh from taking six catches and well just being himself asked Pic who had been promoted to open whether or not he would need a night watchman as he had requested in the previous round. Apparently not.
Kelly and Pic opened and after six overs the score was 0-40 odd thanks to some smooth stroke play from the pair. However the stags did suffer two setbacks loosing Pic to a half tracker which he smoked, unfortunately straight to the obliging fieldsman at cow corner. And then Kelly fell trying to paddle a full bunger that dropped sharply and hit leg stump.
Hosking and Garratt saw out the remaining overs the stags finishing the day at 2-74 after having dismissed Fairfield for 243.
And that's the end of that chapter'
Third grade report v Hawkesbury- day 2
What a difference a week can make! Anyone at who read the report from last week or was actually at Bensons Lane last Saturday can testify to the overwhelming heat. This week however it was freezing!
The wicket was hard and with plenty of grass on it. Kelly and Hosking resumed the innings at 1-74. The early stages were tough, the ball was moving in the air and off the deck. The two grafted their way to half centuries and looked well set to bring up the hundred run stand when Kelly was dismissed pulling for 62.
(James Hosking takes one in the ribs against the Hawks)
Sherman joined Hosking and blasted one through cover then mistimed an attempted drive and was caught at mid-off for 6. At this stage there was still some runs to be chased but more importantly there was still the vast majority of the days play left and wickets were at a premium. Richtor Joined Hosking and was looking in fine form until he attempted to pull successive balls for four off the opening bowler and was caught at square leg off the second for 13.
Longhurst joined Hosking, who was still working away ticking the runs over, and the total set by Hawkesbury last week of 163 was eclipsed. On 166 Longhurst was caught at point after he skied an attempted pull shot. At 5-166 still a while before tea the game was in an interesting place the third XI had secured the six points but needed runs to have any chance of obtaining the full ten.
(oops, that was close Kells)
Michael joined Hosking and the two set about getting to the tea break without losing another wicket. Prior to the dismissal of Longhurst, Michael had been explaining to JOF his style of play. Which involves nurdling, then running hard. Hardly elegant but on this occasion it got the job done. Hosking continued his innings playing some lovely strokes through and over the field and adding to Michael's total by running really hard as well.
The tea break was reached without the loss of another wicket and Hosking and Michael resumed, Hosking not too far short of his century. Soon after the resumption Kelly gave the order to wind things up, Michael slogged his way from 40 to 55 courtesy of some stroke play straight out of the Stuart MacGill text book- clear the front leg and swing till you hit something.
The next over Hosking brought up his hundred by despatching a loose one to the back ward square leg fence for four. It capped off what was a brilliant innings in sweltering heat one day, then bitter cold the next on a wicket that was more conducive to seam bowling than any other likely to be encountered throughout the year. Throughout Jimmy was a model of application, working with his partners putting on 99 with Kelly then 100+ with Michael. The declaration came at the end of the over, Michael out last ball trying to slog one more.
(The Hosko pull shot)
With a lead of over 100 the stags took to the field again with Holmes and Lee opening up and both bowled extremely well consistently beating the bat. The break through proved elusive until Archer was introduced and Sherman took a good low catch at first slip. No more wickets were to fall as bad light prohibited the seamers from bowling and Archer and Michael were having little more success. With nine wickets still needed Kelly moved to reintroduce the pace men and bad light stopped play.
(Dave Michael plays a rare defensive shot)
The stags third XI had secured six points and achieved their preseason goal of winning three of their first four games. It was a good team effort over the two days, with good partnerships when batting and also bowling being the decisive factor.
OHHH chicken Salad!
Art Van De Lay
Third grade report- Hawkesbury day 1
Hawkesbury. Away. Hmmm. As Stobes outlined in his salute earlier in the week there are many good people involved in the Hawkesbury cricket club. Their hospitality is second to none. Drinks-breaks every forty-five minutes, ice available to the fielding side, drinks placed at fine leg for the bowlers. It sure is hot but they do an outstanding job to make sure the players are looked after.
(Neil Longhurst at Benson's Lane)
The amount of cordial consumed across the three grades at Bensons on Saturday must have been enormous. No shirking either, they were all good mixes. This intrepid reporter was heard to suggest that maybe the SCA could look into providing the Hawkesbury CC with a cordial subsidy, in an effort to alleviate some of the cost incurred by their good natures.
Cordial aside. Kelly won the toss and bowled, it was 38 degrees but there was a fair bit of grass on the wicket. Masterstroke or mistake time would tell. Holmes opened with Lee with the former taking first wicket the opener caught behind attempting a pull shot. The bowling was good from both ends but the runs were coming freely as the ground provided good value for shots. Lee struck next with a full straight one hitting the bottom of off stump.
At two for fifty after about 13 it seemed to be even stevens. The ball was still moving around courtesy of the grass on the deck and some handy bowling, but the lightning fast ground and aggressive field placings meant runs were there to be had. The score was climbing steadily but a wicket never seemed more than a ball away.
(Chris Lee takes to the air)
Longhurst and Richtor were introduced and the runs started to dry up. The grassy wicket seeming to aid Longhurst who bowled extremely well, always just back of a length and on the one spot. The wickets came, four of them all up over the course of his 14 overs at the cost of just 44.
This reporter was last year somewhat critical of the young Richtor's fitness, his dad agreed, but the hard yards in the off season seemed to have paid off. He toiled away repeatedly staring down the barrel of his seven step run up coming in ball after ball, one team one dream Els. One team one dream. He did bowl extremely well though claiming 2-16 of 11 overs with a couple of fantasy points for maidens included, the Flintoff impersonations was a bit much though, even for a Richtor.
Yet to get much of a mention in the third grade archives in season 06/07 is one Ian 'Missy' Higgins. Sure he has been paid out for his long hair and swagger, and rightfully so. But his keeping has been of a top standard so far this year, an excellent stumping up to the pegs last week and a brilliant one handed catch low to the left to give Holmes (3-35) his third on Saturday.
(Chris Archer gives it a tweak against the Hawks)
The above has accounted for all ten wickets and usually that means no other bowlers get a mention. However it would be remiss, neigh unethical of this 'journalist' to file this report without mentioning the efforts Chris Archer, or Archie as he has been creatively christened. Eight of the ten wickets were taken from the grandstand end of the ground. The seamers must have taken seven while Archie was dotting them up from the other end. His figures of 0-44 don't look all that glamorous but if not for a missed chance, some late slogging and some unlucky decisions Archie could well have had a cheap bag himself.
So often there is talk of team plans and bowling in partnerships Saturday was a good example off how it can work with the GDCC third X1 dismissing Hawkesbury for 163. With still twenty overs to play in the day and time drawing on due to what can only be described as a lack of urgency showed by the batting side, the top order would have a tricky little time to negotiate.
Kelly and Garratt opened Hosking padded up at three and Sherman cowering in the corner begging Michael to go in as nightwatchman if a couple of poles did fall. It would seem that not even his lucky Zebra stripe underwear could help him in this situation.
(Elliot Richtor at Benson's)
Fortunately Michael wasn't needed as Garratt and Kelly took the score to 25 or so before Garratt was cleaned up by what was a very handy rock indeed. Hosking (21*) joined Kelly (41*) and the two saw out the remaining overs bunting the score along to 74 in the process.
The third X1 are in a good position going into day two but there is still a lot of work to be done before any points can be claimed.
The snosberries taste like snosberries'.
Third grade report v Sydney Uni
Kelly wins the toss hazzah! Gordon are batting. Uni number two is quite small, very fast and has a true deck. A score in excess of 250 would be needed.
It looked as if that would be a formality after the departure of Kleem early brought Kelly and Hosking together. Those initial overs saw a good contest with the first grade experience of Bowlers King and Gell up against the equally experienced Gordon duo.
(Josh Ling lets one go)
The partnership blossomed and the score was ticking along nicely when on 40 Kelly was adjudged caught behind. Garratt joined Hosking and the two kept up the momentum with some good running and clean hitting.
Hosking was looking special when on 86 he smashed the ball straight to short cover, the loss was compounded by the dismissal of Garratt for 22 in a similar fashion soon after. At this point the stags were in a good position but the introduction of two new batsmen understandably slowed the run rate. Richtor and Sherman set about building on the good platform that was until Sherman was too early on a straight-ish delivery and produced a leading edge carrying to mid on.
The Pom, Longhurst joined Richtor and the two again set about steering the ship home and were doing well until Richtor holed out to long on for 27. Michael Joined Longhurst and the pair saw the stags through to the last over setting little targets along the way the score went past 240,250, 270 then Longhurst was unluckily run out in the last over having made 53, this first half century for the club in only his second innings.
(Elliot Richtor at Uni)
Higgins sauntered to the crease hair flowing eerily from behind his worn purple hat and finished with 2* from 1 delivery he let everyone know just how impressive a strike rate that is but luckily no one was listening.
The run chase for Uni couldn't have started any worse, Ling striking in the first over, then Amir soon after then Ling again to have the home side reeling at 3-12. Just as Gordon had done the week before Uni were preoccupying themselves with the score they had to chase instead of the ball they were facing. Despite the loss of early wickets the runs flowed until the fourth wicket was taken by just prior to the drinks break.
Michael landing the ball in the right area, according to Garratt at deep point and Holmes on the sideline the ball must have hit something as it moved back through the gate and onto middle stump, the author however would like to think that even if it didn't spin as insinuated by his so called 'team mates' that it took great skill to hit the only protruding piece of turf on the road like wicket big enough to set the ball on such a drastic change of course. But that is neither here nor there.
The Uni total was still edging up but so was the required rate with Richtor and Sherman bowling tight while also picking up poles. A good return catch from Sherman got rid of an aggressive looking number six and a combination of clever bowling and sharp glove work for the irrepressible Higgins saw another wicket fall Richtor's way.
(A wicket to Josh Ling at Uni)
Writing these reports in the third person allows the author certain scope to cover events concerning themselves that if written in the first person would sound nothing short of indulgent. The event to which I am referring occurred after a Richtor delivery had been slapped out towards the deep point boundary, Michael walking in, ever attentive raced around from his sweeping position at deep cover managed to pick up the ball cleanly for the first time not only on that day, but in the week! And then proceeded to spread his arms thumbs pointing down, holding the ball across the seam in the tips of his fingers, turned his wrist so the ball was facing the boundary swivelled his hips as he looked over his left forearm using the force of the lead arm to pull his throwing arm around at a level satisfactorily above his shoulder releasing with a flick of the wrist after an extension of the forearm and sent the ball hard an flat the 30 odd metres to the single stump in sight hitting half way up on the bounce, wicket, pandemonium'..special! And no indulgence what so ever.
With the job still not done Gordon stuck to the task with Kleem capping off an inspired performance in the field with a sharp catch at short fine leg off Richtor. After the batsman flicked a full ball away from around a middle stump line to the waiting hands of Kleem. Sherman, apparently a regular dinner guest of Kleem's couldn't believe his eyes, either that or he couldn't actually see form his place at long off. As he skipped to join the joyous group like a saucy third grader in an Enid Blyton novel he could be heard shouting 'was that Mitchy Kleem!'
The final wicket fell with a runout to Kelly. Gordon 7-282 had defeated Sydney University 10-253. Special mention to Josh Ling who finished his ten overs with the exceptional figures of 2-38 and Elliot Richtor who bowled 8 overs in the tough middle section of the innings finishing with 3-27. Congratulations must also go to the Syndey Uni number five Hay who bombed the deserving Michael for 26 of one over. Thank you Hay.
With the preseason goal of two wins from three starts achieved with a couple of bonus points to boot the Gordon C graders will be looking to build on a solid start to the season when they face Hawkesbury this weekend.
Until then my fellow travellers
3rd Grade Report vs UTS Balmain Round 2
After the reserve, reserve graders gave what Pic described as a "dog-licking" to St. George in Round 1, 3rd grade had to fancy their chances in round 2. However UTS Balmain were to prove a much tougher task than Gordon's opposition 7 days prior. Kelly lost the toss and his side were sent into the field. The pitch was flat, and the Chatswood Oval outfield was as classy as Richie Kenner has been suggesting. Josh "Blinger" Ling and Umayr "insert nickname here" Amir opened the bowling with steady lines and patient bowling which saw the score stand at 1-20 at the first drinks break after Amir claimed a sharp caught and bowled in his 3rd over.
(Missy Higgins shows his style)
Anthony "The burglar" Sherman stole a sneaky pole somewhere in the midst of his 115 overs on Saturday. For the record he actually bowled 19, before succumbing to a rib injury sustained by Sweeney in the nets. Sweeney subsequently is now in the running for peoples champion 06'. Germs'
(Sherman) quote of "Me f'n ribs are f'd" will no doubt go into the chronicles of history as an insight into the mind of the pocket sized rocket. Dave Michael claimed an important wicket in the context of the game, his first of the season, and at the tea interval the score stood at 4-120.
(Anthony Sherman at Chatswood)
Gordon were certainly on top considering the conditions. It was a matter of persistence and hard work to wrap up the middle order and tail. Neither was applied and the Stags were forced to pay for their mistakes. The day could have been far worse had it not been for a bizarre run-out created by the brilliance of Michael and the recklessness of Kleem. The ball was pushed to mid-on (a position that Mitch had held all day), Dave Michael scooted 10 yards to his right, slid and saved a handful of runs. The non-striker, now at the strikers end turned blindly assuming that Kleem had given it the green light to run passed him, and set off for a second. By this time Michael had thrown the ball and Higgins waited patiently to dislodge the bails and leg stump. This was a crucial wicket as the dismissed batsman had already passed 50 and had an eye on posting a maiden 200 had he been given the chance.
In the final session Captain Kelly urged his bowlers for more discipline.
They did not oblige and Kelly saw his team go from a position of dominance to being behind the 8 ball as the Tigers strolled passed 300. Longhurst was unlucky not to finish with more than his 2 wickets due to some ordinary fielding performances. Cubbage ending the day with 1 pole off his 6 overs.
(David Michael at Chatswood)
Tiddles was furious.
Sunday saw the Tigers declare their innings closed at 7-320, leaving the Stags optimistic with their chances of winning the game. Gordon had every right to fancy their chances with the current batting prowess in the squad.
With all the momentum swinging the way of the Tigers it was important for Kleem and Kelly to build a solid start. Once again Kelly was let down by his top order batsman as Kleem, Longhurst, and Sherman all played some regrettable shots to have Gordon reeling at 3-30. As the captain made mention to after the fixture, we surrendered the game within the first hour of the days play. Kulkarni and Evans departed without any major contribution to the run chase and it was left to Kelly to save the team. The captain was soon back in the sheds as the scoreboard showed 6-100 as he left the ground.
Kelly on 68. Higgins and Michael managed to not loose their wickets before tea, however Michael didn't last long after, nor did Higgins. Cubbage battled bravely for a short time before playing an ordinary shot to be caught at point. Ling and Amir couldn't score the extra 150 required and the Stags were rolled well short of the target.
(Mitchell Kleem in pursuit)
An extremely disappointing start to the 2-day fixtures. Let's hope our 1-day form continues against the students next week. I advise second grade to carefully guard their drinks and drink glasses.
Third Grade report vs St. George
The GDCC third XI began Season 06/07 in the best possible fashion on Saturday with a comprehensive victory yielding two bonus points over last year's premiers St George.
(Neil Longhurst in action at Chatswood)
St George Batted first. What little movement there was in the deck was exploited to perfection by some ridiculously tight bowling from the opening pairing of Jordan 'Gordy' Holmes and Josh Ding-a-Ling. After 10 overs the score was 1-12.
All the early talk of working together as a unit and bowling to plans seemed to be paying dividends. Michael and Richtor took over and the former released the pressure with two loose over costing twenty odd, not offering Emo the support that had been afforded by each of the opening pair.
Germs (Anthony Sherman) replaced Michael and bowled full and straight. This improved discipline in line and length dried the runs up and eventually yielded wickets with Germs picking up one then Cubbage, overcoming some early nerves, to grab two important wickets in the middle stages.
(Anthony "Germs" Sherman)
Michael re-entered the game with Holmes unable to bowl as a result of an injury sustained while bowling his seventh over. Tighter lines resulted in a wicket and a lower run rate.
The English import Happy Healthy Harrold Longhurst (Neil Longhurst) bowled ten straight from the nursing home end to finish with a well-deserved 3-29 including the scalp of opposition captain and club sponsor Hamish Solomons.
At the conclusion of their 50 overs St George had registered 161 for the loss of 9 wickets. The Gordon boys left the field full of confidence that the chase would go well. Just how well we couldn't know until about the fourth over when the combination of Kelly and Kleem had already plundered 40.
The Gordon innings highlighted the balance needed when playing cricket between taking the runs offered in the infield as well as despatching the bad ball to the outfield. Gordon were never really challenged in the infield, being allowed to sit on the ring and control the tempo of the game and the run rate much easier than St George were able to.
(David Michael in flight)
Kleem departed for 38 with the score on 80 and Garratt joined the party, running well and playing some nice wristy shots including one six over cover off the off spinner. (If you would like to hear more about this shot just ask Ben that is if he hasn't managed to work it into your conversation already)
Twenty-three overs in and the score was 1-162 Kelly playing masterfully for his 74*, Garratt contributing 48* from about 30 rocks. A good win for the boys first up.