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Third Grade Match Reports 09/10

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 2009/10 season are provided below:

3rd Grade Report vs Sydney Uni - Round 15

3rd Grade Report vs Sydney Uni - Round 15

Leon Galaptis3rd Grade teach the Students a lesson

After last round's epic battle with St George, we turned up to Sydney Uni No. 2 ready to do battle with a team who would have to win to have any chance of making the finals. For the Stags, out of finals contention, our job was to enjoy our cricket and ensure the students would join us in playing their last game of the season.

Leon Galaptis rocks back and puts one away

We warmed up with 10 men as Alex Campbell was having difficulty getting from Redfern station to Sydney Uni and arrived after the toss. With just one player less, the warm up, in terms of enthusiasm and volume was definitely won by the students. They play the same warm up game each year, and each year it is played with the same passion and tenacity.

Unfortunately, after losing the toss and being sent in by the Gordon skipper, the enthusiasm and tenacity was seemingly used up in the warm up as they capitulated for 82 inside half their allocated overs. Some of their shot selection gifted the visitors wickets and it was hard to believe this was a side who were playing for a semi final spot (results would ensure they would not have made it even if they had won). But, the Gordon bowlers bowled good areas for the 2nd week in a row and reaped the rewards.

Adair Durie led from the front with 3 wickets, and he had good support from James Kidd (2 wickets), Charlie Bangs (2) and Nick Dowsley (3). 4 bowlers used and a simple run chase hopefully.

Leon Galaptis and Nick DowselyMick Dalrymple (34) and the energetic and effervescent Leon Gulaptis (31*) ensured the target was reached with ease, inside 16 overs, 2 bonus points and an afternoon off to support 1st and 5th grade. A brilliant last couple of games, with two completely different victories. One a hard grind, the other a complete annihilation. Both showed what is need to win games. We need to turn up each week with the same intensity and stick to the cricket basics.

Leon and Nick Dowsley complete the innings and take the 8 points back to Chatswood

Thanks to Ed Snr for scoring throughout the season and to the parents who dropped by and helped out with teas, drinks etc.

Ed Howitt Jnr 

Third Grade report vs Saints

Third Grade report vs Saints

howittThird Grade report vs Saints  

A really good win against a disciplined team sitting 2nd in the competition. Gordon 3rd grade's third visit in a row to Harold Fraser and 3rd win on the trot against the Dragons. All 3 games we have batted first and defended scores less than 200.Very satisfying!!

(Ed Howitt celebrates another bowled victim)

After the disaster the previous round, the thirsty 3rds were looking to atone for the disappointing batting performance and were asked to bat first on a flat, slow wicket. Saints theory, I suspect, was to use their best bowlers before they went up to 2nds the following week. Livermore (73) and Dalrymple (36) made a perfect start, albeit with Dalrymple offering a couple of simple chances which were not grasped.

Runs were difficult to come by against a patient attack, slow outfield and very defensive field. The plan was to bat the day and we succeeded in achieving this aim. Twenty's from Dowsley and Rosen, saw the total at the end of the day reach 4/197 (off 80). Hardly exhilarating cricket but cricket which would allow us to control the game and a relief after our dismal batting performance against Mosman. Reg batted extremely well and held the innings together. He occupied the crease for 70 overs and thwarted Saints plan to capitalise on our errors through unwavering concentration and patient shot selection. A batting lesson!!

After day 1, I read on the St George website that given the score we must have been playing for a 'respectable draw'. I am not sure of the scribe of these words, but their comments were duly noted by most at the club. The decision to declare overnight and win the game in the last over was most satisfying after reading the above comments. Oh'..and you don't get any points for a draw. You do get 6 for a win though!!!

Day 2 we turned up with the intention to bat for 5/6 overs and set Saints 220-230. Unfortunately the rain during the week (which Reg had forecast the previous Saturday) changed those plans. One end of the wicket was very wet, but to St George's credit they were very keen to play and produced 3 blowers to dry the pitch.

durieThese, together with a nice breeze and clear sky, saw the game commence 2.5 hours late, with 8 overs lost. The wicket was still a little soft, but would only make scoring difficult if we bowled well. The brains trust (Rosen/Dowsley/Livermore/Durie) were split as to whether to bat on or declare. The captain decided to declare and allow St George a very gettable total and nearly equal time. Saints batted slowly for the first half innings, losing 4 wickets in the process.

(Part of the brains trust Adair Durie in action at Harold Fraser) 

However, the opposition looked on top at 4/110 and it was at this time we saw the departure of selectors Wilson and Hickman. Faith gentleman!! We fought back through good bowling and pressure on new batsmen to play outstanding cricket shots to score 8 an over for the last 8 overs. The game ended in the last over with a run out and the Stags victors by just 3 runs. A good game of cricket and full credit to determined batting and excellent, straight bowling. Adair Durie, Alex Campbell, James Kidd and Charlie Bangs all bowled superbly and the victory  is greatly attributed to their ability to bowl at the stumps, bowl to the field set and be patient.

I would be quite happy to travel to Harold Fraser again next year. It is a good stomping ground for the Stags!!

Ed Howitt

3rd Grade Report vs Mosman - Round 13

3rd Grade Report vs Mosman - Round 13

KiddThe hunter becomes the hunted as 3rd Grade get demolished

With a heavy downpour on Friday evening the pitch was looking very favourable for the bowlers. After Gordon had won the toss and sent Mosman in to bat, it was clear that the pitch worked favourably for the opening pair. With the ball swinging and moving off the seem it wasn't easy for Mosman's batsmen, and with an early wicket from Charles 'Banger' Bangs, things were looking good for Gordon, another 2 wickets from James 'Billy' Kidd helped by a very sharp catch from Mick Dalrymple.

"Billy" Kidd takes two early poles

At 6/40 the Stags were in the box seat after some very tight and aggressive bowling from Alex 'Junior' Campbell picking up a well deserved 2/9 and proving that he has a little more pace than his older brother, who was seen watching from the sideline. Adam Fleming (1/9) and Nick Dowsley (1/15) kept things tight and were unlucky not to have a few more wickets with some dropped catches. With the captain being a rose amongst the thorns, or in this case a spinner amongst the pace-men, it was time for Edward Howitt to have a trundle, giving the ball plenty of flight to try to tempt the batsmen into some shots. He proved successful picking up a very handy 2/20.

At 9/50 the end of the Mosman batsman was near, however a handy last wicket partnership and multiple dropped catches meant the visitors last wicket partnership proved to be costly for the Stags with the last wicket coming in the 2nd over after tea, with the Mosman finishing at a final score of 98. Overall a sound performance in the field from the Stags with an always high standard of fielding and bowling we walked off the field with our heads held high, and Mosman with their tails between their legs.

With each batsman only needing 10 runs each and the pitch beginning to flatten out a first innings win for the Stags was on the cards and we were quietly confident with our approach to the run chase' however we must have been reading the wrong cards, as Mosman's opening bowlers tore through the Gordon top, middle and lower order like a hot curry to roll us for a mere 30 runs in 11 overs with only Damon 'can I please have some chewing gum' Livermore and Charlie 'Cow corner' Bangs making double figures, with Charlie showing some initiative to go big with a two consecutive boundaries including a large 6. Full credit should be given to the Mosman bowling attack' well one bowler in particular that scalped 8 of our batsman and showed us what were the right areas to bowl.

dowsleyBefore we knew it we were back in the field with little left to play for but to try to maintain some honour. The new ball proved useful once again, however the Mosman batsmen had a little more spring in their step this time around and proved slightly more difficult to dismiss. 2 wickets fell before the end of play on Day 1 leaving the score at 2/40.

Day 2 sees 'Digger' Dowsely perform well with the ball

Day 2 of the game saw a new pitch and a new game, the grass from the previous week had gone and the pitch looked flat and batsman friendly. Leading by 68 runs at the start of play the Mosman side came out to play from the start for what for them was a very possible outright win, a good start saw several boundaries come from the opening over's of the day. However the 'Banger' struck after tempting an aggressive left hander into a ambitious cover drive.

With Adam 'Flem ball' Fleming suffering a dancing injury to his ankle on Friday night it was then up to Alex Campbell to take the reins with the older ball, bowling extremely well, with some excellent pace took the second wicket of the day, which lead to a dry up of some runs for Mosman. Campbell managed to pick up 5 for 32 for the day. Campbell was well supported by Nick 'Digga' Dowsley, bowling some excellent lines and lengths consistently, a modest 3 for 21 return. With time running out for a run chase to be possible the Mosman captain continued to bat after tea already being over 200 hundred runs in front. Not long after tea the remainder of the Mosman players were dismissed and we were set a run chase of 239 from a mere 33 overs.

With a Gordon victory not looking likely it was time for the Gordon batsmen to regain some confidence and to find some form. 'Reg' Livermore showed some class with bat , scoring an unbeaten 65 and Dowsley putting a modest 23 on the board. A partnership between two of the more experienced players in the side little Brett Rosen and Livers, brought some entertainment to the crowd with an array of shots proved that the side was more than what the score sheet from the previous week read.

At the end of the day cricket was the winner, and the result was no change from day one. However the learning experience is what we play cricket for and the side can take away some valuable things from the match.

 James 'Billy' Kidd

3rd Grade Report vs UNSW - Round11

3rd Grade Report vs UNSW - Round11

flemingThird Grade Report vs UNSW  

Being sent into the field on a stinker of a day it is easy to sit back and make excuses. We're not going to do that. 

(Adam Fleming in action against UNSW)

I think last week typified the miss part of our hit and miss season. There were patches of some good tough cricket in the field however a lack of intensity, concentration and possibly even enthusiasm once again prevented us going  for the kill when we had opportunities to take control of the innings. 

Unfortunately the same can be said for our batting. Once again off to a good start until a lack of something between the ears meant that one of the loosest spells of bowling I can remember seeing was rewarded with some big wickets and we managed to throw away a perfectly good opportunity to capitalise on a par run chase on a great pitch and outfield for batting on.

Uni made 249 for I don't know how many wickets and Gordon managed (not sure but we gave away a bonus point) to lose their last 7 for under 20 runs. Full credit to the Uni boys for taking advantage of our shortcomings. That spell by the way was probably deserving of about 1-100.

howittIt must also be said that that Dan 'the skipper will get upset if I use my favourite nickname for this kid' Lake put in a good showing for his first game in third grade. Well played to Josh Poysden also picking up several important wickets and James Kidd (during his first spell) for the second week in a row showed why blokes hate facing him in the nets .

(The skipper in action in the heat on Saturday) 

Then there's Digger, ever reliable Nick 'Digger' Dowsely again did the business with the bat longer than anyone else. I'll have bat with you for more than fifteen minutes this week mate. 

So to this weekend lets take the chance to show one of the top teams that despite our inconstancy we can match it with the best of them. Time for us to take the points that Parra probably expect to win and you never know how the top six can shape up during the silly part of the season. Lets do it right.

Brett Rosen
3rd Grade Report v Manly - Round 9

3rd Grade Report v Manly - Round 9

Beau Saddler3rd Grade Reportvs Manly

After finishing 2009 with a win against West's, the third grade team knew a strong performance was needed if they were to start 2010 well and remain in the hunt for the finals. Things started well with skipper Howitt winning the toss and electing to bat and what seemed a fairly good pitch to bat on.

Beau Saddler on debut for the Stags

The loss of 3 early wickets put the Stags on the backfoot, with the score at 3-30 just before drinks. A near 100 run partnership between Dowsley and Carmichael got the team back on track and at 3-124 going into the last over before tea the game looked to have shifted back into Gordon's favour, that was until Carmichael shouldered arms to the last ball of the over and had his off stump rattled to leave the score at 4-123 heading into tea. 

After tea wickets again fell in clusters with Dowsley playing on for a well made 63 and Sherman being taken by a good return catch from the bowler. As in the previous game, Skipper Howitt set about trying to reach a defendable score and along with James Ryan moved the score up towards 200, though again wickets fell in clusters and Gordon were bowled out for 216. Ed's 55 batting at 8 was vital in ensuring the team had something to defend, but stressed that he should not have to make runs each week to ensure the team has a chance to defend a score and that it is up to the top 6 to get the majority of the runs.

Henry CarmichaelArriving on Sunday with Manly at 1-70 in reply the bowlers knew that early wickets were vital if they were to have any chance of winning the game. The first session of play went the way of the Stags bowling good areas and with some excellent fielding had Manly at 5-140 at tea. After tea the bowlers again bowled good areas and the fielding continued to enforce the pressure onto Manly. At 8 down and still needing around 20, a ball was hit to mid off where Nick Dowsley dived forward and immediately claimed the catch, though the batsmen has not walked claiming that he believed it bounced. The umpires deliberated and, to both the batsmens and the Stags credit, once the not-out decision was made by the umpires all moved on and continued the game.

Young Henry Carmichael takes 3 wickets against the 'Tahs

Unfortunately for the Stags, Manly passed the total 8 down. All the bowlers toiled hard with wickets being shared Carmichael 3, Effeney 2, Avendano 2, and Durie 1.

It is clear that our bowling and fielding is keeping us in games and if we are to start winning games and move into contention for finals the batsmen must stand up and start scoring runs, to allow the bowlers solid totals to bowl at, starting against Hawkesbury next week.

Henry Carmichael

 Ed Hoppa Howitt James Ryan

Old man Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt and young James Ryan put on a display out in the middle

3rd Grade Report v Western Suburbs

3rd Grade Report v Western Suburbs

durie3rd Grade Report v Western Suburbs

This was an odd game ' built all upside down. The foundations were on the roof and the attic was in the basement.

(Adair Durie at Punchbowl)

Eddie won the toss and elected to bat on what looked to be reasonably good wicket. Mitchell Kleem played a typically aggressive and cheery innings, as fiery as a final Nathan Rees press conference, and which included six well-struck boundaries. He ensured that he got the team off to a good start before being caught low down in the slips and there was no doubting his disappointment at not being able to go on with it.

Thereafter, the top order failed to fire sufficiently well. A couple of promising starts but nothing of real substance.

Credit must be given to the Western Suburbs fielding and bowling, of course, which was consistently impressive. The attack was steady and controlled and forced batsmen to place a premium on their wicket.

Furthermore, and importantly, it was backed up in the field.

In particular, the cover region was patrolled well. From the pavilion it was clear that the fieldsman in that region relished his task and his anticipation was impressive.

On the whole, runs were to be hard earned.

howittJames Ledgerwood looked good and appeared to be headed for greater things before he decided, a little recklessly perhaps, to run down the wicket to a new spinner and paid the price.

(Skipper Ed Howitt)

Henry Carmichael was the pick of the first half of the order, with a well-made 36 that included some coruscating stroke play. However, he too was dismissed just when he looked well set, cutting at a ball and touching it through to the keeper.

Brett Rosen was another to show that he is a batsman of real class but unfortunately the promise of things to come was not realised.

Things looked grim at 6-104 and even worse at 7-128. But the captain was at the crease and was determined to do what he could to make a defendable total.

That withstanding, there were few indications at that point of what was to come.

But happily for the skipper, the tail did what it could to stick with him, but even still the final act of the innings was remarkable.

He added 40 something with Stobo, all through gritted teeth. It was the reincarnation of Allan Border in the mid-1980s.

Importantly, for all of those youngsters reading, the partnership lasted for well over an hour and included not a single glove punch. See. It can be done. 

bangsWith Adair Durie, Eddie's score moved from about 40 to 90. It was terrific to watch, with calculated hitting, particularly over mid-on. It was experienced batting of high calibre and the Western Suburbs attack, which had toiled manfully, was increasingly frustrated.

(Charlie Bangs at Punchbowl)

During that same period, Adair moved from 0 to 9.

This meant that Charlie Bangs was under not just a little pressure to help his captain through to his 100, which he duly did in most a remarkable manner.

The most extraordinary over began with Ed watching helplessly from the non-striker's end, perched on 99. Charlie had a number of options but most of them involved being circumspect and watchful.

Watchful he was, but circumspect he probably was not, as he crashed three of the deliveries, including the last one, to the leg side fence. Not only did he ensure that Ed had his chance at an extremely well-deserved ton, but the score was advanced in healthy and entertaining fashion in the process.

Ed's 100 was brought up with a scrurried single. There was not doubt that he was counting his runs. Both arms held aloft, he savoured what was a terrific and satisfying moment.

Truly a captain's innings, if ever there was one. However, having had the pleasure of playing alongside Eddie a few years ago in 2nd Grade, I can't say that I was altogether surprised.

Ed's devotion to the Club over the years is only matched by a handful of very special people, in my experience, and when you boil it all down it is they that make the Club what it is.

Good people come and go, as one would expect, but to have individuals such as the Ed Howitts (both Jnr and Snr) around for the long haul is to give the Club a soul and a heart beat.

They understand the nuance and the essence.

The story.

avendanoThat is why I was so thrilled to see Ed run that single. It meant that Gordon could take to the field with 262 to defend, nearly twice what might have been expected a few hours earlier.

(Justin Avendano in action)

With 19 overs to bowl before stumps, Adair Durie got things off to a perfect start with a wicket in his first over, and another fell in the second. Just goes to prove that batsmen still miss straight deliveries.

Western Suburbs were teetering but found themselves in deeper trouble when a batsman padded up and was given out LBW. Then the skipper's day got even brighter when he completely befuddled a left-hander in his one and only over, resulting in a good catch by Rosen, Jnr.

Stumps were drawn with Western Suburbs on the edge of the precipice at 4-42 and Gordon in the box seat going into Day 2. However, little twists and turns still lay ahead.

On arriving at the ground on the second Saturday, after a day of rain on Friday, it was frustrating to see a wicket that looked like a damp turnip patch. Things look bleak on what was a very sunny day.

However, there is a rule in the book which says that, if both captains and the umpires agree, the game can be moved to another wicket on the same square, which is what happened. The pitch had been used during the week and some preparation by the groundsman meant that cricket was to be played after all.

It was a wonderful testament to the club of Bardsley, Davidson and Simpson.

It meant for an entertaining and worthwhile day, in which runs were scored and wickets taken. Both teams had a chance to win, two batsmen scored half centuries and a bowler took four wickets, which suggests that there was a little bit for everybody.

And it was in stark contrast to the alternative of going home, frustrated.

Stobo ensured that he hosts' good sportsmanship was well received by getting it all wrong from the outset, bowling too straight and he ended up on the receiving end of some pretty impressive hitting.

Indeed, it was the beginning of a sorry and embarrassing day for him. A six in his first over gave a clue and dropping a catch in the gully soon after made things even clearer.

The final three sixes in subsequent overs pretty well confirmed things.

Of course, I could harp on about his second dropped catch later in the day ' a ball that spun viciously and deceptively as it snaked its way cunningly to backward point ' but I don't think there's really much point. There are plenty of others to tell that sorry tale.

And the derision from all and sundry, which was fully expected, was well and truly received.

Indeed it had begun well before the tea break. A committeeman's phone call meant that it had travelled around the suburbs of Sydney within minutes and, of course, it was in print on the website soon thereafter.

It's hard to keep typing with tears in your eyes.

Happily, the other bowlers and fielders did well. 'Hoppa's Game' continued to unfold as he toiled away manfully and constrained the scoring. Importantly, he received excellent support from Justin Avadano's, whose leg twirlers were well flighted and his two wickets well earned.

Nevertheless, at tea Western Suburbs needed only another sixty with wickets in hand. Gordon was rather flat and the game was in the balance.

But it was Charlie Bangs' spell after the break that settled things. A wicket in his first over ' a sharp catch at slip by Nick Dowsley ' and then a second a little while later (the last of the recognised batsmen, who had worked very hard and well for 60 odd) meant that the pendulum was back where it should be, with Gordon.

It was impressive bowling, with good pace and bounce and one always felt a wicket was just around the corner.

As long, of course, as that chance wasn't hit in the direction of Stobo.

The Big Red One, Adair, made sure of the result by snaffling the final two scalps and his four wickets were just reward for yet another terrific effort, driving up into the breeze. If there's a more whole-hearted player in the game I haven't yet met him; any team is a better one if Adair is in the line-up.


(Adair leads the team off at Punchbowl)

Therefore, Eddie got what he certainly deserved: a victory, built largely on the back of his magnificent innings.

There it is. A 3rd Grade victory going into Christmas and placed in the top half of the table but with a long way still to go.  Howitt got a century for his stocking, which should keep him happy for a bit at least.

And a whole of extra grist to the mill for Wilson, Falk (x2), Grumpy (Snr), O'Neill, etc., at Stobo's expense, so at least the pensioners are happy.

In summary, it was a win but not a particularly convincing performance by the Gordon lads. Certainly some encouraging aspects but, on the whole, rather patchy.

There's no question that there is quality in the team and a good mix of youth and experience. A number of very capable bowlers and batsmen who are positive and aggressive, all very well led by a Premiership-winning captain. However, potential never won anything, let alone the Mitchell Cup.

It was, therefore, an enjoyable couple of days. However, my main criticism is reserved for the fact that, at the end of it all, two apparently good spirited teams went through a well-fought match over two Saturdays, yet didn't spend any time in each other's company, or that of the umpires, at the end.

It would have been great to share a drink and some talk about the game, and whatever else.

A pity, as I firmly believe that the game is all the richer for the effort spent in breaking down barriers and building up the relationships between teams. The cricket should only be a vehicle, not an end in itself.

Cheers and Merry Christmas. Hope Santa brings plenty runs and wickets to all.

Remember ' Christmas is the time of the reindeers (or is it stags?)

Richard Stobo 

Third Grade Report vs Easts

Third Grade Report vs Easts

dowsleyThird Grade Report vs Easts 
Day 1
Two new faces greeted the third graders on Saturday morning - Andrew Coleman and Anthony Sherman up for their first games in 3rd grade for the club (or maybe Pic has played once or twice before).  A much shorter warm up lap (due to Brett Rosen's absence) was followed by a toss that was a formality - Gordon was batting whichever way the coin landed.  

(Nick Dowsley during his 87)
After the loss of an early wicket, Justin Avendano and Nick Dowsley set about building a foundation and moved the score along to 41 before Avendano was dismissed.  Harry Turner joined Dowsley at the crease and played a great dogged supporting role for Dowsley who continued his good form.  The wicket was a little two paced, which made it difficult to drive, but Dowsley and Turner took the score to about 125 at tea.  After tea, fresh from some very effective Ledgerwood stretching of his 'officed' hamstrings, Dowsley was feeling great and probably got a little carried away in his search for a 100 and was dismissed for 87, with the stags in a solid position at 3-145. 
ToddWhat then followed was another disappointing collapse, Turner fell for a well compiled 31 and soon Sherman and skipper Howitt followed and suddenly to score was 6-160.  Dan Richtor (29) and Andrew Coleman (21) then combined effectively to add 38 for the seventh wicket but it wasn't until the final overs of the day that Gordon was back in a good position.  Matt Todd, shocked at his demotion to number 11, proved his skipper wrong with some remarkable shots on his way to 44 not out off not many balls.  The highlights were the numerous sixes over cover off the quicks.  Todd's brilliant cameo took the score to a good 9/271 at the end of play.

(Only one player could play a shot like this. Toddy)
Day 2
Despite the rain overnight, the wicket looked in good shape when we arrived at Trumper Park on day 2, with less grass than day 1.  Nevertheless, that was no excuse for what happened in the first hour of play.  Easts' openers simply came out and punished our bowlers from ball one.  Anything slightly wide, full or short was sent to the boundary and we were in deep trouble with the score 0-100 after about 18 overs.  Dowsley (2-28) was brought on and claimed both openers with fullish deliveries that were hit straight to fielders.  Soon Todd (1-55) took a third wicket and Gordon were right back into the match.  However, runs kept flowing at a steady rate until the tea break, putting Easts in a dominant position.   
howittWith Avendano (2-34) and Pat Effeney (1-37) claiming quick wickets after tea, Gordon's hopes were rekindled again.  However, the vital final wickets proved hard to come by and it took a great run out by Effeney to get the 7th wicket when there were only 10 runs left to defend, which, unfortunately, was too few.

(The skipper trying to break through on day 2) 
Nevertheless, there was much to learn from this result.  We need to develop more consistency in our bowling, and remove that '4' ball that reared its head far too often on Saturday and, as the skipper emphasised after the game, be more anticipatory in the field to gain that extra split second that would have got us quite a few run-outs.
Nick Dowsley 

3rd Grade Report vs Sydney - Round 4

3rd Grade Report vs Sydney - Round 4

dowsleyMiddle order collapse not enough to deny 3rd Grade a victory

The Gordon 3rd Grade Stags arrived at ELS Hall ready and willing to keep their winning streak rolling, and also keen to keep the Sydney Tigers waiting another week for win #1.

Nick 'Digger' Dowsley with his bowling boots laced up for the first time this season

Unfortunately the toss was lost by the experienced coin flipper Ed 'Hoppa' Howitt Jnr, with the Tigers deciding to bat on a fairly benign wicket. Sydney got off to a decent start, however the Gordon bowling maintained good lines and lengths ensuring that, even though wicketless, Sydney's run rate was kept at bay. Pat Effeney (3-19 off 10) had the ball swinging early on, yet the determined Tigers edged along nicely. Enter Nick Dowsley.  'The Lawyer' had the bowl nipping both ways, resulting in a sharp caught and bowled to dismiss one of the openers. Soon after, 'Dowser' had his second and finished with great figures of 2-42 off 10.

However this was to be the end of the Sydney wickets falling for a substantial period of time, as the Sydney batsmen took the attack up to the Stag bowlers. At 3-157, things were looking ominous for the Staggies, as the ball started finding the boundary more often than we would have liked. At tea, Sydney were in a commanding position, however Hoppa made sure heads didn't drop, and instantly after tea Justin 'JA' Avendano knocked over the crucial Sydney batsman. JA later told me it was the 'ball of the century' a huge ripper that surprised the Sydney batsman by scooting through rather than turning. Justin bowled terrifically, finishing with figures of 4-59 off 17. avendano

Once the wickets began falling, the momentum shifted to the Stags, and we knocked over the Sydney side for a very-gettable 234 off 75 overs. Also of note in the bowling efforts was Howitt's cheeky 1-26 off 13, but more noteworthy were his verbal efforts directed at the Sydney batsmen, which had youths like JA taking notes. Effeney also had the old ball hooping Irish, dangerous signs for the batsmen in coming weeks!

Avendano pounces on anything short on his way to 61

The Stags then had around 8 overs to face before the close of play, with both openers determined not to let the Sydney side regain momentum for the following week. Thankfully both openers batted aggressively, and no wickets fell in the afternoon session, ensuring Day 1 of the match firmly belonged to Gordon.

Day 2 began for the Stags just as they had left off the previous week, with the openers dictating play. Of substantial note was Justin's 61, which had the side at 0-106. Unfortunately wickets began falling, with Ledgerwood falling for 50 and Rosen coming then going for 11. Both wickets were fairly soft, something which the Stags must eradicate from their game against stronger sides. One can understand Brett's mode of dismissal, caught on the boundary whilst trying to put the Sydney leg spinner's full toss into what was named 'Cheadle Memorial Baseball Field'. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful.

Nick Dowsley came to the crease and continued his fine form contributing 53 to the Stags total. JA fell on a well-made 61, however really should have gone on to score a big one after batting so well for a long period of time. One cannot be too harsh on JA, as he put the middle order in a great position to knock off the remaining runs.

Harry 'D.J Turn-tables' Turner joined 'The Lawyer' at the crease and together the two put on a firm partnership that had Gordon seemingly walking their way to victory at 3-212. However we let our foot off the pedal, with Turner, Richtor, Smith, Dowsley and Howitt all falling within 8 runs. Suddenly there was a massive chance that the Stags could lose, a position that the batsmen should NEVER have allowed happen. Thankfully the old man of the team, Matty Todd combined with Pat Effeney to see the Stags home, but Gordon's lower order was put under immense pressure that should never have occurred. The top order needs to have a good hard look at themselves- 50s are not good enough to win cricket matches, with all batsmen capable of scoring 80s-100s. We need to learn how to grind an innings out rather than just smash a quick 30 and then get out. However as Ed said post match, a win is a win, and hopefully we have all learnt not to give away our wickets so easily.

Special mention must go to JA and 'The Lawyer' who both contributed with bat and ball, ensuring the G[ordon]-train kept rolling along!

This week we face a far tougher opponent in Easts, who will not give us so many scoring opportunities and will capitalise on a collapse like we saw on the weekend, which will be a great test for our play makers up the top of the order. Carn the mighty 3rd Grade Stags!

Yours in cricket,

James Sledger-wood

3rd Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

3rd Grade Report vs Sutherland - Round 3

ledgerwoodA lucky escape as the Sharks circled in for the kill

Round 3 saw the 3rds make the journey to the Shire for what would be a tough game against a fairly quality opposition. Matt Todd came back into the line up after sustaining a side injury while trying to make his ground in Round 1.

Ledgerwood (Senior) makes a typically strong start at the top of the innings

Howitt won the toss and elected to bowl on what was an interesting deck, which looked to have felt some effects of the rain in the days preceding. The Sutherland opening pair started cautiously and this coupled with some good ground fielding early on from the Stags, mounted pressure on the scoreboard. At the first drinks break Sutherland were 2/50, which was not a bad spot to be in, all things considered, and we knew we had some wickets to take to ensure a gettable total.

The introduction of spin from both ends caused havoc for the batsmen with Toddy (3 for 29) and Justin (2 for 24) bowling very well and providing ample opportunities for the fieldsman. However it wasn't our day on the catching front. A total of 9 catches went down throughout the innings and inevitably let Sutherland make a fairly respectable total. Ground fielding was good, however there is plenty to work on at training throughout the week to ensure that we don't drop as many catches in future rounds. Sutherland's innings was finished off by James Kidd (3 for 19) with good death bowling, restricting the total to 140.

We felt confident about chasing the total down, knowing that one or two good partnerships would more than likely steer us home. Jordy Liddle and Ledgerwood (J), opened up the innings both keen for runs, however Jordy got another peach of a delivery and Brett followed him back to the sheds the very next ball and we found ourselves 2 down with only a few on the board. The ever reliable Dowsley and Ledge (35) set about steadying the ship and both batted very well to reach a total of 2 for 70. From then on we lost wickets in clumps as the Shire's spinners bowled very consistently.

turnerThe rain then started to come down the score was 7/100 and we found ourselves behind the run-rate, but eager to get back on to chase the total. Eventually the square was covered and the track protected from the elements. We were still in with a chance if the weather spared us for just a while.

Turner surrounded by Ledgerwoods as the (now less) nervous author comes off with the victory

As the rain eased Harry Turner and James 'Billy' Kidd resumed the innings and looked very solid and moved the total to 125 until Billy was run out and the game was in the balance. The score kept ticking over until Toddy was castled and with 12 to get an extremely nervous number 11 went in... Harry (33 not out) remained extremely solid and ultimately guided the Stags home in the final over of the day.

In a game where neither side was really on top at any stage, we were extremely happy to come away with the 6 points and content knowing that we didn't travel all the way to the Shire for nothing. Hopefully some solid practice during the week should lead to a good performance against Sydney in Round 4.

Charlie Bangs

3rd Grade Report vs Bankstown - Round 2

3rd Grade Report vs Bankstown - Round 2

Brett RosenBankstown escape as the thunder rolls in

After a comprehensive victory in Round 1, the thirsty 3rds knew they would face much stiffer opposition from the boys from Bankstown. An injury to mercurial leg spinner Matt Todd, saw Tom Ledgerwood(not a like-for-like replacement) promoted and we welcomed the return of Ian Higgins to the fold.

Rosen takes his usual route to runs

Day 1 was unfortunately washed out after a number of attempts to start the game. This was not such a bad thing, as the younger brigade received a crash course in covers management. Next step in their covers degree is to be proactive and undertake this chore without constant supervision. Covers, funnily do not move unless the person who picks them up actually moves. Just a hint!!

The covers did a wonderful job to ensure a game on Day 2 and Howitt succeeded in losing the toss and being sent in. On a wicket which offered the bowlers enough assistance, we lost Jordy (to a peach according to their captain) and Ledgerwood (senior) relatively early in proceedings. Brett Rosen (50) batted superbly and forged a partnership with the reliable Nick Dowsley.

Ian Higgins and Justin AvendanoRosen batted well under difficult circumstances and it was not the wicket which he was fighting. Unfortunately he was struck in the groin area and couldn't shake the injury for his entire innings. He hobbled around and refused the application of ice at drinks. He is a tough little fella our wicket keeper.

Justin and Missy compare notes for the next edition of The Mail

Rosen fought through the pain and was only undone by a wonderful full toss which he duly hit to mid off. Brett has asked the coach if it possible to practice facing full tosses at training during the week. Good luck to the person who gets roped in to throwdowns at training!! Justin Avendano (44*) and Ian Higgins (49) formed a wonderful alliance and ensured we reached 201 after 60 overs. Both players batted intelligently and ensured we had a more than competitive total to defend.

Bankstown started well but at tea the Stags had reduced the opposition to 4/54. A magnificent direct run out from Avendano was the highlight of a session where our bowlers were a little inconsistent, but were assisted by some poor shot selection from the Dogs. Quick wickets after the break from Tom Ledgerwood (2/20) and James Kidd (3/45) saw the opposition on the ropes at 9/120. However, the threat of a storm became reality as the thunder began rolling in and our desperate attempts to take the last wicket were thwarted. The rain stayed long enough for the game to be called off and the Bankstown boys were very lucky to receive the same amount of points as Gordon'.zero.

Justin Avendano battingA very annoying and frustrating end to a game where we really dominated, especially in the field. Rosen, Higgins and Avendano batted superbly and showed the importance of building partnerships and ensuring a competitive total batting first.

Avendano leaves his mark on 3rd Grade early in the season

However, both games thus far we have been 5 for not enough. James Kidd and Thomas Ledgerwood were the pick of the bowlers, but overall we were guilty of bowling either too full or short and lacked consistency. Something to work on.

A tough away trip to the shire this week and hopefully the 6 points we missed out on over the long weekend will be in the bank after this round.

Ed Howitt Jnr

3rd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

3rd Grade Report vs Blacktown - Round 1

Matt Todd wicket3rd Grade Report vs Blacktown

A new season, new personnel, old personnel and back home at Killara Oval. On a windy day the boys were treated to a covers lesson from the skipper and others who learnt last season the art of such a draining chore. We managed to defeat the 3 covers, albeit in a shoddy manner, and organise a decent warm up before Howitt won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch which the groundsman described as a 'virgin wicket' and one which he had no idea how it would play. Unsurprising, given it was a completely new square.

Matt Todd returns to Gordon grade cricket with a catch by Jordy Liddle

Jordy Liddle and James Ledgerwood started our season off somewhat cautiously, before Jordy played on in the 7th over. Rosen (49) entered the fray and played a vast array of shots (surprise ,surprise!!) and looked in complete control. Unfortunately, his wicket was the start of a mini collapse as we slipped to 5/120 off 25 overs. Nick Dowsely (84*) remained solid and played a very controlled innings. He found allies in Henry Carmichael (57) and Ed Howitt (43), who both played their natural games and allowed Dowsley to be the rock at the other end. Some poor ground fielding by our opponents and positive batting saw the Stags reach 9/303 off their allocated 50 overs. A brilliant result given we were 5 down half way through the innings.

James Kidd and Charlie Bangs formed a new opening attack for 3rd grade and both bowled good lines in ensuring Blacktown did not get off to a flyer. Both deservedly picket up a wicket, and their efforts were soon supported by Henry Carmichael who also picked up a wicket early in his short spell. The introduction of out two leg spinners, Avendano and Todd, again saw wickets continue to fall and Blacktown were never in the hunt. It was now down to whether we could get the double bonus points, and fortunately two run outs and some straight breaks from the skipper saw 8 points in the bag with 5 runs to spare. On a very bumpy outfield, the ground fielding was excellent, with Ledgerwood taking one in the mouth for the cause and Jordy taking a great catch in swirling conditions to give Toddy his comeback wicket.

A good result first up and now we look forward to hosting Bankstown. They have a good mixture of youth and experience and they will provide a much stiffer challenge. Now for a 2 day game and the top order has the opportunity to build an innings and not be in such a hurry, as it seemed some were this game. Killara is a ground we must learn to play on. We talked about it after the game and we know how to go about it. Less talk more action is the key!!

Ed Howitt



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