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 2012/13 season are provided below:
To be honest I don’t really remember anything from this game, I’m just replaying the live stream recording of the match to relive the experience. If you don’t feel like reading through my match report, jump on the Sydney University CC website and flick to ‘live streaming from the grandstand’. Alternatively, read on. It’s a long report – but a Grand Final deserves one – and it’s worth reading to the end; we win.
Adair Durie puts in a stunning performance with the ball, taking 8 Student wickets
And... given my overseas jaunt last year, where I missed the victorious 5th Grade Grand Final, I’m taking my sweet time to embrace this one.
Ahead of the weekend forecast rain, might have prompted some to contemplate playing a Friday night rain card. But this was the Grand Final, only Missy had the confidence to play it.
With grey clouds hovering ominously above Sydney on Saturday morning, pre warm-up banter was dominated by discussion of meteorological etymology. “Atko” Atkinson, using his experience to preoccupy the boys from their game-day nerves, was considering whether ‘isolated showers’ would bring more or less rain than those that are ‘scattered’. Hmm. While Gordon’s 3rd grade Little Master was left to ponder this thought, the rest of the boys headed out on to the ground to watch Sydney Uni play ‘Nashball’.
Nashball, played with a rugby league ball, can best be described as a cross between rugby, league, football, AFL, netball and European Handball. It is undoubtedly the most famous and equally controversial creation from Sydney Uni CC since Greg Mathews. One can’t help but think that if the Students had put as much energy into their on-field cricket performances as they did into their warm-up/warm-down/favourite sport, they might have had fared better during the Final.
Hoppa won the toss.
That’s such a remarkable occurrence it deserves its own sentence, nay a paragraph, to emphasise its rarity and significance. The wicket had a green tinge, a little surface moisture, and the overhead conditions made bowling first a relatively obvious choice.
Newman commits 100% to ensuring every run is stopped
Adair opened the bowling and never stopped. He literally never stopped. Teddy’s first over was just about as good as we could have hoped for in the Grand Final. An edge fourth ball and a neat catch to Atko at 2nd left the ‘visitors’ one for two after the first set (as there is video of this game, you will find this catch on Atko’s facebook wall in a couple of weeks time with the #lowcentreofgravity).
Sydney Uni’s best bats guided them to a jittery 1/21 off 12 before the first rain delay. Removing the covers 45 minutes later the pitch had transformed from a ‘green tinge’ to something closer to a solid ‘grass covering’. With some added assistance, Adair was able to produce his two best deliveries of the match in succession, the second of which trapped the competition’s in-form batsman, Hobson (two tons in the past two games), in front for 10.
The next period of rain forced us from the field for the best part of four hours. This gave 12th man Ben Garratt enough time to finish assembling Adair’s new exercise bike and Adair enough time to declare that it wasn’t to his satisfaction and that he would be returning it. Well done BG.
The restart at 5pm gave us another 17.3 overs to try to knock over a few more Students before stumps. James “Billy the” Kidd managed to snick off Adair’s self-proclaimed ‘nemesis’, the left-handed Logan, for 22, before Teddy went right through the number 5 as Uni stuttered to stumps 4/73.
We returned to the ground at the start of Day 2 feeling satisfied with our first day performance but fully aware that a lot of cricket was still to be played. A good start was needed and with metronomic efficiency Adair delivered an early poll, caught at first slip by “Reg” Livermore. Gordon evictee, Rob Edwards, then combined with the number 7, Clark, for their best partnership of the innings.
The boys congratulate Durie, and console him about the pain his knees and back will endure for the next few weeks
Frustration began to creep into our bowling, eloquently evidenced by Blaize who produced the loudest expletive to be live streamed to South Africa. The pair added 49 and steered their side to the first drinks break of the match.
It was here that the game turned completely in Gordon’s favour. Almost unsurprisingly Adair stepped up to draw a thin edge behind from Edwards, before providing catching practise to first slip two balls later. Reg accepted gleefully… on the third attempt. The next over Hoppa tied down the other set batsman with five darts before floating one up, enticing a reckless sweep shot straight to Adair who had to interrupt his conversation with Billy Hendricks at square leg to make the catch.
A small partnership ensued but produced nothing that would seriously trouble the scorers. Another scratch behind and a neat clean bowled from Adair finished the Students’ innings at 147. Teddy finished with the figures of 8/56 in what was undoubtedly the best 35-over spell of his career thus far.
This left the Stags with a tricky 15-minute session before lunch in what proved to be another pivotal moment in the game. While most off the field had their minds affixed firmly on survival, ‘Cyclops’ Spratt had other ideas. A streaky boundary over the slips to start proceedings, followed by a neat punch through the covers for a brace and an imperious pull shot over square leg catapulted the 3rds to 0/14 off the first over, and well on the way to a successful chase.
Spratt makes an aggressive start to the run chase
Reg also started positively, hitting a couple of boundaries from the other end to propel us to 25 without loss in the four overs before lunch. A change of ball at the interval, after Spratt had knocked the first out of shape, produced more movement in the air and off the pitch for the Students. However, a slightly more watchful approach nullified these added challenges as the openers achieved their first 50-run partnership in their third innings together.
Chris became overly excited when they brought their captain/spinner on, skying a slog sweep to square leg to give the Students their first wicket with the score on 61. Missy then ensured that we didn’t lose another quick wicket, combining for a patient 39 run partnership with Reg.
Immediately after we reached the 100-mark Higgins had his off-stump uprooted by a vicious yorker (from a leg-spinner) and the bowling side had a glimmer of hope. It would be foolish to think that at this time some spectators hadn’t cast their mind to the news filtering in of St George’s epic capitulation in 5th Grade, to the bowling of Matt Selby, and were wondering if the same strange turn of events could be repeated here. Reg’s composure and experience guided us through this difficult period, dispatching anything short while prodding singles around the square.
Little did the spectators know, Damon "Reg" Livermore, played with a busted thumb
“West Brom” Bromwich started quietly at the other end before smashing 20 runs in the space of 9 balls to get us to within an elevated boundary of the victory target and a Premiership win. Within moments Hoppa transitioned from anxiously fretting about the state of the game to excitedly pacing in front of our supporters in nervous anticipation. The realisation that we were about to win the Grand Final before it had actually happened was a special and somewhat surreal experience.
It was at this moment that the live stream stopped. It remains unclear as to whether this was the fault of Dave Millar, who may or may not have pulled out an important cable searching for a place to charge one of his many gadgets, or whether it was a form of quasi-censorship for the Sydney Uni fans who shied away from the closing moments of defeat.
Although I have no video proof to support these next moments, from memory, I seem to recall that Clem perished looking to seal the win with a zak.
This fittingly saw Atko stride – nay, sprint – to the crease to guide us home. A lofted boundary over cover left Reg with one run to finish the innings, and the season, to which he duly obliged. He finished 63*, a performance that underscored his quality and the value he has provided at the top of the order this year.
So there it was, a Grand Final victory. The last 50 runs seemed to pass so quickly there wasn’t much time to mentally prepare for the winning celebrations. Taity wanted to know if we should run on to the field when we passed their total. I think most people wanted to, but no one did. Within moments the presentation had concluded, the (longest) Gordon song had been sung, and the Mitchell Cup filled with beer. Gordon DCC, the best side in 3rd Grade.
As this concludes the season, a few extra comments are in order. A special mention must first go to Adair Durie, who produced one of the greatest Grand Final bowling performances in Sydney Grade Cricket history. While many people will argue that finals cricket is principally a bowler’s game (Parramatta 2s might contest that), the work with the ball still needs to be done and Adair’s experience and quality shone through on the day where it counted most.
Congrats Adair. What an outstanding performance with the ball.
Skipper Ed Howitt also deserves a comment, as he captained the side brilliantly throughout the year. 3rd grade only lost one game under his tuition this season (ironically against Sydney Uni), which is a testament to both his experience as leader and contributions with both bat and ball. Whether or not he decides to retire after this year, I’m glad that he can feel proud of his and the team’s success this season.
Congratulations to Atko for topping the competition runs this season, with 702 at an average of 70.2. Similarly, Adair was a clear winner in the wickets tally with 46 at 16.1.
There were far too many other player contributions throughout the year to mention, but I feel it’s appropriate to give Tjaard Tait a little airtime for his performances in the finals series. Although he didn’t bat or bowl in the Grand Final, and he only fielded nine balls at backward point (I’ve counted each from the live stream), it’s important for those thinking back on this season that Taity’s scores of 59 and 52 in the QF and SF –where he soaked up 394 balls of pressure to lead us in successful run chases on both occasions – were just as instrumental in leading us to this Premiership as any other performance.
On behalf of the team I would like to thank all the support staff that have assisted 3rd Grade and the rest of the Club throughout the year. Particularly Senior Howitt who attended all games this season irrespective of whether his son was playing.
Ed Howitt takes the first of many sips from the cup
Thank you to all players from other grades that came down to support us during the finals series, especially those who turned up on the Saturday and Sunday of the Final.
Hopefully witnessing a victory such as this one motivates players towards more Club success in forthcoming seasons. Only 4 clubs (St George, Sutherland, Sydney Uni and Gordon) have won titles in the past 2 seasons, and with 3 of these 10 Grade Premierships (and a Colts premiership as well), Gordon deserves its title as a powerhouse club in Sydney Grade Cricket.
Winning a premiership is an unbelievable feeling, I can only imagine what winning the Club Championship would be like.
Gordon DCC, 3rd Grade Premiers 2012/13.
Gordon hosted the Bankstown Cricket Club over the Easter long weekend at a Chatswood Oval in the midst of Shute Shield preparations. A kinesthesia of tense anticipation lay ever present beneath blue skies and a crisp breeze on Saturday morning, as Howitt won the toss and gave the visitors first use of the facilities.
Adair Durie will drag the exercise bike around for one more week
Having bowled Hawkesbury out for 65 seven days prior, the Gordon bowlers and fieldsmen were hopeful of a similar outcome, yet realistic in their expectations of the day's cessation against a tremendously strong Bankstown batting side that had won the minor premiership by seven points in front of Gordon.
While Gordon may well have anticipated to field for 87 overs, to bowl Bankstown out for 133 was beyond even their greatest wishes. Yet the performance of all and sundry deserved nothing less.
Bankstown, who had evidently been playing on flat wickets all summer, were adamant on getting on the front foot and bludgeoning drives back down the ground. But with Chatswood Oval’s outfield - and infield for that matter - needing to grow long for Round 1 of the rugby season, the batsmen’s crisp blows were rarely rewarded with the runs they perhaps deserved, if at all, as they near hypnotically hit fielders with unerring consistency.
An amazing performance by Irving-Holliday kept a strong Bankstown side to a very gettable total
Durie, Irving-Holliday and then Kidd battered the Bankstown top order with patient regularity. While the batsmen incessantly sought boundaries, the three Gordon quicks ascended the tension, pressure and burden on the incoming batsmen, as they gave near nothing away.
Bankstown’s opening pair had trudged their way to 27 before Irving-Holliday found the edge and a scrumptious diving catch was completed by Newman, celebrating his 21st birthday, in front of Livermore. Kidd picked up the second edge and wicket of the match, neatly snuffled by Atkinson at second slip and Irving Holliday made it three in two overs for the hosts, as Newman claimed his second. Bankstown, 3-31.
In a session of the match where Bankstown would have looked to establish a good score, it was Gordon who wrestled the ascendancy and stamped their authority on not only the match, but this finals series with ruthless and unyielding accuracy with the ball. Irving-Holliday was, quite simply, unbelievable.
Bankstown continued to ignore singles and strike rotation, persistently opting for the boundary instead - with rare effect. With the assistance of Durie and Kidd, Blaize near-on single handedly demolished any hope of Bankstown amassing a large total as they slumped to 7-75 and then 8-96.
James Kidd provides the 3rd prong to the pace attack that will take on Sydney Uni this weekend
When a tiring Irving-Holliday eventually did offer a bad ball, it was brilliantly caught by Tait at point and the German-like efficiency of the Stags rolled on to the tea break. Livermore, a keen observer of German culture - and a Mercedes driver - was particularly pleased.
With the three quicks being bowled into the ground, Howitt and Tait chipped in with a combined 21 overs of relief, but Gordon - whose efforts had nearly sent themselves into fatigue - were off the field after the second new ball, when the innings closed at 133.
Irving-Holliday finished with the astounding figure of 23 overs, 15 maidens, 5 for 10. Just let that sink in for a while. Remarkable figures that are surely likely to never be repeated, let alone in a semi-final.
A hazardous, precarious and unpredictable 15 overs lay ahead of the Gordon batsmen on the end of day one. Livermore was out leg before in the 5th over, introducing Higgins to the wicket to join Spratt. Things seemed to be going just fine until Spratt was violently struck on the eye by a quick short ball, much to the delight of a number of Bulldogs players. He was forced to retire hurt as his eye rapidly began to swell, again to the pleasure of more than one visiting player, and this proved to be the catalyst to a disastrous final half an hour for Gordon.
Retallick was out leg before for no score, as was Atkinson and Gordon were 3-23 with Spratt uncertain of making a return. Tait joined Higgins and the two reached stumps unscathed and managed to take the runs required to under 100 with the final ball of the day.
The birthday boy, Newman, plays an innings that mirrors his increasing maturity
Day two couldn’t have started much more worryingly for the hosts, as Higgins was out leg before on the last ball of the first over. From here, however, Newman and Tait - under a barrage of verbal assault that reeked of tasteless, tactless desperation - rarely looked in trouble at the crease as the two combined for a match winning 92 run partnership, on the back of a 51 run stand the weekend before.
Rarely were two contrasting styles of play more apparent between the eventual winners and losers in this encounter. While Bankstown frustratingly threw their hands and blades to every direction of the boundary in search of 4’s and 6’s, Gordon - and in particular Newman and Tait - dropped, caressed and guided singles and two’s around the edges of the square, manipulating the field settings and driving the bowlers insane in the process.
The score was 5/130 when Tait was dismissed for 52. He has now amassed 400 balls faced and 419 minutes at the crease in two weeks. Love is a beautiful thing.
A gutsy effort by Spratt to make it back to the crease was not rewarded, as he was out two balls later and a few nerves began to creep in at 6/130.
Tjaard Tait provides a stone wall which we will be looking for this weekend
The ever reliable Howitt laid those fears to rest as he clubbed his fourth ball down the ground for a rare boundary and the tie was won.
The game continued on, albeit aimlessly for a further fifteen overs, and handshakes were eventually made with the score on 6/176 from 74 overs. Newman finished unbeaten on 46 from 154 and Howitt with a breezy 31. It appears that the captain hasn't got any softer in his old age, denying the birthday boy a chance at an unbeaten half-century.
And so here we are. The grand final beckons. The 3rd Graders will play against one of the only two teams to have beaten them in the regular season, in Sydney University. To add a twist to the tale, they will play on Uni’s Number 1 Oval, despite being the higher ranked side. Sydney University will be another tremendously tough encounter as they’ve struck highly impressive form since finishing 6th at the end of round 15.
Win or lose, grand finals are a wonderful thing to be a part of, but I can’t decide if I’m more nervous about the team photo beforehand or the actual match itself. Better lock myself in for a Saturday morning Tony & Guy appointment.
Congratulations to 5th Grade too. Back-to-back finals are one thing, but to do it this year with nine different players from last, is a testament to a lot of people. Good luck to the Stags.
Take Monday off work.
The Gordon third graders had shown good enough form throughout the season to cement themselves in second position, warranting their home ground advantage, but were up against a very seasoned and accomplished Hawkesbury team that had won their final one day match of the season with a bonus point.
The man of the moment, Adair Durie, back at Chatswood Oval taking poles
It was Hawkesbury’s captain, Laing, who called correctly at the coin toss and elected to bat first on a flat looking Chatswood pitch, centered around a slow outfield in the midst of Shute Shield preparations.
Opening bats, Inman and Simons, exploded out of the blocks with cut and pull shots which eradicated the slow outfield as they dished out some early punishment to some of the worst bowling Gordon had offered so far this year. Thankfully for the home side, the wayward line and length only lasted 4 overs before Durie and Kidd - replacing Irving-Holliday - began to rewrite the course of the match with an acutely disciplined display of fast bowling, ably backed up by some fine catching and ground fielding.
0/30 soon became 2/34 as Livermore held onto a sharp low catch at first slip from a wayward Simons cut stroke and Inman tried to demolish a full ball on leg stump, both from the bowling of Durie.
Kidd had the wicket keeper, Carroll, smartly caught by a tumbling Atkinson at second slip in the next over and a few balls later, Durie bowled Goeke at the other end to have the Hawks sitting precariously at 4/39. Lang and Cruikshank added seven runs to the total before Kidd had the captain trapped in front for six and then Cruikshank managed to cut a ball onto his helmet and onto off stump for five.
Chris Spratt takes up the charge against the Hawks
Hawkesbury’s season was slipping away at 6/51. Durie 3, Kidd 3.
As if thing’s could get any worse for the visitors, a disastrous run out of Bayldon first ball made the score 7/52 and the game was essentially all but gone.
Durie wrapped the innings up with the last three wickets of Walker, Kershler and McGregor for minimal fuss, with Newman claiming two edges into the gauntlets and Howitt taking a good catch moving forward from a Kershler on-drive.
Durie took the accolades with 6/45 from 13 straight overs, but was ably supported by an impressive James Kidd who took 3/7 from 10. Blaize was only required for 3 overs after having some early problems with his footing at the crease, but bigger and better days lie ahead for this energetic young man.
Gordon had bowled the Hawks out in 26 overs and such was their efficiency, they would find themselves batting for four overs before the lunch interval on the first day. These four overs could prove pivotal in the run chase, if the visitors were to claim two wickets in this tricky little demi-session, they would wrestle back the momentum going into the second session and could make life extremely difficult on a slow outfield.
Ed Howitt, the skipper, follows his opening batsman's lead and pushes the Hawks out of the match
However debutant Chris Spratt proverbially lol’d at any notion of nerves as he glanced the first ball for two, then cut the second for four with the kind of youthful confidence that bestows such an upbringing. The lunch break did nothing to slow he or Livermore - who punished Hawkesbury’s initial length issues after the break - with a flurry of boundaries, highlighted by a couple of towering sixes square of the wicket. The pair made an invaluable opening stand of 48 before Livermore was out leg before, bringing Higgins to the crease.
Spratt and Higgins took the score past Hawkesbury’s total on the way to a further stand of 30 before a collapse of 3/4 and ultimately 4/14, temporarily ceased Gordon’s strangle hold on the tie.
Spratt played one pull shot too many and was caught at mid on for a brisk 36, before Higgins and the evergreen Atkinson were both run out in firstly avoidable and then somewhat unfortunate circumstances. Bromwich was then bowled without offering a stroke and Gordon had gone from 1/78 to 5/92 - perhaps highlighting the fragility of finals cricket and how ruthlessly mistakes are punished.
Tjaard Tait plays a strong defensive game to keep the Hawks out
Tait and Newman then combined for the partnership of the match. Spanning the best part of 40 overs, the pair took an important chunk of time out of the match as well as adding a comparatively hefty 51 runs to the lead. Newman on another day may have had 50 or more as he often found his graceful punches were halved from 4’s to 2’s, but his 30 was a much needed return to form at a difficult and pressurized time to bat in the match.
Tait and the captain, Howitt, came together to further extend the first innings lead, but they were twice interrupted by torrential rain as the home side battened down the hatches. When play did resume, it was Tait who was doing his own version of battening down said hatches by dead batting the Hawkesbury attack. Predominately facing the Hawks‘ leading wicket taker and former NSW representative, Kershler, Tait looked ill at ease as he continued to go about his business and rarely found himself in trouble.
At the end of day 1, Tait had faced more than 150 balls for his 22.
Day 2 was as much about merely batting time to eliminate any notion of Hawkesbury getting back into the match as it was about necessarily amassing runs and or setting a total. And Howitt and Tait continued where they had left off with an important stand of 40 before Howitt was caught at the wicket, cutting against the new ball.
Kidd takes 5 wickets for the match, including 3 crucial wickets in the first dig
Irving-Holliday, Kidd and Durie only managed single figure scores, but Tait was climbing up through the gears and went past his half century in perhaps the best innings he’s played. A chance-less 59 from an astonishing 233 balls ended as he was caught behind, a dismissal which also closed the innings.
Gordon finished on 232, a lead of 167.
With 70 overs left in the day, Hawkesbury’s only chance of saving its season was to score at better than a run a ball and giving themselves somewhere in the vicinity of 30 overs to bowl Gordon out. It was unrealistic, but there are no other options in finals time.
Although the execution was far better than in the first innings, Hawkesbury continued to lose wickets thanks to another 4 wickets from James Kidd and 2 to that man Tjaard Tait, backed again with some excellent catching.
Gordon completed a thorough and deservedly winning performance when Blaize plucked a ball from somewhere near the bubbler on the hill at the southern end, off the bowling of Tait and stumps were called with the Hawks stumbling to 6/101 - still 66 runs behind Gordon on first innings.
A very pleasing win in so many different aspects, not least of all because neither Atkinson or Howitt played an influential role in the win. If Adair’s wickets were the nails in the Hawkesbury coffin, it was Tjaard’s runs and balls faced that were the hammer. James Kidd’s 7 wickets throughout the match were just as valuable too.
Max Newman stands tall with bat and gloves. Hopefully he will get a chance to appear in the final this year
I don’t know why Missy had his name sung three times in the song though.
It was wonderful to see so many supportive faces at Chatswood Oval throughout the two days, and with next weeks opposition, Bankstown, losing on the weekend and Gordon becoming the new highest ranked side, this Easter long weekend promises to be an exciting one.
Bring a hot cross bun and say hello.
I had never played at Birchgrove Oval. It is a seriously beautiful place to play and watch cricket. A seaside leafy amphitheatre with parks, playgrounds, wide open lawns and views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
I swiftly advised my wife and kids to pop down.
Mark Atkinson, possibly the right size for a nuggety front-rower, bashes one down the ground
I also did not know about its rugby league history. Plagiarising Wikipedia, the New South Wales Rugby Football League's "Foundation Day" on 20 April 1908 (Easter Monday) consisted of two double headers. At Wentworth Park (Glebe), Easts beat Newtown before Glebe triumphed over Newcastle, while at Birchgrove Oval in Balmain, South Sydney beat North Sydney and Balmain beat Wests. Birchgrove Oval was also used to host the official launch of the 2008 NRL season, the centenary, I presume because Wentworth Park is now a dog track. Birchgrove Oval was also the home ground of the Balmain Tigers from 1908 to 1933, and also in 1942. I am loving history more the older I get!
Last Saturday the oval was used for our game against the Sydney Tigers. The Tigers needed to beat us with a bonus point to have any chance to make the finals. Unlikely at best! Today the wicket was damp and sticky, displaying an obvious advantage to bowl first. Atko called heads and tails it was. We were batting.
Before many balls were bowled, I repeated the words of the Tigers' scorer with intrigue and intonation to enter into further discussion, "This wicket always has moisture in the morning and dries variably throughout the day". Being relatively surprised with his rebound, "Are you going to audit every word I say, smartarse", I concluded that he didn't know I had previously been an auditor but that he simply had character deficiencies, which we all have in some degree although usually not as obvious, and that he really meant to say, "Sucked in for losing the toss as we now have a chance of beating you". He was right.
Our experiment with Max at opener with Livers lasted only a few overs, although there was doubt about his caught behind departure after only a handful of overs. Missy (22) and Livers (23) toughed out the very difficult conditions to take the score from 13 to 50 against some very lively and frequently talkative seam bowling, Missy disappointed that the verbal deliveries had the imagination and intelligence of a North Sydney slip cordon.
Tait clears the infield, before taking to the Tigers with the ball in the absence of the skipper
From a run scoring viewpoint, the pressure was let off by the Tiger's three left-arm orthodox spinners, but the wickets started to fall. After hitting a few deliveries over the infield for boundaries, Clem decided that deliveries off the pitch were "popping" too much to hit in the air for fear of skiing the ball. He concluded it better to hit powerful drives along the ground. This decision was made a week after his season high 53 in second grade that included five 6s off similar bowling.
The common-sense of Grammar students, despite their exam scores, was once again put into question. Clem was out driving powerfully to cover!
As has happened numerous times during the season, the bulk of the innings was built around Atko. His 58 consisted of intelligent occasional lofted drives, well placed ground-strokes and trademark running between the wickets. Today his major ally was Taity (27), who looked especially comfortable at 6, although our final score of 7/185 off 50 overs would have been significantly greater had Taity not used Bromesque logic in the 42nd over by attempting to hit a second 6 to one of the longest protected boundaries, unsurprisingly not hitting the ball as long as the previous delivery.
Blaize's 6 off 13 balls was wonderfully entertaining, especially his attempts to hit each of his last 5 deliveries from the left-arm orthodox bowler into the neighbouring postcode, the only contact any of these ball having with any form of wood being that of the stumps on the 5th ball.
Dom Thomson (16* off 13) and Skillbeck (5* off 5) completed the innings with pleasing momentum, DT ability to guide boundaries both sides of 1st slip particularly amusing.
Stand-in skipper, Atkinson, makes room to the leg-side and places one back over the bowler's head
Atko standing in as captain for Hoppa's Cowra wedding commitments rotated the 3 big quicks, Blaize (1/14 off 7), Kiddy (2/22 off 7) and Adair (1/12 off 6) with good run rate reducing effect. Although the three needed to exert significant effort to extract life from the wicket, each played a powerful part in the taming the Tigers.
In his first game in 3rds, Skilly (1/40 off 8) showed that he could now make significant contributions in this grade and would progress to higher grades in time, but in the short-term needed to place more confidence in his talents and in the strike-power of his out-swing as he faces higher and higher quality batsmen.
But the bowling honours belonged to Taity. His first two overs were slightly off-target, understandable given his last spell of any significant length was before Christmas. However, these runs gave the Tigers the thought that they might be able to smash the next 8 overs at 12 runs/over in order to win with the desired bonus point. However, Taity's next 7 overs were probing and very accurate, characterised by significant speed, drift and dip variations. His 4/40 off 9 effectively ended the game.
So we ended the preliminary season second on the table, fulfilling the "first" captain's ambition made clear to the team back in January, so that we could play the maximum possible games at the glorious Chatswood Oval. I have no doubt that if all 11 players put in their best fighting efforts on the field, we will see and enjoy the next 4 days of cricket at Chatswood Oval.
Gordon secured a dramatic final over victory against a resilient University of New South Wales side on Saturday afternoon at Killara Oval in front of a spattering of eager dog walkers, tattooed tennis players and Ben Garratt.
Adair Durie, patched together with various tapes, creams and an exercise bike, continues to take poles for his skipper and side
With so much of the post Christmas season being lost to rain - not to mention the first week of this encounter - and a jam packed top 9 in the 3rd grade table, it became increasingly imperative for Gordon to produce the kind of cricket, on cue, that had led to them sitting precariously in third position leading into the penultimate fixture of the regular season. A win could promote the Killara Bingle’s to second on the table, and a loss could see them sink to as low as 9th leading into the final round of this summers campaign.
And it was Gordon who were offered first use of the facilities on a wicket looking not entirely dissimilar to those seen in India recently and an outfield that was probably the thickest and subsequently slowest of the season.
Gordon boasted the opening partnership of the returning Eccles, after being at a wedding the week before, and Livermore who needed just ten runs to become Gordon’s 3rd greatest ever run getter in a career spanning 18 years and amassing more than 8,300 runs - approximately the same number of beers Tjaard Tait accrued during his tenure in Asia’s south east.
But alas, the opening stand could only muster 16 before Eccles was comprehensively bowled for a breezy 11 which introduced Higgins to the crease. While in no capacity was a resurrection in order, it did take the two batsmen significant time to correctly negotiate and navigate the lack of pace in the wicket and often when they did the outfield offered as much value as Jack Richardson’s dating advice.
Damon Livermore takes the long view, searching beyond the fence for quick runs
Livermore decided to take to the skies in an effort to advance the run rate with a couple of lusty 38 metre blows to the short leg side boundary in consecutive deliveries, but once he had passed 50 - and with Higgins had added 80 - it was one hoik too many and he was smartly caught at a straight, square leg position.
Higgins was hot on his heels en route back to the pavilion for 36 after getting a leading edge to the leg spin of Campbell who would go on to take a further 4 wickets in between some comparatively expensive overs. The evergreen Mark Atkinson added a valuable 37 to the total with an extensive wagon wheel of scoring shots but he and Perry’s 17 were the only other batsmen to make it to double figures in a some what disappointing semi-capitulation as Gordon looked to inch toward the 200 mark but falling well short for an ultimately competitive 176 in 53 overs. The last 6 wickets only adding 36.
UNSW started brightly in their innings of a maximum 67 overs against the new ball pairing of Durie and Kidd, as the two opening batsmen slashed and clipped the ball to all parts of Killara Oval, now baking in the afternoon sun. The wicket, as it had done all day, offered a little less than nothing to the bowlers and to take 10 wickets on such an afternoon would require as much ambition from the batting team as it would good bowling and catching from the fielding side.
Michael Perry... sorry... Ian Higgins grinds one out through the offside
Unfortunately for the home side, the execution of both bowling and catching was well below the impetus, intensity and ruthless exploitation shown by the Bumblebees in the opening passages of the second innings. Gordon looked to be up against the wall, but on an outfield which was consistently slow all afternoon and a bowling attack that boasted variety and persistence, there were still enough runs to right the wrongs of the initial few overs.
Of course, one can not write about a lion-hearted resurgence in reserve, reserve grade without talking about the lion-hearted captain, Ed Howitt. And it was his 25 over spell of endurance and steadfast doggedness that slowly etched the game back towards Gordon’s favour.
However, as much as it can become a one man game when a leader grabs the game by the scruff of the neck ala Shane Warne or Steven Gerrard, important contributions need to be made by young men willing to show their desire and burning passion to compete and to win. Blaize Irving-Holliday was just the man needed for the rest of the team to jump on the back of.
He’s got an undeniable X-Factor about him, does Blaize. He induces just as much fear in his team mates as he does opposing batsmen and clearly models his bowling action on the successful Aaron Bird.
There have been rumblings of unnerving sightings of stray limbs, foul odors and dripping blood secreting from Irving-Holliday’s kitbag which have been written off as “Sacrificial offerings to the Gods for the strength that lies beneath”... or something.
Congratulations Damon, your contribution to the club will be remembered by all involved
“ ‘Dexter’ is loosely based on my life” was another soundbite that made teammates weary of wronging the big bad fast bowler.
Off-field misdemeanors aside, it was a fine running catch from Irving-Holliday from the bowling of Howitt that sparked life into the fielding side, as he charged in from long-on and took a really smart low sliding catch to dismiss another UNSW batsmen.
By now, runs had dried and the balance tip-toed back to Gordon who looked to be winning the battle of attrition through good bowling partnerships and a lack of invention shown by the batting side. It can be so hard to go back up through the gears with bat in hand once that momentum deteriorates like grains of quicksand in an hour glass. The floor won’t collapse from underneath you, but once it starts it’s near on impossible to stop.
And with Howitt, Durie and Irving-Holliday, Gordon seemed to find the knack of picking up wickets exactly when they needed to do so and hold onto the catches that the occasion warranted.
Basil Sheidow, considerably more handsome than Reg, but now relegated into 4th place on the leading run scorers list for the Stags
And so with 10 overs remaining in the day, Gordon needed 3 wickets and UNSW needed 27 runs. By now, Gordon were the walking wounded with Howitt’s back barely allowing him to bowl, Livermore’s bruised hip seizing his range of motion, Higgins’ achilles tendonitis and Durie’s inevitably fading legs going into his 13th, 14th and 15th overs. The over rate crawled as slowly as the setting sun behind the full trees soon to sparse as winters kiss ever encroaches.
The Gordon season lay on tenterhooks, a dropped catch here, a bad over there and Gordon could well find themselves out of the top 6 and relying on other teams in the final round. Every ball was on a knife edge. Each delivery was greeted with ooh’s and ah’s and claps and hands on heads.
Durie made a key breakthrough with 8 overs to go and Gordon needed 2 more to secure a precious 6 points. Howitt collected his 5th and finished with 5/46 from 25. A sterling effort not to be understated.
A final rearguard from the UNSW wicket keeper and the number 11 saw the visitors get to within touching distance and when Durie completed his afternoons work with the second last over, UNSW needed 6 to win with 1 wicket in hand.
It would be Irving-Holliday to bowl the final over - as if the script had been written in advance. The first ball was heaved toward the short leg side boundary for 2 where Tait, now looking directly into the afternoon sun, did just about enough to keep it away from the fence. The second ball was a dot ball thanks to some smart glove-work from Newman behind the stumps. The third ball was a length delivery on middle and leg. It was right in the arc of the young keeper batsman who must have seen his name up in lights as he flung his blade as hard as he could in the hope of ending it all in one clean punch.
But he only managed to connect with the top edge and the ball hurtled toward the clear blue skies ensconcing what had been a wonderful afternoons cricket. Livermore, Gordon‘s 3rd greatest ever run maker, was at a short, mid-wicket position and called his name loud and clear before turning 180 degrees and running back toward the short boundary.
James "Billy" Kidd leads the attack with Adair and Blaize
With raised hands and soft palms the ball cushioned into the veterans grasp and Gordon would be drinking Adair’s Cabernet Sauvignon with a ‘W‘ next to their names. A collection of jubilant cries echoed through the surrounding streets of Bert Oldfield Oval, not least of all the Captain Howitt who had so tirelessly strained and laboured and sweated every ounce of energy he could for the 66.3 overs in the field.
The win lifts Gordon into second position with a round to play and all but guarantees them some finals action for the 2012-13 season. But round 15 comes with it’s own challenges against a Sydney team who have completed 7 wins out of their last 9 matches.
A heatwave is reportedly on the way and the cricket is only going to get hotter from here to Mad Monday.
The 3rd Grade side arrived at Killara, with all members on time and ready to go. (This is a rare occurrence and does not happen too many times in a season). Not surprisingly, the toss was lost by Hoppa and we were asked to bowl first on a wicket that had a striking resemblance to the Pacific Highway.
Adair Durie gives thanks to his new shoes after a wicket on the first ball of the day
Adair and his shiny new shoes got the day off to a perfect start and cleaned up the Sutherland opener with the first ball of the match. Not long after, Kidd picked up a couple of wickets at the other end and Gordon was well on top, having Sutherland 4-14. There was potential for a shorter time in the field than expected. Bromwich was ecstatic.
However, after the first drinks break, the wicket flattened out, Gordon failed to take their chances and over 100 was added for the 5th wicket.
It was evident that Adair had not gotten to know his new shoes well enough, needing to do some quick surgery on his big toe with a Stanley knife at the lunch interval.
After lunch, Gordon lacked the penetration that was seen in the opening hour and Sutherland steadily built a solid total. Their number 6 batted well and reached a well made 100.
James Kidd aptly supports Adair Durie, taking 2 quick wickets in his opening spell
However, things could have been very different if we took our chances.
At last, Sutherland declared 7 down with the score on 240 after 72 overs, leaving Gordon just 48 overs to reach the target. We thought this was achievable if we started well, with the boundary closest to the road measuring about the length of a cricket pitch, and the outfield looking like a minefield.
Things did not start well, with Gordon losing a wicket in the first over. From then, Reg and Higgins batted with great maturity and shared an 107 run partnership.
‘Missy’ Higgins was looking the goods (impressing his love interest for the week, who was watching intently. I’m not sure of her name, but we’ll call her ‘a hundred and something’ for now.) until he fell trying to lift the run rate.
At this stage it was game on. The required run rate sat at around 7 per over, and the tension grew inside the pavilion.
As the rest of the team watched the game intently, Adair and his Stanley knife had made a second appearance. He was now using it to scrape the graphite off his illegal kookaburra bat. Balls were flying in every direction from the bat of Atkinson in the middle, and graphite was flying in every direction from the bat of Durie in the pavilion.
Higgins looks to the onside to keep the score ticking over
After the dismissal of Missy, our run chase was hindered by the loss of a few quick wickets. Max Newman showed some resistance, hitting a quick fire 21 with some classy looking shots, but the required run rate grew to over 10 an over and the run chase was called off in the second last over. Gordon finished at 8/212 with Atkinson amongst the runs yet again, with an unbeaten 46.
Despite playing nearly 9 hours of cricket for no result, there is a lot we can take out of the game and improve on against Parramatta next week.
The Killara Bingles arrived at Fairfield Oval doing their utmost to dispel any notion of the thought that January 26 would be spent away from beach towels, UDL’s and Triple J’s alleged ‘Hottest’ 100.
Adair Durie opened his account with a couple of early wickets
But FM105.7’s listenership selection of “Thrift Shop” as their number one song of the year 2012 wasn’t the only disappointing and confusing three and a half minutes of the weekend(s) in what was a twisting, winding, momentum shifting two weeks of fiercely competitive third grade cricket that saw an agonising, gut-wrenching and ultimately relieving victory for the away side.
The Lions won the toss and elected to bat on a green, juicy wicket centred around an inexcusably long outfield. “A good toss to lose” said captain Howitt - not the first time I’ve ever heard him say that. And it was Adair who found immediate success with the shiny Kookaburra in hand, clean bowling a visibly shaken opening batsman with abundant ease as he attempted what can only be described as an aimless hoik over cow.
Adair made it two in the space of 3 balls as he found the outside edge of the right handed number three with an exquisite out-swinger and Higgins, filling in for Newman - filling in for Rosen, completed a terrific diving one-handed catch in front of Livermore at first.
Stickland was only used for 6 overs in the first innings of the match, but supplied fastidious support for Durie with the new ball. The prize dismissal of the Lions number 4 batsman, who was castled after offering no stroke, was no more than he deserved with his spell of steady guile and nagging, irritating persistence.
Imitating a flightless bird, Howitt continues to add to his wicket tally
He was lucky to dismiss Sandhu - who looks a most promising young cricketer - by strangling him down the leg side, but at this point in the match it became so apparent that the wicket was so conducive to bowling and the outfield offering such little value for shots that Cargo Lounge at 3am would rival, bowlers were rarely punished for wayward deliveries. Durie was rested from the Yankee Stadium end of the ground and Bangs‘ introduction into the game sparked confrontational life into the match with his invariable moniker of being the nicest bloke you’ve ever met off the field and then turning into a maniac on it. Commonly referred to as Louis Suarez Syndrome.
As ever, at the opposite end of the pitch, Ed Howitt quietly went about his business the way Jack The Ripper went about his work like a thief in the night. Quickly, swiftly and succinctly gutting the middle and lower order with a procession of caught behinds and a stumping that Higgins somehow, albeit clumsily, managed to gather on the first, second, or third attempts.
His hypnotic and enticing drift away from the right handed batsmen drew false defensive strokes as the ball skidded onto the outside edges of prodded blades. It was as masterful as it was poetic. Mixed with characteristic verbals and sly grins as the ball dropped as if it were on a length of string, one can appreciate a true champion at work.
Newman... sorry... Higgins keeps wicket to the skipper
The Lions were bowled out for 78 after 40.2 overs right on the stroke of tea. Howitt’s 5/17 from 14 was a testament to the bowler. The catching and the ground fielding equally so of a top side going about its business.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the game plan was to quickly erode the 79 required runs and have another crack at a fragile Fairfield batting attack by the end of week 1. A rain delay of half an hour or so ensued and as so often is the case when chasing a small total, things can go awry quickly - particularly after a rain delay. And go awry they did.
Tait was caught down the leg side from the third ball of the innings and the Lions were cock-a-hoop. Higgins joined Livermore and the pair battled and grafted for an hour with nervy singles behind the wicket and trickles down to fine leg from inside edges. 15 overs passed with numerous plays and misses and optimistic LBW appeals with little impact on the scoreboard from either side.
The score reach 17 when Higgins skied a pull shot to mid-on and The Lions once more pounced and grew belief that their runs on the board would be good enough to secure 6 points.
Charlie Bangs, calm man off the field, lets Higgins know exactly what would have happened if he grassed that edge
Phillips edged a loose drive to the keeper for no score and when Atkinson was adjudged leg before, Gordon were 4/26. Livermore played all around a full ball and was bowled for a fighting 14 after 95 minutes at the crease, perhaps epitomising the difficulty of the conditions at foot.
It was 5/33 when Lachlan Borg joined Clem Bromwich at the wicket and it may easily have been 6/33 when Clem was poorly dropped in the gully while still on zero. It was a significant turning point in the afternoon as the two youngest players in the eleven batted with maturity beyond their years and with perhaps the youthful naivety that is exactly what was required in the situation - not to mention a private school education - to edge The Gordon’s closer to the win.
79 looked like 400 after some deliveries. It was painful to watch.
Borg attacked the leg spinner with a couple of horizontal bat strokes while Bromwich was more circumspect in his approach, gliding balls behind the wicket on the off side.
The two made it through to the final ball of the first day when Bromwich was punished for playing a drive for what looked for all money like a play and miss and a hopeful appeal. But The Lions were rewarded for their tireless efforts of appealing and vocal energy throughout their innings, and Bromwich was adjudged caught behind on the final ball of the afternoon and Gordon were 6/68.
Some things are so obvious in sport and in life that they don’t need to be said. For instance; if you have 4 wickets in hand in a game of cricket and you need 11 runs to win, the last thing you want is to lose one or two wickets in the first few overs of the day.
Young buck, Lachie Borg, steers the middle order towards the small Fairfield total
You don’t need me to tell you that that’s exactly what happened. Lachie edged a ball to the keeper on the second ball of the day and Howitt cut the first ball of the second over straight to point.
Gordon had effectively lost three for none with the finish line in sight. Now it was up to Durie and Stickland to eek out the last of the required runs. 2 wickets in hand. Bangs cut a lonely figure on the sidelines, going through each delivery in his mind while attempting to pass a brick through his bowel. I didn’t envy him.
Durie predominately played and missed over the course of his 15 balls faced but largely talked Stickland through his innings and the two added a further 5 before Adair was out LBW and Gordon had slumped to 9/75 - still needing a further 4 runs for victory when Charlie Bangs came to the crease and 3 balls remaining in the over. The more memorable games are always the low scoring ones.
Bangs played and missed his first ball - a wide full toss that swung back to narrowly miss off stump - and left his second. In a game where 4 runs felt like 20, many of the away side had resigned themselves to a bitterly disappointing defeat. The stunned silence intermittently broken with murmurings of “C’mon Charlie” and “Hang in there, lads” whispered under tense, baited breaths. No one knew where the runs were coming from, a bye here, a leg bye there - they would all add up, but surely the Gordon innings was merely a time bomb waiting to expire. Time was against numbers 10 and 11.
The Lions bowler ran in again, almost assured that the match would be over with full, straight delivery. And he so produced. With an unbelievable swing mirroring Phil Mickleson’s power off the tee, Bangs launched the ball over mid-off with unquestionably the shot of the match and as it sailed, it was as if the visitors had just seen a ghost. The 9 other dismissed Stags as well as Hickman and Howitt Snr. rode that ball all the way as it floated beyond reach of any fielder and embarked gloriously on its boundary laden journey. One bounce.. two bounce.. FOUR!
Well played Charlie. A fantastic win for the boys
A win for The Stags.
I for one have actually seen Bangs do this before, at Parramatta a year or so ago where he bombed a “120” meter six over long-on, twice in one over. But this was different. This was euphoric. This was coolness under pressure. This was epic.
Somehow Gordon ended up with a lead of 20 before Stickland offered a sharp caught and bowled chance and the innings was closed with the score at 99.
Somewhat surprisingly, no wickets were taken in the 3rd innings of the match and both captains (and sanity) agreed to call it a day at tea.
So there we sat, in the unglamorous away team dressing rooms drinking some of Adair’s sparkling wines on a warm Saturday afternoon at Fairfield Oval on Australia Day. We checked our respective social medias and heard of Pic’s 157 in 4s and we all took turns regaling stories of the weird, stupid, loose and downright funny things that Pic had down on a cricket field and in his life.
And that’s what mates do.
When one of your mates does something brilliant, you all take turns and remind each other of how much of a rubbish bloke said mate is. That’s Australia. That’s mateship. That’s cricket. And much like Sherman, it was an incongruous performance from The Killara Bingles, but once again it was just enough to get us over the line.
1st placed Sutherland will pose a very different threat and challenge at Killara this round, but I for one will be deriving a game plan and thinking about my scoring zones at Cargo Lounge, circa 2.30am, because it’s absolutely pissing down and I haven’t played a rain card since Christmas.
"Tjaard Tait"... reporting from Cargo Lounge
1st game back after Xmas and the forecast was for a stinker! Not ideal. It could have been worse I suppose. We could have been playing away.
Anyway….it was not as hot as was forecast. The day started well on the sight of the covers being used to protect the wicket overnight laid out in a less orthodox manner than we are used to (well done 5th grade).
This lowly website editor learned a great deal from Adair this day... far too much to put in just one caption.
This process is always a chore, but it was a good lesson for some players who had endured this task under the Lin/Sherman regime on how best to manage these monstrosities.
The wicket looked good, which can be explained by the fact it was prepared for Tuesday but not used and, as a consequence, we had the most prepared wicket at Killara in years.
The same cannot be said about the outfield. It is pretty average and resembled the oval’s primary use as a dog exercise area. Unfortunately, due to the heat, there were numerous dog droppings around the ground which would normally be picked up by our diligent manager. No surprise Missy and Taity didn’t dive too much on this given day.
Gordon won the toss and, on the advice/request of our most experienced quick Durie, we decided to bowl in humid and overcast conditions. Not so sure another experienced player in Livermore was too pleased about this, but Adair proved again his opinion at times needs to be ignored as he proceeded to take none for off 60 odd rocks.
However, we did manage to bowl and field well in the initial overs, which can be attributed to good straight bowling from Durie and Stickland.
With the pressure building, wickets started to fall and at 7/140 it looked like we could be chasing no more than 170. Unfortunately, an ex Gordon player had other ideas and ensured the Warriors reached a very competitive 219 after their allocated overs.
Atkinson, who after the match was reported to say "the only reason I made runs today was 'cos that bloke kept bringing out my towel... even when I didn't want it"
Gordon did not start well, losing Livermore and Tait in the first 5 overs. A good partnership between Higgins and Atkinson saw the chase back on track. However, as was the case with most of the innings when a good partnership was building, we lost a wicket and our pursuit was further made difficult by some good bowling. The difference ended up being Mark Atkinson.
Atko held the innings together whilst others fell around him. He kept the score ticking over and late cameos from Howitt & Perry allowed the target to be reached inside the 2nd last over. The winning runs were struck by Durie which was a nice touch given the family had arrived at Killara to ensure he got home safely after it was known he had brought 15 bottles of wine to the game to taste test.
The win sees 3rd grade remain in 3rd place with every game important from here on in. We bowled and fielded well, but our batting is not up to the standard it should be. Too many players were bowled and there were too many small starts which made life difficult in our run chase.
Well done to Senior who had to score with Taity for most of our innings. At one stage I heard Taity say he had missed 4 balls in that over.
Thank you to Adair for his astute management of drinks and to the band of parents who kept the other grades scores posted and our scoreboard updated in the closing overs.
Yes, Dan Stickland, a solid performance from this young lad in the higher grades
And finally, the following items of interest arose from just one day at Killara Oval:
- Will Phillips is much better with the opposite gender than Jack Richardson. It has been suggested Richo chat with BMac to learn, quite simply, how to chat to ladies whilst on the circuit. Furthermore, Will has moved into the Smith residence and I have been advised he has yet to clean the Merc or house!
- Tjaard Tait had a good time in Bali. What goes on tour stays on tour!
- Atko thinks he is some kind of champagne connoisseur and showed admiration for Reg's likeness to Mike Jagger.
- Atko, I think, may have finally learnt the words to the song!
- Dan Stickland has an English accent.
- Ed Howitt (Snr) does not pick up dog poo if over 30 degrees and would prefer not to score with Taity.
- Ed Howitt (Snr) brings his own special drink to the game because the cordial is not good enough for him.
- 4th grade have no idea how to put covers on a trolley.
- Adair's family love him very much and seemed proud that he broke his record for total number of wine bottles produced for the after match experience.
- Adair coming to cricket is not day care for GDCC 3rd grade.
- If enough work goes into a wicket, it can be very good!! If enough dogs control a park, they can ruin it!
- Matt Kelly’s 3rd grade run scoring record is in serious jeopardy.
- Tiddles has dinner with the president frequently and at the same place. I suspect diners, who are none the wiser, may think they are an item, especially if Tiddles wears his peach T-shirt (Tids…payback for your picture of me being cleaned up).
It's only fair the previous comment and this photo go along side each other
- Tiddles never wears a hat.
- Reg took a catch!
- Borgy pulled up a chair right in front of the shower, out of the view of the captain and too close to Reg. This will not happen again!! The captain must see everyone.
- Max Newman does not sit where all keepers should sit in the dressing room (in the corner).
- Taity had no room on his couch. Mick Perry decided it was a two seater.
- Howitt can still wrench balls from outside off to behind square. Atko advised him, mid pitch, these shots were not in the MCC coaching manual.
- Missy is a very good fielder and will bowl an over before the season ends ( after Max Newman).
- Borgy needs to pitch the ball up in the last over of a one dayer.
- Mick Perry enlightened our younger players on how ping pong balls could be used in Asian countries. One particular player was quite surprised and googled this phenomenon. Riverview may not be the same.
Adair Durie, looking more at home with the ball in hand than the bat in the previous snap
- Vaughan Richtor is happy Els has moved out as his dogs can now have his bed and use the pool without distraction!
- The “NO mobile phones during play” rule will be re-inforced. Adair…..did you hear that?
- Killara Oval was once a venue for bare knuckle fighting, known as “Binghams Ring”.(refer plaque in north western side of ground)
- And…ex GDCC player Stuart Slocombe makes Perry and Howitt look like greyhounds! He did however score double the amount of runs that Perry and Howitt accumulated together.
A 3rd Grade side comfortably placed 2nd on the ladder hoped to further push for a qualifying finals spot against lowly Randy-Petes, unfortunately this was not to be! A changed side saw Stickland, Perry and Edgar join the ranks, a third grade bow for each.
Higgins, who after contributing enough coin, managed to avoid the dreaded 'wicket' shot being put here instead
Upon winning the toss we elected the bat with the message to bat positively and last our 50 overs. We were to lose Corbin 4th ball of the day and throughout boundary hitting and scoring appeared a struggle. A combination of a slow outfield and a regular fall of wickets with Reg, Clem and vowels (Alex) all fought hard making starts and only Atkinson and ‘Missy’ Higgins making contributions of note we grinded our way to 8/170 from our 50. A score believed to be highly competitive at Petersham Oval.
From the onset, the afternoon struggle appeared a struggle. Despite some very economical bowling from Sticky, and ‘Chilli’ Perry, both of which going for a priceless 2 runs an over, wickets and chances were hard to come by. Alex struck first with the score on 57, followed by a deserved wicket for Dan 50 runs later. A strong batting performance, improving wicket and quickening outfield led to a comfortable chase for Randy-Petes.
2 late wickets made the scorecards look more similar than they deserved. Gordon thoroughly beaten with 20 balls to spare I’m sure shall look forward to the New Year with optimism and be stronger from the defeat. Best of luck against Blacktown guys!
Oh and apologies for the lateness. I blame getting sorted and spitting chicks in Melbourne, then getting lost in the joyous world of ‘whipper snipping.’
Happy New Year to all!
A match against the St George club has always been a hard fought battle. We have had the wood on them over the past few years down at Harold Fraser but never easily won. Mark Atkinson, in the absence of Ed Howitt, won the toss and elected bat at Harold Fraser on a wicket that looked flat.
Lachlan Borg impresses the author with his bowling a bit more than his throwdowns!
However, with the overcast skies helping the ball to swing, it was going to be hard work for the batsmen.The St George bowlers mixed wide deliveries with some absolute jaffas early on. Several of the early Stags did have difficulties and Gordon were 3-23.
"Reg" Livermore (51) and Atko (69) combined to put on a decent partnership and got us back into the game. Atko once again teaching both sides how to run singles in a common tip and run affair, especially against the spinners.
Max Newman (49) looked in excellent touch and was unlucky to be dismissed just short of his half century.
We did see a well struck cameo innings from Lachie Borg (17). Lachie really impressed me with his confident hitting. Lofting the bowler back over his head a couple of times in one over was outstanding. That said, in the warm up, I had him in all-sorts with my throw-downs and I thought that maybe batting him at 8 was about 3 spots too high. Sorry mate.
The Stags finished off with 229. We thought is was about 20 short of what we would have liked but we knew if we bowled and fielded well, we could defend it.
Adair Durie. Yes. That's not a typo. Looking to the gaps on the legside. The ball is nestled comfortably in the keeper's gloves.
It was always going to be important for Gordon to take early wickets. Adair Durie had read the script! He ripped through the early order and, assisted by Jack Richardson, the Saints innings was in trouble at 5-23 off 9 overs, with Adair’s figures 4-10 off 5.
It was good to see all of Gordon's bowlers having decent spells ably backed up with quality fielding.
To be honest, overs 20 to 50 were pretty much a blur for me. But we ended up keeping St George to 9-192. The score doesn't truly reflect the status of the game as we definitely had control the whole time with the ball. Having Adair (5-38) in your side is always a blessing and he was well backed up with tight bowling from Alex Ieroianni (0-20), Jack Richardson (1-36), Tjaard Tait (1-32), Kurt Roughley (1-37) and Lachie Borg (0-17)
For those of us who hung round after the game, we had a good time comparing notes with Craig "Thorny" Thornborough and the Saints boys. Its funny, we all spoke about the same thing - how the selectors got it wrong, how we hate playing against the same clubs and how some of us gave up a Friday night on the piss only to score a duck.
Talking about ducks... Max Newman looking a little like Ian "Missy" Higgins (the latter who didn't contribute to the Stags' score this weekend)
Cricketers are pretty much all the same except we play in different colours. We, well Adair, did get the Saints boys onto a few nice reds, so I'm sure they will enjoying playing against the Stags second reserve grade side again in the future.
The post match autopsy went well into the afternoon. This is what cricket is all about. Having a chat after the game with a bit of banter whilst sampling some of Adair's passion. Alcohol.
Most of us select "Plan A" on the way home from cricket matches but without Adair in our team next round, it will most likely be a sober drive home.
This win puts us in 2nd place on the ladder.
As we look forward to next weeks match against Randy Pete's I especially look forward to seeing Missy once again don the cymbals as stand in keeper for Max. Hopefully we have slips in place for more than an over so Missy can truly enjoy my company.
Yours In Cricket,