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 2016/17 season are provided below:
The Stags third graders were keen to kick on from last week’s win and continue the late charge for the finals with a good result against Mosman.
After a game of touch football, with the bottom 6 having another convincing win, we lost the toss and a rather strange decision from the Mosman captain deciding they would bat first.
Jack Skilbeck bowled superb for his three wickets.
With what seemed to be ideal bowling conditions early on, Nick and Jack struck and had Mosman reeling at 3 for 7. After being dominated from the get go you'd think the Mosman batters would grind it out, work the singles and cop all the abuse that would come their way. Instead they would look to keep going over the top and take risks, which would not please our slip cordon.
One batsman in particular was able to get a hold of us and put away some big shots, in which his reply to our constant chat was “appreciate the shot mate”. We weren’t able to appreciate many more of his shots as Jack continued to bowl consistently good lines and he finally chopped on.
Going into drinks taking 4 wickets for not many we all believed that we could bowl them out for cheap runs. We were able to this through our three quicks Jack, Nick and Pat, who all bowled extremely well and took three wickets each. When the quicks weren’t taking wickets by themselves, they were backed up in the field with some good catches from Cubby, Darren and Michael.
Nick Miller in action!
This must’ve been the most clinical we have been all season with our bowling and all credit goes to the three quicks. We happily rolled the whales for a mere 100 runs.
Going into bat the bonus point win was up for grabs and from the get go both Cam and Shane looked in good touch, scoring runs frequently. With Shane looking for some quick runs against the off spinner he was the first to go.
Their off-spinner continued to bowl well and took some key wickets of the top order. The middle order all got starts, and looked in great form however, by going after the runs in boundaries wickets continued to fall. We eventually got to the total 7 down and snared the bonus point.
Wicket for Pat and cuddle for Cubby!
Cam looked really good up top for his 25 playing some really nice shots, and looks to be getting back into form.
Even though we may have only won by 3 wickets it was a comprehensive win for third grade and one that will hopefully build our momentum for a late finals charge.
Chris "Krusty" de Kretser
The Stags third graders were keen to put the poor performances far behind us and kick of the new year with a win on the board and kick start a late season charge.
After a few hours of waiting and no improvement, the captains decided that we would get the game going. Seeing a nice juicy deck bowling first would be a great option.
Superb knock from Cubby (40) in tough conditions.
It was not to be, Cubby flipped the coin incorrectly and we were sent into bat.
Early on, the play and miss count was rising quickly, however so was the frustration of the Parra bowlers and we were able to negotiate the first 10 overs barely laying bat on ball but for the loss of no wickets.
Same ball. Different result. Jayasekera and Lin on show in 3rd Grade
Cam New was the first to go with a direct hit from the boundary resulting in a run out. From there the standard collapse started to happen, losing another two wickets in quick succession.
The highest Cubbage has got off the ground in a fair while
Disaster was looming at 4/30 and the pitch still offering plenty of assistance. However we were able to dig for the next hour slowly building our way into the game.
Balls continued to go past the outside edge but by staying patient we knew we could build up a competitive total. Just before the second drinks break Cubby was dismissed for a hard fought 40.
The value of Cubby's innings should not be underestimated, coming in when we were we were in all sorts of trouble in such difficult conditions was a fantastic captains knock.
In the last 7 overs of the game Nick Miller hit the ball to all parts of the ground in a fantastic 49 off about 30 balls and really set us up for a good total.
We managed 225 which seemed like it was well over par.
The first 14 overs of the Parra innings we spend retrieving the ball from over the fence. With the pitch now nice and hard and some big hitting, they were sitting at about 2/130 at the drinks break with no signs of slowing down.
Nick "Big Nuts" Miller played true to his name with some power hitting.
We went down a bowler with Cubby deciding he had enough of being hit over cow for 6 and decided to end his spell after 5 balls with a groin injury.
We all knew we needed to make the adjustments or it will be another loss.
After the break the game turned. The bowlers bowled well and combined with some great catching we were able to get rid of the two danger batsmen.
With the required run rate now at only 3 an over we had to bowl them out. Consistency was the key, the bowler kept the ball in good areas and the bizarre approach by Parramatta to try and slog every ball worked in our favour.
Beautiful stroke play here by Michael Roberts
In the end we dismissed them 35 runs short of our total. Special mention to all 4 bowlers who all copped some treatment early but all responded brilliantly.
Will Calov and Chris De Kresta stopped the onslaught in the middle overs and Nick Miller and Jack Skilbeck finished off the game with Nick taking 4 and Chris 3.
That was a great win for the 3rd graders and we showed some real fight to get the job done.
Hopefully we can continue this form against a strong Mosman side next week. A few more wins in a row and you never know what could happen!
Round 8 was washed out, without a ball being bowled.
We journeyed out west to Penrith’s Cook Park with high hopes after a much more pleasing 2nd Day with the bat in the previous round against Sydney Uni. After finding more luck in the previous match we decided to continue the game of touch footy as our warm up (or should I say the heavily competitive touch footy).
The Oldies kicked off to the Youngins and it wasn’t a surprise as the Youngins, with a player short, took the lead with ease scoring the first try. But after, the game fell into a grind and the wisdom of the oldies paid dividends as they took out the match by a try.
Jack "Skilly" Skillbeck was the pick of the bowlers. WELL DONE JACK.
But it was now match time, Captain Paddy won the toss and elected to bat on what appeared to be a lovely wicket to bat on. The opening pair Steve and Shane arrived at the wicket and were both sent back to the pavilion with 1 run beside there name. With the score sitting at 2 for 5,Jamie and Tom both had a tough task on their hands. The pair dug in and toughed out the bowling until the first drinks break to set the score at 2 for 40. Tom was the first to fall after making a gritty 14. Batsmen Spratty(2) and Cubby(4) were out in quick succession for single figures leaving the score and our innings dangling at 5 for 77, putting a sense of Déjà vu in the minds of our scared batsmen.
Michael Roberts joined Jamie at the crease and seemed to be settling the ship as Jamie was run out just before the Lunch break for 39. After the lunch break Chris De Kretser(6), Paddy (8), Paddy Rice(13) and Mick Roberts(24) left Jack Skillbeck stranded on 0 not out after an effort to put on some lower order runs.
Mick Roberts put together a few for the Stags.
The Stags were all out for 127 after 55 overs.
We were given 23 overs late in the afternoon to have a crack at the Penrith’s top order. At stumps Penrith finished 3 for 45 with Skilly the pick of the bowlers taking 2 and Paddy Rice taking the third.
The Stags arrived at Penrith for Day 2 to with confidence and excitement as we felt we were a good chance of upsetting this Penrith side. The day started with once again a heavily contested game of touch between the youngins vs the oldies. This time it was the youngins day, showing good character and skill to upset the oldies and level it all up at 1 all.
But our minds were switched to the evenly balanced contest of cricket and we resumed with Penrith 3 for 45. The Stags were on the hunt for early wickets as Cubby and Skilly toiled away with no luck as the umpires were reluctant on several occasions to give the tight LBW shouts our way. But finally Paddy broke through with a LBW and set the score at 4 for 90. but from there on the Penrith boys made their way past our score just before the lunch break. They informed us they would bat on in search for more runs in the chance to take an out right win. But after a few wickets fell the game was called. The boys all showed great fight but unfortunately could not come up with a win.
Looking to make amends on the past week, the gentlemen from Gordon arrived at Killara Oval under the new captaincy of Pat Effeney, who impacted the team early with arguably the best warm up of the year.
Losing his first toss however, we were sent in to bat and young Effeney retreated to the sheds for his first of many planned cups of tea.
Unfortunately, before he could finish his cup we were putting the creams on and heading out to have a bowl, Nick Miller smoking a few boundaries for a well made 30 in the final total of 108.
Anand getting thrown the ball earlier then expected on Day 1.
After seeing the tricks in the pitch coupled with the enthusiasm from an earlier warm up, confidence was still at a reasonable level.
And we might just leave Day 1 there…
Day 2 started in a similar way to day 1 with a sharp warm up following a declare from the Students. The innings that followed however was vastly different to the one in the previous week.
Shayne Lin and Steve Bristow started off well and set the theme for the day. Jamie followed Bristow’s lead in developing a base for Shayne who finished with a very well made 61 to put the team at 3 for 122.
Paddy as always toiled hard for the Stags!
Corbin was the rock for the majority of the innings hitting a dominating 72 that well supported by Cubby for a strong 33 that really helped the innings through the middle overs where we have previously lacked in past games.
At the end of innings, the final score was 7 for 274, with all batsmen playing a role in staying at the crease to ensure that there weren’t any collapses which have become all to common within the 3rd grade batting innings. The second innings left the Students heading to the change rooms with a sense of defeat in their second dig at us.
On a lighter side, the performance on the second day has provided a lot of confidence for the side going into the next round against a strong Penrith outfit.
Mick "Sideshow Bob" Roberts
Bankstown away. The 4th away game in a row mighty 3rd Grade side to start the season. We turned up to the news of 2 washouts and a green wicket, however we were confident that we could win the all important toss, which of course we did.
We finally got on, after 4 hours of sitting around.
Not much detail below, but DeKrester took plenty of poles when finally getting on the field
The import, Effeney, taking the new ball, and after 4 balls we walked off, having them 1-0. It was all (just) Gordon from there. We toiled away all day, waiting for that 42 over mark which would mean we didn’t have to arrive for a 9:30 start the next weekend and would finish the day having them 9 down for 190.
Chris DeKrester and Cubbage, as well as Effeney, took the majority of the wickets.
Week 2, again we got on the field for 4 balls, this time in impeccable weather, taking the final wicket again within 4 balls.
Time to bat.
We started strong, chasing a relatively small total, we toiled away for hours, scoring very slowly however losing irregular wickets. Corbin sticked it out for a hard fought 60, but eventually fell to a run out.
At tea we were 4-130 odd still needing 60, Spratt fell straight after tea, leaving it up to Cubbage and the lower order, who gradually chipped away at the runs, until Cubby fell.
It was looking dismal until Effeney decided enough was enough, and dispatched the U17s NSW offspinner for 16 off an over, and brought another “W” home for the touring Stags.
I'm sure there's an adage somewhere hidden within the English lexicon about the space between where disappointment begins and sheer self-directed anger begins.
At least there should be, and it should be written by Gideon Haigh or someone, because that's what all of Third Grade would have been feeling after being unceremoniously and mercilessly pumped by a superior St George team.
There weren't too many opportunities to snap the 3rd Grade batsmen. Michael Roberts got a few, but wasn't comfortable out there.
It hurt. It hurt a lot.
In preparation for writing this report I attempted to dig around for some positives. Was there great banter? Inevitably, with a team involving Chris 'Dust' Spratt, Shayne 'Have you scored a century yet?' Lin and Jono 'Big Ship' New, there will be beers and fantastic banter.
Yet I couldn't recall it. Any of it.
Probably because on two consecutive Saturday early afternoons, I was strapping on the pads with about 15 overs bowled. As we joked about the Australian being bowled out for pitiful totals, we were channelling Joe Burns, Adam Voges and Callum Ferguson ourselves.
Calamitous runouts. Nicking balls onto our pads and being fired. That all happened. So did the terrible shotmaking, the inability to grind, the unwillingness to stick out the tough period and bat on a flat Killara wicket after tea.
And it wasn't reserved for the batting. By no stretch. Bowlers struggled to find their lengths early, and when you're defending 118, you need to hit your stride early.
But enough of the sermon from the mount. What shall we talk about next.
A wrap, you ask? You want a wrap? Ok, this humble scribe shall oblige.
Chris Spratt put on a few more in the 2nd dig, but it wasn't nearly enough
Toss was lost by Jono on what we thought was a flatty at Killara. It turned out to be no such thing. Conditions were suited to the bowlers early, with steepling bounce from one end and skiddy outswing from the other, we knew it would be a graft for the opening portion of the innings.
So it proved. Shayne Lin was the only one to offer resistance in the first session from the Stags. He top scored with 25, with Chris De Kretser chipping in with 21 valuable runs down the order. But Chris wouldn't have expected to be batting with not even half the overs gone before the tea break. The rest was single figures, with Mick Roberts bucking the trend with 14.
As intimated earlier, it was an unwillingness to do the hard work that characterised this performance.
We scratched to 118, and were bowling before tea, where we managed one scalp in those two overs.
After tea was a different story, where even though we secured two earlyish wickets, batsmen scored freely and passed the total all too quicky.
Killara flattened, as expected, and proved to be great to bat on in the afternoon. St George piled on 245, thanks to an excellent 80 from their number 7, who showed how to play. Respect the bowling early in your innings, get used to the pitch, cash in.
They'd more than doubled our total by the end of Day 1.
I might as well write the same thing for the second day as for the first, with the exception that this time Shayne only managed 16 and Spratty fought hard for 31. At 9-88 it was looking like an innings loss, not something I've ever been part of in 9 years of Grade Cricket.
Thankfully Jono, at Number 11, partnered with Effeney, and got together for what was the highest 10th wicket partnership in Third Grade in the living memory of this author, surpassing Effeney's old teammates Adair 'Judge' Durie and Josh 'Ding-A' Ling. The partnership was a handful of runs short of the club's all-time 3rd Grade 10th wicket partnership record.
That added some respectability to the total, but not a heap, setting St George a paltry 41 for victory.
We walked back out onto the field a defeated group, taking two with us on the way, including the talkative gully fieldsman much to the delight of the author, it has to be reported.
From here, it's onwards and upwards. That's the worst it gets in Grade cricket. Sitting on 2 wins, 3 losses is by no means an irrecoverable position for a team this talented, and there's plenty of this season left to play. We're only two games off the top 6. It's congested up there.
So let's play finals this year, boys. What do you say?
We arrived, on time, to David Phillips Oval and were hosted by 11 blokes that Darren reckoned he knew. Thanks to Cubby, we soon found out that we would be bowling on a very small oval, on a cold, windy day.
We started strong, taking a few early wickets courtesy of the quicks and soon saw ourselves well on top heading into the first drinks break.
After drinks, however, UNSW's right handed Mark Cosgrove did not live up to expectations, nurdling the ball for irregular singles, and we were able to tie them down from both ends.
Jack Skillbeck trying to get some purchase out of the M4 the groundsman had prepared on Day 1.
Wickets gradually fell thanks to some tight overs from our spinners, Chris De Krester and Cubby, and heading into the final session, we had them 8-180 odd, seemingly very much on top.
Unfortunately for us, we were unable to clean up their tail thanks to their #9 bat, who dispatched us to all parts of the tiny oval, meaning they finished the day all out for 266.
Chris bowled for most the day, tying down the Bee's.
Week 2 we rocked up confident of knocking over the runs in quick practice.
Opening with Mitch and Corbin, we lost a few early wickets, putting us in immediate trouble, but were able to fight back through Dom Thomson, who batted incredibly on a slow wicket with patience and placement.
The man in the white pants and untucked shirt batted for hours with casualties falling around him all day, mainly to LBW's.
We scraped our way to 5-92 when Cubby made his way to the crease, who batted well with Dom to put us into a much more positive position.
Dom fell for 96, and it looked to be over, with Chris, Keevers and Skilly departing cheaply.
Dom hitting the ball all around the ground in his 96.
Credit to Will Calov for making his way to the crease with 2 dislocated fingers to try and get us home with 50 runs to get, however we fell just short and would have to go back across the bridge as losers.
Unfortunately the batsman overall didn't perform however they know what they need to work on: straight fullies!
With the rest of the club playing out of their skin 3rd Grade has a lot to do to keep up with the rest of the teams.
Chris "The Myth" Spratt
Third grade arrived to Fairfield Park with high hopes after a relatively easy win the previous week against Blacktown. The wicket looked an absolute belter, after winning the toss the Skip elected to put the runs on the board.
From the get go the stags lost wickets consistently after establishing partnerships.
Look at that elbow! Jamie looking good for the camera and warning Axel that he's got some competition
Newcomer, Jamie Bekis was the only batsman to put his hand up in an attempt to steady the ship. With wickets falling around him, he played fantastically for his knock of 39 until he too unfortunately fell.
At 6-110 midway through the innings, Cubbage joined Miller at the crease and the pair went about batting as many overs as possible.
They took the score to 177 in the 41st over ready to explode in the final 10 when Miller gave his wicket away on 44 with a misguided pull shot (surprise surprise?) the third one to give his wicket up in the same way.
Cubby went about batting with the tail to bat out the overs and take the score past 200, however, wickets continued to fall and he was left with a very well-constructed 36*. The stags being bowled out for 194 in the 46th over.
Cubby guiding the team to a competitive total
Coming back from the break, the stags were confident heading into their bowling innings after easily defending a similar score the previous week. The Lions got off to a reasonable start and after a wicket to Lachie, they were sitting at 2 for 64 after 15.
It was a tough toil for the Gordon bowlers on a wicket that wasn’t offering a great deal for spinners or seamers alike. A 2nd wicket to Miller saw the score sitting at 3 for 100 off 22 with the experienced opener still plodding away for the Lions.
A wicket each to Cubby and Chris saw the Lions fall to 5 for 129 off 28 and the stags were on the hunt. Some good bowling prevailed and Chris claimed another leaving them at 6 for 147 after 34, the opener still plying his trade with 50 left to get.
Gordon toiled as hard as they could, however, it wasn’t to be for them as the Lions opener steered them home with a beautifully made 106*.
Nick showed good fight with the ball with 2-29
A fantastic innings was the undoing of the Stags perfect start to 2016, however, with a tweak to the performance I’m confident 3’s will be back to winning ways next round.
Nick "Big Nuts" Miller
It was a beautiful day to start the season at Blacktown on Saturday, the sun was shining and the outfield was lush. Having lost the toss the stags were sent in to bat on what was a green slow wicket wicket that looked like it might do a bit early but behave better later in the day.
Dom Thomson looks to keep one out early in his innings
Batting was tough early with the plenty of swing coming from both of the opening bowlers. A few early wickets had the stags 2 down quite quickly but Liam McElduff and Dom Thomson steadied the ship and put the score past 50.
After Liam departed for 21 another quick wicket fell and Mick Roberts came to the crease to join Dom who continued to impress with his patience and ability to work the ball and run hard between the wickets. Both batted extremely well with Dom making 65 and Mick posting 47 toward a defendable total of 196.
A fantastic performance with the ball followed what was a good batting effort. The quicks got great purchase out of the deck with both Nick Miller and Jack Skillbeck picking up wickets in their first spell. Jack took an exceptional one handed caught and bowled to really lift the team. Nick Miller however was the stand out taking 4 wickets and creating several more chances with his ability to get great bounce out of the pitch.
Wickets fell often for the stags and all the bowlers were able to execute their skills well and bowl economically creating multiple chances. The three quicks did well to manage the work load and the spinners filled in the rest of the overs with tight bowling using the turning conditions to their advantage.
Michael Roberts was all flair and red hair as he pounded the Warriors around the ground
The Warriors were never in the match and at one stage were 8-73. The match then slowed dramatically as the Blacktown lower order played out the remaining 20 overs and crawled to 128.
Chris De Kretser was impressive in his first appearance for the stags taking 2 wickets and showing plenty of potential to have a very successful season.
All in all it was a sound performance from the bowlers to seal a very convincing win and a strong start to the season with very promising signs ahead.