Five Stags go into Finals, week 1. Five Stags come out
There's something about those Stags. Five teams in the finals. All well-positioned, sitting at or near the top of the competition table. One team, however, was not. The weather threatened to give another week of life to four of our teams, without the price of sweat and hard work, but at the cost of one. The one who had scrapped so hard to earn it the week before, and all season long.
The first and second graders belt out the Gordon song at Chatswood.
Weeks of deluge led into the weekend. But thanks to the work of the fantastic groundskeepers at both Chatswood and Drummoyne Ovals, both the premier and reserve graders got on for results. And would you believe, after the weather threatened to kill of their hopes, our seconds responded in the best possible way. Call it fate. Call it a well-deserved break. Whatever it is, there were plenty of Gordon fans cheering after this weekend.
Let's get behind the five sides this weekend, including Colts who have their Grand Final against a strong Penrith side.
With a day lost due to the weather, Sydney won the toss and inserted Gordon on a good, if a wee bit green, Chatswood deck. With the amount of water on the outfield, the boundary was brought in by about 10 metres and the whole practice area roped off. It was like returning to the Under 10's.
There would be plenty of hard work for the batsman, but Cam Eccles responded to play a fantastic finals cricket knock for an opener on a tough wicket. After Axel helped to get to get the shine off the ball, Cam teamed up with Steve Colley to get the score to 1/87. Very respectable on a pitch doing a bit.
The seconds at Drummoyne before watching the finish at Chatswood
Three quick wickets fell, and then a couple more, and the Stags were looking a little dicey. But Dan Smith and James Kennedy would put on a terrific partnership to really take the game from Sydney. Once Gordon were all out the score was an imposing 198, with only 17 overs to get the runs. Sydney decided there was no point in faffing about, and though wickets fell consistently, they also were piling up runs at an alarming rate. At one point it almost seemed like the impossible could happen. But early wickets proved crucial, and the Stags bowlers again showed wile and guile.
Dan Smith takes a wicket, Matt Junk in action and Cam Eccles at Chatswood.
The result? An astonishing all out for 110 off just 13.1 overs. Crazy cricket, but at the end of the day it's a dominating win for Gordon, and another step in the march. Elliott Richtor and Matt Junk took the bowling spoils, with three and four wickets respectively.
Gordon 198 (Cam Eccles 42, James Kennedy 28, Steve Colley 27) def Sydney 110 (Matt Junk 4/29, Elliott Richtor 3/29)
Again, it would be Sydney the opponent in the final, but on this occasion Gordon won the toss at a fantastic Drummoyne Oval and sent the hosts in on a good pitch. Dan Stickland, who had made his first grade debut on this ground just a matter of weeks prior, had thankfully abided by the Higgins Law of light beers after 2am and was ready to rip and tear.
Dan Stickland has good memories of Drummoyne Oval
It's a good thing Missy was such a good teacher, because Sticky would go on to bowl what could be the most impressive spell of his life. There was enough life in the pitch to keep the seamers interested, but it was by no means a minefield. But Dan bowled with precision and pace on his way to a career-best haul of 6/46. He was ably supported by all the bowlers, who kept it tight and ensured there was no let-up from the other end.
Nick Miller chipped in with two wickets, with Anand Verma and Sam Baker each taking one. But it was the Dan Stickland show - reward for three seasons of concerted effort to become a better cricketer. Well done Dan. The runs, just 102 of them, would have seemed to be a formality. But what's the fun in that? The top order, including the captain himself, was dedicated in making everyone give a little gulp. losing four cheap wickets. But Reagan and Corbin Edgar, then Reagan and Anand, got together to make sure the game was won. It was a mature innings from Reagan, and another reward for a player who's worked very hard to achieve what he has. Well done seconds. Let's keep that roll going, hopefully with sunnier weather this week.
Gordon 5/103 (Reagan Klemt 31*) def Sydney 102 (Dan Stickland 6/46, Nick Miller 2/13)
Fourth Grade Match abandoned - they progress through to the semi finals
Fifth Grade Match abandoned - they progress through to the semi finals
Colts Match abandoned - they progress through to the grand final