1st Grade - LC 9/200 dec defeated Strathfield 116 and 61 Outright
We turned up to the home of cricket with the information that one of Strathfields players was missing day 1 and the new substitute rule would be in play. After Joe had meticulously gone through every single potential combination of who could be missing and playing, we find out their skipper and leading run scorer was out. Naughto on cue won another toss and we were bowling. Unfortunately, our master plan was looking like a failure as the good batting conditions saw Strathfield get off to a 50 run start without loss. Enter debutant Sammy Nicholls. After Doddsy grassed the first chance, Archie took the second catch Nicholls gave us and we were away. We ran through the rest of their batting order to have Strathfield all out for 116. Sammy finished with figures of 5/24 off 15 overs, definitely our pick of the bowlers.
We had 26 overs to bat and after losing Naughto early, Archie came to the crease and proceeded to settle everyone’s nerves in the stands looking good from ball 1. Rhino was also solid until unfortunately getting out with our score on 52. Robbie Blood took his place and the boys saw us out to the end of the day our total on 86. Day 2 arrived with Archie (71) and Robbie (64) starting where they left off the week prior comfortably getting us the first innings points and going about setting us a lead. We lost a few wickets chasing quick runs, getting 90 ahead.
With around 50 overs left in the day, we knew that if we bowled well we would be in with a good chance at the outright. Joe got us off to the perfect start going bang bang in his first 2 overs to have Strathfield reeling at 2/0. After a little partnership, the Slug picked up our 3rd and with Strathfield’s two most patient batsman at the crease, we needed a big push to get to the tail. Corny came into the attack and promptly removed the two set batsman, the Strathfield skipper with the final ball before drinks. As some rain came along and it got darker and darker a few nerves set in but we kept on taking wickets, in the end rolling Strathfield for 61. Corny had figures of 4/12 off 6 but all of our bowlers bowled well as a unit. A fantastic effort by our boys to pick up all 10 points as we go up to 4th on the ladder. Bring on Georges River.
2nd Grade - LC 137 and 6/91 defeated Strathfield 135
Lane Cove have fallen an agonising four runs short of what would have been a miraculous outright victory over a determined Strathfield. Despite falling short of an outright win, Lane Cove did however manage to escape with a thrilling one wicket first innings win thanks to the batting heroics of Ollie Lee-Young who produced a patient knock of 38. The one wicket win is their fourth straight win and equals its best start to a season since the 1920/21 Invincibles.
It really was a game that had it all. Strathfield won the toss and elected to bat on what commentators Kerry O’Keefe and Shane Warne described as a batters paradise.
However, what was to transpire would have had people not at the game scratching their heads and wondering if the pitch was a minefield in this low scoring encounter.
Lane Cove bowlers toiled hard early but it only yielded the one wicket with Strathfield’s opening bat skying a Charlie Hipkin delivery to cover. Hipkin who bowled a marathon spell of sixteen consecutive overs for a measly 20 runs couldn’t believe his luck telling the Lane Cove Chronicle “I just just couldn’t find that edge. The wickets were falling at the other end. Even the bail wouldn’t come off”. Hipkin making reference to one of his gentle medium pacers that hit the off bail only for it to not move a bit.
The wickets for Lane Cove fell to the English leg spinning allround import Ben Candfield who took 3-12 off seven overs. Canfield also threw what Warne described as one of the best run outs he’s ever seen. Picking the ball up at backward point, Candfield picked up and threw in one motion to send the stumps down at the non-strikers end. The run out sparked Lane Cove to life and the wickets started to fall regularly for the boys from the north shore.
Tearaway quick Pirenu Nirmalendaren also bowled magnificently picking up 3-16 off eight overs. Joe “Dev” Carmarsh who was getting whacked for a few big Sixes managed to have the last laugh and claim the last wicket. Ben Greaves who bowled well without luck managed to get a run out.
It left Lane Cove requiring 136 runs to win and 25 overs to bat out Day 1. A simple equation it would seem and after starting off nicely with Steve Matheson and Isaac Kensell putting on 39 for the first wicket in 10 overs, it seemed as if Lane Cove was on its way to a win.
However, when Matheson got trapped in front for six runs and Kensell followed next over for 29, Lane Cove all of a sudden found themselves in a precarious position of 2/42. The game had all of a sudden swung and Strathfield had found themselves back in the game with two new batsman and still 15 overs till stumps.
When Candfield departed for seven and Captain Peter Blood for four, Lane Cove was limping at 4/53. Harley Stibbard and Lee-Young steadied the ship somewhat and almost safely negotiated their way to stumps before Stibbard fell for five towards the end of the days play. Liam Hume joined Lee-Young and managed to survive a tricky couple of overs to leave Lane Cove at 5/71 at stumps on day 1 and the game evenly poised.
Resuming on Day 2, Lane Cove was somewhat confident with Hume and Lee-Young at the crease knowing that Hume was in career best form. A few overs into the days play and Hume was trapped in front for 10 and the score was 6/82. Big Dev came to the crease and was in no mood to noodle it around blasting a quickfire 18 before he was totally bamboozled by his opposite leg spinner. Dev later told the Chronicle that he was disappointed to be beaten by his curve ball stating that “this is not baseball and I was striked out by him!”. To add to the confusion, the umpires no-balled the spinner next over for an apparent throw. With Dev out and still fuming, the rest of the Lane Cove boys were sitting nervously in the pavilion with the score at 7/102.
Another quick wicket with Nirmalendaren coming and going had Lane Cove at 8/113. Man of the moment Hipkin joined Lee-Young at the crease with a mission to get the Lane Cove boys home. Hipkin and Lee-Young batted superbly with both showing a great tendency to wait for the bad ball and capitalise. With captain Blood sitting on watching nervously and Dev still trying to wonder how he got out to a leg spinner, Lane Cove found themselves within one boundary of winning a nail biter. However, a brain explosion from Hipkin saw him try and launch the leg spinner out of the ground and into space but it just went up and was safely caught at point. It had Lane Cove 9/133 and Greaves joined Lee-Young to try get the team over the line. After a couple of nerve wracking overs and some near misses, Lee-Young managed to hit the winning runs and get the team a hard fought first innings win. Lee-Young was dismissed first ball after hitting the winning runs for a well made 38.
Strathfield came out and were pretty deflated after narrowly missing out on a first innings win. Lane Cove could sniff an outright win and were charging in trying to get Strathfield out as quick as possible. Lane Cove were creating plenty of chances but unfortunately couldn’t hold on to the catches. This was until Stibbard decided to take things into his own hands with another brilliant direct hit run-out at the non-strikers end. The run out was more impressive as he could have taken the simple approach and gone to the keepers end with one of the Strathfield batters falling over halfway down the track while the other tried to scramble back to the non-strikers end, all to no avail. Strathfield crawled along to 8/58 until the the last pair went down swinging and lifted them to 96. This left Lane Cove needing 95 to win off 19 overs.
The run chase started brightly as Lane Cove raced to 27 off five overs before a mini collapse of 3/0 saw them reeling at 4/27 off 6 overs. However, some great batting from Stibbard (23) and Matheson (27*) got Lane Cove needing 10 runs off the last over to claim a big win. Unfortunately a couple of dot balls to begin the penultimate over and Stibbard being run out on the second last ball, it meant Lane Cove required to hit a 6 off the last ball to win. Nirmalendaren was left with the tough ask to hit his first ball over the fence and despite giving it his all, he could only manage a single.
Captain Pete Blood told the Chronicle after the game that it was “good to get the win but the boys have plenty of improvement in them.” The win leaves them in second spot and in a good position heading into Christmas. Lane Cove face George’s River next and will be aiming for five straight wins.
3rd Grade - LC 107 and 55 defeated by Strathfield 9/317 dec Outright
4th Grade - LC 179 defeated by Strathfied 6/181
5th Grade - LC 88 defeated by North West Sydney 8/140
U24s - LC 182 defeated Lindfield 134