This weekend turned out to be something of a disappointment for your humble narrator after the club finally had a bit of success and won more than its fair share of games. As such, I intend to make this short and sweet and instead look forward to a longer edition in two weeks' time when Lindfield have finished punishing you all for your sins.
Pimp My Side v The Suvvernerzerezez
And we're away! After 3 close back-to-back losses, First Grade claimed their first win of the season with a completely comprehensive victory against the Ants.
The highlight of the day was without doubt the unbelievable run-out from the Lane Cove skipper in the second over. Similar to Ricky Ponting for Australia, Richo was hovering around the mid-on / mid-wicket region when the batsman thought they would be able to steal a quick single. But with only one stump to aim at from about 25 yards away, Richardson destroyed the middle peg with the batsman 20 cm short of his ground.
Other highlights included 61 for Crossy and a quickfire 68 not out from Armstrong off 38 balls. We finished on 6 for 205 off our reduced 35 overs.
Alex Dodds making his 2nd appearance in the top grade was fantastic... he bowled with excellent control and finished with the terrific figures of 5 for 20! Well done Doddsy.
Rowey managed to mop up the tail for us and we had bowled them out for 44 runs. A victory with 2 bonus points.
3 points - Alex Dodds2 points - Peter Cross1 point - Tom Armstrong
Brett RichardsonSponsorship Coordinator
Now, having actually been present at this match due to the normally enjoyable chore of playing 5th grade on a Sunday, I'd like to endorse this fantastic piece of literature by our erudite 1st grade skipper and compliment him on his always improving spelling and grammar. There are a few small matters I'd like to address though:
2nd Grade v The Antz
Ahhh the memories.....
Standing in a queue at 8 am for 25 minutes waiting for my turn to cast the deciding vote... the joy of seeing Myers adorned in Covie clobber joining the queue, practice balls in hand... wondering if the trek to Greenway can REALLY take that long... will everyone know how to get there? Will I get there before the first ball is bowled?
Finally, at 9:35 am, we arrived to find the dressing rooms closed, the covers on the ground, the grass a foot long and an assortment of cow pats marking out the 30 metre circle... did I mention it was also drizzling with rain?
On first inspection, it appeared as though we had come across the only cricket pitch in the world made entirely of plasticine. A second look showed that sentiment to be true. The umpires (?) were keen to start straight away but wiser heads prevailed and we waited until 2 pm before it was safe to commence play without someone actually being swallowed up by the quagmire.
In a turn of events, I lost the toss and we were sent in. Not such a bad situation as conditions would not improve all day and in fact deteriorated as the pitch dried out even further. Rabs and I opened up and through some poor line and length bowling managed to move along at a rapid rate until I skied one. SD's continued to bowl too short and soon the runs began to mount. Rabs (28), Stipey (11) and Maxi (22) made good contributions (as did S.Undries with 25) on a very difficult surface to see us at 9/102 off our 30 overs.
The plan was line and length. The Thunderbox started us off in the first over with the captain out first ball. Bones struck in the second over and Crappy again in the third... 3/3 and looking the goods. Wickets then fell steadily in between some wayward legside stuff. Bez and Jimmy Clarke both claimed 2 wickets as we chased the bonus points. Needing to get 1 wicket with SD's requiring a couple of runs for 2 bonus points, Jimmy bowled a superb line to find an edge that sailed straight through to the master gloveman SDub. Alas, no cigar as apparently the only person not to see or hear anything was the one who mattered. Next ball brought another edge and the 2nd bonus point slid away.
A few runs later, Tommy Mac cleaned up the final wicket and we collected the six points and 1 bonus point. That gave 2nd grade 3 wins in a row and we are now sitting on 19 points and looking forward to Lindfield next week. It was a great effort in very difficult conditions from all the guys. For the first time this season, all catches were taken and the ground fielding was excellent. Apart from delivering 19 wides, the bowlers stuck to the plan and proved too much for the Southern Districts youngsters.
3 points - Mike Warren2 points - Alex Maxwell1 point - James Clarke
The Big Hig
3rd Grade v The French Cricketers
Ahhh, sweet, sweet rain saved us from once more having monumental blowups with the opposition in this match. Given SDs appear to be playing most of their 1st graders and all their "best" umpires in 3rd grade again, its some (but no great) surprise they've only mustered 4 points in their travels so far. Oh well. It would most likely have been a close match given the Antz don't have the option to shut up shop, stand in front of middle and play for the draw. Am I still bitter about last season's affair? No, I don't think so either.
Three overs were managed before the rain came down and the covers went out. Rusty Skinman swashbuckled his way to a gallant 2 not out while Hello Suren supported him well with a watchful, unbeaten 1 at the other end. The standout effort of the day would have to go to the Blumpkin though, with this tremendous piece of skill and bravery.
3 points - The Blumpkin2 points - Russell Skinner1 point - Suren Reddy
4th Grade v The 14 Year Olds of Cabramatta
In John's great wisdom, he elected not to pen a report for this match, leaving me to speculate on what may have occurred.
Going by the ResultsVault data, it appears we lost the toss (John probably called "Rum") and were sent in. Matt Smith opened the batting, and, SWEET JESUS, didn't get any runs! Who'd 'a' thunk it?? I'm a big fan Matthew, but you clearly cannot bat. The Nude Noodler joined the Lord of Pork in the middle and I can only imagine how much of a work out the slip and gully fielders were put through as the pair put on about 50. Scotty Jnr and Papas joined and farewelled our portly President after getting starts before the Porky Punter eventually fell for a crafty, grafty 26. The Fish belted 18 at presumably good clip before Ritchie (88*) and the Man to Watch (13) stole the show. Specialist #9 batsman Louis Gray (16*) put on 75 with Beefcake Paul to get the Coves to a respectable 7/268 from the allotted 50 overs.
The sprightly pair of Connor Foggarty and Brian Scott shared the new pill. Foggarty seems a lively young prospect and did well, taking 3/16 from his 7 overs. However, he was outshone by brighter, younger, livelier prospect Scotty, who destroyed the opposition with his 4/17 from 10 overs. Its so rewarding to see these young players coming through. Maybe not so much Man to Watch Paddy Tompsett, who was thrashed around for 46 from his 6 overs. This is always a danger when you play against 15 and 16 year olds - look what happens to the Blumpkin when he gets a hold of that red cordial. Pack-o-tomatos cleaned up the last few wickets to pick up 2/4 and ensure Louis Gray didn't get a bowl for his troubles. Good stuff.
3 points - Paul Ritchie2 points - Connor Foggarty?1 point - Scotty?
5th Grade v The Banshees
Facing Pennant Hills last Sunday at Tantallon, we had a fair degree of confidence going into the game given our performance against them in the 1st round. Club Dub won the toss and elected to bat which obviously suggested he had some faith in opening with Skippy Sundstrom (for having the physique of Geoff Huegill - sans training) which should have proven accurate but for an unfortunate umpiring decision which sent Skip back to the sheds. Which is where the rot set in...... falling to 6 for 30 and in dire need of a partnership - Mark Arkinstall and Pottsy came together for an 80 odd run partnership which saw a fine 65 not out from Master Potts. However, after Arko fell, the eye in the storm abated and the rot once again set in leaving the Coves to bowl against 142 - which seemed it may have been enough given the length of grass on the Tantallon outfield.
However with a decent opening stand, Pennant Hills set the platform for what was a pretty comfortable win in the end. Pottsy bowled a great line to pick up 2 wickets, the writer bowled some genuine fecal matter to pick up 2, but the real waste of the day was watching Sneaky Mallyon bowl who, as Skippy put it, totally wasted his 1st grade pedigree on 5th grade batsman. Moving the bowl both ways, better batsmen would have given nicks all day - well a couple did sneak through but some poor fielding let down some quality bowling. Coxy bowled well also and was unlucky to be taken to at the end, but ultimately Penno passed us only 4 down.
Thanks go to Murray and Sneaky for filling in for the day and hoping to see you at training.
Oh, one final point. A certain Covie stalwart is sitting on these heading into the match against Burwood this weekend...
PS 5th graders prefer to express themselves through the Majesty of Song.
Now, there are a few other things I'm supposed to stress the importance of. Let me get my list...
Training: you should go, there'll be fairy floss and candy canes. It'll probably be over by the time I've gotten around to putting this on the Nedsite though.
Selections will be up at some stage, possibly before Saturday.
Porky President is now on the committee of the Diddy. We'll be campaigning hard for the removal of Foxtel from the premises, banning the admission of females and starting construction of a Spaghetti Western-style saloon area where we can brawl and break exploding furniture over each others' heads.
The Fantasy League is degenerating into something of a farce, with Covie pariahs Pork Lord and Booby T sitting miles ahead of the chasing pack. It seems we have a total of 34 paid teams, so the prize pool will be as follows: $340 for 1st, $170 for 2nd and $102 for 3rd. Let's see if we can propel Dodds up into 3rd spot to make it a trifecta of horrible Covie personages on the fantasy league podium.
Apparently I need to mention the importance of the Club Championship. This is something Burwood and South Sydney have generally shared between them in recent years, and I'm sure if you go to Burwood's website you'll find some charming reminder about winning 10 of the last 15 club champ's, or something similarly tasteful and modest. Not this year though, those friendly Briars are doing brilliantly to somehow be below us on the ladder. Anyway, after the weekend's success, we're now in the top 10. Booyah! John says one more good round will get us "right up there", and "right up there" is where we want to be, so how about it? I think losing is more fun. Why share mutual respect and admiration for your team mates when you can test their patience and dedication by copping drubbings every week?
Don't forget you're touring Balmain this Saturday night after the match. Gustapha Knapp has booked a mini bus to transit people from the Hey Diddle Diddle at 8 pm; you have to email him directly and pay up to book a seat. I've noticed the email says that its on a first come, first served basis, so you can probably assume that first graders will be served first.
The week after, we have the gathering of Lane Cove Cricket Club's finest minds and the clever friends who will hopefully spare them total embarassment at the Trivia Night on the 8th of December. If you'd like to attend, either with your own table of 8 or to express interest in jumping on someone else's, email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Duck Bat and Milestones pages have been updated as well.
Paul LangtrySo Much Man