Saturday can only be described as a bad day at the office for LCCC in general with le Coves firmly receiving the business end of the Gorilla in most grades - a most uncomfortable position. 1s are in with a shout but will have to bowl well against one of the competition's best batting lineups; 2s have conceded first innings points despite being well placed; 3s are well in with a chance despite being distinctly 2nd best all day; and 5s came away from Bland with a convincing defeat for once. Things improved on Sunday as Sharpy's 4th grade side fought back well to edge an exciting contest so far.
1st Grade v Strathfield
Bark Huts was the venue for first grade this week with Airey still unavailable due to ongoing works.
We lost the toss and were asked to have a bat, which we were happy with because the pitch was very dry and flat and the outfield was razor-sharp, so it was a good opportunity to post a big score.
As has been the case more often than not, we got off to a very good start. Crossy continued his good form scoring 70 (which brings his season aggregate to 449) before he middled one straight to gully. Armstrong (15) and then Cornelius (18) both supported Peter well for short periods of time without being able to go on with it. Just after the first drinks break we were 2 for 111. Unfortunately at this point wickets started to fall too easily. We lost 3 for none and went to 5 for 111. The remaining 5 wickets managed to scrape together another 66 runs with Wesley Harps 23, Richardson 14 not out and Alex Dodds brilliantly run out for 6 the contributors.
177 was about 70 short of what we were looking at. There was still 26 overs to be bowled in the day and Rowey got us off to a great start, dismissing Robin Younan for a duck in the third over, well caught at second slip by Corny. The Strathfield batsmen were playing their shots and we were creating chances with numerous balls flying either side of fieldsman. Strathfield put on about 60 for the second wicket when Gary Sheen had his off stump knocked back without offering a stroke to one of the best balls that anybody has ever seen.
We picked up another wicket late in the day and at stumps Strathfield are 3 for 106. If we can take our chances early next week and have a little bit of luck then we'll be right in the match.
2nd Grade v Strathfield
Coming into the Strathfield game, one could be forgiven putting a win down as a foregone conclusion... LCCC on 31 points sitting 2nd and Strathfield 14 points sitting in 10th. A closer look shows that Strathfield have had 4 washouts and batted on wet decks twice. Smells like a 'DANGER GAME'.
We arrived at Tantallon to find the deck green, very grassy and a little on the soft side. Strathfield (legitimately) won the toss and decided to bat.
Robbo and Blumpkin opened up and soon had the ball zipping around. Robbo struck first then Hoody and Blumpy combined for a superb run out. Robbo found the edge again and Maxi (back in his rightful place away from the bowling crease) took an absolute blinder in front of J. Malkovich (who would have put it down anyway). Gus Knapp, making his 2nd grade debut, followed up with a scintillating half tracker that was skied straight to Blimpkin before Bezer took over yet again.
In another inspired spell, Bez claimed 4/30 which reads - off stump out of the ground, middle stump out of the ground, bowled middle and leg, leg stump out of the ground. He now has 24 wickets at 10 for the season so far. An older Strathfield gentleman commented on the ball swinging a foot and a half and very late.
Limpy then gained his first and second 2nd grade scalps to have them all out for 94... an easy 6 points and on towards 10... or so we thought!!
Underway on a reasonable surface with a touch of sideways movement, we were soon in deep trouble... Myers bowled, McKay unluckily judged caught behind, Knapp leaving a relatively straight one to be fired... 3/17. Malkovich and Hood set about a recovery but it was short-lived. Hood caught behind, Captain out LBW, Maxwell skied one, Dunn pegged, Bezer pegged and Robbo guided one to first slip. All out for 77. Only Stipey showed any real determination to be last man out for a well made 34.
I guess the only good thing about the day is that the scoring was so low and slow that the full quota of points are right up for grabs. It is critical that we do the same things in the field as last week but show a whole lot more application with the bat and we can still come away with 6 points.
Points3 - Cam Bezer2 - John Malkovich1 - Craig Preston
3rd Grade v Strathfield
What a day. 3rd Grade were given a fairly stern lesson regarding the basics of cricket as Strathfield went on a bit of a rampage in posting a fairly impressive total of 3-317 in 69 overs. The opposition's skipper and opening bat smashed us around the park for 193 but was put down early on several times and gave us the odd chance here and there throughout the innings. Gray, Ritchie and Camarsh all bowled well but without luck - beating the bat or drawing false strokes numerous times without reward.
Strathfield put on about 110 for the first wicket before Jamie Dempsey made the breakthrough; tempting Strathfield's struggling opener down the pitch for an easy stumping for Andy Harley, renewing his acquaintance with the big mits after a long layoff. The next wicket came a couple of hundred runs later with the #3 doinking a full toss from the stand-in skipper (the Coves traded Boyle for Lloyd after Pusie tore a chicken wing) straight down Suren's throat at silly mid off on the fence. Paul Ritchie finally picked up a deserved scalp, zipping one through the opener as he attempted to belt another ball over deep cow. With that wicket falling, Strathfield declared at a rather sporting 317 - definitely gettable on the small outfield and flat track of Longueville.
Le Coves had about 45 minutes to face out at the end of the day, and are 1 down for 40 odd. Yes, it's me. 280 required next week, and if the rain stays away and we get comparable conditions, I fancy our chances with this batting lineup. What a **** of a day though.
4th Grade v Strathfield
The expert ("coin") tosser went out and did his job and 4's were away for the 7th out of 9 games with a small win. The top order failed again against the new ball with Sprucey, Gilly (long may we remember him) and Fish all following me back to the sheds in quick succession. Lloydy showed he was no pork chop in looking solid and following the standard game plan of getting to tea. JL batted for over 2 hours getting out just before tea for his 29, seeing off the most dangerous of the Gorillas attack. Sock It Twomey helped him move the score from an appalling 4-34 to 100 before we lost another couple of wickets. Things didn't look great at tea but as we have seen all year in 4's, 100 can actually be more than enough to win at Longy. Scotty (not batting 11 and trying to justify a move out of the last spot) and Paddy put on a nice partnership to get things to 130 before another flurry of wickets including a golden duck to The Fog saw us struggling at 9-136. 200 had been the aim for most of the day but with Big Coxy* and Franko in, things looked pretty bad. In all fairness both have probably looked like they were about as good as a certain opener with the bat this year and lucky they get a bowl to keep themselves entertained. They then proceeded to be part of another 4th grade "get out of jail free" scheme (not one involving a certain North Shore night spot...). A partnership of 63 (only 7 away from a club 10th wicket record) in which Coxy smashed an awesome and amazing 57 (with 9 boundaries) and Franko stranded from a certain ton on 3 not out when the Big Red showed that Jimmy Rogers running between the wickets practice is no longer existant at 'View. Would have been twelve of the best for the 1 short and the run out in my day in the mighty 16B's. 199 and about par for the day if there is some good bowling, and a great improvement from where we were. The top order knows it has to perform better from the last couple of efforts if we are to be in the finals and competitive.
The Fog (clearly tired from his 1 ball stint at the crease) and the Big Red Coxy took the new rock. The Fish got us going with his now standard assisted run out at Mid Off before The Fog and Big Cox both picked up wickets. Unfortunately, the batting effort took its toll on Coxy and he wasn't quite his normal zippy self, although he chucked down several good jaffas including the lovely catch to Gilly. The Fog looked threatening for more wickets for his spell and day 2 will be a good struggle. Line, length and some pressure and it will be game on. Short stuff and it could be over very quickly. Another wicket or two would have been nice, but as I have been informed the bowlers did have to get the runs as well. Hopefully the rain god takes me up on my offer of a trip to Northern NSW (not like they haven't gotten enough rain anyway) to recuperate from his damaged hammy and we manage to get on!
* Sharpy willing to regale all and sundry with hilarious stories of the various interactions between Big Cox and Dix during the course of the day. Sharpy less pleased at being all at sea facing Dix earlier in the day... [Sharpy used Cox well but normally handles Dix better... yuk, yuk, yuk. I ought to write for the Telegraph]
Sky Muppets v The Mac Shack
5th Grade turned up (some on time) once again to our most victorious ground in our history, Bland Oval. The team was host to several young debutants who made a good start to Lane Cove and senior cricket.
After losing the toss, we were asked to have a bowl. Pottsy picked up an early pole as did Papa who bowled good lions [sic] and beat the bat on several occasions [hard to hit, those lions]. Brian Dempsey came on later in the innings and took some crucial wickets, ending up with 4. Our fielding was good and the specialist captain and fielder managed 2 catches and a run out. The Mac Shack compiled 190 from their allotted 45 overs.
Unfortunately, as has been the case this season, our batting wasn't up to the task. Papa opened well, Mitch Rix showed that he is a good prospect and Potts played a fighting knock, smashing them around for 44.
With 7 rounds to go, 5ths can look at building for next year with several up and coming young players.
Sean CarnaffanThe Proclaimer
The club is holding its 115th Year Dinner in May. Details are still to be finalised, but lock the date and venue in - Saturday the 17th of May at Roseville, Roseville Golf Club. Max Walker will be guest speaking at the do, and Steve Cannane won't be hosting (but will still get Stipey out). Inquiries to be directed to LCCC.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fantasy League is again somehow being dominated by the Lord of Pork, with the Blumpkin and the Skipper following close behind. I forgot to mention this the last couple of times, but you should all know the drill by now anyway... $20 please folks. Give it to one of the committee members (not Dodds though. Probably not Rowey either) or EFT us the money using the following details:
Account name: Lane Cove Cricket ClubBSB: 062-192Account number: 10015602
Training attendances have been good recently. We're at North Sydney #2 (or Bon Andrews) on Wednesday from 5 pm, again. Hope to see you there. No Thursday night training this week. Maybe next week? I don't know.
The Milestones and Duck Bat pages have been updated to the start of the round. Keep up the good work, C'Merp Jnr.
Brett wants to play poker at the North Sydney Club tonight. Takers?
Finally, does anyone else want a guernsey updating the website?? You can write anything you want, Dodds.
Sam CoxThe New Backhouse