TWIC - Sitting Pretty with Gerald Cornelius

Another season begins and so more painful weekly updates from the TWIC "crew" ensue (as Little Hig would say).  The first round of the 2008/09 season welcomes the arrival of and, sadly, the departure to Southern Districts for our brave Covies.  As per usual, the Coves struggled a little for numbers for the first round, particularly as combinations of the words "selected", "3rd Grade", "away" and "Carnes Hill" caused minor injury problems to flare up and further contribute to the availability issues.  Even so, the Coves managed to saddle up the required numbers and this is how the first day of the 2008/09 season went...

1st Grade: Lane Cove 225 v Southern Districts 2/14

Our brave 1st Grade Captain Brett Richardson reports, with minor additions...

First Grade travelled to Carnes Hill to play Southern Districts.

We won the toss and elected to bat on a typical Southern Districts pitch - very dry.

Up against a new look SD's team (headed by former NSW player Grant Roden) we knew they would be much more formidable than previous years.  They started the game well with a fiery opening 10 overs and had us in big trouble early at 2 for 6 with debutants Ben Arnall and Tristam Marshall both out LBW without troubling the scorers.

Peter Cross was joined by Big Dog Cornelius, who strode manfully to the crease and seemed a man on a mission, a dog looking for his day, a porpoise with a purpose - itching to prove his doubters wrong.  They steadied the ship somewhat taking the score to 48 until Corny was unfortunately given out LBW for 15.  Maybe next week, Corny!

Our third debutant Glen Smith then joined Crossy at the crease and the two played brilliantly together.  In less than ideal batting conditions with the pitch up and down and the outfield quite slow, they played patiently until they were well and truly set and then with 40 minutes or so until tea they really picked up the run rate, punishing any loose delivery and running very well between the wickets.  They combined for a 118 run stand until Crossy was adjudged LBW for 99 just after tea.

It was probably Crossy's best innings for the club so far - well done.

The fall of the 4th wicket with the score on 166 sparked a bit of a collapse.  Smith's innings came to an end with the score on 198.  Smitty made 62 and was unlucky to be given out caught behind.  It was a top innings on debut and helped us post a defendable total of 225 with the tail wagging slightly.

Considering the position we got ourselves into at tea we should have gone up (?) with the job and posted close to 300 but for the first hit of the year it wasn't a bad result.

We were left with 15 overs at the Ants and we managed to strike twice.  Another 2 LBWs, one to Mallyon and the other to Richardson.  They day finished with SD's on 2 for 14.

The 6 points are there for the taking next week.

I love Richo's style.  You could ask him for a "match report" for Monday and it'd go something like this...

Brett got up this morning and travelled to the bathroom to have a shower.

He elected to bat and won the toss on a typically treacherous pitch - very wet.

Up against a new look DNA magazine team (headed by former 1st Grade cricketer Gerald Cornelius)... etc etc etc.

2nd Grade: Lane Cove 9/262 (dec) v Southern Districts 1/24

Dodds launches into another scathing criticism of life and cricket below...

The new slim, fit second grade turned up for its first round of the season (author's note: the considerable weight lost by both the Hig and Myers has been replaced in abundance by Maxwell) with Wes' mate Mick the only debutant in a seasoned lineup.  Myers won the toss and duely elected to bat on a benign surface at the home of cricket.

Myers and Doherty set a solid platform early before Myers got out pulling, bringing Knapp to the crease.  Knappy looked superb from the outset and after the predictable failure of Granger and loss of Doherty was joined by Skinner and a magnificent partnership developed.  The boys dispatched SD's to all parts of the ground and we went to tea at 3/120 in a position of relative comfort.

After tea the Coves lost wickets at reasonably regular intervals but solid contributions from Skinner (80 odd) and half centuries from the Hig and Knappy saw the Coves noodle to a competitive total of 9/262 declared.

This left 9 overs to be bowled and hopes were high that a few early breakthroughs could be achieved.  Unfortunately these hopes were dashed when Dodds wasted 4 of the 9 overs with a spell that was rusty and pedestrian.  Limpy and Dunny bowled good tubes and Harpham was able to hold on to a rank half volley from Dodds that bounced off his pecker to leave SD's at 1/24 overnight.

A good first hour next week and we should open our account for season '08/09.

3 - Bones
2 - Knappy
1 - The artist formerly known as the Big Hig

The below image is an artist's depiction of the second grade cordon last year with their more comfortable builds.

Thank you Dodds.  Wow, Gus Knapp runs in a grade which isn't 5s!  Who'd have thought it??  I remember last season we used to sing Sherbet's Howzat when Knappy walked out to bat, with a few minor alterations...

Gus Knapp!
You messed about, I caught you out
Gus Knapp!
Now that I've found you can't bat
Its good bye... well
Gus Knapp!
Its good bye
You only came for a smile.

He'd usually be back before you could finish.

3rd Grade: Southern Districts 9/311 v Lane Cove

Al Southcott describes a not so enjoyable first day's captaincy...

Third grade started off its season with the trek out to Greenway Oval, where they were confronted with short boundaries, a fast outfield, a flat pitch and not a cloud in the sky.

Southcott duly lost the toss and was asked to field.  A superb opening spell of pace bowling from Covie recruit Ken Slade and outswing from Louis Gray didn't bring desired results as the ball beat the outside edge a couple of times per over.  It was only a matter of time before the cross bat shots across the line were brought out as SD's started to lift the run rate, before Louis got the edge which was sharply taken at 1st slip by Bryan Dempsey.

An inspired change brought about by Ken getting tired saw Paddy Tompsett given the ball, and he only took two balls to make it 2/31.  This saw the beginning of a 65 run partnership as the bowling got shorter and the SD's batsmen started to look on top.  Nick Trumble bowled well but without luck as the captain put down a sharp chance at short cover.

The Covie players were suggesting a bit of off spin was what was required to break the partnership, and that almost broke the partnership with the batsman stranded down the wicket, totally deceived by the lack of turn, however the chance went begging.  Another chance two balls later saw the second catch of the day go down.  Eventually the partnership was broken as the lack of respect shown to the "straighter" ball brought about the downfall, leaving SD's at 3/96 after 31 overs.

Another steady partnership started and took the score to 3/131 at tea.  The Covies were challenged to really lift after tea, with the new ball pair having another crack at the batsmen, with only 1/19 coming from the next 10 overs; most of which were scored behind the wicket on the off side.  Unfortunately, some of these edges went to hand with 3 catches going down in 3 overs from Slade.

Louis Gray had to be taken off the field as he couldn't complete his 16th over, bringing refugee Sam "Mumbles" Moore to the bowling crease, despite the fact that the 28 degree heat was causing him to struggle.  Thankfully Jamie Dempsey was on hand to act as a substitute fielder.  Mumbles bowled with pace and accuracy right throughout his spell, and took only five balls to get the breakthrough leaving SD's at 5/170. 

Some good batting and exceptionally poor fielding saw the home team take the initiative with a 90 run partnership developing in 18 overs.  Things got so bad that even the Club Secretary got a bowl, as the injury list lengthened with Slade, Tompsett and Fisher all struggling to move.

The wicket was soon delivered, giving Pusie hope that he may bowl again this season, however a return to the (remaining) frontline bowlers, Trumbull and Moore saw wickets fall consistently, however the damage had been done, leaving SD's at the close of play 9/311.

Unfortunately too many short deliveries and 13 dropped catches, 2 missed stumpings and a poor runout decision really cost Lane Cove, and need immediate improvement.  However, the fact that we created 25 chances throughout the day can be taken as a positive.

Given the batting depth of 3rd Grade and the state of the pitch and outfield, the Covies are still a good chance of bringing home the 6 points, but it will require a determined batting effort to ensure that the full 82 overs are batted.

3 - Slade
2 - Mumbles
1 - Trumbull

So, in summary: 3rd Grade - not very good.  Cheers Al.

4th Grade: Southern Districts 143 v Lane Cove 8/223

His Sharpness reports...

A slightly different looking SDs lineup finally found their way to Longy on the first Saturday of the new season.  A quick toss and it was 1 from 1 to kick off the year, I just don't understand how this luck doesn't continue at the Cachino.  For the first time in my captaincy career it was into bowl after winning the toss.  Scotty's constant nattering at me had finally won me over, plus there was no JL in the side to annoy me if the gamble didn't work!

Will Lewis and Pottsy opened up the new look 4's bowling attack and were a little scratchy for the first few overs.  Just not the consistency that Beaming Louis and his Limpness offered last year... Will was struggling through his 3rd over with a dodgy hammy when he induced a nick behind to Sprucey wearing the gloves for his debut Covie wicket.  He succumbed to the injury and was replaced by Ben Curran who very quickly picked up the SDs captain caught behind by Sprucey too (again showing how much better he is than that nuffin Harpham with the gloves)!  Pottsy's opening spell was top class but the pins just didn't fall his way as often happens in this game.

Lil' Hig replaced Pottsy and after a shocking Louis Louis beamer first ball he then picked up a clean bowled with an absolute top shelf jaffa.  Just mixing it up nicely there Lil' Hig, they will never know what is coming.  Ben Curran (all nicknames welcome as the best we have come up so far is Black) picked up a caught and bowled to end his 6 overs with very impressive debut figures of 2/18.  SDs were 4/60 and LCCC travelling nicely.  With only a couple of years difference to the 15 year old, Scotty soon came on from the City End.  Lil' Hig continued his tight bowling to only go for 12 an over for the next 3 overs before our own little Shires Legend kicked into gear.  Continuing from where he left off in the GF, Scotty bowled great zones attacking the stumps to pick up 5/21 off 9.2 overs.  A Super Classic Catch from Ben "Boob" Tompsett (yes Ben, it was a cracking catch but we know you had your eyes closed!), 3 bowled and 1 LBW making up his wickets.  SDs all out for 143 with Lil' Hig picking up the remaining wicket.

The Covies batting lineup looked a fair bit different this season as Yours Truly and Ed Scrivens went out to face the new attack.  We were 40 off the first 5 overs when there was the most sensational piece of keeping you will ever see with a super quick legside stumping off the new ball bowler.  Ed continued on batting with great style and sensibility in the end for 24 overs, totally doing the job required of a 4th grade opener for a very solid 29 on debut.

Boob batted away for a while, consolidating the innings before losing his wicket when Sock It Twomey came in for a quick fire cameo 39.  When Jim departed the score was 4/127 and all but over (unless you have played lots of lower grade Shires cricket, in which case you know it is never over...), Sprucey came and went very quickly for a duck (of the golden variety?), Pottsy came and blocked , 4, 1, 4, maximum out for a super quick 15 before Lil' Hig chased him back to the stands with his own duck.  Luckily we were well past SDs score by then as Hoody was slowly working his way into the season.  Ben Curran showed composure beyond his years to put on a partnership with Hoody as we approached the end of play and 200 runs before being given out to a very questionable LBW (I take it we can't be fined for questioning the umpiring when it is your own side doing it?).  Hoody smashed the last couple of overs to leave us at 223 for 8 and with him on 90 not out.  82 overs next week should make for an interesting day 2... decisions, decisions...

Great efforts from the debutants in Scrivens and Curran but we split the points between the old blokes.  3 points to Scotty and Hoody for their nearly match-winning efforts.

Tempted to open up with Sprucey and Lil' Hig in the second innings to see it we can get two players on whites for night 2 of the season!  Great effort in round 1 to follow on from their GF ducks... Go Manly!

Brilliant and witty as per usual, Mr Sharp.


A bit of housekeeping to mention, Coves...

Most of you have paid your fees or have come to an arrangement with the Treasurer by now - excellent.  For the few of you left, you risk being left out of the round 2 match if you haven't at least spoken to the Hig about paying.  All contact details for the various committee members and captains can be found here.  Likewise if you've ordered a tracksuit or some other merchandise, you need to organise to pay for those too.

Rather bizarrely, the Fantasy League has limped off to a rather slow beginning despite the fact that this one is free if you've paid your fees.  Those wishing to partake in the festivus should send an email to requesting an invite or listing a team.  You can download the spreadsheet from the page in the above link.  There's still plenty of time to get going as this competition doesn't start until the Round 2 match v Burwood on the 11th of October with entries closing by 11:59 on the Friday night before, I think.

After just one day, the Duck Bat competition is off to a fantastic start with no less than 6 Covies globing up on the weekend.  Familiar faces and long-time contributors L.Higgins, Dunn, Rowe and Spruce are rather surprisingly joined by the talented pairing of Arnall and Marshall.  Lets hope that trend doesn't continue, at least for too long.

Also, apparently not content with bashing his face into things on a regular basis, James Harpham has now offered to jump off a building for charity.  Seriously.  Ratty Harps Snr is looking to earn money for the Starlight Children's Foundation, and if he receives $5,000 in donations, he'll abseil in this stunningly attractive Batman suit.  Please click on the link and help Ratty Batty Harps contribute towards doing something meaningful with his life.  Those of you who are a bit inclined that way may want to enquire as to what, if anything, Harpham Snr will be tied to before donating.

Gerald Cornelius
More than a woman
More than a woman to me