TWIC - Auburn's Great Escape

Lane Cove Cricket Club showed its true grit on Saturday as Auburn's players wiped their nervous brows in relief after barely escaping total annihilation.  There is an apt and wise adage at Lane Cove - "1st innings runs and results don't count" - and we played our hearts out with that saying in mind.  The rest of the competition should shiver and quake in their booties after a fine, fine display of 2nd innings cricket by our mighty Lane Cove warriors saw them dominate most of the weekend's play.  Only 4th and 5th Grade disappointed, unable to coax the opposition into the all-important 2nd innings.  This impressive fightback lifts our great Lane Cove to 9th on the Club Championship ladder, ahead of South Sydney and Strathfield by that excellent criteria that truly separates the wheat from the chaff: alphabetical order.  Who are consistently the strongest clubs in Shires cricket?  Auburn... Burwood...  coincidence?  Hardly, so we're changing our name to Cove Lane, or maybe 'Ane Cove... and then we become champions.

1st Grade:   Lane Cove 117 & 5/203 defeated by Auburn 144

I was lucky enough to witness this match and was gobsmacked by the spectacle.  I've never seen a finer song and dance routine than the one performed by the Auburn skipper every other delivery.  That's Entertainment!

Very brief this week...

Auburn resumed day two 9 wickets down and 15 in front.  Rowey took the 10th wicket for us in the 5th over of the day.  With no outright result really possible we took the opportunity for some batting practice.

Crossy looked good with a quick-fire 36 including a large hole in the back windscreen of Sneaky Pete's 1957 Corolla (much to the mirth of all the lads).  Big Dog Cornelius and Marshall came together with the score on 50 and both looked good.  Marshall ran himself out for 44 then Doggy was dismissed on 47.  Congrats to both guys on their highest scores thus far for LCCC.  Smitty also looked good for his 20 and we called it a match with the score on 5 for 203 with Davo on 30 not out and Rowey 89 runs short of his century.

We got what we wanted out of the day and now its on to Epping.

3 - Richardson
2 - Arnall
1 - Jessica Rowe


Fine work, Brett.  At 5/203 and with the runs coming quickly, Auburn were surely fearful of being done over in that crucial 2nd innings and were content to slink away with paltry single innings points (which don't count).

2nd Grade:   Lane Cove 112 & 3/114 defeated by Auburn 5/371 (dec)

Another excellent showing from Lane Cove's impressive 2nd Grade side.  Like any clever boxer, Lane Cove played rope-a-dope with the Auburn side and let them expend themselves early on, a brilliant tactic that left Auburn unable to repeat their 1st innings efforts and helpless to stop the Lane Cove 2nd innings Juggernaut.

While the Hig prepares his five volume report on this debacle, I will paint a pretty picture for you...

The Coves began day 2 requiring a mere 369 runs for victory on a wicket that had a bit of assistance for the caterers.  Unfortunately, Ian Skinner was unavailable for the day's play after procuring a DVD of Wham's Greatest Spandex Hits and a box of Kleenex that morning, so the Coves would be forced to do battle a man down.  Sean Dunn was the first Covie batsmen dismissed, presumably noodling one straight to gully with that limp-wristed cut shot he plays for 11.  On a better note for Dunny, this is the first time I've ever seen him outscore anyone in a partnership - shame, shame Michael Doherty, who dealt poorly with the news and was pegulated for 5.  Chris Granger is as Chris Granger does (0).  A minor recovery was required for the Coves, but no one was quite sure who was going to be left to do it as the Hig (5), Gustapha Knapp (16) and Snr Harpham (14) happily threw their wickets away to leave the Coves 6/59.

Rather surprisingly it was Alex Maxwell who rolled up the sleeves the only way he knows how and attempted to doink every delivery out of the park.  Less surprisingly, Skippy Myers at the other end was content to occupy the crease and the generous grazing area provided at Mona 1.  Maxwell eventually tried his hand once too many times, his woodwork sent cartwheeling for a score of 26, and when Myers went with the score on 112, the Blumpkin was soon to follow, leaving Craig Robertson stranded on 8*.

The second innings began more excitingly than the first, with Mike Doherty blazing a whirlwind 5 (1 boundary) in just 15 minutes while Sean Dunn played a more circumspect role at the other end (3 in 29 minutes).  The Gus Knapp we know and love made another appearance as he fended one straight to the keeper for a well-deserved duck (5 minutes).  At 3/9, effectively 4/9 and still 250 runs behind, the Coves were not favourites to win the match outright.  It was then that the two most attractive men in Shires cricket stood up to be counted.  Chwis "The Fudd" Gwangea and Rohan "The Big Hig" Higgins showed what could be accomplished when two batsmen occupy the crease for a length of time while clocking up over a hundred runs and not getting dismissed as they put on an unbroken partnership of 105 before Auburn conceded defeat (in attempting to win outright).  It was heartwarming.

So, no wins for 2nd Grade so far as they start the season as they have for the past couple, with intent to make it as difficult as possible to make the finals.  Good luck with that.

No idea.


Tremendous, Hig.  Tremendous.

3rd Grade:   Lane Cove 102 & 192 defeated by Auburn 198 & 4/100

Although we did lose this match, Auburn left Longueville dead on their feet after barely getting over the line in a grueling battle.  I managed to get a few tired words out of Auburn's Dan Burton before he was carted off in an ambulance, and he paid tribute to Lane Cove with some fine, fine praise.  "It was amazing," Burton gasped, perhaps in awe or disbelief, "I've never seen such a superb 2nd innings performance.  The way they batted, bowled, fielded in that second dig... spectacular!  Even the way they moved was different - so flowing and rhythmical, it was almost hypnotic and - dare I say it - more than a little arousing.  After a day's cricket like that, you're so glad just to be able to leave the ground with 1st innings points and your marriage still intact."  Generous words, Daniel, we thank you.

Having already lost on the first innings, the Coves had the job of eliminating the 96 run deficit, and then worrying about whether to set a target or try and bat the game out.

Southcott and Moore opened up, and shortly after a sense of déjà vu was setting in with both Mumbles and Bryan Dempsey going in quick time to leave the score at 2/13. Jack Gayleard battled through the first half of his innings as he was tied down with some good bowling, as the skipper started look comfortable.

The change bowlers came on and runs started to flow at a reasonable rate, with Southcott passing 50 for the first time in 2 years. The partnership was broken with the score on 93, with possibly the worst piece of batting ever witnessed. Jack departed soon after for 34.

Harley and Fisher put on 54 for the 5th wicket before a rush of blood saw Andy caught (and stumped), leaving the score at 5/153. Fisher's cameo of 43 from 36 (including 3 maximums) ended soon after. Willoughby (0) and Dempsey (1) both departed soon after, leaving the score at 8/156. At this point the Coves had lost 4/3 in 4 overs. Paddy Tompsett showed why he is the best batsman in his family, holding an end up during a 22 run stand with Trumbull. Louis Louis (6*) and Nick (17) also added valuable runs, before the innings finished at 192.

Auburn had the task of scoring 97 in a minimum of 22 overs. Nick Trumbull bowled some good inswing, taking 2 wickets leaving Auburn at 2/10. Louis bowled without luck, as he consistently beat the bat, and saw 2 huge LBW shouts answered in the negative.

The ball was eventually thrown to the destroyers of the previous week, however, neither Jamie or Jack found the rhythm or length required, despite a number of good balls being bowled. Two more wickets fell, however, without enough runs on the board Auburn chalked up 10 points from this game.

There were a number of positives to come out of this game, as 3 batsmen got some time in the middle, and the bowlers showed they can take wickets consistently. Hopefully with a few more runs on the board, 3rd grade will be off the mark next round.

3 - Gayleard
2 - Jamie Dempsey
1 - Southcott


You should take a leaf out of Mr Burton's courteous book, Cotty.

4th Grade:   Lane Cove 197 defeated by Auburn 303

Disappointing scenes for Lane Cove as Justin Sharp's 4th Grade jailbirds were unable to force the Auburnians into a decisive 2nd innings.  Better luck next time.

No getting out of jail round 3!

Despite a good effort this round Auburn and their little Pommie import were too good and took the 6 points.  We batted well on day 2 but their bowling was consistent and built up pressure during the day.  Despite good efforts throughout with plenty of starts only Sock It really made any impact before getting a jaffa for 51.  Given the rain we had the deck and outfield were in perfect condition and a well done goes out to the professional Auburn CC for putting it together, plenty of other clubs in the past may have provided a very convenient 'wetty' given the match circumstances.

We didn't lose a wicket till nearly the 20th over despite a very good Auburn 4th Grade bowling line up.  Ed really knuckled down again and is showing he can get the hard work done, just needs to go on with it now once he is in (but so does the jail warden).  However going from none for 47 to 4/76, when Hoody departed, put too much pressure on us.  Booby batted excellently again continuing his good Tompsett form, and fantasy value, before boobing himself run out going for a suicidal single.  Sprucey was sensational before being very unlucky to get out caught or LBW.  From there it was a matter of survival, with Franko and Ben Curran putting in.  Eventually all out for 197 about 9 overs short of a draw and not really in it for the win once Booby departed at 5 for 137.  Scotty some extra fantasy league bonus with the not out.

Everyone showed a lot more ticker this round and no wickets were thrown away when batting which was great to see.  Won't have to worry about Atkinson again after his 124 in one of the best Shires opening efforts I have seen (only the one chance), from an Englishman pretty much fresh off the boat in 35 degree heat!  Even Jewiss won't be able to keep him in 4's for too long.  Not a bad leg spinner as well!

Bring on round 4 with the same application and focus on personal performance and take the lesson from Auburn on how to build a proper Shires innings.

3 - Sock It for his 51
2 - Scotty for his 3 wickets in 26 overs
1 - Blackie Curran for his bowling and stoic batting

His Sharpness

A lesson for us all there.

5th Grade:   Sky Muppets 4/232 defeated Burwood 151

Briefly satisfying, but well short of fulfilling, the Sky Muppets took consolation points home from St Lukes Oval.  Muppet in Chief reports...

While we're waiting for Muppy's version of events, I'll fill in some of the blanks.

Schaafsma and Phelps resumed the day at 2/59 and went about the task of reigning in the 152 runs required for victory in contrasting fashion.  Schaafs was solid as a rock, punching balls through the infield for singles and putting the bad balls away for 3 or 4, never looking troubled.  Phelps on the other hand was more aggressive and hit the ball hard and clean at the onset.  Although a regulation sitter was put down when he was on 80 he didn't give up any other chances that wouldn't have taken a fair bit of catching.  Phelps notched up his maiden Covie tonne about half an hour before the tea break but was out minutes later after smoking one straight back to the bowler who took a good catch.  There was time enough for Sundstrom to come and go after a mandatory slog as Pushkar sent his bunny packing once again, and the match ended at tea with Schaafs not overly bothered about adding to his 84*.

Lane Cove, Lane Cove 4/232 after 63 overs with some quality time spent in the middle for a few of the bats.  A fairly comfortable win for the Sky Muppets despite some "really good lbw decisions being turned down" according to Burwood's match report - they probably pitched outside off, lads.

3 - Schaafsma
2 - Phelps
1 - Sundstrom


Commiserations, Muppet.  It really shows how we need to convert those early game advantages into 2nd innings glory.


Auburn's website, and Burwood's page.  The full set of results for the round can be found neatly summarised here.

Fantasy League hasn't changed all that much.  Pay your Fees, reprobates.

More details on the Le Poker Night coming up.  We're just nutting it all out and putting it all together in one wholesome, meaty sandwich...

More fine, fine Milestones are being chalked up around the place.  Congratulations to Chris Granger on noodling away his 3,000th 2nd innings run against Auburn, while Luke Higgins also banked his 10th Covie duck in just 36 innings in what is sure to be a distinguished Duck Bat legacy that in time will rival even the great Thomas J. Holt's 63 globes for the club.  Returning Covie Ian Phelps is the first Cove to chalk up triple figures (with the bat) this season and earn himself some Champagne Moments, or just a trophy, and in combination with Club Mac Schaafsma put on 182 for the 3rd wicket - just four short of the club's record 186 set by Hux and Anton Harris in 1st Grade all those years ago.

You're all terrible at cricket and I personally think that no number of Training sessions can help you, no matter how rigorous or enlightening, but we should still pretend you're not beyond hope.  Wednesday, 5 pm, North Sydney # 2.  Let Robert rebuild you - he has the technology.

Naany Swaamy
Breading it up