The last three rounds present a huge opportunity to climb up the club champs, and ensure finals cricket, starting with South Sydney this week. This means we should all be getting to training on a Wednesday at North Sydney Oval from 5pm, or the SCG nets from 8pm on Thursdays.
In duck related news, Myles Bertrand ensured that a helmet would not be required as attire, along with whites and pads at some covie related event in the near future. However, a new contender has emerged as Brian Scott has now gone three on the trot after getting trapped in front. He joins Southcott and Tzikas on 3 globes, trailing Bertrand and Potts who are on 4 ducks.
Fantasy league is being led by the club's brains trust, with Hoody leading Skinny and Bezer. Lord help us.
We lost the toss and then were on the end of an 8-wicket demolition from G Sheen.
In the face of some good bowling we showed little resistance and fight apart from a 50 run stand between Doinkswell and Byrny that saved us from complete embarrassment.
Defending 140 in stifling conditions was a big ask, and while we fought pretty well we never had enough runs and were passed 4 down in the 38th over. Pick of the bowlers were easily Richie and Holt who picked up 2 each and both did bowl very well!
Hopefully this was the performance we needed to get out of the system before the finals.
3 – Richie
2 - Doink
1 – Holt
2s ventured out to Homebush West at 9:00 am and were greeted by temperatures approaching the 40-degree mark and a genuine first grade standard Gorillas outfit. The ground was fast, the pitch was flat. It was promising to be a long exhausting day. And so it proved to be.
Bez won the toss and had no hesitation on putting some runs on the board first. Doddsy and Pus opened up to face Sean Day on his 2nd grade debut after playing 20 years of first grade. Pus was the first to go after pulling at what would have been a leg side wide from the other opening bowler and getting the faintest of gloves to it, only to see Sylvester take an excellent diving catch. Doddsy followed soon after, and Sammy Man and Davo Kirribilli set about building a partnership. Both were batting very patiently, rotating the strike and waiting for the bad balls to put away. They took the score to 97 and a score of 250+ was on the cards. Sam brought up his 50, and then we lost him, Davo and Hoody for 3 runs.
Fez and Wes set about steadying the ship with some good aggressive stroke play, more than matching the bad aggressive talk on the field. Really boring getting told by some feral they will kill you every time you play Strathfield. They need some new material. Tattoos aren't that tough these days. Anyhoo, Fez went for a handy 17, and Cotty joined Wes as we looked to bat the overs out. These two took the score to 183 before both of them went playing the same lofted drive 2 balls in a row. JP and Jack then looked to tee off in the final few overs as we reached 9/213 off our allotted 50 overs.
We had the feeling that ordinarily this was below par, but after keeping them in the field for 3.5 hours in 40-degree heat we thought it was a defendable total. We knew they had some dangerous players but if we could get through them we were a great chance. Things didn't quite start too well with Sylvester smashing pretty much most balls he faced to the fence. Doddsy eventually enticed an edge and Cotty held onto an absolute speccy at slip to start the poles. Another wicket, this time to Jack, saw Ridgeway come in and doink from ball one, almost getting depegged for a golden globe. The rest of his innings went by quickly as he raced into his 30s before Davo held a good chance to remove him off Jack at cow corner. Davo was bowling well at the other end and got a few wickets in the middle but all of Strathfield's bats were getting starts (except one who was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Jack off a Davo half tracker). By the time Davo got a caught and bowled for the 7th wicket, Strathfield were still 60 runs behind, and we were a big show.
Unfortunately the number 9 and number 7 batted sensibly. There were no demons in the wicket, there was plenty of overs in hand, it was bloody hot, and we were tiring. Can't think of too many shots in the air, and not a single chance was given as they cruised to victory in the 47th over.
We left the field with our heads held high even if our feet were dragging. If Strathfield has that side for the rest of the year they will be a definite threats in the finals. And we weren't that far away, really. We batted the full 50 overs against a good attack, and never gave up in the field. They certainly knew they had played a tough match. We were 100 times better than the week before where we beat another finalist in Auburn outright. If we keep improving we too can be a serious threat come March and April. Lets cement our spot for the top 6 against Souths this weekend.
3 Davo (24 important runs and 4-44)
2 Sammy (52. Great dig)
1 Wes (not wessing about in 2s. 38 and kept very well in trying conditions)
Not sure if we’re going to get anything from Dohers.
4s arrived at a hot Bark Huts Reserve after an uncomfortably hot drive that had followed an even more uncomfortably hot night's sleep. And it was still hot, so everyone sat in the sheds and waited for Skipper Demps to return from coin duties to let us know that he had once again lost the toss and we would be bowling, which he duly did. Out we trundled into the hot summer sun...
Strathfield started aggressively but it wasn't too long in before Joe Molloy struck with a hooping outy that looked to be going well down leg for a wide or five before bending back and clipping the outside of leg peg - pretty unplayable stuff. The other opener continued to have a go with some success, and the score moved along to 33 before Joey had number two in the bag with another potential wide straightening down the line and trapping the Gorilla #3 in front. Scotty entered the attack and used all his guile and cunning to bowl a straight one and pick up an LBW - Strathfield 3/39.
The score continued to roll along albeit at a bit of a crawl with Scotty and Franko doing a job with the pill after a brief spineless and pea-hearted spell from the Secretary. Frankenbit's persistence was rewarded with a pole, but the total continued to move upwards at 1 or 2 an over with one of the Gorillas setting himself to bat the innings. Cox and Sundstrom returned towards the end and managed to take a few wickets each to slow the late push for runs, and Strathfield ended up finishing on a seemingly inadequate 8/159 from their allotted 50 overs. Molloy (2/27), Sundstrom (2/34), Cox (2/44), Scott (1/15) and Frankish (1/38) each bowling 10 (or more) overs.
Skipper Demps sent out two men built to survive the desert heat in Sundstrom and Twomey. The score was moved along to 0/20 with some difficulty, but we then dug a hole for ourselves losing 4/7 with the openers, Potts and Lloyd back in the sheds. Demps and Dash recovered slightly but we again lost a flurry of wickets to find ourselves 9/69. The pitch was playing fine and although the ball was moving around a bit, it shouldn't have been such a difficult period to bat out. Franko and Joey Molloy staved off the inevitable for 10 or so overs before Joey attempted to belt a spinner out of the ground for what I'm presuming would be his first ever maximum, but instead he was bowled, definitely not for the first time ever. Franko remained a comfortable 10 not from 31 balls, our highest scorer for the innings while Joey managed 7 from 34 balls - you don't win many games when your legs eleven faces the most deliveries of any batsman in the side. Rolly polled for 86 to give up a bonus point as well.
Not a great result obviously - expect better against the Bunnies next week.
Sky Muppeteers vs Georges River Sharks at the Home of Cricket
Collecting little red balls from little front lawns does not a gardener make
Gardening (in cricketing parlance): <http://dictionary.reference.com/audio.html/lunaWAV/G00/G0051700>
1. To bowl rubbish. To bowl pies. To offer afternoon delight to the opposing team.
2. To be heavily despatched over the fence and the batsmen is rewarded with 6 runs.
3. To continually collect balls from neighbouring gardens after the sneaky little jaffa has left the field of play via the aerial route.
4. To spend the afternoon chasing balls far and wide.
5. To spend so much time in the neighbouring gardens that you may as well be their resident gardener.
With South Sydney comfortably holding down 1st spot in TCC, there are 4 sides battling for 3 spots in the lead up to the finals. LCCC had the chance to move into second place on Sunday, but sadly missed out on taking the biscuits.
Kym Nevdashian won a rare toss and with Sunday morning still holding some leftover heat from Sat-dee naaaate, promptly decided to have a bat. Lost a few early doors with Boob getting a ball that didn’t bounce to go LBW. This writer played a shot too early to be caught at mid-off despite being ridiculously good looking whilst bringing sexy back. Then we lost the Guvnor and Stevie Cay Hooner quick sticks. This left Punches O’Haylen (surviving the first week sans Mrs and a cramping hand) and Nevdashian to consolidate. Both were working very hard in trying conditions to steady the ship and took their time to get settled.
Seeing off the opening bowlers they were just starting to pick up the run rate before Nevdashian (who toiled long and hard to get himself set) got a molly-grubber and went LBW. Few more quick wickets with the Sheik of Zeek, Boggle and Punches going cheaply bought new comer Aryeh Gluck to the crease who doinked away tidily and bares a striking resemblance to a LCCC stalwart in Christopher ‘Stypey’ Granger before losing his wicket also. This left us in the comfortable position of 9-55 with Errol Flynn and Broydy at the crease. Great batting frustrated the opposition for the 10th wicket and saw the boys bat to the 40-odd over mark and get the score (somehow) to 107 for a 52 run 10th wicket stand. Well done lads.
At least 107 was something we could bowl to. We’ve bowled sides out for less before but it’s a big ask. Into the field, we missed an adjacent LBW early doors that was our only real chance and despite Georges River losing a couple of poles and LCCC using 8 bowlers we just didn’t have enough runs to defend and lost the Tim Tams.
Simple cricket – not enough runs. All batsmen (bar the #10 and #11) failed on Sunday which is something we’ll need to work on. A great side on paper doesn’t get the points and if we’d had just 2 scores from the first 9 batsmen we’d be defending 180 odd and I’m sure TWIC would be a vastly different report. In the end, we weren’t good (….enough??....) and were beaten soundly. So this leaves us in 5th position still and with a lot of work to do to cement a spot in the finals. Only 12 points (2 wins) seperates 2nd – 5th spot on the ladder so all is still achievable.
In local news, at one point in the match we had to fetch a few balls from neighbouring gardens. Must have been an interesting weekend as some of the local residents started offering us tea and biscuits upon entering their front lawn. I’m guessing that there had been a few blue shirts attempting to collect jaffas from private residences over the weekend – but confusing us with the hired help and handing us whipper-schnippers to finish off the garden is a bit much. We’re doing our level best for the Coves and despite losing all 6 grades on the weekend we will fight back. And no – we will not be around to clean your pools in the backyard because we may be gardeners, but we’re not sailors.
(I like growning my sack-o-tomatoes in the nude)
3 – Broydy – had the tail wagging for the 10th wicket
2 – Flynny – wagged Broydys tail and kept wickets well
1 – Clarkey – bowled well with a pumpkin-heart as usual
24s rocked up to Trentallon for their last game of the season with the youngest 24s team we've fielded for as long as I can remember. Seven of the team members play in our U16/17 team and are going into either Year 9 or Year 10 this year, so it was always going to be a big ask for them to compete with players up to ten years their senior and we were up against the Two-Time Defending Premiers and Champions of the Woooooooorrrrrrrllllld in Strathfield to boot. Supplementing our young team was skipper Pete Gallichan, relatively old Benny Curran, and Shane Willoughby and Phil O'Byrne who were playing their last games in the Frank Gray competition.
With dicey weather due in the afternoon, Poit Gal won the toss and gambled, electing to bowl first in good batting conditions. O'B and Lachy Borg opened up, bowling tight lines and regularly beating the bat but they weren't able to make the breakthrough. Benny Curran came on and had immediate success - he bowled a handy 5 over spell of 3/15 to put Strathfield on the defensive at 3/39. Strathfield continued to build though, which lead to Pete Gallichan doing something no one else has ever thought to do at Lane Cove... give Shane Willoughby a trundle. After taking a wicket maiden first over, Pete was looking a genius. With 2/2 from 2 overs, Pete had a sloppy grin on his face and both hands behind playing a rapid drumroll on his back. After a 10 ball 3rd over that went for 9, the whirlwind romance was over and Pete promptly traded Shane gloves for ball - 2/11 from 3 overs for Shane, his figures for the day and his senior Covie career.
At 5/89, the boys had done brilliantly so far. Will Daly took the 6th wicket of the innings with the score on 104, but the Gorilla Skipper was still in and patiently building an innings, but he was eventually trapped in front by Poit Gal for a well-made 71 with the score on 143. Lachy Borg came back into the attack to try and finish the innings, and he almost did it in style, removing the #9 with a ball that jagged and found the edge through to Willo, repeating the trick on the #10 bat next ball before the #11 edged on the bounce to 3rd slip on the hattrick ball and was nearly de-pegged last ball of the over. The last Gorilla batsman was batting well and hit a few clean ones to the fence before Poit Gal had his second wicket and the last of the innings to dismiss Strathfield for 189 in the 46th over.
O'B and the Sprattling strode out to begin the Cove's chase as the skies darkened and the wind picked up. A solid start by the two was undone by some good stump-to-stump bowling as Spratty (4) was trapped in front before O'B (5) squeezed one on to his stumps. Poit Gal looked in ominous form with a couple of super shots into / over the fence before one got a bit big on him and he was caught at cover - 3/29. Kiran Dindayal joined Liam McElduff at the crease as the kids came to the fore, and the two put on 40 runs with some sensible batting and strong strokeplay - Kiran in particular harsh on the Gorilla's 2nd Grade spinner as he launched him back over his head for 3 boundaries in a couple of overs. Kiran was bowled for 23 after looking solid and composed throughout his stay with the score on 69, and Liam was later trapped in front for a tidy 12 after occupying the crease for over an hour in tough conditions. Will Daly - as always, in a hurry - played a few cracking shots before also falling LB while Lachy and Benny Curran each looked comfortable before edging to the keeper. Pirenu and Jack Ryan came together with the score at 8/91, pushing and working singles until the rain came in a sudden torrent.
Around 30 minutes were spent with the teams playing with covers before we could resume, where Pirenu had a couple of opportunities to showcase his batting talents with a few deliveries classily flicked off the pads to the square leg boundary. He was eventually out to a great snare by the keeper for 17, he and Jack putting on 29 for the 9th wicket. Shane joined Jack in the middle and the score was moved along to 126 before Jack was dismissed to end the Covie innings 64 runs short of the target. A disappointing result but an encouraging performance from a very young side.
Congratulations to Strathfield on the win and good luck in the upcoming finals run. Thanks to everyone who came down to watch and support the boys - hopefully there'll be plenty more occasions to do so in the future!
El Fat Secretario