2011/12: 4th Grade Premiership Review

Lane Cove - 4th Grade Premiers 2011/12
Back row (from left) - Brian Scott, Rafe Aman, Alex Maxwell, Ben Arnall, Alex Southcott, Jackson Sargeant
Front row (from left) - Chris Wing, Darren Delaney, Daniel French, Bryan Dempsey, Mark Schaafsma

After and despite 29 years of indoctrinated failure, Lane Cove Cricket Club are now the proud owners of our first ever 4th Grade Premiership.  Skipper Bryan Dempsey ably led his side to victory over Epping in the Grand Final, bringing to fruition two years of toil, sweat and beers.  Having finished 6th after the end of the preliminary rounds, Demps and the boys came through the hard way with a 2 wicket victory over Minor Premiers Strathfield in the Qualifying Final - having spent the entirety of day 1 collecting and dumping water from the square - followed by a nail-biting win over a strong Macquarie Uni in the Semi Final.

Road to the Final

Round 1
Lane Cove 4/238  def  Epping 120 & 91 outright
A Dodds 68 & 4/19
A Knapp 52*
B Dempsey 35
B Hood 30*
B Scott 3/13
Round 2
Lane Cove 4/253  def  Pennant Hills 178
P Ritchie 100* & 4/39
J Rixon 69
S Willoughby 38*

Round 3
Lane Cove 127  def by  Macquarie Uni 161 & 2/85
M Dwyer 5/62

Round 4
Lane Cove 65 & 62  def by  Strathfield 9/194 outright
B Chiarella 5/56

Round 5
Lane Cove 4/120 
def  Roseville 117
R Aman 35
B Dempsey 33*
B Broyd 3/10
S Dunn 3/31

Round 6
Lane Cove 183 
def by  Burwood 5/217
R Aman 37

Round 7
Lane Cove 206 
def  South Sydney 115
M Schaafsma 66
A Southcott 3/19

Round 8
Lane Cove 6/89 
def  South Sydney 87
B Arnall 42
A Southcott 3/16
B Scott 3/20

Round 9
Lane Cove 8/257 
def by  Lindfield 9/258
C Wing 65
B Dempsey 52
A Southcott 37 & 4/47

Round 10
Lane Cove 4/169 
def  Georges River 80 & 29 outright
A Southcott 44
A Maxwell 40
C Wing 40*
J Sargeant 5/13
D Delaney 4/11
B Scott 3/2
Round 11
Lane Cove 
drew  NW Sydney

Round 12
Lane Cove 212 
def by  Southern Districts 5/216
R Aman 38

Round 13
Lane Cove 0/30 
drew Warringah 172
J Camarsh 4/39

Round 14
Lane Cove 5/252 
def  Auburn 250
A Southcott 89
R Aman 61
B Dempsey 30*
D Delaney 3/52

5 5 1
NW Sydney 2 8 3
1 - 70
Epping 1 8 2 1 2 57 1.06
Burwood 1 7 3 3 - 50 1.66
Macquarie Uni      1
7 3
2 1 50 1.30
Lane Cove 2
2 4
1 49 1.39
Lindfield 1 5 2 6 - 40 1.07
Sthn Districts 1 5 1 5 2 38 0.73
South Sydney 2 2 1 6 3 33 0.76
Warringah - 5 1 7 1 30 0.87
Georges River - 4 2 7 1 24 0.74
Roseville - 4 3 4 3 24 0.72
Auburn 1 1 3 9 - 16 0.88
Pennant Hills - 1 1 9 3 6 0.48

Qualifying Final
Lane Cove 8/91 
def  Strathfield 87
B Arnall 42*
J Camarsh 6/39

Semi Final

Lane Cove 95
& 6/142  def  Macquarie Uni 94 & 9/195
C Wing 37* & 65
R Aman 34
C Bezer 4/14 & 3/47
B Scott 3/28
J Sargeant 3/40

Grand Final Review

4th Grade came in to the match full of confidence after grinding out tough wins against Minor Premiers Strathfield and the evergreen Macquarie Uni side in the first two finals.  Southcott, Maxwell and Delaney came in for Lloyd, Camarsh and Bezer as enforced changes due to 3rd Grade's inevitable demise.  Tunks #1 was again looking fantastic and with the pitch looking a superb batting surface, the toss was going to be critical.  Sadly for Lane Cove, it was not to be as Dempsey called wrong once again and the Pingers captain rubbed his hands together with glee.  "We'll have a bowl", he said.  "You'll have a BOWL!?", Rupert what?  Dempsey swiftly shook hands and vacated the scene of the crime.  Well played Dempsey, well played.
So Southcott and Schaafsma strolled out to face the music.  The Pingers bowlers were hooping the ball sharply and it was tough going early doors with plenty of rocks beating the bat.  Cotty tired of this and launched a half volley back past the bowler for 4.  He sent a few more deliveries hurtling to the fence before tickling one down leg with the score on 28.  Last year's hero Rafe was out shortly after with the score still on 28 before we lost Schaafs to a ball that swung in viciously to rattle the pegs - 3/36.  Chris Wing joined Benny Arnall in the middle and the two counter-attacked with gusto, going after anything full, short or on the pads.  Wingy unfortunately hit a short one straight to square leg when he looked set for a score, bringing Skipper Demps to the crease with the score on 69.  The two were set to take us to lunch with no further loss when Dempsey tried to launch one over long on and lost his castle.  5/115 at lunch with the Epping skipper looking a prescient genius.
That ended in the following session when Benny and Maxy combined for one of the great Lane Cove partnerships.  Coming together with the score at 109, the two took the momentum away from Epping with superb strokeplay, good running between the wickets and solid defence.  In the session and a half the two batted together, they only gave one tough chance when Benny drove hard and low to mid off.  Otherwise the ball rarely hit anything other than the middle of the bat as the two put on 199 runs - a Club record for the 6th wicket - when Maxy snicked one to the keeper for a strangely chanceless 120.  As often happens with large partnerships, we lost a few quick wickets afterwards as Frenchy drilled one straight to mid off, Daz went for quick runs and was pegged and Benny finally holed out for what would prove to be a match-winning 139.  Demps pulled the boys in at 9/344 after nearly 100 overs, giving the bowlers 14 overs to have a crack at the Pingers.
Jackson Sargeant and Darren Delaney opened up, and after Daz sent his first pill down the wrong pitch, the next one hooped back in and cleaned up middle peg.  A few overs later he was back in action at cover, snaring a sharp chance off Jackson to send back the other opener - 2/6 early doors.  The Pingers 3 and 4 saw them safely to stumps with no further loss, but the Coves left the happier side having made early inroads.
Day 2 started solidly for Epping.  The batsmen looked comfortable on a flat track and were keeping the scoreboard ticking over nicely.  Jacko got one to duck back in nicely to trap the #3 in front, and when Rafe found the edge of one of their best bats, the Covie boys were threatening to wrap the game up early doors at 4/33.  Wilkins and Barkat batted sensibly though and saw the quicker bowlers off.  The ball was stopped ducking around and it became a tough slog for the bowling side.  It eventually took a slow, straight one from Cotty to bring Wilkins undone, LBW for a confident 41.  The Epping captain came to the crease - possibly with a point to prove - and immediately began doinking balls to and over the boundary.  He rode his luck a bit but certainly hit them well.  Southcott, Scott and Dempsey all copped a bit of punishment before tea, but Scotty broke through at the other end to give us something to hang our hat on at tea with the 6th wicket down.
The Pingers skip resumed his carvery after tea, continuing to blast his side towards the 344 runs required.  The Coves fought back and began to winkle away at the other end, with Scotty snaring the #8 with the score on 185 and Rafe picking up the #9 at 228.  The Pingers skip raised his century in the meantime (just 66 rocks required) with a straight bomb that just eluded Daz on the boundary.  Overs later though he finally fell, mistiming a drive where Wingy took a good catch diving forward.  The last wicket fell to Rafe as the last Pingers batsman skied the ball and appropriately it was Benny Arnall positioned underneath it with safe hands to end the innings.
Fantastic result for 4th Grade, especially given Demps and the boys' work during the first final.  Spent a day at Strathfield sponging water off the deck when a washout for the weekend was well and truly on the cards.  Fairy tale results since then and a well deserved Premiership two years in the making.  Well done lads.  Only disappointment for the weekend was Benny Arnall being robbed of the Norm Smith!
Final Scorecard