First Grade Report: Lane Cove V Pennant Hills
It was Christmas Eve…
Heading into Round 7 we were one spot clear of Burwood on the ladder, with a great opportunity to consolidate our spot and head into the Christmas break on top.
The day started well, winning the toss and bowling on a deck that whilst looking very green was also expected to be relatively flat.
Young Joey Scarcella teamed up with the veteran Cameron Eve to send down a ruthless opening spell, and Penno were in trouble early at 3 for not many at all. Evey as per usual only had a few overs in him and Richo was brought on to immediate effect and we were well on top with the new ball seaming around a bit.
The only bat for Penno who showed any resistance was Yon (the artist formerly known as Gibbons) who hit the ball pretty cleanly and finished up with 75. Penno were 8-110 but once again the tail wagged and we struggled to clean them up (even Naughton was warming up). Bezer recovered from a disastrous first over to clean up the tail and the target was set at 165 to win.
Pick of the bowlers were Joey (2/28), Evey (2/33), and Richo (2/30). Wes gloved them really well and took 5 catches.
We were confident of getting the total which we believed was a sub-par score. To Penno’s credit they came out and produced a quality spell of new ball bowling, getting the ball in the right areas and ripping through our top order. All of a sudden we were 5/37 and the total was looking a long way away.
Enter Eve and Crazy Joe Devola. Penno were trying to get into Devola’s head… little did they know it was completely wasted as there’s no room for anything else going on inside there and he powered on with his first 7 scoring shots being boundaries. Eve and Devola quickly took the game away from Penno, scoring 8+ an over and racing to 150 before Devola missed a straight one on 64 (52 of those in boundaries).
Eve finished with a quality 55* and we passed the total pretty comfortably in the end, 6 wickets down and a bonus point in the bag.
Looking forward to Twenty20 next week where we have a full side for the first time this year with Cossie and SPOTY back.
3 Eve
2 Devola
1 Scarcella
Second Grade Report: Lane Cove V Pennant Hills
As the clouds of boobery gathered…..
They don’t call this time of year the silly season for nothing. Arriving at the graveyard of cricket, Pennant Hills Oval we were greeted by the little athletics teams still throwing their javelins and discuses. Along with all of us rolling up late, this disruption did not help with our non existent warm up.
From there the day didn’t really improve. I lost the toss again, on the second toss mind you, as the first toss the coin sat up straight on its edge! Couple of lessons there for the Penno skipper – toss on the pitch and don’t use a 50 cent coin!
The wicket looked attractive if you were Black Caviar or an eighties porn star -furry and chaff like at one end and bald and moist at the other. Nonetheless we were batting first on it.
Skipper got us off to a good start facing the first over then departing, followed closely by Mees, score 2 for 2. Rixon and Superbat dug in to get a 50 plus partnership up before both holed out with in minutes of each other in very similar circumstances. 4 for 52, still in the game at this point.
A brief cameo from Fish and Davo got the score close to triple figures before departing and the tail on this fine Saturday was not to wag. All out for 105, easily our worst display of batting for the year as the scoreboard reflected.
With not much to defend Sneaky and Pirenu did there best opening up the bowling having the batsmen play and miss a lot without a lot of luck. Edges flying everywhere except to fieldsmen. At 2/31 we were a show as anything can happen in second grade.
However a strong partnership of 60 almost put any thought of an upset out of our minds. That was until Farmer was thrown the ball. A fired up Farmer ripped in and took three quick wickets to give us a sniff.
However it was to be too little too late, not enough runs to defend made the job for the bowlers impossible as did our poor fielding and enthusiasm.
Cricket was definitely not the winner on the day.

Can we give points to the little athletes?
Third Grade Report: Lane Cove V Pennant Hills
The first one dayer of the year brought more hate to cricket for your beleaguered 3rd Grade Skipper. After a comprehensive warm up (thanks to Charlie) We won the toss and decided to bowl.  This decision came on the train of thought “that we have won nothing batting first – lets do the opposite). 
It was warm and sticky when Charlie and Skip took the pill to start the day. Charlie bowled great early doors while skip was less than impressive and after a short time took himself off for the “steam train” Molloy. Benny Chiarella also came back to play his token game and bowled and fielded pretty well until the inevitable break down occurred in his 7th over.  Groin gone….no one surprised.
Penno batted pretty well but our bowling was very good. Only 10 wides for the innings. Our fielding, unfortunately, let us down with 5 dropped catches….as they say catches win matches….don’t think we have worked that one out yet.  We were able to restrict them for 187 with Skip and Charlie both taking 3 wickets.
After being buoyant at the run target we were keen for a quick start. This unfortunately did not happen as Porky was poled around his legs…off his thigh guard for a duck. Shaneo and “the groin” then looked pretty good until groiny had a swipe and was caught for a well made 13. Liam came and went for 16 and the middle order decided to have their weekly collapse. With shaafs, Kelleher and Clarke going very cheaply, skip was about to chuck in the towl…retire hurt…walk home and never return. The score was 8 for 68. Captains mood was improved slightly at the sight of Charlie, Schooner and Molloy putting on 80ish for the last two wickets. 1 from 7 to start the season. 
Lets have an enjoyable 20/20 and have some Christmas beverages watching 1s t grade and then hit the circuit!!!! Anyone on whites???? Charlie???
Cheers le bog  - still hating cricket since the retirement of Skinny
Fourth Grade Report: Lane Cove V Pennant Hills

With Dempsey deciding to take a sabbatical to write up lists of former and current first grade and first class players to help with the defence of the premiership, he handed the reigns to Southcott knowing he would be restricted to bowling himself for just the 10 overs. A team was eventually put together after Peter Cross, Matt McKenzie, Luke O’Connor and Brett Lee all declined to answer the call up, and Ricky Ponting had some other commitments. 

A win was crucial to stay in touch with sixth place Pennant Hills, and despite rocking up to an oval surrounded by parents living vicariously through their children, the boys were fired up and ready to go at the adjusted guaranteed start time of 11am. Unfortunately, Pennant Hills Cricket hadn’t told Pennant Hills Little Athletics about this, and after everyone had ice creams and BBQ’s, the high jump mats were removed from the ground, allowing play to commence at the ungodly hour of 11:40am.

The change of captain brought about the same result with the coin, however, no damage was done as the Covies thought that chasing any score would be preferable to trying to defend whatever they could muster prior to being bowled out while fielding restrictions were still in place. 

Xavier got off to a flying start, contributing the first 6 or 7 runs before the opener spooned a ball to Dindayal, taking a good catch at point. Enter the square leg umpire, who couldn’t wait to enter the game… “I couldn’t really see it but I wasn’t convinced” …. Um, who asked you?. Eventually a breakthrough came as the other opener skied one, while the next 22 overs were spent watching balls being taken from a foot outside off stump to land somewhere between square leg and the two mid wickets. Anything over this was clearly too wide to play this shot to, and as such was added to Xavier’s tally. Winning the toss and bowling would have been much worse at 1/171. A moral victory perhaps?

Following the second drinks break, the boys really picked up, and good spells from Darren Delaney and Rafe Aman saw the wickets tumble, in between the third man boundary being peppered. 45 overs and 7/245 was a far better target to chase than the 300 plus it could have been.

During the break Sundstrom mentioned that he was rather sick of being at Pennant Hills, especially after being made to wait in the line for Mr Whippy earlier in the day. With every intention of getting off to a quick start, he unfortunately played out 2 dot balls in the opening over, which was restricted to just the 10 runs. With Southcott looking like a genuine fourth grade passenger at the other end, Sundstrom decided to show off some actual cricket shots he’d learnt, taking the score to 28 after 3 overs, and 43 after 5.

Clearly bored with this hit and giggle, Geof decided to put his head down and grind out a meaningful innings. The 10 deliveries from the next over went for just the 30 runs, bring up Geof’s half-century from a painstakingly and uncharacteristically slow 21 deliveries.

Cotty, Skinny and Bremner departed in quick succession, as the run rate slipped under 10, with Dindayal pointing out slow loopy full tosses should not get anyone out. Two balls later – pack ‘em, don’t count your chickens, bat the overs, you know the drill, out for 22. We were only half way there, and four down. 

Reigning fourth grade batsman of the year Aman and his season batting average of 5.8, and new young recruit Max Westacott were tasked with the job of continuing the chase. Rank full tosses were no match for Max, who has a liking for bottom handed cross bat shots that prevent much running between the wickets. Three into the fence and one over it, before being caught on the fence at very, very long odds. 

Enter Darren Delaney, still fuming from the earlier umpiring efforts, and determined to see the side home.  In between the disputes about the back foot no-ball rule, he and Rafe batted very well, keeping the good balls out while despatching the bad deliveries to put on an unbroken 92 partnership in 13 overs. Rafe was unluckily stranded on 49 not out, as Daz finished on 36, with a flurry of boundaries. 

This was a great win, under difficult circumstances, and sets a platform to charge into sixth place by round 14. Well played to all the boys, and let’s make sure we repeat the dose in the T20.

Has anyone heard from Dempsey? Last I heard, he was enjoying the sea breeze.


Muppy cuppy Report: Lane Cove V Uni NSW

Schnooner Chuner here. What a stich up. After in infamous “One Fat Man Too Many” incident against Club Mac last year the red beared one vowed not to captain again. Little was I to know that the fat skip was too busy dusting his little joint after a dinner party to come battle the Bee Men of UNSW. Nether the less, ever the team man, decided to back up from a shellacking in 3rds to captain the mighty mupateers as they took on the high flying UNSW at the very picturesque Village Green on Sunday.
After playing a few games in fifths this year I decided that there was some lack of leadership from the fat skip, so decided to get the mixture of young juniors at fat old blocks to have a vigorous warm up which was rather a change for them. Many a grumble was heard mutter, especially from the big man peter griffin who found it quite difficult to catch, stretch and run round the oval while having his customary warm up of four darts and a can of red bull. Needless to say the boys reacted well to the warm up and were fired up to take to the field to have a ball after continuing the tradition of losing the toss.
The new ball was bowled beautifully buy the Broyd Man, who bowled good tight lines with pace that the mupateers are a little unused to. He snared an early LB after a number of very close shouts and the big boys felt something they were not really used to, they were on top! When the new boy, Mitch “pretty boy” Koureas snaring a wicket in his first over in fifth grade after replacing the left arm windmills of Cosmo at the other end, the boys even decided to attack and have three slips. I am not sure how they fitted behind the stumps but they were all there. When the second drop smashed on to Sprucy that was heard in the herderies but given not out the boys were pumped, bowling tight lines and giving nothing in the field.
Unfortunately that’s where it ended. Even though we restricted them to 3/101 at the 31st, this was the signal for the students to hit out, one of them scoring the worst 105* you have ever seen, they put on 104 for the last 9 overs with them fishing 4/205. Good effort in the field all in all, put down some catches when we were under the pump but still buoyant about giving the fun chase a good shot.
In short fifth grade aint what it used to be. The young quick that opened up had the fat man at square leg struggling to see the ball as it whizzed past Cosmos and Sprucy’s face. Young Max Magee, the prodigal son, who has a little third grade experience agreed with me that 3 of their five seam bowlers were as good as anything in thirds if not better. It is no wonder that these guys are up the top of the comp.
I am thinking the the motivational speech before the game really worked as the mupateers didn’t actually bat all that bad. With good showings from Spruce, Max Magee, Little Joey Unwin and some late hitting from the Master Chef Delaney and yours truely the not so fat men of fifth grade scored a respectable 165 in trying conditions with bad light rain showers and tight quick bowling from the students.
All in all, things are looking up for the mupateers for a late run at the finals starting with the Tailenders this week in the twenety/20.
3 – Broyd Man
2 – Maximus
1  - Joe “you will get bigger one day”  Unwin

Under 24’s: Lane Cove V Auburn
As 8:30am came, Cox’s heroes were turning up for a beautiful day of under 24s cricket, with Hoody giving some of the great gee up speeches seen here in these parts. Cox and Joe arrived and copped tier 1 late fines with the usual glazed look suggesting the usual Saturday night sequence of pint pint shot pint SICK was maintained.
Big Cox won the toss and had no hesitation in batting. After a solid warm up led by none other than Big Corny.... Ahem... We were fired up to get Lane Cove’s first under 24s victory since January 2009 and get some respect and winning mentality back into the side.
Brad Finnigan and Pirenu batted smart to get us to 59 before Brad’s pegs were toppled over. Congrats to both boys for getting us off to a great start and setting a terrific platform to build upon. Kieran noodled his way to 7 before spooning one and Daly’s pegs were gone before troubling the scorers. Enter: Rixon
Messrs Rixon and Nirmalendran put on a record 125 for the fourth wicket in what can be described as unchartered territory! Some cagey bowling led to some glorious fours over mid on and covers as well as some not so glorious runs through the infamous John Lloyd V!
Pirenu batted very well with 40 singles to end up with 54, though seriously dude, what’s the deal with your fitness? A few less zinger burgers buddyyy.
Though some great running between the wickets to put pressure on the field and good chat to keep each other going for that big total. Rixon made a glorious 109 after being controversially given not out stumped with his bat in the air on 20 with the shot of the day being a cover drive for 6 on bended knee #whatasight. Paying tribute, his hundred was brought up in true Lane Cove fashion, edging through slips for four!
Joe and Liam made very handy contributions at the end with 18 and 19* respectively to bring us to 6/269 off 50 overs (You simply must baaaat the overs)
Alec and Joe opened up the attack bowling very good areas getting early break throughs as well as arguably the greatest ever delivery by Joe to bowl out their skipper on a no ball. Overall, we bowled very well to get them to 9/134 and dropped off to allow them to get an extremely cagey 214.
Poles were shared around with Joe, Alec and Liam picking up 2 each with Cox, Pirenu and Daly contributing with them ball as well.
All in all boys, a bloody top effort with a lot of emphasis from the club on this game as well as expectation. It was great to see everyone lift in this one and is a great starting point to get some momentum.
3 – Rixon
2 – Pirenu
1 - Brad