Top of the pop’s clash!
First up after Christmas a big battle loomed against Auburn who were sitting just 2 points behind us in second place.
Club Dub was a no show in the morning, and as a result the pitch was extremely well covered with grass, reminiscent of the great Canberra Raiders team of 1994. The deck was hard and flat with good pace, but certainly was going to reward the bowlers if they got it in the right areas.
Won the toss and sent Auburn in. Big Donny Rose wasn’t sure of the decision though… “Interesting tactic to send us in”… obviously hasn’t seen much of Tantallon before.
Scarcella and Eve opened up and as per usual got us off to a flyer. Auburn 5/29 off 15 overs, Eve in particular unplayable and taking the first 4 poles. The only real resistance was their opener who made 47, and the tail chipped in to reach 132 off 45 overs and set a competitive total.
Pick of the bowlers was Evey (5/25 off 10) and Joey (1/16 off 9), with Richo burgling 3 poles and Wes having a good day behind the stumps.
Some costly boobery then ensued in the break:
-          The youngster unable to fulfil his Duckworth Lewis printing duties only for Don Rose to come to the rescue
-          Smyth’s Zooper Doopers being at very questionable freezing levels
-          Richo’s attempt at a bunch of grapes
The chase almost got off to a terrible start, with Gump doing extremely well to pick out third man on the first ball of the innings, only to see the Auburn number 11 grass the chance and give him a life.
Gump and Naughton got through the first few overs and took the score to 60 odd before the Gump nicked off to bring Pete G to the crease. The Auburn skipper came into the attack and a few Lick Me boundaries later the game was pretty much gone at 1/72 and 60 odd to get.
Auburn got back into the game after Naughton spooned one to cover for 50 and Jacko and Pete had a mix-up and all of a sudden we were 3/80 and the Eagles had a sniff. Richie G joined Pete at the crease and the game spiced up a bit, with some very angry humans out on the field and a lot of banter going on (even some friendly fire from the Auburn lads).
The big unit didn’t last long, and Evey joined junior Gal at the crease still with 40 odd to get.
Eve decided running between the wickets wasn’t necessary and proceeded to hit 3 bombs and 2 fours to race to 30  not out and wrap up the game inside 30 overs and secure the bonus point.
The win leaves us sitting 8 points clear at the top with 4 games to play until finals.
3 Eve
2 Naughton
1 Richardson

9 times out of 10 bat first… the other time think about bowling, then bat!
First game back for the year and all of us were very excited, especially with the prospect of traveling to all stops to Auburn.
After some ingenious thought we decided it was best to park all of our cars in against each other– just to ensure they were still there post match.
With the formalities out of the way a quick warm up was then spoken about and a toss was made. Which I may add I won, no doubt showing this year is going to be an improvement.
With the threat of extreme heat around and a severe bashing, not to mention a number of less than fit specimens in the team (that’s you Pirenu) I decided we should bat. Besides, that’s our strength – bat the 50 and close out the match. Simple game with a simple plan.  
Taking centre and needing a shovel to retrieve my spikes the thought did cross my mind that I may have got this wrong and we should be fielding. Back in the sheds shortly after with three bruises and a hand full of runs I was definitely thinking we should have fielded! Alas, I had full confidence that we could bat the overs and win. Why wouldn’t I? It’s our strength!
A steady start saw us get to 20 before I lost my wicket, shortly followed with the second wicket of Superbat with the score on 28. Mick, I said I wouldn’t mention that you holded out to short mid on from a slow slow full toss and I am a man of my word – not a peep. This put Fish and Corny together in the middle.
Both batting patiently on a tricky wicket (its good practice ok!) before Fish missed a pearl (I think that is code for a straight nude one) of a delivery to be bowled for 7. A good partnership of 30 odd with Corny and score traveling along nicely enough at 69!
The next partnership between Corny and Pirenu again put on about 30 odd before Corny was caught at first slip courtesy of a Schwarzer effort from the Auburn keeper tipping it over the post. Corny really doing a job for us seeing off the new ball bowlers and being patient to hold the innings together to that point. Making a well made 33 along the way on a tricky wicket. (Alright alright, may have got the toss wrong).
Pirenu then took it upon himself to anchor the innings and with a cameo from Cox (no, that is not an error) ensured we batted out the overs (again, not an error) and got the total to 190. Pirenu finishing not out 43, closing the innings out with a maximum, and Cox a very handy 26 from 26 pills. A pretty competitive total on a tricky wicket.
Bez and Sneak opened proceedings with the ball and Bez showed why he is the leading wicket taker in second grade promptly bowling no less than 4 wides in his first spell and going for plenty. Sneaky Pete on the other hand, or pit stop Pete as he may be known as now, had figures of 3 for 14 after his 8 over spell ripping the top order apart to have us in control of the match.
Pirenu was having a good day at this point so I decided it was time for him to have a bowl. 4 balls later Pirenu was snippered from the crowd and went down with cramps. Yes cramps, not crabs Alex and yes apparently a 17 year old can cramp – who knew hey. With the ensuing confusion and Pirenu being carried off the field Farmer and Cox bowled well together to take the game away from Auburn, snaring 3 wickets between them.
Feeling sorry for Bez and running out of bowling options I gave the ball back to him to finish off the tail. Bez then proceeded to burgle (ala Bwett Dickardson) his way from having figures of 0/24 to 3/30 restoring what little dignity he has left and saving himself from a call from James Clarke mid week.
So, after all of this, we managed to bat the overs (yes Jurrnn), win the match and gain a bonus point in the process. Well done boys, great solid team effort. Thanks to Pirenu, Corny and Cox with the bat and Pit stop Pete and Farmer with the ball.  
See, I told you batting was our strength.   
2 Sneaky
2 Pirenu
1 Cox
1 Corny

THIRD GRADE REPORT: Lane Cove v Auburn
The 7/30 Report: (thanks to skinny for title)
My most sincerest apologies for not sending this report out last week but there has been a few circumstances that have arisen so was not able to complete it. Most gravest apologies to Pussy Boyle and Skinny for whom reading TWIC is essential to living.
Anyway we rocked up to Longy after the Christmas Break full of pudding and ale from the festive broo haha. As it was meant to be a million degrees Celsius the groundsman thought it wise to turn the square into lake Eyre during la Nina. Water everywhere when covers when down…..the next morning…no sign of a pitch….15 inches of grass and damp. So what are we going to do… toss……bat!
Porky and Whilloughby opened the batting. In the first few overs porky tried to play in his forward V and got caught behind for 0….on whites ppl. I must watch for next sat for all LCCC faithful.
 I must say the pitch was doing everything…seaming, swinging, angry auburn men getting enraged. Daly, O’hare, phelps and schaafs went for single figures and the score was 5 for 48. More hell was to come when hipkin (another quack) and Clarke went cheaply. The skip was in another deep depression at the score sank at 8 for 68. He sent txt msg to all other skips on a planed suiside.
Corny and brothers King brought the score to a little respectability.
All out for 100 in 28 overs. Special mention must go to our best batsman Xavier Tras for scoring 38. A wonderful knock. Elegant, sublime.
So with nothing to lose the covies prepared (after a very silly lunch
break) for slaughter.
The Auburn openers did pretty well, although they saw the pitch and thought hitting would be the best option instead of getting out via pitch, to be at 28 for no wicket. Up stepped skip and got the first one LBW must to the disgust of the Auburn batsman. After been topped edged for six a couple of times Hipkin was replaced with Corny coming on with immediate effect. Their number 3 caught at mid off. Skip then got into his stride with 4 bowled, 1 lbw, 1 c&b and one catch to have the covies tantalisingly close to an unlikely victory. Corny bowled very well and was rewarded with a second wicket and a run out.
But just as it looked like the covies would get the victory skip send down some short sh@t and got pumped for consecutive sixes. With needing 12 to win skip luckily got under the bat of their middle order doinker for his best figures for LCCC 7/30 from 9.1. Auburn all out for 88 in 19.1 overs.
A very odd game as we were finished before the official change of innings.
3 – Skip – 7 for 30
2 – Corny – 18 valuable runs and 2 for 30
1 – Xavier Tras – Could have done it without him.
Cheers le bog

ROUND 14 - Rudderless Muppets Vs Balmain Tigers

So once again with Fat Skip deciding that a night of dancing was a better idea than Cricket on a Sunday, the leadership reins of the mighty muppeters were picked up by a self-confessed covey Legend, Zeek the Greek Tzikas.
The day started out well until we realised the sudden dearth of any bowlers faster than Fat Man off Spin Pace. A bowl off was completed in the ridiculous excuse for a warm up and it was decided that Kareem in his first game of 5ths and yours truly would take up the new rock. To everyone’s amazement, the old scriverhands was ok, even if the fat skip did warn during the week that I bowled disgusting off spin, the old meds were working well.
So out we doodled to the middle under grey sky’s (or was it the cloud of smoke from the regular 5th grade warm up, I am not sure) to take on the reigning premiers as they won the Toss (good to see you kept up the tradition of losing every possible toss Marty) and choose to bat. Apart from Spruce the Goose at keeper, the rest of the Cordon was the biggest and ugliest I have seen. With stand in skip, the big man Pete Griffin in second, dastardly Dick in gully and the short but round English chap at point, I was thinking I would have to bowl at the leg side as nothing was getting stopped on the off.
To my great surprise (and everyone else’s), I am not a bad bowler if I do say so myself. Had the opener caught at second in the first over by the fat man. Great use of his extra weight to get down and squeeze those fat fingers of his under the ball before it bounced, or as Dastardly rick put it, “catch of the year so far, got down faster than the twin towers.” 1/1 best start to a game for the Covies all year. With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  bowling well at the other end this was a good start.
Second over for old Scriverhands, Pegs!!!. 2poles for the former 2ng grade stalwart -  good start. Good tight bowling and fantastic banter from myself and one Tiger cub followed. It was good solid fun until the youngster took offence to my constant barrage of verbal diarrhoea and decide to have a go at Big Marty in slips. He did decide to take on the wrong man with Marty pointing out that “I’m 6’2, 125Kg, who do you think will win this one you little Shit” great stuff there Zeek but I am sorry, if your 125Kg, the fat man in second is a super model.
Anyways, we had them at 4 for 70 odd at drinks and not looking too bad apart from one afore mentioned Tiger cub. Once again the Fat Man come to the fore. First over after lunch with new sensation Tom McKay sending down thunder bolts(get out from behind the bushes Bryan, hands off), aforementioned Tiger club tries to stroke one through the covers, healthy edge flew to fat man, half falling half diving, having running away from the ball, the Fat Man takes a screamer, one handed, behind him. Fat Man celebration ensues with the ball being spike, the bowlers hand almost broken with a high five and the young cub given a send-off will he stood there thinking “how the hell did he catch that”.
Not long after the rain came with an early tea being called. We did get back out into the field and had them all out for 170 in last over – and might I add I still looked amazing  in the old specticals. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 5th grade is the foundation of this club and has re-energised many a young Covie career. Schnitty re-started the career of Wesley when he took 3 poles in a 5’s match at Tanty – look at him now!! Scaling the heights of 1st grade as a specialist #11 keeper-batsmen. After my destruction of the Balmain top order in 5th grade I’d expect to see my career punch through the glass ceiling that has been holding me back all these years. I can see the articles being written now – drawing parallels in the cricketing careers of two of Lance’s finest - the great Wesley and the even greater Screech.
But the rain didn’t abate and in the end 6 points went missing as the fat old men of the Muppetters nearly had the reigning champs. Never mind, bounce back to normal form next week against the hapless Epping should bring up the spirits. Or absolutely destroy ours – which is far more likely.
Yours truly, and sexually
Edward Scrivenhands