2006/07 Frank Gray

2006/07: Frank Gray Premiership Review

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Finally!

Well, they did it.  Our Junior Coves at last managed to shake that monkey of many bad habits from their collective backs by defeating Auburn in the Frank Gray Final last Sunday, thus gifting the club its first ever Frank Gray Premiership.  For so longpretenders to the crown after gutting losses in finals and semi-finals over the last six seasons, it is a fantastic achievement to at last win the bloody thing after so many years of heart ache.


Road to the Final

Round 1
Lane Cove 3/160 def Strathfield 159

D.Naughton 80* & 3/16
M.Mackenzie 44 & 2/29
S.Rowe 3/24

Round 2
Lane Cove 5/333 def Warringah 100
D.Naughton 77
J.Bates 73* & 2/39
M.Mackenzie 64 & 2/14
C.Bezer 4/25

Round 3
Lane Cove 2/177 def Macquarie University 176
P.Brett 78
C.McKay 49
J.Bates 3/39

Round 4
Lane Cove 5/82 def Epping 75
C.McKay 25*
A.Dodds 4/21
M.Mackenzie 4/25

Round 5
Lane Cove 237 def Auburn 125
D.Naughton 61 & 4/14
C.McKay 35
M.Mackenzie 2/26

Round 6
Lane Cove 301 def South Sydney 116
D.Naughton 96
M.Mackenzie 46 & 8/32
P.Brett 44

Round 7
Lane Cove 202 def Burwood 192

D.Naughton 89
J.Bates 42
M.Mackenzie 3/26
S.Rowe 2/16

Club

Wins

Tied

Loss

No Res

Bonus

Points

Net RR

Lane Cove

7

10

52

3.46

Macquarie University

5

2

4

34

0.82

Southern Districts

5

2

3

33

-0.03

Georges River

4

1

2

3

30

0.35

Auburn

4

2

1

6

30

0.16

Strathfield

4

3

5

29

0.56

Lindfield

4

2

1

3

27

1.26

Burwood

3

4

3

21

0.62

Epping

3

3

1

1

19

-1.00

Warringah

2

5

3

15

-0.48

South Sydney

2

4

1

12

-1.55

Pennant Hills

1

1

4

1

9

-1.91

Roseville

1

5

1

1

7

-1.17

North West Sydney

7

0

-1.89

Quarter Final
Lane Cove 8/119 def Strathfield 117
J.Bates 29
M.Dean 18*
D.Naughton 3/15
S.Rowe 3/24

Semi Final
Lane Cove drew Macquarie University 5/88
M.Mackenzie 3/20
Grand Final Preview


Grand Final Review

The final was held at Airey Park in Strathfield, and on a humid day under dark skies the Auburn skipper won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat, slow track.  Dodds and Bezer opened up, with Bezer striking in his second over to have Auburn in early strife at 1-11.  Auburn knuckled down and grafted for around ten overs before Matt Mackenzie took a wicket with his second ball of the day, depegging the dangerous Cowan – who had taken some liking to Dodds’ lack of pace, seam and guile.  Mackenzie struck again in his next over, removing another first grader in Treloar who had thus far been the rock of the innings.  This latest setback left Auburn at 3/53 after sixteen overs, with Matt also claiming the Frank Gray Record for Wickets in a Season in his own right – 29 dismissals in 10 games at an average of 9.52.  Well in, Matty!

With change bowlers Bates and Mackenzie bowling in tandem, runs were hard to come by.  Bates had the dangerous Wood caught behind for 10, but Auburn then consolidated for a period, and at the 30 over mark were not out of the game at 4-77.  Burgling Naughton removed Donaldson with a sharp caught and bowled overs later, but at the other end Rowe was haemorrhaging runs at an excessive rate of six an over, even without his customary bag full of no balls.  Wickets continued to fall steadily, with small partnerships of 10 and 20 eventually lifting the Auburn total to 169 when the 10th wicket fell on the third ball of the final over.  Joel Bates was the pick of the bowlers with 3/25 off his 10.  Matt Mackenzie (2/31) took crucial wickets in his 10 over spell, while Skipper Naughton plied his usual trade of thieving late wickets to finish with 3/22 from 7.3 overs.

In an effort to get things moving, Joel Bates was sent out to open the batting with the usual incumbent Phil Brett.  There was a small setback in the plan with Batesy driving one straight to cover in the third over – out for 3.  Cam McKay was the victim of a good snare in the cordon three overs later, and the Coves were now in early trouble at 2/15.  Mackenzie and Brett steadied the ship with a partnership of 38 before Matty (25 off 32) was dismissed LBW to end an excellent little cameo innings.  Thieving Naughton joined Brett (20* at the time) in the middle, and the pair took the game away from Auburn with a match-winning partnership of 97.  Breasty (45 off 113) flayed the attack to all corners whilst the normally aggressive Naughton (85* off 76) played a more circumspect innings at the opposite end.  It seemed nothing could stop Breasty from single-handedly winning the game… until Naughton contrived to leave him stranded and helpless half way down the pitch, attempting a suicidal single that was never, ever on.  Nevertheless, Covie Cub extraordinaire Michael Dean (2*) guided the team over the line in the 40th over, and there was much rejoicing.  At 4/170, Naughto and his feisty Covie Kids were finally vindicated in claiming their first ever Frank Gray Premiership!

Final Scorecard

Despite the overall success of the day, there were a few disappointing moments.  Damian Naughton somehow received the Player of the Final Award ahead of shoo-in man of the match Phil Brett, and will probably go on to win the Captain of the Season and Player of the Season accolades at the Shires Presentation Night as well.  Considering he broke the Frank Gray Record for Runs in a Season with 535 noodles in 10 games at an average of 107.0, you could fairly well get the awards engraved right now, unless Mackenzie and Bates managed to steal enough votes from him to allow some other nufty from another club to (in Naughton’s own fashion) burgle the award from under far more deserving noses.

frank gray squad 02

It would be outrageous and insulting to suggest that Naughton could have and indeed did win the competition on his own.  It would still be slightly batty to claim that Naughton, Mackenzie and Bates brought home the silverware without a lot of help.  These so called “stars” of the side wouldn’t have done half as well without the support and encouragement of their team mates, and so it is only their just desserts that these “lesser lights” be recognised for their sterling achievements during the season proper as well:

 

So congratulations to our twelve budding heroes, and long may the success continue!
Paul Langtry
Lane Cove Historian and now Premiership Spectator

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