Lane Cove were looking to bounce back against Epping from a disappointing loss to Auburn on a wet one. Choco had some festival/farewell type arrangement and was unavailable for selection. He will miss next week as well to cook his lid on nose beers at some garden festival 20 k’s south of woop woop. Huge timing from the Englishman to miss the last 2 round games coming into finals… therefore a straight swap was necessary- one idiotic Englishman for another (Eddie garlick).
The Epping boys won the toss and elected to bat on a decent wicket, albeit with a slight delay to dry the Epping road end.. the cement pourer (O’hare) yet again started us off in fashion snicking off their opener. A partnership or two ensued, and at 2/72, the Bulls were looking comfortable. Enter the toiler (Jenkins) and the import (Malik) who bowled in excellent partnership to restrict the visitors to 6/118.
The post-tea session was delayed by 5 minutes due to Galek spending some “extra time” in the toilets to pleasure himself – unprecedented. Zenny boy soon took control of things,bowling with fantastic control and variety to capture 5/33 (22). Jenk supporting with 2/32 (18) and O’Hare doing what he does best to mop up the tail with 3/27 (16). The Bulls all out for 133.
Ricko and Robbie saw us through the last 8 overs safely to be 0/19 overnight.
We arrived the following week full of beans and optimism. Again, Ed had evaded covers duties however did make up for it with some $80 beers. The week had been dry and the deck was lovely. The openers got us off to a good start reaching 40 before Ricko (10) was trapped plum in front. Rob and zen got things going again before Rob played his dicky little leg side paddle and snicked off for 42. Zen and skip took over and increased the run rate, seeing us past their total and beyond. Both zen (53) and skip (48) fell in quick succession, with Galek finally contributing to the game with a fantastic innings of 45 not.
The skip decided enough was enough and, with a lead of 99 and 27 overs remaining, dobbed the Bulls in with “nothing to gain”.
The bowlers backed out fearless leader up sensationally. Again, the burst water main (O’hare) starting the rot picking up the opener (again!). Jenk backed this up picking up the number 3, giving doddsy Maxwell a keepers dream snick off. Unsurprisingly, the traffic labourer (slug) captured another 2 in 2 balls (getting charged for four on the hat-trick) ball with Jenk getting another the following over to leave the Bulls reeling at 5/fuck all.
We couldn’t go on with it unfortunately, as Epping dug in and survived the rest of the day finishing 6/59.
All in all, a great rebound win for us with our import starring, and a valuable 6 points collected leading into the penultimate round.
Second grade turned up to North Epping oval knowing a strong performance was needed to earn 6 points and a probably finals spot. Up against a top side in Epping, we knew it wasn’t going to be handed to us. It was a picture-perfect day and with choco mandleburg being dropped to 2nd grade after his poor performance against Auburn, we felt batting was the right call. It was as if Epping knew this, their boys were in no rush getting the covers off. For no apparent reason the full covers remained on right up to 25 mins to kick off.
Pete called correctly and had no hesitation in batting. We knew there would be a bit in the deck early, but we thought we’d make gravy in the afternoon session. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go to plan. There wasn’t a little in the deck, there was plenty. The Epping cows weren’t afraid to let us know every ball either. Camarsh hadn’t had his morning coke so was feeling abnormally sluggish out in the middle. He was undone chasing a wide one outside off. Jimmy Neesham was run out for 8 in a mix up with PB. PB was next to go nicking off as he had threatened to do all innings. Mandleburg spent more time on his arse than Southcott does on a weekend. Mandleburg of 2 seasons ago would have given it away after a few balls. But not this Mandleburg. Mandleburg 2.0 dug in and picked off the bad balls when they presented themselves with some especially savage pull shots. He was eventually out falling on his arse to one staying low. But not before top scoring with 34 valuable runs. He did run out his captain for 1 along the way though. To be fair, Pete took it well. From here there was no recovering, much like England all summer, one after the other wickets tumbled. We were bundled out for 72 with 42 overs still to play in the day.
We had to come out strongly and to our credit we did just that. Hipkin started the rot, getting their big unit and very chatty opener in his second over. Country bumpkin Pirra was breathing fire and bowling heat. We had Epping in big trouble at 5/40. The intensity on the field was amazing, we gave ourselves a small chance of defending a pathetic total. But Epping battled away, eventually passing us 6 or 7 down and ended the day 20 ahead with 3 wickets in hand. Hipkin with 4 was the standout, but all our bowlers were fantastic, especially Harry Fullerton. Harry Fullerton is 19, studying economics, has a ripping rig, smashes the circuit for fun, has a single figure golf handicap and on his holidays, he rescues baby elephants from poachers. A real Pat Cummins type. The only thing he can’t do is catch apparently.
We turned up on day 2 a shadow of ourselves from day one. We had lost Choco, Pirra had torn his hamstring, Camarsh was hung over and on one leg and PB had back issues. Despite this, we needed to take 3 poles and then look to force the issue with the bat to try make a game of it. This didn’t happen. Their batsmen were intent on survival for the first 15 overs of the day, scoring at 2 an over. Eventually we broke through, but it brought out their number 10 who was only too happy to have a go. He particularly enjoyed Needham’s bowling. PB dropped what was he described as the easiest chance he’s ever had and we all know he’s dropped some easy ones before. We took the final wicket at the stroke of tea. Hipkin with 5, led the team brilliantly. 132 behind and 47 overs left of play. Epping missed a trick, they really could have declared 10-15 overs before then if they pushed harder earlier.
Needham came out swinging. He was middling everything and at 0/50 off 6 overs we were looking pretty. Revenge is best served cold. Needham got his revenge running out PB. Pete looked solid in his innings, but much like when a fat kid sees cake, Pete couldn’t help himself when their spinner came on and was out bowled trying to send one to Parramatta. Needham miscued one for a very well made 56 and all of a sudden, we were in trouble again. We had 20 nervous overs to navigate. Enter Harry Fullerton, who guided us to the close 6 down.
A disappointing result. Next week against Warringah will be huge. We will need to bat long and deep and bring the intensity that we showed on day one in the field if we are to have any chance of knocking them off.
The 3s arrived at KSO in boisterous spirits – Captain Earl’s mid-week email demanding that we “try to have fun”. The team included two late additions – Anthony Gill flying back from France to play, and Ross McFadyen making his debut. However upon removal of the covers, we were greeted with a sodden and patchy pitch following heavy overnight rain. The offending blue cover was found to have more holes than a number 11’s technique. Whilst some more pessimistic members of LCCC suggested there could be a 4pm start time, in reality there was only an hours delay whilst the increasingly hot Sydney sunshine worked it’s magic, helped along by Epping’s leaf blower.
We got underway at 1:45PM, with Lane Cove inserted after an unsuccessful toss. Everyone was keen to see how the pitch would play given the delay. Surprisingly, it seemed much bouncier than expected, with Ben Preece getting out to a ball which reared off a good length. The highlight of our innings was undoubtedly Shane “Shane-o” Willoughby with a patient 42 off 91, including some impressive running and quick singles. He was out for a dubious LBW just as the half century beckoned. Unfortunately, no-one was able to stick with Shane-o, as Steve “Kinky” Mathieson, Taylor Cool-Breeze, Greavesy and Gilly got out cheaply. Next in was the debutant Ross, who stuck around for 41 balls and a well made 13, including some nice dinks to the leg-side. Our tail was not able to add many runs, with Robbie Seymour, Santosh and Earl getting out cheaply – the highlight being Santosh’s agricultural heave to leg which he blamed on a “lighter bat”. Overall, we set a mediocre 93 off 44 overs.
Fearing a quick run-chase, the Lane Cove bowlers set about containing the Epping batsmen. We didn’t have to wait long for a breakthrough with Santosh clipping the opener’s off stump in the first over. From the other end, Earl bowled a good line outside off, but Epping’s no.3 batsman continued to score runs with a few classy shots down the ground. Next, the captain turned to Raj “Good Bowling” Islam and the in-form Greavsy. The pair didn’t disappoint, taking 4 quick wickets between them, including an LBW and stumping for Raj. Greavesy’s luck then ran out, with a very very strong LBW turned down by the umpire, to the amusement of the non-striker. Epping finished on 5/76 off 28. With a couple of early wickets on day 2, this could turn into quite a tight affair.
Day 2 arrived in . With no pitch-related dramas, the game started on time, with every Covie keen to contain runs and create chances. Raj immediately looked threatening and removed their number 3 with a quick straight one. However Epping quickly surpassed our 1st inning score of 93 and carried on adding runs; the ball being frequently hit in the air, but frustrating out of the reach of any Covie fielders. Grievsy and Robbie Seymour then mopped up the tail, with Epping posting 160.
The Lane Cove second innings got underway with a BANG, as Angus Gill displayed the type of hand-eye coordination only a doctor could possess. An array of spectacular attacking shots were on display, including a majestic straight drive down the ground. Gilly eventually departed for a quick-fire 42 off just 34 rocks. However no other batsman was able to add a meaningful amount of runs, with Epping’s part-time spinner (somehow) taking 6 poles. Our total of 135 left a tense end to the game, with Epping requiring 68 runs from the last hour of play.
Unfortunately Epping chased down the required runs from 13.1 overs, including a huge six over the short boundary. A disappointing end to the game, with much to reflect on. Runs are on the agenda for next week.
Andrew ‘two up’ Bray, again won the toss for the umpteenth time this year and sent Epping in on a perfectly flat deck. Harrison ‘Hazmat’ Shaw was given the new ball from one end with ‘Craynplane’ the other. Hazmat sent down 24 almost perfect balls and with 3 wickets in the bag for bugger all runs, he decided he had had enough and was given a rest. Shame the other Covie bowlers couldn’t match this fearsome effort and after being 17 for 3, Epping steadily got away but a few quick wickets again around the 80-100 mark saw them 100 odd for 6, Crayn and Fini chipping in with one apiece. At this stage 2 Epping bats had walked, given initially not out by the umps for thin gloves/edges to the keeper, good on ya’ Epping lads, good spirit of cricket!!
Once again the Covie bowlers couldn’t capitalise (mostly due to 7 dropped catches), Epping ‘struggled” to 260 odd for 6 when they declared leaving a nasty 11 overs to bat at the end of the day.
With several bodyguards padded up, Covies ended the day on 3 for not very many.
At the end of day one, Special mention should be given to ‘two up’ who AB_SO_LUTE_LY lost it inside the changeroom, the self abuse heard along Epping road.
Day two arrived with hope. ‘HUGE’ Van Ede hung around for a while showing some fortitude but eventually got himself out and whilst the same could be said for Felix ‘the cat’ Barbeler, Marc ‘short fat skip/fat skip in training/ junior fat skip’ Fini got himself in then out, then batting at 8.. Chairman of Selectors ‘CoS’ Fagan 22 (off 17 balls) in a bit of a cameo, having half the batsman’s crease dug out and brushed due to the cracking pitch. The last 3 batsmen not offering much, so LCCC all out at tea for a disappointing 86.
Sent back in, the carnage continued…
‘HUGE’ out first ball!
‘Two up’ then went at the bowling with his classic counter attacking style (briefly) 23 off 25. ‘Short fat Skip’ Fini though putting on some stout resistance 38 off 62, to put a little spine to the innings before holing out to a smart catch at extra. No one else really bothered the scorers though LCC all out 96, marginally better than the first dig.
So aside from Hazmat’s wonderful opening 24 balls we had a couple of Cameo innings in an outright loss on Day 2.
Bring on the Men in Green next week!!