I have the unfortunate task of writing the last round of the regular seasons TWIC.
It should be a good length, involve a few anecdotes, include hyperlinks or whatever they are and have some amusing moments from the game, so I am told… we lost… end it there!
What I can say however, is what a season we have had, being top of the ladder at Christmas and remaining there for pretty much the entire length of the season, until the final hurdle where we rest nestled into 3rd spot behind two teams we comprehensively beat.
Maintaining a top three spot was always the goal after such a strong start to the campaign, we’ve done it and everybody who played their part in getting us there should be extremely proud.
On to the game vs warringah. Going into the game we sat joint 2nd on the ladder and our opponents traveled a lackluster 10th or thereabouts.
Without our fearless leader and Chocco (again) who was probably flailing about in a ditch somewhere along the eastern seaboard. Jimmy Needham came in and Tommy Bristow maintained his spot.
With a win cementing a top 3 spot, Joey “i don’t drop catches” Scarcella won the toss and decided we might have a chance of making above a hundred, so elected to bat. From then on things went more south than a Texan drug addict suffering from quadriplegia. The only noteworthy mentions go to Jimmy “I’ll play this one from way outside off to fine leg for 4” Needham and “the farmer wants a wife’s” bessie mate, Tommy Bristow both making it into the 30’s.
After being bowled out for 100 on the money, spirits were still somewhat high due to our fantastic form with the ball all season. The bowling was in most parts good, Scar hitting the mark on more than one occasion earning himself 3 poles. A big surprise of the day was our very own league leading wicket taker Liam “i forgot the sunscreen panda eyes” O’Hare not taking a pole. Lane Cove’s under appreciated lanky lad who loves rubbing men’s legs for a living came away with a well earned 2 wickets for not many runs, Dev Patel chipped in with a couple and remember that bloke who got 8 fa once, what’s his name, A. Jenkins, bowled a tight line all day and got himself a wicket for his efforts.
End of day 1, Warringah had won 1st innings and were 48 ahead 8 wickets down.
Enter day 2, we had an uphill task of a reverse outright on what was essentially not a bad wicket. We needed to take 2 wickets pretty sharpish and then pile on some quick runs and then take ten wickets, seems unlikely, well.. It was!
Scar and corny took the remaining two wickets, finishing with figures of 4-72 from 15 and 3-25 from 7 overs respectively, after a cameo last wicket partnership from the opposition, in fairness to the number 11, he batted pretty well, leaving them all out for a very respectable 222.
Our second innings started much the same way as the 1st, Robbie “G-Nome T-Rex” Blood getting bounced out by what looked to be a real life Goldilocks and Jarrod “i’m off the porn” Rixon getting a taste of his own medicine being run out, then Zen “The Lion” Malik exiting shortly afterwards. At 3-18 a reverse win looked as much a long shot as Ben Preece re-growing his hair. Up stepped this years current top scorer for first grade, Eddy “the toilets are a place for mid game self reflection” Galek, and Jimmy “i don’t move that quick” Needham solidified the early collapse and made it to tea, where the captains shook hands and ended what was, a truly bad two days out on the park.
Bring on the Semi finals against Strathfield at Tantallon oval, for what is going to be undoubtedly a great game!
The last home and away round of the season had second grade up against Warringah at the home of cricket. With a win needed to have any chance of making finals, it was a massive game for twos. With Warringah already throwing in the towel in ones, it became clear that their twos side was effectively the club’s strongest eleven.
Warringah twos always seem to bring with them an entourage of back-room staff including scorers, photographers, psychologists, chefs and a videographer, though Pete was grateful to see the latter had not travelled for this fixture (0:45 should do the trick).
With Lane Cove’s weakest bowling attack of the year featuring, Pete had no hesitation in winning the toss and bowling against the competition’s strongest batting line-up on a typically flat tantallon deck, on a typically hot Sydney day. The decision was instantly justified with Charlie picking up Warringah’s first grade opener with the very first ball of the game LBW. With our tails up, hopes were high of steam-rolling Warringah and propelling ourselves into finals contention.
Alas, the next 50 overs saw the bowlers toil picking up just the two more scalps. Credit to Lane Cove for remaining disciplined, the scoring was slow and a few quick wickets would put us right back into the game. With Raja and Devola operating in tandem together, we did just that picking up the last 8 wickets for just 60 runs.
Having bowled 75 overs with still 1 hour to play thanks to the dual-spin, the opening batsman suddenly cottoned on to the fact they may yet bat on day 1. With the innings drawing to a close it was clear to see the contrast in intensity between the bowlers trying to burgle wickets 9 & 10, and the top order batsmen trying to ensure there was no need to pad up until day 2. Of course, this brought with us a standard exchange between captains that we have come to expect this season.
Raja ended with figures of 22.1-55-5, with the remaining wickets shared amongst the bowlers. Credit must too go to Shane Willoughby who picked up 4 dismissals on his return to second grade. Chasing 183 for the win, we finished the day 0-3 off the two solitary overs.
Day two brought with it mixed feeling. With results not favouring us the previous week, our task of making finals had become near impossible, with an outright win, and favourable results elsewhere our only path through. Regardless of this, we approached day two with our eyes set on the win to finish the season on a high. After a good start, we lost several wickets in quick succession including the 7th and 8th which lead to a hat-trick ball.
Entering round four with a batting average of 140, Charlie’s form had somewhat slipped towards the latter part of the season with an average of 3.4 post round four. Walking to the crease, you couldn’t help but think that this run would continue. Hat-trick ball, men all around the bat the odds were forever against him until he picked the wrong-un straight out of the hand and dispatched the ball deep onto epping road from the rough outside off-stump. With a 6 first ball, things were about to change until the next ball when he lofted a delivery that barely bounced on the pitch down the throat of cover.
We scraped past the follow-on score before being bowled out for 87 and calling it shortly after tea. A hugely disappointing way to finish a season that promised so much, however one that gives us plenty of positives to bring into next year.
Warringah 9/245 (Harry S 4/34 off 13, Sajid S 3/55 off 12) declared (58 overs) def. Lane Cove 131 (M Scott 71, F Barbeler 19) 46 overs, and 50 (B Sykes 16, M Scott 11) 26 overs.
The opposition at the start of the match were 5th in the competition with steady form into the match. Perhaps a better bowling side than batting.
We won the toss and sent them in. Prematch we reflected on our season drawing on some experience and much inexperience with a large contingent of young players in our side. Unfortunately we were short 1 player whilst on the field. We would have been happy to dismiss the opposition around 200 making us competitive. The bowling was steady with Harry taking the honours with 4/34, bowled well and will have a sound future if he continues to improve as he has over the season. He was well supported by Sajid with 3/55 as it was good to see him return. Keryn bowled steadily with pace, he still needs to work on the short ball but enjoyed a good season. James E also impressed with both bat and ball.
The prematch talk centred on valuing our wicket and application. The boys responded well after being 3/9, Mark S and Felix B put on a steady 59 to allow us to rebuild at 90, Mark’s discipline and concentration was exemplary and after 40 overs had a well-deserved century in his sights. He was joined by father Brian, who thought just support and this could happen. Unfortunately 3 balls later Mark’s concentration was broken and was dismissed caught behind for 71. The last wicket put on 16.
The second innings was a surprise in that there was a rapid procession after Mark was dismissed, Ben S batted well with a mixture of solid and aggressive batting but once he was dismissed, we were all out in 26 overs. All players contributed to the best of their ability.
The boys applied themselves well
Having 11 blokes on the pitch this game was probably the hardest task yet this season but with everyone chipping in, Schaafsma playing to help out, ‘two up’ Bray having a work colleague play, Fages calling in all favours and getting both Quails and Mcleods to front up, we managed to scramble up 11 blokes all keen on the afternoon tea ahead
Winning the toss, ‘two up’ decided that batting first offered us the best opportunity and he out strode with the erstwhile Shaggers (Peddada) to open up.
A short lived cameo from both which included both of them being bowled with a no ball only to be pegged again a few balls later, unfortunately had Schaafsma at the crease and inimitablly leaving the ball easily. Unfortunately he left one but it flicked his hip only for a slight moan from the bowler to be given out lbw !!! Poor Schaafs
Drew’s mate looked good for 4 balls, ‘short but fastest fat skip’ missed a straight one (that pitched 6 inches outside leg) then Fages CoS, smashed a comfortable 17, a number he is all too familiar with this season before holding out (again).
The two father and son combos didn’t last long together although the younger quail carrying his bat at the end. The ‘Joan’ elder quail leaving a very straight one. It was then left to ‘cold play’ Martin to last a further 5 balls before Covies were dismissed for a very disappointing 79 even if if did include a couple of very, very dodgy decisions.
Tea was a decent affair commented on by both umpires and oppo alike but with ‘two up’ promising a tea that they “will have never see the like of”, on week 2, perhaps 8/10 for week 1
The elder McLeod (of the clan Mcleod) opened up and was unlucky not to grab a pole or two with ‘cold play’ up the other end bowling decently
After a few pies from ‘short temporary fat skip’ and a delightful ‘actual fat skip’ trying to field in every position on the field for a laugh, the game position was almost lost on the Covies spirit of camaraderie and larrikin behaviour.
Day one finished with them on 8 fer overnight some long way ahead
Day 2 arrived with the farcicality of lccc only actually having 6 players so the men in green promptly lent us a player so we could actually take the field with the elder Mcleod kindly showing up to help out (he wasn’t avail at all having supposed to umpire a girls semi final somewhere).
Anyhoooo, MiG’s captain chose to bat on and on and on… relentlessly he smashed all comers (mostly ‘short fat skip in waiting’) to all parts except for the elder Mcleod dropping a sitter on the boundary so he could ton up unfortunately the very next ball
His partner then holed out to the MiG sub fielder to complete a mid-summer nights nightmare/comedy farce
Opening the batting CoS and the elder Mcleod smashed 17 off the first over before elder took on one too many and skied one
CoS continued his run of 17’s before holing out (again) but not before Schoafsma leaving a straight one (that was probably missing) and strode back to the pavilion, his 4th verbal career retirement… see ya next year Schaafs
The smaller Quail then mysteriously left another straight one before ‘fat skip’ and fat skip junior nudged is to tea, phew the relief was palpable
CoS produced tasty tandoori, ‘fat skip’ pulled lamb and pork and an amazing cake that nobody dared eat, shorty some cookies a marble cake and shaggers some shapes, the effort for top shires tea won with due aplomb!!
Back to the cricket…. lccc all out shortly after tea for not very many
In short… tea to remember, cricket not so much
Later… much later….The fat race down the Diddy forever immortalised by ‘shortys’ bare chested celebrations