TWIC Round 2 – Souffs
Firstly let’s go back 616 days. A young, sprightly, current Lane Cove Chairman of Selectors was playing for Balmain South Sydney against a 4th grade Covie team in a tight and tense clash at KSO. After ending day 1, two runs behind, the young Covies got the win and then did some hard recruiting for a future 3rd grade vice-captain. It has been a bit of a dry run since then for the 4s boys. That was in round 10, 2015/16. 616 days ago. 14784 hours. 887040 minutes. Or in other words, a long time for a win.
Move forward to Round Two 2017. Another tense clash against Balmain South Sydney at KSO for the Covie 4th grade team and after day 1, another loss was on the card for the 4th graders. After winning the toss and bowling, we started well, a wicket first ball of the game and then having Souffs 4/27 had the Covies up. However, a far too familiar pattern then followed. A few good partnership, some poor fielding and loose bowling allowed Balmain back into the game and we found ourselves chasing 260 to get the points. Our innings did not start well. In the 17 overs we had before stumps we managed a paltry 6 for 43 overnight. It was a reasonably tough pill to swallow for Fat Skip. After scraping a team together for the long weekend, starting so well and then giving it all up, all indications were not looking good for day two.
Day 2 rolls along after losing another wicket early doors, the Covies were left battling at 7/47 and just hoping to make it too Tea before getting another outright against us. With Stephen Matheson on his Covies debut and an injured Charlie Hipkin batting for the 8th wicket, it was time for the hard working Covies to show some fight and get some luck. With Steve looking composed picking off singles and driving beautifully through covers, Hipkin didn’t wait long to go after the bowling. This is where the game turned. Some big heaves through mid-wicket and square leg, saw Hipkin race to 50 off 27 balls. This awesome display of power hitting also allowed Steve to free his shoulders and the partnership was off and running. One poor leggie was taken for 61 off his 4 overs and all of a sudden Balmain was on the back foot. The partnership was broken with a decent catch being snaffled on the short boundary but the momentum had been turned. The Partnership of 125 was the highest ever 8th Wicket Partnership for Lane Cove 4th Grade (knocking off Paddy Tompsett and one James Clarke), was 4 runs off the Lane Cove Club Record Partnership for the 8th wicket and the 5thhighest Shires 8th wicket partnership. Great effort from Steve and Hipkin there.
It could have been very easy for the fight back to stop there with the entry of Scott Barrett at number 10. Scotty was making a celebrity appearance for Lane cove. After filling in last week he drove down from Orange on the morning of Day two in our time of need. After toiling away with his Leggies on day one, it was time for him to shine on day two. Picking up where Hipkin left off, Scotty played a controlled innings for him, plundering 33 from 38 balls and played a supporting role to Steve as the 17 year old brought up his ton in one of the best knocks seen in 4th grade for a LONG time. Hats go off to young Matheson, a definite player of the future and after he completes his HSC over the next few weeks, I am sure that Fat Skip will never see him in 4s again.
The Barrett/Matheson partnership drove the Covies to 8 for 260, bringing the game equal and priming the boys for one big explosion just before tea. The potential glory got to Scotty. Trying to finish the game with a 6 he holed out off the Balmain Captain and once again fat skip was bitting his fingernails as Jenny form the block sauntered out to try to win the game from number 11. The 9th wicket partnership of 88 was also another record for Lane Cove 4th grade, knocking off big Marty Tzikas from 1992.
Luckily for JL, the batsman crossed and it was left to you Stevie to win first innings points for the Covies, what a chase, what a knock, what an effort! There was great celebration from the Lane Cove boys. A win, and a great night /arvo of celebrating was ahead. As we were nine down just before tea, the umpires decided to extend the overs before tea and we had to wait for a fairly dubious caught behind decision that as given by the square leg umpire to close out our innings on 305. This was the biggest total seen in 4s for a long time and was led by club debutant Stephen Matheson’s 119 not out from 150. Words cannot describe how good this innings was. Cool under pressure, defend the good ones and put away the bad balls. Quite simply a fantastic knock.
After waiting for 10 minutes for the Balmain boys to have a huddle, the Covie boys were keen to call it a day at tea. However, for some unknown reason the Souffs skipper decided he wanted to play on. Whether he wanted batting practice, had some thought that a reverse was possible we are not sure, but the Covie boys took to the field after tea in high spirits with the attitude of let’s see what happens. We knew that even with our limited attack we could take poles, and as Fat Skip made clear on a number of occasions, where else would you rather be than out on the field having a good time with a bunch of mates.
With Fat skip opening the bowling for no other reason than to finally have a chance at bowling with a new rock, the Souffs openers were clearly looking to score some quick runs. With Two over spells being the name of the game, Souffs raced out to 0/37 chasing some runs. On Comes JL and S Barrett. Two mates that you never see apart and a great bowling combination. With JL bowling tight lines from one end and Scotty spinning them a mile from the other, we took our first pole of the second dig with a nice running catch by young Aled Morris behind the stumps. A second wicket followed close behind with Hipkin taken a skyed ball on the boundary off Scotty despite Taylors best efforts to run into him. At this point we still thought that limiting Souffs to a few runs to prevent putting us back in was the best option. Some tight bowling saw the pressure build up and JL took another two in two balls and was on a hat trick. He missed that one but continued to bowl well finishing with 4/10 from his 7 overs. Meanwhile Scotty continued to toil away at the other end and introduced some interesting 7-1 fields that left the short boundary completely unprotected but it seemed to work nicely, 5/62 and we were starting to get excited. Young Adam Sidhu came on to see if he could pick up his hat trick left from the first innings, unfortunately he bowled a half tracker and missed out but followed up a few balls later with a great caught and bowled to have them reeling. In the end we took the last 6 wickets of the Souffs innings for just 9 runs and managed to skittle them for 71 in 23 of the remaining 31 overs of the day. Scotty Barret ripped through the tail taking 5 for 20 in 8 overs and was also the third bowler to be on a hat trick in the innings. His hat trick ball was a lot better and produced a mistimed drive which Jenny just got a hand on at short cover but proceeded to drop. Great mate there!
With the Covies feeling reasonably excited, and left chasing just 27 from 6 overs, excitement was high In the Covies sheds. After initially telling Barret and Hipkin to pad up to take on the chase, a moment of Captains brilliance stuck Fat skip and it was decide do leave the bloke that just scored 86 from 44 out of the batting line up and take up the chase himself. Many thought this would have been a mistake but it was a case of Captains master stroke. Leave the young kid who just scored 119 not, and the big hitting Hipkin in reserve and send out the Fat Skip, who has been battling slightly with the willow in a vain attempt to get the glory. Brilliant!
As the two biggest and oldest blokes in the team sauntered out to try and intelligently get the small but tricky target, a number of the higher grades managed to get down to the game, schooner glasses from the diddy in hand, to cheer on the chase and it must have been an intimating atmosphere for the Souffs team. The first ball of the chase was promptly dispatched to the point boundary and we had them. A quick two and single brought Fat Skip onto strike, just hoping to get bat on ball and make a contribution to the tally. The next two balls were promptly dispatched over and through cover from the big bat of the big man and with 15 of the first over, things were looking good for a celebration.
After assuring each other that all we needed now was a few singles and not to do anything stupid during the mid-pitch chat between overs, Scotty proceeded to swing hard the next over and fat skip dispatched another one through mid-on which left us on 22 after the second over needing 5 more runs for a very unlikely 10 point victory. With the crowd going nuts, Scotty dispatched the first ball of the third over through mid-wicket and the scores were tied. With fat skip at the non-stickers end hoping that Scotty would block out the rest of the over to get the glory himself, the Souffs bowler proceeded to bowl a waist high full toss which was promptly dispatched again to the boundary. A WIN, AN OUTRIGHT WIN. From nowhere, what an effort, what a performance. There were hugs all round as the group of about 30 Covies celebrated a fantastic win. I am not sure if there has ever been more guys packed into those little sheds to belt out the team song. A great arvo for the 4th graders. A great effort. A sublime performance.
In all seriousness, it would be easy to single out a few performances that ultimately won us the game. Stephen Matheson’s sublime 100. Chanceless, controlled, the best knock this old guy has seen at KSO, even better than Corny’s 150 in 3s. What a great way to start his Covies career. Scott Barrett’s 5fa, his 16 over spell in the first dig that went mainly unrewarded and his knocks of 33 and 18* made the trip down from Orange worthwhile and shows the commitment from the future member for Orange. Julian Luke’s devastating 4/10, even though some of them were from disgusting half trackers. Hopkin’s swash buckling 86 from 44 that started turning the momentum. It would be easy for these efforts to take the headlines and think that was all that was required. However as you know this is a team game, and it is all 11 blokes that contributed to success.
Adam Sidhu’s 4fa in the first dig, Yash toiling away in the field dealing with uneven bounce and still getting on with it. Sean O’Farrell doing long on to long on, not complaining and drying up the singles at mid-wicket during the second dig. Aled wonderful game behind the stumps. Two stumpings and two catches at crucial times (even though he dropped one from Fat Skip). Taylor Swift, opening the batting and the bowling, always putting in the big ones in the field. Shagger, taking two extremely important catches. Marc Fini coming down and sub fielding on Day 1. It takes a team to win a cricket game and even though this team had a fair few obstacles placed in front of it, it came together, backed each other up and got the job done.
Never have I been more proud to lead such a rag tag bunch. Never have I been more proud to be a part of such a great club than this week. To have former players, parents, random people put the effort in during the week to cobble a team together, to see half the club down there cheering us on, chasing an impossible victory. Fat Skip is tearing up a bit just writing this. Thank you all that helped this week. You know who you are, there is too many to name, but thank you all.
Now I have to go find my car
1st grade rocked up to Alan Davidson with a good first up win under the belt looking to continue the early form. We won the toss on what looked like a decent deck, however thought the overhead conditions justified having a bowl first.
Slug and Joey opened up and started well without much luck. The ominous overhead conditions proved to be nothing more than a tease as the deck played well, and there was little on offer through the air. Nonetheless we managed to take a couple of early poles to have Souffs 2/30. On came Corny, who struck nearly immediately with a lovely caught behind. Souffs then put the cue in the rack, and didn’t play a shot for around 20 overs, but managed to halt our momentum. That was until Corny struck on the stroke of tea with a huge wicket.
After tea it was tough going as the deck got flatter and the ball got older. Hairy then delivered a fantastic spell of old ball bowling to take 4 fa and clean up the Souffs tail for 175. A more than manageable chase given the flat conditions.
We had 9 overs to see out the day, but in true Covie fashion we lost 3 quick poles to be 3/20 overnight. Still plenty of batting in the wings though, so we backed ourselves to chase down the runs.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stop the rot in the first couple of hours as we lost consistent wickets leaving us in trouble. Big shout out however to Max Dodds who batted patiently and toiled hard to make 48 as there were plenty of blokes falling around him. Doddsy still managed to get a decent sledging from Naughto at the end of the days play for being “scratchy” and “not playing one good shot”. Brave words from a bloke who got a golden duck….
Once Doddsy departed, the result seemed like a formality. Alec “Not Out” Cornelius and Slug had other ideas however, as they set about chasing down the 50 required for the last partnership. The boys looked more than solid getting us within 20 odd before Slug was fired LBW to a ball that he edged onto his hip.
All in all, a disappointing loss, and a game we definitely should have won. Back to the winners circle this week against Burwood.
This round our second graders were eager to define their place in the comp, starting fresh off a Grounds Orientation from Hoody, the boys were in great running order and very knowledgeable about the installations and surroundings at the home of cricket – Tantallon. The pitch looked like a batters paradise with very little grass coverage paired with a very hard surface, we knew batting first was our best shot.
Unfortunately for Ol Skip Peter Blood didn’t have fortune in his favour and had lost the toss, with South’s not hesitating to take on our bowling attack on this seemingly batter friendly surface. Rhys – Man City starting from the Epping Road end had struggled with the first couple of deliveries but was on line by the last two balls, he settled into a fine rhythm bowling a fine line and length with some good pace. My Name is – Earl took the other end as second grade’s other star opener Charlie Hipkin was out with a hamstring injury. Earl started a bit shaky but then found his stride keeping a descent line and length. Even though the first session before drinks did not bring any wickets the opening bowlers and in the infielders did great to keep the opposition at 30 odd runs at drinks.
Kiran – Big Day Out took over from Earl’s end picked up right from where My Name is left off bowling a consistent great line and length an getting some swing assistance from the overhead conditions. Rhys was nearing the end of his spell before producing one of the best balls of the day to bowl out the first opening bat for South’s. Enter Gus – Angus – Dowey – Dowster who arguably bowled the best spell from the Covies with only one no ball to his name, Dowey bowled with great heat and great lines from ball one, this produced a stellar spell which brought him 4 poles for the day and Kiran – Big Day Out finishing with 3 poles next to his name. Some great glove work from Humey behind the stumps ensured that South’s danger man and cowboy had a quiet innings.
After running 8 overs behind the required over rate – skip Peter had to turn to some spinners to get this down as fast as possible. Reluctant to bring back Arun who was sent flying over the Epping Road fence, he came back on from the northern end. This was the best move as he and Josh Rigon quickly produced 6 or so overs in a matter of minutes. South’s were keen to get a move on, trying to hit over the infield and to clear the boundary – finally miss timings and shots gave Arun a chance to burgle a couple of poles to finish South’s innings.
A special mention to Sam ‘the rig’ Grieves who proved to be quite an athlete on the field and stopped a lot of runs through the mid on – mid off area. Pete to taking a great catch at cover diving full stretch to take a great catch, and to Josh who also fielded really well even after dropping a catch.
By the end of the day, the Covies had a tricky 10 overs to get through before the end of play. Arun and Rhys Fletcher opening – Josh at 3, Pete at 4 and My Name is, as Night Watchman. The innings started a bit shaky with Arun chopping onto his stumps in the third over. Rhys looked in great touch until edging through to slips but luckily this as fumbled and dropped. Josh looked solid the crease defending and leaving the opening bowlers confidently. Josh and Rhys continued to see the day through with 2’s closing the day at 1-17.
Day 2 started really well, the pitch looked in great with similar conditions as the previous week, the outfield was a bit slower than anticipated but nonetheless it was still good considering its only round 2. The opening pair for the day Fletch and Rigon battled through to see off whatever new ball was left taking us passed the 10 over mark. This was unfortunately broken when Fletch had tested his luck one too many times, after being dropped by the bowler the previous ball, he then tried to sweep but could only give Square Leg some catching practice.
Skip Pete Blood went in with his kryptonite of spin bowling at either end, you could see him sweating up a storm after a couple of blocks. Rigon was the next to go as South’s continued to put pressure on our batting and scoring opportunities not coming as quickly as the batters had hoped. Humey then took the crease looking in great touch and comfortable sweeping the spinners in his first few balls and looking really settled with the bowling attack.
Pete then threw himself to a loose shot to be caught after soaking up 20 or so balls. Kiran-Big Day Out was the next batsman to the crease. Humey and Kiran kept the scoreboard ticking quite nicely and everyone seemed to settle a bit as Humey kept nugging the ball around and the pair were out there for a few overs a piece. This ended quickly with Kiran and Humey falling in relatively quick succession to bring in The Rig-Sam Greaves and 2nd grade debutant Isaac Kensell. Greavsie starting his innings quite nicely by playing a good attacking game and Isaac being a good support as the pair ran well between the wickets. Another mini collapse started as Grievsie got undone by a full straight ball and Isaac glanced a straight-ish ball to the keeper to bring big Gus to the crease.
Gus was also in the same mood as Greavsie by taking on the bowlers and waiting patiently for the bad ball, he quickly was joined by My Name Is who got trapped in front second ball – he seems to think he had a bit of bat on it but had to go. Man-City was in next who came out swinging getting a 6 for his efforts before getting clean bowled playing across the line leaving Gus stranded on 16* for the day.
Match wrap up: the batsmen made some starts but no one going on to convert cost us in the long run as we needed some strong partnerships to get us over the line. The guys know what preparations they need to do as we take on one of the stronger clubs in the comp Burwood next round.
Another rollercoaster of a weekend for the thirst thirds. After losing 2 early wickets and being 2-10, some good batting from youngster Felix Barbelar and Captain Nick Mytkowski saw off the new ball and the first change bowlers. Some excellent batting from newbie Alex Williams 62, David Fagan and Rob Seymour got us to 7/136. Some food bowling from Souffs saw us all out for 151. Losing wickets in clusters was the real limiting factor for the Covies, with this happening 4 times in the innings. Some good bowling from Alex Williams at the end of day 1 saw Souffs 1/4, however some good batting from their opener got them to 2/51 over the week. Some superb bowling from opening duo of Alex Williams and Kieran Crayn applied pressure from ball 1 saw us back in it with 3/56. Kieran Crayn showed his class by bowling 11 overs for 2/16 on day 2. Some great batting from the Souffs opener got him to 53 and 5/113. Bring on the 3rd grade bowling duo of the skipper and the stalwart Brian Scott to get the Covies back into the game. With pressure being built from the maestro Scotty’s end, the skipper was able to burgle 4 poles to bring up his first 5fa of his career and to have Souffs 9/130. Some good batting by the Souffs skipper saw them level the scores before Brian Scott won the mental battle against the number 11 who chipped a ball to mid-off to end the game in a tie with Brain ending with figures of 2/25 from 12 overs. Another great performance from the Covies especially in the field saw us come away with 3 points, to keep us undefeated and in the top 6.
- Alex Williams
- Brian Scott
- Kieran Crayn