TWIC Round 3 – Burwood
After winning the toss and bowling first in overcast conditions, the covies were put under pressure with Burwood looking comfortable at 1/91. Liam O’Hare then entered the attack and changed the game with an incredible spell of fast bowling. Joe Scarcella came back with his second spell and together with Hairy rolled through the Burwood line up. Joey finished up with 5/56 and Hairy with 4/37. An outstanding response from our strike bowlers who were well supported by Pira and Corny. Burwood were bowled out for 156 in 47.4 overs leaving the covies around 30 overs in the day.
Unfortunately the covies didn’t get a good start and found themselves at 4/17 and the total of 156 was looking a mammoth task. Tom Mandleberg and Jarrod Rixon knuckled down and got through the Briars opening bowlers but Ricko couldn’t hold out sticking off for 12. Ed Galek came to the crease and together with Choco batted out the rest of the day in very difficult conditions. We were 5/105 at the end of the day, Choco bringing up his 50, a great effort but the job was not done.
As expected, Burwood started the day strong but our boys were stronger, chasing down the remaining runs still 5 down. We batted on, Eddie picking up his 50 with some big hitting and Choco setting about reaching 3 figures. After hardly playing a false shot all innings, Choco shelled a full toss back to the bowler falling 3 runs short of what would have been one of the great covie tonnes. Eddie fell not long after to a good rock on 80. Our final 3 wickets fell in quick succession with our boys being bowled out for 218. Burwood batted till tea none down and as the captains shook hands, the coves had pulled off an incredible win after looking almost down and out twice. A very valuable 6 points and proof that we can play tough cricet against strong opposition. Bring on Strathfield.
After what seemed like weeks of hot, dry weather, it was a welcome relief to see a colder, windier day forecast for day one of our round three fixture at Burwood. Supreme batting conditions had seen the bowlers toil across the first two rounds with Rhys even demanding an inquiry into batting bias of the modern game. Alas, once day one rolled around it was indeed cold, windy and overcast, and probably the only time all season when the long sleeved shirts (yet to be delivered) would be anywhere close to appropriate. Weather conditions aside, the pitch appeared to have no demons within. Thankfully the Rothwell groundsman was able to locate the keys to the roller to get it not only onto the pitch and up and down for several hours, but off it as well. With Pete Blood losing the toss, getting sent in to bat seemed a reasonable result.
Opening with Brett ‘John Farnham’ Phil, alongside Alex Southcott, we got off to a slow but steady start. With the deck playing well, the conditions overhead still made for some tricky early negotiations, and the opening pair did well to see us through 20-odd for no loss after 10 overs. We lost our first wicket after Southcott was lured into a wide, full delivery. With his wicket lost straight after three successive boundaries, Southcott would be ruing a missed opportunity at a big score early in his LCCC career. A promising young prospect, Alex will benefit from more exposure to senior cricket over the coming years.
From here, wickets were a little easier to come by for Briars. Josh Rigon fell caught and bowled for 1, before Brett Phil was on the end of another controversial decision (or so he says). From 4-26, Blood and debutant Tom Bristow restored some fight before the latter was dismissed for 70. With Blood, Angus Dowey and Kiran Dindayal falling shortly after we were in trouble at 8-88. Some brief tail wagging allowed us to climb to 123 all out. A well below par first innings, though a chase we could certainly make tough with good bowling.
With 30-odd overs left in the day, there was still plenty on offer for both sides. Burwood started strongly reaching 19 for no wicket before their opening WK/Bat (who talked a game like Bradman but walked it like Chris Martin) was the first wicket to fall. Some tight bowling from the Lane Cove openers partnered with excellent support from Bristow on debut saw Briars end day one 4-50, still 70 runs in deficit.
Day two approached very much the same way that day one did. Rain ahead of day two partnered with more cold and windy conditions laid promise for the bowlers, however a flatter, harder deck ensured we would have to work extra hard for further scalps. With the Briars nightwatchman dismissed early, Burwood’s number 7 entered the crease. Having spent the last 8 years batting in the top four in first grade and averaging 40+ off the back of 68 in round one, it appeared a curious selection decision to drop him both in grade and down the order. Rhys Manchester was, however, able to justify the decision placing him in liquorice allsorts during his first two balls – the second of which bringing with it a huge appeal for caught behind given not out. From here, number 7 partnered with his skipper in an aggressive counter-attack to see Briars past our first innings score 5 down.
Credit to Lane Cove’s bowlers, we never gave up and were able to pull Burwood back to eventually dismiss them all out 160. Massive shout out to Tom Bristow for a Michelle on debut.
With 8 overs left until tea, the game plan was simple. Negotiate 8 overs, don’t lose any wickets, call the game at tea. 3 overs later, with number 8 already padding up we faced a much longer wait to call it a day. Enter Bristow (again). Tommy batted confidently, intelligently, and battled hard to keep himself out there with wickets falling all around. A long partnership with his skipper made Burwood start calculating potential run rates to claim an outright victory that had seemed assured only moments earlier. With wickets continuing to tumble, however, Bristow ended our inning on 51*, a brilliant knock.
Briars needed 59 runs to win off 11 overs. With Raja and Hipkin taking the new ball, Blood was able to get everyone up and about to avoid the outright loss. A promising start saw us take a few early wickets with boundaries hard to come by. With the RRR sitting at 6 an over for the majority of the innings, it all came down to the last over with Briars needing 4 to win, Raja to bowl it out. After 3 dot balls, and then a run out and a 2, Burwood needed 2 off the last ball. A spilled catch at long off allowed Burwood to come back for the outright off the last ball of the day. A tough pill to swallow for Lane Cove, but certainly some positive to take out of the game.
3 points – Tom Bairstow
2 points – Charlie Hipkin
1 point – Pete Blood
This round the Covies were up against Burwood who like like us were still undefeated to date. With the overhead conditions being cloudy and windy and a bit of rain in the air we all knew that bowling first would be a massive advantage on a very green Longy Deck. Unfortunately for Third Grade’s Captain Walski he was once again on the losing end of the toss – 3 losses in a row.
Burwood capitalised and did not hesitate putting our batting line up to the test, and boy, they didn’t just test it they completely demolished our batting line up. Opening with some old timers who definitely knew how to use the conditions to their advantage bowling in tandem with one swinging it away, and another swinging it in, we were in all sorts, no one had an answer. Walski (16) and Arun showed some gritt hanging in there for a few overs but to no avail, they too were out very cheaply. It was a very bad day in the office for the third grade and to sum it we were all out for 38 before tea was taken.
Our bowling attack couldn’t catch a break, opening the bowling Walski and My Name is toiled with the batsmen as they got something out of the new ball. My Name is getting a the ball to swing and seam in the first over got us a wicket in the first over, we thought yes, we are in it. Unfortunately this was not to be as they second wicket partnership for Burwood surpassed our team total with eae it seems.
Although there were chances createdby our bowlers not everything went our way, a few dropped catches and a couple of LBW shouts that didn’t go our way, it wasn’t the best day for cricket. Tea was taken and Burwood continued their attack on our bowling unit with one the opener and number 4 getting 50’s we knew we were close to being sent back in and we were with Burwood declaring at 4/202.
We knew our second dig was going to test us even more with about 14 overs left in the day. With this it was like déjà vu, our batting had yet another collapse, with wickets falling in regular intervals throughout the 14 overs. We ended the day on 5/14 with Burwood being a commanding position for the outright when stumps was called.
Unfortunately day 2 the following week there had been a massive mix up with responsibilities o the covers. Rain was forecasted throughout Friday and unfortunately the covers were not down in time to avoid a wash out. Third grade was eventually and disappointingly called off for the second day.
After a fantastic win in round 2, the 4th grade boys took on the reigning premiers Burwood in round 3 in what was always going to be a difficult clash. With only 4 players backing up from the previous win, a refreshed side took to the field in overcast conditions after Fat skip won his third toss in a row. Opening up with Harry Shaw and Craig Martin, the Covies started well. Taking regular poles from both ends. Given that Coldplay had not even picked up a ball in 9 months he bowled an outstanding spell of 13 overs 3 for 57. He was extremely unlucky not to have more with a number of drop catches, including an absolute dolly by JL which was the worst drop Fat Skip had seen since Sharples breaking his hand on the Tanty kitchen door.
Unfortunately, these drops proved costly for the Covie boys. 6 drop chances released the pressure on the Briars and through some good batting from their tail, they worked their way to 239 all out. This was the first time this year that their number 8 had to bat this year so all in all a great effort to knock over the best team in the comp. Mentions need to go to Dobby in his first game back for a tidy spell picking up 2 wickets, Harry Shaw for 3 poles when fired up, Jeff Shaw out thinking their former skip and Fat Skip himself for two tidy catches including a belter of Dobby’s leggies. All in all an impressive effort for the improving 4th Grade boys, however, some work on fielding at training is still required.
With 24 overs left in the day, Taylor Swift and Shagger head out to face the music. Well shagger did not last long and neither did JL at 1st drop. 5 balls each to be precise and we were 2 for 0 after 3 overs. When I say Burwood had some decent quicks, it is not understating it. Both their openers would be the quickest in 4th grade and would still be quick in 2s…. Taylor swift and Mark Fini, aka Buff, then showed some real determination and grit to see out the rest of the day. Taylor especially wore some brutal short stuff but grinded it out really well and showed a maturity beyond his years. 2/47 at stumps. All in all not in a bad position. We have showed some true improvement on last year’s form and we were looking for even more on the second day.
Day two comes around and another barrage form the Burwood Quicks and we were back at it. Taylor left early and was followed quickly by Dobler attempting to pull a Yorker. Enter Billy the Kid to partner up with Buff. Billy batted beautifully through the slips and also batted well with the tail after Buff snicked off to an absolute brute of a delivery from the opening quick. After showing a fair bit of fight we were knocked over for 109 just before tea. Fat Skip was hoping that would be enough for Burwood but they were hungry for an outright and sent us in for a second knock.
We were in trouble early once again at 1 for 1 but Harry and Taylor batted well for time again until Harry had his castle disrupted by a straight one. Enter Buff to once again bat with Taylor swift. This time Buff was a bit freer with the willow peeling off 41 from 53 balls to take the fight back to the Briars attack. Meanwhile at the other end Taylor proved to be the steady rock once again, also scoring 41 but off 124 balls. Great effort from these two batting for over 50 overs together in a day and a bit. Unfortunately, just as it was looking like Burwood would call it off, Buff threw away a 50 to a half tracker and Taylor snicked the ground to be caught behind and the hunt for wickets was back on for the Briars. Billy once again showed maturity above his years to bat well against a solid attack and with Dobler hit fours for at the other end we batted out the day 5 down for 141. All in all we batted for 99 overs, 15/250, so almost a win!
Great effort shown by the whole 4s team this week. in previous years we would have crumbled against a quality attack like Burwood and would have gifted them 10 points before drinks on day two. It just goes to show what a little grit and determination can do. After facing last year’s premiers in round 3, this week brings last year’s runners up in Strathfield. Another tough game but If we show the ability we did this week, I am sure that we can give them a good shake!