Our boys turned up to Roseville Chase Oval looking to get a win over our local rivals and get our season underway. With Robbie B, Ricko and Jenko all out, Jimmy Needham came back into the side after some good performances last season as well as two debutants up from 2s, Fletcher and Kelland. Our fearless leader finally won a toss and decided to have a bowl hoping that our attack could get something happening in the first session on what is a usually batsman friendly deck.
Joey and the Slug were charging in with the new rock and bowling decent areas despite little help being offered from a flat pitch. Then, with Roseville on 31, Joey struck, rapping the opener on his pads. He could have had the other opener too however the umpire didn’t hear the bloke hitting the cover off the ball. Naughto decided to change it up, providing immediate dividends, Corn Dog getting the number three with his first ball. Our boys had settled in and as Dindy got introduced into the attack and we had our man, the other opener heading back in to the sheds, 3-78. From then, Roseville’s 4 and 5 went about things with relative ease, the pitch becoming very easy to bat on and the outfield providing easy runs. Kell went down after mistaking the outfield for the fairway on the other side of the fence, taking a divot out of the ground using his knee. He was unable to return to the field so we were down to 10. This made it very difficult to stem the flow of runs and Roseville were able to put on another 80 with ease. Fletcher senior having come to watch his son debut for 1s offered to fill in as a fielding sub and despite pulling a hammy not long into his own debut, was outstanding and a big help on what was a tough afternoon for our lads. Freddie Boys finally got the breakthrough, an absolute screamer from Naughto at short cover. From here we took semi regular wickets whilst there number 5 tonned up at the other end. Sluggo burgled a couple of favourable decisions whilst Dindy and Joey chipped in. An edge from their number 5 finally went to hand as Joey snicked him off to Doddsy. We bowled without much luck all day as a few tough chances went down and many going just short, wide or over fielders. Finally, at 9/305 Roseville declared leaving us 6 overs to negotiate before stumps. Fred and Fletch looked fairly comfortable in the pressure cooker and other than Freddie getting dropped after smashing one at bat pad, got to the end of the day with relative ease, 0-25.
We started day 2, a big target in our sights but we knew we had the talent to chase it down if one if not a couple of our bats stepped up and batted time. Roseville had shown how easy it was to score, we just had to be out there for long enough. A camera crew had turned up to film the chase and this perhaps foreshadowed the drama to come. Our openers went about business putting on a 50 run stand before Fletch lofted one to mid off, departing for 28, a solid effort on debut. Naughto came to the crease and with Fred, looked comfortable until out of nowhere, Freddie squirted one to first slip off their offie on 35. Choco came and went for 6 and we were in a bit of trouble at 3-100. Jimmy Needham was in at 5 and proceeded to have an incredibly lucky if not difficult time. He managed to stick around though and put on a 40 run partnership with Naughto until his luck ran out on 23. This prompted a covie collapse as we loss 4-9. All of a sudden at 7-151, all looked lost. The big factor in our favour was Naughton stood unbeaten whilst the carnage was happening at the other end. Dindy came in at 9 and steadied the ship looking defiant and scoring a very important 22 to shift the momentum ever slightly back towards us. Unfortunately, he found a fielder as we crept up towards the 200 mark. Joey came out at number 10 with 111 still needed, a task that seemed a little too far. Damo continued to be given 1s early in the over and as the field came up to Scar, he manipulated it with ease, respecting the good balls and punishing anything else. A few lusty blows onto the golf course as well as checking the integrity of the sight screens, he blasted his way to a 50. As the required runs ticked over, so did the overs left in the day. However, over by over, Naughto and Joey looked increasingly defiant as we got closer and closer to the target. Naughto finally picked up his well deserved ton, batting for an incredibly patient 60 overs but he knew the job wasn’t over. Sluggo grew more nervous by the minute hoping his services weren’t required. This was never in doubt as we got the winning runs with 6 overs to spare in what was a remarkable victory. Joey finished on 65 and Naughto on 110 both unbeaten and a record 9th wicket partnership for the club. A big showing of how deep we bat and the damage we can do when we’re on. Although far from a perfect performance, great to see our boys can produce the goods when we’re up against it and get a result even when we’re not at our best. This big chase gets our season going as we head back to the home of cricket for a one dayer against a strong Auburn side next round.
Sydney weather was looking like it had finally cleared up a bit, after a moody couple of weeks from Mother Nature. With the sun shining, the grass glowing and the boys ready to go, a good day of cricket was underway. Lane Cove won the toss and decided to field with some fierce warm ups, with the batters winning once again in the HPL warm ups. The team looked very different this week with blokes like Charlie Hipkin and Rhys Fletcher out and Ryan Devine, Matho, Harley and Ravvi, joining the team.
Lane Cove went out with a lot of heart and a lot of sledges, there wasn’t much quiet in the field for the first 30 overs. Benny Greaves, snagging himself a questionable caught behind wicket in his first over, but we’ll take it because, you know, you have to respect the umpires decision. Raja Islam snagged himself his second Michelle 5fer of the season in what many jealous teammates agreed was pure cheese (5-62 off 22). Ryan Devine grabbed himself the key wicket with a helpful (1-24 off 9). Greaves grinded all day long finishing with (3-40 off 15). Ravi also working hard, unlucky to only grab the one wicket, finishing with (1-36 off 18).
It was a long day out in the field and it showed. A long period of dot balls caused a gradual decline in the chatter, as the 80 overs seemed further and further away. The mid-over conversations and support for the bowlers was replaced by an eerie silence, as the left hand, right hand batting combo continued to piss off everyone. Greavesy broke the silence, with what you could say was a dazzle of inspiration, but more realistically a lot of frustration and anger towards the batters unwarranted success. Pete Blood joined in on the frustration as I counted 30 or so loud grunts. It wasn’t just Lane Cove who were having the temper tantrums, with the annoyed batting pair trying to remove Oly Lee-young from the field for not wearing spikes. Roseville finished on a total of 216, forcing Covies in for a 20 minute bat.
Enter Robbo and Dowey, who started well. Dowey unlucky to get out by the short leg, which meant he had to show up next week as the dedicated scorer. Raj and Robbo took their time the following week in the scorching heat. Numbers 3 and 4, (Lee-young and Blood) getting out early leaving the Covies exposed for a low score. The middle order chipped in with some much needed runs, with guys like Ravvi, Humey and Harley sticking in and doing their job. The Covies got closer and closer to the total, with a touch of hope when we needed 60 runs with 2 wickets in hand. Unfortunately not reaching the total and getting all out for 167.
The Thirsty Thirds are still searching for their first victory of the 2018/19 season after a stunning first innings top order batting collapse resulted in a brave first innings defeat.
Despite missing regular skipper Nick Mytowski, Lane Cove was confident a win was near and they were right with stand-in skipper Earl winning the first toss of the year. Electing to bowl first on what Shane Warne described in commentary box as an absolute belter of a wicket to bat on, the thirsty thirds went about to prove it was the right call.
With arguably the most intimidating bowling attack in recent history at his disposal, it was understandable as to why Lane Cove wanted to bowl first.
Roseville got off to a solid start with the opening partnership putting on a respectable 42 as Earl and the Crayn Plane searched for the first wicket. Crayn was extremely unlucky to miss out on a caught behind with hot spot showing a small tickle, however he did not have to wait long with an lbw the next over bringing an end to the opening partnership.
The momentum of the match had swung in Lane Cove’s favour which saw Roseville lose 3/12 to be in a precarious position at 4/68 at lunch on day 1 with wickets to Earl, Kensell while the Crayn Plane decided to sacrifice a wicket to his name by dropping a simple caught and bowled to inflict a run out at the non strikers end.
After the lunch break, it saw Roseville dig their feet in and bat well and despite a thunderbolt from Greaves which saw a Roseville Batman lose his middle stump, a 55 run 6th wicket partnership saw them go from 5/95 to 150. However, another couple of wickets to Kensell and Greaves breathed life back into the game and saw Roseville have another collapse and be 9/164. With Roseville’s last wicket pair showing signs of weakness, Roseville declared at 180. Wickets were shared with Greaves and Kensell getting 3, while the Crayn Plane and Earl shared a wicket a piece.
The early declaration left the covies with 16 overs to face. With the instructions by skipper Earl to take time and see the end of play, someone forgot to tell the top order who unfortunately found themselves in a fair bit of trouble at 4/6 in the 3rd over. Enter Johnny Bairstows younger brother Ross who showed great composure to handle the carnage that was left at the top. Ross and Kensell managed to put on a better than a run a ball 49 partnership to leave the Roseville fans ducking for cover with Kensell in a hurry to put a halt to the earlier carnage with a slower than normal 39 off 18. However the partnership ended with the score on 55 which then saw 2 more quick wickets follow to leave the coves reeling at 7/64.
Enter Brian Scott and Greaves. The boys batted extremely well to get to stumps and managed to put on a really good partnership of 41. What was even more impressive was young Brian Scott batting with one leg after an earlier mishap in the week saw his knee pop out. Unfortunately the Covies’ resilience came to an end with the score on 113. Greaves and Scott were the two stand out bats for the innings with well-made 24s.
With the Covies trailing by 67 runs, Roseville came out all guns blazing and took it to our opening attack. A couple of quick wickets put a halt to the early onslaught and then Crayn came on and picked up another 3 valuable wickets. The Lane Cove bowlers shared the wickets again but it was the fielding which was impressive with Shane Willougby taking an impressive catch and Arun taking a good catch as well. Debutant Cameron Oakley fielded well to save plenty of runs which resulted in the Covies restricting Roseville to 140. A Huge thanks must go to Robbie Blood for taking his first weekend with the new wife off to come sub field and show the young fellas how to get stuck in.
Set an imposing target off 200 off 28, the Covies thought they were still a chance at knocking off the runs to get a result. However another couple of wickets lost early left the side in trouble at 2/5 which was still an improvement on the first innings. Felix and Manthan Nicholas batted extremely well and showed enormous signs of promise by safely negotiating the team from 2-5 to 2/55 before Felix fell for a well-made 24. Manthan finished with 19 off 56 while Ross batted well again to finish 11 not out.
The Covies can hold their heads up high knowing that they finished the game off well and a return to their home ground next week will be just what the doctor ordered.
The prospect of getting in some two-day cricket certainly excited a few of the Covie 4s around the change rooms. It saw perennial 1st increment late finers, Billy and Paul Keall race to get their bags in the change rooms in the last minute.
Fat Skip duly lost the toss and we were sent in on what looked a typical KSO deck. Our two openers TCW and Dave Fagan went cheaply. This brought Mark Schaafsma to the crease and he was joined by Carson Forrest.
Carson looked the goods until he clipped one straight to a fielder for 14. Fini came to join Schaafs, but didn’t last long until he was given out caught off a shoulder-high full toss. Schaafs was still striking the ball well straight to the fielders, and Roseville were struggling to dislodge him. The Keall boys followed with Paul looking glorious driving half volleys, and not so glorious trying to defend balls on a length. Schaafs showed he was still as spry as the young fellas playing the shot of the day – a glorious hook shot for four.
A superb spread for tea was punctuated by Schaafs rubbing his knee and muttering obscenities. It was followed quickly by Paul’s departure. Billy batted for 70 odd balls for a well-made 25, clearly taking inspiration from the Schaafsterclass (™Dave Fagan) going on at the other end. The young fella finally succumbed to a juicy full toss from a pie-chucker – obviously he didn’t get enough of Fagan’s home-made sausage rolls at tea (that’s not a metaphor…).
Fat Skip strode out to the crease carrying the world on his shoulders. Two ducks in a row saw him on whites… as he told us at least a dozen times (having to explain the concept to at least half the team) before he went forth. His first shot looked to be a lovely clip off middle and leg behind square. Except it was a little mistimed and the ball sailed off the back of the bat straight towards midwicket. Luckily it fell just short of the man placed there. A hearty cheer went up from the KSO bleachers when Drew scored his first run. He returned the salute with a stiff middle finger in our direction.
The Schaafsterclass (™ Dave Fagan) finally ended after 200+ balls and 53 runs as he edged the pie-chucker (he really simply bowled nude nuts) into the keepers gloves. A great innings that we were set to build a score around…. As Schaafs constantly reminded us – he would be “fucking pissed off if some of you guys don’t fucking capitalise on the fucking hard work” he did (I’ve omitted some of the obscenities there for more genteel ears…).
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and Robbie Seymour walked to the wicket. He looked in good touch driving the ball to the fence. Fat Skip decided to try and late cut the pie-chucker and snicked off as well. Simon Allen joined Robbie and the two proceeded to push the score towards 200. Unfortunately Robbie fell with only a couple of overs left in the day for a well constructed 24.
Craig Martin joined Simmo for the last few overs with orders to bat out the day. Which they did. For the first time in living memory the 4s had batted out the day and faced 82 overs for 9/193. A sterling effort.
We came back the next week set for a scorcher. Fat Skip had a plan to play some mind games and not let Roseville know if we would bat on. This cunning plan was brought to ruin by Simmo walking out for the warm up with pads and the rest of his kit on. With that plan shattered we proceeded to warm up as super-sub Jenko joined us and walked into the “best rig in the 4s” slot.
As the opening bowler lined up to continue last week’s toil Craig looked confident. That lasted for 4 balls before he was given out LBW without adding to the overnight score.
After TCW learnt a very harsh lesson in the nets on Wednesday i.e. don’t bowl half volleys at Naughto and ended up with a hairline fracture in his arm Fat Skip was bereft of new ball options. With a sigh of despair, he tossed the ball to Fini to bowl some seam up dobblers.
Fini and Craig bowled well without luck. Numerous balls missed the outside edge and off peg as the two young Roses lefties refused to play shots. At 0/40 off the first 30 overs it looked like a long afternoon without a result was about to occur.
Robbie Seymour finally made the breakthrough and wickets 2 and 3 soon followed shortly after. The Covies were back in the game at 3/50 odd and went to Tea on a high. Once again, the tea spread was outstanding however, this week Dave Fagan did refuse Fat Skips famous curried egg Sandwiches are an “eventful” drive to Moss Vale last week with the wife…
After Tea, Roseville’s skipper put on a very good partnership with their number 5 to move the score along to 3/140odd. They were assisted in their partnership with some sloppy fielding that leaked too many runs but the Covie boys still toiled hard to keep the pressure on. In desperation Fat Skip then turned back to “opening” bowler Fini to chuck down some pies to try and buy a wicket. After having the first two balls of the over dispatched to and over the big fence, the break through came. Their number 5 got a leading edge that would have been a simple shoulder height caught and bowled for most bowlers, however it sailed well over Fini’s head, only for fat skip to swoop around and through the batsman out at keeper. No one runs on Fat Skips rocket arm…..
Things then progressed quickly in the game. Two poles to Cold play and another to Billy the Kid had the Roses in a panic. When Carsen Forrest then pulled of a superb run out at mid off, it was all on the up for the Covies to sing the song for the first time in a while…
Unfortunately, things don’t always work out like you want. Two crucial dropped catches and some more sloppy fielding allowed the Roses’s Skipper to get away and compile a very well made 83 and get the runs required 8 down with 2 overs to spare.
There was a lot of positives to take out of this game. Batting the day and competing the way we did with a limited bowling attack was a wonderful effort for the lads. Unfortunately some sloppy fielding and two costly drop catches proved the difference between the two teams, however, we live to fight another day and look forward to a nice trip to Auburn next week