The Covies rolled in to the home of cricket nice and early on a day full of promise, looking to capitalise on momentum against an Auburn team who were sitting second on the ladder. The sky was blue; the sun was shining and the temperature pleasant. We had a debutant in the form of Tom St John, eager to impress in the absence of the slug, who is out for the next few games exploring the south coast of Italy and tying the knot. Early inspections of the wicket by our fearless leader Damian and his deputy Joe, both brimming with confidence following their performances against Roseville, led to suspicion there would be “a bit in it early”. We won the toss and bowled consequently (it turned out to be a lifeless wicket).
Auburn’s openers set the tone for their innings early, attacking from the get-go. Joe Scarcella, who played his first game of soccer the preceding Sunday and sustained some sort of hip injury, looked like a new born giraffe on his approach to the crease. Although he was bowling at ¾ pace, Scar set the tone early with tight lines. Corny toiled hard at the other end, getting hit for an XL dinga in the process in the 4th over. He eventually claimed the first wicket, and soon after had the other opener heading back to the crease.
Auburn’s number 3 (poor bugger) was lost at sea. He proceeded to leave a ball then try and hit the next ball for 6 (unsuccessfully), over and over. Meanwhile, Auburn’s number 4 Jalil took a likening to Jenko’s bowling and started teeing off, hitting 3 towering bombs during his 10 over spell. Auburn’s captain came to the crease and couldn’t hit it off the square. Luckily, the number 4 was doing a job down the other end. Freddie came on and tightened the screws, taking a well- deserved 3 wickets (including the number 4) to restrict Auburn during the middle period. The captain was out soon after (thank Christ), the victim of a Weber barbecuing. After strangling back the momentum, the coves were full of confidence. Some late hitting by the Auburn lower-middle order batters, a few serious dingers (including Jenk having to abseil onto a backyard garage roof to retrieve the Kookaburra at one stage). Auburn ended their 50 overs on 236. A combined 10 sixes hit in the innings, 7 coming off the bowing of the Cammeray cartel. Fredie with 3/37 off his 10, the pick of the bowlers, well supported by Scar (0/26 off 10).
We came out after lunch full of confidence of reigning in Auburn’s total. The openers got us off to a steady start, however we never really got going in the first 10-15 overs. Despite not losing a wicket, tight areas and good fielding restricted us. A few wickets tumbled and Damian and Skepta (Freddy) set about upping the ante. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get going. In search of quick runs, we lost regular wickets. The opposition were sensing victory and began to unleash some nasty sledges about how tedious crossing the bridge (to the North shore) was, and how shit the Lane Cove region is (seriously!?). In particular, the leg spinner (who batted 9, has a full-toss as his stock ball and had issues with the lack of toilet paper in the Tanty sheds) got chirpy and even dished out a few send-offs. Alas, we were outplayed and never really got into the run chase, being dismissed for 162.Freddie top-scoring with 29 in a disappointing display from the boys.
We take on Epping in the bullring this round and look forward to bouncing back!
Second grade made the journey out to George Parry Oval to do battle with Auburn in the hope of bringing home our first points of the season. The lads arrived at the ground with a good energy, however, the returning Charlie Hipkin, who had confused the fixture, was walking his dogs and eventually made an appearance at the ground later that day.
The skipper maintained the good vibes by winning the toss (in unusual fashion) and electing to bat first on a good-looking deck. Despite the loss of an early wicket, Stuart Perry and Steve Matheson were able to settle in and develop a partnership, which threatened to take the early momentum away from the home side. Unfortunately, the boys were unable to maintain this and departed in successive overs for 9 and 19 respectively.
A young Blood entered to settle the innings once again, and was assisted with one of Britannia’s finest, in the form of Liam Hume, who finished with a ‘marvellous’ 38 after displaying some quality stroke play. Moreover, yet another quick-fire account of 34 from Ravi showed everyone just how close the leg side boundary could be in the right mood. Fortunately for the Covies, the ‘wise’ head of Joe Camarsh (36) found further runs, lifting us to a final score of 173, despite the tail order doing it’s best to self-destruct.
A formidable task lay ahead for the bowling unit after tea, set against a strong batting line-up in conditions favouring in excess of 200 runs. Some aggressive, yet measured attack from Charlie (1-17) and Ben Greaves (3-29) kept the openers in check. The early breakthrough came byway of a straightforward catch by Pete Blood, despite the best efforts of the batsman who received an official warning by the umpires as they departed for yelling at the fielder.
The ever-economical Ravi put in another strong spell of 0-20 off 10 overs and emerging talent, Andrew Robertson, picked up a neat wicket (1-14) after findings his length.
The decisive blow(s) however were to be dealt by ‘Mr Cricket’; I mean ‘Wicket’ with Raj dismissing 4-24 off 10 – Another strong message to the selectors. A timely stumping for Humey off Joe Camash left the game open for the taking and with the return of both opening bowling, the Covies emerged victorious by 49 runs.
(Lyrical aids were disseminated amongst the squad following the game to assist traditional post-match proceedings).
On a warm Saturday afternoon in Lane Cove, the subtle sounds of crickets chirping and birds singing greeted the LCCC 3rd grade battalion as they rolled in, prepared to face a typically tough-as-nails Auburn group from out Western way.
During the typically sharp, fluid and focussed warm-up with no dropped catches and all throws whistling to Kelland above the stumps, Isaac Kensell, upon noting the “green tinge” of the Kingsford-Smith wicket, implored skipper Mytkowski to bat first. Captain courageous won the toss, and wisely ignored Kensell’s pleas – opting to bowl first on a sporting deck whilst the outfield was still a bit spongey.
Enter Sam Greaves. “The rig” struck first, bowling the right-handed opener with a late in-dipper.
Ryan Devine chipped in with an LBW in his first over, and Kensell grabbed one an over later, all of a sudden – the Auburn 3rd XI were 3-50, and looking a little shaky.
Things cruised slightly then, until what can only be described as one of the most boobish acts witnessed on a cricket field saw the Auburn group instantly punished for their mistake.
At the 15th over, the umpires called for drinks, only for the Auburn boys to shout back at the beginning of the 17th that they weren’t yet prepared, and needed another over to mix the cordial. Sam Greaves thought this would be a really funny opportunity to punish their mistake, taking two wickets in two balls to really rub things in.
Post-drinks, the Auburn group settled, their no.5 leftie continuing to strike the ball nicely. Just when things looked like they were going to drift away from us – Greaves struck again, and Crayn pinched another – leaving Auburn reeling at 8/120.
A few overs and an Earl LBW later, and the Covies would be chasing 145 for a much-needed victory.
Tea came and went, N. Kelland running off to Porter’s to grab the best drink choice of the season (Throwdowns are tasty, easy to hold and drink). The pull-aparts were average, but the sandwiches and cakes were a nice addition. Auburn were particularly full of praise for Max’s ham and cheese on wholemeal with a nice onion relish.
Before LCCC’s reply, Mytkowski gathered the troops and stressed the importance of wickets in hand when chasing a low, but challenging total. In a world dominated by KPI’s and figures, Nick stated that he wished for us to be no more than 2 down at the end of 15 overs. He said “I don’t care if we only have 20 on the board, we just need to keep wickets in hand.”
It’s good that Walski didn’t care if we only had 20 on the board, because Kensell, in a show of defiance and “you can’t tell me what to do,” took 28 off the first over including three massive sixes. Subverting the old notion of “getting your eye in” and “rotating the strike,” Kensell bashed and crashed his way through the first few overs, bringing up the 50 partnership in the 4th set of six – Kensell 47*, Dowey 2*.
This continued. Dowey rotating the strike, playing delicate dabs behind point, giving Kensell the strike, and the licence, to keep flaying it to all parts.
After 5 overs, the spine of the chase was broken, and we were as good as home. Kensell eventually dismissed for a breathtaking 85 off 37 rocks. Dowey and Mytkowski seeing us home with 30* and 17* respectively.
A much needed bonus point, and a win for the good guys.
To come. Stand by