TWIC Round 5 – Georges River

TWIC Round 5 – Georges River

1st Grade

There was one change to the side this week as Pirenu returned as a straight swap for Robbie Blood. On a bright, sunny day in Bexley the Covies were looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss to Strathfield in the previous round. Naughto won the toss and for the first time this year, Lane Cove were batting first on a reasonable deck.

A new opening partnership saw Rixon and Pirenu open up only for the latter to depart for a globe. Naughton came and went and so too did Malik, leaving the covies struggling at 3-17. Rixon and Mandleberg dug in and got the score up to 79 before Choco was caught at point by a superb piece of fielding for a run a ball 38. Rixon brought up a well deserved half century, his first this season to give some respect to the scoreboard. However, the lower order came and went as the Covies posted an under par 167 only Brodie Cornelius offering some resistance with a tremendous effort of 10.

Searching for some early wickets to put pressure on the Rivermen, Scarcella and O’Hare were slapped around the oval by a cavalier cowboy display of batting that on another day would have seen some early reward. However, Jenkins who looked like he had just come off a twelve hour shift of sheep shearing and grabbed the crucial first wicket well taken by Cornelius at mid on and goodness gracious didn’t the boys get around Leroy Jenkins. Zen Malik came into the attack and first ball got his maiden Covie wicket. End of the first day and the Rivermen were in the driver’s seat on 2-80.

Day Two had that feeling something was going to happen. Naughton could smell something in the air, could be remnants from that morning’s nappy change or one of his ‘fifty a day’. Nevertheless, he looked to attack with Shadowfax and O’Hare again. Suddenly an annihilation of superb bowling saw the Rivermen on the cusp. Minus one half chance that flew to Mandleberg that only he would have even got too, the fielding was fantastic. Scarcella who has recently improved his all round flexibility was diving effortlessly in the field and at one stage was mistaken by a spectator for Jonty Rhodes. The game was on, Jenkins takes a screamer, Rixon throws the stumps down needlessly when the batters are at one end. Naughton taking one to the chest and able to covert it into a catch. It was all happening. The Covies were unstoppable. There were cries of  “YES THE DEMOGORGON” as O’Hare claimed a five wicket hall and the Covies led by 20. A rather anti climatical end saw the Rivermen’s injured wicketkeeper timed out. Lane Cove were out batting again.

Another mini collapse saw the Covies in trouble, Rixon missed a straight one, Pirenu looked fluent but soon departed and Naughton who has somewhat decided this year he’s only dealing in boundaries also fell for a quick fire 33. Nonetheless, guided by the brilliance of Dodds and Mandleberg saw the game out for a win. It is easy to see why Mandleberg is so highly regarded as he again picked up the man of the match award. Huge game next week at Pennant Hills, where the Covies will be looking for win number four of this already impressive start the season.

2nd Grade

Hi Ricko

Here’s the round up from the weekend. See you at the Diddy on Saturday.

Cheers,

City

… lol

After securing our first win of the season in the previous round against Strathfield, 2nd grade was keen to continue this momentum against Georges River. Pete made it two from two when he won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a belter of a Tantallon deck. It wasn’t a great start with Rob Blood dismissed second ball without scoring. Scoring throughout the innings due to a slow out field. Fletch, Cottie and Tommy Bristow had to work hard out in the middle but all fell cheaply scoring 4, 12 and 11 respectively. The Rig brought some stability to our innings facing 142 balls and contributing 37 valuable runs to the total. Pete came in at number 7 demoting himself due to our strong batting line up. He toiled hard for his 7 off 43 balls. Keen to find some form with the bat Humey came to the crease keen to increase the run rate. Together with the Rig and then Dindayal he put together a well constructed innings as he ended the day on 46 and the team total on 8-167 at the end of the day’s play with Raja at the other end.

Keen to build on the progress made the previous week Covies looked to add a quick 20 or 30 runs to the total early in the day’s play. Unfortunately, we could only add a further 6 runs to the total with Humey being trapped lbw for 49 and Raja being cleaned up by an absolute peach in the first three overs of the day. This left Georges River to chase 173 runs off 80 overs.

Georges River got off to a quick start scoring 20 runs in the first 4 overs. Tommy Bristow picked up an early wicket with the batsmen snicking off to Crazy Joe Devola at first slip. After being taken to early Man City knuckled down and started to bowl a tight line and length. In spite of his consistent bowling both of his poles came from rubbish balls. Through the middle overs Georges River were tide down and really struggled to get the ball through the ring. Rhys toiled away hard on a very flat pitch that wasn’t given the bowlers anything, bowling 16 overs straight and ending with figures of 2/36.

The spin twins were once again effective with Raja “Yay line” Islam picking up a pole and Devola picking up three. It was these three wickets from Devola which brought us back into the game and in with a real chance of victory with Georges River 7 wickets down and still requiring 30 runs for victory. However, in the end it wasn’t enough with Georges Rover chasing down our total of 173 7 wickets down. Whilst it was very disappointing to get so close and yet come up agonisingly short there are many positives which we can take leading into the next round against Pennant Hills.

3rd Grade

Being bowled out for 113 and the opps at 170 odd off 40 with a bloke of smashing 120 last week, hungry threes arrived at Lance Hutchinson oval with seemingly not much to play for and against the competition leaders, one might think George’s River would roll us quickly and we would lose outright….

“Runs” / Wes Matheson out second ball last week edged his first ball this week to second slip, things couldn’t look much worse.

Needham and Fagan hadn’t been told the script however and dug in putting in a gutsy 40 partnership in a bazillion overs to hold up proceedings. Walski coming to the wicket then smashed 70 in quick time ably supported with Greavsey (not many). One bowler tying to sledge him failing miserably as he put the next ball even further over his head and out of the park.

A magnificent knock fr el Capitano going back to his favoured baseball style, his highest score for the Covies and definitely leading from the front. Perhaps he needs play hungover every week?

The momentum if not having swung was certainly changing and “space cadet” Kensall along with Robert Downey (jnr) started to take the piss out of the bowling with some fine “drop and run”s mixed with biligerent  hitting.

Aled Messi playing his penultimate game for Covies before his imminent transfer to Real Madrid then took on Fagan’s bet that he couldn’t bat for 20 overs, the mood in the camp had completely changed, suddenly cricket was fun again.

Space cadet was pushing for an early declaration a hundred ahead with 20 odd overs to go but My Name Is Earl was having none of it kicking one away off his hip and getting out lbw to the chagrin of many. 200 all out.

Even then GR’s seemingly in total control but at least we had put up a fight??

Nahhhh covie lads rarely follow a script and after last weeks short pitched barrage suddenly everyone stared pitching the ball up and it started to sing. GR’s were always in the hunt however the grit and fight from The lads was clear and palpable.

Steady wickets, from our space cadet, and Safa / kiwi opener, then Walski and the Crayn plane with even the latter removing the chap who has smashed the ton last week with an absolute jaffer that pitched his his own half, 2 feet outside off and skied to Walski at a catching 3rd man!

Craynster then actually bowling a jaffer with Neesham (sic… name used by Walski for last 3 weeks), up at the stumps taking an absolute blinder to remove his old souffs mate 1st ball!! Crayman on a hat trick!! Alas not to be but nevertheless the game had changed and the GR sphincter was definitely trembling.. Walski then removed their captain who had opened and was still going for it with 5 over to go with another tremendous catch up at the wicket by Neesham even though he missed it by 3 feet!!

With field settings not seen since bodyline we gave them hell but alas couldnt grab the last 3 poles, 7 down for 70 odd.

The fight and grit shown against the comp favs and leaders should be long remembered!!

4th Grade

After falling short against two of the better sides in Fourth Grade the last couple of weeks, the 4s stepped up to the plate to take on the current top side – Georges River. History will have to be the judge on whether it was the presence of Fat Skip (Andrew Bray) as 12th man for a day whipping them into action or the dead cat bounce generated with a new leader for this game (Fat Skip Mk II – that’s me), but the lads were choc full of enthusiasm as Day 1 kicked off.

After losing the toss for the first time for the 4s this season (Fat Skip – 100% wins, Fat Skip Mk II – 100% losses), we were told to have a bowl on a very accommodating KSO deck. The deck was on the edge of the square and a very close boundary had all the batsmen salivating.

Making every effort to keep out the good and wait for the bad, the Rivermen took their time and did their best to ignore the close fence. Carig “Coldplay” Martin struck first, sending one through one of the openers to knock down the pegs with the score on 28.

The skipper of the Rivermen and the number 3 strung together an 80 odd run partnership before Taylor got him chopping on one ball after he reached 50. A few balls later Arun’s offspin tempted the number 3 to slice one straight to Srini at point. Actually is wasn’t his spin so much, but a classic wicket-taking full toss that did the job. Tea was called and the score was 3-108.

After Fat Skip’s afternoon tea email which gave some great guidance for those who bothered to read it… (fines did ensue for poor arvo tea performance), a great spread was put on by the lads.

Arun struck again with the first ball after tea when the next batsman basically left a ball that hit middle. What followed was a 104 run partnership that showed some resilient batting. The fielder who made the call “This bloke has more leaves than a tree” was summarily fined.

The game was in danger of slipping away when Fat Skip Mk II finally decided to bring himself on and throw some deceptively straight leggies down the pitch. Instant result with the first ball. Partnership broken.

Inspired by the skipper’s performance, Billy Keall at the other end started aiming for the pegs too and in the space of 6 overs the Rivermen were all out for 253, Billy and Fat Skip Mk II taking 3 each. Interestingly Billy and I got hit for the only two 6s of the innings also, which just goes to show what type of bowling gets wickets…

With five overs to face in the fading light, Taylor and Arun did well to come back in at 0-5.

After dire predictions of thunderstorms and rivers of water washing through KSO, we rocked up on Day 2 to a much greener top than the week before.

Taylor and Arun got us off to a lively start getting us to 0-28 before Arun fell to one that did not get up and hit him in front. What followed was not pretty as we proceeded to lose 10-60 to finish all out for 88. A lot of balls hit the poles and each time the resistance started another wicket fell. Of note was young Rex wearing one on the helmet from the opening quick and rising to continue the fight. Also, Craig Martin eventually got off whites but it took him nearly 30 balls to get that precious run.

The Rivermen of course sent us back in for another crack with 28 overs to bowl and us 165 runs in arrears. It didn’t start pretty – we were 4-11 after 10. It took the two youngest players on the team, with a combined weight of 38.7 kg – Billy and Rex to steady the ship and show some resilience. They put on a 40 run partnership in 14 overs and took the momentum away from the Rivermen. Rex finally fell for 12 off 57 balls just as a shower made the deck very skiddy with for overs to go. Fat Skip Mk II hobbled out and joined Billy. 4 overs later we walked off at 5/73, Billy not out on 22 and Fat Skip 20 not out off not many.

A loss on first innings but some good resilience showed by the young blokes and two good afternoon tea spreads show promising signs for the future.