What a great round for the Covies – 1s, 2s and 3s got off the mark for the season, and U/24s racked up two wins on the bounce taking us up to 162 Club Championship points and up to 11th spot.
First grade turned up to the home of cricket for a Round 5 clash against old rivals Roseville. Despite the hottest November week on record, we were greeted with a fairly soft, wet and green deck. Maybe hosing down the deck the day before the game wasn’t Dub’s greatest idea. True to our run of luck in the season to date, we lost the toss and were sent in to bat (I believe that makes us 0-4 for tosses in first grade, to go with 0-2 in U/24’s).
A solid start saw us at 0/32 before losing both openers in quick succession. This was followed by Choco knicking off to a keeper who had managed to drop around 80% of balls that had gone to him all day. It’s not often you say that being caught behind from a genuine snick to the keeper is unlucky, but in this situation, Choco was truly unlucky. At 3/51, Eddy joined Naughto at the crease, and the two knuckled down and batted very sensibly against some sub-par bowling to put together 58 for the 4th wicket. Eddy then got a decent rock, which was followed by an even better rock to see off Robbie Blood, and we were struggling at 5/109. Pete Blood then chipped a ball to mid on the over before tea to see us at 6/125 at tea. Naughto fell soon after the interval for a very solid 52, and was followed by two more wickets, leaving us reeling at 9/134. Enter Corny and ‘the Slug’. Corny threw caution to the wind, and struck a few clean boundaries, with solid support from Liam, as the two put on 49 for the last wicket, to drag us up to a defendable 183.
With the momentum all ours after our 10th wicket partnership, Roseville came out to face a tricky 19 over session at the end of day 1. Corny and Scarcella opened up, and with the help of some questionable batting, managed to have Roseville 5/40 at the end of the day, capping off a promising first day. Day 2 began very similar to the way day 1ended, with some decent bowling, ordinary batting, and plenty of play and misses, although wickets were hard to come by. After around half an hour of frustration, we were finally able to get the first breakthrough, closely followed by another, before a small partnership took Roseville to 7/81. Needing to bowl Roseville out for under 83 to enforce the follow on, we then managed to take the final three wickets for the loss of only one run, banking the first 6 points of our season, and putting us in the box seat to push for the outright win. Wickets were shared amongst Corny (4), Scarcella (4) and the Slug (2).
As we came out for the second dig, there was a bit of a sense of just going through the motions and expecting Roseville to roll over, which, to their credit, they did not do. Despite Roseville being 4/39, and 6/87, our lack of intensity came back to bite us, as we allowed Roseville to put on an unbeaten 130 for the 7th wicket, managing to drop 9 catches along the way, several of which can only be described as sitters.
A disappointing way to end the match, but on the whole it was a very positive win for us, managing to bank our first points of the season. We will hope to carry the momentum into the next two games against Auburn and Epping, both very winnable games, and a great opportunity to head into the break with three wins on the trot, and a solid position on the table.
2 – J Scarcella
2 – A Cornelius
1 – D Naughton
1 – L O’Hare
Round 5 against Roseville started off in usual fashion. Rubbish ABC categiry, mutiny lead by new recruit Nathan ‘playground bully’ donegan, change in ABC category to Bezer’s diapproval, team engaging in ABC minus Bezer who was tantruming somewhere near the 9th hole. Once everyone had made up and Nathan had returned Bezer’s lunch money, we switched on, fired up at the prospect of picking up the first points of the season. Winning the toss and bowling is always a good idea after a 45 degree day, however it looked like a bolwer’s wicket, and I wanted an excuse to piss off everyone except Rhys and Bezer.
We got off to a good start with the opening pair picking up some early wickets, with Rhys on top and Bezer remaining tight. The boys’ consistency paid off, and we claimed some early wickets against a fragile looking top order. The Roseville middle order were able to re-stabilise things, and approaching lunch, the match was in the balance with Roseville 4-90. Raja then entered the fold, and made an immediate impact, dismissing a settled Roseville batsman, before trapping their number 7 plumb in fron the very next ball. We went into the break at 6-110. Still evenly poised, but early wickets essential to stamp our authority on the game.
Lane Cove came out firing after the break, with Bezer and raja making short work of Roseville tail. Roseville all out 117. Bezer 4-29 off 16. Raja 3-11 off 5. The rest shared around.
We were expecting big things from Ols, who had spent every Saturday this season knocking in his new bat, without using it. 1 ball later we were 0-1, off to a bad start with the Roseville opener Gooley knocking over his off-peg with what looked a pretty decent pill. Shane and Nathan were able to re-build, pushing the score to 25, with Nathan having a particular fondness for the 3rd man boundary. A few more wickets lost in quick succession left us reeling, and when Shane eventually fell for a well gritted-out 23, we were in trouble. Coxy coming to the crease when struggling is not ideal, and having him bat at 6 only reinforces the assumption that we have a huuuuge tail. Nevertheless, Coxy knuckled down and batted really well, losing a few partners in the process. Coxy kept out the good pills well, and expertly put away the bad balls punishing the rare slip ups from what was a pretty tight attack.
When skipper joined Coxy at the crease, we were strugglingat 6-80. I don’t rate myself as an outstanding captain, but keeping a leg spinner who could only land 2 an over on with a deficit of 40 is not something I would encourage. 3 full tosses and a half-tracker later I had gotten over my nerbes, and after surviving a rediculously plumb LBW shout in the penulitmate over, we ended the day 6-109. Coxy 34*, Hipkin 18*.
I played through every scenario in my head all week, and struggled with the idea of losing 4-8 and losing first inings. Coxy even said that we were odds even to lose the 1st innings. I got off to the worst start by leaving the scorebook at home (I live in Hornsby) and having to send Alex Southcott to colelct it. Thanfully he drives very fast and illegally, and he was back in record time to see Coxy polish off the required runs in the first over. 2 through 3rd slip. 4 over the keepers head. 2 from a full toss on leg stump. 4 from a full-toss outside off.
Pressure off, Coxy and I started throwing the kitchen sink, and cashed in on a pretty quick outfield to build a lead of 75 by the time I fell for 63 (partnership of 99). While my innings was ugly, and sometime lucky (I got caught off a no-ball when on 20), Coxy’s hit was measured, sensible, and genuinely looked like a batsman’s knock. Despite this, we are both bowler’s, and it reinforced my decision to bowl first on what was obviously a bolwer’s wicket.
Rhys let everyone down by getting off whites with a cover drive for three, before we declared with a lead of 85.
Rhys and Bezer again came out firing, instantly putting the top order on the back foot with early wicjkets, and tight niggling lengths. Rhys especially loves a good length, and was able to claim 2 early and important LBW decisions.
Coxy brought a mixed bag, taking a wicket on every ball that was not a metre down leg side, ending up with figures of 2-17, while Kiran and Bezer polished off the tail to end a comprehensive day of cricket with 10 points.
Lane Cove win by an innings and 4 runs.
3 points- Coxy
2 points- Hipkin
1 point- Bezer
With fearless leader Shaafs out due to a dodgy hammy, David Knock took captaincy duties, promptly lost the toss and Covies found themselves fielding at Longy. Turned out to be a good toss to lose with Roseville soon 6-67 with Scotty and Martin picking up a couple each. However, the Roseville No 8 promptly despatched bowlers to all parts in a quick fire 70. Once gone Roseville quickly folded for 182. Shaikh 4, Martin 2 and Scott 2 with a couple of run outs.
Covies chase started inauspiciously as we soon found ourselves 2 -1 with the Roseville opening bowler on a hat-trick. Covies advanced to 3 – 70 at the close so game in the balance. A poor start to day 2 saw Covies soon 4 – 71. Knocky and Rahmany put on 50 but then wickets fell steadily till we were 9 – 149 . Shaikh and Scott then eked their way past Roseville’s score. Never in doubt! 3s first win of what will be many this season. Rahmany 57, Knock 34, Shaikh 33*, Lidbury 25, Scott 14.
The 4th grade Muppeteers turned up to Roseville in round 5 on the back of another loss against SD’s in Round 4. However, there was much excitement in the group as Roseville were also located near the bottom of the table and a good result was expected. Even more excitement was shared when we saw the state of the notoriously bad Roseville Park pitch. A thick, patchy layer of grass over what appeared to be rock, looked like it would suit the battling boys from 4ths with their bowler heavy line up. However, due to fats skips successful call of the Toss in round 4, there was no way we were going to win another one this year so we had resigned ourselves to batting first.
It was to our great surprise when Fat Skip called heads and won his second Toss in a row. Wow. There is no way we are winning another one for the rest of the year. Without hesitation we sent the Roseville in to face the music and we bowled well early doors. Nice tight line held the by Julian and the Shaw brothers kept the scoring rate down even though we did not take a wicket. It took a magical ball from Julian Luke to get rid of one of the openers. It was especially nice to remove the 1st grader slumming it in 4s.
Apart from the other opener, the Roseville team did not have much else in their batting line up. To Excellent from Tom Sherrah (4/38 including 2 dropped catches from the Prince of Punjab, P Thakur) and Scott Barrett (3/34) ensured that the Roseville Boys went to lunch on 5 for not many and were soon all out for 133 after 50 overs.
With 20 overs to face out for the day, Fat Skips instructions to new opening partner Julian Luke were to be there at the end of the day. We don’t care how many runs we get, we just want to be there at the end of the day. It was great to see that the message sunk in when on the second ball JL smashes one over first slip for four. There was not all that many highlights of the Covie boys first innings (and second for that matter). Only honourable mentions to Fats Skips longest ever innings, 32 balls, James Davies taking 48 balls to get off whites, Jed Shaw’s stop score of 18 from number 11 and Joel Watts not trying to sweep a ball off medium pacers for his well-made 0 from 7.
With a deficit of 45 going into the second dig, we knew we had to bowl and field with out mistake to have any chance of coming back for the outright. We knew it was not going to be our day when on the third ball their opener and acting captain was dropped on a very regulation catch. Not many highlights form the Covies in Roseville’s second dig. A few more dropped catches, a second half century from the opener and a declaration on 3/125 left us chasing 171 from thirty overs.
The “Chase” did not start well with Julian gong snicking one early, Fat Skip spooning one to cover, and Tom Sharrah getting caught at fly slip. The chase was called off, but regular wickets to their 2nd grade spinner some horrendous LBWs, and some very insipid batting, resulted in us getting rolled for 75 with 4 overs remaining.
All in all a very poor batting display from the Muppeteers. Much improvement needed. We can take some positives from our bowling but unfortunately with the game there to be one after the first dig, we came up short.
3 – Jed Shaw
2 – Tom Sherrah
1 – Scott Barrett
Frank Gray – Round 2 v Mac Uni
After a real ‘get out of jail’ effort in Round 1 of the season, the 24’s side faced Mac Uni at Tantallon for Round 2. Several sore bodies and sore heads from the previous day/night meant that Preecey’s intense warm up, which involved agility ladders and lots of running, was met with several groans from some of the less fitness inclined members of the team (no prizes for guesses here: one is a second grade captain who can’t handle his beers, and the other is a sweaty, sluggish member of first grade, with a penchant for punching EMT’s).
The skip lost his second toss of the season, and we were sent into the field on what had proven to be a great deck the day before against Roseville. Not the worst toss to lose however, as we knew there would be a bit in the deck early on. Mac Uni, who had the bye in Round 1, may have been under the impression they were playing a t/20 game, as they came out all guns blazing and getting a hold of Corny early on, racing to 0/29. At the time of writing, the bomb that Corny was hit for was still yet to land. The openers luck could only be ridden for so long however, as he clipped a short ball to Dave Gribben at fine leg, who took a magnificent catch. What followed was plenty more filthy slogging from the top order, much to the skipper’s frustration (and also, I imagine, the frustration of Mac Uni’s skipper, who was steadily losing partners at the other end). We managed to stick to our plans very well, bowled with discipline, took our chances (something first grade may be able to learn from), and were very impressive in the field. A steady flow of wickets saw us roll Mac Uni for 114 in the 30th over, with wickets shared amongst Charlie (3), the Skip, Corny and Hairy (2 each), and DP (1).
Special mention to Charlie, who bowled particularly well, and managed to take some genuine wickets, coming off a bowling burglary last week. A great performance from the entire side, both bowling and fielding. After the batting debacle of last week, I was far from feeling comfortable despite chasing a sub-par total. Ols and DP headed out to start the innings, and looked comfortable, before Ols looked to steal one quick single too many, and was run out. Christian King was then bowled by someone who has clearly been getting throwing, I mean bowling, lessons from Cam Bezer. Pat Francis then managed to build a small partnership with DP, before skying a rank full toss from Mac Uni’s leggie. The captain then joined DP at the crease with the score on 62 after around 20 overs, and the game still in the balance. The Pom then turned on the heat against Mac Uni’s bowler. The bonus point was soon in our sights, and we managed to level the scores in the 27th over with the bonus point win all but sealed.
The skipper then lost his wicket with scores tied, leaving Coxy to come out at the non-strikers end for one ball, a wide, which ended the match, and secured the Covies bonus point win. An excellent knock from Dom, who batted very sensibly, and steered us home, allowing others to bat around him.
All in all, a great win for the lads, as we head into Christmas 2 from 2, and with our sights on the finals in the New Year.