The Covie Boys arrived at Tantallon early on Saturday the 8th in high spirits and why wouldn’t they be? Top of the ladder going to Christmas and their bellies still full from Christmas ham and drinks at the SCG the preceding days. We were greeted by a fairly good deck and of course, Hoody +1 prepping fielding circles and discussing the latest council movements.
Lindfield won the toss and decided to bat. The top 5 were not up to the task as Scarcella and Hairy boy sliced through them like a hot knife through butter. Really top stuff. Lindfield were in all sorts of trouble at 5/17.
The rest came and went as Zenny boy ripped through the lower order taking 3 for not many. Some good catching and strong ring fielding on display.
Unfortunately, it was a similar story for the Covie batsmen as the top order looked akin to the Wynyard turnstile. Credit to the Lindfield bowlers who bowled good lines and little width. Rixon offered some resistance with a sound 25 and first 6 of the season (probably his life to be honest). But after copping yet another bouncer to the head and stuck between grill and lid, our Resident Administrator was caught on the fine leg boundary in a turning point of the game.
Doddsy provided resistance but it was all for nought as the Covies were dismissed for 77 runs in the 26th over.
A sobering afternoon of cricket, however potentially a mental wake up call that was required for the boys in royal blue as we gear up for a long run into the finals.
I have no doubt that the boys will bounce back very strongly next round against 1st placed Mounties!
11 grim faced men from lane cove stare disbelievingly towards the centre of the darkened dressing room. Where 24 golden, icy cool bottles of liquid motivation should have been spied, only a soiled jockstrap and a dead cockroach were to be found. This turned out to be the high point of the day for Lane Cove, as they produced an ill disciplined, insipid display against a team which on paper were far weaker.
Lindfield won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a pitch which would only get slower and lower throughout the day.
Things started brightly enough for Lane Cove as Dindayal bowled with metronomic accuracy and no little wobble, whilst at the other end Manchester steamed in with the attitude if not the pace of Mitchell Starc. Picking up early wickets as they went, Lindfield were kept under 100 for the first 25 overs. The middle overs were taken up by the twin leg spin threat of Kuchey and Camarsh, who mixed wicket taking balls with regular loose deliveries as Lindfield upped the run rate. A flurry of wickets around the 40th over gave the Covies hope of keeping Lindfield under 200. However with the heat taking it’s toll and some slapdash fielding the total swelled to 242, as the tail coaxed the ball over the ropes with some improbable strokeplay.
After an Ikea style tea and no sign of a tea pot as is the Australian way, the Lane Cove openers strode to the middle confident of chasing down the total on what was still a good pitch with a fast outfield to boot.
After a solid start Fletcher was dismissed with the score on 24, bringing the captain, Blood, to the crease. He looked to dominate from the start, unfurling his full array of strokes to the wonderment of the crowd. With the run rate always under control, the game was Lane Cove’s to win. However the lack of a substantial partnership was to be their undoing. Blood departed to a loose stroke for a buccaneering 39 from just 24 balls, closely followed by Needham and Camarsh who found a way to get themselves out despite some friendly bowling. Lane Cove’s hopes now rested on the shoulder’s of Kelland, desperately wanting to bring the game home so his team mates might look him in the eye again after his beer faux pas. Batting beautifully Lane Cove dared to dream, however when his stumps were rearranged for a well made 40, the game was up. Lane Cove eventually stumbled to 180 all out from less than 40 overs, proof if it was required that a lack of application from the top order cost the game. The emergence of Rhys Manchester as a genuine allrounder will give Lane Cove some encouragement going in to next weeks must win game against 12th placed Southern Districts.
Lane Cove Third Grade arrived bright and early to a very green Longueville pitch, but was quickly assured by Hoody that it would be lifeless, not having received any water since the last time he played. The usual debate around the all-important decision, bat or bowl first, started. Brian Scott, insisting we bowl first, as he always does, while Dave Fagan was adamant we bat, taking Hoody’s advice that the pitch was only going to get slower and lower. However, Lindfield won the toss and put us into bat. With the Covies welcoming 3 of Isaac’s mates from up North, and welcoming back Pat Francis after some time away from the club.
It didn’t take long the Lindfield captain’s decision to look like that of Joe Root in Adelaide, with Isaac Kensell hitting a 4 off the first ball, and not looking back. At the other end, Arun Sirrpi took his time to get into his innings, but was soon outscoring Isaac. Partly due 14 swings in a row from Isaac, each which would have been in the houses had he made some contact. However, he soon found the middle of the bat again and the Covies were off to a flyer. Looking good at 0/99 off less than 20, we were eyeing off a big score, as would be required with the short boundary at Longy. However, Isaac fell to a straight ball for 39 (off 46 balls). Arun fell the next over for 49 (off 57), smashing the ball towards the midwicket boundary to cries of “SHOT”, only to be plucked, one handed, out of the air by a young kid with an absolute screamer.
0/99 to 2/99, and suddenly there was an air of panic amongst the veteran Covies…surely not another Covie collapse. But never fear, new bloke Adam Croft and David “Barney” Fagan walk to the crease, determined not to let things slip. Together they put on a 57-run partnership before Adam was trapped, leg before something (26 off 40). Barney fell one run later (28 off 30), followed very quickly by Tom Prosser (golden). The three quick wickets leaving the Covies reeling at 5/157. Cameron Pyne and Pat Francis joined in the middle with the task of stopping the collapse, but unfortunately neither could make double figures (Cam 4 off 10 and Pat 5 off 10).
Enter James P Ephraums. His first partner, Earl van Schalkwuk didn’t last long, making 2 off 6. Next in Kieran Crayn stuck out there for longer, and together they put on 25, before the Crayn Plane dragged one of for 13 off 13. With Brian Scott as his final partner, James knew he needed to farm the strike if we wanted to bat out the overs. But not only did he take as much strike as he could, he put the balls to good use, scoring at better than a run a ball. Watching from the other end with his sunnies still atop his broad brimmed hat, Brian decided he wanted a piece of the action too. Facing only 7 deliveries Brian scored 13, made up of just one single, and two huge sixes over long on into the fence in front of the grandstand full of cheering Covies. At the end of the 50 overs we were 9/254, with James finishing with 37 off 32 balls.
After a good spread, we went out to field feeling we had a defendable total. We knew the pitch wouldn’t offer much, but if we could bowl tight lines and field well then we could restrict Lindfield to less than 250. My Name Is took the new ball from the river end, and Scotty at the other end. Brian immediately looked out of place bowling from the grandstand end, and after a 2 over Tait spell, Crayn Plane was brought on. Much like the Covies had, Lindfield were off to a good start, hitting several boundaries. After 4 overs from Earl, Isaac was thrown the ball with Barney and the Covies looking for a wicket. But the lifeless pitch offered nothing.
With one of their openers starting to get away, Barney turned to James Ephraums, hoping for some more magic. And he delivered, taking a wicket first ball. With the first wicket we started to slow things down. Craynie had finally worked out his field and lines and was starting to bowl well, tying down their dangerous opener and zeroing in on the stumps of the new batter. James bowled well from the other end to restrict their scoring, and between the first and second drinks breaks the Covies had fought their way back into the game.
Another bowling change saw Earl back into the attack, and another wicket. This time Earl got the dangerous opener, out for 71. With two down and the runs drying up, Fagan kept Crayn bowling. Bowling out his 10 overs straight and finishing with 0/31. The other bowlers being rotated around, with Isaac and Brian picking up a wicket each.
With 8 overs to go, and Lindfield needing 8 and over, we felt we were ahead in the game. However, some poor fielding at the back end of the innings, leaking a few too many singles, and some unhelpful sundries allowed Lindfield back into the game. A runout brought a new batter to the crease, and unfortunately, he was seeing them well, taking a Brian Scott over for 18.
The last over saw Lindfield needing just 4 runs to win, and the short boundary was too short to keep them below our total. Lindfield passing our score 5 down with 4 balls to spare.
A tough loss for the boys after posting a great score and spending 50 overs in the field. But a lot of positives to take from the game. We welcomed some new blokes to the club, who hopefully can keep playing for us as they showed a lot of promise. There was some great batting, with Lane Cove posting their highest score this season.
After winning the toss for the 6th time this year and choosing to bowl on the Acorn carpet, it was all looking good for the Lane Cove 4s. With Coldplay swinging it both ways and Harry Shaw bowling a massive spell of 3 overs before being cooked, we had $infield 3 for 25 and were very much on top. Unfortunately after an inspirational “lets not allow these guys to get away “ speech from not so fat vice Skip, we then allowed $infield to get away. A fairly ugly 200+ run partnership followed on a flattening wicket. The Covie boys fought hard on a fairly warm day but unfortunately we just keep feeding the pairs 2 or 3 scoring zones. After letting their number 3 cook himself to retire with exhaustion, sort off, the Covies started to have a bit more success. Bowling half valleys outside off worked to get the other partner and then bowling tight lines the Covie 4s managed to knock over all 10 poles just short of the 50 over mark with almost 300 on the board. Tough day in the field on a hot day but we know what we did wrong and will use that in future weeks.
With Fat Skips, play you own game words ringing in the ears, the Covie boys went out to bat in the chase of the large total. Things started well with the first over lasting 11 balls with the $infield opener struggling with the concept of one day wides. It was at this point that Fat Skip decided that this was the time to attack. With the game plan to knock the openers out of the attack Fat Skip plundered their offerings. With an aggressive mindset two towering sixes into the carpark at Acron and 8 blistering boundaries followed from the Skip, $indfield’s openers last 3 and 2 overs respectably. Their first change only lasted for a few donkey drop spinners as well. Fat Skips first Lane Cove 50 came from just 31 balls in a true display of power hitting. Unfortunately it came to an end all too soon. Next ball after the 50 was brought up a rank, should height, full toss produced a leading edge and fat skip was gone for a well compiled 53. It gave the Covies a great start and was the highest Covie score for the round across all 5 grades and actually out scored 10 of the first Graders combined.
Unfortunately, it went down hill from there. Tay Tay ran 2 blokes out om his way to 39 from a pedestrian 76 balls. Rex sent his 30Kg body hurtling down the pitch to miss it and be stumped for a globe. Fini copped an interesting LBW decision which was followed by a 7 out of 10 blow up. Harry got off whites with an 11 ball 1 and Jack Seymour had a nice cameo of 27 but all out 163 was a little bit disappointing given the good start.
Big game next round against SDs at the home of cricket which we are sure to be back up for.