With a similarly sodden leadup to Day Two of the Waratah's clash against the Magpies it was always going to be an interesting weekend of results with the weather an uncontrollable factor. 1st grade were guided to their second consecutive victory by a silken 91 from James Crosthwaite, while 2nd grade lost a tight arm-wrestle with Wests as they achieved the total of 178 with only 2 wickets in hand, Buck and Carden snaring 3 each. 3rd grade created a spirited and highly entertaining second innings chase in an audacious attempt to come away with some points but between once again receiving unarguably the worse of the conditions and some very determined Wests batting, once again Wests came away marginally on top - scraping home in the dark, 7 down, with a handful of overs to spare at 7.10pm! 4th Grade prevailed in a similarly low-scoring encounter with Wests falling 37 runs short of the 187 set by Manly. All in all, a slightly disappointing week given the respective places of the two clubs in most tables, however it was great to see 1st and 4th grades start to show what they're capable of, while 2s and 3s will take the positives out of this round and get set for Northern Districts (1s, 3s, 5s, at home) next week.
This round's clash against Western Suburbs at Manly was his first completely injury-free outing of the season however, and filling in behind the stumps for Jay Lenton (on NSW duties) his all-round performance was nothing short of outstanding - snaring three amazing stumpings last week before scoring a composed 91 to lead 1st grade to their second consecutive victory.
Whether it was the premonitions of Club Coach Shawn Bradstreet earlier in the week, or simply a fully functioning body that inspired this round's performance, the prospect of a full season with James is exciting to say the least.
Keep it up mate!!
1st Grade - Wests 176 & 2-33 (M. Visser 4/42, A. Beadle 3/39) Manly 4-180 dec (J. Crosthwaite 91, A. Beadle 53*)
Before we arrived on day 2, we weren’t sure of what to expect on Manly Oval as there was consistent rain during the week and especially bucketing down on Friday night. We turned up and the covers were off and the ground staff were optimistic to get started asap. Unfortunately there was a big puddle just of the wicket square as the covers were ripped open by surfboards but I won’t go into detail.
All the players, coaching staff, ground staff & committee members heavily contributed and worked extremely hard to get the playing conditions up to standard on a wet day. We knew there will be delayed start and constant drizzle that was inevitable… but never stopped anyone from doing their role on the blowers, brooms, shovels or super soppers.
Eventually and miraculously play resumed at 2 30pm and the Western Suburbs boys were… how do I put this ‘enthusiastic’ to play cricket rather than cards. Manly required 110 runs with 8 wickets in hand.
To set the platform - James aka ‘Better Crossy’ Crosthwaite continued his fine form from last weekend to belt 91 off just 64 balls including 7 sixes and 6 fours in an entertaining innings. Ahillen Beadle struck 53 not out with Ryan Farrell 6 not out to claim first innings points passing the score 4 down & declaring soon after at tea 4/180.
The squad went into the final session feeling positive to give the Wests batsman a shake and that we did. Jim Munting bowled a confident spell to claim 2 wickets early and Michael Visser backed up last week’s superb bowling performance to put the heat on Wests batsmen. Unfortunately the rain interrupted and the play was abandoned at 6pm for the score of 2/33.
As Manly and Sydney aka Balmain were the only two sides that won in Rd 5 whilst the other 8 games were washed-out. It was a crucial result to get 6 valuable points and sets our momentum heading into the Christmas break. Next up Northern District.
2nd Grade - Manly 177 (T. Kaye 41, N. Buck 39) Wests 8/178 (N. Buck 3/49, J. Carden 3/41)
Second Grade travelled to Pratten Park, with a number of new faces. Jack Edwards at the age of 15 making his debut, whilst Nathan Buck and the flat made their return to second grade.
After losing the toss and being sent in. A solid start from Joey Graham and Rohan Hammond saw us get to drinks unscathed on what was a tough morning to bat. Unfortunately just after drinks both Rohan (11) and Joey (5) lost their wickets. Both faced in excess of 50 balls, which shows the dedication to the cause and the work they put in on a rain affected wicket. Aidan (14) and Tom Kaye (41) got the boys to lunch, and at 2/42 at lunch things were looking positive.
The old bang bang theory prevailed and the Manly boys after working so hard, took the foot off the gas. They lost steady wickets with only Sam Webber (24) and Tom Kaye looking like they could go on with it. Manly were 4/96 and quickly went to 8/126, with the loss of Gainsford (10), Carden (3) and Luke Grant (0). Special mention must be made of Jack Edwards who scored 15 off 44 balls and looked comfortable. At 9/136 with the loss of Edwards, things were looking dire.
Enter Nathan Buck (39no) and Marshall (6) who put on 41 for the last wicket. Manly finished with 177.
With rain affecting the game, West had 48 overs to score the runs. Luke Grant (1/20) chipped in with the first wicket and Nathan Buck (unfortunately not off his long run due to the conditions) (3/49), had Wests behind the 8 ball at 3/20. Wickets to Carden (3/41) and Baker (1/22) saw Wests at 7/108 and Manly were well on top.
Despite this, a young wests fella and an older comrade backed themselves and started to hit through the line of the ball. Which worked in their favour, unfortunately with the low total, Manly could not come up with the answers required as the wicket flattened out and the outfield (unlike the first week) started to see value for shots.
In the end Wests knocked it off 8 down and the manly boys were left with the wrong end of the stick. Conditions certainly suited Wests throughout the game, despite this, Manly also had their chances to win and know they need to improve and be more ruthless. It is a young side and ultimately it is all about learning and developing in to tough cricketers. As Andrew Fraser said during the week, "be accountable for your mistakes and never make the same one twice", he followed it up with "keep coming up with new ones", lets hope this isn't the case for this young side.
3rd Grade - Manly 93 (A. Bariol 25) & 9/108 dec (D McKenna) Wests 102 (L. Diserens 3/31) & 7/100 (S. Hole 3/6)
Basically a copy of day one. Wests weren’t interested in playing and for some reason thought 6 points was enough. We welcomed them to the way you are meant to play cricket and hopefully it will rub off on them. After mopping up we got under way having lost 12 overs. For some reason Wests batted on and lost their two wickets without the addition of any runs, just took up 2 overs plus two for the change. Well done. Wigney and Evans being the lucky ones with the ball, it could have been anyone.
A bit more rain took out another 5 overs. We batted for 22 overs and scored 9 dec 108. Darcy batting well and a few others got a few including Hole, McKenna and Wigney. Our declaration at tea gave Wests 37 overs to score 100 on a pitch with a bit in it.
Wigney and Evans got a couple of early ones each to make them 4/19 off 7. Like last week, the rain then came along and made bowling properly impossible. The landing area was like ice, Wigney sliding a foot with each delivery, Evans shortened his stride up and was held on a very tight leash and bowled crap after looking like going through them. Diserens couldn’t grip it, Mckenna also struggled in the conditions. The two Wests boys batted sensible in the conditions and guided them home, 7 down. Sam Hole (3/6) made it interesting. Two incredible catches late showed we had not given up. Wigney at full stretch at backward square leg and then Crombie running backwards and diving. Both catches left the batsmen stunned and I was very proud of the way we battled through the whole day, these two catches exemplifying that.
We are still well placed but need to strengthen our resolve at the crease. Our batting in both innings contained far too many soft, easy dismissals. Time for one or two blokes to step up.
Big thanks to Jordan’s dad, Matthew and Sam’s mum,Sharon, for scoring. In the rush of the day I forgot to thank you both, hope the message gets through.
4th Grade Manly 189 (Poole 37, Cole 33, Graham 30) defeated Western Subs 152 (Wickets shared)
A wet drizzly morning welcomed us to Blick Oval for our clash with Wests. Unfortunately however the ground was a swimming pool for much of the morning and the game was reduced to 41 overs a side with a 12:30 start. Max lost the toss and we were in to bat but after a few overs it looked a good toss to lose. Max and Coley got us off to a flier runs coming thick and fast thanks to some great shots and short boundaries. Unfortunately Max got to 12 and chopped on followed by James getting a good ball which did a bit and took the bails as he shouldered arms.
Coley and Toby took up the charge and put on 50 between them before Coley was caught behind for a fast and exciting 33. Toby continued to be fluent in his scoring. He peppered cover and straight, regularly finding the fence whilst Arshdeep turned the strike over on his way to 16. Unfortunately Toby top edged for 37 and Pickering added only 12 as we had a mid order stumble reaching 7-120 with 14 overs left in hand. Will and Joel the victims of a great catch and a good ball respectively. Jacob and Ryan then went about stalling the collapse with a few boring overs before the singles and boundaries started coming for the boys in blue once more. Ryan batted fluently for a crucial 20 as Jacob scored quick at the end to make 30, the partnership getting us to the last over of the innings and getting us to almost 190.
The constant sprinkling of rain we had throughout the innings kept the pitch lively for us and when we took the field Ben Kittelty and Ryan made it sing. The openers never looked comfortable with runs coming mainly from edges. Ben made the first breakthrough with the score on 27, Ryan was however lucky not to take the captain with him at the end of his spell. Joel replaced Ben at one end and Jacob replaced Ryan at the other. It only took Joel an over to find his rhythm and was rewarded with the other openers wicket with the score on 44.
West's number three batted with some class, but unfortunately the rest of the team couldn't match him. A change of ends saw Jacob take 2 wickets; courtesy of a great catch by Toby in the deep and Arshdeep in the ring (FOW 74 & 86), whilst Will bowled with excellent control toiling away to finally to bowl the number 3. (FOW 98). The next wicket of Will's then saw the hopes of a West's victory take a nose dive, the required run rate escalating to well above 7 and they just couldn't keep up. Wickets falling at regular intervals to Ryan, Ben, Joel and Max, in the final over, sealed the win for the Tahs.
A good day for the boys to get the win, with many other games called off. Calm heads got us home and with plenty of lessons as well as confidence to take into the next game, we are well placed for the run into Christmas.