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2nd and 5th Grade fight to the end but come up short in 2014-15 Grand Finals

Our 2nd and 5th Grade sides both came up empty handed on the weekend despite both teams fighting to the very end in their respective Grand Finals. It was a fantastic season from both teams, and both teams can be very proud of their efforts.

Congratulations to Sydney University (2nd Grade) and Northern Districts (5th Grade) on their fantastic victories. Special call out to Sydney University who have now won the 2nd grade title 4 years in a row. Unfortunately they have beaten us in 2 of those Grand Finals.

Both matches were completely washed out on Saturday, but with fine weather on Sunday, both matches were there for the taking despite both 2s and 5s being the lower ranked side.

5th Grade started at 11am with a minimum of 83 overs in the day to try and force a victory. Skipper Max Burgess lost the toss and the Tahs were sent in to bat.

Mason lost his wicket early, but Billy D’Arcy (pictured above) and James Boyer consolidated well. D’Arcy was particularly brutal on anything short and began to settle in for a long innings. Boyer was not finding the middle of the bat consistently but kept fighting his way through his innings. The pair put on 65 until Boyer was caught behind.

D’Arcy kept going in what would prove to be the best innings of his career so far. The wicket was lively without being dangerous, but D’Arcy just kept finding the middle of the bat on his way to a fluent 70 off 91 balls.

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With time and overs at a premium, we set ourselves the goal of batting 35 overs to give ourselves 45 at the ND’s batting line-up. The middle order and tail hit out as much as possible until Max Burgess was able to declare at 141 off 35 overs, leaving us exactly 48 overs to force a result.

The Tahs did not start well with the ball. The ND’s openers came out with great intent and hit the full wide balls, of which there was many in the first 4 overs. However a Ryan Bishop-Perret LBW in the 5th over got us going with the score 41. This changed the momentum of the match.

ND’s lost another 3 wickets for 1 run due to some inspired Bishop-Perret swing bowling, leaving ND’s at 4 for 42 from 8 overs. It was game on.

However the going got tougher as the afternoon wore on as the ball got older and the pitch flatter. The number 3 batsmen dug in, hitting 35 from 116 balls to lead Northern Districts to a draw and thus the premiership.

2nd Grade had an up and down match against Sydney University but were ultimately thoroughly outplayed.

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Losing the toss and being sent into the field, a wicket 2nd over from Taylor Beatty got the ball rolling early. A 2nd wicket partnership of 48 was halted by a Dylan Marshall wicket, and when he got another one straight away, at 3 for 51 the game was in the balance.

Wickets fell at regular intervals until Sydney Uni were 6 for 147, 7 for 188 and 8 for 201. However, a Sydney Uni rear guard action saw the 9th wicket put on 123 to take the match away from the Waratahs and into Sydney Uni’s favour. They were eventually bowled out early on day 2 for 330, over a 100 more than they should have got.

With 330 off 75 overs required, it was not an impossible task but we were never in the hunt, losing crucial wickets at crucial times. Aidan Baker batted excellently for his 31 and Taylor Beatty showed some good signs with 23, however we were bundled out for 117 off 44 overs in a disappointing end to the season.

A huge congratulations to Rowan Hamman (2nd Grade) and Simon Waddington (5th Grade) on leading both teams superbly throughout the season. We are confident that both will be back next year to lead another charge at the title.

Go Manly!

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