T he Greenies boys were on the road for the first time this season, travelling west to face Parramatta at Old Kings Oval.
Upon arrival at the ground, we quickly concluded that the Old Kings wicket provided a fair resemblance to the roads the boys had just travelled on to reach Parramatta, with a pitch that looked likely to be a batsman’s paradise. How wrong we were.
The traditional vortex battle resumed, with the Hulios defeating the Nerds 2-1 in a clinical performance led by chief Hulio Liam Toole, who burgled two touchdowns late to steal victory.
By the end of warm up, Ethan Buchanan had already lost Shrek, something which has become a common occurrence thus far this season.
Skipper Josh Cooper spent most of the morning telling the boys about his 100% coin toss record this season, before inevitably calling incorrectly at the toss to see Parramatta’s skipper elect to bat first on the M2.
Josh Lawson struck early thanks to a sharp catch down the leg side from Tommy Karnaghan to have Parramatta on the back foot. Marcus and Andrew continued to keep the pressure on, drying up Parramatta’s run scoring opportunities. This led to a couple of quick wickets to Green Shield debutant Gus McConnell, first with a safe catch from Charlie at mid on, before Keelan Mendel held another catch at point. Parramatta 3-40.
Bailey Lidgard continued his terrific form with the ball, dismissing Parramatta’s danger-man after a safe catch from Marcus at cover. Roop Dhillon was bowling brilliantly at the other end without luck, before finally getting a breakthrough with a second catch to Keelan. Parra 5-62.
For the next 15 overs or so, Parramatta began building a steady partnership, helped by a few chances going down in the field. However, runs were still hard to come by with more tight bowling from Roop, Bailey, and Mitch Gilligan.
After a stern word from the coaches about ensuring we finished the innings strongly, Josh Lawson returned to the attack and got an immediate breakthrough with another catch to Tommy behind the stumps.
Ethan Buchanan then took the catch of the season, diving full stretch to his right at backward point with the ball practically behind him as he plucked it mid air. Unbelievable catch with the ball travelling at real speed. Parramatta 7-114.
Andrew and Josh then finished the innings brilliantly, picking up the last few wickets between them, Josh with 4-22 off 8, and Andrew 1-18 off 8.
Excellent bowling performance from the Tahs to restrict Parramatta to 123 off 45 overs on what looked to be a very good wicket for batting. Who was to know the next few hours would make for some very nervous viewing from the Manly crew.
Billy O’Brien and Keelan Mendel began the run chase conservatively, boundaries at a minimum due to the dimensions of the ground being much bigger than others. Unfortunately after a solid start, Billy was adjudged LBW for 16, before Keelan was dismissed by the spinner shortly after for 11, caught at mid on. Manly 2-34.
Parramatta’s spinners began bowling very tightly to restrict the runs, which led to the dismissal of the skipper for 2. Roop Dhillon joined Andrew and tried to consolidate, however, Roop was run out for 6 just as they began to regain control. Manly 4-46 and in a real spot of bother.
Charlie Johnston and Andrew then combined for a crucial partnership of 40 to put the Tahs back in the box seat, with the two looking to get through the tough period of bowling from Parramatta’s spinners.
After batting coach Joel Davies encouraged the boys to look to put the pressure back on Parramatta’s bowling, both Charlie and Andrew began to rotate the strike more regularly and creep the Tahs closer to the victory target.
Charlie was run out for an important 13 in unfortunate circumstances to have Manly 5-86. Bailey Lidgard arrived at the crease and immediately put the pressure back on Parramatta, taking the spinner over the top down the ground a couple of times before he was caught behind for a quick fire 13. Manly 6-116.
Unfortunately Andrew was bowled shortly after for a match winning 47 off 94, halting a batting collapse and pushing the team towards victory.
Ethan Buchanan and Tommy Karnaghan finished the run chase after a couple of nervy moments, to see the Tahs home by 3 wickets with 3.3 overs remaining.
The Manly boys head into a huge week of cricket with 3 wins from 3 and sitting in equal 2nd (3rd on quotient).
Thanks again to coaches Gainsy, Rochy, Lozza, Dougie, Josh and Joel for all their help today supporting the boys.
And as always a huge thank you to all the parents for their assistance in setting up in the morning, and for all their help each and every game day supporting the boys.
Top of the table clash on Tuesday against ND’s at Manly Oval, the first of three consecutive days of cricket for the boys.
3 – Andrew Boulton – 47(94) and 1-18 (8)
2 – Josh Lawson – 4-22 (8)
1 – Bailey Lidgard – 13 (16) and 1-12 (7)