A great weekend for the Tahs, with an even more exciting weekend to come next week with 4 out of 5 mens grades securing the win and booking spots in the grand final! Victories in M2s, M3s, M4s and M5s with great performances all around. Gordon fought valiantly in M2s as the match swung every which way but a Josh Seward 5fa was the deciding factor. M3s won comfortably by an innings thanks to a ton by Sam Hole and 5fas to Wigney and Dhillon. M4s didnt have it all their own way but were too good for North Sydney in the end, while M5s hit what we believe to be our highest ever 5th grade score to also book their spot in the decider. First Grade suffered a tough loss to put an end to their season, with an early collapse on the first day that they weren’t able to recover from. Still a great season for the 1s boys that they should be proud of.
Some amazing results across the grades and a big weekend to come next week of finals cricket for the Tahs!
There were so many outstanding performances over the weekend, but we believe that Cameron Merchant tops the lot. As a result he is our 4 Pines Men’s Player of the Week.
He may not have scored the most runs, but his innings of 75* was the most important in the context of the game and the end outcome. He was always in control, even when he lost a few clumps of wicket around him. This season is most likely his last, so we love that he is in form and hungry for a Premiership.
First grade turned up to the picturesque manly oval winning the toss and electing to bat against Sydney Uni only requiring a draw to advance to the grand final. However, nothing seemed to go to plan for the top of the table side starting the innings at 4-1. Little glimmers of a fight back were there but as we looked to consolidate a little bit we’d lose another wicket. All out for 78 had us thinking of the potential of a reverse outright victory but as it did with the bat, nothing went according to plan.
Sydney Uni finished the day at 3-122 and commenced the next day in similar fashion putting on another 48 runs before the next wicket fell and they continued to bat until lunch where we called stumps at 4-255. Not the way we pictured the season finishing for us but lots of positives to take away.
Allan Border Oval, finals cricket, the scene is set for a great 2-day battle against Gorden. Manly won the toss and chose to bat of a flat looking wicket. We started of strong with Coyte and Hole having a 1st wicket partnership of 60. We noticed straight away that boundaries were going to be hard to achieve with the grass being over 1 metre long. 1 and 2’s it was. There was also a duck pond that Bryant, Sully, Vumbuca and Kaye unfortunately fell into, so we didn’t see them mention with the bat. Manly were 7 for 80 at one stage.
However, luckily Seward 38 and Merchant 78* steadied the ship with some small cameos from Herd and Jamieson. We scratched our way to 206 at the close of innings which felt more like 300.
Gordan went out to chase. Manly started well with 2 quick wickets. Kaye and Jamieson bowled 50 overs between them. Kaye with 1 wicket and Jamo with 3. The star of the show was Seward who carried on his form picking up 5 wickets. Gordan battled there way to 170 before falling short. It felt close at one stage, however Manly was always in control.
Special mentioned to Willy who put a stellar performance in over the 2 days.
The Third-Grade boys turned up to an overcast Grahams with the right to play in the GF on offering. With the wicket looking a ripper for batting Penrith won the toss and to no one’s surprise elected to bat.
As expected, Penrith got out of the blocks fast racing to a 0-42, the batters riding their luck with regularly boundaries, some good shots, and others good luck.
A change in bowling by Captain Sam Hole, pressure built through some good bowling resulted in the breakthrough Manly were looking for, well bowled M. Sunshine. A quick drink and some motivational words from captain Sam Hole kicked the boys into action taking regular wickets with great disciplined bowling by all leaving Penrith 4/92 at Lunch with Sunshine taking 3 and Roop 1.
J Wigney continued the quality bowling, taking two wickets in his first over after lunch and before the Penrith boys could regroup they were all out for a moderate 120, J Wigney taking 4, Sunshine 3 and Roop 2.
The Manly boys started their chase with great discipline and patience, led by Captain Sam Hole and J. Daly, at stumps Manly 2/94 with skipper S.Hole on 44* and J.Daly 22*.
Day 2 – Looking to wrap up first innings and bat Penrith out of the game the Manly boys picked up where they left off from Day 1. A classy captains innings from skipper S.Hole (105) bringing up his second ton of the year (what a game to do it in!) supported by a tremendous knock by J.Daly (67), Manly well in control of the game. A flurry of wicket in the middle and late order had the Tahs all out for 262 but not before a lead of 142.
With the season on the line, about 55 overs remaining in the day and a deficit of 142 runs, Penrith came out looking for a miracle play and a last ditch to get back in the game. The Manly boys held their nerves and their catches (well most of them) with J.Wigney picking up 5/71 and R.Dhillon 5/54 to put an end to Penrith’s season, all out for 125.
A strong win by the boys earning a spot in the GF.
‘Everything is going to be OK in the end, and if it’s not OK, it’s not the end’
‘‘Twas a crispy Saturday morning when the 4s (and a few 5s) boys started the semi final journey at the ever radiant Penny Lane cafe. The discussions flowed, covering all aspects of life and death, however Mitchell Moses kicking parra to their first win of the season seemed to be everyone’s favourite talking point.
Post coffees and Bacon & Egg rolls, the boys quickly regrouped at Weldon where the Doc lost the toss and we were sent into bat.
Dom Wheeler, who had been sick all week and battled off all types of diseases to make the field on Saturday (like the warrior that he is), walked out with Keelan and we were off.
A dicey first session saw the Bears bowl very well to a plan and with the help of some poor batting and a contentious LBW decision, they had won the first session.
The overseas Riggsy (44) however was still in and we knew there was ages of time in this match, wasn’t time to panic.
2 quick wickets after the lunch break, however did not help.
At 5-90 and looking down the barrel, the tail wagged once again to pull on the heart strings of the boys from across the bridge. Evan Dunnachie and Lachie Kerr (58) quickly went about wrestling back the momentum of the innings, mixing their sound defensive techniques with some front-dog-clearing six hitting.
Kerry was on another planet on Saturday, hitting 5 of the most grand sixes seen in Weldon history. His counter attacking innings, along with help from the Doc (24), George (44) and LT (17*)pulled us right out of a hole and gave us something to defend.
Before I begin the bowling, a lot too can be said about G. Cummings innings on the weekend. Perhaps lacking the swoll, big chested physiques as some of his fellow tail enders, George timed the balls to all parts. He dispatched spinners, meds and the rest to support Kerrbox and was a pivotal reason we were able to get from 5-90 to all out 270.
By the time most people on the Northern Beaches were waking up with a sore head and a cold, half-eaten kebab, the 4s boys were warming up, chomping at the bit to get into back to back grand finals.
Knowing the Bears wouldn’t go down without a fight, the message was clear. Bowl to our plan and hold our chances as they would be few and far between on what was by now a very flat deck.
Evan (1-22 off 11) and the Doc (2-35 off 13) started us off and Ev quickly got the breakthrough. A brilliant piece of work at first slip, making the job look easy.
After the first pole though, the Bears mounted a mini fightback and began to look comfortable out in the middle. Going in at lunch 2 down, the game was very much in the balance.
After devouring through several egg rolls and fighting off some significant flatulence, the middle session of day 2 was where Manly 4s took the game by the scruff of the neck. The Bears lost 4 wickets during this session including 2 to George (2-41 off 8), 1 to LT (2-36 off 18) and 1 to the Kerrbox (3-37 off 20).
And went into the Tea break 6-160
A devastating middle session that meant we were almost there, but still had a little bit of work to do. However, it didn’t take long for us to come out after the break and take a few quick wickets to pretty much wrap the game up.
The bowlers were once again exceptional, with special mentions to Roch, Kerry and Lachie T who all bowled beautifully all day. Evan wasn’t quite as good, but he bowled OK too.
I’ve said it multiple times through this piece but the work of L.Kerr in this match was insane. Coming in at 6-120, the Box was absolute magic on Saturday, hitting everything unbelievably clean to pull us out of a hole that was starting to become deep.
On top of that he backed it up on Sunday, bowling 20 overs throughout the day. Taking 3 important poles and not giving them an inch.
A bloke for the big occasion, the old stalwart has got one more week in him before I think his body may just brake down.
After a long two days, the result that we were hoping for at Penny Lane on Saturday morning was well and truly signed, sealed and delivered. A superb team effort, whatever happens next week I am sure this team will stand up and put their blood, sweat and tears on the line for this great club that we play for. A tough, unrelenting cricket side that is hungry for success and is dangerous for any opposition.
Up the Tahs.
The mighty 5th grade led by skipper Waddo arrived at the picturesque Mike Pawley Oval Fortress again for this semi-final clash against St George.
Skipper Waddo never disappoints with another win of the toss, electing to bat on a great looking pitch.
Matt Evans and Liam Dinan opened the batting with patience and respect. And they piled on the runs and batted with class for session after session. They made it to lunch together on day 1, which meant we were cruising without loss of a wicket yet. Matt Evans continued his form with the bat nothing a well-earned 67 off 163 balls. Liam Dinan however was the pick of the pair with an extremely classy, unbelievable 95 off 224 balls. This has to be one of the greatest innings to be witnessed in 5th grade, unfortunately being undone before his maiden ton.
But the mighty 5th grade batsmen, keen on batting for as long as possible and piling on as many runs as possible, weren not done yet.
Jayden Kennedy, Ollie Melville and Reiley Dunlop provided solid support with scores of 14 for Kennedy, 20 for Melville and 27 off 72 for Dunlop.
But skipper Waddo took the game onto his shoulders, taking the mighty 5th grade past 300 runs with ease – with a brutal 70 off 171 balls.
This was well supported by a Fraser Noack 19 off 65.
And no we weren’t done just yet. In comes Hayden Williams at number 10 who hit 9 boundaries in quick succession. Hitting a chanceless and unbeaten run-a-ball 50 finishing 52* not out. Taking us past 400 runs…
And yes, that meant every single batsman stood up and played with strength and grit. And what that meant was 143 overs faced and a mammoth and unbeatable 415 runs put on the scoreboard.
Which is potentially the highest number of runs scored by manly 5th grade ever… The highest I have ever seen.
With a little over 50 overs left for St George to play with they came out with intent. But James Waddington proved too good again with 2-35 in his fiery opening spell. And a direct hit run out from James Waddo many overs later just proves how good he is and how classy this 5th grade team is. At everything.
This was followed by a near hat-trick 3 wicket over by Fraser Noack taking 3-28.
Beau Kelly shone again with the ball with a very quick spell of 2-15 followed by a Matt Evans bowling clinic of 1-12 with a sharp catch to Dunlop behind the stumps.
The mighty manly 5th grade again showed that if you play us at the Mike Pawley Stronghold you better come prepared to play.
We are looking in fine touch for the big dance. With our batting firing on all cylinders with a mammoth 415 runs filled with brutal boundaries, patience and aggression. Elite level fielding and deadly run outs as well as fast spells and unplayable swing bowling.
We still have a lot of work to do to prepare and there’s always room for improvement. However, we will take those lessons with us and bring strength and character to next week’s final.
2- Simon Waddington
1 – Fraser Noack