Manly had yet another mixed day on Saturday in a rain-effected One Day round against St George. 2s and 5s had very convincing wins, but 1s and 3s unfortunately went down with some bad batting, while 4th grade managed only one over before rain intervened. Sunday also saw Manly fall short in the First Grade limited over qualifying final to UNSW. This all results in us still sitting in 2nd place in the Club Championship with 3 rounds to go in the season.
4 Pines Brewery Player of the Week – Ben Smith
After making the move from NDs to Manly at the beginning of the season, Benny Smith has had a quality debut season with the bat for the Waratahs. He made his second tonne for the club on Saturday, finishing on 108* in the 42nd over when rain intervened, in what was a superb innings of finesse and strokeplay. His shoits square of the wickets on the off side were poetry, and his hundred was very wll deserved. Congrats Smitta-Bra.
Ben Smith – 108* (2nd Grade)
Aidan Baker – 74 (2nd Grade)
Ross Trewartha – 80 (5th Grade)
Sam Hole – 58 and 3fa (5th Grade)
1st Grade Round 13 vs St George
1st grade had a tough loss on Saturday to St George. Although the scores ended up pretty close due to some good bowling, at the end of the day our batting again let us down.
The wicket looked OK, and as a result skipper Tim Cruickshank won the toss and decided to bat. However, the pitch didn’t quite play as expected, and batting proved to be tough. Openers Jack Ritchie and Nick Watkins both fought hard at the beginning without scoring allot of runs, but their departure started steady flow of wickets, with key batsman Cruickshank andMerchant falling for 0 and 12 respectively. The only batsman to make an impression on the scoreboard wasMitch Cleary who compiled a well made 40 off 70 balls, including 4 boundaries, in the face of some tough bowling and responsive wicket. However it was definitely not a 112 run wicket, but that is what we ended up on.
The St George innings didn’t start all that well for the Waratahs, and at 0 for 34 they day was looking bleak. However, some inspired bowling from James Munting and Corrie Boss saw St George loos 5 for 17 to be 5 for 51 when the rain came.
However, that was as close as we were to come. A dropped catch and a dubious LBW going against us didn’t help, but the batsman fought hard for the 6th wicket to put on 45, by which stage the match was pretty much over. St George lost one more wicket in posting 7 for 115.
So where to from here? What really matters after a bad batting display is how you respond, and the Manly boys need to respond in appropriate fashion next week against cellar dwellers Blacktown. With 53 points we are still in the top 6, but with 3 teams 3 or less points behind us, we need to show we are deserving of a semi finals spot.
2nd Grade Round 13 vs St George
2s made the trip down to Hurstville Oval on Saturday looking to make amends for last weeks performance. We were greeted by some intermittent rain and cloud cover, however the pitch and outfield looked their usual exemplary self. Following a quality warm up, Marksy remembered he had a dental appointment at 10:30, so Eddie Burgess got the call up and we were ready for the revised 11am start.
The Saints skipper sent us in, with Gummer departing early for a reverse tonne. This brought doll-bludger Ben Smith in to join Aidan Baker at the crease, and the pair began to set a nice platform, finding the boundary regularly and with ease. Both batsmen punished the bad balls and worked singles nicely, with the race to their half-century providing some entertaining viewing. Flat eventually departed for a brilliant 74, with Scotty coming in to work with Smitta and keep the rate ticking at close to 6 an over. Some nasty looking clouds started to descend on the ground, prompting Smitta to become a little anxious that he may not have time to convert his 90 into a century. Fortunately, the umpies were kind enough to stay out there until he brought up his second tonne for Manly, with a typical square drive for four. Smitta’s celebrations were also very entertaining, as he jumped around vocally and let his best mate at backward-point know. When lightning lit up the sky soon after in the 42nd over, Smitta was sitting on a delightful 108*, and Peterman a well-crafted 36*. Manly 2-235 off 42.
After 4 hours of a combination of rain, lightning and hard work from the visitors with the super-soppers and make-shift pitchforks, the umpires announced that the St George innings would be reduced to 30 overs. With the target initially being 160, then 180, then 5 overs in, 227, we knew that if we bowled to our plans and built up pressure we would get home. Flat and Billy opened up well, restricting runs and picking up early wickets. With the home side in trouble, Dylan Marshallbowled beautifully to pick up 3-29 and took the target out of reach, and the thought of a bonus point came to mind for the Tahs. Nickos and Doochman then bowled well to clean up the tail for 123 in the 28th, completing a dominant performance and a bonus point win. 2nd Grade moves back into first position with three rounds to go. Up the Tahs.
3rd Grade Round 13 vs St George
The main grade turned up on Saturday confident of victory against the 16thplaced St George, last years Grand Final opponents. But with only 4 players in the St George team left over from that game, and only 1 on the Waratah’s side, it was always destined to be a very different game. And so it was.
Winning the toss, Jeanie decided to bat on the green but hard deck. Confident that a score of 240-250 would be a defendable score. And it all started well, Joel Mason and Sam Webber putting on 30 for the first wicket until Mason fell for 18. Webber and Geoff Isaacs then joined up and pushed the score onto 57 before a good catch from first slip saw Isaacs gone for 15. And then the procession of wickets started. The Manly boys continued their poor batting form to lose 9 for 66 with a total of 123 on the board. Some terrible shots were littered in among the dismissals, including bunting the ball to square leg, leaving straight balls that hit the middle of off stump, and snicking half trackers to the keeper. With dismissals like this, there was no need for the bowlers to do anything other than bowl the ball. Probably the only dismissal to a good ball was Ryan Farrell for the 10th wicket.
But cricket is a funny game, and you never know what can happen. With ball in hand, Jeanie picked up an early LBW, but the St George batsman had a bit of luck and got away a few streaky strokes to be 1 for 59 before the rain came…. and didn’t it rain. However, once the rain cleared to a sunny afternoon, we were left with the task of cleaning up the ground to get back on. The boys worked hard on the ground (Mason on the super soper was exceptional) and after chatting amongst a few of the players, we decided we were here to play cricket, and draw or lose, we weren’t going to get any points, so let’s push as hard as we can for the win. However, the decrease in overs, and run rate being the means to decide 3rd, 4th and 5th grade matches, meant that St George only required an extra 20 runs to win off 15 overs when we returned, a feat that they did for the loss of 4 wickets.
So some real hard work needs to be put in by the boys on their batting after an absolute shellacking from the 16th placed team. That performance is not going to get us anywhere in the semi’s, and we know better performances are needed to assure ourselves a spot in the semi-finals, because, after losing the last 3 games, we are not there yet.
4th Grade Round 13 vs St George
St George 1-0 before rain ended play.
5th Grade Round 13 vs St George
Finally 5th Grade got some cricket in, a one dayer against 3’rd place St George. A good warm up from BP started us off and the boys had a quiet confidence about them.
Losing the toss and being put in on a MPO greentop, we started well, picking up singles and rotating the strike. The top 4 were under instructions to bat for 30 overs and that’s what they did. Losing Thicky’s and Billy gave Ross and Pot Hole their chance for a long innings. Roscoe (80) and Pot Hole (58) then proceeded to dismantle the St George attack. Proper cricket shots, sound defence, good intelligent running and acceleration once they were in, were the features of their ton plus partnership. Ross was all class, every shot played right under his nose with a still head. Education for all the young blokes.
The last 20 overs were then set up for the middle order and they delivered. Gilbert Daly, Pete Lindsay (2 huge bombs), Cody & Tom Sky (great lesson on the definition and differences between bulls & cows from the bumkin), all pounded the bowling at more than 8 an over, as the St George fielding fell away. We finished well satisfied at 7 for 263.
Once in the field, the boys were on. Great opening spells from Pete and Brad Wilson, had the visitors struggling at 1 for 4, before play was called off for lightning. An hour of heavy rain followed and we were thinking that the weather was once again going to kill off another game. However, this time the rain stopped, the sun came out and we were back on. A revised target of 206 off 39 overs was set and Pete(1) and Brad(2) were back into the attack, generating pressure with tight line and length, backed up by quality fielding from the Tah’s. Something had to give and it was St George who cracked. Wickets to both openers was reward for their efforts as the run rate went up and up. Will Jonkers (1) and Farrell (1) then stepped up to snare 1 each, before Farrell was taken to by the St George skipper and replaced by Pot Hole. The skipper soon holed out to Thicky’s at cow corner and that was about as much of a fight as we got from St George. Sam finished with 3 wickets to cap an outstanding match, Gilbert Daly grabbed 3 catches as well as saving about 20 runs in a faultless display and new keeper Tom Sky was sharp behind the wickets. Not finishing them off was the only disappointing aspect. St George 8 for 120 odd at the close. The mighty 5’s are in the hunt for a semi place and cricket like that will surely see us get there.
1st Grade Limited Over Qualifying Final vs UNSW
Sunday saw our first grade limited overs side travel to the picturesque Village Green for their One day Qualifying Final against the high flying UNSW. A great deck and fast outfield greeted both teams, and with Cruickshank calling correctly, it was our turn to bat. Nick Watkins and Jack Ritchie got us to 22 after 4 overs before an unfortunate run out cost us Watkins wicket. From there, the game followed the previous days pattern. Some excellent bowling from the Bumblebee’s and some bad batting saw our top order crumble once again to be 6 for 59. The bright spot once again was Mitch Cleary, who like the previous day started a recovery along with Jimmy Munting.Beaver is now starting to show he is a mature first grade batsman who is not just stroke maker but the man for a crisis, and his 47 undoubtedly deserved more. Corrie Boss also got amongst the runs with a well made 24, but there was a feeling that 152 all out after 37.3 overs was never going to be enough.
And so it wasn’t. The boys bowled well but ultimately 153 on a 260+ wicket was never going to be enough. Bossy once again was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets, and although there were signs of a comeback with a few wickets in the middle, the home side cruised to victory for the loss of only 5 wickets.
A disappointing loss in what was a good one day season for the Manly boys. But it could have been so much more with a little bit more disciplined batting.