It was another strong week for the mighty Tahs, with 1st grade leading the way by winning a nail-biter in their one-dayer against Sydney, with Cameron Merchant putting on a batting masterclass with his 123 to guide their run-chase, and Bossy and Benny Martin combining for a crucial last wicket partnership to bring the boys home. 2s and 3s also won their T20 fixtures with relative ease, while both 4s and 5s unfortunately went down in close matches.
Sunday saw PGs and Greenies venture out to Sydney University to play side by side. PGs pulled off another amazing 10 run victory, while Green Shield lost by three wickets in their opening fixture.
The club is sitting on top of the Club Championships by close to 100 points at the Christmas break, with all grades and PGs in the top 6! It’s been an amazing start to the season after so many people had written us off, and all the boys are showing that they know how to win games of cricket.
4 Pines Brewery Player of the Week – Cameron Merchant
Nappa pulled out an innings that was a class above on Saturday, blasting a run-a-ball 123 in 1st Grade’s run chase to guide the team to a miraculous victory. The great man showed us all what he is capable of with some exquisite timing and a vast selection of shots. It was just a glimpse of the talent that Merchant has, and it is no wonder he has already proven himself at 1st class level.
Cameron Merchant – 123 (1st Grade)
Taylor Beatty – 72 (PGs)
1st Grade Round 8 vs Sydney
1s had a great win in their 50/50 game on Saturday. After restricting Sydney to 239, with Bossy the pick of the bowlers with 4-33 off his 10, the Tahs were in big trouble in their run chase, losing wickets at steady intervals and noone able to hang around with Merchant. When Nappa departed for a spectacular 123, the rate began to creep and Manly were falling into a deeper anddeeper hole. However, the tail wagged, with Munting dismissed for 20, and Bossy (21*) and Martin (11*) combining for an awesome last wicket partnership to seal a remarkable victory for 1s.
2nd Grade Round 8 vs Sydney
In a contest such as T20 you are never out of the game and it rang true for the sydney 2nd graders. With manly setting 156 with solid contributions from Joel Mason 30, Aidan Baker 41 and a great partnership from Marks-lad 38no and Shrek Alexander 37no it looked as though it was always going to be too much.
‘Come on’ mee started brilliantly in partnership with the flat and with wickets falling regularly it was always tough for Sydney. Brilliant bowling in the middle overs from the two spinners douche man and dil pickle left Sydney needing 85 off 8. Although Matty Alexander tried his best to give them a chance, going for 40 off 4. Nicko Mack at the other end ensured the mighty manly boys got home, 3 for 12 from his 4 was the standout… Going in to Christmas we sit 2nd, only 2 points behind the leaders. Great win and great way to finish this year.
3rd Grade Round 8 vs Sydney
The main grade once again continued their undefeated form on the weekend, making it 8 from 8 going into the Christmas break. Turning up to Atmosphere park for our first T20, the boys had a pretty good warm up, however with Shaggas being drafted back into the top six to boost the physicality in our defence, it was a major let down not to see one of his trademark hits (apparently Hoff is still having nightmares from last week).
Sydney batted first, with old Manly boy Mark Atkinson opening up shop, only to be horrendously dropped by pin-up-boy Sam Alexander on the second ball of the game. Apparently it was “all the skipper’s fault for moving me while the bowler was running in”, but let’s be honest Therman, it was a sitter and you should have taken it with your eyes closed, but not to worry, Atko didn’t make any runs anyway. To tell you the truth, I think “Jonah Hill” had one eye on the team pursuit winnings he was hoping to pick up later that night.
Back to the cricket, Sydney was going along nicely, sitting on about 0-90 odd off 11, with a bit of help from some lackluster fielding from the ‘Tahs (a few blokes were spotted with pillows and blankets on the field). However, we clawed it back nicely with some good death bowling and a bit more energy in the field, leaving Sydney with 3/138 off their 20, which we were confident of chasing on a good deck and a quick Grahams outfield.
The deathly combination of Gummer and Pugh opened up again, getting the Tahs off to a quick start before Spughy’s eyes lit up at the sight of some local Barrumundi and shnicked off for not many. Shaggas then came to the crease, with team red taking it to the opposition, continuing to tick the scoreboard over at 7 or 8 an over. On multiple occasions, Shag-well showed how not to dispatch a free-hit, and Gummer hit his first ever bomb with a non-chalant flick over square leg, which was rumoured to clear the cricket-nets and never to be found again. The glory was short lived though, chipping one to cover for 32, leaving Genie and Isaacs to continue the attack. Both guys batted extremely well, picking up handy rotations and disposing any bad balls over the rope. Genie (41) and Shaggas (36) went in relatively quick succession, however most of the hard work had been done, with Rockley and Shwebbs bringing the Manly boys home with overs to spare.
Another great win for the main grade, sitting on-top of the ladder at the Chrissy break and raring to go in the new year. Special mention goes to the Fifth Grade boys who all came down to support for the whole match and manned the scoreboard. Shows we’re breeding a good culture at a winning club, with all the young boys setting the standard.
Merry xmas lads and ladettes,
4th Grade Round 8 vs Sydney
Following on from 2nd grades win at Ryde oval, 4s went down in a close one on Saturday. Sydney batted first and reached 5/133 from their 20 overs, with Mickey Lindsay and Reece Hodge picking up 2 wickets a piece. In reply, Manly finished on 9-130 on a slow and gripping deck. Needing four runs to win off the last ball, they could only manage a single, with Ed Burgess top scoring with 27. 4s are closing out the top 6 going into the christmas break.
5th Grade Round 8 vs Sydney
Another disappointing performance from 5th grade was put in at Grahams on Saturday. After watching how Genie’s “main grade” handled the conditions, I was confident of an improved showing on recent weeks. Winning the toss and batting, we proceeded to play really dumb T20 cricket. 3 run out’s and a few hole out’s in the deep, against what was a fairly ordinary attack, proved to me how far we need to go to be a force in the competition. Gilbert Daly played well for his 26, with no one else getting past 15. 9 for 105 was at least 30 runs short.
In the field we were very good. Wood Duck kept us in the contest with a great spell, finishing with 2 for 10 off his 4 overs and a direct hit from Thickys gave the boys belief that we could pull off a miracle. The real blot on our copybook was the 13 wides that we served up, gifting Sydney 2 extra overs and runs. We talked a lot about extras leading up to the game and our lack of discipline in this area ultimately cost us the match, with Sydney getting home in the 19th over.
Many thanks to 3rd Grade for their support during the day. The double header format is a great way to get together to form club spirit and for the younger players to watch and learn.
Merry Xmas to all the Manly faithful.
Green Shield Round 1 vs Sydney University
Green Shield rocked up to Sydney Uni 2 for their first game of the season, with a 9:30 start and 60 overs to be played for each side. Manly batted first and never really got going, and they were sitting at 6-110 off 40 odd overs at the luncheon interval. The young tahs were eventually rolled for 133 of 46 overs, meaning they wasted 14 overs, a factor that would prove crucial in determining the outcome of the game. Skipper James “Rabs” Boyer starred with the bat with 49.
The boys knew they would have their work cut out to defend such a small total, but they bowled and fielded well to have Uni in trouble at 5-53, including an absolute screamer from young gun Sammy Gainsford. However, Uni only really needed one good partnership, and that’s what they produced, eventually passing the total 7 down with nearly 20 overs to spare. Wigney, Levene and Pearce each picked up two wickets.
PGs Round 6 vs Sydney University
PGs had another great win on Sunday, making it 5 from 6 and staying at 4th spot in what is a very congested ladder. Winning the toss, Manly batted first, losing the skipper early as he was trapped plumb in front. Javey followed soon after, leaving Pughy and Tommy Kaye to build a respectable partnership and send the Tahs on their way to a decent total. Pughy departed for 40, victim of a screamer at 1st slip, bringing the man of the hour, Taylor Beatty (72) to the crease to keep the score ticking over with TK. The two youngens showed maturity beyond their years with some amazing running between the wickets to keep the Tahs in a good position. Tommy departed for 40 odd, bringing Louis Anderson to the crease to improve on his PGs average. Taylor continued to tick it over and brought up a classy half-century, while Louis and his fine piece of willow dispatched a few massive bombs over the rope. Both batsmen fell with a few overs to go and a few loose shots from the tail meant we lost quick wickets, including gifting a University rockstar with 6fa and a hatrick to roll us in the last over! It was a reasonably solid batting performance overall though, finishing all out for 221 off our 50.
Taking to the field, the boys knew we had to bowl one side of the wicket and put pressure on in the field in order to defend our total. C’mon Mee and Hoff opened up, with Matty bowling beautifully and picking up two quick wickets, including one from around the wicket where his mind games were simply too much for the batsmen. Hoff on the other hand was stuck in death bowling mode, consistently sending a nice mix of yorkers outside off and juicy slower balls. Taylor/Booka T and Mattos/El Sabbateur took over the reigns and both bowled good areas to keep the pressure on the Uni batsmen, however their skipper decided it was time to go, looking to hit bombs straight off the majority of deliveries. The introduction of spin didn’t do much to stop Uni’s sudden counter-attack, and the game was slipping from our grasp as the batsmen were riding their luck and benefiting from our inability to take our chances. After putting his team in the box seat, the captain foolishly kept the brick on the accelerator, and was well caught on the boundary by Flip Book Mee, re-igniting the Tahs hopes of victory. The game progressed in a nerve-wracking manner, with momentum swinging back and forth until Uni looked like they had it in the bag, needing 3 or 4 an over with 3 wickets in hand. Step up Mr Flip Book, who was snoozing on the boundary admiring his rig, only to quickly react to a run out chance and whip it in to the far end to dismiss the striker as he went back for two. Next ball saw Mattos bowl the number ten around his legs, meaning we needed one wicket and they needed 10 runs off 3 overs. Hoff bowled the next over: dot, dot, bowled him, that’s the game, another ridiculous win for the mighty PGs.
Truth be told, we got out of jail in this game, but sitting in fourth spot with one game to go, we are guaranteed a finals birth, but we hope to win against NDs on the 8th of Jan to secure a home semi. A couple of blokes liked the taste of fame today as well, as the game was streamed on the internet, with the commentator taking a special liking to “Slingshot Alexander”.