Well we finished the season in roughly the form we have shown for quite a while, winning just two games for the weekend against Sydney Uni. We fell to 15th on the CC ladder, a massive 640 points behind last year’s winning total. On the weekend 1sts tried hard but were outplayed in all facets. 2nds, with the exception of Mitch, batted poorly and did not give themselves a chance despite bowling well, 3rds scraped home with a great win against the finals bound students, 4ths continued their great recent run with a bonus point carve up and 5s also continued their not so great run of form with a heavy loss.
From what I could tell we are batting like we did in the nets the last few weeks – the number of balls that were ridiculously hit onto the road was a joke and I know Shawn was bursting with frustration and it won’t be put up with next year. Nevertheless it was a fun season and I’m pretty sure everybody enjoyed themselves because that’s Manly cricket for you. We are a top tier club and with a slight tweak in our approach to the game we will be back leading the way next season. If we don’t make that change, Shawn & Crossy are going to tear shreds off you and you’ll be lucky to face a ball in the nets.
4 Pines Brewery Player of theWeek – Michael Visser – 25 and 3/15
Great to see Viss approaching full fitness and get amongst it again. Coming in at a precaious 8 for not many Viss held the lower order together to grind out 25 runs on a tough deck to ensure a competitive total. Then, just as Syd Uni were looking like doing enough to get the points he takes wickets at critical times to finish with 3/15 from 8 overs. We missed his focussed attitude for a good part of the season with injury so it was great to get him for the last part of the year. No doubt Michael will be looking forward to next season and leading the way.
1st Grade – Manly 8/231 ( T Cruickshank 40, A Lowe 26) lost to Syd Uni 4/168 (D Marshall 2/47)
Sydney uni won the toss and bowled on a deck we all thought would play pretty well. Whilst there was not a lot of sideways movement off the deck, runs were hard to come by early as the bounce was a bit variable and the Sydney uni bowlers were very disciplined in their line and length. After the loss of an early wicket, we moved to 1-69 off about 20 giving us a platform to launch from. Unfortunately we lost wickets at pretty regular intervals as most of the batsmen stuggled to find their timing. We ended up with 167, largely thanks to Shank (40), Lowey (26) and some lusty lower order hitting from Nicko’s (21). On another note, Dylan was 0* and remained undismissed for the entire season – an amazing achievement that says a lot about his technique and application with the bat.
We were after a few early wickets which unfortunately did not materialise. This was certainly not due to any lack of effort from our openers however, as both Nicko‘s and Mickey really ran in and bowled the ball into the wicket. Mickey in particular got a few to rear up of a length in what was a strong reminder of his incredible natural raw ability. The introduction of Luke (1-20 off 3) and Dylan (2-47 off 9) brought some wickets our way eventually, with Dylan in particular bowling with great flight to pick up his first two first grade wickets. AB was his usual dependable self and took 1-23 off 10. They ended up passing us in the 40th over 4 down.
So another season has ended. This would have to go down as one of Manly’s more turbulent seasons, however there are some really encouraging signs for next season going forward. It was great to see local junior’s like Edwards, Pugh, Beatty, Alexander and Weston all make their first grade debuts during the season, while our new recruits Lowe and Beadle fitted in beautifully and made our team a stronger all round unit. With the experience and class of Crosthwaite and Cruickshank (and hopefully Merchant) backing up next year, I really feel first grade are not far away from being a serious force in the competition.
I hope everyone has a great off season and turns up raring to go in August!
2nd Grade – Manly 85 (M Cleary 45) lost to Syd Uni 6/89 (A Baker 2/23, D Poskitt 2/29).
On a fine Saturday morning, in which there was little to no rain all week, 2s turned up to Manly oval and were sent in on a wet one. After starting half an hour late, Manly were reduced to 6-33, with all of the top order failing. Poor shot selection proved the difference and if it wasn’t for the experience of Mitch Cleary (47) it could have been a lot worse for the Manly boys. 21 sundries were the next top score, with one bowler bowling an 11 ball over, with 9 wides. Manly were all out for 85 and knew they had a tough ask with the ball, despite knowing that runs on the board would count for a lot on the soft wicket.
Manly proved that if you bowled the right areas, the deck would do the work for you. Sydney Uni were reduced to 3/12 inside 8 overs, with dave Poskitt getting 2 wickets and Merrick Watts also picking up 1. The Manly boys had their tales up and despite some aggression from Sydney Uni’s middle order, Sydney Uni were 5/37 with Baker picking up 2 wickets. At 5/37, Taylor Beattie bowled a bloke off a no-ball and despite getting him out in his following over, Manly were probably 30-40 runs short despite putting in a great effort with the ball. Sydney Uni got the target 6 down and managed to scrape in to the finals.
A disappointing way to finish the year and more disappointing that the result hindered a lot on the toss of a coin. Despite this throughout the season the boys have learnt a lot and with such a young side it will hold them in good sted in the future.
To Gordon Currie we cannot thankyou enough, for the time and effort you put in week in week out, your efforts do not go unnoticed and are indeed cherished by all 26 boys who played Second Grade this year. To those boys thanks for a good season and have a good off-season.
3rd Grade – Manly 162 ( J Rawlings 31, T Kaye 30, M Visser 25) beat Syd Uni 157 (M Visser3/15, C Little 3/30, A Virdi 2/33, S Alexander 2/51)
The mighty main grade rocked up to a sunny Sydney Uni n.o 2 with a determined mindset to finish the season off with a victory and stay unbeaten since Christmas. As the boys gathered inside the “sheds” (two large tents that could have almost been mistaken for a campsite) they prepared themselves for a big last game of the season…. of touch footy of course. Couldn’t have been a better start to the day with the bottom 6 running circles around the top 5 and claiming a memorable victory, highlight of the game was of course Ralphy Wigam sent flying by an outrageous shoulder charge from S.Alexander. After a decent stretch and a solid warm-up the Tah’s were awaiting the toss of the coin. On what looked a very green and grass covered wicket, there wasn’t too much surprise that Uni elected to bowl first after winning the toss.
Maxy Burgess and Jarrod “Ralphy” Rawlings opened up against the Uni bowling attack and were looking reasonably solid until a bit of luck went the students way with Maxy Chopping onto the stumps for not many. Enter Tommy Kaye to the crease. Both TK and Jarrod were striking the ball superlatively, with some blazing straight drives sent crashing to the boundary. The main grade had reconsolidated well at around 1-50 and was looking to impose a large total on the students. Unfortunately, Jarrod succumbed to Sydney Uni’s bowling attack, LBW for a well-earned 31.Javed next in, didn’t last long, unluckily run out for 2. The skipper himself was next to the crease and looked in good touch forming a steady partnership with Tom. TK was dismissed for a well-made 30 and the students were finding some control over the game. With the score standing at about 4-90 after 26 overs the Manly boys really needed to knuckle down and set themselves at the crease.
This however, was not to be as yet more wickets fell at the hands of the students. Genie nicked off to a dubious catch in the cordon for 23, LG was bowled for 0, Ashdeep caught for 4 and Sam W leaving one for 8 to topple his off bail. At 8-120ish after 38 overs this was certainly not where the Tahs thought they would be. Nevertheless, arrive to the crease Mickey Visser who put on a perfect display of lower order batting making full use of the overs he had left. Along with him Ronnie Davis with some useful power hitting, bludgeoned one to cover for 8. With 10 overs left Sammoes Alexander approached to the crease, needing 8 not out for an average of twenty and to bring up a hundred runs for the season he was determined to see the Tahs till the end of the 50 overs. With Sammoes rotating the strike well and Viss finding the gaps in the field the Main Grade reached 150. However, Visser’s brilliant display came undone when trying to blaze one straight over the boundary only to find a pair of Syd uni hands. Not exactly all smiles coming off the pitch with Sammoes on an agonizing 6* and Visser finishing with 25, but a job well done nevertheless leaving the Manly boys with a defendable 162 from 48 overs.
With nothing to lose, the Main Grade was ready to go out and show Sydney Uni why they were undefeated since Christmas. With a quick huddle in the middle, the boys were revved up and ready to defend the total. We were off to the perfect start, Genie claiming the first wicket and Ashdeep soon following a couple overs later leaving the students at 2-17odd with both openers dismissed. With all the pressure on Sydney Uni, the Manly Boys were looking in commanding control. Genie had the ball moving sideways off the pitch and their number 3 was in all sorts. With a tactical bowling change to get some spin into the attack the ever-exuberant Sam Alexander took the ball. Once again their number 3 was bamboozled in flight and turn, resulting in him charging down the wicket and being stumped for not many. 3-30ish and we were right on top, pressure was building for Syd Uni and something needed to change if they were to impose any threat on chasing our total.
In came their number 5 and he immediately inflicted a threat on the Main grade’s bowling attack with a couple bombs clearing the fence easily. Momentum shifted slightly towards the students as a tough drop catch went down in the outfield and they began to form a steady partnership. At 4-86ish the game had swung with their number 5 still striking the ball cleanly and bringing up his 50. However, after a quick drinks break, it took a fired up, chirpy Sam Alexander to get inside batsman’s head and clean bowl him, putting the game back into the balance of things at 5-90. The Manly boys kept pressing and building pressure with every dot ball and eventually another breakthrough occurred for the Tah’s with Genie picking up his 2nd for the day, 6-116 and it was looking to be a close finish.
Runs started coming a little more freely for Sydney Uni as they formed another key partnership taking them to 130, but with a bowling change to bring on Mickey Visser who was hitting the right areas brought the Tah’s another wicket. After the second drinks break the boys were fired up for a win and immediately made an impact with Viss picking up another, score at 8-135ish. Everyone was on their toes in the field, building as much pressure as possible, the students kept grinding away scoring slowly and quite unconvincingly. Eventually Ashdeep was brought back on and got their number 9 to spoon one straight to mid-off, score 9-143 after 36ish overs. 19 to win for the students, 17 or less to bowl them out and win for the Main Grade, the pressure was all on Sydney uni. Dot ball after dot ball bowled by Ashy and Viss keeping tight lines as Uni eked away the odd single or two. A big LBW shout from Viss after the Batsman left the ball crashing into his front pad had all of us questioning “if only” as the score passed 150. A few overs later Viss found the edge of the number 11 sending the ball to the keeper who had a good 3 attempts at catching it, but held onto it to seal the win for the Tah’s.
Visser 3/15 off 8.2, Genie 3/30 off 10, Sammoes 2/51 off 9, Ashdeep 2/33 off 9 and Ronnie 0/28 off 6.
An emphatic win for the boys and a great way to end the season. Also a huge thank you to Wrighty for helping out all year.
4th Grade – Manly 9/237 (W Evans 55, M Cole 34, S Hole 33, J Boyer 28no ) beat Syd Uni 118 ( A Gummer 3/20, S Hole 2/26, J Graham 2/14, J Trickey 2/15)
4th grade finished off their season with a bonus point hammering of the students. Winning the toss we chose to bat on what would turn out to be a pitch that had quite a bit in it. Gummer found this out when one leapt at him and he was gone for 8. Cole & Hole then batted cautiously to see off the opening spells.
Surprisingly Uni then brought on a loopy leggie who Cole enjoyed pounding to all parts. He was taken off with 0/35 from 2 and we were away. In the 13th over and the score on 71 Cole went for another 30 odd (34 – 4 fours, 2 towering sixes). Tom Skye and Liam Tulley unfortunately could not finish off their seasons well and were soon to depart leaving us at 4/86 from 18. Hole (33) batted very well before trying to go over the top and when Ryan Farrell (13) fell to an interesting shot we were in a spot of bother at 6/125. Jacob Graham was looking the goods before he too fell lofting one down the ground for 15 making it 7/133. Evans finally decided to play a skippers knock and batted well and he & Butch Boyer ran hard between the wickets to pick up plenty of cheeky singles, 2s & 3s. Evans, whilst not middling a lot, was finding the gaps and he finished with a well made 55 before he was out stumped in the 49th. Butch and Evans putting on 85 in 19 overs for the 8th wicket. Butch (28no) was keeping the score ticking over, James Trickey had a go and fell for 4 in the 49th as well. Wilson then played some lovely strokes, one cut shot will stay in everybody’s mind for the winter no doubt, and he picked off 14 runs from the 50th over, giving us a handy 237 on a wicket that did plenty all innings.
Opening up with Wilson (0/11 from 6) and Graham (2/14 from 6) we had Uni on the backfoot with excellent spells of bowling. Both were unlucky not to have very early wickets and Jacob was well rewarded with a snick and a clean bowled. Wilson was too good and with a bit of luck could have got a bag full. Uni never got in the game. Evans went for a few, not very convincing batting I might add, just some streaky shots but Hole & Gummer, like last week, picked them off with very good displays of finger spin and Uni lost wickets at regular intervals. Hole finishing with 2/26 from 10, Gumms 3/20 from 6. Trickey (2/15 from 2.2) then cleaned them up with his unpredictable mix and we had an easy bonus point win. Special mention for Sam Hole’s 3 catches. All of them were excellent catches, but the 1st one was one of the better outfield catches you would want to see. Running backwards, sideways, into the sun, swirling breeze plus a few other things he took an absolute screamer.
A quick look at the stats shows we lacked a leading wicket taker with 16 being the highest. In the last few games the trio of Hole/Gummer/Trickey bowled a total of 71 overs for 23 wickets for a strike rate of about 19 balls. Keep this in mind next year.
6th spot ended up being 59 points, we finished with 44 and 9th spot. 3 more wins and we were in. After 3 rounds I doubt many would have thought we would win 7 of the next 12 and compete in all of the other 5, at various times dominating some of the matches only to lose various half sessions of play. Think Gordon & Randwick Petersham. If we won those we would have picked up another game or two along the way and we would have been in the thick of it. Every team no doubt has the same thoughts at year end so we can’t complain or claim to be unlucky, just that we did vastly improve as the season progressed and that is something we can think on at the start of next season.
5th Grade – Manly 90 ( R Trewartha 29) lost to Syd Uni 9/174 ( J Sheedy 3/18, W Jonkers 2/22, H Rogers 2/41)
The (sometimes) Mighty Fives lost the toss and despite the pleasant green surroundings, and the rich snobbery.. err.. history of the place…the pitch was bare and dry.
Sheeds, playing his first game in 5s, showed us how it was done, by buttering up the umpire with continuous banter. It worked a treat, as in his 3rd over, the Mathematics Major opener inside edged one at an acute angle one onto his pads, and was fired lbw. One for us !.. (alas… only 1 !)
Sheeds proceeded to get 2 more LBs, more regulation, before Jonkers took 2 more wickets from that end, a caught at cover by the specialist Pooly, before the opener was bounced out, smashing a half tracker off his knee caps, to Knighty at deep square, who took a good falling catch.
Some extremely tight bowling from Knighty (5 overs for 11) and Falcs (6 overs for 8), pegged the students back even further, but they had done their homework and decided not to slog, and somehow the score managed to edge up, exponentially. One of their med students had a torn hammy, so could hardly run, but that didn’t stop his engineering team-mate calling him for a ridiculous run to cover… out by miles and the students were 6-120.
A good partnership followed before Harry Rogers spun his web, picking up 2 wickets, while James McClintock took a great catch off a high spiraling slog to give Zach a wicket in his last over.
The innings finished ominously when the umpire called a wide, after the 12 year old kid smashed it to Benny Wickham off Harry. Students, 9-175.
The dry deck got lower and despite them opening with a spinner, inviting all to slog, the friendly umpire had been conned by the wily medium pacer with a Degree in politeness, majoring in umpire banter. All of a sudden the umpire was having the time of his life, firing us left right and centre, 3 lbws, and one ridiculous caught behind, and not a wide in sight. As such, we never got going in the run chase. Wickets fell regularly, and despite some cameos from Knighty (yet another red ink), Tommy Nickoll (some glorious cover drives) and Sheeds (a four !!), we were bundled out for 90 from 25 overs.
A fairly typical day for 5s. We bowled pretty well, fielded well (obligatory slip chance – albeit difficult), but caught well in the outfield. Batting has struggled all season.
But as is always the case, not all is lost. As mentioned, the bowling stood up all year. We are above mid table in terms of wickets taken, and with better slippers, would have added a few more. Whenever we passed 200, we won. A simple philosophy for next year I would think.
Looking at the final top six in 5th grade, we beat St George who finished 1st. ( our best performance of the year) , and we beat Parra, who finished 4th. We lost by 2 wickets to defending premiers Gordon, who finished 2nd, and had the skipper bowled first, we may well have knocked over Penrith cheaply and won that game. Penrith finished 3rd. We dropped 5 catches v Blacktown, should have bowled them out for 70. They finished 6th.
I won’t go on, and it’s stating the obvious, but had we won the close games, we would have threatened the semis. We were only thrashed in a couple of games, so were competitive in most, which is all you can ask. The boys will have learnt something from the season and I know many are hungry for success next year, and keen to improve their own games.
I call them boys because only twice did we have 2 guys older than 20 in the team. On most occasions we had 5-6 under 16s, and no one over 18. As a result, we celebrated at Maccas, more than at the Diggers.
At all stages, no matter what the situation, it was great to captain the side, and spend time with these guys. All guys gave 100% every week, enjoyed each other’s company, and enjoyed the spirit around the club. It was certainly never dull in 5s.
Thanks to the parents who delivered, cooked and usually served afternoon tea at Mick Pawley Oval. I can safely say, our afternoon teas were top of the table. (Gordon last !!)
Big thanks to Donny Dollars for putting up with the noise (?!?), scoring, and generally reminding me, many times, of all the things off the field that needed to be done, and occasionally making suggestions for what needed to be done on the field !! Donny has a great passion for the game, and in particular for Manly, and his work doesn’t go un-noticed.
All the best to everyone. Good stuff !