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TAHS MAKE BIG STATE-MENT
It was a proud moment for the club on Wednesday when three local juniors lined up for NSW in the Marsh Cup clash against Tasmania in Melbourne.
Ollie Davies, Jackson Bird and Jack Edwards all suited up for the Blues, with Joel Davies a non-playing member of the squad.
Jackson (2-27) and Jack (2-24) did a great job with the ball to help restrict the Tigers to 198 before the real fireworks commenced.
Chasing a bonus point and a quick finish, Jack opened the innings and blasted 92 from 63 balls to put on 137 for the first wicket.
He clobbered 11 fours and four sixes and was at one stage on track to record the fastest century in Australian one-day domestic cricket.
His man-of-the-match performance sealed an easy six-wicket win inside 35 overs.
We all know the talent “Jed” possesses and it’s great to see him start the season in such great touch.
Ollie missed out with the bat and will be itching to get amongst it when NSW takes on Victoria on Friday.
We’re not privy to the Blues’ plans but hopefully they find a spot for Joel to make his senior state debut just a couple days after turning 20.
If he does – and the other three Manly boys back up – it will be the first time in our long history we’ve had four home-grown products don the sky blue.
DOUBLE HEADER OF GREAT IMPORTANCE
Our strong NSW representation does present challenges as first grade turns its attention to a double header of T20 games at Manly Oval on Saturday.
As I write this, we are still awaiting word from NSW officials as to whether any of our four state reps will be available to play.
That obviously makes it tricky to settle on a starting XI, with late reshuffles throughout the grades expected on Friday night.
I know all our Blues boys will want to play but realistically I doubt we’ll get the green light for all four and that’s the way it rolls at grade level.
We often talk about the depth at Manly and it’s weekends like this where it comes to the fore.
No matter who’s available or unavailable, we’ll field strong sides for games against Parramatta (9am) and Northern District (1.30pm).
After the opening round of double headers last Saturday, we sit at 1-1 after a loss to Bankstown and a win over Mosman.
We had first use of a tough Bankstown Oval wicket for game one but lost wickets regularly and did not score enough runs to defend despite a wonderful bowling effort.
We again bowled well in game two against the Whales until we lost our way slightly and were asked to chase 159 for victory.
It was then the Ollie Davies show, his 104 not out showcasing an innings of incredible skill and patience.
The next top score was 10 so we really have Ollie to thank for getting us across the line.
With the top three teams from each group going through to the knockout stages, it’s imperative we win at least one of Saturday’s two games to secure our passage.
LAUNCH ATTRACTS RECORD NUMBERS
It was standing room only on Monday night when a record turn-out fronted for our season launch at the Harbord Diggers.
We normally get reasonable numbers to our first official function of the year but to see 130-plus in attendance was incredible and another strong show of the support we enjoy.
After some pre-launch drinks and nibbles, the crowd heard from club president Andrew Fraser, members of our coaching staff, the five men’s grade captains, club captains (men’s and women’s) and sponsors.
There were also some exciting new projects and initiatives announced to further strengthen our ties to the local community and charities.
It was all emceed superbly by old velvet voice, Sam Hole.
The highlight, as usual, was the unveiling of our lower grade sides for their opening round matches and the cap presentation.
There is so much depth across the grades and a lot of good players were unlucky to miss selection.
But as you’ve read above, with representative selections sure to pluck our best talent, we will need considerable cover to fill the gaps.
Head coach Roy Vumbaca has challenged us not to rest on last year’s performance, which saw us collect the club championship and win titles in seconds and fourths.
Only Northern District has gone back-to-back in the club championship and we want to join them in the history books.
And we remain as hungry as ever to add a few more grand final trophies to our collection.
There’s certainly plenty to play for.
I look forward to hearing the women’s ambitions for 2022/23 when their season is launched at the Diggers on Wednesday night.
Go luck to all Tahs teams this weekend!