Last weekend was a forgettable start to the season for Manly. Taking on Sydney Uni we knew we’d be in for a tough contest as the students always field very competitive teams across the grades. Having got the jump on them winning four from five the last time we clashed, we were optimistic for a strong start to the season.
Unfortunately it was our batting that let us down in most of the grades – 1st Grade lost by 144; 2nd and 4th Grades were both rolled for 97 and 81 respectively and passed 5 wickets down, while 3rd Grade fell 50 runs short despite promising starts from a number of batsmen. The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the magnificent century on debut from young Lachlan Charles that steered the 5th Grade innings. Things didn’t quite fall our way and 5s were beaten painfully close to victory in the final over. In a match featuring so many excellent performances it could really have gone either way and it was unfortunate that the Students got the rub of the green this time, leaving us empty-handed after round one for the first time in many years.
This weeks’ 4 Pines Player of the week is a young debutant who played his first game of grade for Manly on the weekend, in Dylan Marshall’s 5th Grade side. In what was overall a disappointing weekend of cricket for the Tahs, Lachlan Charles’ innings was an exceptional bright spot and is a great sign for things to come. Lachie came in under pressure after the loss of our first wicket without a run on the board. He and Luca Franks steadied the ship and batted excellently together to put on 70 for the second wicket. This was to be the first of three 70-run partnerships Lachie was involved with before he was finally dismissed for 119 with the score on 218. His innings was absolutely vital in helping the Tahs set a very competitive 269 runs. Congratulations Lach, excellent work!
Sydney University is always a tough away trip, and unfortunately the opening day of the season was no exception for the 1’s boys. Uni won the toss and chose to bat on a good hard cricket wicket. Michael Visser (3/67) was irresistible with the new rock as always, and had the opener caught at slip early to get the boys rolling for the year. He was well partnered by Joel Foster 1/41 who bowled superbly from the other end. Joseph Graham (1/28) was brought into the attack early and immediately nabbed a breakthrough. This brought former test opener Ed Cowan to the crease who breezed his way to a classy 69. He was supported by Robertson (50), McElduff (63) and Mortimer (38).
Captain Ryan Farrell switched the bowling around from both ends with plenty of options up his sleeve. Carden (0/44) and Herd (0/28) on debut both toiled hard without success. Captain Farrell (1/22) and Beadle (1/44) both chimed in with handy wickets. Our execution and intensity on a difficult outfield still reeling from the winters AFL let us down, allowing uni to gain momentum in the last 10 overs reaching 277 at the close of their 50. Going into the sheds the boys were quietly confident that if we batted well and executed our plans this chase was well within our reach.
Weston and debutant Doonan went out to face the new ball attack, one of which has considerably more impressive pipes than the other, I’ll let you decide which. The boys got off to a solid start with no alarms reaching 30 before losing both in quick succession Weston (17) Doonan (8). From here Beadle (18) and Davies (18) steadied the ship, Before both also going in quick succession. Farrell (18) and Foster (16) put together a handy partnership but in order with how things were going fell in quick succession. From here the game finished quite quickly as the boys went down swinging to be all out for 133 giving uni a bonus point win. We failed to execute with the bat with 5 of the top 6 making double figures and looking comfortable before being dismissed. In a chase such as this, one if not two of us needed to go big. The boys were extremely disappointed post game, but are keen to bounce back next week bigger and better.
3 – Michael Visser
2 – Ahillen Beadle
1 – Ryan Farrell
Following a solid pre-season, including two weekend long trips to Toronto, Second Grade came into Round 1 buzzing and ready to get the season off to the perfect start. After winning the toss, Captain Andrew ‘Jamo’ Jamieson decided to have a bat on what appeared to be a decent batting wicket. Unfortunately, it was more or less downhill for the Manly boys from there. After losing a wicket in the first over, we never really recovered. Aside from some solid middle order power hitting from Jacob O’Sullivan and Isaiah Vumbaca, Manly offered little resistance to be rolled for 97.
Inspired by a rousing speech by Jamo, Manly got off to a great start, with both Michael Counsell and Andy Sommerville taking a wicket with their first ball. With pressure building, Manly were able to snare a few more wickets, before a sensational run out by Isaiah had Sydney Uni on the ropes at 5-50. However the drinks break completely slowed the momentum for Manly, as Sydney Uni steadied the ship and were able to pass our total without the loss of another wicket.
3 – Isaiah Vumbaca
2 – Andy Sommerville
1 – Jacob O’Sullivan
3rd Grade rocked up to Camperdown Park with a good vibe, looking to kick of the season with a win. Perhaps in an effort to receive public validation for his admittedly streamlined figure, captain Nick ‘Nickos’ McLachlan floated the idea for warm-up touch footy teams to be selected on a ‘dad-bods’ v ’rigs’ basis. Unfortunately for Nick, a more tribalistic, high school lunchtime-esque process of team selection prevailed, leaving poor, young Matt Brewster high and dry as last picked. Sources close to him say he’s still not fully recovered from this blow but is working hard for next week.
Despite the fixture being a one-sided affair, the spotlight shone brightly on the team’s debutants. New country boy Hamish ‘Ringo’ Starr was undaunted by the nearby skyscrapers of the big city, playing impressively on debut, while Alec ‘Pipes’ Duly showed that the price for his exceptional upper body musculature was apparently an absence of spatial awareness that in defence could only be described as negligent. More seriously though, it was a good warm-up and the boys were gelling very nicely.
Josh ‘Wigs’ Wigney and Nick McLachlan got Manly off to a solid start with a number of extremely close LBWs that were unlucky not to be given. Despite a solid first session featuring good spells from Ringo and Jimmy Crombie that complemented the openers, the first drinks break saw Uni none down at the break. The fast outfield meant that the slightly-too-occasional loose ball was invariably going for 4. We knew that with tight lines and disciplined bowling we would build pressure and get chances to break the partnership. This happened early in the second session, with the formerly scratchy-looking opener creaming one off Crombie to Jordan Daly at short cover, who wasn’t able to hold onto it. That seemed to be the moment that broke the shackles on the opener who proceeded to up the ante, playing shots to all parts. Although our lines and lengths could have been better at times, he played smart, aggressive cricket targeting the short boundary. Some impressive bowling from newfound front-line spinner Jack ‘Pickers’ Pickering helped build pressure in patches, but good striking and the lightening outfield made it hard to stem the flow of runs.
Overall their openers, and their number three after we did get the break through, batted very well. Apart from the unlucky LBW chances from the opening overs they gave only a few tough run-out chances requiring a direct hit that we weren’t quite good enough to take.
After a forgettable middle session and their opener smoking it on 100* we knew that we were up against it, however in the face of aggressive batting with wickets in hand we kept fighting. Ringo bowled particularly well showing excellent control and some clever plans that saw him end up with 3 wickets. Good spells at the death from Wigs, Crombie and also Nickos were accompanied by mostly good catching to restrict them to only 265 when 300+ had looked well and truly on the cards.
With an outfield as fast as this we knew this was a very achievable target, especially with our batting lineup. As if knowing that he had let his teammates down in the morning touch match, Pipes came out all guns blazing to get the Manly boys off to the perfect start. Dom Wheeler and Pipes were batting with excellent intent and setting the platform well until Dom lit the first barbeque of the season, cooking himself with the score on 32. Pickers and Pipes continued to go along at an excellent pace, Pipes in particular playing some sublime strokes and was really establishing his dominance over their attack. The change to spin brought about his downfall, playing across the line to their leggie who went on to be their best bowler by far – nabbing 4.
Jordan Daly joined Pickers showing what could only be described as way too much intent, hitting one straight to point and calling Pickers through. Fortunately, Pickers survived and continued to look classy, punishing the average lengths offered by their second- and third-change quicks until he tried to work the leggie around the corner and was bowled. Ned Hole came to the crease and, in his first competitive grade match in well over a year, overcame a few nervous moments to settle in nicely. Ned and Jordan were negotiating the spinner well and starting to look settled until Jordan managed to hit a full toss from the offie at the other end straight to mid-on, bringing Matt Brewster to the crease. Matt tried to hit the leggie to the short boundary but didn’t quite get enough on it, caught at deep backward square.
Although these two quick wickets took the wind out of our sails somewhat, when Zach Trewartha strode to the crease nobody was nervous. Zach and Ned combined brilliantly for a 97-run stand, playing smart, aggressive cricket. When Ned was unfortunately trapped in front for a vital 37 young Ringo came to the crease showing excellent intent and power. He was looking very at ease out there and combined with Zach, the runs were flowing nicely. Ringo looked in absolutely no danger of getting out right up until he late cut one straight to slip of the leggie with the score at 7/183.
This brought Jimmy Crombie off the greasy pole that is the one-day batting order and BACK INTO THE GAME where he batted around Zach brilliantly, pushing singles with precision and putting away the bad ball. Zachy in particular was just starting to hit his straps, hitting two consecutive sixes, one of which would’ve made it into the adjacent suburb had it not collided with the top branches of an enormous nearby tree. I’m not even exaggerating, the tree was legitimately 45 metres tall and the field’s only a couple of blocks from Stanmore. It was a massive hit.
The Manly boys were gathering some serious momentum and the game looked set for a grandstand finish when the Crombie-Trewartha stand was broken by an LBW decision that one might call something of a shocker. This brought skipper McLachlan to the crease, who unfortunately pushed at one, edging it through to the keeper to leave us at 204 with only Crombie and Josh Wigney to see us home. With 62 still required, the pair still showed every bit of confidence that we would get there. Wigs in particular batted with aggression and looked impressively solid in defence, hitting some very nice shots to race away to 5 before unfortunately trying to take on one too many and was bowled.
Overall it was a good tough match against a quality side. It’s also fair to say that the score didn’t do justice to how close the match was at times. Sydney Uni won the comp last year and after Saturday’s match we know where the standard has been set for the season. It was great to see our application in the field while a number of our batsmen also made good starts. Some work across the board on shot selection and turning these starts into big scores will undoubtedly give us just that little bit more that we need to get over the line next time.
Jordan ‘runaway’ Daly
3 – Zach Trewartha
2 – Hamish Starr
1 – Ned Hole
4th Grade turned up to Grahams hoping to start our season well. We won the toss and chose to bat on what looked to be a fairly good pitch. Our batting was not up to scratch at all, with only 4 batsman making double figures with Nick Cohen top scoring with 21. In the end we were dismissed for the poor total of 81 after just 33 overs.
We were then left with the difficult task of defending this low total. We started off very well with Alex Bain taking a wicket in the very first over however it was an uphill battle from there and in the end they passed our total 5 down after 27 overs with Bain grabbing another and the other 3 wickets shared between bowlers. Our batting really let us down however there were some promising signs with the ball.
Overall a disappointing start to our season with lots of room to improve as the summer progresses.
3 – Alex Bain
2 – Nick Cohen
1 – Aidan Bennett
Our 5th grade Manly boys played down at St. Paul’s Oval for our first game of the season. Starting off with the bat, MWDCC started shakily, losing the early wicket of Oscar ‘Malfoy’ Lucius early wicket before Lachlan Charles joined Luca Franks. The boys were impressive, building a 70-run partnership with typical but well-executed one-day cricket, turning around quick singles and putting away the bad ball. Luca fell for 28 with the score 2-70. From here Lachie played the main role, showing class and maturity with a brilliant 119 on debut. Our middle order, played a supportive role, playing aggressive cricket with Dylan Marshall (34) and Sam Jones (26) finished off well by Jordan Brewster with 41*, ending with the score on 6/269.
In return, Manly started well with Falconer grabbing an early wicket. Sydney Uni got away through the middle overs however, with a few close opportunities going their way. They were able to capitalise through the middle overs and take the game to the final over. The lads fought back well, picking up crucial wickets at the end with Falconer Snaring 3/36 and Marshall 3/45 showing their experience. Despite our best efforts, Sydney university were able to chase down the runs with 3 balls to spare. A disappointing start to the season, however our young side showed great skill and maturity with the bat and ball which shows great promise for the rest of the season.
3 – Lachlan Charles
2 – Jordy Brewster
1 – Dylan Marshall