1st grade maintained their lead at the top of the competition after grinding out a gutsy 179 thanks to half centuries from Cruickshank (51) and Munting (54). Nick McLachlan took 5 and Mickey Edwards 4 as the Tahs just got home in a close one, Penrith all out 163. 2’s on the other hand had a convincing 9-wicket win led my Mickey Visser (4-19) in his return from a few weeks off and Justin Cox with a dominant 52* as Penrith’s target of 87 was chased down with ease.
3’s showed especially great character as they fought hard against the pitch and weather all day to still come away with a bonus point win. Gainsford (44) and Gummer (36) were vital in taking the Tahs to what turned out to be an imposing total of 155 on a deck that was doing everything. Toomey and Carden (4 each) then ensured that Penrith were never really in the contest, rolling the 3rd Grade tabletoppers for only 60 on their home ground. Billy D’arcy (22) and Eddie Burgess (48) helped 4th Grade chase down Penrith’s 122 after Sam Alexander dismantled their middle order with 5-34 before a late collapse evend out the scoreline somewhat, leaving the Tahs with a 3 wicket win. 5th Grade had an eerily similar game to 3rd Grade – Away, sent in to bat on a wet one, batted well for 154 (Jack Edwards 27, Vumbacca 27, Badyari 19) before rolling them for only 68 (Kittlety 4-19, Vumbacca 3-10) to claim a convincing bonus point victory!
So with 2 rounds remaining the TravelSim Waratahs are placed in the top 6 of each grade, and lead the club championships by a nearly insurmountable 200 points. It’s shaping up as a massive conclusion to the season for the Tahs, but a vital round against UNSW wil be pivotal in our run into the finals. Go Manly!
4 Pines Player of the Week – Nick McLachlan
This weeks 4 Pines Player of the Week goes to 1st Grade’s leading wicket-taker Nick McLachlan for his crucial 5fa on Sunday against Penrith. After batting first and managing 179 on a deck that had seen a lot of rain recently the conditions were ideal for bowling, however Penrith were able to bat very well early on and it wasn’t looking great for the Tahs. Nick McLachlan’s impressive spell of 5-27 used the conditions perfectly and really changed the momentum of the game to help get the boys over the line.
This is a continuation of a stellar season for Nickos who continues to be the leading wicket-taker across the entire 1st Grade competition and a vital member of the 1st Grade bowling line-up. This position is well deserved for a man who has been a consistent performer throughout the season, and with finals just around the corner it’s a great time to be in such form. Great work Nickos!
1st Grade (Two-Day Fixture) – Penrith 163 (McLachlan 5/27 [8.5], Edwards 4/41 ) def by Manly 179 (Munting 54, Cruikshank 51, Lenton 32)
After the long drive out to Penrith’s home ground at the foot of the mountains, 1st Grade arrived to find extremely bowler-friendly conditions and a fair bit of sporadic rain. After batting first we slumped to 4-50 before the rain came and we didn’t end up getting on again all day due to the rain-affected pitch.
The second day saw a slight improvement in the pitch, allowing the runs to flow a little more. Skipper Tim Cruikshank batted well for his 51 while unlikely hero James Munting batted superbly in support, to create what would ultimately be the innings-defining partnership. The pair really showed how to bat on a surface like this, knuckling down and modifying their game and particularly shot selection, in order to stay in and score runs.
With 179 on the board we knew we had the bowling attack and the conditions to bowl them out in plenty of time. Unfortunately, but to their credit, Penrith batted extremely well early on, while our bowling was possibly not quite at 100%. Thus, despite taking the odd wicket here and there Penrith had the momentum throughout most of their innings. Luckily for us, Nick McLachlan came on just as the pressure on us was starting to mount and bowled expertly to the conditions, swinging the game back our way with exemplary lines and lengths. Another brief partnership briefly threatened as the continued to crawl slowly towards the total, before the final wicket was taken with the score on 163 – closing out another good gritty win.
2nd Grade – Manly 1/93 (Cox 52*, Ritchie 16*) def Penrith 87 (Visser 4/19 , Beatty 3/36 )
The mighty 2nds welcomed the short drive to an overcast and muggy Manly Oval. Penrith’s captain chose to bat on a pitch that looked and felt a little softer than usual and the boys thought it was a good toss to loose. Visser and Taylor started a little wayward with the swinging and seaming conditions but Taylor was able to draw an edge from one of the openers. With the two of them looking threatening with the ball, the rain came down and halted play for a while. Immediately after the delay viss and taylor ripped through the top and middle order, both bowling ten straight and both being on hat-trick balls. Viss ended up with 4 for 19 and Taylor 3 for 36. Penrith’s tail tried to stick around but Falconer was able to swoop on a misjudged run for a run out and was also able to take the last two wickets, bowling them out for a paltry 87.
Jarrod and Coxy started the chase with the ball still doing a bit. Both got the team to a steady start and were looking in good touch before Jarrod got given LBW for 8. Jack joined Coxy at the crease and two looked comfortable chipping away at the total, putting away the loose ball at every opportunity. Coxy then decided to go after the spinner with 20 runs to win, putting him on to Sydney road 3 times, with the third bringing up his 50 and the victory for the team with a bonus point. Coxy finished with an unbeaten 52 and Jack also unbeaten with 16.
A fantastic effort from everyone bringing home a great victory for the Tahs
3rd Grade – Penrith 61 (Toomey 4/13 , Carden 4/19 [4.5]) def by Manly 155 (Gainsford 44, Gummer 36, Farrell 24)
Cook Park had copped a hammering over night and was very soft at first inspection. The square had some very wet spots and whoever won the toss would predictably bowl. Play was delayed to give it a chance to dry out and we started 30 mins late. Penrith sent us in and the writing was on the wall with the first ball leaping at Gumms (36) which would have been swallowed by a short cover. Tom (1) battled hard against a ball that moved in every conceivable direction before he had one take the shoulder of his bat thru to the keeper. Ryan (24) and Gumms then combined for a close to match winning partnership. Penrith were expecting to go through us but their length wasn’t quite right and both players played aggressively and well. The pitch remained difficult as there was a heavy drizzle going on for most of the play and when this became a little too heavy the covers were put on for about 90 mins of time lost. As a result we were disadvantaged having only 45 overs now to face. Ryan was dismissed shortly before the delay with a massive leading edge back to the bowler.
Jordan (12) and Adam then suited up again on a spiteful pitch and they worked hard. Anyone staying in for 30 odd balls batted well in my book. Gumms was caught in front by their spinner to make it 3/73 off 26. Matt Cole smashed a full toss from the offie only for short cover to not quite complete his retreating turn and the ball lodging in his mid-riff for a mode of dismissal only Coley could come up with. Jordan fell shortly thereafter to another ballooning delivery making it 5/87 from 31 overs. Believe it or not this was a strong position as anything over 100 was going to be tough to chase.
Jake Carden then batted very well for a well struck 19. He and Sam Gainsford (44) put on a great partnership of 38 before Jake departed hitting out to make it 6/125. Gains batted superbly with some crunching straight drives, ala David Gainsford, Waitara Oval 1990 on a wet one. This was a fantastic innings in the circumstances. Usually the pitch dries out but it stayed venomous the whole way through. Aidan Bariol, Evans, Grant and Toomey all had a lash to not much avail and we were dismissed with 1 ball to go for a very competitive 155.
Knowing Penrith have heavily relied upon their opener and their agricultural #8 all year we had key wickets to take. Toomey (4/13) did just that with an easy catch for Ryan at 2nd slip knocking over the danger man early. Luke Grant (1/10) kept the pressure on and was rewarded with clean bowling the other opener. Nick bowled a terrific length, occasionally sticking one up them to good effect. He was well supported in the field with Daly taking a good nick, Grant a good catch at mid-off and Evans surprising everyone with good snare at mid-on. Chuck in a great running catch from Grant and a screamer from Bariol, both from Carden, we had a very good day in the field taking at least 4 excellent catches.
Jake Carden bowled a great length as well and finished with 4/19 to top off a great game for him. Their #8 provided some entertainment cracking a few fours before Jake cleaned him up to ensure a bonus point win.
A great reminder that games of cricket are not won at the toss.
4th Grade – Manly 6/125 (E. Burgess 48, D’arcy 22) def Penrith 122 (S. Alexander 5/34 )
After losing the toss, the fourth grade boys made their way into the field, keen to make a positive start to the day and make early inroads as the clouds started to build and threaten the days play..
A slippery pitch saw it tough for Josh Wigney to find his line but when he did he was very much unplayable as was Zach at the other end who found his crease less slippery.
A full toss saw Jacob take a catch and Josh take the opening wicket and with a little maintained pressure from both ends Zach got a ball to pop a little, Ed Burgess taking a great catch to put Penrith 2-15 off not many overs…
With rain interrupting for 35 minutes soon after the second breakthrough, the bowling and pressure started to fall away allowing Penrith to gallop away to 2-60 off 14 overs.
Jacob Graham took a wicket in his third over dismissing the number 3 who was causing a lot of damage and was able to then build a little bit of pressure at his end as Sam Alexander was brought into operation at the other.
After unluckily going for 20 runs from his first 2 overs, Sam Alexander soon found his areas to dry up the runs. This led to an absolute clinic as he took 5-14 off his next 8 overs, ripping apart their middle order. Ed at the other end also bowled strongly, taking one wicket to back up his catch, while a Zach Trewartha run out at the end sealed the Penrith innings all out for 122.
Joseph graham (18) and a scintillating Ed Burgess (48) accompanied little partnerships throughout the innings, which saw us within grasp of the game.. but as per recent games have shown, a clump of wickets found us at 7-100odd.
Fortunately, a partnership by captain Josh Peterson and Will Outred weathered the Penrith comeback and got us the 6 points. It was a great gutsy win in the end to cement our rightful spot at the top of the table.
5th Grade – Penrith 68 (Kittlety 4/19 , Vumbacca 3/10 [4.2]) def by Manly 154 (J. Edwards 27, Vumbacca 27, Badyari 19)
5th Grade arrived at Rance Oval on Saturday to the drizzle of rain and a shared undercover area which posed as a change ‘room’ for both teams.
Simon Waddington lost the toss (again) and Penrith sent us in to bat on a damp, green wicket with a very thick outfield. With the ball seaming sideways, we lost wickets consistently throughout the innings and it was tough to score runs.
Jack Edwards batted very maturely for 27, equal top scoring with Isaiah Vumbaca who put the pressure on the field with strong hitting and hard running. Manly were bowled out in the 50th over for 154, a fantastic score for the conditions.
Ben Kittlety begun the bowling innings well, drawing the edge of the opener on the 3rd ball. However, the rain returned after his first over for the 2nd rain delay of the day. This shortened Penrith’s required chase to 127 off 41 overs with 9 wickets in hand. Penrith were never in the hunt, losing wickets early due to superb seam bowling by Ben Kittlety who finished with 4 wickets. Isaiah Vumbaca also picked up 3 wickets. Penrith were bowled out for 68, giving the Tahs a bonus point win which moves 5th grade into 3rd spot with 2 rounds remaining in the regular season.