What a day for the Manly boys to cap off the final round of the season. We picked up 4 from 5 grades in Saturday’s one-dayer against neighbouring Mosman, with 1s, 2s, 4s and 5s all picking up wins.
The hotly contested Club Championship was also at stake on Saturday, and with Sydney University breathing heavily down our necks, we knew we would need a good round against the Whales. As it turned out, it came down to the last ball in Fourth Grade to decide whether we would win the prestigious cup, as we heard news that uni had won 5 from 5. With Mosman needing 3 from the last ball to win off young Sammy Gainsford, the boys managed to keep it to 1 with a valiant effort from Wooduck Senior in the infield. Wild celebrations ensued and it was a fitting way to finish off the final round for the Tahs. The celebrations culminated in a memorable lap of Manly Oval at 9pm, with a highlights package of Wrighty’s performances on the night to follow. Focus now moves onto playing finals cricket, with the top 4 grades all progressing and 5s narrowly missing out despite a very successful season.
4 Pines Brewery Player of the Round – Cameron Merchant
Merchant continued his stellar form in the final round of the season with a brilliant 125 off only 96 rocks, guiding 1st Grade to a comprehensive victory and helping to secure a spot in the finals. Nappa has had an awesome season, scoring 2 centuries and 3 x 50s with 727 runs @ 52. The great man’s performances have also drawn recognition from state selectors as he has been given the chance to represent NSW 2nd XI. Well done Nappa!
Cameron Merchant – 125 (1st Grade)
Tim Cruickshank – 60 (1st Grade)
Mitch Cleary – 54 (1st Grade)
Nick McLachlan – 3-16 off 10 (2nd Grade)
Matt Alexander – 3-26 off 8 (2nd Grade)
Sam Hole – 4-22 (5th Grade)
1st Grade – Manly 5/310 (C Merchant 125, T Cruickshank 60, M Cleary 54) defeated Mosman 9/250
In a must win game against Mosman, 1st grade put together a tremendous batting performance to set up a convincing win at Manly Oval on Saturday. After losing openers Watkins and Ritchie fairly cheaply, Cameron Merchant and Tim Cruickshank combined in a spectacular 109 run partnership. Shank departed for 60 off 77, while Nappa guided the innings with a blistering 125 off 96 balls, including 3 sixes. Mitch Cleary also joined the party with 54 off 46, also hitting 3 big bombs. Luke Edgell (31* off 17) and Smitta-Bra (15*) finished off the innings decisively with the Tahs posting an imposing 5-310 off their 50.
Munting and Boss (both 2-40 off 10) opened up and the Whales never really looked a chance, and they eventually finished 9-250. Edgell (2-56), Flat (1-49 off 9) and Matty Mee (0-38 off 10) all bowled well, and the win proved crucial in securing a finals birth as well as earning much-needed CC points.
2nd Grade – Manly 118 defeated Mosman 66
Doochman called correctly at Rawson Oval and decided to have a bat on a low and slow deck. Partners in crime Billy and Dooch opened up and were looking comfortable until Billy departed for a duck. Gummer joined the skipper and the pair stuck around for a while, but runs were hard to come by as the outfield was quite slow. Gumms was trapped in front soon after and Scotty joined Dooch with the pair looking good and showing some resistance. Scotty was dismissed by a freak caught and bowled off Stevo, with the Tahs in trouble at 3-30 off 15. Javey and Dooch combined well before a flurry of wickets saw Manly right on the back foot. Eventually we were rolled for 118, with Dooch and Digits the only ones showing any real resistance, both Making 24.
All the boys knew the stakes were high, with a Minor Premiership and a Club Championship on the line, so it was time to put the batting behind us and focus on the task at hand. The goal was to bowl full and straight and use the dead-pitch to our advantage to pick up some bowled and LBWs. Mitch Coombs (2-18) and Matt Alexander (3-26) opened up nicely and got us the start we were after, with the Whales stuck in the duldrums at 3-14. McLachlan then joined the party with an awesome spell of 10 straight to yet again snare the figures with 3-16. The bowlers were switched around nicely and wickets continued to fall, with Dylan Marshall coming on to clean up the tail and burgle 2-2, with Mosman being rolled for 66 and Manly picking up a bonus point win! Special mention to Greg Marks who had the arduous tarsk of taking three catches.
The awesome win secured a minor premiership for 2nd grade, but also showed that real application needs to be shown with the bat as we move into finals cricket. It’s also worth noting that the 2s boys were able to see 4s pull off a miraculous win at AB Oval and secure the Club Champs, and needless to say the celebrations started from there and continued into Sunday! Congrats everyone! Looking forward to finals on the weekend against Parramatta at Manly Oval.
3rd Grade – Manly 115 (M Pugh 34*) defeated by Mosman 5-116
3rd Grade were looking to end the regular season on a high on Saturday with their match against 5th place Mosman. The only Mosman side to be a chance of making the finals, they came with a strong and experienced side that were looking to take up the fight to the 3rd place Manly boys.
The ground was in good condition considering the recent rain, with the pitch a bit of an unknown quantity. But the decision was taken out of our hands when Mosman won the toss and bowled. Joel Mason and Sam Webber got off to a steady start, putting on 30+ for the opening stand. Sammy survived a few hairy moment early on, while Mason was hitting the ball well through the off-side and doing most of the scoring. Sammy was first to go for 10, but Don continued to score and the result was 1 for 45. However, Isaacs got a duck while Mason went the next over to a poor shot, and a flurry of wickets started, mostly to edges behind the wicket, with us losing 5 for 5 to be 6 for 50.
Mitch Pugh, coming in at number 4, saw most of the carnage from the non-strikers end, and it was only when he was joined by Taylor Beattie that some stability was added. They put on 40 runs before Taylor was judged LBW from the left arm orthodox spinner for a good 25. Reece Hodge hit the ball back to the bowler shortly after and decided to run, so it was left to Mitch Pugh to work with the tailenders to put some respectability on the score board, with his trademark loft over cover coming to the fore. But ultimately he didn’t get the support required, and finished on 34 not out with the score on 115.
We started well with the ball, Craig Little taking a 2nd over wicket, and one not long after from Visser left Mosman at 2 for 25. We were searching for that 3rd breakthrough to really through the game in the air, and while we did get Sam Robers schnicking to Webber behind the stumps, the umpire disagreed with us and we didn’t get the breakthrough we needed.
Some lofts over the infield was followed by a couple of wickets quickly, and at 4 for 80 we thought we were a chance. However a couple of maximums off Ryan Farell, who bowled beautifully to pick up 3 wickets, saw them eventually overtake us with the loss of just 5 wickets.
Ultimately it was a game where the little things were done better by Mosman, but having seen what was on show from the top of the table team (they jumped from 5th to 1st with that victory), the boys are confident that a better performance with the stick could bring about premiership glory this year.
4th Grade – Manly 196 (E Burgess 40) defeated Mosman 9-195
Turning up to AB Oval we lost the toss and were sent in on a wicket that offered something for the bowlers early on. Getting off to a good start with the Burgess boys seeing off a tough first hour with Ed doing it with ease hitting 40 of the 63 run opening partnership. When Ed fell from a bad call from the other end we found ourselves in a mini collapse. Contributions from Michael Lindsay (29) and Ash Virdi (28) got the score up to 196.
We got off to a flyer with the ball with Mosman falling to 5 for 26 in no time. With Ash Virdi (3-36 from 10 overs) and Mickey Edwards (4-23 from 10 overs)tearing through the top order, Mickey’s turn around in form since coming into 4s has been incredible and this can be attributed to his hard work and big Mick Lindsay having a word to him about fast bowling.
Let’s be honest everyone wants to hear about that last over and let me set the record straight. Throwing the ball to young Sammy Gainsford I had every confidence he could do the job, having had a similar opportunity against UNSW where (sorry Sam) he got hit for 20 off the last over of the day to give the captain a scare, I knew that Sam took a lot away from that game and it showed on Saturday. With Mosman only needing 7 to win from the last over, and having Senior Wood-duck (Dave Gainsford, who was sporting next seasons Manly skins) giving encouragement from short cover, Sam came in to bowl a full arm bowl that was hit to Sam Alexander down at long off for one. Second bowl was hit for 3 through cover point, leaving 3 off four balls. Sam then produced 3 golden dot balls to leave it 3 from the final ball (2 for the tie), Sam bowled another full arm ball which was hit down the ground but from nowhere young David Gainsford gracefully fell on the ball, and wanting to take all the glory in one swift move had a short at the stumps (we think he was going for the bowler’s end), unfortunately he missed and the ball was picked up by the skipper who threw it to a nervous Rabs to whip the bails off, and as they say the rest is history.
We ended the regular season 2nd and exceeded all expectations. Bring on the finals and bring on NDs!!
5th Grade – Manly 2-100 (R Trewartha 37*) defeated Mosman 96 (S Hole 4-22)
A bonus point thrashing of Mosman was a fitting way for 5th Grade to finish up on Saturday. Losing the toss, everyone new what was required in the field and went about setting the bar high.
Great opening spells from Brian Wilson (2-14 off 4) and Jonks (1-21 off 10) were followed by tight stuff from Jacob (2-21 off 8) and Farrell (0-14 off 8), with Tommy Sky taking a blinder down the leg side. Ross produced a coach pleasing run out from point and the Tahs were totally on top of the Whales. The introduction of spin once again caused a lower grade collapse from the opposition. Sammy Hole continued his amazing late season with the ball, snaring another 4 wicket haul (4-22 off 7), beating the beached Whales with flight and spin. At the other end Ross (1-3 off 2) was introduced for his debut bowl after some eye catching offies in the nets. Is there nothing this evergreen champion can’t do? Runs, runouts and now a wicket (caught Farrell for possibly the oldest combined dismissal in Manly history) completed a remarkable season for Roscoe. Mosman bowled out for 96 in 41 overs.
The bonus point could be achieved at 3 an over (97 off 30), so Billy and Thickys had plenty of time in our innings. Both openers scored 23, batting sensibly and running well to snuff out any Mosman hopes of a surprise comeback. The finishing touches were applied by Rosco (37no) and Jordy (5no) to achieve our goal at the start of the day. Manly 2-98 off 22 win with a bonus point.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to sneak into the semis, but the team was as proud as every other player in the club to be part of the club championship winning day.
Conrats to all that have worn the mighty Manly cap with pride this season for 5th Grade and good luck with finals ahead to all grades. More celebrations are just around the corner!!!