Manly-Warringah 6-252 (Joe O’Brien 69, Sam Barnett 39) DEF Northern District 9-121 (Luke Morley 3-21, Barnett 2-12)
Luckily the weathermen got it wrong and the predicted showers stayed away from Graham Reserve for the first game of the boys’ final rep season.
After winning the toss and briefly flirting with the idea of bowling under overcast skies, skipper Sam Barnett opted to make first use of the pitch - and it proved a good decision.
Openers Luke Richardson (12) and Joe O’Brien put on 32 for the first wicket before Richo departed in the 10th over.
That brought the captain to the crease.
Barney and Joe took us from 1-32 to 124 at a good rate, the partnership broken when Sam was caught behind on 39.
His innings featured five fours and really gave us some solid momentum.
Joey and birthday boy Oscar Lucius kept up the tempo, putting on 52 for the third wicket before a mix up led to O’Brien departing, run out for 69.
Joey’s innings was a gem, combining great placement and timing and smart running between wickets.
It was a typical team knock from a player who always puts the team first.
Oscar hit four boundaries in his 35, Sam Jones contributed a quickfire 27 and Matt Priest (10 not out), Evan Dunnachie (10) and Ollie Melville (7 not out) all helped us reach 6-252 from 50 overs.
After dining out on an excellent chicken lunch provided by the master of cricket cuisine, Pete Morley, Northern District started their run chase in cautious fashion.
The visitors were soon well behind the required run rate, albeit with all 10 wickets in intact.
We had to wait until the 14th over for the first breakthrough, with Evan’s first wicket triggering a mini collapse.
Reliable leggie Luke Morley (3-21) picked up a wicket on the final ball of his first over and Evan (2-15) bagged another on his next over to leave NDs in all sorts at 3-33.
From there, NDs seemed more intent on batting out the remaining 50 overs than having a crack at the target.
Smells kept us entertained on the boundary with stories from the 80s – most of them unprintable - as the game drew to its inevitable conclusion.
NDs finished 9-121, with Sam Dunn (1-13), Sam Barnett (2-12) and Joe O’Brien (1-3) joining the wicket takers.
The coaching brains trust was happy enough with the solid first-up performance but warned of tougher days ahead.
Thanks to the coaches, managing duo Jon and Janis, scorers, lunch providers and all supporters.