Under 11 DCA JH Creak Shield
Round 5 vs Sutherland on Sunday 19th November
Harbord Park, Freshwater
Sutherland won the toss and elected to bat:
Manly Warringah 75 all out (32 overs) defeated by Sutherland 8/88
Matt Evans 18, Harry O’Sullivan 16, Tom Molloy 14 ;
Ethan Buchanan 7-3-1-6, Matt Evans 7-2-3-7, Tom Cole 4-0-1-18, Eshaan Holla 5-0-2-22, Charlie Poynton 3-0-1-9, Lewis Whilley 8-2-0-11, Tom Molloy 6-2-0-7
Manly welcomed a friendly Sutherland contingent to a Harbord Park bathed in sunshine, in direct contrast to the rain armageddon forecast by meteorologists. Sutherland won the toss and requested to bat. There was a fair bit riding on this game: Manly win we finish 3rd overall, we lose and we very easily could be dumped from the comp given the closeness across divisions.
Cricket – it’s a magnificent but brutal game.
From ball one, Manly dominated. Untold pressure built from outstanding fielding – and there was no other superlative to describe it, it was absolutely outstanding meant that Sutherland struggled to get to 16 off 10 overs. Time and again the boys dived in the field and then threw the ball in above the bails, their talk was exceptional and you could feel something was about to happen. Ethan Buchanan and Lewis Whilley were keeping Ollie busy behind the stumps, beating the bat consistently with clever line and length. This set the platform for the 1st change bowlers to strut their stuff and it didn’t take long for Matt Evans to get amongst it, clean bowling two batsmen with consecutive deliveries in his 2nd over. He grabbed another in his 3rd, then Tom Cole chipped in with one, Sutho were 4-34 at drinks. The coaches turned to spin with immediate effect, Eshaan Holla bagging 2 wickets in his first over – a good catch by Ollie followed a caught and bowled left Sutherland in tatters. 6-45 in the 18thover. This saw a panicked message sent out on the App we need sausage cookers and need them now, because it looked like food was going to be served pretty early.
We needn’t worry. At 6-45 the lads dropped from their fielding summit thinking it was a matter of time, but Sutherland had other ideas. We missed two very good opportunities for run outs and started to mis-field……shades of last week, as Sutherland consolidated well. The 7th wicket fell 15 overs after the 6th, and their 8th wicket came off the final ball as they landed on 88. 8 is a lucky number to many, and so it was to prove. Ask any coach though on a fine afternoon with the batting line up we have, and you’d take chasing 88 every day of the week…….
After another great lunch by our mums, Harry O’Sullivan and Matt Evans got the ball rolling with the bat. Matt was full of confidence after a 50 not out the day before, Harry has been in great form with not much going his way. These boys could not have got Manly off to a better start. Sensible play and excellent running saw the boys tick the scoreboard over as we ate into the modest total of 88. A feature of their batting was they ran 10 x 2’s in their partnership of 32, it shows they are learning about communicating and when to take their chances.
Matt looked set to cash in again with a lovely clip for 4 off his legs, but two balls later succumbed to a lobbed catch, 1-32. With only 57 required, it didn’t really seem that much of an issue. Out strode Tommy Molloy, the skipper hit a 50no in club cricket the day before so was ready to continue piling up the runs. Up until this stage Manly were in complete control – not only of the game but also their destiny come finals time. However momentum was to swing a full 180 and momentum can be an unstoppable train……..
Cricket – it is a magnificent but brutal game.
The 14th over saw Harry take strike, get rapped high on the pad and get fired, out LBW. Will Brewster took guard, another bringing in consistent good scores from his previous innings looking to help steer the team home. A shortish ball right in his zone was too tempting first ball, he tried to hit it to the square-leg fence, missed it and was rapped on the box. A loud appeal was followed by the umpires finger, two LBW’s in two balls. 3-37. Ok, a few wobbles but cricket history is littered with wobbles and if there is anyone you would like striding out, it was last week’s centurion in Ethan Buchanan. Tom clipped a lovely boundary off his legs and scored another 3 runs to help ease the tension somewhat but with the score on 51 a trait that seems to punish our side – meek chips in the air to the fieldsmen – got hold of Ethan who was sent for 3. 4-51.
Ok fair to say a few boys whom thought they weren’t going to face a ball were sent scurrying to get their pads on – as the next passage of play turned the game on its head. By this stage the Sutherland talk was loud, they had their backs up and they knew it was game on. Tom quelled this somewhat when he pumped a full toss to the boundary, only to try and use his feet down the wicket to the leggie, miss it, and get stumped. 5-57. In a bit of barney rubble. Lochie came and went, playing on with the score still on 57, Benji Cook came and went with one of those meek catches gifting Sutherland 7-58 impetus. The pendulum has most definitely swung. The drama was compounded when Ollie Mann succumbed to you guessed it – another one of those easy catches that have really plagued the entire team this season. 8-58. We lost 4-1 in 22 balls.
Our boys bat to No11 and we still felt there was hope. Charlie Poynton and Lewis were together and slowly but assuredly started to eat into the total. It was seriously hostile out there but they chipped away and waited for the bad ball. One of their bowlers was imitating Sharapova with mis-timed grunts after releasing the ball, often followed by some Merv-esque waltzes down the wicket doing their best to unsettle our lads. Charlie was having none of it, hitting the shot of the day with a serious pump over mid-on for four. A two followed by a single then another 2, a couple of wides….and all of a sudden we could smell the finish.
Lewis had batted so sensibly, but he too fell foul of a meek dab in the air to short-point. We still required 15. Tom Cole went out at No11, he has an U-12 Sat Div 1 50 to his name this season, there was still some hope. Another 2 to Charlie saw the deficit to 13 but that was the end of the section, Charlie bowled from a cracking ball for a great effort at the end.
Sutherland were overwhelmed with delight, for they knew they were through to the finals. Our boys trudged off, bitterly disappointed but learning a very valuable lesson about cricket. When you win you don’t have to worry about permutations etc as to what happens when you don’t when it comes to finals time. We didn’t really know where we stood except that we felt we were out. As such Scott handed out the remaining GYG vouchers to those whom hadn’t received one this season, and we basically had our end of season talk and thank you’s. Our fate was out of our hands….when for so long it sat so nicely within the boys palms.
We had organised a BBQ anyway for down at Freshie Beach just in case things didn’t work out. The realisation was that this was the last time we would be together as this team for the season. As we sat there and watched the kids run around it probably rammed it home a bit more, as their newly formed friendships meant the result didn’t matter. It was – and it always is – tougher for the adults whom see their kids delight in their camaraderie that Reps has provided them. As the boys went off for a swim a few texts started to filter in. We didn’t dare believe we could sneak in the backdoor, but despite the pulse being faint, there was a pulse nonetheless. A result was texted in – and there ain’t no better man to have control of the permutations when it comes to Manly cricket than Wazza Evans, whom started digesting the results and started to believe.
In the meantime the boys picked up the bat and ball, unperturbed by the harsh cricketing lesson dealt out only an hour or so earlier embarked on yet another cricket game. Their passion for the game was there for all to see, as was their delight smashing cover drives into the throng of hipsters and beautiful people enjoying their Sunday arvo get together. As parents we stood there and admired their resilience……there was no Paine, I mean pain. Just love of the game. That’s all you want. This went on for hours, they wanted to do catching competitions and the like despite the soaking from the rain that swept over us. Rain it did, dampen spirits it didn’t. Cricket was the winner.
As it transpires, the boys are in the finals. Embrace the unexpected. Feed off it. It also looks like we are playing South Eastern who went through undefeated. Is this the same South Eastern whom our boys piled 262 runs against in 40 overs in our first trial? Our boys are now at their most dangerous. Nothing to lose, no pressure just get out there and play. To give you a glimpse of the undeniable talent in this side – after the competition rounds the U-11 Manly side had scored a staggering 821 runs in total. The next best was 646.
We have one more week. Anything can happen.
Cricket – it is a magnificent but brutal game.