U13 WS Gee Shield – Quarter Final
Manly Warringah 8/167 (J Braund 48, M Campbell 38, H O’Brien 26 no) defeated by Hawkesbury 7/168 (J Cooper 3/24, K Mendel 2/23, S Bush 1/16, H O’Brien 1/18)
In a see-sawing quarter final, Manly has fallen short of pulling off a remarkable victory against Hawkesbury at Colonial Reserve, Bligh Park.
Manly Captain Joey Braund won the toss and elected to bat on a fast outfield.
In an effort to put the opposition bowlers and fielders off, coach Andrew Braund rejigged the batting line up, opening with the left-right combination of Josh Cooper and Billy O’Brien. They started well with seven runs coming off the first over, but the second over was a different story, with a wicket maiden seeing Josh feathering a ball off his legs to the keeper.
Ryan Lynch and Billy then settled down for a few overs; leaving the wide ball and pushing singles. However, with the score on 16, Ryan (4) was caught trying an ambitious lofted drive.
Five runs later, Billy (7) was gone to a very good catch at point; and with the score on 32, Manly lost its fourth wicket with Keelan Mendel (2) caught at slip.
Hawkesbury were well on top
Joey and Marcus Campbell began the task of rebuilding the innings. With stoic defence, smart running and the odd dispatch of a bad ball to the boundary, they batted for 21 overs taking the score to 96.
On 38, Marcus went for another boundary only to see another smart catch taken at point.
Milo May joined Joey in the middle and chipped around a handy 12 runs before he was caught at cover.
After batting for 30 overs, in 30-degree heat, Joey’s grafting innings came to an end, cruelly two runs short of a deserved half century. He had taken the score to 131 off 44 overs.
Harrison O’Brien strode to the centre with the instruction to play smart shots, and he didn’t disappoint. Combining with Toby Mallon and then Will Marks, they plundered 36 runs off the last six overs, with Harrison finishing 26 not out off 18 balls.
After having Manly on the ropes, Hawkesbury were now looking at the challenging total of 168 to win.
The coach’s instructions to the boys at the break – full and straight bowling, tight fielding and take the chances.
It was an intriguing beginning to the Hawkesbury innings, with neither side really gaining the ascendency. Opening bowlers Milo and Seb Bush produced back-to-back maidens to start proceedings, but then the odd short ball was dispatched to keep the batting side ticking along.
The quicks were rotated, with Harrison and Luke Emery brought on and mid-way through their spell the chances came. Twice, Harrison drew the edge of the dangerous Hawkesbury opener, unfortunately the first chance split the keeper and slip; and the second, a tough chance at slip, was put down.
Hawkesbury were now gaining the upper hand, having seen off Manly’s first four bowlers, and were 0/39 off 12 overs.
It was up to Josh, with his wily off spin, to break this partnership. With the help of some great out field catches from Luke, Seb and Keelan, Josh had done more than just break the opening partnership, he had taken three quick wickets. Hawkesbury were now 3/47 off 19, and the game had quickly turned.
It was now the turn of Hawkesbury’s batters to knuckle down. Their no. 3 and no. 5 could not be removed as they kept the run rate ticking along at just over three an over. Will probed away with his leg breaks, with no luck and the pacemen kept trying for the breakthrough.
As the home team was gaining the ascendency, a sharp lifting ball from Luke produced an edge from the no. 5’s bat, but the high chance just didn’t stick at slip.
Both batters passed 50 and Hawkesbury were in the box seat, needing just 13 runs off eight overs with seven wickets in hand.
In his third spell of the day, Harrison kept to the coach’s instructions of “full and straight” and produced an in-swinger that took out the leg stump of the Hawkesbury no. 5.
It’s amazing how one wicket can cause panic. In five overs, Hawkesbury lost four wickets for four runs as Harrison, Seb and Keelan piled on the pressure with the ball and the rest of the team obliged with catches and run-saving dives.
Hawkesbury now needed nine off three overs with three wickets in hand.
Unfortunately, the miracle win for Manly didn’t eventuate and the home team won the match in the 49th over.
The coach, manager and the parents were very proud of the boys as they refused to give in and gave Hawkesbury an almighty scare.
The Guzman y Gomez Best Performance Award was shared between Marcus and Joey for their fantastic partnership.
A big thank you to Mark Lynch for scoring all season and for providing the team shelter.