U14 Anthony Neale Cup Round 1
NWS Hurricanes (6/201) defeated Manly-Warringah (9/163)
Hayden Calvert 31, Nathan Colyer 29, Jack Chick 25
Jasper Straetemans 9-4-2-24, Zac Wishart 8-2-2-37
Imagine arriving at a perfectly manicured ground without a tuft of winter grass in sight! The Manly boys were excited for their season opener against NWS Hurricanes at The Hills Centenary Park, Rouse Hill
Coaches Marc Eady and Todd Marks welcomed Manly Rep Cricket debutants Zac Wishart and Hurshwin Sharma to the team and presented Jasper Straetemans with his baggy being called up to join the team due to continued injury woes. Cormac O’Donnell was welcomed to the team accepting a late call-up on Saturday night to make up our 11 for this first match, yes 11, no sub in what would become a very hot and tiring morning of fielding.
It was a toss to win; a fast dry outfield perfect for batting. Unfortunately Captain Ben Eady and Vice Nathan Colyer weren’t successful with the call and not surprisingly NWS chose to bat. As the umpire donned his tie, marked an X to secure his spot for the next 7 hours, and brought out his special pink bails rigged with fishing line, the boys knew they’d need to keep on the right side of the man in charge of proceedings.
Hurshwin stared down the NWS opener with a maiden to start the match. Zac followed suit and after 8 overs the NWS LH/RH combination were 0/27 and Manly needed a wicket. Jasper, our 3rd debutant fast bowler started his campaign in the 11th over and rattled the NWS boys with 3 maidens. Partnering with leg spinner Finlay Marks proved to do the trick and Finlay pocketed the first wicket in the 18th over with Jimmy Downstaking the catch, the score 1/38. Whilst there was a huge celebration, this was not the man they needed to get out, the NWS pocket rocket left hander was still at the crease and looked like he was well set. As they say, catches win matches and perhaps dropping this rocket in his early innings was one of the costly turning points in the match as he went on to get 61.
It was heating up and the Manly boys were praying for the sea breeze as the NWS boys were relishing the dry heat. The local church bells rang and perhaps with some divine intervention Ben brought himself into the attack with his right arm off spin and snared the opener with his 4th ball, caught by Cormac. It was 2/105 in the 35th and we were satisfied but with their ‘big hitters’ now at the crease we had work to do. With keeperHayden Calvert leaving the field with heat exhaustion in the 42nd over, Jack Chick took on the role of gloveman and from the back of the stumps brought some energy and banter back into the mix. Score was now 2/147.
With the NWS Dad’s now huddled in the scorer’s tent and setting up a commentary team around the score book, the direction was to aim for 200, and they achieved that losing another 4 wickets. Zac bagged 2 with catches to Nathan and Jimmy, and our GYG Manly award winner Jasper took a pair with a catch to Finlay and a 3rd catch to Jimmy. Jasper’s debut was a courageous bowling display of 9 over including 4 maidens. Welcome to Rep cricket!
Well done to the NWS batsmen – patient and determined. Manly needed to stay more focused in the last fielding session as it’s notoriously a killer for us! A target of 202 for a win, certainly achievable with the lightning fast outfield in front of us. Bring on lunch.
The boys rested over a shortened lunch break continuing to be entertained by the umpire who had deeper pockets and more toys than Inspector Gadget. With a complete re-set of the stumps and a newly topped up magic spray, play was ready to resume... but only after a corrected uniform code violation to the square leg umpire Mr Wishart.
Jack Reilly opened the batting with Hayden and they were off to a good start, not rattled by the NWS opening bowler who was quite possibly the biggest & strongest man at the ground. Unfortunately Jack was bowled on 13 by what was no doubt the best ball of the day. Unlucky for Jack, unlucky for Manly. It was 1/32 after 8.
With the weather conditions now favouring the home team with what seemed like the sea breeze Manly had ordered a few hours prior, Jack Chick strides to the crease and with strength and confidence found the gaps for a quick 25 off 26 balls before being caught. 2/52 in the 13th.
Ben was looking solid on 14 but a desperate call from Hayden trying to lift the run rate saw Ben back in the tent, run out. Not long following, our LH opener Hayden was out in the 32nd over, top scoring with 31.
With Nathan and Jimmy at the crease the intensity lifted as Nathan put on a run a ball before being run out on 29 and Jimmy a calculated 18 off 30, finding the gaps and running quickly between the wickets.
We needed 78 off 54 balls and it was achievable but we’d left too much pressure on our #7 and #8 batters. Hurshwin has proved he has the power to take a slog at any loose and short ball and we had thought he was off to a great start before an NWS fielder appeared from nowhere to take the catch of the day, right in front of the commentary box. NWS had the upper hand now. Despite Jasper’s unbeaten desperate knock of 21 and him hitting the best shot of the day on the last ball, Manly fell short of a win.
It was a good start with plenty of room for improvement and lessons to learn. Round 2 sees the return of our loan player to the DCA as well as a return from illness and hopefully what will be our regular team for the season.
Thanks to the coaches, manager, scorers, parents, siblings and team mascot Chewy for their support on our first long hot day of the campaign.