Under 15s Presidents Cup
Manly-Warringah v North Shore
Venue: Koola Park , Killara
Manly-Warringah All Out: 92 (P Campbell 20, L Hart 12, N Moss 12, Kuchel 10)
North Shore Matt Kuchel 2/3, Tom Wunsch 1/3, Riley Kennedy 1/11, Zac Thomas 1/22)
The euphoria of a thrilling first-up win over North West Sydney Hurricanes allowed Manly to be full of confidence for their second-round assignment against arch rivals North Shore. Heavy afternoon and overnight rain had the match in some doubt, but Sunday dawned a glorious morning, the magic of the garden blower and some sawdust allowed the contest to start just thirty minutes late.
The toss was a friendly one for Noah Kasmar and the skipper boldly declared “we’ll bat” on a pitch that still contained plenty of juice but would offer no excuses if good enough.
Make no mistake the conditions were testing, openers Tom Wunsch and Dom Murphy again dulling the shine off the new ball, on an outfield which was more than lush and made singles hard to come by. Much of the hard-work was done up until the 9th over, Wunsch on 6, caught centimetres short of his ground 1 for 10.
Batting at three, Liam Chang again made a bright start, punching the first boundary of the morning through the long grass, he quickly moved to 7 and was looking good, before being trapped in front LBW the final ball before the first drinks break.
The key to Manly’s big total the previous week was building partnerships, unfortunately it was the opposite only seven days later. Coming off an unbeaten 87, there was no repeat of the heroics from Riley Kennedy, he spooned a soft chance straight back to the bowler, gone for a duck. Then with no further addition to the scoreboard Murphy was trapped in front on 4 and all of a sudden Manly were 4 for 20 after 15 overs and in all sorts of trouble.
The two mighty mites Noah Moss and Liam Hart did their best to resurrect the innings, they actually combined brilliantly for a 26 run stand before disaster struck, Hart well short of his ground, a tragic run out. Four runs later Moss was spun out for 12 and Manly in a tail spin……6 wickets down for only 50.
Now for the most bizarre incident of the summer, Zac Thomas had been given out caught at slip and trudged off the ground. The fieldsman then honestly commented “I’m glad he was out lbw seeing I dropped the catch”. The umpire said I gave him out caught, so he reversed his decision. Thomas re-emerged from the darkness of the change rooms for a second chance. He was eventually caught for 5, unfortunately this time the decision stood.
The run-out horrors continued, Matt Kuchel, got himself in, was looking more than comfortable, tried desperately hard to turn one run into two, but was short of his ground on 10. Henry Thomas chose the wrong ball to have a swing at and lost his middle peg for nought. Kasmar actually used the pace of the ball well for a much needed 5.
At the other end Pat Campbell was doing his best Pat Cummins impersonation, wielding his willow with great effect for an innings high 20. He was the last man out with Bortolussi the not out batsman.
After all that drama, Manly could only manage a grand total of 92, on a day when 120 probably would have been par.
Still cricket is a funny game, a few quick early wickets and who knows, maybe a remarkable victory. The North Shore openers actually did a good job against a good opening spell from both Moss and Bortolussi. The Manly new ball pair were good but just couldn’t get that much needed early wicket.
North Shore also found runs hard to come-by, but progressed safely until the 16th over when Riley found an edge and the ever-reliable Murphy did the rest. Unfortunately, there was no rapid collapse, although we were hoping, in the nicest possible way. There was a good lesson in the way North Shore consolidated and kept a course.
By the time Thomas claimed the second wicket, North Shore were 2 for 72, with plenty of overs in hand. But “Give Up” never won a race, and there was a glimmer, okay a slight flicker of hope when Chang again was up to the challenge in the field with a crucial run out.
The very next over, Kuchel convinced the umpire to raise his finger for an LBW and the fourth wicket tumbled. Kasmar continued to look for the breakthrough, Wunsch was his tenth bowler used and captured his first rep wicket, well done Tom.
To be honest, the Preso All-Stars knew their total was below par, and North Shore cruised to a 5 wicket victory with 13 overs to spare.
Next week a chance for all players to show their best at home against Penrith. With a reminder that what happened last week means little in cricket, let alone what happened two weeks ago against Penrith.