Home Semi Final – Clinical performance to overcome Sutherland/St George and into the Grand Final we go.
Manly 8/148 (E Henry 51, S Lowry 27) def Sutherland/St George 27 (A Handley 2 wickets for 6, E Henry 2 wickets for 1, S Lowry 2 wickets for 1)
It was a cool and overcast day on the northern beaches as the well-oiled machinery of Manly parents arrived at Griffith Park. Lunch platters were delivered, the pitch was sweep and marked out, the scorers were setup and organised and the chairs arranged just as we like them, someone even put the kettle on! All the time, our girls were out running around, throwing and catching between the tick-tok rehearsals and frequent giggling!
Manly lost the toss but Sutherland/St George asked us to bat, which we wanted anyway, so good result for all!
Our top 4 ran off to pad-up and soon the ground was alive with the hearty sound of leather on willow as the throw downs were dispatched to all parts.
At 2 minutes to 10am the umpires walked onto the field to get things underway, as the parents and coaches settled into the day, nursing fresh cups of tea and coffee.
Things didn’t begin as we had hoped, losing both openers cheaply wasn’t in the script, and some worried glances were shared amongst the parents.
However, we shouldn’t have worried as the middle order quickly settled things down. Eliza (51) batted confidently, sending the ball all over the park, securing her third fifty in Mollie Dive this year and seeing the total to 124. Sophie (27) was enthusiastic as always, and kept the digital scoreboard ticking over, these two were the foundation of a solid team batting performance with Sophia, Jazzy, Jamie and Darcy sharing 30 runs. Our girls batted out the full 40 overs and finished 8 – 148.
This set Sutherland/St George a run rate of just under 4 and would require a good tight bowling and fielding display to get Manly into the grand final – it was whispered that Sutherland had scored nearly 300 the week before with an impressive, 100 and a 95 from their openers!
After the speeches, another gourmet lunch was served up and quickly demolished, literally there was nothing left by 1pm!
As the girls started to warm up, bowling beautifully and hitting the single stump frequently, we were introduced to a new wicket keeper, Annabelle Croll. The coaches and parents, with the taste of lemon cupcakes still lingering and recharged teas and coffees, pondered if this was to be the last Mollie Dive for 2019!
And so, our girls ran out, to a chorus of - “We CAN do this!” Would it be the last time this season?
Dot, Dot, Dot, Wicket, Dot, One
Dot, Wicket, Dot, Dot, Dot,,,,looking good!
2 maidens to follow, another wicket in 4th over, are we dreaming? Both openers OUT!
Then another wicket in the 5th over, yet another in the 6th, and the 8th.
6 for 13 – now even the parents are believing - “We CAN do this!”
And so it was – Sutherland/St George all out for 27!! Inside 20 overs.
2 wickets for Arabella, sent both dangerous openers back before they could make an impact, a plum LBW on No2, and a brilliant diving catch from Hannah dismissed No1. Hannah then sent there No3 back to the pavilion with a length ball that was mistimed and offered Sophie the opportunity for a great catch at point.
Then there were the 2 amazing runouts: Jazzy throwing accurately to Hannah, who dives forward and throws down the stumps. And second, Frankie’s bullet throw from extra cover, smashes directly into the stumps, with the batter so far out, it was an easy call for the umpire. Eliza bowled a beauty outside off stump and Annabelle cleaned up the nick. Eliza also netted a caught and bowled before Sophie clean bowled their highest scorer for 9, with the bails travelling further than the ball all innings! Sophie also picked up No9 with a solid catch taken at gully by Jazzy, Then Jazzy wrapped it all up, bowling too fast and straight for there No10 who was plum LBW.
What a fantastic fielding and bowling effort – 5 catches and 2 runouts, and only 7 extras and no wides, yes zero wides! Amazing!! Manly win by 121 runs. North Shore are quaking in their spikes!
It will be a tough Grand Final against North Shore this coming weekend. Both teams welcome back their NSW PSSA National Championship winning players. C’mon Manly, let’s beat North Shore again!