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Monday, March 27, 2006

3rd Grade Final Review

Thought I’d better have a say here now, as Andy might be drunk for three days. I know I would be!! smile.gif

Day One was one of the most disappointing days play I have watched. It looked as though our guys just thought they had to turn up, and the premiership would be theirs. Though I know there would have been a lot of nerves, the intensity appeared to be missing.
Being bowled out for 94 was not a good start. Discussion on the Cavaliers Hill at Bonaira Street thought that 140 would be a good total, something that gave our guys something to defend. The final total was small and gettable, but there was plenty of confidence that Kiama’s bowling attack could defend it.
You have to give credit to the Lake openers, who batted superbly in the circumstances to erase that total without loss of wickets (though Simmo’s dropped chance on 89 hurt…). They just bumped the ball around, took the runs on offer, and played terrifically well. The stumps score of 2/140 looked ominous for the boys, and one wondered how long the match would progress on the Sunday.

Day Two was a complete reversal of the previous day, and was scintillating cricket. Lake obviously though the match was all over, while Kiama came out with the intensity and drive that they should have done on Saturday. Luke Bombaci was sensational, his six wickets for the innings all coming in this 90 minute period. Simmo and Cooky both took one apiece at the other end, and Lake lost 8/33 in the morning to be bowled out for 173, a lead of 79.
Joe and Tommy saw the total through to lunch, and the game was back on, with Kiama 0/24, just 55 behind with all wickets in hand. On the Hill, we saw the situation that we had to bat until tea, declare, and bowl Lake out for whatever lead we had.
Wickets fell steadily after the break. Kiama hit the lead, but were six wickets down in the process. The lead was (I believe ) 9 runs, when a great 8th wicket partnership between Russell Park and Andy Sheehy took place. They took quick singles, turned ones into twos, and grabbed boundaries where they could. It was great cricket, and had Lake really sweating. Andy hit a fantastic six that lifted everyone, only to be dismissed two balls later. When Russell was bowled, Kiama were all out for 128, a lead of 49, and two and a quarter hours left to play.
Enter Bombaci and Simpson. Again bowling with the type of intensity that appeared missing on Saturday, these two ripped holes in the Lake batting, leaving them 6/23 at the final drinks break – and the match was in the balance. Luke was sensational, while Simmo took time to warm to the task, but came to the party with two wickets in an over. Andy Sheehy’s rocket arm to Joe Murphy for a superb ‘run out’ also swayed the game Kiama’s way.
Lake’s skipper Bruce Clark began to block his way to a draw, but was outdone by a Bombaci thunderbolt that left him trapped in front. Matt Cook replaced a tiring Simmo, and took out the middle stump of Lake’s number nine, and the score was 8/40, and The Hill was ecstatic.
Poor old Cooky then dropped what would have been a great caught and bowled off Harry Webb at 42, which may have meant the match. Two overs later, Harry sent a ball from Cooky bouncing halfway up Cavs Hill, and the game was over.
It was the end of a sensational day’s cricket. 26 wickets had fallen, and 211 runs scored, and though the result went the other way, our guys have nothing to be down about. They fought to the very end – the VERY END!

A few thoughts.

Luke Bombaci – has played his final match of 3rd Grade. His was a sensational effort. Jason Wills performed the best ever all-round effort I have seen in the semi-final against Warilla at Gerringong two years ago. Luke’s was the second best. He carried the team on his back on Sunday – 11 wickets for the match (I think), and about 40 runs. Just brilliant. He is wasting his time if he doesn’t go up the grades and show his talents on another level.

Matt Cook – for a kid, just had a special performance with the ball. Looks the goods, and will only improve in the future.

Andy Sheehy – averaging about 3 runs over 3 seasons, but what a great effort late on Sunday, with the bat and in the field. His batting, along with Russell, gave his bowlers a total to chase. Sensible cricket. His fielding for the run-out (DREADFUL call by the Lake skipper) was also sensational (better than the keeping of it…). Next season, we’ll just tell him he is in that situation very weekend, and we may have him back in award-winning form.

Joe Murphy – may be the old warhorse, but you could see his steadying influence on the Sunday keeping the guys in check. Couldn’t ask for a better person to be there in the trenches in that type of game, and almost got them over the line, when the senior Lake players appeared to be panicking.

Tommy Mayes – a whippet in the field, and showed glimpses with the bat. For his first season back in the game, he showed he can be a very good player in the Club in the coming years.

Congratulations to all of 3rd Grade. OK, so we don’t have that elusive premiership. Yes, Saturday was probably the day when it got away. But you can all be proud of the effort you put in on Sunday.

Special mention to Sam Wolf, who, despite Luke’s heroics, was easily Man Of The Match. 9am Grand on Saturday morning to 3am at Ria’s, then 9am Grand Sunday morning until (I am reliably informed) close at the Grand on Sunday night.
Also to Dale, Jaya, Barrie, Tim and Matt who were at the game for both days, as well as Richo and Pump (though both left yesterday to watch the SOCCER with the Cavs defending 50…). These are the guys who stuck it out with the boys for both days, which is the real Cavalier way. They also can be proud of their effort.

I am proud to be a Cavalier. Thanks boys.
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