Seniors Grand Finals – 16th & 17th March 2024

Match Reports

Grand Final

(Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th March 2024)


B2 Grade

WPHC (Warren) 120 & 4/32 defeated outright St Ives-Wahroonga 42 & 109

Day 1 – WPHC 120 Vs St Ives 6/36

After last weeks heroics by Zac ‘the best Turner’ Turner and Dan ‘Martin Ssempa’ Schwartzel we came into this weeks Grand Final confident yet weary. Our number 1 priority being not to repeat the stress and anxiety that last week produced by playing some good cricket and not relying on two players to do all of the work. More on that later.

After spending the entire week collectively edging ourselves the boys arrived at thornleigh oval rock hard and ready to bust. You could smell the pheromones in the air. The boys could not be more hard. The premiership would be ours if all we did was produce our best across the team and not rely on 1-2 players to do all the work with the bat. Remember – we aren’t repeating last weeks effort.

Warren ‘big dog’ Schwartzel unfortunately lost the toss and St Ives put us in to bat. No worries, good toss to lose.

Over number 2 Ray cops a lowie and gets trapped in front LBW for the exact same score he got last week – starting to look a lot like last week. Adam continues his run of uselessness by nicking off to gully for a well-earned duck – starting to look a lot like last week. Not to worry though – Cameron ‘steady the ship’ Bish was coming in to steady the ship and steady the ship he looked like doing until missing a straight one – you guessed it , exactly like he did last week. 3/20 off we were – looking a lot like last week.

Fast forward 5/50 odd – this is last week!

In what can only be described as a tumultuous year with the bat whereby no one has really put their hand up in our team and showed any sort of consistency (really our bowlers have saved our bacon for us all year) there has been but one shining light for WPHCCCCCCC B2s. That being Zac ‘the edge lord’ Turner.

Zac showed grit, determination, gumption, rock hardness and patience to EDGE his way to a 50 which on any other ground may be 100. Zacs last 3 innings have produced over 200 runs and Zac has faced over 5000 balls this season for his 600 odd runs. We truly have Zac to thank for our success this year – without his efforts we probably aren’t playing in a grand final. Due to Zacs efforts this week we EDGED our way to a slightly under par but extremely defendable 120 on a slow slow, slow Thornleigh field.

We had 90 minutes to bowl at St Ives which produced 6 wickets for a mere 36 runs. With Nathaniel ‘big nuts’ Chidgey producing a spell of line and length bowling which the batsmen couldn’t help but EDGE through to Cameron Bish taking 3 of the better catches you will see.

We are in an excellent position however St Ives have 2 batsmen who can hold a bat in as we speak. Tomorrow will be extremely interesting – make sure you get down to support the boys in their efforts to EDGE out St Ives and win a premiership.

Thanks to all that came to support today – we appreciate you. @Anush and @Alex Chidgey, you guys truly suck.

More to come tomorrow.

Day 2

Dear Loyal readers of the best team in Association (source Ross Anderson), this is the moment you have all been waiting for.

The ultimate decider.

The final chapter of this epic season.

Who would take home the trophy, who would take home the emblem of triumph and glory?

Strange things happen in final cricket. We arrived at Thornleigh oval, rearing for the final day of finals cricket. Thanks to the bloodied hands of the St Ives groundsmen, the pitch, which was an underwater aquarium, was now dried and declared playable. The game, though tipped in our favour, could turn at any time. St Ives were 6-36, trailing by 84 runs with 90 overs remaining. There was still work to be done. As was the archetype all season, we unleashed upon them an onslaught of fury, taking the final 4 wickets in 8 overs with only 6 runs conceded.

We induced the follow on and sent those boys back to face the big guns of our firing squad.

St Ives made their intentions clear, swinging from ball 1. As Daniel handed his hat back to the black and white, there was a murmur in the stands. Something was building. Danos pounded in with raw aggression, stumps flying in all directions. St Ives was drenched with sweat, as each batsman was sent in to face their fate by our Man of the match. Daniel took 6 wickets this innings, all bowled, to get his first fifer in his career and a total of 10 wickets in the Grannie, the first time in West Penno’s history.

St Ives struck back, with only 7 down, batting aggressively to swing momentum back to their side. Runs flowed with some big 4’s and 6’s to follow. There was a period of 12 overs, where we took no wickets and conceded 37 runs, to be trailing by 26 runs. We never lost heart and the chat in the field never died down.

Matt took a screamer of a catch to end the pair, diving outstretched after running 15 meters from cow corner. Congratulations to our very own Mr Ripp’n and Turn’n (Rob), who picked up his 250th career wicket, in a Grannie no less. Good job Rob on that milestone. Slumps (Nathan) and Rob finished them off with some good bowling for a chase-able total of 30 runs. Zac hung up the pads for the season, leaving the other troops to get the runs. Ray opened the batting and decided to play more defensively than usual, hitting two monstrous 6’s, one in the first over of the match.

There was another collapse, 4 down after the 5th over. We were fuelling the spinner’s 37 wicket total of the season. Tension and perspiration was building up in the West Penno camp. The opposition’s hopes were kindled, but it was our day today.

Dan and Matt scored the winning runs to the seal the match and our name onto the trophy.

I cannot write my feeling of winning the Grand Final. It was more than the result, it was the team that we did it with. We have supported each other all season, each person fighting hard all season, gritting our teeth to up at the appropriate times. We were greeted by the adulation of the crowd, chips and drinks at the Sporto and the trophy drinking tradition with all the gunk, beer, coke and coffee within. Thanks to the St Ives team for the match, you are a good bunch of guys that were born in the wrong zip code.

We also thank the other teams we versed in the season, the majority of you weren’t bad guys either. We thank the umpires as well who did a great job on their decisions and we are glad to give you an entertaining match to officiate. We thank both our Captains and vice-Captain for leading us onto victory with only 1 defeat all season. We give credit to our captain for all the behind the scenes work and on field parenting as well. We also acknowledge your good strategy, bowling advice and wickets which came as a result. You are 1 for 1.

We also thank the crowds that supported us in our Grannie win, you guys are the best and your support was great!

We thank Grace, Mama and Papa Digs and Ad’s Daddie, for their support all season, we are glad to give you guys the big W. I think it is appropriate to end with the words of our captain, captain diplomat (Warren) and our vice-skipper, vice-skipper Ferrari (Rob):

It’s been an absolute privilege to lead and play with a great bunch of committed men who showed up every week on and off the field. Even though we had some strong individual efforts over the last few weeks, cricket is a team sport and it’s the efforts of all that got us through with everyone contributing over the season.” – The Diplomat (Warren Schwartzel)

Throughout your cricketing career you will play in many different teams. It is very rare that you play in a team that consistently digs in for their teammates!! We were lucky enough to have one of those rare teams this season” – Mr Rippin’ and Turnin’ (Rob Knapman)

With B1 in our sights, we ask that you stay tuned to hear the epic story continue next season.

C3 Grade

WPHC Red (Andrew) 111 lost to Normanhurst-Warrawee 9/218 dec

Day 1 – Normanhurst 9/218 dec

A fine day at Normanhurst Oval greeted the ‘Pretenders’ and Normanhurst… seems Normanhurst have Adam Gilchrist in their corner and in a pre-game video he has labelled the WPHC Reds as Pretenders.. oh well there are worst bands.

The toss for the Alf James Trophy was overseen by Alf himself and fortunately for the Reds the Normo Captain called incorrectly and the Peter invited the Normo boys to bat.

The Reds bowling opened with the Pat and Jack. A couple of close calls but no tangible reward for the first session, Normo edged their way to 34 at the first drinks break whereupon Shaks and Eric took up the attack.

The Normo openers were proving stubborn to extract until in the 27th over Eric encouraged another false shot which was gladly accepted by Peter moving swiftly to his left …

Normo were 1/67 at the first break, the wicket was just the tonic and what then followed was the Naught Nate and Eric show … Eric dried up the runs and Nate snared the 5 wickets, catches to Jack, Lachie, Westie and Cameron over the next 100 mins we reduced Normo to 6/125 at tea.

The last session saw needing four wickets with the Normo Captain standing between us and batting … Nate struck again shortly after Tea to snared by Lachie for his 6th of the day. The Normo Captain was scoring freely at one end so the second new ball was taken as we entered the last hour the day. Pat and Jack were tasked with extracting the last three wickets, finally in the 81st over of the day Pat deceived the Normo Captain and he departed well caught … the Ninth wicket followed 2 balls later to Pat bowled middle peg.

The last wicket eluded us but Normo have closed their innings at 218 (under the 12th man rule).

So a big Sunday of batting ahead for the Reds a minimum of 80 overs to run down there total. Confidence is high given the successful chase last week.

Our bowlers did an awesome job Pat 19 overs 2/55, Eric 19 overs 1/15, Jack 14 overs 0/41, with the man of the hour Nathan 21 overs 6/57.

Day 2

Not much to report today that went right for us.

We lost 10 overs of play at the start of the day due to overnight rain. And it didn’t get any better throughout the day.

It was a similar tale to most of the year where batters got starts, then just inexplicably threw away their innings. Best were Feathers with 23 & Eric with 20.

We certainly didn’t find the bowling terribly challenging, just showed a lack of application which is a pity in such a big occasion.

Thanks to all the guys in the team who made this such an enjoyable season. Even though there were 2 distinct age generations in the side, all of the guys came together well on & off the field.

We only won 5 games all season, and were very fortunate to make the Final. We certainly didn’t expect to get this far, but I’m sure the guys will be more determined next year after getting a taste of what could’ve been today.

D1 Grade

WPHC Blue (Agniva) 4/137 defeated Beecroft 133

Day 1 – Beecroft 9/131

Over the last week or so, one thing remained constant at the nets “its end of season! How will we cope with cricketless Saturdays for the next 5 months?” While the answers ranged from travel, spend time with family, even winter cricket, what was talked about even more was how this team evolved over the last 6 months to be where we are! Another talking point was Agni’s horror show with the toss in the last couple of rounds and clearly the pressure was mounting!

So much so that Agni decided to leave his Saturday morning bacon egg roll trip to the local cafe to be at the ground by 10.30, the anxiousness of playing the grand final was a tough one to tackle over the night! Praneel joined hands as well and by 10.45, the cones were up, stumps in place and Chintan spending all his spare time with the blower to remove the miniscule particles from the surface, almost felt like he does this every morning at the backyard!

The toss came as a surprise to Agni himself, and when it went in his favour, there was no hesitation with the decision to send Beecroft in to bat, knowing that hasn’t been their most talked about point this season! The second umpire made a run for square leg just as Ravi was at the top of his run up! Apparently he went to a wrong ground, clearly the Umpires Association isn’t as organised about the logistics as our Ross Anderson!

The game plan was simple, not to let Beecroft get away with a flyer on a lightning quick Greenway!

That is exactly what happened, Ravi and Chintan pressed hard and by the first drinks break they had only scored 20 odd with 2 wickets going to our Cheetah aka Ravi Gunna! From there we saw a batting inning which was nothing short of a surprise – was definitely expecting a bit more aggression! While the next 40 mins or so didn’t see much runs on the board, we didn’t have much success with the ball either with Beecroft only scoring off full tosses!

As the day evolved, wickets fell at regular intervals and we never let any partnership develop due to some super aggressive fielding from the entire squad. The day ended with Beecroft at 9-131, probably a below par score at a ground this quick! 3 wickets to Chintan, 2 to Ravi, 1 each to Amith, Agni, Nirav & Mridul.

One thing to call out was the amazing support shown from the stands and also on the field!

Almost the entire C2 Reds team (Arun, Aniket, Vikas, Brij, Saurabh, Amitava, 2x John) were there to cheer on! Something Beecroft weren’t too excited about as every run stopped, every catch taken and every wicket falling were cheered!

Quan and Ross from the club were there to be with the team, helping everyone with the much needed motivation!

We hope to wrap them up as early as possible and hunt the runs down! The team spirit remains high and they would not make things any easier for the opposition for sure!

Day 2

In the quaint suburb of Cherrybrook, where the cricket is as much a part of the community as the local bakery, the grand final between WPHCC and Beecroft was set to unfold. The stage was set, the stakes were high, and the players were ready to etch their names into the annals of local cricket folklore.

The Great Towel Dry-Off

The second day dawned with the promise of a thrilling conclusion to the grand final, but Mother Nature had other plans. Overnight showers had turned the pitch into a makeshift pond, and the WhatsApp group was abuzz with the prospect of a washout. Mridul, the ever-diligent groundsman, was on the scene at the crack of dawn, inspecting the pitch like a detective at a crime scene. The verdict? Wet, very wet.

But Beecroft wasn’t about to let a little water rain on their parade. Armed with towels that could’ve dried off an ocean, they launched a drying crusade that would’ve made the local laundromat proud. Lo and behold, the pitch was transformed from a soggy mess to a dry oasis, and the game was on!

The Final Wicket Tango

Chintan, with the ball in hand, was ready to continue his over. The air was thick with anticipation. Siby, his partner in crime, was giving him the support he needed, and together they were a force to be reckoned with. Then, like a bolt from the blue, Agni in the slips pulled off a catch with reflexes so sharp they could cut through the tension. The final wicket had fallen, and WPHCC’s WhatsApp group lit up like a Christmas tree.

The Opening Saga

Lakshya and Chintan stepped up to the crease, ready to face Beecroft’s bowling onslaught. They started solidly, building a foundation as sturdy as the Great Wall of China. But then, Issa, Beecroft’s top bowler, delivered a ball bouncier than a kangaroo on a trampoline, and Chintan was sent packing.

The Kohli Comparison

What followed was a masterclass in partnerships. Lakshya, the anchor at one end, was playing shots that had the crowd whispering, “Is that Virat Kohli in disguise?” His bat was a paintbrush, and the field was his canvas, as he painted a masterpiece worthy of the Louvre.

Beecroft’s Bowling Blunder

Meanwhile, Beecroft’s strategy, or lack thereof, was as perplexing as a Sudoku puzzle with no numbers. They stuck to just two bowlers for the majority of the session, leaving everyone, including WPHCC, scratching their heads in bewilderment.

The Unbeaten Hero

In the end, it was Lakshya who steered the ship home. Finishing unbeaten on 96, he was the hero WPHCC needed and the one they deserved. His form was as superb as a perfectly brewed cup of Aussie coffee, and his average soared higher than the Sydney Opera House’s sails.

As the dust settled and the cheers echoed, WPHCC was crowned the premiers, and the presentation ceremony was more than just a formality. It was a celebration of a season well played, a team well led, and a victory well deserved.

And so, as the sun set on the Grand Final, the players walked off into the Cherrybrook sunset, their heads held high, and their hearts full.

For in this game of cricket, it wasn’t just about winning or losing; it was about playing the game with spirit, with humour, and with a towel or two to save the day.