Semi Finals – Day 2 (16 March)
Standings after the final Round (Round 14) follows. The Semi Finalists have been highlighted:
- A1 Grade – 4th
- A2 – 1st
- Blue (Rick) – 8th
- Red (Gunny) – 1st
- B2 – 4th
- C1 – 6th
- Blue (Fieds) – 1st
- Red (Indranil) – 5th
- C3 – 1st
- D1 – 3rd
- D2 – 6th
Semi Final Match Reports – Day 2
A Grade (4th) 0/1 drew with Berowra (1st) 75 – welcome to the final A Grade match report of the year, it is with tear filled eyes that I write my final composition. For alas, WPHCCCCC have been knocked out – but not for lack of trying, as I will unpack for you in excruciatingly great detail below.
This column has been through its ups and downs but to have news this week of the reach that this tripe travels throughout Sydney…well it was overwhelming. For it seems we have readers beyond the WPHCCCCC fraternity… Despite the feedback from our friends up the freeway, a good journalist always writes what they deem to be credible and newsworthy – and I am no exception to that rule.
Editorially speaking, it is important to remember that no one should take this stuff seriously. And look, with the benefit of the hindsight, the afternoon tea was considerably better than the batting performance of the home side, so hats off to Mrs Rayner and the catering team.
Afternoon teas aside, the real story should be on the cricket – or lack thereof today. The cricket commenced for the WPHCCCC stallions much earlier than this grim Saturday. All week, the squad came together to look after the pitch and the ground as best as they could. Covers on and off during the day, Phil Wurth camping overnight – we all did our bit to give us every chance to get on. But would it be enough?
Preeds and Bailey arrived first today at 7am and immediately declared a national emergency, they needed all hands on deck to help prepare the pitch, which was battered and bruised after the wild Friday night Sydney storm. Jamakin was the first to respond, he brought with him a leaf blower to begin the job at hand on drying the pitch. The outfield also needed work though, Ashane drawing on his experience in collecting water for his African village but moving countless buckets of surface water off the ground. The super sopper was in full swing too, lead by Buckets and JP – the team was transferring hundreds, thousands, dare I say, millions of litres of water off the ground. Berowra were convinced we wouldn’t play.
A couple of hours in and the work was still in full swing, much to the viewing pleasure of the Berowra team perched high the ivory tower of the grandstand. Phil and Yo-yo decided it was time to ramp things up, they returned after 3 hours on the road from Kennards at Newcastle with a jet pack leaf blower which changed the game.
Combined with the assistance of the WPHCCCC A2 and B1 teams, the ground and the pitch very quickly became almost playable – much to the amazement of the Berowra captain. An afternoon at home watching the Coolmore and the F1s in the robe and slippers was no more, we were close to a start. Smallhorn tried to show the softness of the pitch, by touching it and ringing his hands out like he dunked them in the ocean – it was a strong look and one that had me fooled.
Alas, the verdict had been decided – play would start at 3:40, giving WPHCCCCC approximately 35 overs to get it done.
8/76 overnight and with Berowra still hoping for the heavens to open, WPHCCCC began the assault. Buckets picked up his fifer in his first over, a simple catch to Maxim behind the wickets. Lichaaa finished them off with a jaffer that clipped the top of the stumps in the 4th over of the day. Berowra adding 0 runs to their overnight score for the loss of 2 wickets. Ouch.
76 to win and a couple of hours to get them, WPHCCCC were quietly confident of their chances. The ground was holding up, the pitch was solid and the total was so so low that it was almost non defendable. A huge crowd of WPHCCCCC support had gathered to watch the chase, and a huge cheer went up when a leg bye commenced the chance. 1.4 overs, 0-1.
However there was a problem. The leg bye was overshadowed by a slip at the library end by Leighton. He had fallen and rolled through his delivery stride, heavily hitting the turf. A collective grasp went through the crowd as he clutched his leg, we raced to our phones to call the Hospital Emergency to the ground because this looked, convenient, sorry serious, it looked very serious.
It was a shame because he had been so keen to play throughout the day.
The umpires met at the middle, joined by their shadow for the day, Smallhorn to help give his much needed opinion on the situation – just like all day. The poor Umpires couldn’t pick their nose without Jack bouncing around them. There was much deliberation and the umpires decided to have one final private talk before coming to a verdict.
And just like that, it was off – the pitch deemed too unsafe to play. WPHCCCCC were in the box seat to swoop to victory but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We had left our best game to last, both on and off the field – the team effort in our bowling discipline and our dedication to covers was outstanding.
We can hold our heads high knowing we pushed the favourites hard, real hard – and did everything we could to give us a chance.
A huge thank you to the A2 and B1 boys that came out today and helped us prepare the ground. Specifically Al Raff, Hollywood, Gandis, Effie, Michael “Daniel” Fiedler, Michael “Tommy” Gunn, Mr Yo-yo, Snumpty and others. It meant a lot to the side to have you guys there, thank you from the bottom of all of our broken hearts.
So there you have it, we will watch with interest next week to see who takes out the GF. We hope Leighton’s leg is ok for next week, it didn’t seem too bad when running and putting covers on post game but you can never be too sure with these things.
Best of luck Berowra boys, you are the side to beat.
A2 Grade 1/24 (1st) drew with Hornsby 97 (4th) – after the heavy rain the boys turned up to Kenthurst Park for the obligatory check of the wicket knowing that it was unfit for play. So no action this week, and we go through as Minor Premier for the big dance.
B1 Red (Gunny & 1st) 4/101 drew with Normanhurst-Warrawee (4th) – after a week of rain it was inevitable that The Glade would be washed out and it was. While the rain guaranteed us a spot in the GF with runs on the board, a slow outfield and The Glade being The Glade we already had a lot of runs with a strong bowling attack itching to have a crack. Bring on next week.
B2 (3rd) drew with Glenorie (2nd) 6/269 – after the devastating news of Sporto beers rising in price, the boys had to rally to start the game today.
The rain delayed the start of play but Prats ‘12:55’ Datar got us off to a good start taking an early wicket with Bird ‘Loveridge’ Cage building pressure at the other end. Matthew ‘She’s my girlfriend’ Digby and Dean ‘Drag Queen’ Carlin continued putting the ball in good areas without success.
The batsmen knuckled down and wouldn’t give their wicket and despite some good bowling the game seemed over with a draw being the most likely result. Michael ‘Plumb LBW’ McGregor decided that our imminent loss would not be tolerated without a good bit of abuse towards the opposition batsmen, whilst Phil ‘Sean Abbot’ Hayes was unlucky with another dropped catch off his bowling.
Zac ‘Daddy Issues’ Morris, Rob ‘Hot Pies’ Knapman, and Raghu ‘Ruben/Dinesh/Prats’ Chary all provided masterclasses in spin bowling without getting a wicket. Ryan ‘Needs the gloves’ Gunn towards the end of the days play decided to add to his tally of drop catches and backed it up by going for 10 off his first over.
Credit to Eric ‘Tourettes’ Junkkari for announcing his 4th official “retirement”, a great career as the clubs best ever all-rounder. Good luck to all the other teams in the finals, we will be there to support you boys as you win Premierships!
C2 Blue (Fieds 7 & 1st place) 216 drew with St Ives (4th) 5/91 – we arrived at the home of cricket to find it looking brilliant after all the recent rain. Resuming at our overnight score of 6/197, we managed to soak up a further 16 overs before St Ives wrapped up our tail. Stu ‘chasing Bradman’ Fiedler, was let stranded on 0 not out, and will go into next week’s Final needing 4 runs to get his season average up to 100.
Our turn to bowl and St Ives’ equation was 217 runs off a minimum 51 overs….very gettable on this ground. Dan Schwartzel got us off to a flyer, removing 2 key batters in his first spell, both bowled. At tea St Ives had crawled to 2/26 off 16 overs.
We assumed we were in for some fireworks after the break, but strangely they never came. Warren Papa Schwartzel bowled a terrific spell to replicate his son’s effort of knocking over the stumps twice, but after that, the game became a snoozefest. The only thing that kept the enjoyment factor going was the hijinks of the B2 team on the hill, who were doing all of our sledging of the opposition batsmen for us.
Good luck to all the other teams in the Final next week, and a big call out to the other 3 teams who got very close.
C3 (1st) 8/287 drew with Thornleigh (4th) – after heavy overnight rain, Campbell Park was flooded and play was not possible. It was a shame as Dylan was on his way to a ton (82*) and the boys were keen to bat for as long as possible for batting practice before unleashing our bowling attack for a warm-up for the GF…but not to be. On to next week for the Grand Final.
D1 (3rd) 138 lost to Kissing Point (2nd) 4/139 – Auluba had a few puddles which were removed prior to play and we actually started on time which considering weather was a surprise. Tight bowling from Josh Elliott and Dave Larkham had KP under pressure.
A couple of hard chances went down off Josh and we managed to snare 1 wicket at the 20 over drinks break, KP 1 for 56. On the resumption both Roger Friend and Roshan Withanage bowling tandem were a real handful with terrific line and length. Roshan takes 2 including a clean bowled with only a few runs scored. From here on out KP played very well and batted through to tea 3 for 102. After tea, Mitch Keetels removed one of the best bats in the grade with a clean bowled, but in the end we just didn’t have enough runs to defend against the best batting team in the grade.
A strong effort to get to finals and the team should be proud.
Best of luck to all those teams that have made it to the big show!
John Hayne Cup
WPHC 6/105 defeated Castle Hill 9/99 – was met with a wet pitch, a greasy outfield so we decided to bowl, we bowled really well restricting Castle hill to 9/99+33 penalties.
Best of our bowlers were Napier Gryst 2-12, Rick Turner 1-13, Arjun Kumar 1-4, Pavan Cherupalli 1-11, Vimal Kumar 1-7, Naiyyar Khan 1-4, with 2 run outs, also Nandu Ramesh got 2 stumpings.
Batting we replied cautiously, 6-105 off our 20 overs, with Napier Gryst & Nandu Ramesh both retiring not out, showing the rest of ushow to bat, lots of single figures for everyone else.
WPHC 119 lost to Castle Hill White 120 – repeat we batted slowly all out 119, Napier Gryst 25, Arjun Kumar 13, Wortho 11 & Rick Turner 10 making contributions.
In reply they chased down the runs in the last over. Best of our bowlers were Napier Gryst 2-9, Niyyar Khan 2-5, Arjun Kumar 1-12, Pavan Cherupalli 1-16, Richard Hughes 1-19, Waris Trehan 1-8.
Looking forward to cheering on our West Penno sides in their respective grand finals next weekend.