The CCNSW Masters have suffered a heartbreaking loss of the points in their game v Mosman- Collaroy at Camperdown Park last Sunday, the first Sunday in November. 

CCNSW won the toss and with the newer strip prepared on the dressing room side, elected to take first use to set a total. The the lightening quick outfield had remained from the previous Sunday. The newer pitch seemed a plumb track to bat on, yet was a little deceptive throughout proceedings with the odd ball still doing a bit off a length. The wicket also changed a little, as light rain fell at different times throughout the afternoon and covers were utilised twice. 

Captain, Mike Weaver, and Russell Biddle gave CCNSW a reasonable start. Russell recorded his first runs for the club with nice leg side glance for two runs. It was third time lucky for Russell in getting off the mark and there will be many more runs from this classy bat. The now Sydney lawyer has come back to the game after many years and was a Gold Coast representative player in his youth. 

Weaver was first to go – after clipping three boundaries, he attempted a fourth with a swat to a short slower ball and could only succeed in hitting it straight back to the bowler, who took a good catch low down. Shortly after, Russell edged to to slip to make it 2-34, no runs having been added for the second wicket. 

With the initiative lost somewhat, Craig Fletcher, elevated to no. 4 as a pinch hitter, unfortunately nicked off early before he could get set, to a good ball that deviated off the seam. 3-35

Scott Wells and Brett Favell set about their rebuilding task very well with solid and positive batting, hitting the loose ball hard and picking up easy singles. ‘Favs’ was looking unstoppable, having hit too very powerful maximums, before the left hander was adjudged lbw by umpire Brian Breakspeare. It began a trend of dismissal that grew to a total of five lbws for the CCNSW innings.

Scott Wells had carried on regardless though and was looking a certainty to reach retirement score, until succumbing to a slower flighted ball from spinner Stepto, beaten and plumb lbw. Two fours and three destaining sixes were testament to Scott’s return to top form. He will play a bit part in future games, if CCNSW are to revive their current fortunes. 

Michael Thomson was a further victim of the deceptive wicket and of the umpire’s raised finger, sent on his way, lbw, by a decision which left the former North Sydney grade allrounder somewhat bemused. 

In his first appearance for the Blues this season, Lee Witherden answered his team’s  call with a well measured 35 runs that featured several fine cuts and drives, albeit being lucky to be given a life when only on five runs, when a regulation mid on chance was missed by the opponents. 

A solid knock from Mick Tarrant was cut short by the umpire’s raised finger for lbw, in tandem with Luke Holman, who was the one other of the ‘Big 5’ to be dismissed this way. The lesson for  CCNSW: use your bat as your best form of defence. 

Garry James boosted the total to a handy 186 with a very quick cameo 25 n.o. that featured a couple of booming drives. And CCNSW wound up their innings four overs short, all out, as Benny Stanic, after a fine effort with the bat the previous game, was unfortunately caught for a duck. 

With a reasonable total to defend, CNSW weathered an early onslaught by the opposition captain and opening bat, Varasdi, to fight back hard and give Mosman ‘the jitters’ for most of their innings. Rain, which had already interrupted play earlier was to eventually foil all attempts to complete a very tense contest. It was a match that was going really going down to the wire until then. Two dropped catches in the gloomy darkening conditions did not assist the Blues’ cause. 

For CCNSW, Mick Tarrant excelled with the new ball and was always menacing. He was well supported by Stu Ridge, Lee Witherden and Michael Thomson. Garry James used all his experience, guile and endless passion to almost bowl CCNSW to victory, before being forced off the field with a muscle strain, mid over, near the death. Ben Stanic bowled a good single over under the pressure, when summoned.

But try as they might, CCNSW were not able to effect the win that they seemed to deserve, as when the rain came again it did not abate, Mosman winning by superior run rate, eight wickets down with still six runs to win. It was a loss that afterwards the team could be very, very proud of, as each man had left nothing remaining in the tank, physically and/or mentally, in their efforts. 

The Team was: –  M. Weaver 13, R. Biddle 7, S. Wells 35, C. Fletcher 0, B. Favell 19, L. Holman 5, M. Thomson 4, L. Witherden 35, M. Tarrant 13, B. Stanic 0, and G. James 25*.

The Result was:- 

C.C.N.S.W.: 10-184 (S. Wells 35, L. Witherden 35) (36 overs)

Lost to

MOSMAN-COLLAROY: 8-179 (J. Hadley 2-16)    (32.4 overs)

By Run-rate Calculations

FoW: – 1-34 (M. Weaver); 2-34 (R. Biddle); 3-35 (C. Fletcher);4-70 (B. Favell);5-95 (L. Holman); 6-96 (S. Wells);7-111 (M. Thomson); 8-142 (M. Tarrant);9-173 (L. Witherden); 10-184 (B. Stanic).

The Bowling was: – S. Ridge 7-1-45-2; M. Tarrant 9-0-59-3; L. Witherden 6.2-2-31-1; G. James 6.4-1-31-2; M. Thomson 2-0-3-0; B. Stanic 1-0-4-0.

Player Points: L. Witherden – 3, S. Wells – 2, M. Tarrant – 1


For all and sundry involved, it was a beautiful day for cricket at SCG XI’s home ground in Balmain. While not quite as elegant nor immaculate as Drummoyne Oval, the last time i had seen a pitch so well prepared and cared for was the SCG itself. Perhaps only the state of the outfield was the difference, with the stadium and members areas replaced by greenery and a perfect view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge seen from long off or fine leg.

On the day, Mitch Sturt had kindly recruited from Lidfield Shires club a number of young gentlemen, one of whom was a worthy opening bowler who pitched and moved the ball away nicely for a number of overs. With four slips and a tight infield, Ben Bhabra nabbed two wickets – the first a nick to Jed at keeper and the second an outside edge to Mr Brooks who kept us all amused with his juggling abilities. Benno supported Ben by moving them in from the other end and was unlucky not to pick up the English opener at cover early. 

Taking the pace off altogether, Brad Small and Mitch were our first change, with Mitch going for a few and leaving the door open for Kitso to tie up the other end. Tight bowling from Brad saw him bowl seven straight, while Kitso kept the wickets falling and destroyed a settled partnership. 3/94 at drinks was a good result which allowed Mr Brooks (a.k.a. “the wicket machine”) to put some pressure on the new batsmen, almost taking a hat trick with 2 overs 3 for 3. Greg Cook bowled well and Ezekiel and his Dad each got a wicket. We were thinking 3 overs to go at 9/174 would be an easy task. Out walks game organiser Nick Govers who left us with an impression of what it takes to be a wicketkeeper batsman in the 1st grade T20 comp for Sydney Cricket Club. It went like this: 6,6,4,2,1,6,6,4,1,6,1 and he was 62 off 27 balls and we needed 223 to win.

We opened with Jed (29) and Richard (7) who made a solid start, especially Jed with his first dig at opening for the club. Ben Bhabra (37) was soon timing them sweetly over the fence before being the first victim of Bill Glaecken. For those who don’t know Bill, you don’t want to get hit on the pads late in the day as his umpiring is rather famous. 

Kitso (4) made a brief appearance before chipping one back to the bowler. Mr Brooks (17) was looking sharp with the bat before a mix up with Mitch (45) had Mr Brooks short of his crease. Brad (10) looked solid and Ezekiel (9) banged a couple of 4’s. Greg (0) kept Mitch company and Benno (10) hit some ball. We were 9/179 with 4 overs to hit 44. Soren (18*) hit 16 off the next over and 28 from 18 balls didn’t look so impossible with Mitch smashing them all over the park at the other end. Of course Bill was asked the question when Mitch attempted to flick one off his legs and passers by could hear Bill saying “that one sure wasn’t missing”. Up the other end, although the non-striker could see daylight between batsman and his leg stump however the umpire is always right and the game had ended competitive and close so all were pleased with the outcome and the day. 

Man of the match was Nick Govers for organising the game and winning it with some clean and memorable lofted drives. It’s nice to see some of that, even if you’re the bowler copping the stick.

The Team was: –  Jed Wesley-Smith 29, Richard Clarke 7, Ben Bhabra 37, Craig Kitson 4, Greg Brooks 17, Brad Small 10, Mitch Sturt 45, Ezekiel Hughes 9, Greg Cook 0, David Benson 10, and Soren Hughes 18*.

The Result was:- 

C.C.N.S.W.: 10-198 (Mitch Sturt 45) (32.3 overs)

Lost to

SCG XI: 9-222 (J. Hadley 2-16)    (16.5 overs)

By 24 runs

FoW: – 1-13 (R. Clarke); 2-78 (B. Bhabra); 3-80 (J. Wesley-Smith);4-84 (C. Kitson);5-109 (B. Small); 6-115 (G. Brooks);7-141 (E. Hughes); 8-158 (G. Cook);9-179 (D. Benson); 10-198 (M. Sturt).

The Bowling was: – B.  Bhabra 6-0-37-2; D. Benson 3-0-22-0; B. Small 7-0-28-0; M. Sturt 3-0-27-0; C. Kitson 6-0-30-2; G. Brooks 4-0-21-3; E. Hughes 1-0-13-1; G. Cook 2-0-8-0; S. Hughes 3-0-31-1.

The Fielding was: – 

Stumpings: Nil

Catches: 3 to J. Wesley-Smith, 1 each to G. Brooks, B. Small, B. Bhabra, and R. Clark.

Run outs:  Nil

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