This match was long awaited, the first SCG XI game in just over two years, due to a forfeit last year and a near miss due to Covid lockdowns earlier this year. We had rearranged the date with the SCG XI. While we did attempt to make it an over 40s game, the match coincided with a C&S match and so we pulled together a team from friends and family of CCNSW. There were some initial concerns that the SCG XI would once again stack the deck with a couple of first grade Sydney Cricket Club players to make it another strong victory for SCG XI; however unfortunately Covid struck out  the SCG XI’s first selected team, their second selected team and so the third wave side was organized by around midnight pre-game day in a flurry of text messages.

Fortunately on arrival, the weather was perfect for cricket – one of the few sunny days this season. We lost the toss and the SCG XI decided to bat. Morley Goodchild and Ben Hayes opened up the bowling with convincing line and length, Morley securing the first SCG XI casualty early, bowling the opener for a duck at 1 for 0. With a partnership slowly building, guest player Anthony Semrani had 50 sqm to cover and moved like lightning and with a dive and underarm, a directly hit  the pegs to remove their number 3. Scott Williams took over, possibly keen to avoid sighting of Norm’s underwear again, and took a screamer caught and bowled. Peter Constantinou was unlucky not to get more wickets with some tight bowling before drinks. After the remaining opener was bowled from wide of the crease, the SCG XI looked fairly inauspicious. Martin Speiser batted well for the opposition before straining his calf but otherwise we held them down with some awesome spin bowling from Mike Weaver, David Craig, Ezekiel Hughes and Anthony Semrani, all of whom took wickets (except David who  was unlucky. The SCG XI was all out for 140 from 35 of a total of 40 available overs.

In our confidence, it was Mike Weaver and David Craig who were sent out to open our innings and delivered us a solid start. Dave was scoring quickly and possibly about to demonstrate the reverse sweep before one kept low and had him lbw. Weaves batted well for his 19, although he was possibly tired from running threes when he missed a straight one and was bowled. From here our youngest participant, Sam Hayes, who is Ben’s 13yo brother and lives across the road fulfilled his dream of taking the field at Camperdown in blue for CCNSW.

A renowned batsmen who doesn’t bowl, San notched up a casual 43*, foiled of a 50 by a pre-toss agreement between the captains to retire at 40. He was supported by Scott Williams, who smashed the ball all around the park for 38 and encouraged Sam to have a crack at a few (which he did well at the latter stages of his innings). San was  joined by his brother Ben Hays for a quick stay and there was a last minute challenge from the SCG XI when a direct hit ruined Soren’s day (4 inches out from the winning run).Anthony Semrani was unlucky not to face a ball after a wide secured a well earned victory for CCNSW after 36 overs.

A memorable victory for CCNSW given the run of losses against the SCG XI in recent years

The Team was: –  Mike Weaver 19, David Craig 5, Sam Hayes 43* ret not out, Scott Williams 38, Ezekiel Hughes 8 , Ben Hayes 6, Soren Hughes (c) 7, Peter Constantinou 4*, Anthony Semrani 0*, Jed Wesley-Smith (w) dnb, Morley Goodchild dnb

The Result was: –

The SCG XI: – 10-140 (35.1 overs)

Lost to

C.C.N.S.W.: – 6-141 (35 overs) (S. Hayes 43* ret not out)

By 4  wickets

FoW: – 1-6 (D. Craig); 2-46 (M. Weaver); 3-89 (S. Williams); 4-118 (E. Hughes); 5-124 (S. Hayes); 6-140 (S. Hughes)

The Bowling was: –: M. Goodchild 4-0-27-1; B. Hayes 4-0-13-0; S. Williams 2-0-16-1; P. Constantinou 5-1-19-2; S. Hughes 3-1-8-1; M. Weaver 5-0-8-1; D. Craig 4-0-18-0; A. Semrani 4.1-1-9-2; E. Hughes 4-1-18-1

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – One to J. Wesley-Smith

Catches: – Two to S. Williams and one to E. Hughes

Run outs: – One to A. Semrani


Cancelled by rain


An impressive and dry First Grade ground and an outfield like carpet greeted our players, most of whom arrived early to survey the scene, warm up before the big QF, and ensure they could find a car park in Bondi. We were not overawed by the quality settings; on the contrary, much like any visiting team to Lords, we all stepped up to the occasion against a side that had humbled us at home only two weeks prior.

Tom Robertson and Scott Williams opened and made a solid start of 32, Robertson hitting some well-timed boundaries over the restricted field for his 26, before Williams was adjudged lbw to a ball our whole team concurred – from the point boundary – appeared to have gone down leg. Paul Nash then came to the wicket and followed on almost as though a continuation from last week’s 79 against Pirates, and his 49* (much of the time with a runner) carried the innings, supported by Jim Hadley up until drinks and then by brisk 20s from Craig Kitson and Harry Bridge to bring us up to 7-159, which to many felt slightly below par but certainly defendable.

Morley Goodchild and Avinash Bhandari opened our bowling. Their tight line and length kept the scoring low until the pressure eventually yielded our first direct hit run-out. Both opening bowlers then went on to take wickets at a steady rate and prevent Easts from building momentum. Easts meanwhile continually protested their wickets – ‘clicky’ handles and all –  and were clearly a team not used to being under pressure.

Nick Leong came on at first change and was also able to contribute with a couple of wickets, while Brett James at the other end stifled the Easts batters with relentless bowling which frustrated their efforts to up their run-rate.

Special mention in the field must go to Kitson, who not only caught a drive their skipper rifled into him at mid-off, but also managed a classy back-flick direct-hit for our third run out. Jim Hadley then came on and bowled their number 11 just as dark clouds enveloped the ground and the heavy rain arrived. The team had stepped up and all made valuable contributions in a game that for many of us – given the circumstances and taking on the No.1 ranked team – felt like a grand final. Much more of the same will be required in the semi-final in a fortnight. 

The Team was: – Tom Robertson 26, Scott Williams (w) 9, Paul Nash 49*. Jim Hadley (c) 8, Craig Kitson 19, Brett James 1, Harry Bridge 21, Avinash Bhandari 5, Soren Hughes 6*, Nick Leong dnb, Morley Goodchild dnb

The Result was: –

C.C.N.S.W.: – 7-159 (35 overs) (P. Nash 49*)


Easts Pacers: – 10-106 (29.4 overs) (A. Bhandari 3-17)

By 53 runs

FoW: – 1-32 (S. Williams); 2-38 (T. Robertson); 3-62 (J. Hadley); 4-105 (C. Kitson); 5-106 (B. James); 6-141 (H. Bridge); 7-147 (A. Bhandari)

The Bowling was: – M.Goodchild 7-0-23-1; A. Bhandari 7-2-17-3; N. Leong 7-0-34-2; B. James 7-0-20-2; S. Hughes 1-0-5-0; J. Hadley 0.4-0-2-1

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – Two to S. Williams (w) and one to C Kitson

Run outs: – Three: – One to each of A. Bhandari, M. Goodchild, and C. Kitson

Player points (awarded by captain): – 3 points to A. Bhandari; 2 points to P. Nash; one point to C. Kitson


Back row (L to R); Garry James, David Craig, Mike Weaver, Suiart Ridge, Martin Speiser, Greg Brooks
Front row (L to R): Mike Pinter (v/c), Mike Tarrant, Scott Wells (c) & (w), Ed Cross & Richie De Silva

CCNSW assembled rather haphazardly for this tough away game v Georges River. In contrast, they met a very well organised home team who were fielding their strongest possible lineup. Captain Scott Wells’s plans to set a total, high enough to put some pressure on the home team, began just about as badly as possibly his worst cricketing nightmare. 

After Ed Cross was able to find the boundary with the first ball of the match, an unfortunate mix-up saw returning opener Mike Pinter hopelessly run out without scoring. Mike Weaver, in at number 3 for this match, tried to settle in, with Ed scoring freely at the other end. Then, as per the nightmare scripting, an attempt to get himself off the mark with a quick single resulted in a direct hit to the stumps to leave Ed just short of the crease. 2-20 in just the 7th over. Both openers run out !

It was sharp fielding from Georges River and very bad calling by CCNSW. The bowling was to very tight lines. After keeping out a succession of accurate deliveries to the left arm opening bowler, a thin edge to the ‘keeper by Weaver, to a ball slanted across him, saw the batter start his walk off, for nought, before the umpire raised his finger. 3 for 25 in only the 8th over. 

Captain Wells and Richie De Silva elected to take the attack up to the bowling somewhat and were looking like reviving the ‘Blues’ fortunes. Richie managed  three boundaries in just a 12 ball stay and Scott one maximum in the 17 deliveries he faced. 

Richie was trying to hit to the short mid on boundary with a stiff breeze behind him. The bowler very smartly dropped his pace and length though, pushing the ball a little wider as the batter stepped down the track to one. A simple catch to backward point was the result to see the fourth batter out with the score on 44, his  personal score 13. In the next over the skipper chased a wide full ball and was unlucky bowled with no addition to the team total. 5 for 44 in the 13th over. 

After the nightmare start CCNSW had, Scott Wells might now have dreamt that Mick Tarrant and ‘The  President’ Greg Brooks, had actually opened the batting. They batted solidly. They ran well between the wickets, each considerate of the other’s willingness and agility. They had wisely noted their opponents fielding capabilities, while still calling sensibly for ones and twos, not missing out on taking advantage of an overthrow. They left the good ball go to the ‘keeper and waited patiently for the ball to hit. Mick was happy to play second fiddle to ‘The Prez’, as one would anyway, and yet it was good sensible tactics. against a keen opponent who were very much up for the match on their home turf.

These two  got their side to drinks unscathed. And beyond ! At 5-81 into the 25th, with Greg having hit two boundaries and a six to the far straight boundary, he got himself to 29. One more run scored to get to ‘into the bank’ retired on 30, would see the CCNSW lower order set the innings up to bat deep into the final overs. And leave the President to return triumphantly to smash the bowling into oblivion to all parts, raising his bat as the first ever CCNSW Classics centurion and with the score passing 200 at the 40 over close…or so the dream could have eventuated…

The dream again unfortunately became the nightmare. And according to Garry James, was due to the spell cast by Michael Weaver. While some of his watching teammates were muttering they’d be happy seeing a glance to leg for one run, this writer proudly propositioned to Garry and to others listening, about whether it wouldn’t be  fitting for a six to be struck. This would bring about a Classics retirement ‘maximum’ of 35 runs, emulating the great deeds of Mr James himself just one week earlier, when playing for the CCNSW Vintage over 60s team. 

I’m sure Mr Brooks wasn’t within earshot and yet I’m a strong believer in mental telepathy. The message certainly got to the President, 150 metres away in the centre of the field, to ‘go for it’. Next ball, a hefty swipe at a wide ball, an attempt to launch way, way over mid off, saw a catch dolly straight to the fielder, strategically placed at short third man. 6 for 81, Brooks out confirmed caught and spelled. And not approved by Garry James, who immediately let this writer know of his indiscretion. 

Next in was ‘The Nurdler’ Marty Speiser and the situation he found himself definitely suited his game. After ‘nurdling’ to get off the mark, he was soon uncharacteristically out caught to a shot to point, well hit and very well caught. Garry James followed suit shortly after. He began his scoring with a well struck boundary before succumbing to the catch of the game, caught at short cover. The ball travelled very fast and yet the fielder still managed to make the grab with the ball having gone past him. 

Stuart Ridge tried to support the not out and ever trusty Mick Tarrant. He was unfortunately well run out, going for a second run while forgetting to slide his bat at the crucial moment. 9 for 102 into the 36th and only 6 more runs were added before last man Dave Craig couldn’t resist going for the far boundary himself, with the wind behind him, missing and being adjudged lbw. Mick Tarrant was left watching everything on 25*. Definitely could be an opener for CCNSW if he wasn’t needed to open the bowling. Well played Mr Tarrant. 

All out for 108 was disappointing for all the CCNSW Classics team and probably was never going to be close to enough, especially if early chances weren’t accepted. And so it proved. Two difficult chances for catches on the far boundary were put down. The Georges River batters took full advantage of these misses, finding their range with their hitting games and clearing the fence five times, losing the ball permanently twice. There’s a cricket ball under water over long on, over a 2.5 metres wire fence, if one is looking next time and happens to have snorkel and flippers with them. There’s another somewhere up on the M5 highway behind the boundary at the far end of Bland Oval, also if anyone’s keen. It would make a decent practice ball. Fittingly, as the bowling from the far end by the CCNSW bowlers was very good practice for Georges River. 

From the opposite end though, only 30 runs were scored off the bat out of the final winning total of 110 off 18.4 overs. Opening bowler Mick Tarrant and his replacement Ed Cross, bowling from this end, did the club proud with a spirited display. Mick deservedly picked up the only wicket to fall, an lbw, to complete a very fine match for him personally. 

From the far end, the bowling suffered greatly, especially after the two early chances were put down. 

CCNSW were without a number of other players that may otherwise have been available  for this match, and will put this result behind them. It appeared that some  players returning to the team from injury or holiday or whatever,  were understandably not at their best, a little ‘short of a gallop,’ while others certainly were not prepared as well, to a man, as the opposition. Congratulations to Georges River and I know CCNSW won’t be giving up on the season.

The writer also promises to go and sit inside the dressing room the next time he is present when Greg ‘The President’ Brooks is 29 not out.  He will wait until the batter returns to the room to inform him that he is either out again or retired. And if Greg gets out again, he will jump into his car and immediately drive all the way back to West Gosford before Garry James can send out a directive. And he will travel at a speed of no higher than 45km per hour and including all the way along the highway M1, if that is possible (actually, I know it is possible).

The Team was: – Ed Cross 14, Mike Pinter 0, Mike Weaver 0, Scott Wells (c) and (w) 11, Richie De Silva 13, Mike Tarrant 25*, Greg Brooks 29, Martin Speiser 1, Garry James 4, Stuart Ridge 0, David Craig 1

The Result was: –

C.C.N.S.W.: – 10-108 (38.3 overs) (G. Brooks 29)

Lost to

Georges River C.C.: – 1-110 (18.4 overs)

By 9 wickets

FoW: – 1- 6 (M. Pinter); 2-20 (E. Cross); 3-25 (M. Weaver); 4-44 (S. Wells); 5-44 (R. De Silva); 6-81 (G. Brooks). 7-85 (M. Speiser); 8-93 (G. James): 9-102 (S. Ridge); 10-108 (D. Craig).

The Bowling was: –: Ridge 4-0-25-0; Tarrant 6-0-20-1; James 3-0-26-0; Cross 3-1-10-0; Craig 3.4-0-28-0

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – One to each

Run outs: – Nil

Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to G. Brooks; 2 points to M. Tarrant; one point to E. Cross  

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