‘Next man up’ mentality is definitely part of the CCNSW Masters ‘DNA’ this season. When late withdrawals due to injury or other unforeseen events beset a team, whoever comes in must ‘step up to the plate’ to ‘do a job’. There can be no excuses while ever the Blues field a full team of 12 this summer. 

All this rhetoric seems very much justified. As CCNSW travelled to a far off field with a foreign pitch last Sunday at the Soldier’s Memorial Park on the North Shore. And then walked away in the late afternoon having met all challenges, perceived and real, recording a comfortable victory, in terms of the scorebook data. The plucky and very sporting home side did not get to experience the best of the conditions, and the luck, after stand-in skipper Andrew ‘Tex’ Dadswell correctly sent Lindfield in to face the music. The weather to start the day was cool and cloudy. 

The two or three loose balls delivered in the first few overs were put away well by the Lindfield openers, who otherwise struggled to get runs ticking over against the very capable Ben Stanic and Mick Tarrant. Mick was thanking Jose Poothokaren for the first wicket of the day, judging a very high ‘skier’ nicely, for a fine catch at backward square leg off the Lindfield No 2 batter. Lindfield had no luck in the two quick wickets that followed. The Lindfield first drop tore his calf on just his second ball faced. He duly retired hurt on naught and took no further part in the match. Then Ben produced a brute of a ball which reared off a length at Lindfield’s gun bat, David Kelly. The ball deflected from the bat, which was protecting the neck, and lobbed to Matt Johnson in the gully. Matt gleefully accepted the opportunity for the first of three catches he was to take during the day. Arguably Lindfield’s most highly rated batter gone for a golden duck. 

To make things much worse for Lindfield, in the next over Mick knocked the other opener’s castle down, then followed up next ball to dismantle the woodwork again, leaving him on a hat trick and Lindfield rocking at 5-28. No bad luck was involved here. Six batters were now sitting on the sideline, though, their lot done for the day. 

The hat trick ball survived, Lindfield saw off Mick and Ben, each spent after six over spells. Dave Abreu and Andrew Dadswell took over as Lindfield desperately sought to get a partnership going. Both bowlers kept up the pressure, although notably at least three more catching chances were missed. 

Eventually the score scrambled to 51 before Dave cut one back to trap Mandhir Marang lbw, the batter’s intentions not bearing much fruit for his team. And ‘Tex’ picked up a deserved wicket, Lindfield’s Eldon Wessels out caught, again by the reliable Jose at square leg. 7-68.

As the sun came out, a fighting partnership between Lindfield’s Paul Sproules and his mate ‘Benny’ ensued. Further bowling changes (Jose Poothokaren  and Matt Johnston) were instigated and CCNSW never let up on their overall effort. Although at one stage the ‘lefty’ Sproules looked to be well on top, with his partner defending stoutly in support. It had become noticeable that the batting surface was very indifferent in pace and bounce, difficult to become accustomed to, even after considerable time spent at the crease. Yet Sproules fought hard and batted intelligently. He looked for gaps while constantly encouraging his batting ally, striking three or four handsome drives to the fence.  

Just when it looked like Sproules would reach mandatory retirement , the stand in CCNSW skipper, perhaps given the tip from his injured off field captain, Dan Turner, made the right final switch of the attack. ‘Next man up’, Ed Cross, operating across the left hander from the northern end, enticed a catch to Matt Johnston at gully and then knocked over the no. 11 in quick time. Lindfield’s innings wrapped up – all out for116 (with one retired hurt), in just 34 overs. 

So CCNSW had a small target and the advantage of being able to ‘go to school’ on how the pitch had played and how it would play. As everyone thought, runs were hard to come by from the outset for Tom Robertson and Ed Cross. Both batters’ natural attacking instincts were curbed by the irregularities of the pitch which required considerable watchfulness. The sharp, accurate opening bowling of Matt Daly from Lindfield, supported by ‘off the pace bowling from Sproules, proved testing. An opening stand of 24 runs, solid on an ‘up and down’ track. 

Tom was adjudged to be caught at the wicket to bring ‘Next Man Up no.3’ Mike Weaver into the game for CCNSW. After surviving a confident shout for lbw, (which was a clear inside edge into the pads), ‘Weaves’  set about not giving anyone else much of a chance. ‘Anyone else’ being inclusive of the umpire, the Lindfield players and the next up batters in his team. 

Mike and Ed scrapped together another 18 runs before Ed was caught at mid on for a handy 27 runs. This saw the entrance of the ‘consummate English club professional’ Paul Nash. For CCNSW, this proved to effectively ‘all she wrote’ in terms of deciding the match outcome. 

Paul showed all his class and experience to thump the spin bowling to the fence and using very soft hands against the medium pacers to nudge into gaps. He and ‘Weaves’ ran very well between wickets to take all runs on offer. As the Lindfield effort began to tire, Mike was good enough to put most of the loose balls away safely and firmly to the boundary. 

A number of late sundries helped the partnership to reach 75 unbeaten, with four wides marking the end of the match. CCNSW were able to get the required runs just within 28 overs and secure maximum winning bonus points in doing so. 

A good start to the season and a well deserved win for Cricketers’ Club, although if wise, the players will recognise that it was a good toss to win and that Lindfield maybe could have posted more runs, given their bad luck. And at the same time, CCNSW will know that some good chances were missed in the field. 

The team will be looking at this area for improvement, in their upcoming intra club ‘grudge’ match v C and S, on Sunday 1st October at Camperdown Park. And for those coming back in to the side, they must again provide a ‘next man up’ mentality

The Team was (playing 12): – Ed Cross 27; Tom Robertson 6, Mike Weaver 39*, Paul Nash 24*, Jason Kenn dnb, Andrew Dadswell (c) dnb, Ash Perrott (w) dnb, Matt Johnston dnb, Michael Tarrant dnb, Jose Poothokaren dnb, Ben Stanic dnb and D. Abreu dnb

The Result was: –

Lindfield: – 10-116 (34.4 Overs) (M. Tarrant 3-19)

Lost to

C.C.N.S.W.: – 2-117 (27.3 Overs) (M. Weaver 39*)

By 8 wicket

FoW: – 1-24 (T. Robertson); 2-42 (E. Cross).

The Bowling was: – B. Stanic 6-2-13-2; M. Tarrant 6-1-19-3; D. Abreu 6-0-23-1; A. Dadswell 6-2-13-1, J. Poothokaren 3-0-11-0; M. Johnston 5-0-19-0; E. Cross 2.4-0-7-2, 

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – 3 catches to M. Johnston; 2 catches to J. Poothokaren; one to A. Perrott (w);

Run outs: – Nil

Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to M Tarrant; 2 points to B. Stanic ; one point to M. WeaverScorecard: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/org/sydney-masters-cricket-association/masters-summer-202324/masters-foxs/game-centre/002c7d71


Vintage squad for 2023-24 Season before  game vs Central Coast at Camperdown
Back row:  David Glen, Joe Scarcella, Paul Georgiadis, Ajoy Roy, Greg Brooks, Garry James, Stuart Ridge (c), Mick McCormick, Gerry O’Shea, Emmanuel Mouglalis
Front row: Sittampalam Ragavan, John Finucane (w), Frank, Baliotis, Peter Rolls (v/c), Daniel Pellen

The first surprise of the day came with the early season appearance of Camperdown Oval itself. Rather than an emaciated beach look, turf was actually a significant proportion of the surface. After clearing the various frisbee games from the field, Stuart Ridge in his first outing as Vintage captain lost the toss and saw CCNSW being sent into bat on the pitch closest to the pavilion. 

The game was set to be a battle between the last two season’s premier sides that also had  been an epic decider in the last game of last season that has been variously described as “Brookstopia”.

The Central Coast opening pair was accurate on the slow and low wicket. Peter Rolls looked comfortable in the opening role, (pun intended) and Gerry O’Shea played some well-timed shots to keep the bowlers at bay. A trifecta of lbws however transformed the steady opening, firstly Rollsey hit on the roll (pun intended) was fired quicker than a Qantas baggage handler.

Gerry O’Shea was lucky to survive a run out with ‘Joe the cameraman’, Scarcella, having his lenses obscured by the posterior positioning of the wicketkeeper. That luck was a mere splatter as Gerry was then adjudged lbw with a suspect splinter of timber seemingly involved.  Daniel Pellen became the Central Coast left hander’s 3rd lbw victim. Frank Baliotis also went early leaving the lineup struggling at 4 for 24.

Greg Brooks (15) immediately released a swathe of clean hitting to the boundary. Mick McCormick (22) took advantage of the close boundary to dispatch the loose balls. The partnership built well taking the score to 62 until impatience simmered to the surface with the seemingly innocuous ‘dobbly do littles’ getting under Greg’s bat and then getting through a patient absent swipe from Mick. 6 for 64.

John Finucane (23) was scratchier than a hen with tinea early on, but settled to play a vital innings with Sittampalam Ragavan (“Raga”) (13) that took the score to 100. Garry James (19), after educating the 93-year-old mother of the opposition captain about what really goes on in an obstetrician’s practice (she was within earshot), entered the field and blazed with the bat in his usual fashion putting an invaluable partnership together.

A solid contribution from ‘Joe the cameraman’ (14) resulted in a respectable score of 8-140.

During the tea break it was feared the 93-year-old mother would refuse to allow Garry James her expertly crafted brownies and he would have to eat a whole package of donuts instead. The latter can be confirmed…enquires continue as to his access to the brownies.

On taking the field CCNSW was apprehensive following the close encounter at the end of last season. 

Stuart Ridge immediately settled into his metronome rhythm and troubled the openers. He got a ball to lift which caught the gloves of the opener travelling directly to the gates of Brookstopia which normally would have efficiently ensnared its victim, however a rare mistake in the kingdom saw the ball hit the turf. 

At the other end Raga settled into stride with accurate, skidding away swingers, making it difficult for the openers to score.

It wasn’t until the 5th over that a dart like direct hit from Paul Georgardis ran the opener out. There was a sigh of relief in the realm of Brookstopia. Paul continued to cover the ground like a Jack Russell on heat, saving many runs.

It was the spark that lit the flame as wickets started to tumble. Raga backed up catching an edge which was well caught by wicket keeper John Finucane low down to his right.  Stu Ridge bowled the other opener then next ball, cartwheeling the stumps of the incoming batsman.  

Frank Baliotis was almost as excited as he was visiting the sphinx in the off season. Unfortunately, the hatt rick did not materialise. Central Coast were in a pickle at 4 wickets for 7 runs. Jonny Finucane threw chilli peppers onto the wound by innocently asking Central Coast to update the scoreboard not believing the score was 4 for 7. Somewhat bewildered they updated the scoreboard to read 4 for 8.

Raga picked up another wicket, well caught at mid-off by Joe the cameraman. 5 for 14. 

Stuart Ridge picked up a third wicket when Frank Baliotis moved with Fred Astaire like feet to take the catch at cover, 6 for 19.

Geoff Patterson from Central Coast was the only one mounting any resistance until a shortish ball from Garry James was unceremoniously smashed at knee height to Gerry O’Shea at mid-wicket who took a superb catch. 7 for 29.

Garry James picked up another wicket with a neat stumping by John Finucane. 8 for 32.

Central Coast sank further into the mire as their indoor cricket recruit pulled a calf muscle negotiating the extra meterage of the pitch. 

The final pairing used the opportunity for batting practice and took the score to 50 before the King of Brookstopia fired one at the pads of the batsmen, brutally banishing him from the dominion. 

Mick McCormick picked up the final wicket when the left hander dragged the ball onto the stumps. All out for 58.

A very satisfying first win for the new Vintage captain with all contributing.

The Team was (playing 12): – Peter Rolls 11, Gerry O’Shea 10, Daniel Pellen 1, Frank Baliotis 1, Greg Brooks 15, Mick McCormick 22, John Finucane (w) 23 , Sittampalam Ragavan 13, Joe Scarcella 14 *, Garry James 19 *, Paul Georgiadis dnb, Stuart Ridge (c) dnb

The Result was: –

CCNSW: 8-140 (40 Overs) 


Central Cost: 10-58 (35.4 Overs) (S. Ridge 3-7)

By 82 runs

FoW: – 1-20 (Rolls), 2-21 (G. O’Shea), 3-24 (F. Baliotis), 4-24 (D. Pellen), 5-62 (G. Brooks), 6-64 (M. McCormick), 7-100 (S. Ragavan), 8-108 (J. Finucane)

The Bowling was: – S. Ridge 7-2-7-3, S. Ragavan 7-1-12-2, J. Scarcella 4-2-4-0, G. James 7-2-6-2, P. Georgiadis 5-2-8-0, M. McCormick 3.4-1-10-1, G. Brooks 2-0-2-1

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – J. Finucane

Catches: – J. Finucane (w), F. Baliotis, G. O’Shea, J. Scarcella,

 Run outs: – P. Georgiadis

Player points (awarded by umpire): – 3 points to J. Finucane; 2 points to G. James; one point to S. Ragavan

Scorecard: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/org/sydney-masters-cricket-association/vintage-summer-202324/vintage/game-centre/f567e311

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