Round 13 has proven to be a fruitful one for the Saints over arch rivals Sutherland on Saturday in a round that was reduced to one day matches due to the historic "Heat Out" on the 11th of February. To top of the amazing clean sweep, the Poidevan-Gray (Under 21's) defeated Sutherland in the 4th vs 5th Qualifying Final to book themselves a spot in the Semi on March the 5th.
In First Grade Sutherland were in trouble at 3-24 after some early strikes from Ellis (2) and Denhartog (1). Sydney Sixers dangerman Ben Dwarshuis set about a recovery mission with 39 but wickets continued to fall at the other end as Sutherland found themselves at 8-120 before former Saints, Dan Rixon and Jake Wilson put on 46 for the 2nd last wicket which helped Sutherland to their final score of 169 off 47.3 overs with Nathan Ellis dominating with the ball returning the brilliant figures of 5-17 off 9. He was well supported by Trent Copeland with 2-18 from 8.3 and Eric Denhartog with 3-35 from 10.
The Saints got off to a healthy start losing just the 1 wicket on their way to 100 before Nick Stapleton fell for a well compiled 41 off 67 balls. At the other end Phil Salt was growing in confidence as he moved to his maiden first grade half century. By this time Hurstville was bracing for a storm that may have assisted in the fall of a couple of wickets. Play delayed for just over an hour before the sides returned to the field. Salt was eventually dismissed for 69 with the score on 156. Debutant Ben Bourke and Luke Bartier finished the job off and the Saints took out the Norm O'Neill trophy with Nathan Ellis being awarded the Norm O'Neill Medal as judged by the Umpires for Best and Fairest on ground.
In 2nd grade, St George batted first and got off to a good start through Ross Vergopoulos (31) and Mitch Gray (28). However at 3-81 Sutherland looked to be turning the tide but found solid resistance from Michael Turnbull and Nick Shurmer. The two put on a fantastic partnership of 112 before Shurmer departed for 49. Turnbull batted wonderfully and was eventually run out for 79 helping his team to a respectable score of 5-231 from their allotted 50 overs.
Sutherland looked to get on top early with some quick runs before danger man Whatley fell to Peter Francis for 16. Sutherland moved to 1-77 and looked to be on top before a flurry of wickets and the weather took its toll on their chase. At the end of the match they finished on 7-140 after 34.5 overs. Caleb Bartier was once again in the wickets claiming 3-26 (7) whilst Aaron Royall's good run of form continued with a miserly spell of 2-19 from his 10. St George were awarded the win on Duckworth / Lewis.
Third Grade enjoyed an early mark and an important bonus point victory after blasting through Sutherland for 86 off just 28.2 overs. Skipper Rod Krause and Jack Fitzgerald both continued their good form with the ball with 4-18 (9) and 3-22 (8) respectively.
It took the lads just 19.1 overs to account for the score with Matthew Baden ensuring a very early finish with a quickfire 48. He was well supported by Ollie Mills with 27 not out. The win now see the lads move into 4th position 11 points clear of 7th place with just two rounds to play.
Here's the report you have been waiting for. Possibly the win of the season, maybe one of the great 4th grade victories of all time. It's a big call but let's run with it.....
4th grade lost the toss and bowled first at Tonkin Oval. The advantage of two early wickets were quickly rubbed out by missed opportunities and dropped catches in the field. Steven Wark once again proved age is no factor, taking 4-22 off 9.1 overs as Sutherland posted 270. Michael Kennedy and Paul Francis both chipped in with two wickets a piece.
A shaky start at the top of the order saw Captain Andrew Pandelis meet Jackson Shaw in the middle with the score at 4-41. In a rain affected innings the Skipper lead from the front with some clinical hitting on his way to 59 (62). 130 runs were still required when Pandelis fell, however Jackson Shaw was unfazed, playing a masterful innings and dominating the Sutherland bowling attack on his way to a match winning 123* off just 118 balls. At times it looked like the run rate required was beginning to win the battle for the Sharks but Shaw maintained command of the innings and kept the Saints in the hunt. He was crucially supported by Steven Wark who provided a brilliant 20* (16). Fittingly, Shaw hit the winning runs with two boundaries off the first two balls of the final over to guide the saints home in a brilliant knock that will prove crucial to securing a finals berth. Fourth Grade find themselves sitting in 3rd position but are only 8 points in front of 7th placed Manly as a log jam starts to form for a crucial top 6 finish for a place in the Qualifying Finals.
Fifth Grade enjoyed a similar scenario to their club mates down the road in 3rd Grade. They rolled Sutherland for 97. A demonic spell from James Stirton (5-29 off 8) and business as usual for the veteran Paul Witherly with 4-12 off 10 did the majority of the damage whilst Tom Kennedy began to turn back the hands of time with some fiery deliveries.
It took the lads just 18.3 overs to account for the Sutherland total for the loss of just 3 wickets. Josh Sullivan top scored with 32* ably supported by his skipper Matt Grealy with 22*. The win sees them move into 2nd position just two points away from Gordon in 1st position.
A resounding victory on Sunday has seen the Saints U21s move into the Semis after Ryan Peacock turned in a magical effort with bat and ball. The Saints looked to be in trouble at 4-46 chasing the modest total of 158. The experienced Luke Bartier (89* off 118) came together with Peacock (43* off 57) to put on an unbroken 113 run partnership. The victory was set up by a solid effort with the ball that saw Sutherland slump at one stage to 8-91 before the lower order set about saving the innings. Peacock and Peter Francis were the chief destroyers with 4-29 (10) and 3-33 (10) respectively. Mitchell Gray finished the innings off with 2-4 (1.2)
The Saints will take on the strong Sydney club over the next two week-ends with First Grade at Drummoyme Oval and 2nd Grade at Hurstville. The final round after that is a limited over fixture to be played against Blacktown. Please remember that score updates for all grades on match day are posted to our FACEBOOK PAGE.
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