Third Grade experienced a roller coaster 2 days, Fourth Grade where pretty much done early on Saturday and Fifth Grade fought beautifully to move through to the big one. It was a big week-end of cricket but sadly it is season over for our strong 3rd and 4th grade sides but what a good season it was for both of them.
However, let’s take the opportunity to praise Grealy’s mixed and matched men…. and boys – let’s call them lads.
Playing on the glorious Bankstown Oval they managed to find their 11th player at the 11th hour in Liam Thompson who was making his grade debut in a Semi Final no less.
The Saints batted first and after losing an early wicket recovered nicely through some very useful partnerships. Skipper Matt Grealy came together with the in form Josh O’Shannessy and the two managed a long stay which as the higher placed team was crucial. Grealy was dismissed for 38 whilst O’Shannessy followed not too long after for 58, his 2nd half century on the trot.
Young Matthew Turner continued their great work and compiled a very important 47 off 95 balls. Valuable starts were added by Kennedy (12), MacMillan (21) Witherly (16) whilst Francis, Stirton and Thompson were able to soak up some valuable time and overs towards the end of the day to finish with 9-232 off 100 overs.
Francis and the debutant Thompson where able to soak up another 17 invaluable overs early on Sunday to help the Saints to a very creditable 250 leaving Penrith 77 overs to account for the total.
After Paul Francis picked up a couple of early wickets the Panthers moved on carefully and cautiously to be 2-68 off 37 overs. The tight bowling from the Saints attack would prove to be the key as Penrith came out after Tea blazing and definitely playing for the win. With Kennedy and Francis picking up some key wickets Penrith collapsed dramatically with both strapping young men taking an amazing 5 wickets each. Thomas Kennedy ended with the amazing figures of 5-25 from 19 overs whilst Paul Francis picked up his 4th Five wicket haul for the season with 5-41 (16.4).
The lads now move into the Final against Randwick-Petersham, with the Saints the higher placed team thus claiming the home grand advantage of playing at glorious Hurstville Oval. Let’s look to give these guys as much support as possible this Saturday and Sunday as they move to give the club only it’s 3rd Fifth Grade Premiership.
Our Third Grade side got off to the best possible start at Hursville Oval in their Semi Final against Northern Districts. Bowling first The Saints had the visitors reeling when they collapsed from 0-22 to 4-24 and then 6-44. We then hit the first loop of the roller coaster with the next pair putting on 131. The Saints chipped back taking the final 3 wickets for 29 runs to have ND’s all out for 204 in 62.2 overs. Trent Smith and Andrew Walsh were fantastic with Smith finishing with 5-37 off 18 whilst the skipper, Rod Krause also jagged a couple of scalps.
After losing Baden early the Saints dug in through Newport and Krause. Unfortunately Newport departed with the score on 56 followed by Krause for a quickfire 44 from 60 balls with the score on 3-64. To the relief of the captain Dylan Smith and Ben Panayotopoulos played out the remainder of the day to leave the Saints in a decent position at 3-93.
The Script would sadly take a wicked twist (or loop) early on Sunday with The Saints losing 6-36 to be 9-129. A little Saints fight saw Jack Fitzgerald and Nathan Anderson courageously bat the extra time to see the score to 6-160 at the delayed lunch break to provide hope of a miracle win. Sadly it was not to be with the final wicket falling at 162 with Fitzgerald not out 19 and Anderson 16 putting on 33 for the final wicket.
Well done to Rocket Rod and his 3rd Grade team on a fine season.
Congrats also to our consistent 4th Grade team under the captaincy, once again, of Andrew Pandelis.
Sadly, wickets tumbled dramatically on Saturday at Drummoyne against Sydney with The Saints all out in the 53rd over for just 75. A couple of early wickets to Kennedy and Wark provided a little hope but the next partnership would see Sydney well into the 2nd day after they finished at 2-73 on day 1.
Sydney batted on patiently on Day two closing out any hope for the Saints with the game being called with Sydney on 7-221 after 92 overs. Warwick Hayes was once again in the wickets with 3-36 whilst Kennedy finished a very successful first full season of grade with 2-31. One to watch there. Steve Wark was at his miserly best with 2-17 off 15.