Fifth Grade arrived at the Semi-Final stage as the one remaining Randwick Petersham team left in the SCA competition. The boys, after finishing 4th in the regular season, had advanced to the Semi Finals after all the Quarter Finals were washed out the previous weekend. However, a daunting matchup awaited us as we took on the Minor Premiers, Gordon. With Gordon having a number of teams in the finals, they chose to host this match at Tunks Park. On Thursday night, 60% of Tunks was under a quarter of an inch of water and, with rain continuing to fall in Sydney, it looked like our Grand Final dreams might die without even getting on the paddock. 

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5th Grade Semi Final 

Gordon (1st) v Randwick Petersham (4th) @ Tunks Park 

Team – Gracias Flor, Saini, Powell, Hart (+), Hilder, Standing, Montedoro, Mullins, Singh (c), Boyns, Waugh

Result – Gordon 10/25 (Singh 7/18-9.5, Boyns 3/7-7) and 10/103 (Boyns 3/17-12, Singh 3/25-12, Waugh 3/29-12) Defeated By Randwick Petersham 10/114 (Hart 36, Montedoro 18/o, Gracias Flor 16) and 0/15 (Gracias Flor 9n/o, Saini 6n/o)

Fifth Grade arrived at the Semi-Final stage as the one remaining Randwick Petersham team left in the SCA competition. The boys, after finishing 4th in the regular season, had advanced to the Semi Finals after all the Quarter Finals were washed out the previous weekend. However, a daunting matchup awaited us as we took on the Minor Premiers, Gordon. With Gordon having a number of teams in the finals, they chose to host this match at Tunks Park. On Thursday night, 60% of Tunks was under a quarter of an inch of water and, with rain continuing to fall in Sydney, it looked like our Grand Final dreams might die without even getting on the paddock.

However, a very dedicated groundsman at Tunks Park made sure a game was possible and spent 8 hours on Friday super-sopping the saturated outfield, however when he left on Friday night, by his own admission chances of play on Saturday remained a small possibility rather than a formality. Saturday morning dawned bright and clear and 12 Randy Petes’ players sprung into action working alongside the groundsman with air blowers and super-soppers to get the ground to a playable standard – much I’m sure to the displeasure of local residents who were aiming for a sleep in. A special shout out to 12th man, Mitch O’Loughlin, his dad Paul and Kell Mullins’ Dad Michael for also pitching in to help get the outfield up. With the pitch having been covered since Monday night, it was no surprise to see it in immaculate condition when the covers were removed. After numerous conversations with the umpires, play was scheduled to start at 2pm.

We won the toss and elected to bowl, not because of the condition of the pitch, but rather because it allowed us to control the game when chasing down runs. What followed next was remarkable, as an unbelievable effort with the ball and in the field saw Gordon fold for an amazing 25. The Stags had actually started ok at 0/14 before all hell broke loose!! The skipper, Nigel Singh, using all his big game experience, absolutely ripped the heart out of the Stags here and then sum, taking an incredible 7/18. We held all our catches (with Kell Mullins snaring 5 catches as keeper – a new 5th grade record) and all the little half chances seemed to go our way as the momentum completely shifted in our favour. Their total was a reflection of tight bowling, good fielding and bad batting – and absolutely nothing to do with the pitch.

With the bat we made a shaky reply, however scrambled enough partnerships to build a commanding lead of 86 with the score at 8/110 at stumps on Day 1. Chris Hart (36) was once again the stand out with the bat, compiling a vital innings under pressure. Matthew Hilder was out in a bizarre manner, obstructing the field, after the Gordon Captain appealed when he simply threw the ball to Gordon’s bat pad fielder after a defensive shot left the ball idle on the pitch next to his foot. An unsavoury incident which somewhat distracted from our outstanding performance.

The final 2 wickets fell cheaply on Day 2 with Ben Montedoro (18 n/o) compiling another red ink to continue his strong form since Christmas. Once again we came out breathing fire with the ball, again having them 3/3, despite dropping 2 easy chances. From there, the Stags weren’t ever in the hunt as they staggered their way to 103 all out, despite us dropping 5 relatively straightforward catches. Sam Boyns (3/19-12) completed a 6-wicket haul for the game with another brilliant display of bowling. Singh (3/25-12) chipped in with another 3 wickets to claim a memorable 10 for the game, whilst youngster Mac Waugh (3/29) kept his hot streak going with the ball with 3 crucial breakthroughs.

When Saini (6n/o) and Gracias Flor (9n/o) mopped up the 15 runs required for victory, it completed a dominant performance from start to finish. The boys are now just one win away from completing a fairy tale Premiership, after it looked like the season was crumbling after Christmas. The fact that so many people chipped in to help get this game on shows the spirit in this side and the great job Nigel has done to bring a relatively young side together. Nigel wants to thank everyone who came and supported the side at Tunks over the weekend. Finally we would like to send out a congratulations to Gordon legend Damon Livermore on passing 10,000 runs for the club and wish him the best in retirement. Now for a final push, in the Grand Final against St George at Hurstville Oval. The scene is set for a massive game and we owe it to 5’s to get a massive contingent of Green and Gold down there to support the Randy Petes’ boys. GO US!!!

 

Out Obstructing The Field/Handled The Ball – Matt Hilder’s bizarre dismissal!

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