Resilient Reds Show Great Character
Enthusiasm for a common interest, working as a unit and placing team ahead of self interest are essential in a cricket team – and good lessons for life. These attributes are embraced by the Gordon Reds and were on display in a cracking game of junior cricket on Sunday.
It started on an humid and overcast morning on the artificial savannah of Northbridge Oval. This was the final round before the school holiday break. The Reds were taking on the second placed Lindfield team.
On the boundary, the recalcitrant gazebo eventually popped up. The parental support staff settled in the shade keeping the heads down to avoid the barrage of golf balls that would come from the hackers ruining the course behind.
To the cricket action and captain Ben Greaves won the toss and decided to bat.
This week’s opening act was Saskia Horley and Thomas Pitts. With the fielders setting up shop in the deep, it was hard going for the Gordon openers. Boundaries were difficult to find.
Looking to set the scoreboard alight, positive Pitts went on the drive only to find a fielder. Seven runs later, Horley was just short of her crease looking for a second run. Both openers did a good job wearing down the bowling.
Daniel Williams and Ben Greaves were now in residence. Williams got an early Christmas gift - a low full toss on his pads, which he promptly dispatched to the boundary for 4 to get off the mark. At the other end, Greaves was his usual inventive and effective self with the bat. The pair took to the tiring bowling and found the boundaries. The partnership was producing the runs – 70 to be precise. It was a fine display.
When Greaves departed for an excellent 33 and Daniel Williams for 47, the Reds were 123 in the Xth over. The concern was this was a little below par for Northbridge Oval.
If the Reds were to post a competitive score, a late flourish was needed. Charlie Bibb was now in the middle and produced several fine shots that raced to the boundary. Tom Hampson and Jake O’Donnell joined in as they pushed the runs. Both sacrificed their wickets for the team as they looked for runs.
In the end, Gordon posted a competitive total of 147. Bibb was 19 not out.
The Reds then turned in a superb team performance in the field that would see them chase, dive and scramble to great effect. From the first ball, the Reds were switched on knowing they needed to keep it tight.
The opening bowling from Daniel Williams and Flynn Mahoney was outstanding. Bang on a good length. They were supported by enthusiastic fielding which strangled the scoring. Barely a run was sited. First change bowlers Saskia Horley and Tom Hampson kept the pressure on. Horley beat the bat numerous times with her off breaks. She was unlucky not to pick up the first wicket. That honour fell to Hampson and his second delivery. The pressure from the Reds saw a shot land in the ever-safe hands of Mahoney who was stationed at point.
Hampson struck again in his third over thanks to an amazing reflex catch at slip by Charlie Bibb. When the ball found the edge, the ball flew fast and high until Bibb threw out his right hand.
Thomas Pitts then got into the wicket taking act with a caught and bowled.
The fielding was desperate. Viruna Tennakoon led the way with a series of stunning stops prowling around square leg that prevented runs.
Angus Levy tore into the bowling unleashing a thunderbolt that knocked over the stumps to claim the 4th wicket.
Bibb took his second catch – this time at square leg – from the bowling of Greaves.
Marcus Kelly came on and kept it full and tight to dry up the runs and frustrate the batsmen.
From then it became the Liam Gorman show with the left arm seamer wreaking havoc in the Lindfield batting. Gorman kocked over three batsmen in a devastating spell. The first was a great diving catch by wicket keeper Jake O’Donnell, who had a great day behind the stumps.
Gorman hit the woodwork for the second wicket. The third was courtesy of a sharp catch by Levy who flew high to snaffle the ball. Adam Goodes would have been proud with that one.
Suddenly Lindfield were 8 for 111. The game was still in the balance with 27 runs needed to win from four overs. Could Lindfield get home?
With the pressure rising, the Red held firm. The fielding continued to be outstanding. Viruna Tennakoon then produced one of many outstanding moments in the field when he threw himself to his right and almost pulled off the catch of the season. While the ball fell out his hand, Tennakoon stopped a certain boundary. It was great stuff.
The total proved too much and the Reds held firm to win by 12 runs. It was an outstanding performance by all players – a real team effort uniting for the greater good. Great character and resilience are the hallmarks of this team.
And so it’s time for a break. It’s been a great first part of the season for the Reds. Thanks must go to all the parents for supporting a great bunch of young people having fun together on a Sunday morning.
The next game is February 1 against Lane Cove Covies.
Merry Christmas to all the Gordon Red families.