Grand Final – U13/2 v Penrith

Grand Final Match Report

Full scorecardMatch Details | NSW Youth Championships (

Manly-Warringah Claim JH Creak Shield for 2021/22 against Penrith at Gannons Park.

Manly 3/112 [Jayden Cook 31*, Aidan Kurtis 25, James Pallant 20, Oliver Cassie 16*, Henry Matthews 11] beat Penrith 109 [Freddie Schneidereit 3/17, Will Jenkin 2/10, Jayden Cook 1/13, Conor Mulcahy 1/14, Archie Cooper 1/18]

Catches: 2- Guy Jenkin, Henry Matthews, 1-Will Jenkin, Dylan Thompson, Aidan Kurtis

Run Out: 1- Guy Jenkin, Will Cunningham, Oliver Cassie

The Grand-final of the U13 Div 2 NSW Youth Championships was played on a fast outfield bathed in glorious sunshine as the Manly boys took on Penrith at Gannons Park in Peakhurst.

The team had determined that we’d stick with a winning formula and bowl first if the skipper called correctly. Thankfully Will Cunningham called tails and the coin obliged, so he had no hesitation putting the boys from out West in to bat against our full-strength 13 man line-up.

With some tough fielding training under our belts, the boys were confident and eager to go from the warm up. They entered the makeshift gate as one team, vocal and looking a formidable force in their Manly Blues.

Will Cunningham took the new ball, and with Archie Cooper at the other end they opened the attack and were miserly in the opening 3 overs, conceding just a few runs before the Penrith boys got 2 streaky boundaries away. Next ball Manly had their first wicket as our fill-in slip, Will Jenkin took a catch from a ball that hit the bat, then helmet and ballooned up in the sky only to settle in his hands…ironically off the bowling of our usual slip, Archie Cooper.

Next over it was the other Jenkin twin, Guy Jenkin, that had the Manly crowd erupting. An absolute textbook run out, where he attacked the ball, headed towards the target, balanced and threw the stump down in the blink of an eye. Exactly as we’d practiced all week. 2/16 after 5 overs….. and 10/10 for the run out!

Penrith continued to play aggressive cricket and the boundaries flowed, but in the 10th over Will Cunningham and Ollie Cassie combined to run out the dangerous number 4 batsman, who was going at a rate of almost 200. Lucky we nipped that in the bud early.

Jayden Cook and Conor Mulcahy were pegging things back in their overs, and with the last over of his spell, Jayden Cook struck thanks to some agile work by Guy Jenkin taking a great diving catch at mid-wicket to leave Penrith at 4/56 in the 14th over.

In the next over, the 4th over of his own spell, Conor Mulcahy took the 5th wicket as our Vice Captain, Aidan Kurtis, took a catch at Mid On.

As we’d done successfully in the Elimination Final against this team, we brought spin on just before drinks. Dylan Thompson had immediate effect in drying up the runs, going for just 1 run in each of his first 2 overs and Freddie Schneidereit only conceded 8 in his 2 overs before drinks to have Penrith at 5/71 and Manly feeling on top of things.

With Dylan and Freddie’s 4 overs after drinks only going for 3 an over, the skipper opted to stick with spin and brought on Henry Matthews, who followed suit and kept things at 3 runs an over in his 4 overs.

It had been 10 overs since the last fall of wicket and the Penrith boys started to seem settled, so the skipper produced a tactical masterstroke. Sensing Freddie needed a brief rest, Will Jenkin was brought into the attack with his right arm leggies having an immediate impact as brother Guy Jenkin took another catch on Will’s 2nd ball to have Penrith in trouble at 6/86. Will Jenkin followed up with a second scalp a few overs later, thanks to Henry Matthews safe hands in the cordon, as Penrith were 7 down just one run shy of the team century.

Completing the tactical masterstroke, Freddie Schneidereit was brought back on and 2 balls into his over he rewarded the skipper when he trapped his man in front LBW to have Manly on the brink of bowling them out.

Dylan Thompson tied up the other end and then Freddie delivered the knockout 1-2 blow with a double wicket maiden… a catch to Dylan Thompson at Mid Off, and Henry Matthews at slip to see Penrith all out for 109 in the 34th over.

The Manly boys left the field to well-earned applause for their fielding effort, a real team effort almost on par with the team’s best fielding performance a week earlier in the Semi Final. Safe to say the boys were peaking exactly at the right time.

With 110 to win, we talked about the job being half done and we’d have to knuckle down to our task after the lunch break to keep the GF pressure at bay.

With our sights firmly fixed on a getting away to a good start with an explosive running game, we employed a new opening Left-Right partnership of Henry Matthews and James Pallant which yielded immediate results thanks to an early no ball and free hit that was dispatched to the boundary from Henry’s blade. He doubled down next over with another 4 while James Pallant cautiously kept out their front line paceman. Henry Matthews (11 from 17) was hitting hard and Penrith were no chance of stopping a ball he hit towards the fielder, getting an early lifeline, but unfortunately Henry’s luck ran out a few balls later as Penrith held the catch to leave us 1/13 after 4 overs.

Aidan Kurtis joined James, and although they were watchful early together they put on a 31 run partnership littered with numerous singles and 2’s before we lost James Pallant (20 off 47) when he was caught trying to press our advantage a little harder leaving Manly at 2/44 after 14 overs, going at the required rate of 3.

Jayden Cook joined Aidan in the middle and they executed the game plan to perfection…immediately taking on their spinner and rewarded with a boundary as they plundered 7 off the over… followed by another 7 off the next over from the quick… although Aidan had a six awarded, it was overturned and signalled as a boundary 4 after opposition protests. The feeling in the camp was positive and we believed it wouldn’t affect the outcome.

The boys put on 24 runs in 6 overs to see us reach 2/68 at drinks, a few runs behind the opposition score at the same point in the inning, with plenty more wickets left. As such, the chat at drinks was quite relaxed and the boys were really enjoying the occasion.

Two overs after resumption, we lost Aidan Kurtis (25 off 43) to yet another catch, leaving Manly at 3/77 and 34 runs short of victory with 18 overs remaining. With his energy levels draining, possibly due to wicket-keeping for 34 overs, Ollie Cassie was sent in to try to hit us to victory.

Ollie and Jayden hit the gaps to perfection and ran hard, causing the opposition to concede overthrows from our pressure, as well as a number of well struck boundaries. With the help of a few free hits, we upped the rate considerably and were within reach of victory at 3/105 at the end of the 27th over.

Ollie almost got out trying to end the game with one big shot, much to the mirth of our team photographer (also his dad), but he settled down and followed the plan to run the singles on offer which left us with a tied match at the start of the 29th over. As we’d talked so much about our gap hitting during the finals, it was fitting that Ollie Cassie (16no from 23) hit the gap beautifully and was rewarded with a boundary 4 to leave Jayden Cook unbeaten on 31no (from 45 balls) and see Manly to victory claiming the JH Creak shield for season 2021/22.

Jayden Cook was deservedly awarded the Player of the Match award for his match-winning knock and contribution with the ball, but a number of players would have come into the reckoning during our fielding inning. A big shout out to Will Cunningham’s captaincy, which was spot on all day – a great effort in his first year as Team Captain.

Well done boys, a fair reward for a lot of hard work based on teamwork and a ‘Club-First’ mentality that got the job done. For some boys it was a first title, others a back-to-back GF victory…and for a small number it was 3 Premierships in a row! Well done Boys and to our coach, Grant Thompson, assistant coach, Dan Cunningham and manager, Nick Kurtis.

Go Manly!