Round 2 – U13 Div 1 v St George

Rollercoaster ends with Manly hanging on- Round 2

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Manly arrived at the ground, Keirle Park, full of energy for their first official game after the previous week against South Eastern had to be abandoned due to rain. As soon as everyone in Manly arrived, Matt and Craig explained the warmup we would be doing every week from now on. We got into it and by the end, we were raring to go. Planning to bowl first, Lachie lost the toss so we were sent in to bat. 

Paddy and Aidan opened as usual, and our first run came as a wide. A few overs later Paddy got out to a rising ball that caught the shoulder of the bat and the fielder took a sharp, diving catch. A couple of overs later Stew got out to a ball that he tried to cut, but just hit a little bit uppish, and another good catch was taken at gully. For a while, things went steadily as runs ticked along slowly. Aidan then was bowled by a jaffer that hit the top of off stump. Lachie then got bowled by one of the spinners just before the 20 over drinks break.

At the drinks break we were about 4 for 45 and things weren’t looking too good. We knew we needed to up the run rate and that’s what Rohan and Will did. The runs ticked along nicely with a few beautiful fours mixed in. A mix up then saw Will get run out. Miles came in and did what was needed which was to get quick runs. Rohan then departed to a ball that he was looking to uppercut over the slips. He ended up just scooping it to first slip as the ball didn’t come on as well as expected. He departed on a team high 28 runs. Harry came in and he and Miles built a solid partnership with Miles smashing an enormous six that went almost 20 metres over the mid-off boundary. Then there was a double-strike with Miles getting unluckily run out and Harry cutting one uppishly to gully.

Thomas and Oscar then came in and Thomas had to go first ball after flicking one what was thought to be over the fielder until the fielder dived backwards and took a spectacular one-handed catch over his head. The last batter Charlie came in and the instruction was to try to bat out the overs. Oscar then hit a handy four and a few runs were picked up before Charlie got bowled in the 39th over. Manly finished on 130. It was a great effort considering at one stage they had been 4 for 45 at the halfway stage, but they were still going to have to bowl and field well to restrict the score.

After a lunch break that included team speeches from the captains, a quick bit of food and a warmup, Manly got onto the field followed by the St George openers, Manly eager to get their first win. Oscar and Aidan opened the bowling, getting the ball in great areas and producing many play and misses. It was only a matter of time before the first wicket came and Oscar got the first breakthrough, getting the opener to miscue one to point where Aidan took a good catch. An over later, Aidan got the second with a great ball that the umpire gave lbw. In his last over Oscar got the third wicket, bowling an unexpected bouncer, which the batter sliced to Harry at midwicket. Lachy and Stew were then brought on and kept restricting the runs, which caused a big mix up with the batters and great fielding from Lachy and keeping from Will which brought about the fourth wicket.

A couple of overs later Stew bowled a slightly short ball which the batter stepped back and smashed, straight to Lachy who took an amazing reflex catch. The wickets continued with Thomas then coming on and bowling a full, straight and very fast ball which left the batter staring in disbelief at his bent back wickets. A few overs later Harry came on and got the big breakthrough of the batter who had been troubling us and had hit two fours and a six, trapping him in front lbw. After that wicket, the game was strongly in Manly’s favour but they couldn’t afford to get flat.

Miles then came on and bowling with ferocious pace, picked up a wicket with his very first ball, getting the batter to squirt one to square leg where Aidan took a great catch. A couple of overs later he got another with a ball that was ultimately too quick for the batter, bowling him. With one wicket left, Lucas who had been bowling economically at the other end got that wicket, getting the batter to drive one a bit uppishly to cover. At first, Manly thought it was going to hit the ground, but at the last second, Thomas dived forward and plucked it out of thin air with one hand just before it hit the ground.

All the teammates rushed in to congratulate him. It had been an incredible all-round performance by Manly against St George. The game included twists and turns and it was only at the very end that they knew they had it in the bag. After an amazing first game, with only a few things to work on, Manly left feeling very pleased and satisfied with the performance. Confidence would be brought into the next game against Inner West Harbour.

By Oscar Hansen