Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jessibill: Death By Multimedia. Episode 17

This week on Episode 17:

Crap That Jess Has Been Watching On YouTube! – Exciting times for Jess, who has new stuff from Brendan Urie and his pet project Panic! At The Disco! to check out, as well as finding some karaoke tunes to keep her vocals in good working order. Meanwhile, Bill has been freaking out over the first full length trailer of YouTube Red's long awaited revival series of the Karate Kid, entitled Cobra Kai

Rubbish Songs Jess and Bill Have Been Listening To – Jess has more songs stuck in her head this week from those bands you know she is going to stick with, while Bill has gone with a fresh angle, finding five brilliant songs whose title all start with "Children of the..."

Crap Movies Bill is Forcing Jess to Watch! – This movie does generally have a mixed reaction around the place, but when it is scripted by and starring John Cleese, and has brilliant performances from Michael Palin and Kevin Kline, how can you NOT want to check out A Fish Called Wanda! HEY! Don't you call me stupid!

There’s Something on the TV! – One wonders if this Voltron obsession will ever end, but Jess has now finished series four and wants to share its secrets with you. meanwhile, Bill has witness the conclusion of Series 11 of The X Files, and finds that while it might be new, there is a lot similar to previous series conclusions about it.






Time to Retire the Sheffield Shield Final

The Sheffield Shield Final has become irrelevant and obsolete in the cricket calendar and should be removed from the summer schedule. This has been a recording.

Once again we are at the end of March, with AFL, NRL and Super Rugby dominating the local match attendance prerogatives of families. We are hearing about the Dragons and the Eels (for different reasons), about GWS and Richmond, and of the Reds surging under Brad Thorn. 
Meanwhile in Brisbane, the once imperious Sheffield Shield competition was finishing in a damp squib, a final that few people knew was happening let alone what the result may have been. That result came yesterday afternoon, when a contrived finish due to losing so much play to rain saw competition leaders Queensland win the final against Tasmania by nine wickets. 

What began back in 1982/83 as an effort to revive the fortunes of the domestic four day competition, to give it a glamorous finish and a taste of Test cricket with a five day final, has become even more irrelevant than the competition itself in the modern game. In that match, hosts and table leaders Western Australia was beaten by the visiting New South Wales team, breaking a drought for the Blues of 17 years. Only four times in the following 35 seasons has the visiting team actually won the Final and thus the Shield itself – Queensland over Western Australia in 1996/97, the reverse result in 1998/99, and New South Wales twice over Queensland in 2002/03 and 2004/05. 
The leaders and home team have won 21 times, often as the visitors lost trying to make something of a game that was out of reach, and there have been 10 draws which resulted in the top team winning the Shield anyway. 
At times it has been ludicrous. In the 2003/04 final in Melbourne, Victoria scored 710 batting first in 212 overs, ensuring they couldn’t lose but killing the match as a contest. No doubt boiling over this, two years later in Brisbane the Queensland team responded to Victoria’s first innings of 344 by piling on 6/900 before finally declaring with Jimmy Maher (223), Martin Love (169), Shane Watson (201 – retired hurt of course) and Clint Perron (173) cashing in. The folly of there not having to be a result for one team to lift the trophy has often been the cause of the Final being a complete waste of time. 

In recent years the domestic four day and one day competitions have been forcibly removed from the public’s eye due to the constant expanding of the International calendar, and the burgeoning money pot that is the BBL competition. The one day competition now runs for three weeks in October in the shadow of the football codes finals, and if you blink you will miss it completely. The Sheffield Shield retains some relevance running up to the first Test matches of the summer when we see most of the International players having a hit or a bowl as a warm up session, but once the Tests start it moves back into a second class system, halting completely for almost two months to ensure it does not interfere with the T20 form of the game. 

Despite having seen some fantastic finals in the past – the one wicket victories of New South Wales over Queensland in 1984/85 and 2004/05, and South Australia’s stonewalling draw against Western Australia in 1995/96 - the game rarely lives up to its standing as the crowning jewel of the domestic season. In most cases it only delays the victory celebrations of the top team on the table for a week. In an overcrowded and overlapping season, and with the football codes in full swing by the time the match is scheduled, now is probably the time to go back to the ‘first past the post’ winner that served the competition so well for its first 90 seasons. Sadly, the best excuse for this happening is that so few people would actually miss it.

Monday, March 26, 2018

How Can Cricket Australia Save Australian Cricket?

At the time of writing this, something I am doing to hopefully draw the anger and disappointment of this whole situation out of my body and onto the computer screen in front of me, no one knows exactly what Cricket Australia (CA) will do in regards to punishment for the ball tampering saga that has occurred in South Africa. Steve Smith has been suspended for the 4th Test for his part in the show, while Cameron Bancroft has been handed 3 demerit points which means he is theoretically available for the 4th Test that starts on Friday. 
But surely, if CA is to have any credibility in the world of cricket, there must be more done. And I don’t even mean about this particular incident. 

How does a team – how does the captain and vice-captain of the Australian cricket team – get to the point that they decide that doing something that they know is against the laws of cricket is worth doing if it gains them an advantage? How far gone into your own delusions of grandeur, of your own position in your own protected world, do you have to have risen (or sunk) to think that this is something that you should do? Did they ever consider the consequences? Did they honestly believe that they wouldn’t get caught out, with so many cameras focused on every player and piece of the action? Did they think that even if they were caught, that there would be no backlash? Did they honestly believe that the cricket loving public of Australia – and beyond that just the public of Australia – would be on their side, or would think little of it? Exactly how far have they got their own heads up their own collective arses to actually think they are above the Laws of Cricket? 
If it comes to pass, however many people may have been in the know that this was going to occur, that NONE of them actually spoke up and said that you can’t do this, then they are all as guilty as those who have already been punished for it. Because every single person who has heard about this knows it was not only against the laws of cricket, it was JUST PLAIN WRONG! And no, I won’t use the phrase ‘spirit of cricket’ anywhere here, because that is a made up term that is inaccurate every time it is used. 

Those calling for lifetime bans and the like are far too caught up in the hype and hysteria of the moment. Similar offences for ball tampering in the past have brought about fines and a slap on the wrist through to two match suspensions. Life bans is a complete over reaction to what has actually happened on the field. However, and this is a big however, the main difference here is that this was a pre-meditated conversation between those who rank highest in the Australian cricket team to try and cheat themselves an advantage against the rules of the game, and it is in that situation that further and heavier action must come from CA than has been handed down by the ICC. 

Still, what CA must also do in the same instance is to reign in the current culture of the Australian cricket team, and put an end to the animosity that appears to occur on the cricket field every time Australia play, and to instill a return to the kind of behavior the board and the Australian public expects from its national cricket team. In this series alone we have witnessed a serious and planned attempt to sledge the opposition to the point of abuse, all in the name of unsettling their opponents. It is calculated and it is planned, and it is completely over the top. Suggesting that sledging is something Australian teams have done for decades is a lie, and is used to promote this current team’s belief that it is a fair tactic to use of the cricket field. That it spilled over during the 1st Test into almost provoking fisticuffs between Warner and de Kock is appalling at all levels. The fact that the Australians then felt compelled to complain about what may or may not have been said by de Kock made them look like whingers and hypocrites. This continued into the 2nd Test with more fines, and of course the start of the 3rd Test where the Australians complained both officially and in press conferences about the abuse from spectators. Once again, they looked like prima donners. And now they look like complete gooses. There is no doubt that sections of all Australian crowds are just as bad to all touring teams in our country, and yet little has been done by either the board or the team to quell that. It is seen as ‘supporting the home team’, but when it happens to Australia overseas, suddenly they feel as though they must complain about it. 

So here we are, not at the Australian cricket teams metaphorical ‘line’ that they believe they don’t cross when it comes to their behavior on the field, but at Cricket Australia’s ‘line in the sand’. For more than 12 months, cricket in Australia has been building to the point. It started with the pay dispute over the Memorandum of Understanding between CA and the Australian cricketers Association (ACA). CA lost that dispute so spectacularly, with the players actually striking and abandoning a tour such was their belief in their fight, that they have appeared weak and lacking in influence ever since. And from this, it appears as though the playing group and their support staff have formed into an Elite Protected Group, able to do as they wish with a bubble of invincibility around them, answerable to no one but themselves. And once again, whilst they were winning, it was hardly questioned – and I was as guilty of that as anyone else. But as that winning feeling has worn off, firstly against England in the ODI’s at home and now against South Africa in this Test series, either the behavior of the team has become worse or just more noticeable. Probably both. And with these revelations in recent days, Cricket Australia has the chance to re-impose itself on the national team and the way it wants it to be reflected to the public of both Australia and the World – and they must take this chance before it is too late. 

I don’t know what CA will do, if anything. If I was in charge, I would make some drastic changes and others that mightn’t feel to be enough. It seems unlikely that they will want to take out their best two players and the two to whom Australian kids most identify for a long period of time, but to me, in the best interests of the players and the team, I think they must. 
  • I believe both Smith and Warner should be given a 12 month suspension from all cricket, in order to exacerbate just how serious this decision was by these two senior players. CA must be shown to be serious in ensuring this never EVER happens again under their watch, and while such a decision will not only hurt the team’s chances of winning matches but hurt at drawing spectators to watch cricket, it will be seen as a tough but ultimately correct decision. The long term benefit would also be that both players will have a chance to reevaluate their careers and the way they want to be remembered as cricketers when they finish. By having 12 months out, they would also be able to return for a fresh assault on the 2019 World Cup and Ashes tour with clear minds and having had these controversies paid for by their absence. But obviously never as captain or vice-captain again. I don’t believe it will happen, but I believe it should. 
  • I believe Darren Lehmann should be relieved as coach after the 4th Test, and Justin Langer should be announced as his replacement effective immediately. All coaching staff who have been appointed within Lehmann’s purview should be moved on as well, and a whole new set up needs to be considered, along with a review as to whether the excessive amounts of people who are employed in the support staff are required. Langer has been praised for the culture change he has made with Western Australian cricket. Let’s give him a chance to do the same for Australian cricket. 
  • I believe that Cricket Australia needs to redefine just how Australians act on the cricket field, and have it set such that if there are any transgression in the future they can be acted on immediately. The team has to take ownership of their behavior, but if they transgress according to the BOARD then they must be pulled back into line. It is not enough anymore to suggest that the team knows what is right and wrong, or what is pushing the boundaries and what is beyond them. It needs to be held accountable, and better than it has been in recent times. 
  • I believe George Bailey should be appointed as captain of the Australian team, and flown to South Africa immediately. He may not be the best batsman to slot into our batting line-up – averaging 33 this summer with one century and five half-centuries - but apart from the captain and vice-captain, no one has confidently nailed down a spot in that order for a long time. Giving Bailey the job will mean the team has a confident leader with a good record as captain, and a man who will be respected both by his teammates and the opposition, Brendan McCullum notwithstanding. It may only be a short-term solution, perhaps for the Australian summer, but his public persona and almost constant lopsided grin will help to restore public faith in the office of Australian Captain. 
  • I believe any player who was involved in the ball tampering decision – including Bancroft – should be stood down from the 4th Test. If this includes Starc, Lyon and Hazlewood who have been reported as being in the ‘leadership group’, then so be it. This may be harder to trace, given it appears that the inner circle is now trying to keep the culprits down to as few people as possible, but if it is six players out then it must be done. Handing places to Jon Holland, Jhye Richardson and Chadd Sayers wouldn’t be the worst thing, and the chance to get Matt Renshaw back at the top order would also be a good thing. Anyone who was involved in the decision must be made to feel the weight of what has occurred. 

Whether or not all of this will play out, or if we just see an attitude of it all being forgotten about soon enough, only the next week will show for sure. There is a real possibility that Australia could wipe the slate clean right now, and start to rebuild its tattered image in the world and become what it was once again – a team at the top of the world that is renowned for playing hard on the field but for also for its fair play, and for being able to enjoy a drink after the day in the right spirit. Surely it can’t be that hard. More than anything else, Cricket Australia and its team has to regain the faith of all of the children of Australia who have had their heroes crush their belief in the game of cricket in the past few weeks. If they can’t do that, then the sport in Australia, which is struggling at the grass roots level as it is, may just collapse completely.

Mike Carlton Lays Out Why Australia is Fucked

Sunday, March 25, 2018

"How Did They Think They Wouldn't Get Caught?"

Yes. I have spent a great proportion of the past 40 years of my life watching the game of cricket, idolising the great players it has been my pleasure to watch, and living on the edge of ecstasy and despair, depending on the outcome of those matches played by our national team.

For the most part of that time I have felt pride in the Australian team. They didn't always win, they didn't always play well, but they held the values of the game at their hearts. If they lost they accepted it and hoped to do better. If they won they celebrated and looked to do even better in the next game.
Not always, but mostly.

Something has changed in the current Australian team, and there needs to be some serious conversations and changes made at the highest level if the actions of the past few weeks are to be rectified.

After the actions of yesterday's play in South Africa, does anyone believe there are any redeemable qualities remaining in the Australian cricket team? There is simply no excuse or explanation for what happened except that at the very least the leadership group of the team are cheats. By having a player use a piece of tape with granules of the pitch on it to try and rough up the ball in order to change its condition, this was a deliberate and knowing flaunting of the laws of the game. Don't believe any kind of watering down of language that may be brought forth in the coming days. It was no mistake, or an error of judgement. It was blatant cheating. And the penalties for this must be severe. And not just from the ICC.

What has happened to the Australian team? We sledge mercilessly and without favour constantly, but suddenly carry on like school kids as soon as someone dares to do the same thing back at us. We ignore how poorly our home crowds treat opposition players and teams in Australia, but complain to the referee and the media the second it happens to us in overseas conditions. We dare to call others cheats when they appear to contravene the rules, but somehow expect that when we try to do the same thing we won't get caught, and when we do we expect that an apology and saying we'll never do it again should be enough to end the matter. The question has been asked for some time but never really answered, as to why it appears that the only series that seem to have bad relations between the teams playing are the ones that Australia play in.

Steve Smith is embarrassed by this? AUSTRALIAN CRICKET SUPPORTERS ARE EMBARRASSED BY THIS!!! These last few weeks have made ALL Australians feel awkward and nauseous about our own team. Their conduct overall has been appalling, and so far it appears nothing has been done to rectify it and pull these players back into line and reminded of the privilege they have of representing our country and the way they should behave to uphold it. It has been bad enough recently, but this is the final straw. South Africa - and the world - are now laughing at Australian cricket and its followers. Our team and its leaders have made a mockery of the game of cricket and how it should be played.

Whoever is a part of this so-called 'leadership group' that decided this tactic should be used, should be immediately suspended by Cricket Australia for the 4th Test. Steve Smith must immediately fall on his sword, or if he won't, then Cricket Australia must sack him as captain, and also ensure anyone who was a part of this decision never captains Australia again.The board also needs to come in and set the terms to what is acceptable behaviour on the cricket field and what is not, starting from now. The players may well have thought that they were in charge of the show after their victory in regards to the Memorandum of Understanding back in August, but they have forfeited any of that with their deplorable actions in recent times. This is the board's chance to show why it exists. This cannot be tolerated any longer, and if CA doesn't show strength in this then we forfeit any right to consider ourselves as leaders in the cricket world again.

I feel sick this morning, and it has nothing to do with what I drank last night. This is a line in the sand moment. Let's see if cricket in Australia has the leadership and moral conscience to fix this properly immediately.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Jessibill: Death By Multimedia. Episode 16

This week on Episode 16:

Crap That Jess Has Been Watching On YouTube! – It's more amazing stuff from Jessica as she introduces us to Ryan Higa, yet another doofus who seems to be able to make a living off YouTube, while Bill reminisces on the loss of Stephen Hawking by tracking down all the TV shows he appeared in.

Rubbish Songs Jess and Bill Have Been Listening To – Yet another amazing playlist of ten awesome songs put together for your pleasure, with Jess giving us a series of songs that have stuck in her head this week, and Bill gives us some songs that may sound familiar but that you just can't place where they come from.

Crap Movies Bill is Forcing Jess to Watch! – "GET TO THE CHOPPER!!!" Yes, Arnie is back in his biggest and baddest film, along with some other crazies and a super performance by the main bad guy as we lose ourselves in the awesome action adventure that is PREDATOR.

There’s Something on the TV! – Jessica is still obsessed with VOLTRON and gives us the low down now she has reached Series 4, while Bill tries to work out who the murderer is every week in the long running British crime show DEATH IN PARADISE








Thursday, March 15, 2018

AFL Prediction 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Jessibill: Death By Multimedia. Episode 15

This week on Episode 15:

Crap That Jess Has Been Watching On YouTube! – Jess has decided that everything is up for grabs and to be torn down by anarchists as she gives us the good oil on the Film Theory channel on YouTube, while Bill relives a classic from his past as he tries to explain through his laughter the worst version ever of Europe's "The Final Countdown".

Rubbish Songs Jess and Bill Have Been Listening To – This week's playlist contains Bill trying to show that he doesn't only listen to 1980's heavy metal, while Jessica instead shows us her complete fixation on everything My Chemical Romance.

Crap Movies Bill is Forcing Jess to Watch! – When it comes to comedy that comes from the 2000's rather than the 1980's, you can still find a ridiculous movie with no storyline and a bomb spent on how it looks and still comes up with the goods. This week we delve into Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson's touched-by-genius movie entitled ZOOLANDER.

There’s Something on the TV!
– Bill has been watching the excellent Aziz Ansari in his latest role of Dev Shah in the critically acclaimed MASTER OF NONE, while Jess has spent four non-stop days staring at her iPad and taking on what appears to Bill to be the ridiculous and far fetched antics of VOLTRON.





Saturday, March 10, 2018

APCC Under 11 Golds: Round 18 vs Albion Park Green

ROUND 18. Albion Park Under 11 Gold Vs. Albion Park Green at Keith Irvine Oval. March 10, 2018.

Well done by the local (or not local) idiots who decided to dig up the ground at Con O’Keefe Oval on Friday night, which meant that instead of the local derby between the Albion Park Under 11A Golds against Greens being played at home, it had to be shifted to Keith Irvine Oval. It made for a disrupted start to the game.

With the relocation achieved, the Golds won the toss and elected to field against a very good opponent, and with both teams fielding six players. The Golds overall bowled well, but also too short and not full enough to put any real pressure on the batsmen, who ran well between the wickets and generally batted terrifically. For the Green team, openers Aiden Campion (20) and Will Schofield (18) both hit the ball well, selected the gaps and ran hard between the wickets. Jordy Marshall (8) and Lucas Glover (7) showed good technique, Lucas especially batting with great composure for his age, and both had good initiative between the wickets. Liam Clinch (8) only suffered from trying to hit the ball too hard and too far, while Riley Hayes (26) is nothing if not entertaining when he is at the crease and played some lovely shots.

The star with the ball today was Bodhie Rodda. He has been working hard all season to get his bowling action right and get the ball down the wicket and as straight as possible. Today, it all came together for him, as he bowled three full overs, and only four of those were no balls, and only two of his deliveries bounced more than once. It was a fantastic effort from a young boy whose passion for bowling has never floundered over the course of the season. Success is not always measured in wickets. Today it was measured in line and length, and Bodhie today was the star of that measure. Well done Bodhie!
As was mentioned, the ball had to be straight and full today, and the kids couldn’t quite get it there. Lucas Brown picked up the only wicket of the innings, surprisingly enough with a ball that was full and straight. He also fell foul of having his cap as his marker, which cost him five runs when a straight drive hit it perfectly. His four overs today finished with 1/20. Max Sciberras and Charlotte Rodda bowled some good deliveries today, mixed with some wide no balls to go in their bag of liquorice all-sorts. Max finished with 0/14 from three overs, and Charlotte with 0/22 from three overs. Blake Ison tried hard to get the ball straight but found it drifting down leg side too often to be effective. His three overs cost 0/17. Josh Peters was a little wayward today but still managed to find the edge of the bat on a few occasions and asked questions of the batsmen. His four overs cost him 0/13, and he just failed to take a screamer at square leg as well.

After their twenty overs, the Green Eagles had lost just the one wicket and scored 124 runs, with 87 of those coming off the bat.

The Golds went in to bat with instructions to be positive but keep wickets to a minimum. The Greens bowled very impressively, by keeping it simple and bowling the ball in the right areas. The spin options were excellent, with Liam’s left arm orthodox (0/17) and Lucas’ right arm leg spin (2/21) great to watch, asking questions of the batsmen with flight and length. Will (0/8) and Aiden (2/2) both showed exactly how faster bowlers need to bowl in this age group – full and straight, which not only offered wicket-taking chances but tied up the runs as well. Great stuff. Jordy (1/12) and Riley (0/8) were also both good in their spells at the crease. Along with the excellent wicket-keeping of Riley and Liam, and the up-tempo fielding, the Greens showed why they have been so successful this season.

Through all of this, the Golds stuck to their fight. Josh and Lucas opened the batting, and kept out the good balls, looked to find the singles, and tried to dispatch the loose deliveries. Josh has had a great season with the bat and again showed his improved patience and picking the right ball to hit today, hitting three boundaries in his top score of 23. He was well supported by Lucas, and their understanding in their partnership helped to push the score along. Lucas showed good defence again today in his innings of 4. Blake batted at three and would have scored more runs if he had played straighter rather than trying to whip everything to leg. He still made 11 good runs.

At the halfway mark the Golds were 0/52, which compared well to the Greens at the same stage, who had been 0/56. The fact that the Golds did not lose a wicket until the 12th over was a great effort from the batting unit. Eventually the excellence of he Greens bowling came through, and six wickets were lost in the innings. Max was not one of those, and he again showed his improvement in getting his front foot out to the pitch of the ball, and he played a couple of lovely punches in his innings of two runs. Bodhie again showed he has an excellent pull shot, and also defended a couple of good balls off his middle stump, which was pleasing to see. He made two today in his innings. However, the shot of the day came from Charlotte, who waiting for the right ball, and then pulled in hard and high to the mid-wicket boundary for her first four of the season. Great stuff Charlotte, let’s hope we see a few more of those next week!

At the end of their twenty overs, the Golds had lost six wickets for 71 runs, of which 47 had come off the bat.
With wicket penalties added, the Greens ran out convincing winners of the match by 148 to 75. Congratulations to Mick and his team, they are a very good cricket team who play in the right spirit and with plenty of skill.

I was especially proud of the way the young Gold team fought out today. Apart from the last five overs of their bowling, their fielding was good and mostly enthusiastic. The wind came out of their sails a little in the last few overs. Then the batting showed a purpose, and they stuck it out against some very good bowling from their Green opponents without dropping their heads. They may have lost their last two games, but they have not stopped trying against their excellent opposition, and they should be rightly proud of their efforts.

There is one game left in the season, and the Golds will be playing the first placed Oak Flats Blue side to complete their year. Hopefully they will put in one last effort and give the Oak Flats team a real run for their money next week.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Jessibill: Death By Multimedia. Episode 14

This week on Episode 14:

There’s Something on the TV! – Jess does an excellent impression of a politician, but explaining to us that she is watching a brand new show called EVERYTHING SUCKS but that she can't reveal anything about it. Awesome. On the other hand, Bill has been binging on FAMILY FEUD for reasons that he would prefer not to reveal.

Crap Movies Bill is Forcing Jess to Watch! – The switch from comedy to action at the last minute meant that Bill had to bring in a film related somewhat to a film she saw last year but didn't enjoy. This week we go t the wilderness for FIRST BLOOD.

Album Review Switcheroo! – With Jessie's albums having dried up it's time to go in a new direction, and so we present to you our weekly playlist of ten songs, five from each of us, and we give you a run down on why we like them, and even give you a chance to experience it yourself! This week, it's cover songs.

Crap That Jess Has Been Watching On YouTube! – Jess has found more Vine madness in the eyes of ISSA TWAIMZ who is also apparently hilarious. If that is even possible.




Saturday, March 3, 2018

APCC Under 11 Golds: Round 17 vs Gerringong Green

ROUND 17. Vs. Gerringong Green at Boxsell Reserve. March 3, 2018.

OK. Well, it is fair to say that the Albion Park Gold Under 11A team discovered the gap between the excellent work they have put in during this season, and what they must do if they want to be one of the teams at the top of the tree. And though they may have gone down in their match today against Gerringong Green, they certainly didn’t lower their heads. In fact, parts of today’s cricket were the very best this team has achieved all season, and that is saying something.

Skipper Max Sciberras won the toss and elected to bowl, and the Eagles kids were absolutely superb, something which was remarked upon by many from the opposing team. Their fielding topped everything they have done this season, although they were helped by the slow and spongey outfield which kept the ball within reach at all times. Unlike the sleepyheads of last week, this week the whole team was on their toes and superb in the field. There were again two direct hit run outs, one from Blake from mid-wicket and one from Lucas from deep cover with the batsmen chasing two. Both of these two have been dynamite in the field this season and showed it off again today. Blake also took an excellent catch at mid-wicket off Max’s bowling to inspire the first wicket of the day.

It was a very spongey and dewey outfield, and the Gerringong team did well to total 71 runs off their allotted twenty overs, which the Eagles complemented with five wickets, in what was a masterclass of Under 11 fielding. That they also did this by pushing themselves to this excellence, and not by being hounded by their coach, was the most satisfying part of the whole exercise. They were quite terrific. The backing up was good, and the keepers Josh and Kane both did a great job.

Kane Rex bowled two terrific overs today, straight and making the batsmen play every ball. It was a shame it was his week to keep and he couldn’t bowl any more overs than he did. He finished with 0/6. Blake Ison’s first two overs were superb again today, but he got a bit tired and down leg side in his final two overs. Perhaps the coach is over bowling him. He finished with 0/17. Charlotte Rodda mixed some good deliveries with some average deliveries, and for the first time in weeks failed to take a wicket. You can’t take them all the time. She took 0/14 from her three overs. Bohdie Rodda though was fabulous, with only five no balls today in his two overs. He can be rightly proud of his effort, and figures of 0/9. That practice is paying off. Max too only got two overs today, which was an oversight by his coach. His first over was a beauty, and his second not bad either. He finished with 1/6 from those overs, and will certainly get more bowling next week. Josh Peters had the opposing team singing his praises, and though it will be a biased comment again, his first over today was the over of the season. He bowled three overs and finished with 0/6. He is bowling in the wrong age group. The star again though was Lucas Brown, whose four sensational overs produced figures of 2/8, with another caught and bowled and a bowled with a double bouncer, his worst ball of the day. He keeps coming back at the batsmen even when he bowls a bad ball and never hangs his head. Great stuff Lucas.

For the first time since the very start of the season, the Eagles kids faced a bowling attack that was simply too good for them. When you have four or five kids with the ability to bowl the ball full and straight and move it in the air, it is a massive test for your batting skills, especially your defensive unit. I’m not sure they were so good that they didn’t bowl a wide no ball for the entire innings, but it was another level of bowling from what Albion Park Gold has faced in some time. The slow outfield also stopped any chance for the boundary hitters to get into gear, and as a result it was a tough time with the bat.

Despite this, no one dropped their head, and they all adapted well by the end of their innings. Charlotte and Max opened and faced the best of the bowlers, and although they were both bowled twice by almost unplayable deliveries, they stuck to their task and never gave in. Max especially played some lovely straight shots once he realised that this was where the bowling was aimed, and his three runs was worth much more on any other ground and on any other day. Well done Max, that was a tough innings and very well played. Charlotte also looked to play more shots this week and was also frustrated by the outfield. She still showed a lot of positive signs. Blake played an excellent innings today, and his score of 2 does not reflect that at all. He often had to adjust his stroke late to cover the delivery that he faced and he did this terrifically. He also wore a couple on his thigh and a full toss to his ribs, so he fought hard under adversity. Sometimes the number of runs you score does not show just how good an innings you have played. This was Blake today.
Bohdie tried hard under the conditions but jut couldn’t get the ball through the outfield, despite some nice strokes to mid-wicket. Kane came out positively and looked to dominate when the opportunity arose, which was good to see. He played forward much better today and as a result he looked much more comfortable at the crease. He made 3 good runs. Lucas and Josh put together a good partnership at the close, punching for singles and looking to be positive while keeping out the good deliveries, of which there were a few. Lucas especially took on the best of the Gerringong bowlers in the final over, getting forward and hitting every delivery in the middle of the bat, diffusing him perfectly, while also calling for two good singles. 4 not out today was worth a lot more than that. Well done Lucas. Josh still is hitting the ball a bit too aerial for his coach’s liking, but he also remained not out on 10.

After wicket penalties were added, Gerringong Green had run out victors by 99 to 51, and though they did win comfortably, the margin does not prove to be a fair reflection on how tough the game was fought by the Eagles kids. As I said, their fielding effort today was the best of the season, and after initial adjusting in the batting each of the kids handled themselves well against a very good attack. I was very proud of the way they handled themselves today.

Next Saturday the Golds will play the Greens in the Under 11 local derby at the home of junior cricket Con O’Keefe Oval. I hope we will see a big turnout of parents and relatives to see two very good teams play each other. No matter what the result, I feel sure you will see just how good the future looks for Albion Park cricket by the skills and ability of these 12-14 young kids coming through from their Under 11 competition.