Eels batsmen take to the 'Dogs
A stunning Spring day at Memorial Oval saw the Bankstown Sports sponsored Bankstown side take on Parramatta in Round 5 of the SCA Premier 1st Grade competition. Parramatta skipper Nick Bertus won the toss and elected to bat on a hard wicket with even grass cover. Play commenced at 10.30am and the visitors got away to a steady start. As the match was being played on 11th November, to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918, both teams and match officials stood as one at 11am as a video of The Ode and Last Post was played on the digital scoreboard.
The visitors lost their first wicket with the score on 37 when Tim Ward was caught by Ben Taylor off the bowling of Mitch Brown. A 76 run second wicket partnership between Will Affleck and Nic Bertus was ended when Thunder Academy paceman Nathan McAndrew had Affleck caught by Ethan Leten for 58. This is kind of where the joy ended for the Bulldogs as Parramatta’s multi-skilled skipper-wicket-keeper-batsman Bertus took control of the game in compiling a magnificent 206 not out from 225 balls – including 22 fours and 3 sixes for the visitors' 4 declared for 430. Bertus received good support from Brenton Cherry (104) in a monster 253-run third wicket partnership. While the visitors were classy the young Bulldogs outfit was heartily urged on by skipper Michael Stretton throughout the long day and the side never stopped searching for a breakthrough. Pace duo Nathan McAndrew (1/49) and Rhys Williams (1/83) toiled through 35 overs while the irrepressible all-rounder Mitch Brown was at his probing best, snaring 2/84 from 18 overs. Young quick Wallace Marshal and spinners Ben Le Bas and Ben Taylor found it difficult to get much life or turn from the rock-hard surface but they will no doubt learn heaps from playing against such experienced campaigners as the Parramatta outfit. Not wanting to give the home side any relief Bertus declared leaving the Bulldogs to face seven overs before stumps. Openers Daniel Solway and Ethan Leten look comfortable until the very last over when Leten was caught in two minds by a short ball outside off stump and was caught for 16 with the stumps score 1/20. The resilient Bulldogs side will be back at 10.30 next Saturday at Memorial knowing they face an uphill task but never for one second doubting their ability to chase down the Parramatta total.
A cracking start to the Bulldog’s innings from young openers Matt Simpson and Zeeshaan Ahmed saw the Joel Brockley-led Premier Second Grade side post a competitive 266 at Old Kings Oval. Simpson reproduced the form that saw him lead the second grade batting performance list in 2016/17 as he hit nine 4s, compiling 73 from 150 balls. Ahmed was equally impressive with a quality 57 off 125 balls as he and Simpson added 124 for the first wicket. Skipper Brockley joined Simpson and the pair took the score to 2/148 but the middle order, filled with quality players Chris Ridley (6) Tommie Sowden (5) Cam Middleton (10) and