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The Rock-itt : October 2009
Dust off your pads and your caps and pull on the whites. Pre Season is over. Summer is here! Well, it was until the opening day of the Grade Season on Saturday around the Peninsula, when we were greeted with very strong gale force winds which contrived to ruin everyone's enjoyment. Manly has a new 1st Grade Captain in Adam Crosthwaite, who hails from Richmond in Melbourne and his arrival plus a number of other exciting new developments that have been evolving over the past year or so. Otherwise all the Captains are the same as last year. Adam brings a certain aura with him which has seemingly caught on; old Manly players keen to impress are training harder than ever. New players joining the Club from all over the State are finding the setup much to their liking. Manly's first opponent this season was Western Suburbs, a Club boasting a proud record in One Day Limited Over Games. As three of the 5 Grade all had home venues, Manly had a distinct advantage playing on the Village Green and despite recording a relatively humble total of 217 off their 50 overs, the 1st Grade side notched up a fine win by bowling out the visitors for only 144 in reply. Nat Hill on debut in 1st Grade scored a superb 95 and with 4 wickets to Corrie Boss and 3 to Billy the Kid Lindsay effectively destroyed West's run chase. In 2nd Grade chasing West's total of 5-236 Manly passed their total with overs to spare thanks to a brilliant knock of 78 by former 1st Grader Luke Cameron. Under the guidance of another former 1st Grader, Craig "Jeannie" Little who scored a fine half century and took 2 wickets for 4 runs, Manly bowled out the visitors at LM Grahams Reserve for 189 and passed them 3 down thanks to a savage debut innings of 102 not out from former Warringah Shires player Geoff Isaacs to gain the crucial bonus points. This innings included three sixes the final one taking him to his maiden century for the Club...on DEBUT! Remarkably Geoff didn't even know he was near a ton! In 4th Grade under the intelligent tutelage of Rowley Alexander, another former Manly 1st Grader, Manly notched up a massive score of 8-298 thanks to fine innings' by Logan Weston 59, Joint Club Captain Joel Mason 49 and Max Carter 48. West's could only manage 222 all out in reply with Dylan Marshall taking 3 wickets on his first appearance in 4th Grade. So to 5th Grade at Mike Pawley Oval. Sadly things didn't go quite according to plan and the visitors amassed 247 on a docile pitch and Manly could only manage 142 in reply. With some senior players in the side this was disappointing but the loss of the toss was a contributory factor as was the cross field gale that made bowling and fielding a nightmare. So 4 out of 5 Grades winning was a wonderful start for the Club and for the Club Coach, David Gainsford, who has put in so much time and effort throughout the close season and pre season. The fact that the Trials were a success and the training at the new surface at Narrabeen David has brought a band of followers/workers with him to the Grade Club, many of them parents or Cricket tragic, who have been very much a part of the rebuilding process that Manly has undergone in the past 4 seasons. Hopes are high for some resounding successes this summer so watch this space. With over 90 players turning up for the pre Season's activities, selections were always going to be hard, and leaving anyone out was not a palatable choice.