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The Rock-itt : February 2010
As February approaches and the school holidays near the end, all cricket teams on the Northern Beaches are gearing up to find their best teams for the March finals series. A feast of International cricket on the TV with the added bonus of the KFC Big Bash has been our pleasure during the month of January. At Manly the most junior team, the Under 16's Green Shield squad has been superb throughout the Christmas break and lost only one game on its way to the final, to be played this Australia Day at Blacktown Stadium. In all departments of the game these young men led by Javed Badyari, who was recently promoted to 3rd Grade, have excelled. The bowling of Reece Hodge, the all round performances by Ryan Farrell, the batting of Jarrod Rawlings and the constantly improving wicket keeping of Sam Webber not to mention all the other fine performances of all the other member of the 16 man squad have been a revelation to all who have witnessed it. Add that to the excitement of the Twenty20 tournaments, designed by the Sydney Cricket Association (SCA) this season to develop the necessary playing skills from around all the Sydney Grade Clubs and we find the Manly team also in the Finals to be played at the same venue on Australia Day out at Blacktown, after the Green Shield match is over. On Sunday at Manly Oval, a strong and determined Manly side thrashed their visitors Campbelltown-Camden (the Ghosts) in front of a large crowd, and a well populated hill, festooned with Hawaiian shirts, a couple of buglers and plenty of refreshments. The atmosphere was electric. Captain Crosthwaite belted 62 runs off a bewildered Ghosts attack and then Tim Cruickshank followed suit with a fine half century. Manly posted a score 0f 157 off their 20 overs, which many around the ground thought was about par. The bowlers were not to be outdone and with wickets tumbling Andrew Lindsay wanted a piece of the action. On a hat trick he could only manage 3 wickets in 4 balls much to the delight of the Hill spectators who by this time had employed a Hawaiian Wave, accompanied by the usual BOOS as the Members in the Pavilion failed to join in. With quality fielding and bowling the home side won comfortably. So the prospect of two Manly sides out at Blacktown on Australia Day competing for the Grade Club's first silverware for many years holds much excitement. Let's hope the Manly Boys can bring both trophies home. Not to forget the Grade Club's own successes at the weekend. Grades 2-5 all beat their opposition, Campbelltown-Camden with 3rd Grade excelling under the guidance of Craig Little, beating the Ghosts by 9 wickets in an easy win at Raby Road to gain two bonus points to keep them at the top of the ladder. 5th Grade finally won a tight game, but only just, thanks to some excellent spin bowling by Jarrod Walter with 5 wickets and stylish bating by Jarrod Baker with 44 quick runs. In fact it was a great weekend for the BAKER BOYS, with younger brother Aidan, smashing an unbeaten 82 in 2nd Grade.