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The Rock-itt : April 2011
Despite the disappointment of the Manly 1st Grade’s failure to make the finals series, two sides did make it to this stage of the season. 3 rd Grade Captained by form er 1 st Grade all- rounder, Craig Little, and 5 th Grade Captained by Dave Farrell. 2nd Grade missed out by a whisker at Manly Oval last week end, off the very last ball of their season. W estern Suburbs DCC, needing 13 to win off the last over, managed it off the final ball much to the dismay of the entire Club, and pushed Manly out of the Finals series. 4th Grade was never really in contention due primarily to a poor start to the season, which manifested itself in game after game of top order collapses. Captain Joel Mason was the only player to consistently score well until Rowley Alexander made a tim ely return from a serial hamstring injury after Christmas. With older players falling away, qualification was always going to be a bridge too far. 3rd Grade play Hawkesbury at Manly Oval in the Quarter Final having ended up in 1 st place as Minor Premiers for the second season running. A blend of youth and experience has been the magic that has made this a very successful side for the last two summers and Craig has been able to nurture a few new players during the season, who have at times played in 2 nd Grade as well as4 th Grade. The chief run scorer has been Matt Cranney but contributions from other younger players like Adam Gummer, Javed Badyari, and Reece Hodge have added valuable support to the side’s progress. 5th Grade elected to play Bankstown at L M Graham’s Reserve. Bankstown with arguably the competition’s best batsmen this year, were well acquainted with the “road- like” qualities of Mike Pawley Oval, and with two Shires teams playing alongside each other, the opportunity to play at Manly’s number 2 ground was not to be missed. Dave Farrell’s team of youngsters have done marvellously well this summer as a team, without any one player being outstanding, surely a wonderful example of leadership in it’s pure form. Report by Simon Lyon, Photography by Ian Bird