REED ‘EM AND WEEP: B-GRADERS HAVE A ‘BARRY’ AGAINST BINGLES
Killara Bingles captain Julian Nicholls said mid-week his side would enjoy the challenge of stepping up to B-Grade in the NSCA. Well… a challenge is finally what the Bingles got on Saturday, when they put the stomp on their new comp with an exciting and tenacious win over Old Ignatian’s Colts in Artarmon. Under murky Sydney skies, the Bingles were asked to strut their stuff with the bat by the side that they’d relegated from third to fourth. Less than impressed with Killara’s elevation, the Colts unleashed a quality seam attack and the back benders were in charge early. In what would become an ugly and repetitive theme for the B-Grade new boys The Penman had his castle, and temper, shattered in the fourth over of the innings. Two overs later and another longwinded surname was trudging off the ground, Luke Achterstraat playing-on to ruin his dismissal-free season. It seemed as though the Bingles’ top order had missed Nicholls’ memo about the step up in class. The keeper batsman played with a freedom and execution that clearly escaped his teammates, stroking a multitude of deliveries over mid wicket and down the ground through mid on and mid off. Unperturbed by Nicholls aggression, the Colts continued on with stump to stump bowling that dispatched Killara’s entire middle order; the Bingles’ batting imploding abysmally for the first time in 2012. Amongst an agitating mayhem Nicholls powered on, blasting his way to 50 at more than a runa-ball with three consecutive boundaries. In William Reed the skipper seemed to have found an able ally capable of guiding the Bingles towards 150. Alas on the final ball of the 25th over, the captain holed out to a leaping grab at square leg trying to flick a low full pitcher through the onside. Some calculated and valuable hitting from Reed with support from Jack Mansfield and James True saw the total reach 125 but hopes of a fifth consecutive win to open the season appeared over. Certainly The Penman thought so. However as the next 20 overs unfolded this scribe witnessed two of the most devastating spells of bowling seen in a 12-year cricket career. Handed the new ball, Reed fired up his delightful combination of pace and swing. The stringy opening bowler was dazzling, nipping numerous deliveries inside and outside the bat before trapping his opponent, a Michael Clarke wanabe, in front for an early LBW. The dismissal turned a slightly belated fielding side into a snarling beast; sledges flying thick and fast as they had done from the Colts earlier in the afternoon. But sharp words always cut a little deeper with runs on the board and pressure mounting. Too deep in fact for Old Ignatians other opener, whose only solution to Reed’s oppressive line and length was a wild swing straight from the Afridi school of batting. Needless to say, it cost him his wicket. While Reed was bedazzling the batsmen, Jared Barry’s introduction was nothing short of dangerous. The 120kg front rower come fast bowler was on song from his first ball. His spell contained genuine pace and rearing bounce; he struck the batsmen, in particular the opposing captain, on numerous occasions. Barry’s beautiful session of brutality would yield wickets later but Reed was the immediate beneficiary, snaring two more poles as his impeccable display gave the Bingles an unlikely upper hand. Reed no doubt deserved more than four wickets but having returned the entire top order on his own he received a rousing reception on completion of his eight overs. Still reeling from Reed’s havoc, the Colts found themselves lambs to Barry’s slaughter. His hellish bowling drawing false shots from batsmen trying to either get off strike or score runs. Neither pursuit came with any success except for Barry who found himself on a hat trick shortly before drinks. The interval arrived with the Bingles now favourites and closing in on a victory that just 90 minutes ago
seemed further away than a premiership for the NSW Waratahs. Only stubborn resistance from Old Ignatians chief niggler, known as ‘Tait’, stood between Killara and a win for the ages. Dylan Ross berated Tait incessantly through his innings, so much so that he was reduced to pleading for sympathy from Nicholls. His pleas fell on deaf ears and loud mouths as the banter went up a notch though the bowling, it must be said, stalled somewhat. The Penman’s introduction produced mixture of four balls and ripe peaches that frustrated a side on the brink of triumph. Tait found support from the tail and was close to dragging his side back to within touching distance of the six points. However a change of line did the trick for The Penman, with Tait chopping a wide ball onto his stumps, unleashing… well lets just say they were boisterous celebrations from the bowler. “You thought you’d won Wimbledon” said Nicholls to his medium pacer as the Bingles crowded around waiting for the last batsmen to make his way to the crease. Upon reaching the wicket, Old Ignatians number 11 was promptly stumped off the bowling of James True, but match winning celebrations were thwarted by the square leg umpire whose blatant cheating to deny the appeal will be remembered for the return battle. From there nerves appeared to strike the Bingles as two whopping sixes took the Colts past 100, raising hopes of a heroic last wicket stand. Despite a renowned reputation for choking, Nicholls was happy to leave it to The Penman and the decision paid off. Old Ignatians running out of luck in the 29th over, their number 10 skying a good length delivery to square leg where Reed, quite fittingly, held the match winning catch. It was mentioned on numerous occasions after stumps how satisfying the result was for the Bingles; a team whose main aim this season was to keep the beers cold and the sausages from burning. Nicholls, Reed and Barry displayed immeasurable skill over the course of the afternoon and for once, at the death, The Penman showed a bit of reliability when it mattered. Perhaps most pleasing for the skipper was that his side never gave up and never kicked the bucket. This weekend the sniff of victory was more tantalising than the one wafting from the BBQ. And while Killara may have showed only patches of their ability, belief in one and other and sheer enjoyment of each other’s company came together to create their most endearing display yet.