Stockdale sparkles as the Sharks secure TDCA crown

They are the champions: Ex Students celebrates after winning the TDCA A Grade premiership. photograph tyron branwell


IT WAS a day of redemption for Ex Students on Saturday, defeating Glengarry on their home
ground of Fred King Oval in a grand final re-match from the year before.
It was a match which resembled more of an arm wrestle than a game of one-day cricket, with both clubs getting themselves into good positions at different stages throughout the match, but, by the end of the day only one winner could be crowned.
Ex Students won the toss and batted first on a very hard Glengarry wicket.
Some overnight rain meant the outfield was a little damp and cloud cover early would mean the new ball should do some tricks for the Magpies bowlers which could have given them the edge.
Ex Students skipper Lee Stockdale faced the first ball of the innings and got off strike quickly only to then watch as his opening partner Matt Dyke was struck plumb in front off the first ball he faced.
Matt Robertson then came to the crease and survived a shout or two but never looked comfortable as he tried to pull a ball a little too far away from his body and ended up getting a leading edge to first slip.
At 2/11, Glengarry was up and about as Cam Graham had both wickets and was looking at
emulating what he achieved the week before with a devastating opening spell to finish with a five wicket haul.
James Pryde then calmed things down for Ex Students and put on a 47-run partnership with
his captain before being dismissed for 22.
A couple more fell relatively quickly after Pryde’s dismissal and the Sharks after fighting back the momentum of the match were all of sudden 5/76.
Rick Battista then came to the crease with great intent and quickly knocked up 23 of his own before Graham snicked him off and again Glengarry had wrestled back the match to be in their favour.
There was one issue for the Magpies though which they just couldn’t solve and that problem was Lee Stockdale who was batting superbly, lifting the scoring rate and then playing defensive as the game required all the while knowing that the match rested firmly on his shoulders.
When little brother Michael Stockdale replaced Battista, the brothers through a combination of hard running and smart stroke play took the score to 177, putting on a partnership of 67.
At the compulsory closure of the innings Ex Students were 6/177 with Lee Stockdale playing
the quintessential captain’s knock finishing the innings on a brilliant 91 not out.
All of Glengarry’s bowlers toiled hard in the face of what was a magnificent individual batting performance with Graham being the best claiming 3/35 from his 10 overs.
The Magpies had the task ahead of them and knowing that runs against the new ball would be crucial Al Jenkin and Frank Marks got to work, ticking the score over at five an over for the first seven overs.
The Sharks captain quickly threw the ball to Michael Warne in an absolute masterstroke as the leg-spinner quickly dismissed TDCA player of the year Jenkin to a ball he flayed to point.
This brought the big wicket of Nat Freitag to the crease, but as soon as he came to the crease, he was departing to the bowling of Warne in a shot that he would have liked to probably have again.
Freitag tried to attack the bowling of Warne only to find Jack Robertson at mid-on to be out
caught for two.
Pryde then bowled number four batsman Sam Marks while Warne continued to apply the
pressure before it got too much for Frank Marks (16) and the Sharks were swarming on the Magpies.
This meant Hamish Busk and Paul Henry were now at the crease and set about the fightback, from being all sorts the two middle order batsmen were able to build a good partnership and quickly had Glengarry 4/100 after 35 overs.
Warne had bowled out by this stage and after Jack Robertson bowled five overs for 21, the old ball specialist Mitch Harris came on to bowl and broke the partnership thanks to an almighty catch from Kade Duncan at mid-off.
Busk departed soon after for 31, bowled by Harris but the score was still ticking over and with 57 to get Nick Grainger and Ben Marks would have been confident in getting the total close enough to set some panic into Ex Students.
Sensing the moment though Lee Stockdale brought himself on and bowled the dangerous
Grainger, which then spelt the end for Glengarry as they lost their last two wickets for no runs to be bowled out for 124.
Ex Students bowling unit was fantastic with Mitch Harris finishing with the best figures of 4/21
while Stockdale claimed two himself.
The pick of the bowlers was certainly Warne though as he changed the game early claiming
the big three of Glengarry (Jenkin, Frank Marks and Freitag) to finish with figures of 3/11 from 10 overs which included three maidens.
Although Ex Students won by 53 runs the match was certainly a lot closer than the scoreline
The umpires had no hesitation in awarding Ex Students captain Lee Stockdale, the Laurie Blake player of the grand final and with Ex Students Under-10s and Under-12 players on hand to present the players their premiership medallions the day was made even more special for the club who had a massive amount of supporters in attendance.