The penultimate round of the XXXX Gold Grade competition proved a difficult one of the ‘Buls, as the Western Suburbs Bulldogs proved their bark was in fact as bad as their bite as 5 out of 6 grades suffered emphatic defeats.
It was only Sixth Grade who flew the winners flag for the ‘Buls thanks to a massive first innings score at Chelmer Sports Ground. Matt Lynn plundered another ton (102), after belting a big century against University post-Christmas break. He was ably supported by Jack Lane, who fell on the devils number (87), agonisingly close to his ton. Their individual efforts meant Toombul raced to 9/345 off 60 overs, before closing their innings to have a crack at the wounded Dogs. Brad Sporn continued his good form, snaring 4/46 and Lynn chimed in with three wickets to add to his impressive game, seeing home the ‘Buls for a 144 first innings win.
In First Grade, the ‘Buls were skittled for a meagre 130 in reply to Wests score of 9/348 (dec) on an up and down Graceville wicket. No one registered a score above 30 for Toombul, with Sam Rowley topping a miserable looking scorecard with 27. Wests didn’t have all the running, going into lunch at 4/100 and the game evenly poised at lunch on day one. But it was former ‘Bul, Chris Sabburg, who rode his luck and dispatched some ill-disciplined bowling on his way to a well-made ton, taking away the momentum from Toombul. Josh Shuard was frugal over his 18 overs, and took 4 wickets for 47 but was offered little assistance from his fellow bowlers.
Second Grade had the Dogs on the rack but failed to capitalise on day one at La Frantz Oval. Taking five wickets for 124, Toombul were well on top, but squandered their opportunity as Wests piled on a massive total, making 449 in one day. Declaring overnight, Toombul were sent in and despite some solid starts, their innings crumbled for 163. Ben Armstrong (39) and Jacob Wood (35) were the main resistance in the first innings. Asked to bat again, and staring down the barrel of outright defeat, opener Sammy Thomson stepped up to compile a well-made 78 to ensure that Wests would only claim a first innings win.
Like their colleagues in first and second grade, Third Grade were on the end of a solid walloping on Graceville 2. Batting first, the ‘Buls could only amass 149 from 65 overs. Wests then put the ‘Buls bowlers to the sword, smashing 361 in a brutal display.
Over at Judy Holt Park, Fourth Grade were rolled for 136 batting first. Will McEniery Wallace top scored with 32 and Dom Barrett fought hard to scrap 25 from 94 balls. The ‘Buls were left disappointed they couldn’t fight harder to build a bigger score, as they ended up running through Wests for 162. Sanjeev Choudhary claimed a well-earned five-wicket haul (5/47) and was well backed up by Ryan Carrington (3/48).
Up against Souths on La Frantz Oval, Fifth Grade couldn’t break their losing streak, as they fell 104 runs short of the Magpies total. Winning the toss and electing to bat, Souths swooped on some indifferent ‘Buls bowling to reach 307 from 67 overs on a batsman friendly wicket. Even with the conditions up against him, Harry Poteri had the Maggies under his spell, taking 5/70 from 20 overs. The ‘Buls weren’t able to reel the total in, but have Ryan ‘Castaway’ Wilson to thank for salvaging a reasonable score. He batted like a man possessed, more possessed than Tom Hanks chasing his befriended ball out to sea in Robert Zemeckis acclaimed drama. Wilson was left stranded on 72 not out, as the ‘Buls were bowled out for 203. Only Matt Stimpson offered a helping hand with 41.
Over the coming two weekends, the season will draw to a close for all grades with the exception of Fifth Grade, who regardless of the result, appear to be bound for finals cricket (4th place all but guaranteed). For the remaining grades, it’s a matter of playing for pride in the treasured Toombul District Cricket Club badge.
In the season finale all Toombul Sides will take on the Wynnum-Manly Sea Eagles with Second, Fourth and Sixth Grade making the trip over the Gateway. First Grade and Fifth Grade will play at home on La Frantz oval, while Third Grade will make the trip out to Judy Holt Park.