By Randall Woodley
It was a disappointing day last Saturday for the Tewantin-Noosa Thunder’s First Grade and Sixths Grade teams. The grounds at Read Park and Dale Officer Oval had not dried out from the heavy rain during the week and both matches were abandoned for the day. First Grade were playing arch-rivals the Caboolture Snakes and hoping for at least a first innings win. This would have seen them cement a home semi-final in early March but now the match will become a 50-overs a side match next Saturday with fewer points up for grabs. The match at Red Park will commence at 10am and it would be great to see club members and supporters there to cheer the boys on to a win. To make matters worse Maroochydore, a few points behind the Thunder on the ladder were able to play at Coolum and are well placed to take first innings points and a possible outright win.
Sixth Grade who are holding on to fourth place on the ladder were due to play second placed USC and this will now become a 40 overs shoot-out next Saturday. Third Grade and Fifth Grade are both in good positions after Day 1 of their matches and should register wins next weekend.
THIRD GRADE: The team went into last Saturday’s match in fourth place on the table needing a good win to ensure they remain in contention for the finals. They travelled to Glasshouse and despite the rain during the week and overcast skies, the boys were able to take the field against the Rangers. Winning the toss, the Thunder decided to bowl first and it turned out to be a good decision.
Opener Harrison Lea took a wicket in his first over then Tallon Reichert took his first two wickets in the senior grade, snaring them in his 4th and 6th overs. Glasshouse managed to build a small partnership in the middle overs before TNT’s two leading wicket takers, Nick Bennett and Jason Toohey, took the remaining 7 wickets for 52 runs. On a very small ground and a few dropped catches the Thunder boys were able to limit the Rangers to a total of 125 off 43 overs.
Best bowling figures for TNT were- Jason Toohey 4-22 off 8, Nick Bennett 3-35 off 11, Tallon Reichert 2-18 off 6 and Harrison Lea 1-18 off 6.
With 28 overs left in the day the TNT boys decided to go for the target of 126. Jason Toohey opened and made a quick fire 30 before First Grader Cody Pyne, (First Grade game called off) joined Leon Beatty at the crease, still needing another 77 runs. Both these batsmen scored regular boundaries, with Pyne hitting 24 off one over including two 6s straight over the bowler’s head and one over mid-wicket. A massive 124 run partnership between the pair, 84 from Pyne and 51 from Leon Beatty ensured the team ended the day on a high note. At stumps Thunder were only 3 down with 195 on the board putting them in a great position for an outright win next week and with still a slight chance of hosting a home semi-final.
FIFTH GRADE: The team were at Buderim for their final match of the fixture season playing against top of the table Maroochydore Swans in a clash to keep their season alive. With plenty of rain during the week it was a toss both teams desperately wanted to win on the sticky soft pitch.
Captain Steve Hill won the toss and TNT sent the home side into bat.
Veteran Thunder bowlers, Mike “Rowdy” Thomson and Brendan Aufderheide
(back for a cameo appearance) bowled with purpose beating the outside edge consistently. Unfortunately, a couple of catches went to ground and despite the accurate bowling the Swans opening bats somehow were able to hold on. At the first change Steve Hill and Luke Anstey picked up where the openers left off and continued to bowl a relentless line and length that eventually rewarded Hill, picking up the first five wickets and having the Swans in a smother hold with runs hard to come by.
Ben Shaw bowled well and picked up a wicket with another soon to Ian Brundell. Openers Aufderheide and Thomson then returned to take a wicket each. At close of play the Swans were 9-76 after 75 overs.
The whole team could be congratulated on a great bowling and fielding display and with a total of 36 maiden overs bowled during the day it was a professional effort against the front runners.
With more rain forecast during the week and TNT needing one more wicket, it’s game on with TNT still needing to bat well to secure the win.
Best Bowling for Thunder: Hill 5-23 off 19, Thomson 1-14 off 16, Brendan Aufderheide 1-5 off 13, Shaw 1-12 and Ian Brundell 1-9.