Easts jump to fourth on the Club Champs after beating the rain in four Grades.


Easts Dolphins managed to beat the rain and their opposition in moving back in to second position on First Grade Ladder.


With afternoon showers forecast, Fairfield declared on their overnight score of 8-232 in the hope of having enough time to take the 10 wickets in the game. But Easts weathered the storm from the bowlers and passed the score just as the rains came in, with Angus Robson hitting an unbeaten 80.

The platform was laid by openers Adam Ezekiel (60) and Peter Lazarus (28), who put on 90 for the first wicket against a Lions opening attack with plenty of pace. They both fell in quick succession before lunch, but Robson came in at number three and lifted the tempo. His 80 came off just 84 balls and included 12 boundaries.


The message came through that the weather was closing in but Easts had the wickets in hand to put the foot down and they passed Fairfield’s score with five wickets in hand.


With six other matches in First Grade finishing as draws due to weather, Easts were able to leap up from fifth to second on the ladder.


On Sunday, a more inexperienced First Grade line-up took the field in the Kingsgrove T20 Cup for two matches at Waverley Oval. Easts lost the first against local rivals Randwick-Petersham but rebounded with a win over Illawarra.


In game two, Robson was among the runs again, making 64 in a century opening stand with Ian Moran. Illawarra couldn’t reach the 150-run victory target with three wickets to Tom Skelly helping restrict the visitors.


The result wasn’t enough to get Easts into the quarter-finals with the focus now shifting to the two-day and one day competitions.


Second Grade produced their second win in a row against Fairfield at Rosedale Oval. After losing the toss the Dolphins found themselves in the field and quickly made inroads reducing the Lions to 7/85 just after lunch with Nathan Rowe the chief destroyer. As the conditions became more friendly for batting, some tail end resistance allowed the hosts to rally a defendable total as Easts had to toil to capture the last three wickets. Fairfield were eventually bowled out for 171 just after tea with Nathan Rowe (4/26) off 19 overs being the main wicket taker. Bruno Broughton (2/7), Tom Skelly (2/45) and Jason Ralston (2/34) offered valuable support. Easts set about their chase and moved to 1/61 at stumps with Sam Smyth the man out after scoring 42.


With heavy rain predicted on day two, the Dolphins made short work in chasing down the 110 required, passing the total with only the loss of five wickets. Easts batted on eventually declaring at 7/261 with Will Simpson producing a run a ball 56. He was ably supported by Harry Brynes Howe (43), nightwatchmen Sam Mullens (32) and Will Lawrence (36). Easts bowled five overs in the second innings before rain had its say and Easts were forced to settle for a well earnt six points.


Second Grade now sit in 11th spot and eight points outside the top six.


Third Grade also achieved their second win in a row with a 90 run win at Trumper Oval. Easts lost the toss and were sent in and moved along nicely to 3/142 before a middle order collapse just after tea had Easts reeling at 8/160 before some tail end resistance which revolved around Steele Brown helped Easts muster 217. Andy Coles (59) and Mark Morley (50) were the key run contributors in the session before tea. In reply, Fairfield moved through to 2/35 at stumps leaving the match on an even keel going into day two.


With rain looming from the start of play, Easts set about their work getting rid of the Fairfield top order reducing the Lions quickly to 6/61 with wickets to Angus Palmer and youngster Campbell Pert. As tea loomed as well as a likely end to the match with a storm and heavy rain on its way, the Lions looked set to reach tea and salvage a draw, but sustained pressure and some excellent catching saw Easts prevail taking the ninth wicket two minutes before tea to give them a half hour extension to claim the last wicket. Angus Palmer returned (4/31) off 19 overs with Campbell Pert taking (4/23) in his Third Grade debut.


With eight draws through Third Grade due to the weather, Easts have jumped into 4th spot on the ladder.


Fourth Grade secured their second win in a row after producing a dominant win after enduring a match of wild fluctuations. After choosing to bowl on day one at Fairfield, three wickets each to Tim Brown and Max Abbott had put the Dolphins on top with the Lions 7-135. But a wagging tail frustrated Easts as a couple of dropped chances came back to bite as the hosts posted a competitive 223. Importantly, Easts were able to eat in to the target but stumps and reached 1-51 in 14 overs.


On day two, Fairfield stunned Easts in the first hour taking four quick wickets to take the ascendancy at 5-71. However Darcy Matthews through some aggressive running between the wickets and stroke play counter-attacked in dramatic style. He found a more than able ally in Kirk Rimmer who provided calm assistance at the other end. The duo put on 156 for the sixth wicket at a rapid rate, which took Easts past their target before tea after 47 overs. Matthews was eventually dismissed for 114 and Rimmer remained unbeaten on 61 as the rain poured down just as winning runs were hit.


Easts are now up to 11th position on the Fourth Grade ladder.


Fifth Grade fought back gamely after being dismissed for 108 on day one but it wasn't enough to complete the clean sweep of victories. The Dolphins posted an under par total but were quickly back in the game when Jackson Coutts (2-23) and James Hooke (3-16) took two early poles each to reduce the Lions to 4-7.


Fairfield resumed day two on 7-65 with Easts confident of completing a miracle turnaround. However the Lions batsmen eeked out the runs with several airborne shots narrowly avoiding fieldsmen. Fairfield were eventually dismissed for 124 with Shreyan Deshpande (2-10) and Mitch Clayton (2-25) also among the wickets.


Fifth Grade are in 10th position but 11 points off sixth position, meaning two wins before Christmas will be crucial.


Sixth Grade produced another dominant display in batting friendly conditions at Trumper Oval to defeat Warringah. The visitors batted first on day one and compiled a very competitive 245 with Angus Hayward the main wicket taker claiming 3/36. He was well supported by Alex van Vugt (2/29) and Mitch Clayton (2/51).


After heavy overnight rain, the Dolphins run chase was never in doubt as Thomas Federow (128) and Alex van Vugt (103) took control of the game as Easts chased the required total down with only the loss of two wickets. Federows 128 came off 129 balls and produced 18 boundaries and a six, while van Vugt’s knock of 103, came off 122 balls and included 14 boundaries and three sixes. This has been the second match in a row Easts have chased a total down of around 250.


Easts remain in 5th spot, still with a postponed match to play.

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