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Super Cricket Match report 1

To the Inner Sanctum,

They say a week is a long time in politics, but we can assure them that fielding for 40 overs in a veterans cricket match seems and feels a thousand times longer!!!

So it was with much excitement and expectation that we launched our premiership title defence last week with a “friendly” match against New City, a relatively young and very talented outfit, and of much more concern to us, they had been training a couple of times a week for several weeks. – Surely these are grounds enough to protest to the Cricket Administrators about whether such pre-match preparation should be outlawed!!

We so often hear about teams suffering Post Premiership Hangovers (PPH) and how tough it is to get the players to front up with the same commitment and intensity the year after they win a premiership. Luckily for our team, we had absolutely no commitment or intensity last season and we look like being exactly the same again this season!!! So the only hangovers we look like we will have to deal with are our usual self-inflicted ones!!!

The only difference this year is that we are now no longer the Hunters as we have now become the Hunted!! The only one of us who will remain a hunter is the long-suffering Jack, who it looks like will again spend countless hours trying to hunt down enough of us willing to don our much coveted “Baggy Creams” to field a team to represent our famous club at such an elite level!!

I think it would be fair to say that we went into our first match missing some of our “Marquee” players, who for various reasons declined the invitation to play.(to those this refers to please understand this is a reference to your abundant cricketing talents – not the size of mid-riff you may/may not have!!!) Only one excuse offered for not playing was considered legitimate and acceptable – Peter Duck -“I don’t f**king want to!!!” Others were much more selfish and not team orientated at all and very disappointing to say the least as you can see below.

So without our core group and engine room, we assembled at Xavier, and did the usual stocktake of players as they arrived and we finished up with 10 players come starting time. To most teams this would represent them being one short and result in frantic phone calls to find another, but in our case we are totally relaxed as we always knew we would have the bare eleven once Dallas finally arrived, and we only ever start to become anxious if he hasn’t arrived before more than 25 minutes after the start of play!!

The team was - Gerard (Our esteemed president “Dubbyah”) who also doubled as Captain, opening bowler, and class batsman., Geoff Ambrosi, Nicho, Gazza, Henno, Jack Chubb, Greg Lawrence, Bernie O’Donnell, Hilly, Neville ( a gun) , Dallas (eventually) and a cameo in the field from our Supersub Kenny Hanlon.

We won the toss and batted first- Nicho and Geoff Ambrosi opened against a very good opening attack comprising of 2 f**king left-armers!!. (totally unfair and against the spirit of the game!!) Nicho departed early as his wood heap was decimated. When asked what happened he simply shrugged his shoulders and said that he simply tried to hit one down the ground instead of to his strength which is historically between the keeper and first slip!!! (Play to your limitations Nicho!!)

Dallas came and went (literally) – arrived late looking very anxious (apparently the redfin were biting) , batted briefly, and then had to go home – we are all still very concerned about his state of mind and commitment and we think he may still be carrying the scars of last season!! After being caught behind, was walking off and when asked by the incoming batsman was anything much happening – he simply said “”Heaps”” and kept walking.

We crawled to a bit over 100 which probably was a lot better than it looked given the bowling attack, the up and down wicket and fairly slow outfield. Geoff worked hard at the top, Gerard and Neville both batted well and whacked it around. There was only one moment of possible trouble and that was when Henno unleashed a magnificent classical cover drive disguised as a cross bat slog over mid-wicket and was clean bowled. Henno at first refused to leave the wicket as he genuinely thought that the sound of the ball hitting the stumps was actually his neck cracking as a result of his very lusty swing!!! However, once he looked around and saw the stumps carnage he quickly and sheepishly left the wicket.

So we took to the field with a very limited bowling attack and with Kenny fielding for Dallas. Somehow, against all of the odds and logic, we managed to dismiss their potent batting lineup for 60 odd!! This was achieved through some magnificent bowling by Hilly, who had their top order playing him with the respect he truly deserved (absolutely none!!!) and they perished due to such complacency. To be fair to Hilly, he really did bowl very well and everyone was very happy for him, and pleased that finally in his late 40’s and after years of advice from his peers about opening bowling, he has finally developed the right run-up length and rhythm to accurately reflect the pace he bowls at. (3 paces!!!!) He finished with 3/9 and set us on our way.

Everyone else contributed with the ball but there were a few anxious moments when Nicho was called on to bowl from the showground end, but commonsense prevailed and they stopped the game for 20 minutes to allow the show rides to be closed down and everyone evacuated from the showground before he commenced his spell!! In retrospect a very wise move that proved to be correct given the resultant carnage!!

At drinks the game was still evenly poised and when “Dubbyah ” looked around at his rabble and realised he had used all of his frontline bowlers (i.e. himself) and we still needed someone to bowl. In a stroke of captaincy genius he remembered the corresponding game last year when Nicho was bowling and Bernie O’Donnell played outside team rules and took 2 catches in the outfield . (Such actions are totally unacceptable off Nicho’s bowling, and we are all still suffering from the repercussions of such ill-judged actions.). Realising that Bernie was looking for a chance to regain some respect from his team-mates, “Dubbyah” threw him the ball and said, “this is your opportunity – don’t waste it, and can you please hang on for 5 minutes until I shift my car under someone’s carport!!””

In what could only be described as a truly devastating spell of bowling from Bernie, the game was over in a flash, and when the dust had settled he had finished with the remarkable figures of 1.4 overs. 0 maidens, 2 windscreens, 1 passing Toyota Celica, 1 ”Tower of Terror” show ride, 1 Cleanaway truck, 1 ring announcer at the showground, 4 wides, 6 no-balls, and took 3 wickets for 35 runs!!! (I think I have been a little harsh on Bernie there and grossly exaggerated for effect – he actually only bowled 5 no-balls !!) It was the match winning performance and when he claimed the last wicket both teams and the umpire went into wild celebrations because we all knew that the match was over and that no more people, property, or landmarks could be hurt or damaged!! Well done Bernie, you won us the match but it will take much more than that before we can possibly look at some form of reconciliation after the catching off Nicho’s bowling “Ïncidents!!”

So all in all, a stolen or miracle win against the odds showing our characters (not to confused with character) of the side. Great to get off to a good start and we look forward to the challenge of Albury on Sunday the 19th.

"Ripley"


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