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  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, December 4

    Alphington Oval

    Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    The sun is finally starting to shine in Melbourne, some have suggested it’s to do with the State election being done with, but those aren’t my words.

    While the incumbent Government have been returned to power, The Quokkas are returning to the lush surrounds of Alphington Oval to take on The Pinnacle Hotel. It’s been quite a while since we played “the pinny” but we’ve had some fun in the past and here’s hoping for a lot more.

    Form Guide:

    After starting the season with a surprising and elating win against The Royston, The Quokkas balloon was not just punctured but torn asunder against our old friends from The Curtin Hotel.

    We haven’t faced off against The Pinnacle in some time, the last time we did was a game in which Pup and the Big Dog played, and given that one of these has been on the injury list as “Foot – under observation” for about 4 years and the other has been on the unavailable list as “Umpiring” says something.

    Not much is known about how they are travelling this season, I mean I could probably look it up on Facebook, but the Test is on.

    In the Spotlight:

    The President of King Island takes on a new title this week; “Captain”.  Jordan has been a very, very welcome addition to the team; swinging the new ball around, encouraging teammates and generally causing consternation about what her cricketing background is (or isn’t?).

    Team News:

    A fair amount of confusion regarding availability at this stage of the season, which is pretty normal considering some of the other events that happen at this time (Sheffield Shield, Geocaching events etc) but we do have an XI at the time of writing:

    1. Oscar
    2. El Pres (c)
    3. Dutchy
    4. Radar (w/k)
    5. Jay
    6. Alex
    7. The Animal
    8. Rev
    9. TimBChapman
    10. Big Dave
    11. TimBChapmans mate

    Pitch and Conditions:

    We are back to the lovely Alphington Oval this Sunday. Young Oscar asked me during the week if we are playing at the same ground as his last game and I really hope his expectations around YPCA grounds isn’t being set incorrectly.

    Looking like it could be a bit warm this Sunday, hitting 30 after 29 the day before, so it could be a bit dry underfoot.  Keep hydrated people.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Big Dave took 3 wickets in his last game, which has only been done by a Quokka twice before, here’s hoping he gets a few more poles;
    • Dutchy is still sitting on 49 YPCA wickets.  Boring;
    • This will be Jays 60th match for the Quokkas (41 YPCA, 5 BDNOs, 11 T20s, 2 in Sri Lanka) – 6th most appearances overall
  • From Captain TBC….

    The day dawned blearily, but thankfully a sizzling light bacon aroma seemed present. Checking the radar presented a small chance of rain, but nothing to bank on. Sigh: captaincy looked likely to sit heavily on my shoulders today.

    After rechecking my responsibilities email from Rev, I start to ponder how to approach the day. Uber or bicycle. Food that might stay down. Drinks. Some dissolute wandering clutching a bacon and egg sandwich ensues. My lightly comatose reverie is broken with my first (and most significant) support for the day: Slug! Not only is he offering me a lift, he’ll bring along extra water and snacks to see me through. Game on.

    The muggy weather held the promise of a tough day, but there was no time to waste with rain threatening. The Curtin were running a little low for numbers so we graciously allowed them to bat first.

    Bowling highlights were concentrated pre-drinks….

    F1 and Ed opened with Ed taking an early wicket but (like the rest of us except for Jordan) copped a few boundaries.


    The runs started to dry up with Alex, Oscar and Rev all putting in some great bowling. Most of this greatness was sealed by Radar whose work behind the stumps would put an electric wicky to shame, very few balls getting through and 3 stumpings.

    6 for 80 at drinks. Coasting…. Into a storm of 10+ an over and the recently retired going the tonk. While fielding didn’t live up to the heroics of the last game, we were pretty tight and kept the errors (my 2 dropped catches aside…) down.

    Big call-outs to debutante Oscar with a tough boundary catch and a wicket, plus saving what seemed like 20 runs with diving action at cover; also to Pete who also picked up a tough catch and wicket on debut. Great to see! Call out also to Jordan strangled them for runs, plus got a played-on, and 2 wickets to Alex.

    Curtin all out for 229. Then they buggered off to buy chicken.

    Our batting was consistently inconsistent. Once again Radar did the damage – to the scoreboard and Alex. Run out off a sumptuous Radar straight drive touched (?????) by the bowler.

    There was a hubbub of excitement with Oscar coming to the crease. He said he was a batter and had already done well in the field. The unknown quantity:

     ……1…1….. 

    geeze he’d better get a move on! With his eye in he picked up the run rate to score 34 of 35, before breaking my heart getting out 2 balls before retirement.

    J-Rod popped in with a nice 16 before a run of outs against some frankly far too good bowling for this stage of a pub game. I barely had time to get my pads on before coming in at 10. 

    Stoked that I hit a couple of boundaries. A rare occurrence indeed. 

    Not as rare however as being caught by a keeper wearing Crocs

    Rev helped me in a rearguard action and put in a great overall performance with 2 wickets, 18 off 15 and a reverse cut. Amazing that he still has it in him.


    This is the picture you wanted included right Ed?

    A final flurry from Radar, a run out, and the game was done. 229 to 148 to The Curtin.

    We had a good crowd back at the Curtin for what we thought may be their last drinks ever (possibly no longer true) and the banter and friendliness on the field continued at the pub.

    Thanks for the friendly captaincy suggestions from all the far more skillful players about me on the day, the Curtin for good craic, and Slug for photos and ensuring I turned up!

  • Match Facts:

    Alphington Park Oval,

    b/w Parkview Road and View Street,

    Alphington

    Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    The impending end of the ICC Mens T20 World Cup this weekend (is it this weekend? It feels like it’s never ending) should bring joy to the hearts of cricket-tragics everywhere, its only the start of November and the real stuff is just getting started.

    Some would argue that the real stuff got started months ago with the Matador Shield competition being kicked off on Karen Rolton Oval, but neither of them were answering their phone, so no more to be ventured or gained on that front.

    All eyes will be on Alphington Park Oval this Sunday as The Quokkas take on old friends, The John Curtin Hotel.  Somewhat ironically – or perhaps appropriately – The Curtins existence is being threatened by property developers, which should reaffirm your political beliefs if nothing else does.

    The Curtin are one of the few teams we have a trophy match against, the prize of which currently sits on their shelves thanks to a classic match.  Actually, you could do worse than spend your free time in revisiting some of our past encounters, there are some classics in there.

    Here’s hoping for another!

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are coming off a rare win against The Royston; piling on 206 runs, largely through the help of Radars 83, and holding a very good team to 177 through an excellent bowling and fielding performance.

    While consistency in Pub Cricket is as hard to find as a free pint, The Quokkas are heading into this game with more than a little pep in their collective step. Or is that pop in their hop?

    In The Spotlight:

    TimBChapman advised me some weeks ago that he has a “massive wedding” the night before, and so has been promoted to Captain.  Should be good fun in the humidity.

    But in all seriousness, the bloke has been a wonderful addition to the club, laughing at my jokes and our general attempts at cricket. 

    Team News:

    Without wanting to jinx us too much, we begin this week with a more than full complement for the Game Sunday.  With my left shoulder suddenly doing over-40 things, I’m happy to take my position as a scorecard specialist and possible extra fielder if / when required.  Ed has also adopted the position as specialist swing bowler, discarding the vulgaries of batting, so we should be Ok to get everyone a go.

    The squad, at the time of writing, is (in no particular order):

    1. Tim B Chapman (c)
    2. Prez
    3. F1
    4. Oscar Canning
    5. Dutchy
    6. Radar (w/k)
    7. Alex
    8. VP
    9. Pete Wells
    10. J Rod
    11. Ed
    12. The Rev*

    Pitch and Conditions:

    Alphington is possibly the nicest ground in the YPCA, though that is to be properly tested later in the season when we take on the Vic Hotel.  That being said, that game will be played once Summer has properly started and the grounds have been baked. 

    Alphington should, at the time being, be its lovely lush self and offer no reprieve from the expected humidity Sunday as the dew evaporates under the afternoon heat.

    Good times for sweat enthusiasts.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • Radar is obviously in pretty good nick, having hit 83 in the last game.  A little more interesting is that his first 31 came off 22 balls and the second 52 runs off…22 balls.  Amazing.  He’s also only 2 runs off 900 YPCA runs in total (avg 24.27) – well done that man;
    • F1 zooms back into this game having scored 75 YPCA runs, but does have an average of 25 – so should hit the 100 this weekend.  Statistically speaking.  He also has only conceded 49 runs from his bowling, a runs for:against of 1.53 – the best in the club for any player with more than 5 matches;
    • On the subject of runs, Ed is 3 off 1,300 YPCA runs in total and J Rod is sitting on 794 YPCA runs.  The man in the Maroon strides is also 1 wicket off 40 in total for his career.  Elite areas.
  • From Captain Radar…

    The Empress returned for the new season with a settled squad. Fielding at least 10 players who played in the BDNO at the end of last season. It seems a settled squad helped the team as they were able to beat the powerful Royston Hotel who, despite missing one fairly handy cricketer, are still one of the more formidable teams in the league.

    Still a great way to start the season, as they’re also one of the most enjoyable teams to play, with a great bunch of people, and matches always played in great spirit.


    The Empress batted first and got off to a really good start, with everyone pushing the scoring rate and running hard, all while playing their natural game.

    I was rapt with how we kept the game moving, and even though we lost a couple of wickets through the middle overs, I didn’t think we ever got bogged down.

    Dutchy and myself retired, with notable contributions from J-Rod who hit the ball as far as I’ve seen him hit it, before getting out bowled leaving a ball around his legs (very J-Rod) just before he would have retired and Ed who played a very typical-Ed-lower-middle-order-rear-guard, before the family partnership of The Animal and myself played out just about to the end.


    I thought the real positive from the day was the incredibly solid bowling and fielding performance from everyone in the team.

    We’d set a decent total of 206 which gave us some wriggle room to be a tad defensive with field placements, but we stopped every boundary that should have been stopped and took a few important catches. Every fielder was incredibly disciplined and holding their positions and giving their all. Bowling was tight and full outside off all day. No batters were given an easy ride to boundaries with a few bowling some impressive spells to take timely wickets.

    Notable performances with the ball were Big Dave with 3 wickets (along with being the fielding MVP again), J-Rod with 2 wickets and Jordan whose bowling never fails to impress with 1 wicket but really not giving the batters anything to hit. Really though everyone bowled amazingly well, so it’s hard to single anyone out. 


    The Royston got to 177 which bloated quite a bit due to my second over of trash mediums that were absolutely spanked by their number 11.


    Great game all round.

    Onto the next game.

    Curse = broken
  • When the merchandise options are a snood, fleece and woolly hat, something has to have gone wrong with the tour planning, hasn’t it? Not exactly. We are off to Finland and Estonia and the weather’s not exactly barmy at this time of the year. Best be prepared. Why no one suggested Quokka umbrellas, I do not know.

    As per usual, we spent a large part of the trip `rehydrating’, so may have missed some of Helsinki and Tallin’s highlights. There was a lack of the usual tour literature that outlines these, so I’ll fill you in now. Helsinki has the cleanest tap water of any big city. Finns are the unquestioned champions of sauna, with over 3 million of them. If you stay with a Finnish family, it wouldn’t be surprising to find more than one sauna in the home. Why? Why not? Finnish is extremely difficult to learn, with lots of compounded words. Here’s one of them lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas, although unless you are a non-commissioned student officer mechanic for airplane auxiliary jet engines, you probably won’t need to use it. Other than the Northern lights, the entertainment highlight is the Wife Carrying Championships. Milk is considered the national drink, but other popular tipples are sima, a low alcohol mead, Salmiakki Koskenkorva, a liquorish flavoured liquor and aloviina, which is a brandy cut with a grain spirit. Kippis.

    There was a choice of flights to Helsinki, at ether 7:30 am or 9:30 am. I was slightly surprised that everyone except me chose to get up at the crack of dawn to grab the red eye, but each to their own. We all made our flights. Just. New British citizen The Yak found the Government’s issuing of new
    passports to be about as efficient as, well, pretty much everything else they touch, so decided to re-join Team America. Fuck yeah. I had my own passport issues, with Finland passport control unimpressed by my “I’ve come to play cricket” reason for travel when trying to enter the country. The lack of a Quokka blazer to back up my claim was immediately regrettable.

    Paolo Wanchope
    During the earlier flight, Egg unveiled an updated set of Quokka Top Trumps, with Todd one of several new cards. I must say it was somewhat surprising to find he only scored eight in the drinking prowess category, but I guess you have to have something to aim for. Niall, unhappy at his score of five, enquired how he could boost this and was informed he’d need to prove himself in a game of mano-e-mano with Binman. The challenge was accepted, but didn’t end well, with him chundering after just a single drink and thus earning himself the nickname Paolo, after the one time Derby striker, Paolo One Shot. Yeah, I know, after five pints it worked better.

    I located the main tour party in a bar next to our hotel. Helsinki beer prices are not for the feint hearted, but a few drinking games put that concern into the rear view mirror. 21s is the first step to a care home, but later that evening when watching Saints lose to Villa, I wished I had started playing
    much earlier. “This shit is hurting my eyes Skip”. More beer needed. A few successful games of shuffleboard took my mind off Saints’ performance, but later in the Tron-themed pool hall, I replicated my team by losing to all comers. Unified Quokkas pool rules are desperately needed.

    Tour organisers’ Faggie and Driver had initially selected a single bedroom accommodation for the Helsinki leg of the trip, but there were slight concerns about the length of the bathroom queue, or more accurately one’s position in said queue. In the end, an alternative was found, with rooms more compact than a Japanese capsule hotel, which would have been great if we could enter them. Key codes were the one vital bit of information missing. Eventually we got in and I had Todd for very close company. Please tell me that’s your arm mate?

    A floating IKEA, obviously

    A lack of Uber’s created a mad dash to catch the ferry, which was brimming full of Finnish power drinkers looking to minimise their weekend bar bill by first spending 70 Euros to get to Tallin. Todd was in his element, although he seemed disappointed to be dragged away from the ferry terminal
    bar. Not sure why there was Ikea on board, perhaps the lure of flatpack furniture is too much after 18 pints of Koff? Niall revealed that it was snowing on deck, which at least meant the Quokka beanies would get an outing. While we searched for vürtsikilu or Whoppers, Evil Dave and Binman decided to share a cabin. What goes on tour, stays on tour.

    As we set sail, an 84 year old Jamaican fast bowler name Ira Ebanks introduced himself and recounted stories of playing with West Indian test stars of the 1960s, lifetime achievement awards for helping to establish cricket in Finland and his son, the lead singer of Bomfunk MCs, selling six million copies of `Freestyler’ worldwide. I’m not kidding. He explained that his team, Helsinki Cricket Club were also playing a game in Tallin. We deduced that their game was at the same venue as ours. We then discovered, that due to a lack of available players in Estonia, they were actually playing against us. I think the tour organisers may have missed a trick, but perhaps there would be better weather in Tallin…there wouldn’t.

    I am sure you enjoyed my earlier Quokka’s guide to Helsinki’, so here’s everything you needed to know about Tallin. The medieval old town may be a UNESCO heritage site, but Tallin has been dubbed the most advanced digital society in the world and is the silicon valley of Europe. Although not in Finland’s class when it comes to sauna, Tallin does have quite a few of its own, which were frequented by the Russian Tsar, starting a trend. Most importantly, marzipan was invented here back in 1422. Oh, and there is a story about a Tallin hotel owner hosting the devils wedding, being paid in gold (which turned to horse shit) before falling dead, but we haven’t got time for all that.

    Need a few hundred rugby shirts?

    The Estonian National Cricket and Rugby field was on the outskirts of nowhere and ever so slightly open to the elements. Today, that element was water and lots of it. Apparently Tallin hadn’t had `proper’ rain for a couple of years. Our timing was superb. Leaving the shelter of the taxi, we made our way across the field to a couple of shipping containers, which I assumed had been converted into changing rooms. Unfortunately, the shipping container to changing room conversion part of the stadium generation plan had yet to commence. The good news was that if we needed 200 boxes of rugby equipment, we should be fine. Half an hour of standing in the rain convinced me that it was a very bad idea to allow the taxis to depart without us in them.


    The rain contingency plan was `more drinking and shooting guns’. The perfect combination really. If half the Quokkas don’t know which end of a bat to hold, god help us if someone puts an AK in their hands. We took shelter in a sports bar and worked our way through their supply of cider and the day’s live Premiership football games. We were joined by our Estonian host Stuart and his wife who failed to fall for Radio John’s charms, “Sorry Radio, but I don’t date anyone older than my Dad”. I asked Paolo if was a batsman or bowler, and said his batting average was 65. Evil looked surprised and when we checked the LMS website it revealed it was actually a fraction over 22.15. Paolo explained that “it would be 65 if he hadn’t ever got out”.

    Five or six pints later and we had blue skies and sunshine allowing an impromptu game of town square cricket, with skippy the star attraction. As per normal Faggie struggled for line and length. With time on our hands we took in a folk music concert put on by the Estonian Union of National Minorities and sampled shots of the local tipple. Terviseks. Estonians love a folk tune and have written over 133,000 of them. Thankfully, we left the concert at folk song number three in search of a speakeasy. There I made the mistake of sitting out of eyeshot of the thumb master and found myself downing two pints of freezing cold cider in quick succession, which brought a tear to the eye

    This started a discussion as to who would make the Quokkas boat race team. No Paolo, your services won’t be needed. Maybe you can be the cox? Later, an Irish bar with a Brit pop covers band provided great entertainment and inspiration for a new Quokkoasis song (to the tune of she’s electric):

    Heeeee’s a Seagull
    He can bat and bowl better than Evil
    He’s got shots that are unbelievable
    But he hides at eight

    What we want you to say
    Is I’ll bat at first drop Skip
    But he never does

    We need a bat at number three
    With a score of 79g
    There’s only one man who’ll do
    He is a Seagull
    Can I be a Seagull too?

    I shared a hotel room with Yak, Todd and Driver. It was like sleeping with Weezy from Toy `Story, several steam engines and an amorous lhasa apsos. I’ve never met a man that exhales so much gas and air as Driver. Sleeping’s cheating I guess, so I took the opportunity to visit the supermarket, which was located right inside the hotel. I stocked up with spicy sprats, meat jelly and blood dumpling. These guys know how to eat. Early risers were met by beautiful sunshine, which meant we would finally get a game of cricket, sort of.

    Before the game, Egg was presented with the second golden Quokka cap as reward for reaching a hundred games. Well done sir. Somewhat surprisingly, Skip put us in to bat, perhaps emboldened by knowledge of Paolo’s batting average.

    When the first game of tour is a complete washout, the last thing you want to do is get a fourth ball duck in the second, which is exactly what Todd acquired.

    Thanks for coming.

    Paolo one-shot struggled to live up to his new nickname, failing to connect with any of his numerous variations of the `’heave to cow’ for the first five overs. I should point out that, despite this, the scoreboard ticked
    over nicely, as extras accumulated at healthy rate. Probably just a coincidence that Herc was fielding for the home side. Fortunately, Faggie did manage to put bat on ball, including one lovely trademark cut for four, but as would be the story of the Quokka innings, he didn’t stick around for very long. 37 for 2 quickly became 44 for 5 as The Yak, Paolo and Herc fell to some poor shots, none uglier than Herc’s mistimed pull when attempting to get off the mark.

    Thanks for coming.

    Evil Dave and Skip settled the ship, by which I mean Skipped scratched around for ten overs, but at least it interrupted the domino rally of wickets. But not significantly, as Dave failed to carry over his form with the bat from the game at Merstham CC and was out bowled. How else? That brought Driver to the crease. The only thing worse than getting a fourth ball duck on tour is being run out by some horrific calling from your Skipper. Cheers. The only Quokka that looked in any kind of touch with bat was Seagull, pulling and driving nicely.

    Blink though and you will have missed his innings, as he was caught behind when the openers returned. Binman’s innings lasted about as long as his drinking competition with Paolo. Thankfully the Egg and Radio John played excellently for the last wicket stand, with Radio carrying his bat and top scoring with 16. Actually, to be precise, extras top scored with 32, bolstering our total to a massive 121.

    During tea, when asked what a par score was on this track, I suggested 250 which turned out to be pretty accurate. Which is more than you can say for our bowling. Evil Dave went for 25 from his first two overs, a similar number came from Yaks three overs and a further 19 runs came from Driver’s short spell. The latter two did both take wickets though, with Driver clean-bowling the opener with an absolute beauty. Some degree of control was provided by Faggie, who once again bowled well.

    It was all for nothing though, as the bowling from medium paced Skip was to our opponents liking and he went for nine an over.The highlight if the innings was Skip spending ten minutes repositioning Herc in the field to try “get into the batsman’s head” after he had scored two maximums in a row. This worked a treat, as the next ball only went for four. Sadly, there was very little else to report on and the Quokkas were well beaten in the end. Standard.

    To help us forget our woeful performance, what we needed was a huge medieval feast at the Olde Hansa tourist trap, with elk, reindeer and bear sausages washed down with“man-sized” jugs of honey beer. That said, Driver was less than impressed when it was revealed that potatoes predated medieval times, so there wouldn’t be any on the menu, fried or otherwise. His mood improved somewhat when he was serenaded with a rendition of Danny Boy on the zanfana. Afterwards we headed for a sports bar to watch American egg chucking and drink Estonian trikoloor flag shots. A trip to an ice cream parlour completed the evening’s entertainment.

    During the trip back, the antipodeans watched the Queen’s funeral. The rest of us spent the time raiding the gift store of ferry shaped fridge magnets and other ferry emblazoned shit. A signalling problem in Helskinki meant taxis were the only method of transport, which created a small beer window. Thank god. What would we have done without it? By then, I’d completely run out of steam, a bit like this match report…

    Many thanks to Faggie and Lazy Driver for organising the tour. Whoever gave me COVID-19, thanks a bunch.

  • Match Facts:

    Fairfield Oval

    Yarra Bend Dve

    Fairfield

    Time:

    1pm

    The Big Picture:

    The Sheffield Shield, Marsh One-Day Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup have all got cricket fans nicely warmed up and ready, now it’s time for the main event: The Quokkas are back.

    With Winter over, the squad is returning from their hibernation in the pursuit of glory, or at least some good fun with friends.

    The good fun may be a tough ask with The Royston being our opponents, a pub we have never been able to put to the sword, even in some of the muddled-up Covid matches played.

    Another challenge to fun this Sunday will be the weather, with fairly heavy rain expected for most of the day.  Still, this is Melbourne and anything can happen in that regard.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas did manage to have a net session the other week and everyone seemed to be able to hold a bat / ball / can.  Congratulations all.

    In the Spotlight:

    Climate Change.  Rightly so.

    Team News:

    While some teams have had to fold due to their pub closing (DOC – farewell sweet prince), others haven’t been able to get enough players together.  Thankfully our pub, The Empress, not only does an excellent Sausage Pizza but has been spreading the word on The Quokkas – leading to an increase in numbers and helping us keep going. 

    Many thanks to Pete and the team.

    While it’s still early in the week, we do have a full complement ahead of Sunday – plus a spare:

    1. Prez
    2. Ed
    3. Dutchy
    4. Radar (c)
    5. Jay
    6. Sam J Barrett
    7. The Animal
    8. J Rod
    9. The Fridge
    10. TimBChapman
    11. Big Dave
    12. Hendo

    Pitch and Conditions:

    The last time I was at Fairfield oval it was to watch Maxy play in an under 10s soccer game, and let me tell you, it was an absolute quagmire.  Whatever drainage system is used at that ground is about effective as trickle-down economics. 

    With La Nina hitting the great State of Victoria for the third year in a row (is that a hat-trick?), and on a very good length, it’s quite likely that cricket boots will need to be replaced with gumboots and access to the ground may need to be sourced from the neighboring Boat Club.

    Yowzers

    For those of you interested, Maxy’s team lost 7-4.  Pretty impressive considering the pitch.

    Stats and Trivia:

    • This match will see Dutchy become our most-capped Quokka (105 appearances) & we look forward to him smashing Michael Tucks record.  He is also one (1) wicket away from joining the 50-wicket club.  Ed and Big Dog best buy another chair for that table.
    • A Ducks quack does not echo
    • This will be J Rods 70th appearance for The Quokkas (55 YPCA, 5 BDNOs, 4 T20s, 5 VBCAs), we all look forward to seeing the overpriced training gear he purchased over the Winter
    • Starsky and Hutch drove a 1974 Ford Torino
    • The Quokkas have scored 14,292 YPCA runs and been spanked for 14,754
  • Quokkas CC 189-6 (Evil Dave 49, Conan 44) beat Merstham CC 186-7 (Yak 3-23)

    It’s been a while Quokkas and I’ve had time to consider things. Many things, such as whether I need to take out a second mortgage to cover my heating bill, if I have had all the required jabs to allow me to go surfing without contracting hepatitis, and should I move to Burundi to realise any value from my pension. Thank god the human hand grenade is at the wheel now, I was starting to get concerned. [Ed: Maybe Quokka match reports are not the best place for political discussions Seagull?] Er yeah, good point. OK, how about religion? That’s a subject that should cause you little consternation.

    I ventured onto Southsea high street today and as a practicing atheist I made it my duty to seek out the representative of the Gospel Tract and Bible Society to discuss whether Jesus was a batsman or a bowler. Surprisingly, he was unaware of the gospel describing Jesus’ passion for the game, so I
    enlightened him: “for Jesus would take the boys to the seashore and, carrying the playing ball and the club, he would go over the waves of the sea as though he was playing on a frozen surface, hitting the playing ball.” Unsurprisingly, the conversation turned to Satan’s wrath and his desire to destroy our body and soul. The preacher didn’t seem to understand when I explained that “it’s what bowlers do.” I look forward to our next discussion when perhaps I will borrow some of Larry David’s thoughts on prayer.[Ed: Not sure religion works either Seagull]

    Oh, right. How about the monarchy? That’s topical and completely uncontroversial. Personally, I share Robert Smith’s views, so haven’t felt the great sense of loss many Quokkas have with the Queen’s passing. I do though thank Elizabeth for her service during World War II, which helped to provide me with that freedom of thought. I struggled to understand the cancelling of the entire weekend football programme as a `mark of respect’, but it gave us all time to reflect….on how much time we waste on fantasy football. It also gave us the opportunity to focus on the final test match of the series, and created a seven hour window for me to consume Sergey Bondarchuck’s adaption of War and Peace. Silver linings. Another silver lining was unearthing Merstham Cricket Club when last week’s opponents Orsett & Thurrock pulled out at the eleventh hour. Something to do with a lack of players. It’s hard to compete with the opening of another drive-through McDonalds on the road into Southend. New fixture in place, our own lack of players became an immediate issue. These McDonalds are bloody everywhere. With many Quokkas now well past their prime, and let’s be honest more at home in a cosy foot warmer than spikes, we’ve been a little short on numbers this season.

    As bestows an internationally franchised drinking team, we were welcomed by the royal marines marching band and a rich tapestry of street food, home-made condiments and gin stalls. Timing the fixture next season with the Quality Street fair should be the number one priority of our marvellous
    fixture secretary. At 12.45pm we had four players, the draw of the chow mien stall inevitably waylaying one or two hungry Quokkas. Thankfully, by 12.55pm we had eight. Unfortunately, at 1pm we still had eight. We’d lost Skip to a McDonald’s opening in Harpenden [Ed: also known as COVID],
    which meant Harry the Great was out too. Get well soon lads.

    The Merstham skipper was kind enough to lend us a fielder, plus the square leg umpire doubled up as a square leg fielder. There were still a few gaps in the field and Seagull did little to plug them with some terrible field placements. Our fielding was pretty good though. Faggie did drop a simple catch at short extra cover, but made up for it three balls later with a great diving effort. Seagull dived around like a man half his age. Radio dived around like a man twice Seagull’s age. Radio did have trouble returning a ball hit for a boundary. A slight case of dartitis, caused him to throw the ball back over his head, over the fence and onto the 15h tee of the Reigate Hill golf club. As he retrieved the ball, Seagull introduced him Ryder Cup style: “On the tee, Radio John”, to a nice ripple of applause from a ladies four ball.

    Ali and Faggie bowled very well, restricting scoring opportunities, but without taking wickets. Not walking is like failing to pick up your dog turds. Just saying. Radio John and the Egg provided the inverse, taking three decent wickets between them in an eventful 13 over spell, but offering one or two scoring opportunities too. Unfortunately, the three wickets didn’t include the opening batsman, who looked impervious, even to the deliveries that touched the edge of the atmosphere .

    With one batter on his way to a hundred and the other relatively new to cricket, it was difficult for our “fast’ bowlers to find any kind of rhythm. The Yak seemed unphased though and he claimed his 101 st , 102 nd and 103 rd Quokkas wicket. Magnificent. Seagull bowled for the first time this season, we haven’t missed much. He did claim the wicket of a small child, before being smashed to all parts by their skipper, who saw them to a healthy 189 from their 35 overs.

    Egg seemed to have bought half a deli with him for his tea, over which we discussed whether anyone has ever driven past a field full of cows without exclaiming “cows’, and discovered that Seve Ballesteros had no need for hole-in-one insurance and the only time a swan sings is just before it dies. Fascinating stuff, but with the Quokkas not getting an younger, we had a game to win.

    Ali and Radio opened the batting. Radio took his time. Ali didn’t, hitting a nice straight six before being cleaned bowled playing something similar to one that nipped back. The Egg then triggered Faggie when going well. He took it pretty well, perhaps welcoming the opportunity to catch up on some sleep missed due to the previous evening’s “tour preparation”. A nice bit of off spin was Radio’s eventual undoing and with just four wickets left, we had some work to do.

    Conan kept wicket like he had been doing it all summer. He batted in similar fashion, showing us the trade mark smash and numerous more cultured shots. Evil Dave played a few smashes of his own, a cover drive or two and even the odd delicate shot, as he looked intent on making his maiden half century. It’s great to have goals, and reaching a half century is one that Dave still has, choosing a poor delivery, by which I mean straight, to shoulder arms to. Conan forged on, but was fortunate to have a friendly square leg umpire from Birmingham when well short of his ground running a typical Quokkas “quick” single. When he eventually fell, also just shy of his fifty, the Quokkas tail looked decidedly short. The Egg and Seagull are well accustomed to these backs against the wall type situations. And when the fast bowlers were brought on to close the game out, expectations were not high. But a couple of beautiful drives for four from the Egg, and a
    six through extra cover from Seagull saw us comfortably home.

    God save the Royle Family.

    Seagull.

  • Harpenden Dolphins CC 185-9 (Smruti 3-18, Harry 2-25, Mike 2-34) beat Quokkas CC 184-7 (Seagull 52, Faggie 48, Tugboat 40)

    It was a weekend of birthdays. Paul McCartney made it to 80 and The Yak is slowly catching him up. Both seemed to enjoy the celebrations. Neither seem to age. The similarities possibly end there unless Tom is also carrying pictures of Chairman Mao that I wasn’t aware of.

    Paul may have been seen to break up the fab four when he wouldn’t delay the release of his solo album and then gave an answer to a journalist’s question that “The Beatles no longer existed”, but the truth is John Lennon quit the band some time previous and then they all kept quiet about it until they got their (tax) affairs in order. I’m no expert, but Yoko may have had something to do with John’s decision and maybe George’s desire to have his song writing skills recognised would have seen him jump ship if John hadn’t got to the punch first. 

    What I do know, is in the proceeding decade, they produced music that will probably see no equal and despite my desire to continually discover something new, it’s great to return to The Beatles every once in a while. I got to enjoy a lot of their songs, brilliantly reproduced for a BBC Radio 2 show, `Friday night is music night: The Beatles Orchestrated’, during my drive home from the game on Sunday. It’s funny how much more enjoyable being stuck in a traffic jam can be when Hey Jude gets going. Certainly stops me blowing my mind out in the car. The standstill on the M25 also gave me time to consider who wins a fight between a lion and an alligator, python and honey badger, dolphin or Quokka? The first two are obvious, and the third? Well, that may depend if Snorky is among the pod of dolphins (Ed: Is that from The Simpsons – Night of the Dolphin?) or they have a first team batsman hiding at number 10. (Ed: That’s one hell of a segway Ches)

    To celebrate Tom’s birthday we hit the Harpenden drinking dens, and it was a hard day’s night consuming the entire top shelf before retiring to chez Bradley to watch the College World Series until 3:30am. Not the ideal preparation for a cricket match, but certainly a good warm-up for the tour. Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. My hangover was eased by a wonderful continental breakfast in the glorious Harpenden sunshine, followed by a fabulous barbecue. They do look after you well at the Bradleys…I wonder if he will still be feeding me when I’m 64? 

    Skip had the pre-match nutrition well in hand, but logistics less so, as we set off and arrived at the new ground in St. Albans about half an hour late. I’m pleased to say the new pitch came with a mower. I think the groundsman may work for Dulux, as he had prepared the wicket with the thickest white lines I’ve ever seen. Now was a good time to ask whether having your entire boot on the line was still out. 

    Here comes the sun. Thankfully, on a hot day, Skip won the toss and put us in. Take note Seagull. Unfortunately he asked me to open. Skip’s advice to `be more selfish when batting’ quickly came back to haunt him. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot. Dot and another dot. Solid start Seagull, but “get on with it.” 

    There were actually 27 dot balls, a four and two singles in the first five overs, as Tugboat and Seagull made a very `cautious’ start, all be it against some extremely accurate seam and swing bowling. Skip was slightly concerned and at drinks he reminded me that there was `plenty of batting to come’. We did eventually get going and put on 64 for the first wicket – Tugboat being caught in the deep. Faggie, not known for his patience, stepped things up with an immediate four and he carried most of the weight on his shoulders. It was a good partnership, with some excellent calling. Faggie said “Yes”, I said “No”. He said, “Stop” and I said, “Go, go, go”. Together we put on another 68 runs in short time, with Seagull getting his half century, before being caught in the `not so deep’ from a tired looking shot. 

    Faggie, just shy of his own fifty, joined him in the hutch a few overs later, but by then we had some runs on the board. The Yak and Arunav continued to keep things ticking over nicely despite a slow outfield, finding the bowling to their liking and one or two gaps in the field. Both fell to simple catches though, which provided the opportunity for the next generation of Quokkas (Harry and Haydon) to demonstrate their batting skills. When Haydon was bowled not too long into his debut, this allowed Skip and son to see out the innings in much the same way as we started, with a couple of dot balls. “Get on with it.” 

    The Bradleys provided us with a wonderful tea, including a chocolate birthday cake for Tom. This was supplemented by butterfly cakes, pork pies and sausage rolls. Basically food heaven. Over lunch we discussed long tossing, dollar shimmies and Thailand table tennis. Don’t ask. There was also talk of a third Bradley family member taking to the field, but Seagull’s offer to sit out the second innings wasn’t taken, which Skip lived to regret. A sizeable period of lunch was dedicated to a Michael Jackson number being reworked by Faggie and the Yak for Arunav. To be honest, as song writers, they are the Ringo and George of the Beatles, with Evil and myself taking the John and Paul roles, taking sad songs and making them better. And to prove a point I considered writing the entire match report using Beatles lyrics (Ed: I can see that you have sneaked one or two in already), but then realised I have a company to run, so have settled for this simple deviation from this classic: 

    Yesterday, all the short balls seemed so far away, now it looks as though they’re here to stay. Oh, I believe in ducking away. 

    OK, so maybe I’m more Pete Best… 

    I digress. We’d set our opponents a healthy 185 to win, let’s see how they got them. Where do you want me to field Skip? “There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.“ Righto.

    As I mentioned, a new generation of Quokkas are coming through, with Harry and Haydon adding some much needed youth, energy, and cricketing ability to the mix. The pair opened the bowling and showed us how to do it, with great lines and lengths. You know, the things we’ve been failing to find for the last decade. They took wickets too. Talk about a revolution. We slowly worked our way through the batting order. That was helped by a fabulous running catch by Tugboat (and great fielder placement by Skip), who steamed in from the boundary to claim a key wicket and another brilliant grab taken by a more stationary Skip. It’s getting better all the time. Fruiti put the home side under considerable pressure, claiming three wickets in a spell that included one or two balls offering some actual flight. At this point we looked favourites, although you may say I’m a dreamer. But I wasn’t the only one.

    Arunav’s slightly overexuberant celebrations did irk one Dolphin, who I had also annoyed earlier when enquiring whether his head high full toss might be no-ball.
    “No ball? Seriously? At my pace?”
    “Well, at that pace it ought to be easier to land it on the pitch.”

    “It’s a Sunday friendly.”

    “It certainly seems it.”

    At this point words are flowing out, like endless rain into a paper cup.

    “Let it be Seagull.” 

    “Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friends.”

    I did mention it was hot out there? 

    Wickets for Evil Dave, The Yak and two from Haydon’s dad, Mike, put us in the driving seat, beep-beep, beep-beep, yeah, but with a first team regular batsman coming in at number 10, we knew the game was far from won. 

    As he came to the crease Faggie came on. Left arm over the wicket bowlers have been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile. In his first over there were shades of the Quokkas Ashes circa 2019, as three shortish deliveries were dispatched into the strawberry fields forever. Nothing you can say, but I guess you can learn how to play the game Faggie. It’s easy! Have a spell.

    What we needed here was the Egg man, but he was off climbing the Eiffel tower, watching Nine Inch Nails or suchlike. Despite this onslaught, a few tight overs from Skip and Harry kept us in it and the game was up for grabs when a lofted straight drive failed to go the distance. Sadly, Seagull attacked it with the same vigour as his earlier batting, and found a reason for taking the easy way out. The catch avoidance trophy will look good on the mantlepiece. Through gritted teeth, Skip politely enquired whether perhaps that was catchable? I chose to avoid all eye contact and blamed the pre-match preparations. With that, the chance of victory was gone and not even Fruiti could prevent the inevitable, especially with two legside full tosses. 

    Make no mistake though, this was a very good performance by the Quokkas against an excellent Dolphins side with two or three very talented cricketers indeed. That fact it went down to the last wicket and penultimate over is testament to the two captains curating a terrific encounter. For those I’m not still avoiding eye contact with, see you at Hartfield.

    Seagull – in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

  • Quokkas CC 301-7 (Herc 87, Arunav 61, Todd 53, Tugboat 42)  beat Coldharbour CC 161-all out (Faggie 3-15, Evil 2-38, Prof 2-not sure)

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said that `we are not makers of history. We are made by history’, but I prefer to think that a small body of determined spirits, fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. Which is what happened on Sunday in the beautiful Surrey hills. Well, maybe not quite, but it is certainly halcyon times, with notable exploits seemingly creating Quokkas history almost every week. 

    Last week’s Radio John hat trick was something a bit special, but the game at Coldharbour will go down in Quokkas history (and not because Herc managed to catch a ball behind the stumps) as we congested half a season’s worth of batting into 35 overs, scoring 300 runs for the very first time. Those that played became instant legends, to be forever remembered in Quokkas folklore. For those out shopping with wives, girlfriends or boyfriends, sadly, you have become the forgotten men of history.

    So how did we reach that milestone? Well, those looking to put some shade on proceedings might point to the shortest boundary in cricket, quite a bit of Bertie Basset bowling and about 20 drop catches. However, if you’re a glass-half-full kind of guy like me….stop laughing…then the response would be, a plethora of ferocious hitting and high quality stroke play.

    Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to fail, so this week I decided to bat, a decision helped by my opposing captain winning the toss. The innings was built on the attacking intent of the Tugboat and Todd, with anything short or full, or neither short nor full, smashed deep into the ferns. It must be said that Todd almost went first ball (dropped catches may become a referring theme), but didn’t look back and played some superb shots. Leg glance was not one of them, but when you have every other in the book (and a few that aren’t), it doesn’t matter. Anything in his arc went hard to the boundary. 

    If you didn’t know already (you obviously haven’t been reading my match reports, also known as Quokkas history), Tugboat can really bat. The noise made as leather is crucified by his willow is something it behold and literally echoed across the Surrey hills. We got to enjoy that sound several times, including from an exquisite cover drive that will live in my memory until I remember where I put the key to the drinks cabinet.

    Faggie came to our opponents rescue, giving Tugboat out leg before wicket, while Driver did the same for Todd. Did history repeat itself, first as tragedy, second as farce? No. Both were plumb. By then though, 120 runs were on the board.

    The relentless ten-runs-an-over pace continued, with Herc dispatching pretty much everything, no matter where it was pitched, to the boundary. He pulled several balls for six, with one sailing over the protective netting and missing his own car by inches. His excellent 87 runs will earn him a probable five points towards the `Bestest and Fairest’ award, but with confirmation that additional games were unlikely, we can look forward to seeing him rise and then rapidly plummet down the Revometer score board at the next annual dinner. It would be remiss of me not to point out that there was the odd piece of luck along the way. I think Coldharbour must have been studying the Quokkas `”How to avoid taking catches” manual, which obviously helped our cause. A miscue saw three players shout “yours” in tandem, which might form the basis of a new chapter.

    At the other end, Arunav initially played a very measured innings, but then opened up, with one straight drive still climbing as it hit the top of giant pine tree some 30 yards beyond the boundary. A partnership of 147 in 13 overs was magnificent, no matter how short the boundary or bowling.

    When both fell, Faggie narrowly avoided a pair, before finding the only fielder that could catch. Professor, who is a different player altogether now he has a bat made of wood, played some lovely shots and he, Radio and Evil saw us past the 300 mark. This was followed by my favourite sledge of the season so far, when Radio revealed to a young opponent that he’d travelled down from Birmingham for the game only to receive the reply: “What? You travelled two and a half hours to be bowled by a thirteen year old?” which he was. 

    Talking of legendary status, the Coldharbour teas are starting to build quite a reputation, with our friend Mr Beer’s homemade sausage rolls complimenting the strawberries, cream scones, lemon drizzle cake and chocolate brownies. If he had provided a sample prior to his leg before wicket appeal, I might have even given it. As stand in skipper it’s obviously my job to consume enough cake to ensure more are baked next year. I dutifully obliged, although having to field second does limit consumption. This is another reason I like to bowl first. Note to self: Must get whites with bigger pockets.

    Driver, `fresh from a trip up to Leicester to watch egg chasing, opened the bowling and provided almost nothing for the batsman to hit. Evil was equally frugal (the claw not getting an outing helped) and between them they took three well-earned wickets. Faggie also bowled a terrific spell, dropping only a single delivery short in his six overs (I told you this was one for the history books), taking three excellent wickets of his own and causing all sorts of problems for Coldharbour’s two best batsman. 

    Ideas shape the course of history and my 8-1 field with the ball angling across the right hander almost paying dividends. For once, some field placements did pay off and Irish Driver said “the batting, bowling and fielding was OK, but the captaincy was bloody brilliant,” and who am I to argue?. OK, so he actually said “You will no doubt write in your match report that the batting, bowling an fielding was OK, but the captaincy was bloody brilliant,” but history will always be kind to me, for I have written it.

    Victories and failures, traditions and heritage, make history ever changing. A bit like Yaks bowling length, which allowed our opponents some rest bite. Yet history remains the same, with the Tom claiming yet another wicket to add to his collection, albeit slightly hidden among the batch of long hops. With that, we were into the tail, which Professor and Radio John cleaned up in no time at all, helping to seal an emphatic victory. History is of course written by the victors, which is why I am typing this match report and not my counterpart.

    The only way to become part of Quokkas folklore is to make yourself available, and soon. If you like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past, see you in Harpenden next week. I’ve heard they may even cut the grass this time. 

    Captain Seagull

  • I know you come here for a Quokkas cricket report, but some things are more important than cricket, and retelling this story is one of those things. A passenger on a recent Delta Airlines flight stunned fellow travellers and cabin crew alike when she was observed breastfeeding her pet cat. The woman had her hairless Canadian Sphynx swaddled up in a blanket so that it looked like a baby. When confronted by a flight attendant, her shirt was up and she was trying to get the cat to latch, which was screaming for its life. The woman refused to stop and wouldn’t put the cat back in the carrier. Delta airlines confirmed that it fully supports a woman’s right to breastfeed onboard its flights. You’re welcome.

    I have had feline issues of my own, but finally cracked the problem of them using my garden as a litter tray when I discovered `Silent Roar’. Basically lion-dung-smelling balls of joy that have turned the cocky little bastards into tight rope walkers round my backyard fence. I tell you this because it was perhaps the only win I had all winter. While Fergal Sharkey was informing me of how many billions of litres of raw sewage were being dumped into my local water ways, Saints were stinking up the Premiership with some of the most abject displays since the last set of abject displays, my holiday to Sri Lanka turned to shit when the country went into financial meltdown, and as for the winter tests, Jesus, can I have a `severance’ medical procedure to separate my England cricket watching memories from the rest please? Boy, I’m glad I have my disappointment. It’s better than nothing. 

    Liverpool or Madrid to win the Champions League final? You are asking me to rate my favourite flavour of dog turd there, but as the famous philosopher Paul Merson recently said, the richest people in the world are those that live in the moment, so I celebrated the Scousers failure and now I feel like a pig shat in my head. Mrs Seagull: What’s that smell? 

    Bourbon and despair my dear. I’d like a bloody Mary. But it’s nine o’clock in the morning. 

    Yep, hence not requesting whiskey. Thank god the cricket season is under way.

    First up, the Whalers and this match will be long remembered for the first ever Quokkas hattrick. Yeah, I know. What a turn up for the books. You may recall that Radio John almost achieved the feat twice last season, but this time he actually got the trio and in style too, clean-bowling his third victim. Unbelievable Jeff. The first two wickets weren’t bad either, Radio beating the batsman all ends up, allowing Todd plenty of time to claim a brace of stumpings. And he wasn’t finished there either, claiming another two wickets in two balls and just missing out on a second hattrick! A sixth victim did follow, leaving him with figures of three overs, six wickets for six runs…let me give you a moment to let that sink in…Malcolm Marshall eat your heart out. Seagull took him off. Obviously.

    Other than the magnificent Radio, our bowling looked rusty. Smruti went for more runs than all of last season. Faggie went for six an over and those that followed him wished they had. Jatin and Tugboat’s mix of unplayable and unreachable deliveries kept the scoreboard ticking over. Seagull didn’t help proceedings, placing fielders within the boundary, thereby failing to combat batsman hitting juicy leg side full tosses thirty yards beyond the rope. Viran, on loan from the Whalers, arrived about half way through the innings and the extra fielder made absolutely no difference to the run rate, but we at least had one more pair of hands to retrieve balls from the neighbouring pitches. 

    We needed a wicket badly. Seagull turned to Driver and he immediately delivered with a truly horrible first ball that saw the opener, already fifty runs to the good, miscue straight to midwicket. Finally, we had our breakthrough and one brought two, with the Yak joining the party, drawing another false shot and Seagull taking an easy catch. Driver then got a second wicket, with Todd taking a good catch behind the stumps, paving the way for the Radio show. The final wicket was claimed by Viran and by then our opponents were 232 to the good. We’ve lost from better positions.

    With cricket teas becoming optional, it was nice to tuck into an array of sandwiches, cakes and English tapas, although the accompanying UK garage soundtrack left a lot to be desired. MC Toes seemed in his element as did the 500 screaming kids enjoying another bouncy castle. Over tea we discussed the need for an option that’s more than sleeping, but not as much as being dead and discovered that only humans can cry tears and in football, space and time are the same. Fascinating stuff, but 21 seconds is about as much of So Solid Crew I can handle, so let’s knock those runs off. Well, some of them. 

    It wasn’t that we batted badly, we didn’t, we just didn’t bat terribly well. Although, with a little bit of luck we could have made it…(Ed: Oh no. I can see where this is going). To be fair, the bowling was decent and as a result, Todd and Driver were forced to bat sensibly knowing you just gotta get through this. And they did a great job until Driver was out. Faggie sadly didn’t trouble scorers and when Todd fell to peer pressure (bloody Kiwi wicketkeepers insisting they have heard an edge when the ball has missed by about a foot), we were in a little trouble. Tugboat smashed several fours and for a while looked dy-na-mi-tee, but just as drinks approached he let one through the gate, which he would like to have re-rewind…(Ed: in the spirit of things, `fill me in’ Seagull). 

    On Sunday we chilled, especially when Jatin continued the attack, hitting one or two huge boundaries, but he also fell on his sword as things started to look interesting. Viran hit a four that was as sweet as chocolate, before injuring himself and having to re-retire hurt. (Ed: Yeah that doesn’t work and I’ve got no idea how you are going to shoehorn flowers in the pouring rain). 

    Toes also looked very comfortable, but runs were proving hard to come by. The Yak and Smruti tried to move things along, but were both out playing the wrong shot, which left Seagull and Radio with just a little too much to do. Radio did however smash several lose deliveries for four and played one or two nice strokes too, forcing their skipper to bring back the opening bowler. With 85 needed from the last over you just never know. Sigh. 

    So, an opening game defeat for the Quokkas by the triumphant Whalers, but to be honest no one cared about the result as the day belonged entirely to Radio John. Well done sir, if I had them I would have presented you with flowers, as you made my day (Ed: nicely done).

    See you all in Coldharbour. I am hearing there might be a return of the attack (pump up the world).

    MC Seagull

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