I have been receiving a lot of mail throughout the season regarding The Quokkas and their apparent link to a mysterious ‘life force’ that appears to help them through all their tight matches to victory and went conspicuously missing in Paris (a notorious hive for the ‘dark side’). While not being in a position to comment, I am going to have to admit that the evidence is becoming overwhelming. Are the Quokkas Jedis? Perhaps.
The latest piece of evidence for the affirmative came on the weekend when The Skip returned to The Quokkas colours to guide the team to victory, much like Skywalker (L) and his return to bring peace to the galaxy.
Arriving in Cookham, one of the loveliest grounds seen by our army, The Quokkas immediately fell into something of a relaxed-funk; their senses being dulled by the lush surroundings, fresh memories of their last victory with ten men and inside knowledge from The Hairdresser that Cookham CC weren’t much to contend with.
They were soon ripped from their daydream after The Skip sent The Quokkas in and Cookhams opening bowlers started spraying The Mantis and The Rev with swinging bouncers. It was then that the force started to kick in, with the brave openers beginning to find their groove before The Rev fell foul of a dubious LBW decision that came straight from the Dark Side. It does prey on the weak-minded.
The newly promoted Egg soon followed The Rev back to the pavillion, as did the new hope; The Bushranger. This brought about the return of The Skipper, sabre in hand and strong in the force. Combined with The Mantis, The Quokkas soon built a strong platform with swashbuckling strokes from the Mantis and the Skip piercing the field with regularity despite more hostile bowling until The Mantis’ defence was eventually breached.
Using the power of the good side, the Quokkas middle order built an unusual resistance, with our player from a universe far, far away (Robert ‘the’ Bruce of Canadia) supporting the Skip before falling to a baseball hook. The Skaff and PJ then combined to help the scoreboard ticking over, with PJ in particular showing how to swing the sword in bringing up a 59-run partnership for the 7th wicket.
Feeling a presence he had not felt since…2006, The Skip suddenly lost his guard and his wicket for 89 runs. No nervous 90’s for him. The tail did admirably to take the total to 193, a Quokka record, with the African connection of Carel ‘Asbo’ Venter, Thug P and Smithers all shouldering the burden. In the case of Asbo this was more using once arse then force.
Being slightly stunned at their score, the Quokkas were again soon woken from their slumber with their first ball which was smashed for six back to London. Settling into a rhythm though, the Thug was soon keeping a tight line and Smithers (possibly returning from the dark side) had their 6-smashing opener trapped LBW. Thug then had the other opener caught by a Russell Robertson impersonating Rev, and then their dangerous number 3 by The Skip in what was possibly the catch of the year. Strong in the force, he is.
Cookham were not about to let up though and their middle-order started finding the boundary with ease. Their left-hander, Nunn, gave the bowlers plenty to worry about until the Skip stepped in to do all the work himself with a handy caught and bowled using the old Jedi off-spin trick. Still, more was needed and the introduction of the out-of-confidence Egg proved the breakthrough, with 2 wickets falling for only 16 runs off 4 overs.
The perseverance of PJ coming in up the hill from the pavillion end also paid off, bowling one through the gate after some particularly helpful chirping from the Thug leading the chorus in ‘catchers corridor’.
The rest was left to The Skaff, who after a strong showing with the bat and the field came in with some speedy and accurate bowling to clean bowl The Hairdressers brother and ‘do a Bradley’ in pulling out a Caught and Bowled to remove their number 9 and wrap-up the match with 12 runs to spare.
Well done to all the lads for their contributions, particularly to the Thug in his comeback and Asbo for fitting right in at the last minute.
As a final point, the votes will longer be broadcast so as to keep a little more anticipation regarding presentation night. We will however, be broadcasting:
The Iain Edwards Bravery award
Which goes to Robert the Bruce for filling in so admirably with the gloves. The team has voted that he continue on in this role & hope he is a follower of democracy. Those baseball trousers though? Not too many votes there.
The Andrew Smith Champagne Moment
A few possibilities here between The Bushranger dropping an identical catch to the one against Wantage, ‘the huddle’, Asbo using his arse as a bat, The Revs screamer and the Thugs chirping – but it has to go to The Skip for an outstanding catch at first slip.