• First of all I must apologise for the tardiness of my report, however I must confess that I was of the opinion that the Captain for the day normally was responsible for the report (although I do further confess that the skipper did ask me to write the report that afternoon after the match).

     

    Anyway if you can cast your minds back to the Melbourne Cup weekend and in particular, Sunday the 4 November, Melbourne was blessed with some delightful spring weather and the Quokkas were required to take on The Pinnacle (or the Black Caps as they referred to themselves) at the historic, but very sandy (more bunkers than the Old Course at The National) Brunswick Street Oval (aka the home of PL Cricket).

     

    As is the custom of PL Cricket, the Quokkas who were hosting the event were first to bat in ideal conditions.  The Father and Son combination of Big Dog and Pup got the Quokka’s off to a delightful start with both of them going along nicely in the first few overs.  Unfortunately for Pup, who was going along at better than a run a ball (senior partner), he skied one and was caught at mid off.  With the Quokkas 2011/2012 B&F winner and PL Cricketing Leviathan, Emu not available due to International duties off the field, a replacement number 3 was needed.  Unfortunately just like the current Australian number 3 the scorers weren’t troubled too much and much to my son’s (and competitive brothers) disappointment following our long drive from Sorrento to Fitzroy that morning, I was back in the pavilion (at least Sam would be able to give me technique lessons on our way back to Sorrento that night).  Luckily though I made way for Jimmy “Grenades” Northe in his debut for the Mighty Quokka, who in partnership with the Big Dog rattled our scoring along (Big Dog 31 (32) and Grenades 28 (21)).  Once this pair fell however some tight bowling from the Black Caps saw us lose some cheap wickets with Radar 10 (11), Alex 1 (2) and Big Matt Tanner 5 (6) not able to form any partnerships.  That was until Cuppsie 21 (13) and Curto 30 (36) steadied the ship and Rowdy coming in late to whack 12 (8), Sam Curtain (another Grigg decedent saddling up for the Labour in Vain – The Horse has a lot to answer for) fell for his first career duck before Curto (our only retiring batsman) came back at the end to miss a straight one.

     

    The Pinnacle, it must be said bowled (they had no less than 6 guys purporting to be “Spinners”) with a general lack of pace, but excruciatingly straight meaning our batsmen had to hit the ball in most instances rather than rely on our normal approach of “healthy edges”.  That combined with their good fielding and catching (I must say Alex was a bit stiff) meant our innings was never really free flowing.

     

    Nevertheless the runs were on the board, even if it was a slightly under par 160 (even on the sandy surrounds of Royal Brunswick St).  The assignment would require the lethal Quokka bowling attack to fire and all of the guile of our skipper to get us over the line.  Despite his well compiled (picket fence) and at times opposition frustrating innings for the Quokkas (yes words were exchanged again in the heat of battle), the day did not start off well for our skipper, who had forgotten the bread for the BBQ and needed to order in pizza at his own expense to feed the hungry cricketers.  As such feeling the stress of the catering and the mental exhaustion of his innings steadying role with the bat, the first thing the skipper did was hand the keeping gloves to young Sam and recruit “Shoeless” English Rob (aka The Phantom) who had come down to watch to take to the field.  Curto could then park himself under a shady tree with a warm beer and cold piece of margarita and bark instructions and advice from under a shady tree outside of the playing arena cauldron.  This move provided automatic dividends with The Phantom opening the bowling and shaping one away in his second over, which found the edge and Sam did the rest low down and two his right.  The Phantom’s great bowling display set the tone for the Quokkas bowlers, apart from Curto (super sub at drinks) and myself bowling short tripe and keeping the Black Caps in it, sending down beautiful line and length bowling (who would’ve thought that would work!!).  As such the Pinnacle were never really in the hunt and continually loss wickets throughout their innings, Radar finishing them off in the penultimate over.  All in all it was a powerful bowling and fielding display routing the Pinnacle for 135 (5 of their batsmen being clean bowled – we will need to defer to Rev as to whether that was a Quokka Record).

     

    Pick of the bowlers were Radar 2/11 off 2.3 overs, Rowdy 2/12 off 3 overs, Cuppsie 2/14 off 3 overs and Pup a tight 0/5 off 2 overs.

  • After arriving at the patchy Ramsden st oval and winning the toss the mighty Quokkas elected to bowl with a stiff breeze at their backs.
    Some tight bowling early kept the early scoring restricted, but the first wicket didn’t fall until Emu’s second over, a sharp catch from the Dutchman in the gully. The Quokkas were away, and next over Atlantis made up for his early length struggles by picking up a clean bowled with the last ball of his spell. Some more tight bowling from J-rod and Ed built pressure on the batsmen and led to Mo taking a wicket with his first ball and drinks being called. With the Napier at 3-60 we were pretty happy with proceedings.
    Unfortunately this brought their left handed tonker to the crease. He took a particular liking to Paris and hit three 6’s and two 4’s on his way to 35 off 14 balls. Once he and his partner in crime retired, the rest of the batting lineup didn’t put up too much resistance, with Ed, Radar, J-rod and Paris all picking up wickets. Despite some talk of deliberately dropping catches to avoid the big hitters coming back in, we cleaned up the tail, with the aid of a handy runout. As it turned out the retirees didn’t cause too much trouble, both going in the second last over to close out the innings at 142.
    Good effort all round in the field. Particular mention to Big Dog filling in admirably behind the stumps in trying conditions and Ed who was in his own words ” impenetrable” sweeping on the boundary.
    Unfortunately the Quokkas never really got going in the run chase. After Emu went early watching the ball slowly dribble off his pads onto the off bail, the rest of the top order tried valiantly, but particularly found boundaries hard to come by. J-rod, Mo and Dutchy all hit double figures, but the top score was the new batting sensation The Big Dog. Coming in late in the order he used his trademark technique to work the area behind square on the leg side like no one else can. But it was a bridge too far, and the Quokkas were all out in the 24th for 107.
    Bad luck lads, but great effort. The Napier seemed like a decent bunch of blokes. The game was played in the right spirit, as epitomised by one of their batsmen coming out, swinging and missing a couple of times, then saying “I shouldn’t have smoked those two joints before I came out here.”

    See some of you this Sunday at the new venue

  • Match Facts:

    LiV Quokkas v The Napier Hotel

    18.12.12

    13:00

    Ramsden Street Oval, Clifton Hill

     

    The Big Picture:

    Coming off their first win of a poor start to the season, the Quokkas will be looking forward to squaring off against one of the league stalwarts in the Napier Hotel.

     

    This is the first time the Quokkas have played the Napier, and so there is little knowledge around what to expect from them, apart from a team that is well nourished on Chicken Parma WITH SLICED ROO INSTEAD OF HAM.

     

    Heading back to the dustbowl that the Ramsden Street oval has become, the Quokkas are going to have to be mindful of their run-ups and pinch singles where available; their eventual downfall against the Curtin.

     

    Form Guide:

    Quokkas: LLW

     

    Watch out for:

    Dutchy had more success in Launceston with a fishing rod than he did with a cricket bat or ball, but has shown in the nets that he is still capable of hitting the ball over suburbs.  He has also been working on his grumpy old man image, spending the weekend in the Standard Hotel, telling them how crap their Captain is.

     

    Alex “Atlanta” Gow debuted well with the ball against the Pinnacle  looked comfortable with the bat, until he smashed a pull shot straight to the man at Square Leg (possibly breaking his hands).  His fathers reaction to his batting performance has given inspiration for his nickname.

     

    Team News:

    The Quokkas list continues to expand by the day & so a rotation policy has had to be put in place, unfortunately it has nothing to do with talent or horses-for-courses.

     

    13 have been selected for this game, including 2 Enigmas (bowling only): Ed and Radar.

     

    This game also see’s the return of J Bomb to duke out the run-scoring record with Emu, and Bad Boy to generally smash cans and wickets.

     

    Robbo is captain.

     

    Quokkas (in no particular order):

    1.       Mo

    2.       J Bomb

    3.       Bad Boy

    4.       Robbo (captain)

    5.       Phantom

    6.       Rowdy

    7.       Emu

    8.       J-Rod

    9.       Alex “Atlanta” Gow

    10.   Dutchy

    11.   Paris

    12.   Ed (Enigma 1 – bowl only)

    13.   Radar (Enigma 2 – bowl only)

  • Labour in Vain Quokkas Vs The John Curtin 21st October 2012

     

    In the tradition of global sporting powers, such as Liverpool, the Quokkas warmed up for the oncoming season with a brand-expanding overseas tour &, much like the Reds, underperformed, on the field anyway.
    So to the somewhat unfamiliar, wind-swept fields of Clifton Hill & the winless, after four long years of competition, John Curtin.
    Brutal scheduling seemed to be our strongest opponent, two games in a week looking to sorely test us, but the boys were up & about, with Curto hungover as buggery & El Capitan continuing the bizarro injuries of last season but pulling a quad doing nothing more vigorous than running a bar then the morning of the match straining my groin by the severe action of waking up. It’s the ungodly 11am starts I tells ya.
    Following tradition, the home side batted first allowing the Quokkas to build on a mounting reputation as a “team of bowlers”. This is attributed to the Royal Oak however it may be referencing our batting ability more than our bowling.
    Wiley captain that I am, I chose to open the bowling with our best (only?) batsman & a young fella who’s more confident plying his trade behind the stumps, & of course it worked a treat with Emu (1-8) & Pup (0-3) keeping it tight over their first 2 overs each, with a breakthrough for good measure. This was a surprisingly consistent theme running through the entire innings as each bowling pair kept picking up the odd wicket with overall controlled bowling with the requisite bit of rubbish thrown in to lull the opposition into rash shots. Off a highly reduced run-up, I managed my now standard 1-15, with a clean bowled & a couple of enticing leg side pies thrown in for good measure. The standouts were Radar bamboozling the batsmen with an over of spin then an over of zippy mediums, claiming a wicket in each, & the stroke of captaincy genius of bringing Gimme Ed back into the attack to cries from Rev of “you’re bloody shitting me,” Ed coolly responding with 2 wickets. A shrewd “spinner”, his main wrecking ball tends to be the “one that goes on straight”. And Damo, thanks for coming down mate…I liked your shirt. Let’s not focus on the ring-in Charlie too much, needless to say his vigour in the field & pace & accuracy bowling inspired/put us to shame & was greatly appreciated. With Kermit the Frog conducting, Radar & I kept up our Muppet show in the field, him in the air, I on the ground, generally sprawled scrambling for the ball.
    After only one strategic retirement, & Curto passing the gloves to Charlie for a couple of cheeky overs & a wicket to boot, we had the Curtin back in the Pav for 131, confidence brimming.
    Mr 97.5 took up where he left off last year, but thankfully that was the day before when he was bowled for a golden duck. The big positive for the day was an opening partnership of balance, solidity & contrasting styles with Emu smashing everything he could, including a ball two feet outside off stump, with the wind to the leg side boundary & Cupsy playing anchoring role playing proper cricket shots & everything. I was describing him as the Boycott, no outlandish shots, defence of a rock, when he then went the tonk & holed out to mid on for 17. An opening stand of 1-49, 1-74 at drinks & looking good. I continued mozzing everything I could by remarking to Beth in a confident tone that “if we don’t win this from here then we aren’t much of a cricket side.” A reasonably accurate assessment in the end.
    A somnambulating decent into the middle order quagmire sucked the life right out of the innings, with us making only 24 runs from overs 9 to 16. As the prospect of a scandalous loss suddenly dawned on us, shirt-collars tightened, fists clenched & unclenched & mouths dried up along with the flow of runs. Pup was middling everything but often straight to fielders & the vociferous Curto’s “twos, we need more bloody twos” went unheeded until he himself added some much needed urgency. As solid starts were turned into delivery-sapping single-digit disappointments, the tactics turned. Rev’s inspired “get out quick, get Emu back in” managed to run everyone out around him before his plan finally fell into place. With my quad muscle near torn off the bone from some chases in the field, when the time came for a Captain’s knock of real guts, determination & verve, I was ready & hobbled to the crease from my sheltered position of number 10. Unfortunately, I’m not a batsman’s a***hole & after a couple of truly tortuous twos, I’d knicked one & Emu was back in needing a miraculous 13 off 4 balls. It was too much for the big man & we succombed ten runs short, handing the Curtin their first victory in their 4 years in the comp. To see them celebrate as wildly as any team in the comp ever has, & with them being champion blokes to boot, softened the blow a bit, but geez that one was tough to swallow.
    History-makers, that’s what we are & I’d never had any doubts about the fact.
    John Curtain – 131 (Radar 2-15, Ed 2-17, Emu 1-7)
    Quokkas – 121 (Emu 37, Cupsy 17, Jarrod 10, Curto 10)
    Now can I resign in a flood of Kim Hughes-like tears?
    Morty

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