From Captain Dutchy….
Nerrena – build it and they will come.
And we did (come), Again.
There’s a serenity/chaos dichotomy in pub league cricket and its fair to say Nerrena has won the Quokkas’ hearts. It’s a field placed upon a majestic location with a view to die for. Any hipster barista in pub-league territory could only dream of the single origin milk/cream produced in these parts and wouldn’t know what to do when confronted with the majestic view from the Nerrena oval, on the crest of a hill overlooking a landscape somehow escaped by the Heidelberg school, who quite frankly couldn’t be farked traveling beyond the old metro zone 1 train ticket reaches.
The Nerrena game has become folklore amongst the quokka tribe, not just for the challenge, scenery and view but the pre-game fish n chips night-before tradition (entering its second year). The quokka tribe has entered an aggressive recruitment plus breeding program. If anyone needs to understand ‘cute’ please witness Radar and Caitlin dote over the quokkas future No3 batsman and opening bowler!
A last minute change with our leading strike bowler and trophy promulgate, Big Dog, needing to go home as his father had passed back in Ireland – brought a sobering reality to proceedings.
And then onto game day…
The quokkas went with an aggressive (confused?) turn-up-before-the-opposition-tactic, Albeit only half of us. The inevitable last minute logistical confusion ensued as some had gigs the night before and others were still asking Siri where ‘Near Enya’ was…
The Nerrena lads have previously spanked the quokkas with their mix of older guile and youth. This year the yoof faces changed but still were impressive (almost to the point I would say the best Nerrena we have faced!).
But there was a ‘plan’. A ‘chaos plan’.
The Quokkas bowled first.
This was to be a theory derived in Dutchy’s deluded mind that cricket doesn’t apply to pub-league. Reactionary field placing was gone, traditional field placing were verboten and Bowlers would be backed rather than reactionary. And so a big thank you to the Nerrena batsmen for making that plan look ok.
And to say the quokkas bowling stepped up was an understatement, I am not exaggerating to state it was one of the best ever Quokkas bowling performances to date. Ed, Alex, Pete, Jay and Radar swung, moved and bowled tight with Ed, Alex and Radar knocking the stumps down. And then, the secret weapon Rolly was introduced. First ball. Skied to Rev. Catch taken.
Paramedics were called… mainly for the Quokkas…
Things were looking good for the Quokkas as the Nerrena lads were mistakenly playing cricket whilst the Quokkas were playing the short game. A statement that may never be repeated re Quokkas bowling is that no single over contained more than one boundary. No, seriously!
Snipper bowled with one arm and was unfairly bombarded with catches on his injured side. Ed was almost eviscerated by a ‘chance’ at square leg and in total the quokkas dropped approx 6 (sometimes brutal) catches but those numbers don’t tell a true tale.
Put simply. The Quokkas excelled. Cath (with Piper), under trying circumstances, had made the trip and came on to bowl. The instructions were simple, “bowl as high as and loopy as Darragh does”. Within her first three deliveries she almost had two wickets and honestly could have finished the day with three,
Whilst the Nerrena lads were swishing, there wasn’t much runs and despite the forced retirements of faces their total got up to 139.
And now the Quokkas were faced with a conundrum before unseen.
The usual 25 overs historically has seen us staring down 170-200+ totals. The choke was on!
But Nerrena had a rather annoying battery of young bowlers who looked like they knew of this mysterious ‘line and length’ white whale some have spoken of, yet rarely harpooned, in pub league.
After a short break whereupon the quokkas tried to mentally readjust to the possibility of a gettable target, Rev and Radar (R&R) headed out. Now the Rev is a new beast this season and has been spotted on occasion playing ‘shots’. And yet somehow went out despite looking good. Radar is one of my ‘moneyball’ players. flashy bat that likes it coming at him fast and sending it away faster, unfortunately sucked into a stumping but had the scoreboard ticking early…
Enter Jay. After checking Rev wasn’t at the other end, he yet again played some great scoring shots and kept the runs coming. There’s thirties in his future soon…
But soon the fireworks and soundtrack pumped across the landscape as the ‘single origin Local show’ waltzed out and immediately introduced the backward sweep to great effect for a boundary.
Jay departed after some quick runs to let Alex get involved. As if it wasn’t enough that he was capable of bowling some seriously awesome leg breaks, it would not be over stated to say Alex has been nothing short of amazing with the willow this season.
I mean, he does cheat; footwork should be discouraged…
Snipper still managed to bat effectively despite being one sided and Ed and myself ticked over the last few runs to take victory.
- Watching Peter show his lad (Radar) and grandson he still has it!
- Watching the confusion on Quokkas faces with field placings that can change between overs!
- Piper teaching new emojis on the sidelines
- Our best bowlers being pretty much all of us!
It was fairly quickly made sober to realise the Big Dog wasn’t here to witness a first, historic win for the “O’Donovan-Gannon’ Trophy.
A huge thank you to the Nerrena crew for hosting a great day which we are already look forward to next year’s edition.
Love seeing the new young faces come through the Nerrena team. Big thanks to locals Will and cohorts for filling in whilst the Quokka last few rolled up.