• 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.

    Not bad

    Not bad

    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…

    Some context…

    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.

    Personal highlights:

    • 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.

  • Match Facts:

    Nerrena Recreation Reserve,

    Nerrena Hall Road

    Nerrena, Gippsland, VIC

    Australia, The World


    Sunday, February 11


    Start Time:

    1pm ???


    The Big Picture:

    This will be the third match between Nerrena and The Quokkas, and the first time we are playing for the O’Donovan – Gannon Trophy. The O’Donovan- Gannon Trophy is surely in the top 10 of Irish cricketing trophies, so there is plenty to play for there.


    Samuel Beckett would be amused, or possibly bemused.


    This match is an annual fixture that The Quokkas look forward to with great anticipation, the Nerrena ground being as beautiful a pitch as you will find in Gippsland, much like the representatives of the team itself.


    Despite all this, and perhaps unsurprisingly, The Quokkas have never won in Nerrena; which possibly explains why we keep getting invited back.


    Last years game was great fun; The Big Dog got his opposite number out in the first over of the game, Tuesday hit some handy runs, The Rev knocked himself out while fielding, everyone had a laugh at that and a general good time. Oh yeah, we also raised some cash for Beyond Blue.


    Form Guide:

    After starting the season in imperious form, normal programming has returned on Channel Quokka, with 3 losses in a row.


    The efforts and attitude have remained high though, and some players (Radar, Dutchy, Alex and Ed) are arguably in career-best form. Should these 4 keep up their form (and the rest not play too badly), The Quokks are a good chance to push for a win here.


    In the Spotlight:

    After debuting against Nerrena in our first match against them, Jay, has gone on to play pretty much every game since, whether they be in Sri Lanka, Rottnest Island or Clifton Hill.


    One of these guys has taken 17 wickets. The other has taken 15.


    In his 16 YPCA games, Jay has taken 17 wickets at 16.12 and scored 254 runs at 25.4. All of this has been done with impeccable technique that speaks of afternoons spent at proper cricket training and an application that is possibly wasted at our level.


    More than this, though, has been Jays contribution to the team. Always positive and supportive, Jay has brought the spirits and the performances of the team up with him.


    Team News:

    It’s obviously been a long season, as we’ve had to scramble to get an XI together for the first time this season. While many weeks this season have started with 14 or so available for the coming weekend, this week started with horse trading and has ended with a high likelihood of a full squad.


    Radar has managed to convince his Dad to play, which will be a real boon to the teams bowling stocks, as well as the general level of cool in the team. Can anyone else’s Dad casually talk about working with Sugarman?


    Yeah, thought so.


    Snipper is scheduled to make his long-awaited return to the team this Sunday too, though musical commitments may provide an obstacle.


    The XI (at the time of writing) is:

    1. Local
    2. Radar
    3. Dutchy (c)
    4. Jay
    5. Alex
    6. Ed
    7. Big Dog
    8. Pete Sforcina
    9. Snipper
    10. Roley
    11. Cat *
    12. Rev *


    * Cat will probably bat & Rev will probably field for her (this way he cant run anyone out – on either team)


    Pitch and Conditions:

    The Nerrena Recreation Ground is an absolute Quokka favourite and has an average rating of 5 stars on the Quokka Travel Guide**. With the green, undulating hills of Gippsland making up the background and pine plantations neighboring it, Nerrena is an empowering place for the spirit and the senses – kind of like the opposite to India.


    The weather forecast is for a cool 22 on Sunday with a chance of rain, here’s hoping that the wet stuff stays away long enough to get a game in.


    ** May not exist


    Stats and Trivia:

    • Local is only 21 runs off hitting 100 for this season, which he should do rather quickly as long as he stays in. His strike rate for the season is Darcy Short-esque at 1.61
    • Roley got his first Quokka YPCA runs in the last match, scoring 14 in fairly quick time after deciding that hitting boundaries involved a lot less running that singles
    • Captain Dutchy is only 35 runs off ONE THOUSAND career YPCA runs for The Quokkas. Given he is averaging 56.7 for the season (at a strike rate of 2.02), he could get there in a couple of overs on Sunday
  • From Captain Jay…
    O dim delicious heaven of dreams-
    The land of boyhood’s dewey glow-
    Again I hear your torrent streams
    Through purple gorge and valley flow,
    Whilst fresh the mountian breezes blow.
    Above the air smites sharp and clear-
    The silent lucid spring it chills
    But underneath, move warm amidst
    The bases of the hills.
    – Joh O’Donnell (1837-1874)
    Gippsland is a curious place. It looks like Ireland; every place is named with a nod to Mother Ireland and much like our QCC, the Irish-Australian folk willfully attempt cricket.
    After several country lattes (premix bourbon and cokes) and an inner urban hunt for some match balls, the splendid site that is Nerrena Recreation ground rolled up from the hills to meet Radar’s 2005 Mazda 3 like a cricketing mirage.Picture perfect, a lush outfield and solid locals on the lawn.
    Nerrena’s captain ‘Irish’ Brian and I met at the center where QCC suffered the first lost toss of the year (0/1).
    Sensing the Quokkas wished to bat first due to widespread, general and overwhelming fitness concerns Brian kindly sent the Quokkas out for a bowl.
    Nick Name AW was tossed the new ball.
    The captain favoring his late, subtle swing, solid line and wanton pace in these conditions.
    Determined to run a competitive and tight field, captain, bowler and catcher (Ed) were rewarded just 5 balls into the innings with the scalp of Nerrena’s captain –  Big ‘Irish’ Brian –  a duck off 4 tightly held balls.
    This was the start we were after. Sun is shining, catches being held, fielding is at times inspirational. T’is was happy Quokkas.
    Ed (caught Dutchy – behind) and Big Dog (catch at short cover by Nick) struck in quick succession..
    Then came the retirements, 4 in all.. (scores of 38 and 39) followed by a few guys that just wanted a walk in the sun before retiring – rotating the batting in a great gesture of sportsmanship from the Nerrena 11.
    Some excellent bowling from Nick, Local, Ed, Big Dog, and Rev and some tight fielding left the Quokkas with little reward at drinks.. 3/91
    Post drinks, Nerrena with batsman in the shed had begun to stride out before Big Dog (QCC’s in form strike bowler) and local (put’n on the pace) struck, followed by some pressure from Tuesday QCC slowed Nerrena to a mere trickle before the end of their innings.
    Nerrena – 5/166
    F.O.W – Possibly tells the story best;
    1/1, 2/33, 3/37, 4/150, 5/161
    Fielding/Bowling  – Special Mentions:
    Big Dog: Brought on as strike bowler with immediate success in both spells. In form bowler of the season so far, great flight!
    Rev: Managing to get under a sky ball, miss it entirely and knock himself out in the process. (Glad the neck is better now mate! )
    Nick AW: Inspired positivity, and fielding at short cover – Kept QCC spirits up all day (Especially between 2/37 and 4/150).
    With some serious health concerns over Rev’s fielding fall the opening batting position was left open.
    After some general avoiding of eye contact from most in the QCC Local stepped up and took the bull by the.. rib eye.
    Local combined with Radar to get QCC off to the start it needed!
    Local 17/7
    Radar 10/10
    Shano then tried to steady the ship for an over but was eventually caught – Bowlin 6/12
    After a perfect start (1/26) this was now familiar QCC territory (3/37).
    Tuesday and Jay (C) took a vow to hold the fort which resulted in some test match like batting from the pair as they put on 40 odd runs at a steady rate.
    On 25 Tuesday, generally bored of watching the ball on to the bat tried to unsuccessfully put a yorker into the bass straight (62km away). It was 4/90
    Jay missing Tuesday’s company played on off his thigh.. now 4/92.
    Dutchy, Alex, Ed, Cat and Big Dog tried in vain to bail the water but the ship was sinking..
    Good tight bowling/fielding from Nerenna did the Quokkas in on this occasion.
    Restricting QCC to a slower than required run rate Nerrena held QCC to end on 8/145.
    The Country folk rolled us again!
    Great day in the sun in a beautiful part of the world. 
    Cricket was the winner today (and Nerrena) 
    Local 17/7
    Radar 10/10
    Bowlin 6/12
    Tuesday 25 / 31
    Jay 16/22
    Dutchy 8/9
    Alex 5/7
    Cat 3/14
    Nick 3/6
    Ed 12/12*
    Big Dog 8/8*
    * Not Out
  • Match Facts: November 20, 2016, Nerrena Cricket Club

    Time: 1pm

    The Big Picture: This is The Quokkas second visit to Nerrena for a social match against the locals. Normally this would qualify as a tour game, but considering we just played 2 games in Sri Lanka, its more of a social visit.

    Still, we are looking forward to it eagerly.

    Not being a pub league game, we are playing by the standard T20 rules, which will bring the nastiness of LBWs and other ways of getting out. So unfair.

    Form Guide: The Quokkas started the season with a famous win, with Snipper hitting a 6 off the last ball to win it. They backed it up by piling on 181 runs against the Old Bar in 25 overs, only to watch their opponents chase the total with 3 overs and 3 wickets to spare. Not exactly the sort of thing that will terrorize the Nerrena batsmen as they sleep this week.

    In the Spotlight:

    Nickname AWs last innings of 26 took him to 46 total career runs, more than doubling his run tally in his previous 8 digs and showing us what he is capable of with the bat. He also averages a wicket every 4 overs, and not having taken a wicket with his last 2, is due.

    Dutchy famously scored a 49 in this fixture last year and will certainly be looking for the chance to go literally 1 better.

    Team News: The Quokkas playing stocks are plentiful this season. If only they had the ability to match their availability. Jay has been handed the Captains Jacket for this game, but only metaphorically, I have no idea where the actual Jacket is. If anyone with any information on the whereabouts of the Jack could get in touch, that’d be great.

    At the time of writing, there are 14 players available for this game:

    1. Tuesday
    2. Local
    3. Jay (c)
    4. Rev
    5. Radar
    6. Tigger
    7. Chef
    8. Cat
    9. Bowl’en
    10. Alex
    11. Nickname AW
    12. Dutchy (w/k)
    13. Ed
    14. Dog (w/k)

    We are going to rotate through the fielders to make sure everyone gets a bowl, but not everyone will get a bat. Those that have only batted once this season will get a priority.

    Pitch and Conditions: In this same match preview last year I joked about how wet and awful Gippsland is, then we were presented with sunshine, undulating hills and green countryside. It’s a beautiful spot.

    Stats & Trivia

    • Nickname AW is the leading 4 hitter for the Quokkas so far this season, with five boundaries
    • The Big Dog has the highest batting average this season (54) and has faced the highest number of balls (73), the next highest is Ed (38)
    • The mode average for balls faced this season is 17; 4 players (Rev, Dutchy, Jay and Local) have all faced that many
    • The last game v the Old Bar was certainly one for milestones, J Rod played his 30th YPCA game for the Quokkas, the Big Dog had his 60th total Quokka appearance (club record), Local had his 25th Quokka appearance
    • The last game also saw Ed get his first Century for the Quokkas, having now bowled 100.2 overs
    • Tuesdays last catch took him to 24 dismissals (catch or run outs / stumping) for The Quokkas, he is quickly closing in on Curtos record (29). His catches per match average (1.44) has daylight between him and the rest
    • Alex was a little worried about his lack of involvement in winning teams of late, but should be happy about his latest wicket; it took him out of the 11 wicket club (Mo, Radar, Robbo, Local & Snipper), which was getting a little crowded. He is the only member of the 12 wicket club.
  • pogonophobia  /p?g?n??f??b??/

    extreme dislike of beards


    The natural habitat of the Quokka is northside inner suburban Melbourne. As we have tired of our surrounds the quest has continued to find new locations to spread the quokka legend. This year’s tour game took us far from the hipsters and skinny jeans of Fitzroy to the Gippsland countryside. Stories abounded that our hosts Nerrena had the only other ex-hurler Irish cricketer playing in Victoria. Someone other than Big Dog with a single cross-batted shot and an unorthodox bowling action? That alone was worth investigating further.

    The preceding week was spent with the squad oscillating from 13 down to 10 and with a couple of late additions we had 12 to play. On winning the toss our hosts decided that the decent thing was to give us the choice in any case and so it was that the Quokkas were set to bowl first. Snipper and Eliza arrived rock-star late but our hosts were happy to hold off the start. There was significant net activity and youthful exuberance by our opponents whilst the Quokka pre-match routine consisted of cracking open a few cold cans. All the warning signs were there you might say.

    The innings in the field started well with Ed and Chef keeping it tight. The Nerrena captain poked and prodded to 13 as wickets fell around him. Big Dog had a bowl and that little Waterford versus Kilkenny duel ended honours even. The Quokkas rotated the bowlers and Chef, Alex, Jay and Local all picked up wickets along the way. Impressive catches for Local and Alex off steepling shots and an uncharacteristically generally attentive fielding display left us with a gettable 117 to chase on the wide expanses of the fertile Gippsland dairy paddocks.

    Pretty great.

    Pretty great.

    The sun beat down with lazy sense of optimism at the innings break and all looked well in the world for the Quokkas. An early dismissal for our debutant Ian was followed by a solid partnership of 44 between Alex and Dutchy. Big Dog joined Dutchy to take the score to sitting pretty on 2/64 off 11 overs. But being the Quokkas calamity was never too far away and Big Dog, Snipper and Jay departed in the 12th over leaving us reeling.

    That triple wicket maiden was the turning point from which the Quokkas never recovered. Dutchy was out for 49 and Bowl’en, Cath and Ed couldn’t quite get us there despite some lusty blows in the last few overs. The Redcaps skipper showed his versatility with a spell of death bowling to clinch victory for his side. So in this particular Irish civil war it was keeping with the pattern of history as once again black and amber ruled supreme over white and blue. Tiocfaidh ár lá.

    Thanks to Brian for organising and for the whole club at Nerrena for hosting us on the day. It was a measure of the enjoyment from our side that when a return game in Melbourne was mooted one of the recently defeated Quokka batsman quickly added “stuff that, we’re coming down here again”. Big Dog retains the anti-Midas touch with a perfect record of 4 losses from 4 games as captain. Surely Winston Churchill had the Quokkas in mind when we said “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”.


Recent Comments

  • Strong.
  • Proper swing bowling that was. Pitch it up.
  • Fabulous article which made us smile in the Spanish sunshine...
  • You forgot to mention Harry getting to bowl an over aswell. ...
  • Please see point 5.