• 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
  • Match Facts:

    Fairfield Oval

    Yarra Bend Dve




    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.


    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
  • Match Facts:

    Sunday, January 9th 2022

    WJ Cox Oval, Yarra Bend


    1pm start

    The Big Picture:

    Happy New Year. There is probably a parallel universe somewhere in which Marti Pellow sings “Covid is all around me” while the world has love spread uncontrollably, but it isn’t this universe – this one is quite the opposite.

    While the global spread of a deadly virus is quite the macro view of where the world is at, this impending match is quite the micro view of where the YPCA is at.

    Forced out to a remote ground that is girt by Bunyips, with two proud teams in The Royston and The Rainbow having to combine a side to make up an XI. 

    It wasn’t that long ago that the YPCA had teams falling over themselves to get into the league and were battling out matches on the grandeur of Alfred Crescent oval.

    The planet, and the league, are becoming much less care-free places and we are going to have to work together to succeed.

    On more micro issues still, a review of our last couple of matches against the Royston (both losses) shows that Local has Captained both.  Little surprise he is omitted (camping) for this one.

    As the Quokkas certainly haven’t had much success on the field against either The Rainbow or The Royston of late, or ever, it is little surprise that both are licking their lips to have a little nibble on our Quokka legs.

    The games have, though, always been played in the right spirit and also been plenty of fun.

    Again, Happy New Year.

    Form Guide:

    The Quokkas are coming off their first loss of the Summer, to the Rainbow, but have been in unprecedented form otherwise.

    In the Spotlight:

    The singleted, cycling saviour from the South West, Sizzle, returns this week to spin the ball sideways spectacularly.  Try saying that ten times fast.

    We have missed the Sizzle since he moved down the coast, though his cryptic crossword contributions have certainly been welcome on the group chat.

    Handy in the field (particularly while punching darts), a good holding bowler and capable of literally hitting it into the WJ Cox oval car park (as we have seen in the past), we welcome him back with open arms.

    Team News:

    With COVID ripping through the Quokka bio-bubble ahead of Sunday, we have already had to make one change, with more expected before the big day.

    The squad, at the time of writing and no particular order is:

    1. Rivers
    2. Dutchy
    3. Radar
    4. Jay
    5. Sizzle
    6. Alex
    7. James Gow
    8. The Animal
    9. Rev
    10. J Rod (c)
    11. Fridge
    12. Tim B Chapman (pending test results)
    13. Ami’s mate

    It should be noted that J Rod has already awarded himself 6 votes for the game.

    Pitch and Conditions

    WJ Cox Oval may be affectionately referred to as “one for mosquito enthusiasts” or “a destination for those that like to lose cricket balls in snake territory”, it does at least offer sanctuary from the demanding public.

    The weather is supposed to be nice on Sunday with a top of 24 and possibly no rain after several days of Summer thunderstorms.  This will be welcomed by the likes of The Animal and Jay who will be able to use the conditions to make the ball swing harder than Edna St Vincent Millay.

    Stats & Trivia

    • This will be Radars 50th YPCA game for the Quokkas, congratulations to the man with the awesome tattoos – 726 runs at 20.74 and a high score of 37, while also taking 15 wickets at 34 and going for 6.5 runs per over
    Radar, seen here hitting out
    • This will also be Dutchy’s 100th total appearance for the Quokkas; 75 YPCA games, 8 Big Day Not Outs, 10 T20 games, 5 VBCA games and 1 match in Sri Lanka (missed the other with a severe case of Hanoi beers) – Congratulations to the man in the orange van
    • Dutchy and Radar are also having an interesting competition for most dismissals (catches and run outs); both are sitting on 34
    • It’s getting pretty competitive in the fight for 4th spot on the all-time YPCA wickets list, with; yours truly (35), J Rod (34), Alex (32) and Jay (34) all battling it out
    • I picked up my 400th career YPCA run in the last game.  Watch out Dutchy.
  • From Captain Local…

    Alphington Oval on a sunny afternoon is one of the prettier places to enjoy pub cricket – an irony maybe lost on the Quokkas as we experienced an ugly mauling.

    Our opponents: The Royston, a nemesis from recent years who luckily don’t mind throwing on a few jugs after the game when we inevitably get back to their pub. They’re a very decent bunch of humans – it’s just a shame that the decency doesn’t extend to not smashing you relentlessly over the fence at deep long on.

    Where to start.

    Captain Local went in to his 7th game as captain with a hope, a plan and an intact W/L ratio of 0/7. The Quokkas had offered to get pizza for the innings changeover (thank you Ray Jayner), so we batted first.

    Our openers J-Rod and Jay battled battlingly on the spread-out field, before Dutchy and Radar went to work in the overs pre-drinks, both bringing up hard-fought 30s. Boundaries were difficult to come by and all the Quokkas batsmen were made to run, except Dutchy, who was able to get over the fielders regularly.

    Coming in next, Alex wasn’t able to capitalise on recent good form unfortunately, but Ed and Local then combined for a 50-run partnership that saw them both retiring back to the pavilion at the end of the same over. A great day for Tasmania, if not necessarily for power hitting.

    What followed was definitely not a great day for Ami (who, it has to be said, had stepped in to the breach when Nimble wasn’t available and driven quite a long way to be at the ground that day – thank you Ami). Batting with The Reverend ‘yes/no/YES’ Nicholls, Ami was unhappily run out at the non-strikers end before facing a ball. A small consolation is that he is now the member of the exclusive Diamond Duck club, and a very nice trophy is coming his way.

    The remaining batsmen cycled through, which brought Dutchy back to the wicket for one last tonk, getting him to a half-century. Well done Dutchy, well batted.

    Overall, it was a better than solid batting performance, setting a total we thought could be competitive against the big-hitting Royston.

    Sadly, no.

    Ami suffered his second indignity for the day, opening the bowling with Radar and becoming the first in a long line of Quokka cannon-fodder for the afternoon, despite bowling well.

    Local shuffled the bowling options and fielding positions and was fortunate that the Quokkas found wickets regularly. Radar had an outstanding game behind the stumps and both Jay and Alex held excellent catches.

    But the Royston batting lineup was too strong and the runs kept coming. They had a number of retirees and any bowling success we had just meant that the retirees were closer to returning. Things turned unpleasant at about the 19th over when Ami was repeatedly picked out at cow corner. Unfortunately for him, the balls that were picking him out were already well over the fence when they reached him.

    Not long after that, the Royston reached the total and the game was over. Congratulations are in order for them – they played well and in great spirit. Congratulations also to all the Quokkas who played, for their spirit and good humour. It was a great afternoon despite the loss.

    Tags: ,

  • From Captain Local…

    Pub league games at Fairfield oval on a pleasantly warm day in late November are placed squarely in the column marked ‘good’ on life’s ledger.

    When they’re played against a team like the Royston and with such Quokkas at a captains disposal as we had on this day, the entry edges over to ‘excellent’.

    Another good day

    Another good day

    That’s not to say we won the game. Captain Local does not break his duck that easily. But a good game – a bloody good game – was had, and the Royston were deserved winners.

    Bowling first, the Quokkas brought the heat to bear in support of an audaciously conventional field set by Local (conventional in the normal cricketing sense. In the pub cricket sense it was optimistically heavy on off-side fielders and conspicuously light on legside boundary riders. Luckily Dutchy was there to point this out several times).

    Our bowlers were up to it however, and the Royston found boundaries hard to come by throughout the period before drinks. They still clicked along at 7 or 8 an over, but they had to run for it. They retired a couple of batsmen and both Alex and Jay took the first of their wickets.

    After the break, the Quokkas turned the screws, ripping through the middle order. Alex and Jay did the bulk of the damage, not just bowling but also catching off the other’s bowling in an outrageously courteous display. The runs kept coming though, and as the fielders tired, mistakes crept in.

    Another good day

    Speaking of courteous displays

    We hung on against some huge hitting in the last few overs – and some injudicious use of our greatest bowling weapon, Big Dog, by Captain Local – but while the Royston ended up posting a big score (219), to the Quokkas credit we bowled them all out, including their returned retirees. Jay finished with 3/7 off his three overs, which is not a bad return in any form of cricket, let alone one only slightly less batter-friendly than playing on the beach.

    The last wicket of the day featured an all-time classic Quokka catch from Sizzle, running along the forward square leg boundary to take an unbelievable one-hander right on the rope. MAGNIFICENT. It was exactly what we needed to send us in to the sheds in a positive mood.

    After an excellent bbq laid on by the Royston, our openers Ed and Special suited up to begin the chase. Showing off his full range of shots, Ed began effortlessly harvesting singles down to backward point, having survived a scare on the second ball of the innings when he was dropped at third man (this would set the tone for the Royston fielding all afternoon). Special offered support and elegant stroke play as the pair took us towards drinks and our total.

    After Ed retired and Special departed for 23, Jay, J-Rod and Sizzle all swung the bat, each making valuable contributions, but at this stage the run rate had started to climb. Dutchy and Radar then came together and lifted the Quokkas back into contention, each composing their own style of 30 in quick time.

    Alex came and went, the victim of an unfortunate run out but doing the right thing and trying to keep the score moving, before Nimble and Local came out for the eighth wicket partnership. Nimble was damaging square of the wicket and the pair ran hard, benefiting from both dropped catches and some wayward throwing.

    The last over began needing an unlikely 24 off of it, but Local got lucky and sent the first ball over the backward square leg boundary. Hope, that cruel flower, began to bloom in Quokka hearts.

    Alas, the Roys held their line and neither Local or Nimble could find anything more than ones and twos for the remainder of the over, coming up shy of the total by just 11 runs.

    Despite the loss, it was an excellent performance from the Quokkas against very high quality opposition, and a lot of credit has to go to the Royston for their win. Their big hitting in the final overs of the first innings was always going to be hard to overcome, but their hospitality after the game made losing very easy to endure.

    Speaking of easy to endure

    Speaking of easy to endure

    Congratulations to all the team from the day for the effort, especially Ed, Dutchy and Radar with the bat and Alex and Jay
    (and Sizzle!) in the field.

  • Match Facts:

    Fairfield Oval

    Cnr Heidelberg Road and Yarra Bend Road






    The Big Picture:

    After a thumping win in the first game of the Season, the Quokkas have emerged from the seemingly haunted and overgrown forest that is Cox Oval to face the Royston Hotel at the luxurious surrounds of Fairfield.


    The Quokkas haven’t taken on The Royston for approximately 2 years, the last game being a close loss for the Maroons. Not all bad though, The Royston were good enough to put on an open bar when we went back to their pub.


    I’m not saying which shouldn’t win, but maybe we shouldn’t not not lose.


    Form Guide:

    Much like my year 8 music recital, my fingers are currently trembling over the keyboard as I face the unfamiliar; The Quokkas may have peaked.


    Victory in the last game against the Cherry Tree saw the boys in maroon smash over 200 runs in their 25 overs (including 5 retirees and one out on 29*), then bowl the opposition out for 130.


    Sure, there are a lot of variables not being counted here, including; it being the Cherry Trees first game, the weather being atrocious and…well, those are the main two.


    To be fair, the Quokkas did keep it competitive by seemingly start to drop catches competitively, but it was as concise a victory as we have ever put on and quite the change from normally being the ones on the other side of the pasting.


    Little is known about the Royston, though Radar and Dutchy did undertake some clandestine work last weekend to discover they are a strong batting side if a little weaker on the bowling front. Well matched teams then perhaps?


    Revisiting the only other score card against them shows that, batting first, we put on 164 before t hey chased that down with an over to spare. For context, that match did involve some slow batting at the start from a YPCA debutant before a vet closed things with a strike rate of 225.

    Artists impression of a YPCA debutant

    Artists impression of a YPCA debutant


    In the Spotlight:

    After lulling bowlers into a sense of confidence over his last 4 games, THE SIZZLE burst out of the blocks in the last match, smashing 33 off 25 balls including 3 fours and 2 sixes. Here’s to more fireworks from the man in the bluey.


    Team News:

    Its that magical time before Christmas, Festivals and hangovers when the squad all seems ready and able to play. As a result, the team (at this stage) is:

    1. Ed
    2. Bid Dog
    3. Dutchy
    4. Local ©
    5. Radar
    6. J Rod
    7. Alex
    8. Jay
    9. SPECIAL
    10. Sizzle
    11. VP
    12. Pete “The Animal” Sforcina


    Pitch and Conditions:

    Fairfield is a beautiful ground that has been much improved since the drainage was “done” at the ground. With plenty of room around the pitch, the boundaries can be set as deep or as short as the fielding teams energy allows for.


    We are expecting a mostly sunny day with a top of 22, so it should be a rather pleasant day out.


    Stats and Trivia:

    • Jay and J Rod are currently equal for YPCA wickets taken (21), though J Rod has it over the TFB for runs conceded per over (5.8 v 6.35). Insert excuses here
    • J Rods average catches per match of 0.085 really is very impressive though
    • This will be Specials 10th Quokka match in total, though he says it feels like a helluva lot more
    • This will be Dutchys 60th YPCA match for the Quokkas (his moonlighting obviously doesn’t count), he is 2nd only to The BIG DOG (63)
    • Radar is now only 2 runs off joining the 500 run club






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