• “I don’t play for this team to win. I play to have a bit of f**king fun”

    Never has the intent of the Quokkas been better summed up. Not all opponents we come across get the ‘spirit of pub cricket’ but the boys from the Dan O’Connell sure do. We like playing them so much we have taken to ironically calling them the HATED Dan.

    We encountered a late switch of venue from the postage stamp at the Kevin Bartlett Oval to the far more picturesque Burnley Oval. After some initial confusion from the hordes making their way across the City of Yarra this was greeted with general approval and by the end of the day plans were under way to switch the Curto family grudge match to the same venue.

    The Dan took their good nature a little too far by only turning up with 7 players for our last scheduled regular season game. We offered to let them bat as they tried to drum up a few last minute replacements and congratulated ourselves on the impending victory when we had them 3-15 in the first 5 overs. Emu, Phantom, Paris and Cruiser (an Emu recruit from the Proteas via Moorabbin Park) got the bowling off to a fine start.

    Captain Big Dog rung the changes with one over bowling spells the order of the day. At drinks the Dan were 5-63 but as has been common this season we relaxed after drinks and the Dan had a middle order revival, a retiree and boosted their numbers to nine. We took our good nature a little too far when we gave them our new recruit Freo Mike to bat at the end and he promptly hoisted his free hit for six before scrambling a couple of leg byes.

    Somewhere in here Rev had a hissy fit in the process of getting hit for 3 successive fours that seemed to be everyone’s fault except his. He particularly seemed to direct his ire at his mild-mannered captain; the poor, defenceless, hard-working Big Dog. There were knowing looks from those who Paris had told earlier in the season of Rev’s teenage anger management issues and the real reasons behind why he was sent to London.

    We finished with 8 wickets and the stylish Gladys took 4 of those behind the timbers. Emu and Phantom finished with two each with Cruiser, Paris, Rev and Bad Boy each picking up one. There were calls to only let Bad Boy play after a bucks night as he rolled back the years with a hangover/fiery bowling duet just like he used to. Having restricted the Dan to 135 we were confident of knocking them off. You can see what’s coming next.

    The delay with the food at the break, a lack of coleslaw on offer and the hot weather combined to undo our batting effort. Rowdy and Bad Boy opened up and after clubbing 10 off the first over they combined to run our Bad Boy with a direct hit off a risky single. Dutchy clubbed his free hit for 6 over the left centre-field fence but Rowdy departed shortly afterwards and Big Dog’s post-Xmas form slump continued and the only trouble to the scorers was recording 7 dot balls.

    Gladys and Rev came and went for a pleasingly symmetrical (though unhelpful) 7 each to leave us 5 wickets down and the run rate heading skywards. Dutchy top scored with 29 but was determined not to save anything to come back in at the end. In his own words “All bets were off as he sent down an absolute pie and I proceeded to loft it straight down the throat of midwicket”.

    Emu and Phantom built our best partnership of the day and then captain Tom of the Dan offered us a lifeline by putting Rev on to bowl. This was all too much for Emu who already had some conspiracy theory about the Dan and their ever-changing team line up. He edged behind in the next over and as he seemed to be the only person in the suburb that hadn’t heard it he stood there all David Warner style waiting to be given out. We continued our generosity to the Dan by offering them two substitute fielders from our ranks and Gladys upped his catches for the day tally by catching Cruiser for 1.

    J-Rod and Paris brought proceedings to a close as we crumbled to all out for 97. A defeat in pub cricket is always less important than the spirit you play the game in. The Dan even wanted to muscle in on our love affair with the John Curtin and suggested a tri-series. In any case visiting a pub like the Dan O’Connell after a loss never feels like a consolation prize. Big Dog was spotted there late at night staring into his Thunder Road Pale Ale and wondering if he would ever captain a winning side, or take another wicket, or hold onto a catch, or even score another run…

    Posted by Rev @ 10:25 pm

1 Comment to Dan O’Connell 8/135 defeated LIV Quokkas 10/97

  • The Dutchman says:

    Dan OConnell Match report in which I talk about myself in the third person…

    I Arrived at specified ground to spot J-Rod and people in Richmond CC caps setting up on ‘the postage stamp’ ground.
    Upon closer inspection they all looked like short angry guys. Upon even closer inspection they were a womens team.
    Thankfully we were at the wrong ground and we relocated to the Burnley oval on Swan St.

    Lovely ground, BBQ s and toilets nearby, lush field and a pitch wide enough for even Rev to hit.
    This was not the Fitzroy end of Yarra Council. People were using gears on their bikes and there wasn’t a hipster in sight.
    Ed had decided to go and watch some other mob imitating the Quokkas who were wearing similar kit at the G which would no doubt translate into our run rate worm heading north. It also lulled Dutchy into a false sense of security that he could get away with (spoiler alert) top-scoring (more on that later…).

    The Dan, or at least three of them, were there resplendent in the creams.
    It soon became apparent that they were short, and because we only ‘hate’ the Dan in word and not in life we agreed to field first whilst they did a phone around to rustle up a team. They brought the match balls, which was weird given they were the away team but a good thing as Dutchy had forgotten to visit the LiV the previous day.

    We promptly bowled with Emu opening the bowling, purportedly with ‘fast’ bowling. This was backed up by his alibi for not needing to bend down on the square leg boundary to field a motza and instead letting it go for four with a response, “I’m a fast bowler, I don’t need to field!”. This was made even more obtuse as our other ‘fast bowlers’, or at least those who bowl the same pace as Emu wasn’t bowling in tandem with him. Namely Rev, Phantom or Phil Tuffnel.

    Even stranger things proceeded to happen. We bowled well. On off peg. Alot. The Dan seemed to be taking their gentlemanly attire to the crease and gently caressing the bowl to nowhere of any consequence. This only spurred us on to bowl even better; WADA were being put on notice and we all seemed happily bemused by this strange alignment of the Quokka planets. By the end of the first few overs we had 3 wickets for not much and we started to wonder if we would run out of Dan batsmen to bowl to. Luckily (for them) more Dansmen trundled up. In fact their batsmen appeared to be getting better as the order’s depths were plumbed.
    It always amuses me that the Quokkas have never twigged onto the curious habit of some directionally-challenged opposition batsmen who insist on standing on the other side of the bat, or as some might call it, batting left handed. The Quokkas ceremoniously go through a little dance of shuffling around a bit. Rarely does the field resemble a flip of the righthander’s field settings. Luckily the Dan’s left hander was dispatched cheaply and business was resumed with fielders standing in the same positions as previous. IE we didn’t move an inch.

    Luckily for the Quokkas, BigDog was Captain and he had it all worked out on paper. Unfortunately he didn’t have it ALL worked out but luckily Emu, Rev and even Paris were proactive enough to cover any spurious recovery field placings that needed pointing out. Big dog was appropriately grateful and at one stage even sprinted across the pitch to personally thank Rev for his advice with a short phrase which must have been in his native Irish tongue.

    By drinks we had the Dan at 5 for 60-odd, we marveled at our new found line and length and Gladys’s catch tally and we walked out for the dreaded third quarter. In legend let it be said that this is the Quokkas soft underbelly. The achilles heel. The part of the game where we usually blow it. And so it came to pass. As did the runs. The Dan had only one retiree with the runs distributed across a few other new faces who had decided the day was worthy and the Quokkas attack feeble enough to take on.
    Meanwhile English Rob was feeling rather native and decided to exude his aboriginality by playing bare foot. This seemed to affect his efforts in the field, or he was taking donations from the Dan, as he proceeded to let some spurious shots through and at one stage absolutely ‘Bruce Grobbelaar’ed a catch at backward Square Leg. Luckily myself and others were giving him moral support with appropriate ‘feedback’.
    The Dan duly were all out for 135ish and we felt confident that we could knock off the Sausages and possibly even those runs.
    the BBQ was firing, the Quokkas huge new coffin (some call it an esky ) was doing a roaring trade.

    BadBoy and BigDog, a combination hard to type without spellchecker throwing a tanty, walked out to a handy looking Dan opener whom appeared to be moving the ball around. Luckily BadBoy bunted one to short leg and successfully coaxed the fieldsman to run him out with a direct hit.
    BadBoy has an aversion to batting which seems strange cos he doesn’t seem to have aversion to most things. A drink, tall tales of the evening before, Ned Kelly beards or his beloved pushbike. Sadly he wasn’t on said bike between the wickets but was metaphorically back on it to the sanctuary of the ‘pavilion’.

    I managed to get padded up just in time, got a lovely full toss for my free hit. Just where I like it. High and inside in the strike zone. None of this silly cricket bouncing the ball for me thanks! Starting with a Six in my first or second ball seems to becoming a habit. As does not going on with an innings so I was determined to stick around long enough for that 30 to reach me before my impetuous shot selection did. Meanwhile BigDog’s post Xmas form continued and he applied his trademark sweep shot to a ball above his waste and skied a dolly catch to the bowler. Quack.
    That brought in the Silver fox sometimes called Rowdy. He wasn’t around long enough to be silver lined, nor rowdy and exposed a jumpy pitch characteristic by pooping an easy catch up to cover. I think it was Rev next who is possibly our most frustrating batsman to watch due to the fact that he has a great eye but seemingly cant un-holster the appropriate shots to dispatch the ball for the sometimes overlooked aim of batting, IE runs.
    Caught behind for 7.
    Emu came to the crease and the planets appeared to align as Emu got off the mark easily and we kept the scoreboard ticking. The Dan’s ‘Chappeli’ came on and we proceeded to knock 22 of him. I was getting antsy and suspected i must be nearing 30ish.The reply of “29”, came from Curto, our proboscisly-challenged scorer. And I then proceeded to display just how much of a Baseball-er I am by displaying how little idea i have about this ‘crafting an innings’ caper by deciding in my genius to block out the last Chappelli ball so that I could arrive into the next over and plunder the slower-than-emu offy bowling next. All bets were off as he sent down an absolute pie and I proceeded to loft it straight down the throat of midwicket.
    Walking off i feared the shredding i might receive from my team mates but luckily the Quokka spirit was alive and well and all they could do was laugh too hard. So much so not many verbal-lings ensued. That came later…

    At one stage the less-than-eleven Dan put Rev on to bowl. An obvious master stroke that we feared could pay off as Emu was so frozen at the crease by the thought of going out to him that Rev got away with only 3 runs off his over. I attribute this to him bowling as fast as Emu.
    We were struggling and needing lots off not many. Approximately 8 or 9 an over. Not impossible but our remaining bats made sure it was.
    The following over Emu feathered a catch to the keeper and came back to give one of the Quokkas more amusing dummy spits (apparently he was so mentally scarred by Rev’s pace the previous over he couldn’t concentrate).
    I remember English Rob cracking a lovely pull shot and put on a few more but were dropping too easily.
    Emu’s new recruit, Andy, walked out and cracked a blinder down to deep mid off. Luckily Gladys was there fielding for the Dan and gifted a very Quokka like duck to Andy’s name.
    At the fall of the tenth wicket Rowdy was still feeling confident as he stated,
    “It’s OK, Dutchy can go back in!
    Oh wait…”.

    And thus my roasting for being highest run scorer was complete.
    Back to the Dan, seemingly traveling from one side of the City of Yarra to the other, as we regaled ourselves with fortunes lost and mused over where English Rob had lost his shoes and how Curto looks better with a broken nose with a peg on it, as opposed to when he just had a broken nose. Imminent wedlock affects people in different ways apparently…

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