At one win each for the Quokkas and the John Curtin earlier this season this game shaped up to be a thrilling conclusion to an unprecedented tri-series. Actually the real story was that the Rainbow were due to play the Curtin but some inter-club(pub) fallout meant that the Rainbow faded (see what I did there) and left the Curtin with the picturesque Burney Oval booked but no-one to go to the dance with.
What to do in such a situation? Call in your favourite pub cricket team and the only bunch who have so little planned for their weekend that they could rustle up a full 11 just by a few quick emails on a Thursday. Gladys also took the opportunity to blood a few Barbarians and more of the youthful talent of Upper Beaconsfield Cricket Club meaning we had four debutants in Wazza, Brendan, Rory and Matt. This worked out well for the Big Dog as with another Irish person on the team he had some rivalry for player with least natural cricketing talent.
Dutchy was captain for the day so some crazy pitching rotations and the designated hitter were always likely to be the order of the day. Emu turned up sporting a grade one heartstring tear (or something like that) and saving himself for the upcoming Barbarians game. The upside was he filled in the neatest scorebook of the season in the style of an 8 year old girl’s handwriting.
Jimmy and his mates at the Curtin made a staged appearance with a couple making the trip back from a buck’s night down the Peninsula. They certainly looked the worse for wear early on and took the unusual step of sobering up (as opposed to getting drunker) as the game progressed. We invited them to bat first in the customary manner though signs were already good with pre-prepared sandwiches in evidence.
Oh, the cricket, I hear you ask? I can’t really remember much to be honest. Brendan (1-4) and J Rod (2-12) were the standouts while Luke ‘I’m a specialist bowler now’ Curto bowled three tidy overs conceding just ten runs. This could read from any game this season it seems but we took early wickets, we let them back into it and they ended with more than they should have (158ish).
The weather gods obliged as so often this year and the innings break was more akin to a family picnic with our friends from the Curtin. Dutchy managed to fire up the big hitters in the team by opening with the picket fence specialists Curto and Big Dog. In hindsight a masterstroke of captaincy as for once we paced the run chase perfectly.
Curto was first to fall for 10, replaced by his brother, who looked in a hurry and quickly retired undefeated. Young gun Matt made a steady 5 and at drinks we had wickets in hand but were driving Emu apoplectic with the pedestrian scoring rate. The ‘Dog retired next with 33 off 54 balls though it soon became apparent that this has anchored the innings. The Curtin seemed a little disappointed that the Boycott-esque knock had to end as this was clearly keeping them in the game and saving them having to bowl at Rowdy or Gladys.
Wazza added 20 off 10 and Rowdy 26 off 14 before a late order collapse as the game came to the pointy end. Dutchy(1), J Rod(7) and Brendan(2) all departed leaving Radar (6no) and the returning Gladys to close the game out in the last over. Gladys finished with 48no off 14 balls (including 3 x 6s and 5 x 4s) giving the Curtin more nightmares about our batting prowess.
The trip across town to the Labour was voted down in favour of helping the Curtin empty their esky in situ. There were glorious tales of boundaries scored, wickets taken and maiden overs (faced by Big Dog) and how much we looked forward to doing it all again next season.