While the billion-dollar squads of the World Cup prance around in purpose-built stadiums separated from the poor and homeless by barricades and riot police, the priceless sporting champions of the Shand series get down among the famously lush grassroots of Lomath Oval in Mullumbimby.
High flyers the Byron Full-Tossers took time out from dolphin watching to convoy across the highway and take on the Upper Main Arm cricket collective, the team with 11 captains, none of whom agree with each other.
Rain late in the week saw Lomath Oval slick and greasy as a politician’s handshake so Bucko of the Arm invited Byron to bat on winning the toss.
If you were being kind you would call Main Arm’s new ball attack of Bazza (0–9) and Gazza (0–1) experienced, the other alternative being old.
Jason and birdman Neil of the Tossers had trouble getting much through the field early on as the treacle-textured outfield buried anything hit on the ground.
Neil’s aerobatic skills couldn’t get him to the other end in time to beat Baz’s throw and Brian clattered one into the stumps to give the Arm the upper hand.
Lucas was sticking gamely to everything in the field like a farmer’s friend on a woolly sock.
Jason (31 n/o) came to terms with the attack and the grumpy-old-man atmosphere, pushing boundaries like an experimental artist.
He was a lone showthough as the mesmerising spin of youngster Connor (1–14) and old-stager Bourkey (3–17) unravelled the middle order.
Wayno and Ash did their best but were given little room to move; Byron truncheoned for 103.
Main Arm openers Brian and Eden weathered the greying storm known as John and set about the task sensibly.
Jason hit the target for the first breakthrough but Bazza, Brian (31 n/o) and Dan (16 n/o) set the scene for Kyle (22 n/o) to come in late and end proceedings with some memorable big swipes over midwicket.
Things got worse rapidly as the Armers dusted off their dolorous victory song and began telling outrageous lies about their prowess.
Next week’s Shand match see the wind-bitten Left Bankers will attempt to suppress the followers of St Seymour, the Geckos.