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Byron Shire
April 22, 2021

The Shand cricket series rides again

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Nick Shand on the pitch
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Brian Mollet

With much of the world in turmoil and the local political landscape a bleak and pitiless picture it is strangely comforting to know that a winter’s worth of Sundays are about to be frittered away in a most unproductive manner as the pinnacle of the social game, the Nick Shand Memorial Cricket Series, swings into its eighteenth season.

The Byron Full-Tossers took time out from their other pastime of separating tourists from their money to take on the hill-dwelling Left Bankers, freshly emerged after a long summer digging man-traps in their driveways and adding sniper towers to their bush bunkers.

Rain in the lead up to Sunday had the famous turf at Lomath Oval as lank and greasy as Tony Abbott’s comb-over so it was a good toss for Scruff of the Bankers to win; Byron asked to bat first.

Ponytailed statesman of the game Fab Phil skidded an in-dipper into Janny’s stumps in the second over to give the Bankers an early dividend. Anything hit along the ground was smothered mercilessly by the turf so Adam (33) took to the skies while Frankie assembled a picket fence of singles at the other end. Jon showed some heft with the bat to take the Tossers to drinks well placed at 2–65.

After that it was a bit of a rout though as Clay (3–8), Simon, Russel and Aaron all romped through the hapless Byron lower order.

With the field drying out the Bankers had only 110 to score and were planning an early afternoon and maybe adding some razor wire to the perimeter fence.

The Tossers weren’t about to toss it in, Jon steamed from the skatepark end, adding a few nice verbal shots to his aggressive fast mediums, and Frankie’s well-pitched curlers had the first scalp in the fourth over.

‘Bollywood’ Frankie then held a hot chance at midwicket and Adam got opener Leon to skew one to Jon at third man to have the Banking sector in crisis mode at 3–16. Scruff (30 n/o) and Clay both hit a single boundary but the scorebook looked like a barcode as the Bankers jogged to a winning position 22 yards at a time.

Neat spells from Craig (1–6) and Christian (1–8) were not enough to stop the Bankers opening the season with a win.

Next week the disciples of St Seymour, the Geckos, tussle with the team who bring their own theme and soundtrack to every game, the Suffolk Swingers.

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