Sport fans, diehards and the unhealthily obsessed were all out in force on Sunday as the two longest-running teams in the Nick Shand series, the Geckos and Main Arm, brought out their carefully nurtured inner champions and attempted to coax, cajole or browbeat them towards victory.
Lomath Oval was covered by a doona of fluffy cloud, quite warm and dimly lit; it was a cosy and almost romantic day for cricket as Bucko of the Arm won the toss and invited the Geckos to bat. James and Adeha, the world’s oldest teenager, got off to a bright start for the Geckos until Connor’s wrong-un smoked a few synapses in James’s mind.
Main Arm’s veteran battling Baz (3–16) then seemed to find an extra leg (but not in a Rolf Harris way), as he ran out Adeha and went on a wicket spree. Christian (40) slayed a few Main Arm lions as he and Stewie did a repair job on the innings. Anthony (40) and St Seymour then scrambled and thumped the score to 155 at the close and, with a guaranteed spot in the finals for the winner.
Lunch was eaten or in some cases imbibed with an air of anticipation.
Grego and Gazza got a few early boundaries for the Arm but then James decided to get into the game, holding a catch off Ali and running out Baz and Grego with lightning throws, like some demented Norse god.
It was up to Bucko, known as the team’s co-equal designated representative rather than skipper as Main Arm has 11 captains, and the redoubtable Bourkey to drag the Arm back into contention. On 21 Bucko seared an ear-high hummer backward of square where Christian showed amazing reflexes and some pretty healthy self-preservation skills to hold the catch of the day.
The stubborn Bourkey was joined by cricketing mercenary (or floozie) Brian (30) and the total was shrinking faster than Australia’s international reputation for human rights.
Needing 12 from the last two overs the Arm prepared to hit out and, like Dolly Parton’s blouse buttons, there was a palpable and imminent tension in the air.
Anthony (2–8) closed out a great win for the Geckos, his darting in-dippers too much for the gallant but defeated Main Armers.
Next week, as so many players have splinters in their arses, the scheduled Tossers versus Swingers game will slide back to the week following the next fixture, the battle of the valleys between Left Bank and Main Arm.