Homegrown and organic as a fresh chicken turd, it is the sporting event that doesn’t just stop the Shire, but abducts it and ties it up in the basement.
Sunday’s second semifinal of the Nick Shand Memorial Cricket Series pitted the devotees of Saint Seymour, the Geckos, against the salty shark-dodging surf dudes of Suffolk, the Swingers.
Lomath Oval sparkled with spring sunshine as Geckos chief whip James called correctly and invited the Swingers to bat.
Hughsey and Barney saw off James’s early charge and threatened to burst open like Clive Palmer’s shirt buttons until Hughsey carved one into Stewie’s safe hands at deep mid-off.
This sparked some self-belief in St Seymour’s flock and wickets fell to the game Luca (2–14) and miserly veteran Brian (1–2).
Either side of the drinks break it was all Geckos; St Seymour could do no wrong with career best figures of 1–6 and John, sporting his neat grey coif and goatee, had season high scorer for the Swingers’, Owen, back in the shed for 14 with a mysterious urge to eat fried chicken.
The Geckos were going through the Swingers like tax auditors. The game changers were Heath (33 n/o), Luke (35 n/o) and Wortho who had smoke coming off the nib of the scorer’s pen, pulverising 90 runs off the last seven overs, the Geckos’ bowling shoved into a canvas hood and held under the water tap.
Set a target of 175, the Geckos started calamitously as stalwart Simon ran himself out for a platinum duck, then Heath (1–12) dismissed season high scorer Christian for a matching pair of zeros.
Brian slapped a couple of boundaries but ran out of ideas when faced with Chi’s fearless lobbing leg spin as the Swingers eviscerated the top order. Kiwi stayer Greg-O (30 n/o) and James (40 n/o) started the repair job on the innings but their retirements left Dave and Adeha with plenty left to do.
The industrious Dave ran between wickets like a madman, the world’s oldest teenager Adeha somehow kept up with him, both reaching 30 to get the Geckos within 12 of the total with three overs left.
Levi (1–9) bagged a scalp and then controversially the Geckos lower order charged over the cliff’s edge like lemmings in a series of run-outs, a desperate ploy to get retirees James and Greg-O back at the crease.
James was up to the task, biffing the Geckos to 181 at the close and a spot in next week’s grand final against the in-form Byron Full-Tossers.