It is a rapidly evolving sporting world and professionalism and pursuit of the corporate buck has changed the landscape to the extent that many sports barely resemble the games as played 20 years ago.
Not so with the Nick Shand Memorial cricket series, where participants do it the same way every week and, like the definition of madness, expect a different result. With the Byron Full-Tossers emerging from their gated apartment blocks to convoy across the highway, Bucko and Baz, the brains behind the Main Arm team, came up with an original ploy.
Blockading Uncle Tom’s by stalling Baz’s ute at the intersection, they were seen offering carloads of Byronites enough money for a carton to turn around and bugger off home.
The plan came unstuck when it was realised they hadn’t brought heavily armed defence personnel or constructed a razor-wired detention facility. Lomath Oval glowed like a two-metre flatscreen as Bucko of the Arm won the toss and chose to bat. The Full-Tossers went about clearfelling the top order with ruthless efficiency, Nick (2/10), Alex, Eddie, Shree and Craig (2/2) were backed up by some trademark Tosser enthusiasm in the field, exemplified by the Full-Tosser motto: ‘Always use two hands’.
Young fellow Keshanda surprised with his whippy legspinners and bad never really got better for the hapless Armers, Bucko’s dismissal for 23 collapsing the innings like a tasered tourist for a badly distended 87.
Copping a verbal beating from Main Arm chief whip Baz over the break did something for the team, who put in a credible showing in the field.
Khan, Dan and Greg-O kept things tight despite some skilful switch-hitting from Shree (18). John knew a few minutes of abject humility after wearing one in the personal middle stump but the pair took the Tossers to 35 before Eden and Kyle cracked into the top order. This brought in the Tosse’s mild-mannered hitman Adam (30) who sent the Armers home to their mudbrick dome houses early.
Dustin bagged a scalp on debut but Eddie (on his 5th comeback) and Mike cleaned up the crumbs for the rampant Tossers. Next week the Geckos get their first outing against the Suffolk Swingers.