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Byron Shire
July 14, 2024

Bragging rights go to Byron as Geckos flounder

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Brian Mollet

As the Olympics limp to a close and national anthems dissolve into grateful silence the unfunded and uninhibited athletes of the Nick Shand Memorial cricket series continue to break new ground.

Sunday’s stoush between the only unbeaten teams this year, the Byron Full-Tossers and the Geckos, decided who plays who in the all-important knockout semifinals.

The Tossers travelled with a large entourage and, as they set up base camp and hit the nets, the Geckos stuck to their usual warm-up routine of the occasional elbow bend and some light wincing.

James of the Geckos called correctly and invited Ash of the Tossers to field. Openers Paddy Mac and Greg-O cut strange figures in oversize novelty hats that Paddy had provided for the whole team, a psychological tactic that only he seemed to understand, but it certainly added colour to the day.

Greg-O clipped the first boundary of the morning but fell to a diving catch by the nimble Adam off the bowling of the inspirational Wayno (1/8). Ash tried some tactics of his own by holding back the fast bowlers till the later overs, and Paddy (29), Stu and James cashed in to see the Geckos to 100 from 16.

But Dutchie John, Adam (2/5) and Jason (2/2) eviscerated the middle order, there were more ducks than a Leunig cartoon and only cagey veteran Peter Wyn-Moylan and retiree James were left to build a total. Pete showed real grit to see off the Byron quicks and James (72) pulverised the late overs, bashing the Geckos to 164.

After the break an early scalp to Brian, no doubt trying to atone for his ‘double duck’ batting, had the mad-hatted Geckos chirping, but Dutchie John (30no) was unfazed by the theatrics, presumably having seen weirder things in his homeland. Some big hits from Adam and Christian (28) set up the chase for the very focused Tossers, who were steered home by the classy Eddie (30no) and Jason.

Ash got the thrill of clipping the winning runs for his team who now play the Suffolk Swingers in the first semi-final next week.

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