While a certain vicarious pleasure can be gained from cheering on our publicly funded elite athletes in Rio, back in Byron Shire the home-grown champs of the Shand Series live the full gamut of sporting emotions and go home with real grass stains on their pants.
On Sunday the doughty country folk of Left Bank, match hardened by constant clannish infighting in the hills west of Mullum, took on the freewheeling libertines of Suffolk Park, the sunburned Swingers.
The Bankers won the toss and asked the Swingers to bat with Lomath Oval a pretty picture but kind of fluffy and slow, just like a Kardashian.
The Bankers got the best of the early exchanges, fab Phil (2/7) and Simon (2/11) showing that time erodes power, but not necessarily skill. With the Swingers wobbling at 3/15 Owen (35no) showed everyone who was top dog, and warhorse Wortho (36no) latched onto the late overs like a shellback on a lymph node. Blake (2/6) did well but the talented Azza and grizzled veteran Brian hung around long enough to bunt and bash the total to a credible 151.
The Bankers’ batting lineup is as long as the virtual queue on the census website and Scruff (35no) and the in-form Leon had them showing record profits early. Fearless Chi’s dipping donkeydrops copped some stick early but he broke the opening stand and then Wortho (2/15) and Scotty (2/12) started ripping chunks off the innings like sharks hitting a whale carcass. The Swingers started to believe, Jossco, Rocket Rod and Jamie all claiming scalps as the feared Bankers’ batting dissolved like a disprin in a glass of Coke leaving the Swingers winners by 40 runs and the reigning champs wondering what hit them.
Next week, so long as the chronicler has read the hallucinogens menu correctly, the Geckos meet the Byron Full-Tossers to determine the makeup of the finals.