Sunday’s sunshine had Lomath Oval glowing like a debutante’s blush, a fitting scene for what was to be a history-making day in local sporting subculture.
Interest in the cricket competition with just the right mix of friendly rivalry and inclusiveness has reached the point where new players want to test their mettle against the crafty cricketers and colourful characters of the Nick Shand Memorial Series.
Fittingly, a new team has been annointed to have a tilt at the most sought-after prize in local sport.
Decamping in a convoy from their beachside condominiums the Lennox Head ripstarters, still wet behind the ears from their morning surf, took on the clannish hillbillies of Left Bank, fresh from another off season of digging mantraps along the borders of their bush bunkers.
Barnesy won the toss for Lennox and chose to bat. Scotty picked up an early scalp for the Bankers but the lively Sree (39) and the cagey George soon had the runs ticking over like Byron parking meters.
Two runouts pegged Lennox back but a captain’s knock from Barnsey (31no) kept the honours even at drinks. Craggy veteran Phil (3–5) confirmed his status as an overachiever, he and Hamish bagged a glut of wickets that had the middle order in and out faster than a dissapointing sexual encounter.
Peter (31no) held the late order together while Beezo (42no) found his range, and when he did he sent more bombs over the borders than an Israeli airstrike.
The late overs were lashed without mercy as the score blew out to a corpulent 194.
Banker openers Pearce and Bruce started steadily but Lennox were lively in the field with youngster Ishtah swooping on everything and Bindo (3/4) and Sree having success. Ishtah (1/3) then sent down some fearless looping leggies to claim the Bankers’ skipper Scruff, which triggered a collapse as last year’s grand finalists were cut to ribbons.
Only Sean (29) and Scotty (27) stood up for the Bankers but when Scotty smeared a throat high ball at Bindo, who held an amazing caught and bowled, it was all over bar the shouting and Phil’s inevitable Not Out at the end of the innings.
Great win to Lennox, who caught the mighty Bankers with trousers at half mast.
Top votes in the Middle Pub player of the year went to Sree and Sean.
Next week The Byron Full-Tossers play the Suffolk Swingers on Saturday and Main Arm play the Bankers on Sunday.