The national team may have lost its lustre, but back at grassroots level the weekend warriors of the Nick Shand Memorial cricket series still shine like Venus viewed on psychedelics.
Last week the Lennox Ripstarters looked sharper than Luke’s light sabre but today they faced co-coasters the Suffolk Swingers, focused as a macro lens and ready to paddle hard to get the first drop on the back breaks.
Barnesy of Lennox won the toss and couldn’t resist a bat with Lomath Oval’s famous turf alluring as a supermodels pout (but underneath just as thick and slow).
Suffolk’s brainstrust gambled early, throwing the new nut to cagey trundler Rocket and the floating mystery balls of Ben (3/17).
Wickets tumbled like French soccer players’ milking penalties.
Zac (3/7) took the ball and before long it looked like an illegal logging crew from Borneo had passed through the middle order, leaving only scattered stumps.
At drinks Lennox were 8/70 and feeling like homeless orangutans. Scoot (53) and Beezo (36) then saved the innings with some mighty hitting in the second session, but the early carnage took its toll as Merlin the mysterious wrapped up the innings for 130 with five-and-a-half overs unused.
Suffolk picked away at the target but a runout and scalps to Barnsey and Satts (2/3) ensured an intriguing final stanza.
Zac (30no) showed a cool head to carry his bat through the first session and when he was joined by Wortho (30no) the total eroded as steadily as the beachfront at Belongil.
Lachlan and Brian the central scrutiniser tidied up the loose ends for Suffolk with four overs in hand to puncture the Lennox bubble.
Top votes in the Middle Pub player of the series went to Zac and Scoot.
Hughesy the Suffolk captain also put in a faultless performance (did not bat, did not bowl and had every instruction ignored).
This week the Geckos will top the table if they can duck incumbent Shand champs the Byron Full-Tossers.