After a week where the sky leaked more than the Turnbull cabinet the Shand series invisible committee ordered a pitch inspection before the first semi-final between the Lennox Head Ripstarters and the Suffolk Swingers.
Merlin and the Central Scrutiniser waved their divining rods over the famous Lomath Oval turf that had thirstily sucked up the available moisture and sprouted random patches of ankle-deep clover flowers but not a puddle was to be seen and the pitch, although slower than a month of Sunday sermons, was declared fit for play.
Hughsey of Suffolk called correctly and chose to bat. Owen the barbarian (31no) flashed a few through slips early but soon found his range with some trademark thumps over cover.
Gary’s wrong-uns and Scoot’s (2-4) nippy mediums proved hard to get away. The innings dawdled along, anchored by a determined Stuart (30no), but it took some late hitting from Hughsey and Wortho to edge the total to a middling 148.
The Lennox reply was soon running off the rails as Benno’s famous conundrum balls took an early toll, and Zac’s outswingers (2-4) were darting alarmingly in the fresh breeze.
At backward point the mercurial Rocket, who looks more like the mad scientist from ‘Back to the Future‘ than a sporting hero, flung himself around like a man possessed to hold some very sharp catches. At 6-45 the game looked done and dusted but Scoot (34) and Gary began to find their range and the small total still looked vulnerable with only 4 an over required.
Late wickets to Hughsey, Owen and Chi saw Lennox run out of wickets at 110, the Swingers will now play the winners of this week’s second semi-final between the undefeated Geckos and the Byron Full-Tossers.