FINE combination, Funky Pickers and rusty cricketers.
There we were in Wonthaggi, the cricket Gods smiling from every angle. Leongatha played host to Forrest Hill on a perfect day and a perfect Butch West pitch. Bring Sheffield Shield cricket to Wonthaggi I say.
Trevor Allen and Barry Kerr is another fine combination. They strode to the crease as opening batsmen and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Had Forrest Hill known that Allen nudged a ton the day before, and among the Leongatha ranks was a bowler who took six not twenty four hours previous, Forrest Hill might not have made the trip to the country.
Allen and Kerr put on a bright 59 partnership. Comfortable singles were common, what should have been threes were turned into twos; threes were acknowledged with everlasting applause reflecting the effort invested, and fours were nicely occasional. At drinks, (18 overs) Leongatha were 2/79.
Ricky Platt at number three is the backbone of the batting list and I suspect very responsible for much of the banter and great team spirit. He hasn’t played for a decade but you wouldn’t pick it. He top-scored with 38 and his Toora mate Mark Nicholls helped out with 29.
Leongatha finished with 6/188. Phill Richards in his Over 50s debut made 3 before being a victim of a magic stumping, Chris Fall from Phillip Island retired hurt after a hard hitting 9, and Loch’s Peter Regan made 13. Michael Whiteside and Brian Knight were the not out batsmen on 14 and 4 respectively.
Six of the nine Forrest Hill bowlers used took single wickets.
Afternoon tea was a banquet, and cricket memorabilia on the walls is as plentiful as the treats on the table. Billy and Joe behind the bar were the perfect hosts. We all had the traditional cup of tea.
Forrest Hill set about chasing 189. Disaster on the second ball of the innings. Shane Paterson wearing whites for the first time since last year’s grand final, strikes.
The mechanical Paterson goes on to bowl six overs, 2 for 13, then fields on the boundary for the remainder of the innings. At the other end, Mark Nicholls takes 2/11; the game very much in Leongatha’s favour.
Regan concedes only four runs off his four overs, and Whiteside, with a “double wicket hat trick and more” the day before, squeezes Forrest Hill further.
Leongatha’s captain decides it’s safe for everyone to have a bowl. The ball is shared by all 11 players, only the keeper and the injured are not invited to bowl.
Forrest Hill finish all out for 113. Forrest Hill played the game in great spirit and were full of praise for this new Over 50s cricket team.
Leongatha’s next game is on January 12. Contact Andrew (0421 046 294) or Trevor or Barry or Ricky if you would like to be part of this funky, rusty, good old (new) cricket team.