SBH Old Boys 81/82/83 Cricket Match Report 21 Feb. 2016 Coogee Oval
Rain, rain and more rain Sunday morning, and the hills of Coogee flowed with fresh water. However a majority of players got down to the ground to assess the situation. The experienced cricketers in the group were quite negative about the prospects; “The match should be abandoned”, “There will be no cricket played today”, “Its dangerous out there, we could be struck by lightning, we could slip over and get injured, the ball will be like a cake of soap”.
We enthusiasts kept quiet, but we have learnt over the years that just because something is said confidently with a touch of anger does not necessarily mean it is true.
So we retired to the Coogee Bay Hotel for refreshments. The rain stopped and the sun emerged around 11.30. At Midday the 81/82 team went back to the oval for lunch, and the ground seemed to be drying out nicely. After the groundsman told us we could play without doing any damage we proceeded, ignoring the words of doom spoken earlier. We called the 83 team who were engaged in tournament of pinball and air hockey at the pub. They came back to the ground (cleverly after we had removed the covers with some difficulty) and we got underway at around 2-2.30 pm. An 18 over game, 8 a side, retire at 20. 81 and 83 combined to play 82. It was on!
82 batted first and Cirillo and Woodly looked like they were brought up on 20/20 cricket. They got off to a good start and Woods hit beautifully to get to 20 and retire. The following batsmen scored quickly but wickets fell, due to some useful bowling and fielding. Hutton, Russell, Warren bowled well, and Scribner took a good catch keeping to remove the dangerous Donaldson. Rietmans did well to keep his wicket and score some runs, as did the International import Denis Vangelatos. Denis was dressed like a County cricketer, and he showed a broad face of the bat to some good bowling. They allowed Atallah to swing freely at the other end, and with David Joseph making his comeback they took the score to 98 after 18 overs. Ando bowled well at the death. A good effort on a slow outfield, but the sun was out and the ground was drying quickly.
81/83 went in to bat and Bill Burst let his natural enthusiasm extend in to his batting. He and Ando hit well from the start and put their side ahead of the run rate. Greg Warren added a bit of class to the game with some cricket strokes before falling to the cunning off spin of Shorty. Perica muscled some nice 4s before skying one to Donaldson who took the catch under intense pressure from a charging and screaming Jason. Chris Russell and Rob Hutton both batted well, also playing shots that would have been recognised in Bradman’s day. Chris hit cleanly, his balance somehow improved by the beer etc he had been consuming. Steve Dad threatened to take the game away from the 82 side before Donaldson bowled him with a good ball. This brought captain Scribner to the crease. As he has done several times in the past he blunted the attack, kept his wicket and with Hutton, saw the 81/83ers home in the 17th over.
A great day of cricket in the end. Special thanks to Mick Dennis who umpired with charisma, keeping up a running commentary, taking photos, and generally adding some humour to proceedings. The most impressive part of the day however was after the game when we had to fold up the covers and put them on a flatbed trolley. The last time we did this it took half an hour of slapstick comedy, sweat, curses and strained backs. This time Jason Perica took command. We could see his surveyor’s mind working, triangulating every fold as he stood at the front of the trolley. We pulled like Egyptians and followed his instructions like he was the Pharaoh’s master builder. Unbelievably we got it on the trolley without too much grief but it did take the last of our energy.
Thanks to Jim Hope and Dave Scribner for organising and the 81 players who came to the rescue at late notice and everyone who stuck it out on the day. We all enjoyed, and 83 now hold the cup.