Bush Cricket at its Finest – Liam’s Match Review

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West Warrion vs Deans Marsh Division Two Match Review

By Liam McCullagh, incoming ACS Journalism Scholar (mentored by The Footy Almanac‘s John Harms).

If you’ve ever wondered whether playing darts until 4:00am helps your cricket performance the next day, let me tell you, it doesn’t.

Friday night drinks at Frithy’s shed are a regular occurrence, he recently installed a dart board over the Christmas period, and although none of us are throwing 180s yet, it has been a fantastic addition to shed night.

The next day West Warrion took on Deans Marsh at the home of Southwest cricket Warrion Recreation Reserve.

A couple of shed regulars and my best mates play for Deans Marsh (club nickname is the Swamp Rats).

Deans Marsh is a town about 25 minutes from Colac and has a population of 270, it is most well known as the town on the way to the popular holiday spot Lorne down on the beach.

There is Harry ‘Carmo’ Carmody, Toby ‘Tobs’ Permezel and Dyl Brown who was back in town after being with the army for a bit.

Carmo initially grew up playing for Alvie Cricket Club, but through living with Tobs, he got roped into playing for Deans Marsh.

Carmo is a fine tradesman as a joiner, where he makes cabinets. He also does cashies on the side and was building a bar at my place while the match took place.

Carmo has been one of my best mates for years, I remember him falling asleep in Year 11 Maths, and writing several of his English essays for him.

Tobs is a bit of a character, he used to have hair which looked like a failed attempt at dreadlocks.

Tobs, Carmo and I all took up ten pin bowling and were part of a bowling team at Colac Tenpin Bowl.

I want to preface this by saying the Swamp Rats are one of the most enjoyable teams to play against in the association. They are laid back, and no matter whether you are on top of the ladder or on the bottom, it is a competitive game.

Receiving the new ball, I knew it was going to be a challenge bowling to Deans Marsh’s opening pairing of captain Nick Sneskov and Josh ‘Waldo’ Waldrun.

Sneskov is a gun, and the team’s best bat. An ex-hockey player, he has an ability to generate power with a flicking jab motion rather than the usual punchiness cricket requires.

He was dropped in the third over of the match (my second). It was an absolute sitter at cover, nothing worse than setting a trap just for the chance to be shelled.

Deans Marsh put on an opening stand of 73 before the first breakthrough.

Sneskov top scored with 51 and Waldo scored 36.

The next 9 wickets fell for 43 runs and Deans Marsh was all out for 116.

Carmo is another one who can seriously bat, but I think antics the night before got the better of him.

Wiley off-spinner Adrian Murphy was the pick of the bowlers for the Panthers taking 5/15, and Jame McNabb took 4/12.

Opening batsmen, 57-year-old, Darren ‘Hurdle’ Hay top scored for the Panthers with 55* not out.

The game was in-the-balance when I entered the crease, with the score being 6/75.

Usually, I am one who is up for on-field banter, but not even Tobs’ lame attempts at sledging warranted a response.

I wanted to win, especially against those lads.

For my first ball, they brought Carmo back into the attack, he had the widest smile on his face.

There was a game a couple of years back in the Under 17s, before Warrion’s merge with Colac West and when Carmo still played for Alvie, I remember being in a similar match scenario and him bowling. He got me out chipping one to mid-off. I didn’t want that to happen again.

The ball pitched just outside off-stump and I played and missed. The Swamp Rats appealed as loud as they could, trying to con the umpire into a false decision.

Not out. The next ball I tucked around the corner for one, to get off strike.

Carmo then dropped short to Hurdle and he cut him through the off-side field. “TWO” was the call straight off the bat from Hurdle.

As I crouched to turn back for the second, I saw Hurdle and Carmo collide at the non-strikers’ end, Hurdle managed to get back, but when I got down to the non-strikers, I lit up at Carmo.

“Stay out of his way when he is running,” I said.

“I tried Pills, sorry mate,” Carmo replied.

Mid-off obviously didn’t know Carmo, and I were best mates because he chimed in with something like “Watch yourself mate.”

The game got really tense, and Sneskov brought himself on to bowl.

They left midwicket open, hoping I would swing across the line, Hurdle walked down the wicket and said, “They have left midwicket open, that’s your zone, go for it.”

The ball was slow, and appeared to be a full toss, I couldn’t believe it.

I committed to trying to leather the ball over the onside. It suddenly dipped and snuck underneath my bat.

Hearing the death rattle, I walked off the ground and walked past Tobs.

Unable to decipher whether Tobs was being genuine or sarcastic he said, “Bad luck Pillsy.”

The score was 7/92, I had left our tail end with 25 runs to get off the final 21 balls.

West Warrion ended up falling two runs short.

Deans Marsh 116 defeated West Warrion 7/114.

Carmo was around at my house the next day to work on a bar he was making out of recycled timber from our old pool deck.

It was then over a couple of Carlton Draughts I apologised to him.

Next time I play Carmo and Tobs in cricket, I’m sure we will again play darts in Frithy’s shed the night before, but hopefully I am not as cranky and West Warrion will get the bragging rights.

Australian Cricket Society’s literary scholar Liam McCullagh is mentored by writer John Harms. His pieces are also published at www.footyalmanac.com.au .