As Jimbo noted, the Gladdies finally made the step up to 10th division, recording a powerful victory at sentimental home ground Johnstone Reserve. Originally built by the skipper’s family in the mid 1800s for people under 5’10 and fed only on subsistence farming, the boundaries are not long. Parramates* won the toss and sent us in. The bowling was solid enough, and the fielding good when it counted, but still, if you got enough bat on it and passed the inner fielder, it was four. Kunal got some early runs, but when he went for 28 it was 3/55 in the 13th over, and not looking super. But Brendan, fresh from passing the RBT acid test, and Jimmy dug in and built a platform that allowed us to accelerate in the latter stages. After Brendan retired, Jimmy and Marty got 26 and 34 respectively before Brendan came back to record his 50, his first since 2014 (Brendan’s words, not mine). 196 was a solid score, but just felt a little light on given the short boundaries.
I’d love to give you a more detailed and accurate summary of what happened in the Parramates innings, but they literally put in the worst effort at scoring I have ever seen in my life. And, as you know, I have scored with many of you. Still, to the best of my recollection, they went at it like a house on fire, slogging from pretty much the outset. Fortunately, however, the Gladdies took an increasingly improbable series of catches – running clasps, swirling skiers, six savers and catches directly into the sun. It had it all, but none better than Brendan’s one-hander, over his head, running backwards, followed by tiptoeing the boundary – almost certainly the catch of the last few seasons at least. It was quite the day for Brendan, who also managed to retrieve the match ball from a backyard three doors down from the park after a six. Yes, they were small boundaries, but that was quite a hit.
So in the end, the Parramates really got themselves out in the 16th over for 88, with 8 catches and a stumping, and 4 wickets to Lach, 2 each to Jamie and Soli and 1 to Marty. A great effort all round for the Gladdies resulting in a big win.