- Match Report
WOMBATS SEND PADDYS PACKING
by Tim May
Saturday September 4 marked the date of the Wombats semi-final showdown with the highly regarded Paddy Foleys team. The day stated bright and early at Harajuku, initially with the circulation of some worrying rumours that captain GT might be “out”, but after clarification from Dino that he was in fact only out of balls (a different story) and the arrival of the man himself, all worries were alleviated.
Your typical Saturday morning getting-out-of-Tokyo snarl-up saw both teams delayed getting out to Sano and a subsequent reduction to a 35 over game. Most considered this a blessing and it was another stinker in the Sano sauner. The van ride itself was relatively uneventful with the dulcet tones of Rosco’s nose trumpet being the highlight.
After GT chose to lose the toss, the first (of many) follies of Paddy was to put the Wommies in. Dino and Beathy opened up and saw off a testing new ball spell by Paddy’s new ball bowlers who were getting it to hoop around a fair bit (albeit with Dino not walking for a bigger edge than the U2 guitarist). Both batsmen got into their work and saw the team through to 71 at a decent clip before Dino became the first man to fall, holing out to the
cheeky little prick fielder who couldn’t catch a cold on any other day.
The Wommies innings continued to push on with Beathy pacing things superbly and being ably supported by Nick in particular and later Laids further down the order. In the end Beathy performed the unthinkable and carried his bat through the innings in stifling heat, showing unshakable concentration and John Holmes-like stamina (including running a 3 while in the 80s), and mixing brute power with deft gayness (numerous gay paddles being particularly memorable). His 6 over wide long-off to bring up the hundred was probably the highlight though, as he finished with 113 and an asterisk off 93 balls. Top effort!
With a total of 8/231 set by the Bats, the team was feeling confident as Paddy’s came out to bat. GT turned to himself to open things up with the new ball and it proved to be an inspired decision as he had the opener nicking Dino in the first over. Nick took the new ball from the other end and likewise had early success, cleaning up their highly touted first drop bat with a magnificent in-ducking yorker. By this time the team and the bowlers in particular really had their tails up and Paddy’s began to crumble under some quality new ball bowling. GT and Nick bowled through their 7 overs straight with GT picking up 3 (eclipsing his run total) and Nick unlucky only to end up with one.
At 5/34 after about 6 overs (including an expertly taken runout by Al The Body Koolhof) the writing was looking to be on the wall for Paddy’s but they were able to put together a respectable, if extremely lucky 60-odd partnership for the 7th wicket. One of the batsmen in particular decided that he would be quite vocal in the sledging stakes (always a stellar idea when you are 5 for f-all chasing 200 off 30 overs), which provided some comic relief to proceedings. It took the introduction of The Bod and the bowler-who-bats-a-bit Rosco to finish things off, with the last 5 wickets falling for two runs (Ross picking up 3, Al with 2). Paddys rolled for 97 and the Wombats romping to a 134 run victory and a ticket to the Granny!
With an earlier than planned finish Al was able to fire up the barbie nice and early and the victory celebrations followed including a top rendition of the victory song. The beers and sausages flowed for a fair amount of time, including one more well taken beer run by Dino, and by the time departure came around the lads were nice and fueled up for the ride home. Revelry and general obnoxiousness ensued in the back of the van with an all-in maul and a few head-high tackles being the highlight for the rugbyheads in the team. One has to mention Hajime, who came all the way out just to watch us field (an enticing prospect with gazelle-like specimens such as Al throwing themselves around, I know) and then had the “privilege” of riding in kiwi/jinro corner the whole way back to Harajuku.
After arriving back, the true hard men of the team (Beathy, Nick, Rosco and myself) continued into the ‘Buya for discussions of politics and the finer things in life over 300 yen drinks and the general shenanigans of Nick throwing ice and picking fights. I am pretty sure the night ended at Hobgoblin with a few more rounds to celebrate a famous Wombats victory!
Well done lads. To the Granny we go!