In the biggest night of the Partridge familys short history, and with their newfound reputations on the line - the family gathered to do battle in the finals. Amazingly we had ten players - all in shirts raring to play, but it was the late-comers Sticks and WaWa who sat out. A third place finish after the regular 75 game season (not including catch up games) saw us do battle with the local boons who had beaten us by a run a couple of weeks prior.
GAME ONE Stung with memories of that night the Family elected to bat first and Schlang and Herc did a great job starting off. Until 3 more of the boons turned up in the second over to fill the gaps in the field in! Schlang and Herc battled hard to make runs with some interesting shot selection from Herc attempting several sweep shots which resulted in his stumps being rearranged! Schlang was the victim of some sub-continent like umpiring, with one particular run out being given due to the new rule where you don't actually have to hit the stumps with the ball to be given out. The boys came from the pitch with a valiant 6 runs to their name, but safe in the knowledge that they had done their job of removing the gloss from the new ball.
Trev and Inzy went in next and after a slow start, started to work the opposition around beautifully. Some of Trevs drop and run efforts were fantastic, and Inzy never stood a chance!!! But some big hitting from the veteran towards the end of their innings saw the boys tally 43 and increase the score to a healthy 49.
Gadj and Herschelle were next in the firing line and after a couple of weeks off, Gadj was having no troubles finding the edge of the bat!!! He soon settled down though into a rythym and was smacking the bowling everywhere. Herschelle was working the side nets beautifully, including one of the best spoons ever seen in the Weston ICA that dollied in slow motion into the hands of the fielders. The boys crafted a magnificent 57 run partnership and emerged with the score on 106.
Then it was Mojo and Big Al to round off the innings. Mojo was seeing it like a grain of sand, and was given out LBW in one of the dodgiest decisions ever seen at the ICA. But Big Al was enjoying his time in the middle - smacking the bowling to all parts of the ground. Mojo began to find his touch, but the boys were robbed by some more "doubtful" (read absolutely f**king sh*thouse) umpiring saw the boys come from the field with 118 to defend.
WaWa, Sticks, Caitlin (Hercs better half) and Jodie (Trevs better half) settled into the seats with beer in hand and looking for the pizza vouchers for the after match/pre next match entertainment and watched the family stride out to defend their hard earned runs. WaWa also snuck outside to eavesdrop on the opposition who showed that they had no idea who they were playing with quote of the year coming from them. One of the boons said "Watch out for these guys in the field - they are sharp!!!" I dunno who he had mistaken us with, or if they were looking ahead to next game, but as anyone who has seen us in the field can testify - sharp we ain't!!!!
However inspired by these signs of the boons crumbling under the pressure, the family produced some great bowling and fielding - some of Big Als deliveries almost cutting the batsmen in half!!! Other great bowling by Jase and Mojo and some inspired efforts in the field (Inzys slow motion leap and catch was a definate Light Ice Extreme entry) and the family had victory in their sights. With a couple of overs left and not many runs to spare, the family slowly squeezed the life from the batsmen with regular wickets. The boons started complaining and whinging about the "fizzing" sounds coming from some of the deliverie, but the family lifted to crush their feeble opposition and advance to the third place second catch up semi qualifying repacharge final.
INTERMISSION A great win and the boys raced from the field, not to celebrate, but to get started on drinking as many beers as possible between next game. Caitlin and Jodie arrived with 6 large pizzas and a demolition job ensued upstairs with pizza, garlic bread, beer and witty remarks flying all around the upstairs bar!!! After a few "whos your daddy" commetns being directed at Love Rules on the TV and with four or five beers down the hatch for each player, it was time for the next game to kick off. The family lost a lot of experience as Club Captain Gadj and the "Player of several decades" Inzy decided to sit the game out and WaWa and Sticks were promoted.
GAME TWO The family lost the toss and were sent in to bat against the minor premiers. This team had absolutely smashed the family in their previous meeting and were confident that they would be cruising into the Grand Final. However Schlang and Jase had other ideas and went in first to again set the game plan for the rest of the family to follow. Flushed with the confidence from their previous innings, Jase and Schlang batted superbly to put together a well crafted 9 runs, despite Jase being given out to another LBW decision!!!!!!!
Mojo had promoted himself up the order and he and Trev strode on to build on the confident start. They worked the ball around to advance the score nicely and the first signs of panic set in to the opposition as the boys proved difficult to dislodge. Very sensible batting saw the total creep up by a very respectable 29 runs to a total of 38.
Clint and WaWa were up next and the boys batted beautifully with a lot of drop and run batting going on!!! However they were both more awake to each others plans to run themselves out than the fieldsmen, and pushed the score up by 26 to 64 runs.
That left Big Al and Sticks and they strode confidently to the middle, playing rock, scissors, paper to see who would face first. The boys got away to a solid start and had built the score nicely to the 100 mark with five balls remaining in the last over. The family had come down from the top bar and were behind the back net preparing themselves for the field, happy with a target of hopefully 100ish to defend.
However Big Al quickly got their attention back on the innings at hand with an almighty six. The cheers seemed to rattle the bowler who dropped the next one in the slot to Sticks and it vanished over his head again for six more. The family erupted and were on their feet baying for more!!! And more they got when Big Al sent the next delivery into the car park for another massive six. The teams on the other courts looked on in disbelief at the family going beserk behind the back net and all hell broke loose when Sticks dispatched the next one over the back fence for six more. Four sixes in a row and the crowd was in raptures and with the last ball to come, all eyes in the Weston ICA were on Big Al.
And he didn't let them down, pumping the next delivery back over the sightscreen, out of the carpark and over the top of Woolies for the fifth consecutive six from the final five balls!!! Complete strangers were laughing, cheering and hugging anyone nearby in a hawaiian shirt and calls of "DON'T THEY LOVE HIM HERE!!!!" abounded as the boys came from the field with 36 runs off 3.3 overs and 35 runs from the final 5 balls!!!!!! The total had blown out to 135 and the confidence oozed from the family as the opposition slunk from the field with their chins on their chests!!!
The talk around the centre quickly turned to debate over whether the family could defend their hard earned total in the field? Perhaps they had used up their luck in the field in the previous game? Would the raptures of the last five balls leave them flat in the field? Would the beers consumed before the game last throughout the stint in the field or would the effects wear off leaving the boys gasping for more?
Any negative thoughts were quickly dispelled when the family led by Herschelle "Hansie wants these skins!" Fritz threw themselves at everything in the field and proved the boons call from earlier in the night to be spot on. Every member of the family threw the stumps down at one stage or another and some amazing catches were also held. Schlangs runout and chest flexing celebration afterwards was inspirational!!!! Mojos bowling was unplayable and Herc was impassable in the field, snagging catches and causing mass confusion between the batsmen with his catlike fielding!!! The batting team kept trying, but beautiful bowling from WaWa saw two certain sixes end up on top of the outside of the net and upon being rebowled he turned them into wickets for the family. The Partridge Family would not be denied and the fielding performance can only be described as absolutely senf**kingsational!!!!!!!
The final over was bowled by the all rounder and leading man of series Big Al, and the family rejoiced in their incredible victory, which saw them through to the first ever Partridge Grand Final next week. And in an even bigger bonus - we don't have to play a freakin game before it!!!!!
But with 10 in the squad last night, some hard decisions are to be made ahead of the Grand Final. The tough decision was made by Club Captain Gadj in declaring the original 6 remaining members of the family (Gadj, Inzy, Schlang, Herc, WaWa and Sticks) starters (barring misfortune) with the two remaining spots to be filled by Mojo, Big Al, Trev and Herschelle.
Club Captain Gadj will announce the team next week, but all members of the family are required to be at the game, as there will be a motza of pre and post match beers and pizza consumed.
All members of the family (and that means anyone who has ever stepped onto the same court under the Partridge family banner) are invited to celebrate this momentous occasion and also to send Trev and Jodie on their way back to WA (the state - not WAWA!!!!). Game time is 8:10pm and all the boys MUST be in attendance from about 7:00pm sharp to get a head start on the beers!!!
There are rumours that video cameras will be in attendance and the ghecko blaster may even make a re-appearance as the Partridge family agains attempts to prove that alcohol is not bad for your performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!