Coming off the back of their best season yet which resulted in an unexpected Grand Final appearance, the Partridge Famulee bumbled their way through the winter season. Never reaching the lofty heights of last season, the Famulee displayed true mediocrity night after night for the entire season - yet still they somehow found themselves part of finals action once more as they stumbled into fourth place.
Several of the squad arrived early for the game (i.e. 5:28) and a few warm-ups balls were delivered to a fired up WaWa at the strikers end. He worked his eye in beautifully and proceeded to belt the fruit around - after missing about the first twenty that is.
Sticks arrived proudly displaying the Houndstooth jacket, and the clock ticked 5:30 for game time to commence... and in true Famulee style, still not a full team in sight. Skipper for the game, Sticks promptly lost the toss (a sign of things to come) but the Famulee were still sent in to set a target for the Famulees arch rivals - the Polar Bears.
Mojo and Sticks strode to the wicket, full of confidence at the havoc they were about to wreak. And they didn't have to wait long either. First ball (a slow nude one) saw Sticks come forward, then back, then forward, then sideways then miss the ball totally and fall out of his crease for a stumping first ball. The blessing of not being able to get out the week before, had quickly turned into the curse of not being able to stay in. Mojo in his comeback game worked the ball beautifully around all corners of the ground, showing he'd lost none of his wily left-handedness. Sticks meanwhile was inventing new ways to get himself out and the boys finally came from the field with a hard earned 30 odd runs - Mojo scoring about 40 of those!
The rest of the innings saw excellent batting partnerships, all yielding around the 30-35 run mark and passed without incident. Well apart from Schlangs shorts that is, which could only be described as Capper speeeeeshals which barely covered his bikini line. Some excellent pinchhitting from Houndstooth favourite, Big Bird and No Look saw the total creep to 134. 134 runs against the hapless Polar Bears was easily enough to see them through - it was surely an unloseable target... or was it???
Gadj had arrived and proceeded to whisper instructions through the back net to skipper Sticks for bowling and fielding changes, and Sticks managed to puzzle just about everyone on court with his frantic arm actions while ringing in the changes. Warwick (Schlang) assumed the wig for his Sid-a-knee Harbour Bridge impersonation the week before, and also for the debacle over the number of games that Holzy had played.
Some sloppy bowling was luckily helped out by some excellent fielding, as many of the bowlers came apart at the sight of ninth man Herschelle taking happy snaps with the digital camera from the keepers end. WaWa came on and took two wickets with his first two balls, prompting Gadj to refer to him as "the great man" in a great display of fruit getting wickets! This also prompted the Polar Bears captain (who wears a Houndstooth for real!) to complain about the umpiring in a vain attempt to distract from the fact that he's a dud!
Some good bowling saw the last pair requiring about 15 from the last two overs when tragedy struck. The ball was played to the off side and WaWa (on leg side) somehow managed to rupture his calf. No doubt related to his ruptured foot tendon, he hobbled about in little circles while his concerned teammates tried to hold in their laughter. He bravely hopped to the other side to the cannon fodder position, as Big Bird was given the ball for the last over.
7 runs to defend, approximately 8 balls to come and the season on the line. The big fella didn't let the huge crowd assembled down either, sending down a cracking over and picking up a wicket or two to see the Famulee fall across the line by 5 runs in another display of true mediocrity. A new record was set in this game, as Schlangy "carried" the wig for the full 16 overs, on top of the three he'd started with last week.
The boys came from the field to the raptorus applause of the assembled crowd, and it was up to the bar for some pizzas. The wallets came out and were soon cleaned out as money flew left right and centre for gambling, beers, pizza, game fees and fines, which there were plenty of! Gadj pulled out quote of the night when counting the game fees "ahhh two games, that should come to $154" in a display of mathematical genius not seen since that fat guy off Survivor was on Miiyyyyyyonairre. Further investigation proved that $80 + $80 is actually $160 and Gadj quickly darted downstairs muttering obscenities to himself.
Marty followed this quote up with another beauty. While discussing the Partridge Famulee logo he was heard as describing the little birds as "those bloody ducks, or chicken things or whatever they are". Mojo advised, "Ahhhh they'd be Partridges No Look - as in PARTRIDGE Famulee!!!" to which Marty could only reply in Kramer style - hand out and yelling AARRRRRRRGGGHHHH!!!
WaWa came limping upstairs, walking in a style which could only be described as a flightless bird, trying to fly. He was half hopping and his arms were flapping up and down in an attempt to relieve the pressure on his ruptured calf, prompting Skip to ask how he had hurt his shoulder!!! Another classic WaWa moment, and it was only a shame that the camera was recharging at the time!
Sticks had been downstairs to cut a deal with Tony Blardyfarken to get 5 cheap pizzas delivered and there was enough money left over to shout beers - everyone was happy... until an hour later when the pizzas hadn't arrived and there was 2 overs left until we were required for the next game! Sticksys midas touch had apparently inspired the driver to somehow get lost between Woden and Weston and take 30 minutes to find Weston ICA. However the pizzas finally arrived and to the Famulees joy, there was 6 pizzas instead of 5. Lucky too, as Mojo had inhaled 2 of the pizzas before the boxes had even hit the table. Upon bragging to Tony that we'd got 6 instead of 5, it was revealed that we'd actually eaten someone elses pizza!!!
With their appetites partally sated, the Famulee wandered down with yet another new line-up. Out went Mojo, Inzy and WaWa and in came Gadj, Skip and Herschelle. Again we lost the toss and were sent in to bat again by the Bushies who had been slaughtered in the Qualifying Final. With only one win against the Bushies, the odds were stacked against us, and with Hersch in white cricket pants, and Waz in the drivers seat above the pitch - the signs were ominous.
Highlights from the batting included DB showing up just to avoid being fined, and Hercs textbook runout of Gadj. Gadj played one off the middle of the edge to the corner net, and Herc instead of wandering through for the single, instead leant on his bat and called "No"... by which time Gadj (blind without his specs on) had almost run two and was run out to the applause from the back net.
Herschelle stunned the crowd with his first zak of the season - a delicate Rick O'Shea off the fielders hands onto the back net and the moment was captured beautifully by the newly hired photographer Caitlin. The crowd went beserk and Big Al and No Look who were up next were inspired.
No Look hit zaks off consecutive balls and on the hat trick ball, got a half track dolly outside off stump. He leant back and.... left it - Waz up in the box gleefully called it a legal delivery as No Look protested the point. When questioned later as to why he didn't smash it for another zak, No Look was heard to say "I thought i'd get two cheap runs"!!!
Sticks and Skip were up last and Sticks proceeded to prove his run of outs in the first game was no fluke! Skip held the innings together, working the ball around and in a briyyant display of footwork, somehow ended up on his backside at one stage to be photographed for the website. Sticks hit a couple of zaks in the last over to barely scrape himself into positive batting figures for the night and the Famulee went into the field with about 140 runs to defend.
Once again the Famulee defended briiiiyyyantly in the field. Schlang took his tight pants into WaWas usual position and proceeded to throw the stumps down from everywhere, which would have resulted in about 5 runouts had Waz actually been able to see and hear anything! He finally got rid of the wig after the eight over resulting in a 27 over streak in the wig!
The injuries in the field continued as Herschelle was struck by Skips dreaded separated shoulder curse. Sticks tried to inflict as much damage as he could on anyone standing in the general vicinty of the stumps, as his attempted runouts were sprayed left and right, but definately not centre!
The Bushies were slowly creeping towards the required total with a few overs to go, and once again, it was up to Big Bird to close out the innings. He picked up an early wicket to put the result beyond doubt, and decided to try a slower ball. The batsman smashed it straight back at Sticks, and he somehow managed to get his hands up in time to avoid being killed. The ball popped up off his hands as he was knocked over and he thrashed around on his back, trying to get the return catch. Skip soared in from behind him just as the ball dropped short, as Sticksys midas touch struck again!
The Famulee cruised in the end to a comfortable 15 run victory as they made winning the unloseable a truly difficult task.
So once again the Famulee have served up garbage all season, only to come good and win their way into a second consecutive grand final. The opposition for next week who watched the game from the comfort of upstairs, looked mighty pleased with the result and the Famulee will have their work cut out for them again.
So next week, presentation will again be held prior to the game (preso starting at 7:30pm) and all Famulee members are required to attend. Sticks will not be asked to arrange anything related to food or drink, so everything should go smoothly!
Stay tuned for the Bonaducci Briefs and all the details for Grand Final week!
Until then, this is Reuben signing off!