However late withdrawals from DB and Big Al. DB claimed netball as an excuse (apparently he fancies himself in a skirt) and Big Al had a work conference junket to Melbourne to prepare for. According to sources, it was just like cricket with the big fella being left plenty of work to do to prepare. His last words before vanishing into his underground cellar were "I'm going to Melbourne and all i've got is my dick in my hand". According to sources Kathryn was also making the trip to Melbourne to support the big guy - whether that support was moral or physical, I chose not to delve into.
Sticks and Stuey "Boof is my hero" Saint were recalled to the starting lineup. The team arrived early for the match and on went the warpaint. The Green and Gold zinc was passed around in honour of Federation Day, and some early inspirational sledges regarding Tony Blardyfarken were dished out.
Adam was to be the man in the seat and he promptly advised the Famulee that they would be fielding first. The boys charged out and Stuey was given the ball. Inspired by being presented with the wig (for wearing his Port Power socks) he was straight into a groove. The first ball was pitched right in the corridor of uncertainty and the batsman lashed out. Herc threw himself to his right and took a miracle catch to get the Famulee started. One could sense something speeshal was about to unfold as the first over finished at minus 1. A fired up Herc was next and two runouts, including some WaWa brillance (cutting off a certain two and throwing down the stumps at the bowlers end) saw the good form continue. However the batsmen recovered and came off with 27 runs after 4 overs. This was despite Inzys reflex catch - the ball was smashed back at him at such pace, that it lodged in his stomach and he had to "re-flex" to get the ball to pop back out for the catch.
WaWa commenced the next four overs and produced another fizzing, dipping beauty to clean bowl the bamboozled batsmen, as his first over went for a single run. No Look and Hersch managed to drop perhaps the biggest dolly between them during the block of overs. A spoon off the umpys net saw No Look and Hersch converge only for them to get confused with their celebrations and dish out a low ten instead of taking the catch first. Both claimed that it was the others fault, but if a fine hasn't already been paid, it should be forthcoming next week. Meanwhile WaWa's overworked calf tired in his second over and he went for 23 runs (not helped by Sticks dropping a dolly off his last ball to earn himself the wig).
No Look tightened the screws with another over of minus 1, and Herc with an over of 1 kept the pressure up. But two zaks off the last two balls saw the batting pair charge to 97 runs.
The last pair basically had no idea. To say that Mojo's tweakers had them baffled would be a massive understatement. After the first ball was edged and caught by Herc up close, the call for a slip went in. In perhaps the highest quality over in Famulee history, Mojo beat the outside edge of the bat and Herc was pushed into a direct first slip. Mojo's left arm nude chinaman tweaker dipped, fizzed, curled and spun away from the batsmen who wafted his bat in the general vicinity. The ball flicked the outside edge of the bat, and Herc took his miyyyonth catch of the night with an effortless Mark Waugh like grab. The crowd erupted and Mojo was unlucky not to get two more wickets as edges flew over the top of slips.
Even with a couple of last over extras from No Look, the Famulee came from the field needing 101 runs for the win. Mojo and No Look led the Famulee off and set about attacking the bowling. Mojo batting without luck as he lost 4 wickets while Marty conspired with the fielding team to further sabotage Mojo's Houndstooth campaign with a couple of bunt and run speeshals. They came from the field with 28 runs on the board.
Next up at the plate were Inzy and Hersch. Inzy signalled his intentions with a zak from the first ball, while Hersch toiled away at his end. The side net (and middle of the pitch) got a workout as both batsmen crafted their innings well, only losing 3 wickets between them on a beautiful partnership of 44 runs.
With the score on 72 and coming along nicely, in went WaWa and Herc. With only 30ish runs to chase, a comment drifted from the Peanut Gallery "just make a positive". Having had the seeds of doubt sowed, the innings started in disaster. The Great Man was skittled a couple of times in the first over, and Herc lost a wicket as well as the first over went for -16. Amidst great heckling frmo the back net, they put their heads down and were cheered every time a leg side wide was bowled! Having settled down a little, both batsmen worked hard to regain the lost ground, with WaWa blasting one towards the back net. It sailed through the air, only to lose momentum halfway there and was caught much to the groans (and boos) of the assembled gallery. Herc who had bowled and fielded superbly, only needed to make 3 runs to make his first positive net in 7 matches, but fell short as both batsmen registered a minus 4.
Suddenly the game had turned quicker than an Australia vs India test match and with the score on 64, the Famulee now needed 40 odd runs for the win. In marched Sticks and Blue, who had proudly pulled his ordinary Port Pooove socks halfway to his knees. Once again disaster struck as the first over saw Blue succumb to the skill sapping effects of his Port Pooooove socks. After the first over, the score had backtracked to 61 and a mammoth effort was required. Some good batting saw the score creep towards the target over the next two overs and with the final over to be bowled, the boys needed 20 runs to win. A zak to Sticks and some lovely side net work from Blue saw the total to within 12 runs with 4 balls left. A doubtful legside ball was called fair, before Sticks registered another zak.
5 runs required, 2 balls remaining. Blue made the call 'we're running' as the bowler commenced his run. The ball pitched short of a length, Blue swang hard outside off and played a beautiful cover drive... well it would have been beautiful if it had of connected. It missed and Blue was stumped by the keeper as victory was snuffed out. The last ball was anti-climactic as Blue suffered another runout and the Famulee fell short by 15 runs. Blueys minus 23 was the second lowest score ever recorded with the bat in Famulee history and can be blamed squarely on those very ordinary socks of his.
So despite the green and gold warpaint, the Famulee tumble to yet another defeat as the finals approach. The season record is now 9 wins and 7 losses, and if not for the Blardyfarken finals system, would be teetering on the brink of elimination.
The Houndstooth race has also been blown wide apart with Sticks coming from the clouds to regain the lead from Mojo and Big Al. With probably only 4 or 5 games left (who knows with the Blardyfarken catchup system) in the season, all stats will again be held over until the end of the season.
So onto this weeks game at 9:30pm, where the Famulee will hope to regain some form and post a win.
Next weeks game (27 March) will be another theme night (TBA), and depending on the time, may also see a couple of pizzas put on offer.
Until next time, stay safe and remember - if you can't be good, be good at it!