Probably the best sporting moment in my humble sporting career happened to me on the weekend. As everybody knows, right up next to Olympic Gold Medals, World Series of Poker Main Event titles and AFL premierships is the Barossa & Light A3s Cricket premiership, and we managed to enter the upper reaches of sporting royalty by winning it!
The story of the Freeling A3s has been quite a long one. I started playing in 2009/2010, which was my first ever year of cricket. Back then the team was pretty different. It was full of young and inexperienced players, captained by stalwart Skeeny. As expected, we got smashed just about every week. Gradually over the last few years, we have improved, by adding a player here or there, and by the young kids getting a year older and being able to contribute in their own right.
This year we had a change of captain, Tommy Haas, and he has done an awesome job. But it has really been the culmination of years worth of effort. This year my little bro Russ also started playing full time, and had a great season, nearly winning the bowling trophy, and making some pretty handy runs. Personally I had a pretty good year with the ball, taking 15 wickets at an average of 12.7, which is my second best season after last year. This year however I was our 4th or 5th bowler instead of our 2nd/3rd bowler, which meant I didn’t bowl anywhere near as much. But I was completely fine with that, our bowling team was clearly the best in the comp and I was just glad to be a part of it.
Anyway, to the actual game – after a good season where we only lost 2 games, we had a crushing victory in the first final and it was time to meet Light Pass, clearly the best team all year, in the final. They had an awesome batting line-up, and their opening bowlers were the two highest wicket takers in the league (they were good, but playing on a turf pitch every week helped). We won the toss and batted, keen to get some runs on the board, and it didn’t work out so well, losing early wickets and slumping to 5/37. But an awesome fight back by Tommy, who produced a captains knock, and Matty who produced easily the best innings of his short career, meant we managed to limp to 90. We were definitely aiming for something more than 150, and over 200 is a really good score, so we were very sub par with the bat.
As Light Pass started their innings, we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but if we got a couple of early wickets, we could put the pressure on them. Soon enough, we had them 3/12, and it was game on! After a few nervous moments, we managed to roll them for 71, after a herculean bowling effort from Hirsty, Mossy and Russ. So good in fact that they didnt even need my crafty little inswingers.
We then had to bat out the rest of the day, and and once again after a few tense moments we managed to see off their challenge and win!
What made the weekend even sweeter was the fact that both the A1’s and A4’s also won!! So it was 3/3 premierships for the Freeling Cricket team! Certainly made for a big night Sunday night.
The team is as follows, following the picture above, from top left.
Tommy Haas (Capt): Came second in the batting trophy for the year, providing valuable top order runs, but his real strength was his inventive captaincy – always seemed to know when to make the fielding or bowling change. Didnt start the year well after winning the toss and batting on a sticky deck, only to see us get rolled for 41! But soon made up for it.
Benny (Me): Took 15 wickets at 12.7 for the year, which I think is pretty handy for our 4th/5th bowler. Managed to inherit a new nickname, Wang Wang, as it was decided I wasn’t angry enough to be still called hairy angry neanderthal, but was still hairy enough to be a panda.
Russ (Little Bro): Came into the team full time and took my overs (what a dick) but impressed with his quicker than they looked left arm inswing, and handy back foot play and miss style batting in the middle order.
Barge: Came in for skeeny for the grand final, and impressed in the second innings and took the game away from Light Pass.
Kurty: Started the year like a house on fire after a couple of five-fa’s to be leading the bowling trophy, and then was lucky to be alive after being involved in a motorbike crash and banging himself up pretty bad. Definitely an inspiration to the team that he could make it out even to watch the finals, and as you can see, deservedly has a medal around his neck, given to him by Barge.
Mad Dog Skeeny: Possibly the unluckiest and most devestated man in cricket. Perennial nice guy and former captain, has spent the best part of this millenium helping to shape this team to the point it is today, and then unfortunately his sister in law had to go and get married on the grand final day and so he didnt get to play. You gotta do what you gotta do for family, as this man knows, but he really did deserve to be out there too.
Dwayno: came into the team this year and absolutely dominated, scoring over 400 runs and winning our batting trophy. Im not sure we made a big score without Dwayne making runs.
Roida: Speaking of perennial nice guys, this guy is it. Great club man, it was awesome to see him back in the team for the grand final.
Hirsty: Took it to another level this year, winning the bowling trophy and spearheading the attack. Has turned into a properly quick bowler, and has the firepower to blast out the opposition.
Mossy: only 17 years old, already built like a brick shithouse, and charges in and bowls fast. Probably wont see him in the A3s for too long, as he will play A grade most definitely.
Jack: Stalwart keeper that took some crucial catches and made 3 half centuries during the year.
Bart: took a step up this year as a young lad. biggest smartarse in the world, great bloke though.
Matty: Stepped up from the A4s during the year, bowls some really nice leg spin and saved his two best innings for the grand final.