Vs Sydenham/Hillside. 1st XI. 2003/04.

This was a weird season as we didn’t have a home ground as Lionheart was being resurfaced. So we played our home games at Gibbs Reserve in Broadmeadows. Today, we’re hosting Syd/Hillside with an interesting team: Chops, Rusty, Disco, Nik Ferns, Harro, Tim W, Pottsy, Lionel Marshall, Budge & myself, being captained by J Leslie who, at the age of 21, has been thrust into the monumental position of TLCC captain/coach.

It’s round 10, and we haven’t won a game. It’s been a season from hell.

Syd/Hillside bat first and make 9/186 off 40 overs. Chops is the standout bowler taking 3/12 off his 8 overs. Harro has a rare off-day – 0/22 off 3 overs.

Our chase starts off ok with Budge & J Lo, but the middle order (me included) crumbles to be 7/80. I’m filthy with my shot – a lazy pull shot top edge to fine leg. It’s a pretty ordinary display. The Syd/Hillside boys are up & about. Looks like an early finish coming up.

Harro then joins Lionel Marshall (Ray’s brother). Harro tells Lionel, “Come on mate, we’ll get these runs.”

The overs tick over and the runs are flowing at a steady rate. Now 7/130, we’re back in the game & the Syd/Hillside boys are not as chirpy as they were an hour ago. This is getting interesting.

Once we get to within 25 runs, despite only having a handful of overs remaining, I now think we are favourites to win. Plus we still have Disco in the shed. At 7/175, surely we’re going to win. The boys are a mix of excitement & nerves as we’ve seen so many big chases fall agonisingly short. But not today. We pass Syd/Hillside 7 down with one over remaining. It’s a HUGE roar from the sidelines as the boys congratulate each other, but this is Harro’s & Lionel’s time in the sun. They have done something that only good cricketers do – they get the job done themselves. I recall having a chat with Budge in the car park afterwards & we knew we’d witnessed something special – a 100+ run match-winning partnership.

What a way to bring up our first win of the year.



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