It still hurts......
By MARTIN CAUFIELD
.... to write about this incredible loss a massive 5 days after the game's incredible culmination hence read this with a tissue to hand if you're an Oaker!!!
Batting 1st, new signing John Keeling soon got into the swing of things (literally - he hit two behind his head for 6!) and helped push the score on quite well throughout the early part of the game. Togther with Waddy and George, run rate was good and wickets few.... John ended up with a useful 51 not out, despite some intense pressure from the Slawit bowlers trying to "get one over on him" for his act of Judas!!
George whacked 26 off one over of the hapless Garside, inclusive of 4 sixes - but holed out on 27 - strike rate of something like 500!!!
90 for 1 off 14 looked like becoming something like 140+ but T Payne (son of the legendary Chris) and K Hey bowled well at the death, restricting the Oak to 123 for 6 off 22; Ryan chipping in with 15, Shaggy with a 9.
Bowling-wise, we were always on top and both Ben and Brad only went for 15 and 13 respectively in the 1st 8 overs; leaving Slawit well behind the run rate....
Ryan and John entered the attack and were a little less economical but nevertheless, pegging Slawit's run rate back.
We had been 90 for 1 off 14 - they were 59 for 1 off 14.
Victory looked imminent.....
Enter the fray one Lewis Bradley (whose dad was scoring with me and a very nice chap!) who then started whacking the ball all over the pitch and needing 50 exactly off 5, helped himself to 10 (over 18), 9 (over 19), 5 (plus 2 byes) (over 20), 8 (over 21) and still a further 15 from the last over required!!!
Brad had in fairness been the pick of the bowlers tonight but then watched the 1st 3 balls of the game's last over go for 6, 2, 6 - one of the sixes clearing the sight screen - long boundary - with a massive hit. Nothing really he (and the crowd) could do but admire ther power of these 3 shots...
So ONE needed off 3 balls - 4th ball, yorker, L Bradley out, bowled Bradley C.
5th ball - RUN OUT - an old Oaker (Fuzzy) run out for none.
Last ball - with match tied - needing one....
Beats the bat; straight to Hargreaves - who rolls the ball to the wickets as the batsmen set off - and ouch, MISSES!!!!!
So home by one run (a bye); when perhaps George could have actually got to the stumps faster himself than the throw and them still be out - and nick a draw.... but not to be and seriously, a very down team after snatching defeat from the hands of victory.
The Slawit jinx continues and one might wonder when an Oak jr. team; whatever its calibre, will gain avenge for this cruel defeat.
Again though, 2 of our best players out - and with them, a likely victory - but availability has robbed us on many occasions this season; moreso than others - and unfortunately a potential cup semi place and a top 4 finish have eluded us despite a strong squad and some close run games....
Message to self - when Joel (my 3 yr old) starts playing properly, recruit players who are available EVERY WEEK for the ENTIRE season!!! Don't permit holidays or illness or college games and fine parents attempting to pull their kids out! Offer an incentive for 100% attendance - maybe a PS4, I-Phone8 or X-Box 720 (they'll be out by then!).
No, seriously, it would have been great to pick from the full squad every week but appreciate people have commitments; we've just been very unlucky that these have hit when the close/big games on.......
Take heart from the Slawit game lads - we should have beat them - but do bear in mind that winning mentality and the need to be as tight as poss in the field. It was a decent performance, just lacked the push on with runs at the end of our innings, a tad tighter with bowling and as I say, some fielding mishaps.
Nets Tue - let's finish the season with 2 victories against Marsden and Paddock.