Anecdotes – Round 1 (Day 1)
First up though, we always open this segment with an appropriate theme song in acknowledgement of its significance – what better than Rocket Man
The Space Cadet award is one of the most prestigious in our Club. It is awarded to an individual or Team that has done something – to put it simply – dumb. The first Space Cadet was the great Eric Junkkari who was incapable of assembling a basic sun shelter and it ended up in a bin at Gilroy College way back in 2016.
To kick-off the new season we have a Space Cadet Team award that the bookies have already placed at short priced favourites to win this season.
Our C4 boys under the inspired leadership of Hiresh, were playing in the first T20 game of the season at Campbell Park – the spiritual home of West Penno cricket. A note I got from Hiresh says it all:
“I have been instructed to inform you by several team members that for our match at Campbell Park today, Sparsh called me 12:30pm asking me where everyone was.
Somehow he had ended up at a Campbell Park in or around Five Dock, even after I sent a google maps link of the ground to our group chat. Somehow he made it to the real Campbell Park just before the game began.”
It’s all in the name
Got a great photo from Steve Quanborough who was playing 5th Grade in the opening game of the T20 season. Arriving at Holland Rd for the game, Quan took this great photo with no knowledge of what was to come. We batted first and finished with the imposing total of 5/35 from our 20 overs. Kissing Point showed how difficult the batting conditions were when they finished with 0/36 from 4 overs.
This is where the sign to the ground said it all.
Sheep Station Trophy
This season we have entered a record 15 Teams with 5 x Teams doubling up in Grades (B1; C2; C3; C4 & D1). The Sheep Station is when 2 West Penno Teams play against each other. The first game (pictured) was an A2 game between Rick ‘Couldn’t call a cab’ Turner and Simon ‘Couldn’t toss a salad’ Smyth – two of the worst ‘tossers’ in our history. The game was played at Dural Park on 16 December 2017.
The games are marked by the traditional coin toss in ceremonial gear and a combined Team shot. The game should also be played in a competitive but faultless spirit.
Since 2017 we have clocked up 33 Sheep Station games and they have become one of the landmark fixtures of the season.
Who can forget last weekend with 30 degree + temperatures and a cloudless day – perfect for snakes. He is a great story passed on by Ross Smith (4th Grade T20 Captain):
“At Les Shore 2 2 it came out of the bush as the Northern end, slide across around the 25 metre circle line, full length of the field exiting the southern end. The Blues were fielding , I was umpiring . No one saw it until it passed mid-wicket / mid pitch. The guys on the sidelines yelled out …..play stopped as we watched it travel off the field at a good pace.
This brings to mind a great story of the early days of the Association:
“In 1895, in a match between Glenhaven and Glenorie at Glenorie Park, a fieldsman, James Stubbs, chased a ball into the outfield where he found a large black snake with a “spherical bulge half way along its length”. After calling, ‘lost ball’ the batsman “smote the serpent on the head and the ball was recovered with a knife”. (Source: Alfred James: Golden Jubilee History 1976).
What West Penno players do outside cricket
Justin Edwards (A2 Grade) was on national TV recently on ‘The Chase’ TV program. Justin was star of his Team and almost got them to a win but just went down in the final showdown. Not sure what his playing partner, Molly, is thinking – she is either in awe of yet another correct answer or just can’t take her eyes off ‘The Man’.
Father & sons
We have a long history of having father and son combinations play together. We kicked off the season with the 4th Grade T20 game with Raynaldo & Ray Howard + Darren & Henry Kelly teaming for their first game together. How did they go? Raynaldo led the way, captaining the side and scoring 102* with 15 x 4 and 4 x 6’s!
Behind the scenes
How good was the recent Women’s World Cup. But…. behind the scenes making it come together like clockwork was our A1 Great – Scott Henderson (2011/12 to 2017/18; 4 x A1 Premierships, 1,942 runs @ 19.8 & 258 wickets @ 14.3 – wow!).
Hendo was the Venue General Manager (Sydney) for the World Cup. Get a load of the some numbers: complex integration between FIFA, Venues NSW and countless contractors; 1.7m ticket sales and a global TV audience of over 2 billion.
Add this to Hendo’s resume of running the SCG & Alliance events plus Venue Operations Manager at Wembley. Wow!
Age shall not weary them
Eric Junkkari, West Penno Great, is backing up for another season. Eric is playing his 31st season and has taken an amazing 506 wickets (3rd highest in our history) and scored 5,802 runs (6th highest in our history). While age show not weary them, accompanying Eric to games and training is a chair to make putting the pads on that little less onerous.