Highlights, head knocks and heartbreak

A memorable 2013 grand final victory over Cranbourne saw Narre Warren extend its winning streak to a record-breaking 36 games. 106294 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

MARCUS: Well Gentlemen, for a lot of people, this is a long weekend, with Monday being a de facto public holiday. But not for the hard working people in the media industry, and none are harder working than the Gazette sports team. We’re still here; we’re soldiering on, doing our best, and providing the content for you, the readers.

DAVE: Settle down mate, you’re starting to sound like Brett Kirk!

JONTY: Good call Dave…he is!

MARCUS: That’s the highlight of my career so far. Let’s begin with everyone’s favourite segment, best action. Dave, I’ll throw it over to you.

DAVE: It’s no secret to anyone that I’m a massive fan of Chris ‘Wombat’ Bright from Kooweerup. He’s a star of the competition. On Saturday, Kooweerup was chasing Pakenham’s 217. Wombat walks to the crease with Kooweerup at 6/141. Pakenham the week before was 6/217, then all out 217. Wombat comes out and hits four sixes and makes 57 runs, with the highlight being his six-hitting; three off the off-spinner over cow corner and a pulled six over square leg. So Wombat’s innings is one, but I also watched Brad Butler from Tooradin, the fastest bowler in the CCCA, bowl to former Wookey medallist Morteza Ali, who cover drove him for six. You don’t see that too often and it wasn’t a half-volley either, it was knee high and he hit it on the up.

JONTY: I didn’t see any cricket this weekend but it would be rude not to mention Harry Fernando. He’s from Berwick Springs and I think, something they’ve done well this year is made themselves relevant again. Fernando claimed the last seven wickets of the innings to consign Silverton to a demoralising defeat. Three of the top four passed 40 and five of the bottom six made ducks. Fernando went on an absolute tear, a clever leggie.

MARCUS: My best action came from Hallam Kalora Park v Springvale South. Mahela Udawatte played a lone hand with 104 of his side’s 179. He copped a short ball from Blade Baxter and pulled it for a flat six. The cracking sound of ball on bat reverberated around Hallam, and as soon as that died-down, it was followed by the thud of the ball hitting the tin shed with the ground maintenance equipment inside.


MARCUS: So on Thursday night the news broke that Glenn Maxwell was concussed falling off the back of a golf cart and was ruled out of the World Cup clash against England. Dave, you’re rolling your eyes. What did you think when you heard it?

DAVE: If I was part of that team, I would roll my eyes like I just did and get on with things. Blokes like Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, and David Warner are all ego-driven blokes and individuals. They’re team players to an extent, but so many stories come out about those blokes about what they’ve done off the field. It just doesn’t surprise me anymore. If I was in the team, I’d just go “Well, that’s Maxy. He made 100 off 40 balls and that’s just who he is.”

MARCUS: This is a bit tin-foil hat, but last year just before the T20 World Cup began, Josh Inglis apparently suffered a severe cut in his hand when his golf club snapped mid-swing, and Cam Green was brought into the squad as a replacement payer, having played well in a couple of the warm-up games prior to the tournament. So, when I heard this story, I was a little bit suspicious. Jonty, if you’re a member of the squad and you heard that one of your most dynamic teammates concussed himself playing golf, how would you react? Stoinis seemed annoyed in a press conference the next day, and I don’t really blame him, because for he and a lot of guys in that squad, this will be their last chance to win an ODI World Cup, and Maxwell’s put his health in jeopardy.

JONTY: It depends on what part of the squad you are. I don’t think Stoinis has any right to be annoyed because he wouldn’t have played if Maxwell was fit. If you’re a squad member, it probably opens up an opportunity for you to play. This one, I didn’t have as much of an issue with as I have with some others ones, but it was typical ‘Maxy’. And if it was someone else, it could be something you could look at a little bit easier. But because it’s someone who’s got history, they don’t need to do something as bad for you to ask questions.

DAVE: It’s like Collingwood with Jordan De Goey and the ‘Rat Pack’ going back even further. It’s the same people over and over again. Sporting teams are, I guess, microcosms of society. You’ve got your flogs in general life and you’ve got your flogs in sporting teams.


MARCUS: Sunday was a sad day for the Australian sporting community with the termination of iconic YouTube channel Robelinda2. It’s an absolute treasure trove of cricket footage and highlights, a genuine gold mine. Jonty, how did you react when you heard the news and how many hours have you lost over the years on his channel?

JONTY: Hundreds of hours. I don’t think I’ve come to terms with it, and news broke a few hours later that the ICC might help him. But if that’s something that’s lost forever, I think that’s something that’s going to hit harder the next time I want to go on a rabbit hole.

MARCUS: if the ICC is getting involved, it clearly shows his credibility and clout on a global scale. Dave, if there was a Robelinda2-style channel for local cricket, what innings or performance would you like to see?

DAVE: Before we get to that, I’m spewing that I didn’t know about this channel. Being born in 1968, I reckon I was born in the perfect time for cricket. World Series started in 1977 when I was an impressionable nine-year-old and I got to see that whole era of cricket. I crave those days and I’d love to go back, just for a month, to 1977. You could take your esky into the MCG and bring your own cans. But to answer your question, I would love to see Tom Hussey’s 140 in a grand final from 2013. He got Tooradin over the line that day and it was an absolute masterclass and I remember sitting back and thinking “how good is this bloke?” He wasn’t long out of Premier at that stage. Also I’d love to see some real ‘under-pressure’ innings from Chris O’Hara from Kooweerup. He won them so many finals when they were under the pump. Every year he delivered in finals. From a footy perspective, you can’t have a topic like this without the great Marc Holt. I’d love to watch a replay of him in an interleague game at Horsham from around 2014. He kicked eight goals and I was standing next to this old bloke leaning on the fence; he turned around to me and said ‘this bloke is the greatest footballer I’ve ever seen!’ ‘Holty’ kicked eight that day, he had three blokes on him and he was bashing them around like a pinball machine, still taking marks. Best display of his that I’ve ever seen, better than when he kicked 14 or 22 goals. Lastly, Pakenham kicked nine goals in the 2007 grand final against Narre Warren in 18 minutes, and I’d love to go back and watch that again.

JONTY: Recency bias but I’ll start with Jattinder Singh. He went at seven runs per over for an extended period when everyone else in his team had given up on the win…was absolutely outstanding to watch. He had a DDCA umpire who had been umpiring for 20 years come off and say it was the best batting performance he’d ever seen, so that would be one. HSD v Cranbourne in the semi-final last year went down to the final ball. Cranbourne had Pardeep Boyal bowling, who’s now a depth player and captain of their seconds, and they kept him to the last over because they wanted to leave their fifth bowling option until the end, in the hopes that the game was already over. He had to get it done, and he did get it done. It was outstanding cricket to watch, because it was also HSD’s lower order, so you had the non-typical batters against a non-regular bowler. In footy, the last few minutes of Endeavour Hills’ premiership and the emotion of that in the last five/ten minutes. By that stage they knew they had won it, before that the tension was palpable, so it would be good to get both sides of the emotion there. Doveton’s quarterfinal t20 win last year over Springvale South, a struggling Turf 2 club against a Turf 1 powerhouse, and Kaine Bundy winning it with a ramp was outstanding. And having seen clips and highlights, the atmosphere at Big V games that Pakenham gets, having a camera in there to record that would be great.

MARCUS: In cricket, I think you could almost have a camera exclusively on Jeevan Mendis. He hit 10 runs on Saturday; one four and one six, and Beaconsfield’s Mark Cooper said the six he hit was like nothing he’d seen before, a lofted off drive that ended halfway up the hill at Narre South. I didn’t see this innings, but last year against Springvale South he hit five fours and four sixes in an innings of 63 from 70. To do that against an attack like Springvale South’s means he’s a quality cricketer, and we obviously know his credentials. In footy, the last five minutes of the first half of the Outer East Premier Division grand final. Dave, you called me at that point to ask what the score was and I said it was even, and by half time Wandin were five goals up. They blitzed Narre Warren in that time and it was ultimately where the premiership was won and lost.


MARCUS: This one hurts a little bit and I’m sure you guys were surprised to see me raise it, but Essendon’s winless finals streak has now reached 7000 days. I was seven-years-old and at the MCG the day they last saluted and saw David Hille orchestrate the final quarter comeback against the Dees, and it’s been pretty grim since. With that in mind, what comes to mind when you think of famous sporting streaks?

JONTY: England hasn’t won a Test Match in Australia since 2010/11; we’ve won 13 of the last 15 and the other two were draws. Jack Crisp hasn’t missed a game since he was traded to Collingwood; he’s up to 214 and will threaten the record of Jim Stynes. Usain Bolt’s Olympic triple-double with the 100m and 200m gold medals at 2008, 2012 and 2016. And Novak Djokovic won 43 straight matches over 2010/2011, which was unbelievable. That was when I was just starting to get into tennis and he really asserted himself into the Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal conversation.

DAVE: There’s a football team in Queensland, the Yeppoon Swans, who started a winning streak in 2015 that ended this year. They won 128 games in a row, including eight premierships. That’s impressive. Also, Narre Warren won 36 games in a row from 2012-2014, which was magnificent as well.

MARCUS: This one is a little controversial, but when I hear the word streak, my mind is drawn to the world of wrestling. The Undertaker won 21 matches in a row at Wrestlemania before he lost to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30. Yes, it’s not really a sport…

DAVE: Excuse me!

MARCUS: …and the results are scripted, yadda yadda, but when they do storytelling well, it’s hard to top. The sound of shock when the graphic ‘21-1’ appeared on the screens in the stadium confirming the result, was something else.

DAVE: Before we go, this one is a streak prediction; last year on LTS I predicted Gold Trip to win the cup, and this year I’m expecting it to win the second of three Melbourne Cups in a row and become the modern day Makybe Diva.