Monsoon Muddies get their miracle

Mon 29 Mar 

Monsoon Muddies get their miracle

The Court House Hotel Port Douglas Mudcrabs were finally declared the winners of the Cairns Far North Cricket Association B Grade Grand Final at 4pm on Sunday 28th March 2010 when the umpires abandoned play due to monsoon condition rains making the pitch unplayable.

The Muddies had sat out two rain sodden days over this last weekend with the ground staff at Griffiths Park desperately trying to get the pitch playable. But every time they started to make some headway, the rains came again. At the end of day Two of this 4 day final United would have thought they were the likely winners having fought back bravely from conceding the first innings to the Muddies by 43 runs. The Muddies scored 136 all out in their first innings and then skittled United Cairns out for just 93. Much to Port Douglas' surprise, United then wrestled back the upper hand by returning the compliment with the help of some poor stroke selections by the Muddies batters and bowled out the Muddies for 96 in their second innings. And by the close of play on the second day United had carefully ground their way to 112 for the loss of only two wickets leaving them requiring just 19 runs to win. Of course if you are a 'glass half full' type of Muddies optimist perhaps we should say that the Muddies needed to take just 8 wickets within 18 runs for them to win the game on day 3.


The weather, however, then stepped in and handed The Muddies a miracle of which Noah would have been proud. The rains started on Thursday and would not let up so United never got their chance to rectify the first innings defeat. The umpires finally and reluctantly called the game off at 4pm on the fourth day with the rain still having the last say. This is the first Grand Final win for over 5 years for Port Douglas and as Skipper Josh McConnell said "When you think what a state the senior club was in just 3 seasons ago, it is very satisfying to bring home this trophy for Port Douglas. Obviously the Gods were with us".

It is a fitting reward to a hard season both on and off the playing field but one that everyone will look back on with pride that they all pulled their weight and overcame all their trials and tribulations that go with an expanding club. Team Coach Nathan King said "When going from putting one team out in the C grade last year to putting two teams out for C and B Grade this year, the dedication of the players for recruitment, training and back room organisation is massive and I know all the boys want to thank Club Captain Josh McConnell for his superhuman efforts to make us a Championship Club".

Overall Club Champion Dale 'Drago' Arnell is now heading south with his family to take up a new post in Melbourne. The club will miss him very much. He bowled his heart out week after week and then became the rock for run scoring when asked to step up to open the innings. The club wishes him all the success in the world in his new life. The Court House Hotel, who were the Muddies main sponsors this year along with Mossman Butchering Company and Rattle n Hum Bar and Grill, hosted the End of Season Presentation Night on Saturday evening. Top bowling award for the C Grade went to Daniel Pokai and the Batting award went to Darren Wall. Dale Arnell won both the batting and bowling awards but Nathan King pushed him hard for the Batting top spot. The award for 'Clubman' of the year went to Darryl 'Dazzler or is that juggler' Mison for his enthusiasm and dedication to the club. Keithy 'Golden Arm' Taylor was also given a well deserved 'Clubman' award for his tireless work on pitch preparation and groundwork and overall support to the club.


Skipper Josh McConnell also gave a special vote of thanks to Steve Doble who stepped up to take over the C grade team Captaincy after Dave Marks, had to go back to Melbourne for business and Vice Captain Ryan Thwaites moved up for B Grade duties. Steve generated an infectious enthusiasm and the C grade under his leadership had a superb second half of the season with three wins and some very close finishes to several other games. With him at the helm, pardon the pun, but he does own the Daintree River Train, next season the C Grade team could well be a force to be reckoned with in both the one day and two day comps. Naturally, the most important thanks of the night from both Captains and players went to the ladies of the club. Their fantastic support at every game, social gatherings and their match day catering genius compliments and completes everyones efforts to make Port Douglas Mudcrabs a 'Club' not just a sporting team.

So as the home ground reverts back to the Port Douglas Crocs AFL Oval, the Muddies can relax for a short time before getting back to training around July/August to put the two teams back together for an assault on both C and B Grades Premiership's next season. Congratulations to the players, backroom team and supporters on a great year...Go the Muddies!