Muddies need a miracle

Wed 24 Mar 

Muddies need a miracle

By Roy Weavers

Skipper Josh McConnell of the Port Douglas Court House Hotel Mudcrabs won the toss on the first morning of the Cairns Far North District Cricket Grand Final against United CC.  He chose to bat first in this Four day final for the Two day competition.


Things didn’t go exactly as planned with a couple of early wickets falling before the skipper had to step in with a measured 22.  In fact the real heroes of the innings were Sammy ‘Hollywood’ Evans with a half century and Tony ‘Goodo’ Gooding who supported him with a very good 24.  The innings finished on 139 all out with credit going to the United bowlers who bowled a tight and accurate line all day. 


The Muddies then went on the offensive with man of the Season Dale ‘Drago’ Arnell zipping in to take 6 wickets with some excellent support from the other bowlers to clean up United for what looked like a match winning 97 all out.  The Muddies therefore had a 42 run lead from the first innings to build on as they took the field late on Saturday evening to see off the last four overs of the day.  Disaster however struck with Harris being caught at point and the Muddies went in at close of play 1 for 4.


The following day the United bowlers kept up the pressure and despite some superb controlled batting by Nathan King (30), Keithy Taylor (19) and again Skipper Josh McConnell(16) who by then was hobbling on one leg with a badly torn calf muscle from an injury sustained on Saturday afternoon whilst wicket keeping, the Muddies fell to just 93 all out.


United therefore needed  136 to win.  They set about getting those runs carefully.  All throughout this season The Muddies bowling attack have been used to taking a wicket every few overs but today the two United batters were an obstacle that unusually they just couldn’t budge.  With the loss of just one wicket the United batters gained more and more confidence as they closed in on imminent victory. 


There was no doubt that the Muddies heads had dropped but just before close of play on this second day Nathan King finally made the breakthrough with a neat caught and bowled to remove the most troublesome runmaker on 60 after he had been dropped a number of times, and United finished the day on 2 for 117 needing just 19 runs for victory when play resumes next Saturday.  


The Muddies have often destroyed teams innings early on this season with first and second over breakthroughs.  That is exactly what will be required from their pacemen next Saturday to snatch back this victory.  They need to take eight wickets for less than 19 runs. 


A formidable task but one, that having looked back through their scorebook, they have achieved no less than twice this season, let’s hope they make it a lucky third time to bring home the trophy…..Go The Muddies!