Well, we’ve finally made it to that portion of the year when “the whips are crackin’,” and if you don’t know what that means, you really do need to get out more often!

I can report several folk (who know who cobbles together this rant) have taken it upon themselves to espouse their completely unbiased thoughts on how the 2019 finals are going to shape up (author laughs uproariously into left sleeve, catches several nose hairs on a button and spends next few minutes sneezing and staunching the blood flow) and why their team will take out the flag!  

The author of course, has seen both his teams (The Heavenly Cohorts of Saint George [up north] and Saint Kilda [down south]) perform miserably this year.  In fact the best that could be said of his teams is they were top of the table – before a game was played – and it’s been downhill since then!

It was just this morning I had my ear chewed about the wondrous prospects of The Sea Budgies (that’s Manly, for you late arrivals) and how their coach Des Hasler should be knighted!  I’m not sure I’d go that far but Des did pretty well when, faced with a full hospital ward of injured players, still managed to put a team on the field that beat  The Sharks  comfortably.  The Eels caused the boil-over however, by thrashing  The Broncos  58 zip!  The author again smiled (but kept his nose away from his sleeve) when he heard Glenn Lazarus (aka The Brick With Eyes) crying that his former team should be so poorly treated!  Suck it up Brick, a few years on the bottom rung could do them good.

Shortly after this encounter, I was shirt-fronted by a one eyed Richmond supporter who waxed lyrical about the chances of his team in the Finals down south.  I feigned interest but couldn’t get excited even when he said he loved Saint Kilda (after Richmond, I presume) though as the conversation continued it seems he had an affection for Darrel Baldock (who captained the team to their only premiership in 1966) but appeared somewhat chastened when I corrected him saying it was Saint Darrel Baldock AM, if he didn’t mind!  We Saint Kilda supporters know heroes when we see them and all he has to look up to is a highly tattooed Dusty Martin!  The younger generation of today lack any real heroes.  Mind you, a grandson of The Child Bride and I just took out The Best and Fairest in his Oz Rules side so one day I could be watching him play on the MCG.

I watched the Super Netball Grand Final (my granddaughters play the sport and who knows, one day I might be cheering one of them in such a match) and was mightily impressed by  The NSW Swifts  win over  The Sunshine Coast Lightning.  The Lightning  were going for their third title on the trot but it was not to be.

In Beijing the Australian men’s basketball side  The Boomers, were having a rough trot in The World Cup.  I’ve never been a fan of basketball and think it’s fair to say since they beat Team USA recently, they began to think they were unbeatable!  In the end while we made the finals (and the US team didn’t) we struggled and finished again without a medal.  Next World Cup!  Next World Cup!

And that neatly brings me to The Ashes series in the UK and our very own Galahs.  Well, I’m happy to report they have retained The Urn but how they did it was nothing to write home about.  First off, you should be aware, The Urn we played for is not the original Urn.  As you might recall, when a pommy team was out here in the mid 19th century they lost to our side and an obituary was placed in The Times (I think) announcing the death of English cricket.  The notice went on to say there had been a cremation and The Ashes (one history I read said a couple of stumps were burnt) were the result.  That Urn is said to have found its way to Lord’s and that’s where it has stayed.  When we objected that we never got to hold it when we won it, by stint of some verbal gymnastics, it was explained that Urn wasn’t actually a trophy but an heirloom (or something) so another was produced and that’s the one you would have seen the Oz team holding aloft.  

Second, if it wasn’t for Smith we’d have looked pathetic:  he was the only batter who managed to regularly put up a score you’d expect from a batter.  The rest were generally hopeless and the less said about Warner’s efforts the better.  Will there be any fallout from this series?  There should be but there’s an old saying:  It’s harder to get out of The Galahs than it is to get in!  If you don’t believe me, how come Warner was selected in the last Test?  The Oz captain has some questions to answer but I don’t see Smith being made captain again shortly.  We play Pakistan in just over two months and what we need to sort out NOW is our batting.  We can look at the captaincy down the track.


Hillside Critic

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