The Rollers’ reign as Wellington Sixes champions came to an early end on Saturday following a semifinal defeat in the ridiculously hot cauldron that is this small Boland town.
And while fingers can justifiably be pointed at some shady officiating, the Rollers can do with some serious introspection, having forgone their own rules from beginning to end.
The plan was a simple one: Neville Cooper and Hannes Carlson arrive at the fields early and sober, while the rest of the team sport serious hangovers and pitch up well after the first match was scheduled to start.
From there Neville hits the shit out of the bowlers while the rest of us go on a gradual detox by way of Black Label shandies, culminating in us being stone cold sober come the final and kicking some serious ass.
But that’s not quite the way it happened…
Everyone (even the Rheeders and Hannes Moore) were on time and, barring the odd exception, in fairly good knick hangover wise. And rather than keep it that way, the Rollers emptied most of the bar in an attempt to escape the heat. Having double Gins and Dry Lemon costing R13 didn’t help. In the wise words of Nicky Rheeder, “Dis ‘n fokop.”
Still, it started well enough; a comprehensive 43-run victory against some people from Spar on the D-field. Ryan Cooper top scored with 30, including three sixes, while Nicky and Hannes smashed some quick runs as we posted a massive 85 in five overs.
The second match was on Neville’s old stomping ground, the B-field, and he didn’t disappoint. Some exceptional bowling from Nicky and Nico limited some arrogant fools from Wellington to just 29. The small total didn’t stop them from chirping us non-stop, but Neville replied in the best way possible … three towering sixes to finish the game in less than two overs.
So through to the quarterfinals of the main section, where we faced some big boys from Tulbagh. Louis Pretorius notched up his second first-baller in a row while Ryan holed out to mid-wicket, but luckily Neville came to the party again with another 30, helping us to an imposing total of 81.
The opposition gave it a go, but an excellent diving catch from Hannes and a classic leg-spin over from Slang saw us through with 18 runs to spare.
Onto the semifinals, where we came up against main title sponsors Three Ships. We batted first and only managed 59 – our caused not helped by one over being called two balls short, and the umpire making some questionable decisions. Add to that some dick with a microphone chirping us from the sidelines.
Still, that was never enough runs against some strong opposition, who secured the victory with five balls to spare.
So an early end to our title defence, but a fun day nevertheless. And given that it was a fundraiser, the Rollers put the spirit of the game first and did their part to support the bar. And Gordon’s Gin.