CCNSW lost the toss and was asked to bowl. Mick Tarrant 0-10 off 3 overs and Joe Scarcella 0-28 off 4 overs got us off to a great start but the lack of a proper keeper cost us with David Craig  1-37 off 4 overs bowling well but missed out on catches and stumpings which would have changed the game. Matt Leong bowled at a tough time and finished with a handy 0-15 off 3 overs. Peter Rolls (2 catches) and Luke Holman (1 catch). We chased 168 and fell well short with only Jamie Murtha 28 and Joe Scarcella 27 showing any resistance. Too many drop catches and lack of a keeper and some unfortunate non understanding of the rules cost us dearly on the day.

The Team was: – Peter Rolls 10 , James Murtha (w) 24, Matt Leong 9, Mike Tarrant 1, David Craig 3, Joe Scarcella 27, Jim Hadley (c) 19, Luke Holman 1,

The Result was: –

Brown Snakes: 3-167 (20 Overs)


C.C.N.S.W.: 8-94 (15.3 Overs)

By 73 runs

The Bowling was: – D. Craig 4-0-37-1; J. Scarcella 4-0-28-0; M. Leong 3-0-15-0; J. Murtha 3-0-37-1; M. Tarrant 3-0-10-0; L. Holman 2-0-25-0; J. Hadley 1-0-10-1

The Fielding was: –

Run outs: – Nil

Catches: – Two to P. Rolls (w); One to L. Holman

Stumpings: – Nil.

Player Points (awarded by captain):  M. Tarrant 3; M. Leong 2; J. Scarcella 1


(Editor’s note) It was the Victoria Barracks player who in the 1850s, originally developed what became the SCG; they also claim that their soldier spectators who came from the Barracks and supported them are the originators of the term “to barrack” as used in Australia.  (This is disputed by etymologists who ascribe the term either to Melbourne or Ireland).

C.C.N.S.W. was invited by Cricket NSW to represent the civilian population of NSW v the Army at the SCG to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the SCG. Arising from that game C.C.N.S.W. and the Army jointly bought “The Barrackers’ Cup” which is kept in the Army Museum at Victoria Barracks and occasionally at the request of the C.C.N.S.W. Match Manager brought out on the day.

The ball with which C.C.N.S.W. bowled in the150th anniversary game can be seen in the SCG Museum.

To quote from the Army web site:

“Victoria Barracks is one of the best-known examples of military architecture in Australia. The Regency-style Victoria Barracks were designed by Lieutenant-Colonel George Barney, who also built Fort Denison and reconstructed Circular Quay. Most of barracks was constructed using locally quarried sandstone between 1841 and 1849. The barracks were occupied by British troops up until 1870 and then taken over by the New South Wales colonial forces. After the Federation in 1901, Victoria Barracks housed the various headquarters responsible for administering and co-ordinating the military. Between 1931 and 1936 the barracks was home to the Royal Military College of Australia and from July 1938 to July 1940 it also housed the Command and Staff School. Today, Victoria Barracks is home to the Headquarters of Forces Command. The Barracks are widely considered to be one of the best examples of a military barracks in the world.”

After a year that has provided drought, fire, flood and pestilence, cricket has been hard to come by, with what seems like more games cancelled than played. So a game half-way in to autumn would seem mightily optimistic. Apparently though soldiers are glass half full types – who would have thought? – and once given permission to have visitors on base again, scheduled a mid April Thursday to invite the gentlemen of leisure in the CCNSW to wine, canapés, and a bit of a whack with the willow.

And, despite the odds, a magnificent day greeted the 12 lay abouts, retirees, and those just bunking off who arrived at the historic barracks. Unfortunately the dependability of this country’s armed forces doesn’t match their optimism and we were told they were down a few players. Scott Williams promptly decided to play for “with his mates” (he’s Navy, soldiers and sea men are never mates), a decision the captain would come to regret.

Someone had also unfortunately neglected to tell the groundsman that a game of cricket was on, and those wandering out to the centre saw more grass than a gig in Nimbin, a big fat two inch stogey, gently rolled and with about as much life in it as said north coast residents after the party. This was truly the most under-prepared pitch presented since Uncle Bill mowed a strip in his back paddock for the kids to play on. No-one claimed to have ever seen worse, not even the Kiwis.

The Army captain, long time CCNSW player Mike Beergah, claimed there was no batting in their team and engineered the toss so we were put in. Openers Tom Robertson and Mike Weaver came in to see what’s what, and found much to like. Anything short sat up like a tennis ball at Roland Garros, and there was way too much greenery for the seam to ever be in danger of being hit. Tom hit some typically lusty blows – and, most untypically for Tommy, a proper cricket shot! – and was retired before the end of the 4th over. Weeves’ entertaining efforts were helped mightily by some inept work by fielders and keeper, running nearly there and back without scoring or the wickets being broken. A huge total seemed possible.

Harry Bridge came in next, took a few tokes on the spliff without inhaling before deciding this was the good shit, and began the cavalry charge. Weeves played around one from an S. Williams and was bowled for an entertaining 15 (13). Martin Speiser stuck around for a few before the Army finally caught one, an excellent diving catch from Beergah at slip for 2 (6).

The sight of Tommy playing a proper cricket shot was surprising enough, but next ball the normally super-correct David Craig wafted way outside off without so much as soft-shoe shuffle, and inside edged on to the castle for the golden quack. 3 quick wickets turning a promising start into the usual existential dread.

Newbie Matt Edge found the paddock not to his liking and struggled to hit off the 3 strip square, eventually run out for 2 (9). Harry watching from the other end decided a break was required and soon retired, bringing Peter Rolls and Sooren Hughes together. The big Sorrel hit the first for a one bounce four before Rolly picked out mid-wicket for 1 (5).

With still a few overs to go, Pete Constantinou played himself in, and Soren Hughes looked for Oxford St, denied only by the highest branches of the fig tree before being undone by the slow pace and hitting one straight back to the bowler for 14 (10). Peter’s mate Anthony Semrani (a late call-up to try help the army’s personnel issues) came in, entertainingly pulled (or hooked if you ask him) to the fort (way over it in the retelling) and was gently reminded of both the highs and lows of the game, being bowled a couple of balls later for 5 (6). Peter followed next over, caught in the deep by Beergah for 4 (13).

This correspondent, Jed Wesley-Smith  – controversially in ahead of Joe Scarcella – with five overs still to play had played a few before being lured by the nude and slow ball to launch to the boundary, only to see one S. Williams in a red shirt move like lightning across the outfield and take a diving blinder, out for 0 (6). With wickets rapidly diminishing and a few overs still to play, Joe Scarcely came in to provide what support he could.

The retired Tommy walked out with all the promise and confidence his early innings showed, hit a six then popped one up for the keeper. 5 overs to go and one wicket left, seriously in danger of leaving a lot of runs out there. Fortunately Harry bridge  and Joe saw us out, with Harry needing a six off his last ball for fifty falling only a yard or so short, 49* (39) and Joe ending on 13* (22). Final total of 160 a little disappointing but defendable if we bowled and fielded well.

With Jed and Joe opening the bowling, lots of dots were interspersed  with boundaries from any ball slightly short  or full. Joe took the first wicket with a gorgeous inswinger hitting leg, only for the other opener to hit his last couple for boundaries. Soz came on and the pattern of beautifully for only 11 off his three.

Spin was definitely in order, with David Craig’s first over bamboozling batsman and first half keeper Weever alike, a glorious maiden! After 11 overs they were 2-45 and the game was ours for the taking!

From the other end Peter Constantinou came on, having failed to read the memo about short bowling. A couple of boundaries in his first over seemed to sound the reveille, as the Army then proceeded to blitzkrieg. Dave’s next two balls were launched into the fort, one nearly hitting the clock. 16 off that over, and 17 off Peter’s next, had seen our position deteriorate to 2 for 70 before a very welcome drinks break. The game, as they say, was definitely on.  

Peter’s final over saw a couple more sixes to our dubious friend S. Williams – he only bowled it due to the misinformation that he and Scotty were mates – before being replaced by the very tidy Martin Speiser’s left armers. At the other end, David continued the pattern of dots and boundaries, before being replaced by Matt Edge’s very tidy offies. Unfortunately we’d left Marty and Matty too little room and the total was passed with only one ball to go.

At the end of the day, in the fullness of time, only cliché and aphorism seemed appropriate – cricket truly was a winner on the day! Well over 300 runs on a glorious day in the finest surrounds, followed by nibbles and plonk on the balcony of the Officer’s Mess with the top brass. Ridiculous really.

The Team was (playing 12: – Tom Robertson 37, Mike Weaver 15, Harry Bridge 49*, Martin Speiser 2, David Craig 0, Matt Edge 2, Peter Rolls 1, Soren Hughes 14, Peter Constantinou 4, Anthony Semrani 5, Jed Wesley-Smith (c) 0, Joe Scarcella 13*

The Result was:-

CCNSW: – 10-160 (H. Bridge 49*, T. Robertson 37)   (25 overs)

Lost to

Victoria Barracks XI: – 5-164 (24.5 overs)

By 6 wickets

FoW: – 1-48 (M. Weaver); 2-56 (M. Speiser); 3-56 (D. Craig); 4-76 (M. Edge); 5-93 (P. Rolls); 6-109 (S. Hughes); 7-118 (A. Semrani); 8-118 (P. Constantinou); 9-118 (J. Wesley-Smith); 10-127 (T. Robertson).

The Bowling was: – J. Wesley-Smith 2-0-12-0; J. Scarcella 4-1-15-1; S. Hughes 3-0-11-0; P. Constantinou 4-0-41-1; D. Craig 5-1-40-0; M. Speiser 4-0-22-1; M. Edge 2.5-0-17-2

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: Nil

Catches:  One each to M. Edge, S. Hughes, P. Rolls and M. Speiser

Run outs:  Nil

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