Workers in a winter wonderland

Workers once again took out the Norm Ryder Winter Cricket Shield. Pictured after their win on Saturday are (rear l-r) Brendan Santin, Taylah Wallace, Leigh Davies, Paul Archer, Glenn Black and Tim Somerville with (front l-r) Noel Wallace, Laurie Axtens (c), Chris Axtens, Paul Campbell, Mark Breckenridge, Paul Smart (with the Patricia Grainger Award for Player of the Series) and Sam Black.

Obviously writing about my brother leaves me open to charges of nepotism but when possibly the most tragic of all cricket tragics in all of Christendom, Chris Axtens, turns the tide of a grand final with the bat then he deserves his name in black and white.

When Chris, the perennial winner of the Workers hole-in-the-bat award (for most ducks in a season), strode out to bat in the winter cricket grand final on Saturday, Workers had lost 6 wickets for 43 runs and had slumped to 9 for 136, while Souths Monkeys were on a roll.

Over the next six overs Chris and Sam Black put on a 30 run partnership, which former first grader Glen Black described as surreal like some kind of acid flash back, so unlikely was it.

Chris slapped the Monkeys attack to all points of the compass, accumulating 15 before the end of the innings. The innings turned the tide of the match, giving Workers an impregnable 160 total and a major psychological edge over their opponents.

Monkeys Trent Bennett starred with the ball, taking 3 for 8 as he guttered the Workers middle order. Bennett then continued his heroics, putting together a classy 43, but unfortunately for the Casino-based team they failed to string together any partnerships of note and were bundled out for 94. Workers Taylah Wallace also deserves a mention after taking two reflex catches low to his left.

Workers have made the grand final each year of the three-year old competition and have walked away with the prize twice.


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