Pelican Brief – Semi Final Against Fernhill Goats

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Pelicans battle Goats in Epic Local Derby Clash

The fourway tie at the top of the table after the scheduled rounds of the Mountain Scene Twenty/20 League ensured a weekend of semi-finals to decide the contestants for the championship game. Of the four teams eligible to do battle in the playoffs, the fiercest local derby was drawn on the postage stamp ground at the Queenstown Events Centre. The Pelicans were to play their nemesis, the Fernhill Sunshine Bay Goats. 

It was the classic underdog encounter, the Rebel Alliance vs the Death Star, the christians vs the lions, the Maoris vs the British Empire. Would good overcome evil? Would dark overcome light, 
would right overcome wrong…?

The Pelicans preparation was severely hampered by heavy sponsors commitments the night before. Speights, who have generously offered to provide the team with the necessary liquid refreshments for the final, had unknowingly handicapped the top-order the night before by supporting a classic display of kiwi binge drinking. Several key members of the Pelicans Management Group had been unable to resist the temptation of Saturday night at the Arrowtown Village Cheese Cake Stall leaving them ‘a little tired but good to go’ The heavy carbo-loading had taken its toll and some of the players needed a brief R&R period next to the BBQ before the game commenced.

The Goats won the toss and padded up against a motivated, stimulated (red Bull) and still mostly drunk Pelicans line-up. Reg 9 Slips got the game away to the traditional start with a good length delivery on off stump to a packed slips region. Unfortunately the Goats batsmen displayed greater than required skill and stoked the ball elegantly into the covers. Reg has one more game this season to take a wicket off the first ball or he will enter his third season as the opening bowler. Should he never manage to do this, the privilege will be passed onto his kids…

Backing up 9 Slips was the crafty Rhino 44 (so called after the steel drums he bowls beamers against) who picked up four cheap wickets and muzzled the Dogs top order with a stunning mixture of wides, loopy bouncers and un-playable deliveries. His 4 for 16 off 4 overs was easier to watch than hot girls kissing, and he is close to sealing up the other opening bowling slot.

The Pelicans maintained their reputation as innovators (stab in the dark really..) in the game by bringing on their big-hitting left handed opening bat as first change bowler. He was fizzing like a school boy at a strip club all week and used the energy well to snare a couple of Goats middle order hitters.

Bizarrely the game was held up for a few minutes after one wicket when a bail went missing. Upon calling out to the side line to see if the batsmen had taken it, it was discovered in a players pocket. How he didn’t realise that a stiff ribbed wooden object was nestled in his groin region is a question without an answer at this point.

A couple of other journeymen Pelicans trundlers chipped a wicket out each, Fraser gobbled up catches like a fat kid eats smarties and half the job was done.

116 to win and we go to the Big Show.

The Pelicans got way to a start faster than a Jesse Ryder running to the buffet and Paddo cashed in a swift 10 off the first two balls and 16 from the first over.

The FSSB captain was not going to let the game get too far away as he conjured up an inspired spell and picked up 3 wickets in 4 balls. With the majority of the top order back in hutch the Goats must have fancied their chances, however they didn’t count on the stubbornness from two of the Arrowtown Nightlife crew from the previous night.

I have been at pains to describe the partnership between Dippers and Finchy. I think the PC version would be ‘economy of effort’…but we all know that they had hangovers that could outlast religion. At one point water was called onto the field to wash the mouth out of one of the batsmen. He was so happy with the deep fried ribs he’d eaten at 4.30am that he recycled them hoping for another go. Luckily his parents were there to witness the occasion and offer support. A report that his old man called out ‘bloody lightweight’ while his son was yodelling are un-confirmed.

The run-rate was maintained by a combination of turning easy twos into singles and the occasional piece of high class batsmanship. The Goats tried manfully to stem the tide with some excellent fielding and constant bowling chances but couldn’t get another breakthrough. Finally with 16 to get off three overs the Pelicans pair had completely run out of energy and Finchy launched three balls into various parts of the Wakatipu valley and the game was ours.

After 2 tense encounters in the past, the game was played in great spirit and the Goats were gracious and genuine in wishing the Pelicans well in final.

Our opponents for the game are the Frankton Reptiles who have installed themselves as underdogs for the game with the TAB.
In other interesting odds for the game we have;

Reg 9 Slips to take a wicket first ball $99 to 1
LP to rock up slaughtered $2 to 1
Dzin to take 6 wickets $6 to 1
Paddo to hit a six into the lake $12 to 1
Paddo to hit Don Jackson in the box $4.50 to 1
Dippers to be late and pay max fine Un-back-able odds

The Big Show will be played in a new venue this weekend, with Jacks Point CC hosting the game at the new time of 2.30PM.

March 22 looms as a milestone day in our brief Pelicans history, hopefully we will see a few supporters make the road trip…it was also the day in history that slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico, for some reason.

Until next week
Remember Pelicans are the only animal that can be repaired with duct tape.