By Graeme Klemm – U16W Team Manager
It’s a good thing I like movies because season 2013-14 provided endless viewing of all manner of shows. We’ve had the disaster movie against Southern Districts when we lost four early wickets in the blink of an eye; the raw excitement of the high octane action comeback against Tea Tree Gully when James Ingram refused to let defeat stare him down; the epic biopic against Adelaide when Will Taylor and James Cleggett put on their massive opening partnership; the Alfred Hitchcock horror classic against Prospect when 18 wickets fell in a day; the uplifting and feel good flick against East Torrens when we had 8 personnel changes to the team but still came out on top; the car crash spine tingler against Sturt; the outrageous bank heist when Port Adelaide robbed us of the 7.5 points we needed to make the finals. But like the old cliche says, the projectionist saved the best one ‘til last…
The all time, gut churning thriller that left Jono Connelly ashen faced and terror frozen as he waited on death row, minute by minute, ball by ball for an excruciating 16 overs as a ninth wicket partnership changed the course of history and the Titanic made it to New York after all. Jacob Roberts and Henry Klemm pulled not just a rabbit, but a unicorn out of the hat to steal a game that we had no right to win. At 8 for 108 and chasing 162, history suggested that we would have been lucky to reach 110. But cricket is a funny game, about taking chances and forging partnerships It’s about ounces of luck and living dangerously. It’s about seizing opportunities. Cooper Harrod, Jacob Roberts and John Bliss had put us in good seats the week before with their fine bowling. It wasn’t just them, but they got the jaffas. And after the week-long intermission, it came down to the efforts of 4 boys who decided that the peanut brittle that had defined our batting this season had finally run out. Sam Barnett shone brightly, early, and then Luke Valente and John Bliss put on an impressive 64 run partnership in the middle that had us around the runrate. But the carnage that followed their wickets left us reeling. The magicians at 10 and eleven then conjured one final trick to leave Glenelg stunned and shattered and still unsure how it had all slipped away. With a run rate of almost 6 an over, it was 91 golden, precious runs from a captain courageous (Jacob) and a nervous nelly (Henry) that had faced less than a dozen balls for the entire season until his arrival at the crease.
As the credits roll on a season that had felt like a roller coaster ride, thanks to all those boys who walked through the revolving door of the U16 Whites. A great bunch of players, respectful to me, their Baggy Brown cap and their team mates. The club has a bright future with young men of this calibre coming through. They may not be superstars, but they definitely provide the heart and soul.