WHEN the pressure is on, the best in their trade always rise to the occasion.
And that’s why your scribbler has decided to deliver the biggest sporting bouquet of 2010 to the crew from Park Beach Bowling Club Colts, following their capture of the Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association premiership after being disappointed so many times before.
Eventually, the planets aligned and while certain sections of the community regard cricket as boring, the final encounter with Diggers Ex-Services was as dramatic and intense as an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
When Matt Francis did the jig after sending a loose one to the boundary, everybody thought it was all over-red rover, until head Digger, Steve Meakins, pointed to the middle and said: “We’ll have another hit, thanks umpire.”
To cut a long story short, stumps were eventually pulled, team songs were sung and copious amounts of pale amber were consumed by both teams to celebrate the occasion.
Hero of the hour may have been Chris “Mr Cricket” Moran, who capped a stellar 35-year playing career by leading the victory parade, but one can’t go past the massive contribution of “Flea” Haworth, as the number one totally local sporting achiever of the year.
His even hundred in the final put Colts into the big dance and that last knock of 70 iced the cake.
One hopes he gets tired of living in Adelaide and hurries home to bat and bowl another day.
If there is a runners-up prize, give it to Coffs Tigers’ striker Kodjo Adjassou, who didn’t just win North Coast Football’s annual Golden Boot award, he fair dinkum stuck the thing under his arm and bolted out the gate.
To have 38 goals recorded against your name in a season is a phenomenal effort in its own right, but to finish 16 clear of your nearest rival is almost Bradmanesque.
Among other notable achievements, praise must go to Tamika Saxby, Nathan Quinn, Sawtell-Toormina Saints and racing’s champion duo, trainer Brett “Bart” Bellamy and jockey Raymond Spokes.
On bigger stages around the nation and globe, Emma Moffatt, Courtney Hancock, Zac Purton and Harley Ingelby deserve not just full marks for their sporting excellence, but high praise for humility and good grace.
Looking ahead, one predicts the racing industry in Coffs Harbour will just grow and grow and grow – it’s that good.
Mark down Kevin Gordon’s name for an Origin call-up very soon and if any emerging talent deserves special credit for having his feet on the ground, it’s a young footy player with Coffs Harbour Comets named Brandon Lee, who is a very, very impressive individual indeed.
In conclusion, thanks to all those who have contributed to this column, such as the much-maligned Fritz the Spy, “Stone The” Crowe, sundry football spies, informants and tale-tellers who leave documents in brown paper bags under the door, send no-longer-confidential emails and other bits of gossip, fact and fiction.
This also includes those who fell for the leg-pulls and three-card tricks, who sent in letters expressing righteous indignation and demanding the head of your scribbler, giving all around the sports desk a hearty laugh or two.
It might seem like blowing our trumpets but real effort goes into giving our readers something truly local to peruse and the proof is on these Coffs Coast Advocate pages every day.