Social cricket takes a serious side in shield

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Youngs Siding Swamprats captain Paul Faassen and Elleker Locos counterpart Troy Barnes with the Pigs Arse Shield up for grabs this Saturday.
Camera IconYoungs Siding Swamprats captain Paul Faassen and Elleker Locos counterpart Troy Barnes with the Pigs Arse Shield up for grabs this Saturday. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

It is every batsman’s dream not to be dismissed first ball.

So the complaints from bowlers modern-day cricket is a batsman’s game could not ring truer in a competition steeped in social traditions on the south coast.

For the 18th year this Saturday, the Pigs Arse Shield will be up for grabs when the Elleker Locos take on the Youngs Siding Swamprats in the grand final of the South Coast Social Cricket competition. Social is the key word, with the key rules being each player must bowl three overs, batsmen must retire at 35, and no batsman can be dismissed first ball in the 33 overs-per-innings match.

The contest and social fabric of cricket is what appeals to the players in the competition’s three teams — the Locos, Swamprats and Denmark Muckrakers.

Locos skipper Troy Barnes said the fixture had a lot of tradition but was always taken a bit more seriously when the shield was on the line.

The Locos are the most successful team, having won 11 Pigs Arse Shields in the competition’s 17-year history.

“The idea is mainly to have fun but with a bit of seriousness,” Barnes said. “It’s still very hard to get out LBW.”

Barnes said he hoped the competition could return to four teams in future years after the Albany Mongrel Mob and Pizzlas folded.

Swamprats captain Paul Faassen said his team was overdue to reclaim the shield, having last won in 2008-09 when they went back-to-back. “With the Swamprats, it’s all about being social, it’s not like we are playing for sheep stations,” he said.

Matches are usually played on Sundays but the captains agreed a Saturday final was ideal as there would be a few sore heads in the morning.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails