Quick Singles

Bet on that Horse

SOUTH Services second grade all-rounder Brendan Taylor is a better bet than Makybe Diva at the moment.

Last weekend the lanky fast bowler and hard-hitting batsman blasted a sensational 105no from the number eight position against Coutts Crossing.

The weekend before he snared a hat trick as he ripped through the East Royal Tavern batting lineup, putting his team in a position to push for an outright win.

'Horse', as he is known, had plenty in inspiration for his innings, having 'scored' most of an earlier century for Matt Hartmann, South's outstanding wicketkeeper batsman, who ripped a brilliant 103 off the hapless Coutts Crossing bowlers earlier in the day.

Mobile phone blues

THE ubiquitous mobile phone should not be allowed anywhere near a cricket field, even if your name is not Shane Warne.

While officiating in the Westlawn and GI Tucabia Copmanhurst Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League game at Ellem Oval on Saturday, Lawrence umpire Phil Richards experienced a moment of mobile phone embarrassment as his mobile 'rang' as Westlawn's opening bowler ran in for his first ball of the day.

While many people choose a ring tone inspired by the popular culture of the day, Phil's phone emits a more basic tone, which led him to exclaim 'farting phones' as he turned off the troublesome device.

The umpire strikes back

IT is a common cricket assumption that five wickets for a bowler is equal to a century for a batsman, but how does this work for umpires?

After a particularly fruitful afternoon answering the appeals of a bowling team, one local umpire claimed he had a 'five-for' for his efforts on Saturday afternoon.

Groper power

THE Lower Clarence Over-40s cricket team enjoyed ? and Quick Singles knows from experience they really enjoyed ? yet another success in the Neil Frame Memorial Trophy competition.

The Gropers, as they call themselves, have not been beaten for two seasons and should be the favourites to take out the competition this year.

Unfortunately, the North Coast Cricket Council has not yet named a day for a final for this competition and all players are desperate that there is no repeat of last year's fiasco when the Clarence River team won the competition on a countback.

The Over-40s competition has a strong social component in it, but the competitive juices are still strong and players are firm in their wishes for a final to decide the season's champion team.

Golden boy tarnished

THE golden boy of Australian cricket Michael Clarke has learned the hard way that no Australian cricketer can take his place in the side for granted.

The Allan Border Medallist ? some thought he was lucky to finish ahead of luckless Damien Martyn ? must make some adjustments to his game before he returns to the side.

It is not the first time the selectors have asked a dashing batsman to re-think his game.

In fact in the modern era the only player with a substantial career to escape the axe was Greg Chappell. And there were calls for it to happen when he made seven ducks in one season in the early 1980s.

Not the retiring type

WALLABY halfback George Gregan is another sporting hero who has survived at the top for long enough to find that the Australian sporting public and the media is all too ready to hustle you off into retirement, whether you want it or not.

It seems to be a uniquely Australian phenomenon. Most other countries want to enjoy their sports heroes for as long as possible, but Australians are different.

Once the blush of youth leaves a sporting hero, it seems we can hardly wait to usher them into the hall of memories.

Like Allan Border and Steve Waugh, who were dragged from the Test team, while still performing well enough to warrant selection, Gregan has found his fans ? and detractors ? all too ready to see the last of him.

It will be interesting to see how Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne fare as their mortality starts to show.

We like it on top

THE Australian rugby league team is set to continue its dominance of the game world-wide when it beats the Kiwis at the weekend.

Quick Singles would like a dollar for every time he has heard in the last 20 years how much the other league playing nations have improved to match the Australians.

The simple and awful truth is that although the gap between Australia and the British and New Zealand teams sometimes narrows, it always remains.

After so long and with the State of Origin entrenched as the real testing ground for league supremacy, the question remains: will international league ever regain the lustre sport between nations should have?

Fashion statement

LANCE Thompson is a player who perfectly fits the phrase 'old-fashioned-type of footballer'.

His departure from the Dragons camp could not have been messier.

After 201 games and 11 years for the only club he ever wanted to play for, his career was dismissed as fit for a 'fish and chip wrapper'.

Heading to play for arch-rivals Cronulla next season Thompson fired off a volley of parting shots at coach Nathan Brown and Dragons CEO Peter Doust.

Simply put: Thompson deserves better.

Why the Dragons needed to trash a player's life and career because he turned out to be surplus to requirements is a question that needs to be answered.Courage personified

QUICK Singles encourages absolutely everyone who reads this column to get along to meet the Australian Institute of Sport Women's Road Cycling team when it rides into Grafton on December 8.

The team is riding to raise funds for the Amy Gillett Foundation that is helping the five survivors of the training accident in Germany that killed team member Amy Gillett.

There will be a barbecue in Market Square from 11.30am to welcome the team.

The courage of these young athletes in fighting back from one of life's tragic blows is inspiring. The least we can do is show them they have our support.

Godot and friends takes audiences on ride of their life

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