THOMMO ON SONG
By TONY WHITE
SOUTH Services experienced fast bowler Jason Thompson admits to often singing to himself as he walks back to his mark preparing to bowl.
It's the calm before the storm. Thompson says it is his way of relaxing to save nervous energy.
Thompson and rival quickie Tim Gallagher, from GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst, will be key figures in tonight's Daily Examiner/South Ex-Servicemen's Club night cricket grand final at McKittrick Park.
It looms as an intriguing match-up under lights, with both teams hungry for victory.
"The young fellas tend to get more fired up, keen and edgy. I'm more a laid-back type," Thompson said.
"I sometimes sing to myself to relax but as soon as I get to the top of the mark, it's like a switch goes off, the game face comes on and I give 120 per cent."
Turning 34 next Thursday and in his 17th season with South Services, Thompson is considered an elder statesman in the young team, captained by Brett Woods.
While Woods and fellow top order batsmen, Tom and Matt Kroehnert, have been in sensational form lately, Thompson and his fellow bowlers are charged with taking wickets and stemming the opposition's run flow.
"The key, especially in these one-day games, is to bowl a good line and length," Thompson said.
"Otherwise you get carted all round the track.
"You've got to try and figure out a batsman's strengths and weaknesses and pretty quickly.
"Night games are played at a quick pace. You've got to keep a level head. Things can change quickly.
"One minute you're travelling cosily, then the momentum can swing in an over or two. The trick is to try and regather."
Thompson expects to play tonight after getting through training on Wednesday with his troublesome hamstring.
Gallagher, 23, has been with Tucabia for three seasons after playing all his previous cricket with Westlawn Grafton Hotel.
He admits the Tucabia trophy cabinet has been bare over the past few seasons, and that winning 'would be a good way to get something out of the season'.
Gallagher and six other Tucabia players ? Damien Rouse, Andrew Buchannan, Brad Lloyd, Aaron Webb, Matt Blanch and Trent Dickson ? were part of the team beaten in last year's night final by Westlawn.
"I'm going into the game like most others. I tend to be a more casual player," he said.
"Line and length especially is very important. The batsmen tend to go after you a bit more in these games. Sometimes you can get belted a bit.
"For us, Chris Adamson has been in great form with the bat and ball. Rousey (captain, Damien Rouse) is batting good and Andrew Buchannan can score runs.
"South's danger men are the usual suspects, Woods and the Kroehnert brothers, they've been getting plenty of runs lately.
"We'll have to get on top of them early. Getting a good start is always nice."
Rouse added his team was 'quietly confident of winning'.
On the other hand, Thompson and his teammates will strive to be on song.