THE date: March 21, 2010. That’s the day Harwood’s dreams of a grand final birth were crushed by Brothers in cricket’s Premier League preliminary final.
Harwood were forced to spend almost a day-and-a-half in the field as Mick Summers and his teammates amassed 296 runs in a wonderful display of batting.
Fast forward to today and Brothers have another shot at ending Harwood’s season and, if successful, will book a place in next week’s grand final against Westlawn.
For Harwood captain Tim McMahon and his teammates the wounds haven’t healed from that game 12 months ago which ended their season.
“Yes, I do have a clear recollection of that day and I still haven’t got over it,” the Harwood skipper told the Examiner yesterday
“I have a memory of it and it’s not a fond one.”
One player who played alongside McMahon in last year’s sudden-death final was middle-order batsman Mark Ensbey.
Ensbey scored a defiant 42 as he watched his side fall an agonising 14 runs short of victory.
“I remember when we came out to bat on Sunday and it kept raining,” Ensbey recalled.
“It virtually rained the whole time, but the umpires kept saying `’it’s not that bad’.
“We got down to Tim (McMahon) and Kane (Aeschlimann) and needed about 14 runs until Kane got caught off a full toss.”
Ensbey has been in career-best form with the bat this season and if he gets set at the crease Brothers’ bowlers could be in for a long day.
And for the man they call “Dickie” his beloved cricket pads of 15 years will once again be on show.
“I bought the pads and a bat about 15 years ago,” Ensbey laughed.
“The bat wore out but the pads are still holding together.
“Everyone tells me to buy a new pair but I’ve got three kids to feed and a lot of bad habits.”
If Harwood reaches the decider next week against Westlawn they will be without the services of Ensbey who has planned a trip overseas.
“I’m off to Calgary in Canada so if we make the grand final I’ll be unavailable,” he said.
When asked if he will be packing his cricket pads in his luggage Ensbey said the long trip might cause them damage.
“I’m not sure if they’d get there in one piece and getting them past customs could be an issue,” he said.
Brothers were expected to struggle this season after the loss of several big-time players, including Brad Robertson and Troy McLaren.
But after handing Tucabia a cricket lesson last week Mick Summers and his men are only one game away from another grand final appearance.
“Brothers have lost a few key players this year and their batting and bowling looks a bit weaker,” Ensbey said.
“They don’t have Troy as a spin option but Corey (Bertalli) has been in form with the ball.
“We need to bat more sensibly than last week and value our wickets.”