A Cinderella Story-Part 2

Due to popular demand and the response to Part 1, I have been convinced to write Part 2 of the Cinderella story. To recap it was the story of my club Pembroke Old Scholars (David if you will) vs the Might of Grange (Goliath) in a T 20 grand final at Adelaide Oval.

We are a Motley Crew a mixture of Old Boys and rings ins. But for the work of Rulebook Ashwood would not get a team on the park from week to week. His contact list is bigger than any Amway network I know. Our one day side has used over 60 players this year.  Grange are a semi-professional club who have the luxury of paying players such as former SACA players Mark Harrity and Bradley Young. It is fair to say Pembroke were massive underdogs.

Whilst never having played on the hallowed turf myself, as a Board Member I was advised that I would be presenting the trophy. The next best thing to playing in a winning side on the Oval would surely be presenting the trophy to our skipper.  The leadup was exciting with the Side doing their warm up on the number 2 Oval and using the Adelaide Strikers changerooms. There was a crowd of around 1000 people present which was more than most Shield games and it was great to see many former teammates and luminaries of the club present.

It seemed that the occasion got to many of our players with some overawed by the prospect of playing on the hallowed turf. Many were white as sheets in the rooms beforehand, whilst it would be just another day at the office for many Grange Players. Rulebook Ashwood lamented after the game not using Rafael Sterk one of the Pembroke Players who has competed in 3 Olympics as a Water Polo  goal keeper. He was one of the few who seemed to lap up the occasion and perhaps should have addressed the team before the game.

Grange batted very well and made 150 plus and Mark Harrity bowled very quickly in the evening. A lot of our lads had never batted under lights before and found it a new experience. Rafael Sterk Made 20 odd and Dino Vyrnios the Greek God made 30 including a massive six. The guys who played whilst being bitterly disappointed with the result will be telling their grandkids about the day they played on Adelaide Oval. They have memories to cherish for life and there is always next year.

For the record Pembroke definitely won the after party – kicking on at the Skipper’s House well into the morning with none of the 11 making it to work on the Monday.


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks for part 2 Raj, great read. Great effort just to get to play on the Adelaide Oval. Hopefully Pembroke make it back next year and be better for the experience of playing on South Australia’s hallowed turf.
    Rulebook sounds like such a great asset that Pomborneit will be sending a team of delegates over the border shortly to try and lure him east. After losing the last two GF’s we think he will be the man to get us over the line.

  2. Thanks luke we can talk during the June transfer window.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    We are still awaiting compensation for Atchy.

  4. I think you owe us for thAt trade

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Raj and Luke greatly appreciated and yes I admit I am weird and fanatical and do not believe in the word forfeit .
    The GF will always haunt me re not losing but I feel as a coach we made mistakes in not covering and effectively trying to practice the mental side of the game and while we had made the point of just enjoy the experience did not go the thoughts of playing at
    Adelaide oval enough not tapping in to , Raf Sterks knowledge and experience of the big stage was a huge error ( not having played for 3 weeks due to heat and then rain did not help ) The mental aspect of sport is still a unknown in a lot of ways at the elite level geez you only have to look at Fremantle and Richmond in last years finals to note that let alone at a amateur level . I am totally convinced that paying players at our level creates more problems than it is worth .
    The great man Freb Bloch said re Ad Uni FC if wining is all there is we don’t want be a part of it ! I couldn’t agree more ! May be we should have had the party before the game we certainly would have been loose

  6. Another nice piece Raj,
    I also echo malcolms sentiments in terms of sports psychology which now, whether we like it or not, is a big part of any sportsmans amoury, along with some talent of course. It is a the part of the game where a player can beat himself before bowling or facing a ball, but it can also be the foundations of what can be unerring confidence is his own ability to survive the oppositions attempts to derail that confidence and find a way to exploit the weaknesses shown by the opposition in that attempt. I am a big believer that you show no emotion in the arena only a steely glazed look of focus and determination ,which nine times out of ten will unnerve your gobshite opponents to the point of distraction( as long as you can stay at the crease long enough or have a long enough bowling spell of beating the bat).
    Our boys on the GF showed their spirit just to go out and compete, yes some players may have been overawed by the experience…..but now they have experience to call upon for the next big show down in their sporting careers how ever that challenge may manifest itself. Each one can all recall what they would have done differently and choose to re apply in the next chapter.
    Good luck to all the boys through the winter we will be back louder prouder and more determined next season . GO KINGS

  7. Troy Hancox says

    I agree rulebook!!
    Sometimes teams talk themselves out of it, before they start.
    “at least we were competitive”
    “geez it’s hot today”
    “we are up against it”

    All this type of stuff has to go!
    it’s 50/50 on the day!
    Have a red hot crack at it…. nothing to lose…. plenty of others would kill for the chance to play in a GF of any sorts.

    You hear folk say, who cares its only a NAB cup (for instance)……. until their side is in the final……

    Congratualtions to Pembroke for playing off.

  8. Well said lads – Great Twenty20 journey for the club to go through – even if the end result was not ideal, our blokes will be better for the run next time out.

  9. Bad luck Kings. Next year. Luke, you can have Atchy back if you like. We got 2 games out of him this year, including one in the 1 day comp. Send over someone to replace him. Anyone….

  10. Good to hear about the after party.

    Adelaide is lucky that the Kings haven’t won too much silverware. Judging by the after parties at losing GF’s, imagine the hijinks after a victory??

  11. Shane D. says

    Great follow up article Raj. I think it is a great achievement to make any GF at any level and this was certainly something special. I certainly enjoyed being part of the 1000+ watching the the game. We shouldn’t forget all the hard work and experience earned in reaching a Grand Final. As Sam said, a great journey for the club.

  12. Mate, I cant be there Friday night. i am playing, kick off at 800pm.
    Hope its a good night

  13. Yes Raj, there is always next year. I’ve been lucky enough to have a pregame address by some of Australia’s best ever Captains in Steve Waugh and John Eales. There’s no words of wisdom that help relieve the nerves that the occasion brings. Nerves are good, they help you build adreline. All of our team have all got the confidence to take on the opposition in this grade. so we shouldn’t be nervous about competing or get rattled by shit talkers. The nerves from the occasion lessen with experience. Talking and lots of encouragement helps you focus and get rid of the nerves. We just have to keep coming back and pack our confidence. Go kings.

  14. Well said Raj. I particularly liked the allegory of Raf Sterk (waterpolo champion) LAPPING up the occasion.

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