Almanac Cricket: Cricket Tasmania Premier League 1st Grade Grand Final – South Hobart Sandy Bay v Kingborough: George

Day 2
Blundstone Arena

Stumps Day 1: SHSB 9/368 from 96 overs (A Doolan 126, G Bailey 123) v Kingborough.

Stumps Day 2: SHSB 373
Kingborough 9d/214 (Rose 89, Doherty 3/31)
SHSB 0/8


Great day, George. (Though stark similarities with suburban cricket are a little unsettling…)

On Friday night (Hobart time) Australia’s T20 World Cup side played at Dhamarasala. Outrageous scenes of boutique grandstands standing before the Himalaya.
They lost to NZ.
Some have called for captain SPD Smith to be replaced.

One man who knows about being replaced while acting as the team’s World Cup captain is George Bailey. Replaced during the 50 over World Cup.

Friday night found George preparing not for Australia, but for a Grand Final. Playing, too at a venue of terrific natural scenery: Blundstone Arena, Hobart. It’s the Cricket Tasmania Premier League (i.e. District) 1st Grade 3-day Grand Final.

South Hobart – Sandy Bay v Kingborough

-Come on boys put him out of his misery.
-Come on now, this could be a 15-ball duck.

Turning out for SBSH are some-time Australian players George Bailey, Xavier Doherty and Alex Doolan.

George Bailey. Hero.

This is Day 2. Yesterday South Hobart – Sandy Bay rattled up 9/368 from the 96 completed overs. Test representatives A Doolan (126) and G Bailey (123) put on 204 for the fourth wicket.

Today they’ve been bowled out for 373.

Kingborough are batting when I arrive. And walk straight in. Through Cricket Tasmania headquarters. And emerge behind the giant sheet sight screen.

Shelton lbw Bell 0 (25) 1/18

There are about 50 people here. Maybe 100.

-Big wicket, this one.
-Carn 2/20 here boys.

Consequently, we can hear everything the players say out there. George Bailey, hero, (there he is) is there wearing thick cable-knit. Others are chirping.

-Carn 2/20, 3/30 boys.
-They need 150 from this bloke boys.
-2 and 3 here boys.

Overcast skies. Puff of wind.

Freitag lbw G Bell 21 (34) 2/28

Yer dismissed batsman is incredulous. Carries on a bit. Lingers.

-Was he serious, that bloke?
-3/38 boys.
-Get some more pad.
-Great areas Mish.
-Another before drinks boys.
-3 & 4 with drinks here boys.
-Come on Sharkies.
-Keep working him over.
-Give him the cream egg.

Drinks 2/33. Im looking for G Bailey. He moves about the group. It’s possible I’m overstating his influence. But then, maybe not.

I’m surprised at how similar the chirp is to suburban chirp. Is this what it’s like all the way to the top? (In Australia)


Webster lbw Bell 6 (14) 3/33

-He fell for the eye ball.
-Come on boys.
-At least we all want to play, Sharks. Come on.
-Don’t let ’em go here Sharks.

The SHSB boys are yapping. Though I can’t discern Doolan nor Bailey.
-Test that hand out Mishy.
-4 & 5 here boys.
-Plenty of voice here boys, always in the game.

Rose bowled Kingston from no ball 1 (7) 3/35

-Sitting ducks here boys.
-Too good for him.
-Not an inch here boys.

-All over him here Bell boy.
-Love your shapes.
-Turn the screws boys, turn the screws.
-All with Belly & Kinga boys.
-Playing into our hands, boys.

The first bowling change comes; 3/40, 15 overs.

First ball from Willis is long hop cut for 4.
-We won’t be here at 5:30 tonight boys.

Evans & Rose are batting.
-4 & 5 here boys, 4 & 5.
-All over him here Bell boy.
-Great stuff Sharkies.
-Run rate going nowhere here boys.
-4 & 5 with lunch here boys.
-320 behind boys.

Sharks wear alternating navy and pale blue panels on their caps; navy peak.

A couple of old timers shuffle past behind me.
-Great ground, innit?
-Oh, beautiful surface. So is York Park now. I played there years ago when it was a cow paddock. Now it’s a bowling green.

-Scoreboard pressure here boys.
Bell bowls his 10th of the spell. 10 overs 3/24.

And now it’s X Doherty.

Evans and Rose are settling in. In yellow helmets. Rose smashes Willis to the mid wicket fence. 3/67.
He’s bowling poorly, releasing the pressure.
-Fuck off.

Emotional young Willis is replaced by left arm medium Thompson last over before lunch.
G Bailey at short cover.
A Doolan at slip throughout.

-Another one here boys.
-We get 4, we get 5 here boys.
-Our session boys.

Lunch, 3/68.

The players mosey off for lunch. G Bailey walks his own line towards his mates; jumps the fence.
-How are ya?
And there’s his partner too, little infant child.

I drift that way, as well. And as he breaks away, I make eye contact with the great man. Hero of conduct, of bearing, of ability, of attitude.

-G’day – ahhh… it’s a bit embarrassing for a bloke of my years to ask for a photo…
-But you’re going to, anyway?
-Well… I am. Congratulations on yesterday.
-Yeah. And all the best for today.

Love it.

George & ER

George & ER

Out to the centre at lunch. Walking on air.
-G’day mate. You local?
-G’day. Nah, from Melbourne.
Yer man explains the dire choice of location for this showpiece ground, amid the suburbs, across the estuary and far removed from town and other happenings.
-A councillor from Clarence had too much influence. Terrible choice. Excellent facility; wrong spot. Like Waverley, or Football Park back in the day.
-Ahh. Politics.
-Damn politics. Still. It goes off for a T20. Or when North Melbourne come to play. They play Richmond here on a Friday night this year. That will be huge. But it was a poor choice.

Bellerive deck

Bellerive deck


It’s X Doherty to Rose and Evans after lunch.
A Doolan at slip. G Bailey at short cover. Unassuming. Clapping.

Kingston is bowling his second spell.

Evans lbw Kingston 24 (67) 4/78

Muted celebrations on-field. Commentary off-field:
-If you’re gonna give ’em make sure they’re out!

-Great work Sharks.
-5 & 6 now boys, 5 & 6.

-Carn now Xavier.
-Carn Doh-ey.
Like a birthing mother, XD grunts on delivery.
-Bowling mate.

The Sharks ‘keeper Martin drops a thin edge at 4/94. It’s Rose on 23. Charmed.
Two balls later, the ‘keeper makes amends.

Backhouse c Martin b Doherty 9 (28) 5/95

-Carn boys, 6 for under 100 boys.
-Carn here Belly.
-6 or 7 at tea.
-Stay up, Belly. Stay good.

-Carn boys. 7 for 120 here boys.
Bell is drifting onto the legs. It’s his 15th over.

He’s replaced by Thompson.
Whacked over cover for four.
-Use your experience here.

Rose is enjoying Thompson.
Brings up 50.

Tea 5/145 (Rose 55, Jones 19).

Families move about.
-Poppy, do you know the naughtiest person we know?
-Ahh… Would it be… Daddy?

Opening bowler Hamish Kingston starts up after tea. To Clive Rose.
He’s plagued with no ball problems. Yet the popping crease never moves.

Jones pulls him away for four.

Jones drives straight of mid on and takes off for the run. Yer man Doherty at mid on runs onto it, picks up cleanly and throws the stumps down. It’s superb. Faultless. He’s cock-a-hoop.
A needless wicket.

Jones run out (Doherty) 28 (66) 6/163

-Great work here boys. Let’s get 7 & 8 now.
-You’ve got him Misha. He’s yours.
-Inflict some pain, Mish.
-Come on boys.

-Finish strong now boys.
-Carn, Jerra.
Captain Jeremy Smith is bowling. I wonder how he enjoys captaining George Bailey.

-Come on now boys, 7 & 8 boys.
Now it’s Doherty.

-Come on X.
Monica Seles-esque grunt each ball.

Ladies are pulling blankets out of bags.
-It’s not getting any warmer.

Lovell tries to work grunting Doherty to mid wicket. Misses it.
Lovell lbw Doherty 8 (37) 7/178

G Bailey still at short cover.
A Doolan still at slip.

-Howyeh Belly?
-You should be. You haven’t bowled for three hours.

-Carn now. Eight down, get the newy.
-This is the one Doh-ey.

The big man Maher, Kingborough captain, is playing his shots. Won’t be long.
Whacks a six. Is then bowled.

Maher b Doherty 7 (14) 8/192

-Carn Jerra. What length are ya bowling?
-You can’t ask him that. He doesn’t know.

I’m shivering.
Cold has me now.
Not just a tremor, but whole-of-body shaking.

C Rose attempts to farm the strike.
Delaying the inevitable.
Bell back into the attack now. After his successes earlier.
Rose puts him into the Ricky Ponting Stand.
Next ball he is well caught at wide mid on.

Rose c Willis b Bell 89 (212) 9/214

And with four overs of the day remaining, Kingborough declare their Innings closed.
Kingborough can only win this by outright now.
So they are going for wickets tonight.


It’s a terrible time to bat, regardless of match scenario.
G Bailey and teammates sit in the lower rows of the grandstand, watching, chatting, laughing.

Over 1: Maher to Clark – uneventful
Over 2: Wheatly to Martin – big shout for lbw
Over 3: Maher to Clark – uneventful
Over 4: Wheatly to Clark – 3, •, change to around the wicket… •, • pad to short leg, • left, back over the wicket… •.

G Bailey, A Doolan SHSB stars of Day 1.

G Bailey, A Doolan SHSB stars of Day 1.

It’s an anxious climax to the day, in freezing conditions. Some tension spills into the scene with an attempted run out of an unaware batsman on the calling of stumps.

Gestures and words are waved as the two teams leave the field.

I stand there quietly applauding the opening batsmen. Even in the lower reaches of the Heidelberg District Cricket Association for Banyule CC, I remember it as a tough job.

South Hobart Sandy Bay are in front by plenty and need only survive for 30 overs or so to be crowned as Premiers.
Kingborough need 10 quick wickets and a subsequent successful chase of about 200-250+ to be crowned Premiers.
Day 3 on Monday 21 March, 2016.

G Bailey approaches with the team. I thank him for the photo earlier.
-Ahh, thanks for that photo earlier.
-Oh, no bother. No worries.
-I felt a bit of a goose asking you.
-No, you’re right. Thanks for coming along. Are you local?

And now he’s leading the conversation.

-No… I’m down from Melbourne.
-Great. Are you down for work?
-Yeah for work. Though this isn’t work.
-Ha, no. Are you enjoying it?
-I love it here.
-Good on you.
His teammates are leaving him behind now.

So I say thanks again and he nods; turns:
-No worries. See you. All the best.


About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. Mark Duffett says

    Love this style of report, really makes me feel like I’m there, like no other does.

    But I have to defend the location of Bellerive, and not just because it happens to be 5 minutes by bike from where I work. There are significant local microclimatic issues at play; lots of showers spray the grounds around the mountain on the western side of the Derwent that never make it to Bellerive. If the conditions were freezing at Bellerive, you can bet the Domain (Hobart’s previous flagship cricket venue) would have been worse. The sea breezes that would often amp up the wind chill in the afternoons have been significantly ameliorated by the high stands that now occupy the southern and western edges of the ground.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Wonderful ER. Some quality in that Tassie GF. No surprise about the character of GJ Bailey. Fantastic you got to meet him, love the photo. You’ve painted a great picture of good cricket in chilly Hobart. Well played. Go South Hobart-Sandy Bay!

  3. That photo with George is a keeper, e.r.
    He always seems to have a warm smile on his face, doesn’t he?

  4. E.regnans says

    G’day M Duffet – interesting rationale – I’ll certainly bow to your local knowledge of microclimate. As a visitor, though, it’s still an inconvenience to have the main stadium only accessible from town by bus/ taxi. Excellent ground.

    L Reynolds – Jackson Bird is on the Kingborough books, too. Not playing this game, regrettably.

    Smokie – very happy to play fanboy to GJ Bailey.

    For updates today check:
    Twitter @CTPremierLeague

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great stuff OBP love the personal interaction with George Bailey love to no why,Bird is not playing yes he is off to play county cricket but would have hoped he play the grade final 1st.OBP only time I have been to Bellerive drove and found it quite accessible.Comments wise doesn’t change much from the players at any level unless something personal is known about a player enjoyable read thank you

  6. Kingborough taken 4 wickets this morning.
    SHSB 4/68. A Doolan last man out.
    GJ Bailey at the crease.

  7. And OBP – I hear that J Bird was advised to rest by Cricket Australia.
    He could have made things interesting on Day 1.

  8. Great article. Bailey should be in India though

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Beaut E.r, just beaut. George is a pearler.

  10. E.regnans says

    Cheers Raj, Swish.

    And the match continues.
    Kingborough kept taking sufficient wickets to maintain a sniff today.
    SHSB all out in the 2nd for 216 (GJ Bailey 59, T Keep 44).
    Importantly, they batted 66 overs.

    The chase: Kingborough require 376 to win(!) from roughly 38 overs.

  11. E.regnans says

    No chase.
    SHSB Premiers.

  12. mickey randall says

    Brilliant David.

    It’s fantastic when we meet someone like George and they’re personable. Good stuff. And happy birthday to you too!

  13. Thanks very much Mickey.

    That on-field yap is interesting, I reckon.
    Culturally interesting.
    Why it should be that way here (Australia).

    I can think of no reason for it.

  14. E.regnans says

    Congratulations George Bailley on being named captain the player-voted Australian Cricketers Association Sheffield Shield team of the year.

    Chris Hartley vice-captain.
    Uni of Queensland CC interviews with Chris (and Wade Seccombe and Lew Cooper) here:

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