Come on Queensland! Sheffield Shield cricket at its best.

Two hours after the last wicket fell and I’m hoarse!

Come ON Queensland! I just simply had to scream it, on and off throughout the match. I know it’s not quite the done thing at the cricket, especially when sitting so close to the Members, but who cares! I am fairly passionate about my cricket team, and feel an intense need to let them know there is at least one person there supporting them, away from home.

I was certainly the only person who raised a voice. All 99 others, (maybe 200 on previous days) in the vast cauldron of the MCG, just sitting there looking glum, not quite believing that their beloved reigning Sheffield Shield Champion Victorian team was approaching yet another defeat, and still to win a game this season. A win, that hours earlier, looked a certainty.

Needing a mere 189 to win not long after they’d dismissed Queensland for 306 in the first half hour of play, they would have been odds on to secure victory. But, as is known to happen when a relatively low score is needed, psychology comes into play. And when top batsmen such as Finch and Handscomb go, nerves take their toll.

I love Sheffield Shield cricket. And this game had it all:

Top of the order failures

Bowlers scoring more than their more highly fancied batting teammates: Steketee, Queensland’s opening bowler scoring 52 – the highest of their second innings, and Gannon, another quick, achieving 45

A hat trick from Queensland’s leg–spinner, Swepson– all lbw’s

Exemplary, tight bowling that thwarted scoring, especially from Queensland in the final innings

A run out

Appeals aplenty

Outs that the umps didn’t rule on

A 17 year–old Victorian kid, Jake Fraser–McGurk, making 51 on debut

A 20 year–old Queenslander, Blake Edwards, also on debut, taking four wickets, including those of Finch and Handscomb at vital times in the innings

And yet another debutant, Will Sutherland, aged 20, making an impression

James Pattinson, back to his best, taking six wickets

Chris Tremain, the Victorian quick, holding firm for the final 25 overs when their score was 7/96, and hitting their third highest score

Peter Siddle, an old–time favourite, getting six wickets

Labuschange succumbing to his third consecutive duck

Swepson, snaring the last two wickets in both innings, including the vital match–winning one

Rain affected delays, freezing cold winds, and wintry conditions (I don’t recall attending a cricket match in winter!)

Dark, cloudy skies that necessitated overhead lights for the entire match

An exhilarating celebration by the Queenslanders (and me!) with about eight overs to go and one wicket needed: Tremaine caught behind, only for the ump to calmly rule not out!

And finally, in the 74th over, with a mere seven balls remaining before stumps, Queensland did it! Holland lbw to Swepson. Out!

As I jumped from my seat and ran to the fence, my roar of Yes, yes, you beauties, Queeensland! just came blurting out. I’ve no idea whether the players could hear me. Maybe they hadn’t heard my enthusiastic hollering over the entire four days, but I hope they had. They deserved to know just how well they had played.

ComeON Queensland!


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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Love your passion for the game, Jan.
    I followed the match on-line, and in pure cricket terms it was an excellent match.
    And a great result for the MCG curator.

    As a Victorian, for me the result was very disappointing after having the run of the game for the first two and a half days. But the Vics could not quite finish the job and a tricky chase proved too great.

    Well played, Queensland. But some of the umpiring was deplorable.

  2. You beauty, Jan! Thanks for representing us (Queenslanders) at the MCG. Quite a match with lots of twists, turns, etc. Swepson’s hat-trick of all LBWs must have few precedents. He’s been battling a bit so perhaps his performance in this game will be the boost he needs to set up the rest of his season.

    I had to go out last night when it was 9/130 and didn’t get home until after 10.00pm local time – it was a tonic that we got the win.

    Didn’t Peter (Sounda) Sleep, a part-time leggie, also get the last wicket with six or seven balls to spare (Embury bowled?) to win a Test against the Poms?

  3. Correct Ian, Peter Sleep bowled John Embury with 8 balls remaining to give Australia victory. This was @ the SCG , the final test of the 1986-87 Ashes series giving us our only test win for the summer.

    Losing the unlosable can’t be much fun. Ask Bill Shorten and John Hewson. But the Vics here, on their home pitch, with a big first innings lead, and Queensland losing early wickets in their second innings, should have been confident of a good win. It can go back to January 1969 when the Vics had small first innings lead, declared setting the Queenslanders a tally of 308 to run down which they did. Yes they only had one wicket in hand, but thanks to 197 from Sam Trimble they won against the odds. Yep the scorelines are different but both time the Vics snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.


  4. Love your passion,Jan ! Having been at a Sheffield Shield game at Adelaide oval when there were,16 other people in attendance and knowing every one of them I realized I had a tragic life

  5. Thanks one and all.

    Smokie: it was an excellent match – just what we want from the 4 day games – and compared to the pitch for the last Test Match, the curator does deserve praise.

    Ian: It in indeed my pleasure to represent the Queenslanders! After my first 26 years in Melbourne, Brisbane was home for the second longest period of time – 23 years, so I’m sort of a Queenslander.

    Glen: Thanks for saving me having to look-up the answer to Ian’s question. And yes, the Vics snatched defeat from the jaws of victory! I’m not complaining.

    Rulebook: It’s so sad about the numbers at Sheild games these days. However, you knowing every one of the 16 in attendance doesn’t mean you have a tragic life, it means all those not attending have one!

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Great report, disappointing result Jan!
    It feels like (when we manage to get on the field) that we have been playing in winter too.
    Victoria very ordinary in the Shield so far. Maybe Cameron White was pensioned off a bit early? Would be a great replacement right now for the missing Maxwell, Maddinson and Pucovski.

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