Last weekend provided two players making their own debuts in the same 1st Grade match, but their fortunes couldn't have been any further apart, even if they had been stalking the poles at opposite ends of the world.
Brodie Billett has played 1st Grade cricket before, for his previous club of Oak Flats. Last season in 3rd Grade, Brodie scored over 700 runs.
The match against Lake Illawarra was, however, his first match for Kiama, and therefore his 1st Grade debut for Kiama. As anyone who has played 3rd Grade in recent seasons can attest, it is not a strong competition at the moment.
In his role as new 1st Grade keeper, he had done his work behind the stumps last weekend as Lake Illawarra batted through out the day. Those runs were well made, but 3rd Grade is not 1st Grade, and facing Mark Ulcigrai is not like facing medium paced 3rd Grade attacks. Later in the day, Kiama are getting a second chance at the crease thanks to Lake Illawarra's generosity at enforcing the follow-on.
Facing his first ball for Kiama, Brodie found it crashing into his pads, and the dreaded finger was raised. This time, due to Ryan Gunning's injured toe, Brodie steps out at 5/70, and with some work to do to tie up the day.
He walks to the crease, and looks up to find Mark Ulcigrai at the top of his run.
No doubt thoughts of his dismissal from a couple of hours previous start flashing in his head.
You tell yourself to play this ball differently, to avoid the mistakes you have made in that first innings.
Then, before you know it, "Ulci" is at the umpire, and the ball is upon you. Or would you consider it to be a worse situation for Josh Elliott?
The ball again crashes into your pad, and no doubt Brodie is fearing the worst as the Lake team goes up in unison. One thing is for certain - Brodie won't forget his debut for Kiama for a long time, nor will he be allowed to forget it by his teammates. In both innings in that 1st Grade match, Josh walked to the wicket following Brodie's dismissal, and both times had to face a hat-trick delivery. side of your eye..."One person who knows all about being dismissed leg before wicket is Greg Norris.
Looking up at the umpire, seeing the finger rise into the air, did he instantly realise that not only has he picked up his second golden duck of the day, that it now transforms into a King Pair? Certainly he would have copped some ribbing in the first innings, but you can only imagine the jovality that was happening on the field as Josh walked out to "Groundhog Day" in the second innings. In the 2010-11 season, Greg was dismissed LBW nine times, a Club and possibly word record. Last weekend, after a great bowling effort, Kiama required only 15 runs to win their match outright.
Having received some gentle serves about this during the off season, no doubt Greg was looking forward to keeping away from any such jokes in the new season. Opening the batting, with little to gain and plenty to lose, Greg was the subject of two huge appeals early on, both of which were denied by the umpire.