TRY this when measuring how much it means that Blacktown have made the finals for the first since joining the Sydney first-grade cricket competition in 2002.
‘‘The man who did my carpets and the lawnmower man look up the Blacktown cricket results now,’’ said captain Tony Clark about the Warriors’ season.
That’s two among the many new Blacktown fans.
Or try this:
‘‘Since we won yesterday, I’ve had phone calls and messages from everywhere,’’ said the Sydney grade legend, with almost 30 seasons up and premierships won elsewhere.
‘‘Former team-mates, ex-presidents, people I haven’t heard from in 10 years. People don’t believe it.’’
They don’t believe a team of virtual juniors, with eight eligible for the Poidevin Gray Shield, a team that won just a game last year, will meet St George in the play-offs this weekend.
The captain was speaking under duress on Sunday.
The Warriors had celebrated until 4.30am.
‘’Everyone’s a little bit weary,’’ he said. ‘’I told them to celebrate now, recover Sunday and be ready to prepare on Monday.’’
They came prepared against Eastern Suburbs last Saturday and the details are easy to recount.
Easts batted first and made 8-182, with Corey Collymore taking 4-25.
Blacktown reached the target for the loss of seven wickets, with Matthew Foster taking them there, scoring 87.
Appropriate, because the allrounder and NSW U/19 and U/23 player is one of the young players of Blacktown’s future.
Appropriate that Clark was not out 13 at the finish too.
Win, lose or draw this weekend, Clark said a final was just the start of Blacktown’s future.
‘’When I came here I said we had to do two things: stop bleeding players and have stability,’’ he said.
Success should mean local juniors should want to bleed for the club now.
‘’It’s unbelievable but this team is a work in progress,’’ he said.
Would he be a part of it next season?
Clark said that was up to the club and whether they wanted him.
His leadership, 28 wickets at 15.57 and some crucial innings would say ‘’yes’’ is odds on.
The only downer from the weekend was that former West Indian opening bowler Collymore, just as inspirational, had to fly out yesterday and fulfil English county cricket commitments. He’d taken 25 wickets at 15.56.
‘’It’s a tremendous blow and he’s very upset, which shows what sort of man he is,’’ Clark said.
Like the carpet cleaner and the lawnmower, Collymore’s now a committed Warrior.