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Schibli the hero as Fourths make Grand Final

March 11, 2013 No Comments

“Schibli=GOD,” wrote Elliot Yeatnan on Facebook.

And “They talked of Michael Bevan spanking Roger Harper down the ground at the SCG to win off the last ball … Then there was Schibli,” wrote Ciaran Wilcox.

This is all true. And more.

Elwood legend John Schibli may have played 415 games for this club but we wonder if he’s ever won a preliminary final off the last ball of the match. Because that is was the little man with a massive love for the club did on Sunday afternoon. But before we delve into the heroics of one J Schibli let’s recap a match that saw the Fourth XI join the Twos and Threes in a grand final next weekend. What a weekend for Elwood. What a weekend ahead!

So…

Don’t ever bet on two-up with Dave May. The skipper lost the crucial toss (again) in a must win high-pressure final against an opposition that had the wood over May and his troops.

Elwood was sent to the field and got an early wicket thanks to a sharp catch at slip by Ryan Bagust off the bowling of Zac Lesier-Moore. Omega then managed to string a series of small yet important partnerships together that saw them to 5/108 and a difficult-to-chase score of around 200 looming.

Yet Elwood managed to peg the score back and thanks to some disciplined bowling by Zac (3/48 off 20), Nathan Turner (2/22) and Dave May (3/35) the Wooders kept Omega to 9/170 off its allotted 65 overs.

The run chase the next day started well as openers Ryan Bagust and Ian Grundy put on a small yet solid partnership before Grundy was adjudged LBW. When Bagust departed not much later the pressure was palatable. But wise heads prevailed as John Phillips (53) and Ryan Harris (43) crafted a match winning partnership that would be the talk of the two if it wasn’t for the deeds of Mr Schibli.

Elwood went from a strong position — indeed in control of the match — to teetering on disaster as they lost four quick wickets and found themselves needing tworuns off the over with two new batsmen at the crease.

The first three balls of the over to Zac were dots — the Omega bowler was on fire, death bowling at its finest.

The fourth ball of the over was a wicket. Elwood needed two runs off the last two balls to win.

Enter John Schibli.

His first ball was a dot.

I will leave the last ball to the musings of another Elwood legend Ian Grundy. Take it away, Reg:

The Miracle of Elwood.

Preliminary Final – 64.5 overs down, Elwood 7/168 chasing Omega’s 9/170 (65 overs cc).

John Schibli is on strike facing his second ball of the innings. The crowd is silent. Some eyes raised in mute prayer. Others downcast, fearing the worst.

The over so far has been a disastrous dot-dot-dot-X-dot. The tired bowler moves in. Schibli’s cold eye is fixed upon the high full toss. A gift.

He makes contact. Surely a single? No, it’s over backward square’s head. It’s rolling away. Quickly. It’s FOUR!!! Elwood win! The grand final awaits! The crowd is now cheering!

“Schibli… Schibli… Schibli…”

Well done boys. Well done all.

John Schibli aka Schibbers aka Toy Man, who have written yourself into Elwood folklore. Well done, mate.

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