Hello Covies, and welcome to my semi-irregular contribution to the Lane Cove website!
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m “Big Dog” Gerald “Corny” Cornelius “Dog”, and I hail from the idyllic town of Adelaide. After moving up here in 2007, I was looking for a cricket club, and more importantly some friends to share my unique shanty-dwelling, crow-eating expertise with. I was lucky enough to be taken into the warm, loving arms of the Lane Cove Cricket Club and held to its soft and pleasantly scented bosom, and I’ve been under its spell ever since. I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to be able to play with the likes of Brett Richardson, Simon Rowe and Peter Cross – I’m developing quite a man crush on Peter – and my eyes have been opened to the wondrous possibilities that are only available to you when you bat four and bowl noodling off spin in 1st Grade without the prospect of ever getting dropped. Even if you’re not very good.
I respect Lane Cove and all the yuppies in it. But who are these people? I love this new club of mine with all of my weak South Australian heart, but there are guys who’ve been around for years and years who must care more than I do. How long have they been here? What have they done during that time? What stories could they tell? Could they possible love the club more than I do? I endeavoured to grab a few of them and find out.
I’ve gathered a rather fruitful collection of some of Lane Cove’s longer serving players in one room, and after an acceptable 10 minute period of standard tomfoolery, have managed to get them seated and attentive. The personages attending are President John Lloyd, Secretary Gerard Boyle, former Treasurer Justin Sharp, former Treasurer Chris Granger, former human being Alex Dodds, former cricketer Tom Holt, future President Trent Willoughby, future ex-husband Brett Richardson, former skinny man Stuart Myers and future Mr Miranda Kerr Geof Sundstrom. It was then that I hit them, these Lane Cove Heroes, with my patented Big Dog Corny Dog Cornelius Dog’s 20 Question Questionnaire, and the marvellous results from this follow…
1. When was your first season for the Coves?
JL: The Summer of ’69: me and some guys from school joined the club and we tried real hard. Pymmy quit and Besty got married, I should’ve known we’d never get far. When I look back now, that summer seemed to last forever – and if I had the choice I’d always want to be there. Those were the best days of my life…
GB: Well its so long ago now I would be guessing but its probably somewhere between Lloydy joining up and Paul Backhouse joining up. Its what I refer to as the dark years. Must have been 1997/98 I think.
AD: First season for the Coves was under 9’s… season 1993/94. I have been around a long time and am surprised no one has given me the tap on the shoulder yet.
JS: 1993/94 was the first senior season. Played juniors as a little Covie too with Hoody way back when – I first picked up a cricket ball in anger at Kingsford-Smith Oval with the Legend Mark Metzler in a junior training squad in about 1982. That is long before a fair chunk of last year’s 4th Grade side were born.
TW: Junior training squad with Mark Metzler in about ’94. 2001/02 was my first senior game.
BR: Season of 1999/2000.
CG: Season 1997/98 – same first season as Fat Gerard Boyle and Bowling Robbo. Gerard isn’t fat anymore. I’m still bald though.
SM: Back in ’97 or ’98 I think. Its difficult to recall, my timeline is based around bottles of bourbon.
GS: Back in 1999/2000. Its sad to think that at the end of this season I’ll have wasted ten of my best years at the club.
2. Why did you join the club?
JL: It was my destiny. You can’t fight your destiny, even if you want to. Its not tangible. It doesn’t have ovaries you can punch. Even if it did, I guarantee you it wouldn’t fight fair. Destiny clubbed me in the back of the head while I was at the TAB and dumped me on the centre wicket at Kingsford-Smith all those years ago. Fate.
GB: By mistake really. Robbo and I decided we would play cricket and thought Lane Cove was Roseville. We turned up and such luminary Coves as “Jack” Imhoff, “Ditherer” Fairall, “Shiner” Wright and “Sock It” Twomey were around… boy we had some good nicknames back then. We also had Hambo. He christened Chris Granger “Stipey” and me “Pusie” Boyle. Still haven’t forgiven him.
AD: No idea – seemed a good idea at the time and who knows why you do things at that age? I presume having moved down from Darwin that my old man wanted me to go out and meet some new kids. Well that or the 200 bucks a year or so seemed like cheap babysitting to my parents.
JS: I lived in Lane Cove and went to Lane Cove Public School. Other kids were taking up cricket and I was a cricket nut, despite my old man’s hopes and prayers. I used to carve up the school yard so wanted to play for the club.
TH: I used to work with Slammin’ Sammy Stewart and he told me to step up from Gladesville RSL B Grade to the big times (ie LCCC 4th Grade).
TW: Bad luck I suppose. Its like a family business. My dad captained the lower grades and I’ve followed suit.
CG: I played indoor cricket with former great Covie and Village People impersonator Pants Bayliss.
BR: I was a frequent underage drinker at a local establishment called the Willoughby Legions Ex-Serviceman’s Club (which is now called Club Willoughby thanks to an extensive marketing campain). Pusie Boyle and Bowling Robbo were barmen at the club and didn’t seem to mind me and my friends drinking there. I’m not sure if they knew we were underage but they must have suspected something after I enjoyed my 18th birthday party there some two years after having my first drink at the club. They both played for Lane Cove and had only great things to say about the club and a man called John Lloyd. I was intrigued so I gave it a go and ten years on John Lloyd now has a girlfriend.
SM: I used to go out with Anthony Mortimer. He came in to Berry Street Tavern while I was working there one night with intent to get arse over tit drunk, and after I’d served him a seventh bourbon he pulled me aside and said “Stu, if you keep putting these in front of me like this, I’m going to drag you into the beer garden and…” you can guess the rest. Needless to say I kept the booze – and Mortimer – flowing all night long. I joined the club to spend more time with him.
GS: Was fishing around for a place to play and my old man stumbled on Lane Cove 1st Grade during a game and thought they were bad enough for me to play for them. He was right.
3. What is the highest grade you’ve played for at Lane Cove?
JL: 1st Grade. I even have a 1st Grade century against Pennant Hills! Geof Sundstrom tried to run me out on 99 but I belted him senseless with the bat and left his bloody corpse stranded in the middle of the pitch. He was run out for a duck on his 1st Grade debut, haha! Pork Sword 1, Sundstrom 0. I stopped keeping score after that.
GB: I have played exactly one game of 1st Grade back in 01/02. Desperate times called for desperate measures. It was the last year we got the wooden spoon in the Club Championships. Canterbury-Bexley must have been really bad though as we beat them, or I should say Anton Harris beat them. We had players of the ilk of Paul Langtry, Chris Miller, Matt Mackenzie and Geof Sundstrom in the side… I think it was picked on IQ points. Doesn’t explain Richo or Hux being in the side. Maybe there was an arsehole quota, I don’t know.
AD: Played a few games in 1st Grade last year… providing a light entree for Big Cheeks to dine on. Lord knows he needs it. I’m sure Brett will recall me to give the fines jar a timely boost later in the year. Cornelius is razor sharp as Fines Treasurer and I get stitched up repeatedly.
JS: Oh the dark days! A long time ago Lane Cove used to be very good at winning the last spot in the Club Champs. As a result I have played half a season in 1st Grade. I see this as a serious anomaly and blight on the club. What is a further blight is that it was against Canterbury (a young brash Robbie Luc) and I top scored opening the batting with another Covie Legend on 1st Grade debut, Chris Granger. The fact that we topped the scores with 14 out of a total of about 60 is another matter. Should point out that Luc hit me on the body more times than runs scored and Stipey was burgling away at number 7 (although batting by about the 5th over).
TH: 1st Grade, 2002 to 2007.
TW: 3rd Grade, 2005/06. I also sub fielded in 1st Grade and was fortunate enough to watch Big Cheeks dispatch Joe Camarsh over my head several times.
CG: I think I last played 1’s about four years ago?
BR: I made my 1st Grade debut in 1999/2000 at Tantallon Oval (although I only played one or two games in the top grade for the first couple of years at the club).
SM: I think I played quite a bit of 1st Grade, but I can’t be sure. It might have been 4th Grade and the boys were all taking the piss out of me. It could even have been lawn bowls. The first five or six years at the club were a difficult time for me – Mortimer dumped me, for someone who dressed like a woman no less – and I was noodling my way through about four bottles of Kentucky’s finest every day.
GS: I played a fair chunk of the 2001/02 season in 1st Grade, and then the first game of the season every year after that for about five years. I’d fallen out of favour with the then new Naughton regime on a variety of fabricated pretexts – I always wore a shirt, didn’t spike my hair up and couldn’t bat.
4. What is your highest score / best figures for the club?
JL: Many years ago in 3rd Grade, I terrorised the new Southern Districts team in a dominating innings of 158. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball so cleanly in my life. The SD’s cordon were in all sorts – edges, shoulders, handles, back of the bat; the best batsmen know how to use it all to their advantage. You can still see the damage I did to the short boundary fence with all those well-timed shnicks.
GB: My best bowling figures aren’t important. Let me tell you about the time Alex Maxwell dropped a hattrick ball off my bowling. We were up against the Canies at Longy. and when Stipey threw me the ball I knew I would do a job. Unfortunately I was let down. Badly. The first wicket involved a late inswinging – could have been reverse swing – leg cutter that drew the batsman into a rash shot that sailed towards Maxi at cow corner. Maxi had some ground to cover but took the catch comfortably. End of over. The first ball of the next over was a searing bouncer that rushed the batsman into a mistimed hook shot, comfortably taken at backward square leg by Shunter. The next ball was identical to the first, and the result was exactly the same except this time Maxi didn’t have to move. Straight down his throat and straight through his hands. It was then we decided he needed keeping gloves. One day I’ll join in with everyone else around the Club and I’ll laugh at that story. Probably.
AD: 6/24 and 63. Ask me about them at the Diddy – I’ll tell you.
JS: I’ve always believed that statistics don’t matter. Got a four for in 24s when captain. A couple of three wicket hauls in other senior games, when captain. With the bat, a couple of 90s including a 96 caught on the boundary.
TH: 9/54 and 84 not out off 64 balls……….
TW: 6 fa not many off about 27 overs. It was in extreme heat and the chips were down. We were playing a very tough side from memory and the boys needed me to produce an against the odds spell of bowling.
CG: Highest score is 226.
BR: Highest score was 58 playing for 3rd Grade in 2000/01. I actually used to be a very solid top order batsman. I played a season in 2nd Grade under the tutelage of Chris Granger and he liked what he saw and opened with me for the entire season. I returned 199 runs at a tick under 15… those figures stand up pretty well even today! Best bowling figures are 8 for 23 playing in a strong English competition in Nottinghamshire in 2005. For the Coves, best return is 5/14 for 1st Grade in 2001/02… a lot of play and miss in that innings too.
SM: Had to flick back through a few annual reports to find this out, but it seems I’ve got a century in the U24’s comp in 1997/98 against Roseville… who else! I’ve burgled the odd wicket here or there with my noodling pace bowling, but in a trial game against Lindfield last year I was poised to take a Michelle with my nude off spin. A catch was skied off another deceptively deceptive delivery and hovered in the air above Dodds, who made good ground to get underneath it considering all those fridges he seems to be carrying. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as Dodds managed to spill the rather simple chance with loud encouragement from Chris Camarsh and Geof Sundstrom. The game had to be stopped for five minutes while they rolled around laughing. Then someone else took the last wicket. Boo.
GS: Managed to doink Roseville 2nd Grade around for 118 in a one day game about five years ago. A year or two before that, I demolished a Roseville 3rd Grade side with near match-winning figures of 2/7 valiantly trying to defend a total of 60. Managed both of these feats at the Chase. Sometimes I think I should play for Roseville, but then I worry how bad my figures would be if I didn’t play against them every season.
5. Best moment for the Coves?
JL: It’d have to be when someone took my whites, my towell and all my clothes out of the dressing sheds while I was having a shower at Bexley after a match. The cheeky buggers had put it all on the centre wicket. I’m not shy though, I’ve got a lot to be proud of, so I took my time getting there. I didn’t stop for autographs but I like to think anyone passing by would have enjoyed the show… and its always good to give it some air.
GB: Probably happened off the field. Tom Holt’s acceptance speech for Shires Cricketer of the Year at the Shires Dinner springs to mind. Several nights at such trendy hotspots as Scruffy Murphy’s or Minsky’s. The way we shared relatives and ex-girlfriends with other Covies. Cricket-wise I’d have to say the 2nd Grade Premiership of 2005/06. I wasn’t playing but that would top the lot of best moments for the club. On the field personally? I felt really good when Rob Luc had a strong gale behind him at Tantallon when he was at the height of his pace and had five slips, two gullies, a point and a third man, and I still edged two boundaries over slip. I loved our entire 2006/07 year in 3rd Grade, right down to just before the last ball.
AD: Winning two Premierships in 2nd Grade and Under 24s, especially the season we won the flag in 2nd Grade. 11 wins in a row to come out of the clouds was unforgettable. I got that full that night that I slept in the fish tank in the garden outside my house, watched Wrestlemania on the Monday morning and then got full all over again with Myers and the Hig (note: the Hig kept running outside to call his wife to tell her that he was “in meetings all day”) at the Longueville Hotel.
JS: Definitely winning our semi last year in 4’s against the other two blues so convincingly. That 90 odd run opening partnership and batting the session with JL was awesome, I pretty much knew we had wrapped up the game by lunchtime day one. Another one was Anthony Mortimer playing at Weldon against Warringah telling a young Louis that if he bowled another wrong-un he would take him into the bushes and… well, you get the picture.
TH: Being part of such great (non-GF winning) 1st Grade and 24’s teams, and winning Shires Cricketer of the Year in 2006/07.
TW: No comment.
CG: The 2nd Grade Premiership was pretty good. A lot of us waited a long time for that.
BR: Losing three grand finals in three consecutive years was pretty awesome but doesn’t beat the feeling when we knocked over Pennant Hills in the 1st Grade quarter-finals in 2005/06. It was a heated match with plenty of verbal and ill feeling from both sides. We only managed 145 (which wasn’t a bad result considering we were 7 for 70) and had Pennant Hills 8 for 135 overnight. It was a sleepless night with John Lloyd’s words of wisdom ringing in my ears as I tried to sleep… “Don’t give him any width, Victa”. Joel Bates took a wicket in the first over of the second day. A few overs later they needed two to win, one to tie with one wicket in hand. I was bowling and the field was basically a ring with a couple of slips. Knowing that Super Coach John didn’t want me to bowl with any width I was just concentrating on hitting a length on off-stump. Unfortunately the last delivery of my over was leg sideish and quite full. The batsman threw the kitchen sink at it but luckily not off the middle at all and it has scorched about 80 metres into the air on the on-side towards the not-so-reliable hands of Anand Krishnaswamy (or Naan Bread). Nobody on the field could stand to watch as the batsmen had already crossed and were returning for the second run as Naan Bread continued to let his hands get lower and lower to the ground before somehow managing to wrap those big, beautiful fingers around the six stitcher to spark wild celebrations! It was a cracking win and Toss the Boss received a massive touch up that night!
SM: Some sneaky rascal, who I didn’t pay $20 beforehand, locked Sean Dunn and I in the covers shed together one fine day. Dunny and I were in there for a long time and we formed a very close bond. I always like to have him in my 2nd Grade side, and I think the bond between us has only strengthened since then, especially since that afore-mentioned crafty hooligan keeps locking me and Sean in the sheds. Sometimes twice a week.
GS: Dunno really, haven’t been too many that stick in the memory. Probably the moments of greatest personal satisfaction have come when Dodds gets some deserved punishment. I remember a 24’s game at Monty Bennett a couple of years ago when Dodds went through new boy Benny Fillingham’s kit and ate his lunch. Later in the day while Dodds was out on the field, some 24’s hanger on who shall not be named performed some unspeakable acts which won’t be detailed in Dodds’ kit. Being Secretary at the time, I got a call at Uni on Monday morning from a rather irate Dodds demanding I investigate and identify the culprit, but unfortunately the mystery was never solved. Giving Dodds a lift “home” and dropping him off a couple of km’s down the road from his house in the rain was another good one. Likewise with Brett Richardson, but a couple of suburbs further from his house at the time. Neither have been in my car since so the success of my methods is unquestionable and deeply satisfying.
6. What is your most amusing Lane Cove moment, story, anecdote, etc?
JL: Nothing amusing happens at this club. We leave ‘The Funny’ for those party boys at Roseville to look after.
GB: There are a fair few off the field that aren’t fit for publishing. They almost exclusively involve Richo and / or Tom Holt. There was a time when we played Lindfield in a Frank Gray game, hadn’t won a match all year and had finally edged past the Lindfield total with a Richo leg glance, 9 wickets down. Much celebration was had in the sheds as Richo downed two quick beers in tribute to his own match-winning brilliance. A knock on the door and Rob Huxley stuck his head in, not to congratulate us, but to tell us that the scorebooks didn’t add up, we still required two runs to win and the batsmen had to “get the fuck back out there” and score them. Richo on strike with four balls to go; Lloydy was already crying by this stage. Richo faced up again and with Dutch courage soaring through his veins duly clubbed the first ball he faced over the fence for six and was back in the rooms moments later knocking over another three beers. I don’t remember Toss the Boss that night. Richo doesn’t remember taking his pads off.
AD: There are too many. Possibly Fat Myers drinking a bottle of bourbon during a 24’s game and passing out, only to be used as a soccer post later in the day. Also Cameron Bezer walking out into the middle of Mowbray Road and demanding a lift to the Cross from a car load of Lebanese gentlemen. Shiner Wright picking a fight with a bloke with a baby in his hand… but of course the winner would be John Lloyd walking around with a dirty pair of underwear after the 24’s Grand Final in the Airey Park pavilion gesturing inappropriately at some poor girl and announcing to the world that he had to “park one”.
JS: There is one about a 16 year old Pusman, a tennis court and a twelve year old that I won’t go into. Hamish MacDonald singing the Cranberries’ Zombie throughout an entire 24’s season. It is still in my head. Declaring on Hoody on 90 not out could be up there too…
TH: Seeing Mike Eggert’s huge arse get us over the line in a 24’s game. Watching Nick Sabine bat is up there too.
TW: As a 10 year old watching Franklin Barrett streak across Longueville Oval in a pair of womens black laced underwear and shaking a 14 year old Cam McKay’s hand whilst he was batting. Or the John Lloyd Air-Conditioner Theory.
CG: People seem to find my bowling quite amusing. I’m not very good at it. In 11 season at the club I have probably seen about 20,000 balls bowled at Tantallon, however I have only ever seen two balls hit onto the grandstand roof. I have bowled 8 balls at Tantallon… and have been hit onto the grandstand roof twice.
BR: There are plenty so I will just rattle off a few that come to mind in no particular order…
- Stipey’s arsehole injury against Southern Districts.
- James Hinton smashing the hand dryer off the wall at the Great Northern Hotel during the Hour of Power one night because he thought the hand dryer had “looked at him funnily”.
- Shane Hunter not returning to the field after tea in his 1st Grade debut because he had to go “buy tampons for his girlfriend”.
- Sculling two VBs after we had beaten Lindfield by one wicket in a nail-biter at Tantallon Oval only to have Hux knock on the dressing room door to tell us the books didn’t add up and we still needed two to win. First ball after the resumption I dispatched over the fence for six.
- Will never forget the infamous match at Macquarie Uni in 2001/02 where not only did we lose the match outright in the last over of the game but also lost our 1st Grade captain Rob Huxley (case of beer included) during the tea interval on day 2 after Tom Holt declined to meet him in the car park.
- John Lloyd dislocating his shoulder outside Blueberries at North Sydney at 3 am on a Sunday morning with three large Covies lying on top of him. He lay there buckled over in pain for some time and was ruled out injured for the rest of the cricket season.
- Cam McKay passionately kissing without doubt the weirdest / strangest / ugliest / blockiest looking girl I have ever seen at St Patrick’s Tavern one Sunday night. Those who were there that witnessed the event have never quite been the same.
- Crazy Crazy Uniform Night was a cracker.
- Many memorable nights at Minsky’s including the “November Rain” incident… the John Lloyd trying to king hit me evening… probably the saddest New Years Eve I ever had when me, Stipey, Robbo, Pusie and Hux went to Minsky’s at about 6 pm and stayed there all night.
- The Presentation Night at Club Willoughby when Brendan Poder was so intoxicated Bowling Robbo had to evict him (which he did), only for Poder to make a triumphant return 15 minutes later after he managed to shake off security and lunged / fell into the room pretty much unconscious.
SM: Hmmm… well, I’ve already mentioned the time I was locked in the sheds with Dunny. On a similar vein, there were the times I spent in the sheds with Matt Mackenzie, and Damian Naughton, and Joel Bates, and Alex Maxwell… and Dodds… but I think my number one all time pick would have to be the shower adventures I’ve shared with Brendan Hood. Yeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeye….
GS: A few horrible ones I’d like to share. Dad brought a video camera along to Lindfield for a 1st Grade game many years ago and was set up just in the nick of time to get footage of my middle peg cartwheeling along the Tryon outfield first ball of the innings – looked excellent in slow motion. The match against Mac Uni when Hux was skipper and we were looking for our 3rd win in a row – Richo and Holty turned up late and steaming to the game and that was only the beginning of a day where absolutely everything that could go wrong did go wrong. After consultation with Tom Holt, Hux left during the tea break – he didn’t take his cricket gear with him but he did manage to carry away the esky full of beer. Ummm… the time I was Secretary and I refused to go out and field in a 4th Grade game against Warringah was good. Stu Myers’ mum yelling out “Run my fat son, run!” when batting during the 2nd Grade Premiership win a few years ago. Playing all five grades in one season due to disciplinary issues and good / bad form was also fun. Putting chilli sauce on Dodds’ Anusol applicator was disgustingly entertaining. Getting late night phone calls from various Brett Richardson girlfriends of the era wondering about Brett’s current location, why he wouldn’t answer his phone, who he was really spending his time with, etc, leaving me desperately trying to convince them (and myself) that he’s actually a good guy and worth keeping. All the Sunday nights out where I’d be left with a boozed Myers at St Pats, trying to ignore him shuffling around by himself on the dance floor in his Covie training gear with beer in one hand and cancer stick in the other, unwashed and reeking after the cricketing weekend. Good times. At the pinnacle though were all the Hamish MacDonald stories I picked in my first year at the club, like what he did with his ex-girlfriend’s toothbrush, and how after copping a spray for giving Brendan Hood a 25 word quota for the day, only responded “Yeeeeeessss Hoody, make them count!!”.
7. What is the most noticeable change at the club since you started?
JL: Its not the ’70s anymore.
GB: We have girlfriends and wives now. Even Lloydy.
AD: We are a better club that competes at a higher standard. No real surprises there. Of course the most noticeable change is that our President is regularly getting his cork popped… that’s horrendous.
JS: Hamish MacDonald is no longer drunk at games. More generally though it is that we don’t have to scrounge around for players to fill 4’s or 5’s or the 24’s teams. When I was 24’s captain I would generally head out on a Saturday night pre game, get several mates really drunk and then convince them that a good use of a Sunday was playing 120 overs of cricket (60 overs a side in those days, although if we batted first we could dramatically shorten the game) with a severe hangover. I am pretty sure that Anton Botha would have virtually no recollection of ever playing cricket for the Coves.
TH: We went from a true bottom dweller struggling to field teams in all grades to a competitive club that is disappointed not to be in the mix for finals.
TW: The severe weight loss of Gerard Boyle. The severe weight gain of John Lloyd.
CG: Less players have handlebar moustaches.
BR: When I joined the club 10 years ago there was one bloke that was married and only two or three with girlfriends. That’s out of 50 odd blokes. Granted a lot of those 50 blokes were absolute reprobates and lucky not to be in jail. Things have changed quite significantly though with many spoken for Covies now playing for the club.
SM: More funboys!
GS: These days, some of the people can play cricket. And hold down jobs. And keep girlfriends. I can’t.
8. What has remained the same?
JL: The hippy’s.
GB: The place has really changed drastically since I started. We win games now; the dot ball rule at Longy no longer exists; Tantallon is the best place to play cricket in the comp, not just about the worst – but the most apparent and poignant thing that has not changed is that Hoody and Stipey look exactly the same now as they did back then.
AD: The unprecedented levels of piggery as weel as Stu Myers’ insatiable thirst for bourbon.
JS: JL. He was my first captain in 2nd Grade. Incidentally the prick dropped me from a final series after being in 2’s for most of the year… I still remember the coup to get JL into power. If only he knew what he was in for.
TH: John Lloyd.
TW: Chris Granger is still bald.
CG: The smell from the Tantallon bog.
BR: The drinking culture at the club has stayed the same. So have John Lloyd’s and Chris Granger’s haircuts.
SM: My relationship with bourbon.
GS: The trunk of Karl Perske’s Kingswood can still fit four bodies in it.
9. What grade are you playing at the moment?
JL: I’m a proud member of the Muptown Girls! That’s 5th Grade, for you ‘squares’.
GB: 3rd Grade, the same grade I have for the past five or so years. I expect to be playing with Clubby by round 4 now that I’ve put myself at the mercy of the selectors.
AD: 2nd Grade (by the skin of my teeth). Every chance I’ll be doing a Brendan Hood and beating up school children in 4’s shortly.
JS: 4th Grade.
TW: Tim Creer Cup AKA The Muppy Cuppy.
BR: 1st Grade.
SM: Wherever Alex Maxwell is to be found, Stuart Myers is surely close behind…
GS: 3rd / 4th / 5th Grade, whichever is closest to home at the time.
10. How do you think Lane Cove will go in the Club Championship this year?
JL: We’ll win it. I’m planning the acceptance speech already.
GB: I think we have the makings of a very strong club throughout the grades and should compete with the best of clubs. 14th.
AD: Probably 3rd. Player numbers are up and we have picked up some handy acquisitions.
JS: Marginally better than 14th like we used to.
TH: Having seen some of the names on the team sheets I shudder to think, I just hope the likes of Cornelius and Crossy can undo the cancer that has been spreading…
TW: Somewhere in the top 14.
BR: Top 6.
SM: I don’t care.
GS: 1st. I love this club and I want us to do well. Really, really well. Someone has to balance out Gerard Boyle’s negativity. He’s been a weight on our collective shoulders for a long time now.
11. How will 1st Grade finish?
JL: We’ll win that too. I’m teaching Brett to read and write so he can use the speech I’m preparing for him.
GB: I think we have the makings of a very strong 1st Grade side and should compete with the best of teams. 14th.
AD: 5th – bowling sides out could be a problem. But stay tuned Cross Fans…
JS: Marginally better than 14th and hopefully without Richo.
TH: See above.
TW: Somewhere in the top 14.
BR: Top 6.
SM: I don’t care. Is Peter Cross single?
GS: Depends on Crossy’s form. The girls at the Crowy will probably ruin him. Only fair I suppose, he’s ruined all the girls at the Crowy.
12. Who do you most enjoy playing with at Lane Cove?
JL: Brian Scott – I think I’ve seen him take about 950 of his 973 wickets! What a legend!
GB: Its a tough question. Everyone laughs at my jokes, gets me cups of coffee and folds when I raise. They look up to me. Even the old ones like Granger, Hood and Robertson. They’re all great. At the end of the day I guess I would have to say everyone’s favourite nutcase, Chris Camarsh. Nothing would make me feel quite as good or confused as when Chris would explain his money-making schemes with 0 % risk.
AD: Always pleasant playing with the Hig; luxurious transportation infused nicely with amateur psychology. It was always pleasant playing with Chris Camarsh too as you could actually have a conversation without talking about getting blind, going to Minsky’s and rooting shielas.
JS: It was pretty enjoyable playing with Harps last year, there were just so many funny incidents where he tried to kill himself with a cricket ball, fire extinguisher, etc. It was also great having Limpy around last year. I see what they mean when they say having kids keeps you young. Chasing after Limpness and keeping him vaguely interested in cricket was a very enjoyable challenge – so enjoyable I have gratefully handed it over to Stu for the year.
TH: Brett Richardson / Damian Naughton, if I had to pick two (my preference was none).
CG: Craig Robertson. So far I have seen him complete 8 falcons and I always look forward to the next.
BR: Sneaky Pete – keeps me away from the number 11 batting position.
SM: Alex Maxwell or Sean Dunn, its hard to say. Having Ian Skinner around helps when I need to tag out too.
GS: Difficult to say. Probably liked playing with Robert Ooxley the most in a cricket sense as he gets the best out of his players. Playing with Chris Camarsh was always fun as you won’t find a more devious, conniving, cynical cheat and practical joker. There is no line he won’t cross and no such thing as an inappropriate occasion or time. We still have a binding truce, Christopher. Any game with Tom Holt was enjoyable too as he’s good entertainment both on and off the field, although more than a bit of a tool. Likewise Muppy Keith Dub Willoughby, except he’s not a tool.
13. The least?
JL: Brendan Hood. He covets my power…
GB: Another tough one because its been so long since I’ve played with the real bastards of the club. They are usually in 1st Grade. I remember Myers was the biggest pest I have ever played with. Its not just his hygiene, its the cigarette burns behind the ear, hiding your tea, licking your ear with bourbon-stench breath. He’s a lot better these days now that he’s married. He washes once a week too, so his hygiene has improved massively.
AD: Brendan Poder, “Nugget” Raynor and Stuart Mortlock.
JS: Hamish MacDonald. See above.
TH: Geof Sundstrom.
CG: Myers when he is bowling his “off spin”.
BR: Mark Atkinson… used to do all of his team talks completely naked while munching his way through the biggest watermelon ever made.
SM: Rob Huxley. He’s always trying to chisel in on my quality time with Dunny and gives me many, many dirty looks.
GS: Again, difficult to say. There are very few people at the club I don’t despise. Topping the list though I’d have to go way back to the brief time at the club of Randolph Crowle. We played 4th Grade together for a while and shared a mutual lack of appreciation of each other’s talent, personality and physical appearance. I once went to a pre-season training session with Roseville and unhappily discovered Randolph there, and he managed to dismiss me with his first and second deliveries, which as it turns out were the only two balls of the rest of his cricket career. Clouds and silver linings. Others worth mentioning are Kieran Pradeep, Paul Backhouse, Mitch Turner, Alex Dodds, Arun Krishnan, Leo Kirby, Tom Holt, Damian Naughton, Matt Mackenzie, Stu Myers, John Lloyd, Brett Richardson, Paul Langtry, Gerald Cornelius, Benedict Tompsett, Paddy Tompsett and the 3rd Grade Grand Final squad I spent far too long with in 2006/07. I haven’t managed to play with Peter Cross yet but its a given we won’t get along.
14. Who is the most irritating person at the club?
JL: Myers. He is streets ahead of the competition.
GB: Everyone says Dodds, so I’m not going to. I would say the Bird, but he’s no longer around. My fiancee would say it was probably me on election night last year. Watching Johnny lose his seat to an ABC journalist was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Add 10 schooners, and a club full of Howard fans and I was very vocal and definitely irritating. Actually that should be moved up to question 5.
AD: John Lloyd. Like Smiths Crisps – the original and the best.
JS: Tough question, more than a few options there. Myers has to be right up there – he has taken the Hamish MacDonald standard of annoying behaviour to a new level. Luckily I haven’t had to play with him for years, so I only have to put up with him at training or when the club is bonding. One day Stu tried to set fire to all of my body hair with a lighter… I actually used to be even hairier before that incident! The idea of Stu and Limpy bumbling around in 2nd Grade should seriously concern anyone within a couple of k’s of Tanty. Richo and Rowey will long live in my memory for the advice during night one of the Grand Final, just hard to take a man seriously in female pink pyjama pants who is drooling…
TH: Chris Granger.
CG: Myers when he is bowling his “off spin”.
BR: Currently and for the past 10 years, gold, silver and bronze goes to Stuart Myers.
SM: Brendan Hood. That “Yeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyeye” thing he does really grates your nerves after a while.
GS: Stuart Myers. Its difficult to do justice to how annoying he is, but a few of his favourite methods of irritation are setting you on fire, jabbing you with very sharp things and sexually molesting you. Dodds is Myers’ protege and a respectable second. Chris Granger would complete the podium.
15. Favourite John Lloyd quote?
JL: I do have many wise words to share with the Coves, don’t I? My personal favourite was probably when I finally got the message through to Damian Naughton during a 24’s match. At the time we were 4/290 off about 40 overs only to be rolled over ten minutes later for 330. I pulled Damian aside and shouted “How many times have I told you Damian? How many times? You’ve got to baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat the overs ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut! It doesn’t matter if you only get 120! Michael Dean!! Michael Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeannnnnnnn!!!” right into his face from a few inches away. We developed an instant understanding after that and I like to think I played my part in winning the Premiership.
GB: Wow, there are so many, I’d have to say I don’t have a favourite. I pretty much hate everything that comes out of his mouth. The one that does stick in the mind was when he was giving a heart-felt speech after the Frank Gray Premiership-winning match, with tears welling in his eyes, he addressed the club with the immortal line “Guys… sometimes you just have to look at yourselves and say… faaaaaark”.
AD: “I’ve just been to Percy’s and the air-conditioning vent is leaking, we will need to get the covers down!”
JS: “La, la, la” [lots of hand movements imitating a mouth]
TW: “Just tell them the cheque is in the mail!”
CG: “That’s riiiiiiiight…”
BR: I have two. Post-match presentation at Club Willoughby (probably five years ago) after a really good day for the club, John was absolutely blind drunk and had a pretty big audience for his speech. As is often the case, he took a while to say anything at all and then with women present and everyone listening in anticipation, he came out with (please picture John in your mind when you read this)… “Guys [big pause]… sometimes [big pause]… you’ve just gotta say FUCK!”… and then he sat down. The other one was a 24’s match from memory that Lane Cove needed to win. It had rained non-stop for the previous six days but on the morning of the match there was a glimmer of sunshine but no way there would be any play for another four days… John Lloyd arrived at the ground, strode out to the centre, stuck his foot in the mud and said… “We’ll be on in an hour”.
SM: God, I’m tired of hearing “Stuart, have you spoken to your parole officer recently?”, “Stuart, are you wearing the electronic ankle bracelet the sex offender registry gave you?” or “Stuart, I can’t find Phil Spruce, you’d better tell me if you’re hiding him somewhere!”. Its like a broken record.
GS: All those ‘speeches’ he gave at Club Willoughby back in the day when he was consuming Resches and rums by the bucket and smoking a pack an hour. The hand would be moving and the mouth was sort of flapping but not all the wheels were turning – the only thing that came out was “[ten minutes of gesticulated silence] … annnnnnnnnnnnd a rum”.
16. What is it about Brett Richardson that people don’t seem to like?
JL: His driving skills. How many people do you know that have hit the only other car in a hundred space car park? How many people do you know have had an accident pulling out of their driveway? How many people do you know have caused a six car pileup on Mowbray Road in the middle of the afternoon and blithely driven off into the sunset? He can’t throw for toffee either. He couldn’t hit Myers’ skull with a stubby from three metres away, let alone my regular-sized head. I said he’d never play for this club again… but we made him 1st Grade captain instead, a more fitting punishment.
GB: Look I have to stand up for Brett here. He’s a groomsman at my wedding which means he’s less of a bastard than everyone else at the entire club, save Robbo. Either that or it reflects the kind of man I am. Its easy for people to look at his faults and judge him solely on that. The fact he wees on the floor, gets hit by cars, is a chronic alcoholic and gambler… I could go on… is easy to concentrate on. What about his good points? He’s tall. He can bowl. He’s the 45th best poker player in the country. He has a wonderful girlfriend. He’s so loyal to Lane Cove he will do anything to win at all costs. These are great qualities. I like him.
AD: I’ll try and keep this brief. He cheats, is a pig when he is blind and has absolutely no ticker. I personally haven’t forgiven him for the Burwood incident. Brett has positives though… Butabing!!
JS: Where to start? He stole my gloves at the start of the season. He is a cheat and a thief and the world needs to know it! The pink PJs probably topped it off though.
TH: His inability to urinate within the 4 square metres immediately in front of him.
TW: Some might say his fashion sense, his inability to aim whilst dispersing urine, his great comraderie with the cab driving fraternity… but I just can’t put my finger on it.
CG: I think Richo is fantastic. People should remember that he is doing well for a guy with a deformity.
BR: I can only narrow it down to good judge of character.
SM: I used to think Brett was quite cute until I discovered this. I’m very open-minded but I wasn’t really ready for that.
GS: His looks, brains and personality. Everything else is fine.
17. Stu Myers’ gigantic head – what sort of things could you do with it?
JL: Hold an engagement party inside it. I hope the booking is cheap Myers, the First Lady has a budget.
GB: This is a question I often think about. I’ve noticed Cricket NSW have marketed their entire advertising campaign around it, which makes me believe that Richo has often thought about it too. You could get someone to bowl at me with it so I know what its like to see them like Crossy does?
AD: No comment.
JS: Straight to the pool room. It would look great in the grand stand at the Home of Cricket next to some of the pictures of old blokes running around. Quick quiz – try and see how far back JL appears in team pictures…
TH: I would use it to replace Jupiter.
TW: Use it as a paper weight. Or we could probably sell it to the farmers in the country so they could use it to complete their scarecrows.
CG: Do we need any more detention centres?
BR: I would stick it up his equally gigantic arse.
SM: Not many people know this but the reason my head is so large is because all my internal organs are safely located in my skull, and also because my wife and sister (two people) live in the granny flat out the back. I’ve often dreamed of doing something though… I’ve had a reinforced floatation cap specially made to secure tightly to the equatorial line of my head, and once snugly fitted, there are large pockets in the cap that can be filled with enough helium to allow me to lift off from the ground and float through the air. I plan to spend the rest of my life up in the clouds where it doesn’t matter if you’re a gigantic, disembodied, pumpkin-shaped cranium.
GS: Bring it out every Chinese New Year.
18. What went wrong with the training gear the club ordered?
JL: Its not too bad as long as you don’t see anyone wearing it in direct sunlight, otherwise you get blinded.
GB: In a word, nothing. They are smashingly sexy. The crossing the streams effect of the shirt, the blending of colours of the shorts. Covies haven’t looked so stylish since the funboy days of Naughton, Naughton, Holt, Naany, Brett, Verco, etc wore sweat bands around their elbows in nightclubs and had really, really big pupils. The chicks dig ’em.
AD: It is in the same kind of mould as Auburn’s and really spivvy. Plus the material sticks to your skin like shit to a blanket.
JS: Obviously too many blokes were involved in the decision-making process. I reckon it should just be down to the Pus Man next year. He has fantastic taste – look at his better half! Well above his batting average.
TH: It was left to someone in the club to organise it (most likely a Stipey / Harpham figure).
TW: Not sure, not even scientists can explain it.
CG: I think its niiiiiiice.
BR: It doesn’t disguise my deformity at all.
SM: I love it, it’ll look great at the Mardy Gras.
GS: We got a bit excited.
19. Why should other club members grovel at your feet?
JL: Because I am the President and you live only at my fickle whim! Grovel worms!!
GB: I wouldn’t say they should grovel. They should know my beer of preference is Carlton Draught and whenever they see me at the pub they should be making sure I always have a full beer in front of me. Its a respect thing. I don’t respect them and they respect me for that. The amount of times I get a young Covie ask permission to just sit near me and listen to the wealth of knowledge and experience that comes out of my mouth is mind boggling. Sometimes I allow them to. They are like sponges, wanting to know what its like to be a reality TV star. Its a little embarrassing, but I know how much they get out of it, so every once in a while I’ll interact with the younger Coves.
AD: They shouldn’t, I’m not a nice person. Though with the current employment situation if the club can pay me as a full-time John Lloyd consultant than I am all ears. Have hat, will travel.
JS: I am but a short stop away from Covies becoming one of Club Dub’s party friends. Think of me like a last chance saloon.
TH: I refuse to answer that question (see questions 4 and 5).
TW: Cause I’m the King.
CG: They shouldn’t, they should all pay homage to Keith Willoughby as he is the King.
BR: Because I have drop-foot?
SM: You worship at my altar, I’ll worship at yours…
GS: So I can kick them more easily.
20. If you had to play for another Shires club, which would it be?
JL: Lindfield – Stirling and I would be an unstoppable force!
GB: Look the truth is I couldn’t. No other club would have me. I would approach Roseville first, but I’m pretty sure they have a “No Dickhead” policy, so I’d probably be wasting my time. Warringah would be high on my list because I look good in green. There are too many RBTs and speed traps around there for me to cross the Spit though. Smithy has left Mac Uni now so I’m not sure anyone would appreciate my one dimensional, special brand of humour there. I also wouldn’t make their 5th Grade side. If Lane Cove folded, which we almost did back in the late 90’s if not for the great work by Lloydy, I would concentrate on my television work, or even on a singing or stage career. I could combine all three. I love the shows that have those dickhead judges. You know the ones. Star Search and Red Faces. Hot!
AD: Lindfield – Stirling and I get on a dream.
JS: Have to be Roseville. The only club with a ground to match Longy – for size that is. Pretty sure I could be El Presidente and captain 2nd Grade. They would recognise my true talent. Let’s face it, if Mick Annis-Brown can do it, how hard could it be!
TH: Pennant Hills, they have such a strong history of good blokedness.
TW: Warringah – because they have such delightful afternoon tea.
CG: I don’t know, the Burwood guys seem great… but then there is only one Lane Cove.
BR: Epping Pingas… I owe them a couple.
SM: I’d play for all of them if I could! Spread the lurrrrrve around (and crabs)!
GS: Roseville, Roseville! Roseville, Roseville. Roseville.
There you have it! More than you’d ever possibly want to know about some of Lane Cove’s most respected and respectable characters.
“Big Dog” Gerald “Dog” “Corny” “Dawg” Cornelius “Mr Doggins”
Roving Big Dog Reporter, Dog.