Don’t you think it ironic that the world’s largest sporting competition and the smallest were played at the same time … that would be The World Cup and The Bartlett Cup.
Yes I know it’s a big call that the Bartlett is the smallest … after all we have The World Bog Snorkelling Championships on in Wales in August. But I think you’ll find that the Welsh competition and attendance is bigger … for one thing the weather conditions are better in their bog than in Hobart.
The World Cup had 3.1 million spectators in attendance … the Bartlett Cup had Cath and Robyn. At least when they blew on their vuvuzelas they didn’t drown out the referee. The Australian Team went to Africa in their own jet … while the Ballarat Team went to Hobart on a JetStar Light $69 ticket. The World Cup had superstars with cool single names like Kaka and Xavi … and we had Bill Hutcheson. Even without cool names our seven tennis players and two woman cheer squad could have beaten the French National Soccer Team … but could they beat Hobart?
SATURDAY 10TH JULY
Bill Hutcheson/Stuart Strange beat Mark Reardon/Kate Brown 9/8
Annie Strange/Doug Grant lost to Hans Drielsma/Eryl Raymond 9/2
Wilma Ferguson lost to Iain Burrows 9/2
Rob Jolly lost to Steve Quinn 9/5
Rob Jolly/Peter Dunn lost to Nick Rooke/Hamish Oates 9/8
Stuart Strange lost to Hamish Oates 9/4
Annie Strange lost to Jamie Allen 9/8
Doug Grant/Stuart Strange beat Paul Dunne/Graeme Bradfield 9/1
Bill Hutcheson/Wilma Ferguson lost to John Davis/Hamish Oates 9/6
Peter Dunn beat Graeme Blundstone 9/6
SUNDAY 11TH JULY
Doug Grant lost to Kate Brown 9/6
Bill Hutcheson lost to Paul Dunne 9/5
Peter Dunn/Stuart Strange beat Jeremy Rackham/Hamish Oates 9/4
Wilma Ferguson/Doug Grant lost to John Davis/Johnson Koay 9/5
Annie Strange/Stuart Strange beat Hamish Oates/Ian Ritchard 9/4
Bill Hutcheson/Rob Jolly beat Graham Flower/Graeme Bradfield 9/3
Rob Jolly/Peter Dunn beat Nick Rooke/Graeme Blundstone 9/7
Peter Dunn/Wilma Ferguson beat Hamish Oates/Johnson Koay 9/2
Bill Hutcheson/Annie Strange lost to Peter Scollard/John Ramsay 9/3
Hobart retains the Bartlett Cup 11-8 … I don’t think we even remember what it looks like anymore.
There is a number of promising signs as the Richmond Football Club likes to say every year. In a first, Ballarat won more matches than it lost on the Sunday. Given a history of drug and alcohol abuse this shows our rehab programmes are working … in previous years teams have found it hard to win a single game before Sunday lunch much less a whole match. All team members won at least one match … our youth policy is paying off as elderly pensioners are barred from playing. Our female squad, Annie and Wilma won matches on their first visit to the tricky Hobart court. One biggest concern is still conditioning … Doug Grant broke down with a calf tear, Peter Dunn did something to his groin and we’re having a good look at Rob’s liver.
A big thanks to Hobart for fielding so many players and for their boundless hospitality. It might be the world smallest sporting competition but it’s probably the most fun one.