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Rollers win low-scoring game in Melkbos

The West Coast Rollers went 'home' on Saturday for a long overdue meeting with the Melkbos Fellows at the Koeberg Cricket Club.

The torrential rains on Friday made it touch and go whether the game would even take place, with an 11am, 35-over match starting as a 25-over encounter more than two hours later.

Before the game, Nicky Rheeder gave a moving speech on the history of the club, its origins, and how the Rollers came to be now more than 25 years ago.

Cornell Keulder - a snot-nosed 14-year-old when he bowled his first ball at the club - clearly took massive inspiration from the Al Pacino-like speech as he ripped through the top order on a very ... let's say 'sporting', wicket.

After having opposition captain Michael Lemin dropped first ball in the gully, he eventually finished with incredible figures of 6-1-9-5, helped in no small part by two diving catches in the slip cordon by Johann Roux. It was a doubly special day for Cornell, with his son celebrating his first birthday and watching on from the sidelines as his father wreaked havoc.

Tom Stapylton-Smith (1/12 in four) and Ryan Cooper (1/8 in two) kept the pressure on from the other end, before Nicky fittingly finished the job from the Duynefontein side, just a few 100 metres from his driveway, ending up with 2/11 in three overs as Melkbos were dismissed for just 61.

So the Rollers overwhelming favourites to record a first win of the season, but the pitch was still misbehaving badly, as proved in the first over when Simon Drennan was done LBW from a ball that pitch way back of a length, but hit him on the ankle.

The new-ball pair of Brendan and Nichol were proving a very tough ask on that pitch, with the former upsetting Bruce Banner (10) enough to have him caught at the other end in the following over.

And when Mark Haselau (0) saw his off-stump knocked back with another unplayable delivery, the Rollers were left reeling at 16/3.

However, Ryan (34*) and Cornell (11*) decided to block the bowlers into submission, taking quite a few body blows along the way, and eventually chipped away at the total to lead the Rollers to a seven-wicket win.

In true FCA fashion, plenty of drinks, hammers and stories were shared after the game. Thanks again to Michael and his team for a great day out.

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