“Has he got it yet?”
It was a sentence which rippled around Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon.
Supporters and players from CYMS and RSL-Colts raced across to No. 1 Oval after stumps in their match at No. 2 while those at the RSL-Kelly Cup final at No. 3 were getting continuous updates.
Jordan Moran was closing in on a double century.
It seemed unheard of, especially on the biggest day of the season. This was against a South Dubbo attack which, despite Will Lindsay’s injury-enforced absence, had outdone every lineup in the RSL-Whitney Cup for most of the past three seasons.
Young and old came rushing to watch the Australian Country representative bat. There were some who were following on at home via the live scores online who decided to come down and witness the end of the day.
It was a classic Moran innings and a perfectly timed one. In recent seasons at a local level the cheers which follow Moran’s dismissals have been that little less loud.
He would race to 40, maybe 50, and then slash at one and be caught. But on the biggest occasion of all, he gave everyone a stark reminder of his class.
On a weekend where Australian cricket was plunged into darkness due to the actions of Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and a side willing to cheat to win, fans in Dubbo were given a near-unbelievable example of what club cricket is all about.
That may seem harsh on Souths. Club games are not about teams scoring more than 400 runs in a day.
But it is about mates, with a wide-ranging array of skillsets joining together to play the game they love.
<p>This is something seriously special. Jordan Moran, take a bow. 200 not out in the Whitney Cup grand final. One of the all-time great knocks and he’s led Rugby to 4/402 against Souths. Incredible. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DDCAFinals?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DDCAFinals</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CtryCric_NSW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CtryCric_NSW</a> <a href="https://t.co/Xy4RtdhpcF">pic.twitter.com/Xy4RtdhpcF</a></p>— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nj_Guthrie/status/977439957437632512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 24, 2018</a>
Young and old, elite and those you would dub a ‘park cricketer’. All together.
If anyone in the cricket world was going to engage in ball tampering on Saturday, South Dubbo would have more right than everyone else.
Everything the bowlers threw at the Rugby lineup was wafted away with relative ease while there was misfields and overthrows as well.
“Everyone does it” is sometimes a defence for ball tampering. Mitch Bower and his men didn’t do it when they were staring down the barrel of one of the highest totals scored in Dubbo in living memory.
Nothing was going their way. But when Moran reached his double century the Hornets all acknowledged the effort. Even after standing in the sun with very little to cheer about for more than five hours.
Sometimes you’re just not good enough. Something the Australian team could definitely be reminded of.
Like every season, there’s been some ugly moments on and off the field this summer in Dubbo.
But everyone can recognise brilliance and there were people from every club in Dubbo applauding when Moran reached the milestone and they all stood as he walked off at stumps with 214 not out next to his name.
This innings was something special.
Moran is a man who polarises opinion purely because he wants himself and his team to be at the very best every time they step onto the field.
He’s meticulous and incredibly serious about his craft.
He, like Steve Smith and the Australians had previously prided themselves on, plays as hard and fairly as he can and does everything he can to win in each and every game he plays.
And when he does something like he did on Saturday, producing an innings which will be spoken about long after he and everyone who was at the ground has retired, you can’t blame him.
You simply applaud.