WENDOUREE star Eamon Johnson didn’t let the possibility of a thrilling victory stop him from missing one of the biggest moments of his life on Saturday.
Johnson had to leave Wendouree Reserve during a crucial period in the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts clash with Darley to be with his wife Carlee, who went into labour with the couple’s first child.
While at the crease during a tense final few overs, Johnson’s mobile phone was answered by a teammate and a message relayed to him that he needed to depart.
Johnson retired at the same time Matt Smith was dismissed for 10, seeing the Red Caps slump to 9-143 and still needing 11 runs for victory. The Red Caps were eventually bowled out in the final over of the day for 153, tying the clash with the Lions.
Darley captain Matt Cape admitted Johnson’s departure may have had an impact on the final result, which was a big one in terms of both teams’ finals aspirations.
“You would have thought so but you just don’t know the way the game was ebbing and flowing,” Cape said. Wendouree president Ivan Pyke said the club had no issues with Johnson leaving the ground, despite his absence possibly costing the team a win that would have put them back in the club firsts top four. The tie, however, has left the Red Caps fifth in a bid for a record sixth-straight premiership.
“He had the club’s blessing to do what he did,” Pyke said.
Johnson, a two-time EJ Cleary Medal winner, put the Red Caps in a winning position early in the day, snaring 4-20 to take his tally to 35 wickets for the season.