A local cricketer has been accused of bullying after deliberately dropping himself down a grade, smashing an unbeaten 90 to win a game, and reportedly showing no mercy to an innocent 12-year-old opposition bowler. The unsavoury claims levelled against Watsonia Wombats stalwart Tommy Mooney are quite damning, and extend to him being overheard telling his opponents, “You talk s%#t, you get hit” as he plundered their hapless and inexperienced attack to all corners of a local cricket field.

An anonymous source from within the Wombats contacted The Watsonia Bugle to express their concern about Mooney’s behaviour last weekend. They said, “It was all a bit strange really. He’d actually made a hundred for the Fourth XI the game before, but stormed into the selection meeting last Thursday and just said, ‘Drop me to the Fifths, I can smell some easy runs coming my way’.”

Oddly, the Wombats selection committee approved this self-prompted demotion, and Mooney arrived at the ground last Saturday licking his lips. Our source said, “He had a real swagger about him from the moment he got to the ground on game day. A bit like Viv Richards in his prime, but way more confident.”

Once the game commenced, it was clear that Mooney was a class above the rest, and by the time he’d reached the batting crease, some witnessed say the opposition was already beaten. Our source said, “They just didn’t know where to bowl to him. They knew he’d tonned up in the Fourths last game, so he was inside their head before he’d even marked centre.”

Despite his superior skill set, Mooney was relatively circumspect in the early stage of his match-winning innings. However, once he reached 28 runs he raced to 90 purely from boundaries, fully exerting his influence on the game and delighting the small but passionate crowd with his expansive strokeplay. In one particularly strong burst, he blasted 28 runs off just one over — albeit bowled by a kid who’d only just graduated from primary school one month ago.

In fact, it was after that over that the first accusation of bullying was levelled upon Mooney, when a senior member of the opposition side took issue with the big fish swimming in his small pond. According to our source, “It’s fair to say that the opposition were not impressed. Tommy just kept smashing them to all corners of the ground, then one of their players said, ‘Forget big fish in a small pond, this bloke’s a lobster in a shotglass!’ And from there they just gave it to him. But Tommy was unrepentant. At one stage he started doing the old Babe Ruth trick of pointing to the boundary he was going to hit the next ball over. It was a masterful innings.”

After making multiple calls to him, Mooney refused to be interviewed by The Watsonia Bugle. All he said during one brief phone conversation was, “Since when has bullying been such a bad thing? Everyone used to love saying that Matty Hayden could bully the best bowling attacks in the world. How was my innings any different to that? I scored bloody 85% of my team’s score. I was the match winner!”