How McDougal Topped The Score

The husband of my first cousin, three times removed, Sarah Ann Christie, was one Thomas Edward Spencer O’Brien better known as Thomas Edward Spencer. He wrote this very famous ditty.

A peaceful spot is Pipers Flat.

The fold that live around

They keep themselves by keeping sheep and turning up the ground

But the climate is erratic and the consequences are

The struggle with the elements is everlasting war

We plough and sow and harrow, then sit and pray for rain

And then we all get flooded out and have to start again

But the folk are now rejoicing as they ne’er rejoiced before

For we’ve played Molongo at cricket and McDougal topped the score

Molongo had a head on it and challenged us to play

A single innings match for lunch, the losing team to pay

We were not great guns at cricket, but we couldn’t well say no

So we all began to practice and we let the reaping go

We scoured the Flat for ten miles round to muster up our men

But when the list was totaled we could only number ten

Then up spoke big Tim Brady, he was always slow to speak

And he said, “What price McDougal who lives down at Coopers Creek?”

So we sent for old McDougal and he stated in reply

That he’d never played at cricket, but he’d half a mind to try

He couldn’t come to practice – he was getting in his hay

But he guessed he’d show the beggars from Molongo how to play

Now, McDougal was a Scotchman, and a canny one at that

So he started in to practice with a paling for a bat

He got Mrs Mac to bowl to him, but she couldn’t run at all

So he trained his sheep dog Pincher how to scout and fetch the ball

Now, Pincher was no puppy, he was old and worn and grey

But he understood McDougal, and – accustomed to obey

When McDougal cried out “Fetch it!” he would fetch it in a trice

But, until the word was “Drop it!” he would grip it like a vice

And each succeeding night they played until the light grew dim

Sometimes McDougal struck the ball – sometimes the ball struck him

Each time he struck the ball would plough a furrow in the ground

And when he missed the impetus would turn him three times round

The fatal day at last arrived – the day that was to see

Molongo bite the dust or Pipers Flat knocked up a tree

Molongo’s captain won the toss and sent his men to bat

And they gave some leather hunting to the men of Pipers Flat

When the ball sped where McDougal stood, firm planted in his track

He shut his eyes and turned him round and stopped it with his back!

The highest score was twenty two, the total sixty six

When Brady sent a Yorker down that scattered Johnson’s sticks

The Pipers Flat went in to bat, for glory and renown

But, like the grass before the scythe, our wickets tumbled down

Nine wickets down for seventeen with fifty more to win

Our captain heaved a sigh, and sent McDougal in
”Ten pounds to one you’ll lose it!” cried a barracker from the town

But McDougal said, “I’ll take it mon!” and planted the money down

Then he girded up his moleskins in a self reliant style

Threw off his hat and boots and faced the bowler with a smile

He held the bat the wrong side out and Johnson with a grin

Stepped lightly to the bowling crease and sent a “wobbler” in 
McDougal spponed it softly back and Johnson waited there

But McDougal crying “Fetch it!” started running like a hare

Molongo shouted “Victory!” He’s out as sure as eggs

When Pincher started throught the crowd and ran through Johnson’s legs

He seized the ball like lightening then he ran behind a log

And McDougal kept on running while Molongo chased the dog!

They chased him up, they chased him down, they chased him round and then

He darted through the slip-rail as the scorer shouted,

McDougal puffed, Molongo swore, excitement was intense

As the scorer marked down twenty,

Pincher cleared a barbed wire fence
”Let us head him!” shrieked Molongo, “Brain the mongrel with a bat!”

Run it out! Good old McDougal!” yelled the men from Pipers Flat

And McDougal kept on jogging and then Pincher doubled back

And the scorter counted “Forty” as they raced across the track
McDougal’s legs were going fast, Molongo’s breath was gone

But still Molongo chased the dog – McDougal struggled on

When the scorer shouted “Fifty!”, then they knew the chase would cease

And McDougal gasged out “Drop it!” as he dropped within his crease

Then Pincher dropped the ball and as instinctively he knew

Discretion was the wiser plan, he disappeared from view

And as Molongo’s beaten men exhausted lay around

We raised McDougal shoulder high and bore him from the ground

We bore him to McGinnis’s where lunch was ready laid

And filled him up with whisky punch for which Molongo paid

We drank his health in bumpers and we cheered him three times three

And when Molongo got its breath Molongo joined the spree

And the critics say they never saw a cricket match like that

When McDougal broke the record in the game at Pipers Flat

And the folk are jubilating as they never did before

For we played Molongo cricket and McDougal topped the score!