MORE than a dozen Colac district cricketers got the shock of their lives when they were felled by a bolt of lightning.
Tomahawk Creek and Alvie players were counting their lucky stars after lightning struck a nearby paddock at Irrewillipe Recreation Reserve, east of Colac, on Saturday, The Geelong Advertiser reports.
The teams were playing out the remaining seven overs of the division three Colac and District Cricket Association match when they felt the earth move.
"We got hit by lightning," Creek captain Shaun Oborne said.
"There were a few close strikes and we thought 'S---, should we go off?' But there were only seven overs left so we kept going.
"Then there was a bolt of lightning in the next paddock and we all went down. It just dropped us. It just felt like someone had jumped on your foot ... really hard."
The players hobbled from the field and the clash was abandoned with the Swans needing 33 to win.
"Everyone was in shock and had no idea what happened," Oborne said. "We didn't feel it was that close. Alvie needed to win to keep their finals hopes alive, so we just stayed out there."
Creek vice-president Trevor Farquharson said he and Alvie officials were contemplating abandoning the match when the lightning hit about 5.45pm.
"There was a bit of lightning around, the ground was surrounded," he recalled.
"I was fielding on the boundary near the pavilion and I said to Jim Parker 'It might be best if we got off'. Next minute the boys hit the ground.
"I didn't feel it but I reckon the bolt of lightning hit five or six spots around us."
Asked if he and the players were counting their blessings, Farquharson replied: "Absolutely, my oath."
Tomahawk Creek's Chris Fraser said he felt the effects of the strike for several hours after.
"It felt like someone had stepped on my foot. It felt numb for more than an hour after I got home," Fraser said. "Everyone felt it. I had to hobble off the ground. It was a strange feeling ... I don't recommend it to anyone."
Two other division three matches (Stoneyford v Colac, and Colac West v Otway), and the division two clash between City United and Tomahawk Creek were also abandoned.
Read more at The Geelong Advertiser.