Another beautiful day in this long hot summer. The sun shone down on a very dry outfield, which despite its proximity to the river is beginning to burn up. The original road to Harristown House, which can only be seen in drought conditions, passes under the pavilion and across the boundary before winding its way up through a small wood to the house.
Every week there seems to be a different set of players. Farmers are under pressure at this time of year and tend to be available on an ad hoc basis. JT is at a wine tasting convention in the Nappa Valley and Umer returned after an absence of several matches. Kevin Threadgold has had his transfer papers stamped by Trinity to allow him to play for us although the transfer fee is still being negotiated.
We lost the toss and they put us into bat. Barry and Richard were reunited and their opening partnership of 26 gave us a solid start. Richard is having a wonderful season and has hit a rich vein of form. He passed 50 again, which gives him back-to-back half centuries. He has passed 30 on 4 of 6 occasions averaging 38 for the season to date.
Gunther looked settled against some very good bowling. The ball found the middle of the bat repeatedly and it looked as though a big score could be on the cards. However an edge to backward point undid him and he had to settle for 14. There is a big hundred out there with his name on it.
At 4-93 we were still in touch but 15 runs later we were all back in the hut. The economy rate of their bowlers was between 2 and 4 and reflected the quality of the six men used. If they had taken all their catches the score would have been much lower.
Tea was a sumptuous affair and we were able to relax briefly. In the past we have defended this type of score but the artificial wicket and a general improvement in batting has meant that 200-240 is a par score. You could sense that there was an element of celebration in the opposition even before we went out to field.
Neville opened from his favourite end and produced some of his excellent in swingers. Kevin replaced his father John at the pavilion end and got a most valuable wicket with his first ball. If we cast our mind back to May, John got a wicket with his opening ball of the season as well. Kevin got another wicket in the same over when Richard took a sharp one handed catch in the gully. Swords were 2-6 and it was game on.
However at this stage they moved up a gear and Ahsan was the only other bowler to strike when Kevin Hodson took an excellent catch at mid off. Paiva (26) and Kuruvilla (45*) laid the groundwork for Swords success and we were beaten inside 15 overs.
We are in a different season and memories of 2017 are fast fading. We need more runs and it is worth bearing in mind that we have been unable to defend a run a ball i.e. 240 on 2 occasions this season. Our bowlers have started powerfully but after a couple of overs the batsmen have latched onto them and economy rates have shot up as high as 10. Good and bad balls get punished. Generally we are playing as well as we can and you can’t ask for more than that. Importantly we are happy in each other’s company.
Just to record that Rehan Ali who was a significant part of our success last year has secured another medal as an opening bat for Pembroke 2 who beat Phoenix in the Tillain Cup Final, a 20:20 competition.
This weekend we have a break from league cricket with the club BBQ on Sunday 29th July. It will be a hotly contested affair as usual. The committee and particularly Des are working hard to make it a fun day out for family and friends. It is the Club’s main fundraiser and all are welcome.