B.McAllister 22* T.Gayle 20* G.O’Shea 13* T.Donoghue 11 *
James 1-0-3-1 Sundar 2-0-6-1 F.O’Beirne 2-0-11-1 H.McNab 2-0-20-1 S.Hayes 2-0-7-0
Arthur's Knights: 98 for 5
S.Hayes 20* James 20* Sundar 12 R.Devitt 11 P.Murray 10
J.Murphy 2-0-8-2 D.Drumm 2-0-11-1 J.Kirby 2-0-14-1 A.Barber 2-0-20-1 M.Coyle 1-0-6-0 B.McAllister 1-0-6-0 N.O’Reilly 1-0-7-0 T.Donoghue 1-0-8-0 G’O’Shea 1-0-10-0
Last year in Harristown, on a gloriously sunny Sunday, Arthur’s Knights gave a very strong Oaks team an unexpected hammering. Just 2 days before this game a pretty strong Oaks side had lost to Chapelizod, scoring just 14 runs in our second innings.Thus I feared the worst for this encounter. We had four beginners and the Knights looked ominously strong- and there were a lot of them. So many that I borrowed one and we played 12 a side-and there were still Knights to spare wandering around. Fearing another wipe-out I opted to bat first when I won the toss. That way we could at least get to the sandwiches early.
Halverstown, though, never cease to surprise. Despite losing the usually reliable opener Michael Coyle quickly, newbie Terry Gayle batted at No. 2 superbly and Brian McAllister, short of runs so far this season, accompanied him to take us to 51 after 7 overs before they both had to retire on their unbeaten 20s. We did a little less well in the second half but Gerard and Tom Donoghue added a nice few to bring us to an unexpected 97; not a huge score, but respectable enough in the circumstances. James’ bowling had caused a few problems as did Sundar’s whilst skipper Frank and Stuart Hayes, a Halverstonian nowadays, bowled well too.
We actually then bowled very well and took a wicket more than the Knights; for a while indeed it looked as if we might even sneak a win. A special mention for Cecil also, who got his second quick stumping in a couple of days- both distinctly improving my averages! Their runs came slowly enough to start. The difference was James, however. His 1 for 3 in bowling was good, but his batting showed no respect whatsoever to some decent bowling. His 20 was scored with 6 hits, mostly boundaries and included a fine 6. The speed at which he scored it made the win for Knights fairly comfortable by the end, but for a while at least we had looked (just) possible winners. Dave Bursey scored the winning run, largely because he refused to move when Ben Glascott wanted to run the winner. On WhatsApp Frank boasted that the Knights had won in 13 overs. He didn’t mention that they were 8 ball overs and there were only 2 left! The Halverstown beginners are beginning to show their mettle: James Murphy took another 2 wickets in 2 excellently bowled overs, returning the best bowling figures of the game,Terry Gayle scored a big hitting 20 not out and Niall O’Reilly bowled tidily and scored a couple of runs, with Paddy Carroll getting a few runs also. Gerard O’Shea got the Arthur’s Knights Man of the Match Award for his brilliantly acrobatic catch. The rest of the season will be interesting!