Mick Neville reminded us of Rudyard Kipling’s words.
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same
It’s sometimes difficult but a good match, played with friends in a happy environment where everybody is trying their best is a wonderful experience and its own reward.
Last summer is a good memory but we are regrouping as a unit. We have succumbed to 5 defeats in 6 matches and in all these matches victory was possible. I’ve heard it remarked that Division 12 is akin to Division 8 some years ago in terms of competitive skills. The New Irish have swelled the ranks of traditional clubs and created their own. Cricket in Ireland is alive and well and we must embrace this. When you think of the talent that has been through the club in the last 10 years. Josh, Sean Dempsey, Sunil , Monty, Wasif, Moon and Ray have gone on to be part of some other teams success And yet we have men who turn out every weekend who stay with the club because it is a good place to be. They would not be comfortable having their names mentioned here but they are part of Halverstown’s rich history carrying the torch for another generation.
We welcomed Richard back from China where he had been teaching the locals the value of the square cut. Robert played his first match for several seasons. He has his picture on the wall of the pavilion as a member of Alan Ruddock’s cup winning team. There were a number of young men in that team who are now adults with families and who hopefully will return in due course.
This match has been an administrative nightmare. It has been postponed, rescheduled and relocated. The fixtures secretary, Cecil, has been busy behind the scenes ensuring the smooth running of our season.
Bagenalstown won the toss and elected to bat. Danger man Uddin was undone by Neville who saw him coming down the wicket and so he dropped the ball short on its seam and it cut back in between bat and pad. A perfect delivery which hit middle and off. These mountainy men will not be trifled with.
Our opening bowlers did their usual effective job and got 5 wickets between them. Ahsan bowled 8 excellent overs at an economy of 3.25 runs and got a well deserved wicket caught by Richard at gully. It was an excellent catch but Richard did his usual thing of ‘what’s the fuss about’. He wasn’t so relaxed however when he found out he was on tea duty but hadn’t picked up the text. His anxiety was only matched by Claudia’s insouciance when she heard the clarion call and arrived with a perfect tea at the break. If they hadn’t been married for upwards of 38 years he would have certainly got down on bended knee and proposed.
Bagenalstown had one exceptional batsman, K.Mumtaz (52), but he was well supported by four or five others. The fielding was boosted by Rob who put on an athletic display of some note. Kevin also performed well and let nothing past. The catch of the day went to Gunter standing at ‘cow corner’. The batsman hit across one of Neville’s inswingers and it bent in an arc towards the big man. It started out to his left, crossed in front of him and curved to his right. He watched it all the way until it landed in his hands and his face lit up into a grin which said ‘no problem’. The skipper got 2 wickets and gave us an effective demonstration of left arm through and around.
They posted 194 and in response we could only muster 106. Richard (20) and Tim opened steadily but both were caught trying to force the pace against some fairly accurate bowling. Gunther (22) looked well set and began to show some of his old form. Ahsan (20) was the only other batsman to show any resistance and showed his quality as an all rounder. He celebrated Eid in some style.
In this match those who had been to nets averaged 11 whereas those who hadn’t, averaged 6.57. For the first time this season it’s ‘cool’ to go to nets. The queue for nets will no doubt be out of the gate!
Our next match is away against AIB on 23rd June.