THEATRICAL CAVALIERS: 100 FOR 4 (20 overs)
Batting: Swift 20* Delaney 20* Cowley 14 Ralli 13
Bowling: O'Connor 2-0-4-1 Magennis 2-0-5-1 Cowley 5-0-5-1 T.Pegg 2-0-7-1 Ralli 2-0-10-1
HALVERSTOWN OAKS: 89 (20 overs)
Batting: G.Bayer 20* Sahab 15 C.Johnston 9* K.Hodson 8
Bowling: Jon Kirby 2-0-5-1 G.Bayer 2-0-9-1 G.Barnes 2-0-10-1 M.Hanley 2-0-14-1
The call went out. It was the first match of the season, indeed the first match ever for the recently re-branded Halverstown Oaks. We were facing Theatrical Cavaliers, a team who beat us in the last game of last season – and over many previous seasons too.” Fit, energetic, enthusiastic men needed. Pay non-existent, work hard, chances of success slim. Honour and recognition in case of success”. Maybe some recognised the echoes of local Kildare man Ernest Shackleton in these words and they flocked to the banner. Well, 10 did and Gunter, in need of batting practice, made up the numbers. Unfortunately they were not all “fit and energetic” but they were enthusiastic at least. It was Cavaliers who were the more entrepid though- travelling from Dublin during the heavy rain that was falling right up to Blessington took not only courage but outrageous optimism too. However, Halverstown remained dry, except for the tears later at our dismal batting performance.
Although Ronan Swift got them off to an excellent start, including a fine 6, and John Delaney matched him with a quickfire 20 not out, Cavaliers struggled to get to the 100 mark, despite losing only 4 wickets. Pick of the bowlers was the spin of Jon Kirby, who took 1 for 5 of his allotted 2 overs. However, Gunter Bayer shocked everyone- and maybe himself- with the next best figures of 1 for 9 in a very tidy spell- though his wicket was that of Tara and I was complicit in her dismissal by, ungallantly, taking the catch. Graham Barnes definitely shocked himself by clean bowling Pegg and Mairt Hanley's looping ball, coming down from the heavens, got Ralli caught.
For those of our players not accustomed to the quirky ways of Taverners cricket I explained that 100 was not a great total and that 120 was considered a decent, defendable score. We soon proved that, against Halverstown Oaks, a century was plenty. The first 6 batsmen were to score 24 between them, 15 of them scored by Sahab, who had already bowled well to concede only 7 runs in his spell. Then came Boom Boom Bayer. Simon Cowry's first over went for 14 ( his second was a maiden wicket!) and Gunter, a stickler for detail, followed my instruction to get to 19 before hitting a 6 for 25 not out! We were in a with an outside chance of saving a humiliation. Lo and behold Kevin Hodson and Cecil Johnston wagged the tail and brought us within just 11 runs of Cavaliers before Kev was bowled on the very last ball of the game, possibly trying to hit it for 11.
Man of the Match went to Canadian Ted Pegg for Cavaliers for taking 1 for 7 in his first ever game. Cavaliers named Cecil as ours for his all-round performance: taking a fine catch behind the wickets, bowling 2 overs for just 6 runs and scoring 9 not out with the bat.”Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results” said Shackleton. So true.