THEATRICAL CAVALIERS: 105 for 5 (15 x8 ball overs)
Batting: Furey 17* Ralli 16 M.Ford 14* Cowley 14 Stott 9*
Bowling: Ralli 2-0-7-1 ; Stott 2-1-9-1 ; Coury 2-0-15-1 ; T.Pegg 1-0-4- 0 : McCarhty 1-0-5-0
HALVERSTOWN OAKS: 104 (14.6 x 8 ball overs)
Batting: G.Bayer 23* D.Hubble 23* C.Johnston 17* D.Drumm 7
Bowling: D.Hubble 2-1-4-3; D.Drumm 2-0-7-1; B.McAllister 1-0-10-1; G.Bayer 1-0-6-0
Through the 70s and right up to the 1983 budget when duty on fortified wines was doubled and, at a stroke, the market declined by over 50%, Harveys Bristol Cream was a super-brand. Although even then the sherry image was of a grannies’ or maiden aunts’ drink, these old dears must have drunk an awful lot of it- not far short of a million bottles a year at its pre-budget height. Every house had to have it and every supermarket’s first Christmas drink display was Harveys. Trying to find ways to spend the generous marketing budget, Grants of Ireland, the distributors for whom I was M.D, sponsored the Harveys Irish Theatre Awards. Held in the Abbey every year in black tie and with bounteous food and drink, it was a special night. Ah, the good old days, when you could even advertise Harveys as “The Best Sherry in the World” without demur! In 1983 we had one award surplus, which Harveys kindly gave to me. It has been in my sitting room since then, which is a travesty since pretending to be a cricketer is as much acting as I have done since my schooldays. Two years ago, on a memorable day in St.Columbas, we played Cavaliers on mine and Jeanette’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary in which Michael Ford scored the 40 not out that perhaps I should have made. Jeanette is a great recycler, so to (belatedly) mark that lovely occasion I had the Harveys Award converted to the ‘Des and Jeanette Drumm “Anniversary Trophy”’, to be played for annually between the Oaks and Cavaliers.
Of course it rained,just as Cavaliers went out to bat. However, we finally got going in a faster version of Taverners with 15 overs of 8 balls each and other time saving rules.The first three batsmen, Cowley, Furey and Ralli, got Cavaliers off to a great start but Daffy Hubble turned in a spellbinding 3 wickets for 4 runs to put us in a good position. Daffy also caught Mairead McCarthy off my bowling, something I was not proud of but Daffy seemed happy enough!
With Cecil keeping wicket Hubert had to bowl an over, which he did (quite legally!) mostly underarm- prompting Mairead to do the same for Cavaliers later on! Cavaliers scored 105 for 5, a decent total but one I certainly thought we could manage.
Gunter was our batting star and his excellent 23 not out comprised 5 boundaries and a single. Cecil ran himself to near exhaustion with a 17 not out which had 13 quick singles! Hubert was run out desperately chasing the final few runs to win. Daffy batted nearly as well as he bowled but his enforced retirement at 23 came as a surprise to me, his batting partner: we hadn’t realised he was so close to his 20. We were now down to two batsmen to come in and were well into the last over, which was being bowled by Tim Stott whose first over was a wicket maiden . I told Jon Kirby I would run as soon as the ball was bowled. I did; the ball whizzed by me as Jon banged it back down the wicket- only to go to a fielder and he was run out on his first ball. However, we had crossed so I faced. Niall O’Reilly came in, his second game of cricket ever. The rest is a blur of running and shouting and wickets falling so I take this from the Cavaliers’ report:
“Cut to the final over. Halvertown had reached the ton. Daffy had had to retire just in the closing strait. Des was in and Stott was back bowling. A nonsense runout occurred despite (or maybe because of) Skipper Drumm’s incredible sprightliness. He was joined by an absolute beginner. On the penultimate ball needing 3 to win they ran on a bye and tried to run a ‘not on yer life’ second so the novice wouldn’t be on strike for a last ball denouement. Of course it wasn’t to be but little did Des realise that a wide had been signalled. Little were we aware that they had no other batsmen to enter. And there we were out in the middle with all these factors dawning on us, in fact Furey though they’d won. Gentleman Coury seemed chastened. Someone wondered if a retiree might return and Coury tailed off apologetically, ‘We don’t normally…’, again he nor any of us remembered or were aware that at least one batsman retired before 20 to give others a knock and that might have been allowed.”
Cricket can be a cruel game. A momentous game was lost by just 1 run and Theatrical Cavaliers thus won the inaugural Des and Jeanette Drumm “Anniversary Trophy”!