Chapelizod Halverstown Oaks - Sun 17th Jun 2018

Chapelizod won by 6 wickets

HALVERSTOWN: 119

N.Greene 35 D.Drumm 17 M.Coyle 10 W.Barr 6* Extras 37 (!)

 D.Drumm 4.1-0-14-2 K.Hodson 6-1-31-1 M.Coyle 3-0-9-0 B.McAllister 4-0-14-0

CHAPELIZOD: 120 for 4

J.Egan 32 D.Thomas 20* Rayes 16* Gres 14* S.Gallagher 9* Extras only 23!

Rieyes 6-1-20-2 S.Gallagher 3-0-4-1 D.Thomas 5-2-5-1 J.Egan 5-1-13-1 Harry 5-0-17-1

Opened in 1835, Castleknock College has a distinguished history and its past pupils would no doubt have been delighted that the cricket pitch is being well utilised by Chapelizod Cricket Club, who are a (very big!) hit for 6 down the hill to their historic village. No doubt these long dead past pupils would welcome, too, such a long standing cricket club such as Halverstown here. One of these pupils was James Henry Reynolds who was one of 16 Irishmen amongst the South Wales Borderers who so valiantly defended Rorke's Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War. He won the Victoria Cross and was immortalised as “Surgeon-Major Reynolds”, played by Patrick Magee, in one of my favourite films, “Zulu”, directed (and starred in) by fellow Rhondda Valleys boy Stanley Baker. They both would have felt every sympathy for me in this game.

It was a struggle to get a team together but finally I had a full muster of troops. However a desertion the day before meant 10; another on the morning of the game left 9; a misunderstanding by another meant that only 8 actually turned up- and one of those was going to be late on parade. I know now how the Rorke's Drift garrison felt as we faced a full strength Chapelizod who even boasted of a 12th man arriving later. However Willie “Ten Teams” Barr was representing Chapelizod, a man who had played for us before. Money did not have to change hands: the honour of playing for Halverstown was enough to persuade Willie to change sides and we played 10 v 9. Not that they needed 10 players- and their now 11th man who arrived later proved surplus to requirements.

 Kevin Hodson and Michael Coyle opened the batting in a sprightly manner, running plenty of quick extras as well as notching up a few runs for themselves. Then came Nassau, who played a wonderful straight bat against all that Chapelizod could throw at him. Heroic was the word for his 35. He deserved a medal. Nevertheless the superior forces of Chapelizod told on the rest of the troops, though Willie Barr- no stranger to military matters as a former member of the Defence Forces- and myself fought a gallant rearguard action to put a little gloss on the final total of 119. Despite an astonishing 37 extras, this was never going to be enough against their big guns. For Chapelizod, Rieys took 2 wickets but there was sniper-like accuracy from Stuart Gallagher and outstanding bowling from keeper Dylan Thomas (another Welsh link!) with his 1 for 5 off 5, including 2 maidens. Captain John Egan and Harry had a wicket apiece with good economy also.

It became a rout when they batted. John Egan played a captain's role with his opening 32, Dylan Thomas certainly did not go gentle into that dark night as he hit a rapid-fire 20 before nobly retiring. And so it went. We took just 4 wickets in reply- a couple for me, one thanks to Cecil's sharp reactions behind the wicket to stump Mark, one very good caught-bowled by Kevin and a runout. New recruit Brian McAllister and regular soldier Michael Coyle both bowled well but Chapelizod won by 6 wickets. I suppose that if you counted the retirements and deduct their 11th man, who did not even bother to change, then we could possibly say 2 wickets. Maybe not. Surgeon Reynolds could well have been needed to bind our wounded pride after this resounding defeat.


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