Our team comprised a solid batting line up and so it would have been a good toss to win. Unfortunately, the gods were not smiling but the captain of Leinster was when he put Halverstown into the field. We have never been afraid to bowl but batting might have been the better option.
Before I go any further, I would like to remind readers that when we played this team last year at St Columba’s they had a batsman who scored a double hundred and he is currently playing in Division 3. Their substitute wicketkeeper was from one of the top divisions and they brought on a second substitute fielder in contravention of an agreement between the captains. They finished 4th in Division 12 but were relegated for reasons I won’t go into in this blog. Therefore, it was with certain trepidation that we greeted them but the baggage had been left behind and their conduct was what you would hope for.
Case and Threadgold opened the bowling. Neville’s first ball hooped like a boomerang and so we thought we were in for a treat. However, a heavy overnight dew dampened the ball and it didn’t swing again for the rest of our innings leaving Neville without the vicious in swinger which has been the undoing of many a fine batsman. It also limited the other fast bowlers against a batting attack which flourished under these benign conditions. The first wicket fell with 180 on the board and only another 3 wickets fell in the innings which closed on 285. The outstanding bowler was JT with 4-29 and the interesting fact was that they all came in his last 4 overs when he changed from medium pace to spin. Two excellent catches were taken on the boundary by Kevin Threadgold. He is so still under the high ball that you know he is set to catch it. Text book stuff. Umer took a good catch at gully snatching the ball out of the air. Our fielding was generally good.
Stuart Conroy who has embraced technology on behalf of the club provided ball by ball updates to Cricket Leinster so that at the end of the game there was a full scorecard for the match. This however is not a substitute for the book that Neville keeps so well. Tim provided an excellent tea which is an important part of our club’s tradition.
They scored 285 for 4 at a S/R of 118. The two openers scored 92 and 85 respectively at a S/R of 100 but their last batsman scored 67 at a S/R of 258. This latter onslaught was probably the difference between winning and losing.
Undaunted Barry and Kevin took to the field. However, they faced a bowling attack that was relentless and runs came slowly. At drinks we were 85-2 with Kevin and Clive in play. Kevin who had been there for 20 overs looked as hot as the boy who ‘stood on the burning deck’ having withstood the onslaught of some first class bowling. This partnership put on 110 runs before Kevin (40) succumbed to a caught and bowled. As for Clive it was party time. He has all the shots but also an aggressive determination to run everything possible which put the fielders under pressure. He hit 3 sixes and 9 fours as he cut, hooked and drove his way to 82 valuable runs at a S/R of 134. We were back in the chase. Tim (35) and Umer (36*) carried on the good work but the run rate climbed inexorably. At the end of 40 overs we had given it our all but we were 44 runs short.
It was a fine team effort against a very strong side whose ranking is Division 12 and above.
Our next match is against Gorey at home on Saturday 25th May.