The glorious 12th of August is the opening of the grouse shooting season when the innocent are slaughtered in the name of sport. I will let you draw your own conclusions as to the parallels.
We had a slightly uncomfortable win against Malahide in the away match in that we didn’t dominate. They turned up with the usual mix of young and old but not the same team.
Traditionally the core membership of Halverstown has been farmers and that is both its strength and a weakness. Strength because they are great supporters of the club and weakness because as soon as the harvest starts they disappear like swallows in autumn. The captain has to factor this in along with holidays and for this match 3 of the top order were unavailable
Malahide won the toss and decided to bat. Neville (3 for 32) and JT (3 for 28) did their usual job of containing the batsmen and taking wickets. Batsmen 1 and 3 departed for the pavilion fairly promptly leaving Malahide on 14-2. Their captain, Kooottembeth, had scored very slowly in the away match and we looked forward to a rather sedate innings particularly as he mentioned that he wasn’t feeling particularly well. Whatever ailment he had it didn’t affect his batting and he went on to score 125 runs and dominated the innings. By the time he left the crease Malahide were 225-6 and coasting towards a sizeable score. Gunter’s catch to dismiss him is worth a mention as he took it running down the hill at the pavilion end. He checked twice and rebalanced before getting under it safely. As a lesson in foot/hand/eye coordination it would be hard to beat although there are very few pitches in the world with their own “Beechers Brook” to contend with.
Malahide were back in the pavilion for a very impressive 229 for 9. Whilst Mark Deacon (34) made the only other significant score the young batsmen from Malahide stayed in to let Koottembeth do his stuff. Old and young combined together and batted intelligently.
On occasion I have remarked how fast Ray (77) scores but today was exceptional even by his standards. He scored 50 in the first 5 overs and after 10 overs we were 83-1. At the same stage Malahide had scored only 30 due to the tight bowling of Neville and JT. Ray’s timing is exceptional and he treats the game like a 20:20. After the skipper had departed ‘boom boom’ Bayer (38) came in to join the assault. By the time he and Ray left the battle the score was 153 and there were 6 wickets standing. While there were still wickets in hand we had run out of specialist batsmen due to a combination of holidays, farming and injury. Richard has been in terrific form this season and his ability to anchor the innings whilst the younger players have their fun was missed.
The last 7 batsmen scored 28 runs and Halverstown were all out for 181. The outstanding bowler for Malahide was Koottembeth with 22-5.
Another disappointing result and a match we probably should have won. Our next fixture is away to Wicklow County 2 on 20th August.