For the senior members of the team playing Swords conjures up memories of cold spring days and hot curry for tea. A hospitable team who are rather relaxed. We are programmed like Pavlov’s Dog to arrive on time but our hosts started the match half an hour late due to some problem with keys. If there had been neutral umpires I suspect the match would have started on time.
The pitch is municipal in character and ownership, with no facilities apart from a truck container where the gear is stored. A far cry from Merrion and Halverstown but at least the outfield had been cut relatively recently.
Swords won the toss and decided to bat. Our bowlers kept it tight and they were out after 26 overs for 109 runs. Two of their batsmen got into double figures. Kieran (44) and Sandy (20). The main wicket takers were Neville (2-12), John (3-25) and Kevin (2-8). Ahsan and Des got a wicket apiece. The fielding was sharp despite only 10 players and Kevin got an excellent run out.
As it was extremely warm we were relieved that we were given sandwiches and not curry for tea. Swords were suspiciously relaxed about their relatively small total and Neville reminded us that we had never won here. The batting line up was solid with the in-form Barry and Ronno’s at the top of the order and so these fears were subdued.
The bowling was exemplary and the openers were restrained. Tim was the first to go to a catch you don’t expect to be held. High over second slip it was plucked from the heavens. Barry (16) continued with Mark (27) and they looked settled but the accuracy of the bowling never wavered. The partnership of the day was between Mark and John (20). They took the score from28 to 60 with gritty determination. Mark played the innings of the season, which is high praise after his 74 not out against Finglas. His natural game is to play shots but he dug in for singles punctuated by the odd boundary. Whilst these two were at the crease we felt that victory was possible.
Well we went from 6 wickets down for 84 to 84 all out. There were no excuses we were just out played. Played 4 lost 3. We are waiting for the tide to go out.
Our next match is against Leinster 5 at home on Saturday 9th June.