Halverstown Oaks v Arthurs Knights - Sun 14th May 2023

Halverstown Oaks win by 7 Wickets

Arthur’s Knights Innings 92/7

P. Fry 31, T. Millman 9

M. Hodgson 4-1-7-2, J. Hodgson 4-1-5-1, A. Barber 4-1-5-1

Halverstown Innings 93/3

G.O’Shea 27*, T. Gale 20, J. Hodgson 18*

E. Rankin 2-0-7-1, T. Millman 3-1-7-1, A.Moran 4-0-25-1

By the standards that we’ve come to know (and love!) in recent years, this year’s fixture for the Oaks against Arthur’s Knights, was a positively UnOaksy performance and result.

In a game that is always one of the highlights of the year for the spirit and camaraderie in which it is played, the occasion was rendered no less enjoyable by the calm and serene manner in which victory seemed to come for the team. Spared the drama that has accompanied recent Oaks games, a comprehensive Oaks performance bowling, fielding and batting, saw us over the line with seven wickets in hand, and more than seven overs to spare.

Once again bowling first, Halverstown started well, keeping things tight with fine economical bowling. The seven wickets taken across the day were well shared out – Matt Hodgson took 2-7, while Jim Hogdson, Andy Barber, Andy Williamson, Terry Gale and Stuart Hayes all nabbed one each.

The early economy – Arthur’s Knight’s were on just 22 after 11 overs – slipped slightly from 2 and over to almost 4 an over in the middle section of the innings, with the Knight’s reaching 80 off 22 overs. However, the final 8 overs went for just 12 runs, leaving the Oaks with a target of 93 to win.

Lunch was provided by Andy Barber and Terry Gale, and we were all a little reluctant to drag ourselves away from the wonderful spread on offer, and get back to playing cricket!

Speaking of reluctancy… sometimes as captain you kind of have to take one for the team. That was certainly how I saw the prospect of opening the batting in reply. Having not batted in the previous game, and with not many keen to go out first, I took the spot alongside Andy Williamson. 

Andy got off to a flyer, scoring 7 off as many balls before falling to a tough catch. I was just hoping to help set a platform for the team, but ended up sticking around for a lot longer than usual, eventually retiring unbeaten (27* off 42 balls) in the 18th over. By the time we took drinks after 15 overs, we had already reached 72 runs, with additional runs from Terry Gale (20 off 18 balls) and Jim Hodgson (18* off 33) putting us within sight of the winning line. Short cameos from Stuart Gordon, Wian Van Wyk and Matt Hodgson were enough to get the runs we needed, with more than seven runs to spare.

As ever, thanks to Frank O’Beirne and the Arthur’s Knights team for a wonderful game and we’re already looking forward to the next one. A special mention goes to Knight’s wicketkeeper Ben, who defying the sprightliness shown in keeping solidly for 22+ overs, had celebrated his 80th birthday the week before the game. With the Oaks’ Wian just 10 years old, there aren’t many sports where such a wide age gap can be celebrated in the same game.

Written by Gerard O’Shea                                                                         

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