Halverstown 2 V Athlone 3 - Sat 26th Jun 2021

Halverstown 2 win by 79 runs

HALVERSTOWN 2: 160 for 5 off 20 overs

Batting: D.Ryall 56* A.Jackson 38 S.Hayes 18

 Bowling: P.Rosa 2-0-4-2 D.Ruddock 4-0-24-2 D.Drumm 3-0-10-1 A.syed 4-0-11-1 B.McAllister 4-1-15-1 K.Hodson 3-0-9-0

ATHLONE 3: 81 for 9 off 20 overs

Batting: Morne 31 Vignesh 12

Bowling: Rahul 4-1-18-2 Ash 4-0-17-1 K.Brennan 3-0-31-1 Vignash 3-0-17-0

It was a strange game against the Westmeath team. We won the toss and batted first. The H2 engine coughed and spluttered really badly for the first 7 overs, after which we were just 21 for 1 and heading for serious trouble. By then we had lost Stuart Conroy; Ashley had scored just 8 runs off 22 balls, Stuart Hayes only slightly better with 7 off 14. It is hard to know what changed- maybe just the bowlers- but suddenly the engine kicked into life: Ashley scored 28 off the next 14 balls before being bowled for 38 and Stuart 12 off 8 before being caught for 18 off their captain, “Butty” Brennan. Keith got the nickname from an old Lotto ad character, but he didn’t win the Lottery that was the game in Harristown that day because the next batsman was Darren, making a welcome return to Halverstown. Very welcome from H2’s point of view. He scored 56 not out from 26 balls in a stunning display of big hitting that included seven 4s and 2 mighty 6s.The H2 juggernaut was now back on track and supporting batsmen played well to keep Darren on strike, bringing H2 to a solid total of 160. The strike rate on the last 13 overs was 10, making up for the worryingly slow start and giving Athlone a tough enough target.

Athlone started just like we did. Kevin and Ahsan bowled very tightly, such that after their opening spell of 6 overs just 18 runs were on the board. It was 27 after 7 but, without a Darren, they never really picked up the pace and at the half way mark were 0n 43, 20 behind us. Opener Morne put in a good display of solid hitting in his innings of 31 before Danny Ruddock, another welcome returnee to Halverstown, bowled him. Vignesh was the only other in double figures (12) before Paolo took an excellent catch off Ahsan. All our bowling was good , but no one had figures like Paolo, whose 2 for 4 off just 2 overs was the stand out performance! Danny took the most wickets and Brian and myself had decent economy whilst also taking a wicket apiece. Backing up in the field was excellent this week and Ashley’s two run outs with direct hits were spectacular. A special word for Cecil, who kept wicket with a massive shiner after being hit on the eye socket last week and did so well against a few wayward balls. The only slight negative in a good all round performance was the 21 extras, 14 of which were wides. Tidy that up and H2 could make it very difficult again for Athlone in the return match on Saturday next in Westmeath.

Written by Des Drumm.

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