Halverstown Oaks v Enniscorthy - Sun 1st May 2023

Halverstown Oaks win by 1 Run

Enniscorthy Innings 114/6

A Van Wyk 35*, D. Lalvani 16, B. Nutty 15*

S. Hayes 4-0-15-2, W. Van Wyk 3-0-7-1, G. O’Shea 3.4-3-9-1, J. Murphy 4-0-9-1, D. McConaghy 3-0-17-1

Halverstown Innings  115/7

S. Hayes 31*, T. Gale 15, D. McConaghy 14, J. Murphy 10

J. Walshe 5-0-20-2, B. Sallas 5-1-10-1

The Oaks 2023 season began exactly where the 2022 season had left off, with a game against Enniscorthy being decided by the finest possible margin. In the final game of 2022, it was the visitors who came out on top by 1 run, but this time it was the Oaks who got over the winning line, Matt Hodgson and Andy Barber scampering a quick bye off the very last ball of the day.

The Oaks bowling had been economical and taken wickets at regular intervals. Stuart Hayes took 2 wickets in his 4 overs, one a fine steepling catch from David McConaghy at long on. David also took a wicket in his spell, Wian van Wyk took his first wicket for the club and could have had more, as could James Murphy, who took 1-9 in his first game for the club in several years. Even yours truly took a wicket in the first of three consecutive maidens (before having to close out an over due to Sam Hubert’s injury and going for 9 runs in those 4 balls to blight the stats a little bit!)

Adriaan van Wyk, playing for the visitors in a 12-aside game, did a lot of damage batting in the middle order, smashing his way to 35*, in a knock that included six fours and a six (on a day when all other players combined for both teams only hit 3 boundaries in total!)

Adriaan’s work built on the platform provided by the two Enniscorthy openers, as they posted a very respectable 114 that we knew would be a tough ask to match. In the 2022 game, Enniscorthy had successfully defended 82.

Stuart Hayes’ 31* wasn’t quite as swashbuckling as Adriaan’s had been for the visitors, containing as it did just one boundary, but lots of very well placed shots and hard running. His innings set a fine platform for the chase. Terry Gale’s 15 (which included both of the other fours scored in the day) and David McConaghy’s patient 14 added momentum to our innings. James Murphy completed a fine return to action with 10 off 16 balls before being run out, and the stage was set once more for a dramatic finish.

With 5 overs to go, the Oaks had needed 21 runs off 30 balls to win the game. 10 runs off the next three overs had kept the run rate just about in hand, but it was getting tight.

With 12 balls remaining, 11 runs were now needed. A run-a-ball 29th over meant that maths with 6 balls to go was the Oaks were on 110, needing 4 to tie and 5 to win. B. Sallas, bowling the final over for Enniscorthy, had bowled 4 overs already, conceding just 6 runs (and 2 byes).

A single, a hard run two, then two dot balls. Two balls left, one run to tie, two to win. When Andy Barber took a single of the penultimate ball, we couldn’t lose and a cheeky bye run off the last ball – which led to some muted appeals for a run out by Enniscorthy – got the Oaks over the line by the tightest of margins and the 2023 season off to a winning start.

There were a lot of exceptionally close Oaks games in 2022, and if this game is anything to go by, 2023 looks like promising more of the same!

Thanks also due to David McConaghy for helping with teas.

Written by Gerard O’Shea

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