Laois Lions v Halverstown Oaks - Thu 2nd Jun 2022

Halverstown Oaks win by 20 Runs

OAKS: 119 for 9

Batting: B.Elshove 51*; G.Bayer 18, G.O’Shea 13*

Bowling: G.Bayer 2-0-8-2; M.Hodgson 3-0-9-2; J.Hodgson 2-2-0-1; S.Hayes 2-0-5-1

LAOIS: 99 for 6

Batting: Fabin 30*, Pete 10*

Bowling: Paddy 4-0-11-2; Fabin 4-0-26-2, M.Condron 3-0-27-2, Tony 4-0-27-1, Nibin 3-0-21-1

The first question with this game was whether it would happen at all. The fixture originally set for the middle of May had been rained off and it was another wet day as we headed for Laois, both sides determined if at all possible to get a game on.

At ten to 6, arrivals filing in from both teams were greeted to the sight of players hunched in the pavilion, sheltering from the rain, peering at weather radar charts. “I’ve just come from ten minutes that way and it’s dry there.” “It’s definitely going to clear – it’s just a case of when.” “I think that looks brighter.”

We were all there, and the pitch was surprisingly playable given the rain so we went for it. And actually once we all started, it wasn’t all that bad – and the last hour or so when it completely cleared, we were nearly looking for sunglasses.

We won the toss and chose to bat. Really so much of the score we posted was thanks to Barry Elshove. Barry looked a class above, and after reaching 50 in less than 20 balls, we called him ashore.

Gunter added a solid 18, Kevin 10, and your truly an unbeaten 13 (my highest in HCC colours) as we reached 119 in our 20 overs.

In return, Cecil was solid as ever with the gloves, and all 10 of our fielders bowled. The scorebook is a little sketchy for their innings so some of the statistics are slightly unreliable, but that caveat aside, there are some impressive highlights.

Matt Hodgson got his much deserved first wickets for the club. His first, aptly, was a steepling catch by his father Jim – which made up for him dropping an almost identical one a few balls earlier! Jim himself took one wicket in two maiden overs, and landed a run out with a brilliant direct hit. Gunter took two wickets, Stuart Hayes the other, and Stuart Gordon did everything but take a wicket in his two tight overs – which was particularly useful at the end of an innings as Laois started to play big shots.

Much as we had, they had a batter of top quality in their lineup. Fabin reached 30 not out, with two successive 6s, before being retired much as we had done with Barry.

Matthew’s second wicket with the final ball of the evening meant Laois finished on 99 runs, a 20 run win for the Oaks. The real winner was cricket on an evening like this, when it would have been far easier to stay indoors, in the warm and dry – but the keenness of both teams to play was why we play the game.

Onwards and upwards.

Written by Gerard O'Shea

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