Lucan v Halverstown - Sun 5th Sep 2021

Lucan win by 2 wickets

Despite being defeated by the narrowest of margins I believe this was our best match of the season.

We went back to the tried and tested formula of 2 ‘old fashioned’ openers who grafted away against some quick and accurate bowling. This was Richard’s first match for H1 this season despite a number of invitations but it looked as though he had never been away. He rolled back the years with the help of Kevin and they got down into the trenches to fight the battle. Messrs Boycott, Cowdrey and Close would have been proud of them. Richard (21) was the first to go after 15 overs but Kevin (36) stayed until the 30th over. It was gritty stuff and got us off to a good start. At the break we had 63 on the board but with only one wicket down. Gunter top scored with 44 and one of the most noticeable features of his innings was the accuracy with which he guided his shots to the boundary splitting the field wide open. Abhi (14), Sahab (26) and Vishnu (17) played supporting roles and at the end of the innings we had got to 185 much to the consternation of Lucan. They are looking for promotion to Division 11 and hadn’t counted on the minnows from 12 giving them a run for their money.

In the interval we had a discussion as to whether 185 was enough. JT was a ‘no’ but I think that there was a general feeling we could do it. Whether driven by emotion or science who can tell.

They had used 8 bowlers and there was no reason to think that they didn’t have 8 batsmen. However, we struck early and dismissed the openers cheaply. Vishnu (1 wicket) in his first over with a spectacular diving catch by Richard and Neville (2 wickets) in his second thanks to an excellent catch from Sahab. Kevin (1 wicket) and Sahab (2 wickets: economy 2.9) joined the party to dismiss 3 and 4 who both threatened to take the match away from us. Abhi bowled tidily in the mid-session to contain them. JT bowled with his usual economy and struck late to dismiss Lucan’s eminence grise, Pankaj. The fielding was good and in addition to the above mentioned there were catches from David and Gunter. Abhi also took one off a no ball.

With 8 wickets down it was game on. However, they had 10 batsmen and not just 8. Their captain, Jeet who had picked up a number of injuries during the day partnered Anuj. Between them they scored 73 runs and closed out the victory with an over to go. Both Kevin and Vishnu had appeals turned down which would have changed the course of the match.

I think it is fair to say that we have enjoyed the cricket and each other’s company throughout the season despite losing more games than we won. There is an element of youth about the team now which has been missing for a few years. David, Sahab, Kevin and Vishnu have lowered the average age considerably. The old dogs are still barking but have the satisfaction of seeing the next generation in place.

Special mention should be made of Mark Case who has been a devoted follower and a great assistance to the team’s aging wicket keeper by transporting his helmet on and off the pitch with great good humour. He is a fine cricketer and will take his place eventually in the pantheon of Halverstown players. Jon Kirby has done a great job as travelling umpire. Unflappable and fun. Gerard O’Shea has scored a lot of our matches using his multi coloured pens and has kept an impeccable book. Many thanks to Niall and Brian who have done their bit as covid officer. Stuart’s role as club covid officer and secretary has been well documented and none of this would have happened without him.

I have been very fortunate to have the support of all my players through success and defeat. In particular I would like to mention my Vice Captain John. His advice has been invaluable and his friendship irreplaceable.

Whatever 2022 brings I have very fond memories of 3 years captaining an excellent group of players who became and still are great friends.

Written by Hubert Beaumont

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