Halverstown Oaks v Merrion Taverners - Sun 6th Sept 2020

Match Tied

MERRION: 90 off 20 overs

Batting: N.Bambridge 25* M.Rutledge 22* T.O’Faolan 8 F.O’Beirne 7

 Bowling**: C.Ridgeway 2-6 M.Rutledge 1-5 B.Wood 1-10 M.Kavanagh 0-4 P.Ridgeway 0-5

OAKS: 90-5 off 20 overs

 Batting: B.McAllister 19* C.Johnston 19* G.O’Shea 12 A.Williamson 8 D.Drumm 6*

 Bowling**: D.Drumm 3-4 N.O’Reilly 3-15 P.Carroll 1-2 B.McAllister 1-4

  A.Williamson 1-6 J.Kirby 1-14 S.Hayes 0-5 G.O’Shea 0-5 P.O’Siochru 0-11

 C.Johnston 0-18

**2 overs each bowler. One maiden: P. Carroll.

This was an unusual match in many regards, even unique in some. This was so from before the start. As is my norm this season I sent the opposing team Taverners Rules together with options sometimes adopted. One I had not listed but Merrion asked for- not wholly unusual in Taverners- was that, in order to use up the full 20 overs, batsmen who were out could return in order of least runs scored. This was to come back to haunt us.

Merrion won the toss and batted first. It looked ominous for a while as Bambridge hit two sixes and a four in his impressive 25 not out. However we started to get a grip on proceedings and wickets started to fall. There was a chaotic series of overs when they tumbled with extraordinary frequency. I took 3 for 4 in my 2 overs, two of them quick witted stumpings by Hubert. We swapped keepers at this point, not wanting Hubert to get too big for his league boots. Cecil took over and, not to be outdone, also got two stumpings. Surely four stumpings In one innings must represent some kind of record in Halverstown? Extraordinary keeping! Rutledge then got stuck in and knocked an unbeaten 22. However Paddy Carroll and Niall O’Reilly then came on to bowl: Paddy bowled a wicket maiden, with an outstanding catch from Andrew Williamson, whilst Niall took an unbelievable 3 wickets in a truly memorable spell. Our new Oaks were definitely blossoming! Jon Kirby, Brian and Andrew all helped themselves to a wicket apiece, on top of the runouts. You might wonder where all these batsmen came from. Well, the agreement of lowest scorers coming back had the unexpected bonus to Merrion of being a revolving door as batsmen came and went with dizzying regularity. If you include the 2 retirees,14 players went back to the pavilion, but still they kept on coming! Finally the 20 overs were up :it had been a remarkable display of wicket keeping, bowling and quite outstanding fielding by the Oaks- with special mention to the athletic Patrick who was moved from regularly side to side to cover the boundaries. It was all quite heroic stuff!

Their bowling was to cause us problems, however, and boundaries were hard to come by: until the 19th over we had just one 4, from Cecil. Despite tidy totals from openers Andrew and Ger, after 10 over we had just 36 runs, 11 behind their halfway mark. Cecil and Brian worked hard to keep us in the game and after 18 overs we were 73, needing 18 to win off the last two. Cecil retired on 19 and I went in. Brian suddenly revived and in the 19th over hit two successive 4s, one just agonising inches short of a 6. 5 runs needed off the last over: dot, two, single ,dot,single and I was left to face the final ball. My chance for glory! I fluffed my lines and missed the ball: it was a tie! What a great roller-coaster of a game!

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