Mount Juliet v Halverstown Oaks - Sun 22nd Jul 2018

Mount Juliet win by 4 wickets

Mount Juliet 1st inns: 117 S.Pim 37* A.Nixon 28 R.Duffin 19* C.Pim 16*

         Bowling: A.Nixon 2-0-2-2 C.Bass 2-1-3-2 S.Pim 2-0-7-1 Richie 3-0-15-1

Halverstown 1st inns: 64 I. Walker 28* D.Drumm 14

          Bowling: K.Hodson 3-1-12-1 S.Hankin 2-0-18-1 J.Kirby 2-0-21-1 A.De Beere 3-0-12-0

 Mount Juliet 2nd inns: 120 R.Duffin 33* R.Blanchfield 20 C.Pim 14* S.Pim 13* C.Bass 13

      Bowling: Robbie 3-0-14-2 Faisal 2-0-11-1 Nixon 3-0-13-1

Halverstown 2nd inns: 74 Beere 15 G.O'Shea 13* M.Coyle 12

       Bowling: R.Duffin 2-0-8-1 Rabbie 3-0-14-1

Mount Juliet seems to be place where old meets new. It is an old estate with a Georgian house, named in the 18th century by the Earl of Carrick after his wife. Yet it is also a modern hotel with a golf resort, developed in the 1980s by Tim Mahoney who brashly sold shiny new Toyota cars. The cricket club is not old, but has seen a number reincarnations with its current one under Chris Pim very recent indeed. Its pitch is on the lovely banks of the Nore and views the most elegant Ballylinch bridge, with its 5 arches over the river, and 2 over the flood plain, dating to the 1775. It has a brand new mat for the cricket, but the magnificent tea was very much old school: wonderful hospitality provided by cricketers' wives and girlfriends that was worth the trip down alone.

Taverners is an old game but the format played was new to me: two innings of 15 overs. There was no LBW, but no free ball and a maximum of 3 overs per bowler per innings. Teams reversed batting order for the 2nd innings. A novel idea! Our previous visit to Mount Juliet had been a disaster, scoring just 64 in 30 overs and the game struggled to last until tea, with Mount Juliet winning very comfortably. Mount Juliet again opened and scored a daunting 117 off their 15 overs. Retiring was “at or around 25/30” though Steve Pim managed 37 before doing so! Alan Nixon's 28 was impressive whilst Duffin hit 19 not out. Some of our bowling was good with Kevin Hodson the pick with 1 for 12 off;Alastair de Beere and Gerard O'Shea- both new boys- also bowled well whilst Stu Hankin and Jon Kirby bagged a wicket apiece.

 Coincidentally we scored 64 again this time, but at least it was off 15 overs. Old boy Ian Walker was the star with 28 not out, whilst I (very old boy) kept him company for much of his innings. Nixon and Bass troubled us most, with 2 wickets apiece- for 2 and 3 runs respectively!

I had not negotiated a follow-on score, but I doubt Chris would have enforced one anyway! The superb tea gave us some respite before Mt. Juliet hit 120 in their 2nd innings, though this time we did manage to take 5 wickets. Batsman Ian Walker surprised us with his 1 for 5 off 2 overs. Michael Coyle's 1 for 12 off 3 was impressive as was Gerard O'Shea's economy rate of 2 per over, with a maiden thrown in. Our second innings was never going to trouble the opposition but we did manage 10 more runs than our first outing to lose by 99 runs overall.. It was a day for the new boys with Alastair de Beere top scorer with 15 and Gerard O'Shea with 13 with an old boy, Michael Coyle, also in double figures with 12. We lost just 4 wickets, which was an improvement. Rabbie's 2 for 14 off 3 overs was good but Duffin's 1 for 8 off 3 was impressive also.

Once again the beauty of the surroundings was consolation enough to justify the trip down, but so was the game- a new format played in an old fashioned, very sporting way that had us leaving with a nice glow after a good day out.Or was that the excellent tea that had us feeling so good? Either way, thanks to new Mount Juliet for the invitation and for keeping this old fixture going.

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