Halverstown Oaks V White City - Fri 28th Jul 2023

Match Drawn

HALVERSTOWN: 240 for 7 off 35 overs

Batting: P.Rosa 137* M.Ruddock 23 L.Joseph 19 S Hubert 18

Bowling V.Yannam 10-5-18-1 D.Ruddock 9-1-31-2 J.Threadgold 8-3-7-1

WHITE CITY: 93 for 6 off 40 overs

Batting: P.Stevenson 30 T.Gibbs 23 C.Widdows 15 P.Yule 10

Bowling: B.Coles 8-0-51-3 M.Jones 7-1-64-2 T.Gibbs 7-0-42-1

White City have been coming to Ireland for now, their 39th year, and for a great many of those years, they have visited Halverstown. Sadly, this was their first visit since the passing of TP, and more recently John Browne. Regular Oaks Captain, Gerard O’Shea was unavailable, so handed the reins on a temporary basis to Stuart Conroy. With H1 players in need of some game time thanks to the unseasonable weather, this was a rather strong Oaks lineups, and gave hope that maybe the Alan Ruddock Trophy could be wrestled back from White City. We did have a late drop out, as Gunter didn’t show, but we did get the services of Brian Berrigan.

So welcome to the Paolo Rosa “One Man Show”. It hasn’t been an unusual occurrence for someone to hit a big score in this fixture, back in 2018 Gunter Bayer scored 105 not out. Paolo hit everything that game in his direction. The pace or lack of it at times, never seemed to faze him as he dispatched ball after ball to the boundary. He was joined by different batters during the innings. One was Matt Ruddock who hit the most exquisite 6, nearly sending the ball to a watery grave in the River Liffey. And this was the same Matt Ruddock who was playing for the 1st time since 2021. Imagine what he could do if we played him every week. In the end, after totting up all of Paolo’s runs, plus those other batters who chipped in, Halverstown had a very serious 240 runs on the board, with Paolo scoring an incredible 137 Not Out.

One of the joys or difficulties of a “Timed Game” is that you either need a lot of runs or a lot of Wickets in a rather short space of time. When the second innings began just after 4:30, we knew we’d have an hour to try and take some wickets, before the real countdown would begin at 5:30, and just 20 overs would remain. We did get an early wicket thanks to Vishnu in the 3rd over, but after that White City really dug in. Stevenson and Gibbs really dug in, to thwart bowler after bowler. In the end, White City remained steadfast and held out for a draw. We’ll have to wait another 12 months to try and wrestle the Alan Ruddock trophy from the firm grasp of White City, but who knows what a new year will bring.

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