One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Sydenham Hospital, Waltham Park #1, Presidents, 8th December 2012
This was a win we really needed. After losing two on the trot, be it one a friendly, we badly needed a win for confidence, not to mention a batting performance in excess of 150 - we got both in this game.
This was the best side we've put on the paddock this year, and it was unfortunate that it had to be against our fellow Sydenham side Hospital who were short 2-3 of their top performers on the day. For once Ralphy managed to win a toss, and knowing we needed the batting, elected to bat on a track that was the worst of those we've seen this year. However, Kev Moore and Thinny got us off to an excellent start and the innings never looked back from there. This was Thinny's first and last game this season, but I'm confident not his last for Sydenham. His 20 highlighted the steady hand we've missed in the top order this year, not to mention his quick wit and personality that lifts any team.
Geoff Miller carried on his good form with an aggressive 39, Matt again looked likely to get a big one before another soft dismissal for 18 at which his growing frustration was palpable (its coming Matt). But Kev was playing another calculated innings, and by the time he was out for another excellent 70, we were 4/160 and in the box seat. Hospital had suffered from an untidy first 10 or so overs which Kev and Thinny had taken full advantage of, but from there their bowlers tightened up their line and length and made us struggle more throughout the latter stages of the innings. In the end the 192 final total was probably somewhat short of what we were looking at when Kev had been dismissed.
However, it was always going to be tough against our attack on any wicket, let alone this one, and we were quickly on top. Our openers got a couple of early wickets between them, then the spin twins came on and stifled any attempts to get up to the required run rate. But whilst Kev was clearly the star of the batting performance, Jules was the star of the match. He has been deprived of a good number of overs this season due to a combination of slow pitches that have suited longer spells from the "dibbly dobblers", and more commonly, because of poor Sydenham batting efforts that often never permitted a second spell from our openers. But the fact that he only got 5 overs in this match was purely his own fault as he proceeded to clean out the Hospital middle order and tail in the space of those overs to finish with a stand-out 6/13. The bowling was backed up by some good fielding, the best of it, Sammy's smart catch a backward point off Jules' bowling.
This match holds much significance to many in Sydenham as it is always played for the Noel Moorehead Trophy since Noel's death a few years ago. None more so than for myself who as a 19 year old, alone and new to Christchurch, it was Noel who got me playing for the Ranger's soccer side that just happened to also be a team of Sydenham cricketers, and thus drew me into Sydenham and a sport that he indirectly made my number one - Noel would be thrilled to know he's still there beside us at least a couple of times a year.
Check out the scorecard from the game.