One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hornby, Denton Park, Presidents, 22nd December 2012
This is meant to be the season of glad tidings, but apologies to those that didn't play in this match, I'm afraid there aren't any, we lost. There are two ways to write this review, the PC way, as was appropriate but tongue biting in the after-match speeches, or the truth - I'll be semi PC.
Such was the hardness of the wicket at Denton Oval, but well grassed in some places, we were frankly ambivalent as to whether we batted or bowled first in this match - and as it turned out when we lost the toss, we batted, and that looked a problem for a while. Kev Moore was dismissed early with the score at six, and then Flem and Fergus struggled somewhat against tight bowling. After 12 overs we were 2/18 and under-performing on a reasonable wicket and a lightening outfield. But then Matt and the Skipper came together at 3/37 and took us through to 144 with about 10 overs to go. Matt (61) played the innings that he'd promised all year (and as forecasted in the last match report I must say). Both him and Ralphy (59) firstly re-established the innings, then set about putting us in a dominant position.
Both found the boundary with apparent ease as their innings progressed, with both ending up scoring two thirds of their runs without leaving the cease. The innings was closed off in reasonable fashion with another short cameo from Jules, and a couple of boundaries from Bert to take us through to 197/7. A score we thought was needed, but one that we equally felt confident of defending. That confidence was boosted when their key batsman Kennett was dismissed with the score at 10, but that was the only reward we got (or were given) in the next 15 overs as the score climbed to 100 with some big hitting from Reeves. Oh yes Reeves, plumb LBW on about 30 when umpire Graham either cheated, or more likely under the influence, decided that their second best player, who was hitting the ball to all parts, hadn't missed one on the back foot hitting half way up the middle stump at 2 miles per hour - believe me.
He went on to get close to 70 at a fast clip to put them ahead of the run-rate and eventually craft the win. But there were several good performances from our guys - Michael Owens, making his debut for Sydenham Presidents, bowled well to finish with 1/24, and none of us would have enjoyed having to face his critical last two overs in his second spell when the pressure was on. And Ralphie continues to grow as a bowler as the season progresses, bowling some sharp overs. But we were arguably a bowler short the way the Hornby guys batted, and umpired. Kev filled that roll well with 3/30 but the damage had been done early, and then when Hornby's Bruce Scott played a very intelligent knock through the middle of the innings, the game keep drifting away from us without ever being un-winnable until about the final over when they needed only 4 to win with 3 wickets in hand - they got them eight down with two balls to spare.
No doubt Hornby probably deserved to win this game, but there was a wee sour taste left at least in this commentator's mouth about what it took to achieve it. But the Christmas break comes at a good time for us with some more time for Tim and Spency to finalise their recuperation, and likewise for Matt who was hobbled in the field in this match and unable to bowl. We finish with few doubts that we have a squad capable of putting a string of wins together, but with a question as to whether this result has put us too far back in the pack to have a chance to win it.
All the best for Christmas guys, look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Check out the scorecard from the game.