One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hospital, Sydenham Park #1, Presidents, 24th February 2013
This was an occasion, a band new strip, and the opening of the renovated Sydenham Pavilion, one that certainly warranted a Sydenham win on the day - I guess we got one, Sydenham Hospital.
We lost this for a couple of reasons, losing the toss and having to bat on an pitch accidentally irrigated overnight, and some average fielding in the critical stages of the second half of Hospital's run chase. Although we lost Kev early with the score at 22, the innings got off to a sound start thanks to the subsequent 75 run partnership between Geoff and Spency. Geoff was the aggressor with an excellent 51 off 70 balls, and Spency as usual worked the ball around and ensured wickets were kept in hand. But when both were out nearing the 30th over at 98/3, there was big acceleration job to do.
Matt and Ralphy struggled do that with little time available at the crease, and on a wicket that was getting better but still difficult to hit on from ball one. Yogi, fresh from the beer festival in Hagley Park the night before, perhaps showed the value of superior pre-match preparation by scoring a run a ball 26*, and in conjunction with Flem's 22*, got us through to 153. Actually 150 was Geoff and Spency's initial assessment in their first 10 overs of what might be a competitive score, so we felt we were in the game with that, but the sun kept shining and conditions changed.
Hospital's batting is generally based around two or three key batsmen, most notably Bernard Fanning and John Smart. Both opened the innings and got Hospital off to a decent start against Jase and Ralphy, and at 38 without loss, our 153 was looking light. Kev got us back into the game with a fiery spell where, after removing the always dangerous Fanning (a smart diving catch by Flem at short third man), spend the next few overs providing some coaching instruction to the new younger batsmen, before taking out their no. 3 and getting us back into the match. But John Smart kept putting them back in it and the balance swung again. A key moment came when Fergus split a chance off Smart at point - but just as Fergus was tightening the noose around his neck, and about to step off the gang plank, Flem had Smart out stumped the very next ball - smiles all round, none more so than Fergus'. Another one was a run out later where Matt's wayward lop to the bowlers end was two inches to the wrong side of the bails that made the unfortunate bowler smash them to the ground in trying to get behind the stumps.
Matt (easily the pick of the bowlers with Kev), then took out another two that brought Hospital to 103/5 in the 30th over, and suddenly at risk. On another day with Hospital five down, soon to be six, and requiring 5 an over for the last 10, we'd have probably won it. But a couple of their youngsters batted well and they coasted through from there to win it easily with an over to spare, and to temporarily reclaim the prized Noel Moorhead Trophy.
As is usual with this team, the highlight was the few beers afterwards in the club rooms, and then the bowls club - this lot enjoy each others company, no matter what the result.
And a final note, a big thank you on behalf of the whole squad to Jason Millar for his sponsorship of the new strip - we looked superb, and if you're going to lose, it always best going down looking like a winner.
Check out the scorecard from the game.