One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs LPW, Sydenham Park #3, Presidents, 9th March 2013
As Hospital are so often for us, and who proved that once again last Sunday, we are equally and undoubtedly one of Lancaster Park Woolston's bogey teams, the ones you know you should beat but often don't - I suspect that relationship will evolve and possibly reverse next year.
This game was always going to be a big ask when three of our top players elected to rate obscure grounds in Queenstown as more prestigious than the SCG, and where social cricket, fun, frivolity and excessive drinking were considered more important than competing for respectability in the prestigious Christchurch Presidents competition - well at least the rest of the squad appreciated the importance, and stepped up.
LPW did what they always do when they win the toss, batted first. And for a while that seemed to work as Jones and Hurn got them off to a good start putting on 41 for the first wicket at 4 an over - but from there it was all down hill. Matt took out Hurn in a masterful spell that earned him Man of the Match with a 1/8 from 8 overs that completely stalled their innings. Whilst Nathan Jones continued to play well, and tried to carry the innings, he had little support thanks largely to Kev Moore (3/20) who keep taking the rest out before they settled. When Fergus, bowling his first spell of the year, finally dismissed Jones, a less than optimal score of 139 was confirmed. The Park innings was otherwise notable for an excellent fielding performance from our guys, Anthony Wild's impressive debut first spell before a groin injury took him out (the Loose curse), and the astute field placings of fill-in captain Ewen Spence that restricted Jones' strike, and exposed the more vulnerable other end.
Jones' 72, and Paul Bennett's lower order 25, got Park through to a score that should never be enough in March, and so it proved to be thanks to Brendon Laughton's debut. Its not often that Kev Moore gets the luxury of just observing at the other end, but when Kev was out for 4 with the score at 28, Brendon had already impressed in his debut for Sydenham. His first ball raced to the boundary, as did another 9, including 4 sixes in his 51, as Park quickly started to realise that it wasn't going to be their day. Bert Walker then saw an opportunity - grind out a solid 33 n.o. at no. 4, and with no dismissals this season, topping up his average to near 100 with the full knowledge that he had already advised his unavailability for the final game of the remaining two - you could almost see the limp starting to develop as he walked off the field at day's end as he gave consideration to his availability for the second to last game next week.
So, quoting one of the Park guys after the game, "a good trashing", and further evidence of what we all know, next year is going to be one to look forward to. And on a final note, I know the whole team wishes Geoff Miller all the best for his knee operation next week - Geoff has been a rock for us this year with the bat (indeed behind the stumps), and a bionic Miller next year will hardly be fair on the opposition, but then no one's telling.
Check out the scorecard from the game.