One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Burnside Foxes, Burnside Park #4, Presidents, 5th October 2013
It was a day of black arm bands that started with an acknowledgement and a moment silence for Grant Adamson who has been a hugely respected member of this team, and it's captain in recent years - he was certainly on our shoulders today.
This match was always going to be a huge challenge playing last year's champions with 13 players of our 21 man squad unavailable for a variety of really good reasons, such as "I've got to practice changing the nappies on a plastic doll", reasons that were hardly questionable. Fortunately, Burnside also had 11 out. But it's never good losing the toss and inevitably being inserted onto a dampish Oct wicket, although to be fair it was a pretty good one for this time of the year and no excuse for our modest first up effort. Things certainly could have gone a lot worse though as after 15 runs were put on for the first wicket, Flem and Geoff then got the score comfortably through to 53 before Flem was surprisingly out. But when Geoff, who had also looked in comfortable control up until then, left at 85/3 we then lost another four quick wickets for less than 20 and at 107/7 we were struggling to get a decent score. Our final capitulation for 136 was not a great score but undoubtedly more like 160-170 on faster outfield, so still a chance. The only innings of note came from Geoff with 33, and Flem and Matt (particularly impressive and setting himself up for the season he so promises) with two 25's.
The fact that we defended that small total was due to some consistently good bowling and a couple of great catches. Flem's hobbling repentant skyer at backward square, and Bertie's lunging scoop at short third man (how many times have I see that Bert?) were highlights in the field, and whilst Matt's catch at wide mid-on was bread and butter for him, it was an important catch in the context of the match and a bonus one for many of us if attempting to catch it ourselves. But it was the bowlers who won the day with all going for around or less than 3's, and none getting collared at any stage of the match. Whilst we were lacking many of our other quality bowlers, the early season wicket probably suited what we had as compared with the after Christmas ones that really demand that extra bit of pace in our attack. Jules was the pick of them with 3/27 (should have had at least four), Flem and KC bottled up the middle stages of the innings, and Ralphy and Matt (3/24) took wickets and beat the bat whenever it was required. Yogi's short spell again highlighted his useful contributions across both bat and ball that he has bought to this side. In the end we weren't clear favourites until the final 2-3 overs, but were always in with a good chance as Burnside's inning finally fell at 121.
So a great first up win against last year's Presidents champions who, whether win or lose, are always a pleasure to play against. The win also saw us take the Graham Frampton Presidents Grade Memorial Challenge Cup off Burnside who had won it in the acrimonious competition decider in the final game of last season - Grant would have been proud.
Check out the scorecard from the game.