One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hornby, Denton Oval #1, Presidents, 14th March 2015
Our return to Denton Oval to play Hornby for the last time this season was to be a “best of three” encounter. They’d rolled us for 51 at Bradford Park early in the season, we’d pumped them for similar in the return match, rubbing in the humiliation with Phil’s first pressies wicket. Hornby are a bunch of good fellas, but this one was for the bragging rights.
And so it was that Syds batted first on a low, sh*tty pitch that looked like rolled mud. With Laughts gone early for 4 (and missing in action for some time after that) and Wildy not playing at all, we were again in need of some stability early. Ralphie had promoted himself to open, taking the opportunity of an extended period at the crease, joined by Ski at first drop. Both had some luck early, riding several dropped catches as batting remained difficult. But then came a feast of late cuts, some powerful hitting for four, a couple of hoicks for six, and 130-odd runs later we were back on track, with Ski knocking up a classy 87, and Ralphie a well compiled 38.
Kev Moore’s early departure – also for four – leaves the season batting aggregate in much the same position as before the game, with Wildy still in third, only four more runs behind the other two. It’s still all on with 29 runs separating Moore at the top, and Wildy at the bottom.
Brownie also backed up some increasingly promising form with the bat, finishing 28 not out, punctuated with a mighty blow back down the ground. Extras contributed a handy 33 – mostly byes that stayed low and eluded the keeper, for the Cardinals to finish up 213 seven down. For them, Ingram’s 3-24, Scott’s 2-28 and Cooper’s 2-32 shared the wickets.
Some disturbing things happened courtesy of Bert Walker between innings that could well have proved distracting for the second half. The first was giving everyone who didn’t really need to see it, a view of the bruise on his creamy white inner thigh suffered while keeping last week. The second was some really questionable remarks about putting long pink things in his mouth when offered a bag of gummy snakes.
Those issues successfully repressed, this week we welcomed back Chris Van Rensberg and Fergus Smith, who after an extended period away, were both were champing to get their hands on the ball. So much so that we varied the “night out in Hamilton” routine that has become somewhat of a set piece this season. As the Hamilton formula goes, it takes some good chat early, bowling a couple of maidens, building the pressure, before someone, almost inevitably, gets knocked over by VD. And because we’re caring chaps, and because this is a sexual health analogy, after Van Dyke has finished we roll out the guy who shares his name with guy who invented penicillin – Fleming – to mop up anyone still suffering.
But this week, unlike a night in Hamilton, it was tight, with some hard work required to get results. Fergus bowled like a dream, finishing 0-10 off seven. Chris finished 0-28 off four, still steaming in full of enthusiasm off possibly the longest run in Pressies cricket.
Finally, at 41, the first wicket fell to the bowler formerly known as “Second Spell” Brown, who must be bowling his first spell at home these days, because from the outset lately he’s been right on the money. The first ball of his second over smashed the top of off, and he added to a successful day with the bat finishing 1-13 off six with the ball.
There must be something about playing at Denton Oval for Phil Barclay. He surprised everyone, himself included, fielding one at full stride and full stretch on the boundary, and shortly after, took a sharp catch at mid-off to dismiss Bruce Scott, who was starting to threaten a big one. Shortly after he ran out Patterson for 25 after a brain explosion took the batsman about 20.12 metres northward, leaving Laughts several generations – in Hamilton or even in Hornby – to the do the honours at the southern end. Calls for Phil to be drug tested followed – for the record, the drug is an anti-inflammatory called Naproxin, and Phil can confirm it is beyond compare.
By this stage we’d reverted to formula – Van Dyke and Flem, with Jules finishing 0-29 off five, and Flem cementing his position at the top of the bowling aggregates with a 5-37 off eight – with some assistance from second-placed Jules who took a screamer at long on to dismiss Warner for 33, in the low sun from a shot that most likely broke the sound barrier. Even with the threat of Warner gone it was becoming a close run affair, with Hornby closing in on the run-rate, even though wickets were by then falling regularly.
Laughts took a beauty at short leg, running as fast as his little leggies could take him from behind the stumps to catch the top edge at full stretch on the grass, and shortly after Ralphie was the first to intentionally trigger the zing bails, knocking over Craythorne to finish with 1-0 off 1.3 overs – similar to the figures claimed for the final wicket when last we played at Hornby, even if he needed six more balls to do it.
Hornby all out for 170 in the 32nd over, and a win to Syds Cardinals by 43 runs.
Man of the Match: Dave Fleming
Check out the scorecard from the game.