One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hornby, Denton Park, Presidents, 30th November 2013
Some might claim that this match wasn't the ideal preparation for the tough match we're scheduled to play against Easts Gold next week. But although Hornby have failed to win a match this year, frankly for us when you've lost your last two matches going into this one, the only thing that really mattered was a win.
There is a growing consensus among the team after Matt Loose took over as the new coin tosser this week, and promptly followed Ralphy's fine example and lost this one as well, that we might just as well save some time each week and offer the other side the choice to do whatever they wanted - the idea has merit. Anyways, Hornby elected to bat, something which they themselves admitted later was a rather strange thing to do considering their batting efforts this season, but getting an early beer works best for some teams. They didn't bat well. To be fair Hornby have struggled to get a side together this year and in this game they again had 3-4 of their better players out, players who have beaten us more often than not in the past 2 years since Hornby came into the Presidents grade.
But not today. They lost their first wicket at 6, and then lost them repetitively with no partnership greater than 15. Jeremy Brown's 3/14 was instrumental in finishing them off, but it was Flem that put the knife in early with his best figures of the season of 5/24. After last week's disappointing catching performance this week was a big improvement. There were some very goods ones taken, and the bulk of those missed were in bonus territory. One player who badly needed some proper game time was Laughts. A man with obvious cricketing talent, even to those of us who haven't known him previously, but to date he had only given us hints of what he is well used to producing. He needed to get into the game and as it turned out he was the centre of all the action in this one. Involved in ten catches, three excellent ones (the one he took at long on one of the best of the season to date), four he missed (a couple definitely would have been bonus material), and three drop catches when he was batting - some sort of Presidents record I'm sure.
After that effort he then had the intimidating experience of having to open the batting with one Bert Walker, the man with the 100 batting average from last season. But chasing only 86 we were initially set back by Berties dismissal with the score at 5 when Bert was conversely given out LBW (in his mind) to one, that if umpiring himself, would have had the finger up well before the appeal. With the batting order somewhat reversed there was the odd lost wicket along the way, Jason an enjoyable 15, Jules one boundary and gone, and a home sick Yogi playing his last innings for 2013 looked like he had an early plane to catch as he got out to a first-baller. But Laughts was quietly playing himself into a bit of form with the anchorman role, be it with a touch of luck which frankly he deserved based upon his bad luck the week before, and when Matt came to join him in another display of cautious defence mixed with boundaries to the bad balls, the game came to a nice early end with the 6 wicket win that we badly needed.
So a merry Christmas now hangs on the result of our match next week against the always hugely competitive and league leaders Easts Gold who will also be looking to cement their place leading into Christmas.
Check out the scorecard from the game.