Malahide Cricket Club News story

A memorable day for the Development XI

09 Jul 2019

After their opening weekend success, the Development XI were set a sterner test when they were sent out onto the main pitch to face Rush on Sunday afternoon. Brian McKenna looked quietly confident having spent the whole week studying diligently to improve his knowledge of scoring. But when he saw the controls for the electronic scoreboard on the scorer’s desk, his face took on the look of a disgruntled schoolboy who had just flicked over his exam paper and discovered that the first question wasn’t even on the syllabus. Winning the toss got us back on track and we fielded as planned. Charlie Askew, feeling cool after he had squeezed in as much time as possible in his shorts, did a last minute change and ran out to open up the bowling with Matthew Langan. Both bowled very well, with Matthew picking up two excellent wickets. Oscar McCormack followed up with some quality spin bowling, before Mitch Grant charged in from the Dublin Road end, all fired up after some terrific fielding had secured a run out. Their middle order were ripped apart by the girls. Kate McKenna first took a fine catch off Mitch’s bowling, then stepped up and clean bowled their number six, followed by Emilia Tarbox who bowled number seven with her first ball. Andrew Thornes tempted number eight into a sweep shot that wasn’t on, before William Hackett, returning from injury, put in a resilient performance to bowl out number nine. Ralph, their veteran campaigner, had seen enough as umpire to put him off from coming out to the crease to face the inevitable, so he sent for his retired top order batsmen to come back in and pile on the runs in the final overs. There was more action going on in the kitchen than the field at this stage, and it was a relief to get in for tea with the score on 184. After a particularly fine spread, some of the older patrons would have been happy to retire to the clubhouse for the afternoon, but Howard wasn’t sure if it would be  legitimate to call the game off due to a heavy serving of Eton mess, so the youngsters were sent out to lead the chase. Matthew, Oscar, and Mitch battled hard and will be all the better for the experience on the big stage. Aaron Doyle was trying to hold himself back, but when he saw the size of the challenge facing us, he stepped up and marched out with a look in his eyes that told you he had ton written on his bat for a reason. He was soon into his stride and after some crowd pleasing sixes, he cantered to his 50. Charlie and Andrew tried to hang on, but it was down to Brian Thornes, on his third outing of the weekend after a quick wash of the whites and fast charge of the Tesla, to set up a sixth wicket partnership that got us back into the match. Aaron continued to hit the ball around the ground so hard that he broke his bat and Brian stroked his way to his highest score of the season. Margaret was so thoroughly enjoying it at this point that she decided to pour herself a second glass of wine. Brian then left the stage to leave Aaron to complete a magnificent maiden century, before retiring himself to a rapturous applause. Amongst all of the excitement, the game was on a knife edge as the tail wobbled. Kate stuck to the task admirably and when she flicked an edge off the bat that trickled down to the boundary and kissed the rope on its final rotation to leave us needing 4 to win, it felt like Tiger Woods had just chipped in again at the 16th on the way to winning the Masters. But sadly this week, despite an heroic effort, we couldn’t quite get over the line. Thanks to all of those who helped in the background, from the catering team through to the scorers and umpires, and to Rush who played in a great spirit and also passed on their gratitude for a great day out. If Aaron steps out onto the same wicket representing his country in years to come (note, Shirley, the recent relaxation of the eligibility rules for the England team), there will be a few people out on the balcony in the clubhouse saying “I remember the day…….”