The 5th XI took the field a man short against a Gorey side challenging for promotion. The opposition openers set about our bowling from the first over scoring at roughly 10 an over. But our bowlers and fielders didn't lose heart. Paul Devine (2 for 51) made the vital breakthrough and then quick thinking by Brian Thornes lead to a stumping a few balls later. Rotating the bowling brought dividends. Jef Oliver (1 for 14), Mark Deacon (1 for 31) and Aaron Doyle (1 for 24) all took vital wickets. Bala Vasudevan (2 for 47) returned after drinks to take two more. Elliot Manks with a catch and run out from a direct hit and Shane Egan with a well-judged take on the boundary exemplified our fielders determination to make up for being a man down. Brian had another exemplary game behind the stumps. Gorey finished on 242 for 9.
After tea Malahide lost an early wicket, but our batsmen soon regrouped. Again youth was to the fore. Aaron hit a masterful 61 and Elliot a powerful 59 to keep us in the game. Bala (14) and Mark (28) added to the impetus. Unfortunately, the tail didn't wag with the exception of a well-constructed innings of 10* from James Dickinson on his birthday. We were all out in the 40th over, falling 51 runs short. In the circumstances the run chase was a minor triumph and a recognition that the team has become more resilient.
Many thanks again to Robert Dickinson for transport and scoring.
That concludes a mixed season for the 5th XI. We faced some difficult opposition, but our intent and effort were never to be faulted. We fielded more than 25 players, many of them 18 and under. Those young players developed and matured over the summer and turned in some of our best performances. By that measure, the season can be regarded a success.
Thank you to all the players (and supporters) who turned out from May to September. Winter well. See you next season.