Annual Report of the Honorary Secretary to the members 2010

The sun shone on all cricketers this summer and we took full advantage playing 16 games.

On a bright if chilly April day we lost our opener to Trinity, our 182/6 (Mark Dwyer 59, S.Ullah 34) was easily chased.

Up north rain stopped play at Belmont with College chasing 154; C.Beverland jnr 36, P.Mc Morran 25. The Lord mayor of Clogher was also to the fore with the ball (2/11) as Campbell slid to 36/3.

Around this time the mobile rang (private no.!!) and so began ….. De world tour…..to.....CORK. De Mardyke (along with half de fair city) had been flooded by d’E.S.B. during de winter, A newly refurbished pavilion would be opened by de Lord Mayor (blueshirt). Would de Leps bring der white shirts ? No bother replied the sec. To make a weekend of it a Sunday fixture was added (by the sec.!!) up at Harlequins. If the E.S.B. fill Inniscarra (twice over) with jealousy/small mindedness and pour the whole lot (in one go) over said ground they would not create a reception de like of which the Leps got. In the match (25 o) itself de home side chased our 107 (Geoff Short 27, Daryl Calder 23) with 3 balls to spare. The skipper’s cowardly removal of Allen Smith from the attack didn’t help! (It wasn’t his only slip of the day!).

The sun shone (one of many contrasts) at Farmers Cross the following day allowing a 35 over game, our 199 (George O’ Donnell 77, Ian Walshe 40) proving 60 too many. Our task was eased considerably by Lingard’s lightning leg-side stumping of Jim Noone off G.O’D. No hiding Allen either, he followed 7.0.22.3 with a running catch. One of his victims was none other than Robert Jones, caught by yours truly, for a well made 28, who went on to far greater things later in the season. After the game and a lovely tea we presented a Shield to Robert’s father (as Chairman of M.C.U) to be contested by National Schools in Cork/Munster.

The following Friday we played Bangor Grammar through the good offices of Chris Harte. Batting first a precarious 1/3 became 144/6, thanks to a little secretarial grinding and some proper batting from Zach Rushe 62 & Ryar.Adair 57*. The phoney warfare came to an abrupt halt when Chris introduced/imposed himself….3.1.8.3!!! A win by 50 runs. Lingard’s Cork vignette was matched by Brian (Dusty) Millar’s masterclass. Aiden O’Brien once told me that any day you learn something is a good day (this on the occasion of our gelding not going left handed!). On this trip I learned that it is (only) 4 miles from Ballymacormick to Donaghadee!!

The Sussex Farmers were next up at Claremont Rd. (thanks Streeky). A strong Leps were hard pushed to chase 237 in 40 overs, getting home in the last. Richie Forrest(121*) & Allen (0*) putting on 25 for the last wicket! Earlier Andrew Poynter (thanks Phil S.) had added a 50 to his 3 wkts., which were matched by Allen’s 8.1.31.3 & Richie Reid’s 6.1.22.3. Paul O’Reilly was the busiest man in Sandymount that evening, the ring of the cash register well drowned out by the Farmers’ singing. His regulars( a P.D/Blueshirt cabal) (political geeks may well deduce that local “irregulars” drink in Ryans!) must be complimented for their lack of “contempt” during the Farmer’s court (fines) session. On a star lit night the Farmers lost their way home (to Bewleys!!). Given a choice (at Merrion gates…I think) between the railway or the high sea, they did what any farmer would do…… called a taxi!

The following day saw the re-dedication of St.Columbas pavilion (we made a contribution towards cost of same), a really brilliant occasion, followed by our annual fixture. College made 222 (Robin Russell 75, Philip Blackly 42) & going into the last over all 4 results were possible. Charles Lysaght & Alan Mathews secured the draw, our chase built around 60 from Richard Green (a farmer who knows where he is going! and whose blazer still fits). The same could not be said of Mike Beamish’s! who travelled way round the world for this fixture. In the Blazer stakes proper Charles lost out (by a narrow stripe (white!) to Liam Canning’s little number. The Warden’s hospitality was as ever first class.

We then played the Leinster Schools at Rathmines & came 2nd. Our 182/6; Neil Lyons 67, Neil Blair 39, was chased handily for 4 in 32 overs. (Skipper should have opened the bowling with a spinner!) At tea we presented Walter Hosford & Ray Daly {outgoing (very in Ray’s case!) selectors} with club ties.

We returned to Whitechurch (thanks Willy Gibbs) to play the Rochdale & Radcliffe Raiders in what bore only slight resemblance to a Rolls Royce fixtuRe. We won with 162; Graham Chisholm 53, Samuel Richie 36. At 65/2 a worried (slightly) skipper set his Rottweiler on the “R” men, who duly tore their heart out. Allen Smith 8.1.32.4.

The White City game at Mt.Juliet also brought a win. We made 169/9 dec., D.Williams 34, & bowled them out for 123, with wickets for Tom Butler, Doug Burns & Pat Coffey. At tea Godfrey Grahem presented a copy of his photo (from the bridge) to both our hosts. It features none other than the late great Bob Aspin in full flight. With Barbara in attendance it proved a lovely gesture.

The Ranji Trophy had become the Kashmir of the fixture list. Where all the U Thants of the cricket (& publishing) world had failed your secretary finally got things together. On the 2nd Sunday in August we took on The Indian Ambassabor’s XI at College Park in a game that buzzed from start to finish. Equally importantly the Pav. buzzed afterwards. Our thanks go to Simon Williams (Trinity), Ballynahinch Castle (who provided shirts) Jaipur restaurant (supper) & Ann Summers (oops) Chambers (trophy & inspiration!). In the game itself our 133 (Graham Flanagan 64, Paul Ryan 30, was 15 short. Tormentor in chief was Samir Dutt 7.3.11.4.

Another cracker was served up at Oakhill a week or so later. In a 35 o. game they made 195/5; Dom Joyce 82 (out to a blinding catch by Jason Van der Flier), Roland Budd (turncoat, I jest) 47 & Alan Lewis 40. Feargal Sullivan 5.0.25.3, Paul Ryan 7.1.28.1. We needed 6 off Yogash’s last over and sadly only got 3. Ryan 65, Richie Forrest (hiding at the non strikers end) 49*, Matt Darcy 33. The sec’s absence added to the Senior “Wan” feel of this match.

In his own words Charles offered a (serious) chance, thankfully dropped, to The Grim Reaper mid season. It did not stop him leading us to Halverstown as usual (albeit from the rear). We made 189/7; Jim Wilson 50, Charlie Butler 39, D.Burns 38. A topsy turvy chase (Iain Walker 56) came up 22 short, with Allen bowling big Jim Browne in the last over. Rottweiler on this occasion was Alex Chisholm, 7.2.8.3.

Our 5th game in August was against Ballyeighan who posted 171, C.Lind 49. (if spilled catches were spilt milk the Borrisokane creamery lorry would have been required!). Rory Sullivan 4.1.14.2 was pick of the bowlers, remember his name. At drinks in their innings the skipper told his young “conscripts” “If we bat like we field we’er sunk”……..Pass the snorkel…. Leps 131. We repaired to Rackett Hall for a most enjoyable post mortem. While all around him downed their pints/minerals, “spiritual leader” BMB was tucking into tea & scones…. The happiest man in Tipperary! As they had in Cork, Vinny & Howard McDonnell came from Thomastown for this game, our thanks to them.

One might think we would be flagging after all this action but there was just enough “cider in the jug” to negotiate the South-East tour. It was some trip. I’ll repeat that. It was SOME trip. The cricket was not too bad either. Mick Scully 32 & Herbie Honahan 29 dug us out of a deep hole (19/6) in Bagenalstown. Our 105 looked good until D. Jacob hit a six in the penultimate over and No.11 Michael Dick a 6 off the 4th last ball. Their skipper Ray Stapleton wrote a brilliant piece on the game for The Nationalist.

The game at Mt.Juliet was almost as close. We chased their 221 (H.McDonnell 85*, Bard Ovenden 8.1.22.3, Andy Leonard 8.1.26.2) with an over to spare (Ian Walshe 113, A.Leonard 52.

I am sure most of you are wondering what happened between the two games……now that would be telling!

Dick Forrest

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