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Maloney's Marauders 4
Friday 6th June 2014
The Adventures of Malonie's Marauders
Episode 4&5: Damp squid at Carrick to Thriller at Cregagh
The series returns with a double header (sort of) as the thirds head to Carrick (or don’t) and then to Cregagh for a midweek T20 rearrangement. How will the team deal with this tough fixture list when many players struggle to get through one match in a week?
On Saturday the team gathered at the Green to be met with the disappointing news that the match away to Carrick had been called off and they would have to spend the day in the bar “watching” the 1st XI and training for any potential end of season fines nights. This fortunately meant they would be fresh for the T20 game on the following Tuesday at Cregagh and would be able to produce their usual energetic and athletic performance.
At Cregagh for the first time this season the team took to the pitch with eleven players and due to availability of most players were able to field a strong team with plenty of batting and bowling options providing a rather unusual headache for the team brains trust. Skipper Malonie again proved to be a useless tosser and the team was inserted by the Cregagh captain.
It was Curtis McCartney and Iain Arthur that set out to open the batting from the array of talent available to the 3rd XI. Unfortunately they got off to a disastrous start as McCartney was dismissed in the first over. This brought one of the form players from the last match Billy Adams to the crease. Together he and Arthur set about hoking and poking and scraping as they tried to build one of the huge scores that twenty twenty cricket so regularly brings. This aim was not helped by the tightness of the bowling and the slowness and lowness of the pitch, which made scoring runs at any great rate nearly impossible. It took until the sixth over for one of these players to score a run off the bat when Adams hit a boundary and then a single in successive balls. This scoring rate increased as the change bowlers were brought on as wides and poor balls became more common. Then after scoring his first
runs in the ninth over Arthur over reached himself and was bowled bringing the star of the Saintfield match Brian Burgess to the crease. Controversy soon followed as Adams was dismissed or possibly not dismissed. An inside edge bounced back into the wicket keepers pads and then the stumps (Billy’s version) or straight onto the stumps bowling him (Cregagh’s version which the umpires eventually agreed with). That (non?) dismissal brought Gary Ouldfield to the crease and he instantly looked at home scoring a single of his first ball. Burgess then followed this by hitting a huge six out of the ground. This momentum did not carry on as the pair were forced to return to the patient approach used before (not quite as patient as the opening overs thankfully). Both fell in the teens leaving David Moreland, Michael Quinn and Josh Halliday to do the big hitting and take the team to a competitive score, which they duly managed with several impressive singles. The innings closed on 79-6 after the twenty overs making it a low score by T20 standards but quite competitive based on the playing conditions.
It would take all the experience, guile and skill of this mighty team to restrict the opposition to the low total they had posted (or would it) but challenges are what these men thrive on!
Knowing they needed a tight start and preferably some early wickets North Down turned to Billy Adams to bowl the first over and he duly obliged on one (or both according to Billy) count producing a maiden a several close (or stone dead according to Billy) LBW appeals. Adams did strike in his second over when he finally bowled a bowl that was on the stumps (and proved the batsmen were not just standing in front of all three) as it sent off stump cartwheeling (or knocked it back ever so slightly). The efforts of Josh Halliday who shared the new ball with Billy and change bowlers Iain Arthur and Bailey Quinn proved less successful as Cregagh made steady progress towards their target. It was then decided that a turn to the experience and control of spin bowler Michael Quinn might prove more beneficial than pace on the ball. And it instantly looked a brilliant decision as a chest high full toss was deposited over square leg for six of his first ball. Fortunately a few balls later he struck back taking the second wicket with the score on 41. Another wicket soon followed and as John Gilliland was introduced into the attack the two bowlers traded maidens and wicket maidens as they dragged North Down back into the game reducing Cregagh to 52-5. The introduction of skipper Wily Malonie also brought dividends as he took another wicket in his first over troubling Cregagh further. The pendulum swung again in John Gilliland’s next over as the big hitting Walker landed a four and a six in consecutive balls and powered Cegagh well into the sixties. A tight over from Malone followed leaving eleven runs required of the final two overs and it was the proverbial squeaky bum time. Billy Adams returned for his final over and produced a tight over going for just three runs and leaving eight required from the last over to be bowled by none other than the Marauders captain Malone. A wicket with his first ball tilted the game solidly in North Down’s favour but in such a tight finish and topsy turvy game would there be a twist in the tail. A single, two byes and another single followed in the next three balls leaving four required of the last two balls. Under this pressure Malone put his hand up, stepped up to the plate and came to the party all at once by executing his skills, putting it good areas and bowling a dot ball. With four required of the last ball there was much debate (surprisingly) over whether all the fielders should be placed on the boundary or some kept in the circle to prevent the single. Eventually everyone retreated as far as they could and it proved a moot point as the ball passed harmlessly through to wicketkeeper Burgess sealing a fine victory for North Down.
Scores of 79 and 76 in a T20 match may sound like a very slow and dull game but it wasn’t boring. It was a good, entertaining cricket match. And with a well-deserved three run victory the Marauders can proudly march on this season with a second win under their belts. And as the man said “Two out of three ain’t bad”.
Man of the Match: Michael Quinn for his spell of 4 overs 2 for seven (with six of the first ball)
Honourable mention for John Gilliland for 3 overs 2 for eleven (with all eleven of three consecutive balls in his last over)
Also mentioned in dispatches: Billy Adams (bat and ball), Brian Burgess (bat and fine keeping display), Gary Ouldfield (bat)
Report by Gibson Park« Back