What a day for Pacific & especially for Shane Mundie for whom this was to be his last game in the UK before heading back to Australia to begin family life. Shane played his first game for Pacific at this very ground 2 years previously - in fact Jim Davies wrote in his report "Aussie Mundie's early overs mark him out as a good find for the club." And with today's game the cycle was complete even going on to take a wicket with his last ever ball - one of 2 excellent catches from the nimble Aroon Korgoankar at square leg.
But despite Shane's excellent final spell, this was all about a fine Pacific performance to record only the 2nd win over Hartley, regaining the honour that was lost in 2002. Two unavoidable morning-of-match withdrawals from key players Tim Vanderpump (split webbing) & Kurt Rademaker (swollen glands) could not have been more unsettling but James Lawrence & Sam Cooper were able replacements drawn from Hartley's ranks for whom they will serve very well indeed.
Both innings in this game were littered with low scores - strange given that the pitch was as good as an April pitch in England could ever be. Perhaps then a reflection of quality bowling from both sides? Indeed, Redwood's medium quick inswing & Rick Burrows' spin took 7 between them & they were ably supported. For Pacific, Shane Mundie was outstanding with his 3 wickets but Nick Fuller bowled beautifully with his away swing & the spells from seamer Sam Cooper & left arm spin from Aroon Korgoankar were notable too.
One glance at the scorecard and the reader will see the name Jon Webley stand out, next to a runs made column showing 77. Not for the first time has Webley's innings been the difference, but this was literally the match winning score. At 22-3 it was consolidation & patiencen, & in James Thompson there was an equally defiant & solid defence. Slowly the shots into the gaps came. Drives, cuts, lofted when the fielders were in, into the gaps when they were out. The 2006 Player of the Year had hit his straps well.
It was a weary Jon who succumbed, as once he had passed 50 he was dropped twice & survived a difficult stumping chance to the otherwise excellent keeping of McKechnie. Underwood took a fine catch to dismiss him at midwicket but Pacific's total was deemed under par. Hartley may have had fielded stronger XIs but Pacific's single previous win in 20 years meant that opportunities that came along would not be spurned & thanks to the bowling they were not.
A fine note for a very happy Mundie amongst others.