We coulda been contenders
Pacific v Contenders at Victoria Park Pitch 1  Mon 20-Jul-2009 at 6.15pm
Lost 25 (ish) runs

Being just off the pace again led to our third midweek defeat on the trot and sunk our already slim chance of winning Division 2. Not even a plague of swine flu striking down every member of every other Division 2 side can save us now.

Losing the toss made the pre-match strategic planning about whether we were better opt to set or chase a target somewhat academic. More worrying was the thought of starting with only 6 players. Fortunately it wasn't long before Roy & McDonnell arrived.

Contenders started well enough with a blinged up Erage blasting more than enough big hits off both Pacific openers before retiring. The confidence of youth won-out experience. But what was really disappointing was that the little blighter was dropped twice along the way. Once by Captain Rees who is still kicking himself for misunderestimating (I've always wanted to use that Bush-ism!) how far the near gale force summer breeze would carry the young'uns mistimed slog, and once by Vice Captain Roy who lost the ball returning from the stratosphere at short mid off. The over the shoulder ones are never gimmees! Otherwise the fielding wasn't that bad. Just... unlucky. Yeah... unlucky...!

Things started looking up when Faisal and Hess took a wicket each in close succession. McDonnell bowled a few really tight overs (from memory as some plonker didn't finish copying up the scorebook!) after an over of (uncharacteristic) utter dross convinced Rees it wasn't his day with the ball. Morahan was his usual reliable cunning Kiwi self and was pretty economical at the slogging death (again from memory! grrrr... damn that incomplete scorebook). However Morahan making South African Roy wear his All Black sombrero undoubtedly affected Roy's fielding - not seeing a big catchable skyer until it dropped about 5m in front of him - which in turn affected Morahan's averages. All in all we didn't manage to constrict the run rate sufficiently. The Contenders managed to make about 150.

Now 10 runs an over sounds a lot, but it was within grasp of the awesome batting talent we had that day. Unfortunately our top order rewarded a fairly average bowling attack with better than warranted figures. At 33 for 4 in the 5th over, things were a lot more desperate than they should have been. Like mum's cooking, there was something missing. Perhaps a pinch of aussie. (available next week, Darren?)

Back to the match. Yes, we were down, but it wasn't a lost cause. Hell no! McDonnell and Rees showed they could bring Pacific back in the game with their big swinging...
See what I did there? Nevermind, at last the Contenders bowling was getting the treatment it deserved. Sadly McDonnell had to retire (what a great effort though!) but with 40 required off the last 3 overs, victory looked within Pacific's grasp.

Maybe the pressure got to us. Or maybe it was an over of better bowling. Stand-in (judging by the total absence white in his cricketing ensemble) Newell changed things with a direct hit that cost Rees his wicket. Hess soon followed, bowled by the same darkly dressed Newell.

We had high hopes that Morahan would manage to fire off much needed boundaries by connecting his oak tree sized bat with red leather, but Dave preserved the pristine facade of his bat-cum-railway-sleeper by shoring up the non strikers end.

McDonnell's return came too late. Morahan wasn't able to turn twos into threes (neither would you if you were carrying half a galleon's worth of wood) and Pacific ended about 25 runs short. But it felt much closer.

Next week, lads. Next week! We have to win at least one!

Contenders v Pacific
Contenders innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Erage not out  53  0  0  0  0  
  Leyton b Hess  11  0  0  0  0  
  Ramsey c Bastin b Faisal  0  0  0  0  0  
  Deric b McDonnell  20  0  0  0  0  
  Fred retired  25  0  0  0  0  
  L run out Morahan  6  0  0  0  0  
  S lbw b Morahan  5  0  0  0  0  
  Newell not out  17  0  0  0  0  
 Extras (b 0, lb 0, w 0, nb 0) 0    
 TOTAL (0.0 Overs) 150    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Lucius Faisal 4 0 0 1  
 Justin Hess 4 0 0 1  
 Shayne Rees 1 0 0 0  
 David Morahan 4 0 0 1  
 James McDonnell 3 0 0 1  
Pacific innings Runs Mins Balls 4s 6s
  Rob Bastin b Ramsey  6  0  6  0  0  
  Jon Webley b Ramsey  1  0  2  0  0  
  Justin Roy c & b Alexander  11  0  6  2  0  
  James McDonnell not out  57  0  37  6  1  
  Lucius Faisal c & b Alexander  2  0  6  0  0  
  Shayne Rees run out Newell b Newell  26  0  16  1  1  
  Justin Hess b Newell  3  0  8  0  0  
  David Morahan run out  1  0  1  0  0  
 Extras (b 5, lb 0, w 6, nb 1) 12    
 TOTAL (0.0 Overs) 124    
 Fall of wickets: 
Bowling O M R W  
 Ramsey 4 0 26 2  
 Alexander 4 0 33 2  
 Shinaka 2 0 17 0  
 Erage 2 0 19 0  
 Dam 1 0 15 0  
 Newell 1 0 3 1  
 Deric 0.4 0 5 0  

Other matches:
 Hopefully the scorebook is lost!, Wed 25-May-2011, Victoria Park Pitch 1, Lost 126 Runs
 Out Of Contention, Wed 12-May-2010, Victoria Park Pitch 1, Lost 3 wickets