SBH Old Boys Cricket Match
Coogee Oval 8th March 2015
SBH 1981/2 Cavaliers vs SBH 1983/4 Players
Playing for the Slasher Mackay Cup since 2003
1983/4 won the toss and elected to bat, which surprised most of the early birds at the ground. A 40 over match had already been agreed on after many angst ridden emails between Jim Hope and Dave Scribner. But Scribbo was absent with junior cricket duties so Brian Melkie took over as caretaker captain for the day. In fact Brian probably chose to bat as half his team had not yet arrived at the ground.
There were some new names and faces in the 1983 team but also a lot of veterans.
They opened with Harapin and Hurst, both of whom had enjoyed success in previous games, showing good technique but soon discovered the outfield was very heavy with dew. It was very hard to get the ball to the boundary for the first two hours of play and 1981/2 captain, Ackerman, set a good field.
McKittrick opened the bowling for 1981/2 and his run up was glorious. His delivery still had a bit of sting and bounce, and he picked up the openers cheaply with the help of good catches by Holm and Stu Donaldson.
After a few years break from these games Brian Melkie strode to the crease like Ian Redpath returning to play World Series Cricket. He partnered Doug and both batsmen dug in and defended well, the slow outfield making scoring difficult. They made it to the 13 over drinks break and then made their intentions clear with some good attacking play. They began to drive and pull with power, and just as they seemed to be getting on top of the bowlers Melkie pulled a full toss straight down Atallah’s throat to be out for 17.
Doug then managed to get run out for 22 off a throw by Hope and the 1983ers were under pressure. Chris Russell showed glimpses of the technique that could have had him playing first class cricket if he had been interested.
Jason Perica partnered him and he looked good until he took a beamer on the chin, and then literally took it on the chin by starting to take guard until he could see drops of blood dripping onto the turf. He went off for some medical attention but I suspect it was not the first time Perica had left blood on Coogee Oval.
Pete Skoufis was in an attacking frame of mind but did not quite get a hold of one from Woodley and he managed to get caught by Hope at mid on. With one run out and one catch Hope was on fire.
The 1983/4 Players were in trouble but out came two of their experienced warriors – Brann and Howard. They were positive from the first ball, not letting the bowlers get on top, and hitting through and over the infield.
For the first time the bowlers were under a bit of pressure. They took the score up to 120 before Howie was controversially run out and soon after Brann retired for a very good 31.
Billy Paling held up one end while Richard Zuber used his muscles and struck some good blows late in the innings. They completed their 40 overs with 9 for 157, a fair effort on a slow outfield. For 1981/2 it was a good effort in the field and with the ball; Stu Dono making two stumpings off Ackerman, Scott Dono taking 1-10 with his Donkey Drops, and Ben Dono 4-2-0-10 bowling well at the death.
McKittrick and Sharpe were also impressive.
Jim Hope and Daryl Holm opened the batting for 1981/2, and they found it hard going against Hirst and Harapin.
Holm hit a few good shots before getting bowled by Hirst, the most threatening bowler throughout the innings. Hope got caught off the bowling of Zuber and this brought Almond and Scott Donaldson together.
Paul Almond showed some impressive defensive shots, some not seen since Bill Posford retired. But Scott batted like there was a fire to be put out. Off one over he hit five 4s and a massive 6 that struck a car on Dolphin St (with the driver still inside).
This over probably turned the game as runs had been hard to get up to that point. Scotty retired at 33 to rapturous applause but this gave the bowlers no relief as he was replaced by Woodley. Continuing his good form from last year Woods drove beautifully and got his obligatory 6. He also retired at 31, and Almond was proving the perfect partner for these attacking batsmen.
Trev Williams, fortified by two hours puffing an E Cigarette, took the crease and reminded everyone that the English invented cricket. He played some stylish shots before getting stumped off the crafty leg spin of Pete Skoufis.
Almond finally fell for 11 but he anchored the innings beautifully. Now we had young Ben Donaldson batting with his father Stu Donaldson. The youngest of the Chappell brothers, Trevor, was said to be the most talented as a junior and this could be said for the Donaldsons as well.
Ben played some real cricket shots, driving, cutting and pulling with timing. He caressed his way to 31 retired. Atallah joined Stu at the crease and three runs were needed for victory. Zuber gave him a full one for his free hit which he gratefully sent over the boundary. Victory in 28 overs with only four wickets down.
It was another enjoyable day of cricket and catching up with old school friends. The 1983 team were missing mainly bowlers and vowed to be back next year with Ando, Katsos, Scribbo and others.
Umpire Colin (class of 1973 SBH) was good value all day, encouraging the bowlers by telling them when he would have given an LBW. He has all our thanks. The captains both made gracious speeches after the game at the trophy ceremony.
The man of the match award was very difficult, but with contributions as a keeper for 20 overs, economical death bowling and a stylish 31no the 1981/2 award goes to Ben Donaldson. For the 1983 team the batting award goes to Brann, and the bowling award to Hirst.
Rick Botella, Jim Mavros and Mick Dennis turned up to provide moral support, as did 1982 veteran Quentin Reitmans. Wives and kids made the day an enjoyable family affair.
And special thanks to Jimmy Hope and David Scribner for organising and collecting money.