The promised heatwave this weekend may not have materialized, but the heat was very much on at The Cricket Field as Midleton 2nd XI and Co. Kerry 3rds served up a cracker of a game.
Rain delayed the start of the game by an hour, and with an early tea called, it looked like this fixture would be rained off for the second time in two years. But with the clouds eventually breaking and the sun peeking through, the game finally got underway, though with a truncated 36 overs each.
Midleton openers Dave McDonnell and Luke Deane were quickly into the action, scoring well and playing some fine shots. However, just as they reached the 50 partnership both openers suddenly found themselves out, with Deane LBW for 31, and Dave “Don’t Do Doubles” Donnell inexplicably going for a double and getting run out for a fine 24. However Charlie Bryan and Kieran O’Reilly quickly steadied the ship, with Midleton breaking 100 in the 21st over. Disaster soon struck though, with the seemingly invincible Bryan bowled for 28. The effect on the middle order was devastating, as the realization that if the man that so many people within the club see as a God-like figure could be out, anyone could be. O’Reilly stuck to his task, but all those around him fell for a total 23 before O’Reilly finally fell the last wicket for an incredible 40 as Sean Rutland cleaned up the tail with figures of 4/6 off of two overs.
With the sandwiches already gone, and bedtime approaching for some of the younger members of the Midleton team, it was a quick turnaround into the second innings. Jonathan Boulding and Rutland opened for the visitors but were constantly frustrated by the bowling of Charlie Bryan, Atif, Magsi, Nathan Bryan, and Majid. With one eye on the clouds and the other on the run rate, Kerry looked to be in serious trouble, especially when Boulding was caught on 49 by Stack, who marked the 90th birthday of David Attenborough by plucking the ball out of the air in a manner similar to when a polar bear catches a migrating salmon in the Alaskan wilds. Honorable mentions in the field also to Brendan Jalil and debutant Greg Harrigan, whilst captain Kieran O’Reilly sealed a man of the match performance with another wicket. However, the Kerry boys kept the runs ticking over, and despite the loss of further wickets, sealed the victory by two wickets in the second last ball of the game.