The 21st playing of the annual White Stick Trophy match took place on Saturday 27th September 2010, and as always pitted the umpires of Northern Ireland Association of Cricket Umpires & Scorers against those of the Leinster Cricket Umpires & Scorers Assocation. The match took place in Rush CC, who were kind enough to delay their post-season work to allow us play the match.
The day dawned bright, and on arrival the pitch looked to be in excellent shape, especially considering the rain in the previous days. The boundaries were drawn in a little, especially on the road side, which would prove a boon to those aching & aged limbs chasing a ball in that direction!
On winning the toss, LCU&SA skipper John Andrews had no hesitation in asking his opposite number, Alan Neill, to set a score, then led his team onto the field, accompanied by umpires Kevin Gallagher (LCU&SA) and Noel McCarey (NIACUS). Opening for NIACUS were Alex Adams and Chris Sims.
Joey Mooney opened the bowling for LCU&SA up the hill, and was very unlucky to go wicketless, taking 0-13 in his 6 overs. The bowling was opened at the other end by Sameer Dutt, and then varied amongst the other bowlers by the skipper.
Wickets fell at reasonable intervals throughout the 30-over innings, and LCU&SA were delighted to break the partnership of Williams & Neill, with Karl Williams unluckily playing on a Dutt delivery on 22. Skipper Neill led by example with 54 until David Cooke ended his innings, while Balfour & Gilmore contributed down the order with 17 each.
Pick of the bowling was David Cooke's 6-0-26-3, while Dutt's 6-1-8-1 ensured no batsman got a flying start. Catches were held by Block & Reynolds, both off their own bowling, while 3 runouts contributed to NIACUS' demise, one from skipper Andrews and two from the bullet arm of Dutt. NIACUS finished on 138 for 9 from their 30, a score that could be considered a little light in Rush.
LCU&SA commenced their reply with Andrews & Dutt, who played watchfully through the early overs. Once they found their stride, however, things became more difficult for the NIACUS bowlers, with Dutt in particular being very harsh on anything but perfect line & length. Andrews was bowled by Gilmore for 12, and replaced by Paul Reynolds, who sensibly supported Dutt, who was cruising on 80 when he too was bowled, this time by Wheeler. Mooney joined Reynolds and together they saw LCU&SA home in the 26th over, Reynolds finishing on 28* and Mooney on 17*.
Wheeler bowled his 6 overs taking 1-18, but the other bowlers suffered at the hands of Dutt, with only Gilmore taking a wicket and the others going for roughly 5 an over.
After cleaning up, both sides adjourned to the bar where over a couple of pints they discussed the match and life in general, paying particular regard to setting the ills of Irish cricket right. Around 6pm, we de-camped to The Hills for dinner, as Rush had a prior booking in the evening. The food was excellent, drinks stimulating and conversation scintillating as the evening went on.
After dinner, LCU&SA president Siobhan McBennett spoke, thanking all present for their attendance & participation, and reminding us of those no longer with us who were, no doubt, attending in spirit. The Man of the Match trophy was awarded to Sameer Dutt for his all-round excellence, the second time he has won that accolade, while the Champagne Moment of the day was Alan Neill's cover drive for four.
Finally, John Andrews accepted the White Stick Trophy on behalf of LCU&SA, and both he and Alan Neill spoke of the true reasons behind the playing of the game - building friendships between umpires and supporters.
Many thanks are due to all who were involved in the organisation of the day, and in particular to Rush CC and The Hills CC for allowing us use their premises.
And so another White Stick trophy match was complete - the score now stands at 12-9 to LCU&SA. NIACUS prevented LCU&SA getting a five-in-a-row with their victory in Downpatrick last year, but is this the start of a new streak, or just the back-and-forth of a hotly-contested competition? Tune in next year to find out!
|Match played at Kenure, Rush
|Result: LCU&SA won by 8 wickets
|Series: LCU&SA 12 wins; NIACUS 9 wins.|
|A Adams||c & b Block||7|
|C Sims||run out (Dutt)||2|
|A Neill*||b Cooke||54|
|C Williams||b Dutt||22|
|J Wheeler||run out (Andrews)||3|
|J McCormick||c Dockrell b Cooke||4|
|R Balfour||c & b Reynolds||17|
|C Gilmore||b Cooke||17|
|K McConville +||run out (Dutt)||0|
|G McCormick||not out||12*|
|A Henderson||not out||3*|
|Extras (b 7, lb 4, w 1)||12|
|Total (9 wkts, 30.0 overs)||138|
|J Andrews *||b C Gilmore||12|
|S Dutt||b J Wheeler||80|
|P Reynolds||not out||28*|
|J Mooney||not out||17*|
|M Dwyer +|
|Extras (w 5)||5|
|Total (2 wkts, 26 overs)||142|
|Man of the Match: Sameer Dutt|
|Champagne Moment: Alan Neill|
|Umpires: Kevin Gallagher, Noel McCarey|
|Scorers: Lorraine McKeaney, Inge Bevers|