After the southerly storm of yesterday, it was doubtful that there would ever be a final. Today was pretty “marginal” in the morning and after the covers were first removed they were put back on hurriedly to counter yet another squal before there was a suggestion that there would “be no more rain”.
Just after 1 pm the umpires decided that 42 overs each way was a goer. The match that had gone nearly two thirds of its distance the day before began again from scratch.
The two best sides had found their way to the final. Yesterday the match was in the balance. Today it remained so right until the end.
This time it was Red Star who batted first. Chris Wenden continued to secure his reputation as a reliable top order batsman. Greg Todd was like granite – unbreakable. Only a run out separated these two and when Wenden was undone by the combination of Ingham and Holmes, Red Star skipper Joe Hull took his orders from Todd.
The experienced batting pair threatened to take the game away from Lansdowne with a stand of 70 before Matthew Stringfellow began his allround contribution.
The beacon of the batting was clearly Todd who was guaranteed a ton had it been a 50 over match. All the Lansdowne bowlers contributed well but the most damaging was Stringfellow whose three wickets in the “happy hour” were significant.
203 was always going to be a challenge and Lansdowne were impressive in their reply. This time their reps stood up.
Jamies Holmes showed just why he is one of the leading run scorers in the Hawke Cup competition with a fine 56. James Adamson who continues to impress as a potential rep player, chimed in with a valuable knock. Throughout the innings the “over by over” comparison was neck and neck until Matthew Stringfellow settled in and displayed some courage in the final stages.
If there was to be a “man of the match” (which there wasn’t) he would probably deserve it. Greg Todd was the main nuisance as a bowler. His competitiveness is magnificent. On the day he was clearly the best batsman and the best bowler to boot.
We must not forget the part that Andy May – the groundsman – had to play in this wonderful final. The wicket stood up to its third day’s play very well – the perfect one day pitch.
Last but not least. A special mention to the umpires. Johann Fourie who along with Chris Cogdale and Dean Goodin (shared over the two days) did a great job. That is why it’s called the Umpires Cup.”
Lansdowne deserved their win in the end – but only by a whisker. Both sides have plenty to be proud of. The match was played in excellent spirit with no quarter given.