March 10 Match Report

The Deans X1 has a tradition of about 80 years of play against Valley of Peace and this rich tie continued at our home ground on March 10th.

Known officially as Homebush Cricket Club, the youngish Deans’ from Homebush and Malvern districts met a Valley team loaded with regular Senior players from Oxford county, just across the Waimakariri Gorge.

In peerless sunshine, Valley won the toss batted first in the 40-overs-a-side fixture. Opener Calvin Scott settled in best, accumulating and smacking his way to an even 100 retired as Valley put on 217 in their allotted overs.

Calvin was one of 7 Oxford players in the Valley side and they relished the chance to play on this wondrous field. One of their number, David Fulton, only vaguely recalled scoring a century at the Valley 19 years ago. He got himself well set on his return and we can only hope that we continue to now see more of him on the Valley circuit.

The Deans X1 were never going to be out of the fight, despite losing two early wickets to Jake Waghorn, who was nursing a wounded hand.

Captain Tim removed Jake instantly after his early blitz and the Deans’ set about scoring runs at a tidy clip. By the 18th over, the Valley skip was so concerned about Deans’ progress that he glanced at the scoreboard and realised that the scorers were keeping score in the usual mode; i.e 6’s were counted as sixes and 4’s were logged as fours.

We took an early drinks break while the scorers plugged back in the Valley algorithm. Valley momentarily felt better but the Deans’ lost no time in catching up their ‘lost’ runs. Several Valley bowlers disappeared over the fence as Hamish McKenzie shone, much like Calvin earlier. A sticky last wicket partnership took Deans’ to less than 40 from their target with a handful of overs to play but Valley held its nerve to wrap things up.

A standout bowler for Valley was Greg Jones, who quickly settled into a tight, steady rhythm and kept it that way. Bowling credit should also go to Jake Waghorn, who rocked the Deans’ foundations early on.

Thanks to everyone who put aside the temptation of the Test Match at Hagley against the Aussies to don the whites. Likewise, plaudits to Scott C., the grounds team and anyone responsible for an excellent lunch.

Thanks also to the Valley committee and management for the ‘family day’ treatment, encouraging partners and children of any age to attend. There was plenty of fun on the sidelines and, personally, I hope that it can be repeated at this fixture and others to come.

Valley of Peace Match Day Captain

Tim Fulton