THE senior championship of the Wellington Cricket Association has been definitely decided, and the Old Boys' team, for the third year in succession, have run out winners. The fact that they will be defeated by the Gas Company in the match that started on the 27th February, on the Lower Hutt Recreation Ground, will not affect the result of the championship, as Petone, if they score a threepoint win against the V.M.C.A. team, will still be behind the Old Boys in, the number of championship points scored by them during the series of matches. • • • On the first day of the Old BoysPetone match a charge of sixpence was made for admission, and, although the weather was fine on that occasion, apparently the charge affected the attendance, for it was not up to the average. When the match was continued last Saturday there was a splendid muster of the general public, who seemed to take a great deal of interest in the play. The old statement that the Wellington public like a free show is again proved by the muster of the public on the two days of this match, for no charge was made on the second The batting of the Petone team was much better than I thousht them capable of, every succeeding batsman playing as if it was quite possible for the side to equal the total of 291 runs set them to get by the ex-Collegians. That they did not succeed in domg so was only what I expected, but, at the same time, I cannot but congratulate the 3'ads from the village on the very fine snowing they made. The majority of the spectators were in sympathy with the Petone team, foi they dealt out unstinted applause to them, while many good splashes of play by "the Old Boys went unrecognised most of the time. For instance, when Cobcroft was run out the splendid way in which Tucker fielded the ball and returned it to the bowler was hardly noticed by the spectators, although many "hard lucks" were offered to the Petone captain as he returned to the pavilion. From the way I viewed the happening in. this instance, Cobcroft showed exceeding bad judgment for a player of his experience. Brice was batting, and the ball went from his bat like a shot from a gun straight to Tucker at cover-point. The batsman called "No" in a very decided manner, but Cobcroft got a long jray out of his crease, and, before he had a chance of recovering his ground, Mason was lifting the bails after the ball had been finely returned to him by Tucker. The Petone captain may have slipped in turning, but that fact was not apparent to me. • • • One of the worst features of the match was practically the last happening in the serious portion of it. Phil Connolly was batting to Monaghan's fowling, and "skied" one which came down with the bowler waiting for it. The ex-Central Cumberland man raced down the pitch, and straight at Monaghan, with no other purpose, as far as I could see, but to disconcert the fieldsman and cause him to drop, the ball. The Old Boys' player, however, could not be bustled, and the ball was safely gathered home. The incident caused some comment, but. even if Monaghan had let the ball fall to the ground, it would not have helped Connolly, for he would have been given out for obstruction all the same. I must confess to a personal liking for the Petone Club's professional, but acts like the one I am referring to are not those one expects to see shown by a true sport. This brings another incident or the game to my mind. Teddy Smyrke, on one occasion, narrowly escaped being run out, the question whether the umpire's d>ecision would be given in his favour being doubtful until the official signalled fois pronouncement. "You're no sport to appeal for that!" said Smyrke to C. P. Blacklock, the Old Boys' captain, and his remark caused many unpleasant things to he said both hy the batsmen and fieldsmen. Smyrke ia an, enthusiast, and is as keen as mustard, but he has a failing —
that of expressing his opinion at all times and at all seasons on every happening of the game. He is also the full-back of the Petone junior football team, and a yarn I heard of him as a footballer will illustrate this much better than, anything I could say. A man that is excitable at all in his temperament has a harxL job to keep himself in control while playing football, and just preceding the final match last season between, Kia Ora and Petone a prominent Petone official had a serious talk with Smyrke about his "clacking." The talk ended in Smyrke agreeing to shout drinks for a certain coterie if he offended in the match I aon referring to. He was on his best behaviour for the greater part of the game, but he lapsed from grace in the last fifteen minutes, and his voice was heard appealing about something ov other. Smyrke is a good fellow ,_ and a keen sport, but he should keep his unruly mpmber in check.
Stanley Brice is a great asset for the Petoue team. That he can bowl is well known., and that his bat makes many runs is equally well known, but that he is a past-master as a wicketkeeper is cn.ot generally known, by those who watch cricket matches m Wellington. But he can. use the gloves, and his work behind the wickets m the second innings of the Old Boys on Saturday was pretty conclusive proof that he 'had been at the game before. As a matter of fact, Brice has occupied the position in, times past of wicketkeeper for the Hutt Valley representative team. But it is as a batsman, that I am more particularly going to refer to Brice just now. It was generally recognised by the cricket fraternity that he was Petone's sheet-anchor on Saturday. If he got fairly into his stride the possibility of the Old Boys prevailing was not too certain, whereas if he failed Petone's hopes were not even equal to Buckley's. When, Brice, therefore, mistimed a fast ball from Mason, and the sphere shot to Monaghan's hands in the slips, a sigh of relief went up from the spectators as the ball fell to the ground. For it was felt that if that catch had been held the game would have been robbed of a lot of interest. Brice made some fine sweeping strokes during his stay at the wickets, the carpet drive, in which he excels, being in evidence right through his mr nxngs. It is true that when he had made 20 runs he gave Monaghan another chance of dismissing him, this time off his own bowling. It was a hard, straight drive, but the Old Boys' bowler only got one hand to the ball, and the catch would have been a marvellous one if he had held it. Brice's was a good, vigorous innings, and when Tucker got one into his timber-stack the Old Boys were very pleased with themselves. • • • Tom Cobcroft, Mick Joyce, Horace Nunn, and Lionel Isherwood did not trouble the fieldsmen, to any great extent on Saturday. The first pair had gathered together 43 between, them on the opening day, but they were both out with the score at 60, Joyce being caught at 49, and Cobcroft run out at 60.
Nunn is only a youngster, and may develop into a cricketer of repute as he gets older. As a fieldsman> in the country he does a lot of work, and puts in a particularly good throw from away out in the deep field. There is no need to send a man out to back him up, for he can piopel the ball m all the way himself. As a batsman, he was sent m too early against the Old Boys, and Monaghan got all over him during his short stay at tie wickets. Isherwood was feeling the effects of the running about he had the previous Saturday in scoring his century of Tuns against the V.M.C.A. team. He claims to have been given out off a "bump" ball, but, be that as it may, he did not appear at all comfortable duiine; his stay at the wickets, and it looked to me as jf the next ball would be his last at any time during his stay. Tom Taylor, who woars a Wellington Club's blazer, and practises with the
town club, was the next highest scorer to Brioe on batuiday. The burly one, who seems to inciease his girth with every passing week, kept his end up well, and troubled the Old Boys' bowlers exceedingly. He made many excellent strokes dm ing his innings. Teddy Smyrke can bat if he sets his mind to it, and his stand with Brice was one of the featuies of the Petone innings. His pet stroke is the forward drive between cover-point and mid-on, and he had it in evidence a lot during his innings. Alf. Cates was sent in earlier than last, and kept one end going for some time.^ But he seems to be looking for trouble all the time, for he wanders up and down the pitch and stays anywhere but in his ground when the ball is amongst the fieldsmen. Of course, occasionally he gets a man on the fielding side a bit flustered, and <a bang into the wickets results in an overthrow. All the same, the gamo is not worth the candle, and Alf. should treat himself and 1 the game more seriously. It would be better for his own cricket. • * • Thea'e was a happening while Cates was batting winch caused some talk. He played a ball a few yards in front of himself, and, followed it out, tapping it again with bis bat. Mason, in the meantime, had run down the pitch and gathered the ball up. but Cates had recovered his ground when* the bails were struck ofi\ No appeal was made, but some of the Old Boys' players claimed that Cates had been guilty of an act of obstruction in tapping the ball "when he did, especially as Mason was chasing it. In the incident in question I hold that, although Cates may have risked his wicket by his action, the umpire would not have been justified in giving him out. It is granted that he struck the ball twice, and that it was not with the purpose of guarding his wicket +-hat lie struck it the second time. A decision of the MaryJebone Cricket Club says: — "It is fox the umpire to decide whether the ball has been struck wilfully for some purpose other tha<n that of guarding the wicket. The fact that a run is attempted may be (Continued on page 19.)
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Cricket., Free Lance, Volume IX, Issue 454, 13 March 1909
Cricket. Free Lance, Volume IX, Issue 454, 13 March 1909
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