When: Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Where: Primrose Hill, Pitch 4

The Competition: FCB Inferno

Final Score: FCB Inferno 19 - 15 Pearlfinders

Kia's Match report:

This week we looked to get the season back on track against FCB Inferno in a tough match against a team who had already savored the sweet taste of victory in their first match. Another grim weather forecast did not deter and despite a brief wobble about the rain we headed down to the lofty pitches of Primrose Hill in the search of three points. Once Emily had finally found a shop up to her exacting standards for a sandwich we arrived with minutes to spare and threw ourselves right into it. 

With only one debutant in Max this week the team already looked more confident of actually knowing the rules and what needed to be done, however this didn’t translate into on-pitch performance as we failed to score in the first innings and they raced out to a four run lead. The memories of last week came flooding back and another slog in the cold seemed to beckon, however the Pearlfinders team seemed to adapt to the conditions better than the opposition and quickly notched a big scoring innings to tie the match up. This back and forth continued and left us all square with two innings left. Unfortunately they opened the taps a little with the bat to punish some loose fielding and confusion with their underhand tactics, resulting in a close-fought but ultimately disappointing 19-15 loss. Although it wasn’t the score we wanted it did show how far we’ve come as a team and provide some of the funnier moments of the season to date as both teams struggled to keep their footing on the sodden surface. 

Man of the Match: Another tough week but for more positive reasons as several players put their hands up for the award here, with Phil, Emily and Rich all showing prowess with the bat. However this week the award goes to joint top-scorer (both on the day and for the season) in Matt Delaney, who got around the diamond to score three runs and bring others home, while also displaying a relatively safe hand in the field. He made one catch look easy despite the slippery conditions meaning it was anything but, and also just scrambled around in general playing an unfamiliar role at short-stop. In another week where scoring runs initially seemed to be the problem Matt’s batting meant we were always in with a fighting chance. 

Catch of the Match: I don’t usually like to award the same person two weeks in a row but Rich Baker gave me no choice after another incredibly reliable performance down in the crucial first-base slot. This weeks’ effort may have lacked the razzle-dazzle of his first week heroics but was more about displaying a cool head rather than quick reactions as one of their big hitters sliced a horrible shot back up into the heavens. As the ball continued to rise it would have been easy to lose in the low-light it became one of those day defining opportunities where time stands still and you have an age to contemplate both taking the catch or shelling it. As the wet ball came plummeting down at a rate of knows, spinning on its axis and swirling in the wind it seemed set for the blooper reel but luckily Rich kept his cool to glove the ball and the award again. 

Dick of the Day: If you had spoken to Jamie Barnard over the past year or even just stood near him in the Easton the odds are you will have heard a story about a catch he once took. There’s also a good chance he has either sent you the self-written match report praising said catch or made you read it from his phone in the pub (lucky Emily being polite and enduring this in the pub on her first week). So as you can imagine the (self-propagated) talk of the office this week could focus on nothing else but the impending return of the Big Hitter to the team this week – “now the season actually starts”. Touting his own miracle return a few weeks after Easter Barnard took the his new position of short-stop keen to display just what the team had been missing… 

With the first strike of the ball from the oppo the ball skipped to the right of Jamie, who immediately sought to push off his right foot no doubt already picturing a Hollywood catch at full stretch. In reality his feet slipped on the soggy turf underneath him and his body rotates 90 degrees to at one point leave him in the very same spot but horizontal to the floor. Obviously what goes up must come down and after hanging in the air for a second he promptly crashed down onto the hard floor. Both teams erupted in laughter so hard that it took a while to compose themselves and actually start again, with occasional giggles bursting out around the pitch whenever anyone replayed it in their heads. Trying to garner some sympathy by claiming he pulled his calf in the process only sweetened the fall. Welcome back. Luckily myself, Rich, Delaney and Charlotte (helped by being knocked over) all joined in on the slip and slide action but in doing so on the first play of the match he easily takes the cake this week. 

So another loss this week but in terms of the improvement shown by the team that first W can only be a matter of time. We already look promising for next week as there is a massive squad lining up to take on Havas. For those of you yet to join in please feel free to either throw your name in the hat or come down and spectate – hopefully today is a bit of a turning point for the weather and it should be legit summer from here on out.