Our Lady of Mercy College's Cricket team, 'The First XI' played their first home game of the Kim Hughes Shield competition against Bunbury Senior High School (BSCS) on Wednesday, 2 March 2022.
Driving in the morning's pouring rain raised questions over whether the match would proceed. Half a millimetre of rain was enough to see some players leave their gear in the safety of their garage. Lucky, the students have such supportive parents, who brought it to school once skies cleared and the pitch dried.
Batting first on a sticky wicket brought about several challenges. The top five learned valuable lessons regarding shot selection when the ball moved both ways; through the air and off the pitch.
At the drinks break, the team regrouped and set a target to reach a total of at least 70. This was achieved thanks to some bold batting performances from Jack Vitali, Archie Boyle (aka "Captain Courageous"), and Ethn McEwen. A target of 78 was set for BSCS.
Veteran cricket analyst Mr Rory McKenzie summed up the batting performance whilst lazing under a gumtree on the boundary: "Hey coach! Teach your team to play with a straight bat."
The self-belief as the team prepared to bowl and field was palpable. The positivity translated into one of the best bowling and fielding performances witnessed in junior cricket for some time. Our openers did a fantastic job to remove some classy opposition players.
Debuting player Montana Dallywater took the challenge of bowling into a howling breeze without protest. Whilst twirling the ball in his fingers, a hush fell around the ground. He skipped in and tossed it up. The ball whizzed through the air, kissed the surface and removed the bails from the stumps. Pandemonium erupted as teammates ran to congratulate him on his efforts. The scenes were reminiscent of Shane Warne's first Ashes delivery to Mike Gatting. Montana will never forget his first ball for the College.
Ultimately, BSHS chased the runs. Our Lady of Mercy College gave themselves every chance to win the game; however, it didn't fall their way. Nevertheless, after that spectacular bowling performance, the team will take a lot of confidence into the next round.
Best on ground was Mr Bregazzi, who spent an extended period sitting at fine leg, enthusiastically cheering the team on. Special mention to Mrs English, Mrs Doyle, Mrs Godwin, Mr Walkerden and Mr McGeoch. The team really appreciated the support.
Thanks to Isabella Dallywater for filling in when one of our fielders were injured.
Mr David Mazza, Coach
Mr Shane Jamieson, Team Manager