MENORCA WIN THE BALEARIC CUP
MALLORCA V MENORCA
Sunday: the final day of the Balearic Cup Championship in Minorca. Due to Mallorca CC’s need to catch the 6.00pm ferry from Ciutadella the hosts agreed to a 10.30am start. Heavy dew had settled on the immaculate Biniparrel pitch and neither captain was keen to win the toss…decisions, decisions…and finally Mallorca skipper Jon Barratt, who won the toss, put the homeside in.
Paceman Wes Walker conceded six runs in his first over and was rested; the skipper brought himself on and with seasoned campaigner Jack Scholes contained Menorca’s opening pair Chris Phillips and Andy Tysoe with the help of some heroic fielding, which at times bordered on the insane when Marnoch and Clemence almost crashed headlong on the boundary, but saving a certain four.
The breakthrough came in the eighteenth over: with 66 on the board Andy Diamond bowled Tysoe for 19, and dispatched Phillips who had laboured for an hour and fifteen minutes contributing a valuable 40 runs to the 86 scored. Mallorca’s wicket keeper Bill Morris left the field in the drinks break suffering from a badly bruised hand…wear inners, Morris, or invest in some good steak. Eric George took the gloves.
Ted Williams, who it has to be said can bat a bit, was joined by Adam Cockroft and the duo enjoyed a third wicket stand of 40. Cockroft’s time at the crease may have been a brief fifteen minutes, but it was lucrative; he added 25 runs, including a mighty six, before Barratt made a spectacular dive at mid-off scooping a brilliant catch millimetres from the deck. Minorca: 126-3 and Mallorca’s tail was up. The lads were even more cock-a-hoop when Jeff Barker was dismissed for nought - caught behind by ‘keeper ‘Reckless’ Eric George off Walker. To quote ‘Reckless’, ‘it came through like an exocet missile’…I’ve omitted the descriptive expletive! There was more to celebrate when Ted Williams was caught by Barratt off Diamond for 23 with the score on 135.
Minorca’s captain Roy Sturgeon soldiered on whilst Ian Sahu fell to a catch by Sunny Khan off Barratt for 7. Minorca: 153-6. Cotton came in swinging his bat to great effect, notching up 24 runs in a mere fourteen minutes and dispatching three sixes into the surrounding campo which elicited great excitement from the home supporters. Barratt finally extinguished Cotton’s flame, bowling him in the thirty eighth over with 190 scored. Sturgeon finished unbeaten on 31. Ian Williams, 6 not out. Minorca’s final tally: an attainable 206.
Jon Barratt: 8-1-31-2. Andy Diamond: 8-0-34-4.
When these two teams meet nothing is taken for granted and everything is competed for with every fibre of every man. Mallorca’s opening duo Paul Muckelberg and Eric George got down to business attacking the modest target, but it was obvious that the opposition were on a mission. Muckelberg, as ever, displayed some sublime shots as he and George kept up with the run rate. In an almost identical scenario to Minorca’s innings the breakthrough came in the fifteenth over with 66 scored; second string bowler Chris Phillips had George caught and bowled for 17. There was some spirited running between the sticks when Neil Cook joined Muckelberg taking the score to 102 at drinks.
Mallorca were certainly in the driving seat at this point and it would have been a brave man who’d have wagered his money on a Mallorca collapse, but the ‘post drinks’ curse struck when Muckleberg danced down the wicket to a Phillips’ delivery, failed to connect, and the ‘keeper was swift to capitalise; Muckelberg’s impressive innings of 62 cruelly ended: 104-2.
When Wes Walker opened his account with a decisive shot to the boundary confidence was temporarily restored, but a stunned silence fell when Ian Williams struck another devastating blow, bowling Walker in the next over. Williams’s blood was up; showing no mercy he skittled the stumps dismissing Cook for 15 with the scoreboard showing 113-4. Barratt batting at five must have despaired; defeat became imminent as wickets continued to tumble. Morris caught by Ted Williams for 2 off Phillips.
Ted Williams’s second spell had either a disastrous effect, or a miraculous one, depending on which side of the fence one sat. The rambunctious Khan was truly unfortunate; hitting a magnificent shot to the boundary off Williams he was thwarted by twenty one year old Tom Hughes who dove to his right holding the most audacious one handed catch and Khan was on his sorry way for nought. 141-7.
Clemence earned a golden duck out lbw to Williams. Barratt walloped a six off Hussan bringing a little cheer to the Mallorca faithful, but Williams proceeded to go through Mallorca’s tail like the proverbial dose of salts. Marnoch, Scholes and Diamond were all given their marching orders in quick succession by the seventy year old ‘boy wonder’. Mallorca: 143 all out in 32 overs. Jon Barratt finished unbeaten on 25.
Ted Williams’s exemplary figures: 7-0-25-5; his son Ian’s figures were none too dusty: 5-0-16-2. Chris Phillips claimed three scalps.
It’s twenty three years since the competition began and the trophy, somewhat worse for wear, has been replaced this year. Minorca’s name will be the first to be inscribed on the sparkling new version. As skipper Roy Sturgeon was hoisted onto his team mates’ shoulders a wag from the Mallorca camp was heard to utter: “Good thing we didn’t win, we’d have needed a crane to get our skipper up there!”
It had been a fantastic weekend; the cricket, which had been played in the true spirit of the game, was hugely enjoyable, and it was heartening that everyone, in spite of their allegiance, sincerely joined in the post match celebrations.
THE MALLORCA CRICKET CLUB SQUAD - MALLORCA V IBIZA
Despite a 6.00am start to catch the ferry to Minorca for the 2010 Balearic Championships Mallorca Cricket Club’s men arrived at the picturesque cricket ground on the little island in fine fettle.
Having won the toss Mallorca’s skipper Jon Barratt took the somewhat unusual decision of putting Ibiza CC into bat. The first wicket fell with just 5 on the board when Johnston was dispatched without troubling the scorer; caught behind by ‘keeper Morris off paceman Wes Walker. Clement’s stumps were left in disarray in Walker’s next over with the score on 13. Sam Feasey didn’t have an easy time, but withstood the Mallorca onslaught for eight overs before falling victim to Jack Scholes for a commendable 15; the score 25-3.
Harvey fared little better having spent twenty minutes at the crease before being skittled out by Walker for 1. Walker, on a roll, bowled four successive maidens; I felt for Mike Lynch, my fellow scorer, whose pain was almost palpable, as the wickets continued to tumble. With the score on 33 Eric George held a catch off first change Jon Barratt sending Cooper back to the dressing room for 5. Barratt had Roy Parmenter trapped lbw for nought and Andy Diamond continued the destruction bowling the stoic Stuart Brown for 5, the scoreboard displayed a sorry 44-7. Ryan Way, who pushed the score to a more respectable 79 and was Ibiza’s top scorer with a dogged 16, was run out in the thirty fourth over. Martin Makepeace and Jeremy Parmenter added a further 13 runs and looked like taking Ibiza to the ton, until Parmenter was trapped lbw by Barratt for 11. Barratt then proceeded to rearrange Makepeace’s wickets with his third delivery of the final over. Ibiza CC: all out for a modest 95 runs.
Mallorca’s bowling figures make impressive reading. Wes Walker: 8-4-15-3. Jack Scholes: 8-2-15-1. Jon Barratt: 7.3-3-13-4. A. Diamond: 6-1-17-1. Roger Marnoch: 5-2-12-0.
Mallorca’s task appeared a simple one, but in this competition nothing can be taken for granted. Mallorca’s opening pair Muckelberg and George with time on their side made a steady start, Muckelberg facing most of the bowling. By the thirteenth over the duo had posted 35 when Jim Harvey made the breakthrough bowling George for 4. Sam Feasey bowled a pearler of a delivery to dislodge danger man Walker for 4 with the score on 45 giving heart to Ibiza’s men.
Clement allowed Barratt little time to settle dispatching him for 5; Mallorca weren’t exactly in trouble, but it was surprising to see Walker and Barratt going so cheaply. Mallorca: 58-3. Muckelberg, playing an intelligent innings, hit a cracking six over the score box on his way to a much deserved half century. With just three required for victory Morris, offered a catch to Brown off Ryan Way and was marching back to the dressing room with four to his name. Khan had the honour of hitting the winning runs with a boundary, finishing on 4 not out and Muckelberg receiving congratulations for his unbeaten 64…an impeccable performance from the affable Brummie. It was all wrapped up in the twenty seventh over.
Jim Harvey performed well with the ball: 8-2-18-1. Ryan Way 1-1-0-1.