Dodgers in 4DA's Sports Day runner-up shock

The mighty Dodgers rounded off an excellent season with a solid and somewhat surprisingly good display in the inaugural 4DA's Sports Day at Chiswick last Friday. Heavy morning rain meant that the start was delayed and the withdrawal of two teams led to a hasty reshuffle. Unlike at the DfT Sports Day, we avoided the big guns and were drawn in a group of 3 with ISG and OFGEM.

The team: Carr, Cooper, McBarron, Hilary (J), Matthews, Welle-Skit

Match 1, Pitch D

Batting first, Dodgers set a healthy total of 70 against an erratic ISG side. Openers Hilary and McBarron set the pace before a misjudgement saw McB run out at the Fuller's End. One over went for 24 which included 7 wides (4 for the ball itself plus 3 overthrows).

ISG batting line-up featured one pretty decent left-hander who scored most of their runs. All the Dodgers bowlers including new recruit Ian Welle-Skit were reasonably economical and kept the scoring under control. JC had about 24 runs to play with come the last over and we ended up winning by about 15.

Match 2, Pitch D

Dodgers won the toss against OFGEM and elected to field. Late arrival Trushar Patel somehow ended up playing for the oppo. Opening bowler Cooper's first ball was a wide but this obviously lulled Patel into a false sense of security as he lobbed the next one to McB at mid-off. All the other bowlers took wickets except for JH who made up for this by conceding a mere 3(?) runs. OFGEM were bowled out for 32.

Patel made amends for his early dismissal by delivering a highly accurate first over which again went for only 3. This left Dodgers needing 30 off four. Welle-Skit opened with Hilary and we made good if unspectacular progress. It came down to 14 off 2 but by the end of the over we had won.

The Final, Pitch D

Agricola, the official DEFRA team, made it to the final from the other group which also contained New Barbarian Weasels (Home Office) and Bristol Badgers (DEFRA). We approached the final in relaxed mood despite having seen balls being hit to all parts on the adjacent pitch. It was quite clear that we were going to be in for a tough game.

Agricola won the toss and inserted. The bowling was accurate and economical. Despite steadily losing wickets, we made it to a creditable 37 runs. This included a first trip to the 6-a-side crease for Cooper although it was for the last ball of the innings and at the non-striker's end!

It was a small total to defend but hopes lifted when Cooper took a wicket in the first over. A snick behind and the Cat flying to his right to pouch it. The incoming batsman launched the next one and Hilary's valiant chase nearly resulted in a splendid catch. The ball didn't quite stick and went over the boundary for four. Welle-Skit made sure this didn't matter too much by bowling the same guy in the next over. We kept things reasonably tight and it came down to them needing 8 off the last over. A couple of singles and a two meant it was 4 off 3. A pull through midwicket off JC beat Cooper and it was all over. But we were not disheartened as we performed much better than we could have ever expected.

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SPARTA, whom we were representing, won the overall competition. Our 3 points proved crucial in the outcome. We were presented with runners-up medals by Perm Sec David Rowlands.

To round things off, we entered the quiz in the evening with a team comprising JC, JC2, McB, JH and Sian. And, you guessed it, we came second!