How’s That!—Alumni Team wins 2006 Match
By Gord Fleming (84—88)
Watch a video of the 2006 Cricket Match filmed and edited by our videographer Dean Janowski (02-05).
HALIBURTON – The 24th Annual Staff vs. Alumni Cricket match was a hotly anticipated event, as clearly demonstrated by the HSR Staff team, which somehow managed to keep their whites looking their whitest for almost two months. They were a well-organized squad, with two full teams of players ready to take the field. The Alumni team on the other hand was again hastily cobbled together from a ragtag bunch that turned up to eat some eggs the morning of the game, and a few mystery guests who arrived just prior to the coin toss.
There was much at stake after last year’s one-run Alumni loss, which also saw the end of the career of veteran bowler Mark Burns who sustained a severe knee injury while executing about the coolest fake-out ever to secure an out in the late stages of the game. Another blow to the Alumni squad was the no-show of star Silly Mid Off Dave “the iron man” Taylor, whose consecutive match record ends at 23. Pending review by the league commissioner, he is expected to be heavily fined.
Several off-season call ups filled the void, part of the new youth movement that the Alumni management has identified as its new direction. “Like that creepy beaver skull at the Trapper’s Cabin, we were getting a little long in the tooth there” said captain Gord Fleming. “We needed some young arms and strong bats to make up for the injuries, stiffness, ear hair and alarming weight gain that can slow a veteran lineup down“.
The new approach paid off in another exciting match. Bowlers on both sides sometimes delivered balls within the batsmen’s reach, and the batsmen responded by periodically hitting them. Every now and then, runs were scored while search parties were dispatched to the forest to retrieve hit balls. Following a fast-paced first inning, two 20 minute halves were given to each side to generate as much offence as possible. Some was, and the Alumni triumphed over the staff by four runs.
“We knew that all we had to do was score a little more and have the Staff team score a little less to give us a good chance of winning“, Fleming astutely observed. “It was close though. I think we’re finally starting to see some parity. That’s important in a two-team league“.
Next year’s tilt will have the added dimension of being the 25th match – a strong incentive for any team to claim victory. Fans and casual observers alike will want to plan a trip to the Mill Site next August to see this historic event first hand. World Cricket supremacy will be on the line!
See also 2006 Reunion Weekend.