Match Report: Renegade Titans vs Castleknock Wildcats

Renegade Titans vs Castleknock Wildcats @ Mount Temple Grounds

I write this from the middle of the Irish Sea as I wend my way to Cheshire, London and Scotland. The crossing is as much of a roller-coaster ride as last night’s game.

Match preview: Castleknock had scored 44 runs in their first game of the season so we knew they had some bats on them. Furthermore having seen a few of the players at the recent blitz we knew we’d have a game on our hands. After our narrow loss against the Tigers last week where the team watched the ball clear the Left Fielders head with monotonous regularity we were aware that our outfield would need to be prepared.

Team line up was as follows:

  1. Ricardo – “Does it always rain this much in Ireland? – SS
  2. Elaine – “Not the face” – 1st
  3. James – “Did someone say cake?” – CR
  4. Johanna – “Mount” – RF
  5. Paul – “The Captain” – P
  6. Jeannette – “JB – CL
  7. Dave “Bob” – 2nd
  8. JoJo –“I’m only here for the cake” – EH
  9. Luke – “Check out my bike from the 70’s” – LF
  10. Sinead – “I own this base” – 3rd
  11. Conor – “What month is it?” – C
  12. Alan – “I never liked this team anyway” – EH

This week’s team song:  “Why does it always rain on me?” – Travis.  An apt song for the weather conditions.

As the home team we fielded first and with a new SS / 2nd /3rd combo it was always going to take some time to find our feet.  With that in mind we managed to keep the top of the oppositions order down to two runs. When it came for our turn to bat…..well let’s just draw a discreet veil over that and move on. The search for a settled (and productive) lead off batting section goes on.

It was not till the second innings that we got off the start line thanks to yours truly scoring a Home Run whilst bringing home ‘Mount Johanna’.

Having been on the receiving end of some big hits last week the outfield were deep and cautious. Due to the weather conditions in this case it may have worked against us as the opposition were able to hit the hole and the gaps and scored 5 in the second.

Castleknock had a very strong centre field pairing and the team were warned to avoid them. However it appears that the Titans boys didn’t get that memo as they popped fly-balls in their direction to provide them with easy catches.  I think ‘Tactical Batting 101’ will be the next lesson on the Titans educational curriculum.

With Wildcat boys batting a little smarter it meant that by the bottom of the 3rd innings the Titans were 10-2 down and it wasn’t looking pretty either on the scorecard or the weather on the field. The Blue wanted to call the game at the end of the next innings due to  the weather conditions which were deteriorating rapidly.

By the end of the fourth innings it was 11-4 thanks to runs from James (HR) and Elaine. The Blue went to call the game….but then changed her mind under duress / consultation (delete as appropriate) from the Castleknock supporters who understandably wanted to see the game out from such an advantageous position. We then proceeded to hang about for the rain to subside before re-taking the field for the second half. Such a hiatus always affects a team.

However for Titans the second half was better in that we held them to three runs for the last three innings.  The 5th innings was our own when we started with Ricardo scoring a home run which led to us put on 6 runs. Going into the bottom of the 7th the score was 14-10 with ourselves to bat.  Time for us to keep clear heads and bat sensibly.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen and we struck out to finish the game 14-10.    Close but no cigar and ultimately nowhere near successful. I now know what it feels like to be a Liverpool fan.

As an aside; when England won the Rugby World Cup in 2003 much was made of Clive Woodward’s back-room performance psych guys who developed the ‘T-CUP’ model for the team. “Thinking Correctly Under Pressure’ became the mantra for that winning team and will feature heavily in ‘Tactical Batting 202’ on the Titans educational curriculum.

The good point was the debrief which, fueled by marvelous Venezuelan cake, allowed people to discuss what we learnt and what we could take away from the game.  There were still plenty of positives to take from the game:

1. Once again from being way behind (and playing poorly) we came back later in the game. We didn’t give up and kept fighting till the end.
2. We’re conducting good pre-game warm-ups which everyone finds helpful.
3. Our newbies (and there’s lots of them) are getting better rapidly week on week.
4. There’s a willingness to discuss what we learnt and ways to get better in our debriefs.
5. There were no major injuries (apart from me being struck on the left shoulder by a line drive. And yes I do have a nice bruise and a sore shoulder.)
6. There was cake.

So in the end we had:

Paul along with Elaine and Johanna who all had 2 runs from 3 AB’s. Then Jeannette, James and Alan scored one run from 3 AB’s and Ricardo scored 1 from 4 AB’s.  As always Dave Oliver whilst not scoring a run did his job; got on base, moved the runners around and scored 3 RBI’s.

Our player of the game was Sinead. In her first league match at 3rd she took all three catches aimed at her. Great work for a newbie.

Thanks to Bull for helping with the warm-up and for cheering us on, along with Gill &  Grace for scoring, and for Mr & Mrs Pancho for bringing cake! It cheered us all up at the end of a long evening in the rain.

Paul

 

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