Ricochet News

Match re-cap: Graeme College vs Union High

Feb 13, 2018
Match re-cap: Graeme College vs Union High

"It was great to play a like-minded school, in what is historically a great rivalry. Graeme and Union met this weekend, with plenty of mutual respect, which was clear to be seen on the field."

That is the word from Graeme College, which is based in Grahamstown, and hosted Union High from Graaff-Reinet over the weekend.

Last year, Graeme snatched victory from jaws of defeat against Union, so this year was going to be an eagerly anticipated fixture with both teams showing good form.

"The 1st XI were superbly hosted by Union, and played a two day match starting on Friday. Union won the toss, and asked Graeme to field in the searing heat," described Gregg van Molendorff, Graeme College Deputy Headmaster.

"With stormy conditions around, the weather did cool but Union got off to the perfect start as the Graeme bowlers struggled to find a rhythm.

"Luke McNaughton (40) attacked well, and put the bowlers under significant pressure."

When he got out, Graeme were lucky to get a few more wickets, which were probably gifted by the Union top order.

"Three silly run-outs, let Graeme in the door, and allowed them to build pressure for the first time. With pace off the ball, the Union batting order struggled to get back on top despite a superb 30 by Sinethemba Ndulula," van Molendorff said.

"Union were eventually bowled out for 128 with an hour left of play in Day 1, with Garwin Dampies picking up  for 14. Graeme got off to a solid start, and lost one wicket for 44, by the close of play."

Day 2, saw some brilliant determination from the Graeme top order, despite losing Garwin Dampies early. Romario Fritz continued his incredible year, and batted through most of the innings to score an incredible 93 on pitch, which was difficult for scoring.

"Jeremy Beyleveld (49) gave the innings an important impetus when Graeme was in a precarious position, and that enabled Graeme to get to an impressive 266/8 declared. It was not before Liam Agnew blasted 32 off 14, leading up to the declaration," van Molendorff added.

"For Union Terrance Siyaya (3 for 34) was ideally suited for the conditions and bowled superbly well, along with the Union spinners.

"The format being payed, allowed for 5 second innings wickets, and Union would need to bat for about 50 overs, to force the draw or to make Graeme bat again."

Union got off to another superb start, and developed some really good partnerships. With only two wickets down at drinks, and Matt Harper looking resolute at the crease, Graeme would need to pick up their intensity.

With the first ball after drinks, Liam Agnew made a massive breakthrough, and Graeme took advantage of the gap. Harper batted brilliantly (26 not out) to hold up one end. Union lost their 5th wicket on 66 with Liam Agnew taking 2 for 1, and Mark Amm  2 for 27.

Graeme won by an innings and 72 runs, but that results doesn’t reflect the tough challenge that actually took place between the teams.

"The u15a side played a T20 vs. Union on the Friday, in what turned out to be an incredible contest. Union scored 106 in their 20 overs, and looked like they had done enough to win," van Molendorff said.

"A last wicket surge by Graeme got them home winning in the last over by 1 wicket.  The Saturday match was just as intense, in a 40 over match. Union batted first again and scored 157 all out. Erron Visagie (2 for 23), Ase Mbanga (2 for 23) and Jaden du Plessis (2 for 24) picking up the wickets.

"Graeme looked like that had the match sewn up with Ethan Richardson looking superb (63*). Unfortunately for Richardson, a lower order collapse left him stranded and Graeme were bowled out for 129, Union winning by 28 runs."

Graeme 2nds vs Port Alfred 1st XI.

The Graeme 2nd team, had a good performance against the Port Alfred 1st XI on Saturday. In a match reduced to 40 overs because of a late start, Graeme managed to get to 143 all out. Seth Faltain  and Aaron Richardson both getting 37.

In reply the Port Alfred side was bowled out for 77, with Dylan Riley taking 3 for 13, Intle Mancoko 2 for 9 and Sunny Makalima 2 for 12. Graeme 2nds winning by 67 runs.

Graeme u14a vs Port Alfred u15a

In a similar contest the Graeme u14 side managed to beat the Port Alfred u15a team on Saturday. Graeme batted first in the reduced match and managed to get to 96 after a poor start to the day.

In reply though, Graeme bundled the Port Alfred u15 side out for 79 winning by 17 runs. Connor Pieterse continued his superb form claiming anther 4 for 10, along with Viwe Gana who picked up 3 for 19.

Unfortunately all the junior school matches were washed out against Sunridge.

Image: Captains Mark Amm and Matt Harpur before the toss of the two day match. Supplied