It was certainly a feather in the cap for the Michaelhouse first XI on the Roy Gathorne Oval in Balgowan last Saturday (22 January) after earning a meritorious victory over Northwood.
Michaelhouse compiled a match-winning 305 for the loss of 7 wickets in their allotted 50 overs. Northwood’s reply of 174 all out left the Men of House 131-run winners.
Northwood put Michaelhouse in to bat and a measured start by openers Murray Baker (57) and James Kennedy set the ideal platform for House, the first wicket falling in the 16th of the allotted 50 overs with the total at 96.
And that ideal platform was not undone as House captain Jeremy Foss (71), Thomas McCall (48) plus the contributions of Joshua Heath (25) and Robbie Lawrence (27) took the home side to a formidable 305.
When it was Northwood’s turn to bat the Michaelhouse bowlers were backed by excellent support in the field. The spin of Joshua Heath (3 for 14 in 5 overs) and the seam of Michael Thornton (2 for 14 in 6 overs) did much of the damage.
In the last 8 matches between the two schools’ premier cricket sides, House have won 5 and Northwood 1 while 2 matches had to be abandoned.
In the festival at Kearsney during the second week of this month, the Michaelhouse first XI’s opening match of the year was against the host school, which was abandoned due to the adverse weather conditions.
Michaelhouse had been bowled out for 226 and in reply Kearsney were handily placed at 145 for 2 before the curtains came down.
The Michaelhouse first XI coaching staff of Ian Crawford and Darryn Mortimer and the team captained by Jeremy Foss took on Clifton the next day and it was another tough encounter, House all out for 106 in pursuit of the excellent 253 for 7 compiled by the Clifton lads.
A 147-run loss is not easy to recover from but this Michaelhouse duly did, winning their next three matches, including the abovementioned defeat of Northwood this past Saturday.
Chasing the Futura Academy’s impressive 303 all out the Men of House contributed 304 for the loss of 8 wickets to record a heartening 2-wicket win.
A seven-wicket victory over Maritzburg College in the T20 match the following day, the last outing of the Kearsney festival, added further value to the Michaelhouse cause. In reply to Maritzburg College’s 121 for 7 in their 20 overs, Michaelhouse went past the winning post at 123 for 3.
This Saturday (29 January) the Michaelhouse first XI are scheduled to visit Durban High School (DHS) and will no doubt be looking to maintain their momentum.
After the DHS trip the Men of House are scheduled to host Clifton on the Roy Gathorne on February 5 before facing Glenwood (away) on February 12.
According to the fixtures I have seen, the first round of the Michaelhouse cricket year ends with the first XI taking on St Charles College on February 26 before the much-anticipated visit to the Hart-Davis Oval at Hilton College on Saturday, March 5.