By Nathan Lloyd
One of the special days on the BGS cricket calendar is the annual contest between the Old Boys XI and the current First XI squad. Played on Wednesday 23 November last year, the match proved a tough 40 overs per side contest. In front of their school friends on the picturesque number one oval, the 2017 First XI squad prevailed in a hard fought victory, scoring an impressive 9/205 against the Old Boys' 9/172.
The game was contested on a typically warm and humid November day. Before play began, Old Boys' captain Stuart Rees '79 addressed both teams on the importance of cricket at BGS and also on the legacy of Jim Taylor. Jim was a science teacher and cricket coach at the School for many years and fittingly this match is played in his honour. The winning team receives the
Jim Taylor Memorial Cup and bragging rights for the next 12 months. Stuart's comments set the tone for what would be a competitive, fair and enjoyable game of cricket played in good spirits.
Batting first, the First XI got off to a quick start reaching 2/80 off just 14 overs, thanks largely to a great knock from opener Callum Tolhurst who scored 54. A middle order collapse followed thanks to great bowling from Old Boys Michael Lloyd '03 with 3/15, and Kendel Fleming '13 with 2/12. A tight spell of seven overs of 1/23 from Steven Saini also helped restrict the First XI to 8/128 after 31 overs. However, some late order hitting from Nick Whip ensured the First XI posted a very healthy total of 9/205. Nick finished the innings with 65 not out from just 49 balls, including six fours and four sixes.
In the break of innings, both sides were treated to a splendid lunch provided by the School. After lunch the Old Boys XI set about chasing down the total. Some wonderful bowling from Matt Thomas and Cooper Davis ensured the Old Boys were in early trouble at 4/67 off 16 overs. A steadying knock of 48 from Wally Wright '03 kept the Old Boys in the game, until another cluster of wickets fell due to some great bowling from Hamish Martin who took 3/32. By over number 30, the Old Boys were struggling at 7/135. Lower order contributions from Marcus Daldy, Fergus Rees and Stuart Rees couldn't get the Old Boys over the line, as we fell 33 runs short, finishing on 9/172 after 40 overs.
Well done to the First XI on a fantastic victory. Special mention also goes to First XI captain Hamish Martin who showed patience and good leadership in guiding his team to victory. Following the match, the Jim Taylor Memorial Cup was presented to the First XI by Jim Taylor's daughter Michelle. We would like to thank Michelle and the Taylor family for their ongoing support of this fixture.
It was a privilege to be a part of the day and we thank everyone involved, especially Director of Cricket Trevor Irvine and the staff of BGS' cricket program for organising the match. Finally, a big thank you to all those who worked behind the scenes: caterers, umpires, scorers, the OBA committee – to make the day a success.