It isn’t often that Ireland is bathed in sunshine for extended evenings of an August. This was thankfully the case for the 2nd Annual Geography Rounders Challenge in Trinity College last week, on the hallowed ground of the Trinity College cricket pitch. The grass was cut, the surface rolled and the shorts donned for this year’s game, where the mighty Megaclasts took on the young pretenders, the SGDs (The Subterranean Groundwater Discharges).
After a slow start, and some staunch rule challenges from both sides (owing to international disputes over British, Irish and Kenyan rule discrepancies), the game proceeded apace. At the turn, following impressive batting displays from Diarmuid O’Dwyer and Lucy Crockford (experienced hurlers and cricketers respectively) the Megaclasts had mounted a significant target of 15 runs for the SGDs to match. Never a team to shy from adversity, this was fervently chased by a thrilling innings from the SGDs. Under the leadership of the SGDs captain Mary Bourke, Ruth Doyle, Laragh Larsen, Tengwen Long and the novice Alexandra Oppelt racked up an impressive 17 runs, clearing the target by a comfortable 2.
The Megaclasts responded to this challenge with an excellent return of 5 further runs in their final batting round. Long hits from Breda Walsh, Kevin Lougheed and Danni Greene (the recent antipodean transfer) set up a thrilling final innings for the SGDs. Complementing this, excellent fielding from the Megaclasts, including some nonchalant footwork from a skilled Laura Devaney, squeezed the SGD reply, resulting in a return of just 2 runs. This left a single run dividing the teams as the final batter of the evening stepped up.
With two bases loaded, Anna Davies – the veteran and hero of last year’s meeting – needed something special to bring home the victory for the SGDs. Two poor balls from the Megaclasts pitcher slowed proceedings, before Davies connected solidly with a third. The ball skidded out towards right-field and a burst of pace from all three runners set them off towards home. Though heroic, the batting effort wasn’t long enough for the scarpering fielders, who returned the ball to home quickly, greeted with exuberant celebrations from the Megaclasts fielders who knew the match was theirs.
And so, the 2014 Geography Rounders Challenge was brought to a close; Megaclasts 20, SGDs 19. Though the SGD players were left dejected, wounded pride was nursed by an ice-cream in the Rose Garden, celebrating an impressive victory by the Megaclasts.