IZA and long-time opponents Primary Club of Australia met earlier this week in the annual “city” fixture between these two clubs. A new venue was chosen this year – Reg Bartley Oval – replacing Birchgrove Oval, which sadly is now unrealistic from a cost perspective. In dry weather, the historic Reg Bartley Oval is a superb venue (notwithstanding the constant concerns over the ever present parking rangers), as these photos attest. IZA joint match managers, the Big Rig and Strongy, equivocated over who was to skip for the day, so it was left to the Schoolmaster to determine that Rig would wear that mantle, and he then promptly lost the toss.
PCA opted to take first turn at the crease, and got off to a strong start. A series of ebbs and flows followed, with PCA finishing on 124-8 from their allotted 25 overs. Langley and James top scored for PCA with 31 and 43 respectively, with the wickets shared between Strong (2), Hambleton, Leslie, M Lovell and Hodge M, plus 2 run outs. The IZA run chase faltered initially with the early loss of 2019-20 run machine Ben van der Merwe. A solid 65 run partnership then followed between young Clive Manzie and GBT Lovell. Following GBT’s dismissal for 20, Des Borean then joined Manzie. After navigating several lean overs and enduring some sideline heckling from their teammates toward the end, these two ultimately paced themselves perfectly in the end to secure a win for IZA in the 23rd over, 2 wickets down with 8 balls to spare. Clive continued his recent rare vein of form to finish on 68 no (his top score for IZA), whilst Desi sporting a new stick and declaring “I’m now back”, remained 28 no.
Arthur Watson (representing PCA) and Davern Lewis (representing IZA) were the umpires for the day, for which both teams expressed their thanks at the post-match drinks held down at the waters’ edge. A great afternoon’s cricket between two like-minded clubs played in excellent spirits as always, with the new venue a hit not only with players but also for several family members who were welcome spectators.