As we are now half-way through the whole trip, it seems as if home isn't far away but I think it's fair to say we are all loving it out here.
This week has been action packed with games and outings. On Saturday the 6th we played Westering High school in Port Elizabeth with myself and Eoin Barron on the second team. We won the toss and elected to bowl because if I've ever seen a bowl first wicket it was this one. Backing up our choice to bowl first we bowled them out for 126, with wickets shared between the spinners, Eoin taking 3-26 and myself taking 4-22 off our - 10 overs as it wasn't declaration cricket.
Then with the bat we chased it for 8 wickets with myself getting 17 and Eoin getting 22 and the rest of the lads pitching in. Meanwhile the firsts were playing at home. Winning the toss and electing to bowl they skittled Westering for 78 with Max taking 2 and the inform Neo Papeta taking yet another ‘five for’! He now has 15 wickets in 3 matches.
The 1st XI chased the total for 2 with Max 2* and Rory 22* finishing it off. On Tuesday the 8th the school hosted its annual swimming gala at the school swimming pool. There was a great sense of community here as all hostel members sing songs and chant their war cry’s on the bank beside the pool whilst the other hostel members are competing.
The Irish guys took part in the 6x25 freestyle relay which was the last race of the day. We raced against female teachers, male teachers, hostel prefects and day students. Coming into the race we saw ourselves possibly winning but sure to placed. Anders got us off to a poor start as his goggles became 'full of water' we'll let him have it this time. Then we had one of the lads from the hostel swim as our 6th member and he referred to himself as 'Black Irish'. We ended up coming 6th with no dignity left at the end!
Then on Friday the 12th Mr Du Plooy brought us to watch the Southern Kings play the Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay which is quite a unique stadium. It was a warm-up game for the Super 15 league season which commences shortly. Shane Gates (a former Muir Boy and still good pals with George Dockrell) really stood out for the King's as he crossed early in the second half but the Cheetahs ended up winning 21-11.
On Saturday we had the inter-house cricket fixtures between the three houses Dougmore, Ings and Sunderland. Myself and Max played for Dougmore, Rory for Sutherland and Ian & Eoin for Ings. Ian got 35* and Eoin got 18* against Sunderland and Rory got 28 against Dougmore. Inter-house is a 12 over match with 2 overs per bowler.
On Sunday Mr Gouwse, brought us to Krakka Gamma game park which is a wildlife park where you go to see rhinos, giraffes, warthogs, zebras and much more. So far it's been a great experience and hopefully we finish the trip even better! Aaron O'Neill St Andrews College & Pembroke Cricket Club