The curtain came down on the Leps season over the weekend with two closely fought games in Bagenalstown(win) and Mount Juliet(loss).
The deluge which put paid to final day of the Listowel Harvest festival failed to reach Co.Carlow, so Messrs Richie & Sethi opened up to the single chime of the St. Andrew's steeple. This (time) fixture is so "Tridentine" that not even a watch is needed, T @ 4, 20 overs after the Angelus!!
Due to Bagenalstowns battery of accurate bowlers (Tom Butler has lost nothing in marriage!) the Leps got to 81 all out as St. Andrew signaled four. During a G.X.L. tea, put up by the said Mrs.B.(her walnut cake a speciality!), Leps caps were presented to Ray Stapleton(point duty) and Seán Farrell who as usual had the ground looking its best.
Bespite Rory Black knocking over the openers, at 51/2 the Leps were in a deal of bother. Shiv Sethi 126.96.36.199 & (14 year old) Rory Sullivan 188.8.131.52 then picked their way through the Bagenalstown batting in a welter of tension, aided by two spectacular catches from Ian Smilie & Neil Voster, to get us home by 5 runs with 2 overs left, "Stonewall Farrell" last man standing.
After an early(comparatively!) night, and a visit to the Blue Door, we arrived on time to a sundrenched (& breathtakingly beautiful) Mount Juliet. Leps made 165/9 in their 40 overs. Ian Walshe 50, Matt Dwyer 38, Richie Duffin 184.108.40.206. A near hundred partnership between Andrew Nixon(54) & Cal LeBroy (47*) got Mount Juliet home in the 39th over. They had played Matt Dwyer 220.127.116.11 with great caution!! Young Seán Dalton from North Kildare put a great opening spell, bowling Richie D. with a corker.
While all this was going on one of the great cricket meetings of minds was taking place. It is not recorded what reply was made to Stanley's "Dr. Livingston, I presume" greeting, but I can reveal that when, along the boundary, Jim Bennett addressed Des Foot with "Abbeyleix" the reply was "Shanahoe". Two great Laois (& cricket) men meet for the first time in a clearing by the River Nore!