And so it was last Saturday at the mighty Atmosphere Park (the local slang for Graham’s Reserve) as 4th grade openers Billy D’Arcy and Luke Edgell tore the Campbelltown attack apart by recording the highest ever opening stand in our 138 year history.
The Saturday before saw the Ghosts end up on 9 for 274, a decent total on a pitch that did not have alot of life. It was expected that they would declare over night to give themselves as much chance to bowl the Waratahs out, and indeed they did, informing stand-in skipper James Boyer 30 minutes before play.
Edgell and D’Arcy opened up for the Tahs in Round 1 vs Hawkesbury. On that occasion they put on a scintillating 138 for the 1st wicket chasing 147 for victory. Edgell ended up not out on 88 and D’Arcy was dismissed just before victory for 51.
But this was a round 5 match and Edgell had not been seen at the crease since then, nor had he even picked up a bat. D’Arcy had been hitting the ball OK, hitting 25 in his other match of the season.
But together they were a force of nature. In pursuit of the 274, they batted for 70 overs, pounding the loose ball and running like hare’s between the wickets. Yes the deck was tame and the opposition were a little flat, but there was some phenomenal stroke-play from both players.
Edgell was double D’Arcy’s score for most of the day, passing 100 just after D’Arcy had passed 50. However Billy came roaring back in the later-half of the innings, outscoring him for the second half of the run chase.
Just when we thought that the boys would bat the Waratahs to victory, tragedy struck. Edgell edged one behind with only 2 runs to win. What a travesty. Skipper Boyer strode the crease and confidently left the last ball of the over, before D’Arcy hit the first ball of the next over for 4 to win the game.
On their way, the 2 broke two long standing records. When they passed 232 they went passed the previous 4th grade opening stand between Jarrod Baker (96) and Paul Brenner (139) from 2004-05 against UNSW. When they passed 271 runs, they broke the record for the highest 1st wicket partnership in our history, previously held by 1st grade openers Richard Fry (159) and Greg Bush (125) from 1990-91.
It was the highest partnership since the 2006-07 partnership of 301 between Tim Cruickshank and Cameron Merchant against Sydney University.
However you look at it, an amazing achievement from both Luke and Billy. Congratulations to both players on a wonderful innings.