Canada August 31, 2006

Shaw win battle of the Theatre Festivals

The Shaw Festival beat the Stratford Festival by 102 runs at Veterans Memorial Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake on Monday August 29

The Shaw Festival beat the Stratford Festival by 102 runs at Veterans Memorial Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake on Monday August 29. Jeff Irving was the star for the Shaw side, scoring 49 out of a total of 152, and then taking 4 for 13 as Stratford were bowled out for 50. Andrew Bunker also took 4 for 13, bowling throughout the Stratford innings.

The Shaw score was also indebted to Ryan de Souza (34) and Julian Mainprize (26). Stratford Festival bowlers Cubby Sadoon took 5 for 38 and Jean-Michel Legard 3 for 6.

The two festivals have been playing cricket against each other for 31 years. The match was originally going to be played on a matting wicket, but the ball did not bounce well. A strip was then mown on one of the soccer fields, used for this day as the ground and the wicket was rolled.

The scoreboard used for this game rather sadly is a leftover from the days of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Cricket Club. Scott Whitham used to be a driving force with that club but moved to the bright lights of Toronto. He told how cricket was originally played a short distance from the field used on Monday back in 1832. The minutes of the founding meeting can be traced to copies of local newspapers. Mr. Whittam would love to see the return of a permanent cricket ground on the adjacent common.

He had been present at some of the recent Canadian national team cricket internationals, particularly at Maple Leaf CC. The theatrical contingent turned out in strong numbers and gave solid support to the players.

A string quartet played during the tea interval. Details of theatrical and musical events associated with these two festivals can be found at www.shawfest.com and www.stratfordfestival.com.

The pitch was duly available by 5.30pm for the evening soccer match.
Eddie Norfolk

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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