We played CIYMS in the Twenty20 Cup on Tuesday night and it was not close. You have seen the score. I will not talk about it very much, except to the psychotherapist I hired first thing on Wednesday morning.
I will, however, say that I have derived some consolation from three facts (as well as from Rioja). First, we could have fielded first and been chasing 200. Second, we have dismissed an opposing team for fewer runs in league (that is, proper) competition: Bangor's 24 all out in 2011. Third, we could have been Bayern Munich or Real Madrid and lost in front of 70,000 fans who expect glory, not 10 who expect nothing.
But then, as somebody pointed out, the footballers of Munich and Madrid are unarguably good at their sport, they are paid handsomely for their troubles, and they might also beat Ballymena at cricket.
I write this on the third morning of the three-day match between the Warriors and the Lightning. So far CricketEurope - essentially a roster of volunteers - has provided ball-by-ball commentary, a live scorecard, four extensive photo galleries, and a string of reports. There may also be audio interviews from the close of play.
What coverage has Cricket Ireland - with its own digital media manager - provided? Is there a standalone website for the interprovincial competitions? No. Is there a devoted subsection on the Cricket Ireland website? No. So what is there?
Well, there is a series of tweets about the match (although you get the feeling that the six characters of 'Hanley' are the only ones they care about).
Cricket Ireland, it appears, has an agreement to use CricHQ's system to provide coverage of the match, even if the tweeted link to the scorecard sometimes leads to a blank page.
Moreover, I find CricHQ's live coverage frankly to be awful. If the reader can navigate the labyrinth to the match in question, he is presented with a basic scorecard and robotic commentary. Every catch is described as a 'good catch!' Every appeal for lbw as a 'big appeal for lbw!' Mercifully, the website retains this drivel for only seven overs.
Oftentimes, it's not even up-to-date: when the Warriors were 227-6 on Tuesday, CricHQ had the score as 98-3 (the LCU's website, by the way, had them 27-0).
Are Cricket Ireland's efforts any better at the end of play? No, we get a 150-word report, one photograph, and, if we are lucky, a link to a Cricinfo scorecard (but not this time).
Cricket is a minority sport in Ireland, everybody knows that. Its reputation can be enhanced on the pitch, in print, and online. It therefore requires widespread, detailed, and high-quality promotion. And just where is that?
So the end of an era has arrived (again) and Kevin Pietersen has been told that he will not be picked for England (again). The whole farrago has been in turns excruciating and hilarious and, taken as a whole, Pietersen's conduct might be the first recorded instance of somebody hammering the nails into their own coffin.
According to some sources, the now infamous conversation that took place between Pietersen, Andrew Strauss, and the ECB's chief executive Tom Harrison went something like this:
Pietersen: Hello, chaps, I'd just like to say how incredibly excited Kevin Pietersen is about playing for England once again. It's going to be absolutely fantastic for the fans to see me, and it's going to be absolutely fantastic for me to read all the reports and watch all the TV footage about me playing for England again.
Strauss and Harrison: Er, yes, about that. We think that would be a bad idea.
Pietersen: Eh? But scoring runs for England and giving everything for his country/county/IPL franchise is what Kevin Pietersen is all about.
Strauss and Harrison: Well, yes, we know you're rather good at batting. But what with you sending derogatory and offensive messages about your captain to the opposition during a Test match, and what with you assassinating the characters of just about every person involved in English cricket in your autobiography, we're not entirely sure we can trust you. So we're not going to pick you.
Pietersen: Hmmm, I see. Well, I don't like that. So instead of knuckling down for Surrey and continuing to score runs, instead of apologizing for what I have written before, and instead of trying to show everybody that I am in fact a half-decent person who can be trusted, I'm going to go straight to my ghost-writer and tell him to write an article trashing you both. Then in the morning I'm going to mock you on Twitter.
Strauss and Harrison: That rather proves our point about trust, doesn't it? Quod erat demonstrandum?
Pietersen: What does that mean?