On 27-28 February 2016 the 33rd Annual  IPTA and IP Australia weekend was held in Yarrawonga.  It was, as always, an excellent opportunity for the attorneys to socialise with Examiners and other staff from IP Australia.   It was particularly interesting to get IP Australia’s views on Pre-Examination Notices and manner of manufacture after Myriad.

Saturday 27 February saw IPTA first take on IP Australia in golf at the Yarrawonga Golf Club.   The match came down to a shoot-out between Scott Norman and John Deeves (IP Australia) against Mark Williams and Roger Green (IPTA).  Both sides had led at various stages, but it was all square at the 18th tee.  Some slightly better putting by IP Australia however, got them over the line to retain the Golf Championship.

The main event, was the cricket on Sunday 28 February at the picturesque Stan Hargreaves Oval.

IP Australia were very keen to avenge their 8 wicket hiding to the attorneys last year.  This meant that they turned up with a full team of people who actually played cricket regularly and who were selected after three warm up games.

IPTA was represented by Mark Williams (Allens), Graham Atkins, Chris Cao (EKM), Simon Gapes (Griffith Hack), Jeremy Robinson (Griffith Hack), Andrew Sykes (Victorian Bar), Roger Green (Watermark), Nigel Pereira (Watermark), Dan Bolderston (Watermark) and Andrew Davey (Griffith Hack).  A particular thanks to Roger Green, formed skipper of the IPTA team, who not only brought along two colleagues from Watermark but turned a “couple of overs” of fielding into the full 35 and chipped in with a few runs at the end of IPTA’s innings.

IPTA won the toss and elected to field. Although it was a solid batting deck, IPTA decided to stick to last year’s winning strategy of chasing.  An early wicket for Simon Gapes made this look like a decent decision.  However, IP Australia’s captain Nathan Madsen (39) and Zohair (24) steadied with a half century partnership.  Despite a couple of quick wickets, the platform had been laid for IP Australia’s middle order to throw the bat at everything.  Varun Malik top scored for IP Australia with 57, well supported by Rhys Munzel (32) and the other Varun (36).  Malik was eventually dismissed by Dan Bolderston for his first IPTA wicket.   In a helter skelter finish, Chris Cao also grabbed his first wicket for IPTA and Simon Gapes took an athletic running catch.  However, it wasn’t enough to stop IP Australia making their way to 9/245 off 35 overs.  Amongst the carnage, there wasn’t much to say about any of IPTA’s bowling figures.

Faced with an imposing total, Andrew Sykes started IPTA’s chase by slapping the first ball through covers for four.  Unfortunately, two balls later he was out to a catch that Alex Jaksic will probably never take again. IPTA’s innings was then struck by (self-made) umpiring controversies.  First, Andrew Davey (25) was given out caught behind from a “woody sound” despite missing the ball by three inches and hitting the ground with his bat.  Almost straight away, Gavin Atkins was then given out lbw after being hit in the stomach.   In a show of good sportsmanship, however, IP Australia’s captain Madsen recalled Atkins and IPTA changed its on field umpires.

Atkins (13) batted well with Mark Williams to get IPTA to 2/150.  However, with the run rate climbing, IPTA’s middle order wilted to 6/162.  Whilst wickets were falling at the other end, Williams brought up his century with a slog over midwicket before retiring for 104 to enable some late order hitting from Simon Gapes (26no).  IP Australia’s total proved too much to chase though; with IPTA falling short on a creditable 8/194.

Mark Williams was named man of the match for his century. Unfortunately, Mark was battling cramps on the drive back to Melbourne and wasn’t available to be presented with the R.C. Wray award at the post-match dinner held at The Yarrawonga Hotel to cap off an enjoyable weekend.

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