London Saints vs Ex Blues, 30th August 2019
Ex Blues 261-6 (McIntyre 3-17)
London Saints 162 all out (Rogers 62, McInytre 16)
The London Saints arrived at the picturesque Ex Blues ground for the 30th meeting between the sides with the confidence of back to back wins. We also had great sunny conditions and White Viv’s birthday eve to celebrate, so today was going to be a good day wasn’t it? As always this fixture was a timed game with the Ex Blues batting first.
The immediate opening partnership of Davies and Barham showed the scale of the task ahead for the Saints’ against the Ex Blues who had now joined with Natwest (other banks available!) and were sporting a few new younger faces. We were also weakened by having DT in the field a pint and a half in as we waited for Lucan and Tiger Pearce to arrive. They raced to 46-1 in 8 overs after some disciplined but unrewarded bowling from Phil Rogers and Jacko. Jacko was replaced by “The Champ” Mike who immediately bowled Barham to bring up the first wicket of the day with the youngster departing for 26 and with the cleanness of his hitting it would suggest that it was a big scalp for Mike and the side. A small partnership emerged between Davies and new batsman Stone. Yet, the ever reliable Rogers broke that, and had Jacko to thank after a superb catch in the covers that landed Jacko on the floor such was the force involved in the strike. These couple of wickets put the London Saints on top and that would continue after Mike made another couple of breakthroughs. The first was number four Elmer who didn’t trouble the scorebook, frustrated that he was bowled after the ball flicked the pads on the way to leg stump, this came after the Saints’ had various LBW appeals turned down and so were due some fortune. The Champ’s next wicket is sure to be a contender for catch of the season. It was a caught and bowled to dismiss captain and danger man Harris for another duck. Harris fiercely struck the ball back at Mike meaning he parried it up into the air and grabbed it on the second opportunity. This meant that at the end of the 14th over the Ex Blues were 70-4 and the Saints’ were in a strong position.
Pearcey replaced Rogers and needed an over to settle with his first over going for 17, but in that over one could say Pearcey’s bowling was responsible for a breakthrough. Opener Davies hurt his back chasing a “slower ball” which forced him into retirement shortly after for a well-made 50. Pearcey clearly taking inspiration from Archer’s tactics to Smith of “well if you can’t get them out, get them off the field” but not quite with the same venom that Archer bowled to Smith! Mike was still bowling at the other end and shocked us once more, this time by dropping one off his own bowling, clearly Mike was getting too embarrassed by how easily he was winning the POTY contest. Unfortunately it was that point in the game which so often occurs in London Saints’ matches in which a batsman was at the crease which was clearly too strong for our collective ability. The batsman in question was number seven Ford who would go onto finish on 83*. Nice pint replaced Mike and bowled a couple of overs, whilst young Ben replaced Pearcey who impressively conceded only 4 runs off his last three overs. Sherriff’s first over was littered with no balls but recovered somewhat to concede just 3 off his second and final over by which point stand in captain Judas decided to bring on Lord Lucan for Smith and himself for Sherriff. The change was effective with Lucan’s first three overs revealing figures off 1-14 and Johnny G bowled two tight overs conceding seven off them. Lucan’s last over went for eleven, symbolic of the trouble the Saints had towards the end of the Ex Blues innings.
It meant that going in to what would turn out to be the last four overs of their innings the Ex Blues were 214-6 and clearly worried about the explosive London Saints batting unit, otherwise why would they bat so long?! By which point Ford was demolishing deliveries all over the ground as was his new partner Loughlin who recorded a quick fire 38*. Jacko the main victim of the punishment which meant his figures were a wicket-less six overs costing him seventy two runs. Rogers’ second spell was also more expensive but still a respectable 14 off his final two overs. It meant that the Ex Blues ended on 261-6 off 38 overs and so we required 262 to win or more realistically bat a lot of overs to try and save the game with a draw.
The two men to lead the London Saints charge were Clive Dunn and White Viv. Dunn impressed with two early boundaries played down to third man, reminiscent of Kiwi Kane Williamson’s favoured stroke. This was whilst having the pressure of potentially winning the duck trophy lingering over his head. In contrast Jonesy had us all in fits of laughter before a run was acquired next to his name as he was plonked on his backside second ball, a failed swipe down the leg-side off bowler Danks being the cause. Sadly, neither batsman could hang around for too long, with Grimes departing for 9, adjudged (after a long pause from the opposition umpire) to be leg before. Jonesy’s was caught with both scalps off the youthful Lee. Mr Mayhew was in at three and dreaming of copying his brother’s last year 50, whilst Mike was at four. Andy again highlighted the need for Trevor to make himself available for selection once more as he made 11, falling below his unusually low season average of 27.5. The wicket brought Rogers to the crease with the Saints in trouble at 47-3, but just like the pairs bowling the duo enjoyed a fine partnership, the only disappointment being it couldn’t have been a bit more fruitful with Mike looking comfortable before chopping on for 16. Sherriff joined Rogers at the crease with Umpire Thomas’ concentration beginning to go somewhat. Ben in his first London Saints game of the season was adjudged to have been LBW by DT despite the ball striking his back thigh, leaving all in agreement it was too high. Dave or Joel Wilson as he now liked to be known later updated his original comment of “plum” to “I wasn’t really paying attention” but nevertheless the captain was now at the crease. John made 10 but with his wicket it brought the duck trophy candidate Pearcey to the crease.
The duck trophy had three potential homes now, fought between Pearcey, Lucan and Jacko. Pearcey played two strong leg-side heaves which brought two boundaries, he went for the third in quick succession but was caught at mid-on. Although, that didn’t matter to Pearcey as he was now out of the running, his replacement was fellow candidate Keenan. Keenan may have only added two to the scorebook but it was eventful for two reasons. One of those was the fact that Jacko was now the 18th recipient of the duck trophy award. The other was that his short stay provided us with a potential “champagne moment”. In running his two Keenan was waving his bat in the air to leave some London Saints comparing him to Mary Poppins, maybe another nickname for Steve? The “Wall” Smith was at the crease following Poppins’ dismissal, the score was 135-8 and Rogers was still at the crease. His wicket was the only duck of the day on the Saints side which meant that we beat the Ex Blues on that front which surely was all that mattered! Duck trophy winner Jacko joined Rogers with Rogers teeing off and moving to a well-made 50 in the process. The Saints innings ended with Rogers skying one up in the air and subsequently was out caught and bowled. We ended on a respectable 162 all out, 8 overs off securing a draw and now had the usual, enjoyable BBQ and beers to look forward to post-match.
A big thank you to DT as always for his organisation across the season as well as our stand in captains of Mayhew and Griffiths and those who played and supported the club. Next year marks 40 years of London Saints cricket, let’s make it another memorable one!
MOTM- A close call between the two ever consistent Saints players in Phil and Mike. Our now two time LSCC POTY Mike gets my vote on the basis that his bowling figures were vastly superior to the rest of the attack.
Champagne moment- This is another close one, this time between White Joffra and White Viv. The nod goes to Jonesy for his failed Speedo like nurdle down the leg side on his second delivery which landed him on his backside the day before he gets his bus pass! Take more care on those buses Jonesy!
Davies retired hurt 50
Barham b McIntyre 26
Stone ct Jackson b Rogers 6
Elmer b McIntyre 0
Harris ct and b McIntyre 0
Rudyard b Pearce 20
Ford not out 87
Danks b Keenan 16
Loughlin not out 38
Sub Total 242
Total 261 – 6
Jones ct ? b Lee 10
Grimes lbw Lee 9
Mayhew B Danks 11
McIntyre b Dilley 16
Rogers ct ? b Doug 64
Sherriff lbw (Backseat) b Edy 1
Griffiths ct ? b Edy 10
Pearce ct ? b Ford 9
Keenan b Loughlin 2
Smith b Doug 0
Jackson not out 0
Sub Total 132
Total 162 all out