C’mon you Ute-ies!
London Saints 211-9 (Paula 91, The Professor 24)
Coldharbour 148 (Out 3-17, Floater 3-30, Hilda 2-32)
A Utility vehicle is a van or pickup – and the lift given in the ‘Ute’ by Farmer Jack White Viv Jones back to the pub in Coldharbour was the pickup of the season as London Saints today crushed heavyweight rivals Coldharbour to record our first win of the season.
In what is argueably our toughest fixture, London Saints beat Coldharbour by 63 runs in an often explosive match to level our four-year series in Surrey at 2-2.
It was, of course, at this stunning ground high on the North Downs that LSSC smashed all records in 2009 – the highest individual total (John Griffiths, 119), the highest ever LSSC score (302), the first time LSSC had two centurions in one winnings (JG and Trevor Mayhew) and a new record for any partnership (229).
And this year was only marginally less impressive in what many considered to be the finest LSSC fielding performance for years – not least as we took seven catches, including some corkers.
But let us start with LSSC’s classiest batsman ever. The legendary Trevor Mayhew, overshadowed last year with a mere 109, took centre stage. Having announced his season-end retirement that morning over eggs, bacon, sausages, black pudding, beans, mushrooms and extra hash browns to concentrate on a running career, ‘Paula’ let rip with a peerless 91 – including two sixes – to take his average against Coldharbour to exactly 100. Can we let this boy go? Shall we rig the end of season vote?? Again???
Knackered, he failed to get back into his crease – and walked, despite Uruguayan umpire Nick Head failing to see that his foot hadn’t crossed the line. It was the second walk of the innings, John Quinn having gloved a catch behind. Such sportsmanship. So pucker LSSC.
Trevor and Damien Chalmers shared a 50-partnership before Gary Burrell, on a quick round-trip from Cornwall added 35 with Big Trev. Then came a second 50 partnership – with Trev and Wath, of which Wath contributed precisely 8. At 159-3, we were so well set that Wath felt confident enough to launch his bat for a spectacular straight six – his first in 30 years of LSSC appearances.
Trev was fifth man out. Next up, Captain Jack White Viv Jones, who announced his hour-late arrival with a cheery wave from the father-in-law’s Ute as it drove past the bowler’s arm. Half an hour later, Cptn Jack emerged from the dressing room having got lost again to nurdle for Britain and move the score to 191-5.
After such euphoria, the surprise ducks for DT (ordinary) and Pete Berkeley (spectacularly LBW’d – again – harshly given by Prof, despite being halfway down the wicket) dampened the innings’ end – before LSSC stumbled over the finish line with 211-9. But at least having used all 41 overs in a timed game. A good performance.
Mayhew stumped 91
Quinn J caught 5
Chalmers bowled 24
Burrell bowled 12
Wathan caught 16
Jones run out 14
Nanton caught 12
Thomas bowled 0
Berkeley lbw 0
Van Marle not out 7
Keenan not out 1
TOTAL 211-9 (off 41 overs)
Thanks again to Coldharbour for such hospitality. This is a club that, when a downpour delayed play in 2008, dug out a barrel of beer left from a wedding reception the previous day and served pints for £2 until the pitch drained. The tea is always excellent: this year’s highlights included the cheese and pickle sandwiches, carrot cake and buttered malt loaf…..on behalf of the LSSC Teas Committee.
COLDHARBOUR INNINGS 5.30pm – an hour’s play then 20 overs after 6.30pm
To say the start of Coldharbour’s innings was explosive is to understate the case.This was the most, I mean the most, extraordinary start of an innings I have ever seen (Steve Harmison at The Ashes 2005 included).
Dave Nanton bowls an unplayable maiden. In the second over, Gavin van Marle (‘Floater’) drifts one across the left hander who edges straight to Damien. 0-1 off the first ball. Second ball: No3 Jordan picks off his legs and hoists for six. Dot ball. Jordan again hoists off his legs for six. Then tries the same shot again, only to top edge to DT for a catch. Dot ball. End of the second over: Coldharbour 2-12.
From the other end Dave Nanton, off three paces, whips in dot ball after dot ball – eventually to finish his spell with 5-2-10-0. Meanwhile, Gavin picks up a third wicket, with an LBW against Hargreaves, a player who looks potentially lethal. Then follows up with a sharp catch off Pete’s bowling. At this stage, he is challenging Trevor for man-of-the-match.
As Dave finishes his excellent spell, Finn takes over – and with his first ball, captures a wicket. Dawe jnr thinks he’ll teach the boy a lesson, edges and Pete holds another sharp catch. Unbelievable. Coldharbour are quickly 81-5 and reeling.
It doesn’t stop. Damien is furious at dropping a catch behind only for Finn to finish his first spell with an unplayable inswinger that smacks middle wicket to remove another dangerman for 36. Dave ‘Flatliner’ Nanton then reverts to Jonty to make a diving catch in the covers, hitting the ground so hard we thought he’d have another heart attack.
Coldharbour clatter a few boundaries to briefly threaten only for John Quinn to take yet another sharp catch. Finn returns to bowl another wicket-taking inswinger and his Dad claims a scalp in his first – and the last – over with Trevor taking the catch. What the hell happened there? Coldharbour are all out in only 33 overs, that’s what.
Van Marle 6-0-30-3
F Quinn 8-3-17-3
J Quinn 1-0-4-0
MAN OF THE MATCH
Legendary batsman Trevor Mayhew is the obvious choice for hs 91 which set the foundation for LSSC’s innings. But brilliant bowling and fielding from Dave Nanton and Gavin van Marle, plus a superb spell from Finn Quinn – realising his potential – make them serious contenders. But as Trevor is threatening to retire completely, the award must go to The Legend.
So many. Dave Nanton after the game: “I feel like Emile Heskey – everybody says I play well but I still get no wickets.” Or Gary Burrell to legendary I haven’t-a-clue-about-the-name-of-field-placings DT: “Where do you want me?” Point, says DT. “Point where?” says Gary.
Or DT claiming the art-of-captaincy in John Quinn, Gavin and Finn getting wickets in their first over. Or Damian on another attempted stumping-and-missing by a mile jabbering: “One day you won’t be laughing!”
But probably as DT reflected on cricketing genius from the balcony. Wath has ‘no cricket brain’ shortly before The Watch cracked his six. Or Gary Burrell: “He has a cricket brain,” shortly before Gary repeated his cross bat swipe and was clean bowled. That is the art of captaincy.