London Saints

Kent thrashing for the cricketers

A glorious Sunday afternoon saw London Saints take on the unknown quantity that was the Kent Ramblers at the EX-Blues cricket ground.

Saints opted to bowl first, a decision which was partly tactical and one that also hid the fact that Gary Speedtwin was stuck on the motorway along with the kit bag.

In an attempt to recreate the fall of the Berlin Wall, a group of players (led by Tony Grimes) decided to push the sight screen into a row of tall fir trees – damaging it in the process. However, unbeknown to the opposition, this was actually a hastily drawn-up tactic designed to lull our opponents into a false sense of security and make them believe we were complete cretins, or at the very least, a Home Guard re-enactment group in the mould of Dad’s Army.

In short, it didn’t work.

Ramblers opened with Stocks and Loughlin who looked to get settled in quickly while getting runs on the board. Things were going to plan for the home side until a straight slog from Loughlin looped over bowler Steve Keenan and into the grateful hands of Neil Hotston with just 6 runs made.

Early optimism soon faded as Stocks and new batsman Ford formed a ‘healthy’ partnership of 166. With the game slipping slowly into a leisurely afternoon of practice for the Ramblers’ batsmen – Grimes, who had bowled tirelessly, was eventually rewarded for his efforts by bowling Stocks out for 60.

Another wicket soon fell when Nanton deceived Ford with a quicker ball that seemed to pop up and confuse the batsman.

Then came the long awaited return of Dave Thomas and his rehabilitated shoulder.

Dave’s first few balls were prodded away gingerly until he let fly with an absolute ripper that caught Fitch’s leg stump- sending the player back to the bar with a meagre 2 runs on the board.

The good work was soon undone however with two dropped catches by the man himself. Thomas returned to his fielding position at deep square-leg having made assurances that he would “catch anything that came near the boundary”, The prophecy unfortunately proved untrue, although in his defence, he did have to cover an awful lot of ground before diving for the second.

In between the action, wayward bowling from debutant Ed Price flattered the home teams score, although most agreed afterwards this was partly down to the captain’s insistence on him to bowl over the stumps instead of around (Only joking Dave)

McIntyre and Burrell also tried in vain to find a way through the Ramblers’ batsmen but posted decent figures, with Burrell one of only two London Saints to bowl a maiden over.

Both teams eventually left the field with Ramblers having scored 228 for 4 after 40 overs leaving London Saints lots to chew over while tucking into a rather nice barbecue and buffet.

Things didn’t improve with the bat. In fact only two players managed to get into double figures (Mayhew 14 and Keenan 13).

Facing two opening bowlers with facial hair for the first time in their 30 year history, London Saints were all out 58.

This resulted in careful studying of the score book post-match to see if the result had altered the standings of the Duck Trophy leader board, with 5 London Saints out for 0 on the afternoon. Special mentions going to Thomas who went for a golden and Steve Grant for a silver (run out by Hotston – Ed.).

Man of the Match: Steve Keenan for being reliable with both ball and bat. Special Mention must go to Burrell for some heroic fielding and being rather good at retrieving the ball out of the bushes.

Champagne Moment: The look of bemusement on the locals’ faces watching a group of London Saints players completely trash the sight screen.

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