LSCC v Roadrunners – Sun July 23 – Old Habs
LSCC (Pearce 15, Price 11) 76 all out
Roadrunners 78 – 0
And it started with a good omen: ‘I’ve brought the right glasses so I won’t drop any catches today’ said the skipper. Then looking around the sceptical dressing room he remarked upon the ‘experience’ of the team – rather like the England Team he said it was ‘packed with skilled veterans full of wisdom’. A quick calculation revealed an average age of 53+ and an average number of injuries of 1.6 per person. There was discussion about whether the median (probably 63) was a better measure of the age profile but nobody could really remember what a median was…).
Earlier, aided by the young men of the oppo, the careful and successful removing of the covers -without spilling water on a length (not particularly relevant to most of our bowlers) – had revealed an interesting looking multi-coloured wicket. Fortunately, the moving of the sight-screens, Chuckle Brothers style, mercifully caused no more serious injuries. DT returned to type and won the toss, and our openers strode to the wicket full of calm, and ill-judged confidence. The first over was a maiden – and it was all downhill from there…
The opposition as well as containing numerous generations of Catlins, also brought along a couple of consistent and accurate opening bowlers Terrence and Mike remained mostly becalmed, matching the weather, until in a vain attempt to hit the ball off the square The Pimlico Kid was bowled by one that scuttled outrageously along the deck – having previously been hit on the wrist by one that bounced – Rich Catlin the lucky bowler.
Terrence peered thoughtfully at the pitch and departed. The opening partnership had however made 22 thanks to a couple of lusty blows from Mike and a decent contribution from Mr Extras. It was at this point the ‘wisdom’ of the team intervened in the form of home umpiring decisions that reflected a range of knowledge and generous interpretation of the LBW Laws. Mike got a decision that DT described as ‘generous’ and Mike as ‘**&^**’ . The umpire will remain anonymous but the decision was Tigerish…
Young Dickie departed after a more straightforward LBW, and the first duck of the day, one of a small flock. This brought Andy to the crease with a new knee, a broken hand and an indomitable spirit. Unfortunately, although the spirit was willing the buttock was tweaked and Andy – after a brief dalliance with a runner limped off the field to sympathetic applause and was promptly retired for the season by DT (more of which later).
Ed then put some umph (as opposed to Ump) into the innings with a rapid 11 (second highest score by a batman) only to be bowled by another scuttler from a different Catlin. DT strived mightily but was undone by the same Catlin. Last year’s POTY then contributed a chart topping 15, mostly by nurdling behind square on the leg side, until yet another Catlin disturbed his stumps.
There followed a parade of ducklings: Jones G, Smith, J Griffiths R. Jones G was generously allowed to bat again to make up for our wounded soldiers and was stranded 0 not out. Thankfully Mr Extras provided a solid 24 and with Tea being rushed out early we finished on a below par 76.
Tea included some very decent scones (although the Traditional Scone Preservation Society objected to the presence of sultanas). Over Tea there was some positive thinking about a tricky track and straight bowling….
Although confidence was not high the success of Jimmy and Stuart gave hope that experience and wisdom, guts and guile might see us through on an untrustworthy wicket, however….
Dave’s opening spell had its highs and lows-literally, with young Dickie conceding a few at the other end and Mr Extra’s scoring steadily defending the small total was looking increasingly bleak. A magic moment was needed to ignite the vigour of the Dad’s Army. Could it be Pearcey’s 200th wicket to raise the spirits? The skipper called him up handed him the ball spread the field and said: ‘once more to the breach Pearcey’.
What happened next took many of us back to the 2010 Ashes and Mitchell Johnson and the Barmy Army chant, you remember: ‘He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, Mitchell Johnson his bowling is..’ Now Paul you should remember two things: Firstly in 2003 MJ returned to the fray, terrorized the English batsmen and virtually won the Ashes single handed. And secondly you did ‘take’ that 200th wicket except for some very ungenerous umpiring from the oppo. When finally you bowled a beautifully flighted ball, which drew the batsman forward and was close enough for Gary to grasp, a glorious stumping occurred… Sadly the square leg umpire didn’t appear to be watching and, despite a long and pleading appeal from Gary and the perfectly placed point fielder – the batsmen survived and a long awaited champagne moment died.
We should probably draw a veil over the rest of the bowling. One catch was dropped (more of this later). Mike tried out his shoulder for a couple of overs but sadly not yet able to produce his striking zip. Terrence bowled a tidy spell and produced that LSCC rarity a maiden. No wickets were taken batmen retired to give others a game and the score was knocked off in some 21 overs and some Catlins were involved…
Considering the age-profile the fielding was committed and lively, and brave. There was one catch dropped after a brave attempt by John at point. Unfortunately, the ball bounced off his hands into his left eyebrow felling Nice Pint and producing a cut reminiscent of Henry Cooper v Mohammed Ali. John was eventually able to walk off (despite the absence of Dr Ben – where is that lad when you need him?) The LSCC veteran is made of stern stuff and was his usual cheerful self over a beer at the end of the game.
It was not a game that produced Champagne moments so the Prosecco goes to Paul Pearce not for his non 200th but for the quiet moment when after a run of ducks that John Griffiths would be proud of, finally got off the mark with a streaky single – one burden off his back only the 200th to go..
But the MOTM must go to John Smith for once again bravely putting his body (and head) on the line for the team and recognizing, on behalf of all us veterans: with our dodgy knees and shoulders, tweaked buttocks, broken hands (and that’s just Andy), black eyes, painful feet, aching backs and weary bodies, that we do it for the love of the game and we are not dead yet. (But would prefer it if there were a few more young lads to do the quick bowling, slick fielding and provide medical support.
T Collis bowled Catlin R 5
McIntyre M LBW Cooks 10
Cushion R LBW Catlin R 0
Price E Caught b Catkin S 11
Nanton D Bowled Catlin S 5
Jones A Retired Hurt 1
Thomas D Bowled White 5
Pearce P Bowled Catlin V 15
Jones G LBW White 0
Smith J Bowled Cristiano 0
Griffith R Bowled Cristiano 0
Jones G (Mulligan) Not Out 0
Mr Extras 24
Cooks 4 – 2 – 3 -1
Catlin R 4 – 0 – 14 – 2
Kishan 5 – 1 – 12 – 0
Catlin S 3 – 0 – 14 – 2
White 4 – 2 – 7 – 2
Catlin V 1 – 1 – 0 – 1
Cristiano 2.2 – 0 – 2 – 2
Mark retired 13
Matty retired 19
Vic retired 13
Cristiano retired 7
Andy Not Out 1
Brandon Not Out 5
Dave N 3 – 0 – 8 – 0
Ed C 2 – 0 – 18 – 0
Pearcey 4 – 0 – 20 – 0
DT 3 – 0 – 7 – 0
Terrence C 3 – 1 – 8 – 0
Mike M 2 – 0 – 9 – 0