London Saints

LSSC vs. Roadrunners Houghton Regis – 2nd June 2024

Roadrunners – 120-6 – 35.0 overs (Sykes 2-11, Dowson G. 1-7)

LSSC –  123-6 – 25.2 overs  (Dowson H. 48, May 28 not out)

London Saints made it a hat-trick of Sunday wins (2x cricket, 1x football) on a warm and sunny day in downtown Dunstable.

Originally scheduled to be a home game at Old Habs, midweek the game looked in grave doubt when the groundsman advised DT that the square was under prepared (not unusual in itself) but more seriously it was under water and so unplayable.

Roadrunners have barely played at home this season but thankfully they were able to prepare a wicket and more importantly, a Tea, in very short order and so the game was able to be switched to their ground.   We were after some revenge as well having lost 3 times to them last season and after us having got one over the Pompey skipper at Trafalgar in our first game. Scores to be settled is how DT would put it this season.

Stand in stand in skipper Tiger Pearce lost the toss (shouldn’t have used DTs 10 centimes coin) and we were invited to field in the sun.  A 35 over game was agreed and the Roadrunners suggestion that bowlers be limited to 5 overs was delightedly agreed knowing the depth of talent at Pearce’s disposal.

Our team’s average age was once again extraordinary at just 38 with an age range of 16 to 53 so the loss of the toss wasn’t as unpopular as it would have been on other occasions.

George and Dover opened the bowling – both their first spells of the season – both under orders to charge in at full pelt in their own way. 

They set the tone magnificently with barely a loose ball from either and the ball seaming off the pitch. This plus a slow outfield meant after their combined 10 overs, just 20 runs had been scored with George deservedly claiming the first wicket.

From then on, the bowling unit kept things seriously tight – apart from the occasional very wide and/or unreachable beamers – whilst we chipped away taking wickets. Oscar claiming 2 excellent catches off his own bowling and May taking responsibility for a steepling catch off the excellent & rapid Henry.

Roadrunners (surprisingly given their name) seemed caught in the headlights of our fielding and bowling barely pushing for singles even with their wickets in hand.  Illustrated by our 8th bowler, long-injured Mike bowling a maiden in the penultimate over of the innings. 

Usually there’s a multitude of comedy fielding moments to refer to but genuinely I can’t think of one, so ‘on it’ were the team.   I took a sharp catch at square leg only for it be called a no ball off debutant Mouseley with experienced viewers (A Mayhew) commenting that it would definitely have been put down if it had been a legitimate catch.

Controversy arrived in the last over of their innings however when 14-year-old Louis was sent out to bat and was promptly sent on his way back with a golden duck off Tiger Pearce’s floated filth when stumped by Dickie Cushion.  The stand in skipper forgot he was stand in skipper and was too busy enjoying the glow of any wicket as well as worrying about the loss of his hearing from Dickie’s bellowed appeal to think of any more charitable actions. He was also 14 not a Johnny Griffiths 7-year-old after all.

An excellent tea was enjoyed as we felt a chase of under 3.5 runs an over was well within our grasp.

Tiger and McIntyre opened the innings knowing that the Runners had to field 7 bowlers and determined to see off Rob – their excellent and accurate swing bowler – this was nearly achieved before the fateful finger of Thomas despatched Mike LBW after 2 consecutive good shouts. Oscar then decided to kick off the 2024 Duck Trophy by prodding a catch to point off Rob for a silver duck.

Jonny Mouseley failed to get the traditional debutant’s duck but was clean bowled going for another big hit the next ball after hitting his first boundary for London Saints.  Lana was promoted up the order to pinch hit but was also bowled whilst protesting at the bowlers bent arm (allegedly) for a duck as well, we were seemingly rocking at 35-4 in the 13th over.

Tiger soon fell, still recovering from a fat boy 3 earlier in his innings where Mike basically ran 4 in driving him on to make it eventually back for his 3rd  and we were, on paper, in trouble at 38-5.

BUT we knew that the Runners had to find some more bowlers and we still had our powerful middle order held back waiting for them and we now needed just 82 more runs off plenty of overs (21).

The brilliant record partnership of 78 between Henry and Jon May that followed was able to be fully enjoyed with only minimal levels of stress (for the skipper at least).  We had plenty in the tank even with usual power hitters Cushion, Dover and Nanton all carrying some form of injury or ailment from their earlier exertions.

George saw us home with an unbeaten May and we all headed for the pub to celebrate a well-deserved and pretty comprehensive win in what was a real team performance and so building on the exploits of the Rogers name in the previous game.  Bring on Chelmsford!!!

Man of the Match

So many good bowling spells with Dover, George, Oscar and May (once his rustiness was sorted) all impressing but Henry was on the money from ball 1 and of course then top scored with a hard hitting 48 so has to be the winner – albeit his jug avoidance by going for a 6 to bring up his 50 was noted when skittled instead. 

Champagne Moment

The problem with such a ‘proper’ cricket performance is I’m at a loss to think of one. I do think Mike getting a maiden in the 34th over with the oppo having wickets in hand and his shoulder injury problems was seriously impressive.

I’m going to give it therefore to the email from Vic Catlin of the Roadrunners just a few days earlier confirming they’d been able to get their ground and Teas ready for a game to go ahead.

It would have been such a pity for the strong team we were set to field if it had been called off and even more importantly I’d have missed my chance of ever breaking my duck in terms of winning a game as stand-in skipper!

Roadrunners  120-6 – 35.0 overs

Andrew                                               c&b Sykes                   19

Garth                                                   b Dowson G                3

Callum                                                b Nanton                     2

Brandan                      c May              b Dowson H                12                   

Matty                                                   c&b Sykes                   0

Neil                             not out                                                 22       

Christian                     Retired                                                30

Louis                           St (Cushion)    b Pearce                      0                                             

John                            not out                                                 1

Extras 25 (1 bye, 14 wides, 10 no balls)

Dowson G.      5-1-7-1

Calais              5-1-13-0

Nanton            4-0-26-1

Sykes               5-1-11-2

Dowson H.      5-1-13-1

May                 5-1-15-0

Mouseley        3-0-21-0

McIntyre         2-1-4-0

Pearce             1-0-7-1

LSCC 123-6 25.2 overs

McIntyre                     lbw                  b Rob                          9

Pearce                                                 b Garth                        16

Sykes                           c                      b Rob                         0

Mousley                                              b Garth                        6

Lana                                                    b Harvey                     0

May                             not out                                                 28

Dowson H                                           b Brandan                   48

Dowson G                   not out                                                 3

Cushion                       DNB

Calais                          DNB

Nanton                        DNB

Extras 13 (8 byes, 2 lb, 3 wides)

Rob                 5-2-7-2

Chris B            5-0-18-0

J Harvey          3-0-10-1

Garth               3-0-14-2

Matty L           1-0-11-0

Neil                 2-0-18-0

Chris               3-0-18-0

Louis               2.2-0-15-0

Brandan          1-0-2-1

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