Match Report - Earls Colne & Bures vs. Eight Ash Green 24/09/06
Earls Colne & Bures 252 for 6 (40 overs)
(Oakers 111, Wiggy 46)
Eight Ash Green 122 all out (34 overs)
Earls Colne & Bures won by 130 runs
Emphatic victory for E C & B to round off the season on a beautiful summer's afternoon at EAG.
The afternoon (more like mid-morning, actually!) began as expected with Mr. Slow's now habitual failure with the coin. However, having agreed a 40-over format and been asked to bat, Oakers and Hamish weathered the early bowling, the former hobbling from the outset with an ankle injury, the latter mixing sweet drives with spectacular play-and-miss swishes. The score progressed agreeably until Hamish was stumped attempting to heave the ball to West Bergholt. 58 for 1. Enter Spike, not looking well following an evening sampling the delights of Sambuca. Unsure as to which of the three balls which were coming towards him he should hit, he fell cheaply to bring a trepidatious Wiggy to the crease. Things started to progress very nicely indeed with Oakers hobbling to a chanceless fifty while Wiggy pushed, prodded and occasionally blatted the hapless bowlers. The score moved on to an impressive 177 for 3 off 32 before Wiggy was a little unluckily adjudged LBW to a ball which he seemed to have hit! Seeking a further acceleration of the rate, Bocko perished to bring Smiffy to the crease and before long Oakers was on 99 and a hush fell round the ground. And we waited, and waited . . . the umpire joining in the fun, teasing the batsman as he hobbled a single, before belatedly signalling a bye. Finally, after what seemed an age, Oakers spooned the ball at catchable height to square leg only to see the fielder spill the chance and enable the vital single to be scrambled. 100 for Oakers, and (almost) chanceless! Sadly he departed for 111 shortly afterwards, having been cruelly run-out by a deflection off the bowler, and an end-of-innings cameo from TK ensued the 250 mark was reached - innings closed on 252 for 6.
The EAG reply was hesitant, with the home side reduced to 8-2 off 3 overs as Big Patrick made inroads. Despite Mr. Slow's efforts to make a game of it at the other end and his apologetic withdrawal from the attack, wickets fell at regular intervals and finally TK, demonstrating the art of reverse swing (or at least, swing in the opposite direction to that intended) and Hamish (with his curvy sort-of Doosra-type things) mopping up the tail with no batsman having made a substantial score. EAG all out for 122 with every wicket caught. Excellent catches from Wiggy and also one for Oakers in the slips, although if we are to dwell on these matters, we would prefer to remind him of the one which he missed and went through his legs to the boundary!
It was agreed to meet for a drink afterwards but the chosen destination (The Shoulder of Mutton, at Ford Street) was found to be closed for business. That's enterprise! The assembled company gathered in the Old Queen's Head, where euphoria at the sight of a Timothy Taylor's Landlord handpull evaporated as a tired, flat and flavourless liquid was purveyed. A change of location was deemed appropriate and the group moved on to the Chappel Swan to be greeted with a selection of 3 beers from Greene King, Greene King and Greene King respectively. Great - but only if you like GK, of course! Is this just a ruse to increase sales of Magners? The Swan is a clean, well appointed and apparently well-run free house which clearly enjoys a good level of trade based on what appears to be some excellent fresh fish and homemade sweets. Why deliberately limit the market by effectively excluding a majority of beer drinkers who have seen life beyond GK? Beats me!
Anyway, we dwelled on an excellent result to round off a fine season. We have won 8 games out of 13 and appear destined to finish third in Division 3 of the league. We have avoided the trauma of promotion. We have played mostly amiable opponents and had some great laughs. I'm really grateful to all of the players who have made it a memorable season, to Jane Smith for scoring and providing moral support where necessary and Cliffy who tirelessly follows us around providing words of variable wisdom and making himself useful whenever necessary (although he looks crap in a pinny!). Then there are the groundsmen, Brian Keeble and Terry Prestney who work tirelessly and unpaid to maintain the excellent facilities which we enjoy. There are the tea ladies and all of the officials of both Earls Colne and Bures Cricket Clubs, the fundraisers, the Presidents and Vice Presidents . . . the list goes on . . . and all we have to do is turn up and play!
Who's up for the 2007 season, then?
Team - Wolfie, Smiffy, Mr. Slow, Wiggy, Bocko, "Trigger" Hamish, TK (Client Director, for the avoidance of all doubt), Oakers, Potty, Big Patrick, Spike
PDQ Table as at 26/09/06
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