Bures CC v Wickham St Paul – 09/05/2021

So the 2021 season begins with a huge amount of positivity and expectation in the air. What with the new nets having been used by most, a whole raft of new recruits waiting in the wings and hopefully the lifting of all Covid restrictions in the foreseeable future, we are all anticipating a much easier and happier year ahead.

Annoyingly the pitch, which as ever has been lovingly and constantly worked on by our hard working grounds team, was thoroughly soaked on the Saturday, so the match took place on a slow, low strip. Charlie E, our captain for the day, fortunately won the toss and cunningly inserted the opposition of Wickham St Paul, expecting the weather and the pitch to improve as the game progressed (nothing to do with his monumental hangover!) It proved to be a masterstroke. Wickham St Paul, fresh from a thrashing of Chappel the previous week, seemed confident of continuing in that mode, but they hadn’t reckoned on the mighty Bures bowling attack.

Rupert T and Giles H, henceforth referred to as The Colonel, opened the bowling and caused problems from the start. Giles, in particular, was swinging the ball prodigious amounts, and whilst very economical, it was Rupert who produced the early break-throughs, with 2 fine catches from Rupert H and Andy Daynes (one of the 4 debutants in the team). Stu P then came on and took 2 more quick wickets, and suddenly the oppo were reduced to 45 for 4. Charlie E continued to baffle the incoming batsmen with regular bowling changes, Rupert H and Luke Terry (our 2nd debutant) being the next two, both bowling well and economically but with no further break-throughs. Then Will Fisher (our 3rd debutant) and “Magic” Ralph joined the attack and immediately looked threatening. And indeed they were as “Magic Ralph” took 1 and Will took a 2 further wickets, one of which was poached in the slips by the Chairman, which surprised everyone.

Andy Daynes and Keith Moynagh (our 4th and final debutant) were then called upon to have a go, with Keith removing their top scorer, clean bowled. At this stage the captain decided it was safe to let the Chairman have a go, thereby ensuring that the entire team (apart from Charlie who was keeper) had a bowl. The innings was duly wrapped with a superb piece of fielding by The Colonel, creating a run out.

So to tea, and a good number of supporters had turned up, making it a very sociable and happy break, aided of course by the odd alcoholic beverage.

The Chairman and Will F were asked to open the batting, and regrettably the Chairman, in a flurry of irresponsible calling, managed to run out his opening partner, who had looked extremely useful in the short time he was in. So then to Rupert T, who proceeded in typical swash buckling style to thrash the ball to all corners, only to perish to a rank full toss which he managed to lob gently back to mid off, for a fine 26. Step forward the ever reliable Stu P, who as ever made it all look simple, hitting 6s and 4s with gay abandon, and with the Chairman making rather slower progress at the other end, the target was well within sight when both Stu (48) and the Chairman (39) perished in quick succession. “Magic” Ralph quickly quashed any possibly hiccups with a quick 8, and Captain Charlie, together with Keith, finished things off in style. Bures won by 5 wickets with nearly 14 overs to go.

As a result of the early finish we were able to retire to the pub for some much needed refreshment and tales of “derring do”. A fantastic start to the season and let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.