Bures C.C. v Rockalls C.C.


Bures Cricket Club won by 12 runs


May 13 2023

Game One: Rockalls Hall Cricket Club v Bures

The Dale Show and Catches Win Matches

Rockalls Cricket Club didn’t know what hit them on Saturday afternoon. Nor could we have known ourselves.

I’m talking about debutant Dale Beckley’s absolutely breathtaking 139 not out. And I’m referring to Mark Brewer’s astonishing forward-diving, face-planting, match-defining snaffle on the long-off boundary.

After an inventive timing mix-up, a new club ‘first’ happened when the entire Bures team arrived at the delightful Rockalls ground with its vast, tree-lined boundary, before the opposition had even kissed their loved ones goodbye. This gave the Bures ensemble the chance to literally observe the outfield grass growing to a height exceeding an inch—a determining factor in this pulsating encounter.

Electing to bat on Rockalls’ bouncy, artificial carpet, Bures began tentatively against a talented RHCC side. It was soon apparent that batting was going to be a lofty affair with neatly timed shots grinding to a halt only yards into the pasture. When the skipper (9) edged to first slip and David Addington notched up a second ball duck, Bures were nearly three down when they dropped Dale on ten. The ball somehow slipped through the fielder’s hands and thudded onto his chest, the noise reverberating around the ground like a funeral drum.

With support from Luke Terry (8) and gritty resistance by Will Fisher (20), Dale opened his account with fifteen singles, removing the shine from the pink ball before crashing the first of his eleven sixes a huge distance over the hedges. There’s something romantically English about watching fielders looking for balls while non-searchers chatter-away, pretending to be useful—and this charming characteristic was in abundance while Dale was at the crease.

In short, Dale’s innings was a Pietersen-esque masterclass of timing and control. There was an effortless Bairstow-like square cut into the bough of a distant oak. There were magnificent, full-blooded drives, one of which was hit so hard it was barely credible the ball didn’t burst into flames, and there were several sweet clips off the legs that disappeared over the rhododendron bushes. Surely, this was one of the great Bures innings.

When Bures freshman Richard Kember joined Dale, we were given a comedic display of Richard doing everything he could to get himself out (dropped four times), while Dale marched on to an unbeaten 139 giving the team a majestic total of 212. His tally included only four fours, highlighting the difficulty of getting the ball through the outfield to the rope.

After a delicious tea, which will be hard to beat all season, Bures took the field with another newbie, young Matt Fairburn, taking the new ball along with Mark Brewer. Matt bowled a tidy off-stump line while Mark bowled some unusually wayward pies, clearly by design though, trapping the opener LBW with his only ball on the sticks.

David Addington stormed into the attack and with his second ball sent the leg stump cart-wheeling Malcolm Marshall-style. His was another tight spell and, along with Martin Jones, bowling for the first time in thirty-years (or so he said), who delivered some accurate, hard-to-get-away left arm darts there followed a masterful spell of length ‘n line by Will Fisher and Luke Terry. At this juncture, we had surely squashed the opposition’s energetic assault on the target.

Both teams struggled to take their chances. Martin dropping three, two of which were would have been contenders for catch-of-the-season. Dale, evidently not perfect, spooned another treble out of a somewhat embarrassing total of fourteen. It was down to Bures veteran Mark Brewer to show the others how to do it. Running in from the boundary, Mark launched himself like Tom Daley off the high-board, his arms outstretched, grasping the ball millimetres from the floor.

Should this have happened in August on a bone-hard Bures outfield, I’m sure we’d be wishing Mark well in Colchester General Hospital. Here, Mark bounced up off the turf, spat out a mouthful of grass and roared at his extraordinary athleticism, much to the incredulity of his Bures teammates. Then, three overs later, just to cap it off, Mark calmly snaffled a full-blooded drive that was rocketing towards his skull.

Bures were in an unassailable position. Or were they? When Matty Jervois came on, the Rockalls’ rear-guard assault was in full swing and Matt was at the mercy of more fielding misery with two more fumbles.

With an improbable thirty needed off the last over, ‘gun’ death-bowler Chris Crace gave us the slightly wibbly wobbly feeling that they might actually pull it off when he treated their batsman to a smorgasbord of half-volleys of which the first three balls disappeared into the ether. Chris, clearly a seasoned pro, found his shorter deliver to stop the nonsense, leaving their monumental fight-back twelve short.

A fine win. Fabulous hosts. Dale’s batting masterclass and a Mark’s pouch ones to remember.

Terrific to see a load of new friendly faces on the park and so much talent coming through.

Well done, team, and many thanks indeed to Guy Brooks at RHCC for a super afternoon.

Catching practice, anyone?


Date Time League Season
May 13, 2023 2:00 pm 2023 Season 2023


Rockalls C.C.
Rockalls Road, Bell's Corner, Polstead, Babergh, Suffolk, England, CO6 5AR, United Kingdom


TeamRunsWickets LostOversOutcome
Bures Cricket Club212530Win
Rockalls Cricket Club200530Loss

Bures Cricket Club

Batting   R 4s 6s
James Erith 910
Dale Beckley 139411
David Addington 000
Luke Terry 800
Will Fisher 2010
Richard Kember 2301
Matt Jervois 000
Martin Jones 000
Chris Crace 000
Mark Brewer 000
Matt Fairbairn 000
Total 212612

Rockalls Cricket Club

Batting   R 4s 6s
D. PT 4121
M. Benbow 1116
J. Cumming 1010
B. Price 1500
H. Smith 7016
C. Simpson 1710
C. Hill 300
H. Smiley 000
G. Brooks 000
Total 185613

Did not bat: H. Smiley, G. Brooks

Bowling O M R W
H. Smiley80480
H. Smith60292
C. Hill50281
C. Simpson40230
B. Price30280
G. Brooks20180
J. Cumming20251