The End Is Nigh
The Saturday Team were crushed (Cowboys all out for 59, and lost by 10 wickets) by Keynsham, TT reports thus:
The young scorer who accompanied the top of the table Keynsham 3rd XI was quite forthright in explaining the make-up of his team (not to suggest that they were all wearing mascara): Apparently, some of them usually played for the 2nd XI but “hadn’t been doing very well” and had been demoted, thereby altering the appearance of the side that the Cowboys had managed to beat back in June.
Still, the Cowboys had a new addition too, welcoming back Gary for the first time this season, to significantly enhance an already pukka team playing their penultimate game of the season and still in with a chance of promotion from Division 3.
Torrential rain the previous night had left the wicket at the Fry’s ground like an undercooked chocolate sponge. Winning the toss was paramount. Losing it was unfortunate.
Ev and Justin opened the batting and kept the ball out for the first few overs, grabbing a single now and then until Ev lost his off stump. The following over, Ben lost his leg stump and when Alan went to a faint edge in the next one, 17-3 wasn’t a good place to be.
After ten overs, Gary and Justin had pushed on to a healthier 30-3, the former masterfully lashing the ball to the boundary several times but then Justin fell and RichG entered stage left. A promising partnership ensued, Gary riding his luck in being dropped two or three times, although bizarrely, it was his good fortune that led to Garner’s downfall, when a catch that everybody assumed would be taken was labouriously dropped, by which time Garner at the non-striker’s end had turned to stare at the trees, out of his ground and was run out from behind. Not so much a Cider Moment as a Mogadon Moment.
Just before the halfway stage, the Cowboys were 51-5 and in need of some watchful, applied batting to last the distance. It didn’t really come. Gary finally holed out, Joe and Gretch tried their best, your correspondent managed to bat out a few overs without hitting the ball off the square until attempting a heave he took a divot out of the chocolate sponge with the bat before lamely connecting with the ball and sending it back to the bowler. Neither Rog nor Rob troubled the scorer much either and the Cowboys’ innings spluttered out in the 30th over with only 59 on the board.
It wasn’t even considered practical to take tea between the innings, partly because the urn wouldn’t have been switched on yet. This could have been a tactical error, as a long walk back to the pavilion and some protracted teamanship might have opened the window on some dark clouds, heavy rainfall and match abandonment.
On the other hand, not being one to mess about and with the wicket still giving a lot of assistance to the bowler, Joe led the Cowboys out to defend the meagre total, hoping for some early inroads into the Keynsham batting line-up.
The left and right-handed opening pair looked solid and powerful, attacking the bowling from the start and punishing the occasional bad, and good, ball.
Joe bowled tidily into the wind, eventually inducing the right-hander into a top-edged pull, the ball looping and spinning high towards square leg where your correspondent was not going to spill it. Roger took a far less regulation catch a while later and earned some Cider Moment nominations for a blinding one-handed diving pluck at a ball driven off Ev’s bowling. Your hack had a go after Joe and found the seam movement and swing rare and exciting, but although beating the bat (in between the boundaries) and demanding nods of appreciation from the opposition batsman, he couldn’t dislodge him. Gary threatened with the ball too, back in the groove and generating pace from a few steps, thumping the ball into Gretch’s swift hands but unable to halt the Keynsham progress.
To be frank, the reporter didn’t look at the scoreboard once since shortly before the end of the Cowboys’ innings, so unpleasant was the sight: It had been a burden, literally, ever since he’d had to carry it from its usual home at Frenchay several hours earlier (although car transport was also involved). At the time of writing the score hasn’t been posted on the website, nor is the scorebook available, but suffice to say, Keynsham reached their target in the 13th over, inflicting an eight wicket defeat and heavy blow to the Cowboys after five wins on the trot.
Refusing to fade away quietly, they returned to the nearby Keynsham home ground, where Gary was voted Man of the Match and the entire team was fined at least once for being rubbish. Post-match analysis continued long into the night for some back at The Plough, one conclusion being that it all went wrong the moment that someone started singing Phil Collins.
The Sunday 1st Team beat the Harptree Villages people by 14 runs. Bolts reports thus:
We won the toss (after a brief rain shower) and I couldn’t resist the urge to bat in order to get our last 40 over taste of the Frenchay wicket before this stinking summer could be considered over as far as the league campaign goes.
Me and Justin put together a steady opening partnership of 42. With the recent weather, Frenchay was misbehaving, some lifting deliveries but also the ball was slow to come onto the bat and extremely difficult to score quickly. Not a single duck was recorded in the ECCC innings and a quickfire 48 not out from RT2 and rather slower jug avoidance from myself led to a competitive 182 for 7 off our 40 overs. I was delighted to see a couple of rain showers throughout the innings just to keep Harptree that bit wet and miserable and stop the wicket drying too quickly.
A rather fabulous DC1 tea has led to my determination to improve my worth to the club by learning how to bake.
By now the rain had cleared away and, as DC1’s sponges tend to be moist and airy, we fairly sprung to the shed to smoke our medicine and then weaved our way onto the outfield where we performed like demons that have had fielding coaching when they were demonlets. Wilki took a catch and proved that white, Yorkshire middle-aged men can jump, and the hang-time..incredible. Jeff took 2 behind the stumps although he should have had 3 but the umpire had stupidly called a wide and was too ashamed of his idiot self that he wouldn’t overturn his decision so the batsman, being a git, didn’t walk. One of our victims was one of those new Trott-clones, who calmly and long-windedly set himself up, deep breath, eye exercises, dig a crease, count the field, adjust collar, settle down, ‘come on’ to himself, he’s in he bowl’s and lobbed it to the fielder he just counted, out for 0. Lovely. See the face on that? Ha! Martin Stratton bowled beautifully and ended up
with 8-2-26-5. He and RT2 bowled the 1st 16 overs and had Harptree at 54-7. A couple of Harptree partnerships created a real sense of tension. Into the last 10 overs, only 1 more wicket had fallen and if Harptree can see out the overs the run rate will not come into play, their main man has just got into the 50’s. Still, we have overs to come from Dean and it is time to unleash Jonsy – out goes their main man, LBW of all things. As if written by Dickens or filmed by Spielberg, Dean bowls, oppo skipper hammers it into the sky and, somehow, I take the catch for a spontaneous group hug to ensue and thus end our season on a brighter note than the summer itself could not muster. On the coldest winter evenings, we will remember, and smile, and glow.
Oh that will do. Read the scorecard on the website you lazy funkers.
The Sunday 2nd Team were beaten by West United by 144 runs. Nobody reported thus:
The Friendly Team beat Bath Exiles, Salty reports thus:
Our intrepid friendly team ventured over the hills to Bath for a damp match played on a soft pitch litlle did we know that it was to develop into a day of high drama and close finish. B>S won the toss and elected to bat openers Dave and Justin established a solid start followed by an excellent innings by Rob, a middle order cowboy collapse, 2 golden ducks in the Salt Family left an intrepid innings by Nelly to leave us bowled out for 122. Not a good figure to bowl at, however wickets in the 3rd , fourth fifth and sixthovers for Rob, backed by superb bowling from everyone ( they were stranded on 33
for five overs) left things tilting the balance a little towards us. New boy Matt had a first spell of 4 overs for 1 run. Wayne backed his super catch with wickets and a hung over Aaron kept them shy of runs till in the fourtieth over Matt bowled No 10 with their total still eighteen runs short. Well done everyone, this makes 5 in a row, bring on hope next week, and ther final test match against Frenchay on the 10th We have won two so they could be out for revenge, bring em on we’re not scared. Looking forward to Corscombe week after to round off a season of good clean fun!! Brian