View from the pitch (Author: Ed Snodgrass)
The thirds played a young North London 3rd XI on Saturday in Bushy Park. A strong Teddington team took to the field including Nick Pryde back in Teddington colours for the first time in many a year.
Quick wickets gave promise of an early finish – however the North London middle order had other ideas. Their numbers 4 and 5 scoring 85 and 33 respectively - allied to an inexcusable amount of extras, North London were bowled out for 191 in 53.3 overs. Notable mention for Robin Willis (4-54), he's clearly found his new home bowling up the hill and also to Niall Burke who chipped in with 3 wickets.
So to the Teddington reply. Posh Jack (Taylor) went early, Gabriel Henry scored an enterprising 24. Prydey looked like he’d never been away and together with Alex Smith they were steering us to a position of comfort.
Meanwhile, after half a pint of Stella, Jason ‘I’m a team-man’ Lockwood was in full voice. His chat covering a variety of subjects from how he’s ‘such a great lad' to extracting Posh Jacks girlfriends surname – you had to be there for that one! I hope Baylee (Prydey’s girlfriend) is not too scarred. It was also great to hear how much Kempy is enjoying NCT classes and the fact he’s made so many new life friends there…..
Back to cricket. North London continued to bowl in good areas especially the left armer from the bottom end. Alex Smith was adjudged LBW, much to his dissatisfaction, sorry mate! With Prydey out soon after for 57, Fergie was starting to stress! Kempy safe in the knowledge that the medium pacers weren’t a threat to him played some aggressive shots though the off side, before he stopped on a shot and was caught. With overs running out and an expectant crowd building, Snodders was in full control of the situation, going about the business off knocking off the runs. Running out Ferg was all part of the plan. With 9 runs needed off the last over and with the last pair at the crease Ned (never a number 11) hit the first ball for 4, a few balls later and scrambled single meant we needed 4 to win off two balls – North London obliging by keeping field up, Snodders was able to hit a 4 over mid-off. Get in! 10pts.
View from the boundary (Author: Jay Lockwood)
Finally it was nice to see the young North London team stay and share a jug of beer and chat after the game – something that's sadly going out of the game!
The 3rd XI team assembled on Saturday in an unusual position – not only did they have a full 11, they had the luxury of being able to drop people on Thursday as better players became available. Good news for all involved, particularly for me, no longer required to stand in the field for 3 hours before another inevitable failure.
TCC bowled first. Good balls were mixed with bad ones…Robin took a couple early scalps, but North London raced to 60-3 off 10 overs. 60 suddenly became 100 and nerves were fraying…Snodders was back behind the stumps in name only, his calf injury, mentally at least, linked to an inability to catch the ball.
Ferg came on. Time to bowl it slower and higher. It worked. Suddenly wickets began to tumble, the skipper finished with 2, Willis took 3 scalps and Niall, fresh from a recent drug bust, ran in with energy. He took 4.
191 to win. A gun batting line up. The exit polls suggested an easy victory.
Posh Jack got a good one early (well it was straight) and he was back in the hutch without troubling the scorers. This was much to the delight of the rest of the team as we proceeded to guess the name of his girlfriend with unerring accuracy, showing that in this time of upheaval social stereotypes remain intact.
A masterclass from Smith and Pryde took us to 120 (ish – this was 5 stellas by this point) until Snodders changed the game, triggering Smith. Pryde, clearly worried that Bailey was being led astray on the side, followed swiftly after. He had showed his class but now the pressure was on. Lockwood (the good one – not sure how much longer that can be written without risk of defamation) went quickly, Kempy hit a couple of lusty blows before falling and then Ferg was run out by none other than Snodders.
Suddenly with 6 balls to go we needed 8, with only one wicket remaining. Ned hit the first ball for four. Snodders, worried about not being able to win the match himself, ran the next one, narrowly avoiding another disaster. With the field up hit, he smoked one over the top to win the game.
He had leaked byes for fun, triggered our second best player, run out the skipper and yet still won us the game. It was like awakening once more on Friday morning and realising that the result is all that mattered. Snodgrass for PM.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post reflect those of the author and in no way should be taken to reflect a consensus amongst other members of the club (or anyone else in the country for that matter).... so the suggestion that Snodders should become our next PM should be taken with a large pinch of salt, preferably one the size of Snodgrass himself. The current political situation might be a bit of a mess, at the moment, but it's not got quite that desperate (yet).
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