The mighty 3rd XI assembled on Saturday morning knowing that a win would catapult them to title contenders and a loss would see them slide to a mid-table mediocrity. With this in mind it was far from ideal that a. I was needed to play and b. on the morning we lost both Stef and ‘Posh Jack’ to be replaced by Headless and nobody respectively.
Before the game there were reports that Snodders had been sighted at the ground and belatedly passed fit, but it turned out that the commotion was merely Robin’s 10 month old child screaming and shouting. We in fact started with 9 as our menacing Irish opening bowler was humming the grufflao theme tune/boyzone greatest hits to his 2 unhappy kiddies.
Having won the toss we invited Richmond to bat. They got off to a flying start 66-0 of 11 overs but this gave no indication of how well we bowled. Thorners and Paul Higham (sporting a Bear Grylls / Tom Hanks wilderness beard…he’s been travelling don’t you know) beat the bat often and then Robin showed expert control (sadly lacking earlier as indicated in paragraph 2). He was simply too good to get as many snicks as he deserved. As wickets tumbled (even Ferg will admit they weren’t his finest nuts) we were back in the game at 130-5, but some lusty blows from their skipper and a couple of missed chances meant that we were chasing an imposing 239. Credit to Gabriel who kept very well, despite my concern at slip at the length of his curtains.
So to the chase. At 90-0 we were cruising. Gabriel showed some sublime strokeplay, Patrick showed how a prop can bludgeon. Game on.
Sadly when your tail starts at number 4 one can afford no slip ups. Slip up we did. Patrick and Gabriel went quickly, and we all wished Nick Lockwood had “popped that bluey” to last a little longer. Sadly, as you will all quickly realise, his bark is more worrisome than his bite and the game was up.
We ended about 150 all out, to be honest I can’t be sure. I was too preoccupied watching one of the best strops in the changing room from a 3rd XI number 10 I’ve ever seen. Incredible stuff. Well done Thorners.