You may remember that last week’s report was penned by our strength and conditioning coach so this week we are going slightly more cerebral and I have asked the third eleven’s legal advisor, Barney Heap, to describe our efforts. Barney’s area of expertise is property but every Saturday for a free Benson and Hedges and half of lager he will happily give you legal advice on a range of topics from traffic offences to divorce – just two of last Saturdays subjects. Enjoy.
Fergus won the toss and invited North Middlesex to bat. Teddington were unchanged from the side that beat Ealing the week before save for Posh Jack (St Edwards, Oxford) replacing Jasper (Tonbridge, Kent) and Snodgrass replacing Thorndyke.
The first 45 overs of the game saw extremely attritional cricket from both sides in what turned out to be a “Tale of Two Bowling Ends”. For the hockey clique of Messrs Willis and King bowling downhill and down wind “It was the best of times” but for Nick McLellan, Stefan Bullon and the Shlong from Hong Kong (Alex Smith for those that don’t know him) bowling uphill and into a force 4 gale “It was the worst of times”.
On a serious note the bowling unit bowled extremely well and was backed up by a confident, energetic and young fielding unit; the high energy, enthusiasm, concentration and desire for the ball to come to the individual in the field has been a big part of the early season success for the 3rd X1. Actually it was not just the younger members of the team showing enthusiasm in the field with the ball following the 40 year old Heap around the field and him throwing himself around for the cause with abandon. However perhaps the most amazing fielding performance came from the old man of the team the captain himself who effected a couple of run outs one of which was a direct hit from the boundary no less! Those that have watched the captain moving his creaking body around the field recently will be questioning whether his arm could actually get the ball in from the boundary these days – a collector’s item indeed! In the circumstances North Middlesex batted very well to get to 207 for 7 in their 45 overs but credit should be given especially to Nick and Steffi B for their skill and control in bowling in such difficult conditions.
Tea – 208 to win in 45 overs meant the game was in the balance; however, 12 overs later when TCC were 30-5 meant it wasn’t. A combination of good bowling, lack of technique and, if we are honest, a lack of fight in the circumstances from the top 5 cost the game (it was a one off and the top order had batted well the previous two weeks). To be fair to Chris Kemp he got a good ball but he is too good a player to be out of form for too long (although the writer thinks the bread free diet at tea isn’t helping!).
Teddington teams of the past two years in these circumstances would have been rolled for 80 or 90 but Lockwood (the better one) and Stef (the class player on either team in the game) put together an impressive, classy and extremely determined partnership that brought Teddington back into the game. Lockwood finished with 60 odd and Stef 30 odd. The loss of early wickets meant that an acceleration had to occur at a later stage in the innings so the rate kept climbing and despite last wicket heroics again by the hockey clique this time with the bat, TCC finished 10 runs short, 9 wickets down and with 2 points for our efforts.
Well batted Nick and Stef.
Time to look forward and a win on Saturday at Harrow and we’ll be back in the mix challenging at the top of the table.
(p.s. please note that this match report is the sole opinion and views of Barnaby Heap and not that of Teddington CC or any of its members)