It was with excitement, nerves and passports that Fergus King XI travelled north on their July Tour to Potter’s Bar on Saturday to face Finchley CC. On a warm but overcast day, Skipper Ferg managed to get his first big decision of the day right, called ‘Heads’ and we were in the field. All “The King’s” men were sent into battle with the words ringing in their ears; “We’re a proper team lads. We’ve got two seamers, three spinners, six batsmen and Snodgrass”. What could go wrong?
With the Dublin Dynamo (Robin Willis) charging up the hill at one end and the young pretender, Ciaran Doley, galloping down, the Finchley batsmen were in for a testing time. Bowling a tight line and length, both openers applied pressure, and perhaps with the use of DRS, Teddington could have taken a couple of early wickets.
The openers managed to squeeze their way to 30 odd before the first wicket fell and then throughout the innings consistently thereafter. Willis was finally rewarded by clean bowling the skipper, Doley kept his patience (if not his cool) and picked up a couple, including one with a sharp catch at square leg from young Hamish Dicketts and the skipper, selflessly bowling himself for 12 overs, picked up four, thanks to the smart fielding at short leg from Alex Smith. Nick McLellan, suspiciously bronzed from his holiday in Singapore, chucked a couple down, the pick of which was a steepler taken on the run by the athletic cover point (ahem – ed.). Nick Lockwood put his body on the line at short cover, stopping a couple of screamers at short cover, whilst the team Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rich Lalor, despite playing on one leg, was saving runs all over the place. Just don’t mention the run out. Young Snodgrass, too, was positivity personified behind the stumps, displaying athleticism which led the gathered crowds to believe they’d found the missing lynx from Dartmoor Zoo. After a comfortable 43 overs in the field, Finchley were all out for 163.
After a restorative tea, including scones with cream and jam, young Pryde and Smith went into bat. Never looking hurried or worried, both cruised to half centuries with elegant Gower-esque strokeplay (Pryde, 85*) and Root-like composure (Smith, 68*) and knocked off the runs in 28 overs for the loss of no wickets.
A solid all-round display of good, positive cricket. Roll on next Saturday.
Author: Patrick Crossley