It’s difficult to know when to start with a match report for Saturday as there is a lot to tell, so in time honoured tradition let’s start at the beginning. The convoy. You’d think that a three-car convoy would be pretty easy to coordinate en route to East Sutton. You would be wrong with the ‘convoy’ split in two from within 100 yards of Stone Pavilion. Even with this it has to be the first time for some while that there would be no fines for lateness with even 12th man Dino on the premises ahead of the 13:30 cut off. We all arrived before the oppo to find new man Beachy benchpressing various Stone CC members and Krish proudly playing air shots with his new £3000 bat and it was with a spring in our step and a song in our heart that we approached the Pavilion in what was as good a village cricket setting you will find.
As skipper, I may have lost the toss, but this has to go down as a moral victory and the first of the many Jedi mind tricks that will be used this season to ensure we bat second when I want us to bat second. Some harsh commentators might say that this was my only contribution to the game. Well, I have one thing to say to those commentators – put your white hankies away, you bell-ends, this skipper is going NOWHERE – well, until the next AGM anyway.
All on all it was a pretty good bowling and fielding performance. Ruggy and Glenn were tighter than ducks butts in the first ten or so overs. Beachy then displaying the flight, guile and soft touch that belies being an Adonis of a man partnering up with Tom, who was just… well… Tom. A fifth over (one too many) from the enigmatic teen saw at least 14 balls bowled, 18 runs conceded, 2 beamers, Kofi Anan and UN Peacekeeping forces being called in, and will live as long in the memory as it actually took to get through. What we did learn is that this love-struck teen is not quick on saying sorry, but perhaps a good woman’s touch might change this over the next few weeks as long as they are not too busy ‘revising’.
Poor old Dino had to follow all this and it is fair to say that what followed was pretty brutal. But what you do know with Dino is that he will be back and the two fellas that went after him will be under the sort of interference and surveillance that will make living their lives pretty difficult for the next few years. For the first time ever, Ruggy came back and the plan to steady the ship actually worked, ably assisted by the wily, nagging bowling of the RumMan. We again pegged East Sutton back and a couple of overs of my trundle saw us restrict East Sutton to 183. At various stages in proceedings, this could have been anything from 130 to 250 so it was a pretty good mean score.
After a jolly pleasant tea, the skipper dished out two jobs via the tried-and-trusted technique of an arm round the shoulder and a cheeky bum pat. Krish and Stumpy were asked to play the roles of Brendan McCullum and Geoff Boycott respectively with both carrying off the instruction to the letter to record fine 50s in contrasting styles to set a great platform. With Skipper and Vice both then succumbing to the pressures of their jobs, it was left to Kelv and Glenn to give the innings some impetus, which they duly did. With Stone CC needing around 30 with 10 overs left and 5-6 wickets in hand, the scene was set of a memorable Stone win. Credit must go to East Sutton for then turning the screw and sensing what the win would mean to us put in a good effort in those final overs to leave us with the scores tied and in need of an extra over… If only we could have found a couple of them from somewhere…
So to summarise, I think we fulfilled the main aim and ensured everyone got something from the game – even Scorer Goldenhair got to knock back 3 or 4 beers and half a bottle of rum. East Sutton is a fixture we should try and secure home and away from this point forth – sausage, chips, beans and jugs (beer) on offer at their local – and fun was had by all. Lots of love goes out to our new members for coming in and integrating with us as well as they did – Goldenhair, RumMan, Beachy – you are a pleasure to have around. We look forward to more new and old members joining forces in the coming weeks to put that first season win on the board.