Episode 1 – A New Hope (Part 1)
It was a lovely summers afternoon in Northfleet, complete with a beautiful arrangement of smashed glass outside the clubhouse.
I can’t remember if the toss was won or lost as I was solely focused on one’s bowling performance to come. Next thing I know Skipper, Lord Rossington, makes us aware that we are taking the field first and that Rougie and I would be opening the bowling. We get sharply changed among some great football chat to wet the pallet for England’s second game against Panama (little did we know we’d win 6-1 and then undoubtedly go on to win the World Cup).
Our pre-match ritual of half-arsed throwing and catching was dramatically interrupted as Stumpy had dragged himself away from tugging on the boundary rope to discover that the we had no bails. After a brash decision was made to send Dicky (spectator for the day due to injury) to Sports Direct to buy a new set of bails, they were then shortly discovered afterwards. With a lot of pre-match antics and no proper warm-up routine it’s a miracle we lasted 2 hours out in the field.
Rougie (Ruggy) opened the bowling down the hill with phenomenal pace and causing the batsmen issues but having played alongside the Ide Hill mob last time out they seemed to have him figured out and saw his 6 over spell off for 0/25. On the other end opening the bowling, as previously mentioned, was myself. After four great deliveries in the first over the batsmen was lured in to playing a straight drive which he failed to connect with properly and falling to the hands of Vice. I was already 10 feet in the air with strawberry bon bons ready to be sprayed on the outfield but it wasn’t to be as J. Garrett dropped a dolly. After a little bit of sulking I shrugged it off and told myself in the sweltering Kent sun to come back stronger in the next over.
Knowing that he was lucky to still be in standing in the middle, I knew I had the beating of him as I saw the nervous look in his eyes. He didn’t want to be facing the Candyman but, then again, who does? After two balls had passed in the over I began my run up for the third delivery, I released the ball from my hand giving the ball a good old rip, the ball pitched between middle and off and straightened up to hit top of off! TOTAL EUPHORIA! Bon Bons and Waitrose clear fruits all-round! A moment that all in attendance will remember for a life time. Later on in my spell another great delivery was dished up by the Candyman. Some would call it ball of the century and others would call it an utter pie but, regardless of that the batsmen took the bait and the chipped it up to Jack Rogers which finished meant I finished with figures of 2/23 after 7 overs.
Those scenes unfortunately were not matched for a little while as we laboured in the field with a few dropped catches and woeful run out attempt by myself where instead of running to take the bails off I chose to launch the ball at the stumps from 3 metres away and of course missed the target. Walkie-Talkie bowled a tidy spell, teasing the outside edge of the batsmen a couple times and ended with figures of 0/26. Dino bowled the longest spell of the game during a tough middle period of the match as the batsmen refused to be moved and finished having given away 41 runs after 8 overs and was unfortunate not to take a wicket. Not a day to remember with the ball for Hangover and J. Rogers as they both bowled two overs each going at 10 an over. It was also great to see the flowing locks of Tom Rogers back who broke many health and safety regulations as he refused to tie his hair back but, it was a great sight to see as he bowled his 3 decent overs after a year off and ending with 0/21.
At this point I should mention how good the two batsmen that occupied the crease for a long time were and congratulate them as they posted a partnership of over 100 runs and with one finishing on 71 and the other on 81. But, as they turned out to be knobs I won’t and I was happy to see the back of them as Mr Hokey Cokey Cricketer (New nickname for Vice) decided he did actually want to have a bowl as he delivered three action packed overs to end their innings and took a wicket in all three of them ending with great figures of 3/13. We should mention that one of those wickets was an excellent catch by Dartsy Rogers which almost led him to die for the club as he was shortly taken off the field of play for a while to recover, so just ponder that for a moment as we admire the bravery of some the club greats!
Which meant Ide Hill totalled with a score of 198/5… GAME ON!
To be continued….
Tomorrow we hear about the great spread put on by Rougie, a great tense run chase which went straight to the last and a potential over 50’s 100m race at the end of the season!