The day after Scotland won 0-0 against England at the Euros, it was about time we had some proper entertainment at Oakfield Park. We turned up on a damp afternoon and were greeted by some numpties playing on the wicket for the day and churning up an already damp pitch. They didn’t seem that bothered at the damage they were doing and the Garratt family, most notably Mick, gave them short shrift so they wandered off without a care in the world to leave us to sort the damage out. Ide Hill were the visitors to our Home this week. We won the toss and bowled on what can best be described as a green (aren’t they all lately!), damp and slow wicket! Myself (the master of filth bowling) and Chungy took the new ball, and (surprise surprise) runs were difficult to come by. Thankfully Skip took a catch off my bowling to see off their skipper for one! Chungy remained wicketless despite bowling well and he was replaced by Walkie who bowled with great pace and good lines. He claimed the second wicket and Ide Hill were 23-2 off around 18 overs. The scoring rate was slow and King Louie claimed the next wicket by getting the other opener caught by Ed “Buckets” Boyling for 30. After a mammoth two-over spell, King Louie retired to the outfield with some teenage injury or something… [a side strain, I believe -ed.] Vice then came on to bowl and claimed our final wicket from the Ide Hill innings since, shortly afterwards, the time was up. Ide Hill closed on 113-4 from 39 overs. The slow outfield and damp condition meant that they only hit 3 boundaries in the whole innings.
This total was not going to be easy given the condition, and the fragility of the Stone batting order, but a positive start was all we needed. We duly got it from Vice and Skip who put on an opening stand of 24 before Vice was cleaned up for 15, trying to force the pace. Skip was the next to go with a decent score of 25, snicking behind off something a bit quicker. 46-2 quickly became 46-4 as Chungy and Walkie departed in quick succession. 15 more runs were added in reasonable time before Alex was bowled for 6. The brakes were being firmly applied as another clump of wickets followed – Stumpy departed dragging a short ball to mid-on for 7, closely followed by myself who missed a swinging ball to have my stumps rearranged for 1. Ed and Gavin at the wicket did provide us with some entertainment, with Gav slapping a couple of balls down the ground, comical running and exaggerated shouts of NOOOOOOO! everytime Gav defended. Ed played stoutly until he put his big toe in the way of a straight ball and departed for 2. It was left to the Jessup family to see out the last few balls and see us close on 79-8, Gav finishing on 9 and young Will on 4. A low scoring game but far more entertaining than the football from the night before.
The post-match awards were tricky to award, largely because nothing special really happened. Skipper got to cuddle Big Pat for his role in top-scoring (24, including our only boundary) and Walkie got the Golden Poo for his five-ball duck. Hey ho, hopefully England can produce something more entertaining at the Euros and we can grab a much-needed win next week at Teston.