Bredgar CC vs Stone CC, 18 September 2021

A very late addition to the fixture list and definitely the last one of the 2021 season saw a second trip of ’21 down to Bredgar, scene of a ridiculous knock of 150 from their captain way back in the summer. A glorious sunny day greeted us, as did a very short square boundary on one side which greatly aroused those batsmen still in with a shout of end of season batting prizes. Rossington, in his last game as skipper (the forecast lied), decided we all needed to top up the tans before we headed into the darkness of winter, and we fielded first. A fresh face stepped in to fill the usual hole in the team this week, and would be heavily involved in the game’s high/lowlights.

As I am writing this report in late November I am struggling to remember actual details of the game, but everyone picked up wickets apart from an oddly expensive Candyman, who also suffered the ignominy of being dispatched over the pavilion. He was also involved in the other highlight of sprinting in from point to first slip – where Dicky P was patiently waiting for the ball to drop out of the clear blue sky into his hands from a top edge – to fluff what should have been an easy chance. Rossington helpfully screamed “NAME ON IIIITTTTT” from behind the mask just as Candy was about to take the glory, which is evidently what put him off. Skip banished him from his sight and turned to new man Grant, who quickly reduced the hosts from 96-6 to 101-9, including two in two balls. Grant evidently tired in his third over as he finally went for a couple of boundaries, and finished with figures of 3-2-8-3. He’s welcome back any time. Ryan finished the Bredgar innings off with the last wicket, and Stone would be chasing a modest 111 for victory. Nelson…

Skip rewarded the new boy with the chance to open the batting. Discussions on not running singles on the short boundary complete, we walked out to begin the chase. Immediately, disaster struck. I padded a full one to backward square, he called yes, then no, I went, didn’t went, then went again, he didn’t went, and eventually, with us both in a panic stricken mess, Grant was trudging off without facing a ball. This set the tone for a horrendous run chase. I dragged on a few balls later for bugger all, Vice hit a four and went shortly after, Gracie finished his season with a golden duck, and we were 13/4 and already dreaming of Moretti. Walkie had been eyeing up the aforementioned short boundary all day, and made good use of it as he smashed 29 off 27 balls – over half of Stone’s total – before falling, probably to some slow straight rubbish. Candyman was holding up the other end, atoning for his earlier efforts with an epic 1 off 36 balls as he battled to save the game. Ryan and Muttley both fell cheaply, quickly joined by Candy, who was just as quickly followed by Dicky after another run out orchestrated by the departing skipper, This left Buckets Boyling to hang on at the non-striker’s end while the captain smashed us to glory, or so seemed the plan. Skip again called a dodgy-looking single which Ed tried his best to complete. In doing so, he collapsed in a heap with a knackered hamstring, and Rossington had his stumps rearranged shortly after. All out for 56 and defeat by 54 runs was a miserable way to end the year, probably one game too many, but better than Sainsburys or doing DIY or IKEA or Christmas shopping, am I right? 

Onto the awards inquest, and a few beers supplied by the departing captain lubricated the occasion. Grant was rightly awarded Big Pat for the winter for his brilliant bowling spell, unfortunately we’ll never know if he could have clubbed us to the win. I escaped sentencing for involvement in this crime as the Poo Trophy went to the Candyman (I think), despite his terrific blocking efforts with the bat. The season drew to a close with Stone CC’s 2021 record standing at seven wins, three draws, seven defeats – Rossington gleefully pointing out to the assembled crowd that he hadn’t had a losing season as captain. 

Big shoes to fill for the new skipper in 2022…

– Billy