Ide Hill CC vs Stone CC, 4 May 2024

After a week of rain and doubts as to whether this fixture will go ahead, the sun finally peeked through on Saturday morning, and just before midday the go-ahead was received and everyone trooped to Ide Hill’s idyllic, postage-stamp sized ground.  Parking the car was a challenge on the soft grass and I just prayed that I could extract my vehicle later in the day without needing the use of tractor to tow me out. Stumpy arrived shortly after having narrowly avoided a few stray deer outside the ground.  Our team of 9 enthusiastic all-rounders, one batsmen and wicket keeper crammed into the changing room to prepare for our encounter. 

After losing the toss and unsurprisingly being sent into bat on the damp surface, Vice Lord Rossington asked for a volunteer to open the batting with himself, he was met with no enthusiasm whatsoever from almost everyone within earshot.  Eventually Tom volunteered and padded up ready to face the Ide Hill attack. Things looked good as the Lord cut a loose delivery past point for 4, the new bat looking promising and things began to tick over slowly.  Tom was soon out however for a single, closely followed by Lord Rossington who watched as his new bat performed rather too well and looped a catch to cover from a ball that seemed to die in the pitch. Ram was in at Number 3, joined by the evergreen Stumpy at Number 4. And the pair put together a useful little partnership before Ram was adjudged lbw from the Ide Hill off spinner, Ryan was next in and unfortunately didn’t get to use his new bat and was cleaned up first ball.  Mr Harry Love was next in and looked to attack as best he could against the slower bowlers, although he treated Pulley’s looping grenades with respect and saw him off and out of the attack.  Eventually after a couple of boundaries Stumpy was bowled by the off spinner for a fine good 17.  Next up the Northern powerhouse Benty was in he and Harry were looking good until Harry called him back for a second run that wasn’t on and was run out by about 10 yards for 7.  Walkie was next in and was using Ryan’s bat, but he too was dismissed for a duck after slicing an attempted slog  to point. Harry was going well including an incredible flat 6 that barely travelled more than 2 meters off the ground. We are around 80-7 at this point as Candyman joins Harry, he looks to hit out, but is well caught and bowled by the bowler for the 3rd duck of the day.  It is then my turn to join Harry out in the middle with still 45 minutes of batting left. Harry hits a couple of boundaries; I edge and slap my way to 3 before Harry is eventually dismissed for a fine 36.  Paul joins me for the final wicket and hits a few singles down the ground, before I am dismissed lbw to one of the slowest balls of the day and we are all out for 102.

A rare and enjoyable tea is had by all as we head out into the field to defend our target. The pitch is slow and hard work, as found out by the Ide Hill openers. Ryan opens the bowling and is virtually unplayable as no one can get him away. He snares the Ide Hill skipper lbw and finishes with figures of 5-5-0-1, brilliant. I am trundling in at the other end, a few pop up on the pitch but nothing much going for me today as I have 5 overs 0-14.  The remaining opener looked steady if unspectacular, whilst the number 3 chanced his arm a couple of times hitting myself and the change bowling of Paul & Ram to the boundary a few times, one half chance came Walkie’s way at cow corner, but it just bounced in front of him and away for 4. At 40-1 the spots of rain became a bit more persistent, and we headed off whilst the covers were rushed on.  After a short break we resumed with it still spitting. And after a few balls one slipped out of Rams hand and sconed the number 3 (no helmet!) This ultimately proved to be the last action of the day as the rain continued to fall and we shook hands on the draw. 

Ryan Garratt was the recipient of Big Pat’s award this week for his outstanding spell of bowling. The Shitbag trophy could have gone a couple of ways but was awarded to Ram in only his second game for the club for attempted murder of an opposition player….

Back to the Wok next week for a bit of a local derby, see you there…. Or we will send Ram round!!!

– Rich