Stone CC vs Sidcup CC 5th XI, 13.06.15

Alan Hanson famously once said, “you can’t win anything with kids”… Well, now Sidcup 5ths can add themselves to a long-list that includes Man Utd (95/96), Tatum O’Neill, The Seattle Seahawks (Superbowl XLVIII) and The Mighty Ducks is disproving that theory. Fair play to them as well – they batted positively, bowled tidily and took some unbelievable catches. However this isn’t their story, it is as ever all about Stone CC (and me), so here it is.

So what’s this we see up at Stone Rec… A cricket wicket… One with a brownish tint to it… One that has been rolled! It really was an incredible scene and one that saw the Stone CC squad absolutely buzzing pre-game with all before match jobs attacked with a never-seen-before gusto, with the highlight undoubtedly the innovation Jetset applied to the boundary markings of the day.

Having won the toss and elected to field first the anticipation around what the first ball would do off the pitch was palpable. In truth what we found was a wicket very similar in pace and bounce to old Stone Wickets, slightly better looking mind and without the occasional horror bounce. There’s an Ian Holloway quote out there that would sum it up quite nicely.

The bowling performance all in all was pretty tidy. I hold my hands up to a few mistakes, not going for the jugular when we had them 67-5 chief amongst them. As some dialogue in Lock Stock goes… “Assumption is the brother of all f*ck ups” and it certainly was in this case. I fully expected to have them all out for under 120, whatever we did, and allowed their innings to get away from us a little. Apologies all. My other captaincy non-highlight is starting the match without a fine leg for Glenn. I had been wondering for a couple of overs why it felt like I had more fielders in catching positions than normal and it only came to my attention when our highly acclaimed match report reviewer could be heard chuntering away in the distance.  Obviously I had to style it out… Of course we haven’t got a fine leg, all part of the aggressive new Stone you see. To be fair I’m not sure the batsman noticed for a few overs either, I mean why would you thinks someone would be so foolish not to have someone down there. They realised soon enough mind and the gap had to be plugged… eventually. There were of course many more personal mistakes through the day as we found out with the comeback of post match fines so I’ve got a good idea of where the mugs mug might be going this year already.

Anyway that’s enough about me (before the review critic steps in). There were plenty of bowling and fielding highlights as well and the things I liked are listed below:

– The Stig proving that you don’t every really need to be on your feet to stop the ball (and his shoe / sock combination);

– Dino coming up with a new fail safe can’t drop catches theory… just don’t get in position to take any;

– Goldenhair showing the potential of a Stone CC Captain season 2016/17;

– Dartsy’s keeping – he may have looked like he had gone 12 rounds with Rocky afterwards but two byes tells the story of some good glove work;

– Dino, Beachy and Robocop – All wicketless but some tidy stuff in there;

– Excellent wicket-taking spells from Matty G (two wickets) and Jetset (three wickets).

It was the returning Scrappy that really stood out though, with the ginger fella bowling with more variety than you would see at the London Palladium, minus a sh!t ventriloquist, Jimmy Tarbuck, and a bored-looking Prince Phillip. How he managed to pick up four wickets is very difficult to fathom, with surprise and opposition skills probably the key elements. What can’t speak can’t lie though and it says four wickets in the book, which could have very easily have been five if he hadn’t put down the dolly of the day.

So Sidcup 5ths ended up at 161 for 9 after 40 overs which, as I said, was at least 30 more than they should have got. However it was still more than within our compass, especially after a fine tea that left every taste bud explored and bellies more than satisfied. Special thanks to Nige and Mrs Nige for this week’s effort with an honourable mention for Jordan with his first entry into this year’s Britain’s Youngest Baker competition.

Realising that this match report has already gone on somewhat I should try and keep the batting element brief. Thankfully most of us helped in this regard with the brevity of our innings, myself included. I think it would be fair to say that enough of us got starts to have expected a couple of us to go on and have decent knocks, however it just wasn’t to be this week. I’m reminded of a Joni Mitchell song when I say, Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, and that is certainly the case with the ever consistent Stumpy and it is his type of knock that would have seen us home this week. The parallels between Stumpy and Joni are very surprising… both smokers at 9, both responded badly to formal education, both got too close to the criminal world, and Joni also never got a jug in for her best folk performance Grammy for Clouds in 1969.

With five of the top six getting between 10 and 25 but then giving their wickets away, it could have been different with a touch more discipline and a little more luck with catches going to hand when hands had very little right to be there… However with wickets falling at regular intervals it never quite felt like we were going to get there and we wound up 30-odd runs shy when the final bell tolled.

So sadly we fell to our second defeat of the season, but that is only half the tale. Another cracking turnout down the Lads afterwards tells me the team is going in the right direction and for me personally I am loving being a part of the new look Stone and cannot wait for the next chapter in the story. For me personally that chapter won’t come until 4th July so Mr David Darts will be your skipper for the next two weeks, though you will see me around at some point, I am sure, and you will definitely have emails from me in that time.