Hartley 5ths vs Stone CC

“It’s all Tom’s fault”

That may or may not be the case. I will leave you to choose, and this week, I promise not to forget our performance of the week. (This wasn’t Tom.)

The power 3 spend most of the week organising lifts and making sure we fielded 11 and in the end we got it right. The convoy of cars unexpectedly met up in the back streets of Meopham in search of the ground. We did the masculine thing and stopped to ask. We arrived in time to a picturesque ground that makes Northfleet look like, well, Northfleet.

The Match.

We won the toss and proceeded with a timed game. Stone to bowl and Tom to ‘keep!

Glorious day and hard dry ground. 1 massive boundary towards the pavilion and a short one to the hedge where we lost several balls. Jordan raced in and after an over of “variation” bowled 4 overs of good line and length but no luck. 1 particular inside edge had him stamping the ground like Saddam of old. Robbocop was at the other end. Well, for a little while anyway. Having applied enough deep heat to all parts of his body that he, or one of my serving boys could reach, he managed to pull his back and departed for an hour or so. Bring on Garratt 2, Scrappy. He may not have played for a while but it didn’t show. 8 quality overs that saw him go for about 24 and have 2 catches dropped. Like a good older brother he maintained his composure and went for a quiet sulk at deep point. Dino found reasonable rhythm and snagged our first wicket. We were keeping it tight and defending the boundaries with a lot of energy especially from Bin Man and Buckets. Their fielding was a great example to the rest of us of how to chase everything and truly support the bowler and the team. Walkie Talkie came on and kept it very steady picking up 2 wickets from “slower balls” allegedly. He is showing a lot of maturity in his cricket these days. Towards the end we lost it a bit. Dartsy bowled good lines but anything slightly short was getting the thrashing it seserved. Cameron could not quite get his length right and went for one big over and Jamie bowling the horrible slog overs at the end also took some stick. In the field we were great. Lots of body on the line efforts and some sore hands and bruises no doubt to boast about on Sunday morning. A stinger that Semtex threw his had at was a good example of total effort. Still, the oppo finished on 188 and we thought it was about 30 more than they should have got but attainable none the less. Tom did his very best as replacement Stumpy and got better as the game went on.

Tea. Standard fare and gratefully received. Left overs devoured by Walkie Talkie who is clearly afraid that at every meal he may never get another chance to eat again.

Batting.

We were too slow out of  the blocks and left us too much to do at the end but it was still a great batting effort.

Dartsy and Dino, pressed ganged into opening, did the best they could but they bowled very tight lines and great lengths offering very little to hit. Thier opening bowler had something like 5 overs 1 for 2! Dino succumbed first trying to move the score on but was bowled for 6. Hi request to never bat higher than 11 again has been considered and denied. Dartsy and Lord Ross bat for ages but despite the best efforts of their bulky batting with an hour gone we only had 75 on the board. Still it is a platform of sorts and we have some aggressive batsmen to come. The break undid Dartsy and he pulled a wide one (well we’ve all done that after a drink) onto his stumps. Another score in 30s (31) for him. Consistency, but I am sure he feels he could be getting more. Lord starts to open up a bit and as he gets going gets a thin edge and is out for 33. Scrappy and Semtex to take us to the next level and in similar style, Scrappy gets going and gets out. A fine catch from a skier and he is gone for 15. Semtex is joined by the other Garratt and the entertainment is in the running. Both for style and calling there is much to be enjoyed. Vice then calls Semtex for a suicidal run and out he goes. Lots of mumbling when he gets back that suggest Vice should stay away for a while. Time is running out and the run rate is crawling up to 7 or 8 an over. Vice sees this as a challenge and is sweetly timing the ball all over the park. Cameron tried to join in but in 2 minds about whether to hit the ball for 4 or 6 ends up doing nothing and is Stumped. (The first). Jamie Bucket Rogers strides out and sets about the bowling with gusto, well sort of. His legs, as long as they are could not quite make his ground and was run out for 1. Glen tried to hang around but the back was not quite as bendy as it should be and he was stumped for another contribution the Duck Cup nominees. (The second). Time is running out for the bowling team as we start to run the overs down but Vice is again caught in 2 minds. Heroic victory or heroic draw. He neither makes the rock or the hard place and is stumped. (The third) A valiant 26. It’s left to the young pups of Walkie Talkie and Tom to see us through. 3 overs. 2 overs. There are some swings and some interesting calling but still there. Holding the Stone flag high and winning the admiration of the team. Last over. Ball 1. Walkie Talkie in control. Safe. Ball 2. a single. Safe. The team wonder at the thinking behind that single but still, we are in this. Ball 3. Safe. Ball 4. bowled. Tom is castled and we have lost the match.

So many things to point to for the loss. Better organising of bowlers by the Captain? 3 stumping and 2 run outs? Slow start?

You know what? It doesn’t matter. It was a great day. The oopo were a good bunch and the match was a joy to play in. Coming second on a day like that is not so bad. It is certainly a lot better than not being there at all.

PUB.

All attended, except Glen of course who has to go to Ramsgate. We are very grateful to him for stepping up where we were down to 10. We really appreciate the effort Glen, its a long way to travel and thanks for helping out.

SB of the day to newish boy Cameron Miller. He won it in a vote off with virtually all the votes. Dropped 2. Got tonked around the park and has also joined the list of nominees for the Duck Cup. Not a great cricket day but he is clearly one of the team and will be welcome back as much as he wishes.

PEFORMANCE OF THE DAY.

See, said I would not forget. The Vice Captain was a good example all day of how great our game is. He bowled his best without any luck. He was the pick of the fielders and really gave it a go with a rapid 26 and always played with a smile. He was encouraging, he contributed to ideas on the pitch and just to make sure he knows how we all feel. He is still a nob!