Last Sunday the 2 clubs at the top of the division met for a “Clash of the Titans.” It didn’t quite work out the way anyone expected! After all the heavy rain the pitch was soft despite the players’ best efforts with the roller. The air was heavy and humid and the ball was swinging. Whoever won the toss was bound to field first. Ancaster won the toss – and just 11 overs later they had won the match!! I arrived about 5 minutes into the game (just as one of the Nocton batters was out) and realised that, although I’d brought all the Treasurer’s admin stuff with me … I’d forgotten the camera! By the time I got back about 15 minutes later another batter had also just been dismissed. Little did I know what had been going on in my absence. Richard Free, who was keeping the scoreboard moving, simply said, “Whatever you do, don’t look at the scoreboard, Jon!” Nocton had lost 7 wickets and had only scored 7 runs. The remaining 3 wickets fell for just one additional run. We were all out for 8 – a new club record. Miles scored 4, there were 4 extras and all the rest were ducks – as if the village doesn’t have enough already! Lee Willford was quick to point out to me that although he scored a duck, at least he was not out! Good one, Lee! “Strictly’s” Craig Revel Horwood would have called it “A bit of a disarrrster, darling!”
So, what happened? There was nothing more the lads could have done with pitch preparation – it was soft and that’s bad news for batting. The ball was swinging and that’s bad news for batting too. From what I saw the main issue was speed – the Ancaster bowlers, Joe Bottomley and Ian Whatton, were very, very fast – faster than any I have seen in all the matches I’ve watched. And they bowled straight - and let the pitch cause havoc. Rob Garfoot, honest as the day is long, said to me, “I never saw the ball, Jon – I just swung the bat where I thought it was!”
You can’t defend a total as low as that. All you can do, which skipper Dylan did, is to set a very attacking field and hope for a breakthrough. It didn’t come, and in the third over Ancaster’s Anthony Richardson hit the winning runs. The players were eating a hearty tea before 3 o’clock.
Report and photos by Jonathan Sides
|Plate 1 - Stumps flying as our rock solid defender|
Paul Carrott is beaten for pace
|Plate 2 - Isaac Appleyard loses his leg stump to Ian Whatton|
|Plate 3 - Rob Appleyard knew where he wanted the|
ball to go... but it didn't!
|Plate 4 - Set an attacking field and hope for the best|
|Plate 5 - Mikey thinking, 'What can I do with this one?'|
|Plate 6 - The winning runs in the third over|