Day In, Day Out!
TMG v. Hammerwood, 2nd September 2012. Greys win by 9 wickets.
A year since the now-legendary epic finale, when the ethereal strains of a twelve string guitar whispering from a half forgotten era of wondrous artistry inspired the Greys to a magical victory. Nothing could match that day of days – not the weather, not the cricket, not the match report!
Vice-Captain Dave Day must have wondered if he commanded the respect of his players as he waited for Ian Sewell and Ibrahim Azami to turn up. This simply would not have happened under normal circumstances, ie; a climate of fear. Matters were compounded when Burgess let his lightness of mood affect his concentration while double-circumnavigating East Grinstead.
Day insisted on fielding even though he only had seven, however, there appeared to be no recriminations about the game being delayed while everyone waited for the latecomers. This good spirit was notable throughout the afternoon. Hammerwood are a good bunch.
They also have some very aggressive and free-scoring batsmen as we knew from last year when we spent a considerable amount of time in the adjoining fields looking for sixes. This however was not to be repeated. The wicket was lively and unpredictable and Day and Rob Hoare both quickly realised that bowling just short of a length would allow the pitch to do all the work. Rob soon had one wicket – a glove to slip and Dave followed by hitting the stumps nipping back. Batsman No. 4 was a pwerful hitter soon had a couple of big sixes to his name. We found the ball each time which was fortunate as it was swinging very nicely. No.4 had moved the score on to 40 before he skied the last delivery of Rob’s spell. It took wicketkeeper and gully, one on each arm, to keep Ibrahim back while Rob took a difficult catch. Rob and Dave were again incredibly consistent. They bowled with nagging accuracy and the not-so occasional beauty thrown in. Rob finished with 2 wickets for 20 runs and Dave with 3 wickets for 21 runs from six overs, this being a 30 over match.
The big guns it seemed had been and gone. Sewell, Ibrahim and “Quiet” Ben Newland bowled tightly and kept the scoring low. Excellent fielding further tied the batsmen down, particularly from Alan Gallagher and Del Covill on the midwicket and cover boundaries. Ricky Southon was more erratic and was saved more than once by a new, improved,drug-free, sharp-eyed, all-diving Sewell, fielding behind square. One two-handed diving stop,cleanly taken, one bounce off the meat was very pleasing and much better fielding than his more straightforward catch at gully that actually won the prestigious P7 Award.
Hammerwood finished their innings on 114 for 8. The wicket although calmer was still a bowlers dream and The G-men were expecting a torrid time after tea. Tea seemed to be an All You Can Eat-type deal washed down with unlimited strong tea. Brilliant news for the Greys exultant bowlers!
If you’ve read the sub-heading then this next bit wont suprise you. Hammerwood’s openers bowled brainless short stuff at Del and Jerry Brasher that was manna from heaven for our diminutive duo. Both were very quickly pulling and cutting out of the middle. Eleven off the first over! The pressure was off and the damage was done in the first few overs. Jerry was eventually caught in the covers for 30-odd. “Dangerous” Alex Fenton came in at No.3 and was soon finding the boundary as well. and the Greys cantered to victory inside 16 overs. Del gave a masterclass in shot slection and clean hitting while scoring an imperious 75 not out. So two years in a row Del ‘Boy’ Covill has carried his bat at Hammerwood and won us the game. What a Boy!
Go up the A23 into M23 and take Juntion 10 A264 towards East Grinstead. Go straight across the first two roundabouts. After about 2.5 miles you will come to the A22 at Felbridge, turn Right going South towards East Grinstead. After about another mile you will come across some traffic lights and a mini roundabout, keep going until you reach the FireStation where you will need to be in the Left Hand Lane. About 100 yeards turn Left on to the A264 towards Tunbridge Wells (that turn is not well signed, if you get to the Lewes/Eastbourne left turn you have gone to far and will need to circle around and try again!), follow the road for about 3 miles out of East Grinstead until you see a sign for HAMMERWOOD PARK HOUSE, take that right turn into a single track road which meanders past a pond etc before eventually ending up at the Ground on the left hand side.