The fixture card said Warninglid, Alex said Brunswick Village
Who were we to argue…
Off to St James’ we toddled, fielding on paper a strong looking side, no Double D, but apart from the large hole he leaves TMG’s looked Mighty, oh yes!!! (here are some pictures from the pre-match pub meeting, and of the drive there)…
Brunswick Village are a good match for us always providing a balanced and well fought contest. St James’ is a fine setting, with a well kept square and well appointed facilities. Unfortunately the weather was not playing ball with arctic winds howling off the cloud veiled Downs.
TMG’s to bowl first.
Rob coming down the hill with the Nordic blast behind him, elected to come off his longer run-up, 4 paces, look-out batters, lids on!!!
Alan the young pretender still learning his trade in the tawdry world of opening bowling was toiling against the elements from the other end.
First over, a bit of extra lift and a first scalp for Rob, catching the shoulder of the Brunswick skipper’s bat to be snaffled by Del at slip, bringing no.3 Burton aka Snaggletooth, to the crease. He and the inappropriately named Blackman hung around for a few overs punishing some loose bowling from Alan, until Rob struck again with a ball that kept low and clipped the openers off stump. This brought Brunswick’s star batters Arosh to the crease, but he too struggled to score from the parsimonious Rob. A few overs later Burton was back in the hutch a beaut of an off-cutter nipping back to earn Rob his 3rd wicket.
Alan was still barren, but had started to bend his back and the extra pace definitely benefitted him robbing the batters of time. It was one of these quicker deliveries that produced the most hotly discussed moment of the game as Arosh appeared to glance one down leg to be deftly pouched by Alex at keeper, a nick heard by everyone except the umpire and the grounds-man who was in the pavilion having a dump at the time.
Alan was to finish up with figures of 8-0-52-0, but the conditioned viewer would be warmed by the fact that although he took a bit of a pasting, when he put his shoulder to the wheel and bowled quicker he looked a better bowler, which is reassuring to the old guard who are looking to hang up their opening bowler’s spurs and relax to the anonymity of 1st/2nd change and the soft wickets that lie therein.
Anyway back to the game, Alan may have finished pot-less but Rob wasn’t done yet, and removed the Villager’s no. 5 with a smart caught & bowled, which earned him the PSM, (although if he was going to win it he should have got it for the off-cutter), finishing with figures of 8 overs 6 maidens 4 for 5.
The change of bowling bought a welcome sight to all, Ibu, back in a Greys shirt,with Ian “Smiley” Sewell at the other end. Arosh was building a decent innings and the Greys needed him out, but to do that they had to hold onto their catches, not traditionally a Greys trademark, especially when one can’t feel ones fingers. Both of these bowlers took a moderate shellacking going for roughly a run a ball, Io’s did pick up his first wicket of the season, removing Barnes at 7 for 13, LBW, much to the batsman’s chagrin.
As BV looked to push on and up the total Arosh was finally removed run out for 78, this was however, the last wicket to fall and Blanden at 8 scored what looked to be a potentially match winning 30, before Brunswick declared at tea on 167 for 6 off 34 overs.
Tea was delicious, special note going to the super thick cut bread, this unsurprising earning a PSM nom from Chubby Greaves (shown here shivering in the cold).
Brasher and Line, last year had an average opening partnership of 35 this year they haven’t kicked on, as yet, last week 19, this week 18, and both of them back soaping their ‘nads with the score on 22, Jerry LBW for 10, Biff hit wicket for 7. Del and Tim looked to steady the ship until Tim, on 18, steered a wide loosener from Barnes to the covers fielder, with the Greys 58 for 3.
Del imperious as ever played an array a textbook shots, whilst Alex at the other end looked less glamourous but got on with it, until he was trapped LBW by Arosh for 16. Del looked to be cruising to another 50, as Terry came and went with a Golden Duck courtesy of an Arosh C&B, but he was to fall to the bowling of Barnes for a paltry 41.
It would be about this time that in previous seasons something about a man-mountain in a pink floppy hat would be written, and how he saved the day (geddit) and everything turned out ok for the Greys, but there was no Dave, instead we had Guy,possibly the most destructive batsman to have ever walked the Greys halls of fame. With Tel back in the pavilion Guy had been joined by Ian and a partnership that earned the Greys 5 runs as Ian sashayed down the wicket to be stumped for 2,leaving the Greys 112 for 7, requiring 52 to win.
Rob believing his work to be done for the day, as afterall hadn’t he put the Greys in a position where the batsmen should win the game anyway, was forced back to the centre to have a go with the bat. Fortunately he mostly had to watch and play an array of sumptuous forward defensives as Guy bludgeoned the Brunswick bowling to a match winning 48 not out off 23 balls, including 3 sixes.
Victory to the Greys by 3 wickets, and all off to Mrs Miggin’s ale emporium for lashing of Harvey’s Best…or not, for the second week, sort it out.