And so we move on in the list to Warninglid. Only Staplefield, Twineham and Streat predate this fixture in Greys short, but very notable history.
Meet up at the Constant has been somewhat depleted the last few weeks, with some new Greysmen foregoing our pre-match warm up routine, favouring instead to not roll up half cut at the beginning of the game. Many admiring looks and cries of, “£25? Your joking, arncha?” were given as each Greysman present went through the routine of back lift and immaculate imaginary drive with GoodorquietBen’s newly acquired Newbery SPS boot sale bat. We didn’t loiter in the Constant, but still somehow didn’t quite have time to have a swift one at the Half Moon, as our opposition were already waiting for us- an unusual happening at the Lid.
By now the sun had broken through the clouds and we were set fair for a glorious day’s cricket. GorQBen won the toss and citing the orientation of the pitch and the setting sun, decided to bat first, declaring this fixture the “battiest of bat first games we play”. Or something like that. Waringlid only had 9 players, and GorQB consented to “last man standing”, which wouldn’t have happened in Biff’s day. Or Biffy’s day, as Dom would have it.
On that subject, a number of innovations have taken place under our new leadership. Alan taking the gloves, Terry fielding at gully and playing as a bowler, not always batting first, Biff suffering the bends at no.9 and other batting order shake ups. No doubt we will be seeing more in games to come.
The welcome return of Wiggie to the Greys fold to replace Hatrick at the top of the order was unfortunately short lived, as he was adjudged LBW by Dunc Trigger Edwards, whose finger was raised faster than Terry’s new found lightning reactions at gully. “A tad high” was the departed batsman’s view, but he was back in the hutch.
This sadly set the tone for rest of the top/middle order, because with a combination of good bowling (Biff, Roborbob, Dimu), and poor shot selection (Alex and Duncan) all perished, mainly at the hands of Mr Nesbitt, who finished with figures of 6.4 overs, 6 for 8. We were 19 for 6, as Robobob asked the dreaded, “What IS the Greys lowest score?” It was briefly discussed, but it was not to be, as first Ben and Jerry, well mainly Jerry, then Jerry and Al saved our embarrassment by tucking into a welcome, and some might say generous change of bowling. Jerry hit a lovely square cut four, and the pair of them looked to have everything under control.
On 92 for 7 however, Al Gal, who had hit a mighty six and was proving the quality of the Newbery “How Much?”, found the middle of it again and was smartly caught at mid on for a battling 31. A still pretty meagre total, but Dom, Jerry and two consecutive 4s clubbed through backward square leg by Terry batting at eleven, managed to bring the final total up to 133, after 27 overs. Jerry finishing on 49 and both Jerry and Alan succumbing to the not very nasty bowling of the very nice Mr Nastys. Not a bad recovery, and with the Warninglid wicket never one to flatter a batsman, spirits were relatively high.
They were made a little higher when an anomaly was found in the score book by Alex, and through a system which must remain secret, Jerry’s face saving, quality but jug avoiding 49 had transformed into a much more satisfactory, and jug buying 50. In a very thin field, this was deemed worthy of PSM. This may be the first teatime PSM since Alan Dilley’s famous plate throwing incident at Falmer.
Tea was pretty much as it should be with cakes and sarnies, and a Chelsea bun.
This was followed, by something else that wouldn’t have happened in Biff’s day to add to our list, a spinner opening the bowling. Dimu had bowled beautifully at Twineham last week, but couldn’t quite find the right pace for this wicket, and with the skipper himself struggling to find the right length at the other end, the very capable openers for the nine men of Warninglid set about our bowling with no mercy. GorNB found a good length for one delivery that swung in and bowled Riley, one of the Lid’s ever presents. Roborbob bowled well again and got no. 3 Jamie LBW with a late swinger, but this was the end of our inroads into the oppo’s batting line up, and the remaining opener batted very nicely for his 65 no. Tidy spells from Terry, unfortunate to have a catch dropped (see below), Dom and Alan were to no avail.
Mention shall be made of Alan’s IPL style boundary fielding, Skip’s stop at mid-on, Alex’s stop at point. There was also a field change, the swapping of Duncan and Wiggie, to save Wig having to chase balls to the boundary. This was all clearly too much for Dunc, who very next ball must have thought he was still where he had been and missed a pretty straightforward catch to dismiss the opener. It didn’t really matter, as by this time it was all far, far too late, and Warninglid passed our score in 20 overs. Refuge was sought in the pub garden, to drown our sorrows, lick our wounds and generally try to forget the whole thing.
Back to the Constant for smaller than usual pizza, mitigated somewhat by the return of Catherine behind the bar, even though she may have been responsible for the smaller pizza. Early tour planning also took place, as we began to realise the bountiful riches of Greysmen on last years tour will not be repeated this year.
I felt it was time to write a match reporty match report, in the style of a match report. I have taken this decision to take the pressure off future match reporters, and because it was a game which didn’t really merit anything too outré, off the wall or wacky. There may also be an element of not being able to think of a new and original style, although the mime version has been posted on YouTube. Here’s the link- https:/youtube.com/marcelmarceaudoesthemightygreys=+frombeyondthegrave&88133from 20oversforfuckssake.