TMG v Mayfield Sunday 5th September.
Lovely place Mayfield, very picturesque, with a pavilion that wouldn’t look out of place on an alpine ski slope. Wood panelled changing room for the away team, one can only fantasize what the home team’s looks like.
Anyway we were not there to marvel at how the other half lives but rather to smash them up on their beautifully prepared cricket pitch. LET’S GO!!!
After a short discussion between skippers Mayfield went out to bat, putting the ageing Greys into the field on a scorching early September afternoon.
Mayfield started strongly with 2 batsmen who looked like they knew which end of the bat to hold.
Diamond and Stato (Snr) opened the bowling for TMG. Dan settled into his rhythm far quicker than his ageing counterpart who creaked and leaked runs.
Things did improve, however, with the flame haired pace man removing the Mayfield #1 with a jaffa that clipped the top of off.
A couple of overs later Hoare removed the other opener courtesy of a sharp slip catch from Del.
EO came on to replace Dan and slipped into his rhythm with an effortless nonchalance picking up 2 wickets for nowt off his first 3 overs, thanks for a catch at square leg from Robbie H and another slip catch from Delbert, diving forwards.
Before leaving the fray Hoare senior bagged another wicket with a father son combo caught and bowled with Hoare junior taking a catch at square leg. Junior rather impressively catching the ball between his elbows as he caught his sunglasses falling off his head at the same time. (Joint PSM was awarded).
Mayfield looked to be floundering at 47 for 5.
TMG are not known as a team to take their collective foot (feet?) off an opponent’s throat and we piled on the pressure. Hoare finished to be replace by Del who continued to apply pressure with his antipodean seam up shenanigans. Ian picked up his final wicket bowling the appropriately named Mr Eats.
Bumbo and Casual Dan came on and bowled tightly with no luck with the Mayfield #6 Mewett bucking the trend to hang around and score some runs. Diamond Dan coming back on finally dislodged him for 42 caught by Dom.
Del had gone back to slip and took another catch in Dan’s next over. Yes, 3 slip catches in the same game. That’s more than we normally take in a whole season. The 3rd was arguably the best again diving forwards, great stuff!
Mayfield did manage to get over a ton, which at one point looked unlikely, finishing on 123 from their 40 overs. This did not look to be enough on a decent pitch with a very fast outfield.
Other humorous/fine cricketing moments from the Mayfield innings; EO’s toilet/grunt ball 2 separate occurrences; Shadow expiring whilst losing the race with the ball to the 3rd Man boundary; James attempting to stop a ball by diving headfirst into a hedge; but most impressively was the invention of a new cricketing skill soon to be found in all good coaching manuals – the Chaise Longue barrier, developed by Biffo and named by either EO or Hatrick (we’ll leave that up to the lawyers to decide).
The now customary Tesco meal deal tea preceded the Laurel and Hardy-esque opening pairing of Flynn & Line (although to be fair Biffa has lost a lot or weigh over the off season and his sleeveless now hangs to below his knees).
Anyhoo on to the action… With a relatively small target to chase Biff and Hat got to work scoring at a decent rate. Rik was the first to fall, clean bowled for 12. The Kentish Lineman was joined at the crease by Dan Cope. They pushed on before an inspired bowling change saw Wellman come into the attack for Mayfield and a double wicket maiden removed first Biff and then James for 17 and a 4 ball duck respectively, the score being 61-3.
Del back into the action after his slip heroics came in at four and together he and DC took TMG past 100 before uncharacteristically Delbert was out for a piffling (by his standards) 16, LBW.
Terry at #5 scored a quick fire 5 crunching a 4 through square leg, before being caught at short leg, as Casual Dan at the other end cruised past 50.
Alex joined Dan to steer TMG’s to victory by 5 wickets with 17 overs in hand.
DC’s 56, not out, had plenty to appreciate – the pick of his boundaries a lovely drive up the hill and a powerful pull shot.
On paper it looks like a comfortable steam-rollering but in practice we took all our chances that on another day could well have gone down and bowled very well as a unit. Mayfield had some decent young batters at the top of their order but they were not given a chance to establish themselves.