Having leapt out of bed like salmon to the smell of a fine breakfast, The Mighty Greys trundled through the majestic Devon countryside to their final match of the ’22 tour, Luppitt CC. Positioned with a commanding view over the valley, and famous for its superlative tea, the chaps were a smidgen worse for wear on day three of the test, but no less tenacious for a tour win.
We started positively with a catch taken at square leg in the first over off master Dave D’s fine bowling which got the blood flowing and sent Luppitt batting opener Machin packing for a duck.
Pulman and Bright dug in but were ultimately pinned back with both Greys opening bowlers (Day/Newland) putting on a fine show of economy and Greys tails were up and looking to keep the pressure on.
The stale mate was subsequently broken by 1st change monsieur Flynn bowling Pulman with elan considering his age (60 if you didn’t know, remarkable). With this shift in momentum the Greys were back in the hunt and looking to close in on a possible 120 run chase.
One wicket often follows another and with the change to senior Southon an LBW (Bright) put Luppitt at shy of 40 for 3 wickets lost.
The pressure was on, Chiefy let us all know he needed a piss by walking away from the relative cover of the cars to stand behind the stump end in contemplative relief, and the overs continued to tick over at not huge loss, however that was soon to change. With Ben and Adam up close to face the incoming spin opportunities were to be had, and as a ball fizzed through Luppitt fancied themselves for two runs.
Young squire Drinkwater lumbered back, acquired his quarry and from the sound of battle coming from the rest of the team it was a shoot to kill opportunity with Ben over the stumps ready to pounce like a horny cheetah. A flaccid arm later and the ball was heading in, testament to the pitch the bounce was true, and bails were off, the umpire’s finger raised and football was coming home.
With energy levels high the Greys looked to continue the momentum and keep the 120 target on track. Buttons took the crease and the outlook changed, although not without opportunities for the greys to have taken catches and nipped Buttons in the bud, Del and Biff becoming accustomed to the hedgerow at the boundary and the game glad for plenty of spare balls. Bowling being an art and not a science, it was time to bring in a disruptor in maverick tricky Ricky Southon to outfox the competition. This was subsequently achieved with a PSM nominated bowling out of the Buttons for a game changing 79 by Capt Sewell.
Two overs later we tucked into tea with delight, 150 to chase.
Tea did not disappoint with special mentions going to the quiche and scones (cream on first) and the kind hosts for laying on a fine spread. Thanks also go to the weather and view, nice one nature.
Fully refuelled and rearing to close out the tour with a victory, Biff and Hattrick took to the crease to commence the last innings of the last game of the ’22 tour. Both openers were steady and with conviction, Biff driving at leisure and Hattrick making the out fielders run their lunch off. Before we knew it half the score had been achieved by the time the first wicket was lost as Biff was bowled after another fine innings and a good tour with the bat. Hattrick was subsequently unluckily caught on the boundary, a fate avoided by many a Luppitt batsman. So the stage was set; Del and Adam out on the field to take the team home and write ourselves into Greys folklore. Both batsman felt comfortable in the crease which bore fruit in the form of the former being bowled and the latter caught within two overs (for a duck (the wanker)). The Greys, from a good start in the field and with the bat, now felt under pressure.
Alas 6 catches by the opposition, along with the last 7 wickets falling for 19 runs and even after a Dave D inspired come back, Alex swinging hard and Ricky trying the cunning plan of going into bat at the wrong end, meant it was curtains within 15 overs.
Outstanding awards contributing to a splendid weekend none the less go to; the weather, cricket teas, cricket bants and everyone’s soul.