CURDRIDGE vs CURDRIDGE - 8th September 2019
The classic cricketers nightmare happened on Sunday morning, Skipper arms deep in sandwiches preparing the tea gets the call to say there has been a cock up with the fixtures and the opposition are not coming.
Pitch prepared, tea done and a sunny day meant there was only one option - get on the phone and see how many players we could get down the Lane for an inter club game.
The lure of one last game of cricket proved to be a proposition that many couldn’t resist and by 1.30 there were 20 players ready to roll.
It was a league select squad with players from Trojans, Follands, Netley and the Machine together with a few Wednesday Warriors that made up the masses.
Two captains were selected, Alan and his 'A team', and Jay with his 'Jay team'.
Teams were picked, playground style, rules were set - 30 overs aside, and it was the A team that opened up with Harrington C and Harrington M taking to the middle.
Like peas in a pod (except one has a much bigger pod that the other) they matched each other biff for biff as the scoreboard rattled on early doors.
It was Craig that reached the retirement score of 50 first and Sammy then joined Matt in the middle
A couple of wristy shots was all that Sammy could offer and Saturday Skipper joined Matt in the middle.
Some grenades from the Marks (Gregory and Woods) were dispatched to the boundary but not without a few chances as skipper made a brisk stay before some junior by the name of Hillier found a way through.
Matt meanwhile made his fifty and Alan continued the momentum as the score raced along supported by a couple of the Netley lads and the tail with the innings closing at a daunting 193.
Tea done, and the Jay team took up the chase.
Pierro and Woods Junior made a good start before the first contender for champagne moment
Fielding at mid wicket, Botley’s finest BBQ tender, Gav, was caught with the ball arrowing in to him from a decent shot from Luke.
Legs moving in different directions, body already falling towards the turf, Gav somehow got his hand in position to snatch the ball out of the air for a fantastic catch to end a promising knock from the youngster.
Pierro and Jay then had a ‘who has the classiest drive’ competition as Doctor Block and his partner in crime kept the scoreboard moving.
Pierro then succumbed to Matt H and Woods Senior was summoned to the crease.
By now a confused Del Candy was called into the attack - reeling by the preposterous decision to bowl him first change.
He was clearly shocked to his core as the normal accurate radar deserted him and Woodsy took full advantage heaving him to all parts.
The scoreboard was keeping pace with the required rate and more biff was to come as David made his way to the middle.
Jay retired with another fifty to his name (after a DRS reprieve) and Jack and Dave then nursed the score towards the target.
With three overs left there was 30 runs needed and Alan suddenly realised he had a big problem.
Looking round the residual bowling options he went for the comedy option and summoned Saturday skipper to bowl the last two overs from the hill end for his first bowl of the decade.
Miraculously some of them came out straight and the over only yielded twelve runs.
Matty tagged in for the penultimate over and snagged Jack bringing Punter to join Dave at the crease.
The wicket kept the over tight, and with 6 balls left the Jay team needed 12 to win a game that had definitely got competitive as it neared its conclusion.
First ball, Dave on strike and the ball is bunted down the ground for a single
Jules thinks he is in with a sniff now as Punter is on strike and the field is set for his triangle
Second ball, streaky four behind square leg from Punter and the ask is down to 7 off 4
Third ball and Punter moos it out to cow for back to back boundaries accompanied by a squeal of delight as he gets the ask down to 3 off 3 and the Jay team are almost home.
Fourth ball - Punter’s off stump is out of the ground as Skipper finds a beauty that rolls back the years
Fifth ball - Rob gets off strike with a single that re-arranged his thumb (searing pace!)
So the last ball of the last game of the season came down to Saturday Skipper vs Vice Skipper, with two to win, one to tie and glory at stake.
Slow ball bouncer was all skipper had left in the locker, but it was the surprise option and Dave’s middle stump was knocked back to complete an unlikely win for the A team.
A thoroughly enjoyable way to finish what has been a fantastic season with two scratch sides separated by the odd run in 400. You could not have scripted it better!