Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Hello My Little Fruit Bats
After a brief hiccup last weekend I am delighted to report cricket got under way for 2019 in fine style on Saturday with a brace of wins for NCC.
At an HQ bathed in glorious sunshine Tennyson Prowse and his team of fine limbed young fellows enjoyed a healthy warm up game against Finchampstead from Division 1 of the Home Counties Premier League and ran out comfortable winners.
Normandy's imposing 275 for 6 was built around a 144 run partnership for the 3rd wicket between CJ and Tennyson. The former's 92 from 88 balls full of adventure and invention while the latter notched up the season's first hundred in a classy stay at the crease that had purists drooling into their beer.
Finchampstead needed a good start and at 24 for 4 were effectively de-railed before they got into their stride. It was particularly heartening to see Alex Grimshaw back in action after missing most of 2018 through injury. His return showed he has lost none of his nagging accuracy with fine figures of 3 for 18 from 6 overs. He also wowed the crowd with a spectacular outfield catch that had the NCC faithful scratching their heads and peering through binoculars trying to identify the athlete responsible. There were 2 wickets each for Dan Miles and Russell Withey and although the win was ultimately comfortable Finch's Josh Lincoln got the nerves briefly fluttering with a spirited 35 ball 75 that propelled the visitors score over 200 and led to a brief malaise in the Normandy fielding as a number of catches went down in the latter part of the innings to slightly blight an otherwise very promising performance.
The 2nd XI took to the road and visited Old Wimbledonians in a more traditional early season game. Sam Holland (23), Arya Khedekar (23) and Hemers (27) all made a solid start to the season before a typical early season middle order slump. Enter the ever youthful Mark Rosser make an untypically cautious start to the season, taking 21 balls to get off the mark before finding his range and bludgeoning 50 off the next 34 deliveries to hearty cries of "Man Beer" from the faithful. His 66 helped propel us to 163 for 7 from 40 overs.
The hosts struggled in reply and were bundled out for 100 in 31 overs with off spinner Aaron Smallbone's 4 for 13 the standout figures of the day, with wickets too for Matt Hodgson (2), Lee Smallbone and Lee Robinson.
All in all an excellent start - thanks to Jonny Hodgson for stepping in to cover the first (and dare I say "only") drop out of the season.
Those that are yet to pay their subscriptions should all have received a reminder from the admirable RJ Home (a costume of a man since his highly successful winter diet) that the discounted rate is only available for a few more days so I urge you all to take advantage of this and get your fees paid before the end of the month.
Please update your availability for Saturday via MyClubhouse prior to 7pm on Tuesday. We have two games this Saturday against Bashley Rydal from the New Forest with both our grounds in operation. The 2nd XI game is likely to again be a mixture of players from 2s, 3s and 4s so anyone keen to play should advise via MyClubhouse and those not available should do likewise. If you are struggling with this there is a link to the MyClubhouse site via the NCC play-cricket website.
The Fantasy Cricket competition is now live and can be accessed via the social tab of the Normandy play-cricket website. Rules are as follows:
Each manager must pay £10.00 for every team they enter.(Payable online as part of team selection)
Each team must consist of:
2 All Rounders
The total cost of a team must not exceed £55.00 million
Each team must select captain who scores 2x the points of a normal player, you may change your captain each week if you wish.
Only League games count but please adhere to the rules above. I should point out that I am currently priced at £1.5m more than Bowen and I retired at the end of last season which gives you some indication as to the bargain potentially available for the great man's services this season (if he can squeeze back into his kit - we are already warming two large shoe horns to assist with the process of trousering him for the first game).
Steve Cook memorial Match
Finally, a heads up that the Steve Cook Memorial match between 4th XI and Parents is due to be held on Monday 6 May at 1pm. The wonderful and fragrant Martin Sampson is in the process of putting together the parents team while the Normandy team is being rounded up by the fresh faced Matt Medlock. It's a rare chance for the 4s to take to the main ground so if you are keen to play please contact Matt on 07796 332059.
Steve is a much missed former member of the colts coaching staff and Guinness connoisseur and the day is always a great event so those not playing would be heartily encouraged to come down and support.
I grow weary now and must return to my own realm