Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Before I start can I confirm once and for all to all Line of Duty fans that I am not “H”.
Yes, here I am again, Sunday night - a half empty bottle of claret by my side, gout ridden feet resting on one of my most faithful servants, dictating to a nubile young scribe my musings on the events of another action-packed Saturday.
Before I set my keen eye to the key performances of the day, a word of thanks to “the Cavalry” of George Newton and Keith Ford who came through for the 3s on Saturday and to Will Davis for similarly performing the heroics for the 2s that meant the guys at HQ had a full side and that while the 3s weren’t exactly all present and correct we did at least field enough players to ensure a competitive game was had. Thanks too to George, Medders and Tim Jones who between them left not a stone unturned in our quest for 11 players for the 3s.
In fact, we had 4 drop outs between Friday morning and Saturday morning and while each had its own variable merits, it nevertheless did stretch the black books to breaking point and for once we could not quite get to the magic 11 in each team. Ever the optimist, I am hoping this will have been the nadir and from now on we will not have to deal with anything like this level of desertion.
On to more pleasurable matters and the not insignificant matter of the 1s beating Guildford by 7 wickets on Saturday. That’s 3 from 3 in the friendlies and all 3 teams beaten were from top divisions of their respective leagues, which represents a great effort.
Stars of the show this week were the new ball pairing of Grimshaw & Miles (not a chain of shoe shops) who between them had Guildford on the ropes at 12 for 5 on Saturday. Grimmers figures of 4 for 19 from 10 overs continue his return to action in the same form that he demonstrated when helping us to the Premiership title in 2017 and bodes well for the season.
Dan would not be happy if I didn’t mention a dropped catch which could have helped reduce Guildford’s tally even further, but even so routing the local rivals for 79 in their own back yard warmed the cockles back at HQ.
In reply, despite rain interruptions and the support of Bowen (Cheerleader General) we were able to knock off the required runs for the loss of just 3 wickets. Sam Holland taking his opportunity to open the innings with a mature and patient 33, while CJ (25) and Charlie Young (14*) went about things in a more cavalier fashion to hasten a satisfying victory.
Back on our home soil, Guildford 2s took revenge matching the 1st XI result with a 7 wicket win. Batting first NCCs total of 161 for 8 always felt below par. Richard Burton again looked the best bat on display with a fluent 43, while Will Davis (21) and Bradley Richards (31) showed some decent strokes against a good attack. Club Captain Ross Skidmore (11) was the only other double figure score.
Guildford’s reply was centred around a patient undefeated 58 from opener Jaedyn Bartosh-Short and although skipper Liam Robinson took 2 for 26 from 10 overs, Guildford always looked comfortable and ran out worthy winners.
The 3s had much more of a look of the 4s about them – barely a 3s regular in sight and new skipper Medders at least managed to negotiate to bat first to give the team time to muster. At 50 for 2 all was going well but then a collapse left us 62 for 7 and it was a feat to end up with 89 all out on a “sporting” track.
Guildford 3s were made to work hard for their win though and at least we took 5 of them down with us – Medders enthusiastically reporting on some fine bowling from the youngsters and a typically parsimonious spell from The Rev – forgetting to mention his own debut wicket for the season.
All in all the day was a success in terms of players getting a chance to bat and bowl ahead of the serious stuff and the 1s turning over the old enemy.
Why yet more reminders? Because I care about you all, that’s why and I do not want you to miss out.
Please update your availability for this coming weekends league tussles by using MyClubhouse ahead of Tuesday evening’s selection meetings. If anyone has any trouble logging in let Phil Hodgson know and he will be only too happy to help.
We have the National Knockout Round 2 match versus Portsmouth on Sunday. Anyone available should et Neal Prowse or me know please. For those wishing to watch its a 1pm start at NCC.
I have heard today from our meticulous and svelte secretary RJ Home that last week saw a glut of subscriptions come tumbling in which is heartening news indeed. For those yet to pay, unless you are new to the club this year or have made arrangements with the Hon Sec already, I’m afraid the discounted rate has now been closed and its full price from hereon in.
Steve Cook Memorial Game:
Today sees the annual Steve Cook memorial game at NCC from 1pm where he 4th XI take on a team of colts parents in a 30 over bash that is always keenly contested and extremely sociable – of which Steve would be particularly approving. For those not involved it’s still a chance to come down, support the club and give a little to charity in the process. Steve is still very much missed at NCC and the boys – Nick, Alex and Matt are all due to take the field and would love to see a great turn out of NCC supporters. You can watch the game, have a beer and still be back for Game of Thrones.
The points start counting from next Saturday so there has never been a better time to enter your side for the Fantasy League. Entries can be done on-line via the play-cricket website (click on the social tab and you’ll find a fantasy cricket option on the drop down menu). Follow the rules and get your team entered – its good fun, raises money for the club and makes sure everyone takes a keen interest in the performances of other teams so please do get involved. 3 teams are already entered but I’d like to see another 40 or so at the starting gate by Saturday.
And with that run down of all things NCC I’m off to sleep the sleep of the righteous.
Be careful out there.