Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Hello my little Parma Violets
Here we are again, yet they said we wouldn’t last.
Firstly, well done to CJ et al for the success of the “Back to HQ” evening on Saturday. My apologies that I was unable to join you all but then I am there all those weeks when many of you don’t return so I figure that either evens things out or I am the sole reason you stay away.
“Enough of such frivolity”, I hear you scream at your interface of choice, “Who are this week’s unsung heroes, you wretched little recidivist?”
Well, I’m glad you asked because this week I have three heroes for your consideration, all of whom merit inclusion for vastly different but equally laudable reasons. Firstly, I give you Matt Medlock who has been a revelation in his role as 4th team captain this year, who this weekend went above and beyond the call of duty to travel back from the family holiday on Saturday morning, skippered his side to victory and then drove back Sunday morning to re-join the family – that ladies and gentlemen is called commitment!
Second up is Club Captain Ross Skidmore who on the back of his 84 last week went even better this week with 111 for the 2s. This was Rosco’s third ton for the club and his first since 2013 when he blasted three figures against Weybridge 2’s. To give you some idea of how the world has changed since then, in that game genial Jonny Nolan took 6 wickets, Alex Grimshaw was second change and Jonah was playing as on off-spinner (0 for 12, and 0). Brilliant stuff from Rosco – one of the good guys.
Lastly, and by no means least, please put your hands together for the admirable Jonny Hodgson. Jonny has found himself a regular feature in the beleaguered 3rd XI this season and this week heeded the cry to arms to show some fight. Batting at ten the little battler survived 65 balls in an attempt to save the game against high flying Old Ruts. He was finally dislodged with 6 overs still to go and was rightly applauded off the pitch by home team and opposition alike for a terrific effort.
Now, lets get down to the nitty gritty of what pundits are starting to call “the events of Saturday 6th July 2019”.
For the 1st team, it was another disappointing day at the office sliding to defeat at home for the first time this year – fortress Normandy being breached by local rivals and promotion hopefuls Cranleigh who provided a 110-run drubbing. Cranleigh reached 240 all out, but it could have been so different had a “confident appeal” for a catch been given against the last pair before the score had reached 200. As it was the last pair added 49 and swung the momentum in favour of the visitors. Once again Little Viggy stood out with 6 wickets while Russel Withey picked up 3.
Our reply was pottering along nicely at 54 for 1 but when CJ was bowled for 20, he sparked a collapse either side of tea that left us 89 for 6. When the magnificent Freddy Austin was bowled for a defiant 54 the wheels really came off and it was only some clean hitting from Pereira and some stoic defence form Matt Cook that got us to 130. In hindsight the 6 ducks registered probably didn’t help….
On the road the 2s once again manged to post a score of 200 plus this time not only was Rosco in the runs (see the heroes section above) but he was joined in the run fest by Lorne Robinson whose own 78 came at more than a run a ball. 246 for 4 was an imposing score….. but sadly, not imposing enough.
Valley End enjoyed some wayward early bowling to get off to a flyer and although skipper Robinsen and the admirable Chris Heane pegged them back with a couple of wickets each, the ludicrous legislation that limits bowlers to 14 overs each in the long format meant that when they were bowled out the back-up bowlers could not contain the damage and the side lost by 6 wickets with 2 overs to spare.
On the top ground, it was business as usual for the 3s who went down by 121 runs against an Old Ruts side who outplayed us in all departments. The visitors rattled up 258 for 5, weathering a decent opening spell from Matt Hodgson and Aaron Hunt before unleashing all manner of Hell. Only Xavier Deacon could make any real further inroads grabbing 2 for 20 in 5 overs. The declaration after 45 overs was spot on and a side who have struggled for runs all season were unlikely to survive 55 overs in return and so it proved. The crucial wicket of MJ Scott for 32 signalling the fat lady to begin gargling. Aaron Hunt (32) and Brad Richards (27) at least provided some entertainment in the middle section and Fitz showed some resilience for 13 before Jonny Hodgson (17) threatened to stave off the eighth defeat of the year before the hope was finally quashed 6 overs from time.
The invocation of the “Anti-Keg” (whereby selected members from each losing team prostrate themselves in the shape of a cross at my feet and adhere to my drinking wishes) was only avoided by the mighty 4s. At present the details of the 4th team game against Woking remain shrouded in mystery but from the hearsay I have gleaned the excellent news that James Spink scored his maiden half century for the senior sides, Carl Bowen hit a six in his nose-bleed threatening 28 and Simon Howarth (whose past exploits are beginning to come to light) is making a bid for all-rounder status with another contribution of twenty-odd.
Normandy’s 203 all out was more than enough for the home side who reached 182 for 7 before their allotted overs ran out giving the win to the 4s which takes them to 5th.
On Sunday the Under 21 Academy side got their season under way with an impressive victory over Worcester Park. Normandy, resplendent in new coloured kit, posted a daunting 378 for 3 with Sam Holland registering his second hundred for the club with 106, and skipper Callum Job also reaching three figures for NCC for the second time with a personal best for the club of 127. Sam Wellfare’s pinch hitting cameo brought him 45 and Riders chipped in with 36 not out at the end.
In their turn Worcester Park started brightly but faded away to 200 all out with Aaron Hunt completing a good weekend’s work with 4 wickets and there were 2 each for Alfie Beardall and Callum Job (and no the latter is NOT a mis-print).
The under 19s start their T20 campaign at home on Monday (tomorrow) against Guildford and then follow up on Wednesday with a trip to Valley End. Both matches start at 6pm and the teams are attached. Any problems please address to Callum in the first instance. Support for both games would be very welcome.
I sent out a request for all players to advise their availability or otherwise for a T20 match on Presidents Day on 18 August. I was inundated with 2 replies (a positive one from Hodgy and a negative one from Cooky). From this I have extrapolated that half of the club’s players ARE available and half aren’t. Problem is I don’t know in which section of my Venn Diagram the rest of you fall into so please can you advise me your availability one way or t’other as soon as possible so that I can get my admin sorted and start organising an opposition of suitable standard.
For all other games MyClubhouse remains an easy and fun way to indicate your availability (for good or ill). As I type there are 20 “regular” players yet to indicate their availability for Saturday. I fully expect 5 of those to complete the task before Tuesday (they often do) but that leaves 15 likely to be on my naughty list and next week I may start leaking names to the press.
As much fun as MyClubhouse is, paying match fees by Slate is an even bigger cavalcade of excitement and those with outstanding bills that need clearing are urged to do so ahead of Tuesday’s selection meeting.
Finally, don’t forget to sign up for the Annual Golf Day on Sunday 1 September. Players of all abilities are catered for and, weather permitting, it’s a relaxed and fun day for all. Places are limited so best to sign up as soon as possible using the sign-up sheet on the notice board.
Fantasy league update to follow once the results of the Woking & Horsell jury are in, and congratulations to all those who spotted and acknowledged the league chairman when he visited on Saturday.
Right, I’m off to dream the impossible dream.