CATNEY 1ST XI v LONG ITCHINGTON 1ST XI
3rd September 2011
Well, what a report to write! With another season drawing to a close, Long Itch went into this match with the knowledge that they were already promoted, but were still smarting from the previous week’s one sided affair, and were keen to finish the season on a high. And blimey, did they succeed, or what !?
Pingu had perhaps been unfortunate in making way for the return of Jacko, who, having been reportedly close to knocking on the doors the Pearly Gates only a week earlier, had confounded medical opinion by making a miraculous recovery and deeming himself fit to perform. The estimated 12 weeks recovery period was thrown out of the window as he saw the opportunity to boost the season’s average.
With both teams keen to get going the coin was tossed and Catney chose to bat on what looked to be a good pitch. Openers Mason and Hanlon made a steady start but did express their surprise at being faced with an opening bowler (Tino 4-21) bowling off breaks, who was turning the ball sharply. After a couple of rather exuberant appeals for stumpings from Clarky (for who for the first time this season wasn’t the loudest in the game at talking absolute nonsense – beaten easily by Catney’s Sandhu), he then whipped the bails off sharply whilst Mason’s foot hovered above the line. One down – nine to go.
A thoroughly professional bowling and fielding performance then ensured. Wickets tumbled on a regular basis, with accurate bowling and good catches keeping the pressure on Catney. The aforementioned Mason’s 17 runs turned out to be the top score, with only one of his colleagues joining him on double figures. Perhaps more surprisingly was the statistic that Long Itch did not concede a single extra in the whole innings! So, after just 27.4 overs Catney were dismissed for a poor 52, with Mat Cox mopping up the tail with 3 for 1 off 3.4 overs.
With bread still being buttered and eggs yet to be boiled, the umpires chose to go straight back out and get on with Itchington’s reply. Jack and Grindal started steadily against some sharp bowling by Carl Lewis and spinner Mason (Catney having followed skipper Brook’s lead). Sadly for them they couldn’t make the in-roads that Itchington’s bowlers had done, and it was all over by 3.45pm, with Grindal being the only wicket to fall for 19. Jack’s decision to play was vindicated, with a steady 19 not out, and Tommy Perks, having been tested with a few short deliveries from Lewis, completed what has been an excellent season, with 14 not out.
Back to the pavilion we went again, this time for the last time. How odd to be having an early tea, at 3.45pm, with the game completely over! The team returned to Long Itchington, resplendent in Mat Cox lookalike shirts, to support the 2nds, who manly stuck to their task to well beat a Catney 2nd team, and perhaps show who really should have gone up from their Division? Celebrations of promotion went long into the night, washed down at the Green Man by jugs of beers and plates of curry.
We now face eight long months of analysis, planning and general bullsh*t until we play our first game in Division 1. Roll on May 2012 !!