22 Aug 2014 - Gavan Burden
Ah, it seems like only yesterday, the cut and thrust of skippering an Old Oaks side! And so to the Rugby Club, who turned up in fancy dress and with more scrum halves than I was ever used to seeing on a rugby pitch. That confusion tactic in itself would have been enough for us to win the game by default!
I asked “Uncle” Sam Pinter-Harvey’s on the way out to toss what he would do if he won, he said bat – which rendered the toss irrelevant as I wanted a bowl, and so it was that Godoy and Beaumont went to open against our deadly Alan spin-twins, each of whom hit the top of off stump in their first overs but also the boundary rope with some regularity (46-2 after 6 overs). Beaumont made the magic 25* which gave us a little more control over run rate so that in the next 6 overs it dropped from 8 to 6 whilst Barnard, Uncle Sam and Peter Thresh (wow, that bat looks like a match stick in his hands) built on the foundation.
Gary Atkins caught Barnard off his own bowling to strangle what looked to be a promising innings. Meanwhile Stuart Seldon, who had kept like a panther the previous week against Old Oaks, was having rather less luck this week and giving a very passable impression of trying to catch a bar of soap much of the time. That meant we had to hit the stumps and thus Will Minto did for Uncle Sam, whilst Nigel Taylor and Rich Crook rounded off the tail – without letting Beaumont back in, thankfully! So with extras adding 10 we had 113 to chase in 15 overs.
Harkers senior went out to open with Practically-Perfectly-Paced-Paul Nash, and it is fair to say that our start was leisurely in the gathering gloaming, such that at the fall of the first wicket (Harkers) at the end of the 5th over we had scored 26. Nigel Taylor gave some impetus to the innings with a snappyish 28* and Will Minto, fresh from some JB coaching, came and went for 1, bowled playing the shot he thought he had been coached for.
Meanwhile, PPPP was ploughing his furrow at the other end, signing off with 25* in the 13th over.
Skip realised that Gary Atkins was the replacement batter when they met each other at the end of the over – route one it was, Skip being bowled by a beamer to the bread-basket which, of course, should have been given as a no ball. Luckily for us, “Extras” also passed the retirement milestone (25*); but happily Gary rounded the game off on the penultimate ball – in what was a very tense, but enormously enjoyable, finish.
A good win for OOs and in the great company too of our friends at the rugby club.