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Under 15s enjoy Otford sunshine v Holmesdale!

1 Jul 2018 - Tom Parsons

This morning we played our final Premier League match of the 2018 campaign with a home encounter against Holmesdale CC.

With the Vine ground in use for a Club day we hosted the match at our delightful Leonard Road, Otford Ground. Although it’s always an honour to play on the old Vine Ground actually I know many of the boys and parents prefer the rural surroundings of Otford.

Our side today was short of a few of the senior players who were ‘in the books’ for next weeks exams but hey we had eleven good and keen men ready for the fray! I say eleven but there by the grace of god…

James Yeabsley has joined us “mid-season”. Bit of a double whammy that for me and my excel spread sheet. Having someone beginning with a “Y” and who wasn’t around when I set the spread sheet up has caused slight mayhem. In the past few weeks I’ve stared disconsolently at my team sheet struggling to find 11 men when hiding there all the time was that extra player on Line 23 who was absent from my auto addition formula… I guess the flip side of that is that if wasn’t for the late drops outs in recent weeks we’d definitely of had a 12th man a couple of times. Doh !

Charlie Williams was skippering this morning and his infectious enthusiasm would, I hoped, infect the other boys. We would soon find out.

The Holmesdale side was being managed by a very laid back Aussie who I think had been bundled out of his bed by the usual match manager to take their team out. He arrived mysteriously at the ground without any visible means of transport. I have always found it amazing that these guys manage, even after the most murderous of Saturday night binges, to appear at cricket grounds the next morning from nowhere. Maybe not bright and bushy tailed but he was ready for the off. Homesdale had no scorer so the accounting for the morning was in the hands of David and Marcus.

With a 1pm kick off for the other match going on today we both urged the boys to crack on and get the overs in as fast as possible.

I’m not sure who won the toss but the effect was that Vine were batting first.

A new pairing of Doug “the drummer” Ramchandran and George “On time today” Mylod opened for us. They were subject to a fairly robust concert of chirping from the Holmesdale side led by their tiny but disproportionately noisy keeper Walton. The first over was bowled by Joe Gilhouly. I heard the cry of “bowlers name!?” and must admit my first thought was “this could take a while”. We ran through a number of attempts. “Gobowly”, “Hillgooly”, “Gillyhooly” etc etc before we settled on something near enough.

Anyway, the first over showed the track to fast and bouncy and that Joe Gilhouly rarely bowls straight from the off. At the other end Jay Holliman took the new ball. Again the cry “bowlers name!!?” OMG here we go again. This time I think we’d settled quite quickly on something beginning with “H” and left it at that. Jay sprayed the first few balls wide and then the cry again “bowlers name!!?” The poor lad was distraught. Two more wides followed and he was off.

Doug and George were going well, knocking the ball around and Doug clipping a few nice fours. The chirping was quite tiresome and of low quality. “nice areas Freddie” and “keep it on the pegs Horace”. With the score on 30 George was caught behind off the nagging left arm seam of Neil Hudson. Skipper Williams was up next but unfortunately after a nice cover drive for 2 he played-on to a ball from the accurate Hudson.

Douglas was still there as Ewan Gavin strode out to the crease. This week my car was safely tucked away behind the pavilion as Ewan took guard. Amazingly he was quite circumspect to start with taking three consecutive singles before he unveiled a sequence of 6, 4, 4, 4. With the ball sailing to all parts Messrs Gilhouly and Holliman were taking great care not to catch their skippers eye.

We were also in danger of running out of balls.

Next over bespectacled leggie Williams came on and clean bowled Douglas with a perfect googly for 19.

James Y was next in and with a bit of ‘encouragement’ got the running between the wickets going so that he and Ewan really got us motoring. Ewan eventually had to retire on reaching 35. A very entertaining knock once again.

I know boys of this age are not renowned for their attention to detail or general awareness but I did find it a little disconcerting to be asked by a number of our side during their innings (this during this our last 25 over league game… ”Is this a 20 over game sir? Even in the 20th over one of our batters asked me “so is this the last over”.

Seb Nottage joined James in the middle and the pair were going well when James was bowled by Hopkins for a well made 28. In the last 5 overs rather than accelerate we fell apart as Seb was run out for 14, Will Gough-Cooper bowled for 1, Hugh Marsh caught for 3, George Scully bowled for 1 and Tom Webb run out for 1. This left Henry Gillespie high and dry on naught not out and Vine with a final total of 128.

Whilst this was definitely a below par score on this track we were still perfectly on time to be home for the footie.

A quick turnaround and Vine were in the field with our ‘gun’ bowlers Yeabsley and Scully pacing out their run ups. Although James struck in the second over with Charlie Williams taking a sharp chance at slip we had still conceded 30 odd runs from the first 4 overs.

Neil Hudson and Tom Williamson tucked into the Vine bowling both making it to 35 and retiring. Charlie was not without advice in the field especially on his field placing . George Mylod’s cry of “there’s no point” in the 10th over could have been taken in two ways ….

Charlie rang the changes as Holmesdale closed in on our score with Douglas, Will and Ewan all having an over. Tom Webb bowled two good overs including the wicket of Gilhouly and Henry Gillespie also snagged an LBW in his first over.

In the final analysis a comfortable victory for the visitors as they overtook our total in the 16th over for a 7 wicket win.

Many thanks to David and Marcus for scoring and for Clare and Liz for doing the refreshments.

Have a very sunny week.

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