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Sat 11 August - 2nd XI v Horsmonden II

Posted on 12th August in 2007, 2nds Match Reports

There has been some discussion regarding the structure of the Kent Village League recently and I should like to contribute what might at first seem like a radical suggestion but one that I think has real merit.

This week Shoreham, a club with landscape gardeners, bankers, ex-farmers, management consultants and others of even vaguer professions in our teams, was severely handicapped by the absence of those taking holidays in exotic destinations. Obviously our players can afford to do this kind of thing. I believe that it would therefore make sense to arrange the season’s fixtures by pitting teams from areas with equivalent socio-economic profiles against each other at appropriate times. In other words Shoreham would play clubs from other posh areas during the summer holiday period and teams from more economically challenged areas, such as Otford, during term time. This would avoid the in-built bias against us in the present system.

Just six second team regulars were available to make the trip to Horsmonden this week. The remaining places were filled by Martin Wells’s son-in-law who thought he had been invited to come round for lunch, a batslinger hired from distant Brixton, a street child snatched from Boakes Meadow and a young boy and girl loaned to us by our opponents. Not at first sight the most promising of line ups but this Shoreham rump consisting almost entirely of the retired, the unemployed, the unemployable and the underage performed heroically.

Fielding first, the Captain decided to promote Ageing Hack to open the attack with regular performer Plumstead Pensioner. In the context of the game, both returned respectable figure with PP claiming 2 – 57 in his two spells and AH 0 – 56 in his unbroken nine overs. Martin was convinced that he had stumped Horsmonden’s number one off PP when he had yet to score and first change wicket keeper Mick Johnson was sure that he had caught the same player off the same bowler on 8; the fact that the umpires failed to share either of these opinions proved catastrophic as the opener then went on to score half of Horsmonden’s huge total of 379 – 6.

Rupert Harris (12) and Ryan Moran (11) proved to be our two most destructive bowlers alongside the perennial PP. Each took two wickets. The first remarkable achievement of the afternoon was therefore that Shoreham claimed a bowling point without a wicket being taken by anyone between the ages of 13 and 73. We look forward to more from Rupert in weeks and seasons to come.

Amongst the other bowlers, Paul Styles seemed strangely muted, as though afraid of hurting more batsmen; Tim Waymouth obviously had no such scruples but couldn’t get his radar operating consistently; Chris Brown, like a true captain, stepped up to share the pain when the Horsmonden batsman were regularly despatching the ball to every part of the boundary and Patrick Bartlett, tired of chasing the ball off everyone else’s bowling, contributed a cameo performance at the end of the innings.

Mick Johnson had the satisfaction of two stumpings and Martin took a splendid catch. AH on the other hand brought a scowl to Chris’s face by carelessly tripping over his own feet when trying to collect a catch off the Captain’s bowling that would have made his day. A little like in that car advert, Chris waited a few hours before apparently coincidentally running out the said AH.

Paul and Mick Johnson – the acme of opening bats - gave Shoreham’s innings a splendid start, Mick scoring a brisk 27 in an opening partnership of over 50 and Paul continuing until he was second man out with the score on 160. Tim had meanwhile begun to accumulate his 63, which was the mainstay of the middle part of the innings. For half an hour Tim was joined by his father-in-law who rattled up a rapid 44. Martin was eventually given lbw when quite a long way down the pitch but departed without complaint. Tim began to lose sight of the ball in the gathering gloom and, unable to connect with the big hits any longer, ran himself out attempting a brave single in the chase to reach maximum batting points. Wyn also perished as previously mentioned leaving Chris and Rupert in occupation of the crease as the innings closed on 238.

The afternoon’s second notable feat was that we comfortably beat our season’s previous highest score for the second week in a row. How often has either Shoreham side reached 238 this season?

For the collector of such trivia the post match bar order consisted of three pints of lager, two pints of bitter shandy, a nice cup of tea, two Sanatogen tops, two Cokes and a Fanta.

- Wyn

D. Fletcher
W. Melville-Jones
T. Waymouth
R. Harris
P. Styles
R. Moran
C. Brown
P. Barrett

9 – 1 – 57 – 2
9 – 0 – 56 – 0
2 – 0 – 27 – 0
5 – 0 – 51 – 2
4 – 0 – 57 – 0
4 – 0 – 53 – 2
6 – 0 – 58 – 0
1 – 0 – 13 – 0

P. Styles
M. Johnson
T. Waymouth
M. Wells
W. Melville-Jones
C. Brown
R. Harris

3 no
1 no