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Sat 29 September - Pinewood

Posted on 30th September in 2007, Friendly Match Reports

Many epics have been made at Pinewood. This was the one about the brave band of heroes, assembled at short notice from an unlikely cast of characters, that goes out and, against all the odds, gets slaughtered pointlessly.

It was 11 a.m. and a day of fluffy white clouds was forecast for Kent. Pat sat in his driveway idly raising and lowering the roof of his Porsche, admiring the precision engineering and waiting for the pubs to open. In his den Robert the Developer lovingly spread out the plans of the elegant Georgian residence that, in his mind’s eye, was already a block of bijou flatlets. Ageing Hack lolled with his feet on his desk whittling his keyboard, lazily trying out adjectives that might come in useful for the next day’s contest with Halstead.

Suddenly the phone rang. ‘Control, Hazardous Activities On Saturday’ came the voice. ‘Scramble, scramble!’


‘Well I left a message for Jerry saying that we couldn’t raise a sortie today but they didn’t pick it up til just now so it would be dashed bad form not to fight them’.

‘******** **** *** **** Fockers at 12 o clock’.

‘Sorry chaps. Plumstead wing is already airborne so we’re committed’.

‘***@@! Who’s my wing man?’

‘Great little chap. Never been in a plane before. Can’t really see out of the cockpit, but you’ll love him. If he turns up. Not quite sure. Tally Ho!’

The trailer for this film is played to the music from the great escape. It shows Sree dancing down the wicket to strike a mighty six then smiling shyly at what he’s done; next there’s Dave, the grizzled veteran, turning his arm over with the ease borne of experience and – in contrast – the new recruit, Alex Haysler, leaping in youthful delight as his leg break defeats a batsman twice his size and three times his age. Pat gives a gunslinger’s look as, with bewildering speed, he traps the ball under his foot, flicks it up to his hand and spears it in, leaving the enemy troops floundering comically in mid wicket. Thud! Thud! Thud! Behind the stumps Psycho Bob’s gloves account for victim after victim whilst he wears a sinister smile and then, in a change of mood, looks on tenderly as son George picks up a ball for the first time in Shoreham’s cause. And who’s this writing it all down in his notebook? Why it’s Miles Walker. Panning even further down we see the tops of two little helmets as Vineet and Harry (infant sons of Sree and Bob) capture our hearts capering around in equipment that’s far too big for them.

All this is unbearably poignant as, somehow, you know that they’re all going to perish except one.

When the feature starts our fears are grimly realised as the flawed heroes who have somehow won our hearts are eliminated one by one, sometimes in bizarre ways, as their objective slips agonisingly out of reach. In the final scene just the two little boys bravely stand against the might of the remorseless war machine. A crowd of Kentish peasants that was at first hostile has been won over by this plucky display and boos as one of the lads is struck and realises for the first time that this game is played with a hard ball. An end to innocence. Even now it seems that they’re going to make it as our diminutive heroes play out over after over until we’re down to the very last. Can there possibly be a happy ending?

But out of the gathering gloom a James Trick–like figure looms. The horror!

- Wyn

Match Facts:

Number of Shoreham players:
Number of Shoreham players aged 8:
Average age of five youngest Shoreham players:
Condition of pitch:
Catches taken by Bob the Wicketkeeper:
Number of bowlers used by Shoreham:
Best bowling figures:
Top score:
Number of overs seen out by Harry and Vineet:
Number of balls by which we failed to draw the match:
Heroes of the day:

10.4 years
Alex H
Harry and Vineet

7 - 2 - 8 - 1
7 - 2 - 11 - 1
2 - 0 - 17 - 1
5 - 1 - 16 - 1

One Response

  1. sree says:
    October 3rd, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    hello wyn
    once again enjoyed your match forgot to mention your excellent running catch to the left, off miles’s bowling. and all credit to you-or should i say, masterful skippering…everyone had a good game. whilst i am a bad looser it was enjoyable day, never mind the result. worse still -getting out to a slow long hop. vineet enjoyed it thoroughly- his first cricket match with me(still showing his bruise on the hip and he wondered why i was rubbing his knee). thank you. see you soon.