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Sat 26 April - Chelsfield

Posted on 27th April in 2008, Friendly Match Reports

It was a brilliant Spring Saturday for the season’s curtain raiser. New knees were rumoured to hide decorously beneath clean flannels. The type of strimming glasses popularised by the holder of last season’s Ray Trick Fielding Award were much in evidence, and Wyn and Sree showed us that centre partings are being worn wider this year. Not surprisingly, Shoreham took to the field first to flaunt these fashions.

Also on the fashion front, the Club is to be sponsored by Gillette this season and in return we are to provide models for them. Pat has been booked for the ‘before’ shots and George Rivett for the ‘after’.

John Dinnis and James Trick immediately dropped into their familiar rhythms and accurate bowling on a low, slow wicket meant that scoring was difficult. Only seven runs came from the bat in the first eleven overs at the cost of one wicket. Martin Wells prevented extras from adding as many as they might have done by making some excellent leg-side stops. A couple of hard chances were not taken, but overall the fielding was good. Naturally, there was an increase in interest whenever the ball went near the holder of the RTFA, but he played like a man who was not keen to defend his title.

After the first and second change bowlers were introduced Chelsfield’s scoring accelerated, if that doesn’t convey too great a sense of speed. Their numbers 2 and 3 took the total along to nearly a hundred, but then wickets began to fall regularly: one to Sree, who was his usual, sprightly self; three to Brad Simms in an accurate and increasingly penetrative spell of seven overs; three to ‘Shane’ Stacey, who made the ball turn prodigiously and also fielded like a gazelle (at least he threw like a gazelle when missing a stone cold run-out from five yards, but made amends by bowling the man two balls later); and finally, two to Wyn at the cost of just 1 run in 8 balls, which, in the circumstances, must leave him top of the bowling averages until at least August.

Chelsfield finished on 131. Then, lacking our exceptional depth of bowling talent, they persevered with their opening attack for 20 overs. Sree tried to get after them, but on a slow pitch that proved difficult. In the ninth over he skyed a catch to the covers with the score on 14. By the 23rd over the score stood at 40 for 4 despite attempts by Monty and Martin to push things along. What had seemed a modest total to chase was looking far less attainable.

Now James and John came together, and, after a look at the bowling, they added 50 runs in five overs. James was finally out for 46 and John was seventh out with four overs remaining, fourteen needed to win and the opening bowlers recalled.

With the final ball to be bowled all results were still possible. Shoreham stood on 130 for 9 in reply to Chelsfield’s 131 all out. There were no television cameras to record the event, and so when future generations tour the Hall of Private Pain and find the name of Brad Simms inscribed slightly below and to the right of those of Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle they may not know why it is there.

The result hardly took the gloss off a gorgeous day, which was concluded in traditional fashion. It’s good to be back!

- Wyn

(photos to come…)

One Response

  1. Gregory says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 10:30 am

    A fine tale Wyn, I too had noticed this season flagrant disregard for the traditional centre parting!