A wicket with his first ball in Gardeners cricket made debutant James Allen-Perry the headline performer on a sunny and blustery day at Turney Road that saw a victorious, if rusty, start to the season. Greg Struthers, returning from his Greek cycling injury lay-off, did most damage to the medics of the Thomas Guy Club, though, picking up a four-fer in a 40-run win.
Early season keenness meant that 13 players were available for the game. Thomas Guy were only able to field 10, so Antoni kindly volunteered to play for the opposition. Our new skipper, Jamie E, thinks he lost the toss, however this has not been confirmed since the coin has not been retrieved from the long grass on the wicket. I jest, of course, but this pitch was probably for more suited for Centre Court than cricket [Don’t they need mowers, too? Ed].
GCC were put into bat with Jim and Dave opening. Jim fell cheaply, caught behind, to a ball that spat up off the pitch. Skipper followed in a similar fashion shortly after. Dave Woodhouse remained at the crease, ably assisted by the aforementioned James A-P. They took us past the halfway point for a modest score of 60. Having seen off the opening bowlers, who used their full quota, GCC then moved forward. Strong batting by the newly bearded Tom Leahy and Cunners (36 and 47, respectively) with a late cameo by that man Struthers (20) saw us to 190-7 at the end.
The sunshine was making an obvious improvement to the pitch, and the TG openers took full advantage. The score was 45 when the dangerous opener Terry was caught at long-off by Metronome. Shah and Oliver in the middle order offered some resistance, taking the Chancellor to task on one particular over. This resolute defence [or attack? Ed] was brought to a halt by a fantastic caught & bowled by Hugo, diving swiftly to his left to take an absolute screamer. An early and strong contender for catch of the season.
Further mention for James A-P, then, who took two catches off his own bowling, including that one off his maiden delivery, and Greg, who returned from injury to take 7-1-28-4 to match his swashbuckling innings. Nor should we forget Jim for giving Antoni's name to the scorers as "New bowler, Knobhead." Marriage has evidently not dulled his Scouse wit.
Not a bad start to the season, but a bit of tightening up is required for the first clash with Pretenders.
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oliver Cunningham (life)
Jamie Elliott (life)
John Lloyd (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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