On a glorious Sunday at Turney Road,
we arrived to find a local schools football tournament in full swing. With Skip winning the toss, he decided we’d bat. For those not aware, Palm Tree had inflicted a heavy defeat on us last
season, a day we would all like to forget, especially Tom L [Owch, rubbing it in, eh? Ed]. For further details, please contact Antoni Rogowski.
After some sensible batting by Jim and Dave, the opening bowlers were seen off. Soon after, there was run out, cue Dave heading off the field, not best pleased with his batting partner. Enough said. A few overs later, we witnessed a Flintoffesque catch, which was unfortunate for Jim as he looked untroubled and was settling in nicely. With Jamie and Andy in the middle, Gardeners and their fan club witnessed some well-timed shots, especially Andy’s cover drive for four, which was my shot of the day.
With the score board ticking over at a good rate, the next thing we see is a full-length delivery bouncing up and catching Jamie on the side of the head…. With the victim laying motionless on the floor, PC Chancellor ran on the field offering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which Jamie allegedly refused politely. After being made to look uncannily like Terry Butcher, play resumed. Unfortunately for Jamie, the next ball clean bowled him. It was a fine innings for a well-deserved 46 and had it not been for a bump on the head a half century was on the cards.
For those who missed the ball that reared up, it was caught on camera, plus you can see PC Chancellor running on the pitch - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyt2vd0Za4k
After a small batting collapse [not many dead, Ed], Nick Dudders managed to claw the Gardeners to defendable total of 145, with some sensible assistance from the Metronome.
After tea, we took to the field to face Palm Tree’s opening batsmen: one of them, the burly Billy Wood, the chap Tom L had nightmares about after Billy had bashed 160 in the last year in the Woods. The skipper, “Iron” Mike Richards, threw the ball to Chancellor to do the damage, T20-style. Jim was clearly in favour of the move, emphatically backing it with “I live for this s***”.
And the plan nearly worked. A baffled Billy pulled it behind square with a waiting Rob in the mix. However, the shot was hard and fast and flew through his hands. Not again, Tom thought. With the Skip ever-thinking behind the stumps, Danny Boy was brought on to replace Chancellor. With a tempting short ball, slightly wide of off stump the batsman went hard after it in the direction it had just come from… straight into the hands of Dan, where it stayed. Phew, Tom thought. The break-through!
After that, the Gardeners were taking wickets at regular intervals, with Jimbo turning into a ball magnet down at fine leg taking three good catches, including one off a mistimed hook after Dan hurried the dangerous leftie Robins. Tom L took 4 for 15 and a run-out with some cool fielding. Quite quickly, our belief in winning the game strengthened, aided with some slick fielding and bowling pressure applied by all who bowled. We won’t mention Chancellor jumping over the ball at Deep Extra Cover allowing it to go for four. Oops.
With the Palm Tree captain coming in at eight-wickets down, he scored a gutsy 36 and put them in a position where the game was still anyone’s for the taking. However, with the batter looking to score big over the bowler’s head, Rob bowled his stock ball to remove the bails. One to go!
With the final batsman on the field, the pressure was on for both sides. With Palm Tree slowly reaching the target of 146, Gardeners began hunting for the final wicket…. With 11 runs left to chase, the final wicket was taken, leaving the Gardeners to revel in the win. [The bowlers’ union point out that Piers himself knocked the off pole back. For a second time. It was the best they’d seen him bowl. Ed] Final thoughts: great weather, good opposition, exciting match, happy result. PT
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
Matt Aked (life)
Jamie Elliot (life)
Rob Navratil (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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