Game five of the season on a soggy Saxton wicket. With young guns Hannah, King Louie, the GW and Brownie out for revision purposes Saxton knew the game could be a challenging contest against a mid-table Little Ribston. Ribston were to bat first and the Saxton players were expecting fireworks, Crooksy did not disappoint. After making sure they had their supplies of jelly babies at the ready, Saxton took the field.
The game began with two tight spells of bowling from Johnny B and Chris, keeping the Ribston run rate to under two an over, with Chris ‘dark horse’ Atkinson taking an early wicket thanks to a thick edge to the YG at gully. After a brief rain stoppage, Saxton ran through the Ribston top and middle order with the pinch-hitter and the YG leading the way. A sharp catch at short leg by the YG off the PH’s bowling set the collapse in motion. Three wickets in one of the PH’s overs, including a caught and bowled from yet another two bounce special, and a good couple of wickets claimed by the YG meant that Ribston slumped to 45 for nine with ten overs remaining. However, with carnage taking place around him Crooksy was still prodding away at the other end... he wasn’t finished yet.
Crooksy was doing what he did best, and he successfully managed to carry his bat by running out the number eleven going for a suicidal single in the last over. He scored 14 off 44 overs, successfully managing to beat Nige’s record, a top effort. All the Saxton bowlers did well to keep the Ribston score down to just 56, with the PH and the YG’s performances reflecting in their figures; the YG with a very cheap couple of wickets and the PH ending up with a five-for, very good efforts in the challenging conditions. The Saxton fielding effort was held together by a good display behind the stumps from ‘Jay from the Inbetweeners’ lookalike Jamie Baxter letting no byes past the entire innings.
After a batting master class from the GW, who was on a very long break from revision, and Matt ‘good things come in small packages’ Lennox, Saxton were upbeat. 56, a seemingly easy target, but as we all know Saxton like to make things hard for themselves.
The Saxton openers Bob and Nige set up shop and looked set to take Saxton over the finish line, until the eighth ball, when old master Bob was clean bowled. This was followed by the quick departures of Wraggy, Nige, Chris ‘man mountain’ Dennison and the PH, the pressure was on with the score at 15-5. It was squeaky bum time. But the YG and Johnny Snowdon stuck to the Saxton cause and brought the total up with two successive sixes. The match was won with the YG scoring an unbeaten 31 to see his team home.
A good win and an early finish were well deserved. So it was back to the Greyhound to discuss the days play and the new barmaid. Bring on the old foe next week.