A strange, almost shocking sight welcomed the 4 Saxton boys who arrived at the Old Leo's ground at around 1pm.....namely a full compliment of home team players.....'whats this all about' being the subsequent theme of conversation for the next 5 or so minutes before they were joined by the returning Mo who'd got to the ground that early he'd been able to embark on a scenic tour around North Leeds for the previous couple of hours. The same cant be said about Chris, who decided to take on Ifti's role this weekend...although in fairness arriving before sunset unlike the aforementioned.
The skipper, still feeling disconsolate about not receiving any flirtatious text messages from fellow team members in the week leading up to the game, went out to toss the coin, and once again was unable to call correctly...maybe more practice is required before the next toss....although it would be wise not to tell Mr Lennox who would undoubtedly get the wrong end of the stick and offer to help. The oppostion captain subsequently decided to have a bat and Saxton took to the field in humid conditions.
After 3 tight overs the home side managed to start to dominate proceedings on an excellent batting strip. This was to be a false dawn however, with the Saxton team slowly coming to life and warming to the task in hand. Rory (minus pink belt) provided the early breakthrough, before the miserly and amazingly consistent DC took over with a fantastically economical spell of 2 for 24 from his 14 overs. Further impetus was provided by Mo, surprisingly fresh after his previously mentioned orienteering session around Alwoodley, Headingley and Roundhay, who bowled with great pace and accuracy in a fierce 10 over spell which produced 4 crucial wickets, helped by a sharp catch from the captain and 2 from JP who took 3 overall.....despite dropping the easiest of the lot from his own bowling.
Despite allowing two of the worst rounders players, sorry batsmen to score runs and delay proceedings Saxton were always in control and were able to bowl the surprisingly unsporting home team out for 151, with JP taking 3 wickets in a fired up spell towards the end of the innings. All in all a decent performance, although with 4 dropped catches, it was still perhaps 50 runs too much. At this rate the lads won't need to eat for a least a fortnight before the end of season curry, with a couple of unnamed players even considering setting up a weekly direct debit to take care of their fines. A special mention on this note must go to Mo who will surely be increasing his overdraft considerably if he continues to practice the 'Can-Can' at Mid Off when the ball is fast approaching.
After a decent tea, devoid of £10 Quiches, the Saxton openers......Gareth (pictured below), and a fired up Dave B (after being told unceremoniously where to go whilst bowling by one of the above mentioned rounders players) marched out to attempt to chase down the Leo's total.
It was a day of firsts as an hour later both openers were still at the crease having built a fantastic opening partnership, with the back to form Buttocks pulling and cutting the bowlers all around the oval, and Dave working the ball around and proving harder to crack than Rahul Dravid batting for 20 million quid. This was despite the barrage of short pitch bowling from the home attack, with one bowler seemingly intent on pitching the ball closer to his own veruccas than the batsman's crease. Steepling bounce and an angry glare might work for the likes of Curtly Ambrose and Joel Garner, but the same tactics from a peroxide version of 'Where's Wally' don't quite have the same effect.
With Gareth finally departing for a well made 38, Jamie decided to take over the reins in a splendid display of power and stroke making. Despite deciding that running singles wasn't what cricket's all about, Jamie took the game to the opposition attack and proceeded to bat Saxton within distance of victory with a speedy 47, much to the delight of the watching players.....who it must be said were still in a state of a shock after Rory's unprompted sermon on how an improved sex life can have the same effect on batting....and then going onto to dumbfound even more with the admittal of spending many an evening with a glass to his next door neighbour's wall.
Dave, after able support from Steve Hutton who decided that any kind of running wasn't what cricket's about with a powerful flurry of boundaries, finally departed with victory in sight. With the rest of the team waiting in anticipation for Smokey to end up on his backside after a promise to try the Jamie, sorry KP, style switch hit if one run was required, it was left to Chris to hit the winning 4 runs from his first ball, nonchalantly marching off the field before the ball had even reached the boundary.
Beer tastes even better with a win under the belt and 20 minutes or so later the Saxton boys were sat enjoying a pint and discussing the game. It was noticeable that despite a comprehensive victory against a side above them in the league, that most of the conversation centred around how the day could have been made a lot easier, and the areas that needed to be improved upon. Surely a very positive sign from a team with the potential and ability to go places and do a hell of a lot more than just stay up this year. Keep working and keep learning and things will only get even better.
See you at South Milford.