You knew it wasn't going to be any old normal day at 1.25pm on Saturday afternoon when 11 Saxton players were kitted out and ready to take the field, some even having spent the best part of 15 minutes ridiculously warming up beforehand. Although this feat surely deserved Guiness Record Book representation................... Smokey and Lennox would have settled simply for a pint of Guinness, the pre-match conversation centred around the Skipper's Internet activities that morning. 10 players happy with their photograph, 1 Wookie complaining that a more recent snap of him stood proudly outside the Millenium Falcon would have been far more fetching for the purpose in hand. Other notable conversation being as always who'd been up to what the previous night, with young Mr Coe (still with glass in hand) taking this week's plaudits for his 3 minutes sleep on a trampoline....ably captured below by a passing member of the papperazzi, hoping to catch a shot of Pietersen, sorry Pieter-fan 'in action'..........just like Rory:
Kojak's bad luck with the coin continued and Saxton were asked to take to the postage stamp on a once again muggy day. The weather seemed to affect the away team who started very lethargically for the first 15 overs, unable to peg back the South Milford openers who perhaps also surprised the Saxton boys, with an aggressive opening stand of 80 odd. This was finally broken by the on form Mo (minus dancing shoes this week), with the help of Len Hutton who went onto take 2 further catches. From this point onwards there was a big improvement in all departments from the away team, with the previous lethargy turning into postivity over the next 15 overs, with Saxton regaining control on a flat, and beside the inconsistent bounce, relatively batsmen friendly wicket. Much credit for this must go to Mo and Hogwart's finest, who bowled with both aggression and control, each taking 4 wickets, to ensure that the home side were never able to really, fully build on their opening stand, with wickets falling at regular intervals. One area of concern must still be the fielding with catches once again going down, and some rather interesting pieces of ground falling, must notably by Smokey behind the stumps 'nutmegging' himself to concede 4 byes and Chewbacca 'pawing' one for 4 on the Mid Wicket boundary. Although many would agree that keeping the home team to 191 on a pitch of that size, especially after the opening partnership, was a notable achievement, there was still the feeling of slight disappointed that Saxton had not been able to restrict South Milford to a few runs less.
However, Saxton were still full of confidence as Gareth and Dave 'okaly dokaly' Buck walked to the wicket to begin the Saxton response. Unfortunately, this was to be short lived with the 'Silverback Gorilla' (Mr T.Savalas...circa 6pm Sunday 28th June - Facebook) soon returning to the pavilion, to contribute to the conversation of what Sophie should wear for her impending night out. The wickets continued on to fall, despte 'starts' from the Skipper and Jamie, who was slightly unlucky to pick out a fielder with a pull shot that probably deserved better. Oringe also being slightly unfortunate to fall to the 7th ball of an over that didnt contain any Byes or Wides. The same can't really be said for Len who padded up to a straight one, and Smokey who showed the footwork but unfortunately not the intelligence of Stephen Hawking to get stumped soon after.
Still needing 130 and with only Mr Buck/Flanders providing staunch resistance, it looked like it was going to be a disastrous day for Saxton. Enter our very own wizard, Jon Potter. An hour later, and despite the loss of Dave thanks to a brilliant piece of wicketkeeping, Saxton were miraculously in with a chance of claiming the 6 points. Ably supported by DC and to the shock of the Skipper, Mo, who showed exacly what can be done with a £6 bat, Harry produced an innings of skill, power, positive intent, discipline and patience to get Saxton within 5 runs of the most unlikely victory. A few metres more and this would have been the case, but it wasnt to be. Although Harry walked off on 54 with a face similar to the Chairman of the Michael Jackson Fan Club a few days later, he had nothing to feel down about after a fantastic and courageous performance. Although disappointed not to pull off a modern day version of 'The Great Escape', all the Saxton players had witnessed a fantastic innings from a team-mate that they can be incredibly proud of.
A game we could have won, a game we perhaps should have won, but a game we will learn from. Areas to improve upon without doubt, but with some positives once again to take away, including the point which took us out of the bottom 2.
The Saxton bandwagon rolls on with the visit of Leeds Police next week,...where Lennox (below) would be well advised to keep his trousers on unless he fancies a Public Indecency charge.