Before we talk about Satruday's game, I've been asked to clarify the fact that Ann is Gareth's 3rd wife and not the 2nd one who resembles a box of Frogs as described in last week's Match Report. Apologies for any confusion Mrs B and also for taking my kit off like it's a 'one piece' outfit. The wine is being ordered as we speak.
After a great result last week, the Saxton boys turned up looking to build on the success with a victory against Bilton. Unfortunately, no one seemed to take much notice of our new ploy, with the lads turning up fresh faced, enthusiastic, and not smelling like they had spent the evening in one of the Yeast vats at Tetley's Brewery Wharf. There's a lot said for not changing a winning formula.
It was back to normal in another way as well, with the Umpire and full compliment of away players arriving at the home ground long in advance of the Saxton boys, with exception of Mo that is who had spent the previous night in the carpark of the local Ash Tree Pub in order to make sure he was there in plenty of time. And in similar theme, normal services resumed with the toss of the coin, with the skipper once again unable to call correctly.
Bilton decided to make first use of a dry looking wicket against a confident Saxton team. For the first 15 overs Saxton looked in total control with DC looking almost unplayable from one end and new opening bowler Harry tidy from the other side. 34 -3, with an LBW that even Bucky couldn't argue against, a catch from Oringe at Point, and a sharp, diving...yes you read correctly, take from Chewy at 2nd slip. No dropped catches, no misfields, and a determined looking home side were well on top. The only error perhaps coming from the stumper who took the bails off 5 times out of 6 deliveries in one fine DC over. However, guess which ball the batsmen's back foot 'lifted' on.
Unfortunately, this was as good as it got for the home side, who were unable to press home their advantage, as the Bilton batsmen began to look more settled on a track that had as much as life in it as Janet Jackson's older brother. As is usually the case the mistakes started to creep in from the fielding side, with Dave B unable to hold what he described as a 'bullet' at first slip...prompting a discussion behind the stumps as to how he and Smokie are going to be bancrupt after the end of season 'Curry' night, and the Wookie creating cricketing history by allowing a '2' without the ball leaving the square. His excuse being that the item pictured below, necessary to get him up wasnt available.
Still, Bilton were never allowed to score freely thanks to yet another fantastic spell of 3 for 33 from the evergreen, although probably still aching DC, backed up by Harry with another 3 wickets, Mo and Harry F, with catches from the skipper and a further 2 from Dave B, including another agile...yes you read correctly...effort at slip. After 45 overs, the away team finished on 195 for 8, although this really should have been 191 with young Harry deciding that it would be much more fun just to run straight past the last ball of innings. A competitive score, but not a great one. Mixed emotions for Saxton as it looked at one stage as if it could be a great deal better, with the away side struggling at 120 odd for 6. More clinicalness needed.
After a splendid tea courtesy of the Cramptons and the usual childish banter, the majority of it aimed at the usual suspect, Saxton set about chasing down the score and another 5 valuable points. 45 minutes later and it looked as if the Greyhound beckoned before the commencement of the 6 o'clock news, with Saxton struggling at 10 for 3. A downtrodden looking Wookie the first to go thanks to an easy caught and bowled chance with one which apparently 'lifted' on him......not difficult, Donald ironically experiencing his first Golden Quack and Dave the victim of another poor LBW decision being given out to a ball that would have troubled his manhood more than his middle stick. A lot of praise must go to the Bilton side for a fantastic fielding performance and wonderfully accurate opening spell.
Despite 'starts' from Len..victim of a superb one handed catch at point, the skipper, Potter and Smokie...both caught on the Long On boundary...the former for the 4th time this season, the home side struggled to 90 for 6, with young Matt still sat in his pads hoping, a) to wake up from his nightmare, and b) for his dad not to turn up and ask how he got on.
However well Saxton play though, they never give up. Enter DC (pictured below 10 mins after the game). Battling exhaustion and general unfitness, the already run away winner of all the end of season prizes, proceeded to bat Saxton towards an unlikely victory with a fantastic innings of 69 not out, showing grit, power and no little skill to finally quieten the away side and put doubt in their mind. Ably supported by a determined looking Oringe (23 not out) in a 9th wicket partnership of over 100, Saxton nearly pulled off what would have been a memorable win.
It unfortunately wasnt to be with the home side falling 7 runs short, but leaving the ground feeling proud of the effort and fightback they had just witnessed, especially by the aforementioned pair, and with a valuable point..........perhaps even more valuable looking at the other results in our division, which for once went in our favour.
So onto the Greyhound...and after a short lived post mortem over 'team crisps', the banter once again commenced with Chewy sulking into his Lager whilst publicly declaring his hatred for the Saxton Wicketkeeper and telling Denno that he would immediately retire if replaced by him............... despite meaning 'no offence', Potter arranging who was going to look after who on the upcoming tour of Amsterdam, and Steve confirming that the last game of the season means Fancy Dress....oh dear.
Dont worry Gareth...we still love you. Even more so if you part with £399.99 for the costume you mentioned.
Good luck at Whixley boys.