12th September 2009
Saxton (1) v Old Leodiensians (5)
Old Leodiensians 196/7, Saxton 162/9 - Old Leodiensians won by 34 runs.
On ironically the warmest day of the season so far, the Saxton boys arrived at the oval for the final chapter in a turbulent, exciting, up and down, and never dull season. The ones who had read the last line of Steve's email donned in normal fatigues, the ones who hadn't... prematurely adorning their fancy dress costumes. For DC (surely the award winner....especially for driving in the 'head') and Matt B see below:
Fresh from the previous week's exploits, both on and off the field, tales of Shakira, 27 year old Baileys, new Axminsters, vomiting sessions at 6am, attractive mothers and kegs, Steve (captured below with his vice captain) went out to lose his 19th toss out of 23...which must surely be a record, and must surely result in an off-season of excessive tossing practice....allowing Leo's the opportunity to make use of possibly the best track of the season...in a must win game for the away side.
The nerves and pressure were evident in the first couple of overs with DC and Huckleberry Hawkins, despite still sweating out 2 gallons of Budweiser just in getting changed, restricting scoring and making it difficult for the 2 opening batsmen. It wasnt much of a surprise when Dog Boy trapped the left hander LBW a couple of overs later. Saxton remained in control for the next 20 overs or so, despite being unable to dismiss the other opener who had set his stall out, and despite having to replace an erratic Hawkins, succumbing to the side effects of alcohol poisoning, early on with the Thin Dog's favourite son. Wickets fell regularly with the scoring rate never really eclipsing the 3 an over mark. 2 for Shrek, courtesy of a catch from Robin Hood at point, a sharp inswinger, a run out the result of a fine piece of fielding from Madame Hills, and 2 from Yokazuna Fletcher (seen below with training partner Coe) as a result of a well flighted off spinner which totally decieved the batsmen, and a sharp catch from Jack Sparrow at slip, in an impressive spell.
The only slight on a tight fielding and bowling performance been the inability to dismiss the opener, who batted both solidly and responsibly for the best part of 30 overs, only giving one chance which Jack (seen below with the fine money contributed by Smokie, Wookie and himself) couldnt hold onto at slip.Still 127 for 7 with 12 overs left respresented a less than satisfactory score from Old Leo's and gave Saxton a good chance of victory. However, as has been the case many times this season we werent quite able to finish the job off, be it this time as a result of the humid temperatures, end of season lack of edge, or a guarantee of safety, allowing the 9th Leo's wicket...who must be given a lot of credit for the way in which they approached the task in hand, taking them to a respectable total of 196 after 45.
40 runs more than it should have been, but still a chaseable total, which after the usual goading, plus talk about the evening's upcoming events, Gareth (below) and Potter set out to knock off. After the highest scoring over in the club's history (11), including the rare sight of the Wookie hitting a boundary from a ball that wasnt short and wide outside off stump, the wheels quickly began to fall off the home team's reply, with Gareth the first creature to fall. Potter was soon to follow after guiding one to Point's grateful hands, as was Donald, unfortunately not for 118, the skipper after a start courtesy of a fine one handed catch by the keeper (yes...I was taking notes), and Winter, cleaned up by an inswinger.
Only a solid innings from Dave B of 20 odd, a bludgeoning knock of 38 from Smokie (captured above on camera), despite trying his best to get out for the first few overs, and a mature 27 from young Harry, took the score to 150 with 4 overs left, and the very slim chance of a come from the dead victory. Unfortuately it wasnt to be, with Oringe....soon to be recreating Bananarama's 'Guilty' video with Steph and Half Volley Hawkins, unable to keep up to the 21 an over run rate. 162-9 at the close, and another point gained, which was somewhat ironic as it has been the '1 point' games which have played a massive part in our survival this year. A disappointing result, but still plenty of smiles and laughter at the end.......no surprise really considering the dress code.
Well done to Leo's on a great performance under lots of pressure and commiserations to Kirk Hammerton whose relegation to Division 3 was confirmed courtesy of this result. There's a fine (boundary) line between success and failure, but I'm sure they will bounce back next season.
So that was that...and onto the Thin Dog for a celebratory gallon, and Chinese buffet (big thanks to Judy and Colin) to finish off the season in style, with the fines money providing the guys with at least 7 pints each.....something to be v.proud of. Another great evening, with the first teamers joined by Ali G, 2 country squires (one now fully recovered after a chronic DIY colonic irragation session), a cowboy, a pair of coconuts, 2 Divers (one deep sea...the other...erm), an exceedingly large cricket bat, a Smurf, and a Lumberjack, all out to toast the 2nd team's promotion to 'grown up' cricket (Gareth Bottomley circa 10am Sunday morning). A big well done to Ian and all the boys on a fantastic season and great achievement.
And thats the 2009 season complete...objectives met all round...1st team survival, 2nd team promotion, and an incredibly enjoyable summer with a group of people thats its a pleasure to be part of
See you in your tuxes on the 3rd October.