Under a cloudy sky and a million flies, Saxton player’s arrived at Wighill Park, missing most of it's bowling attack, which had been ravaged by exams, and trips to Belfast. The Tysonator had also decided to put his wedding anniversary before the cricket, which was a shame for the rest of the players, as he probably could have “smoked” out a few of the flies which were milling round the outfield. On a greenish un-rolled wicket, Saxton lost the toss and were surprisingly put in to the field. The Wighill players then proceeded to roll the wicket as their opening batsmen were walking out, a favour I am sure they would have returned if we had been batting first.
King Louie opened the bowling and after three leg-side full tosses dispatched to the longest of the short boundaries, Wighill were twelve for none. Denno Senior, a revelation last week, had his first ball cut past the slips for four. Looking around the field, I think most of the players were thinking this could be a long afternoon on a pitch with the shortest boundaries in the league. However Denno and Harey found their lines and after a peach of a catch off a skier by Tommy D, and a snaffle by Bucky at first slip, Wighill were three down for 20 odd. The number four batsman “twinkle-toes” strode out to the wicket and stood in position for his first ball……..
Umpire: “Would you like a guard?”
No 4: Unmoved (a pattern to follow) “Yes please”
Umpire (confused): “Would you like a guard??”
No 4: “Yes Please”
Umpire: “Do you know what a guard is?”
No 4: “No”
Usually in 2nd team cricket the best batsmen, the “stroke-players”, bat at number four to control the game. Their number 4, a real friendly chap, proved that this is not always the rule, by standing there and refusing to move his body or bat, as the ball whistled past. Denno Snr, not known for his outstanding lines and lengths then proceeded to bowl a series of bumpers and beamers which hit the batsman on the shoulder, stomach, thigh and ankle before one sped past a millimetre from his nose. The whole time the batsman remained unmoved apart from the occasional yelp of pain. This is the only time I have ever seen the fielders falling about in laughter.
Ian: “Can I get you a helmet?”
No 4: “I don’t own one..”
Ian: “I’ll lend you one of ours…”
Due to the erring accuracy of Saxton’s opening pair not hitting the stumps, the pattern of ball hitting body and laughter continued for a while, until finally the no.4 was put out of his misery by looping one to Nigel who had an outstanding day in the field. “It was like watching Brian Close versus the West Indies” came the call from the slip cordon. Glenn Close more like.
The game was up for Wighill as they further collapsed, partly due to some good catching and two suicidal run outs (Ronnie O Sullivan and Gilbo) with only their number 7, Steve, offering resistance with a quick-fire 47 not out. Wighill all out for 78 in 26 overs.
Saxton never looked in any danger chasing down this total on a small ground, and even the loss of the Old Master, playing round a straight one, and King Louie to one that came off his pads, did not slow the progress down. Denno Senior and especially Wraggy batted with great composure to see us home within 19 overs with Wraggy finishing up 39 not out. Their team were not going to the pub, so back to Saxton in time to watch the first team take ten wickets.