Saxton finished the first half of the season with a tricky game against an improved Old Leo's side on a rather sticky and warm day in North Leeds. The same North Leeds that Mo spent 5 hours exploring beforehand in the reverse fixture last year.
With Lassie in Las Vegas on his Brothel-stop tour, only one change was made to last week's team with Jamie W coming back into the side after a weekend off practising his driving technique, to replace Lennox whose recently acquired ASBO prevented him leaving Saxton between daylight hours.
Once again, more than half the side felt it appropriate to turn up well after the 'cut off' point of 1.15pm, although Oringe went along way to achieving redemption after showing his committment to the cause in the form of a £20 taxi to the ground. Well, £20.50 after the fine was added.
So onto the game, with Saxton asked to bat first for around the 7th consecutive week. It goes without saying that Steve wrist work hadn't improved during the course of the week. And then followed an even stranger phenomenon than a successful toss. No not Gareth involved in a marriage that lasted longer than 2 years, or Smokey going 10 minutes without a B&H, or even Lennox going half a day without visiting the Thin Dog, but Saxton surviving the first 10 overs of the game without losing a wicket. More than surviving in fact, with Gareth particularly impressing with an array of positive strokes off both front and backfoot, on a difficult wicket which provided plenty for the bowlers. The motivation possibly being the promise of a lap dance, paid for (not delivered) by Smokey if he managed to reach three figures.
The skipper fell with the score on around 40 odd, but Jenson came in and the momentum continued, with Jenson hitting a couple of impressive boundaries after receiving a 'life' courtesy of the square leg fielder. 68 for 1 after 16 overs and Saxton on course for a big score. Or so it appeared.
The rest doesn't really need or deserve much comment, with the away side folding like the proverbial pack of cards, and for once not being rescued by the lower middle order. First to go, Jamie for 20 bowled playing back, quickly followed by Gareth mistiming a drive when looking well set on 30, with Steve Harrison making the walk back soon courtesy of a fine leg cutter from the impressive 1st change bowler, Robin. At least it wasn't LBW off an inside edge. Worse was to follow with Mr Jagermeister and Potter both out in quick sucession, both bowled all ends up, and Rory unluckily, both from a cricket and financial perspective, playing on to his stumps first ball. Gareth has kindly offered his 'services' in terms of persuading Mrs Coe that her son's pocket money needs to be increased to cover the aforementioned fine, so all should be just ok. As long as Mrs C keeps the pepper spray close at hand that is.
Despite a brief flurry, Jimmy D followed a couple of overs later, with Smokey departing not long after, both caught at point, although the latter possibly courtesy of a bunk ball. Just a shame he didn't have the sense to consider that at the time. When Oringe was clean bowled by Robin (a well deserved 5-for after a hostile and penetrative spell) next over, the Saxton innings had reached a limp and incredibly lame 109 after 27 overs, with DC left stranded not out at the other end. At 3.26pm. Usually at that time we are still waiting for 3 players to turn up.
Not much to say for once during the tea interval, with even the usual banter and abuse reserved after the away team's batting 'effort'.
Despite positive intent Saxton never really threatened to derail the Leo's reply. 2 wickets before the home side had reached 70 might have made a big difference, but it wasn't to be, with only 2 wickets falling in the entire innings, both courtesy of Rory, thanks to smart outfield catches (yes that isnt a typo) from Jimmy and Potter. 28 overs and a cruise for the home side. Despite having to face the spinning genius of Murali Bottomley for the last over of the innings.
A thoroughly depressing day in all honesty, the mood not even lightened by Smokey's post match rendition of 'Macho Man'. Still, there's still half a season to go and still a lot of cricket to be played. We've proved we can beat anyone on our day, we just haven't yet consistently played to the best of abilities, week in week out, but we can change that.
So lets dust ourselves off, get positive and start again on Saturday. We owe Fenton one as it is.
It's also worth mentioning that it will be the first week of the 'new' performance related bonus which will replace the fines system until further notice. You will find out more at the weekend, but this will result in us drinking for positive displays on the field, rather than negative ones. However, please be warned, Steve, Steve, Oringe, Rory, Jamie, Jimmy and DC in particular, that the 'late' fine still applies.
See you at 1.15.
P.S A word of warning, if you want to avoid a tea consisting of Winalot, Cat's Legs and Grass you might want to bring your own sandwiches.