Sat 21st August 2010
Leeds Police A (6) v Saxton (0)
Leeds Police A won by 149 runs
Leeds Police A 227/5
Saxton 78 all out
The day started on a positive note, with the a text from the Skipper, which also acted as an Alarm clock in some households, confirming that he was now a happy father. Although it was quite disappointing considering the time of the 'arrival', that the skipper didn't take his place on the field at 1.30pm.
To the game, and on the team front, Jamie Winter returned after a well deserved break in the second team, taking the absent skipper's place, in a Saxton line up (pictured below), that would surely come back with an exemplary performance after last week's mauling at the hands of Sicklinghall. Or so you would have thought.
Things looked like they were going to plan from the off, with 3 players at the Police Ground by 1.15pm, much to the Umpire's disgust, something not helped by Smokey suggesting he filled in the team sheet as we werent aware who was actually playing. With stand in Skipper 'Yogi' Potter arriving 3 minutes before the start of play, Steve Harrison followed on in customary fashion by losing the toss, although you would have thought it was the other way round considering the reaction of the Home team skipper. After much deliberation and consternation, and a number of expletives, he decided to bat first on a track which seemed slightly soft after the previous evening's downfall. Obviously, still all going to plan with Saxton having last chased a score down some time in June 1952, as pointed out by Potter afterwards.
Last week we played for around 30 overs, this week it was about 24 and a half. So next week should be enjoyable. Despite not getting the early breakthrough, Saxton, in the main thanks for a tight spell of 12 overs for 33 from DC managed to keep a lid on the home side's scoring, restricting them to around 3 an over until half way through the alloted number of overs. It could and should have been better though, with a run out chance missed, and Jamie W unable to hold onto a difficult chance at backward Point. Back to the 2nd's next week.
But as is the case when the early wicket doesn't come heads started to drop and concentration began to lapse, culminating in the attrocious display that was to follow. Although credit must go to the home side, especially the opener who hit a faultless 91, for an attacking and positive performance with the bat, the Saxton effort in the field verged on farcical. Notable highlights including Rory getting nutmegged on the boundary then almost causing overthrows whilst preoccupied by flirting with the Square Leg Umpire, Oringe dropping 2 catches in the space of 3 overs and then coming close to a nervous breakdown, Dog boy's attempts to drag his ever expanding carcass (Puppy fat) up a hill that to him resembled Mount Sinai, an all run 5 thanks for calamitous fielding involving Dog Boy, Smokey and several other members of the team, the once safe paws of the bloated Beagle dropping yet another crispbag, and a number of other incidents of pure comedy. All culminating in Mr Harrison (seen below some time around the 43rd over) openly questioning whether half the team have a brain in their heards, in a speech more passionate and heartfelt than anything ever delivered by Winston Churchill or Martin Luther King. His mood not helped several hours later with the discovery that his previous club were now firmly in the hunt for the First Division title.
Hard to pick positives really, but some credit must go to the Chinese National Cribbage champion, Mao Tse Fletcher, for a nice spell of bowling and 2 well judged catches, despite some rather unsporting chanting from the sidelines (although in fairness we didnt think he would catch it either), DC as previously mentioned, and Potter for a decent spell from the Mount Sinai end. The first wicket finally fell in the 33rd over courtesy of a catch at Gulley from Steve Hutton, off the aforementioned Harold, according to new scorer Gareth (seen below on court before his discovery of calories), looking reslendent in his vintage 80's t-shirt borrowed from the lost property cupboard at the Leeds General Infirmary, his new second home, with the others falling to Steve Harrison (2) and Jellystone Park's finest.
228 for 5 from 45 overs, after being 62 for 0 after 21. Quite simply not good enough from a Saxton perspective. Still, half the game left and a chance to rectify things with the bat. Yeah right.
When Saxton are bad, they are bad. The writing was on the wall as early as the first over with Oringe nearlly run out with facing a ball, something which would have only added to his already jovial mood. Leeds Police didnt have to wait very long for early wickets though, with Steve H departing despite a positive start and 2 exquisite shots through the Leg side, with Oringe falling soon after, and Rory on his way back to the dressing room a few overs later despite protesting that he had hit the ball when given out LBW. 3 down early and worse to follow, with Steve Hutton after a few lusty blows also controversially given out in the same manner, resulting in a never seen before reaction of sheer anger. Normally, the most convivial of men, the rant that was to follow left Saxton's version of Gandhi sounding more like a cross between Ian Paisley and Idi Amin.
Wickets continued to tumble, with Jamie (possibly now looking for a strong piece of rope and a solid light fitting) departing soon after, swiftly followed by Jimmy D after a couple of big strikes, Potter, and DC, although the latter did manage to stick to his vow of never hitting the ball in the air again. Just a shame it hit his stumps instead. When Harry fell not much later LBW, despite both Rory and Jamie betting on a 'bowled' dismissal after a long debate on how he would get out, the visitors were 55 for 9, Although the last pair of Smokey, now playing for his averages, and Dunc managed to put on the highest partnership of the innings, despite their pre-over conversations revolving around what they would be drinking later that evening, 78 all out represented a truly abhorrent effort, in a match that we never actually competed in.
So onto the clubhouse for a beer and a post mortem, including a a question and answer section with once liked Umpire Richard on the interpretation of the LBW law. Oh and the usual banter, this week stemming around Wraggy being mistaken for a 4th stump when Wicketkeeping, Gareth blaming Duncan's lack of catching ability on his now ample bust, Harry's future in Chinese politics, and Rory's soon to be successful application to become the the 2010 Club 'Cock of the Year'.
Time to start again next week. With plenty to consider:
1. Catching is quite important
2. So is thinking
3. Future fllirting with Umpires will result in heavy fines
4. 22 stone opening bowlers arent effective up hill
5. Attacking the balls is a useful concept in the field
6. If other teams can get over 200 we can do the same in return
7. Smokey is now 2nd in the batting averages - no more needs saying batsmen
8. Just because the opposition arent 10 for 5 after 8 overs, we are still not out of the game
9. Winning isnt everything, competing however is
10. We already know who has won one of the end of season trophies (as above).
Roll up, roll up, the circus hits Garforth at 1.30pm next week.