Sat 4th September 2010
Saxton (6) v Thorner Mexborough (0)
Saxton won by 124 runs
Saxton 234/6 (Steve Harrison 99, Steve Hills 44)
Thorner Mexborough 110 all out
After the previous week's debacle at Garforth Parish Church, a determined Saxton side took on Thorner in what could have been a crucial relegation decider. That is if the League hadn't already formally announced earlier in the week that only one side would go down from the 2nd tier this year. This news wasn't readily circulated to all the team however in order to ensure motivation levels were even higher than normal. On the team front, changes saw the returning Skipper taking the place of Dog Boy Hawkins who was spending the afternoon chasing the local feline population at the Bingley festival, Geoff Coe making a debut despite not having picked up a cricket ball for the best part of a decade, in place of Gareth (attending a Wedding at a Cleckheaton Asylum), Rory and the now single Harry after missing the previous game having spent the weekend cuddling in a tent taking the places of Jimmy (last seen halfway up Snowdon), and the holidaying Oringe, and finally the chain-smoking Stick Insect, Wraggy come in for Lennox, who had taken up the opportunity to work, although was seen later at the Saxton Oval swigging from a 3 litre bottle of incredibly cheap Cider that most of us had left behind after reaching the age of 15.
The biggest surprise of the day had already occurred, with half of the team arriving several hours before the commencement of the game to practice, with Potter providing a step by step guide to Smokey as to what a net session actually entailed, and young Harold belying previous batting form in looking like a future Test player, rather than restaurant worker.
With both teams making their intentions clear in advance of what they would do should they win it, the toss for once became rather trivial, so much so that the Reporter has no idea who actually won it. However, it was no surprise to see the Skipper and the on form Steve Harrison walking out to the middle a few moments later to make first use of a flat looking track. It was a surprise however to see the first 10 overs go by without the home team losing a wicket whilst scoring at around 5 an over, with both batsmen playing positively and fluently.
An excellent and much needed start, with the opening pair able to take the score to 93 before the Skipper finally departed for a well made 44, even more so considering the fact that he hadn't slept since mid-July. Despite surviving an early scare with the Keeper unable to hold onto a regulation edge, Potter provided fantastic support to the other Steve, working the ball round nicely to ensure the impressive run rate continued, playing particularly well against the Thorner Off Spinner who had previously proved difficult to get away. Another very valuable partnership, with the Steve passing the 50 mark in the process and JP contributing 36 before losing his wicket. The momentum wasn't to be halted however, with Wraggy, successfully managing to provide a useful foil to the aforementioned Mr Harrison, soon to be Parker-Harrison, despite having to go twenty minutes without a cigarette, to take the score close to the 200 mark.
Steve finally fell a number of overs later for 99, having richly deserved to reach the three figure mark, with a fantastic knock, combining classical cricket strokes, good running and excellent levels of concentration.A pleasure to watch. A hugely important innings when it was most needed, and perhaps no coincidence that it came after a Saturday morning lie in, rather than the usual 3 hours of hacking through sand and rough grass before the Cricket. With Smokey, despite running himself out in circus like fashion off the last ball of the innings, and Steve Hutton adding late runs, Saxton closed on an impressive 234, the second highest score of the season, which perhaps could have been even better, with 250 looking a real possibility at one point. Still, after previous weeks certainly not something to complain about.
So after a rather nice Tea courtesy of the Skipper, the home side took to the field with a great opportunity of securing a long awaited victory. Still lots of work to do though, with 10 wickets to get, especially after the Garforth game where we failed to get one. However, with Dog Boy absent the odds of success were perhaps somewhat greater. The odds increased more so when Coe Jnr knocked over the middle stump of the Thorner opener in a dangerous opening spell that possibly deserved more than the one wicket it reaped. With DC providing the usual control at the other end, the early signs were good, although could have been better if Jamie had been able to hold onto a relatively simple chance, citing the fact that he'd not eaten for 5 minutes as an excuse for the drop.
Still lots of positives however, with tight bowling, including a fabulous spell of swing bowling from Yogi where the bat was beaten numerous times, prompting Smokey to ask if anyone had a spare bell to put in the ball, and un-Saxton like discplined fielding, resulting in the required run rate reaching near 9 before 20 overs had been completed. Despite DC picking up a second one with a clever piece of bowling, and Jamie collecting a further 2 in a tidy spell, one excellently caught by a surprised Skipper much to the delight of his even more shocked team mates, wickets were still proving a bit difficult to come by.
This was to change however, with the introduction of Spin Kings, Hills and Mao Tse Fletcher, with wickets starting to tumble at regular intervals. 3 to Fletcher, including one courtesy of a catch from DC off an attempted Chinaman which nearly bounced twice, and another well taken by Geoff, who suitably redeemed himself after an earlier piece of fielding which saw him go down at the same speed as the Titanic in attempting to stop a boundary, in an efficient and effective spell. A Run Out in between thanks to a very sharp piece of fielding in the deep by man of the moment Parker-Harrison, only helping matters. With the Skipper continuing his fine recent form with the ball at the end in picking up another 2 wickets, (one LBW, and the other well held by Rory on the boundary despite the ball rudely interrupting his imaginary batting practice session) the game was won, and won comfortably.
Thorner 110 all out, and Saxton never at any point looking like relinquishing the control they had on the game all throughout the afternoon. 6 massively needed points, and just as importantly a much, much improved performance, which even earned plaudits of the watching Wookie. So much so, that we didn't even need to cheat this time.
After a well earned bottle of Stella provided by man of the match Steve P-H it was onto the Thin Dog for a celebratory Beer. Or 15 for some, in what was to turn into a rather messy 24 hours for a number of the Saxton team, culminating in a breakfast of Lager, Cider and Absynthe at Chez Lennox. Other notable 'highlights' including:
1. Matt Ball throwing up repeatedly and cutting a sorry ginger figure slumped on the Bathroom floor
2. The same Matt Ball biting Smokey and stabbing Jack Bromley after an abortive effort at cutting his hair
3. Jack Bromley describing in great detail his love of a certain 'activity'
4. The same Jack Bromley sexually assulted by Lennox
5. Smokey slurring a proposal sat on Lennox's wall (although later thankfully acknowledged as a drunken stunt by the recipient)
6. The same Smokey paying Faye £20 to go get him cigarettes
7. Wraggy discovering Nicotine and and pro's of Chain smoking
8. Wraggy, with 2 Benson & Hedges in his mouth, thrown into a bush by Matt Ball
9. Harry managing to avoid throwing up on anyone
10. Jamie close to tears (and not after more cricketing failure)
11. An appearance by the Police at 2am, and an aborted walk to Lennox's unlocked Car
12. Potter in Mrs Lennox's underwear
13. Faye's reaction to Potter in Mrs Lennox's underwear
14. Sue and Roger's Steak Pie
Apologies if anything has been missed off the list.
So onto Sunday and a rather hazy day, with many of the lads turning up to take part in the Annual Saxton versus The Greyhound game, in various states of inebriation. Unfortunately, a full report can't be provided on the day's events as the Reporter spent the majority of the game either asleep or attempting to cancel his impending enagagement. A comfortable win in the end though for the Cricket team, with contributions made with the bat by Park Ji Sung, Steve H and Jamie (still with hair). A few more Beers and a BBQ later, and time to start the recovery process, with more of the same lined up next week, starting with hopefully a victory against Old Leo's.
Dont forget your Fines money, Fancy Dress, Scissors and Buckets.