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Match Report

Sat 27th July 2013

Saxton 172 all out (6) (Tim Carter 6/24) beat Old Leodiensians 157 all out (1)

Divison 2

'Back to Saxton and a much more pleasant pasture than Crossgates. But as if struck down with some disease (those teas?), there were a few absences in this weeks team: Ball, Harry Fletcher, George Fletcher, Phil, Nick, Walsh. Also with a depleted seconds there was no back up. With no disrespect to the lads who came in, effectively Saxton has lost their top order which was now beginning to come into some form in the second half of the season, bar the game at Crossgates. This weeks opposition was much sterner in the form of high flying Old Leo's, and now comfortable with the news that the league format would be staying as it is...for now.

Saxton were put into bat first, with Potter thrust into the opening slot. Bishop and him started well, coasting along to 42 off 8 overs, thanks to some slack bowling of half volley's and full tosses flying over the marble surfaced outfield. Ground fielding from the promotion chasers was also slack. Then the inevitable collapse came. Hills played a loose shot that the circumstances did not require. Hutton went to change his bat, but seemingly forgot to bring a new one out with him and was bowled. Bishop's was an odder one. Young Sykes, bounding in, bowled 18 balls a foot outside leg stump, to a 7-2 offside field. They were practically stood on each other's shoulders, fighting for room in the covers, but Sykes was bowling that wide it was hard to get a bat on it. He changed ends and then reaped the values of bowling on the stumps; when one pitched outside leg, hit Bishop's pads, a half hearted appeal from the slips and keeper, the Umpire raised his finger. Sykes had just got over the embarrasment of his first 3 overs, before he turned round to see the umpire's decision. Bishop gone on 49. It is a bowlers game.

The pavilion was treated to a selection of Bishop's extensive vocabulary, to which one Old Leo's fan took offence. Bishop amazingly held his tongue to amicably apologise, known to have a sharper bite than pirahna with the hump. Then Hewer went thanks to a good catch in the slips (to which he would return the gesture, don't worry Dan, im going to give it its deserved coverage in a couple of paragraphs). However thanks to Jamie Baxter and the man stuck in time, David Crampton, adding 50 runs to the score, Saxton mustered 172, after being 100/6. Both very good innings, taking the game to Old Leo's. Baxter played some glorious drives, that he's been saving up all season (Urine sample pending) and Crampton with his time old hitting. It gave Saxton a whiff of a chance, taking them past the psychological barrier of 150. It was also a deceptive looking wicket, looking like a road, but one ball an over was guaranteed to Mick Jagger off the square with varying bounce and pace.

It was also a welcoming return to a good tea, loaded with garnishes and those pretentious half a sandwich where the meat is left exposed. The Hutton family unit put on a banquet.

Loaded, throwing a tennis ball to each other, displaying their usual amateurness, whilst Dan Hewer was dancing to the rain gods. There was something for the bowlers, but Leo's opening batters cautiously and sensibly played there way to 66, until Hewer got a much deserved LBW. This brought Cobbett to the crease. Not allowing any other person on the field to get a word in edge ways all day he was quiet at the crease. He loves playing Saxton, but all Saxton had to do was bowl back of the length and nothing in his half, and proving so, he looped one to Jimmy Leonard at mid-wicket. Jimmy Leonard looking like he had been chasing stationery cars all day displayed the alertness of an electrocuted Schnauser.

The game was interrupted by the sound of the Saxton security alarm. Nobody was able to work out the Da Vinci code to stop it ringing and MI5's super code cracking computers capitulated at trying to figure out the security code. If you know the code then you have access to Chris Dennison's savings account, and also the code to the under pitch sweatshop that Dennison runs to create all the Saxton merchandise. It brought back some painful memories for Bishop, and some unoriginal banter about his t-shirt.

Sykes came in, proving himself to be a solid all-rounder at this level, as Old Leo's teetered on the egde. The ball was still largely in their court at 100/4. But the bowling from Steve Hills and the deft footwork of deputsing Keeper Jamie Baxter, managed to hold on to his wicket. Baxter took the liberty of a few keepy uppies, balancing the ball on the back of his neck, putting it through his shirt, pretending he was pregnant with the ball, throwing it out of his shirt, catching the ball in his mouth, swallowing it, excreting it, and then catching it before it touched the floor. Sykes had to go eventually.

This was then followed by the acrobatics of Dan Hewer. The man who slides around the turf on a whim, like a kid at a wedding, finally had justification to throw his body around. The ball looping over his head, he rose like a Fridge falling off of a lorry with arms to catch the ball. The shuddering earth thought it was Hiroshima, but no, it was much more beautiful than that. That was one of the moments of the season, and the game teetered towards Saxton.

Could this rag tag bunch of mis-fits pull it off? Old Leo's wickets continued to fall. With every player having the ability to hold the bat, it was left to the skipper and opening bowler, needing 20 off the last wicket. They got to within 14. Potter, Captain, and with an injured back was obliged to take the ball as Crampton was bowled out. The first ball was hit away for a single, and with skipper facing skipper, it went under his bat and careered into the stumps. Time stopped, and fell in on itself. Doctor Who and the Tardis stopped by but nobody noticed it. And in my quest to avoid every cliche possible this was one of the days that nothing but a cliche could sum up.

This motley bunch of saturday cricketers had pulled it off. Chasing 400 at Wetherby, chasing 115 at Old Leo's, chasing 107 at Thorner, all catastrophically bad losses, but distant memories after this. And what? And why? Why do we do this every saturday? Maybe Freud provides the answer, "One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful". It is when somebody finally says., the person who was watched you, led you, reprimanded you, told you off, but ultimately always tried to do the best for you says in the most understated manner they can possibly say it, "Well done, you deserved that.".

And of course they have to do it again next week, but one that they can enjoy but hope that this can provide the impetus for the rest of the season. It was a rare day in Saxton. All catches were taken, a win, and a hot shower. Every player can take the happiness in knowing that whatever amount of runs he scored, or stopped in the field took Saxton to their win. A game of finite margins. It was a game played in extremely good spirit as well, with Old Leo's bringing good competition and healthy banter and all the best to their promotion chase.

So to the greyhound as the apocalypse began. Bucky prepared for his wettest night in a decade, unfortunately not the one he would prefer.


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