Wow, it’s been a very long time! I apologise for my absence, but frankly, as you’ve been such a miserable, anti-social bunch, I didn’t feel like there was much point!
So you’ve played four games of the first 6 of your fixtures and what a mixed bag it’s been. This is just a brief round-up of some of the key highlights and performances, in the future I’ll definitely be doing regular game write-ups for you!
The first game was called off because it was too wet *cough* for St Michaels to cut their outfield, just 3 games across the whole league were canceled without any play, make of that what you will.
Your second game prep didn’t even make it past Thursday with Brixworth 4ths pulling out, unable to raise a side!
Grange Park CC vs Wellingborough Old Grammarians 3rds
My first trip out of the nursing home came at Foxfields against an old foe – Old Grammarians, on a nice warm day skipper Pinny won the toss and elected to bowl, as has so often been the case this season, he took the ball, along with Tony ‘The Tiger’ Adams, they toiled and with the late arrival of Ollie Holmes managed to skittle a few.
After 6 overs and with Skip blowing out of his bottom the ball was thrown to The Aussie (Ryan Malone) – he blew through OG’s taking 6 for 6 off 4.4 – apparently enough for him to make the NCL honours board that week – let’s not mention the dodgy decisions made by the umpire for him to get all of those! OG’s were all out for 83 off in 20.4 overs – giving GP 59 overs to score the runs.
In reply, Jonny R (39) and Ben ‘Bionic’ Young (17) took it to their bowlers, and though the innings was slow, there were very few hiccups, with just two wickets falling, Mark Bury (16) and Steve Steel (4) saw us home. The first legitimate win and a handy 27 points. Onwards!
Obelisk Kingsthorpe 2nds vs Grange Pack CC
Off to the Obelisk this week and the weather was another belter – that’s about as good as it got I’m afraid. GP losing the toss and getting inserted was an omen. 90 all out from 23.4 overs – 18 from the skipper and a gutsy 21 not out from new recruit Anand Kumar were the “highlights” – with only one other double-figure (Jonny R) the team really struggled to score against a disciplined attack (featuring their first team skipper).
To be fair in response GP did try everything and bowling debuts this season for Luca Steel and Anand did provide 2 wickets, along with one for Ryan, but Obelisk cruised home for the loss of just 3 wickets in 19.2 overs – probably one to forget to be honest.
Grange Park CC vs Bugbrooke 2nds
Back to fortress Foxfields for our 3rd game of the season and not wanting to watch Bugbrooke take 3 1/2 hours to bowl their 40 overs as they did last year, the skipper inserted them.
Drama before the start of the game as Tony did his best Spiderman impression – he maintains it wasn’t the booze from the Lionel Ritchie concert the night before, but I think we can be sure it wasn’t date rape – Kallum Pagano willingly stepped into Tony’s sick filled shoes!
The returning Jake Roberts followed in his dad’s footsteps by taking the gloves, decided to try to catch one with just his thumb in the second over but carried on manfully for the rest of the innings. GP started where they left off at Foxfields last time, despite some early resistance from the Bugbrooke skipper the bowling attack tore through them – bowling them all out for 77. RP took 3 for 11, Aussie 2 for 10, Late Boy (Ollie Holmes) 3 for 10 and one each for Luca Steel and Isaac Young (making his senior bowling debut for GP). Potentially one of the highlights of the season was the returning younger Pagano (for the oppo) slapping young Mr. Holmes for a glorious slog swept 4, Ollie’s face was a picture, the next delivery was certainly an effort ball! – 43 overs to get the runs then boys!
OK Ben I didn’t mean you had to use them all! Scoring 19 off 30.5 overs in response the bionic one seemed to want to bore everybody off the park! Adam Young and Mark Bury came and went without troubling the scorers too much, new recruit Zeeshan windmilled his was to 26 and the Skip came in and finished off quickly with a brisk 10 – 80 off 30.5 – Ben batting through and another 27 points for the Foxes! After the game, Jake dragged his thumb to the hospital and it turned out he really did smash his thumb to bits – and was in need of an operation – get well soon Jake!
Spencer Bruerne 2nds vs Grange Park CC
Our first trip back to the hill that is the Stoke Bruerne cricket club in three years was the fourth game of the season – where we got to play against our grumpy old skipper Ash Day – apparently, he took a days holiday for it – think someone needs to get a life! 😉
The skip won the toss (despite the SB skipper getting awfully confused thinking that RP calling a tail correctly meaning SB won the toss – ermmmm no) – GP inserted SB, with the skies overcast I’m sure Skip thought the ball would probably do a lot. He couldn’t have been more wrong, the clouds parted and the sun shone, and the wicket – it baked! RP (1 for 30) and Tiger (1 for 41) opened the bowling, the fatter taking the downhill approach. They started well and despite not taking any wickets kept it pretty tight – keeping SB to about 100 from their first 20. Ollie (2 for 75), Zeeshan (1 for 43) and Adam (0 for 31) filled in the gaps with Zeeshan taking his first wicket for GP – a Kallum Pagano catch no less! SB racked up 232 off their 40 overs.
We welcomed back Jonny R (37) after missing a week and he and Ben (10) started off solidly. They were replaced by Steve S (21) and Pinny (40) who built a nice healthy partnership, Steve was a little scratchy, and Pinny his normal argumentative self – though to be fair, that was mainly because he slapped the SB skipper’s son for 16 off one over. SB skipper decided he wanted to try to intimidate RP – good work, pick on our biggest bloke, grow up and learn how to play cricket without trying to cause a fight! After Steve and RP we had notable contributions from Tiger (21) and some really welcome runs for Isaac Young (13) – the best Young in the batting lineup! The windmill (Zeeshan) added a handy 16 too – but all was in vain, GP finishing on 181 – 51 runs behind.