On a delightful summers afternoon, the foxes and I took a little trip over to Islip to a recently ploughed field, I mean cricket pitch, to take on the ever gleeful Thrapston… my memories of this ground aren’t the best after our last outing with Jon T and Olly J nursing terrible hangovers (don’t drink kids) and the time before that was a game that was a non-starter after Great Oakley prayed to the weather gods, it didn’t rain, but the game was called off anyway, could my boys go better?
It started well with abuse from the sidelines before the game even began, the warm-up American football throwing didn’t seem that incendiary, but then perhaps they’d seen our catching before and were worried about damage to the square (I shan’t mention our catching in the actual game – it pains me)? Jon T (in place of John M) won the toss and elected to bowl on what looked a bit of a green top.
Adam Barrett and Oscar Young made debuts, and started brightly in the field, ably assisting the openers (Pinny and Rick). After 10 overs despite no wickets falling, GP had limited them to just 37. Jac (2 – 46) and Tony replaced our opening pair, with the former finally making the breakthrough, Steely with the gloves reinstated nabbing a good chance. Jac grabbed another and then in strode young B Fell, he looked good until a near-suicidal run, the second was even more problematic and both batsmen ended up at the same end. Senior batsman J Burdett stood his ground, and the run-out became the first flash point of what became a tetchy game, with the two opposition batsmen shouting at one another.
With the brothers grim at the crease the scoring accelerated and there was little answer from GP, Zubair (0-24) and David (0-36) were introduced but to no avail. With GP desperately needing a wicket Ricki (1-27) replacing Zoobs duly obliged, bursting through the defences of J Burdett. Pinny (2 – 22) and Tony (3 – 41) were tasked with finishing off the bowling and duly mopped up, Pinny sending their captain back to the pavilion on 97, after a good grab by steely, and tony getting a few more wickets under his belt. Thrapston 226 – 9. Highlight of the innings was Fell walking around the boundary throwing his water bottle and shouting abuse at his own players after his run out.
So, what could GP do in return, could we get back to winning ways? For a short period, it looked pretty comfortable, but then JB (11) had another brain fart and popped the ball up in the air for another soft dismissal, can you have baby brain before it’s born? Jac (19) followed soon after trapped in front. Pinny and Steely to the crease, now, I don’t know what Pinny had had for breakfast, but I think it might have been spicy. After the umpire got confused with wides (and how not to call them) there was a bit of an altercation with J Burdett their slip fielder. A couple of balls later and after Pinny (1) had missed a straight one the game erupted, (when I say erupted it was like the time my best friend Marge and I fell out over that lovely chap Steely at the nursing home) handbags! Pinny was ushered off by one of their players (who muttered “don’t worry we all think he’s a bit of a ****”). Calm down gents, it’s only div 12 cricket.
Little did we know it at the time, but this was to be a real return to form from for Steely (57*), carrying his bat for the rest of the innings, with some glorious strokes. Ably assisted by Tiley (11), Adams (18) and Mistry (13), Steely was taking GP to respectability, and despite 7 of the final 8 wickets being bowled, GP were clawing their way to more bonus points.
Ballard (0) and Zoobs (0) didn’t trouble the scorers, on his senior debut Ben’s clone Oscar (3) emulated his father with a couple of lovely back foot strokes, only to be undone by a miss-timed pull shot. Adam Barrett (Pinny’s neighbour) interrupted his beer-drinking napathon, strapped the pads on for the first time in 25 years, and still scored as many as Pinny – 1!
GP innings finishing on 152 all out.
So, in summation, I hate Islip, bad things happen there, I’m going on holiday next year when that fixture is announced!
See you next week, a return to foxfields and an oppo we haven’t seen for a couple of years in Stony Stratford.