Church vs Pears – The 2017 Match Report

For those who prefer a summary… Pears win again!

Most cricket matches start with an early inspection of the wicket, but this game started with an early interrogation of the Church’s selection tactics..

The questioning was conducted by those two village men of the cloth – Nick and Charlie…. and the accused was their non playing Captain Vaughan, who had to provide strong evidence that any of his players were regular members of the Congregation. A 70% hit rate seemed to be acceptable, and Vaughan breathed a sigh of relief that he had avoided prosecution or should that be persecution?

The Church side were strong – helped by Vaughan’s own demotion (!!) and the attendance of the three Cartledge boys, plus the Pears own generous donation – Ollie R.

The pre agreed coin toss was (as with tradition) redundant, and the Pears were put in to bat with the objective of setting a gettable target.

JP and Steve opened the innings, with tight bowling meaning that early straight bat defence was the order of the day. Both opening bowlers bowled 5 on the trot, and so after 10 overs, the Pears were only on 33, for the loss of Steve (6) bowled by D Cartledge…. One Tipping (s) out, replaced by another Tipping (R) who outscored his brother by 1 run and quickly returned to the pavilion for 7, lbw to M Cartledge. Will struck a few good boundaries but was bowled by a straight ball for 18 – from the third of the Cartledge boys – J. 

Our very own boys own Blacksmith – Knowlsey – strode to the wicket with squeaky pads and no expectation… But what was to follow was a demolition including 3 consecutive fours and a square leg six….on his way to a career high 28, before  D Cartledge struck again. Knowlsey has no gear, and also no idea…..but with odds stacked against him….he delivered. Thankfully all the cricketing genes in the Knowles family has passed to Max – and it was with quiet relief that an unfortunate injury had meant that Max could not further strengthen the Church’s accurate bowling attack.

At this stage, JP was scratching around for runs and occasionally finding the middle of his bat. Knowlsey’s departure forced a change in pace of the game… first James (0) and then yours truly (5) came and went without troubling Max (the scorer) who was still struggling to come to terms that his dad had even held his bat the right way around let alone scored 28! Laurence (9) finished not out, with JP heroically carrying his bat for 30 overs with a not out 75.  JG – do not mention Tavaré….

Total Pears first Innings: 173-6 a competitive score.

Rustic Quiches and Maltese cakes (courtesy of Linda and the Tipping girls) were consumed and the Church worked out their batting order.

A new tradition of this fixture was soon to be duly respected – the annual maiming of the  Village Umpire. Last year Cliff took a blow at square leg, which would have had most mortal men reaching for their Life Assurance claims……but this time Pete took a straight drive right on the wrist…..saved from a broken bone by the trusty old timepiece he was wearing….it looked like a Casio to most of us but by the end of the evening – as we were filling in his insurance claim over a few beers- it had become a Rolex formerly owned by Neville Chamberlain…The timepiece possibly had huge sentimental value, however Peter’s insistence that it was a rare Rolex, lacked credibility to me as I did note that the spelling was Rollox, which conveniently rhymes with the words to be used by the Insurance assessor!

Thankfully both Pete and Cliff – live to umpire another day – and much thanks for their time yesterday…and may I say very good decisions. Armoured umpire jackets will be ordered for next year!

The Church started well with G McDonald – in particular – looked like he had some menacing power and style….thankfully Tristan got his first of four bowled wickets for only 14 runs… Great stats. Will cracked g Miller’s stumps for a duck, and M Clark followed for  7. So with only 26 runs on the board and 3 wickets down, the Church needed divine intervention……. I hate to say it, but it almost arrived in the form of my son Ollie.

Crowding the bat with slips and short fielding positions. With heckles coming from north south east  and west, with his ill fitting vest and trousers, and his younger brother steaming in like D K Lillee……. Ollie had no chance. Second ball he turned it round the corner straight into my buckets……but oh dear there was a hold in my bucket…..and I spilled it!  Rousham caught Rousham bowled Rousham – was so nearly recorded!

As it was Ollie scored 52, and partnered Matt Cartledge (32) to a 66 run partnership. There was a mini collapse in the lower middle order with D & J Cartledge going cheaply for 1 and 5 respectively, and then Ross going for only 6 bowled by Will. Apart from Tristan’s 4-14, Laurence turned to pace and picked up 3-14 in three great overs. JP captured a very important and very hard hit caught and bowled. Only to be eclipsed in catching by a brilliant forward rolling catch by Knowlsey near the road boundary. With G Nicolaci and S Owen at the crease and with four overs to go….the win was still on for the Church, 14 needed off the last over and Tristan clattering the stumps twice in the last over, we bowled them out with the last ball of the game, leaving F Mendonca an infinitesimal average of 1 not out – I suspect for the season.

Church finish on 161-10.

JP carrying his bat for 73no and deserved to get voted as Man of the Match…. With Tristan, Ollie and Matt Cartledge all getting strong commendations!

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