Chris Savory
Dead calm before the stormPDFPrintE-mail
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 08:40
Written by Chris Savory


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Not much changes over seven days; long-standing oppo call off, new youthful oppo picked up followed by scampering around to bring ourselves up to a full quota. Fortunately we were able to call up those livewires Leadon and Lockey and we were good to go. The new oppo came in the form of neighbours Kemsing CC who were most warmly welcomed to Otford. Word on the grapevine was that Kemsing had a young bowling-heavy line-up and it would be likely that Beechwood would be batting first. All academic anyway as Tony won the toss ensuring that Beechwood would indeed be fielding second - never ideal when The DoC is on savouries duty! Tony decided upon an experimental batting order with Mark rewarded for his fielding heroics last week, getting the opening slot alongside Russ with a promotion for Ian Mac at three and last week’s destroyers Fraser and Brad dovetailing at four and five. A peek at a photo on Steve's brill Flickr page shows a later scorecard filled in down to number eight followed by a gap then C. Savory occupying the eleven slot…. Hmmmm; experimental then, but perhaps not radically so.

There had been a village fete in the neighbouring field and as I glanced out of the dressing-room window to view the first over, I assumed that somebody had transferred the coconut shy onto the pitch as opening bowler Marshall had all sorts of problems landing his deliveries. Nothing illegal about his action I hasten to add but certainly few legal deliveries were propelled from his end and although it's tough on a youngster and it is only Sunday friendly cricket, common sense had to prevail and after some consultation between umpires Tony and Keith and Kemsing's skipper it was agreed that his second over, of which there was no sign of any real improvement, was to be his last.

The bowler was obviously disappointed with this and apparently protested that these were only 'looseners' (I shudder to think what a full head of steam might have produced), but the only things likely to be loosened were teeth and eye-sockets, so unfortunately the young man was resigned to an afternoon in the field. Hopefully this was an isolated episode for the young man and I will say that there was plenty of raw material on display, just a bit of work to do honing his craft, and should we play Kemsing again in the near future I'll be happy to see him opening the bowling again if he can overcome today's issues...and I'll happily be an experimental number eleven that afternoon too...

This was all unfortunate rather than unseemly I hasten to add and the game settled down to be played in great spirit by both teams. Russ and Mark were going on okay having survived their initial pelting when suddenly Mark decided he'd had his fill and retired to allow some regulars more time to bat. I stress that he had only scored 14 himself ,and this was an incredibly selfless gesture from a guest player, to which Beechwood were very appreciative, but unsurprising; he is an SW11 lad after all (not Bermondsey, Keith!!)!

I was surprised to learn Russ is yet to score a ton thus far, and having seen a fair bit of him now, would have to consider this rather's also unlucky that once you look set to perhaps break that duck you're faced with Keith Howard Makin looming in front of you bedecked in a white coat, and unsurprisingly Russ found himself trudging back to the hutch having made 68, courtesy of you know who. Ian and Bradley came and went after handy cameos and Dave unluckily got a good'un first up but Fraser was still there, going nicely with Beechwood having reached 171-4 and was now joined by Keith.

Hmmmm, what to say about Keith's innings? It started okay but they failed to feed him with his favoured sweep shot so he eventually went on to produce a succession of slashing and swishing air-shots straight out of the carpet-beaters manual. Fraser would then get a single from the next over and we'd go again, and again, and again, and by now Keith was getting more and more frustrated with all this and it started to resemble the Basil Fawlty "Damn Good Thrashing!!' scene at one point as the slashes became more and more frenetic. All this was taking place accompanied by some loud guffaws from the home dressing room and more than the odd snigger from fielders and umpires alike. I probably could have wided a couple of deliveries late on but I honestly couldn't face his innings going into extra time and I wonder what a watching Mark made of his gesture to allow our guys a chance to 'bat', and I also couldn't have been alone in hoping that Beechwood might produce a second retiree that afternoon but no, KHM saw it through to the bitter end, Beechwood closing their innings on 204-4 with Fraser undefeated on 44 from as many balls and Keith, erm, 8 from 50! I'm not much cop at impersonations, especially in written form, but I'll have a quick attempt at KHM's innings: :1:1::1:11:::11::1:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::!!!!!! - Not bad I'd say!

16:00 - tea, 16:02 - oppo's eaten all the pizza, 16:25 - our half-hour is up apparently and we're out for the second half...I'm determined to finish my cup of coffee one week... I'll just briefly highlight Kemsing's run chase as it never really got off the ground... Rob and Fraser opened up and bowled economically with Rob continuing his ill-luck with chances again being spilled - while spilling the odd one of his own! Fraser this week was choirboy-like with his lack of profanities and Ian and Steve bowled barely a bad ball between them all afternoon and you guessed it, went wicketless. I served up some tripe in the middle which was gleefully dispatched - I hoped after all that pizza, they wouldn't fancy any pies, but with around six overs remaining and Kemsing pegged back on 79-6 there was a frantic effort to get the game finished as some particularly threatening clouds were looming just beyond the boundary and although Beechwood picked up a further two wickets - a first Beechwood scalp for Mark - and the tail smacked a few late boundaries, both teams just managed to get off before the impending deluge, Kemsing closing on 110-8, holding on for a hard-fought draw. Thank goodness for those 13.30 starts!

Keith finished the afternoon with a couple of smart stumpings and Ian Mac, finding himself in the slips snaffled a couple of smartly judged catches, but neither Dave nor Mark had much opportunity to display their considerable energy. Another enjoyable afternoon then, and hopefully we can arrange another fixture with Kemsing in the not too distant future.

I'll just close with a few quotes from the afternoon...

KHM (walking in after closure of Beechwood's innings) - "It's frustrating because the skipper promoted me as he thought I was the most likely candidate to score quick runs"

The Goose (having witnessed Ian's slip catches) – “When I do get to skipper the side - I'd definitely be tempted to leave Ian in there, probably posting the current incumbents out to mid-wicket and extra cover"

The skipper - "I wish Chris Savory wouldn't use fictitious quotes from myself and others in order to aim subtle digs my way"!

The F-Unit ( having watched KHM play and miss 25 consecutive deliveries) – “Fffffffffffffffff.........!! “

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2016 08:58

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