Chris Savory
Nuxley drops leave Beechwood topsPDFPrintE-mail
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 09:35
Written by Chris Savory
The Goose falling to a smart catch by Heaney

Full scorecard | Photos

Sunday, 19 June 2016
The Vine, Sevenokas

Beechwood 130 all out (36.1 overs)

Nuxley 83 all out (34.4 overs)

Hmmm, it's always a strange feeling when you turn up for a home fixture in which yourself and half your teammates have never played at the venue before. Still, The Vine was far from a shabby substitute for Otford which was hosting a blind cricket event on this day (as Bradley dryly put it, "why couldn't they play after we'd finished?") and we warmly welcomed Nuxley CC for this fixture. The Vine was certainly a picturesque enough venue, consisting of an on-site cafe - which I didn't get to sample, a bandstand, with brass band installed to boot - who I certainly got to hear, and a short boundary, which needless to say I would eventually find myself deposited into....

With a cast of absentees including Fraser, Russ, Ade, Onkar, Larry and Keith with Scotty and Burgerman still orbiting our planet somewhere also, and a stellar cast of replacements, namely Sean, Mark, Ashley and Dave, it actually looked like a club with an actual squad to perm from for the first time in an age. When it became known that our opposition were going to be one short for the fixture, Keith sportingly got off his sick bed to turn out for them, as he's done for others in the past, as many of us will recall...

Nuxley won the toss and unhesitatingly elected to field, and with Austria looming, and most usual candidates absent, Tony finally decided to open up along with Sean. Unfortunately this proved to be a short lived tour rehearsal as Tony snuck one behind in the first over. The playing square was obscured by the sight screen from the dressing room window but I was still able to view Keith at mid-wicket appeal for this catch in a manner he normally singularly saves for his stumping attempts; KHM certainly not going through the motions... Hamish joined Sean and the old Woodside pair knuckled down to put on a hard fought fifty stand. As would be the case throughout our innings, plenty of chances were shelled during this partnership and by their own admission, Nuxley reckoned they probably put down nine chances during the course of the afternoon and a harsh observer might say that there was a couple of refusals in there as well.

They finally did cling on to one to shift Sean for 30, and following Brad and Rob's departures either side of Ian's vigil, Beechwood were somewhat below par on 105-5. Hamish fell one short of his fifty shortly after sadly, and with Dave following immediately after, they were even more perilously placed at 113-7 but Mark was able to at least shepherd the tail to an eventual 130 all out in the 37th over with Woody being especially keen to tease their fielders and The DoC rather spoiling things by being the only player not to be out caught although he still managed to effect a stumping dismissal.

Most wickets seemed to fall from the pavilion end where there appeared to be an 'invisible' ridge which produced some indifferent bounce but with so many chances going down Beechwood couldn't really use that as an excuse for their smallish total. Was it enough? Well you probably had to wait until both teams batted, or more tellingly, fielded on it before any estimations on that front, although it should be noted that we scored three fewer than the Vine colts first innings in a 22-over match that preceded ours and they attacked a longer boundary! Whatever, there were some pretty impressive bowling figures to be seen on the Nuxley scorecard....

After tea, Nuxley set about chasing down their total but with Woody and The Goose keeping things tight first up they never quite got going, especially when Woody enticed the dangerous looking Philips to snick to the ever tidy Hamster. There was some good teamwork in the slips when Brad parried into Tony's clutches to give The Goose a well-deserved wicket but at 46-4 the game was still in the balance. A flurry of wickets when the spin twins were in tandem meant that Nuxley were suddenly pegged back on 61-8 and the DoC could be particularly aggrieved that a huge deflection failed to dislodge the bails on one occasion. French coming in at ten bravely tried to swing Nuxley to victory, finding the short boundary on occasion and some Billy Smart's fielding from the skipper prolonged his stay a little more than I'd have liked personally, but fortunately Hamish capped a fine performance behind the timbers to wrap up the innings with Nuxley being eventually dismissed for 83 with just over five overs remaining. Nuxley played in a tremendously friendly spirit throughout the day and we look forward to hosting them again, especially if they bring their catching mitts with them next time...

Yours truly got the prize scalp of KHM but to be totally honest it wasn't a pleasurable achievement (he is one of our own after all and was still in a quite poorly state), although I'll go to my grave believing I had him plumb first ball! Still, it was a five-for for yours truly anyway and apparently I'm dropped for next week (no you’re bloody not – DoC), thanks for coming! See you on tour!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2016 09:45

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