Chris Savory
Beechwood shine in the Chevening shadePDFPrintE-mail
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:00
Written by Chris Savory
Bradley Hill putting pressure on the fielders

Full scorecard | Photos

Sunday, 24th July 2016
Pikely Mead, Chipstead, Kent

Beechwood 163 for 3 (43 overs)

Chevening Amblers 119 all out (34.3 overs)

Sunday saw us descend upon Chipstead Village to play an away game closer than 900 miles away for a change. Chevening Amblers were the hosts on a pleasant afternoon at Pikely Mead with only the constant drone of traffic creating a tiny blemish on the setting. A handy short walk from the CoCK's penthouse but he drove there anyway! Beechwood won the toss and elected to bat first on an interesting looking wicket with a short boundary on the motorway side.

A mini reshuffle of the upper order saw Rob getting a rare chance to open alongside Russ with Ian Mac promoted to number three. Unfortunately Ian found himself out there as early as the second over of the match following a rare failure from Russ. I must confess that I was still photographing wagtails in the neighbouring field while all this was going down but a glance at the scorebook revealed that he was caught behind... always a kiss of death bringing the family along to watch you play!

Anyway Rob and Ian dug in and got Beechwood on the board and these two built a steady if unspectacular fifty stand which was only broken when Rob's old lbw issues came back to haunt him. The Goose hadn't been at his fluent best and occasionally found himself airborne as he played and missed the odd one but this was still a laudable effort and along with Ian's efforts, they certainly did their job seeing off the new ball bowlers. 56-2 then, and Ian, who was by now finding some fluency, was joined by Bradley and these two picked up the tempo a little until Ian unfortunately steered one into gully's hands for a well compiled 41. This, coupled with the recent introduction of spin slowed things down for a short period but once Brad and new bat Fraser acclimatised to the pace of the turning ball the tempo was picked up again. The replacing of the spinner somewhat opened the game up a little however with both batsmen tucking into the pace of an older ball and the last six overs would allow Beechwood to plunder forty-odd runs without loss and both batsmen came agonisingly close to notching up half-centuries. Also, for the second week running, this pair have composed substantial unbroken stands... Gonna miss 'em next week!

Beechwood closed their innings on 163-3, fewer than perhaps initially hoped for, but a satisfactory total nonetheless once conditions were re-assessed. Steve's Flickr page produced some rather amusing poses and grimaces. Keep an eye out for Rob's great impersonation of Pete Townshend and Bradley's brilliant Fleegle from The Banana Splits!

Chevening provided a splendid tea for us to fill our bellies and having nearly digested it, The Skipper had us back out in the middle ready to defend our total. Five or so minutes later Chevening joined us with Fraser's pace and Mark's guile initially utilised to achieve an early breakthrough. Both bowled well but without success, Fraser being almost impossible to score off, but it wasn't too surprising to find Tony turning to spin well before drinks were due. It's one of those decks that as a spinner, you wish you could roll up and unfurl again every weekend. It's even handier when the groundsman comes on for a stint of umpiring at the end you're bowling from, allowing you plenty of opportunity to praise HIS efforts in producing such a fantastic cricket wicket when he's stood at square-leg...over time I've learned this chatter can come in handy occasionally!

Anyway, enough waffle; after both openers holed out to Ian and Brad, number three bat Ward was pretty watchful and useful and wasn't going to give his wicket away as well as being able to cash in on anything off line and he alone kept Chevening in with a sniff of chasing down our total. The DoC also took advantage of conditions and prised out a couple from the pavilion end before Russ provided us with a moment of comic relief... He probably had enough time to mail the ball to Cookie to effect a run-out but like a man possessed, he opted for the direct hit, and I can't recall who was backing up the throw but fair play to them as it was travelling at a fair rate of knots when it sailed past the stumps! Mark's 'back-up' drills appear to be paying off! To be fair Russ atoned for this when he was on hand to effect a run-out soon afterwards.

Dave was having fun patrolling the long boundary and was kept busy throughout the afternoon and it was unfortunate that he was unable to cling on to one off Cookie after a heroic effort to get underneath it. I was eventually able to winkle Ward out but not before he'd scored 46 out of the current total of 98 and lower order batsman Manning had some fun as he twice narrowly failed to deposit me onto the M25 but eventually Beechwood wrapped up the game with just over three overs to spare, Chevening being bowled out for 119.

With a spinning wicket before him, Keith was obviously in the game more than usual and had to keep his wits about him, so much so that he barely reset the field all afternoon but he kept tidily throughout the afternoon nonetheless, and after a couple of horror shows, Beechwood's catching was back to its best with Ian, Fraser (two each) and Brad all safely pouching chances of the kind that haven't been sticking of late. There was a little unsavoury moment following the final ball of the match, but I for one refuse to allow one ball to define an otherwise enjoyable afternoon, and I look forward to both teams doing battle next season, with Chevening apparently expressing an interest in the opportunity of a home and away fixture next season. Not sure if our fixture card currently permits this but it would certainly be welcome should the opportunity arise.

Great to see all the Boss boys together, especially after such a long time since all of us had seen Joe. Which reminds me, I owe a jug when next back at Otford!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 July 2016 17:54

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