Chris Savory
Tons of effort at Tonbridge but still no winPDFPrintE-mail
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:00
Written by Chris Savory
Sean Guerin found the scorebook enjoyable reading for some
Full scorecard

Sunday 6 August 2017


Tonbridge 211 for 9 (42 overs)

Beechwood 175 all out (34 overs)

Tonbridge won by 36 runs

Apologies for this late report, a hectic couple of weeks this end, plus I'm prone to being idle...

A rare away trip awaited us on this occasion, Tonbridge to be precise; not a favourite fixture of mine, nothing against them personally but it's played on an outfield the size of Wales and we're invariably short or weakened and always aged when it comes to fielding on it. Somehow though, we'd been undefeated there up until now, but this season's form was always likely to jeopardise that proud record and needless to say, events panned out as one would imagine. A much steelier performance this week however in spite of the inevitability of the result.

The usual selection issues confronted DoC for this fixture but somehow he pulled a couple of rabbits from the hat by enticing Sean Guerin out for his first of the year and with Keith's help, Colin Warner for very probably his first of the century and somehow Beechwood were up to XI and ready for action.

Beechwood won the toss and inserted their hosts and Tonbridge had an apparently regular number 10 in Shehzad opening the batting but he appeared to be fairly well organised and possessed a fair few strokes as well but the Beechwood bowling unit, operating well collectively, chipped away at the other end and regularly took wickets. We also held our catches, well most of them, Tony clinging smartly at first slip via KHM's gauntlet and Sean in the deep off Mark, plus KHM effected a stumping off The DoC as well and all was looking fairly rosy in the Beechwood garden. Shehzad was still there however and in spite of my earlier praise of him, he did on occasion lead a charmed life but still pushed the score along in the process and with Aussie professional Bridgen hidden away down at number nine, the visitors still had plenty to do it would appear.

Bridgen would eventually join Shehzad at 115-7 but these two would only put on a further thirteen before Mark smartly snaffled Shehzad (77) at mid-on. 128-8 became 139-9 when Sean ran out the next man but as one has come to expect this season, the rug was about to be pulled from under Beechwood's spikes just as they thought their hard work was going to be rewarded. Stalwart skipper Sargeant strolled to the middle at number eleven and was wily enough to cover his stumps diligently, not always with the bat, but also wasn't afraid to tee off if the bowlers didn't hit their lengths and the expected onslaught from Bridgen was also in full flow now, opening his shoulders admittedly but also taking singles, having every faith in his partner and when Tonbridge's innings eventually closed they had swung their way up to 211-9 from 42 overs, Bridgen and Sargeant undefeated on 67 and 25 respectively.

A shattering blow for the visitors who'd stuck to their task admirably and who knows, had Marquee Mark clung on to an early missile from Bridgen at short cover, well, things may have been different - the thing was certainly travelling, but if anyone could have held on, it was he, but sadly all he had to show for it was a bruise the size of an oil slick on his ribs.

Congratulations go out to Tonbridge on their tasty spread - hot sausages and chips?!? Oh, go on then... Beechwood with their bellies full were now ready for their response but things got off disastrously when Fraser smacked a full toss straight to Bridgen at cover who clung on smartly off only the fifth ball after the restart. Sean went out to join Adrian and it was kind of fitting that a great film buff such as Sean should get to play alongside The Warner Brothers. Sean then continued the WB theme and went on to assume the mantle of Superman, initially ably assisted by Adrian but too many Lois Lanes in the Beechwood cast requiring his rescue would see Beechwood fall short of their total. Ade and Sean made it through to drinks unscathed but Ade fell shortly after to Shehzad, back to doing his day job, but Beechwood were still handily placed at 83-2.

Bradley and Mark both unfortunately played on to Shehzad early on but Sean found a brief ally in Dave Lockey who fearlessly swung at successive leg stump yorkers resulting in eight byes through long-stop. Dave was unfortunately stumped at the other end soon after but not before attempting to take guard somewhere near short leg!

112-5 now and things looking less healthy for Beechwood but with Sean still there and finding the boundary regularly and a couple of barnacles to come in, the visitors were still in with an outside chance of at least saving the match. In truth, both Keith and Tony didn't quite hang around for long enough really, Keith was obviously saving his rearguard heroics for a future effort but when Colin was unfortunately stumped soon after and The DoC immediately became another played on victim Beechwood were staring down the barrel at 172-9 with eight and a bit overs remaining.

Yours truly survived the bit but Sean now was going to have to chance his arm as well as farm the strike to get the visitors home or to safety and in attempting to do so, steered one into extra cover's grateful hands and sadly, that was that.

It was a heroic effort from Sean who'd scored 91 of the visitors' 175 and deserved a ton and to (effectively) carry his bat but it wasn't to be. For sure, Tonbridge are a handy side and almost certainly held back a bit of their bowling armoury as well as tinkering with their batting order somewhat, but this isn't to demean the efforts of the visitors who could take heart from this performance and it's obviously a pity that Beechwood can't call upon the services of Mr Guerin more often, and praise was also due Warner senior's way for his efforts in the field despite carrying an injury sustained jogging in preparation for the game (??!).

Congratulations to Tonbridge on finally beating their Dads Army opponents, gawd knows how we'd pulled that off until now, and in the time that's elapsed since this game, I can't remember if this fixture is the one we'd lose following our revised tour dates, but if that's the case one hopes that we can still find a way of paying them a visit next season and I know I'm not alone on that front.

Maybe they could come to us? Can't promise sausage and chips but there'll probably be plenty of fruit.

In an afternoon of dramas Keith capped it off by managing to have another Corporal Jones moment by driving off leaving his kit-bag in the car park which was eventually retrieved by the ever-alert DoC.

"Permission To Speak Sir?!"

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 August 2017 19:04

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