Chris Savory
Loose change of fortunesPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 17 May 2018 19:00
Written by Chris Savory

Sunday 13 May 2018

Orchard Field, Otford

Beechwood 180 for 6 (40.1 overs)

Loose 170 for 6 (38 overs)

Match drawn | Full scorecard

So! Another nail-biter at Otford, and that's just as to whether we would be able to field a team or not! Fortunately, Russ was able to trawl the DA postcode region once more and at the eleventh hour produced Robbie Oaten and Shaun Edwards in time for their Beechwood debuts. Welcome chaps!

There was also a welcome return for Councillor Culhane after his season long sabbatical and I'm pleased to report his preparation and organisation skills are pretty much as they were in 2016; he must have a bloody good campaign team in H&F!

Beechwood also welcomed back Loose CC to the venue of the famous trouncing of their hosts some twelve months ago... Beechwood would look to at least improve on that performance over the course of an (unforeseen) glorious spring afternoon. LCC won the toss and inserted their hosts.

Fraser and Tony opened up for the hosts, both having their first knocks of the season and both settled into their groove nicely. Tony would unfortunately drag onto his stumps but not before Beechwood had well passed the 50-mark and Fraser went on to top score with a beautifully compiled 72, driving and cutting as though there hadn't been a winter break. Russ unfortunately fell fairly cheaply to a particularly smart catch and Robbie didn't stay for too long either, but some solid middle-order performances from Ian (35, and another smart catch victim, this time by the bowler) and Larry (21*) drove Beechwood towards a healthy total. Mark was run out with five balls remaining which unfortunately meant the innings had to close before Shaun could get to the wicket - an archaic law which needs modernising or at least be open to negotiation at this level - but anyway, Beechwood closed their innings on 180-6 off 40.1 overs.

Russ and Mark performed admirably on their catering duties, but the pressure of handling the extra baggage told on tea-debutant Mark as he contrived to drive off home with his kit-bag still in the dressing-room! I wonder what a certain school staffroom would make of their Head of Discipline performing such an act?! A buzzard performed well over the sheep-field just beyond the hedgerows during the interval, which allowed yours truly an opportunity to snap some photos of it - regrettably that was the only thing I lined up on field all afternoon...

Loose opened up with Malloy and C.Chambers in their efforts to chase down our score, but some tight and tidy spells from Fraser and Mark meant that these guys didn't get off to a flyer, although Malloy especially was looking to be positive and he soon upped the scoring rate once I started twirling away... That was until the Loose score reached 59 when Malloy somehow reached a filthy pie from yours truly which he somehow managed to screw towards Russ at mid-on who clung on smartly low down... a far better reward than it deserved. Either side of this was equally ropey from yours truly and Russ soon administered a mercy killing, but luckily at the other end Larry hit his straps from ball one and my replacement Ian, with his bowling mojo well and truly back, bowled Beechwood to a steadier position.

Larry snared a couple (and bowled beautifully either side of these) and when Ian cleaned up Chambers leaving Loose reeling slightly at 96-4, it certainly didn't look as though they would be getting up towards our total, although taking wickets was still going to be tough. Suddenly though batsman Puxty, who'd hung around for a while, started to open his shoulders and when J.Chambers replaced him it became a different ball game entirely.

The new Chambers, with his Babe Ruth-type stance went aerial and went big... a maximum just snuck through Tony's fingers at cow-corner and two other maximums were also struck and such was his strike-rate that it only became impossible to overhaul our total with two balls remaining, and if an eagle-eyed umpire Sean Cowell hadn't called one short during an all run four it could have potentially gone down to the last ball (to say nothing of the five penalty runs I almost conceded when a wayward throw almost struck Keith's abandoned S&M mask!)

As it was, a returning Fraser and Mark (replacing Robbie, who'd bowled well) just managed to guide Beechwood to hold their nerve... Loose closed their innings on 170-6 from 38 overs with the second Chambers 43* off not very many! A couple of chances fell agonisingly short of fielders during the afternoon and a couple more were spilled but a draw was a fair result and congratulations to Loose CC on their spirited efforts and for turning it into such an exciting game.

On the whole Beechwood fielded fairly well again with Russ, once more a livewire leading by example and at least Beechwood were able to put last season's performance behind them. A quick word of praise to our Chairman who uncomplainingly carried out a mammoth stint of umpiring throughout our innings and to Sean, always a welcome visitor, for officiating the whole of the match, without a cap! Much appreciated sir!

Numbers are looking healthy for Pilots... don't forget your kits!

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2018 19:55

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