Chris Savory
Valiance from the veterans but lacking vintagePDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:00
Written by Chris Savory

Sunday 27 May 2018

Orchard Field, Otford

Sidcup 175 for 2 (34.1 overs)

Beechwood 130 for 8 (40 overs)

Match drawn | Full scorecard

Greetings! It's probably fair to say that the storms which hit Britain over the early part of the weekend probably even eclipsed the ones created attempting to assemble a team of late, but Otford's outfield drained sufficiently and Beechwood were able to host its visitors Sidcup by Sunday lunchtime, and somehow - there were eleven of our number to face them.

Special thanks has to go out to Glen Lipscomb for coming out of retirement and donning Beechwood whites again in our hour of need. Although all at Beechwood were especially grateful to Glen, it now meant that the combined age of Beechwood's six eldest amassed a whopping 335 years or so, therefore it's fair to say it wasn't going to be a 'gun fielding' side that would take the field even if Mark Leadon was one of these! Fortunately we could include Dave Lockey among our number who could cover that ground some of us no longer seem able to, but it would be fair to assess that this was a Beechwood XI with plenty of nous but perhaps a little short on youth and mobility... and oxygen come tea-time!

Beechwood lost the toss and Sidcup chose to bat on an initially clammy but soon to be stiflingly hot afternoon. Ashley eventually muttered something along the lines of 'alright' following Russ's repeated requests for him to open the bowling and aside from the odd loose ball, kept things rather tight alongside Mark.

The DoC's introduction earned the hosts an immediate breakthrough when he trapped Bradley with a fuller one but this would be a scarce event through the afternoon as the hosts toiled away with little reward. The DoC would eventually pick up the only other wicket of the innings when Russ smartly held on to dismiss Jerrom but opener Rolls, latterly assisted by Martin, went on to compile a pretty untroubled century, aside from a couple of hard chances, and it could have been a quicker one had he not frequently picked out a home fielder. Still, it was a brave effort from Beechwood's old guard in the field, especially from Glen upon his return, and Mark and Ian returned some pretty tidy figures considering the easy nature of the pitch and there was even time for Dean to get a rare opportunity to turn his arm over, occasionally reaching the batsman first bounce in the process...

As for yours truly; this was easily the best I've bowled this year but it was still tripe; utter filth - pasture looks ever closer... Anyway, Sidcup closed their innings several minutes early following Rolls's century on 175-2 off 34.1 overs, a sporting declaration which kept the match alive... for the moment. It was pretty hot by this stage and although there were no frayed tempers in the home dressing-room, there were certainly plenty of blown gaskets! Tempting though it looked, I could barely raise the energy to tackle much of Ian and Dean's stellar tea effort - VERY worrying times indeed!

176 as I alluded to was a pretty sporting target, but on this occasion, it was going to need a pretty big innings from somebody up front with everybody else chipping in around them considering the conditions and the tools available. Dean opened the batting with new club professional Ashley but this partnership would yield only five runs.

Our best hope of running the visitors close was probably with the Dean/Russ pairing but Russ's relatively cheap dismissal pretty much took one result out of the equation. Dean took us up to 50-3, which then allowing a typical Dave cameo before Ian and Mark would dig in to attempt salvaging a draw. Ian (19) and Mark (31) would be our top scorers but both these guys were back in the hutch with 107 on the board but more tellingly, plenty of overs left for Sidcup to clean up their hosts. Fortunately rearguards from Tony, Glen (with some occasional expanse!) and at the end, The CoCK and The DoC meant that Beechwood were able to hang on for a draw finishing on 130-8 from 40 overs. This time last year Beechwood were struggling to put this kind of score on the board batting first and there's certainly a steelier element to Beechwood's batting this season - every cloud and all that...

Many thanks to Sidcup for their great spirit and sporting nature and for not killing the game off in either innings; we wish them all the best for their season's remainder. I'm just wishing for more weeks off!

Following Sean and Stuart's appearance at the ground we were latterly graced with an appearance by Glenn and Sandra Salmon in the pub and although sadly not treated to a full 'Salmon Stand' in the afternoon, it was still great to see them again... truly a Veterans Day!

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:41

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Sun Sep 29, 2019 @12:30
Fordcombe (H) - Cancelled (rain)