Ickenham CC has a wonderful facility, three large fields, good batting tracks and a large clubhouse.
Apart from a few early timekeeping issues, we did everything right and played all the cricket and had all the banter.
Tis won the toss and elected to bat and Steve Britto, back from a very welcome four-week break (welcome for us, that is!) took to the field with his opening partner, Fred Gumpert.
Ickenham’s young opening bowler struggled slightly with his run, but when he got it right it was very good. The delivery he removed Fred with was an absolute peach.
Steve then sold Matt Hickson down the river to run him out but did go some way to making amends by scoring yet another 50 for the Club.
He and Iskandar forged a partnership of 102 with shots played all around the ground before Issie was bowled for 39 and Steve was joined very briefly by the Skipper who played a pretty loose shot and was well caught at cover.
So, Ickenham in with a sniff and us four down? Not really.
Our batting line up on the day was ridiculous with two blokes at 10 and 11 both averaging around the 50 mark this season – so we continued to make hay against a largely unthreatening attack.
Max made his customary 50 (or did he?) as Ben Hamilton continued his good form for a well-constructed 31 and Tom Parrish, also flourishing with the bat this season, made 38* playing some glorious cricket shots along the way.
Midway through the day and what a lovely surprise to see former Ploughmen pop along to see us.
First Alan ‘Quack Quack’ Tolhurst (and the lovely Sheila) before none other than former Club stalwart and Committee member, Gary Buckner, turned up to say hi. Great to see them all in good health and still following the fortunes of a Club they helped build.
In reply to our 274 for 8 off 40 overs, Ickenham seemed to have a simple game plan – rely on one, possibly two, blokes to get all the runs.
After 16 overs it looked like that was exactly what might happen. One batsman, in particular, looked extremely dangerous indeed, carting Messrs Gumpert M and Lonnen all over the place and making The Plough sense they were in for a really hard battle, before a change of pace proved his undoing.
Keen to contribute, James Tisato brought himself on first change and, after a few range finders that went sailing into the thicket, found enough turn and low bounce to remove the brutally hard-hitting opener. The fact we all rushed into the huddle to celebrate, whooping and hollering, demonstrated what a massive boon it was to get him out.
The Number 3 looked very compact and was lightning quick onto anything short, but once another part-time bowler in the shape of Hickson had removed him, care of ‘bucket hands’ Max at Deep Square Leg, that was pretty much the end of Ickenham’s challenge.
Their Captain dug in with his younger partner and both managed to see out the next 18 overs, but not really troubling the run rate.
We bowled well, Logan particularly so, and he was well supported by Parrish, Eaton, a late cameo from Fred (to pick up his first wickets for PCC) and a standard of fielding we’ve now come to expect (even from Damon, a man picked up somewhere by someone who came on to field for an injured Britto).
Ickenham’s scoring may have slowed but their scorecard was a work of art, a truly magnificent effort put together by an elder gentleman throughout the day, which possibly gave Tis more pleasure on the day than bowling that big fella!
Another win away from home.
We Plough On.