The words ‘I saw a lot of his knob’ don’t usually come out of my mouth while I’m sat on the boundary waiting for the skipper to signal batting or bowling, but this Saturday it was quite a common phrase for me thanks to the Friday night delights of Andrew Boyd and his fortunately flaccid penis. If GDPR worries anyone I’m happy for his name to be redacted in any future copies of this match report, though the image will forever haunt me.
But there we were, 11 of the Plough’s finest eyeing up the Merton opposition to embark on a historic game for their club in glorious sunshine. We would be the first team to face the Merton 3rds, and in true sense of ‘this is a game for 22 blokes in a park to play in the sun every now and then’, we all got changed on the rope 50m away from a kid’s playground and about six miles away from the nearest toilet.
Out to bowl we went. The skipper (Duray) having lost the toss, did a quick assessment of the team. 10 bowlers, one Paddy. And after a few ‘are you going to bowl properly today’ / ‘how about a go at batting, you might have it in you’ type discussions he chucked the ball to me (Spencer) at one end, and Ross Lonsdale at the other.
The pitch had a ridge at either end, and a bobbly run up for our bowlers to meander through, but we set about bowling properly and kept them to a low run rate. Two swipes at two differing balls, a half-tracker glanced away to Nick Ridgway’s questionably safe hands, and a teasing ball nicked on its rise directly into Paddy Gledhill’s gloves, meant both Spencer (1-14 from 8) and Lonsdale had a wicket a-piece.
They both took on six boringly-tidy overs while a queue of Ploughmans bowlers started to form in the field. Prasad (0-14 from 5), a well-tanned Stephenson, new boy McEwen keen to forget about his parking ticket for pulling up outside the Oval the day before, and swing-king Matt Jones (0-16 from 4).
And it was the experienced spinners of UKIP Nige (1-19 from 5) and Pretorius (2-12 from 6) whose thirst for blood brought about the end of any sign of a top order batsmen appearing at the crease today.
It’s at this point in the report that I’d like to comment on something that doesn’t get recorded in the scorebook. This is the fact that the iconic names of Stephen Britto, James Tisato, and Chris Ovens were not the only batsmen to have been dropped by the Plough’s Saturday side this weekend. With an eye on the time we could definitely have finished the game a while earlier, honourable drops go to Nick Ridgway, Andrew McEwan, Matt Spencer and Ross Lonsdale and most likely one or two that we’ll not talk about any more Duray.
Though those early drops were made amends as Andrew (2-13 from 4) took a caught and bowled, and fed one into Duray’s palms for his brace. And Duray took a second from Ross Lonsdale who came back on to bowl with a vengeance for stats (3-23 from 8), well bowled that man. Ever present in the field, Tom Lonnen, also claimed a catch to place on his career mantelpiece with his other 150+ send offs from the ring.
124 runs on the board, 40 overs bowled with one wicket evading us. Even with a last ball wicket. We were hot, we were red, and we needed to be fed.
Tea was – a picnic. 3/10 for me. Had a packet of crisps and set off to lie down for a nap trying to count the whiskeys Boydie had bought me on our sunset adventure. Don’t think it rated much higher for others in the team either. Sorry to disappoint, tea fans.
We had a target, and Duray had his batting order sorted to 6. Patrick (22 from 79) and Tom (35 from 52 – 7 fours) set about hounding them down. They had the help from 3, 4 and 5 with Nick Ridgway contributing a solid 1 from 6 with his new bat. There were also 34 extras, incl. 20 wides. Many of which came from a man which the oppo had found on nearby tennis courts during the first innings. He also happened to be one of their better bowlers, would be great after a net session or two. Perhaps we should follow the same route for next years recruitment drive.
Ash (22* from 28) and Andrew (11* from 12) finished up the day. One Plough looked upset he didn’t have the chance to reverse sweep the winning runs after an exciting appeal in the last over was dismissed. But your time will come again Nigel, don’t you worry about that.
A short drive to see their clubhouse for a cheap, cheap pint, and then we headed home, the victorious, the glorious, Ploughmans CC.