On Sunday, the mighty Ploughmans Blue travelled to Worcester Park to take on an unfamiliar opposition. The team fielded 4 debutants and with Trent Catanzariti’s pump-up video fresh in mind, little more was needed to provide the necessary inspiration and give a perfect preview into the Ploughmans way.
The pitch was friendly, we lost the toss and were sent in to bat. Skipper Iskander Eaton conceded this was not the worst toss to lose as he fired up his own koo koo koo ka ka ka burra. Most would have seen the Blue lineup as a strong bowling attack with potentially a few question marks over the batting. Iskandar (36) looked solid opening, however, after losing two partners a hero was needed.
Enter Ollie “Elliot” Tennant. In what can best be described as a fearless frenzy of destruction, he took it to the Worcester Park bowlers. Forget the textbook, this was a man here to hit a ball and that is exactly what he did, hitting a huge 43 off 47 in only his second-ever cricket match!!! Blimey! The only thing that could stop this batting behemoth was himself and this occurred with an unfortunate run out. An outstanding innings, truly memorable to all who had the pleasure of witnessing and an inspirational example. Leo Connolly surgically made his way to a classy 43 in his first match to anchor the innings while David “The Notorious DNS” Neilson-Scott (31 off 23), Dan Rumford (21) and Matt “Shagger” Hopper (13) added to the runs to give the Plough a sizeable total of 219.
With a good amount on the board, the Plough took to the field with a load of energy, and loudness in the field (sorry downstairs). A devastating opening bowling partnership from DNS (5-2-11-3) and Shagger Hopper (5-1-22-2) had Worcester Park well and truly on the ropes. Daniel Rumford had an excellent start (2/11) while Damon Albarn-Greeney was unlucky not to take a wicket with some impressive swing bowling. Hector Barnicoat-Hood, showing signs of an eventful prior evening along with slight disorientation having been lost in the bushes on the way to the game, and Leo Connolly finished off the innings with a wicket each. A comfortable 110-run victory. One poor member of the opposition had played a 120-minute football semi-final that morning (lost 2-1 AND got red carded), and then for his trouble had to face a ferocious Ploughmans bowling attack. Ouch.
Coupled with outstanding bowling were some tremendous efforts in the field, notably Alex “Cake” Julliene who along with being sharp in the slips, took a ‘catch of the year’ contending screamer at midwicket while everyone else had their eyes on where the ball would land on the boundary. Nigel Stephenson caught one so high in the air it had snow, with enough time to think that would have seen many a fielder fall victim. DNS resembled The Flash as he seemed to be absolutely everywhere and was unlucky not to capitalise on a brilliant caught and bowled attempt. It should be noted the batsman was walking, that’s how close it was and DNS called him back.
What had been a perceived unknown ended up laying the platform for a comprehensive victory. Iskandar Eaton (who please note currently has a 100% win rate as captain) skippered an excellent performance with smart decisions and facilitated a contribution by everyone to the victory. Those who took a punt on the debutants in their fantasy teams were handsomely rewarded, with quality contributions by all and some seriously impressive talent on display both on and off the field. No doubt their calibre as cricketers and as good blokes will hold them in good stead for a long and prosperous Ploughmans CC career. Huge credit to the Plough’s recruitment. What was especially pleasing was how quickly our debutants were able to tap into the Ploughmans spirit and this is a testament to the culture and energy currently flowing through the club. We are more than a cricket club.
All in all a fantastic day, fantastic cricket, and plenty of well-earned jugs for/from the debutants.
“Over and out lads, peace and love, love ya.”