Woodstock 31 July

A lovely hot day.  It’s 2pm.  Where the hell are the Gardeners?  Only 6 of us here on time it’s a little embarassing.  Richard adopted his ‘accountants pose’ of staring at his feet and hoping the situation would improve.  We spun the coin, Bob called correctly and opted to bat.  Fortunately the laggards all appeared within the ensuing 10 minutes so we got underway fairly promptly.

Into the field and an early breakthrough for Chris with an neat off cutter to trim the bails.  David Stead opened up from the Tennis Courts ends and took a while to get his radar adjusted.  Woodstock started to play some quality shots, their number 3 Dave being particularly strong through the off-side.  So we set a 7-2 offside field, Richard crossed his fingers and Chris put a good length ball into the corridor of uncertainty.  Dave lashed it in between Cover Point and Extra Cover … no wait … leaping like a salmon to his right and taking a catch of astounding quality, Tom Monahan staked a claim to retain his big hit award.  Phew!  Enter Woodstock skipper Bob – a big man with big shots – particularly strong straight and to leg.  Paul was caught in his maelstrom and lasted three overs of willow abuse before being replaced by Jim.  At the other end Lord Fakenham took over and the two of them kept the score in check reasonably well whilst taking a pair of wickets each.  Bob remained in though, plundering boundaries amidst some gallant fielding efforts.  Chris came back on towards the end and bore the brunt of Bob’s final assault, the ball disappearing in a number of directions.  My only consolation to Chris was that I and a number of the other Gardeners would have found it immensely difficult to concede fewer than the Kentish stalwart against Bob in this form.  78 unbeaten for the big man.

Woodstock   208 for 7   in 35 overs

SGCC Bowling
Packham   7-0-56-2
Stead   7-0-34-1
Brasted   3-0-26-0
Fakenham   7-1-26-2
J Monahan   7-0-41-2
T Monahan   4-0-19-0

In reply we suffered an early setback as Adam was run out for 1.  Jeff looked pretty solid supporting David Stead as a second wicket stand of 46 materialised.  Fernando produced an excellent delivery to oust our Canadian and Tom joined Dave.  After a cautious start, the stand was starting to swing the match the Gardeners’ way as 62 runs were added and the Woodstock fielding started to wilt under the hot Sun.  James bowled Tom for a well-made 36 and at 119-2 the game was evenly poised though the run rate was starting to become precipitous.  Two-Bats was being rudely treated by his team-mates “slog, slog and slog again” someone said to him.  This rocked him out of his even temperament resulting in an uncharacteristically limp shot that had him bowled for 1.  Richard had promoted Lord Fakenham but he hadn’t had a chance to get his pads on so in went the skipper.  Two fours through cow-shot corner and some scampered singles until holing out at wide mid-on.  The baronet now came in with an awful lot for him and the Whitley Bay Champion to do.  In the penultimate over Dave reached his century – a brilliant effort against excellent bowling, featuring many graceful and beautifully timed strokes with the occasional application of brute force.  Two sixes and twelve fours meaning there was a lot for his admiring team-mates and our occasional youthful fan club to cheer.  “C’mon Gardeners!” in a mock rural accent – can’t think who they’re mimicking.  Shall we call this group The Minihans?  Fakenham tried to knock the cover off the ball and had some success.  Into the last over and 19 required.  Dave hit the ball into the long field and tried to retain the strike.  His Lordship sent Dave back and our centurion was run out for 103.  It was the saddest end since Bambi’s mother got shot.  The wind was completely out of our sails.  Fakenham hit another boundary as Jim looked on from the non-strikers end but we couldn’t quite get there.  Well played Woodstock that was a fabulous game of cricket.

SGCC   197 for 6   in 35 overs
David Stead   run out   103
Adam Wood   run out   1
Jeff Round   b Fernando   12
Tom Monahan   b James   36
David Hollingsworth   b James   1
Richard Higginbottom   c Sunil b Donovan   14
Lord Fakenham   not out   14
Jim Monahan   not out   0
Extras   18


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