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Bacon and Crab Stick Rolls

Posted by Barry Milligan on 04/07/2017 09:35

The build up to this game was hampered by the scheduled opponents, Rob Archdale’s Bohemians, once again cancelling on us citing player unavailability and injury. There was much muttering on Bants about Cowardice and the like, but bearing in mind there had been no fixture the previous weekend and the last T20 had been lost to the weather it was with some relief that an opponent was found at short notice by Jem & JB and the apparently ‘Good to Medium’ Stanmore Sunday 2nd XI were installed as opponents at the Jewish Sports Centre’s Rowley Lane ground in Arkley.
‘Sounds like a good one to miss’, sniffed Rev on Bants and on arrival on a beautiful day for cricket it was with some trepidation that Tavs glanced over at the tennis courts where pretty much a year to the day they had spent long despondent hours retrieving mightily smashed sixes as the Boho’s opening pair put on 300+ in about 28 overs. There was a Colts game taking place in the middle which was soon stopped after a swift rebuke from the Skipper and ready to go we looked around for the opposition. There seemed to be a few dads with some very young children hanging around whom we had assumed were connected to the Colts game, but no. This was the mighty Stanmore CC!  
Still, looks can be deceptive and after Jem had lost the toss, Stanmore put themselves in to bat. Ollie and Bobby opened up and eyebrows were raised when the opener had a huge heave 3rd ball of the innings, missing by miles. He continued to do this, occasionally connecting while his steadier looking partner nurdled around. So at 39-0 after 6 overs they were looking ok and intact. That lasted 2 balls as first change Alo got one to rise up and nick off the gloves to be well taken by Thommo. Tom joined the attack and instantly removed the swinger. Another neat catch, this time by Jem at slip.
Here come the batsmen now we thought, but no, number 3 chipped Tom aimlessly to Starkers at mid off. Alo and Thommo repeated their previous trick for number 4 straight after. The procession of 3 young children who could have been anywhere between 9 and 13 came next, with Alo taken off with figures of 2-1-2-2 and Baz joining Tom who continued easily through the middle order. Tame dismissal followed tame dismissal and Tom in his third match for the Tavs, and who’s first over had gone for 9, finished with figures of 8-3-13-5 getting himself on the board and setting a rock solid PB to boot. All in all the first 8 wickets fell for 8 runs. After a few wides from Joe, Baz and JB mopped up the tail with Stubbsy taking a catch in the deep that no one fancied him to hold on to and Stanmore were all out for 71 in a laborious 26 overs
The meat and shellfish free tea that we had brought ourselves was had ridiculously early. Diplomatic incidents were narrowly avoided as Baz inadvertently mentioned the Gestapo in a Ken Livingstone moment (fined later) and Thommo opened a packet of Prawn Crisps. High fives were once again raised as they had been 12 months ago, tempting fate once again.
ST & ST (Starkings and Stubbsy), like twins joined at the hip went out to lead our charge at the total. You really couldn’t tell them apart, their body shapes and mannerisms identical and JB’s attempt to keep the scorebook correct were hampered by watching Tavs applauding shots to the wrong (right) ST. The Stanmore bowling wasn’t a great deal better than their batting and Tavs soon grew tired of the spectacle and started playing keepy uppy’s instead which should have induced some sort of fine but somehow didn’t. Anyway a 10 wicket win was ruined when Starkers played a terrible sweep for a plumb LBW having made 17 and Stubbsy followed soon after with the total in sight, caught at cover for 29. Jem and Thommo saw it home with the help of a load of wides and byes from the young first-time keeper and that was game over in 15.5 overs. Other than Tom’s five-fer, the only other point of interest from the game was a new Tavs catching record of 9 catches in a (40 over) match. 
Back at the Prince for the late afternoon sun, lager beers were bought, Tom was MOTM and Stubbsy’s unlikely catch was Champagne Moment in admittedly thin gruel. Hearts and Minds turned to the coming weekend and the battles that lay ahead for the brave tourists of Cambridgeshire and UKTOUR!