Posted by Mark Sewards on 24/08/2017 09:56
Contractual Obligation Match Report
The Facts: Sunday 11th June 2017. Venue: Millfields. Opposition London Fields CC. The highest score of 2017.
The Rumour: The following is mostly derived from bantz research and dim recollection and should be treated with caution and deep scepticism.
The Sulk: The author in bad mood for the match and most of the intervening period for several trivial reasons and belatedly realising that cricket was no longer going to be possible after the best possible start to the season.
The Apology: Joe’s daddy ton; Tom’s splendid debut; Alo’s best bowling (again); JB’s captaincy and organising; Scott’s keeping and supporting innings and Gopes’ enthusiasm, despite the prejudices of the great British public, all deserved a more timely and inspired celebration.
June 11th was one of the very few summer Sundays of 2017 that had been left open due to the excessive number of weddings that weekend, but enough Taverners showed interest for JB’s organisational machine to swing into action and arrange a match against new opposition – London Fields CC at Millfields park. A very pleasant venue if somewhat lacking in the changing, conventional toilet and food facilities.
LFCC batted first, for reasons that are lost with Ollie & Alo opening and the return of Scott behind the stumps. Joe & Swampy deferring to the Alpha-Keppa. It was only a matter of passing curiosity that the scorebook records that he conceded a mere 4 byes but 20 leg byes, nothing to see here, unlike his underwear which was very visible presumably due to an earlier Tom Whyte encounter. LFCC are a strong batting line up but a rapid opening spell from Ollie removed both openers in time for Gopal to arrive late after being delayed at Her Majesty’s Pleasure as his sex bomb had caused panic on London Underground. It was to be Gopes who would remove LFCC’s top scorer but before that, Tavs debutant, left arm off-spinner and all-round proper cricketer and good egg (for an Aussie) Tom Maloney produced a quality spell of spin that removed 4 & 5 with Alo’s catch at first slip taking Champagne Moment. Alo, cleaning up the lower- middle order, and Tom were the pick of the bowlers but no one disgraced themselves while LFCC posted a respectable score of 244 (or 259 depending on which part of the website you read). Fielding was not a vintage Tavs performance, with Joe being the first of several (author included) this season to parry the ball from the oppo’s top scorer over the boundary for 6. The resultant cap-kicking, hissy fit won Babycham Moment, though he was to make amends later.
Strong support from Prez, Rev + family & Thommo helped get the Tavs innings underway, with Joe and Swampy opening. Joe was immediately in f**king-awesome form while Sewards wallowed in self-pity as his late cut could no longer reach point, reducing him to his 1 remaining shot. He did last long enough to witness the shot of the match, as Joe leant gently onto a good length ball that raced past mid-wicket and on to the boundary. While Prez and I murmured our appreciation, we noted the oppo’s concern that this was going to be a longer afternoon than they had hoped. Swamps was put out of his misery (rhetorical cliché, he was only just getting into his misery) soon after and Scott joined Joe. His fine, comeback 37, a vintage long-padded-up Starkings 1, a flourish cut short by a direct hit run out from Stubbsy and 1 ball 4 from Alo were all incidental amuse-bouche around the main course of the highest score (so far in 2017) and 5th highest ever Tavs score of 163 not out from Joe. A match-winning, MOTM-winning, century, at last.
LFCC were worthy opponents, strong batting line up and only missing a couple of seamers to be as good a bowling attack. They suggested the aptly named Princess of Wales on the Lea river, notable for good beer, black swans and BMW drivers with dodgy syrups being told they are c*nts for blocking up the car park.
I would say it all ended in cheers, but I’d be lying, it all ended in passive-aggressive resistance, physiotherapy and tears.