to be the week we played Tilford, that game was moved (at their
request) to June 1st. Instead, we faced Shamley green, a Conference
game on the other side of Guildford. Shamley have played here for over 150
years which explains why they have never moved from the minuscule
green on which they play. On arrival, and parking on the white line outside the
changing rooms, we were advised to move our cars behind the trees.
This line constituted part of the boundary, two side roads
crossing the small green at various angles. From here, it was quite charming to
view the home team perform their well-drilled operation of covering
the neighbouring houses windows with protective mesh frames!
Our captain's flipped coin fell for the home side who,
knowing their own pitch and players, put us in first. Johnno Greathead and Ian Brown
opened but unfortunately, and again unluckily, Ian was out quickly to
corker of a delivery from Cozens, bowling down the hill. The comment
that there was "plenty of time" was (initially at least) wasted on
next man in Ben Pudney, who crashed his first delivery square of the
wicket, toward the bungalow protected by netting. Meanwhile, Johnno faced
a series of tricky deliveries from Dodds who eventually bowled him soon
after: this brought
new man Matt Oliver to the crease.
defends a Couzens riser
strokes a cracking four
before Matt is out
Before the game, we were advised to watch the ball when batting, for
if a ball hit the kerb it could bounce back to be chasing fielder.
This advice proved academic to Ben as he whacked another four. Matt
looked to be settling in nicely when Cousins got one to pop up and
took a fairly comfortable caught and bowled. Neil Howarth's only scoring shot
was a confident boundary before Baldwell beat his defence for the last
time: he similarly
dispatched John Macdonald first ball, bringing Captain Howard Turner to the crease. There
was still plenty of time on the
clock and Howard played himself in before getting off the mark via a
well-struck boundary. By this time, Ben had reached the
mid-twenties before his demise, another accurate cutting delivery
making a mess of his stumps. If he doesn't score a half-century this
season I'll make sure Howard eats his hat.
Green. The road is one of two crossing the outfield and are part
of the ground!
Talking of whom, it was the captain himself who make the next go of it,
confidently taking on the bowlers. Bearing in mind how short the
boundary was he scored our only six, hooked toward the corner shop.
With Phil Dawson ably defending his wicket, Howard carefully made his
way from the teens and through the Twenties. It took the return of
their opening bowler to skew one past his bat to hit the stumps, and
Adie Barrett to join Phil who, shortly after, was adjudged leg-before.
Adie then rammed a ball onto his foot, took a riser in the chops, and
then was bowled round his legs by
a 12 year-old, something he won't live down for a while. Andy Horn
(one anagram of which reads "Ron Handy") was left the not-out man with
two, which protects his average nicely.
gets away with it - again
fantastic straight bat
Like Ourselves, Shamley Green opened with a left-right partnership, well attuned to the
idiosyncrasies of their pitch.
Despite beating the bat on occasion for no reward, the home side
slowly but surely accumulated runs, mainly through their right hander
Drummond: he simply took full advantage of the not-so-good ball.
left-handed opening partner was thoroughly tested by Howard
Turner, who finally tucked him up for room on 15. Ellis skied the ball
and Johnno (not behind the stumps due to injury), once the ball decided to head back to
earth, eventually caught it well. The score was 48, over halfway to
their target. Barrett changed ends and took the wicket of Beard with
the third ball of this new spell. This pair of scalps helped
stem the gentle but insistent flow of runs, but only for a short while:
Cozens, attempting to hit the public house across the main road but
succeeded in whacking it straight back to Barrett - it almost took the
off before the rest of him collapsed like a sack of potatoes. He was OK
though and the next ball shaved Cozens' bat. Both batsmen recovered
their poise and with the final stretch within reach hit Drummond
pulled a succession of boundaries past the corner shop. Before long
they cruised the final 14 runs to take Shamley Green to victory.
After all said and done, a nice day was had by all and both teams hope to face each
other again next year. For us, the result meant we are still looking
for our first victory this year with an essentially rebuilt team,
However, we can glean good cheer from recalling the most memorable
quote of the day, coming as it did from Matt Oliver. He'd just visited the gents toilets
and having noted the handles to assist the less well-abled, came back
into the changing room and exclaimed "Have you seen all the bars?
It's like a sexual gymnasium in there!'' There's no answer to that.