On a cold, overcast, windy and damp Sunday 11 Ploughmen congregated, somewhat miraculously all before 12.45, at the DSG. Messrs Ridgway, Risley, Rees and Captain Buckers all admitted to hangovers of varying severity with none less than ?bloody awful?. Seeing as we were shellacked by 9 wickets in the corresponding fixture last year this was not the most auspicious of starts to the day.
After a start delayed due to intermittent drizzle Captain Buckers got his skippering career of to a ropey start by losing the toss, but to the great joy of the aforementioned winos the oppo skipper invited us to have a tap. In retrospect, it should have been spotted that opening with 2 of the Hangover 4 wasn?t the brightest idea ever, and so it proved when Captain Buckers spooned the second ball of the day up to the oppo skipper at short cover for an easy pouch. In strides Tisato, a colossus of a man who, to the relief of everyone, had found a replacement for the comedy skin tight club leggings he?d been provided with (I?m convinced that somewhere in the UK there is an under 12?s side stumbling around in new kit 6 times too big them). The second over brought more excitement as Tisato hit a regulation cut directly to a regulation cover point and then, like a lunatic, set off for a run. Noodle gamely attempted to make the ground but it was a lost cause and the keeper had time to stub his fag out, finish his tea and scratch his arse before dislodging the bails. Enter Dave ?Rizzo? Risley who, after a circumspect 4 dots, launched one down the ground that disappeared into the clouds and landed somewhere in the adjoining post code. That set a new tone with Rizzo and Tisato dealing mainly in boundaries to put on a swashbuckling 50 partnership before Tisato finally mistimed one back to the bowler for a second best of the day 36. The middle order didn?t contribute a great deal with Big Trouble, Posh Tom and your correspondent adding just seven between us before Fahad and Jonsey came in for a spot of much needed tail wagging, adding a more than handy 12 and 19 respectively. Rizzo was eventually bowled for a lovely and vital 78, all the more impressive for the fact that he was on the verge of collapse and/or throwing up for the duration of his innings. Joe Williams came in for 1 not out and Uncle got his second golden quacker in a row. A hat trick, and Ploughmens immortality, beckons next week. After looking rather shaky on 89-6 we finished on 165 after 39 overs, feeling we had built something vaguely defendable.
Tea, with the unexpected but welcome addition of hot pizza and wedges, was taken.
Refreshed and with hangovers mercifully receding we took to the field full of hopes, dreams, expectations and pizza. After a skippers motivational speech that at times approached Churchillian grandeur, new Boy Joe Williams opened the bowling, and spiffing job he did of it too. Backed up manfully by Jonsey at the other end they kept the run rate down to half what was required, Williams eventually drawing first blood by castling the opener in the forth for 7. Uncle came on for some of his by now familiar miserly F&G, Noodle had a very economical dart and Fahad gave it some equally parsimonious tweaking. By 30 overs it was clear they were well short of the required rate and Plough eyebrows started raising quizzically. Brockley still had one of their openers in and although scoring slowly he still threatened. Uncle eventually broke the partnership, and considerable tension, by tempting their 3 into a lofted straight drive, straight down the throat of Kevin ?safe as houses? Chau at long off. This began a thrilling run in. Brockley needed more than 6 and over (having started on just over 4), and started hitting out, but every time they started to find some purchase we prised their fingers loose with another wicket. Fahad deservedly got one, then another, Williams got a couple to finish on excellent figures of 19-1-2-7, Rizzo gave the Men of the Plough something to cheer when he had opener caught, via your correspondent, in the covers for 58. Then in the final over, after a late short spell of rapid accuracy, things really kicked off when he bagged a brace in successive balls to set up a proper arse clencher of a finish with two runs or two wickets off 3 balls required for a result. Unfortunately a four off the last but one ball won it for Brockley.
A splendid match, played in the correct spirit by all, and a welcome return to something approaching form for the Sunday folk. Beers followed with jugs courtesy of Tiasto for running out Noodle, Rizzo for a 78 in the teeth of a crushing hangover, and Captain Buckers for just being Captain Buckers.
Onward and ever upwards for the Ploughmen.
The Wrong Trousers