“The Scottish Play”by Shakespeare, “He who must not be named” from the Harry Potter saga, “Bin Laden” in an airport, just a few names which superstition dictates must not be uttered aloud, I’m now adding “G*mpert” to the list when playing at Morden. Missing our usual talisman, the much feared “Warden of Morden” aka Nikki Slider aka Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrraaaaaaj
Morden won the toss and chose to bat. Father and son combo Ben and Fred G*mpert opened the batting, Father Ben very much looking the classier bat, whilst Son Fred looking all at sea. Spence and T-Rex, taking the first captaincy reigns of the season, opened up bowling a decent line and length without much reward. Cat Stevens would have been proud of this Father and Son partnership, but just as they started to relax, and take it easy, skipper T-Rex got his first of three of the afternoon, removing the senior man.
Fred as most of you know splits his loyalties between the Plough along with a third G*mpert who’s enjoyed a few outings against the Plough for Morden over the years. Perhaps luckily for Plough, Maximus / Maxi-Pad had day job duties on this occasion and might have enjoyed a Niraj less Plough attack. To be honest, I think Mrs G*mpert might put her hands up to play next season.
Fred and the oppo skipper took the score to 100 odd at drinks, the plough backs slightly against the wall. How Fred survived until this point, nobody knows, he looked a walking wicket. Post drinks, we enjoyed a solid 7-9 over spell, Uncle bowling well, Trent finishing up and picking up a couple more wickets and newbie Tom Glynne-Jones picking up a wicket, something I suspect won’t become that unusual. One major problem, the last 10 overs, The Plough went a little village. Which is highly unusual. A mixture of poor fielding, some bad dropped catches and tired bowling meant that Morden reached 260 odd from their 40 overs. 110/120 coming off the last 10 overs. Fred G*mpert making 160 of it.
Which was ridiculous. I am of course speaking completely facetiously. In all seriousness, Fred barely gave us a chance. A really wonderful example of an opening batsmen getting themselves in, seeing the ball well, then seeing the ball like a beach ball, then morphing into Neo from the Matrix and basically deciding where the ball would be dispatched the moment it left the bowlers hand.
Well batted mate. Even in your disgusting yellow spikes.
Kudos to Spence for being by far our most economical bowler, Skipper Trent on picking up 3 and Noodle making his 4 hour round trip worthwhile with 3 catches.
Chasing, we knew we had to make a good start, Student and newbie Ainslie (who looks a very organised batsman) both looked settled at the crease before getting out to slightly slower / poppy balls. Which brought Chris Butlin and Leon Parks to the crease. Whilst they were there, we had a chance. The pair put on 50 odd before Parks was castled by a good nut, his departure precipitating a mini collapse which scuppered any realistic chance of a chase. And bar a nice cameo from skipper T-Rex, the innings really belonged to “Red Coat” / “Pontins” Chris Butlin who scored a majestic run-a-ball hundred, with shots all around the wicket, including the straight six that smashed the top of the sight screen being a particular crowd favourite. Shorn of batting support, he did his best to keep us in the game, but alas we closed 40 odd runs scored.
Despite defeat, beers were had, centuries celebrated and Noodle cuddles enjoyed all round. Alas, there’s only a few guarantees in life… death… taxes… and one of the fricking G*mperts smashing the Plough at Morden.
PS – Note for Selection Committee re Morden 2022 fixture *Announce Tailor as Skipper*