Wrong Script at the Rec

vs Sudbury at home 18th July ’20

It was to be the last match for the clubs cricket correspondent and the end of a lengthy vice-captaincy (Ed – what do you mean it was only 2 matches ??) Surely there would be a suitable send off ?

Last weeks match, due to Covid related delays and the delays of cleaning breaks turning into “drinks and oh, maybe a fag” breaks, had lasted longer than a Quentin Tarrantino box set. So the skipper decided to start the game just after dawn. The oppo arrived and as is well known in cricketing circles, any team that all turn up in their matching training kit before the game is to be feared, and clearly represents England in some way.

The skipper tossed the coin and, after turning on a torch to check, realised he had won. This was new territory for Daryl and not something he had figured into his cunning plan. So after complaining that this wasn’t supposed to happen, blurted out the immortal words……”Errr ‘fink we better bat!” Leaders make decisions. Good job skipper.

With a change to the opening partnership, Holdgate senior joined the skipper at the crease. Faced with lanky opening bowler E.I. Ffeltower, swinging the ball in at pace, they did well. The skipper carried on from the previous week driving and carting sublimely and the openers were doing their job.

However, after realising the unfortunate fact that running may be involved in batting, Colin contrived to find a way to get out as soon as possible, no blame attached here, entirely sensible approach. This failed for some while, although he finally succumbed for 10 in an impressive opening partnership of 74. Then came the spinners. A 13 year leg spinner one end and Paul Daniels weaving his magic this way and that at the other. James at No.3 again showed his talent with a well crafted 33 before being bowled by an octogenarian’s inswinger.

The skipper fell for a fine 65, before the Chairman lashed a breezy 19. Once Tom and Doylie came and went quicker than an Irishman to the pub the day after lent, we were struggling. The arrival of a member of the local constabulary to the crease should have brought some order to proceedings, only for the Moon to quickly disappear behind a cloud, as were treated to what has become a legendary Earls Colne nuance. The umpiring of Mr Chairman can be described as quirky by some, it certainly has an individual flavour. Pat holds the moral high ground dearly when standing (happy to stand down in favour of any volunteers ! – Ed). If you play a bad shot or deserved to be out it matters not that you weren’t, clearly you do not deserve to stay at the crease. Subjective umpiring has found its home here at Earls Colne.  After turning down a plumb LBW shout to Mooner (Ed – Batsmen said he hit it, ‘Your Honour’), Pat then decided that the next shout had hit the batsmen plumb in the middle of the chest and would clearly have hit the, now airborne stumps. Justice was done and wrongs had been righted. Back on track. Good job Mr Chairman.

By this stage Holdgate Jnr had arrived clutching a pack of Paul Wellers, and due to the crisis in front of him, these disappeared quicker than you can say, Town Called Malice.

A late 11 not out from Connor saw us to 168 all out. A decent total against a good outfit.

In response we were never really in it, Quinn (36) and Holness (35) put on 85 for the first wicket and despite the game efforts of James and Connor we couldn’t get through. Then just for a brief moment, it happened. The Moon came out again and the wolves did howl. Extracting prodigious turn (Ed – What? When?) the tables were turned, both openers removed to frankly questionable decisions, well at least one was from the Kerry school of umpiring. With a further wicket from the twirling dervish (3-52) were we back in it?

Well…no not really, despite a late wicket from the skipper, Brett (41 n.o.) took us to the cleaners and through the hot wash programme. Sudbury winners by 6 wickets and that was that. A solid performance against a good side which will hopefully have seen us learn much from what we saw and did. Obviously some things are best forgotten.

So that was it, no fairytale finish, but we had a lot of fun in the bar, and there is a good team spirit here that I look forward to catching up with next season at some point. This is my last match report. Good luck to my teammates for the rest of the season. Enjoy, build the team and get ready for a title assault next year


Doylie, Your retiring cricket correspondent

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