vs Maldon away 12th Sept ‘20
What a difference a year makes ! In 2019, we came away from Maldon frustrated at the nature of our loss and the local ambiance; now, even with Covid-19, this was a great occasion, with the highlights being the host club’s amazing set of Colts and liquid generosity after the game.
The skipper’s form with the bat is clearly linked to his lack of it with the coin toss, with Maldon choosing to put Colne into bat. They might have regretted that later as we were playing on a strip that had clearly seen better days with several low bounces and one particular spot that the Maldon opening bowler Baines found repeatedly to beat Daryl’s outside edge. Meanwhile, David was taking advantage of some generous bowling at the other end and had reached 24 before his opening partner’s first run. He would go on to top score with an excellent 72. Daryl though was undone by the type of ball batsmen dread; choosing to leave one just outside off when he hadn’t allowed for the 13-year old left-armer’s mastery of inswing and the bails flew. Remember the name – Sophia Mitchell – she’s already represented Essex, and her figures of 1-18 from 7 overs showed what promise she has.
Colin entered the fray and kept the electronic scoreboard ticking over (wouldn’t it be great if we had one of those…oh, we do ? – Ed) until undone by a ‘touch-and-go’ run out decision. Just when everyone was looking forward to the middle-order band getting together again, they displayed some of the disharmony seen in some of their stage performances from yesteryear, with Returning Russ, Petulant Pat, Clobber Connor, Biffer Brommers, and Tidy Trevor only contributing 8 runs between them. When will they learn that patience and an ability to play their instruments in the same style as new and emerging acts might pay off better, rather than re-hashing old hits ? Frustrating for all was the unerring inability to keep the ball on the floor whilst also having laser-like accuracy in finding the fielders when doing so.
A late flash of the blade from Gary bought a valuable 30 runs, together with a good partnership with Tom Woods (you have to love the fact that three runs all run bring more cheers than a boundary !) ensured Colne reached 166-9.
Deprived of the bowling services of Ben and Sam, we knew we’d have to be on top of our game even if some of the opposition batsmen appeared youngish – one of the openers (Angus Beames) clearly had no fear of Harry & Connor and went to make a 50. Harry’s radar was slightly off today and wouldn’t be following up last week’s performance with any further wickets. Connor ‘Didrey’ – as the scorebook recorded him – was getting payback for some of the bad luck he’s recently had, and his accuracy combined with a deteriorating bounce led to the three straight ‘bowled’ wickets. Gary was unlucky not to take a wicket before his strategy of only bowling full tosses had adverse effects and he gave up the 30 runs he’d already scored, as Maldon pulled ahead of the asking rate.
Sure enough, mid-point drinks brought a wicket, with the excellent Beames departing bowled by Daryl, to join the other young teenagers uttering surprising profanities about the state of the normally Test-standard Drapers Farm pitch. With Russ on a one-match contract only for this season, Colne turned to him for a return on their investment, and sure enough the old dog didn’t fail to deliver. With three wickets (all caught, including an excellent one by keeper Woodsy), Russ gave us all a reminder of what a loss he was when departing on a free transfer last season. With Daryl also having picked up three wickets but having run out of overs, we had a real match on our hands as Maldon inched closer to the target.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man though. Fresh from accusing a Maldon batsman of having a wooden thigh pad (all in jest, we hope), David was strong-armed into sending down a full spell of his ‘bobby dazzlers’. Eventually, just as the run rate was getting beyond them, the last Maldon batsman was bowled by our new man-of-the-hour, his status cemented by generous purchasing of a couple of jugs.
So a great game with a close finish, three bowlers taking three wickets (oddly, two of them relying on their accuracy alone, and the other relying on the catching brilliance), and Colne’s winning streak extended to three games.
Next week’s match at Boxted on Saturday has now been cancelled, as the opposition have been stymied by their football colleagues. Keep a lookout on WhatsApp, as we have a few alternatives now lined up for Sunday 20th instead.