Vs Mildenhall 24th April ’21
So finally we had a league fixture to get stuck into; no retiring at 50, no giving the Chairman a chance to bowl his dross, and limited friendly banter with the opposition. That oppo would be Mildenhall, a new direction for us and definitely a new distance – leaving home shortly after waking up was something we’d only have to do once we reach the East Anglia Premier League in 2030 !
Talking of the EAPL, what a treat lay in store for the Mildenhall vs Horsfield match that was already underway on the next door pitch when we arrived: those lucky players would get to see the mighty undefeated Colne no doubt steamroller their 5th XI. From counting the number of times our ball transgressed onto their pitch versus theirs onto ours, Colne are now considering a ‘Rapid Bypass Application’ straight to the top.
Having won the toss with his trick coin yet again, Daryl set out to bat with Pat against a steady calypso beat of Jack knocking his bat in, which everyone agreed made for a pleasant backing track to the early afternoon proceedings. The Moon brothers chose instead to distance themselves in a crash course of umpiring, whilst Moon Sr. (who just happened to be passing by, not there in any capacity as a spectator of course) started a course of sadism, emerging from the early-open bar with a pint.
With both opening bowlers barely out of short trousers, but with a canny accuracy, the Colne openers had to be patient for that elusive ‘bad ball’. Having despatched a few of them, Pat decided to leave a ‘good ball’ and was bowled through the gate. This did then provide him the chance to pursue the new 2021 prizes of ‘Most Annoying Spectator’ then followed by ‘Umpire who shouldn’t really be a Coach’….both awards for which he’s currently on a shortlist of 1.
Pat’s departure at least meant the arrival of a real batsman – Colin H., who soon found the boundary with regularity. Daryl was going though his gears as well, seeking out the short boundary to one side with his cultured thrashing of any ball within his ever-increasing arc of clobberdom.
Colin was bowled when well set on 22, by yet another youngster who wasn’t around when Spurs last won anything, allowing pad & bat-thwacker Jack to come in, play sensibly to some accurate bowling but then give a simple return catch to the bowler. It had all looked so good in the nets!
Our league debutants then proceeded in: Nick came and stayed for a good few yet again, Tom Moon played the way only he and the unfortunate bowlers know, whilst Sam had somewhere else to be. The elder Moon was his usual busy self, until he was bowled by a 9-year old, and at the risk of sounding sexist…the bowler was not a boy. Daryl eventually departed for a jug-avoidance 97, giving a soft catch to mid-off, although he admitted he thought he was a lbw goner much earlier in his innings. Don’t tell our future opposition this, but all you need is a bowler and 10 players stationed around that mid-off area – you’ll get him sooner rather than later.
With just an over or so left to get much further north of 200, it was left to Connor and Trevor. The former brought his net form for once and hit some tasty boundaries, including getting off the mark with a six, whilst the latter wrote himself into Colne legend by achieving that most elusive of scores – a 3 ! Trevor was highly satisfied having rushed through for a risky 2 and had started removing his pads and unwrapping the Ginsters when a panicked call from his partner (in a batting sense only) asked him to return for a 3rd due to an overthrow.
With Trevor’s stretcher bearers taking a well-earned rest, Colne could be satisfied with 227-8 and our key bowler, Harry P., not even asked to exert himself in search of that first elusive run in 2 years.
Harry was to play a key role though, and his form with the ball is clearly linked to excess driving around the North Essex and Suffolk countryside. Last week, it was down to taking migraine-affected Woodsy home mid-match; this week, his choice of satnav options including ‘avoid Sudbury’ taking him via Ipswich meant he was late and fired up. No longer entrusted with the new ball, he is on the money from the off as 1st change and his miserly figures were the pick of Colne’s attack.
The Mildenhall openers displayed characteristics that most of the Colne team can barely remember: youth and patience. Whilst their shot selection and execution was admirable, it did provide us with a dilemma of ‘they stay in, we definitely win, but we get bored’. At the midway point with barely 55 on the board, the match had clearly become less of a result chase, so much as could the oppo pick up batting points whilst we chased the bowling points that come with a victory?
The skipper decided shortly after the break we’d had enough faffing around, so ended the U-14s partnership with a direct hit run-out from 20 yards or so, the big bully ! Not to be outdone in the intimidation stakes, Jack was trying all types of delivery in his search for a wicket; after two beamers (the 2nd of which even produced an apology…. of sorts), he found the perfect delivery – a long hop which was dutifully sent straight to a fielder.
Connor was also searching for that elusive 1st wicket of the season and learned that sure enough, pace to a youngster is water off a duck’s back whereas a full toss from his other variety of dobblies brought results. With Dave ‘not-to-be-associated-with-Pies’ Moon picking up another wicket to stay top of the charts, Colne had to be satisfied with just 2 bowling points from taking 4 wickets as Mildenhall struck some late boundaries for their own consolation points.
So, victory by 61 runs and an immediate entry to 2nd in the table – we’re in the promotion zone already ! Next weekend, no game, so a chance for a breather before every weekend until September is consumed.