vs Halstead (friendly, at home) 5th June ’21
So it came to pass; a loss finally after a winning streak stretching all the way back to 2020, it had to happen, but the manner of how it all unfolded left everyone contemplating what they might have done differently.
Our opposition was Halstead III’s, a mixture of former 1st team players, retired PE teachers, and young lads – some of whom had not been strong-armed into leaving Colne when they were barely out of short trousers for the bright lights of the Star Stile ground in Halstead. A local derby then, without the extra spice of it being a league fixture, but plenty of family and former school rivalries.
Colne were put into bat first on a pitch that was playing true but had taken a sufficient soaking the day before to give opening bowler Morgan Whymark a little extra pep, whilst at the other end the skipper found himself facing his uncle with his metronomic accuracy. David G.’s patience didn’t last long, while Daryl was unfortunate after scoring 28, to be given out lbw to that same uncle by the Halstead umpire – part 1 of how to beat Colne was going to plan !
Colin was joined at the wicket by Pat, and the two of them put on a 50-partnership, albeit at record slow pace. Excuses could be listed here, but they would be utter trite. Maybe it was Colin’s deodorant, but his partners started arriving and leaving quicker than an Amazon delivery driver; one by one, the Colne middle order displayed their fondness for the sound of leather on stumps as all of them were bowled without adding too much. Eventually, in strode a man on a mission, Dave Moon, with not many overs left to push the score up to a respectable level. Between him & Colin, they destroyed Alan Elsbury’s canny bowling, saw off the returning Whymark’s chin music, and added sufficient boundaries to end up with a score of 151-6, with Colin on an excellent 47* and Dave on 21*.
An apprehensive Colne took the field then for the Halstead innings, partly because of what they perceived as their own low total, partly because some of the Halstead batters had actually reached double figures in the past, and partly because our own umpire David Mead had only narrowly scraped through his teatime umpiring examination, losing points on ‘one short’ and ‘hits pad, raise finger’ questions. This was more than redeemed however by the sight of yet another aspirant taking the wicketkeeper gloves – David Griffith. From the way his gloves actually fitted to the the way he crouched down for each ball, things were looking good.
Harry opened from the White Sightscreen End and soon constricted the batsmen with a tight line, but was soon replaced by Ben “I’m only here for the fielding” Mason who rediscovered his Saturday yips. We all prayed that Dave Moon at the other end wouldn’t repeat the dross from his last outing. Suffice to say, HE DID NOT ! …..11 consecutive overs later, with oxygen on standby, and his dad reaching for the jug money, Dave could take a bow after bamboozling with practically every ball. His figures of 6-11 from 66 deliveries had to be some of the best seen at the Rec since former Colner Joe Smith used to open the bowling at both ends and come on first & third change.
So the game was in the bag at 45-7 with another 107 needed, and with Harry picking up the other wicket, tails were high. Fortunately this was a friendly and no points were on offer, for what happened for the remainder of the game was best forgotten. Sam came on and took two wickets, but somehow Colne contrived to let batsman David Rawlinson escape to a well-deserved century. With the 2nd top score of the Halstead innings standing at 8, David’s final score of 109* did rather stand out, but he would likely confess that some of Colne’s catching made it easier for him – two in particular that tested the legendary “all-in-this-together” team spirit: the one that bobbled out of (no names here) hands at point, and the one where substitute fielder (no names here) took a few paces forward to pouch a catch in the deep…then a few paces back to let it bounce first. But hey-ho, that’s what practice is for, so we can only get better, and credit to Ben for taking two catches well.
A loss by 1 wicket to our close neighbours, and a match where the scorecard made it appear like a contest between our bowler and their batsman, although 20 others (and a 12th man) all played a part to some extent. To those in our team that didn’t get a chance to bat or bowl, we thank you and you emerged with credit ! Thanks as well to Rosemary Prestney for taking some great photos of the event, which will soon find a way onto this site, and also to Daryl & Alex for fixing the mobile net 24 hours later – net practice just won’t be the same when your cover drive no longer actually reaches the boundary !