Don’t blame yourself, Connor !

vs Sudbury (friendly @ home) 12th June ’21

Cricket month at the Rec continued last Saturday with a friendly fixture against our nearest Suffolk rivals, Sudbury. With their three league sides all in action & Colne scratching around to field a completely non-league side, this had the making of a one-sided affair.

With the star bowler from the previous week, Dave Moon, nursing a poorly finger from a dropped midweek catch but still able to just about turn his arm, we looked forward to the return of our star drinker bowler, Connor Oldrey – here was someone we could rely on taking the wickets ! Surely our one-off defeat against Halstead would be just that.

The skipper was tinkering with the batting order, sending players to where they should be based on recent form, David G. down to #3, and Pat to #11, whilst bringing Nick in to open alongside him, and promoting ‘Dasher’ Mason to #6 and Harry “1 not out will do for me” Porcher to #7. After hitting one six over the fence and against (not named for legal reasons), Daryl then decided it wouldn’t be fair to continue in the same manner and holed out to let some one else use his bat. David G. suffered the ignominy of a duck, whilst Connor set off in the usual rapid fashion but was then bowled for 14. At which point, he regaled anyone who would listen with how this was the worst thing that had even happened to him.

Now it was the turn of Colne’s emerging middle-order to hold the fort, and with Nick gone for 12, and matters looking precarious at 63-4, that’s exactly what Dave M. and Ben did. With one young-ish ultra-fit stylish batsman at one end and Dave at the other, their partnership of 53 calmed the nerves before Dave departed for a respectable 23. What happened next will be told years from now as Harry strode to the wicket in the uncharted territory (for him) of Colne 5 down. Five minutes later as his first boundary crossed the line and symbolically entered the bar to order a Bud, the crowd started buzzing. When the same shot was repeated next ball with the same results, grown men were pinching themselves whilst Connor hid behind a chair.

Harry was eventually out for a staggering 22 after a partnership of 64 with Ben, who himself would go on to make an excellent 56 – although that wouldn’t stop him moaning about the missed century opportunity he’d passed up ! Brommers entered the fray for the first time this season, having been fine-tuning his physique more recently through bowls (the sporting variety, not the kitchen ones) and soon showed us what we’ve been missing with a rapid-fire 30 – he was even more pleased with his crowd-pleasing scoring rate of 125.00 – no hanging around for Brommers !

With David Mead scoring a boundary, it was a day of firsts all round as Colne ended up on 254-9, a score that had to be enough ? Tom Moon opened the bowling and rapidly sent D. Shropshire’s timbers flying in a Suffolk direction – his eventual figures of 1-9 from 6 overs with 4 maidens showed us what else we’d been missing last week. There followed a lengthy partnership, which although stylish did not concern Colne too much as the skipper tinkered further with the bowlers, holding back the real go-to men – Mason B., Bromley P., & Kerry P. The unfortunate Dave Moon discovered that today’s banquet is tomorrow’s dog’s dinner – or maybe it was the watching Moon Sr. who had bribed him to avoid another jug purchase – and was seen off wicketless.

Harry also discovered the cruel side of the all-rounder business; his highest score since records began would not be matched by any wickets today, but he did distinguish himself with a remarkable catch. Nick was brought on to bowl and helped himself to his first ‘senior’ wickets, the skipper brought himself on for average-improving opportunities, and then there was Connor. Having led the encouragement and supporting cliches from the relatively safe position of gully, his unplayable spin (his words, not mine – Ed.) accounted for both long-established batsmen plus two more, giving final figures of 4-38 and a begrudging acknowledgement of ‘bowler of the day’ (again, his words, not mine – Ed.)

With limited comedy fielding moments on display this week apart from the obligatory moment of two fielders leaving a catch to each other, it was left to David “I’m more of a bowler than a batsman” Mead to justify that sobriquet having impressed in the nets – a challenge he took on valiantly, albeit unsuccessfully. But when batsman #11 came in with 1 ball to go and 100 to win, Colne could breathe a collective sigh of relief – back onto a new winning streak !

Cricket month continues next week with the re-start of the league programme; Colne have been knocked off top spot by Stowmarket’s slightly superior net run rate despite us having beaten them and having a better win/loss record, an anomaly explained by our reluctance to take more than 5 opposition wickets on average. Stradbroke are our opposition on the 19th and will be setting off at sparrow-fart to make the lengthy journey south. For those not aware, plans for the midsummer BBQ have been put on hold given the table restrictions we have to observe in a public place.

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