vs Stradbroke (away, 10th July ’21)
Back on the road again, and an an early departure for most of the team to reach our furthest opposition, bar a couple who were relying on empty roads to get to the destination on time; their absence gave the skipper a dilemma when the toss was won, forcing the choice of batting first.
As the Colne opening pair searched through the gloomy drizzle for any approaching bowlers, the rest of the team huddled around the inverse-Tardis-like scorehut, a medium-sized dwelling with room for two, three at a push. Out on the pitch, Daryl & Pat were putting away anything over-pitched until the former was undone by a pearler from Owen Morgan that pitched on the green patch of the wicket & nipped back in to take his stumps. This would normally be a signal to the latter to get his head down, but sure enough, six balls later, he holed out to his favourite position of deepish mid-on.
The unfortunate early departure of the openers had the upside of ensuring everyone else could get their pads on. But could they kick on ? Sam & Jack got into double figures but were undone either by the deceptive bowling or astute field-placing. Alex made a few but followed next ball after Jack, Brommers was asked to run one too many, whilst Tom was undone by the spinning ball ricocheting down then back, from the suspiciously efficient-looking Liam Smith who had been parachuted in especially for this game. This left a last-wicket partnership of Colne’s pair of DM’s, Dave Moon & David Mead, with every run cheered on as the lowest total of the season (batting first) beckoned. They added a vital 8 further runs to take us to 114, before DM elder turned the ball around the corner for a sneaky single only to find that the fielder had been smartly placed just 20 yards back for that same shot. Those 8 runs might have been less had DM younger not ridden his luck somewhat through leaving anything aimed between his bat and pads, or stopped mid-run to allow the ball to pass by so that the keeper had a better chance to run him out, a chance that fortunately for him was fluffed.
Surely ‘Ripper’ Moon would soon put the oppo into a low-scoring predicament as he had done in the home fixture ? But today his luck was out and despite giving up only 15 runs from his 9 overs, he would go wicket-less. Down the other end, elder brother Dave also had to wait a while until his dobblers forced both openers to proffer up catches, one a straightforward number for Sam, the other a huge steepler; a lengthy silence ensued as 10 players realised this was heading directly for Meady – nails were bitten, prayers were offered up, whispered calls made to therapists – but the gods were looking on favourably as he took the catch and gave the now familiar one-armed Alan Shearer-style salute.
Further catches were taken to ensure Stradbroke had to fight all the way to the end, but when the skipper-to-skipper contest ended firmly with the home side, Colne were up against it. But ‘Never Say Die’ is one our motto’s (to go with the others of ‘Anywhere in 60 Minutes’, ‘This One’s Coming to You’, and ‘FFS!’) so the encouragement from cheerleader Brommers kept us going, as did the efforts from Jack and Alex to stop any boundaries over the rapidly-drying outfield.
Ultimately all to no avail as the home team ticked off the runs to pass our insufficient total and hand us our first league defeat of the season. Something for everyone to work on, as batsman or bowler or keeper, given that on paper we should have been clear favourites to win this one. With promotion limited to the winners of this division – unless there is another re-org due to teams joining or dropping out – we’ll have to ensure this is our one and only defeat. Three home games up next , starting with Mildenhall on 17th July. Look out also for the planned post-match BBQ on Sat 24th and fund-raising events for the new scoreboard.