Highlights of the 4th Century AD (Anno Daryli)

vs Woolpit, @home 14th Aug ’21

The rain had subsided, the pitch rolled flatter than the former editor’s one-liners, and Colne were looking forward to welcoming Woolpit for the final home league match of the season. Whilst we couldn’t hope to match the quality of their pitch and facilities, we’d endeavour to entertain them with our witty onfield banter and post-match much-delayed BBQ.

For the nth time this season, Colne would be batting first, having lost the toss. In a neat symmetry to their lengthy partnership against the same opponents earlier in the season, Daryl & David set off in the usual rapid style taking advantage of some under-pitched bowling from one end and over-pitched from the other. When David finally fell for 69 with the score on 194, matters were looking peachy for the home side. By that time, Daryl had reached his 4th century of the season (placing him at the top of the entire league in ‘centuries scored’) and his 2nd against this same opposition. On the flipside, we are recommending that he really focus on converting his 120’s into ‘Big Daddies’, but so long as he’s scoring >90% of his runs in boundaries, there’s a bright future for ball manufacturers.

To give Woolpit some credit here though; this was a (mainly) young team who have a long cricketing future in front of them, and all watching were impressed with not only how they stuck to the task but didn’t let their heads go down when boundaries were flying ball after ball.

Pat came and departed rapidly, falling a tantalising 92 runs short of an equally entertaining century, to be followed by Sam. Here was a man on a mission, to stop the rot on his recent low scores, invariably bowled on the back foot, and sure enough, 30 minutes later, his confidence was restored with a rapid 60*. He partook in an electric partnership of 87 with Connor who scored 35, and then we saw Ben enter the fray for the final ball of the innings. As ever, Ben was keen on turning the inevitable single into a two, and then attempt to make that three. It wasn’t to be though, but Colne could be satisfied with a final score of 327-4, and all batsmen scoring at over 100% (with the exception of one who saw out a particularly accurate spell – own up Ed !, Ed) with plenty of respect due for a young Woolpit bowling attack.

After a team huddle to remind ourselves not to get carried away and start dreaming of the sumptuous BBQ offerings, but instead to focus on taking 10 wickets, Colne took to the pitch with their habitual opening bowling pair of T. Moon & D.Moon raring to go. The latter was soon into his swing, bowling yet another innocent batsman around his legs, and when a difficult fielding stop for Harry at square leg caused the ball to ricochet to Ben who then threw back to the bowler’s end, a simple run-out gave us the 2nd wicket with just 11 runs on the board; cue over-celebration on the part of Ben as he added to his lengthy list of ‘Total Victims’ in the fielding stakes.

Wickets began to fall regularly, bar a 53-run 6th wicket partnership. When the catch was smartly taken at slip by Connor to end that partnership, D.Moon had picked up 3 wickets & younger bro Tom 2. An eighth wicket partnership of 69 between young Loft & skipper Holmes had some of the many spectators concerned but Woolpit were never really up with the required rate to threaten. This partnership also gave Chairman Pat the opportunity to put down or just completely miss some relatively easy catches in the deep – depth perception training may be required.

When Sam caught out the dangerous Holmes, the game was nearly up. There was still time for skipper Sleeman to take 2-2 from 15 balls, for Connor to pick up 2 wickets of his own less economically, and for Harry to display some disturbing symptoms connected to his ‘nettus allergicus’ condition …or maybe it was just because he wasn’t used to the uphill climb when bowling from the lower end. Eventually, the game was won and all could feel they had participated; Gav had taken a smart catch, Brommers had taken some smart tumbles, and it was great to see so many non-playing players supporting from the sidelines; well, we think it was support, maybe it was the cheap drink !

One more league game to go, against the erratic Bury St E. (big winners one week, big losers the next, but more of the former recently) on 4th Sept. We’ll take no notice of the result when they visited the Rec Club ground earlier in the season, but a win will ensure we win the league !

Next week meanwhile, a return friendly fixture over at Halstead, and a chance to gain revenge for the remarkable result we saw at Colne on 5th June.


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