Cricket Between The Rain Drops


Easton Cowboys C.C. Saturday XI played Whitchurch C.C.3rd XI and beat them. TT reports thus:

Despite enough rain in the morning to nearly drown a local strawberry grower and doubts about the exact location of their ‘home’ ground, the Cowboys’ Saturday XI started their match on time against Whitchurch 3rd XI at the King George V Playing Fields in Downend.

Contrary to reports last week and to considerable cheers, skipper Budge proved that he can be a successful tosser and asked the opposition to bat. Continuing with a positive assertiveness that was to last all afternoon, he opened the bowling downhill with the wind behind him and was soon exploiting the vagaries of the pitch. RobT opened from the other end in a sprightly fashion, dropping his sails and motoring headlong into the gale.

It was evidently a tricky pitch to bat on and the damp outfield and alert fielders further limited the runs on the rare occasions that the ball left the square. The pressure soon took it’s toll on the opposition batsmen; Justin took a sharp catch, DaveB another, stumps were clattered. Gretch’s remarkable agility behind the stumps was matched by Ev fielding at point, who stuck out a hand on an elastic arm to catch an uppish cut off RobT’s bowling and earn himself the Cider Moment.

Having barely conceded any runs and bagged his long awaited first wickets of the season, the skipper replaced himself with Ev who produced a similarly miserly spell while RichG sprang in from the other end, passing the bat and making light work of the headwind. By now, the opposition No.5 was proving not only stubborn but powerfully adept at occasionally smashing the ball down the ground and so it was with some trepidation that your correspondent came on to bowl. However, aided by an able supporting cast the runs were limited, Iggy’s wait for a slip catch was rewarded, DaveB caught a lofted drive close to the ground and it looked like the opposition wouldn’t bat out the full quota of overs.

After Ev’s precision, RobT and RichG returned to see off the tail who had shown a sliver or resistance, but when the latter hit the stumps for a second time, no disco pose appeal was necessary and the Whitchurch innings was over in the 37th over, two short of a hundred.

Tea was taken a short walk or (if you were really lazy/tired) drive away, comprising rustic grazing provided by your correspondent, aided and abetted by Joe, RobT and Gretch. As crumbs were swept away and cases of food poisoning administered to, DaveB and Iggy padded up and strode out to get the measure of a drying but still tricky wicket.

The ball was still in relatively good condition and atmospheric conditions, the wind and opposition bowlers combined to produce swing through the air, while certain patches of the wicket produced unexpected trajectories. Despite all that, Iggy played with positive freedom on his welcome return from hobbledom, DaveB more watchful and apparently solid. Angelo was just remarking how solid everything was looking when a fuller ball hit the base of Dave’s stumps off a thinside edge and Justin went out to replace him.

Iggy played more shots, evading fielders by luck or design but after getting bogged down, played one too many and was bowled for 21. Ev went out to join Justin who was playing the ball late off the pitch in a watchful innings, but the score stalled. Around the 15th over, the bowler from the top end, leaking even fewer runs than Joe and Ev had done earlier, bowled Ev for a duck and Angelo a couple of balls later.

Four wickets down and not yet half way to the target, Kalu joined Justin and Iggy went to umpire. With hindsight, opposition fielders might have gone a bit deeper as Kalu’s first scoring shot was a six. A few more boundaries later they did. When opportunities came their way they missed or spilled them and Kalu rode his luck, clattering the ball with a lightening fast backlift and spring action punch.

When a catch was eventually held and Kalu departed for 28, still grinning, the balance of the game had swung back in the Cowboys’ favour, although a bowling change and some less than friendly vibes were starting to threaten that. When the other umpire, who had travelled with the opposition, made a bad decision in giving Justin out caught off his arm, off a bowler who propelled the ball to the stumps via the Moon, the mainstay and anchor of the innings was a tad reluctant to depart before confirmation.

With around twenty more runs to get, skipper Joe strode out to join a less than comfortable looking Gretch, the remainder of the tail not feeling very chilled either, except by the wind. Still sensing a chance, the opposition appealed for everything and finally got the only LBW decision of the day from a harangued but even-handed Iggy, Gretch falling without playing a shot.

Like the impatient groundsman, Joe wanted the match to finish, but unlike him, he was passionately bothered that the Cowboys would emerge as victors. With no nonsense straight drives he found the boundary twice, smashing balls from the ultra slow bowler back at your correspondent’s head, at the non-striker’s end, at many times the speed at which they came towards him. The following over, a straight ball kept low and was kept out, a wide ball was called a wide – and the Cowboys had won by three wickets with eight overs to spare.

The skipper’s all round performance (but mainly winning the toss) won him the Man of the Match vote and the appearance of Mr Maroon, aka Dick Emery, aka SteveO at the ground and Plough later was another noteworthy CM nomination.



The Sunday 1st Team were rained off but the 2nd Team played Farmborough and won. Little Jimmy Pitcher of class 4B reports thus:

I still feel like an emotional wreck today after the elation, depression, elation, depression and finally elation cycle in the game yesterday.

Wayne did the double and took cider moment and man of the match in which could be described as the best performance a cowboy has put in on Sunday the 19th of June 2011 ever (FACT) or the best performance in the field of a cowboy ever (not far from FACT), I am not sure; you decide. A total of 3 wickets, two catches and a run out………plus numerous stops and cunning field placements. Whatever you do, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story-it was unreal.

DC1 also put on performance with the bat we can all be proud of, breaking his club and personal best in a brilliant opening partnership with Dad to be Grant (good luck with the birth). 66 well worked runs setting up a basis for us to get what looked like an unassailable target, no mentioning of Jug avoidance please; had I known I was that close-I wouldn’t have played that shot……..who am I kidding, SMASH IT.

Typically it was not as out of reach as it may have seemed, which led to exiting viewing and nervous fielding.

A good effort in the field from everyone; with good bowling from all who pitched in Ben, Barnaby, Wayne, Tinks, Johnsy and with an unexpected at the nervous death bowler; Angelo taking his first league wicket with an outwardly calm appearance! Both Brian and Ben took essential catches……….and all was well.

Let’s not forget the performance of Reg behind the stumps who I don’t think let any/ many byes by and took one acknowledged catch and two where the wicket was not awarded.

Shame Dave was not there……………… he can be proud though! A good team effort which will have made the whole team stronger.



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