Beyond the Cowboydome


Dunc has sent the match report fot the Sunday 1st by semaphore. It reads thus (full scorecard):

It can be said of tosses that some are good to win, some to lose. In 80 degrees, we think good to win, particularly against a 10 man Harptree side on a bouncy looking Frenchay track with merely the odd vestige of green.

We batted and Neil and Justin toddle off from the shade neath the hastily fashioned tarp attached to and potentially demolishing bits of the shed/pavilion/changing room/smoking lounge. Various Cowboys grab an assortment of duties such as scoring, umpiring and facetious commentary amid rizla origami. Bolts got off to a flyer, looking confident and cutting through inviting cover gaps. Justin looked a little out of form, mixing chips into the air with drives to bowler and fielders who duly helped our cause by dropping them. There were some disputes about stumpings with more than one umpire. Harptree were beginning to wilt and didn’t look like competing with enough verve to stop Bolts from plundering at least a half century when Neil’s wallet started talking to him from a 50 yard range and he was out caught on 46. Alas. He was going very well. Enter Mark and his wile.

The gaps were gappy and Mark just kept finding them. Justin was slowly accumulating form and runs, but not without the odd airy scary moment. But when he was caught at the wicket immediately after reaching 50, skippy ordered a line-up change and sent Omar in to dent some willow. Fair enough, but Omar uncharacteristically didn’t hit a first ball boundary, though not through lack of effort.

He became the eventual stumping victim we’d all been waiting for, making way for RT2, also promoted for a quick thrash. Mark fell 10 short of a jug having been bowled, replaced by your very own scribe. Rob obliged his captain with a 12 ball 17, unluckily bowled by a looping full toss off his lower leg whilst swiping with murderous intent. Harptree just couldn’t quite get control, but neither were Easton really driving home a distinct advantage. That is until Matt Caven was unleashed.

I watched from the other end as a number of full tosses were powerfully smitten to the leg side boundary, and with a fortunate drop and field-bisecting jam, joined in with increasing confidence even if too many shots aimed directly at long off despite sarcastic jeering and advice from the New Cowboydome end. Matt was bowled for a very nifty 25 by a good swinging delivery at which he had a right good swing himself.

Last week’s hero Andy replaced him, but was involved in yet another mid-pitch mix up and very unselfishly placed his own head on the block for 3. Jeff cunningly thick-edged a nice boundary, grabbed a single and yours truly totally missed the last ball. The healthy total was 256.

We had, from memory, scored 93 from the last 10 overs.

Tea was taken amid positive tales from Trent Bridge. Many sandwiches are available.

I helped by washing up which gained me an extra portion of cake. Oh Good Egg!!

Omar began with a remarkably well preserved ball from the top end, aided and abetted by the most squat of his father figures. What an unlikely duo!

Harptree began batting as they approached bowling, not too well and without any real passion. The openers bat edges saw most of the ball as it flitted past at close proximity. In the 4th over, one ball got the thickish tickle deserved by an outswinger, and though it appeared to be past his right ear, Jeff stuck out a gloved hand and plucked it from the gap between himself and Mark at slip. Truly wonderful reaction catch.

One down, eight to go. There were left handers to bowl at and both bowlers did well, virtually no runs from the bat. Rob replaced Omar, Martin took up the challenge from the Dome end. Stoic resistance but minimal aggression was used to repel them both. RT2 began his haul, his first being another classy catch this time at gully by a forward diving Matt. The run rate, so painfully slow, began to improve once Harptree’s keeper entered the fray at no 6. He exercised patience, then flat-batted cuts through backward point.

There were also flashes which looked as though they may produce edges. Lo and behold, one did and though it had been predicted.. Oops! Butterfingers! Not easy but it was unfortunately dropped at fly slip.

The shy turtlehead of aggression retreated back to it’s shell after a Taylor delivery cracked agonizingly into an elbow.

Dean into the attack, a nice change of pace bringing him the oppo skipper’s wicket. He had scored just 7 by this point. An absolute rout looked on the cards until by far the biggest chap on today’s field of play came to the crease and as may have been expected went straight on the attack. Was there to be a twist in this tale?

Only temporarily did this possibility arise, Justin snapping a catch at short cover from RT2. The big man was gone.

The Cowboys rolled on with Andy, reluctant to bowl without a cap it seems, got into the act with a timely successful LBW shout. This brought a young’n to the crease and a returning Omar bowled nice and slow so he could lob it into the air for RT2 to snaffle. One to go, but try as we all did, there was no removing the last pairing, their keeper/batsman just having time to get to 50.

And so it ended, late, echoing with straining backs and creaking limbs, in a substantial runs victory.

One couldn’t help think though that some tiny moral sub-plot win had been gained by a genuinely understrength side keeping a jolly decent attack at bay. Sub-plot wins don’t put points on the board.

This writer will look forward to the return game under the amiable roll of the Mendip Hills, hosted by one of our oldest and most friendly of foes.

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