Dodging The Rain

Both Saturday games got to about 20 overs and then were rained off.

The Sundays managed to dodge the showers and beat Peasdown St John b y 101 runs.

Dunc reports it thus:

Hey Pop Pickers! It was a slightly less glorious weather day in paradise, as the Cowboys Team Sunday (CTS) swaggered

into Rose Green to defend a winning run which had put them into a creditable 3rd place in Div 2.

Continuing that winning run against Peasedown St John (PSJ), the current incumbents of 2nd position, would make the Cowboys look very much like the main challengers to Blagdon at the top.

And so to the wicket, which has had rain for the first time in a while, and a few leaks in the covers ensured a very patchy

batting surface indeed. And bat we did.

The Usual Opening Pair (UOP) sauntered off into the middle. Awaiting them, the Chirpy Young Squad (CYS) of

PSJ, all nicknames and “C’mon ‘en budday”. Exactly 1.72 seconds after first ball release, J of the UOP was sent back to the hutch having been lured into pushing a practice catch back to the bowler. His mind was still on tea preparation.

Tom Taylor was next up. Decent quick bowling passed the outside edge amid CYS whooped approval and encouragement.

Skipper Bolts did the majority of the scoring in a slow recovery partnership tainted with deja vu. When Neil fell victim to a snick/glove whilst hooking, the score was on 29 and around 11 overs had elapsed. This was not the start we all wanted, but could Taylor Slightly Snr do anything about it now he had arrived at the batting crease? Indeed he could, as aggression proved the better mode with which to stifle the CYS of PSJ. A brotherly stand bridged the drinks break, during which Tom was given strict batting instructions by Our Glorious Leader. Acceleration followed, but the stand ended when Rob holed out at cover, having already survived at least one dropped chance from Similar Swiping Shots (SSS).

Kalpit continued in the SSS mode, all corners reached. His 74 from 39 balls after Rob’s 68 from 43 knocked Seven Shades of Stuffing (SSS#2) out of a far more quiet PSJ CYS. He and AB (AB) were left standing at the tea interval, The Boy Tommy (TBT) having been dismissed on a wonderful anchoring 76.

From 0 for 1 from 1 ball, 249 for 4 from 40 overs looked a slightly better than par score on a drying wicket.

The Avery Tea Co. had put together a sumptuous spread which was too healthy and weird for some members of the CYS.

Others among the ECCC faithful possess no such qualms and were in there like vultures. I had brought last week’s leftover Crusty Croc crisps, but felt too ashamed to retrieve them from my ruckie pocket as they would have looked wholly incongruous among the fresh hummus and home baked cheesecake.

The PSJ innings stared exactly as the home team’s hadn’t. It became swiftly apparent that they meant business, as the usually economical Matt Davey Bowling (MDB) suffered a boundary blow. However, wickets did start to fall, 2 in 2 to MDB, a third added before the 6 over spell finished, all bowled by very full deliveries.

A skyward glance though, would see a Potentially Greater Threat (PGT) to Cowboy victory than just boundary biffing, which had also been visited upon Dave’s opening spell. Huge billowing slate grey clouds amassing and charging over the Southern horizon bringing Ark Inspiring Tumults (AIT) little doubt to terminate proceedings.

Andy Bowen’s Raindance (ABR) style of run up brought on the first downpour, but covers were hastily wheeled into place and when the precipitation ceased precipitating, the strip was only marginally wetter than before. The ball did skid on a bit though, and although there was still run making and resistance, Andy picked up a couple of handy wickets. AB had a 2 over spell, alas not very successful, and was replaced by Kalpit. There was more ABR, more cover wheeling, inexpertly steered and running over the wicket on a good length (Oops). Arithmetic concerning run rate and 20 over marks filled the damp air. Upon our return to the pitch, my good self had been placed at backward square leg, deep on both boundaries in order to run off some cheescake and hummus.

After being pulled for a few runs, Kalpit instructed backward of square to go forward of, and bounced the red hatted best PSJ biffer.

He biffed, but with pinpoint accuracy to deep FSL who pouched a much needed catch to promote spontaneous Cowboy affection and glee. The relief was palpable.

It seemed only one batsman and bad weather could stand between the Cowboys and victory, and when Andy B finished a tidy 2 wicket spell, he made way for Rob, who got to work on the last hope and the rest of the tail. PSJ no. 11 almost brained Andy B with a pull shot which whistled past Andy’s ear on its way to the midwicket boundary. The next ball was driven past Rob’s follow through stride with similar result. But there’s nothing like the old three card trick, and the timbers were upset next ball and that, dear reader, was that.

Between Rob and Kalpit, the last 4 wickets were shared and 3 and 1 respectively, the final margin of victory 101 runs.

It was Jugs All Round (JAR) at GHQ. The PSJ CYS defeated before ABR could bring on the PGT of AIT. Deep FSL bagged cider moment for the catch, and MOM went to RT2, despite TBT and KP gaining well earned votes. UOP were pleased and VCDC had been specially flown in for the victory celebrations and debrief, during which he rightly pointed out that no Cowboy team had ever been in such a lofty league position as 2nd in Div 2.

Littleton reports it thus:

Review of the weekends action, or lack of meaningful action for those playing on Saturday as Summer returned with a vengeance to cut short the 1sts long trip to the no doubt ironically named Misomer Norton, and the seconds from being put to the sword by Bath.

However the 2nds result may have been a blessing in disguise as they now lie 4th 1 point behind Whitchurch with 2 games in hand, and 7 points behind 2nd placed Grendel with a game in hand. I predict 4 points safely in the bag this weekend weather permitting when they host Bath Exiles at the Farm. If games go according to form this will set up a potentially 2nd place deciding clash on August 10th at home against Grendel.

The 1sts face a tricky trip to Old Park who lie joint second with 2 other teams, victory would put them on the edge of the mix for the hotly contested 2nd place. Back at the start of June the Iguanas lost by 3 runs, however I predict that they’re going to have learned their lesson from that defeat and will start the long slow march to promotion contention.

On Sunday the Boltcutters entertained Peasedown St John who we were tied in 2nd with before the game. The plan was to insert the opposition, skittle them out and finish the game before the rain came, however Bolts lost the toss and he and Justin strode out to the middle. Not long after Justin tasted platinum and came back. An excellent opening spell by Swift saw the back of the skipper with the score on 29 after 11 overs. Time for the contrast in styles of the Taylor boys; young Tom had started nervously but the longer he stayed at the crease the more assured his innings became, brother Biffer set about the attack with his usual gusto. RT2 contributed 68 of their partnership of 103 before skying one to a fielder who could catch after facing just 43 balls. PSJ breathed a sigh of relief which stuck in their lungs as Kalpit continued the onslaught, he and Tom added 110 in very short time, Tom eventually holing out in the last over for 76 off 130 balls. Kalpit was stumped off the last ball for a belligerent 74 of 39 balls,leaving debutant AB 1 not out and the Cowboys total on a healthy 249 for 5.

Justin and Erica had prepared a sumptuous tea including home made cakes which was eaten a bit more quickly than the Sundays are used to with the threat of impending rain. Peasedown were clearly aware of the threat in the forecast as they set about the opening bowling of Matt D and the Heavy Roller, loose balls were punished and PSJ were nearly up with the run rate however Matt sent 3 of them back with yorker length deliveries. With the skies darkening AB’s introduction to Sunday cricket was a baptism of fire as their skipper brought up a rapid 50 before Bolts brought Andy B on and the rain intervened. The game would probably have been abandoned at this point or shortly thereafter had we been playing elsewhere, however having covers enabled us to keep the wicket dry enough, although they too could do with a bit of TLC. We had them on and off 3 times in the next 30 minutes, after the first interruption Kalpit was brought on and tempted the PSJ skipper Tucker to pull one to Duncan fielding on the square leg boundary. Dunc took the catch nearly on his haunches and at this point I think all knew that the game was likely up. The weather started to brighten after the third interuption and Andy Bowen, Kalpit and RT2 cleaned up the tail with only the other Tucker really offering any resistance. RT2 and Matt D finished with 3 wickets apiece, Kalpit and Andy B with 2 each as PSJ were all out for 148 off 28 overs. RT2 sneaked the MotM award from his brother and Kalpit, and Dunc nearly cleaned up the Cider with his match deciding catch. All of this took place in front of the Taylor father (henceforth known as DT1), who showed where his boys get their love and knowledge of the game from. Also in attendance was the vice skipper who pronounced watching more difficult than playing, and a smattering of other Cowfolk, of whom Gimpy deserves the most praise for his heroic help with the covers despite his bad back, as well as scoring the first innings with the indefatigable Erica. Scorecard can be found here

The result means that Easton Cowboys Sunday XI now lie clear in 2nd place 8 points behind leaders Blagdon, and 4 points ahead of PSJ and the Old E. The Old E travel to 5th placed Cheddar on Sunday which could knock them further back, while the Sunday Cows travel to BAWA to face Grendel Exiles. They lie 3rd bottom but provided a stiff test in the home encounter earlier in the season, our Sundays only reaching their total with an over to spare. I predict another win, however with the skipper and Kalpit both away Deano will have to select and juggle wisely.

Onwards and upwards amigos.

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