Dynamics Hatfield C.C. vs Hollybush, 25 April 1999
First game of the season, first game with me as Team Secretary. Bugger. Panicking all week please God, if only for the first game, let us get a full eleven out, PLEASE! It didnt help with me being stuck in Exeter for half of the week. However, on Saturday evening Chris assured me that everything was OK.
Then came the phone calls. Sunday morning (normally no-one I know, and I mean no-one, is awake on Sunday morning) Yet I had two phone calls. My laconic flatmate calls out, telling me Ive got a phone call, not once but twice! My heart sinks "oh no", I thought, "you cant drop out now!" But once again, fate was winding me around her cruel finger; the calls were cricket-free, and at 2:00pm (or thereabouts) eleven DHCC players turned up at Shephalbury Park for the fixture against Hollybush.
Shephalbury hasnt changed much since last year the pitch is still crap, having the texture and bounce of one of my mothers bread and butter puddings. Surrounding the square was a 10 metre wide ring of grass cuttings, cunningly placed to stop any shot played on the ground. But we have learned to live with these things, and lets face it, our opponents seem to suffer more than we do.
Talking of Shephalbury Park, readers of the local press will have heard about recent sightings of a flasher roaming the park. No Balls, with a world exclusive, can now name this individual! It is none other than our own Roger Gordonsmith! For what was at least ten minutes, Roger was seen roaming the park, with his trousers draped around his ankles! During later questioning he claimed it was "because he was unable to put on his thigh pad". Now Ive heard some excuses
We were also pleased to have, at long last a discerning cricket fan watching us play on Sunday. To be honest, he was a labrador, but you could see he had a fine appreciation of the game. After watching the match for all of 30 seconds, he strolled over to the bench where Kim Wake was sitting and displayed his contempt for our performance for all to see by urinating over the side of the seat.
Anyway, onto the serious stuff: Tim Stephens got us off to a great start, with 32 scored in difficult conditions. Tim and Chris put on a second wicket stand of 21, and Chris and Roger capitalised on this for the fourth wicket with an excellent 58 partnership. At the close of the innings, Chris finished with 42, Roger with 18. DHCC had set a tough target of 110-3. We felt that this was a target that we could defend comfortably. The Hollybush bowling had been good, if a little erratic. Straying down leg-side and some less than confident fielding meant that runs were available.
After JBs most excellent tea, we went to field with strong hopes of winning. Success followed soon Mike Kilner took the wicket of the opening batsman with 0 on the board, and their number three followed soon after. Kim followed this soon after with an over that even as I write this, I still find difficult to believe. To put it bluntly, Kim took three wickets in six balls (none of them consecutive), and made the over a maiden as well. This destroyed Hollybushs (already slim) chances of winning. Changes in the bowling (and here you have to sympathise with Chris how on earth can you change the bowling when your opening bowlers take 5 wickets for 20 runs?) saw Steve Davis and Tom Jeffries take three wickets, and John Brightman coming in at the end to remove what was potentially their most dangerous batsman and to clear up the number 11. Hollybush were bowled out for 46. DHCC, I need not point out, won comfortably.
So, what of the post-match piss-taking? Well, Chris employed what was possibly the most pernicious form of gamemanship ever by telling the poor Hollybush, after having been on the end of such a drubbing, that the door to the showers was unfortunately locked and so they would have to go away smelling of one of Tims personal effects after one of his marathon efforts at the crease. Chris did this with such aplomb, whilst of course standing in front of what can only be described as an open doorway to the showers.
Anyway this was a great start to the season. If we can try to keep up the availability, to give Chris some options to play with, and if one or two players (and we know who we are) can play as we know we can play, then DHCC might be in for a damn fine season. Long may victories like this continue!
T. Stephens 32
C. Davis 42 Not Out
R Gordonsmith 18 Not Out
M. Kilner 6-3-7-2
K. Wake 6-2-11-3
S. Davis 5-2-6-1
T. Jeffries 6-0-11-2
J. Brightman 1.1-0-4-2
Match Report by Gareth Harper
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These pages were written by Gareth Harper, and were last updated on June 23, 1999.