Detail: 07-05-2023 - Sheen Park

Result: Lost by 12 runs
The Blues CC v Sheen Cricket Club - 7 May 2023

As the nation went into a coronation frenzy about King Charlie, the Crown Jewels, Penny Mordants big sword coupled with her impressive upper body strength, the much more important event of the mighty Blues versus Sheen CC was occurring in the leafy West London suburb. After a preceding rainy Saturday, the Blues arrived at a lush, moist green top with the groundsmen still mowing the strip.

The first job of the skipper was to win the toss and bowl, which I duly did with my "tails never fail approach".

After some impressive practicing in the nets by Ellerby, Archie and Jimmy, the Blues took to the field at 1.10pm after waiting for the late stragglers of Harry Baker, Ed Jenkins, and Jimmy Howe, I thought the youth of today know how to use Google Maps?

With an impressive combined age of 110, Moore and Mullet opened the bowling on what looked like a seaming green top. Moore, continuing his fine form with the ball, bowled into the corridor of uncertainty with the batsmen unable to get him away. Finishing on impressive tight figures of 7 overs, 4 maidens, 4 runs for 2 wickets. Moore's 2 wickets came from 2 impressive catches. One from Harry Baker, using his long young limbs at square leg, snaffling a quick one above his head as the batter miss timed a clip of the legs. Simon Richards took an impressive low, quick catch at gully to take Moore's 2nd wicket of the innings.

With Mullet steaming in from the other end, things weren't working out as well, and this had little to do with the mighty Mullet. A combination of rubbish fielding and a lack of spikes on a moist pitch, the Blues proceeded to drop a total of 5 catches off poor Mullet, which was reminiscent of Roehampton's substandard fielding the previous week. The normal blues fielding service had resumed, with Mullet finishing with very unlucky figures of 7 overs, 32 runs with no wickets.

Jimmy Howe bowled well, reducing his run up due to his dodgy groin, bowling 7 overs, 37 runs for no wickets. A special mention goes to Jimmy's last over, where he managed to bowl 5 wides, as umpire didn't know what a wide was, and apologised to me after the game, blaming the "slope in the field" for his confusion, gotta love village cricket!

Joining us for his first outing of the season was Jack the lad Closey, who was off the beers to due to an upcoming marathon and was looking in fine fettle. A late text came into the skipper asking to bat to save his knees for the run. This failed miserably, as the blues were short on the bowling front. Using his newfound fitness, Closey bounded in from the top end, causing the batters all sorts of trouble. It wasn't long before Closey was in the wickets, with Eddie Jenkins taking a good catch at mid-on. This was "closely" followed by Jack bowling one of their gun batsmen who was hitting him all around the park (although it should be noted that Jack had him dropped at mid on the over before, which he duly reminded me of over WhatsApp this week) Closey finished on good figures of 7 overs, 37 runs for 2 wickets.

Simon came trundling in for his first outing of the season. Bowling delightful military medium inswingers, Simon proceeded to bowl one of their batters through the golden gate, with the ball swinging in from off stump, smashing middle and leg. After one of their handy batsmen got stuck into Richards, Nick Ellerby took a very good catch on the boundary to send him back into the hutch. Simon finished with handy figures of 4 overs, 37 runs for 2 wickets.

Jimmy Leaworthy finished off the bowling with some fast off spin, holding up an end with 3 overs, 26 runs for 0 wickets.

After a delightful tea which included jam scones and coronation quiche, Ellerby and Baker to the field to chase down 177 runs.

With Harry Baker falling early, Eddie Jenkins took to the field smashing two quick 4's to get off the mark. With Eddie departing early after a positive start, it was up to Nick and Archie to steady the ship, which they duly did, stroking it around for 1's, 2's and the occasional 4, getting the blues up to 92 for 4 after 23 overs. Special mention goes to Archie's cautious and steady innings, patting back a number of full tosses and air balls from their very slow right armer. In fairness to Arch, rumour has it that this guy has 197 wickets to his name.

With the batters starting to accelerate, the wickets started to fall. With Archie falling for a steady 31, Nick continued his good form with the bat, keeping the scoreboard ticking to get us over the 100 mark. Leaworthy started well with some positive shots, supporting Nick who was unlucky to fall one short of his 50. Leaworthy and I continued to keep the scoreboard turning as the blues crept towards the final score. With Leaworthy falling for a positive 19, Simon strode to the crease looking determined and focused to get the blues over the line.

However, Harry Baker had other ideas. As the bowler threw down a quick one which rose like a salmon, a faint noise was heard as the ball past the bat. With Simon adamant he hadn't hit it, Harry duly poked his eye out and sent him back to the hutch for a golden duck. From here on in it was going to be an uphill struggle. A mix up between Jimmy and I sent the Skipper back to the pavilion, and with Jimmy falling shortly after, it was over to the bowlers to try and see us through to the win. Closey batted well for his 10, and Glenn hit a fine 4 to get us to a very close 165 all out. Close but no cigar boys.

With 2nd bank holiday in May, it would be rude not to join the opposition in the pig and whistle for a few Sunday beers and some post-match analysis. We also had the pleasure of witnessing Leathworthy and Archie downing their pre tour pints in quick succession, and we are still waiting for John Mumby to down his pre tour pint. Bloody bad form from Mumby I say ?

Onwards and upwards to Chiswick with Wardy taking the reins.

[updated 24 05 2023]