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Result - Hurlingham Club

Sat Jun 2nd Grannies lose by 59 runs

Match report

Team consisted of 3 new starters to be blooded, an overseas granny and some ole timers.

After a bit of confusion we all managed to locate the square – it was pretty indistinctive from its croquet lawn neighbours and 20 yards from the clubhouse boundary, and a cool 120 yards from the pavilion.

Fortunately though we had a bit of time to find the square, wag some chins at the state of it and even do some fielding since (for once) it wasn't yours truly who was late. Toss tossed, and Hurlingham put themselves into bat. With full faith in his ability to bowl on a dime, Skipper opted for the short leg boundary. 7 wides, 3 no balls later he took himself off - final figures showed he'd squeezed 45 balls from 7 overs. Fortunately opening partner Digby Don did the business the other end with a wicket in his first over and by 10 overs Hurlingham were 30-2. No matter how hard skipper tried to ease the pressure, a ridiculous one-hand pickup and fizz runout from newbie (and housemate) Bethwaite kept Hurlingham on their toes.

First change bowlers maintained the pressure and R Bethwaite (not content with his fielding exploits) churned out 2 maidens on the bounce. Yeates took the other end in similar fashion and first change finished up with the home side 77-3 having split the father-son combo at the crease. With n.1 bat doing his thing steadily it was time to bring in the big guns – Toby Sykes and overseas player K S-W who’d assured me he’d been on flying form recently at petanque on the fair lawns of les Tuileries. With some very tight bowling on show it looked like a prep school field – 5 men round the bat and some particularly un-granny fielding. Toby finally managed to remove the player we didn’t want to remove, and buoyed by a hearty lunch the bowling changed again for new blood on both ends – messrs C Steel and C Horn. Having assured me they’d only bowl if needed, they both plucked up 2 wickets apiece. Smarting from being shown up by his men, Skip put the openers in again and sure enough Don did his bit at one end and kindly left yours truly to take the last one – when I tell mum I got a wicket she doesn’t need to know it was n11… That was that – a strong performance by the opening bat with 84*, and the Grannies set 189 to win.

Despite KS-W’s plea that he hadn’t flown all the way to just to bat 7, he declined the chance to open. No matter though, his opportunity came round soon enough as J Williams was out to a cricket ball, and S Keaton caught on the wicket. By this point a birthday gaggle of mates had showed up, as had Mother S-W (shocked we actually had friends) so it was K S-W’s moment. He batted beautifully but soon J Brennan was a partner down again, Kit ran himself out. Bethwaite was next on the list and true to form showed his housemate up again and set about showing the home side just how to bat on a duck pond (in fairness the home side can’t have had much practice). Brennan then fell to a dubious LBW call but the sage head of Toby Sykes kept the grannies in good order, finely complementing Bethwaite’s strokeplay and finishing with 1 off quite a few. Next in (and swiftly out) was H Yeates suffering much like S Keaton to a yorkshire pud pitch. At 54-6 it looked like the grannies might be in the grip of a moderate to severe form of the ‘itis’ but yea of little faith, C Steel jogged out with coach F Cox watching on and fingers firmly crossed. It did the trick and by the time Bethwaite fell agonisingly close to a half century the grannies were back up to 92-7. Walking out to bat I thought that in theory getting 90 runs with 3 wickets in hand at Hurlingham should be fine, the wicket is true and the outfield friendly. Skipper managed 8 dot balls and with 6 on the board left the job up to Steel and Horn to do the rest. Try as they might a breezy 14 from Horn was not quite enough, and D Don was left high and dry at the other end with C Steel falling for an admirable 34. Game over (just after 5pm) with the Grannies short by 59 – that sounds much closer than “with the Grannies all out for 131”…

Where next but the bar, and the chew the fat (and some ales). The real skipper E Brennan was sorely missed but big thanks to all who played, and a shout-out to Freddie Cox who had woken up the previous Sunday morning with a pulled groin (no questions asked) but still turned up and supplied 2 players. I’ve spent the whole of this week doing the washing up and cleaning in the flat for MoM Bethwaite.

Also played:

Rory Bethwaite

Match info

Fulham, SW6