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Result - Stone in Oxney

Sun Sep 19th Grannies defeated by 106 runs

Match report

Probably a bit late, but I knew I should never have been a keeper. Leg-side stumpings not given. Wides hurled down the leg-side trendily called as byes, to 'avoid games over-running'... But enough of me. Everyone else who turned out for this fixture should remember it with considerable satisfaction.
We fielded first, to keep out of the rain expected later (which never came). It was plain from early on that this was a strong Stone line-up, but Sam Packer bowled a magnificent opening spell, his first 8 overs going for only 30, with somehow nothing in the 'wickets' column, one or two chances having gone begging. He was ably assisted by fellow detective, Matt Atherton, on debut, who yielded rank to Sam and got the uphill gig and as a result fared marginally less well, while looking the real deal. When Stone hit the accelerator, Will Dunn proved a tidy - and lucky - replacement for Matt, accounting for one of the openers with an inside edge off a wide one, and at the end Will came back for another over inducing a steepling catch pouched expertly by Eddie Brennan, leaving him with figures of 5-0-33-2 - underbowled? In the meantime the said Brennan bowled a storming spell himself. He went for a quick 18 in his first over but happily El Supremo kept the faith, and when he left the fray his analysis, of 9-0-65-1, was highly creditable, his '1' being one of the openers bowled through the gate for 102. Gradually - sometimes not so gradually - the score advanced and by the end of 40 overs Stone had 291, not the highest score they have recorded against us, but plenty. Special mention should be made, not only of Stone's other centurion, who ended on 103*, but also of Andrew Willan - pressed into service by his neighbour Eddie, he bowled beautifully in an unbroken spell returning 8-0-50-1 - and Anthony Dunn, who with able assistance in particular from Matt Gullick, stopped the score from being 391 with some unstinting fielding.
The stage was set therefore set for a famous win, one of the greatest ever chases by the Grannies..... The innings began at a gallop, with Matt G scoring freely and with 'MCC manual' correctness, mostly in the mid-off to mid-on arc, and he was on the point of his first 50 in silk, when he miscued and was gone, for 46. Meanwhile Paul Amiss and brother-in-law Larry Brennan had both begun circumspectly, but looking good, and each, one felt, having done the hard work, was on the point of blossoming, when they were cleaned up by good balls from the opening left-armer. Sam Packer then revealed what a fine all-round cricketer he is, with 20 immensely confident and competent runs, his innings cut short by a catch on a distant boundary. Mike Bayley, another on debut, who was said to 'hit a long ball'...on the golf course, announced his presence with 3 4s but was then gone. And so it was left to Eddie and Andrew, continuing where they left off with the ball, to try and maintain the climb to the Himalayan summit. At one point, when they were hitting 12 an over, team-mates dared to dream, but first Eddie perished for a beautifully played 44, and then the tail crumbled leaving Andrew on 29*, which might have been more, had he not seen pace where it didn't exist in calling his partner, me, for a desperate late single - not that I was out, you'll understand (continuing the theme of my opening para...). A final score of 185 was a little disappointing, given the quality of much of the batting, but Stone were strong!
As ever they were also brilliant hosts and we will look forward once more to all that a game with them has to offer, in 2022.

Match info

Also playing: Anthony Dunn, Mike Bayley, Andrew Willan and Matt Atherton

Stone in Oxney,
nr. Tenterden,
TN30 7JL