High hopes end in a damp squib.....
With The Snakes top of the League, hopes were high going into a must win game against Aberdare Juniors. However these high hopes ended in a damp squip with a demoralising 29 run defeat for The Snakes.
Losing the toss and being sent out to field in sunny conditions, skipper Gareth ‘Dad’ Jablonski led his troops out in a positive mindset, deciding this week to toss the ball to a new pair of opening bowlers, the reliable Chris ‘Drum’ Watts and the erratic Daniel ‘ The Head’ Lewis.
With Drum keeping things tight at the Car Park End and creating 2 catching opportunities for Gavin ‘Heky’ Hek and Darrell ‘Harry Hill’ Williams to make a breakthrough, however both fielders decided now wasn’t the time to take these opportunities and proceeded to drop the ball, At the Railway End, The Head was proving slightly less accurate finding trouble landing the ball on the correct pitch in his first couple of overs. With skipper Dad’s mood now diminishing with every ball, he ruthlessly removed The Head from the bowling attacked and replaced him with Tim ‘Wiggum’ Griffiths. With the opening batsmen P Green and Ryan Bell having scored runs at ease, a breakthrough was finally made by Wiggum in his 2nd over, bamboozling Bell into skying a catch to The Snakes very own bald 24 year old Don Bradman (aka Ben ‘Peeps’ Bowen).
With this breakthrough, hopes were high in restricting The Juniors total. With Drum now completing his unlucky 4 overs for 30 runs and Wiggum completing his 4 overs for a paltry 13 runs, Peeps was thrown the ball by skipper Dad to bowl his newly created medium pace trundlers that he had been bragging up all evening. However, his 4 overs proved to be costly, with his final over flying to all corners of the field for 17 runs and at an overall cost of 40. Skipper Dad commented after these overs that he had made a huge error and would throw the ball to next time to either season debutant Luke ‘DJ’ Thomas or Craig ‘A.N.Other’ Seldon when(if) he returns from his Aberdare RFC/Snakes paid for trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.
With no further wickets being taken, The Snakes were expecting a mammoth total to chase, but were delighted to learn that following good spells of bowling from skipper Dad and Jason JP’ Price, the damage caused by Don Bradmans 4 overs was kept to a minimum and The Juniors had only amassed 136 runs for 1 wickets in their 18 overs. Special mention must go for the fielding efforts of Matthew ‘Chubby Arm’ Bowen and the always energetic Nicholas ‘Ed’ Evans.
With the sun being replaced by dark clouds and drizzle at the start of The Snakes Innings, skipper Dad went in pursuit of the £20 bet he has with Peeps for most runs this season whilst demoting his co-gambler down the order and instead opening the innings with the unorthodox and helmeted DJ. With DJ having been in the nets throughout the day at his desk in work, using scrumpled up paper and erasers to practice his batting technique and timing, he had high hopes of a big score. Unfortunately for him, a Lords cricket ball moves at slightly quicker pace than an Staedtler Eraser and he mistimed a shot straight to cover for a seasons high score of 2.
Next at the crease was last weeks hero Heky, who decided this was another week for a duck and quickly departed bringing the egotistical Peeps to the crease. Don Bradman, as he likes to call himself, looked in quite good touch early on after his three previous 50’s. However, just like Don Bradman himself, he failed to maintain his 100+ average with an almighty failure much to the delight of his teammates. A quickfire duck by Harry Hill left The Snakes languishing on 70 for 4, and with skipper Dad next out for 37 The Snakes were in trouble.
With weather conditions now of heavy rainfall, visibility was poor for the batsmen, with Wiggum in particular struggling to pick out where the ball was landing from the speedy 12 year old bowler. However, he did pick one ball out for an almighty 6 but duly departed a couple of balls later. Wickets were tumbling at speed now, with Chubby Arm (8), Ed (0) and JP (1) nudging the score near to 100 with the number of overs running out. Last wicket pairing The Head and Drum put up valiant tail end resistance, but when Drum fell for 4 leaving The Head not out on 6, the innings came to an end on 107 for a 29 run defeat.
Ivor Phillips Memorials Man of the Match – Nobody – A resounding defeat with no stand out performances,, skipper Dad has a lot of soul searching to undertake before the next game in the cup against the same opponents to try and motivate and revitalise his deflated players.
Jeff Cleaton is a Wanker Award – Ben ‘Peeps’ Bowen – Hero to Zero is an understatement. Abysmal bowling and a poor batting effort by his early season high standards let Peeps down following his outbursts thoughout the week that he is the second coming and is so much better than all his teammates. Hopefully being brought down to earth didn’t hurt him too much and he is able to bring his ego back into line and he can retrieve his previous good form.