Sunday XI v Follies Farm Old Spots
Strong finish to the season!
The FFOS match is always popular at the end of the season and Brook duly fielded a strong side to finish their campaign. The Old Spots were apparently also on tour in Minorca and had drafted in some guests to play against us including a Premier Division player and a Surrey 2nd XI batsman who also bowls rapidly, reaching 83 mph.
Batting first in a 40 overs match, the hosts were soon 7 for 2 with Rhodri Williams, man of the match, and Adnan Khan (2 for 17) making early inroads. M. Barson (40) batted steadily as Pat Clarke (1 for 27), Adnan and Rhodri whittled away at the middle order to reduce the batting side to 84 for 6. Opener Barson then found support from L. Hall (top scorer with 67) before both were dismissed by Rhodri, who, after a fine c&b by young Will Owen, playing his first season of senior cricket (1 for 26), then mopped up the tail to finish with 7.2 1 33 6 (best figures for Brook?). Theo Clarke and Richie Chibisa also bowled two overs each without any luck.
Brook, in the capable hands of John Hamilton, who played for both Saturday teams as well as the Sunday XI in another very successful season, and Harrison Ward, got off to the perfect start with a 50 partnership for the first wicket. When Harrison was caught off the bowling of the swift McGahon for 35, John was joined by Ben Ward and the two moved the score on steadily to 84 before Ben was bowled by Grant while Barson, completing a good all-round performance, bowled 8 overs for just 13 runs including 4 maidens. But John batted on calmly before being run out for 37 with the score on 112 following a promising partnership with Rhodri who was sensing that this was his day.
Enter Adnan eager as always to finish proceedings as quickly as possible. Following rather more lusty swings of the bat than connections (despite one six), paceman McGahon offered some friendly advice along the lines that Adnan should not try to hit the ball so hard! However hard Adnan was trying to hit the ball, it was Rhodri who took on the bowlers, depositing said McGahon over the boundary rope, at which point Adnan, at the non-striker's end, offered the equally friendly advice that the Surrey 2s player should not try to bowl so fast: one all!
In a final flourish, Rhodri cleared the boundary again as the hapless McGahon failed to heed the advice and Brook finished their Sunday season on a high.
It has been a mixed season with some opposition sides cancelling and Brook unable always to field a side as we started the process of bringing on younger players like Will Owen, Theo Clarke, Finn Macaulay and Alex Challinor as well as encouraging some dads to play too after several retirements from cricket of a number of Sunday stalwarts. All in all, an encouraging season despite the challenges and one which bodes well for the future. Well done the youngsters and well done Richie in his first season as captain!