EYMET v. BEER ENGINE CC – Sunday 16 July
Well, what a week, the TDF in Eymet, with all those scrawny “cyclists”, and news that Aussie Ben is still around, despite comments in last week’s column. After a gap of 4 years Eymet welcomed back the Devonshire pub team, Beer Engine CC, for a friendly at Stade Bretou. And who is also back, but your favourite hack, with the mystery new reporter, "Stan", taking a break for the week. David Horlock decided to share the scorer’s pencil with that old buffer, The Colonel, and Richard Brown was placed in charge of a team of the young and old, with Paul Bradford topping out at 74! The “tribune” was also fuller than normal with the match being declared as Cricket Friends Day, as well as hosting a charity day for Cancer Support France.
Beer Engine won the toss and elected to field in the blistering heat. Former Eymet skipper, Mike Stratford, was also there, standing as “arbitre” with Andrew Cardle. The Eymet team looked resplendent in their new sponsored shirts and no-one could guess what a topsy-turvey match would follow, with at least one armchair pundit declaring that Eymet won, lost, won, lost, won, lost, and finally won!
The Nicolson twins opened up, well at least it looked like it, although one looked younger compared to Eloquent Ed, and could be distinguished by a new cap. Indeed, t'other was americanised brother, Mark, who had not bashed a ball for 30 years, but soon set off at a startling pace that had Ed looking pedestrian. The 50 was almost up when Jimmy Jones finally clattered Mark’s stumps. Veteran, Paul Bradford, joined Ed and the pair pushed the ball around, as the score moved on apace. Shouts of “come on Engine” echoed from the “tribune” as the bowling attack started to splutter. 77 had been reached in 15 overs when Paul was finally trapped, leg-before, and it was at this point that the Eymet middle-order went walkabout. The youngsters tried to treat the Engine’s gentle pace with disdain, and although the odd 6 flew over the ropes, so did the wickets as Eymet slumped to 105 for 5. At least Ed was still there and closing in on his 50 as, at last, he found a partner in the more watchful, Parneet. The pair added 65 in just 7 overs with a mixture of craft and power and when Parneet departed at 170-6 all looked set for the grandstand finish and a total in the 200s. Alas, the tail went the same way as the middle-order, and although Eloquent Ed reached a well-deserved ton, Eymet could not even bat out their overs as the innings ended on 196 with a couple unused. Would that be vital in the coming denouement?
The Beer Engine batting line-up included Jimmy Jones, a centurion from 2013, and a few other useful sorts, including another centurion from the Damazan match on Friday. But no-one suspected the hero lying in Eymet’s ranks, yes, Roland “Sausage” Marshall had turned up on time and was poised to halt the Engine in its tracks. Now Sausage is not quite as quick as the Eymet youngsters but he sports a handy slower ball (at least 6 an over) and his pace soon outfoxed Jones, who holed out to Parneet at mid-off. Sausage then suffered some heckling for letting the ball pass through his legs on the ropes (perhaps he was daydreaming about his dinner) but he soon bounced back to wrap up a further 3 wickets to shatter the Engine’s best bats. With a wicket from Numan, the Engine innings had hit the buffers and was wallowing at 66 for 5.
The Eymet team then went flat, perhaps they thought the match was already won, as the Engine accelerated over 100 through Hugall and Gilbert. Indeed, some pundits were declaring that the match had swung around, with the run-rate down to 6 an over, when skipper, Richard Brown, decided to show what accurate bowling could do. The frustrated bats tried a quick run and Numan’s flat throw was gathered by Ahmed Jewel to whip away the bails. It was 145 for 6 and still anyone’s game, 52 runs with 7 overs left was still do-able. But the youngster had picked up the accuracy theme from their Skipper, and shared the last 4 wickets with Richard, as stump after stump flew out of the ground. The coal-bunker was empty and the Engine’s innings had finally run out of steam. It also closed with 2 overs to spare, but 32 runs short, and the valiant Gilbert was high and dry on 46 not out.
At drinks, Eymet celebrated another famous win. Gifts were exchanged and Sausage was awarded a man of the match tee-shirt by the Engine’s driver, the question is, would it fit? And there was also speculation about the identity of “Stan”. Your multi-talented hack remembers “Stan” was an alter-ego of Eminem, so does Eymet have a foul-mouthed rapper in its ranks? That is, until Sausage mentioned, that the only Eminem he knew is the chocolate one that he eats ……………….
Thanks to the Cancer Support France Tea Ladies, and our sponsors, The Café de Paris, The Pizzeria, Aquitaine Info and Danelander.
RESULT: Eymet win by 32 runs.
EYMET 196 all out off 32.5 overs (E.Nicolson 102, M.Nicolson 24, C.Callaghan 3-14)
BEER ENGINE 164 all out off 33 overs (D.Hugall 48, T.Gilbert 46 n.o., P.Sandys 32, R.Marshall 4-23, R.Brown 2-5)
EYMET: E.Nicolson, M.Nicolson, P.Bradford, Numan, Azizul, Ahmed Jewel, Parneet, Owais, Enayet, R.Marshall, R.Brown.