A Crazy Game
A Winning Draw But Should Have Been More
"Cricket's a boring game" say the uninitiated. Not if you witnessed the game at Sedgwick against Galgate, which had just about everything. Midweek rain had left the pitch a tad slow and the outfield was, to put it mildly, a bit woolly since it wasn't able to be cut after a weedkiller application. Following the recent short but sweet games against Barrow and Burneside, the contest against Galgate was going to be an altogether more competitive affair. Boycott lost the toss and was asked to bat and with no Trev to open (he was having his hair done in Manchester!) the position went to Paddy who had performed well in the previous 20/20 match.
Unfortunately he was unable to continue that form and was dismissed early doors to a catch at mid on off the bowling of Smethurst. George who has also been in good form recently also faltered as he was caught off a full toss from Si Beales for 7. The two opening bowlers were in control and with the pitch fairly slow, runs were hard to come by, especially for shots along the ground which were slowing up in the outfield. Boycott (11) was next to go giving a return catch to Smethurst. Certainly the Galgate fielding was sharp and with the score on 30 for 3 from 19 overs, the onus was on Bernard and Jack to get things going. One over later and it was Jack (2) going back to the clubhouse having been bowled by Speak who replaced Si Beales and then in the 23rd over it was Tom's turn to follow him as he was caught for 1 giving Smethurst his third wicket of the game. 34 for 5 and the flurry of wickets left Sedgwick in a tricky position with only half the overs bowled and half the team already out.
The situation became even more bleak in the 26th over as Ashley was bowled for 5 and Wrighty was run out with a direct hit for 1 leaving Sedgwick on 49 for 7 and Galgate sensing an early finish. Bernard meanwhile, having watched the carnage from the other end was quietly going about his business, but running out of partners, until Will "boom boom" Richards got to the crease. Would this be fireworks or a damp squib? The omens looked good as he played a defensive shot which received a round of applause from the balcony. Now whether it was Bernard's calming influence or the fact that he knew that there was some responsibility to stick around, but Will played the type of innings that we knew he was capable of. A good eye and plenty of clean hitting, Will, with the assistance of Bernard had moved the score past 100 in the 38th over and the score was looking more respectable. Galgate's joy was now turning to despair and it was now Segwick's turn to be buoyant. A score of 120 or more would be something decent to bowl at.
Unfortunately the partnership was broken in the 39th over as Bernard was caught off the bowling of Chris Beales for a very commendable 41. John Wright then provided company for Will for 4 overs until he was bowled by Beales. This left Meg Lewis and Will to see out the next two overs and after a couple of crunching fours in the 44th over, Will was caught in the deep for 43 off the bowling of Yates and as he walked in to well deserved applause, the innings closed on 122 all out.
So after the ebb and flow of the first innings, would Galgate's innings provide any twists and turns. Well they didn't disappoint. 1st over Dave Morgan was back in the hutch courtesy of a great ball from Jack which took the inside edge onto the stumps. 2nd over from Jack and captain Speak was also bowled for a duck and at 2-2 Sedgwick were off to a great start. 9th over and Jack had his third victim as McCarragher (10) was caught brilliantly by John Wright springing cat-like to his right with the score on 14 for 3. This became 15 for 4 as Jack accounted for Chris Beales bowling him for 6 to give him all four wickets from 6 overs for only 5 runs. Wrighty then joined the party to add to Galgate's misery as, in the next 5 overs, he took three wickets for 0 runs to leave Galgate on 17 for 7 from 16 overs.
Shades of the first innings only worse, and the tension on the balcony was palpable as every run scored by Grandad Beales and Sloan was greeted by a cheer. It looked like a wicket would fall at any minute especially with the ball beating the bat time after time, but the batsmen hung in and slowly became more settled. Boycott changed his bowlers as he had plenty of runs to spare, but Ashley and George had no joy so he turned to Meg and Will. Meg was a couple of coats of varnish away from taking a wicket and then success! no failure! as an edge failed to stick in Wrighty's gloves, and then a stumping! no not quite! and then a cast iron run out, no never going to be given.
And so it was, that from the outset, with 46 overs needing to be bowled, Galgate were inching towards safety and threatening the Sedgwick score and with 5 overs to go they required 42 runs with 3 wickets in hand. A typical 20/20 scenario with 2 batsmen now well set having been at the crease for 24 overs. All permutations were possible and Boycott brought Jack back into the attack for his last couple of overs, but he wasn't as successful as in his first spell. He tried Paddy at the other end to get a breakthrough but to no avail. Last over to be bowled by Paddy with 18 required for a remarkable Galgate victory, but they only managed 8 and Sedgwick finished with a winning draw whilst Galgate picked up some deserved points. Handshakes all round for a great but crazy game with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel. Who says cricket is boring!