A jolly good show all round
Final Saturday fixtures ends in victory...
24 hours before the game there were only seven names on the Waverley team sheet. A flurry of telephone calls and begging text messages resulted in Hawley trio Ben Harris ("MC Tealeaf"), Ali Mortiboys ("Morty") and Dan Litwin ("Chuckie") being brought into the Waverley fold. Neil Carmichael ("Hoagy") was also persuaded into putting in an appearance, having had the necessary four months to recover from his last Waverley outing. Joining them were the more familiar faces of Russ Golding ("Raoul"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), Laura Brewer ("Loz") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
Waverley fielded first in this 35 over game, with Beanie and Chuckie both hitting the ground running. After eight overs both had managed to restrict the run rate to a mere two an over, with Chuckie also having grabbed two wickets with an excellent display of swing bowling: a well-taken catch by Tealeaf at square-leg and a delivery that left Jones with no chance. However, the arrival of Thomas at the crease saw a seismic shift in the scoring rate as the ball was crashed to all parts (Beanie finding himself on the receiving end). 30 runs in three brutal overs resulted in Mr B being introduced into the attack and whilst he struck in just his second over (Hoagy rolling back the years with a slip catch), Thomas was still at the crease and scoring freely to bring up his half-century in no time at all.
With Chuckie at the end of an excellent seven over spell, Doogs elected to keep the pace on the ball by bringing himself into the attack. With Thomas continuing to go aerial it seemed only a matter of time before there was a mis-timed shot and Doogs duly induced the same, the ball dollying up into the covers... only for AC to inexplicably drop despite not having to move. Luckily for him, Doogs bowled Thomas in his next over via an inside edge to remove the home side's danger man. During that time Mr B had also picked up his second wicket of the game, Raoul clinging on to a catch in the covers.
At 99-5 Waverley re-established control of the innings. Loz and AC were introduced into the attack and it was Loz who struck next, removing Hiscock cheaply. Not to be outdone, AC got his name on the board when Doogs held on to a catch at mid-on (proving that there were no hard feelings from earlier). There was an air of the farcical about Waverley's eighth wicket, a horrendous mix-up between the batsmen allowing Tealeaf to jog from square-leg to the non-striker's end and remove the bails himself. AC then had Durrant stumped in the penultimate over of the game and in the final over, there was a second run-out courtesy of Mr B to wrap up the home side's innings.
After tea and requiring 170 to win, Waverley suffered an early setback when Tealeaf holed out for eight in the second over of the game. Waverley pressed on with Raoul and Morty until the latter went the same way as Tealeaf, skying a catch to Hiscock for 14. The visitors were then in danger of wobbling when Raoul was controversially given out caught behind on 16, with Mr B following soon after without troubling the scorers. However, KV and Beanie not only steadied the ship but continued to put runs on the board. Their excellent 84 run partnership saw another half-century for KV (including some brutal hitting off the bowling of Henley) and when he was eventually caught behind on 66, Waverley were 33 runs short of victory with wickets in hand.
However, Waverley seldom do things the easy way and another wobble saw Beanie (24) and Chuckie (0) back in the hutch a short time after that. Skipper Doogs and Loz provided some much needed stability, Loz bottling up an end and allowing Doogs to score the runs to take Waverley to the brink of victory. When Loz's defences were eventually breached, Brigadier Block AC took care of his wicket whilst Doogs did the business: the skipper smearing one through the covers to leave him 28* not out and bring the visitors a two wicket victory.
KV was awarded the Man of the Match Hat for 66 vital runs, although every one of Waverley's eleven played some meaningful part in securing the win. The *Anchor Hat went to Morty (dropping a catch over the boundary having been established as precedent for such an award in 2013), whilst Beanie got the Pink T-shirt for appearing to get out of the way of the ball whilst fielding. Special mention should also go to the Hawley boys for really getting into the spirit of a Waverley game... the first thing they did when they arrived? Charged into the changing rooms to check out the showering facilities...