Allington CC win by 3 wickets over Chippenham CC 4s
By Matthew Stephen
To quote Thin Lizzy – “The Boys are back in Town”- Excellent match report from this weeks guest reporter..
To quote Thin Lizzy – “The boys are back in town”. Following last weeks depleted squad due to Saga holidays and school, (sorry I mean Uni) holidays not starting yet, selection this week was a lot easier for el Capitan Alex. Injuries and family commitments kept Paul and Clevs away but the return of Josh aka Dave from Uni, Greg & Lee from Malaga and Griff bolstered the team with a formidable strike force and suspect player/umpire.
The game was billed as the Chippenham “Clash” with Allington’s first home match derby against the long established Chippenham CC 4’s. The boys were up for the challenge with two sessions of nets during the week, with over 20 players attending. Not bad for our first season.
Match day arrived and the recent warm, sunny, showery weather meant that the wicket was looking green. Even the daisies had reappeared two days after a good mowing. The new wicket (only laid last year) looked fantastic thanks to our hard working groundsman.
Equally resplendent in its new coat of wood preservative, was the Birch Grove Pavilion as the team arrived to prepare for the days fun and games against the locals, just down the Bristol Road. The sun was shining and Vice Chairman, Ceri was up early to remove the covers. He also single handily manned the pavilion bar all afternoon, dishing out beers, wine and cider, making cups of tea and keeping the kids happy with fizzy drinks (no lemonade though).
Chippenham CC arrived early (no traffic on the Bristol Road) and immediately went for a Geoffrey Boycott pitch inspection. Keys at the ready, they found every crack and dandelion on the new wicket. Not sure it helped though.
1.00pm was drawing near and Allington had its first victory under its belt when Alex Williams (El Capitan) won the toss and elected to field first with Wayne the Windmill opening from the Farmers End and Lee Bringing home the Bacon from Birch Grove End.
The first 10 overs saw 5 maidens, 2 wickets for 10 runs. Incredibly tight lines, giving nothing away. Both would go on to bowl their full allocation of 9 wickets with Windmill finally getting some wickets, taking 2 for 14 and Lee 3 for 26.
Next up was Josh aka Dave and Greg. Chalk and cheese when it comes to pace, youth and looks but equally consistent with the ball and dedication to the cause. Dave took his first wicket in his second over and literally smashed the bales off the stumps, snapping them in two. Our very own ashes will rise from the flames of these burnt offerings (watch this space). His next wicket was the result of a sublime catch as a result of cat like reflexes with the agility of Spiderman from the leagues safest pair of hands behind the stumps. However he is a modest player and doesn’t want his name in the limelight. The leg bye that went for 4 through his legs was more embarrassing.
Greg’s spin bowling kept them honest and was unlucky with some very plumb looking LBW calls, but then what does Greg know about LBW’s. Dave took 3 for 14 off 8 overs, whilst Greg kept them to 15 off 5 overs.
The final three bowlers saw brought in the benefit of youth with Will, Jack and Hutch. Will maintained his wicket taking performance in only his 5th ever game of cricket where a full toss resulted in a hard drive that flew into the gut of Frazer aka Blister, who had no chance to drop it this time.
Chippenham rallied after tea and had a good spell with their U15 player hitting an impressive 57. They batted out the 45 overs ending on a surprising 150 (league points for hitting 150). Allington’s performance in the outfield was their best yet, with plenty of the old boys going down to get the balls and the young’uns, chasing up to stop the boundaries and limit the runs to singles.
Tea was served and once again Andrea (supported by her daughter this week) smashed it out of the park. Made even more impressive as she had an operation at the start of the week. Plenty of sandwich choices, sausage rolls, spring rolls etc and then came the handmade cakes and scones with cream and jam (or jam then cream if your one of those weird people in Cornwall). We really need to ensure we keep fielding first as these teas, severely impede one’s ability to move afterwards (just ask Frazer about running between the stumps).
Our opening pair of El Capitan and Griff took to the field after tea, knowing a steady 3.33 runs per over would see another home victory at Fortress AllyPally.
Chippenham started with some very consistent, straight bowlers that kept the pair honest in the opening 5 overs. Griff fell first, bringing Lee to the crease. El Capitan continued to build a score, ably supported by the stylish shots of Lee. The pair built up a good partnership, taking the total to 60 off 20 overs until Lee was bowled for 15.
In came the young guns, ready to smash it around. Unfortunately Hutch didn’t hang around long, which meant Frazer aka Blisters stepped up to the plate. Good analogy as he swings his bat like it was baseball. El Capitan and Frazer skipped the score along to 87, before skip was bowled when the ball popped up, hit his pad, glove, bat, shoe only to spin back and into the stumps. Out for 44.
At this stage, we had plenty of overs but we needed to steady the ship and so calm heads were called for. Jack Smith went in. Frazer continued to swing like he was Babe Ruth, with Jack playing some sensible shots until a full toss above his waist (no ball technically) was caught. Normally the Square Leg umpire should call the no ball but not this time. To make things worse, Square Leg Umpire was Jacks Dad. Awkward…
In came the next big dog, ready to slog the ball. Dave. Straight from University, family on route to Cornwall for half term, but not Dave. Committed to the team and out for a duck. Will went the same way and Allington looked to be on the ropes. Frazer continued to hit the ball well and kept the score board ticking over with some impressive boundaries. Refusing to run 2’s and only running singles to keep strike. No one was complaining though as he kept us in the hunt, if only the tail end could stay in.
With El Capitan’s continual reminders about, playing safe, and don’t get out, number 8 Smithers took to the crease. First ball, a solid safety shot which brought cheers from the crowd. A quick single (making Frazer run by shouting at him) but he was on strike. A few more powerful boundaries from Frazer to bring up the 140. Next over, same again. Quick single to give Frazer the strike. 10 to win with 8 overs remaining.
Frazer didn’t waste time with a straight drive for 4 and then a massive 6 over the head of the bowler and fielder (repositioned following the straight 4) and through the sight screen. Allington win a brilliant match!