The prospect of good weather and a blameless track augured well for a good day’s cricket at the Field of Dreams.
Uphill arrived keenly, enjoying a net in advance of the game. The Temple XI took the more traditional preparation route which has stood members in good stead in recent years. Stubbing out a Benson and applying Ralgex is energetic enough for most team members.
The toss was won by Temple Cloud which was, statistically at least, fairly likely following five previous losses. Uphill were asked to field.
Patch bowled very well from the bottom end, landing it accurately and nipping it away. Other bowlers struggled somewhat to find anything like a consistent line or length. Haydon departed via a decision from Umpire Appleyard where the eagle eyed official was in no doubt re: Haydon’s fine edge. Ingram chopped on and White dashed at a wide one to give the keeper, Castle, one of four catches behind.
Billy Garrett, Rich Appleyard and Will Withers provided a recovery of sorts and the tail wagged with Lester, our highly overrated all-rounder, clumping some attractive boundaries to various parts of the ground. Temple were flattered by the final total of 210 which contained over 50 extras.
Appleyard and Lester, as usual, started well offering very little to hit. After 10 overs, it was fairly even. Hayden Watts came in at number 3 for Uphill and, despite one or two aerial shots, never offered a significant chance. Captain Castle accompanied Watts to take Uphill within 20 or so of the required total before both batsmen departed. A strong spell from Billy Garrett saw wickets tumble and gave Temple the smallest sniff of a win at the end.
Tom ‘Bollywood’ Haydon had two chances to pull off catches of Stokesian proportions. He lacked the height, athleticism, co-ordination, desire and gymnastic talent to get near the lofted drives offered to him. In fairness, Tom had a bad side during this fixture. So did Temple.
Tom Haydon in practice before yesterday’s game.
At the end of the game, as usual, our changing room resembled 4077 MASH with our bruised and battered XI.
The casualty list read as follows:
- Appleyard R – sprained ankle,
- Haydon – cracked ribs,
- Ingram – gone in fetlock,
- Appleyard I – shrunken hands,
- Campbell/White/Raisbeck/Polly – general body failure.
This left only Lester, Garrett and Withers to do the heavy lifting in the field. They certainly covered some yards.
In truth, Temple were 20 – 30 runs short of setting the right total for the conditions. Watts batted at a very high standard – well above what one would expect to see in Division Six. We wish him well as he finds full fitness.
Beer helped to relieve the pain of defeat. Next week, the second XI will travel to Minehead … well some of them will.