Watching England play so ineptly against South Africa at Lords’ today would provide a modicum of solace for Temple 2s players as they reflect on their third loss of the season. It shouldn’t however.
Captain Veater’s patience is probably being tested somewhat by a poor start to the season by Temple’s 2nd XI. With batsmen 5 – 11 having scores reading like a US phone number (4281663) *, Temple didn’t threaten to post a truly competitive total on a pitch that was only going to get better as it was exposed to the fair spring sunshine.
The day started promisingly in the sense that no 2nd XI players were requested to play in the 1st XI on Saturday morning. This has to be regarded positively – especially as this is one of the only upsides to take from the day.
Temple were inserted on a damp pitch. Winscombe’s newish covers languished resplendent on the boundary edge and it wasn’t entirely clear if they had been employed fully on a damp Friday night. At least half of the straw coloured pitch had the consistency of a potter’s floor – the other half resembled the track at Chittagong.
This writer can not be entirely clear how Gale J was dismissed as he was in a traffic jam at the time, somewhere between Langford and Churchill. Not taking full account of the bank holiday traffic accounted for the late arrival of at least three members of the Temple team and this played some degree of havoc with the batting order. Spike Wilton took advantage of this and played some very nice shots in his elevated position in a partnership with his dad – which is always nice to see.
White was dismissed with a comedy under edge from a leg-spinning grubber, Gardner missed a straight one, Comer C (the better brother) drilled one to cover, Appy senior struck some lovely back foot shots but succumbed to one that pitch leg and hit off. Gale R attempted a Viv Richards pick-up to leg that ended in a leading edge caught by the keeper near the stumps. Comer A, as usual, was steadfast, measured and undefeated on 39 at the end. The Somerset banker reminds this viewer very much of a modern day Peter Roebuck. Make of that what you will.
Tea deserves a paragraph of it’s own. The spread was excellent and, in the same style as Temple teas, contained nothing of nutritional value. The balance of cake – to sandwich – to crispy snacks was pretty much perfect. We suspect that this was the Winscombe CC’s ‘batting second’ tea and is employed to give a 10% advantage to the home team who bowled first. Bearing in mind that the majority of our team are complete gannets, the net effect was a 20% drop in performance for TCCC due to additional scones (plus jam and cream) and hot sausage rolls consumed. I will happily recommend the newly discovered ‘hot sausage roll and ham sandwich’ which I will be marketing to the sophisticated bistros of the region – it’s a sure fire winner.
Predictably, Temple never really threatened Winscombe after the break.
An inability to remove another experienced opener cost TCCC 2nd XI dearly once again this week. Vowles (47) secured the Winscombe innings with his characteristic leg side shots and relentless banter, it was also good to see a flurry of under 20s take the crease with some degree of effectiveness.
The only bowler to perform above expectation was Spike Wilton who added to his good performance with the bat. His new beard makes him resemble an east Somerset version of Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean or at least a poorly paid extra in Game of Thrones.
The scorecard says that the game was over in the 33rd over. This is a fair reflection of Temple’s performance on the day and an early finish represented a sweet release from possibly the worst TCCC 2nd XI performance in the last 3 seasons.
Great showers, nice bar, great teas and a lovely ground. Thank you Winscombe,
* This is the telephone number of a clinical expert on sterility, based in New Jersey, USA – some would say there is a connection.