At last, the selectors came to their senses and picked a talented youngster who has much to offer the future of the club. Seeing Father Hayne take the field in borrowed and ill fitting whites, on Saturday 16th July, was a vote for common sense and progress.
Our setting was the pleasant ground of Leigh on Mendip. The wicket showed where precisely in Somerset the rain had stopped prior to the match. The top half of the wicket was dry, straw coloured and a little crusty, the bottom half damp, dark and moist. What a meteorological stroke of luck!
Temple were inserted (I presume – I can’t remember who won the toss – you would never have chosen to have batted first with the weather forecast we faced and on a damp track) – oh hang on!
White and Wilton offered a pair of straight-bats against the decent Leigh attack. There wasn’t a huge amount to hit and the new ball did a bit as the rain mizzled around us.
Wilton H departed reasonably early after keeping out some challenging deliveries and Haydon joined White for a reasonable partnership. After Haydon’s departure for a tidy 19, a flurry of wickets followed, including Cat Campbell’s delicious run out by more than half a pitch, where (whilst on zero) he hit the ball directly to short mid-on who was standing not more than 6 foot from the stumps. Heroically, Cat called for a run which, the history of cricket and science will show, has never been less likely to have been completed. Record breaking stuff Nick – Well done!
In between times, back at the pavilion, our keeper Brody Wilton had attracted attention from local spectators and enjoyed a deep and meaningful conversation with an interested local in the shade of an easy to identify giant Yew Tree.
Back on the field, just like the current England team, our tail saved us from embarrassment. Will Withers played a range of technically correct shots in partnership with Jack Chivers who hit a very hard-hitting 62 runs to take Temple to a respectable score of 190.
This was Jack’s first 50 and it was a very high quality display of hitting, much to the pleasure of Father Hayne, unbelievably making his debut for the season. Father saw us to tea, ably blocking the Leigh attack as the innings drew to a close and also serving to deprive the home team from a bowling point.
Temple were a bowler short in truth, and never really threatened to stop Leigh on Mendip from reaching the required total of 191.
Haydon, Raisbeck and Gale will be happy with their figures from the day but we were probably a bowler short overall. What a good spinner Will Withers could be if he were to play a little more frequently?
A pleasant journey home allowed this writer to stop off for a very enjoyable refreshment in Mells. One to bear in mind for future players visiting the region.