This week’s match report is brought to you by Specsavers.
The year is 2046, it’s a Sunday morning in June and it’s 5.10am. The light is creeping through the curtains and the 50 year old Billy Garrett turns over in his bed. His beer gut follows him and nestles with him on the warm mattress. Despite having contributed little to Temple Cloud’s victory the day before, every joint in his body is screaming with pain. A sore shoulder – he couldn’t remember even throwing the ball at any point. Pains in his ankle, knee, hip and back.
Each joint feels like a razor blade has been inserted in between each bone and connective tissue. Muscles ache everywhere, despite only ‘running’ 200 yards all day. It was no good, he was never going to be able to sleep; he traipsed to the bathroom and necked some much needed paracetamol in the hope that the pain might disappear. His mind was taken back to 2019 where the decline began …
The match v Butleigh was likely to be interesting. Butleigh were second to Temple in the league but with a game in hand. It had rained for much of the week but the pitch had been covered so it should be playable. As usual, Temple lost the toss and were inserted on what was likely to be a track that might offer some early movement.
The track did nowt! If anything it played better than it had the previous week. In contrast to last week however, the bowlers bowled straight and true. White and Hayne negotiated the first few overs reasonably comfortably. Despite not having played that often in recent months, Hayne looked in decent nick and showed great technique. Solid punches through the covers helped keep the scoreboard moving.
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White, batting a foot outside his crease, departed LBW, but Hayne remained unruffled – solid and busy at the crease. He continued to punch, nurdle and drive.
Billy Garrett came to the wicket and continued his recent good form, showing fine defence against the accurate Butleigh attack.
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Garrett tried to sweep a full ball and was dismissed LBW.
Unperturbed, Hayne carried on pushing, punching and driving. Accumulating in good time.
Howie looked in good touch too. Annoying the opposition through his late cuts and solid defence.
LBW Fact: if the batsman is playing a shot at the ball, the ball must strike him in line with the stumps AND be going on to hit the stumps for him or her to be given out.
Howie departed LBW to a slightly quicker delivery that he attempted to sweep.
Jamer Hayne, despite a recent break from the game, showed some excellent footwork. He is one of those batsmen who takes his guard outside of the popping crease against spinners despite having the keeper stood up. The square leg umpire always has his heart in his mouth – thinking that the next ball might sneak through. Strong foot work and a great eye meant that this never happened and the ball would be met, three or four metres down the track and punched for runs.
For his demise, Jamer advanced two or three paces down the track against the tidy spinner, who saw him coming and speared the ball just short of a length. The ball bounced higher than expected and rapped Jamer just above the top of the leg guard. Jamer was dismissed LBW for a well made 50.
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Simon Feaver, promoted in the ranks to 5, batted sensibly, running well, firm hits interspersed with good defence. Campbell, Appleyard and Gardner took the score to 166 which was possibly 20 short of where it needed to be.
A superb tea was taken where it was good to see Mrs W back in the clubhouse after a week off.
Luke chapter 6, verse 38: “Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over … for with the same measure with which ye mete it shall be measured to you again.”
As Temple took the field, a heady aroma of ‘brown adrenaline’ (as our local law enforcement expert termed it) wafted over the Field of Dreams to ease the bowlers’ nerves.
Despite the ground resembling Woodstock in August ‘69, the Butleigh openers were met by a ferocious Simon Feaver who bowled through the haze with excellent pace, getting through the batsmen before they had time to finish their shots. Cat stood 15 metres back and took the ball on the rise.
Unbelievably, Simon only took one wicket in this spell. At the other end, Lester P bowled with a little out swing and dismissed the Butleigh opener with a dipping bunger. 30 odd for 2 and the game was in the balance in the early stages.
The Butleigh captain Ryan, looked in good touch. Strong, youthful cuts and pulls kept the score moving ahead of the rate.
Good pace from Billy Garrett was a threat down hill with the wind following on from Feaver’s early assault. Gardner bowled well with accuracy and away swing in order to keep the pressure on.
A direct hit run out from the swooping Roy Gardner was a game changing moment which saw the Butleigh number 2 return to the hutch.
Bowling uphill, into the wind was a tricky business however. Polly and Lester P did their best in the difficult circumstances presented by the force 6 gale.
Butleigh were now ahead of the curve but Temple always felt that after 5 wickets down, they may be through the best of the batting. Three good wickets from Roy Gardner certainly helped matters at this point.
As the end of the game approached, Jamer Hayne was given the unenviable job of bowling uphill into a howling gale coming from the Hinton Blewett end. Temple were behind the game at this point with plenty of overs in hand. One appeal for LBW was turned down despite the batsman middling it – fair enough!
Victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat as Hayne snaffled a hard hit return from the Butleigh captain Ryan who had to depart for a well crafted 85. This left the de facto number 11 (Butleigh only had 10) to chip a simple catch back to Hayne to seal the win.
The Temple XI enjoyed some refreshment without being able to discuss the game with the opposition on this occasion.
The first XI returned from Minehead just before midnight but, by this time, the party had moved to a different venue.
Onwards to an away match-up v Winscombe.