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Midhurst in Ruins After Operation Siddo

A fixture bedeviled by the usual lead-up nonsense (opposition dropping out, players dropping out, cyclists everywhere, lack of access to the emergency fixture bureau, etc, etc) ended up being rather pleasant.

Midhust is miles away, of course, so the team arrived in dribs and drabs, most cheerful and looking forward to a game of cricket at last, some, sadly, less so.

But enough of my spat with Jonners. “What happened in the game, skip?”, I can hear you cry.

I was coming to that.

On a sloping pitch in front of the splendid Cowdray Ruins, the toss was duly won and the opposition duly inserted, mainly on the premise that we can never bowl sides out.

After tight bowling early on from Mark and Musso (yes indeed, the old team back in harness – and carthorses would be one description, although not one I would ever use, naturally) they crawled to around 35-1 off 12 or 13 overs, with Musso having taken the solitary wicket to fall. A double change, with debutante Glen replacing Renshaw and Siddo the Magnificent replacing Musso. And, my word, didn’t that work out well?

While Glen hurtled in from one end – inducing a series of false strokes and a couple of missed chances, one very tricky, the other, well… – Siddo was – as I may have said already – simply magnificent. When he’d taken 3 wickets, I was going to take him off, but wise words were whispered in my ear by Niall about the possibility of a jug, so I kept him on. So he picked up a fourth. I then asked him when he last took 5 wickets, and was told 1993, so I gave him another over. You can guess the rest.

So they’re 6 down. Niall makes it 7 in his solitary over and they really haven’t got any runs at all. Beast then God from one end to deliver statesman-like off spin; myself from the other end to feed them some juicy leg-side long-hops which certainly helped with their scoring rate!

An over apiece from Riggers and Ben to round things off. (10 bowlers used – count ‘em!) Midhurst 123-7, 5 of which were gobbled up by Siddo.

Decent tea, with a particularly good coffee cake and accompanied by live cricket from Lords in the bar with England’s innings interestingly poised and Balance and Jordan leading the fightback.

3 people had each bowled a solitary over, so they they had the honour of leading us out. Ben and Riggers first. After Ben’s brief stay (which, as he pointed out, was both longer and higher scoring than his previous effort at T&W), Riggers was joined by Niall and together they set about their task.

Highlights were a trademark back-foot force just in front of Point from Riggers and a series of mightily punched shots from Niall all round the wicket, but particularly through the leg-side. The chase was unhurried and without much in the way of alarm, although Niall carved one through cover’s hands, Riggers got tied in knots by a couple of young leg-spinners (poetic justice, surely?) and Musso had to field for about half their innings as one of their team had to go home for his dinner (or something).

A 9 wicket win with more than 10 overs to spare. We normally like ‘em a bit closer, but I think we’d take anything at the moment. Can anyone remember our last victory? T&W in September 2012, perhaps? Was that Ben’s previous outing? Is that the secret? Beamers win when Ben fails…?

A&E

In a brief footnote, I have had an apology for the lack of proper beer in the bar. I am assured that it won’t happen again!

In another brief footnote on the subject of beer, jugs are owed.  Siddo (one), Riggers (half).  Just thought I’d mention it…

Minutes of Beamers EGM Friday 6th June 2014

In attendance: Siddo, Salmon, Niall, Maf, Beast, Dave Andrews. Also a strange man who, upon closer inspection, turned out to be A&E, with hair tousled out to its full length, to make him a) unrecognisable; 3 of the team walked straight past him, and b) wonderfully eccentric-looking and cultured. Beamers, you should see it, it’s worth signing up for Crawley Down for. As it happens, my partner also walked past A&E in the street yesterday but, on having it pointed out, then said ‘it makes him look softer, more interesting’. I mean, I don’t want to go on about it, but it really is something.

As you’ve seen elsewhere, Niall is sorting nets; the meeting suggested that we have one the week before each game. There were rumours that Mr Cave was sorting something out with Brighton College, but in the absence of any further news we’re going for indoor nets.

Maf requested that, if and when he ever reaches 99, someone from the boundary should shout and tell him (pace the previous Beast and Dave Andrews’ farragos); Salmon asked if the same could happen if he ever gets to 9.

I thought that was a good gag, hence its inclusion here.

Availability has been outlined elsewhere, so no need to mention it here.

Skippers are: Crawley Down – A&E; Ditchling – Niall Chafey; A ‘W’, standing for which I forget now (Watersfield – Ed)- Frank Rigby; Twineham and Wineham – Rob Nicholls.

What do you call a man who balances pints on his head whilst playing snooker? Beatrix Potter.

Crawley Down But Not Out…

The skipper’s report seems to be a dying art (and you’ll see why shortly – Ed.) but it might have a place for those who weren’t at the game and have a passing interest in what happens to The Beamers.

Crawley Down beckoned but it took a committed team to get there – late drop outs, damaged deities, the London to Brighton bike ride and the pissing rain – just some of the obstacles put in our way. But Riggers’ fan base produced an extra player, A&E did sterling work liaising with their fixture sec and Gordy WALKED FIVE MILES from the station to get there. Yeah, yeah… but what about the cricket I hear you one ask?

Well it was fun, in a cricket sort of way. Lots of runs (mostly by them unfortunately), a sun drenched pitch, excellent fielding (err, again mostly by them) and a tea from heaven.

They chose to bat first and produced their centurion who proceeded to batter us and the adjoining houses (it was a short boundary – it must have been even the skipper hit a six later…) for most of the afternoon.

Harry Deacon, who sounds like a character from a John le Carre novel but is in fact our official youth policy, opened with THE BEAST (a first time for everything) and bowled fast and furious including getting a couple of edges to second slip. Both were dropped unfortunately and even more so because the second resulted in the damaged deity hurting himself even more.

Bowlers were regularly rotated with first changes Gordy and Riggers bowling well and taking wickets but still the centurion remained. Kumy and the Dobmeister tried to befuddle them by bowling a variety of different deliveries, most of them intentionally, but still he remained.

Nicholls brought himself on and luckily got wickets, including THAT one, when he held one back and slid it across the left hander/he ran out of energy and was only able to smack it to David at mid-off (delete where applicable). They hit out and got out but not before we were looking at chasing over 220.

What a fantastic tea…

With the deity done in Riggers stepped into the breach with David who smacked 10 off the first over! Then it went very quiet. David was out chasing a wide one and Riggers looked like he may be having one of his legendary ‘at the wicket kips’.

Then all of a sudden he woke up and was soon carting it, including a huge six over the long boundary and nearly into his cowering parents, ending up just shy of his 50. Beast stayed a while, Harry helped Riggers batter the bowlers a bit and Charlie tried too. Kumy had a cameo, Skip stayed for a bit too, G came and went, Jonners upper cut for four but was out trying to repeat his own version of the Dilshan scoop, A&E slapped his first ball for four and… see above. But we were always a little behind the run rate.

Still the Harvey’s tasted good and I’m sure we’ll win a game some time this season…

Rob Nic