Archive for July, 2009

Portslade 21 June – Benfield Valley

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

The approach to Benfield Valley takes you through Sainsbury’s car park and past the petrol station hawking fuel at “1p off per litre with every £50 spent in store”. Once past the smell of diesel a sharp left turn brings you out into an unexpected setting. The tree enclosed pitch headed by the pavilion cum bar gives no clue as to the immediate surroundings. Only the occasional motorbike with no heed to urban speed limits gives away the fact that this pitch is enclosed beyond the verdure by main roads and industry.

The start of the game was not the normal calm approach favoured by Beamers’ skippers. A case of lost car keys meant that the vice captain (the always dependable F Rigby) had to carry out the toss in the absence of any higher authority. The toss won and with wise understanding of the state of some senior batsmen’s heads Frank chose to field. (Beamers arriving home at 4.00am the night before a match will be discussed at the next disciplinary hearing!). The actual skipper, by this time tearing along the Old Shoreham Road, was informed by telephone of the situation. Clarke and Cordery were informed via the same medium that they were to open the bowling.

At 2.28 there were 8 Beamers on the pitch. At 2.29 and 30 seconds we had the full compliment of 11 and with only the faintest hint of flusteredness the Beamers had transformed into the honed machine that has destroyed many a batting line up.
Nick Clarke opened up with a salvo of pacey length bowling and we only had to wait until his third over for the killer leg stump yorker to come into play ripping out the stumps of the promising number 3. Isaac Cordery bowling medium fast left arm over from the Shoreham Road end was loose to start with but once the correct line had been found became trickier and prior to the Clarke wicket had found the outside edge of a wafty poke, the ball looping to a grateful Nicholls swooping at gulley. 20 odd for 2.

Out came the number 4. Skipper, left-handed and described by Rigby F as having a gait and demeanour not dissimilar to Kepler Wessels. He was to prove troublesome.
Cordery was replaced by Nicholls and what followed was 5 overs of the best example of medium paced swingy, lengthy, seamy, drifty mesmerising bowling that Benfield Valley is ever likely to witness. A staunch in the flow of runs and two wickets taking out off stump was the reward for his efforts. “I’ve no idea where this has come from” was the bowler’s insight to the killer spell. 74-4
7 overs of spearing pace from the pavilion end saw the end of Clarke’s impressive opening spell and he wandered off to fine leg to nurse another slightly sore head.
On came the leg spin of Rigby R. Although whether the ball or his head was spinning the most is a matter for debate. Despite defeating the bat almost every other ball there was no joy until a leading edge from one that turned back into the right hander became a smartly taken caught and bowled. There was also unfortunately the biggest 6 of the day dispatched (by what looked like a league player to us)into the car park scattering shoppers and shopping alike. Small boys were sent into the thorny bushes to find the ball. Beamers were making steady progress but the left handed captain proved immovable and his 50 arrived.

Nicholls was replaced by Chafey who inspired his captain into the change with ” if you like, but last time I bowled like a drain”. More train than drain this time though and with 3-36 Chafey produced the best bowling figures of the day. A nicely taken catch at mid off by Ryan Nixon saw to the big hitter. This fielding display was not emulated at mid on where the skipper dropped a skier and a drive in the same over and performed mis-fields and acrobatics in a display of comic inconsistency. After studying the wreckage of another spilled chance Chafey decided to take the advice of Rigby B and promptly bowled his next victim. Another safe catch in the gulley by Nicholls brought the oppo to 8 down.

The left handed skipper was still there and was taking a liking to Riggers leg spin.
With a final throw of the dice the skipper brought on himself and Eaton A to close out the innings. A&E had some joy with a successful LBW against a failed reverse sweep.

The left handed skipper was still there. And sadly still there at the end when he successfully completed his century and declared leaving Eaton high and dry with no potential victims to snaffle. 227-9 dec.

Having received retribution from one of the hangovers about negativity during the first innings the skipper became upbeat about what looked like a large total. With the words “good pitch”, “short boundary”, “fast outfield” and “hangovers clearing” still echoing off the shrubbery a very tasty tea was taken.

The plan, as I recall it, was for the openers Rigby F and Rigby R to take stock over the first 10 overs, score what was on offer but take no chances. After 10 overs the acceleration would take us beyond the required run-rate and Rigby B and Clarke N could take over once the openers had been seen off and bring us home. The engine room of Nixon, Chafey and Nicholls were in the wings if needed to wrap things up.
A good plan which sadly failed to take into account either the pace of the opening left armer or crucially the quality of the oppositions fielding and catching which , it has to be said, was outstanding.

Rigby R clipped a couple of lovely boundaries before falling to a sharp catch at gulley from a wide half volley.

Rigby F, looking very solid and rock-like, fell to one that moved away off the seam and was taken in the mid-riff of second slip. Sadly this all took place in the first three overs and, despite the interesting scorers fact that after 1.1 overs we had had one of each type of extra, the second phase of the master plan was brought into operation about 8 overs too early.

All was not lost though and the next 10 or so overs saw a nice partnership developing between Rigby B and Clarke N. Ben at his belligerent best and Nick ensuring that phase 3 of the master plan would not have to be brought forward kept us well up with and beyond the run rate.

It couldn’t last however and eventually Nick fell in the same way as Riggers and gulley took a superb catch which he didn’t look like he expected to hold judging by the surprised expression on his face.

Joined at the crease by Ryan who played well for his partner, Ben battled on until he finally fell on 47. A little like Custer’s last stand the heroes were falling and the circle of whooping indians was tightening.

Nicholls joined Chafey in the fray only to be another victim of a ridiculously good catch in the slips.

Out marched the skipper and amongst the hail of arrows and with smoke drifting across the bodies strew over the blood soaked ground Siddens and Chafey drew up the their final plans. A simple matter of a stand of 127 in 20 overs. As Custer discovered things don’t always go to plan. A few overs of defiance saw the skipper finally fall to a burning arrow with his name on it which was chipped weakly to short extra.

With the remnants of his comrades scattered around him Chafey battled on with one incredible over going for 16. The Beamers thin ray of hope was dashed an over later as the valiant Chafey was bowled (in an all round man-of-the-match-worthy effort) for 49.

The chance of victory was gone but could we survive the remaining 11 overs. Isaac, Andrew Eaton and Jonners were all that stood between Portslade and victory.
A fine innings by Isaac including two beautiful leaves for 4 byes was not enough sadly to stall the inevitable for long. A spitting delivery with extra bounce caught the shoulder of Eaton’s bat and a shorter ball was missed by Isaac. Jonners, bereft of partners could do nothing but surrender and was lost amongst the swarms of victorious Blackfoot and Sioux.

It wasn’t until later that the reason for our defeat became obvious. As the Beamers collectively licked wounds and drank the bar dry of on tap bitter the victorious Portslade were back on the pitch practising with a stump for a bat and and fielding like their lives depended on it.
But in the evening sunshine with the youngsters dashing about it felt right as a Beamer to be sitting back reflecting on the game with a glass of ” Fursty Ferret” to hand.

Siddo

Portslade 21 June – Benfield Valley

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

The approach to Benfield Valley takes you through Sainsbury’s car park and past the petrol station hawking fuel at “1p off per litre with every £50 spent in store”. Once past the smell of diesel a sharp left turn brings you out into an unexpected setting. The tree enclosed pitch headed by the pavilion cum bar gives no clue as to the immediate surroundings. Only the occasional motorbike with no heed to urban speed limits gives away the fact that this pitch is enclosed beyond the verdure by main roads and industry.

The start of the game was not the normal calm approach favoured by Beamers’ skippers. A case of lost car keys meant that the vice captain (the always dependable F Rigby) had to carry out the toss in the absence of any higher authority. The toss won and with wise understanding of the state of some senior batsmen’s heads Frank chose to field. (Beamers arriving home at 4.00am the night before a match will be discussed at the next disciplinary hearing!). The actual skipper, by this time tearing along the Old Shoreham Road, was informed by telephone of the situation. Clarke and Cordery were informed via the same medium that they were to open the bowling.

At 2.28 there were 8 Beamers on the pitch. At 2.29 and 30 seconds we had the full compliment of 11 and with only the faintest hint of flusteredness the Beamers had transformed into the honed machine that has destroyed many a batting line up.
Nick Clarke opened up with a salvo of pacey length bowling and we only had to wait until his third over for the killer leg stump yorker to come into play ripping out the stumps of the promising number 3. Isaac Cordery bowling medium fast left arm over from the Shoreham Road end was loose to start with but once the correct line had been found became trickier and prior to the Clarke wicket had found the outside edge of a wafty poke, the ball looping to a grateful Nicholls swooping at gulley. 20 odd for 2.

Out came the number 4. Skipper, left-handed and described by Rigby F as having a gait and demeanour not dissimilar to Kepler Wessels. He was to prove troublesome.
Cordery was replaced by Nicholls and what followed was 5 overs of the best example of medium paced swingy, lengthy, seamy, drifty mesmerising bowling that Benfield Valley is ever likely to witness. A staunch in the flow of runs and two wickets taking out off stump was the reward for his efforts. “I’ve no idea where this has come from” was the bowler’s insight to the killer spell. 74-4
7 overs of spearing pace from the pavilion end saw the end of Clarke’s impressive opening spell and he wandered off to fine leg to nurse another slightly sore head.
On came the leg spin of Rigby R. Although whether the ball or his head was spinning the most is a matter for debate. Despite defeating the bat almost every other ball there was no joy until a leading edge from one that turned back into the right hander became a smartly taken caught and bowled. There was also unfortunately the biggest 6 of the day dispatched (by what looked like a league player to us)into the car park scattering shoppers and shopping alike. Small boys were sent into the thorny bushes to find the ball. Beamers were making steady progress but the left handed captain proved immovable and his 50 arrived.

Nicholls was replaced by Chafey who inspired his captain into the change with ” if you like, but last time I bowled like a drain”. More train than drain this time though and with 3-36 Chafey produced the best bowling figures of the day. A nicely taken catch at mid off by Ryan Nixon saw to the big hitter. This fielding display was not emulated at mid on where the skipper dropped a skier and a drive in the same over and performed mis-fields and acrobatics in a display of comic inconsistency. After studying the wreckage of another spilled chance Chafey decided to take the advice of Rigby B and promptly bowled his next victim. Another safe catch in the gulley by Nicholls brought the oppo to 8 down.

The left handed skipper was still there and was taking a liking to Riggers leg spin.
With a final throw of the dice the skipper brought on himself and Eaton A to close out the innings. A&E had some joy with a successful LBW against a failed reverse sweep.

The left handed skipper was still there. And sadly still there at the end when he successfully completed his century and declared leaving Eaton high and dry with no potential victims to snaffle. 227-9 dec.

Having received retribution from one of the hangovers about negativity during the first innings the skipper became upbeat about what looked like a large total. With the words “good pitch”, “short boundary”, “fast outfield” and “hangovers clearing” still echoing off the shrubbery a very tasty tea was taken.

The plan, as I recall it, was for the openers Rigby F and Rigby R to take stock over the first 10 overs, score what was on offer but take no chances. After 10 overs the acceleration would take us beyond the required run-rate and Rigby B and Clarke N could take over once the openers had been seen off and bring us home. The engine room of Nixon, Chafey and Nicholls were in the wings if needed to wrap things up.
A good plan which sadly failed to take into account either the pace of the opening left armer or crucially the quality of the oppositions fielding and catching which , it has to be said, was outstanding.

Rigby R clipped a couple of lovely boundaries before falling to a sharp catch at gulley from a wide half volley.

Rigby F, looking very solid and rock-like, fell to one that moved away off the seam and was taken in the mid-riff of second slip. Sadly this all took place in the first three overs and, despite the interesting scorers fact that after 1.1 overs we had had one of each type of extra, the second phase of the master plan was brought into operation about 8 overs too early.

All was not lost though and the next 10 or so overs saw a nice partnership developing between Rigby B and Clarke N. Ben at his belligerent best and Nick ensuring that phase 3 of the master plan would not have to be brought forward kept us well up with and beyond the run rate.

It couldn’t last however and eventually Nick fell in the same way as Riggers and gulley took a superb catch which he didn’t look like he expected to hold judging by the surprised expression on his face.

Joined at the crease by Ryan who played well for his partner, Ben battled on until he finally fell on 47. A little like Custer’s last stand the heroes were falling and the circle of whooping indians was tightening.

Nicholls joined Chafey in the fray only to be another victim of a ridiculously good catch in the slips.

Out marched the skipper and amongst the hail of arrows and with smoke drifting across the bodies strew over the blood soaked ground Siddens and Chafey drew up the their final plans. A simple matter of a stand of 127 in 20 overs. As Custer discovered things don’t always go to plan. A few overs of defiance saw the skipper finally fall to a burning arrow with his name on it which was chipped weakly to short extra.

With the remnants of his comrades scattered around him Chafey battled on with one incredible over going for 16. The Beamers thin ray of hope was dashed an over later as the valiant Chafey was bowled (in an all round man-of-the-match-worthy effort) for 49.

The chance of victory was gone but could we survive the remaining 11 overs. Isaac, Andrew Eaton and Jonners were all that stood between Portslade and victory.
A fine innings by Isaac including two beautiful leaves for 4 byes was not enough sadly to stall the inevitable for long. A spitting delivery with extra bounce caught the shoulder of Eaton’s bat and a shorter ball was missed by Isaac. Jonners, bereft of partners could do nothing but surrender and was lost amongst the swarms of victorious Blackfoot and Sioux.

It wasn’t until later that the reason for our defeat became obvious. As the Beamers collectively licked wounds and drank the bar dry of on tap bitter the victorious Portslade were back on the pitch practising with a stump for a bat and and fielding like their lives depended on it.
But in the evening sunshine with the youngsters dashing about it felt right as a Beamer to be sitting back reflecting on the game with a glass of ” Fursty Ferret” to hand.

Siddo