Archive for September, 2010

In Memoriam Marlene

Friday, September 24th, 2010

A very special, a very emotional, and a very jug-filled day … all the pleasures of our eccentric game
Frank Rigby

Marlon - Matchwinner!

An emotional last game for Marlon* had everything you could ever want from a day trip away with the Beamers – a pleasant if windy ground, a returning warrior, dropped catches, personal bests, epic collapses, a season’s best stand, dubious umpiring, a fine victory and then jugs aplenty both in their clubhouse and at The Battle.

After our comprehensive victory over Angmering at home in our first game of the season, we arrived for the return fixture confident of doing the double – our confidence bolstered by the return to the fold of Tonguester, fresh from 18 months of southern sun.

Having lost the toss, we took to the field. Our attack leant heavily on bowlers of the left arm variety, with only one (extra special) right armer to leaven the mix. First up we had Toungster and Isaac who both, after some initial problems of the radar variety, got into their stride, with Isaac dismissing one of the openers in short order and both bowlers asking appropriate questions. The other opener and their number three proved to be their most prolific pair and, whilst not scoring at too high a rate once two leg-side sweepers had been placed for the opener, they batted calmly and productively through the first 15 overs.

First change was Billy, replacing Isaac at the “I remember when this used to be fields” end and quickly getting into his stride, causing the usual trouble to the batsmen, Jonners and myself at slip. One more over from Tonguester at the “There are still some fields” end and the time came for some game changing action, with Marlon replacing him in his last spell for the Beamers*. Marlon was fiery from the start, throwing in the odd beamer just to remind us of Renshaw’s performance against Ansty and beating the bat on a regular basis.

The Angmering collapse started in Marlon’s second over, when he took three fine wickets. (There was much talk afterwards about whether his leg-side shocker on the hat-trick ball was evidence of jug avoidance or spot-fixing. The jury’s still out…) Within a handful of overs (no, I don’t have the scorebook to hand), Marlon had taken another two, Billy two in two balls, Maf had dropped the third worse howler of the season, John had taken a fine catch at his specialist position of Silly Mid Salmon and their 12 year old number 9 had come in to face the soon-to-depart double-Elephant-winner with their score barely into three figures.

It seemed a little unfair to inflict the mighty Marlene on such a little lad, so he departed to the country (and soon from the country) with best ever figures of 5-18 and I came on to bowl. My plan to help Angmering to a more respectable total worked perfectly and within half a dozen overs they had moved on to 133 before Billy wrapped up their innings with another couple of wickets to finish on 4-37.

Our efficient performance with the ball took us to tea thirty minutes early, the sandwiches, cakes and melon accompanied by the usual banter and bartering over the batting order.

Marlon had the honour of playing his last ever innings for The Beamers* as an opener, partnering Riggers in our initial foray to the crease. Things did not go well. Within a handful of overs, we were 13-4, with both Riggers and John failing to trouble the scorers, Marlon and Sanjiv barely making them raise a sweat and Maf benefiting from two dropped catches, each perhaps marginally more difficult than the one he’d dropped in their innings.

If ever there’s a man for a crisis, it’s Frank. Striding confidently to the crease, he was the picture of serenity as he prepared to join Maf in doing battle with the now jubilant Angmering posse. It is difficult to find words to describe how well these two gentlemen played. With remarkably few alarms (although Frank was dropped off the 12 year old) and each in their own distinctive fashion, they moved the score on at a decent lick. Their stand of 101 (season best) featured some splendid aerial work, particularly square on the leg side, from Maf (59 – PB and maiden 50) and some typically elegant strokes on the off side from Frank (41) before they both departed in rapid succession leaving us on 114.

So here’s the situation…

Beamers 20 to win.

Angmering 4 wickets away and cock-a-hoop at being back in the game.

At this point, the more astute amongst you will have noticed that two redoubtable names from our bowling performance have yet to figure in our batting line-up. Yes indeed, it was time for Tonguester and Billy to steer us home. Greeted by the comment from their keeper, “Here comes the night-watchman”, Richard crunched his first ball past mid-on for four, moved rapidly on to 13 off 5 balls, and together with Billy (beneficiary of a very dubious lbw not-out from Sanjiv, who maybe needs to borrow John’s umpiring book) took us to a 4 wicket win with around 15 overs to spare.

The Salmon boning up on LBW law before giving Sanjiv some coaching

All that was left to round everything off was to celebrate individual and team success both from the day and from earlier in the season with jugs deep into the evening. So we did.


Victorious Beamers

*If Marlon heeds the Word of God, he may return from London in time for the Twineham and Wineham game in which case much of this match report should simply be ignored