Barford notched up a good win against a touring Upton side, who had beaten us comprehensively last Sunday (match report to follow in time I hope). The seeds of our victory had been sown then, when we recommended they visit some of Leamington’s less salubrious drinking establishments. Their team had a look of regret about them. Following a precedent set last weekend, Captain Stacey offered the opposition the chance to bat first, which they gladly accepted.
I’ve often said that only a psychopath would mention themselves in a match report so, with that in mind, let’s draw a modest veil over the first 12 overs and return to the game with the opposition already 4 wickets down with about 40 on the board. Captain Stacey shuffled his bowling pack regularly in the stifling heat – Tom Hase kept things tight with two maidens followed by another over that was not. Richard Jones picked up a wicket but that bought in Upton’s big hitting (and grumpily hung over) number 7, who smashed the ball all round the ground for 39 before finally holing out from the skipper’s bowling, to a catch taken by a surprised Will Morgan.
Mike Ireland was offered the ball but had to go and change his shoes, at which point the captain turned instead to club powerhouse Tony Timms, who then took a central role in cleaning up all four remaining wickets; one stumped and one bowled, one excellent catch and then the coup-de-grace in the form of a run out. The Upton batsman smashed the ball into the ground at cover where it leapt up into Tony’s outstretched hand. In one smooth motion he threw it at the stumps at the bowlers end, where the story was slightly ruined by Ben Cook gathering the ball in front of the wickets and taking the bails off himself – it would certainly have hit without. The batsman was miles out off his ground. As far as I’m concerned, this season’s champagne moment was packaged and wrapped, with a bow placed on top.
Upton were all out for 130, at which point we broke to watch some other sport for a couple of hours, after which there was a notable lack of enthusiasm for continuing the game from the tourists. Nevertheless we got on with it and Kevin Tobin soon set about the bowling, with Mark Warner anchoring the other end. Kev continued to smash the ball through an increasingly packed leg side field on his way to a run-a-ball(ish) 50, whilst Mark accelerated too. After several balls were lost and spongey replacements found, the scoring rate slowed and Mark was finally out for 35 with the score on exactly 100. Kev followed soon after for 62 so it was down to Tom Hase and Ben Cook to see things home.
With the overs counting down things started to get tense when Tom was out, but Alex Warner strode to the crease and saw us home with a well made 2 not out (helped out a bit by a few boundaries from Ben).
Kev’s innings took him to 494 career runs, with Simon Morgan still on a mere 488. Who will be first to 500? Kev. But in the interest of making it sound more exciting, I’d like to suggest that in the next match both of them open, with Simon taking the first ball.
Meanwhile, without any of the fuss, Tony T himself has glided past the 500 mark in the last few weeks, whilst Richard Jones has also overtaken Pete Romyn in the all time standings.