STONEWALL PARK AWAY – On a roll…

Coming off the back of the exhilarating win against Bidborough, we pitched up to the lovely ground at Stonewall Park looking to build some strong momentum going into the last couple of the first round of fixtures. The weather looked rather undecided and light but steady rain drops were soon falling as the team were gathering pre match, with no sign of any breaks in the cloud. An ominous sign perhaps, but skipper won the toss and decided to put the hosts in straight away.

 

With Guti S in to replace the absent PC, he and Wild went about the opening overs with a slippery ball, fast losing any shine or shape that might help with some conventional quick bowling. After 5 overs a piece without a breakthrough, Danny boy brought on the slow stuff – Weezy Crosby and the returning Weezy Junior (give those death sticks up now Miles) took to their tasks with the usual unrelenting accuracy. It wasn’t long before Stonewall were forced to give in to the Crosby twin magic, with one opener skewing a drive to Dan at cover – we’d made the breakthrough. Not entirely sure what happened for the next few overs but it was all a bit weird, culminating with their number 3 bat missing a ball from the senior Big Phil after walking at one, only for the ball to roll back toward Cribben who immediately pounced like a ferret to run out/stump (no one actually knows) the seemingly lost batsman. Then there seemed to be a collapse of sorts, with two consecutive batsmen chippy easy catches to fielders early on in their innings, all the while the other opener continued to play well at the other end. Then Sheridan turned back the years and rarely strayed from THE CASTLE with his bowling, and man after man they swung and they missed, bails flying all over the place (within 3 feet of the stumps, he’s not as quick as he used to be). Experience proved to be the deciding in our fielding innings, with Phil ending up with 6-23 off his 8, and Darren nabbing 2-17 off 6 overs – very tidy bowling chaps. The innings ended in the last over with Stonewall reaching a modest 147, finished off with the spell of the day – one ball, one wicket from the beard. Not as good as Sheridan’s bowling by any stretch, but a rare gem if ever there was one – Wild bowling a full straight ball first up. Tea went down well for all – a hallmark of Stonewall’s hosting now.

 

More opening experimentation this week, with John Okell returning to the side to take first ball alongside Wild. Last year Stonewall ran away with the league by virtue of a plethora of bowling options – this year we caught them at a good time it seemed, as they were missing much of their prized attack. However, this did not mean an easy task for the Sennocke line up, and the opening two got off to a steady start, with John doing much of the scoring early on, before falling for 31 a few overs before tea. At this stage, Wild had only just breached double figures and had faced a fair few balls – thoughts of a Tavare-style innings were circling. Joined by the other twin in the Okell clan, runs started to flow more freely for Sennocke, Wild keen to make up on lost time. Already comfortable using the sweep shot to their seam attack, Wild started to explore the other shots in the batting manual, with a brief foray into straight drives and cover drives, and a GLORIOUS six down the ground over the bowlers head. However this seemed to bore him and he soon returned to sweeping one and all. Then he was felled – not getting out, but hit in a poorly secured box, and had to spend the next few minutes gathering his thoughts and what remained of his manhood, before slapping his was to his first 50 of the year, moving on to 61 runs before edging another flaying drive behind to the keeper. At this point, Sennocke needed just 45 runs to win, and with Pete and Jules at the crease, and plenty of overs left, victory seemed a near certainty. A small wobble, with Jules and Pete falling before time, brought Dan and Miles together as the crease – these two cool young heads steered us to victory in the 37th over.

 

Overall a great performance, with bowling depth exhibited, fielding still on a really good level (despite shelling a few chances), and a good positive batting innings – we are out the drop zone. Bring on Chiddingstone at home next week – let’s rectify the horror show in that friendly a few years ago…

BIDBOROUGH AT HOME – Phoenix from the flames

The Sennocke Scribe returns after a two week absence, brought on by a lack of literary inspiration provided by two poor defeats. The less said, the better.
This week we hosted Bidborough, who on paper (aka the league table) were a better side than the previous two we lost to. But the team went into the game with a renewed positivity thanks in part to the chirpy leadership team, watching too many Brendon McCullum interviews and way too much pre match sugar.
Losing the toss as standard, we were sent into bat, with Wild retaining his opening slot alongside the returning Lee Hinton-Dilkes. Some short pitched bowling up front was dealt with pretty easily, the pitch taking the sting out of any deliveries dug in halfway and allowing the batsmen to play the ball down to 3rd man or just leave at rubbish alone. Lairy Lee, as he will undoubtedly become to be known, held his ground steadily until he lashed out at the perfect drive ball, which the bowler stuck a hand out to deflect and somehow pouched. Pokell then ambled out to the middle and obviously hadn’t had much of a warm up as he loosened up at the crease by swinging at almost everything. Wild’s innings was peppered with the usual sweeps and glides to 3rd man, but it was brought to a premature end when he went after a ball with a bit too much enthusiasm, over balancing and getting stumped with some very tidy work behind the stumps by the Bidborough keeper. Pete and Jules took the mantle on from that point and Pete had finally got his eye in with some enormous blows over long on (cow corner really), before he too fell, with Julian soon to follow. Dan and Al Stuart consolidated at that point and built a good foundation for a big finish. At this point, things seemed to slow dramatically as we posted just 60 runs in the last 15 overs, despite Le Grand Ginge having a big old swing at it. Final total was more than a tad short of par at 156, story of the day being too many starts and not enough scores (we are becoming the World Cup England ODI side basically).

With the four frontline bowlers in the team, we still had a good chance of defending if we bowled well and back that up in the field. We opened with Wild and PC as expected, with the ginger’un held back for short sharp bursts a la Mitchell Johnson. The bearded one bowled remarkably accurately, conceding just one wide in his 9 over spell, all the while removing 3 of the Bidborough top 4, including a rather classical nick behind. This had Bidborough worried, as they found themselves 4 down early than they would have liked. However a partnership thwarted the Sennocke forward charge for some time, until the excellent bowling of Sheridan, Crosby and Chapman (plus PC in his brief jaunts) started to build up the pressure and the wickets returned. They were shared all around the team, with all 5 bowlers contributing. This was largely in part to our drastically improved catching (fielding overall was noticeably sharper) as nearly every wicket was taken via a catch – brief mention for Pete for what must be drop of the season, shelling a dolly at third man (the plan was brilliant but for the choice of fielder Dan). Soon we had them 9 down with the last of PC’s overs whistled by and removed another batsmen. Their set batsmen had dug in deep while picking off the stray balls and frustrating us all until the penultimate over when, with just 10 runs needed to win, he went for the big one over Brian’s head into the wind with Callingham lurking at long on. It was a low flat bullet but there would only be one winner in that clash, the skipper taking it comfortably and sealing a huge win for the lads lads lads.
Whispers of a massive celebratory rave started circulating, causing many of the team to flee post match, but a hardened few carried on the festivities in the Raj Bari. Dan showed off his feminine side with a curry so girly, it could have been made of roses and rainbows. Let’s hope he steps up his game in weeks to come.

Next week – Stonewall Park away. Come on the boys.

 

PS – I was asked to include some detail on the previous matches. The only thing worth noting was when Paul Tapper commented that Wild was “whipping balls from off stump into the leg side like a certain Sir Viv Richards” at Halstead. Never a truer word spoken.

Bowlers Destroy Fordcombe…

Sennocke – 208-4 40 Overs (Julian Weekes 93 no, Mark Conway 54)
Fordcombe – 122 ao 37.2 Overs (Tom Wild 4-34, Phil Sheridan 3-18)

A 106 run partnership between Julian and Mark setup victory against second placed Fordcombe. A late flurry from Boom Boom Clayton (27 off 15) pushed the score over the 200 mark which would eventually prove 84 runs too many for the visitors.

Fordcombe struggled against the pace of Tom (4-34) and hostility of Boom Boom (who only conceded 16 runs from his 9 overs) – he was denied wickets from drops and an edge that didn’t show up on hot spot. Phil Sheridan mopped up and helped himself to 3-18 to take his season tally to 20 wickets. The Crosby boys kept up their good bowling form despite a tea time binge by Brian the elder.

And here are some nice pics…

Tom Wild masterclass - 4-34
Tom Wild masterclass – 4-34
Big Bird only conceded 16 runs from his 9 overs
Big Bird only conceded 16 runs from his 9 overs