As the song goes, mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. On this occasion we were expecting rain all day, but decided to give the game a go, and were well rewarded with an almost dry afternoon.
Werrington arrived with a weakened team, including Roger Goodman, who guested for ourselves once last season; perhaps there was some hope for us yet against the early league leaders? The return of Sam Boundy raised spirits and the crowd were eager for their first glimpse of new signing Iain Barker. The stage was set for a fascinating afternoon.
Gunnislake lost the toss and were asked to bat. Barrie James and Stephen Lees laid the usual solid foundation before failing to capitalise – all a cunning plan to get Sam to the crease. Sam soon showed his class, ably supported by Brian Martin, before an ugly heave across the line sent Sam on his way. Old master Sylvan Pook then laid out his stall, scampering singles, but one too many for Brian who set off too late and had to continue on to the pavilion, as he was run out. Enter new boy Iain Barker who soon had a ring of three on the leg side boundary. Nevertheless, Werrington kept a lid on things and Gunnislake scraped a fourth batting point thanks to some late hitting from Josh Reynolds and quick thinking from Stephen Parsons, who scored a valuable 0 not out , with some agile running to keep Josh on strike.
A traditional English cricket tea was taken, before Werrington strode out to take on the run chase. A brisk start by experienced openers Dennis and Smeeth was interrupted when Josh Reynolds bowled Smeeth. This appeared to open a chink in Werrington’s armour as the remaining team decided to offer catching practice to the grateful hosts. An inspired bowling change brought Barker into the act; oh all right, he was just next on the list. One over from the debutant was enough for Geoff Husband to heap great praise with the comment “he can bowl a bit”. Ably supported by Paul Lees and Sylvan Pook wickets tumbled regularly, with seven catches being a record in your humble scribe’s time. In the end Werrington succumbed meekly, ruing the absence of three star players, and leaving Iain Barker with the impressive figures of 8 -2-15-5. After one match a true Gunnislake man, and he is over 60 to boot! Also a special mention for Werrington keeper Jonathan Ward, a cool seventy years younger than Geoff.
Meanwhile, Mike has dished out raffle tickets for the Albaston Fete, who have been a good supporter of the club over the years. See any committee member for your chance to win a range of exciting prizes.
Great Gunnislake Bake-off results
1st prize: Sylvan Pook, scones with jam and cream (home-made jam the next challenge)
2nd prize: Adrian Cameron (banana cake)
3rd prize: Mrs Parsons (tea cake). The cake was better than 3rd, but getting the wife to
do the baking is not in the true spirit of cricket
Disqualified: Geoff Husband (egg sandwiches failed to appear)
Quote of the Week
“A gun is no more dangerous than a cricket bat in the hands of a madman”. Prince Philip