From riches to rags: fifteen players last week became ten in the end, thanks to Gary Primmer responding to the emergency call, but David Battams going down with a badly sprained wrist. Had Geoff bribed him to get his wicket-keeping place back? Meanwhile the captain turned up late, having been stuck on the M5, dashing back from the World Athletics Championships. South Petherwin were also struggling with no less than four loan players, and one late arrival. But the show was on the road!
Being late, I assume we won the toss and chose to bat. Sam Boundy as acting captain sent in Geoff Husband and Barrie James to open; their instructions were to build a firm foundation. Alas, Geoff did not hear, and quickly surrendered his wicket without troubling the scorers. Boundy promptly gave South Petherwin some catching practice, offering his wicket to them twice, but the visitors were in a generous mood, spurning the offer. A good thing as it turned out, as no-one could really stay with Sam. Wickets fell at the other end and the duck quota rose; when Sam was out for 43 an early tea was on the cards. Stephen Lees loitered for a while, but Brian Martin shepherded the tail well, with 20 not out, and Gunnislake closed on 129, three balls short of their allotted 40 overs. For South Petherwin, the wickets were shared around, with three each for Dingle and Dan Howgill (on loan from Werrington) and two for Sam Payne.
Howgill 2 (aka Adam, also on loan from Werrington) opened the batting for South Petherwin with experienced campaigner Roger Gerry. But he was soon back in the pavilion, dollying up a catch to silly mid-off. Martyn Stenlake followed, bowled by a leg cutter from Paul Lees. Four for two was a strange scoreboard, but it did not get any better for the visitors. Roger Gerry was caught at deep mid off, a stupendous backward leaping catch from Sam Boundy (marks: ten out of ten). Sylvan Pook, the benefitting bowler, was on a roll, and dispensed with help to bowl Billy Martin. Howgill 3 (Dad Mike) hit a few lusty blows, but holed out to mid on, as Lees ran in and took a diving catch one handed close to the ground (marks: nine out of ten). Loanee four, A Martyn, briefly threatened, but Brian Martin took another catch off Cameron’s bowling, to dismiss his namesake. Pook continued to demolish the opposition, with two more catches held by David Emmerson, one being Dan Howgill. Thus all three Howgills had perished to catches from an inspired fielding performance. Mike Searle and Paul Dingle blocked out for several overs for the last wicket, but Paul Lees, returning for a second spell, bowled the South Petherwin captain, and the resistance was over. The visitors were all out for a lowly 51, giving the ten men of Gunnislake a victory by 78 runs. Three wickets for Lees were reward for another very tidy and reliable spell, but Pook was the star performer with six wickets for a mere fourteen runs.
“Catches win matches”, said the new boy Gary Primmer (it was only his second game). Little did he know that these few words are the legendary phrase of Ian Pemberton, long time Callington guru and inspiration for half the Gunnislake side. (And I believe he still reads these match reports: hi Ian!) But they bear repetition, for never was it truer; Sam Boundy thrived on his let offs, and Gunnislake gave their best fielding performance of the season. Catches certainly won this match.
Joke of the Week
Michael Vaughan and Andrew [Freddie] Flintoff, now elderly, 85 and 82 years old, are sitting on a park bench outside Lord’s cricket ground feeding pigeons and talking about cricket, past Ashes series, and tours like they do every day.
Michael turns to Freddie and asks, ‘Do you think there’s cricket in heaven?’
Flintoff thinks about it for a minute and replies, ‘I dunno. But let’s make an agreement: if I die first, I’ll come back and tell you if there’s cricket in heaven, and if you die first, you do the same.’ They shake hands on it. Sadly, a few months later, poor Freddie passes on.
One day soon afterward, Vaughany is sitting there feeding the pigeons by himself when he hears a voice whisper, ‘Michael…………….Michael’
Vaughan responds, ‘Freddie, is that you?’ Yes it is, Michael, ‘whispers Freddie’s ghost.
Vaughany, still amazed, enquires, ‘So, is there cricket in heaven? ‘Well, ‘says Freddie, ‘I’ve got good news and bad news.’
‘Gimme the good news first,’ says Vaughany.
Freddie opines, ‘Well… there is cricket in heaven.’
Vaughan says, ‘That’s great! What news could be bad enough to ruin that?’
Freddie sighs and whispers, ‘You are going to open the innings this Friday.’