London Fields lost to Wildwood Wanderers by one wicket(ish)
by new correspondent, Paul Alexander
An almost surreal cricketing experience occurred for the LFCC boys on this rather overcast and cold Sunday afternoon. Today was a perfect example of comparing the sublime to the ridiculous in terms of leisure activities undertaken on the grounds of London Fields.
For the duration of the game (a celebration of grace and skill), a rather garish funfair was in full swing with a constant stream of 1990's pop 'music' being broadcast very loudly throughout the match. This coupled with constant screaming of the punters on the fairground rides, and regular verbal health and safety reminders from the Dodgem car supervisor somewhat detracted from the ambiance of what proved to be a very competitive cricket match with a tense finish.
Before the game, it was decided that this week, LFCC would field a re-shuffled order to allow individuals an opportunity to try a new role within the team. LFCC took the liberty of batting first with a view to unleashing an unheralded opening partnership, which resulted in the game highlight for LFCC. The innings opened with Phil Clark and Darrin Lewis at 1 and 2 in the order. This was a very effective opening partnership; LFCC really got off to a rollicking start with a number of technically correct cover drives from Big Phil Clark (46) some of which were delicately chipped over hapless infielders, and bounced across the boundary line with regular aplomb.
Darren Lewis (34, score not age - ed) chimed in with a few classy boundary shots himself; without doubt, the shot of the day was DL with an immaculately timed square drive that seared across the carpet to the rapturous applause from all and sundry.
For the remainder of the innings, Carl Death (26) and Rob Harries (22) added valuable runs under some very disciplined opposition bowling and with an alarmingly decreasing number of deliveries available, Arthur Smart stepped up with a belligerent 21 off 6 balls to accelerate the run rate, but fell to a catch off a lofted drive right on the boundary. The innings ended soon after at 177 for 9 after 35 overs.
At the change of innings, there was a feeling that we definitely had a game on our hands and were perhaps 10 runs shy of a winning total. We would need to bowl tightly, on target and field well. Certainly, the Wildwood opening pair put on a solid 1st wicket partnership of 80 odd runs. Wickets were hard to come by, however, LFCC were definitely fighting hard in the field and supporting each other well.
Speaking of support, today, Jason thankfully was wearing a decent pair of cricket trousers, instead of his disintegrating pair of strides affectionately known as 'Old Faithful'. This really was for the best after the discourtesy of the 'trouser drop debacle' during the Brighton tour a few weeks previous. According to the Match report against Palmers CC in Hove, when setting off for a quick single:
'Jason bared his saggy 8rse to the world. He seemed to be wearing a nappy whilst batting. I do not know why. (C.Skinner et al May 2013.'
Back to the Wildwood CC game. My memory of this fixture the previous year was that, much like our good selves, the opposition plays the game in the right spirit. With this in mind, we provided a fielder to cover an injury of one of their players (this sub fielder took a catch and saved a few runs during the course of the innings). This is still true, and the Wildwood team are a great bunch of guys, however, it can just take the actions of one person to upset this delicate balance.
After a good knock, one of the Wildwood players came out to umpire and unfortunately labelled a few of our players as 'cheats' after he disagreed with how many overs our bowler thought he may have bowled. This continued (even after the scorers from his own team had clarified the situation), and a sub-committee meeting had ensued to clarify that someone’s Dad was in fact bigger than someone else’s Dad. Once this very avoidable storm in a teacup was resolved, we managed to get back to the cricket.
At this time, Arthur Smart was introduced to the bowling crease and bowled a magnificent spell which almost clawed the game back for the hosts.
Before this bowling change, Wildwood were cantering to victory. It was compelling viewing to see the energy change and uncertainty creep into the batting side as Arthur weaved his magic to snaffle an impressive 5 for 29; not including a very close shout for LBW in the dying overs. Eventually, the close game ended with the winning runs being clubbed by an opposition tail-ender who was surrounded by catching fielders, and Wildwood CC chalked up a deserved victory.
Although the boys were somewhat muted at losing the game, it was great to see a number of wives and girlfriends of LFCC club members present today. Thank you to all those who played, supported and enjoyed a well earned pint at the Pub on the Park after the game with the opposition. We all look forward to the Wildwood CC fixture next year.London Fields Batting
177 for 9 in 35.0
|Grant Straghan||—||Not Out||Unknown||2|
|Jason Lord||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
180 for 9 in 34.0London Fields Bowling