Purley 140 AO
WHCC 144-2 - R Smith 82*, G Morley 46*
by Simon Vicos
Purley hammered the leaders the previous week (skittling them out for 93 in the process) so add the absence of Dikko, Curtley and Gibbers, and it was clear that we were in for a very tough game. So in their places Mark Surridge, Tommo and Horse were promoted from the Scooby’s for a chance to show what they could do.
Walshy invited Purley to bat and Mark and Glenn opened the bowling. Purley made a good start and eased their way to 42 without loss, although both bowlers toiled manfully, few chances were presented. But, as we have seen so many times this season, the breakthrough came by way of a run out, it looked tight but the umpire had no hesitation. The next hour saw us take control and another 5 wickets fell and Purley were in disarray at 61-6. Their seventh wicket pairing staged a rescue job and put on 55, Rhino as usual broke this stand, but we let them off the hook a little and their tail got them up to 140 all out (Including three run outs)
Deller’s awards go to Mark for bowling 13 overs on the trot and getting the wicket he deserved. The skipper got back on the scorers wickets column with a couple, two more for Damo and Glenn and yet again the wickets were shared around.
Our reply got off to a bad start, the Human Dog obviously only fancied playing half a game and soon nicked one to slip and departed for a most expensive shower !. Tommo saw one go past his nose and soon followed Toby back to the bar with only a single to his name.
With all due respect to the other batsmen in the side, either Glenn or Regan had to make a major contribution if we were to win the game. The fact that both of them did made it look perhaps an easier win that it was. Regan played some superb shots in his 82 and Glenn for once found himself outscored on his way to 46. I was a bit concerned about the way Glenn slammed the brakes on in an obvious bout of “Jug Avoidance” but we stormed past the target for the season’s biggest win.
This was a superb all round team effort, without three bowlers (Plus Couch and Morlers) we were always going to work very hard to keep Purley’s total down. There were a few examples of poor fielding (Tommo and Regan) and some Toys (Damo as usual) but a great display. Regan and Glenn then showed what good players they are to see us home.
Afterwards, we managed to get the Barbecue lit in advance for the first time this season and Morlers served up his usual buffet of fodder (what can I mean ?) to provide a good feed for everyone, good work James. Couch and myself set about playing an expansive range of shots from 1pm to test the Hasselhoff-Rhino Puss ratings. I surprised myself by managing to keep up with him, although the strain was clearly telling as more and more people got served Chiswick instead of Heineken and more glasses got dropped and I couldn’t stop winging the bell.
With Trolley-Man yet again unavailable for selection, Couch filled in and he treated us to a late masterclass during fines. His antics including the flying cutlery and Barbecue hugging are now fuelling speculation that his forthcoming hospital appointment may have more to do with the contents of his head than the contents of his right kneecap.
Then off to Guildford for some more booze and the rather pathetic sight of most of the first team in various tatters hanging off the bar, I would imagine Sunday was a very quiet one for some.
Halfway through the season already, 5 wins out of nine, no defeats, 75 points on the board and second place in the league. Although the time for applauding our efforts whatever our final league placing will be in September, I’m sure everyone is well pleased with the season so far.
June started with a win at Chessington, then we had abandonment, a losing draw and a winning draw but we finished on a high against Purley.
Undoubted player of the month has to be Dikko for his 150 runs scored and six wickets taken in the three games that he played. I forgot to do a May player but it was Damo for 14 wickets in four games, sorry Rhino
Rhino is still the leading wicket taker but is now being steadily caught by Glenn and Dikko.
The batting is showing signs of improvement and Regan has joined Dikko and Glenn in the “runs expected” category. It’s not too late for everyone else to join in though as those averages need improving gents. Damo however, has sacrificed the chance to improve his batting average by dropping anchor with us nine down on a couple of occasions (Talk about team man ! to help us gain 5 points we could not have had.
After a blinding start, I’m sure other teams were expecting us to fall away, but we’re still there and looking a better side now that the workload is being shared around. The rest of the season starts here and hopefully we can keep it up and not waste an excellent first half.
The boozing took a dramatic upturn on Saturday night, we’ve now set the standard, can we match it after our game at Ashtead next week ?