WHCC 65 AO
Old Emanuel 66-2
by Simon Vicos
Old Emanuel (Report one and Report two are equally an accurate reflection)
Against the only unbeaten team in the league we were without Walshy, Morlers and Dikko, this prompted first 11 debuts for Roger and Haleem but in all honestly it will go down as a day they, and everyone else will want to forget.
We lost the toss and were put into bat, opening with Toby Green and Regan. Within a few minutes, Regan’s off stump went for a walk with us having only scored 4. Gibbers and Toby then dug in and took the score on before Toby was bowled for 16. This bought Glenn to the wicket but within a few balls he was triggered to a ball which was clearly going down leg side. Next in was Toby Aldred who was also sent packing to a ball that looked to going down leg side and we were 35-4. Roger and Gibbers then tried to get things going before Gibbers served up a simple catch and was out for 16. Roger and Haleem stuck around for a bit but without really scoring until Roger chopped one onto his stumps, quickly to be followed by Haleem who was out leg before Mark Surridge offered catching practice, Giles was bowled and Damo also missed a straight one as we were routed for 65.
Old Emanuel went out and Glenn broke through immediately courtesy of another lbw decision, a catch went down the very next ball and this let off proved crucial as Old Emanuel bludgeoned their way towards victory. Damo got some hammer and Glenn also took a bit more punishment than he is used to. To be honest our fielding was poor, which didn’t help, and although Toby Aldred took a late catch off Mark Surridge, the ease at which Old Emanuel breezed past the target was quite frankly embarrassing. At 4pm we should have been nearing the end of our innings, not packing up to go home having been stuffed and had time for tea!.
Like Ashtead before them, Old Emanuel went out for a net session as we were leaving, but this time the boot was on the other foot and we now know how Ashtead must have felt.
Gibbers “We were Shoed”
Damo “The Teas were Nice”
July was always going to be a crucial month that would go a long way in deciding where we would eventually finish. The Ashtead game proved to be the most one-sided affair I’ve ever witnessed, they were crushed with a superb display of bowling and fielding, followed by some exhibition batting. Next up Beddington, and our batting let us down as the visitors wrapped up an easy 8 wicket win having knocked us over for 67, to be honest, it had been coming, the question was would we learn from it?. More importantly was their an air of complacency slipping into our preparations?.
Well, we answered a few questions with a battling effort against Old Midwhitgiftians, they were the best side I’ve seen this season and the Woking teams of old would have surely lost this game. After a great start getting the first 5 wickets for 65 we were pegged back and asked to chase 225-7. Having lost three early wickets, a bit of composure was called for, and we duly got it from Glenn (no real surprise) and a gritty 39 not out from Toby Aldred, proving that he can bat for 90 minutes under pressure and show he has the temperament to go with his talent, no-one wants to be known as a specialist fielder and I know he was well pleased with that showing.
Against Old Emanuel, we were bowled out in an hour and a half by a team who simply bowled straight. As the game only lasted two and a half hours there really isn’t very much to add.
It had to happen, but our inconsistent batting displays have finally caught up with us and will undoubtedly cost us dearly come the end of the season, against Beddington and Old Emanuel we simply capitulated, without sufficient runs on the board we can’t really expect to win unless teams collapse “a la Streatham”. Not wanting to cause offence to anyone, but we have been relying on four players all season to score the bulk of our runs, I know some have been batting lower down than they are used to and some have simply been in a poor run of form which happens to everyone, but we need to put a higher price on our wickets if we are to succeed at this level. Some of the shots we’ve played to get ourselves out have been needless and at crucial times we’ve succumbed to a rush of blood to the head and sacrificed ourselves. This is something we can only learn from. What we got away with in Division 3, we cannot in Division 2.
Enough of the bad stuff though, on the plus side, the bowling has been consistent for the third month running, Glenn, Damo and Dikko have performed to the standards they set in May and June and now Mark Surridge and the Real Slim Shady have joined in with some vital wickets and more sustained periods of accurate bowling. In the field we have been (on the whole) neat and tidy so although we haven’t gained as many points as we wanted, you can’t complain too much bearing in mind the unavailability’s we have had. However we aren’t the only side to suffer in this way and we have to keep going at all times whoever is in the side.
Us along with Ashtead have been July’s casualties in the title race, we have survived the pace slightly better than them but we have both fallen away after promising so much, this surely proves that the gap between the bottom of two and the top of three may be small but the better sides in Division two are miles ahead of some of the sides played over the last few years.
As a team, we’ve come a long way in a short time and although our chances of promotion may have gone this season we have performed admirably so far. How we fare in the remaining 6 games is not down to any one person, as we have seen with other sides one man cannot carry a team in this division. We’re up there because we deserve to be and all the players who have taken part so far have done their bit to get us up there. With a third of the season to go there are still many points to play for and perhaps now the pressure is off we can enjoy what’s left of the season and push ourselves up a few places.
Mentallist of the Month
Last but not least, the July mentallists player of the month picked himself in a month where he was head and shoulders above anyone else, that man is Glenn Morley, to be honest he nearly won May and June also. His 69 not out against Old Midwhitgiftians whilst containing his attacking instincts was a superb innings. His bowling seems to be getting more hostile and he continues to take top order wickets in every game we play (including my mate King) and his fielding is always of a very high standard. A fine effort indeed, well done.
In a bid to give our post match relaxation “an edge”, Glenn and Damo have managed to devise a competition that makes the Vodka Challenge look like an 8-year old girl’s tea party.
The Puss Ratings were born and this has developed into an area where many of us have excelled. Since it’s inception, people have been putting their “Stupid Heads” on and scaling new heights never before imagined. After an initial rush of Pints of lager, House Doubles and Bottles of Castle, the tactics have changed, and now Aftershock is very much the point scorer of choice and at £2.20 a shot the club bar is doing very nicely thank you.
We started on the day of the Purley game and to be honest we scratched around like Morlers out in the middle looking for a run. Our first efforts were somewhat tentative and only six points was the highest score,
The following week Mike Whittle Munge upped the stakes and went out of the blocks like Ben Johnson on even more drugs than usual, however rumours of persistent Whittle have dogged his campaign so far, but in the absence of any proof he has set the early standard. All good races need a pacemaker, Munge has gone off fast, can the rest stay with him?. Meanwhile, wily campaigner Richard Walsh has kept up a consistent challenge at the top although seemingly drinking well within his capabilities, we’re all waiting for him to make the big push for honours sometime soon. Damo, Morlers, Toby Green and Glenn are all in the chasing pack and have also been posting respectable scores every week without ever threatening to really “go for it” and have a near death experience, all four remain well placed to challenge the leaders. For my part, I have missed a week but remain in the hunt, although doubts are beginning to surface about my ability to last the course after some erratic performances bordering on the insane !. Couch surprisingly is also hovering around in the top half and is basing his whole campaign around the consumption of Becks and Aftershock, solid tactics indeed.
On the other side of the coin there have been some poor performances from the Green Brothers, Toby’s inability to keep the contents of his stomach off the bar will cost him dearly, (“Bleeeeeeeuurgghhhhhh………………….Sorry Munge”), Regan and Kath Smith have both tailed off after a promising start and Toby Aldred is the only one so far to actually post a minus score for a day!. Curtley and Loopy Lucy have the ability to threaten but have yet to show at the serious end. Dikko, Surridge and Gibbers should hang their heads in shame for so far collectively putting away less puss than Erica would be expected to glug on a normal weekday bridge session.
No one wants to come bottom lads so best you get your act together and avoid the embarrassment of being labelled a total blouse!
Although admirable, I would expect the brave challenge of Munge to tail off as the campaign reaches it’s thrilling climax (and we keep a closer eye on his antics). Morlers, Glenn, Charlie and Myself will be fighting for top six slots but as is the case in all competitions, the cream will eventually rise to the top. I predict a head to head battle between the seasoned veteran (Richard) and young pretender to the throne (Damo). When the chips are down these two will come out fighting / drinking and put everyone else to shame as they slug it out for the inaugural (and hopefully only) Hasselhoff-Rhino Title followed by a lengthy spell in rehab!