WHCC 173-5 (G Morley 53*)
Honor Oak 133 AO (G Morley 6-46)
by Damo Honey
Well the signs were not good. We had been well and truly rolled over in 2 of the last 3 weeks, we had dropped to 7th in the table, we were playing against one of the in form sides in the league and to cap it all off come half 1 and start time – it was absolutely leathering it down. The only signs of cricket being played were a few of our team playing a mini game with a stump, where someone would bowl and Toby would practice his skied slog to long off or long on.
However, the rain stopped, the covers were removed and both teams were keen to play in an effort to make up some ground on the leaders. We lost our 3rd toss in 4 and were invited as ever to bat. What followed was as good an all round batting display as we have seen at Brewery Road or anywhere else for a while. Toby and Dikko started off fairly cautiously but were still dispatching the bad balls, once Dikko was out Regan set about increasing the run rate, pulling his first ball for 4 and scoring a run a ball 20. Toby was still going well and continued to pile on the runs with Mutch before playing his trademark rash shot when on 43, muttering the words "sorry Glenn" as soon as he hit it.
This brought to the crease James Morley, not only was he well and truly aware that he had not scored a run in 70 days, but he was also up against his old team and bowling to him were 2 of his old team mates. After 6 or so balls a wide long hop appeared, would he leave it, would he spoon it in the air, would he edge it to the keeper, NO he crashed it for 4, producing the biggest and longest ovation I have ever heard at Brewery Road. Everyone had been willing that run and with the weight removed from his shoulders – the “old Morlers” returned – crashing 2 consecutive suxes before heading back to the pavilion for 25 with the words “I am going to get ******* hammered tonight”. Toby Aldred played a couple of nice shots aswell and Glunn reached his 50 (in almost effortless style) before Walshy declared with the score on 173 for 5 scored at over 5 an over.
This left 38 overs to bowl Honor Oak out. Both sides started positively as both needed to win. Dikko made an early breakthrough, but this brought the much talked about Jaffer to the crease. He showed his style and all bowlers received some punishment although Slim Shady was especially unlucky as 2 catches went down in 2 balls off his bowling. When Glunn had the same player dropped with his next ball, things looked bad. Honor Oak had reached 100 for the loss of only 1 wicket and now only needed 5 an over to win. The game was there for the taking.
What followed was sheer class, 2 tight overs from Glunn and Damo coupled with some superb ground fielding from everyone and the pressure rose. Jaffer played one late cut too many and was caught behind. Glunn then proceeded to rip through the middle order with a little help from Rhino and some great work in the field by the whole team, including a fine catch by Giles (unnecessary bail removal if ever I’ve seen it).
To Honor Oak’s credit they kept going for the win until the last pair came together, when the order to block out arrived. However, I don’t think their number 9 knew the meaning of the words as he sent one of Rhino’s buffet balls into the air just out of reach of Mark at backward point and Mutch at gully or so we thought…….. however Mark stuck out a hand the ball landed in it and we were celebrating a fine victory, finished off by a great catch.
Somewhat shellshocked we supped our way through Castles, held court (more 13 badges next week please, especially given the theme of the party) and ran the bbq. Then later it sunk in and the singing started, the aftershock bottles were emptied and various states of coma were reached.
We are still 7th but now right back in touch with the other sides as results went our way and who knows how important this result and that catch could be come September 7th.