WHCC 208-8 - G Morley 49

Chertsey 78 ao - R Morley 5 - 18

By Damo Honey

So we are here again and despite Friday afternoon’s barrage of rain the 1st XI’s season started on Saturday with a Friendly against old acquaintances Chertsey. The 2 teams have always got on well, but Woking were keen to avenge last years defeat, whilst Chertsey were no doubt looking forward to the opportunity to put another one over a team from a higher division.

Many familiar faces arrived at the ground, once Damo had stopped for his breakfast. However, we were without the Green brothers – Dog and Kitten – both injured in freak ten pin bowling accidents, and also Charlie who was back at the club still trying to work out how to get into his “moon buggy”. Other notable absences were the “new Quaggy” who was busy playing petanque with a load of Granddads and the Mentalist who was an emotional wreck watching Woking FC try to maintain their conference status. All this meant a debut for Ross Morley, all round kiwi superstar but lightweight drinker, a chance for Pretty Boy Ben to force his way into the league side, an opportunity for Toby ‘Seamo’ Aldred to clash the cymbals behind the sticks, a last minute debut for Ross’ mate Duncan over here looking for a club to ply his trade with, and last but by no means least a whole lot less bleating on from the sidelines.

Bulldog Walsh lost the toss and Chertsey put us in on a green, juicy pitch. Dikko joined Walshy at the crease and these 2 gave us a confident start with a mixture of Dikko’s 9 irons and Walshy’s paddles the score passed 30 before the father of 2 wafted at a wide half volley and became the first victim of the new season.

The first of the Morley’s joined the skipper and whilst still debatably on nought played a shot which can only be described as pre-season and we mused whether with Morlers’ limited availability this year if we could have seen the beginning to the longest ever set of Olympic Rings?

In came another Morley – Glunn – who started in confident fashion, playing as if the season was a few weeks old. This confidence rubbed off on Walsh who started playing some more extravagant shots before being unlucky to be given out LBW whilst reverse sweeping!!  This brought Ross to the crease to join his brother and caused absolute mayhem for Erika as she struggled to work out who was who. The run rate increased and Ross looked confident in his first innings for the club.

Glenn softed his 50 – falling for 49 – whilst Ross hit a useful 30. Once these 2 had gone Regan and Toby carried on the good work both scoring fluently with some big sixes aswell. Duncan and Curtley also got in on the act and for once the entire innings had been a joy to watch with everyone bar Audi getting a decent knock and looking very much the part. The innings closed at 209 for 7.

Rosco and Pretty boy opened the attack and immediately caused problems to the Chertsey openers. Both picked up an early wicket, but as Ben showed signs of early season blues, Ross hopefully showed signs of things to come by producing a devastating couple of overs, which account for the rest of Chertsey’s top order. The in swinging yorker, which followed a brut of a leg cutter trapping the batsman LBW, was a priceless bit of bowling.

Dikko and Curtley came on as 1st and 2nd change and were both rewarded with early wickets, Curtley in particular was unlucky not to take anymore. Rhino claimed a wicket in his 1st over of the season as per norm and Seamo added a stumping to a fine debut behind the stumps (3 dismissals and minimal clashing of the cymbals).

The final act was left to Ross to pick up his 5th wicket whilst his brother remained wicket less at the other and Chertsey had been dismissed for 80.

All in all it was a great workout with most of the bowlers and batsmen getting a chance to shine. The fielding too was remarkably impressive for a side that had had virtually no practice. No dropped catches, with Regan on fire at short leg and Rhino bounding round the outfield.

No pre-season game would be complete without a few pre-season drinks. A very poor turnout but those that were there made up for it with a selection of strawpedos/vodka red bulls and snaky b’s couple with a lot of banter (most of which directed at the cricket chairman – who is looking forward especially to seeing the return of Quaggy this week to redirect the banter!). For once the aftershock was kept under wraps but no doubt it will make reappearance on Saturday for Glenn’s 30th birthday hopefully with 13 points safely bagged and tagged.

Finally a quick thank you to 2 people – Duncan for playing at the last minute – obviously a class act and I hope you find a club soon, and Kath for being a last minute taxi for a side which despite having lost weight over the winter still couldn’t find enough space in the cars for everyone!!

Next week the return of the Mentalist


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