Guildford 240-7 dec
by Paul Fortescue
This fixture is one of the more attractive in the 3rd XI calendar. There's always something a bit different in games with local sides. The difference this week, was that Couch & Trevor did the pitch on Saturday morning, and it wasn't that bad. Serco did oblige us by turning up an hour or so after we'd finished, but they'll had to remove the cuttings, so it's not fair to say they didn't lend a hand. Both parties roundly condemned the council, so that makes that part at least, unanimous.
Writing match reports can be a pleasure. The scorebook is recovered, the victory relived and the hardest part is choosing which incidents to include. The scorebook this week is an absolute picture. It's the best bit of scoring work I've ever seen in a 3rd XI book. Seven different colours, no corrections. Smithy, eat your heart out. Sadly, the scores themselves are a bit poor to say the least.
We had a lot of changes. Lots. Another 7 from last week if memory serves me correctly, but this was still a good 3's team. Lost the toss, and Guildford chose to bat.
They batted very very well. We took a couple of early wickets with balls that stopped, dollying catches off edges to Usman and Trevor, who made good ground to get to his. Couch bowled without any luck,. Meanwhile, at the other end a succession of half volleys, full tosses and long hops found themselves being dispatched all over the ground as just about every wayward ball was put away. Trevor picked up a few fantasy points for a C&B and Couch just kept on plugging away.
38 overs later, Couch was finally removed. The lottery was definitely not on the cards judging by his luck. Woods Jnr was introduced and immediately picked up aC&B, from a full toss. Couch was distraught and lay prostrate in the outfield
beating the ground. Cheets turned in a decent spell at the pavilion end, and Woodsy picked up the opener, nearing his century with a decent slower ball.
Guildford stuck the ball in the hedge. We spent a few minutes looking for it, before John Worgan produced quite the most manky spare ball I've ever seen. Repeated requests from the umpires for Guildford to go and look for the ball were ignored, until finally, one solitary player went to have a look. The player who went was injured earlier in the game and needed a runner - and he was the only one who could be arsed to go. Couch found the ball at tea. If he'd walked back across the ground with a big "F*** Y**!" banner stuck on the ball it couldn't have made a greater impact.
They reached 240-8 in 50.5 overs. It rained. The chicken nuggets ran out before half of the side had a look in. We sat around for an hour and a half or so, listening to Cheets squirm about being bar steward then went back to the club.
It's very difficult to keep up concentration and effort in situations where the game is unlikely to finish, and if it does, you're likely to be behind it most of the time. The performance was poor - too much rubbish bowled, a couple of missed chances and a few misfields. In the field we stuck to the task well in the main with a lot of good stops and chasing down. I've given the fielding points to: Trevor Woods, who stopped just about everything, getting down well tosave runs at gulley and taking a good catch - not the C&B. The other two to Cheets and Usman for great commitment, even when we'd conceded 200, these two chased everything - and there was a lot to chase.
We've lost ground to Dulwich, who managed to get their win. Esher have jumped to 4th in the table. Midwives next week. Best leave Friday.