Local DerbyThe Sunday side beat West Byfleet this weekend. The side bowled first (another toss won by new, again, captain Cochrane) and used a full range of established W+H talents as well as a couple of debut bowlers. They restricted West Byfleet to 168 all out and in truth could have kept the score even lower but for a variety of dropped catches through the side. W&H started the chase well, stuttered in the middle of the innings and came home aggressively to win by 3 wickets.
The Sunday captaincy soap opera continued this week as Sal, who had left and then returned to the fold, hurt his leg playing football and so left the fold, apparently never to return. It would appear that the revolving door on the fold will no longer be in use. The side will be a quieter, less amusing and less enthusiastic place without him and Horsely and Send a better batting side with his addition.
As a result Cochrane was promoted, over-promoted in truth, to the captaincy and started well, winning the toss and insisting on an overs game. Given the apparent batting strength he elected to field and give his boys something to aim at. This appeared a great call as the Byfleet opening bats began nervously against Matt (38 for 4 off 12.5) edging a chance to gully where Billy Hargan, one of the clubs best youth development producers, dropped the tough chance. At the other end Scottie (11 for 2 off 7) began equally well, bowling a tight line and confusing both bats with excess movement from both the ball and his body as he strode to the crease. His first over brought an edge that Cochrane caught, after a fair amount of juggling, actually between his knees – but they all count. This bought out the next man who was similarly confused by Scottie moving one a mile and uprooting the off stump – delivery of the day by some margin. This had Byfleet 15 for 2 off 4 overs with things looking fairly grim for the visitors.
W&H fortunately sensed the impending whitewash and decided to drop chances to the 3 and 4 bats. Peter Stimson, a ringer brought in by Cochrane in the face of bowling shortages, had all eyes on him as a ball from Matt went very high and then straight to his outstretched hands. Unfortunately the hands stayed outstretched as the ball passed through them on its way to the floor. Stimson tried to follow the ball into the ground as his new teammates shouted the usual lies – ‘bad luck’, ‘not to worry’ and ‘tough chance’. Peter knew that each translated as ‘ catch the f’ing thing next time, new boy’. The game, and the two batsmen, then settled down from here, putting the bad ball away. These came with particular frequency from Matt who seemed to be confused by being on the pitch after a full nights sleep and without the sort of hangover that would keep a weaker man in bed for a week. The confusion resulted in a sequence of good ball, good ball, full toss on leg stump, full toss on middle.
Faced with this assortment, increasingly settled batsmen and a tiring Scott – a tiring Scott can be as dangerous, and nearly as heavy, as a wounded rhino – the new boy skipper turned to his fellow refugee from the capital markets Peter Stimson. Having not bowled for 10 years Stimson’s first ball was eagerly awaited, if only so that the captain could relay how bad it was to other colleagues on the normally so supportive trading desk come Monday morning. Peter duly obliged. Those of you who know the Horsell ground will be aware that many light aircraft appear to use it as a landmark and turning point. It was only the fact that many of these flyboys were at home trying to sell investments to fund next terms school fees, rather than popping out for a few airmiles, that saved the ground from witnessing its first air disaster - as Stimson (0 for 19 off 5) bowled his first three balls into the sky rather than the pitch. Batsman and wicketkeeper initially giggled and then got scared as more of these projectiles came closer to their heads than their feet. At the other end fellow Sunday debutant Andy Crawley (0 for 26 off 5) was glad of this distraction as he bowled a good spell although fair to say that fine leg had a busy afternoon.
Following his first over of head high exocets Peter settled down to a very consistent line outside off stump and was extremely unlucky not to find the edge, one of the Byfleet 2 playing and missing regularly. Despite this and some good fielding the score motored on to 100 for 2, Byfleet now looking in a very comfortable position and W&H on the back foot – the sort of reversal that makes cricket so interesting to those of us who think about these things too much. Worgie replaced Andy at one end and the team saw a familiar sight in this game of a bowler taking time to find his line and length after a long time off. Worgie (0 for 22 off 4) settled down a little and bowled some good pace but with a few erratic deliveries the batsmen were able to play the bad balls in some comfort. At this point Cochrane, lacking any captaincy insight, decided to take direct action by taking advantage of confusion between the two well set bastman over a quick single. Picking the ball up at short mid-wicket he quickly turned and threw at the bowlers end. The throw was a direct hit and a narrow run out, following some fairly impassioned appealing on the basis that it was close and the home side had not got many close decisions so far. This fired up the home team and shortly afterwards the other well set batsman fell to a fine catch by Matt Allan off Cochrane’s bowling (2 for 41 off 7). Byfleet now fielded a number of seemingly beginner batsman and part time off spinner Cochrane’s eyes lit up. He took one more wicket but was unable to get more, with a few dropped catches not helping the cause. Matt then came back on and took three wickets bowling straight and fast and Albert (1 for 3 off 2) added to the quick clean up with the last wicket – pitching the ball up and denying Byfleet the chance to play out for time which appeared to be their approach at the end of the innings. All in all a good bowling display from an assortment of full and part timers, backed up by variable fielding left W&H with a target of 169 and 40 odd overs to do it in.
The W&H innings began reasonably well, Mark Worgan playing a variety of good attacking shots and blocking out the bad ball. His fellow opener David Bennett played watchfully and provided a good base from which Worgie hit out. David (3 off 22) was first to fall with the score on 34. Dave F then joined Worgie and there was then some confusion shortly afterwards as the crowd clapped Worgie’s half century with the total score on only 58, such was Worgie’s hogging of the strike. Worgie then got bowled with the score on 78 having established a fine platform with his 63 off 51 balls. Dave then struck up a good knock with his loving partner Albert (8 off 5) and these two played well until Albert was caught lbw to a low full toss, much to his disgust as this was the only lbw in the match, and far from the closest shout during the match.
There followed a now familiar W&H mini-collapse. The side went from a comfortable 99 for 3 to 142 for 7. Billy went for 6, Matt fell caught in the trousers off an outrageous edge by a fielder for 2 with Lloyd also caught for 2. Dave fell in this period, for a very well put together 37 off 72 as he looked to, yet again unselfishly, push the scoring rate on. Big Scottie Stevens had strolled to the crease in amongst this chaos, looking like a man who could bludgeon his way to the finish. The side now pinned their hopes on his presence and on the experience of our excellent county wicketkeeper Peter Allan (n/o 6 off 14). These two did indeed bring the side home with Scott (n/o 27 off 23) doing so in some style with a big 4 and then an absolutely massive 6 that is probably still floating in the canal.
In summary then a close fought game which W&H made closer than it should have been through a number of dropped chances but another win and a good, entertaining game, enjoyed by old timers and first timers all the same.