Match Report: Nomads CC v Moor Park Laetificators, May 18th 2018, Moor Park
Here follows the first match report of the Nomads’ 2018 season, and I am sad to say we have started with a loss. This year the Moor Park Laetificators were just too strong for us, and they have avenged their defeat of last year. It’s one all.
Before I tell you the sorry tale of our defeat I would like to say a huge thank you to Charlie Minogue and the school for allowing us to play on the pitches lovingly prepared for the children to play on. We are blessed by being able to play in such beautiful settings as Downton Hall and Moor Park, and we should collectively pinch ourselves to remind ourselves how lucky we are.
So, to the action.
I won the toss and elected to bat, and for me personally it went downhill from there. I triggered a top order collapse by calling for a suicidal single and running myself out. In fact I fell over, so I didn’t even manage to run myself out. It was abject.
This clearly ruffled Barnaby Smith, but he outlasted the explosive Rupert Hunt at no 3, but not by much. We were 3 wickets down with less than 20 on the board and Charlie Minogue, the Laetificators’ skipper, hadn’t even arrived yet! A leader with faith in his team, and it was well placed. Will Corbett and Hal Stoney set the tone and opened the bowling in style, with Master Stoney cleaning bowling R Hunt (who I now know skippered and scored a century for Abberley – Master Stoney will be no doubt pleased to know) swiftly followed by Master Corbett claiming wicket #3, the scalp of the notoriously difficult to remove B Smith. Full Nomads respect goes to you both: the future of English cricket is in your hands.
A diligent stand between Joe Miller and Robbie Underhill steadied the ship, with Robbie eventually top scoring with 34. Joe Miller was forced to call for a helmet after the Laetificators’ skipper had announced his arrival by bowling his 6 foot tall exocet flinging Kiwi ringer Dowle* out of the sinking sun. But Joe is made of tougher stuff, and saw him off. Meanwhile at the other end Robbie accumulated, with some glorious drives and cuts through point, breaching the boundary no less than 7 times. Sadly Joe was to fall to a combination of the wily bowling of David Newell and the safe hands of the (semi-professional) sports master Mr Martin, who I’m afraid to say also bowled our hero (and Man of the Match**) Robbie Underhill.
Some feisty hitting from Charlie Richards and Jules Barratt (FOUR sixes in his 25 runs) boosted our score to an almost respectable level, but a big total still looked some way off as our last recognised batsman James Shaw followed me, Smith, Hunt, Miller and Richards into the scorebook with single figures, and our tail took to the crease with several overs to go. Tim Hughes and George Piper resisted the Laetificators stalwartly, adding 4 precious runs to the score and allowing me a brief return to the crease to triple my first tally…and then run the magnificent Tim Hughes out to bring up the 10th wicket. This is not what the skipper is supposed to do.
Our total was a mere 114.
Tea was taken. Thanks to the WAGs for providing the sustenance, and to Charlie Minogue for providing the beer. All was forgiven. Temporarily.
The Laetificators innings started with more guile from the skipper, and those pesky kids again, this time opening the batting. We were politely asked to refrain from bowling our not so secret weapon George ‘The Bomber’ Piper at the younger generation, which I willingly complied with, and asked Robbie to take a yard off. Here’s what it says next to Will Corbett in the scorebook: 184.108.40.206.1. Robbie was having no more of that, so put that yard back on to remove Master Corbett, and Joe Miller did the right thing and sent Master Stoney back to the pavilion before any further humiliation could be meted out. Youth then gave way to experience and we were all treated to some truly sublime batting from David Newell and Jack Davenport. They saw off George on his outdoor debut, who bowled superbly for no wickets; they defended the good balls diligently and punished the bad balls mercilessly; they even ran well (if not that fast) between the wickets. It was really annoying. Fortunately David was superbly bowled by Rupert Hunt for 27, and then Jack retired, a true gentleman not only because he made way for his team mates, but also because he retired one run short of Robbie’s 34, thereby allowing us to at least high score. Well played Jack.
And in came The Sports Teachers, and I could hear Mr Minogue cracking a bottle of Gold from the boundary, confident in the knowledge his services would not be required. And they weren’t. Miss Sewell was cruelly bowled by Charlie Richards for 1, but hey, we needed something to celebrate by this stage. And then the scorebook says it all…
An explosive display of skill, talent, timing and technique. Which is just as well when you think about it…
And that was that.
But my word it was a wonderful evening and if you weren’t there you really should have been. The sun shone and the kids played and the banter flowed. It was cricket as it should be, and as David Newell so rightly called it, Cricket was the Winner. And we raised some money for cricket at the school: £280 from the Nomads, an as yet undisclosed sum from the Laetificators, THANK YOU everyone who sponsored or just put their hands in their pockets. I will let you know the final total and what it will be spent on in due course.
So, well played the Laetificators, thank you to the groundsmen, thank you to Charlie Minogue and the school, and thank you to the Nomads who played, especially Tim Hughes who stepped in at the 11th hour to make us XI.
On to the next one!
*no Christian name in the scorebook
**there is no Laetificators Man of the Match. There are two Boys of the Match. Well done you two, you should be proud of the way you played.