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Stapleford Phoenix v The Philanderers, Wednesday 16th May 2018

What can I say!! - a glorious start to the 2018 season? - Not exactly!!

Following a beautiful warm summer’s day on Tuesday 15th May we all awoke on Wednesday morning in excited anticipation of the sporting evening ahead. Drew back the curtains to grey skies, still it will be warm we thought, open the front door to a chilly wind which only got colder and stronger as the day progressed. Oh well, it’s bound to be an idyllic setting with flat wicket and a beautifully smooth manicured outfield. Not quite! the facilities encapsulated by the quality sight screen…..

….. and kids practicing on the wicket with the 10 year old almost managing to take his brother’s head off from a good length!! The opposing captain mentioned that they didn’t think the groundsman knew what he was doing!! Could it get worse you may ask? The captain, Mr Dodson, was bullied into accepting “home rules” and dreaded words “we retire at 25 to give everyone a game”. The captain returned to the smiling face of Mr Harvey who had only just arrived from the car park; the smile quickly turning into the wrath of Khan, “you are hereby sacked and dropped” which was quickly retracted when he realised there was no 12th man. “just make sure you thrash them”. Chuntering away he returned to his car only returning when JB took his 301st and 302nd wickets.

Winning the toss the captain put them in on the pretext that it could only get colder, but sadly forgetting to take into account the prospect of batting in near darkness. The JB 301st wicket was the first of 2 catches for the Hegatron, who seemed to do a complete 360 degrees of the outfield in various positions. His 2nd catch, this time off a George D long hop was a thing of beauty and will go down in the annals of Philanderers’ folk law. Placing himself at a slightly deeper and backward square leg he took off to his right and plucked the ball out of the air one-handed, much to everyone’s consternation. It’s amazing what the prospect of a £5 contribution can make, Mr Hammond you owe Heggars a beer!! Two dropped catches one each for Dean and Dodson (on what was reported to Jane by their scorer as being a very difficult side to judge a catch), a host of missed run outs, Mr Pimblett kicking the ball over the boundary for 6 wides (wides counted 2 in this match!) off Charlie and 30 plus extras meant the Phoenix somehow got to 131 in the 20 overs.

Rob G quickly came and went for a retired 25, Chris Rogers in a more sedate manner got to 23 before he played the shot of the match a delicious drive with perfectly bent front elbow but sadly straight into covers midriff, an “ugly” shot accounted for captain Dodson according to the still fuming Fuhrer, a stylish 25 from Pearson Junior, 2 gallant acts of falling on one’s sword by Messrs Dean and White for respective ducks and an imperious 9 from JB saw Charlie and Rob re-introduced to the apparent disgust of the opposition. 15 needed of 2 overs, a towering 6 and swept 4 from Gill brought victory in sight only for a very honest and noteworthy piece of umpiring from Stomper saw Charlie stumped and we lost by 2 runs!!

Not a classic in any form of the word but at least we did raise a bit of money for charity!!

Edward Dodson Ex Philanderer captain 2016-2018

From the Bunker - Anyone who missed this fixture, and there were many, will “sadly” not get the opportunity to visit Stapleford again for a repeat of this match in the future!! The entirely correct stumping decision given by umpire Stomper Harris bringing about our narrow defeat has led to a stay in Addenbrookes for Stuart where he is slowly recovering from his beating by teammates at the conclusion of the game! - The Fuhrer (still anguished and disgruntled - retiring at 25 what a nonsense).

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