The Robin Ladds Remembrance Match Phillies pass tough test from Cambridge Assessors
Pens were downed on for The Philanderers year at Clavering last Sunday, 16th September, as Cambridge Assessment were defeated to complete a “perfect” weekend season; the third consecutive without a loss. Season 33 began 119 days previously for the weekend boys (no distinction is sought between the weekenders and the dirt trackers midweekers, aside from the day of the week on which they play) with a six wicket victory on a lovely spring day at Chippenham. A cancellation against Woodbridge followed before the heat wave set in, and victories came over a weakened Flycatchers XI (these were the days that football was coming home) and, on ‘home turf’ for once, against Holkham, as Hammo turned 30 in some disarray. Into July and there was a narrow victory over our good friends The Tavs before the season highlight against the Free Foresters, a Rutt tour-de-force giving a famous four wicket victory over the self-styled foremost wandering side in the country. August was disappointing, Granta and Clavering both cancelling, and only Holkham at the Hall providing opposition, who gave a tough game prior to eventually being edged out by 10 runs, before this final September test against The Assessors.
Philanderers won the toss and skipper of the day Pearson chose to bat on a typically intimidating looking Clavering surface. True to form the Philanderers found themselves 2-2 at the end of the first over. Samson recorded a rare failure, late on one that kept low, a tired looking shot that could perhaps be explained by the fact that it was his 70th (Ed: yes seventieth) game of the summer, whilst Hegarty was the other man to go, getting a good one first up. In at four, Clavering’s prodigal son, Rob Gill. On a day when only one other man from either side passed 30, he smashed 64, including several trademark huge sixes down the ground – truly an innings worthy of a top grade. When he fell The Phillies looked in a strong position at 94-3, but this rapidly turned into 147-9, despite the likes of Sherwin and Hammond “hiding” down the order. Fortunately hiding even better were last pair Rutt and Pearson, who, with the skipper targeting 170, had some work to do. Fortunately, they were more than up to the examination and got the score up to 183, before Pearson was run-out by a direct hit.
Though the pitch was tough, Cams Assessment had undoubtedly bowled and fielded well, and it looked as though The Philanderers would have to do the same. Opening the bowling Sherwin had other ideas, beginning with three full tosses in his first over, one of which was happily a wicket. Two more followed in his second over, along with a nice caught and bowled for Rutt in his second, leaving the assessors struggling like a dyslexic without extra time on an English paper, at 15-4. Much like the Philanderers though, CA put together a good partnership, advancing to 74, before Hammond (no longer captain, no longer batting in the top 6, no longer bowling seam and, to compound matters, burdened by The Fuhrer demanding admin duties when named deputy teas maid – what a fall for grace from him this season) made the break-through. From here The Assessors seemed to misplace their formula sheet and fell rapidly to 92 all out, with Sherwin adding a further three wickets to finish with 6-14, a second consecutive six-for at Clavering for the big fella.
Top marks then to Phil for organising a fantastic season and we now look forward to season 34, with rumours of an overseas tour and even tougher domestic fixture list to test the weekend unbeaten streak.
From the Bunker - What the self-effacing George failed to mention was his 3rd wicket partnership of 92 with Rob Gill and which was at the heart of the victory in this final game of the season.
The final XI of the season, well it would have been if our resident Australian Matt Samson hadn’t got lost finding his way out of the Pavilion, surrounding their inspirational Fuhrer in the idyllic surroundings of Clavering