Following the much-vaunted Sunday team’s successful Crusades in Cambridge and Chippenham Park it came down to the mid-week team to maintain the unbeaten start to the 2022 season. The Fuhrer had gathered a seasoned, some may say slightly venerable (apologies to those U50s!), XI together and under the captaincy of Sir George they sought to replicate the historical efforts of the Lancashire Fusiliers in seeking to take the scalp of their own Spion Kopje, viz-a-vie one our longest standing opponents, The Remnants. General Siddle, together with Captain Cassells Snr made all too rare, but nevertheless very welcome, appearances from HQ to cast an eye over the troops. Charlie P severely reprimanded for a ‘filthy’ non-Philanderers jumper.
Phillies batted first and opened with the relatively young pair of Ed Pearson and Pete Richer. Not sure how to describe the first over but Ed deftly put way the odd lobbed off-spin/mud pie and even when he didn’t quite get to the pitch, he elegantly stroked it to long on/long off. Pete succumbed to left arm seam, box-before wicket and yours truly quickly followed trying to hoick another lobbed delivery into Oxford Rd. Ed P carried serenely on his way, ably assisted by Alex Carew, himself with 2 huge sixes over long on and long off, before both had to retire on 43 and 42 respectively. Following the quick departure of Nick Cox, David Pimblett (38*) joined Charlie Pearson (30*) in an entertaining partnership of 78. Switch-hits courtesy of Pimblett, 6s over mid-wicket and square leg were in dispersed with the odd single and in one case an all run two!! Pimblett giving an uncanny impression of a dawdling pregnant duck! A good, but not insurmountable final score of 185 -3.
How could we stem the inevitable barrage of the Remnants openers? Who else, but Heggars of course took the new ball with Charlie P and effectively put the match to bed with a very tight opening six overs. Off just 3 paces Heggars managed to fell one of the opposition with a wicked delivery rising off a length into the lower mid-riff/box. They might have had a few more wickets and even less runs but sadly the lack of a pre-match fielding practice, particularly in the Pearson & Richer gardens, meant that only one wicket fell, bowled by Charlie. I’m told that bowling is all about partnerships (Pete Richer June 2022) and how accurate this turned out to be. Pearson and Hegarty followed by Dodson and Richer, the latter benefitting from the tight opening spells. After his first 3 balls were dispatched to the boundary, one an exquisite back foot shot through the covers, Pete then zeroed in on the stumps, middle and off being flattened before a very close but probably correct, negative LBW decision (where is umpire Pimblett when you need him) denied what would have been the second Philanderers hat-trick of the season. 4 wickets from Pete meant that the summit of the kopje was well within sight. After a rocket throw return from Carew at long off despatched their No 6 run out, he and Rob Cassells took over and safely took the troops over the top, culminating in the 2 final wickets, courtesy of Cassells bowled and another run out. Special mention to Rob Cassells for his indominable spirit despite the ball following him everywhere in the field and of course Ken Siddle showing us that class is indeed permanent.
A win by 65 runs, the kopje had been taken, unlike its alleged eponym The Kop which remains undisturbed despite the annual sorties by The Toffees!
Thanks to Bill Rusted for scoring (he will be back at Babraham after a Pimblett refresher course) and Rachit Bhatia for umpiring.
Leading run scorer Alastair Lorimer reminiscing on past glories aided by a glass of Pimms