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The Philanderers v Barford, Friday 25th June at Fitzwilliam

A Family Affair

With loose talk circulating (electronically) before the game, of geriatrics taking over the Philanderers’ fixture list, it was a heady atmosphere in which to take on a ‘keen as mustard’ touring side. One could just picture the headlines if the press were to get hold of the story - “Lunatics Take Over the Asylum”. Needless to say, I have to declare an interest in this possible coup. As for our readers, you are best advised to watch this space.

Barford are a jovial bunch of chaps from the Midlands and Philanderers were providing the curtain raiser for their three-match tour of Cambridge. Billed by the Fuhrer in advance as – ‘not exactly the strongest cricketing outfit’ they won the toss and decided to bat. For much of Barford’s innings those of us fielding on the offside wondered if we were going to get into the game. Amith tempted Morgan to pull a short ball to deep square leg where Dodson pulled off a good catch. There then followed some lusty hitting before Phillies’ skipper, the venerable Pearson senior, turned to yes, you’ve guessed it, one of the geriatrics. Coteman, with no outward signs of being a hundred and three, proceeded to wheel away at the old allotment end for a very tidy 3-13 off his four overs.

Gill, Henderson and Bevan all contributed for Barford who finished on 121 for 5 from their 20 overs.

Believing the target to be straight forward some of our stars on the night were quick out of the traps – Ragnauth, Charlie Pearson and Dodson all made starts but all contrived to get themselves out. Philanderers were 41 for 3 and not looking 100% solid.

Sanity returned as Pearson senior steadied the ship (again!), working with Pimblett to reduce the arrears. But there was still some work to be done when both were out caught – the ‘grab’ to get rid of Pimblett defied gravity and will allow the catcher, Cook, to dine out on it for the rest of his career.

Nervous times in the dug-out, but it was then that the family Middleton took centre stage. Having bowled well in tandem earlier, Tim, and son James, set about the task of finishing the job with some fierce hitting from Tim and some excellent running between the wickets from them both. They won the game for the Phillies and are my joint; ’Men of the Match’.

It was an extremely convivial Friday evening’s cricket and Barford turned out to be worthy opponents. With some warm handshakes their squad left the ground to get on with the serious touring business of ‘going out on the lash’. This left the Fuhrer, Pimblett and your correspondent talking cricket in the fading light – some things never change!

Gerald Coteman

A family affair; Tim and James Middleton – heroes of the hour

Some of the usual suspects


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