N2 CC v Finchley 4ths
30th May 2009

A sun kissed blue sky met the two teams at the Tudor ground in East Barnet, playing home to N2CC even if a few miles from the centre of the universe –
East Finchley – spiritual home of the club.

Being FA cup final day both sides had had problems fielding teams but whilst N2CC managed 11 Finchley 4ths could only muster 9 players for this 40 over match.

Winning the toss Finchley 4ths elected to bat first – with only 9 players did this mean they had a strong batting side or that they didn’t fancy fielding with only 9 people –
even though we offered them an additional fielder? We would soon find out.

Finchley started strongly. The openers looked solid and the opening bowling salvo, from Ian Down – downhill and Matt Hawkes – uphill, whilst accurate failed to achieve early penetration. This didn’t look good. But then Down sent down a scorcher which cut back in and bowled Ayres for 15.
The new batting partnership looked set for a good score but an inspired piece of fielding with an accurate throw direct to the bowler’s stumps by wicketkeeper Tony Kutner ran out the no. 1 bat for 21.
Bowling changes brought Paul Dodd and Dave Newbery to the fore. Dodd clattered through the middle order getting 3 wickets for 30 runs whilst 60 years of experience saw Newbery tie the batsmen down with a superbly accurate two overs taking 1 wicket for 4 runs.
Butler and Thompson came on to finish the job off taking a wicket a piece which left Matt, probably N2’s best bowler on the day with figures of 0 – 25 off 8 overs. That’s life!
So Finchley amassed a total of 120 off 26 overs.

An excellent tea put N2 into fine spirits ready to chase the total. Dave Parker and Matt Hawkes opened. They pushed the score along gently in the opening overs as they got the measure of the bowling but with the score on 33 Matt, played, missed and saw his bails go flying – a creditable 16. Tony Kutner, wicket keeping, fielding magician, joined Dave and began to push the score along. Looking good, Tony had put 10 runs on the board helping to bring the total to 63 when he was controversially run out. At least Tony thinks it was controversial – our own umpire seemed to think it was pretty clear cut – we probably won’t hear the end of this – for a season or three… Anyway it was also very educational. The vocabulary of the younger Finchley players will have been expanded immeasurably by the colourful language used by Tony on his lengthy trip back to the pavilion. [Note – do we have a club swear box?]

This brought in Roger Chapman to the crease – new helmet loosely hanging on his head – so loose in fact that he dispensed with it after 6 balls because he couldn’t see the ball. Meanwhile Dave Parker was building up his total and reached his 50. However shortly after this he clipped a ball which shot up off his bat and gave a nice easy little dolly catch to the wicket keeper – a fine total of 51 and 3 wickets down for 103. Dave Dyer was next up and plugged away as Chapman kept the score moving along to eventually move past the Finchley total of 120 in the 34th over. A good little victory for N2.

Another controversial incident took place after the match in choosing the man of the match award. Contenders were Paul Dodd for his 3 – 30 and Dave Parker for his 51 runs scored. But the captain plumped mysteriously for Roger Chapman and his 26 not out. How this came about we are not sure but it did seem to follow discussions between the captain and Chapman in the showers when size, length and type of shower gel seemed to figure in the conversation.
Perhaps we shall never really know – maybe we don’t want to!