Archway Graces vs N2CC
Sun 6/5/2007
Old Owens Sports Ground Enfield

"You're never too old"

The winds blew cold on Sunday but the Archway Graces and the Old Owens ground were a welcoming enough rural sight for our bleary eyes. Our cunning skipper lost the toss, but using all his Machiavellian skills Down still managed to persuade the oppo not only to play time but to let us bowl first. The bowling was opened for the Casuals by the old firm of Hart & Down. Behind the stumps was the mighty Trevor Crouchley, retired for fully 8 years but drawn in the autumn of his years like a moth to the burning flame of cricket just a few short months before his 60th birthday. But Trevor kept beautifully throughout even pouching a sharp chance from a Down 'lifter' to crown his performance. Overall though our openers lacked penetration (Oo'er Missus) but at least they were tight enough until Hart succumbed to a muscle spasm ( a muscle in that body?) and so our trusty change bowlers came on. Unfortunately by this time their batsmen were playing beautifully on a pitch with a pretty true bounce. In these difficult circumstances new player Peter Barney bowled well after a winter in the nets as did our new hero Paul Dodd. They were a little expensive but that was largely down to some superb batting by the Graces captain Neil. There were also excellent catches from Parker and Barney to continue the new early season trend of catching rather than dropping catches. As usual when he came on Newbery slotted in quickly and took a wicket but by the end the Archway Graces still had the fearsome total - by our standards - of 198.

Dave Parker and Simon Dyer opened and set out their stall in the usual fashion. The occasional cracking shot mixed with honest nurdling and deft deflections. All was well until they were both out in their late 30s to what might be described as interesting LBW decisions. When Skipper Down was also cheerfully 'sawn off' LBW it appeared that we might have be engaging in some interesting new form of cricketing hari kari. The middle order recognised that victory was now impossible and they started to look for a draw. The oppo's bowling was middling to good with the odd quick bowler, one very odd with an action that would have made Mularalitheran blanche. After Moore had come and gone, David 'NO!' Dyer and Peter Hart set out their stall for a draw. It was not pretty, probably not cricket, and my God Dave frightens me, but we strolled through to a draw with Hart neatly adding the traditional insult to injury by knocking 9 of the last over to show what might have been if only we had some batting talent! We finally closed on 125 for 5. Not too bad. Still undefeated and the season is two matches old. Perchance to dream eh!

Bowlings figures -

Hart 7 - 2 -10 - 0
Down 9 - 2 - 44 - 2
Barney 8 - 0 - 51 - 0
Dodd 9 - 0 - 67 - 1
Newbery 2 - 0 - 18 - 1


Parker - 38
S. Dyer - 37
Down - 4
Bobby Moore - 6
D. Dyer - 7 no
P. Dodd - 1
Hart - 11 no

extras 13

total 125 for 5

oppo 198 for 4 - 12 extras

Match Drawn

Paul Dodd making good contact, unfortunately straight to a feilder!

David Dyer showing his pace and style on the wicket

Dyer cutting nicely for 4, then showing the straight bat

Hart playing one of many forward defensive shots to see out the draw