We'd been lucky with the weather but more to the point it was soon apparent that Graveny - touring side - were well and truly under the weather! Hangoversis vulgaris was well and truly evident as their once mighty paladins lurched, slumped and dragged themselves into the grounds. Thank god none of them had been breathalysed en route! All in all things looked pretty promising we agreed!
We had a relatively new skipper in the absence of our real hero Ian Down who was he informed us having a small extension to his penis built as part of his ongoing 'I'm not old, I'm not. I'm not, I'm not!" campaign to fight back the onset of the male menopause. Instead the baton of command was passed to one who had well and truly given up the ghost - popular all rounder Bobby Moore. It was as if our regular (and more unpopular stand in) Peter Hart felt that with the serious facial injury in the last match to Tony Kutner that , "His work here was done!"
Bobby lost the toss but the 'oppo' decided to bat for some reason they didn't fancy fielding for a couple of hours. Bobby opened the bowling with Hart choosing to bowl downhill with the wind while the heroic manly figure of Paul Dodd struggled up hill into a fair gale.
Both bowled really well but the luck wasn't running for either of them. The ball seemed to do anything but hit the stumps and Doddzy suffered a couple of spilt half chances. We found that their beefy bespectacled opening batsman had only just joined the tour and he was riding his luck to good effect.
At last Hart broke through and then took a toll of the alcohol weakened wraiths appearing before him to finish with a highly commendable 4 for 71 of 15 overs. There's life in them old legs yet! At the opposite end of the age range a new player, one 'Jill' Frost, bowled well with little reward but then Simon Dyer struck hard. There is no-one better in the club at sniffing out cheap wickets and he was deadly taking a brilliant 4 for 21. He at least was Bobby's hero!
Olly Butler then completed the job, effortlessly taking 1 for 15. Josh Newham had kept wicket utterly brilliantly on a difficult pitch. He too was a hero. Doddzy was puce: he had bowled brilliantly for no reward, sometimes cricket isn't fair!
But Graveney had posted a good score - 182 was a lot! Still onwards and upwards.
Bobby opened with Simon Dyer and they started quietly against some good accurate bowling that gave little chance for anything else. Then a mild disaster when Bobby played on and into the wicket strode our erstwhile Geordie 'sex god' Dave Parker. He was obviously feeling his way back into form after what to him, and probably only him, was a bad patch but he stuck to the task and when he was eventually out he had a solid 37 to his name.
Josh came and went as did Doddzy, though his mighty 4 to long on subsequently received much comment and analysis after the game in the bar - in which of course 'the big man' played a full and blushingly modest part! Oh bugger! Down amongst the dead men.
Pete and Dave Dyer gritted their teeth, tightened their trusses and got to work to block out for the draw! And they did it! Dave was a hero, winding up the 'oppo' with some of the finest resonant calls of, "NOOOOOOO!" ever heard on a cricket field.
We finished up at 142 for 6. We had 'stunk out' for a draw but it had not been an utter humiliation - a worthy result for skipper Bobby who had done the job brilliantly to general satisfaction all round!
They were probably better than us but they hadn't won!
Will our undefeated run ever end?*
Peter Hart 15 overs 2 mdns 71 runs for 4 wkt
Paul Dodds 8 overs 2 mdns 26 runs for 0 wkt
Jill Frost 7 overs 0 mdns 36 runs for 0 wkt
Simon Dyer 4.2 overs 0 mdns 21 runs for 4 wkt
Olly Butler 3 overs 0 mdns 15 runs for 1 wkt
Graveney All Out for 182
Simon Dyer Stumped 52
Bobby Moore Bowled 7
Dave Parker Bowled 37
Josh Newham Bowled 0
Paul Dodd Caught 5
Peter Hart Not Out 14
David Dyer Not Out 1
Man of the Match: Simon Dyer for taking 4 for 21 and scoring a fantastic 52 runs. The performance of the season?