The fourth match in the series between Killerton CC and Broadclyst CC at the
Killerton Estate Bowl
June 25th 2017
With the series between the two teams delicately balanced at 2:1 last season’s victorious team - the old Killertonians- travelled with infinite optimism in search of a victory that would level the series. The morning leading up to the match - as demanded by tradition - was spent visiting our old home- an annual journey back in time to a golden age of revelry and sporting excellence sprinkled with occasional bouts of academic endeavour. The old house is undergoing vital restoration work and was clad in an extensive lattice of scaffolding providing support that might have been better employed adding structural aid to the increasing number of the squad suffering the strains and pains of the aging process.
The original touring squad was inconveniently decimated by the late withdrawal of Thomas y Cath, Griffiths, Letchford, Lewis (International hockey duties) , Herd, Edwards, Chipp and Wotton - most suffering multiple ailments and niggles. Undaunted the remaining combatants shuffled hopefully down to the KEB.
Broadclyst, stung by last year’s defeat had recruited a number of South African mercenaries to their cause, determined to avenge a defeat that had rocked and shocked the cricketing world. Whilst the Killerton squad were hampered by lack of preparation time (10 minutes of dilly-dallying around the outfield prior to start of the play) the Broadclyst team had played a series of intensive warm-up matches in preparation.
This year’s toss unusually included a coin, Davies calling heads on watching the coin land on heads, and then fatally invited Broadclyst to bat first. The fool!
Making his debut for Killerton OB after 40 years in the wilderness was former athlete and now handicapped golfer - Bob Ford. Unfortunately Ford’s cap presentation ceremony had to be postponed because Crynant Sporting Outfitters were in capless attendance.
Broadclyst Head groundsman Simon had prepared a hard, fast track - a batting paradise, as the Killerton bowlers were soon to discover.
The twin threat of Johnny Morgan and Malcolm Greenhalgh were once more summoned to open the attack. This ever dependable pair never fail to give their all for the cause, a veteran combination defying the ravages of time by sensibly shortening run-ups and refraining from needless stretching exercises - which may be one of the reasons for Morgan’s recurring hamstring issues. The Broadclyst innings started - and continued throughout - lots of playing and missing, chances given but ignored, interspersed with booming blows scattering spectators, wildlife and fielders. With a lightning fast outfield, the Killerton bowlers and fielders struggled to contain the flamboyant hitting of the Broadclyst top order batsmen, the ball consistently finding the rabbit-protected fence or disappearing into the badger cratered surroundings.
Early in the innings the flamboyant Price of Poonah - Vijay Daswani - was struck by a recurring knee condition and replaced by the diminutive Dave Halford. Halford was to make a significant contribution with an inspirational display of cover fielding, comparable to some of the game’s legendary fielders (Bland, Lloyd, Randall, Rhodes, Collingwood). Halford’s electric scampering saved countless runs and helped contain the Broadclyst onslaught.
After their initial opening burst the luckless Morgan and Greenhalgh were replaced by Brian Pinner and Steve Goodwin. Still the runs kept flowing. The willey Pinner bowled with great control but little turn on the unforgiving batters paradise, while Goodwin charged in with great energy and pace to contain Broadclyst’s run fest. Goodwin was taken off to return and bowl the ‘death’ overs. Bob Ford was now brought into the attack, replacing the pace of Goodwin with an interesting assortment of seam-up, seam down and seam across. Ford’s spell was a worthy effort after 22 years of inactivity. With the ball flying to all parts of the manicured ground the fielders were stretched to their heroic limits. Jon Greenhalgh again excelled in the deep displaying an impressive range of volleyball skills - to set and spike a number of boundary bound strikes, preventing valuable runs being added to the growing total. Jeff Rees also performed heroics in the deep with his languid , panther like movements preventing the Broadclyst total from racing out of control.
As the Broadclyst innings entered its death stages Davies was brought on with Goodwin to repulse the Broadclyst onslaught - with limited success. The runs flowed and the close catching trinity of Ian - give me the gloves - Godwin, Gary - flowerpower -Page and Dave - Hop Along - Furlong - looked on with puzzled expressions. Godwin who champions the best of the White Rose County - Theakston’s beer, Yorkshire Tea, Wensleydale Cheese, Cricket and Last of the Summer Wine - had recently become a student at the Foggy Dewhurst academy for stumpers - and it showed.
The Broadclyst innings closed at 204 - 4. A formidable total, but one Killertonians were confident of chasing down. And so to another marvellous tea provided by the the most hospitable of hosts from Broadclyst.
During the interval Jon Greenhalgh had to leave for Leeds which meant Daswani - despite obvious pain - would have to bat. So having been on - then off - Daswani was back on and in - the cuckoo in Killerton’s clock.
Daswani and Page opened the innings the perfect right/left hand combination who would get the Killerton innings off to a flying start. Daswani the smartest looking cricketer to come out of SW1 in many a year - and having spent the winter at the MCC indoor school, Lords, looked calm and composed until being deceived by a straight delivery. The innings had got off to a flyer - bails flying everywhere. Replays showed that Daswani might have lost the flight of the ball in the post-teatime gloom enhanced by a cool-dude pair of extra dark aviator shades. Fetching look with calamitous consequences. Page was joined by Halford and started to rebuild the innings. Page, Manhattan’s version of David Gower unfurled a series of elegant drives even connecting with one sumptuous straight drive that sped to the boundary - the shot of the innings, but was soon dismissed by another flighted delivery coming out of the gloom. More low flying bails.
Halford having nonchalantly withstood a barrage of short pitched deliveries was out caught off a delivery that rose steeply off a good length. With the scoreboard showing 4-3 a crisis was looming. However, Goodwin and Rees a pair of cool heads in a crisis situation began to restore some respectability with sensible caution and deft stroke play. Rees was a revelation, showing a high level of discipline and subduing his natural instincts to help hold the innings together to make a career high score. The talented Goodwin mixed sensible caution with powerful hitting, the fourth wicket pair rescuing the innings from ignominy with a half-century partnership, a Killerton 4th wicket record.
The partnership was eventually broken when Rees having batted for over an hour lost concentration and scooped a catch to square leg. Rees was replaced by leading all-rounder Pinner. Pinner and Goodwin have enjoyed several impressive partnerships over the years and again started well, rotating the strike and getting the scoreboard ticking over. Pinner displayed remarkable batting athleticism and flexibility, getting down on one knee on several occasions and getting up again without assistance. On a slow-turning wicket Pinner used the sweep to good effect with several well timed blows rocketing to the boundary.
The partnership was eventually broken when Pinner drove to mid on, and was soon followed by debutante Ford who missed a drive off the tee and forgot to get back into the crease - stumped by a throw down from the wicket keeper.Having reached another impressive half-century Goodwin was next out, thrashing a long hop into extra covers shocked but grateful hands. The innings began to crumble with worse to follow. Greenhalgh drove the first ball received to the boundary and turned for a comfortable second run only to find non-striking partner, Godwin, ambling nonchalantly to be run out by 5 yards from a freakish direct throw from the boundary edge, a moment of casual misfortune and a lesson for all strolling ramblers. Greenhalgh and Furlong then batted sensibly and accumulated steadily until Greenhalgh became the third batsman to miss a straight one. (Perhaps the evening gloom and lack of sight screens contributing towards each dismissal?)
The gifted Morgan was soon off the mark with a pulled boundary but Furlong having rotated the strike and scampered a number of singles managed to spoon another catch to square leg.The tenth wicket fell with the score on 100. Broadclyst began to celebrate - prematurely - as Davies -uniquely batting at 12 - walked to the crease. Blank looks, amazed stares, inaudible mutterings and puzzlement from Broadclyst. Now Morgan and Davies began to unfurl a range of classic strokes taking the score past 120 before the innings closed in the final over. The eleventh wicket fell when Davies played airily across a straight one. Although Morgan and Davies might easily have batted out for a draw - morally Broadclyst were the deserved victors and failing to take the eleventh wicket would have been an injustice. Controversy avoided!
The match was followed by the traditional presentation of the Sir Richard Acland Challenge trophy presented by Killerton CC President and Tour Organiser Steve Hatton to Broadclyst CC captain Paul Burns. This was followed by further presentations by the Prince of Poonah to MOM Steve Goodwin and a special service award to match scorer and chief statistician Paul Goodwin. On completion of the presentations a pleasant evening was enjoyed by all.
Match highlights - KCC batting (click on the link)
Summary and observations
A comprehensive victory for Broadclyst by 74 runs - well deserved
As we get older and the ball is hit harder and faster we need to a) have a short practice / warm up session before start of play to focus on catching and hitting
Another young gun would be useful, preferably an all-rounder to bring the average age down (a bit)
Thanks to all the players and family who often travel vast distances for the annual get together and challenge match.
Thanks to all the sexeganerians willing to risk life, limb, strains and pulls, and endure days of post match stiffness to play once more for the old house.
Thanks to all the loyal supporters - for their enthusiasm, cheerfulness and unwavering support irrespective of weather or on field events.
Thanks to our volunteer umpires - Messrs Wotton, Alard and Daswani - firm but fair, astute and impartial.
Thanks to match scorer Paul Goodwin, chief statistician and paternal MOM mentor
Thanks to Dai Griffiths for getting everyone to the KEB on time
Thanks to Brian Pinner for recommending The Fisherman’s Cot
And gratitude, special thanks to Hatton and Thomas another successful tour - despite result