If you drop five catches during the course of an innings, you don't tend to win. Such was the case today when the Law Society benefitted from an abject performance in the field. Add to that a run rate of only four per over on a day when the outfield was lightning quick, we were never likely to continue our recent run of five straight wins.
On the plus side, the sun was out and the day perfect for cricket. The Law Society are a pleasure to play against and things started well when Simon Lee won the toss.
Making his season’s debut and promoted straight to the top of the order was Mike Simpson. ‘Simmo’ hit four quick fours and made a solid 22 before surprisingly edging one behind. His opening partner, Paul Wordsworth had ended a trip to France early in order to make the most of the opportunity. That he duly did batting for over an hour and making a ‘taking the shine off the ball’ 18. Eventually, one went skyward, and Paul departed. Au revoir.
Simon Pettit was in at three. Simon doesn’t really do nurdling, his first five scoring shots all went for four. Two singles later he must have got bored, took a swing and was bowled. Out for 22.
Mark Ford-Langstaff anchored the innings hitting 50 before trying to force it with ten minutes to go until tea and was bowled when his baseball style swing failed to connect.
At five, Tim Riley had looked stylish as ever but smashed a full toss straight to square leg for just 16.
Matt Dipple was the fourth player to be caught by The Law Society as he reached 10. Jamie Lumb (19*) and Martin Randall (8*) both finished not out. Jamie looked comfortable and Martin experienced as they took us to a below par 182 for 6 at tea.
Stevyn Jackson was teamaker today as well as guest player for The Law Society. Preparing the tea got him out of a lot of fielding. He spent the time chopping the crusts off the sandwiches and putting the cream on the scones. He did a fine job, but would all this effort affect his batting?
The first of our five dropped catches came early. The batsman who survived went on to make 87. 66 of them came in boundaries as Matt and Martin strived to contain him.
More drops followed as the openers put on over 100 between them. There’s no need to name names, no-one drops a catch deliberately, but we were delighted when Simon P bowled the free-hitting opener. However, his opening partner and the gifted number three kept the pace going and defeat looked inevitable.
Jack Morris and David Lewis couldn’t reverse the tide with their variations. Only Simmo and Simon Lee managed to keep the run rate down, Simmo collecting two late wickets including…
Stevyn Jackson emerged at number four. Would he hit the winning runs? No! Matt Dipple proved that at least one of us could catch as he took a difficult opportunity when Stevyn skied one to mid-wicket off Simmo. Victory followed moments later, and we rather slunk off the field with our tails between our legs.
The downcast mood didn’t last long as we tucked into the BBQ (thank you Martin) and beers (thank you Simon P and helpers). Simon Lee gave the champagne moment to Paul and Simmo for opening the batting thirty years after they first played together for Middleton Stoney CC or possibly for their animated conversations in the slips.
Well played The Law Society, next year we’ll take our catches (hopefully).