An arse-rippingly hot day, a toss won and collective groans as we trudge out to field.  Within four overs the game, at 41 for 0, was beyond Grafton.  Against the odds, when Betts skied Ben Ashfield into Thompson’s eager hands for 58 off about 8 balls, the game slowed down and wickets and runs came at a more sedate pace.  Ashfield looked full of promise (6-24-2) and Chris Harris, borrowed from Exhall, was superb for his 8-27-1.  Everyone over the age of 15 cut a sorry figure.  Indeed, Ashfield and Harris went for a mere 3.5 an over.  Everyone else collectively went for 7.5.  Roberts was butchered, Thompson flayed, Kirk more of a mixed bag and Harvey had his little ass spanked from one corner of Warwickshire to the other – certainly in the last chastising 12 overs.  It was a hot, lethargic grind and 251 for 5 off 40 overs was going to be a bridge too far.  One highlight was Roberts brilliant diving catch on the boundary.  Meagre pickings.

Tesco had a very charitable profiterole/chocolate dip combo offer at £2 a crate.  Supplemented with strawberries and we have the centre-piece for a decent, innovative tea.  A surfeit of tomatoes and pork pie transpired, and Harvey, no stranger to a chocolate finger, left the box of Cadbury’s finest in front of him untouched.  It was one of those days.

Harvey and Bilbrough looked pretty solid in reply but both went to catches at the wicket courtesy of a boy adorned with the gloves for the first time in his life.  Everyone chipped in, but no-one made the telling score that would challenge 251.  Williams struck the ball very cleanly for 31, Kirk a very  robust 40 and Thompson, plonking his freshly opened cider on the floor and striding out like a man on a mission, a very well crafted 26.  I almost used the word ‘responsibly’ in the same sentence as ‘Thompson’, but I just couldn’t. What was certainly true was that his impressive knock gave him full licence to then spend the rest of the afternoon in nothing more than his underpants.  Young, depending on who’s scorebook you read, hit between 28 and 35 and Roberts somewhere between 15 and 24.  Only the young bowlers missed out, along with another Exhall ringer Perry.  Onens, who refused to bowl, field out of the shade, bat and talk, was present.  And so 230 for 9 – a loss margin of 22, which was approximately how many wides Williams didn’t call as umpire.


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