ALCESTER & RAGLEY 92 all out
TGCC 94 for 4
TGCC win by 6 wickets
The first Sunday game in eons saw an Alcester and Ragley side visit Grafton on a sunny afternoon for a 1pm (ie 1:10pm) start. Toss lost, bowling anyway and Killian and Thompson still pissed from last night. On the upside, we had debutant Dunn behind the stumps – a proper wicket keeper – and a Lewis Bilbrough tea to look forward to. More anon.
I don’t know why I bother writing this. Plan A. Howard Benjamin from the Jimmy Anderson end. 8 overs. Someone else – actually a very useful someone else (Sam Roberts) – from the other end and same old same old. Nothing happened really, until an inspirational bowling change saw one Richard James bowl a rank full toss/beamer, not called no-ball, top edged to fine leg for Benjamin to catch. Had there been any justice he would have parried it, juggled it down the dirt track, turned left, walked down the road, turned right, juggled all the way to the Golden Cross, requested the chef prepare a succulent pastry crust and popped the ball in to bake it into an extraordinary pie. James went on to take three more and Alcester were 29 for 5 off 14. At that point Thompson was strategically introduced into the attack, James removed for being too prolific at 4-4-5. Well that did the trick from one end. While Benjamin returned figures of 8-1-17 and Darby, despite his back spasms, 8-3-16 from Howard’s end, a little generosity seemed the right thing to do from the other. What followed was a game of cat and mouse with Alcester’s finest, particularly the effervescent Ian Biddle. While Thompson bowled to a remarkable field of two leg gullies, slip, gulley, silly mid off, silly mid on, short leg, that was nothing to that set for Darby. A pair of silly mid-offs and silly mid-ons plus short leg created a bizarre passage of play that saw actually not a lot happen. Roberts returned (8-1-11) and Killian finished it off – 92 all out in the 36th.
And so to tea. By all accounts Bilbrough set about the preparation of this spectacular with planning the like of which has been seldom matched . Not content with running the show himself, remarkable documents have been leaked that suggest that he laid out meticulous plans for his parents to follow, step by step, so that fool-proof instructions could be adhered to for a precision tea. See Bilbrough’s very own diagram below.
The end came in the 19th over after the resumption. After two balls TG were an improbable 8 for 1 – work that out – but Bilbrough bedded down for another long knock only to play down the wrong line for 21. Byrne got impatient, even after a big six, and went for 11 as did Killian. And that was like old times. Put his beer down. Walked out. Dot, dot, dot, six, four, dot, one, closed eyes, bowled. Walked back. Young (18) and Powell (17) saw it home.