TGCC 162 for 5
GREAT ALNE 139 all out



Seven, yes seven, players rocked up for our hosting of Great Alne (who had the more traditional eleven) in the forecast 30 degrees of heat. Looking around the changing room with a dominant ‘well let’s just get this fiasco over with quickly’ attitude, this was only going to play out one way. Bat (on the premise there are more arriving soon – ho ho), watch Killian irresponsibly smash 25 then get out, Kirk similar and Harvey, eyeing how many cans Thompson has already got through with Williams twitching next to him, does likewise. All out for 72. A rumbustious Holt tea is delayed because his wife is still shopping. Bowl. Alne pass our score with the ease expected given the cavernous gaps in the field, in a tawdry 10 overs. Still no tea yet. T20? No. All go home disgruntled. Match fees cancelled.

In a parallel universe, what actually unfolded defied belief. Under pain of death, Killian and Kirk actually obeyed orders (after Onens and Young went early) and ground out over after over at 3 and a half. This was painful, but 11 for 2, and even 85 for 3, was a desperate state of affairs given Grafton HAD to bat out as many overs as possible just to avoid the cancellation of this fixture next year. Kirks’ 18 took forever, and secretly there was a little part of him that enjoyed the misery. Killian’s 60 was contextually superb, even if his expression at times was of one who had repeatedly thrashed his todger with a camping mallet. Only when we reached 30 overs (103-3, Christ) did the captain suggest Killian could now go up a gear (not 3). Four, mow for six but dropped on the boundary, dot, swish – caught behind. Vintage. Fortunately Harvey took over the mantle with a brilliantly farmed 40 – denying Thompson and Williams virtually any strike. 162 for 5, and more importantly not all out (ie for 6), represented face-saving, yet zero chance of a win.

Tackling the platters of mozzarella curls on lush tomatoes, beef slices on rocket, no beige in sight and god knows what else on a doily really did not seem fitting for the tawdry afternoon and the assembled clientele. Probably the best tea of the year.

Kirk and Onens opened and the scattered field simply sat back and waited to lose, despite a sharp Williams behind the stumps. Runs came, one wicket for Onens (now blowing in his fourth over and self-deselecting), and it’ll soon be over. Stanley looked very good for his 44 and Walters too for 26. An experiment with Thompson, charging in with untold quantities of lager under his belt, initially worked, and then failed and so to spin (Harvey) and no spin (Young). 15 overs and 9 wickets later Alne were all out for 139 (Young 7.2-5-29, Harvey (nearly as good) 8-4-30). Yes there was mirth to be had along the way – Young being cracked twice on the leg, Williams turning a two into a six with a deft throw at the stumps – but this was a sorry procession of Great Alne batsmen who seemed to be under the illusion that they were facing proper bowling. Ridiculous.


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