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Fixtures and Results | Match Reports

Date Against H/A Link Result Captain/Score
Wed 13 / 5 / 2015 The Village Away Won by 7 wickets. Oppo 168-5. Old Mo 170-3.


Ringers Wrung Dry!

Village 168-5, Old Moseley Arms 169-3

Old Moseley Arms won by 7 wickets

Captaincy, in the words of the Bicemaster, mid-way through the Village innings, can be a very lonely place, but taken in the context of the words of John Donne, can be a pleasurable experience, as a sunny evening in Erdington was to bear witness.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

These famous words by John Donne were not originally written as a poem - the passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and is prose.

The bell certainly tolled for the Village as we shall see, and not just due to the Old Hill and West Bromwich Dartmouth ringers in their team. Possibly they had once caught the No. 50 bus from just outside the pub?

The Hollyfields ground in Erdington was an unusual venue for two clubs based in B13, but having battled the rush hour traffic, the match commenced just a shade after the appointed hour.

Calling Heads successfully led to the first difficult decision of the evening for the latest incumbent of the position of captain, Rob Green. An undulating and uncertainly constructed pitch, with both ends more reminiscent of the slopes faced by Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, led to a decision to insert the opposition.

After 10 overs with the score on 90-odd for none the captain certainly felt like a man cast adrift in the middle of a storm-tossed ocean: this despite the presence of that master mariner, His Lordship Admiral Frost, amongst the spectators.

Ralphie had bowled with pace and intent, Ade had proved tricky to get away, and a Gathering of Nutts in May (both Rob and Ian) toiled valiantly, but the short boundary proved to be the bowlers’ nemesis. It was left to Bal Singh to make the breakthrough, who after being turned down for a stumping – Should’ve Gone to Specsavers, Mr Umpire(!) - snared his man the next ball.

Thereafter, though the batsmen struck the ball with intent, wickets fell at regular intervals and a magnificent fielding effort, not least by Ralph, Simon Howarth and Adrian Martin, restricted the opposition to a mere(?) 168-5. Sharif was top of the wicket-takers, but bottom in terms of economy; a fact that “Nonfer” Martin was particularly keen to remind him.

With a powerful batting line-up to choose from, Rob chose unselfishly to put himself at 7 and pack the top order with his big guns. It was to prove a winning tactic.

First Mo and Richard Bice put the Village bowlers to the sword, capitalising on the short boundary with aplomb. When Mo departed for a quickfire 31, hitting a disgraceful wide long-hop straight to the fielder, his place was taken by Simon Howarth, who having shed the “Turbid” tag, himself feasted from the Village offerings, possibly in response to Rick Bowl’s e-mail taunts of earlier in the week. The bell was certainly tolling for the Village by this time, and though Bice fell for 50, first Ralph and then Martin were to punish the bowlers still further, to accompany a not-out Howarth to the victory total, with 17 balls to spare.

Indeed, it was a magnificent team effort, each player “a part of the main”, in the words of John Donne and, as the Chairman was later to remark, possibly the Fitmen’s biggest winning chase in a 20-20 match.

To the bar we repaired thereafter, to reflect on an outstanding achievement and wonder whither the opposition had gone.