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Fixtures and Results | Match Reports

Date Against H/A Link Result Captain/Score
Sun 27 / 9 / 2020 Ward End Unity Away Won by 11 runs. Old Mo 213-4. Oppo 202-8.

SCORECARD

Fine Fit Victory in season finale

I think we all agree that 2020 has been a strange old year. Sundays’ used to involve rocking up in the clothes you possibly slept in from the Saturday night, quick reviving pint in the changing room (remember what they are?) and rummaging round in your kit bag cursing having not washed your kit for the 4th week running, whilst averting your eyes from fellow Fitmen in various phases of undress. Quick whiff of deep heat, cracking of ibuprofen foil and let the banter begin. Discussion of how hot Sunny’s wings were, how many cakes the Bice family had made and had Gav remembered to drain the tuna are now stuff of folklore. Away matches “Is the bar open yet?” and “I hope they have those cream scones like last year”, again lost in this new world order.

Fast forward to 2020, already clad in (still) unwashed whites, QR code scanned, hands sanitised and talk turns to the joys of the gag reflex of the Covid test, has anyone remembered a warming can of beer and taking the piss out of each-others lunchboxes. My Kath Kidston flowery one got roasted last week but Sam Moore’s missus really stepped it up a level this week, with a legendary Toy Story number. Wow. Seeing the lad sucking Ribena through Woody’s straw will stay long in the memory. We don’t just play cricket for the beer and the Tea….but it’s 99% of the reason (at least).

So to the action. North of Birmingham, it’s a head. It’s ALWAYS a head, North of Brum. With both Batsman of the year and Sunday bat awards up for grabs, it was an obvious choice. With Howarth a late withdrawer, Jones who had hung up his giant boots for the season, had to go back into the loft to retrieve them and I bet he’s glad he did with a quality Fit career top score to mentally carry him through the winter. Mo having not played a cricket shot in 4 weeks, decided to straight drive the first ball of the innings for a monster 6 which crashed into the strange long window blinds sight screen. (The “spot Mo’s hole” competition is available on the WhatsApp group for anyone that way inclined)

You’d have thought a 6 1st ball in a Sunday match might be a Fitfirst? Not so - 31/7/11 vs Claverley – “The testosterone sandwich consumed by Howarth kicked in resulting in a six off the first ball he faced.” The food related quote again confirming my 99% point above!
Mo and Jonesy delivered a superb and ultimately match winning opening partnership. Anything short was cut or pulled for 4. Anything over pitched driven. Good balls respected. In a stand of 131, there were only 19 singles taken. Jonesy with only 9 singles but 16 boundaries to deliver a PB of 75. Mo could have been caught with a sharp chance at point, went on to make 63 with 9 4’s and 2 maximums. 60-0 off 10, 109-0 off 20. Suddenly Bice, Moore and Martin earlier giving it the big one about who was going to take a trophy home this year, fell silent. Could these 2 tear up the record books and run off with the silver(plastic)ware?

No they couldn’t. Well apart from Mo. So sort of….Very generously leaving the rest of the team with 10 overs to scrap around for a few runs, the score was on 150-2 at the end of the 25th in a 35 over match. Harry Eames and Sam Moore were finally given a bit of pad rash relief and kept the scoreboard ticking over. Harry with a classy 20 with 3 sumptuous boundaries before being bowled. Sammy Moore a touch more brutal, smashing 24 with 3 boundaries and a maximum. Crucial runs they would turn out to be later not only for the awards evening, but much needed to post a 200+ score.

Stevie Nicks scampered well for 11 and Covid free Skip coughed his way to 8 to give the Fitmen a decent finishing total of 213.
All eyes were on Sam Moore’s Toy story lunchbox to provide the afternoon’s light relief. Cheese strings, jammy dodgers and Munch bunch Yogurt were the order of the day. My American style Deli Sandwich purchased @£1.75 from Waseem’s Billesley Stores was a colourful mix of pork, chicken, limp lettuce, mayo and lashings of hotdog mustard. Surprisingly ok. 7/10. Probably won’t try again though….Lovely to see Steve and Kate making an appearance for the final game of the season. Even the Chairman didn’t fancy the 97 bus to Chelmsley Wood, but without the prospect of 3 Thatchers, to drive was probably the right option.

So after a pathetic tea break, the slightly sated Fitmen trundled out. Thanks for the lukewarm tea though Bicey – did sooth the old throat! The Ward End Unity Ground, bathed in Autumnal sunlight was a sight to behold. Now there is a slight slope which did make bowling downhill a touch easier than lumbering up a 1/9. Just on approach to the crease, the angle becomes even more pronounced and after a while you might as well just walk in. Fielders posted down in the dip of despair or sleepy Hollow, had to be counted back in again after each over and promises (also hollow) of being relieved by Fielders at the top end in the bright sunlight proffered out every 10 mins or so just to keep morale up. Twatting your head on a lowish metal bar which formed part of the bizarre sight screen, whilst retrieving balls from heavy undergrowth kept everyone their toes also and in high spirits. What a game.

The happy sun drenched crew at the Top End, having the best of times – we’ll call them the good time Charlie’s, had a lovely afternoon. Waseem 4 overs 2 maidens for just 6 runs. Easy this. The bottom end lot, we’ll call them the uphill gardeners were not having such a good time. Sunny 3 overs for 25, Skip 2 overs for 17 and Nutter 3 overs for 25 all were given a right royal seeing to. After one of the good time Charlies miss fielded one due to “too much sun”, Sunny Hot wings Singh nearly burst a gasket. Time for a transfer to the top end for you sunshine. 4 overs for 16? How easy is this? And a wicket thrown in for good measure with a well taken gully catch by Jonesy…

The match was finely poised. At the half way stage, Ward End were circa 90-1 with the opener applauded for a good 50. A class bat. We needed wickets and to strangle the run rate. Mo gallantly offered to bowl up hill, whilst skip pleaded with Faraz to deliver a match winning performance with the ball. “Off stump please Frazzle” was the order of the day and with his moustache rippling nicely in the breeze, in he came. Now massive thanks and praise must go to ‘keeper for the day Bice. Brave enough to stand up the ever wayward Fraz, he got hit by full bungers on the arm, leg side shooters on incredibly thin pads, cutters into the gut and some shocking throws from fielders 20-30 degree away from the stumps. Top man.

Indeed Bicey assisted with the stumping of the talented opener out for a good 61 off the bowling of Mo and the momentum began to swing. Mo the only uphill bowler to grab a wicket was superb with variety and guile to finish 1-25 off 7. Brilliant spell. Fraz finally finding his line grabbed 2 key wickets only for their left handed skipper to come in! Everything could be going down leg now…not to be. Another wicket off a shocking long hop caught by Mo down at Base camp and Fraz finished with 3 for 35.

55 needed off the last 5 overs? 1 win in the last 11 matches? Nerves? Never. Waseem only allows 4. 51 off 4? Skipper choking on his own phlegm…14 off it. Eek. 37 off 3? Waseem grabs a wicket but goes for 9. 28 off 2? NOOOO! Skipper. No ball 6? Come off it? 16 off the over..FFS. Twelve to win off the last? Bowler of the year, come on chap! 2 wickets and only allowing 1 run, absolute Fit legend.
Finally a win by 11 runs. Martin’s figures 0-46 off 4 best not to be mentioned, but at least it allowed Lord Lucan Tucker to sneak onto the economy award tables! Really good close game played in the right spirit with good oppo’.

Yet another cricket season draws to a close. Thanks to Steve and Kate for helping out as always at Ashfield. All the committee for the work done to keep this fine club going. 19 Fixtures completed. 36 Players getting a game. Only 6 players having a SR over 100!! What a strange season…
Let’s hope that by April a vaccine will be available and we can get back to drinking beer, salivating over the quality of the tea and a touch of mild banter as this is the reason we play cricket eh?