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Fixtures and Results | Match Reports

Date Against H/A Link Result Captain/Score
Sun 4 / 7 / 2021 Hockley Heath CC Home (YW) Won by 8 wickets. Oppo 133-7. Old Mo 134-2.

SCORECARD

Fit Men Storm to Victory at Graveyard!
With the help of “Sponge” aka Spond, self-confessed technophobe and occasional Sunday skipper Howarth had 12 players and 4 x 12th men available. With a little jiggery pokery a final 11 was arrived at to do battle against new opponents Hockley Heath, who after an expected withdrawal from the original oppo’ Foxton CC, who couldn’t get a team out. The contact at Foxton CC being the same contact who blew us out the previous Sunday!
The weather forecast was for over a 60% chance of light showers all afternoon, however it was with optimism that the Fit Men arrived at HQ Graveyard to do battle against Hockley Heath. Removal of the covers for the 1st time (out of about 4 times that afternoon) revealed an “emerald isle” of 22 yards, home skipper Howarth flipped the quid coin in the air and oppo captain Rich called heads at which he decided to bat. Could this be the perfect toss to loose? Time would tell, as the Fit Men took the field in humid, sunny and at times cloudy conditions.
The reliable combo of Sunny top end and Sharif bottom end opened up. Sunny swinging it in mostly with the occasional away swinger and straighter one proving very difficult to score off. Whilst wily Sharif at the bottom end mixed it up well and was rewarded with an early LBW and finished with excellent figures (5-1-6-1). Keeper Herr Bice standing up to both bowlers and keeping in his own inimitable way (very well!). The oppo opener and number 3 batted very cautiously seeing off the opening bowling and continued in the same vein against Ade and Bal. The latter bowling three overs before calling it a day with a sore hip. (3-0-18-0). Had our King of Spin over-indulged the night before in practice with Mrs Bal rehearsing for the Grass Skirt Tahita Hula dancing World Championships? (As he was seen prior to the game carrying a set of multi coloured hula hoops he claimed were to be used for training his yoof team next week!). Ade at his parsimonious best bowled very tightly (5-1-13-0) whilst Sam Lockyer purveyed his skills from the top end mixing his slow, slower and “yo-yo” delivery up beautifully, being rewarded with a clean bowled (8-0-39-1)…..and a now trade mark “Lockyer” roar to please his fan base! At the halfway stage the oppo where just over 50 for 2. The track wasn’t the easiest to score off however a little more enticement from the Fit Men and with skipper Howarth wanting to give everyone a game and mix up the bowling the batsmen may go for their shots which could bring a few more wickets and that’s what happened in the form of Mo introduced at the bottom end capturing 2 wickets (8-0-28-2). Raj joined in the wicket taking and took 2, the 1st snaffled excellently by Sam Lockyer at deep mid off over his shoulder (the confidence of yoof!) the second a stumping (the second stumping by the excellent Bice). Raj finished with the excellent figures of 4-0-9-2. Sunny came back at the end to finish off with a couple of overs and take a well-deserved wicket (7-2-11-1) and with seven bowlers used Hockley Heath closed on 133-7. The Fit fielders to a man backed their bowlers all the way. Special thanx to the “Fit Cover operators” who then took a soaking moving the covers on and off 3 times during the oppo’s innings and at tea, when a prolonged fall of rain delayed the Fit innings reply.
From this point on in the game AccuWeather (weather App) took command. With the oppo’ heard to be mutterings of an unfit to play outfield. Skipper Howarth put their immediate fears to rest by quoting AccuWeather that in precisely 15 minutes time the rain will stop, followed by no rain for 90 minutes, more rain and we will see where we end up after that! Add to this skipper’s verbal bollocks of “Oh and I’ve lived round here for donkeys and we be right boys”, under pinned by a brisk walk out to the middle by “Oppo proclaimed” Groundsman (Club Chairman) endorsing my sentiments. Hockley Heath were sort of raring to take the field (like a bulldog that’s licked a nettle).
With the weather in the bag, Skipper Howarth’s attentions turned to the Fit Men batting order and having assessed the oppo’s perceived strength thought he would make sure the Fit Men Corinthian spirit was maintained and make sure everyone got a game and therefore tinker with the batting order! On returning to the Fit home dressing room I was greeted by 3 opening batsmen and 2 into 3 don’t go! A quick word with Uncle Mo reasoning with him that he had a full bowl and would he mind dropping down to 7 was met in true WG Grace style response “They have Come here to see me bat not bowl!”……”errr ok then 3 alright Mo?”….all sorted! Everyone after Mo drop down 1 place with Herr Vice and Herr Howarth at 8 and 10 should things go completely Pete Tongue!
Raj and Sharif opened the batting for the Fit Men and laid a solid foundation. Raj being the first to depart for 16, with a couple of nice strokes having struggled against the young swing bowler from the top end. With Ade the scorer and AccuWeather to accompany him I was given a constant up to the minute weather synopsis and as the clouds gathered and the sky darkened Uncle Mo strode out to the wicket. Sharif was now finding his timing and batting rhythm and was playing some great shots. Mo at the other end unleashed hell and played a superb cameo 39 off 25 including 2 crunching pulls for 6 to accompany his 5 fours. Oh how the oppo paid for dropping Mo on 10 on the square leg boundary! Next in was Stevie Nicks who continued his recent rich vein of form and started as he meant to carry on…..very positively, running quick singles and cajoling Sharif into running 2’s and 3’s as well. Hockley Heath had no answer to this partnership as they rotated their bowlers despairingly with their only saviour appearing to be the gathering gloom and pending precipitation. Not so as Sharif requested a glass of water, skipper Howarth having been informed via Shefali Martin via the “App” that in 22 minutes its going to tip down for an hour took the opportunity to deliver the message that we had to get 24 runs in 3 overs! So get on with it lads! To Sharif and Stevie’s credit the boys crashed through the gears and the boundaries and duly obliged us with a fantastic victory reaching the target in less than 20 overs. Sharif finished with a fine return to form 41 not out (4 x 4) whilst Stevie was 26 not out off 21 balls and 3 fours. Would you believe it just as we clapped the oppo off the field the heavens opened…..talk about timing! Well played Fit Men!