Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Rascals v's Northiam - We will all be cold free this winter as we won't catch anything......

The final match of the season was suddenly and sadly upon us and a fine XI took the field against Northiam.  Ross had to pull out as he failed a late fitness test, if crawling out of the Landy and hobbling out to the middle constitutes a test, and he was replaced by "Buckets" Denning to maintain the full quorum.  Our beloved scorer, in whites and playing again warmed the soul as we all know about his remarkable and legendary catching ability.

Tarquin Dasooter's son’s party the night before had reeked serious damage on several of our team, Chairman was carrying a 3 dayer and the weather was shit at all boded very well indeed.
We batted well for a total of 131 for 5 off 25 overs...a total much reduced by the balls inability to maintain its velocity as it crashed through soaking wet grass.  The boundary felt miles away and Drew chose the aerial route with great success and top scored and, all things considered, at tea, it didn't look too bad.

One awesome early example of team strategy in action was the agonising over what to do if we win the toss, deciding we should put them in if we do, winning the toss and finding we're batting after all.  Beautiful. So much agonising that it was fortunate for Beattie that he had turned up with 22 sets of whites.

Anyway that didn't matter and rain was loitering as forecast so we strode out to field in light drizzle and with optimism in our hearts.

It's always good to keep it tight early doors, so the first over going for 18 with 3 sixes got them going nicely.  Soon they were 50 off 5.  Poor Oli had batted well but Tarquin Desooter's bloody party had started to show in our bowling attack, and it was only the return of Jez Sheldon that stopped the carnage.

Keeping it tight early on is one good idea.  Catching catches is another.  And we didn't really do either very well to be honest.  At least 10 catches went down according to the opposition who I had the joy of sitting with as we shelled catches, easy and hard, like peas.   Guy "huge sticky hands" Denning dropping both batsmen in the space of three balls was a highlight, as was his hattrick drop when a tracer bullet went in and out of his enormous quarry hands at mid-on10 minutes later. Sadly, dropping catches is a highly contagious disease and our team went down like a shipload of sailors without any vitamin C.....

Incredibly, we did manage to take 5 wickets and pare back their run rate significantly; this innings was no walk over but, annoyingly, whenever we really needed to take a wicket, down went another catch.  It was a I reckon if we'd have reduced our drop rate by just 50% we'd have won the if we can try and drop every other catch that comes to us, that might work better.  Just a thought.

Northiam made it to our total and as the not out batsmen walked off, I overheard them say "I think the Rascals are going to drop this fixture next season" which made me smile.

As did the whole afternoon.  A superb effort by all nearly bore the fruit of victory and next year I am confident that we can reverse these huge disappointments and win again.

PS. Neilo didn't mention the 4 am alarm call once all day so I owe you a tenner PK

Paul Ross

Monday, 11 September 2017

Rascals v's Northiam - match date 10.09.2017

We anticipate a great match report from Paul Ross as it was a great day (even though we lost) full of moment and event.  Here are the score sheets:

Monday, 7 August 2017

MMMM - Match Date 06.8.17

Great day and full report to follow (I am sure), but the Grigsons won with just 10 balls left.  For the record, and after much debate: Skilbecks won in 2016 (despite a lengthy legal challenge being mounted by Toby M) and Grigsons in 2015.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Rascals v's Canbashers 16.7.17 Match report

This week there will be two reports on the same game from 2 different perspectives.

Report 1.

Neilo has a 4 am alarm call on Monday morning so at high speed we flew through a 35 over game and lost, enabling Neilo to have a couple of pints in peace at about 10 o'clock in the Bell. (Their Guinness is dreadful btw)

Report 2.

Not for the first time this season there was an extremely long queue of talent lining up for the annual game v the Canbashers; it is most heartening to have to spend so little time organising the team and projects an image of a club in rude health.  Many apologies to those who didn't manage to get in and to those who did, lets try some nets................

Will Drew, our captain for the day, elected to bat on winning the toss which is a brave move generally best kept top secret until later in the day; and he must have been feeling weak at the knees as we crumbled to 50 for 6 on a frankly substandard wicket.  Sorry Jamie.  We managed to crawl to 127 as the second half of the order did well and it was a total we would have gladly accepted at 3.30. (roughly when we started)  Everyone got in and then found a novel way of getting out....but we got to a just defendable total somehow.  Lund, Grigson, Keeling F, Jamie M, and Ollie all got starts but were thwarted thru the gremlins in the pitch or lack of concentration against the dobbiest spinner ever to grace the lawns of Stonegate.

Our bowling and fielding were of an altogether different standard, and were kickstarted by one of the great slip catches of either the 20th or the 21st Century (spanning the history of this club) by Jez Sheldon off the bowling of Fred Keeling.  An absolute ripper which soon meant they were 10 for 3 and then 50 for 6.  However they made it to our total with 2/3 overs to spare as a few dropped/very close chances later on harmed our cause and the fact we were always 30-40 runs light came back to haunt us. 

Our record of played 4 won 2 lost 2 is now losing its initial glow, but with the Mike Martin and 2 games in September to go, how much better can we get?

Do we need more matches?  Should we start earlier?  Does Neilo need a job that doesnt necessitate a 4 am alarm call on Monday morning?  Should we have some Saturday fixtures? Does Neilo need a helicopter?  Isn't working a pain in the arse?

These pithy, weighty issues are on my mind this morning and this report has therapeutically dealt with them but with no satisfactory outcome thus far....thoughts on a postcard pls.

A lovely day and a close, competitive, low scoring match which hopefully our beloved skipper enjoyed enough to counter those beeps at 4 am this morning.

Thanks to all - Rosco

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Rascals v's Canbashers match date16.4.17

News from the front is sketchy and this report will have to be based on a couple of intercepts of communiques pulled out of the ether.  The first was grave and came in at 16.19 from Fred Keeling: ‘Rascals doing very poorly. 50-6. I got out for 7 or 6 not great’.  17 minutes later we received ‘It’s a bowler’s square today’.  At this point, despite the best efforts of GCHQ, we lost all contact with the lads until this was found in one of Ant Lund’s dead drops:

This was not a good sign, but was followed up by a rather cryptic message from out dear leader and field commander: ‘a close run game analysis to follow’.  There were also unsubstantiated sightings of our brave boys in the area of Three Legged Cross (an area renowned for bogging down even the most seasoned of campaigners), but we have no idea what they were doing there and cannot corroborate these.

Only two more messages have been received, but they do give small reason to hope at least.  The first from Gunner Jamie Mackwood shortly after 21 hundred hours ‘Jez’s blinding catch at slip….. moment of the match’ followed some 20 minutes by another mention of him in dispatches from the skipper ‘It was a classic, pretty much knocking Bealby off the top slip catch’

Since that our listening stations have all been on full alert, but have picked up no more scraps and hope is fading fast for those brave few.  

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Rascals v's Donkey's Impediment (away) Match Date 02.07.17

We won, taken there with a huge Ant Lund six!! So much more to report, but that will follow later.  For now the images that matter:

With exams over, it was with relative ease that the team came together and a week before the match we had a squad of 14 for the selectors to chew over.  Oh the embarrassment of riches! We ended with 3 Prykes shouldering their arms and filling the reserves and, in the team, 3 Cliftons with relatives in the form of a Grigson and a Mackwood, a brace of Ross, 3 Keelings and a lone Lund making a healthy sounding team (7/8 bowlers, 2 keepers and batting all the way down the order.  With our usual zealousness the warm up session was set for 1 at the Bell and, while the team manager and his son were there on time, there was no sign of another player until 30 minutes before the match was due to start at 2. 

Of course, during all of the above shenanigans involved in putting together a team of rascals, there was the other small matter of the parallel negotiations over the tea: would there be any, should we bring our own and do we pay for it?  All these weighty and pressing matters had been resolved though, Nigel it seems has broken the caterer’s strike and would provide tea. Furthermore he would accept no payment for this service (and an excellent tea it was!!).  It should be noted by the board that, as part of the negotiations, it has been agreed that, from this match on, the Donkey’s Impediment will attend our ground as honoured guests and vice versa when we attend them.

By 2.10 we were at the pitch (well seven of us were).  If that were not exceptional enough in itself, this paled into insignificance when we realised we were there with not a member of the opposition present, shrieks!! Mea culpa, mea culpa, I apologise profoundly to all those who could have got in some more ‘practice’ at the pub.  Nigel did duly appear saying that he had it down as a 2.30 start, not what I recalled, but who was I to argue? There I was in another man’s house after all.  A toss was discussed, deemed surplus to requirements and the Donkey donned pads while we took to the field.

Someone later described the match as game of two batsmen.  While there is no denying that there was more than a kernel of truth in this, it does not quite do the game justice.  Will Collier knocked a mighty 106 not out, but with the rest of the Impediments only mustering 86, we were not given too terrifying a target to chase for their 35 overs.  For their ‘Collier’, we had a ‘Ross’ who knocked up a more than respectable 88. The Rascals had a broader support base in the batting department (notably a welcome return for Fred Keeling from the Dark Continent who hit a lovely 23) we managed to pass their score with a couple of overs to go.

Other moments of note on the day:
  • Raul & Rufus Ross opening the batting together and putting on a stand of 30ish
  • Jude Clifton making his debut for the team
  • Fred Keeling coming back from a 3 year break and bowling, batting and catching brilliantly
  • Toby Clifton dropping a catch off his son’s bowling – shame on you and shame on me for mentioning it
  • Jamie Mackwood kept wicket and Zak Keeling remained standing on no sleep whatsoever from the night before
  • A large number of the opposition had been out the night before too, but made an awful lot more noise about it than our two soldiers.
  • Being given tea by the opposition (should happen more me thinks?)
  • Ant Lund closing the match out with a mighty six
  • Getting our hands back on the trophy!
  • The score book being kept so badly that we are not 100% sure exactly what happened.  Neither side was blameless here.  They recorded Neil as having bowled 7 overs (we were limited to 6 per bowler).  They had this wrong, of this I am certain, and that throws doubt on their entire record.  Of course we can do no better as Zak admitted that he had unilaterally decided that it was not worth keeping a record of their bowling!?!  It was slightly embarrassing when we were asked how many overs young Spedding had completed.  I was convinced that he had already completed 7 (taking both mine and Fred’s wicket in the 7th), but we said 6 and just hope it wasn’t 5 and we robbed him of one.  Oops.

Anyway, we won with ease, the sun shone and the mood was upbeat all day.  Just how it should be.

As we attended the Bull in the gloaming, as is our norm on a Sunday night, Neil was not alone (but loudest) in complaints regarding an early start the next day, the following occurred to me: When we play at Pear Tree Hill, is there any reason why we do not play on a Saturday???  It would only be once every 2 years, but it would be jolly nice to that and not have to go work the the next day.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Rascals vs East India Club - Chairman's Log 04.06.17

 By Mark Beattie

Garnering a full team for this game proved surprisingly easy once the match manager, The Chairman, had enlisted the help of The Skipper's whatsapp; something that The Chairman's Nokia Series 3 simply did not understand. He has now succumbed to familial pressure and purchased an EyePhone...... The team, rather delightfully, contained no less than three fathers and sons (Tobes and Jake Clifton, Tobes and Arthur Mynott, Neilo and Billy Grigson).

The weather gods were munificent, and, after a pleasant session in The Bell, we managed to get onto the field before 3pm, having lost the toss (care of PK). The indomitable Guy Denning stood in for errant Grigsons, who arrived a short time later. Neilo was happy for Will Drew to continue at the helm.

In the fourth over Arthur Mynott struck and the EICC's opening batsman was caught, either by Arthur or his father (PK, as it happened, ed.). The scorebook does not elucidate, and my memory fails me once again. However, after this, bats 2 & 3 very much got stuck in. It took many, many overs to dislodge Read (no 2), who, by the time he was bowled by a rejuvenated Jez Sheldon, had scored 98. I'll bet Jez felt less than rejuvenated on Monday morning! With overs running short, bat no 3 retired after scoring 50 and after the allotted 32 overs (?? c/o Rascals 'Tosser' PK), the oppo had run up 169 for 3. It has to be said that despite a spirited Rascals' effort in the field, we did drop a good number of catches, which may or may not have proved our eventual undoing.

Tea, prepared and served beautifully The Lady Chairman and Lady Tosser was a triumph. Whilst umping at square leg, a neighbouring oppo fielder commented to The Chairman that, whilst the Stonegate slope was similar to that at Lords, the tea was far superior.

It might be fair to say that the EICC's bowling attack was a tad more troublesome than ours. Whilst the majority of Rascals contributed well (six into double figures), no one was able to post more than PK's 21. The two run outs might have indicated a degree of indolence between the wickets, but, in truth, they were both wonderful direct shys. There was a glimmer of hope towards the end of the innings with an aggressive Toby Clifton and a magnificent Billy Grigson at the crease, but once Billy fell for 13 (13 more than his father!) we were left with much to do. Pressure resulted in two stumpings, and when The Chairman, no 11, came to the crease, there were a good twenty runs required, with two overs to go. Despite taking his time to study the field positioning, he spooned it to silly mid on, first ball.......

We repaired to The Bell to join The Impediments and The Collier XI for a good aling (is there such a thing?). We imbibed and caroused in fine spirits, safe in the knowledge that, whatever was to come, The Grannies, two weeks previously, had ensured that we would not suffer a 'beaten season' . Hussar!