Big Merv was making a long overdue return to the Peckers fold , and was coming over to watch the champions league final the night before with Cousin le Daviiiide,who called to say that a buxom girl working with him at Epsom had split up with her boyfriend and needed somewhere to crash…I agreed and went into a ‘spruce the hoose like a juiced up moose’ frenzy, watering plants, washing bedding, cleaning the kitchen and changing my underpants.
The lovely Cornish lass Victoria arrived and we had some curry and tucked into the vino, whilst le Davide told her tales of Pobsy’s over-zealous field settings.There was one moment between us when the lads had a smoke on the balcony but after that we just ploughed through my entire wine cellar and I left them at 4 am still in fine voice.
Cousine le Davide was so excited he awoke at 7am and stomped around like Boris Johnson on the campaign trail, making Tea and watching to chat. I had to give him short shrift but then emerged at 8.30 feeling more than a little peaky, and Big Merv awoke in the same bed as Victoria but denied any impropriety –apparently he went there 1st…. Pobsy sorted breakfast ,with Merv supplying the digestif to Cousin Le Davide on the balcony after, who then berated me to drive his car for him. I opted for Merv’s old smokey and we arrived in good time on beautiful Headley Heath.
Headley is a place dear to my heart where we have the memorial bench for my folks and it was wonderful to see so many lovely supporters -a lot of O-Bs- Kim/Boss, Doby, Maz and Winnies, Ru/Floopert , Jamie/JOB, Queen Kindly plus Horse and Foals Freddie Boom-Boom and Happy Jack, Coatesy/Muttley, Caz the Razz and Hazza Twaites came along too, with the Fingers.. Jim and LP/Cakey umpiring.
Headley are a strong village side and came in on the back of four wins in a row, the toss came down Heads for me for the 1st time this season, and with all the supporters I elected to bat first. I reinstated the SP/Cousin opening combo after their fantastic century on Tooer at Bures the Saturday before, and they didn’t let us down with 51 today, SP edging behind for a solid 21.
Botty came in and the Cavalier Cousin blended well with the Busy Botty and they accumulated a 122 run partnership. Botty lofted one six into the lower tier of the pavilion and Horse had to hastily take evasive action to avoid Happy Jack being sconned. Botty was again narrowly denied a fifty, floored for fourty four by Headley Chairman and stalwart medium pacer Andy Pickering.
Cous really was in full flow now with a dozen 4s and a 6, and Headley had an injury, so I went out to sub field….. He struck one to me at mid on, which I thought I had but when I hit the ground I didn’t…I was most ashamed as the bowler was my old adversary and friend Andy Pickering .
I felt better when the Mid off put down a similar chance ten runs later, and then Cous went on to strike the crucial boundary to take him to his first ever Pecker century. This is always a beautiful moment and so amazing that it was the week after SP had scored his first ton in any form of cricket the week before. He was caught the very next ball for a magnificent 101. Apparently his only other ton came against much inferior bowling and indolent youths, so Le Davide is most proud of his Pecker ton at Headley.
A series of other Peckers struggled to add much to the score – 1 Will Collier (Bro de El Collleen) , 8 shots of Cannon , 10 Mervs a Milking, and a not so sweet 16 for Pobsy after his spilt milk earlier. When Motty was caught for a quick handful (5) , we tucked into a delicious tea of which he hoovered more than a handful of some very decent sandwiches. They were accompanied by a marvellous melange of melon and a chunk of chockie cake so colossal the chomping captain choked on it….really not my day. 239 – 7 off our 35 overs looked about par with a brace of wickets for Colonel Pickering, Tunnel and Winslett, an up and coming Bobby Barton unlucky to only get one.
The pitch still had some life in it and Tiddles and Motty bowled some good stuff, but loose balls were often punished and many flew through and over the decorative slips cordon or evaded the stumps whilst the score climbed steadily at 6s to 96-0 . The Beearon took the first breakthrough removing Dickinson lbw for 38, and then Paul ‘Baz’ Aitken kept up his knack of taking wickets with his assortments of mixed toffees, caramels and the occasional snorter yielding 2-45 from his 5.
At this point Motty’s groin gave way completely having troubled him for a bit, and he became completely immobile plus the Beearon was really struggling with his kidney stones. The fielding malaise spread through the ranks as the scoreboard climbed. Botty lacked his usual control and was also dispatched 4 overs for 37, whilst getting involved in a couple of feisty exchanges and then as things turned from bad to horrific, SPs 2nd over went for 27 and the game was really up. It’s the sort of ground where you have to bowl with discipline to avoid being clubbed to the short boundaries, and we just struggled to find a consistently good length.
Headley ultimately cruised to the target with almost 7 overs to spare and 7 wickets in hand, and it was a shame that we didn’t celebrate Cousin le Davide’s 1st Pecker ton with a victory, but we celebrated with plenty of ale instead, and it was another fun Peckers day at Headley.