Rotherfield Peppard

Peppard Stoke Row CC 15th September 2019. -By Spinach, Pob in Italics and after party by Horse

The Peckers gathered for the season finale at Peppard Common to be treated to a Dupa sponsored bonanza in the newly renovated clubhouse, nestled a stone’s throw away from Henley, within the quaint Chiltern Hills . The renovation to the clubhouse cost over £270k which provided ample space and facilities for Peckers and Peckerinos/WAGs alike. My helpful Peppard contact assured me that the food had arrived and slightly awed informed me that ‘Otto’ was happy. A new nickname was born as we don’t like the Aussie ‘surname with a y’ approach. The weather was unseasonably warm with Peckers making sure to lather up before entering the fray. POBsy lost the toss but as has been custom for the most of the season would have opted to bowl first regardless. A tactic employed for good reason, especially for this match considering the generous bar tab in place by Dupa which may have led some astray before making any notable contributions on the field! The format was set at 38 overs each way match and a 1.30 start (later renegotiated to 35 overs by POBsy to fully tuck into the bar tab and BBQ). A strong contingent of supporters gathered on the sidelines, enticed by the warm weather, glorious location and the promise of one last village cricket match to cap of a biblical summer of cricket. WAGS/Peckerinos included Spinach’s entourage with ‘Avocado’ they all got Pobsy Peckers nicknames ‘Goose and Floopert (potential peckers) plus the lovely Daisy’Plumsy’ Simpson’  and Jiggy not needing a nickname. The recently engaged JeMotty (congratulations again!), Life President, Bugsy, SP’s parents Horse and Caps to name but a few. As has been customary for Caps a delicious Egg Pie was provided to the team, much to the delight of those who were nursing hangovers or simply weary from the journey across.

Jemotty and Bugsy enjoy the sunshine -Jemotty glowing from recent betrothal

Jemotty and Bugsy enjoy the sunshine -Jemotty glowing from recent betrothal

Fush recruited Kiwi Tom Mccarty,his wife's brothers wife's little brother who went to Cambridge University and played for their 2nd X1 …so was christened ‘Dolphin’ as Fish’s more intelligent cousin and Barney ‘Rubble’ Shit-Heap another Teddington CC member made his long awaited debut.

Spinach and Greasy opened the bowling, limiting the openers to 2-3 runs an over. Spinach (2-30 off 7) made the breakthrough in his after having one earlier difficult chance at slip shelled by SP. Bowling in the corridor of uncertainty, he once again tempted the batsmen into a drive which was as lapped up gleefully by Dolphin who was very very apt behind the stumps showing his pedigree from under 19s district cricket in NZ.

The first change bowlers continued to make in roads, with some crafty spin shown by Barney Rubble and medium pace from Motty both taking a wicket apiece. Barney bowled well to remove Badger for 43, pouched tidily by Horse in the deep.

The Two Teams

The Two Teams

As the sun bore down on the Peckers, the quick outfield and gentle slope made fielding laborious and tiresome. Hangovers unfortunately came into fruition with a few fielding errors and overthrows not helping us to reduce the runs conceded (35 in total). As enthusiasm slightly waned, the Home side’s middle order started to up the run rate to in excess of 6 an over.

Felix the Cat bowled well, but was unrewarded, as did the Old Horse cantering in to bowl Kimber for 37 Their skipper Nutt has played as a semi-pro and also was at school with Felix the Cat resulting in some good banter. He reached his half century with ease until the crucial breakthrough -a strangle down the leg-side off Motty and a brilliant take by the Dolphin. The Peckers managed to drain up the runs towards the end of the home team’s innings, with only a handful of boundaries to the new batsmen’s names. Greasy’s 2nd spell was much better than his first, taking two wickets and bowling some hostile stuff to a 12 year old.

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Peppard Stoke Row CC finished on 210 for 8 off their 35 overs, a respectable score on a good pitch For tea a delicious assortment presented itself to the weary Peckers who lapped up the cold meats, cheeses, curry and more. As had been the case for Tadworth, Spinach was promoted to ‘pinch-hitter’ to join SP in the middle in the Pecker’s reply. Unfortunately, Spinach didn’t get the full memo for and opted for a more Boycottesque approach, trying to preserve his average for the season. The openers put on a stand of about 40 for none, until Spinach (11) fell to one of the younger members of the Home side, failing to damage the scoreboard too much. SP (24) who looked in good nick with some lovely boundaries also fell soon after to a dubious lbw decision (triggered by Horse) despite being at least a couple of yards outside the crease. This brought Barney Rubble and Dolphin to the crease who batted well and kept up with the run rate in style. Barney (66*) used all of his league expertise, playing expertly behind square with Dolphin (47 – yet another jug avoidance by a kiwi, the conspiracy continues) at the end opting to go aerial, at such a rate that he didn’t register a single run which wasn’t a 4 or 6 until he was well into the 40s! This accelerated the innings swimmingly until Dolphin was harpooned lbw. His cousin ‘Fush’ (43) also started to grind down the home side’s bowling and was unlucky to be reeled in by a good catch by the opposition in the deep

Our Bearded Kiwi Trio -Fush, Dolphin and SP

Our Bearded Kiwi Trio -Fush, Dolphin and SP

Our sponsor Dupa (13*) come to the crease, and struck three powerful boundaries to seal the Peckers win .A solid win for the Woodpeckers by 6 wickets.

The end of season BBQ was a triumph – with Otto Mott, the renowned Bavarian chef, taking the spatula and tongs. Replete in his lederhosen, and with Jemotto looking admiringly on, he flipped and roasted like a dervish, serving delicious marinated lamb, spatchcocked chicken, racks of ribs and of course his world-renowned wiener.The feast was paired with a beautifully seasoned salad and a wide array of beers and wines from around the world. Dessert was a special chocolate brownie, arguably the moment the wheels came off.

Chef Otto (fun is his motto and likes to get Blotto) carves the Butterfly Lamb whilst a Hungry Horse looks on

Chef Otto (fun is his motto and likes to get Blotto) carves the Butterfly Lamb whilst a Hungry Horse looks on

Peckers celebrated long into night, and a re-invigorated POB felt the need to give a speech and engineer a beer-shotgunning competition. Dolphin leapt at the opportunity, confirming he was as adept with a can as he was with the gloves. The youngsters of Peppard Row were speechless with admiration. Well, speechless for sure.

From the left -2 young Peppard lads, Pobsy, Dolphi and Shit Heap

From the left -2 young Peppard lads, Pobsy, Dolphi and Shit Heap

Come 9pm the cab was summoned for the long trip back to London. The final five revellers bought the roadies (then promptly left them in the fridge) and headed back to wintry reality. A wonderful season done and dusted.

A special thanks to POB for all his hard work building the relationships that give us such a marvellous fixture list, and for patiently getting teams out.