31st of May 2015

Report by LP, Pob in italics.

We feared the worst as we woke up to rain on Sunday, but Headley’s chairman Andy Pickering said “we now have covers and it will dry up. “   So we set off  to the beauty spot overlooking overlooking Box Hill.

From 1 the rain came and went and the covers were on and off like a whore’s drawers for the next 90 minutes.   James Midner, their skipper just back from honeymoon from California, said there were muddy patches next to the covered pitch, possibly presenting a health and safety issue.

POB had six new players who weren’t in the side from the Coleman’s Hatch Xl – AOB, Gavin, Ross Marsh (flown in from Singapore gathering inside information about our proposed lineup for the UK Woodies v the Singapore Woodies at the swanky Çity of London Freemens’ ground on July 17),  John Peters,  Brendan Murphy, Miles Meacock, Ben Pugh and the revered Baron, Neil Runkel. After the youthful lineups of Hogs and Htach, the average age shot up by a good 15 years, leaving Skip feelingslightly less ancient

The easing off of the showers led to an agreement from the captains – if it stops, we’ll settle on a  T25 over a side match.  The cover  - there was only one -  was removed and Midler decided to open with two players who wore the Ashtead CC sweaters.   Yes,  ringers!  Dickinson’s second scoring shot was a six over the 55 yard extra cover boundary and it took some time to retrieve the ball.    

Our opening bowlers,  UK qualified Ben Pugh and Australian domiciled Alex Jay  now working as a doctor in the Marsden Hospital,  bowled admirably, fairly straight and on a testing length but anything short was pulled to the short, square  boundaries by left hander Tom Laudy.One of highlights came when Brendan, our Saffer import trying to field a ball only manged to Boot it to toby at long off –he stooped to collect but also booted it further away as the batsmen ran 3

Despite their probing bowling,  neither took a wicket – Ben with 5-0-21-0 and Alex 4-0-28-0.   The Baron was in a cheerful mood, possibly because he had a long chat with our former  star Australian all rounder Dr. Mike Jay, father of Alex.  Mike gave him some good advice – chuck out those statins!   The Baron bowled Dickinson, 26, in his first over and it was greeted with much mirth. 

Apparently the next man named Thomas was an Australian and was Ashtead’s professional, a fast bowler with a fearsome reputation.  After reaching 6, he charged down the pitch and was stumped by Swampy off AOB’s otthodox delivery. This was memorable as Swampy was struggling a bit with the spinners –He was only off the plane 24 hours, was very reluctant to keep and claimed to be seeing 3 balls. So he stood back a bit for the spinners, but walked in with the bowler like Jonty Rhodes at cover and whipped off the bails.   The gentle offerings from  Baron produced a third wicket at 72 with Gavin catching Laudy, 36,  at square leg and with a limit of five overs he made way with the best analysis, 5-0-24-2. The fielding was good in the greasy conditions and there were 2 run outs effected by Pug and Pob, with help from Bail whipper Swampy, who really warmed to the task.

The other four batsmen couldn’t get AOB’s bowling (5-1-12-1) away  and Gav’s much quicker brand was just as restrictive (3-0-14-0).   The three overs from Miles cost 39 runs to take the total to 142-5.   Headley’s six sixes failed to hit a car, or a spectator.

In the previous match Headley were10-8, all out 40 against The Nomads, whom Colin and Kim played for in their younger days so 142 was a big step forward.

Headley always have a good spread and Barbara invited everyone to have a piece of Thornton’s choccy cake which was to celebrate AOB’s 50th which took place in April.    

The Ashtead fast bowler decided he didn’t want to bowl after a long spell the day before and the elderly Clarke opened with friendly fire while Elburn,  considerably faster,  made AOB and Gav to concentrate.   Gav, 10, tried to accelerate and trying to swing  one of Çlarke’s dobbers over the pavilion his bat fell out of his hands and almost reached the fielder at wide mid on.  The ball fell safely in the fielder’s hands with the bat  just missing him.

 Once again TOB went off like  Lewis Hamilton – 4 6 2 4 6 and one of his 6 sixes landed very close to his mother Joan, sitting alongside Mike Jay who nobly scored for both sides, in front of the pavilion.   Hearing cries of  “Look out!” she rose to her feet and said sternly “I am your mother!”  The ball struck pretty much where mummy Joan’s head had just been, this 2 weeks after TOB almost killed both my nieces with separate blows. We really enjoy watching Doby’s majestic 6s but would appreciate if he direct them away from his relatives.

With AOB working the ball for singles,  TOB kept up the  momentum and soon they put on 102 for the second wicket before being bowled by chairman Pickering for 72. 

Swampy hit a 4 and gave a catch to the keeper and JP,  9 not out, admittedly rusty,  swung and missed several times before reaching the boundary.  Meanwhile  AOB was still there showing some truculence when he saw that one or two widish deliveries weren’t called wides by their veteran umpire Dickie (not Bird).

With the scores level,  he finally opened up and struck a six and came in with an unbeaten 42 in 25 overs.

Woodpeckers 143-3 beat Headley 142-7 by 7 wickets, to make it 4 wins out of 5 games this season –great effort lads!