7th of June 2015
It was magnificent weather for the Woodpeckers 50th anniversary game at Tilford, possible the most scenic ground in the South of England. A large crowd had gathered on the green and outside the Barley Mow pub as we arrived in the Cyoungy-mobile. Charlie was feeling fragile after a skinful and a late night altercation with the bouncers at the Lost Angel. An Octet of peckers gathered in the garden of the Barley Mow for the pre game shandy. (Cyoungy wolfed down the roast pork) It was great to see Cuddy playing his 1st game of the year with his badly damaged knee.
Tilford skip admitted they weren’t super strong, so when I called correctly, I decided to bat. Motty is on restrictive duties due to a poorly shoulder, so I pressed him into opening. He was unfortunate to edge his 1st delivery to the keeper…for a golden duck. I moved Meakers up the order as he is something of a Tilford specialist (his mother in law lives just over the stream). He immediately started stroking it nicely on the off side and hit the Mott-Slayer Rivers for two sixes in an over.
At the other end Will ‘Collo’ Collins was on debut as another colleague of Windy’s and former Uppingham 1st 11 player. He was batting extremely well until he hit a long hop straight to cover for 22. Meakers was quickly bowled by their promising young opener Matt Bozier for 28, and when Tatey walked in front of a straight one for a second pecker golden duck of the day, suddenly we were 50-4 and there was a flurry of batsmen rushing to the ancient church hall to don pads and gloves. I joined Coatesy in the middle and it was tough going for a while as we tried to dig in…
Backing up, calling and generally keeping one’s eyes open when batting is something I was taught at Prep School but this experienced pair of cricketers kept the crowds very well entertained for several overs of “YES, NO, WAIT, YESSS, NO”, mostly followed by seeing POB sprawled ono the deck, scrambling for the crease. However, after a few patient overs of sensible rebuilding, the shoulders started to ease and once both Coatesy and POB had passed their half centuries, they accelerated their scoring majestically and made the most of a true pitch, military medium bowling, some brilliant sunshine and a growing crowd of a few hundred, many of whom had stumbled upon this most idyllic of village cricket settings. Having been dropped a few times by the Tilford skipper, Coatesy eventually fell for 102, Gav came to the crease and politely kept POB on strike, in search of his own milestone, which he reached soon afterwards with another crashing boundary and a declaration followed. It was a great batting display, two centuries, neither particularly ‘pretty’ but nevertheless, heroic, muscular and match winning in every way and thoroughly entertaining to watch.
LP was umpiring almost throughout the fifth wicket stand and he said “stupendous! It will go down in the annuls of the history of the club and last man Henry told me ‘I’ve been involved with the club for almost fifty years and I’ve never seen any side scoring two centuries in the same innings.’
The partnership of 201 is the highest ever in Woodpecker History beating 199 between Cuddy and Northern Rob at Marlow in 2013. The highest 5th wicket stand was 177 between Gav70* and TOB 104* at Leigh in 2010
Tea was delicious, the highlight being the scones with clotted cream and strawberries. Charlie Young opened the bowling with his DCPS classmate Windy. Both of them bowled a super line and length, (this was ‘end-to end’ stuff, tight bowling and arguably some of the best opening spells of bowling for the Peckers in a long time) with Windy removing opener Knight caught at Cover by Collo. Cyoungy really hit his straps then , bowling a full length and swinging the ball late. He bowled both Bussel and Mcdonald to reduce Tilford to 34-3. I managed to keep Windy sober by getting him to drive and the results were magnificent – a full length and he sadly had 3 edges shelled behind the wicket.( slips possibly distracted by scantily clad lovelies around boundary)
Borgav came on and also bowled a lovely full length and there was a flurry of lbw appeals (sadly Lp not allowed to Umpire by Tilford), before he yorked Groght. Beearon also came on and bowled the youngster Bozier for a duck..baron really is lethal against the youths…nothing makes him happier than sending them snivelling back to the pavilion. Gav then finally got his lbw verdict and Tilford were reeling at 66 for 6.
Runky was getting worried now that he may not take a hatful…he slipped his Meshershmidt into overdrive, and trapped Knott and Macdonald LBW.
Tilford began to dig in and I was worried that we may not be able to dislodge them..They were untempted by Tatey’s flat offspin. But Beearon induced Withers to chip one to sprawling skipper at short mid wicket and wrapped it up when the 3rd Macdonald top edged him to sub keeper Motty. Eee aye ee aye –oh! Coatesy had damaged a finger but retired later to his car to administer pain killers
We repaired to the Barley Mow where Virgin centurions Coatesy and I bought jugs and enjoyed the wonderful conviviality and pork scratchings. A glorious (if one-sided) and memorable day of cricket
Woodpeckers 280-5 beat Tilford 86 all out by 194 runs
This is a record all time victory margin for the Peckers beating our 191 run victory against Tilford in 2010. We also now have 5 wins in 6 matches and a great chance of a record breaking season –well done Peckers!