XI v Henleaze Old Boys
Thursday 18th August 2005 at The Clanage
By TW Lambshead
In a rather fitting end to season, Henleaze's finest concluded with a match against Lazarus XI who provided opening opponents way back in May. Quite a bit had happened since that inaugural game - mostly involving a fair amount of losing on HOB's behalf. Still, this game offered a chance against a team HOB knew they could beat.
Things didn't start off brilliantly though as Lazarus won the toss and put themselves into bat - an important one to win given the time of year and lack of light by 8pm. Things weren't helped by a faffing opposition XI who eventually got themselves ready to play by about 6.30. Lovely bunch of chaps, but a little on the doddery side it must be said.
Still, nothing doddery about their batting performance as they cracked HOB's bowlers around for fun. It must be said though that the pitch was tiny - it was about the size of the old test match board game I used to have. One of the boundaries in particular was miniscule - it appeared to be a pitch for the batsmen and they wouldn't have been disappointed. Henleaze, keen to get themselves to the crease were continually frustrated by having to take time to retrieve balls form the roofs, bushes and car parks. It actually got a bit depressing in the end, especially as wickets were proving hard to come by. Eventually though Jo Smith got a run out and Adam caught one off Jon's bowling.
One of theirs was proving hard to remove though, going by the name of Rummels. A good eye for the ball saw the bowling figures take a pummelling but finally the ever-reliable Adams made the breakthrough and a fine catch by Jo Smith saw him depart for the pavilion/dilapidated portacabin. Sadly for HOB he'd made a very healthy 58 before he went.
A few more wickets fell, but the damage had been done: the opposition ended up scoring an impressive 162 for 6, although it must be said the size of the ground certainly helped them.
Lazarus, famous for raising Jesus from the dead, might have been helping HOB out too as they miraculously struggled back, not quite from death, but very difficult position. Indeed it was a batting performance of almost biblical proportions as Jon Smith and Ed Davies smote the bowling onslaught to all corners of the ground.
Things didn't start of too brightly as Serjeant and Jo Smith went for 10 and Fillingham going for the required big hits fell for a duck. Once the Davies/Jon Smith partnership got going though, the opposition started to sweat a bit. These two had been playing well all season and this was the culmination of their efforts, saving their best til last. It was a great combination innings with Steddy Eddie and Beefy 'Botham' Smith complimenting each other well. The partnership was eventually worth a whopping 114 runs before Smith played a high ball up in the darkening evening sky and was caught, but not before putting on a magnificent 62.
Ed steadied the ship, partnering first Adams and then Old Man Clements to the nailbiting finale where HOB's ended up short by three runs. It was a gallant effort though. Although disappointing, perhaps an apt end to HOB's inaugural season.