Match Report

Stoke Druid v Henleaze Old Boys
Wednesday 20th June 2007 at QEH Sports Feilds

By SH Lambshead  

With the weather of late being wetter than an otter's pocket, the chances of getting a game of cricket in were looking slim until our erstwhile club secretary stepped in to procure a pitch for our game against Stoke Druid.

I was expecting, upon arrival to meet a bunch of wizened old men wearing flowing robes carrying sickles as our opposition. I was disappointed, but frankly, if they had been, we might have been given a tougher challenge.

With motley - batsman heavy team assembled at short notice and the sky becoming increasingly darker than the inside of Aleister Crowley's basement, HOB skipper Smith invited Stoke Druid to field after winning the toss.

First impressions, of the pith were good. The outfield appeared to be as well manicured as a porn-star's privates and SJ Smith and PM Ashford strode confidently out to open the batting, but sadly, on closer inspection the wicket would have shamed the Somme battlefields.

It soon became evident after the first couple of overs that the Druid opening attack were about as threatening as a basket of kittens. Despite this, Skipper Smith and every HOBs fan's favourite potato carrier Ashford gave up their wickets as cheaply as a Thai whore's honour, both being easily caught out. This paved the way for the usually reliable Slogger P Serjeant and the classical stylings of EC Davies.

What happened next will not be forgotten by those who were unfortunate to witness it. The Druid skipper saw fit to play a beardy old man by the name of Gillard, who proceeded to bowl an over that Helen Keller would have been ashamed of. If this wasn't bad enough, he was allowed to return to the scene of the crime to commit more atrocities to cricket. To give those of you who were fortunate enough to miss this display an idea of what happened, his figures ended up being 25 from 2 overs, his wides and no-balls contributing more to the Hobbers total than most of our batsmen.

Serj was next to gift his wicket, being clean bowled by one of Druid's mediocre attack force after hitting a neat 7. To continue a middle order collapse worthy of England, next man in Barrett lofted his first shot for an easy catch, leaving the way open for Niko to waddle up to the crease, looking all the part like a big Greek Clive Lloyd having, forgotten his contacts. Sadly, Niko's run of bad luck at the crease continued, being clean bowled for another duck. Niko's loss gave Big Daddy Ash a chance to redeem his own Strauss like lack of form with the bat, which he did with aplomb. Some choice shot selection and a few tasty fours saw Ash and the ever-sensible Davies rack up a fine partnership to form the bulk of Hob's runs before Fillingham was trapped, leg before. Newcomer Mike Serjent then sauntered in to knock off a useful six not out from the dying overs of the innings, which also saw Ed accurately guide a shot behind for four and what was clearly shot of the day.

The Hobbers took to the field full of confidence to defend a fine total of 125. So confident were they of their now legendary fielding prowess the HOBs took to the field with only ten men, Sage apparently having stopped to sell a stamp-licking paper folding machine to some voles on the way to the match.

The Druids turned out to be only marginally more aggressive with the bat than the ball. Some tight bowling saw JS Smith go for 19 from his four overs, but unjustly was not granted a wicket blaming the fact that his forehead never reaching the purple hue that powers his wicket taking prowess. In an unremarkable batting line up for Druid, there was one small highlight. A handsome young man with good strong honest thighs by the name of Adams managed to swipe 20 runs, but after Ashford had thrown down a few balls more tempting than a soft young woman with small hard breasts, he lofted a catch to the reliably fingered M Serjent. Some more remarkable bowling coupled with some superb fielding saw both Ashford and Davies pocket four wickets each, with SJ Smith denying the both of them the chance to have their names posted in the clubhouse by taking the well deserved final wicket.