Match Report

Henleaze Old Boys v Fishponds CC
Monday 16th July 2007 at The YMCA, Golden Hill

By P Trahar (HOBs Clubman of the Season 2006)

It was a surprisingly beautiful July evening when Fishponds make the trek across the M32 to the YMCA. After all the summer rain; everyone was full of optimism that finally summer had arrived in Bristol. Our previous encounter had ended in a draw, so Old Boys were looking to take another scalp this season - however, the author didn't play in that game, so understandably has no interest in itů

HOBs won the toss: since taking the reigns the taller, leaner Captain Smith has seemed happy to put us into bat. Unfortunately, there were few performances with the willow of any note. Heavy from a week in the carbohydrate ridden Cyprus, and bearing the burden of being recently engaged, Niko failed to ratchet up his normal decent start. The younger Lambshead put on a solid 13 before being run out by his captain who wanted two: perhaps if he strained his face more like his brother, he could have run faster. Uncharacteristically low scores from Smith, Davies and Serjeant brought in the recent ship steadier, and wicket keeper Fillingham. But he barely troubled the scoreboard with 9. HOBs overseas player, Barrett, made a quick fire 10, with some trademark large boundaries, before being bowled and then Trahar, Adams and Lambshead Snr managed at paltry 3 between them; at least the other 2 can bowl!

So even though the sun had finally begun to shine on North Bristol, unfortunately, there was a rather large and unstable black cloud surrounding the HOBs performance, ending up with a meagre 85.

As HOBs took the field to bowl, the storm clouds seemed to gather even more. It was clear that a fairly impressive, tight fielding performance was going to be required. Although, ever increasing in confidence and fielding ability, 85 didn't really leave much room for manoeuvre.

In true Captain fashion, and leading from the front Smith took a hugely impressive caught and bowled; Lusted smashing the ball straight back to him, Smith plucked it out of thin air, pirouetting like an old swingball, but managing to make it stick. It was difficult to judge what was louder, the HOB's cheer or Lusted exhaling, "What the fuck" in disbelief. Game on!!!

So the rain began, so the Davies show began. Clearly, still ruing his performance with the bat he decided to take Fishponds apart as singlehandly as a game with 13 players on the field can allow. 3 quick wickets by Davies and the screw began to tighten further. Classic fielding catches by, Serjeant and Fillingham assisted Davies with a couple, but Davies was clearly not satisfied with his colleagues' performance so nabbed a quick caught and bowled himself. Insisting in showing his teammates how to catch, Ed took an absolute beauty at first slip, grabbing a Lambshead ripsnorter from the air with the nonchalance that will instil confidence into any developer!

Contenders for champagne moment of the season were put forward by Lambshead Junior in the field. The outfield grew ever more wet, and he slipped over on a couple of occasions, looking like a man running through a field of banana skins. Ending up on his arse in an horizontal star jump position.

As the downpour lashed down more heavily, our Antipodean pace man came back into the attack, showering delivers onto the Fishponds batsman, picking up a wicket as, yes, Davies, caught one for him. Barrett then rained deliveries onto Pitman's pads and when the third hit him square on the toe, the umpire really was left with no choice but to raise the fateful finger. Could it be done!! Could we win!!

Saving his final ace, Smith brought Lambshead Snr back into the attack. Needing 6 to win in the last over, and batting in rain that made watching from the side lines a virtual impossibility. The first was pushed out through mid-wicket, the second was flicked for 4, but you could see the determination in his face. The third. Bowled!! We'd done it!! HOBs went AWOL jumping onto Lambshead like a pack of drenched wolves onto a drowning sacrificial lamb. What a performance!!

The game ended, like the first in a draw.