Image Owner: Catherine Noakes
Wanderers slipped into a marginal results negative this season with a defeat at Awbrook to Scaynes Hill this Sunday.
Awbrook is a pleasant setting just back off the main A272, although not as tranquil as the nature perfectionists would love with the constant noise off one of the busiest country roads in Sussex. The A272 mythically follows the pilgrim journey that was made from Winchester to Canterbury and is 86 miles long. There is much history in its surrounds at different places, so much so that a Dutch writer once wrote a book about it. The book is not as dull as one would imagine, although that this resident Wanderers scribe has a copy in his possession would not be considered by some as confirmation of this. What isn’t dull though is the beautiful quietness that envelopes the cricket ground when there is a break in traffic, like the eerie silence in the surrounding trees here in suburbia that tells one that the resident birds know that a hungry sparrow hawk is in the vicinity. Nature, as beautiful as a straight six from The Big Bear, and as ugly as full toss from one or two of our bowlers today…
Wanderers batted for the entire 40 over period. A fruitful opening stand of 53, the eighth this year, came up in the tenth over. The Big Bear was first to fall for 18 with the score on 53. Gwyllim, possibly conscious of a slight lull in form at present, had played carefully for his runs. Teflon Noakes had continued his autumnal flourish with a plundering 35. It was commented that regular matches with his involvement have been a boon for his form, as is his general presence in the team. It was also the first time that David, Edward and Alice had appeared in the same match together. It may be that a father and two sons have done so on a number of occasions, but a father son and daughter combination is unlikely to have occurred before. What will give most encouragement to folk was Will’s second fifty following on from last week’s form boosting first of the season. The good news is that players who have been finding form may yet have another five or six matches to play. In reality, the season is only in mid-June in playing terms. It’s easy to forget, given the normality of proceedings now, how that is a fact. One suspects that only when stumps are drawn for the last time will the lamentations start on how it all went so quickly. Early October may yet see some cricketing activity as clubs try to squeeze another game or two in. Hurrah if it does.
Wanderers finished the innings on a healthy 187-6 with Mr Lincoln returning after some time away from the playing side of things, announcing his return with a solid boundary. It must have been good to feel the ball on the bat again.
After tea things did not go quite to plan. Not that there needs to be a plan. Sundays always produce a Plan A and nothing else. Plan A is simply to allow everyone to participate in a match- and all are in agreement. Lukey started with himself and the rather speedy Alice. It was a struggle against some hungry openers who were crafting the ball to all parts of the ground in an impressive array of stroke play. The ball travels well here and boundaries can be hard to protect once the incumbent is in full flow. Openers Tingley and Gumm were running at eight an over and the match looked to be finishing in defeat most resounding. To their credit, despite a seemingly resigned feel in the body language that was apparent to the side-lines, Wanderers did make a few inroads that at one stage left us feeling that if the batting to come was not of a standard there could be an interesting turn around. Or perhaps some of us were still drunk on the 20/20 international madness from earlier in the week. The latter proved to be the case.
Mr Styles chirped in with a three-wicket hall and the OSIT saw batsman Bacon, advancing down the wicket, stumped by the still pretty sharp Teflon. Despite a huge opening stand, Scaynes Hill were still 30 plus runs short of their target. But runs continued to flow despite the fall of wickets.
The middle order Vaughan family saw Scaynes Hill to safety after 25 overs that had ran at a rate of seven and a half. Having written a report of a famous draw earlier in the week where 83 overs had produced 203 runs, one wonders how all this comes about. Is bowling less capable these days ? Or a batsman more able ? Perhaps it’s all down to coaching methods. Another pub discussion after another good afternoon may produce the answers.
As the sun shone brightly over the Mid-Sussex countryside, and the nearby (and rather inviting) Farmers Inn was frequented, the Wanderers clan gathered to bring the evening in with a pint and a bite. Next week we return to Hundred Acre Wood and an encounter with Hartfield. Hopefully the weather will be as kind as last year with Teflon and The Big Bear in a fine fettle again. It’s still hard to contemplate the flickering embers of the season being upon us so soon. Let’s enjoy it while it’s still burning bright.
Image Owner: Catherine Noakes