Words: Phil Dorsett
Roehampton 1st team are back in Div 2!
On Saturday we welcomed Ewhurst CC to The Heath. All the games tend to matter at the business end of the season, but we went into this one with the stakes far higher than England on the morning of the forth day at Headingly.
We needed 8 points to secure promotion. But on top of that, a win would ensure a shoot out for the league at Wallington (leaders by only 2 points) next week.
And win we did, in quite (dare I say it) professional fashion. Having spent a few years writing match reports of a differing outcome, it is with great pride that I write this one.
Not for my own personal performance of course JP, before you you say it. But hey, it’s a team game.
So, the clocks went back in the league this weekend as the evenings draw in, but no-one had told our opponents and they turned up half an hour late. This meant the day started very unusually...
Firstly we were set up, dressed and ready enough to practice some slip catching. Second, we won (claimed) the toss and put our practice to good use by batting first...
The opening stand had an England 2019-esque (‘red ball’) feel to it as the first wicket fell in the first over to an unnecessarily attacking shot.
It wasn’t JP.
Sticky then rolled back the years yet again and helped JP take the score close to 100 for the second wicket.
We stumbled a bit thereafter with a couple of wickets going down and score still close to 100. But then JP (Joe Purnell) joined JP and the game started drifting from Ewhurst as the sun and the JPs wore their bowlers down.
It wasn’t quite Stokes and Leach, but JP certainly did take the lead.
Ably supported by JP.
And what really became a match winning partnership was an absolute joy to watch.
JP finally fell with the score on 225. Other JP was still playing the Stokes role and had calmly passed 100..
Already a good score, but still with some gas in the tank, we went for the jugular. Some selfless attempts but Mo especially shined with with a quick fire 37.
JP eventually fell for a tremendously crafted 138. It really was very good, but, please, don’t tell him I said that. He’d be unbearable.
More than incidentally, at the time of writing, he’s the highest scoring batsman in the league by 100 or so - ahead of a chap called Jack Aguera at Wallington. I can’t yet see how many he scored on Saturday (full Wellington scorecard not published), but they were only chasing 67. Winning next Saturday, and restricting Jack to under 50 will win us (and JP personally) a lot of silverware.
Either way, well batted JP. I look forward to seeing what you can do in div 2 next year.
Back to the game... 282 was a good score. The Ewhurst players I thought were in higher spirits at tea than they should have been. Sunstroke can show itself in many varied ways.
We bowled well. Mo and Umer again using the new ball to good affect. One or two of their guys frustrated us, but I’d say more because we wanted to get to the bar early, rather than any real threat of coming second.
Any vague Stokes-like dreams they may have had were thwarted by the spell of the day, if not the season, bowled by Mr Ron Basnett. He ended with 4-34 from 8 wonderful overs. Well, 7.4 wonderful overs and 2 dreadful long-hops.
Really well bowled Ron. I think if you do that next week we’ve a very good chance..
Well played chaps.
Bring on next week. Looking at the stats, Wallington are 2 points in front, but not at all through their limited overs performances (our season is split between ‘timed’ games and limited overs games). They’ve only won 4 of their limited overs games to our 7.
Win the game, restrict Mr Aguera to under 50.
The stuff of dreams. Absolute scenes.
I can almost taste the snakebite.