Thursday, 22 September 2016

Nocton Cricket Club - final league game

September 18th - Nocton CC v Rustons

Final league game of the season... MATCH TIED!

Although neither side actually won this game it was described by Nocton vice captain David Franklin as a “victory for village cricket.” It was the last game of the 2016 season and Nocton were already assured of promotion to Division 2, coming second in the league to the unstoppable Ancaster. Had this been a needle match to gain promotion between 2 teams capable of succeeding it would probably have been a different game of cricket. In the event Rustons were put in to bat and skipper Dylan Garfoot made sure that everyone had the chance to bowl before the season was over. With all due respect to Lee Willford he is not exactly our first choice opening bowler! I don’t know whether he or his team mates (or the batsmen) were the most surprised when he took the first 2 wickets to fall!!

Then came a useful third wicket partnership of 35 between Barrie Billinghay (16) and Stuart Silk (28) before Darren Askew and Isaac Appleyard took 5 wickets between them for just 7 runs. Rustons’ Leo Bosher later top-scored with 38, taking advantage of some of the Nocton bowlers who don’t usually bowl at all. Rustons came with only 9 players but, to make it fairer on the day Dylan allowed 2 of their batters to have another go – which they did rather well taking their score from what would have been 88 all out to 141 for 9 by the end of 40 overs.

Some of the photographs will show that the “rivalry” between the 2 teams was decidedly light-hearted. There was a lot of banter and friendly “sledging” which was enjoyed by both sides.

Plate 1 - if you overlook the shambolic buildings
 this is surely a perfect setting for village cricket

Plate 2 - I still don’t know what was going on but the lads
 clearly wanted me to photograph it… so I did.
 It shows the spirit in which the match was played

Plate 3 - congratulations from father to son;
 Rob Appleyard high fives son Isaac on one of his 3 wickets

Dylan changed the batting order for Nocton to make sure that everyone also had a bat. Rustons’ Andy Silk opened the bowling and was pretty quick and accurate taking the first 3 wickets with just 12 on the board. Everyone who faced him batted very cautiously and defensively – everyone, that is, except Kyle Thompson who believes that attack in the best form of defence. A bouncer is a fast bowler’s scariest delivery so Andy tried one on Kyle who, at 6’4”, takes some “bouncing”. Kyle cross-bat smashed the ball back over the bowler’s head, over the boundary, over the hedge and scattered the sheep in the next field. He followed that with 4 more sixes, all straight and hit very hard. He was eventually stumped for 47 going for another 6 to take him past 50. He put so much effort into the shot that he fell flat on his face causing much amusement to the fielders. No-one laughed more than Kyle - until he was replaced at the crease by Rob Appleyard batting in a cycle helmet.

At the other end Mikey Atkinson batted steadily and correctly for 29 including 3 beautifully struck boundaries. He held the innings together and took the score from 12-3 to 103-8. Defeat looked inevitable when he was out but Darren Askew and Will Drury took Nocton to within 8 runs of victory. With the scores level at 141 Will decided to hit the winning runs with power and style… but the only things to be hit were his stumps as he was clean bowled. All felt that this was the best result possible, the match was played in a competitive spirit but good humour was the most obvious feature.

Plate 4 - “Good luck finding that one!”
Kyle lofts another mighty six over the barbed wire fence

Plate 5 - Mikey Atkinson hits a powerful and stylish 4

Plate 6 - "How are the mighty fallen"
Kyle is flat out (and stumped out) trying to get to his 50.
Most players would be really disappointed;
Kyle grinned all the way to the pavilion

Plate 7 - Rob Appleyard tried a cycle helmet instead of a batting helmet

Plate 8 - last man standing – almost.
Will Drury is bowled for 16 with the team scores level at 141
Report and photographs courtesy of Jonathan Sides

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