A selection debate, in a good way, threatened to perplex the brains trust within the Twyford ranks who were due to face St Marys for an unusual two in row home tie at Hunter Park. There were at least three line ups posted prior to the coin toss this week, luckily the average age sinking to acceptable levels with the final eleven scribbled on the team sheet. Harry Altham making his 2016 debut, a man even more laid back than the permanently horizontal Ducker.
John Paine, who decided this week to step aside for his slightly younger old timer Mike McKenzie, marched out to a half green, half straw coloured pavilion side track to insert stumps. Apparently the half and half is the ‘Fords version of Hawkeye and an LBW aide to umpire Nobby and Batsmen wanting to know where middle stump was (or is). I believe Twyford will consider at this years AGM a bell in the ball to help the Twyford adjudicator next year!!
Nick Moreland, who surely will be voted most friendly captain in Two North in 2016, again entertained in the middle with the coin flipping the side of the home team, not surprising, with toss won, Twyford to bat first. A mensa meeting with infiltrator (skipper) in the changing room decided that Peter Pan West was to remain at four, which seemed to suit him (possible late onset of jetlag) . Smith and Bance J were once again to open.
A watchful opening two overs was ruined when Smith departed, chasing one outside off stump and was caught at the wicket for 0, an unusual start for Twyford. Reidy joined the fun and my goodness what an impact. The St Marys openers bowled well early on but Twyford were still well positioned at 55-1 after 10, cue the Reidy onslaught.
At times you just have to accept it is not your day (or maybe it is? ). The change of bowling highlighted the difference in fortunes of the two teams and re-wrote the Twyford CC history books. Reidy reached fifty with astonishing ease and then with Bance scratching to fifty Reidy moved to his second hundred of the Hampshire league campaign. Your regular reporter has to marvel at pure talent and Reidy is astonishing to watch, particularly when you are batting at the other end. He cruised to a hundred, which included a Caribbean style six over extra cover off of the back foot, which had the pavilion onlookers (and a few fielders) in awe. Bancey followed suit using all parts of the bat to make a creditable 131 before being caught on the ropes attempting a seventh 6, ending a partnership of 322 (a club record). West then marked his card with a brilliant 22 not out, rolling back the years with a couple of stylish late cuts.
With one over to go, Reidy needed nine to be the first Twyford player to score a double century at Hunter Park, the large crowd (including a three year old’s birthday party, it’s very difficult trying to face bowling when “3” shaped balloons keep floating by), some ex-OS players and two “gluttons for punishment” who had traveled down from Hereford to watch this shambles, need not have worried with the young tree surgeon hitting a six, a well run two and a single to make it to two hundred. Reidy then producing a sumptuous punch down the ground for four to celebrate. Twyford finished on a surely easily defendable 389-2 from their 42 overs (yet another club record). Credit to the St Marys team, a good bunch of guys, who stuck at it during the Twyford innings. Tea taken, including the famous Smith tuna and chili Sandwiches and a suspiciously hidden platter of Mckenzie fgg delights, I believe Paine Senior was trying to sneak these home for a few nights of “supper”.
Twyford took to the field with Ducker hurtling down the hill and Paine Junior from the Tennis Court/Allotments/Phoenix/Bugle Inn End. Paine bowled with pace, good lines and absolutely no luck, ten overs for thirteen backing this up. Ducker bowled very quickly taking four of the first five wickets. The fifth wicket an outstanding piece of fielding from Lee Nicholas which saw a direct throw result in a run out, leaving St Marys 5-5. The first twenty overs witnessed St Marys staggering to 35-6, Ducker finishing his outstanding spell with 5-20, yet another five-fer for the Twyford rapido.
The game went into a stagnant state with very few shots played, no wickets taken and not much really for your reporter to note, although Southampton airport seemed very busy early evening including an unusual Boeing 737-800 landing at the South Coast Hub. The crowd visibly nodding off in the increasingly humid weather. Ducker was to change all that with a brilliant direct run out and then a test match related sledge prompting the St Marys lefty who had patted most things down for a number of over’s inexplicably dancing down the track and skying one earning a wicket for McKenzie. Lee Nicholas was given his first spell this season, bowling an excellent line and a great “find” for the title run in. With Reidy still up the skipper’s sleeve the game was finally curtailed in the 35 over, two wickets for said man both stumped by the brilliant Moreland, who had an exceptional game behind the sticks yet again (he was sledging me all day so I had to write this in the hope that it will stop) and indelibly inked in the scorebook.
This game will always be remembered. It highlighted that the Twyford team can step up a few divisions in the coming years and that Hunter Park is a great place to play cricket.
Thank you to John Paine, who organises all and sundry at the club and scored throughout this match, almost running out of numbers to tick off, with the scorebook limited to 400.
Thanks once again to Nobby, although his umpire “counter” will need to be sent to Holt and Haskell for a service during the week, seemingly unable to count to six accurately. To our visitors from Hereford (keep up the fight Pete). Good to see the McKenzie clan at the ground once again.
A near diplomatic incident was averted when the Summer Lightning ran out, luckily Paul, our excellent host after each home game at the Phoenix (and away games to be honest) had ordered a back up barrel which was primed within minutes although to be fair there were at least seven excellent other ales available. A jug or two of SL quenched the thirst of the home team before it was time to depart.
Well done to all, sorry to those who didn’t get a bat today especially Harry and Nick Ranger. Off to Silchester next week…
A. Reidy 205*
J. Bance 131
St Marys 103 all out
Twyford won by 286 runs