An unparalleled season, by Jon Bance (sort of)…

Hunter Park hosted Twyford’s final game of 2016, an intriguing local derby against Compton and Chandlers Ford with a tinge of sadness due to the loss of Andy Thorne. Muggy/hazy conditions greeted the players with the skipper once again making excuses about having to work hard and therefore turning up a few minutes before the scheduled start. John Paine seemed overly enthusiastic, having been left in charge of horticultural affairs at the home of cricket in Twyford, cutting and rolling the wicket at will. The usual half and half track presenting a nice covering of grass and surprisingly firm. Toss won and to the surprise of Compton’s skipper, Twyford would bowl – looking to use the overhead conditions as well as ensuring someone was on hand to start up the barbecue celebrations later in the day whilst batting. Unfortunately for the skipper, the toss decision did not sit too well with Alex Reidy, who seemed to be more focused on increasing his batting average after a tot up in the Phoenix the week before had shown him to be tailing badly in second. The other Twyford players and officials sided with the skipper’s decision.

Twyford fielded a youthful and much changed team yet again, Robert Nicholas, Tony Butcher and Mike McKenzie filling in for Bobby Smith and Lee Nicholas who had prior arrangements and Jon Bance who was keen to protect his average and therefore headed to the South West for a beach holiday (couldn’t be arsed).

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by both teams and the umpires in memory of our good friend, teammate and youth coach Andy Thorne who sadly passed away during the week.

Ducker opened up from the Allotment End and immediately made the new cherry wobble about, with alarmingly large amounts of away swing on offer to the paceman. Reidy still with an eye on his average, opened up at the other end and three balls into his spell had removed the left handed opener with a short of a length ball cutting him in half and clipping the top of middle stump. Compton were quickly 2-2 after Reidy took an outside edge that was excellently plucked by Tony Butcher at, wait for it… 3rd slip diving to his right. Despite prolonged defiance and repeated YouTube playback by Mike McKenzie, it was agreed that Butcher’s catch was equally as good as the wailing bench lead speakers clutch earlier in the year.

More excellent bowling from Ducker had the C&CF No 5 edging to the keeper/skipper and then the ball of the day that started outside leg stump, clipping off, one that would have removed most right handers. The hat trick ball swung and cleared off stump by a matter of millimetres. Reidy not to be outdone, had yet another batsmen caught by Butcher at third slip, Twyford in the ascendancy.

At 12-5 it looked as though the game was to be a short one and an early lighting of the bbq, however Compton’s captain and a young and very talented Colt had other ideas. A small resurgence was thwarted when Ducker had yet another caught behind. Reidy finished a very tidy spell with figures of 7 overs, 3-9. Matt Paine was introduced and seemingly forgot he was on a hat-trick from the Oakley game, bowling the widest wide possible. He found the swinging ball a little difficult to control, making sure Moreland was to get his money’s worth today. Compton’s captain Stillwell was then removed by a full swinging delivery from Paine to end an interesting tussle, perishing for 23.

The final three wickets fell quickly, with Matt and John Paine cleaning up proceedings, Reidy taking the final catch at mid off, which included a little leap more pointless than Bance’s array of fielding displays the week before. Compton and Chandlers Ford succumbed to Twyford’s swinging attack for 68 in 22.4 overs.

Captains and umpires agreed to head straight back out to the middle with the oppo’s skipper “happy to stay out there until [Twyford] chase it down”…

The ever youthful Kevin West and Tony Butcher strolled to the middle needing 69 to secure an undefeated season for Twyford. There’s not really much to write about this innings unfortunately. The atmosphere in the pavilion was already prematurely celebratory much to the annoyance of Fin McKenzie who was attempting to score in very difficult conditions. A fine for Alex Reidy who had already consumed two ciders and was clearly out of control. Anyway, 70 runs were knocked off by the end of the 14th over for the loss of no wickets, Butcher 36*, West 29*. Twyford had done it, 12 from 12, an undefeated season.

After tea had been consumed and pleasantries exchanged plus a team photo for the local tabloid taken by the scorer for the day, apparently 120 photos were taken in all!!!

Alex Reidy then insisted that everyone had to bowl to him as he was denied the chance to bat during the actual game of cricket and perhaps wanting to convince a few that his outfield runs counted towards his average, however most were more interested in Mike McKenzie’s (chef de cuisine) spread of sausages, burgers and paella, thanks Mike. A great time was had by all celebrating a wonderful season at Twyford. I am still unaware of how long Reidy spent reciting his batting statistics to himself under the stars with yet another cider.

An amazing season in our club’s history. The skipper has told me he is very proud to have led this team and that we couldn’t have had a better bunch of lads. A huge thank you to all of the Colts who have played throughout this season, some at very short notice.

A huge thank you to Nobby Bance who umpired every game this season, as well as providing us all with a great laugh and always to join us for a pint after the game. Thanks also to Jan Bance (I won’t call you the tea lady!!), Twyford’s number 1 fan and chief “washer-upper” at home games. Thanks also to Colin Hutton for umpiring at the end of the season, you are always most welcome at Twyford. Also thanks to Jonny Bance for his witty reports and for being a bloody good batsman (skipper wrote this bit..). And lastly to John Paine and Mike McKenzie whose help this year has been priceless.

Here’s to next season, whichever league it may be in!

Comtpon & C Ford III 68 all out

T. Ducker 4-19
A. Reidy 3-9

Twyford 70-0

Twyford won by 10 wickets.


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