Result: SVOB won by 2 runs.
Team: Tosser, Bobby, Mark, Tribey, Damian, Cake, Dickon, Liam, Tarby, Slider, Nicray, Alan.
With so many of the regulars unavailable for this welcome return of the Hillbillies, it was a chance to show the strength and depth of our squad – instead, the chairman of selectors chose the lot listed above. Despite this early setback the Channel 4 Oval looked magnificent in the blazing sunshine and, if you let your imagination run wild, it could have passed off as a cricket pitch. The mood was buoyant amongst the players as the Hillbillies arrived with a full team.
Confidence in the camp soared when Tosser and Bobby were seen walking out to the crease to open the innings. To say that the Old Boys got off to a steady start wouldn’t be entirely accurate, in fact after ten overs the score was just 22. Tosser had played his part with another fine Boycott impression. Meanwhile Bobby, batting in somewhat difficult circumstances, battled hard for his 27 runs.
After Tosser’s (0) and Mark’s (10) dismissals it was time to get the innings moving by sending in the big guns. For some strange reason though, probably out of pity, Damo asked Tribey to go in at number four – Boycott impression part 2 ensued. After he was out, with the score on 56 from 20 overs, Damo, Cake and Dickon really set about the Hillbillies’ bowling and got the run rate back on track.
The SVOB finished on 140 for 5, (Damo 31 off 26 balls, Cake 28 n.o. of 41 balls and Dickon 20 n.o. off 16 balls), a good total on a very difficult pitch where boundaries were few and far between. There was some very tight bowling by the ‘Billies, with Graeme taking 2 for 11 off seven overs being the pick of the bunch.
So, set a target of 141 to win, the Hillbilles started their innings in a very sprightly manner, testing the Old Boys bowling and fielding. Poole and Mason were immediately ahead of the run rate before the first wicket fell in the tenth over courtesy of a Tribey catch off Dickon’s bowling. It wasn’t long before the next wicket went as Liam, who performed superbly, clean bowled the dangerous looking Anky for 5. Liam’s figures of 1 for 9 off seven overs put him in contention for man of the match.
Despite some woeful fielding down the hill near the boundary, the SVOB managed to stop the Hillbillies running away with things. Bobby got his just desserts, after a fine spell, when he bowled opening batsman Poole, who made a well worked 50.
The real damage, though, was done by Cake who, having been in fine form with the bat, continued with the ball and bowled the free scoring M.Classey, who scored a classy 34, and Brown for 0. He then had Philip caught behind for 2 and O.Classey caught by Dickon for 1.
This set up a tense finale, and with just two overs left, the Hillbillies required ten runs to win. Damo had the penultimate over. He was nervous about the responsibility on his shoulders as in his previous over he had been hit for nine runs. With the second ball of his over he managed to turn the ball so sharply from outside the off stump that the batsman had no chance and he was duly bowled for 0. Three came off that over leaving Cake to bowl the last six balls with the Hillbillies needing seven for the win.
Four runs were scored off the first three balls, so with three balls of the match left, anything was still possible. It was now in Cake’s hands. We need not have worried as after two dot balls he claimed his fifth and final victim and ended his seven overs 5 – 22.
And so a win was sealed over our old friends from Nancledra – a close one!
Man of the match: CAKE.
Onwards and along – FRFC (h) Sun 30 Jul.