Brockley travelled all the way across the Orwell Bridge for a debut appearance at Nacton. This was made possible thanks to a special dispensation from the government for near- international travel (one of the benefits of having Matt Hancock as your MP) although suggestions that three rolls of wallpaper went in the other direction were quickly dismissed by the visiting side on proof that the nearest retailer was indeed the John Lewis store just down the road. No place for any self respecting MP to extort their wall coverings.
As the strip was given a mow before the toss it was clear that Brocvkley would be playing on a grass based surface which may or may not have made any difference to whoever chose to bat first.
As it was, Brockley always bat first and so, with the toss dispensed, the new look opening partnership of Fisher and Whiley set about continuing the work they started at Harwich the previous week. It wasn’t continued for all that long before Whiley was dismissed for about a dozen (sorry Play-Cricket doesn’t seem to be working this morning).
This brought McCaffrey to the wicket will his overwhelming aura of brooding intent. This led to a number of powerful boundaries that saw the score rattle along to sixty odd for 1. At this point the aura wobbled a bit as McCaffrey was struck on a place that many auras (aurum?) fail to recover from. It was Kryptonite to his “abdominal protector” and soon he was gone. Though, to be clear for any swooning young ladies, any damage was largely temporary.
Huffer then strode out to help Fisher along and at this point I will be honest and say I went to the car to warm up and ended up falling asleep. This lackadaisical attitude brought about a tumble of wickets that included Huffer, Walters- Smith, Jefferys (who had graciously dropped down the order) and finally the end of another resolute Fisher performance for somewhere in the region of 38.
Captain, Danny “Bora” Boreham dug in and was ably supported by Steve Fenner who must have wondered what he had done wrong to be batting below Jeffreys (one for the captain to ponder before next Saturday). Fenner eventually ended up with only Sykes at the other end and his batting was more statue-like than statuesque. He at least hung around for a few overs until Nacton, having employed a veritable smorgasbord of tactics to remove him him, reverted to bowling at the stumps and that was that – with the princely sum of 135 on the board (and that’s not a guess)
In reply, things began oddly well for the Badgers with the Nacton committee rapidly conducting a security check into their opening batsman as he both stopped a certain four off the hapless Sykes as well as ran his partner our thanks the a hammer-throw direct hit from the boundary by Fenner. And that was all in the same ball.
Toby Steggles continued his fine form with the ball as he removed the no3 for a duck thanks to the very very finest of edges through to the wicket keeper. Hats off to the umpire for spotting that which had completely evaded the notice of the batsman. At 5 for 2 it was game on and for a couple of overs remained so. At this point something very bizarre happened : for the first time in my cricketing career I found myself in the middle of a 1 square metre downpour that lasted about half an hour. Clearly everyone else remained dry as the game continued without a second thought.
Nacton played positively and the 100 came up in only 20 overs although Brockley had secured a couple of bonus points thanks to good bowling from Whiley and Walters – Smith. Whilst the wicket tally eventually rose to 6 before Nacton secured victory, the result was rarely in any doubt.
Nacton look to be a very strong side that will do well in the division whilst Brockley remain a team that perform better when the sun shines and without a filling tea they play like Samson without his hair. Next stop Wivenhoe at the Badger Oval. What could possibly go wrong?