SJFCC vs Hackney Grasshoppers
2005-08-14. Draw (timed Game) By Dave Boxer
Result: Hackney Grasshoppers, 221 for 8 from 45.5 overs; The Mighty Fishers, 221 for 5 from 41 overs – MATCH DRAWN (timed game)
Fishers’ first ever timed game ended in a draw against a very good Hackney side, comprising several players from the Highgate first XI.
On a rainy afternoon, Dave lost the toss and Fishers were put into the field. Dave and Pat Fogarty opened the bowling on a lively pitch and Pat made an early breakthrough, bowling one of the openers for 14 with a swinging delivery.
After 10 tight overs, Dave brought on Christie and Simon and the pair bowled a brilliant 20-over spell that yielded 5 wickets. Bowling straight and quick, Chris rattled the opposition batsmen, and struck the other opener on the head with a viscious delivery that forced him to retire hurt. Simon was a little more sedate, but cartianly no less effective, and he dispatched the no.3 after tempting him into a lofted drive that Graham Hodgson took at mid-on. The no.4 followed suit a few overs later, trapped LBW by Simon for 23, and the no.5 was next to go, as he fended off another nasty ball from Chris straight to Dave at short leg.
We had them on the rack, and despite Dave dropping two catches (exempt from club fine due to being skipper) the wickets kept coming. Christie spared Dave’s blushes by catching the dangerous no.6 at point, just a few balls after Dave had dropped him at square leg, and Pat ran out the no.7 after a suicidal run.
At 110-odd for 7, we thought we’d finish them off quick, but hadn’t banked on their no.9 being the North London version of Freddie Flintoff. The guy came out swinging from his very first delivery, and Bungle and Dave were on the end of it. It was a fine, if not exactly textbook, display of batting, and he racked up 74 in very little time, before being bowled by Pat. Simon grabbed his 4th wicket by bowling the no.8, and the home side declared on 221.
After a lovely tea, Fishers went out to bat, with Dawko and spin-king Simon opening up. The former looked nervous, but knuckled down and made a hard-fought 30, comprising some tasty straight fours before surcombing to a spinning delivery.
Simon also started well but was dispatched for 10 after misjuding a straight ball, but Chrisitie came in and, not for the first time, settled the innings down with some intelligent batting. He was joined, very briefly, at the crease by Pat, who tonked a four first ball but was then bowled round his legs the following delivery.
The main partnership came from Christie and debutant Graham, who together put on over 70 runs. Chris made 46, including two massive 6s, before before caught behind, but Graham stuck around and made his half-century before going for one big shot too many and being bowled by the returning opening bowler.
Fishers weren’t sure whether to bat out for the draw or try to get the runs to win the game, and despte needing 10 an over off the remaining 8 or so overs, we got extremely close. Graham’s son, Gary, played a blinding innings of 21 not out, in which he stood up to some quick bowling and even dispatched the opener for a couple of beautiful fours. Supporting him was Ethan, who got his eye in and made 32 not out. With 14 to win off the final over, Gary hit a four and Ethan smashed a huge straight 6, but, needing two to win off the last delivery, the yorker was too good to get away and the pair had to settle for 1 and the draw.
A great effort nonetheless and a cracking game.
Man of the match: Graham, Chrisite, Gary and Ethan all batted brilliantly, while Pat bowled tightly and Christie bowled like Brett Lee after having his heritage brought into question, but the award goes to Simon, for bowling 15 overs on the spin and taking 4 crucial wickets, including their best batsmen. And all that after having a sprog and not playing for the best part of 2 months.