SJFCC v Skyswood

SJFCC 145 for 7 off 20 overs won by 34 runs against

Skyswood 111 for 3 off 20 overs (scorecard here)

Verulamium, Thursday May 12th 2011

Match Report :Anil Virji

The preamble

The fixture between St. Johns Fisher CC and Skyswood is one of the most significant cricketing rivalries in and around Chandlers Road, sometimes referred to as the Marshalswick derby as both schools hail from Marshalswick and they are also the two most successful teams in Marshalswick; between them they have won no honours. The fixture is usually played at 6pm on a Thursday night, not to discourage fans from drinking before the game or due to media interest, but purely down to the fact that it is a convenient time given everyone works.

Long-serving Fishers’ player Bungle says that Fishers against Skyswood is “probably the most famous fixture in English football. This rivalry is one of the most high-profile derbies in the country”. But then again he’s mental so what does he know?

This year’s fixture had an added spice as Stuart Nurse, Dave Hughes and Graham Booth had sensationally quit Fishers to play for Skyswood (ok they marked themselves down as a no for this game).

The report

On 12 May 2011 in Verulanium spring floated over the chestnut tree softened car park like a sweet lotion balm from a careless, languorous god, and the world fell in tune with its own mysterious anthems. Soft and gentle voices of children could be heard as they ran down the hill from the hypocaust towards the playground. Outside the coffee shop by the lake old men sat playing chess sipping ice cold beers whilst basking in the early evening sun. And then, to the bewilderment of all, the stillness was broken by the entrance of Andrew Watson. “Oi, Virji are we f cking playing cricket or what? Get a move on and toss up, will ya?”

Fishers won the toss and Anil elected to bat.

Reevo and Bungle opened. With the ball seaming about off the bowling of Grant Jones, Bungle holed out for his first (and one suspects not his last) duck of the season. Within three overs Reevo had retired. His innings proved the old adage, form is temporary but the ability to hit the edge is permanent. As a reward for his excellent display with the ball last week against Kimpton, Ross was promoted to 4. “Some f*cking reward” he was heard to say as he walked back to the pavilion having faced five rather aggressive deliveries from Duncan Ferguson, who was clearly agitated by Reevo’s innings. Watson Snr revenged his son’s wicket a few overs later when he dispatched Duncan over long on for 6 to bring up his retirement. Whilst Andy plundered at the other end Simon caressed his way to an exquisite 30 of a mere 25 balls. Having seen his figures obliterated by Andy and Si, Duncan took his anger out on an unsuspecting Bob Little.

Julian and Dave Boxer put on a quick fire 48 before Julian was caught brilliantly off Nurse by Bob Bridle at mid-on. The rest of the innings passed without incident, with the exception of Anil running Robin out and then getting hit in the b llocks off the next ball (bowled by that speed demon Graham Booth). Apart from that though, nothing happened and Fishers finished with a respectable 145.

In order for Skyswood to chase this score down it was imperative that they got off to a good start. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite manage that. After 8 overs from Ross, Julian, Reevo and Afnan they had only scored 31. Afnan is a new recruit to Fishers. Apparently Kingie found him wandering the halls of Herts Sports Village looking for a team, well that is his story and who are we to argue? Anyway, Afnan is a tidy little spinner with an interesting action. Such is the regard we hold him in after such a short period of time that this year’s tour of Australia has now been cancelled!

Anil and Bob finally put Dave (23) and Neil (11) out of their misery and with the run rate required now at over 12 an over the game was beyond doubt. Despite lovely little cameos from Nurse (who leathered Anil for two fours in one over), Sri (28), Johnson (12) and Jones (10) Skyswood came up some 40 runs short.