Vs Old Woking (Saturday)
Captained ably by Rob T, we fielded a strong team of Pears whose faded caps revealed the distant memory of youth……together with a few youngsters whose hairlines have yet to be victimised by recession!
This was a friendly against a Saturday 3rd division Surrey team, playing in the League that – if we were able to build a large enough squad – we would enter. They elected to bat, and as we were not confident about setting a total, we were more than happy to take to the field.
Their openers started cautiously, and the opening attack of father/son – David/Will – bowling at very different paces to each other, yielded few runs in the first 8 overs, with Will picking up a leg side snick, brilliantly caught by a tumbling skipper. Old Woking had a femme fatale opening their innings. She played very well, and rarely looked in trouble, but the problem was balancing her slow scoring, with the other end of the Woking team who seemed unable to increase their own run rate – thanks to accurate Pear bowling and the regular fall of wickets at key times. The young lady carried her bat for 35 overs , but only scored 56 runs. Our bowling attack did the business…. Tristan 5overs-28runs-0wkts, Adrian 4-18-0, Martin 7-18-1, Tom 4-26-0, Ollie 2-5-0, Will 7-20-2, David 6-20-1. Other than Will’s medium pace, we were lacking in speed, but the pitch offered us a variety of grip and bounce that meant that the Woking team were tentative about playing their strokes. Good fielding from the entire team, also helped keep the score down.They finished theiir innings on 138-5.
The weather was warming up Pear Park as we munched our way through tea, with conversation generally focussed on the extraordinary pantone reference colours that our Chairman had managed to negotiate with Dulux paints…..
Steve (9) and Martin (10) opened our innings, with confidence high. To be fair, the two opening bowlers for Woking were only medium paced, but quite accurate – and it was the accuracy that did for both our boys.Martin chased one and was caught by first slip, whilst Steve was done by a straight one. In strode our own small rock…. Ollie…. a bit like Woking’s opening bats(wo)man, Ollie played a very steady and chanceless innings – finishing on 50 not out – hitting 6 boundaries. But partnering Ollie were a couple of pure bred Pears….Adrian (9) and then Tom(59no). Adrian got ahead of himself and lofted a ball that was there to be clobbered – but was caught. Tom, offering the Pears his presence between weights sessions and bench press competitions, literally muscled Woking in to submission. The first ball was skied over the boundary for six….and rarely (never) was there a blocked ball in the rest of the innings – 2x6s and 6x4s. Very graciously Tom – having overtaken Ollie on the scoreboard – did slow down to allow Ollie to scamper to his half century. We won with 9 overs to go, 142-3.
An excellent account for our first Saturday game, showing that with a bit of application, and a few decent players – the Pears Saturday XI are breathing once more! Beers were sunk, and plans were plotted for more games and even a special one off 20/20 IPL style, Pyrfords very own Big Bash. Watch this space.
Vs Ripley (Sunday)
Forecast was for rain at about 16:00 on Ripley Green….and it came, but only very slight drizzle, so the game was played in good spirit. The Pears fielded 6 players of 16 or under, and 5 players of fine vintage. Ripley fielded their full Staurday third XI as a warm up for the seasopn ahead. To be fair, it did include three youngsters, so we took to the firld with a good level of confidence that we would have a competitive game.
Ripley started very slowly, and after the first 8 overs we’d only conceded 18 runs, and Max had picked up the wicket of the more stylish of their two openers. We were fielding a number of highly talented young all rounders – but Max is definitely a stand out player. His fielding is also a very strong part of the game….but it was his bravery in the field – diving forward to try to scoop up a hard hit drive at mid-on….that led to a nasty finger injury, and an early retirement. We wish him well in his recovery – especially as GCSEs are a matter of days away! So with only ten men, the Captain was feeling nervous. But who should arrive, but our very own super sub, the three foot nothing Ollie George….who enthusiastically took to the field and ran around the expanse of Ripley Green like a whirling blonde dervish.
Without Max (4overs – 8 runs for 1 wkt) we needed every bowler to step up to the plate and contribute…..and it was really great to see everyone doing just that. Alex bowled a really tidy spell of 5-17-0, whilst bowling to Ripleyt’s most destructive batsman who hit a quick fire 43. Laurence came on with some flighty accurate off-spin and bowled 5 overs getting 2wkts for 28 runs. Sam 4-24-0, myself 4-11-2, Ross 3-20-1, David Mc 3-21-2, Ollie G 3-12-0, Tim 3-21-1……all combined as 10 bowlers, bowling 35 overs and getting all 10 of the Ripley wickets….great job. This was a 40 over game, but we managed to bowl Ripley out for a total of 181 in only 35 overs, when a total way in excess of 200 was looking on the books.
Two great catches that I can recall…..Ross’s caught and bowled, and Sam’s high catch at fly slip….. commendable.
The Ripley Clubhouse is a lovely place for a proper English tea – and indeed it was. The batting line up was read out around the scones, and the Pears looked positive about getting to the total as long as the rain kept away.
….the Ripley pitch took on a new characteristic after tea….and a couple of shooters keeping low scuttled our main players. Tim (8), Rob (5), Ollie (0) were all casualties of the wicket. Only Alex (23) early on, seemed able to master the conditions, and looks at becoming a really class batsman. Will (1) came and went., Then in strode Dave Mc (an old BA buddy of mine) who punched the ball with power all round the park getting us past the 50 mark and all looked good until he missed a straight one and got bowled for 25. Sam (0) also didn’t trouble the scorers, whilst Laurance played a couple of good shots, but then a mix up in calling meant that he was run out for 10 runs.
Then came the calamitous, ruinous moment of a young child’ s life.. Will, umpiring for the first time, his dad at bat, his captain at bat, only two wickets left and a hundred runs adrift……. a half hearted dubious LBW appeal……and Will raises his finger. THIS SCRIBE IS NOT BITTER, but just recognise that on Church Hill in Pyrford, you may see a child with a begging bowl for the next three months! So with my wicket falling for just 5 runs, Simon and Ross were left as the last wicket. We all felt that it was only a matter of time…..but both of them played great cricket to put on a half century stand and get our eventual total up to a respectable figure. Ross was eventually caught for 33, whilst Simon stayed unbeaten on 16.
We scored 138 all out falling 43 runs short, and we still had 9.3 overs to play. If only one of our other key batsman were to have gotten in, this could have been a different result. But that’s cricket.
Thanks to all for a good weekend of sport…..especially those who helped fill in on both days….and especially…..good luck to Max, and get well soon.
Remember – I need players for next Sunday (7th May) at home…..so please get in contact.