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Southstoke v All Saints Weston 2022 

ASW Cricket team 2022

  All Saints Weston Team 2022

Report by Southstoke Captain:
Captain’s Log Stardate 100015.25 
Our match, Southstoke v All Saints Weston, was played on a pleasantly warm and bright evening, befitting to the first day of June ...
... sorry, it’s no good, I can’t pussyfoot around this anymore, it needs to be out in the open now – “WE WON!” (or for All Saints Weston readers "WE LOST!")
Yes I am happy to report that, at the fifth attempt (the first being nearly ten years ago) Captain Nigel “Tiberius” Anstey has recorded his first Southstoke victory. Which, if I may say it myself, coming against a team comprising a brace of Nashes, Martin Evans, Southstoke stalwarts Newman and Trickey (the latter being the subject of a late deadline-day loan arrangement) and some younger players (including a further brace of young Wickens) who had either played some serious cricket before or had borrowed shirts from someone who did, was no easy feat.
Great sculptors have said that all they are doing is uncovering the masterpiece which was already hidden within a block of stone or a piece of wood. The captain’s job can be just as easy, you are simply helping the team find the winning performance that those eleven players already have within them.
Don’t say I haven’t thought about this.
So how did things unfold, on this pleasantly warm and bright evening last week?
The opening pairing Southstoke bats did what was asked, they swiped and scampered and got the scoreboard moving, before the Southstoke opening bat Josh Skuse was brilliantly caught, playing a shot that had many of us looking to the boundary, waiting for the ball to cross the line, instead it was a brilliantly taken catch by Dr Paul Nicholson. But on this enchanted evening, the fall of wickets didn’t harm us. Every time the umpire’s finger was raised the new batsman picked up the baton and carried on. Ady did what Ady does well, waits for the bad ball and punishes it. Dave Skirrow and Les Fry, both playing their first game of the season, stroked the ball around with such confidence one might have thought they’d just returned from a winter of club cricket in the Caribbean. Dave went from 0 to 16 with four boundaries, the last of which was a cover drive that would have had David Gower drooling. Mike Tolley’s batting technique is far from Goweresque, but it’s very effective and he’s in the batting form of his life right now. Keith kept Les company at the end, ensuring we posted a very competitive total, with the bowlers not required to expend their energy wielding the willow.
Southstoke 123 for 5 off 20 overs
Evans 2 for 15
Trickey 2 for 16
In darts they say that 1-2-3 never wins. Fortunately we were playing cricket and, in any case, that myth was probably dispelled in 1983 during Keith Deller’s famous BDO World Final win over Eric Bristow.
The bowlers attacked with a tidy spell, dismissing their opener in his first over and continuing to beat the bat frequently after that.
All Saints Weston batsman, Alex Nash only plays cricket a couple of times a year, but strikes the ball with an ease and fluency that would suggest he plays every day. and further damage was caused by Dr Paul Nicholson, until both batsmen retired on reaching exactly 25. Jonathan De La Cruz (former ASW parishoner), produced a Jaffa to dismiss one of the All Saints’ young-guns, who had the audacity to charge him after facing only one ball. The captain decided it was the correct time to get in on the act, dismissing Messers Rich Newman and Martin Evans for unusually low scores. The combination of wickets falling and good, high-energy fielding on the boundary meant All Saints were now falling behind the run rate.
There were so nearly three stunning catches, with 3 of the Southstoke fielders all getting their hands to powerfully hit chances. Jonathan unfortunately deflected his attempt onto his nose, meaning Dr Nicholson had to return to the field in a professional capacity, with Jonathan needing to be substituted off. A little reminder of that the game we choose to play is not without its dangers. Happily, he reported himself to be a little sore and bruised on Thursday morning, but otherwise ok and keen for an early return to the team and the field of play. 
If I may claim one moment of inspired captaincy (my Rodin’s Thinker moment?), it was to call upon Mr Martin Sadd to bowl a single over (the 19th) with Duncan Nash (22) and Rob Trickey (10*) still capable of mounting a final assault on our total. The scorebook says he took two wickets, Duncan and the incoming Jonathan Wickins, both bowled. The scorers do not need to make any further record as to the nature of these dismissals - let’s just say that the ball that got Mr Wickins was unplayable, whereas Mr Nash’s wasn’t - It’s spin Jim, but not as we know it!
This allowed a good safety margin for bowling out the last over, which we did with our unsual calm aplomb.
All Saints Weston109 for 6 (all bowled) off 20 overs
A Nash (25*)
P. Nicholson (25*)
D Nash 22
R Trickey 10*
It can truly be said that this was a good team performance on a beautiful evening, in a beautiful setting, against good, competitive and, of course, sporting opponents. Sitting outside the Bathampton Mill, sharing a pint afterwards, Mr Nash commented that there are some games which, win or lose, you feel privileged to have been a part of – this was one, thank you to everyone involved.
On the Platinum Jubilee weekend and especially because he’s one of Duncan’s favourites, these words, from a not particularly wise, but outstandingly entertaining man seem appropriate,
“Cos these are the days of our lives, they’ve flown in the swiftness of time. These days are all gone now but some things remain ...”
Nigel (Oppo skipper!)