GCC vs. West Reading 22nd May 2010 (Home/Hot)

Band of Brothers

Top of the table West Reading visited the GCG this Saturday for what turned out to be a lively clash with Goring. West Reading arrived with just 3 players meaning a delayed start (West Reading? Delayed start? Surely not…) of 10 minutes, further aiding the impressive average of GCCs “Penalty Points” opening bat. Goring set about bowling without Jamie Vic and still awaiting the return of Tim Deeks – which, hopefully, is just a few weeks away. Goring bowled well with a depth that included Slade, Hedge, Dickinson, Hodges, Butterfield and Sexon. In the team talk we reminded ourselves of the high level of chat from the opposition, to which Butterfield retorted “I’ll give them the silent treatment” much to the relief (but disbelief) of the rest of the team(s).

A few early wickets and incredibly tight bowling from Slade and Hedge kept GCC spirits high. By 2.15 most of the opposition had arrived, but wickets continued to fall steadily alongside some great fielding from Goring.

Meanwhile, both gazebos had been put up (before the sightscreens) and the WAGs enclosure (“Dave” Stand) was filling up – as were the three hot tubs (paddling pools) that had been brought along too.

West Reading middle order began to find its feet by hitting numerous boundaries, specifically one guy who ended up on 99* or 100* depending which scorer you ask. An impressive straight six over the hedge into the Soashe car park off Lenny, demonstrating his eye for the ball. Whilst GCC had the visitors 160 for 8, they clearly battied down to number 17. Some tough long on/off boundary drops by Westcar and Smith enabled West Reading to a total of 212 for 9 off 45. Wickets were reasonably shared – and tight returns from Hodges and Pete “The Maestro” Slade helped keep the league leaders to what should probably be seen as a low total despite Goring not finishing them off before the overs were through. Generally tidy fielding from Goring, included a superb stop by Butterfield at silly mid on and a fine catch from Smith on the boundary. Hodges put down a tough one-handed catch in the covers, that had Lewis almost doing a sex wee. Despite a disagreement surrounding the laws relating to dead balls (citation needed), Lewis took some great catches behind the stumps. Lenny scooped King Of The Castle this week with three wickets and bowling in some tough circumstances against the West Reading big hitters.

A crowd of at least 70 (unbelievable!) at its peak watched from the Grandstand as both teams headed off for tea after the hottest day of the year so far. Proper photographer, John Douglass was in attendance too so expect some higher quality snaps shortly (check his link in the side bar). Still no sign of the Heron though – or Matthew Armitage…(Jim Ross back this week perhaps)

With 10 penalty runs already in place, Goring opened with Westcar and Smith, with the Ollie “The OC” Carrier still “finding himself” in Mombasa. From the outset, West Reading either appealed or called “catch it” for each and every delivery. They applied suitable banter for the most part, but slipped into their well publicised stepping over the mark – as mentioned by most league teams – on too many occasions.

Springy Stumps

Smith was sent off in bizarre circumstances yet again, this time falling foul of middling it and being given out by our own umpire. Smith ceremoniously stripping himself of his kit as he headed back to the pavilion. The yellow bin took the brunt of his (quite right) anger along with the ears of those padding up due to his barrage of F-Bombs. It was, however, quite a manly outburst – and an even manlier apology afterwards – and in truth only went to show his commitment and want to succeed for Goring.

Random Dude

Lewis had something of a shocker too, from the opposition umpire this time, with just one player making a minor appeal and officially being given out for “looking like a class act and fearing he might get a sh*tload of runs” having played some great shots including a cover drive that received applause as if he had got a ton. The umpire apologised after the game, for what it is worth, but not before the passion had over spilled on the pitch at his departure – with language that would have even trumped that of Will’s. Even some random dude turned up and started giving the opposition verbals much to the dislike of the Chairman. Random Dude is available for umpiring this coming weekend though.

New Boundary Markers

No one really delivered with the bat, most boundaries coming at the third man boundary or as byes. An encouraging display lower down the order by Sexon (looking out of place by wearing batting gloves) and an incredibly relaxed Butterfield who seemed to have more time than anyone else – sublimely leaving the ball at last minute when he clearly didn’t need to play at it. Simon has clearly benefitted from the one to one coaching and was Goring’s not out batsman. Hodges was last man out after another dubious LBW decision as shown in this image here.

Splodge. Out. LBW.

Great use of the HB by scorer Purnell again this week, gifting the 100* to the opposition batsman. Our umpire came along too, but might get a few less Christmas cards this year unfortunately.

West Reading are a strong and talented cricketing team that deserves to be successful, it’s just a shame that they have to resort to low levels of sportsmanship at times – winding up Goring too and ruining what should have been a great cricketing day, irrespective of the match outcome. As mentioned, their reputation goes before them – both in ability, but unfortunately in their attitude too. Without doubt the Millwall of Division One – “No one likes us, we don’t care” – let’s hope the League cares.

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