Saturday 13th August 2011 and the fixture against East Grinstead gave the heroes an opportunity to go top, sat 20 points behind Horsham with a game in hand, both Horsham and Hastings were on their rest weeks.
This week we were sans Gatting (Snr Jnr), still sans Kash but with Wakeford returned and the A-Rad snatching the final spot alongside J-Lo.
Overnight rain had seeped onto the pitch, leaving a puddle exactly where a right arm bowler would land their left foot in the delivery stride up the hill. While most of the heroes wowed and amazed all who were there to see another display of sheer majesty with a football (“The Beautiful Game” is a phrase that refers to our warm ups, not Stoke vs. Chelsea), Kashy and Lord Green were negotiating that we would start on time.
Chadders was not happy about the pitch. Not at all happy. In fact his first spell was to last a record 3 balls before handing the new rock to that man Faith.
A slow start in this one. As he had done at the SCMG, James Adkin struck some nice blows, but also played a little loosely, putting the ball frequently into the air. Sadly thrice he put it in the air in the proximity of Riggy. But he would go to 50 and at one time EG were 77 without loss. Happily things were to change.
Faithy bowled particularly well today and had to deliver a heavy spell at the wet end. He got the ball rolling by neatly bowling their right handed opener, in which he achieved the triumvirate (i.e. he got a nick, bowled the batsman and inflicted pain on Scribe).
Chadders was given a pop down the hill from the dry end and he got the key man Adkin, caught well by a fleet footed Wakeford.
Faithy found another useful nut (i.e. a straight straight ball) to do for the number 3 and we were there with Daveo and run machine Matthew Sugg.
Carl followed Chadders’ burst down the hill and delivered a fabulous second spell after a wicketless first.
At this point Scribe must admit to a genuine dropped chance. Off the key man Sugg too. On a slow damp pitch Scribe was closer than he would have liked and a very full pitched one found the edge causing a big deflection that arrived extremely quickly and bounced out the gloves.
Still, one of the many benefits of the Big C is that he rarely has people in trouble just once, and sure enough a fabulous nut found a much nicer edge and Scribe (partially) redeemed himself.
Next up Daveo would charitably shoulder arms to an off cutter, Hatchett (who has caused us numerous problems in the past few knocks) was undone by a pretty tasty Yorker and it looked like we’d turned this one around.
Riggy managed to pick up a wicket with his very first ball and another one to end the innings.
So we went in to a very solid tea indeed (back in the conventional locale this year) needing 163 for a win that would put us top by 10 points at least for a week.
Ollie opened up with Faithy. Both went about their job admirably. Ollie would depart with 59 on the board for a decent 29, Lord Green would collect a spritely 24, before picking up a very useful nut.
Faithy made a chanceless 61 not out to win the game, timing it very nicely, while Wakers would biff a very swift 44 not out.
The days would have been a bit happier had we not been robbed of about £70 from the changing room of course (Scribe lost £15, Riggy similar, Carlo £40), but hey ho – personally I suspect a rogue Scientologist.
Tis nice indeed to go top, but it means nowt unless we’re there at the end of the last 3 games. First up Eastbourne at home next Saturday.