Mal and 4s Get off to a Flyer at stunning Fulking. Luke Owen summarises. 11/05/2024

Published On: May 12, 2024Categories: News and Reports

Date; Saturday 11th May 2024
Location; Spen Cama Memorial Ground
Opposition; Ardingly CC 1st XI

It has been a long winter for most, although some have dealt with the winter delirium and doldrums better than others. “Only 72 sleeps until the first game of the season” said Mr Hick, in deepest, darkest February! It can be said that this season has come to us with some real anticipation, intrigue and foremost, excitement!
A day for the history books for PNCC as the 4th XI took to the Spen Cama Memorial Ground (which it must be said looked phenomenal, thank you Ian, Biz et al.) with a new look; fans favourite Malorie Short at the helm, the first female skipper for a senior “men’s” team at the club.
It is fair to say that Captain Malvelous has got the backing of the squad, having suggested everyone meet an hour (an hour!) before the game, miraculously everyone turned up! A new-age of 4th team cricket was to be enjoyed as we were taken through an “activation” warm-up. After 30 minutes of groaning and a further 30 minutes of necessitated recovery, we took to the task of bringing it home for Mal on day-boo.
Stuck into bat and a green dibbly, dobbly seamer it was colts Bongo and Tate in at 1 and 2, a testament to Nomad’s future and Mal’s vision. Ardingly are notoriously decent with the ball, however the youngsters appeared unphased by the movement in the air and off the pitch. Bongo got trapped with a bit of a boomer, only after he had timed one through the covers, up the hill so perfectly that the well wintered fielder had to chase all the way to the boundary within tantalising proximity to the ball, only to see it nestle just the other side of the rope – shot of the day for me.
Tate was joined by potential transfer deadline day signing of the season; Luke Schildkamp. Putting on a 50+ run partnership of new-age and nuanced batting, the two looked completely unnecessary for Div 9 Cricket but we will take it. A very solid start for Tate who has a big summer ahead of him. Some further punishing of the bad balls and rotating of the strike from the middle order kept us ticking nicely, winter nets proving beneficial for Griffiths, Oliver and Watson. 10 from 4 balls for Taylor was swashbuckling (he calls it “MazBall”). 177/9 off 40 with 100% activation and contribution to the scorecard for Mal and her Merry Men.
Tea was had, as ever most “joked” it was their only reasoning for coming. A big thank you to the team in the kitchen as always, particularly whomever made the effort to bake the cupcakes, they were delicious and stitch-inducing!
Donning our brand-new Nomads tops, all of which were now being put to the test around the gut area it was a matter of look good, play good!
Mal set out her expectations; keep it tight, work hard for each other and enjoy it, that we did. Good leadership often comes from leading by example and that Captain Malvelous did. Going about her bamboozingly work 1 brought 2, and 3, in no time Ardingly were 25-3 with the skip taking off-stump twice and finding the edit to Luke S at first slip. Accompanied by Taylor’s express pace, Ardingly were not troubling the scorers with fast or hard math. With Taylor into his rhythm, he brought about our “Champagne moment” by getting some action off the pitch, a wafty-edge from the leftie and Tate taking off like a salmon to nestle the ball in his mitt high to his left, 30-4.
Ardingly found some stability in their middle-order and some genuine shot making from Lohokare, who looked to have returned the game to the balance as 30-4 was quickly 80-4. Nomads of previous would have likely faltered somewhat in this scenario but a reset from the Skip to frustrate the strike of the shot-maker, dots started to return the pressure to those in the middle.
A Bobby Firmino-esque no look catch from Mal seemed to turn the tide, 81-5. Whilst Ardingly were likely ahead of the rate there was a hum of getting 1 more wicket would break the back of the order. Luke S duly delivered getting the key wicket to Stephen with a tremendous catch (Coach Poole and his catching practice was cited) in the deep, the game then felt like a formality. Dots and wickets followed, credit to Mal for rotating the bowlers. Credit to the bowlers for immediately getting into their work (Hick; 4 overs, 3 maidens, 1 for 1 was a classy touch). From 81-5, Ardingly had slumped to 122-9. Step up Bongo, fielding, sledging and batting supremo, could he get us across the line for a cold one with Phil and Mags? The dent in the top of off-stump would suggest so. 128 all out and a first W for Mal and her merry men.
A debrief was had and we will go into St James instilled in self-belief, as per the skipper’s demands.
Player of the match; Tate Hector – starting the season with the bat as he finished last year. His hard work over the winter was apparent in his keeping, I suspect Gary shall be buying a few bottles of Nomad’s finest grapes this year!
Duck of the day; Luke Griffiths – frankly an easy target, made easier by him starting scuffles on the boundary, gobble gobble!
Apologies for the essay length summary of the game, with Mal having taken us through a rigorous activation pre-game, sadly there no mention of deactivation strategies so I am wired as I write this.

Bowman says. ‘Thanks to Luke for an amazing write up. Keep em coming ! Its clear that you all had a lot of fun out there. What he failed to mention was his own bowling figures which Mal has told me this morning were very good! More importantly our match with Ardingly was a historic one with Malorie Short becoming our first Woman Senior Team Captain. Mal if your reading we are so very proud of you for achieving this milestone and we hope that you thoroughly enjoy that added responsibility in the season to come.  I don’t generally give out Person of the Match awards with out seeing the match but in this case with three wickets and a catch it has to be you!!!

Our 4s are at St James Montefiore (Mid Sussex) on Saturday 18th May.   1pm Start

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