London Poly

It hit me on the arse, on the back foot, a foot outside leg stump and it ‘looked a bad one’ from square leg.

That is all I have to say on the matter.

* * * * * * *

Babbacombe was pre-booked for this Thursday evening, so we booked the delightful surroundings of Cockington for the fixture instead. It was an entertaining game that London Poly dominated from the third over onwards, but the opposition and setting made it a fine evening nonetheless.

Matt Passmore made the breakthrough, opening the bowling and accounting for Dugdale in the third over. Chip took a good catch at slip – a position he looks increasingly confident at. Matt also took our second wicket a long time later, with LP finely poised at 58-1 after 8 overs. Our man of the match had, at this point, yet to arrive.

We were missing Barry Goldsmith, who, I suddenly realised just before the start of the match, probably hadn’t got the message that we’d moved venues from Babbacombe. A frantic call to his wife (‘no, I’m afraid Barry is the last person you’d get to carry a mobile’) and to just about everyone I thought might be near Babbacombe at that time (‘please leave a message after the tone’) and I’d pretty much given up on him.

Si’s first over went for seven. With the innings at a crucial stage, I needed someone reliable to turn to.

Cometh the hour. Someone shouted ‘Barry’s here!’ and I looked up to see an angry man running down the hill towards me. Barry is so mild-mannered that he only really looked slightly grumpy, but I could tell he was rather annoyed indeed at being sent miles out of his way. I placated him the only way I knew how.

‘Would you like to bowl?’

It transpired that my decision to send him all the way to Babbacombe to build up a head of steam was an inspired one. First ball was nicked to Meds behind the stumps. What an entrance. And while Si kept things tight at the other end, he produced a delightful spell of swing bowling, taking two more wickets for just 16 runs to leave London Poly 91-5 with just six overs left.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep the score down at the end. Though we had a few good overs, Chip and Snoz both went for 15 in an over, and they ended on 140-8.

I had to be back at the hotel for a meeting, so I missed most of our innings, but the scorecard doesn’t make for pretty reading. After I got a decision that even the square leg umpire reckoned was a bad one (see above) none of the ‘true’ Cavaliers got into double figures (Matt Inch, Snoz and Matt Passmore from Babbacombe scored 37, 16 and 12 respectively). In fact, two of their batsmen scored more than double the Cavaliers themselves contributed.

Time we learned how to bat!

Another solid defeat, then, but it was good to be back at Cockington again, and Barry’s evening will surely pass into Cavalier legend.