An excellent game ended in a solid and unexpected victory for the Cavaliers, against a Cockington side who were as friendly and welcoming as ever. We turned up with only eight players, meaning that Jono and Gavin Colegate played for us (and both made telling contributions), but there were good performances throughout the side. In fact, it was probably our best all-round team performance to date.
However the tone is often set by the opposition side, and to their immense credit Cockington sent out a team which was largely a mixture of youth and experience – a proper ‘friendly’ XI. We were very familiar with one of their opening batsmen, Jamie Chamberlain, as he already played once for us and once against us in 2011, and he and Lightower set about our attack confidently. Kev was really unlucky to not get an lbw decision that most of us thought was plumb, and after that the openers took the attack to him and Aaron in particular as the scoreline started to race along. At the other end Chris was bowling incredibly well and it was he who got the breakthrough, bowling Lightower. Shortly afterwards Aaron got Jamie to chop onto his stumps, and from then on the innings to’ed and fro’ed.
Aaron also got A Lightower caught, and this pre-empted some terrific bowling from Si. Si has always been a key bowler, but he’s got off to a slow start this year and it’s fair to say that if you take his stats for the 2 Degrees game out, his figures haven’t been exceptional. Today he was inspired and his mid-overs spell brought figures of 6-1-21-2 (including a wicket maiden), and all the Cockington batsmen struggled to get him away. The Colegate brothers chipped in with three maidens between their five overs, and Si ended the innings with two wickets for as many runs in his final over. Two of his wickets in the game were caught-and-bowled! Cockington had set us 204 to win from our 36 overs.
An excellent tea followed, with Kev making amorous advances towards the lady who baked the chocolate cake, and we were soon underway again. We had a change to our line-up with Karl and Chalky opening the batting and they really went at the opening bowlers – Chalky took 12 off the first over alone. This was followed shortly afterwards by a huge six up the hill that brought goggle-eyes from some of the locals, and we passed 50-0 with few dramas, up with the run rate and in control. Chalky was the first to be dismissed on 33 (the opening partnership worth 58) but there was no respite for Cockington as Aaron went out and slogged 28 from about as many balls before having to retire at drinks to go to work.
This brought me to the crease with Karl, who was on 49. I didn’t tell him how many runs he had got but told him to just stay in and take singles – hoping he’d get to his first fifty easily enough. I gave him the strike and he gently lobbed the next ball into the hands of the point fielder. Umpire Si and I watched him go, waiting for the roar of frustration as he got to the pavilion to find out his score…
This brought Jono Colegate to the crease. Long-standing Cavaliers remember Jono as the Small Boy who put us to the sword last time we played against Cockington, and we were delighted to not be playing against him again this time. Sadly he did not make a fifty this time as he was run out by the skipper without ever getting more than two metres from his own crease. Lest we forget, this is also a Cavalier tradition – the sacrifice of Small Boys to save one’s own skin.
Fortunately there was a cool head waiting as Gavin Colegate was next in, and he sorted out my running and led us confidently towards the Cockington total. We almost got there unbeaten but I was plumb lbw on 198, and Jon Matthews had the honour of being out there at the end.
In all it was a fine game played in the right spirit and really the result was a bonus. For some reason we never got to play Cockington in 2010 – we won’t make that mistake in 2012.