Last year we went to Cockington with only eight players and pulled off a great victory. There was to be no repeat this year, as a lacklustre performance with the bat and some great batting from two batsmen we know all too well condemned us to a disappointing defeat. Cockington were clearly the better side, but we should really have made it a closer game.

The match got off to a bright start, with both Chris and Kev looking threatening and tidy enough in the first few overs, before Bob got one to jag away in his first over to clip the top of off-stump. The surviving opener was Jono Colgate, who we remember well as the talented young kid who got first ever 50 against us, and he hogged the strike to repeat the feat. When he retired on 50 one of our occasional Cavaliers, Jamie Chamberlain, came out, and had great fun clobbering our bowlers back down the hill for four. Poor Bob took quite a beating from him, conceding 23 runs in just seven balls, before Jamie charged down the pitch at him and was easily stumped. I repeated the trick when skipper Ian Jarman came out to bat, but he would have his revenge later on. Things improved a little as we got lower down the order and Dion, who had sprayed his bowling all over the square, dropped chances and misfielded, made amends with a couple of late wickets and a great catch off Chris’s bowling. Si and Chris both bowled wicket maidens, and we did well enough in the field to have a good laugh as Dion dropped a dolly catch off Chalky right at the end of the innings.

As ever, Cockington did a cracking tea – one of the most welcoming clubs we play, in fact, and one that we really feel ‘gets’ us.

They were less generous in the field. We had (for us) a fairly strong batting line-up, with me down at five due to an injured coccyx. It wqasn’t long before I was pressed into service, though – even though out openers started cautiously, only Phil Harrison made double figures, and I top edged my fourth ball to the opposing skipper who I had stumped earlier on. It was my first duck since July 2010, and the bowler was 71 years old! When Dion was out shortly afterwards we were 30-5, and although the tail batted well and gamely we could only muster 81 for our efforts. Si was out in a somewhat remarkable way – the ball actually hit the back of his bat after he was through with his sweep shot and he was caught by the keeper. Revenge was, presumably, very sweet for Cockington.

Still, there was always the Drum…

Roll on Shaldon on Thursday.