2015 is the year our year group at school start turning 40. Myself, Kev, Al and other Cavaliers will all turn 40 in the next 12 months, and by definition Graeme, born on 1st September, was the first.
We had talked about arranging a game for his birthday weekend in north Devon and after some searching I had managed to come up with the good, arranging a game against none other than North Devon. I was delighted about this because their little ground with its thatched pavilion, perched on the edge of the tidal River Torridge in a glorious setting, was a ground I’d always wanted to play at. They are a big side, competing in the top levels of the devon League, but had assured us of a friendly social game and were happy to accommodate us. Their skipper seemed quite happy at ‘the toss’ when I explained that six of our side had never played at all before and a good, fun, social game seemed to be on the cards.
As is so often the way, though, the opening batsmen sensed runs. They were watchful towards Kev, who got good swing with the new ball, but attacked everyone else. Poor Nick, who had showered the hedgerows of Devon with his vomit all the way up, went for over 11 an over coming on first change, and apart from Kev’s magnificent inswinging yorker that cleaned up the opening bat we bowled few wicket-taking balls. Their skipper, so friendly and sporting at the toss, was the next man out after scoring 84 against a bowling attack that, for the most part, didn’t really know how to bowl. As soon as he slogged one up in the air I wasn’t going to drop him. You can only face the bowlers put up against you but in a friendly, when you know you’re playing against non-cricketers celebrating a birthday, why not retire at 50? What’s the point of going on?
In all this our hero was Benny ‘Benny’ Bennett, over from the Isle of Man and injured but flinging himself around the outfield like a cat playing with a grasshopper. North Devon finished on 230-2, but it could have been 300 if it wasn’t for Benny. We won’t mention Charlie’s efforts at this point….
Tea was disappointing. If clubs want to make a bit for club coffers then fair enough but to come to such a grand old club and not have enough to go around just doesn’t seem right.
Graeme and I went out to open the batting and North Devon set about bowling us out. We had devised a dynamic batting line-up that would ensure that ‘Graeme’s friends’ were always with a ‘regular Cavalier’ to see them through. Unfortunately this meant that Graeme (bowled for 3), Alan (0), Colin (0, run out by skip first ball) and Steve (6) were all out by the time the first Cavalier wicket fell. By then I had reached 50 against a good attack with a swinging ball and was only out trying to attack and hit over the top. Our innings petered out with Bob second-highest scorer on 7, though it was a credible effort with us reaching 105.
All in all a great day for the Cavaliers at a lovely ground. It was a shame the opposition took it a bit too seriously but we all had a great day and wish Graeme a fantastic birthday, same again in ten years time?
North Devon 230-2 (Johns 1-20)
Cavendish Cavaliers 105 all out (Blagden 55)
North Devon won by 125 runs
|Colin Milne||Run Out||1||0/0||0||0|
|Nick Harrison||Not Out||7||0/0||14||1|