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Match report vs Clytha 06 May 07 @ The Moat (Skipper and report Goughy)

After great weather for almost a month the casuals travelled to Clytha with the sun deciding to recede behind the clouds for the afternoon and by the time we found the Clytha Arms the sun had disappeared and so had all the pubs ½ pint glasses….why they did not half fill pint glasses we did not know. However we were escorted to the ground and managed to start at 2.45pm with the Casuals winning the toss under new skipper Goughy and putting the oppo in.

This was a slightly risky tactic but with an unproved side it gave us a good chance of a game. The bowling was opened by Dewberry and (Roger) Bannister who kept it tight for the first 4 overs before Roberts (a continual thorn in the casuals side) opened up and started to flay the ball around, with some luck, but without losing his wicket. With the first 10 overs gone Clytha were some runs for no loss with Dewbs and Roger going for 28 and 23 respectively both bowling a tightline but being punished for anything loose on a small pitch. (yes I know the figures are not complete but the book was a little incomprehensive)

Clytha were looking to accelerate at this point so skipper Gough brought on the Casuals Mr Reliable of recent years in Dave ‘Doughboy’ Thomas and he brought or should that be bought a wicket in the first over with Roberts skying the ball to Mid-on where the skipper ran from mid-off to take the chance and leaving no one in doubt that he wanted it or that he was pleased to take the catch with a loud scream that could have been heard in Cardiff.

With the momentum behind him the skipper brought himself on from the ‘madhouse end’ and he was about to break a casuals record having only to bowl 2 dot balls to beat the ‘dot ball’ record of 39 set by Andy Hood, who watched in trepidation (or should that read a ‘warm coat‘) from the side lines. Goughy managed the feat and to celebrate he chucked one down the legside for a wide and only extended the record by 1. Doughboy and Goughy then proceeded to tie the batsmen down with DB getting another wicket with a good rebound catch from Smitts and he ended with great figures of 5-0-22-2 and Goughy with a miserly 5-0-12-0.

The next bowlers up were Shakes and Scott Hand (shandy) who had mixed luck and fortunes with Shakes taking a good wicket with a sharp chance from Smitts and Shandy struggling for his line a little at this early stage of the season but due to a scoreboard and scorer error he was allowed to bowl 6 overs (maximum 5 overs agreed before play) and returned figures of 6-0-33-0. Shakes was taken off halfway though this but was bowling when Dave ‘Doughboy’ / Paul Collingwood Thomas ran out one of the top Clytha players with an almost unbelievable direct hit with only 1 stump to aim at!!!!!!!

Roach replaced Shakes and with a mixture of good balls and double bouncers ended with figures of 3-0-21-0. This just left Shakes and Holiday to finish the innings with Shakes finishing on 5-0-24-1 and poor Richie being spanked for 24 off his single over - the highlight being when he was carved for six into the pavilion and watching as one of the oppo ‘ran’ from the rebound and tripped on a nearby kitbag and was also hit in the face for his troubles. The final Clytha score was 202 for 4 with their skipper finishing on 43 not out.

Although not an insurmountable total the Casuals had much work to do on a decent early season wicket and no mid innings tea to blame on a likely poor performance.

The opening partnership was key for the Casuals and the skippers faith was put into Matthew ‘Smitts’ Smith and Matt ‘no real nickname yet’ Brierley who strode to the middle with real conviction. They both started slowly and after 5 overs they had scored 16 but were looking to up the rate at any time and with Matt B starting to play some sublime shots it was beginning to look good for the men from Cardiff.

This partnership was soon broken up by a piece of mediocre bowling and an umpiring decision of such mediocrity that it is almost impossible to write….Smitts was hit on the pad with a heavy bat deflection whilst also being more than a good stride down the wicket. He was given with much enthusiasm by the (Clytha) umpire and Smitts was on his way………

10 overs gone and we were 49-1

Next in after this farce was Roach who, although did not seem to middle much, was running between the wickets like a madman and the indoor running style was still alive. He soon departed for 4 to be replaced by Richie who soon spooned one up to mid off for 1 and his day of woe was over (apart from umpiring). Out strode Shakes with new bat in hand - an M+H willow which apart from one shot looked more like an H+M willow. He left the game after being undone by a snorter for 5. Next out was the forth emergency service in Ash Akbari who joined the steady but very correct Matt B. Sadly Matt was undone by a wide one and edged to the keeper and correctly walked after scoring a solid 41. There will be many more runs to be had from this chap in the coming season despite whatever Kim ‘Slogger’ Swain has to say.

20 overs and casuals were 93-5.

With a big defeat on the cards in strode the skipper to join Ash and after getting off the mark first ball with a 4, he was then dropped next ball and again in his 20’s by the oppo skipper. In between times the casuals pair contrived some Laurel and Hardy running which kept the crowd amused and steadily brought back some respectability as they passed their 50 partnership and then the 150 - all the time keeping up with the 8 an over run rate and starting to really worry the opposition who took to meeting at mid wicket to brew up new plans after new plan. In the end the casuals (as ever) became the architect of their own downfall with first Ash being bowled for 14 and then Shandy being run out for 0 after a very quick single being called and that was that. Gough went soon after being stumped for 55 after a very tired swipe.

The end was almost nigh but with some quick dashes between the wicket from Roger and Dewbs were helping but when Roger was run out after playing a reverse sweep and a direct hit saw his demise.This only left Doughboy facing the quicks who had returned but he 2 was run out for 2 and the casuals had slumped from 166-5 to 179 all out.

A good game played in a fierce but friendly fashion and many good things to take through to the rest of the season. The only thing left to do was tuck into the tea provided at the pub - Roast potatoes, new potatoes, Ham, bread and some buttered peas!! Very pleasant though and at last a hush had descended over the casuals......


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