2013 Cricket Match Compton & Compton Down v Shawford & Southdown
On Sunday morning 28 July the sun shone brightly on the Memorial Playing Fields. Were we in for a perfect day’s cricket without any of that DRS nonsense? Of course….
After a night of heavy rain, the captain of Compton & Chandlers Ford Cricket Club, Andy Gorty, had texted the organisers to confirm we could use the grass wicket if it had dried out sufficiently – or if not the artificial one used for most of the recent matches between these local sides. After a pitch inspection and consultation with their senior players the two captains for the day decided that we should avoid using the square to ensure the safety of the bowlers, some of whom were to be a lot older – and some a little younger – than England’s Ashes heroes.
Compton won the toss and decided to take the new ball and put in the visitors from the east. It looked like a reasonable decision despite some very solid batting by the Shawford openers Sachin Croker (27)and Simon Culmer (26) who were both able to retire undefeated. In fact it took 14 overs before the first breakthrough when debutant Alfie Trodd took a wicket with a sharp catch by Compton captain Mark Jenkins.
This was to be the only wicket to fall as more impressive batting by the Shawford middle order – including a huge six by Hugo Potts – saw a total of 154 from the 24 overs which looked remarkably similar to the epic match of 2013 when the two sides tied at 150 each in an identical format.
The only controversy of the innings was when Martin Nolan the Shawford batsman appeared to be given out stumped by the inexperienced square leg umpire, incidentally a member of the same team. He stayed put while a discussion ensued about whether the ball was ‘dead’ before he had strayed from his crease, which would mean he couldn’t be out. In the absence of television replays and a third umpire to whom to refer the decision, the on-field umpires consulted briefly and we saw common sense applied when they decided to give the benefit of the doubt to the batsman. Shane Watson must wish he enjoyed such old fashioned leniency!
In response to this total, Compton struggled to put runs on the board under pressure from some tight bowling and outstanding fielding. There were several good stops, a blinding catch in the deep by Matt Culmer and a run out. The understanding between father and son pairs Rob and Ben Stanley followed by Elliott and Alfie Trodd failed to allow Compton to gain the momentum to make this a close match and even the rain that blew in to rescue them turned out to be only a brief shower. Although Charlie O’Neill and Sunhil Rathod held the bowlers up with a sturdy last wicket stand, it was Shawford who prevailed with Freddie Radekin putting in the best bowling figures of 3 for 11. Young Alfie ended up as top Compton scorer – a tremendous effort for this 12 year old in his first match.
At the closing ceremony – sadly Michael Atherton and the Sky team were unavailable for the presentation – Mark Jenkins congratulated the winning captain and his team. Richard Croker remarked in reply that the art of good captaincy was to gather together some talented teenagers and let them get on with it, and lest Shawford get too comfortable noted that two years previously it was the Compton teenagers who prevailed. Part of the fun of these matches is that the result is never predictable, and the winners might come from either side of the road next year.
For the ‘Champagne Moments,’ the captains selected Simon Culmer’s electric fielding and Alfie Trodd’s all-round performance. They both received brand new cricket balls.
Thanks are due to Paul Scammell at the BBQ and the various bar staff enabling everyone to eat and drink well and enjoy an afternoon of sun and story as we reminisced over previous local matches and future Ashes games. Thanks also to the umpires – especially John O’Neill – who endured a lot of banter in the middle!
Perhaps 2014 will see a larger event between our local rivals but this is still in the planning stage. Please come forward if you would like to take part in the 2014 Local cricket match.
Mark Jenkins and Richard Croker