All Saints v Southstoke 2020
It was for many the first cricket game of the season, a cricket game like none other, in this case played under covid rules, i.e. players had to arrive dressed and ready for action with their own sanitisers and equipment.
Before the game there was even a team talk from the Southstoke skipper, informing us (amongst other things) that we had to sanitise our hands and the match ball every 7 overs (what fun we thought!!).
Anyway after losing the toss, the mighty Southstoke opening batsman strode out to bat on a mild summers evening at Lansdown. In one corner of the ground, a party of some 30 or 40 people having drinks and a social, served to us like they were an enthusiastic paying crowd of supporters keen to get a glimpse of their cricketing heroes (if only!).
Lansdown is possibly the premier cricket ground in Bath, and a joy to play on. For one it may have brought back not so good memories, and how brave James Couchman was to play, as the last time he played at this ground possibly a decade ago, he top edged a cricket ball into his face and ending up in the RUH! You will be pleased to know that he in fact proved any doubters he had wrong and bowled beautifully this time round (and stayed out of trouble!) with a tidy 3 overs for 21 runs and was unlucky not to get a wicket. This years hospital case could have been Peter Stoneley who hobbled off the pitch with a hamstring injury, however not before bowling admirably, his devious flighted bowling took 2 important Southstoke wickets for just 11 runs including Dylan Mathias, formerly of this Parish and now back in the Parish after a stint with Sheena and the family in Kenya teaching at Turi.
Other wickets were taken by Jordan Wickens and Martyn Evans who bagged a brace, all ably supported by the pace bowling of Josh Nicholson and Johny Wickens and the spin of Tim Markall. I must also point out the excellent fielding of Tim and Martyn who kept the Southstoke players on their toes, the later with an excellent run out, whilst Tim nearly executed another run out earlier in the innings with another fine throw whilst aiming at just one stump! As usual Paul Nicholson was neat and tidy behind the stumps keeping wicket.
So the Southstoke innings came to an end, petering out at 87 for 6 after their 20 overs.
Rick James and Paul Nicholson opened the batting for ASW, and got us off to a good start before Paul was out for a quick fire 5, followed by Tim Markall for 7 (alas no "Ben Stokesesq" firecracker innings this year!).
Next in was Jordan Wickens and he and Rick managed to take the Southstoke bowlers to task, putting on 62 before Rick was out for a flamboyant 23, with Jordan retiring on 32. Skipper Duncan Nash and Martyn Evans saw ASW home for a 5 wicket victory with 8 overs to spare.
Many then stayed for a drink and a chat before wandering off home after a very pleasant evening spent
Thank you's must go to Lansdown CC for allowing us to play at their fine ground, for Southstoke CC for a game played in the best of spirits, for Paul Wickens who mired the whole game and for the wives and families of the team who turned out to watch and support the players, which helped make it a real community event.
Lastly, if you play cricket and would like to be kept in the loop for any future games, then please email me, Duncan Nash, with your details.