Warren Farm, Ealing
Southall Eagles 211ao (35.4) beat Whalers C.C 180ao (36.3) by 31 runs
A day of firsts for the Whalers, new ground and new oppo, in the shape of Warren Farm (complete with toilets last maintained in the inter war years) and Southall Eagles, who had kindly filled in for Balham Roamers at short notice. Also firsts for the season in losing the toss and fielding first in a 40 over game. However, it was depressingly old-school Whalers traits that were to have decisive influences on the outcome of the match as a series of missed chances in the field and a batting collapso led to another defeat.
Osgood and Clipsham opened the bowling, but the Eagles batsmen made a solid start, and looked to be generally in control. The pitch was a little underprepared, and variable bounce was the order of the day, but the boundaries were short so any shot breaking the infield was getting full value. Dan finally trapped an opener leg before and we were up and running. Clippy having being delegated responsibility of providing ‘good chat’ was also up and running if only in the verbal stakes to begin with. The introduction on Piers on season debut dismissed the other opener, but a number of catches also went down, the wides count went up, and the Eagle’s numbers 3 and 4 began to look set, and at drinks had reached 98-2.
There followed an increasingly manic passage of play as the next ten overs yielded 82 runs at the cost of five wickets. The fifth bowler duties were shared between Bayne and captain Osborne. Duncs taking particular delight in his first Whalers wicket, which he followed up with another in the following over by convincing the umpire he had managed to get one to straighten from round the wicket for another lbw. Bayne chipped in with a wicket but more catches went down and the figures weren’t too pretty on the runs side (Osborne 3-0-29-2/Bayne 5-0-37-1) as ‘Rocky’ whipped some big sixes over the leg side boundary on his way to a 50.
The Whalers stuck to the task well on a hot day. Osgood finished his second spell with 2-30 and the return of Morgan (3-26) brought reward with two fine catches from VDP, including an outstanding over the shoulders effort (trousers intact). A wicket for Clippy and a run out from Neil, unleashing a powerful throw from about 30cm from the stumps meant the Eagles were all out for 211 with four overs unused.
After a Waitrose sponsored tea provided by Mr and Mrs Bayne, Dickenson and VDP strode to the crease charged with providing a solid start, which they just about achieved putting on 45 in the first ten, significantly aided by extras. With the introduction of the change bowler Dickenson edged to gully for 11 and Bayne followed soon afterwards which led to the arrival of Pete Burgon at the crease, on Whalers debut. Unperturbed by the situation, he opened his Whalers account with a six out the ground. And his next two scoring shots were maximums as well. Magnificent stuff, and with VDP continuing his fine form with the bat at the other end, the Whalers were well on course at 141-2 off 27.
However following Burgon’s departure for 39, the Whalers simply fell away. Will Rossiter was bowled off his pads for a golden, Duncs run out by a brilliant direct hit from the boundary, and when VDP got a snorter that he could only fend to slip, Whalers were in deep trouble. Credit should go to the Eagles 50 maker Rocky who reeled off 8 very accurate and testing overs to finish with an impressive 5-22. The rest of the tail disappeared with barely a whimper until Clippy struck his first boundary for several years ending up stranded on 6 not out as the Whalers were dismissed for 180 to lose by 31 runs.
An excellent fightback by the Eagles but ultimately a big disappointment for the Whalers. Post match analysts were left wondering what had happened to the legendary Whalers tail that used to provide more runs than the batters. Shockingly in the last three games there have been only two double figure scores (10 and 12) below number four in the batting order. Time to get back to winning ways against Morden Corinthians next week.
MOM: Will VDP
Champagne Moment: Pete’s off the mark with a six
Muppet Moment: At least half the team responsible for overthrows turning a single into two, and then three just for good measure.