V Rushall (27/08/17) (Tim Oliver Memorial Game)

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Rushall 207-7 off 38.3 overs beat  Walsall Health 206-6 off 40 overs….. by 3wkts

 

Since its inauguration in 2014, the 2017 edition between Rushall and Walsall Health, that is simply known as “Tim’s Game” was arguably the best and most entertaining match so far between the two sides, with some really good, hard fought cricket played throughout the day. For all our more recent players, both Rushall and The Elf, played a big part in Tim’s sporting weekends for many years. A quiet, unassuming, private man, was undoubtedly the backbone of both sides. Not so quiet, once he walked onto the field, especially if he got a bad decision, or got hit for a couple of fours. Then, that fierce competitive streak took charge, seldom did Tim lose a battle…he relished them. 20 over spells, unchanged on a Saturday, warming him up nicely to Captain The Elf on a Sunday. He is still missed by all his team-mates, family and friends who took part in a great game of cricket on Sunday.

The game began, with The Elf batting first on a scorching afternoon. With only 8 batsmen to start the game, we needed some strong partnerships. Like so many times before, our innings was built around Ian Chuck, who hit another 83 priceless runs to take him past the 900 milestone. Outstanding. Early on, the Rushall opening bowlers made life difficult, but unsung hero, Dan Armstrong helped Chuck see off the new ball with a gritty 12, which meant others could cash in, later on. After Andy Carrick got a peach, from Matt Jones, everyone rose to their feet to applaud the return of Dave Stephens. Dave wasted no time in getting back into the groove, smashing 3 fours from the first over he faced.

After Dave departed for a handy 21, we were getting close to the 100 run mark. Enter Dan Hopley, who joined Chuck and played a calm and controlled innings of 26 before being bowled by Foster. Captain Rob Hewlitt knowing we needed 200 runs to bowl at, joined Chuck. But losing our South African Pro for 83 was a setback with the score on 160. However, the Captain has been returning to form in recent weeks, and played a positive 42 not out, backed up by Jonty and CHall, to take us to a good total of 206-6. A big mention here, for Elf and Rushall legend Gary Reeves. Knee surgery, over a year out of the game, but guess what… just one bye conceded, and a sharp catch, showing the fast hands and expert glovework that remain the trademark of Doc’s game…..superb.

After tea was devoured by everyone, (more on that later) Rushall set about the chase. Clayton and Calla, started solidly, punishing any bad balls, a couple of big sixes off Chuck, set the tone. The Elf needed wickets fast. Dave Stephens and Chris Hall took on the Anderson and Broad role for the day. If there are any doubts, let me just confirm….DS IS BACK!! Bowling in tandem with Hall, Rushall, from a position of serenity at 40-0, were suddenly 58-4. DS picking up 2, using subtle changes of pace, while Hall bowled King Junior, and Clayton, spearing one in from wide of the crease to take out leg stump, a moment particularly enjoyed by umpire Andy Oliver….Game on.

Del King is a class player, and arguably the prize wicket. When in the 20’s, Del smashed one high to Chris Hall at long on, but not quite set right to take the crucial grab, the ball didn’t stick. A big moment, it really isn’t advisable to give Del a second chance. Quite rightly, he set about punishing the error, sharing a good partnership with Matt Jones. John Nicholls taking the brunt of some belligerent batting. Hall came back on, eager to make up for his error, and got Jones for 28. However, Rushall had more batting in the hutch, after Warren Foster departed with a Jaffa from Dan Armstrong, that thorn in many a side, G.Reeves came in to hit 21 effortless runs off not many balls, to all but win the game for Rushall. Known to his team mates as The Doc, Reevesy examined the Elf patient, and declared them to be on life support.

It was left to match winner Del King (75 not out) and Jake Edwards to hit the winning runs for Rushall, with 9 balls to spare, to edge a tight game, but deserving winners. It was lovely to see a lot of Tims old team mates out there today, G.Reeves, The Clayton’s, Calla, Nicholls, Fell, Gorton, Hall, Stephens, Hartshorne, King and many more. With Andy Oliver stepping up to officiate proceedings. Some good values were on show from both sides, Rushall helping us out with fielders, Calla getting called back after being wrongly given out lbw, Gort umpiring, despite a broken arm. Hewlitt junior netting for 2 hours in case the youngster was needed to bat. Both sides playing hard but fair, and  playing to win. The perfect tribute to Tim.

Tea update…..

Astonishing. Truly astonishing banquet from Gail. The lads all agreed to christen this tea “Mourinho” because it really was “The Special One.” Carb to cake ratio, spot on. Pork pie (with jelly) Wow!  Hewlitt, Hall, and Carrick almost coming to blows over who ate the last cheese and piccalilli sandwich. Dan 2 plates Armstrong, became 22 plates, declaring this was the best tea of the month, the year, the decade, the century, the millennium, even since the Ice Age. Olives aplenty, so a message for Tom Davies, who was in Barcelonaaaaaaa….such a beautiful horizon was right here on the tables of Rushall’s clubhouse mate. You missed out big time. Swiss Roll of the lemon flavoured variety had the Do Not Disturb signs up around C.Hall as he savoured 5 sumptuous slices. The only criticism came from food critique, John Nicholls, claiming the cherry tomatoes were too round, and kept rolling off his plate. So harsh. Gail fired back with the quote of the day… “You will all get the plum shaped variety next time.”  Rating…A Masterpiece 10/10

Tales from The Travelator…..

Its official, CHall has conquered the unconquerable. Steaming in for 8 overs, fueled by the samosa/swiss role combo, picking up 3-for, to join Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary as one of the most formidable mountaineering specialists of all time. History is made.

Dave Stephens update……

DS IS BACK!!

Barbecue update…..

The final devastating performance of the day. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. Rich Fell, after keeping for 40 overs, was straight on the money to provide recovery food for the cricketing masses. Still in his whites at 10pm, sacrificing the delights of Shower Club, to selflessly create that pleasing aroma of onions, burgers, and sausages for everyone to enjoy. Dan Armstrong cleaning up the final Fell-Burger at 00:35 am BST, to sum up a great day, with the two clubs joining forces to pay tribute to our friend and team mate…..Tim Oliver.

Written by Chris Hall

Batting Runs
Armstrong, D  lbw b Jones  12
Chuck, I c Reeves b D.King 83
Carrick, A b Jones 0
Stephens, D c Foster b Callaghan 21
Hopley, D b Foster 27
Hewlitt, R not out  42
Hall, C c Sawari b Foster  8
Nicholls, J not out  5
Hewlitt, Jnr dnb
 Extras  8
Walsall Health  206
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  8 0 36 1
Chuck, I 6 1 30 1
 Hall, C 8 1 31 3
Stephens, D 8 3 25 2
Nicholls, J 5 0 42 0
Carrick, A 3.3 0 21 0
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