Walsall Health 127-7 (40 overs) lost to Rushall CC 129-6 (36.2 overs) by 4 wickets
On a day where a legend of both clubs Tim Oliver is annually remembered, the rain dispersed and the sun shone for the final runs to be hit in what is always a tightly fought affair.
Instead of Gort and Nicka tossing the coin, Chuck and Chuck went head to head with Ian playing for the Elf and Leo skippering the hosts.
The Elf batted first in what was almost scuba conditions, Chuck and Alex Nunns opened the batting and even these two fine batsmen struggled to get anything away early on.
Ex-Rushall player Tom Wall produced a top new ball spell down the travelator trapping Chuck in front of all three stumps for 11 and Gareth Preece back from the land down under spouting a typically Australian moustache for 9 on his return.
Alex Nunns was the third man out for 12 to Wall’s opening spell which sent Elf chairman Rick Jarrams out for a knock in which Chris Hall got very excited about because Rick got off the mark and Chall said “I’ve got to update his stats!”. Rob followed shortly after for 14 and it was then tough going in the afternoon gale where Gort and Trig managed to squirt 19 runs from 10 overs before Gort was caught trying to up the run rate.
Chris Hall needed to update his own stats for his swashbuckling 26 to get the Elf over the 120 mark with excellent support from Trig who fell for 23 in the final over and the Elf posted 128 for victory.
After the sensational tea was scoffed down the Elf began the defence of the modest 127 for victory.
Tom Davies and Elf icon Jonty Nicholls took up the reins for the visiting side, both bowling tight lines but it was Tom who struck first when Dan Armstrong got tied down by the bowling and chipped Davies to Chuck at mid on. Davies continued his decent spell by getting Leo Chuck rather fortunately after the ball struck Chuck on the thigh and somehow trickled on to the bails.
Chris Hall and left-arm spin king Jonny Preece came on at first change, however Rushall opening bat
Wakelin took a liking to Preece and smashed him for 3 sixes which tipped the balance in Rushall’s favour. M Wakelin at the other end kept things steady until he was out caught off iron-man Chally’s bowling, it was Rob Hewlitt’s 48th catch for the Elf.
Dan Dunn entered the fray and was caught and bowled by Chuck who lunged forward to snaffle a grab on the hard deck.
With the game in the balance Chris Hall got Wakelin after he went to 50 for 55 and the Elf were half way there with not many runs to play with.
The final wicket fell to Gareth Preece who bowled Foster with a ball that bounced about as high as a ladybird however, that was all she wrote and Wall and Hinks saw Rushall home inside the final five overs.
Tea review – 9 sensational spread today, Samosas too! Only ever going to get a 10 with olives or English mustard.
Shower club n/a – had to shoot off today so nothing to report.
AOB – Well, Nicka and Leo must’ve collectively beat the £11 collected by Greg and I a few years back for inviting someone they met the night before in Wetherspoons. Even ‘Cleve’ the Rushall regular was gone in 60 seconds like Nicholas Cage without a drop of alcohol consumed. We got a nice drawing to commemorate the occasion too.
Lastly, thanks to EVERYONE who made it down on Sunday to show the respects for Tim and both sides who played a hard contests out fair and square in his honour. See you next week for the visit of Lichfield Nomads.
Written by Tom Davies