WHCC beat Nomads by 149 runs
The Nomads arrived at Carter Park for our 30th fixture, 19 years since our first meeting back in 2003. So with cloud cover and humid conditions, it was a good toss for our friends and rivals to win. Nomads skipper, Dave Rolfe had no hesitation in opting to take the new ball. The first hour of this game was to prove very important to the final outcome.
The Nomads opening bowlers, Bryars and Mahmood bowled well, giving Chucky and Dan Armstrong some tricky moments to negotiate. Bryars getting one to cut back, trapping Chuck for a huge lbw shout. But after long consideration from umpire Hall, the finger of doom stayed down. Chucky then smashed a customary square cut, straight to Nomads legend Paul Fearon. But the ball didn’t quite stick. It was a big moment, as this was the last mistake from Chuck for quite a while.
After 16 overs of building a solid platform, Dan Armstrong departed…lbw for a good 40, leaving the stage clear for Dan Dunn to enter proceedings. This proved to be the match winning partnership. There was plenty of analysis from the sidelines, “Best I’ve seen him bat” felt like the majority verdict. One DD shot in particular stands out, a late cut for 4, angling the bat, using all the pace off the ball. Dan played with real confidence from ball one, and I think its fair to say we all enjoyed this lovely knock from the Club Pro.
Chucky was also picking up the pace, maybe sensing an opportunity for another 3 figure score. Sadly, Chuck and Dan’s entertaining partnership of 152 came to an end when Dan skied one for 68. His new highest score for the club. Followed by Chuck, who perished for 96, so close to a 9th career ton. However, this was another classic I.Chuck performance. Grafting through the early overs, before cashing in as the bowlers began to tire. Well batted…. Our innings concluded with Rob Hewlitt 7* and skipper, Alex Nunns 10* smashing a few boundaries to keep up the momentum. Both men finishing unbeaten despite severe cases of pad rash. It was a tale of two halves, after 25 overs we had 107 runs on the scoreboard. However, the last 15 overs saw a further 133 added to the tally. A brilliant effort, once again, from our top order. 240-3
Chasing 200 plus runs down in 40 overs is never easy. So that difficulty factor cranked up even more so, when a pumped up Dan Armstrong took the new ball, focused and motivated to do some damage. This was one of the best opening spells since the Sam Stephens at Hewell CC days. There are times when words aren’t necessary. So instead, take a look at these figures….6 overs 5 maidens 2-2. Dan was pretty much unplayable. Clean bowling Nomads legend, Pete Gardner for 3, and winning the key battle of the game with Barker. Obliterating his defences for 12. It was a case of job done for Dan. Well bowled mate.
When any opening bowler produces a spell like Dan’s, its just a case of keeping it tight for the rest of the game. Our fielding was really good again. Here’s a question for you? Does Nathan Reeves ever have a bad game in the field? Once again, the Mini Doc was full of energy, and stopped anything that came his way. Dan Dunn and Greg Philpott, both took tricky skiers. While the skipper, Alex Nunns, has this supernatural ability to position his fielders in exactly the right places at exactly the right times. Richard Fell looked like he enjoyed his return to the role of wicket keeper, reminding us all of his excellent glovework skills. JP picked up the 2 wkts he was aiming for on the day. The second one, courtesy of an absolute blinder of a one handed diving catch from Alex, to win us the game, prompting a mass pile on, orchestrated by Greg and Dan Armstrong. This victory was our 6th consecutive win, and a new club record for the best start to a season. So a big hand to Skipper Alex, and all the players who have been involved in this exceptional early season form.
But the final word has to go to John Nicholls. Starting the day, with a career tally of 397 maidens for WHCC, I’ll give you one guess what his figures were……3 overs 3 maidens 2 wkts. Which included a Jonty Jaffa with his first ball. (No La La’s this time) Now there have been some seriously good bowlers at the club during the past 35 years, but none of them have managed to amass a total of 400 maidens. An outstanding achievement from Jonty. Our original line and length bowler. Well done John.
After the game, we finally managed to hold the PU, we were unable to have last year. It was a light hearted get together, with the usual “stitch ups” of a few players, and a special guest appearance from England centurion Rory Burns. The awards were presented to the following….
Fav Match Report……Alrewas
Fielder of the Year…..Alex Nunns
Batsman….Dan Armstrong (2nd consecutive year)
Clubman……Nathan Martin & Chris Hall
Duck Trophy….Andy Gorton (plumb)
The Grand Finale of the evening was the eagerly awaited “Pringles Challenge”…..Alex, (with Rachel entering the contest just because she felt a bit peckish) Chucky, Dan Dunn, Nicka, Josh, Gort and Chally, all gathered to find out who would be the quickest to eat a full size tube of mass calories.
Nathan Martin was our independent adjudicator, immediately stamping down on a “Village” error from Josh Butler, who brought the incorrect quantity size, incurring a 20 second penalty. This was serious business, so after plenty of trash talking, the contest began. Our Senior Club Pro Nicka, boldly selected Salt and Vinegar flavour to go to war with. Now this raised a few eyebrows. Too much salt will cost him dearly in the closing stages was the general assumption by some self appointed experts. But what a bunch of mugs they all were, as Nicka demolished his tube. Taking care of business in a staggering 9 mins 8 secs, to become our first (and probably the last, judging by the tortured expressions on a few of the contestants faces) Pringles Champion. Nicka even found time to stare down a visibly broken Chuck, during the final few victory munches. A truly devastated Ian Chuck had been soundly defeated, but vowed to be back to take the great man down, but I don’t fancy his chances too much. Dave Stephens also dropped a subtle hint that he may fancy a shot at the title. Maybe this story has a few more miles in it yet?
See you all at Rushall on Sunday.
PS….have a scroll back up to the title photo….Wasn’t it a nice gesture from The Mitchell Brothers (Centre pic) to make the long trek up from Walford, just to see who won the Duck Trophy.