This week saw the elf’s faithful make a long journey to Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, to play Bayshill. This fixture was originally mean to be the resurrection of the club tour but a certain virus has put a spanner in most people’s plans. Anyhow, The elf made the 100 mile round trip to play a game in what many can only describe as one of the most picturesque grounds we have ever had the privilege to play at. With a view of the Cotswold hills and a castle, this ground had it all, and the game was not a disappointment.
After a 10 man elf side turned up to ground, and cars were parked in the designated spots, Alex Nunns and the opposition captain, walked out to toss the coin. On a baking hot day where shade was sparse and fiercely contested over, Alex Nunns walked back looking dejected after losing the toss, the elf were bowling! Dave Stephens and Dave Clive opened up. It all looked so promising in the first over when Dave Stephens bowled a beautiful delivery which the opener Pritchard fended off and the ball looped to short cover, where Chuck made a desperate dive, the ball went in, then bounced out and Chuck earned a lovely graze on his elbow and a few jibes from self-proclaimed slip catching expert, D. Armstrong. Meanwhile, Dave Clive bowled from the other end but struggled to find his rhythm. After 4 overs, the elf had their first breakthrough when Horner was bowled by Stephens. The next wicket fell shortly afterwards when after a few excellent deliveries, DS claimed the second wicket of the day when Van Dyke skied a ball to the ever-safe hands of Alex Nunns who took the catch at mid-off. Bayshill seemed to build scoring a few lusty blows from both Pritchard and Pierce, against the elf taking them past the first drinks break at 10 overs on 40-2. After drinks, Dave Clive was asked to have a blow and on came Dan Armstrong. Meanwhile at the other end DS continued to whittle away and was awarded with his third of the day when Pritchard hit another ball straight in the air down Alex Nunns throat again. With 3 wickets DS had his tail up and after a six and four, he was soon rewarded with the 4th wicket as Liley was bowled by DS. The host on 56-4. Meanwhile Armstrong continued his excellent line and was rewarded trapping the dangerous looking Pierce for LBW for a well batted 34. With DS having bowled his full quota of overs it was time for the spin twins of Josh Butler and JP to have a go. All the flight and guile proved to be ineffective against S. Liley and S. Price who batted watchfully and put away bad balls. The score proceeded nicely past 100. Eventually Josh was rewarded when S Liley hit a blow to Chuck at mid-wicket who snaffled it gratefully with the hosts on 109-6 after 26 overs. With less than 10 overs remaining Bayshill sent out Young Harding who tried to reverse sweep Butler first ball and was met with howls of laughter from around the ground, pride damaged but wicket still intact, Harding then proceeded to support Price adding a few lovely, technically correct shots that saw him quickly arrive at 22. With a few overs remaining and the spinners all bowled out, the ball was tossed to Chuck, who in uncommon fashion decided to bowl seam. His first few overs were unsuccessful in finding any breakthrough. Dave Clive was brought back on and was able to claim the young Harding for 22. The final over of Chucks went for 10 after a couple of hits to the boundary and the hosts trudged off the pitch with the score on 158 after 35 overs, with Chuck vowing never again to bowl seam again in a match.
Tea was a quiet affair with a delightful view. Please see pictures attached.
After a few refreshments the Elf made their way out to the middle with the 2 Dans trying to chase the score down. Armstrong set about his usually aggressive stance and quickly found himself on 38 before he hot one to many in the air down Deep mid wickets throat and a catch well held saw the elf lose their first man for 63. During this time the wise heads of Bayshill rotated the bowlers trying to find the breakthrough but had no reward. As the old saying goes, one brings two and soon Dan Dunn found himself back in the hutch for 16 after being bowled by Harding. Rob Hewlitt and Alex Nunns then carried on accumulating the runs, with some excellent running between the wickets (who would expect anything else with Rob at the crease) and the heaths score found itself on a healthy 145. Next calamity struck with only 13 runs needed Nunns departed after being bowled the usual Jaffa, a ball that moved both ways and clipped the bails. It mist be noted that during the run chase the Elf were well informed of various sporting events with the Formula one, Golf and Cricket commentaries being broadcast on multiple devices, thank you to the wonderful technological era! With promises of the bar being opened at 5pm, Armstrong was loitering like a teenage youth outside a convenience store, waiting for the chance to quench his thirst and hangover from the night before. Bayshill had one more trick up their sleeve, when Gorton in uncharacteristic style walked past the ball to be stumped for a duck…his excuse “I wanted a reason to get the duck trophy this year” (not everyone was convinced by this). Chuck walked out to the middle and proceeded to hit the next 2 balls for 4. 8 off 2 what has happened to the Chuck from Alrewas?? (A reminder it was 28 from 82 balls!!). With the last over Rob Hewlitt struck the final boundary and the game was over.
Naturally The elf stayed for fines and many a good laugh was had with our opposition. A big hand to Chally for finding an absolute peach of a ground and a great bunch of guys to play against.
Next week sees the Elf playing away against Lichfield Nomads. Keep your eyes open for the next exciting match report.