A return to Friday Night Lights on the Vine for Knockers, a return of Guido as skipper and the 100% win record maintained, a great way for Knockers to continue the 2020 season.
Remarkably 10/11 Knockers arrived at the Vine for 5.30pm as the game started more or less on time, with Knockers (unsurprisingly) batting first. Calver and Boreham opened up with varying degrees of success; Calver stroked the first ball of the innings for a 3, Boreham stroked his first ball to the keeper as he fancied beating the steadily growing queue to the bar. Cobb entered and Calver departed in the second over with a wonder caught and bowled from the bowler as a well-struck straight drive just 'stuck' in his hand.
This brought captain Guido to the crease to steady the ship alongside self proclaimed Knockers, Vine and Mayfield 'Hall of Famer' Tom Cobb. Cobby reached 11 before their bowler took another caught and bowled and Guido missed 'the ball of the century' to send his middle stump cartwheeling. At this point with no overthrows, no misfields and two worldie catches, the Knockers were wondering what fielding training drills the Old Oaks had put in over the COVID break and whether we could borrow them.
JT, with back-to-back season box bet losses in the back of his mind, joined Ed Marsh at the crease at 41-4 in the 8th over as they set about posting a competitive total against a newly energised Old Oaks. Some good running between the wickets mixed with boundaries (one Ed Marsh huge six the highlight) increased the run-rate until Marshy was given out LBW having middled one into his pad at 82-4 in the 12th. With Marshy immediately signalling for DRS, the Old Oaks keeper, very sportingly, much to his credit and his bowler & captain's chagrin agreed it wasn't out, called Marshy back to the crease. Charitably, next ball Marshy was given out stumped for 13.
This brought Club Captain Ollie Marsh to the crease, before JT knocked a 4 and was retired on 25* at 95-5 at the start of the 13th. Cookie joined Marshy Sr for just two balls as Marshy (on 6) drove a lovely one straight down the ground, with long off just grabbing the ball above the turf. B Cobb, clearly wanting to get back to the bar, didn't waste any time in the middle, marmalising the ball to all parts (the highlight an ever bigger 6 than Marshy's) and scored 22 of his first 23 runs in boundaries. He was retired on 25* as Ziggy joined Cookie with Knockers in a healthy 132-6 position in the 16th. Cookie fell in the next over, stumped for 9 as Old Oaks faced the nightmare of a fired up, 4-pints deep Rory Goodson at 11.
Rory played some trademark forward defensives halfway down the wicket before charitably being bowled for 2 with JT and Cobb in the hut. This might have been for the best given his running between the wickets was suffering from legacy hip flexor/ pints/ cigarettes issues. JT rejoined Ziggy at 138-8 in the 18th as they saw off the opening bowlers to finish 32* and 16*, with Knockers on 170-8 off their 20. The highest total on the Vine this author has been involved in and a good team effort with all - except Boreham, still revelling in his average earnt in the first game of the season, contributing starts.
A quick turnaround and the Marsh's opened up at either end. Ollie struck the Old Oaks opener on the ankle with the first ball of the game and consistently beat the bat, with only some dodgy field placing denying him wickets as the ball flew through the slip cordon/ gully a couple of times. Ed Marsh beat the bat and deserved wickets with Old Oaks at 17-0 off 2 (flattered by 2 boundaries off Ed's 'slower balls' in the 4th). Rory and Cookie replaced the Marsh's, with Cookie's first over picking up the first wicket as he bowled their opener for 17. His family clearly thought it couldn't get any better than an economy and bowling average of 2 so chose this moment to leave. In hindsight a smart choice as Cookie's second went for an unfortunate 19, with Old Oaks 49-2 off 8, Rory having the second opener caught. The ball seemed to follow the injured Rory around the field after this, hitting him whether he was at third man, extra cover or slip. The bloke earnt his pints at the end of the game.
With Old Oaks on the ropes, captain Marshy went for the kill and brought on Guido and Tom Cobb. With both needing to make up for their below par batting performances (by their own high standards) and impress their onlooking girlfriends, they bowled with a level of skill and guile not seen since the Lock-Laker combination of the 1950s, with Cobby picking up a wicket to leave Old Oaks 73-3 off 12. Next came a JT run-out, with the inch-perfect throw in to Boreham described as 'flacid' by captain Marsh. Calver, Ziggy and Ben Cobb then picked up the remaining wickets (apologies guys, the scorebook goes blank here so tough to see who got what) with JT, O Marsh and Guido taking catches: Guido's catch undoubtedly highlight of the game and possibly the best ever catch taken at mid wicket, unfortunately missed by his girlfriend who was chatting to his mother at the time. Fortunately, Guido had a 50 minute car journey home to catch her up on it. JT was glad for a dolly at extra cover to kick the season off and Ollie's in the deep won the game to leave Old Oaks about 25 runs short and all out in the 20th.
Snellers, Ken Cowan and Pete Smith had all come down to watch a strong Knockers win, played in good spirit in front of the largest crowd (of a couple of hundred) most of the team has played in front of, with pints enjoyed by the squad after the game. Guido gave a fitting speech and toast to Trouncey, who this great fixture celebrates. A great game had by all, with all 11 contributing whether with bat, ball or in the field. Onwards and upwards to Tonbridge on Sunday, as the 100% win record dream for the 2020 season continues.
|Batsman||  How Out||  4s||  6s||  Runs|
|Richard Calver||  caught||  0||  0||  7|
|Oli Boreham||  caught||  0||  0||  0|
|Tom Cobb||  caught||  0||  0||  11|
|Guy Howe||  bowled||  0||  0||  9|
|Ted Marsh||  stumped||  0||  0||  13|
|James Thompson||  not out||  0||  0||  36|
|Ollie Marsh||  caught||  0||  0||  6|
|Paul Cook||  stumped||  0||  0||  9|
|Ben Cobb||  not out||  0||  0||  25|
|David Bowen||  not out||  0||  0||  16|
|Rory Goodson||  bowled||  0||  0||  2|
|Bowler||    Overs||    Mdns||    Runs||    Wkts|
|Ollie Marsh||    2.0||    0||    6||0|
|Ted Marsh||    2.0||    0||    12||0|
|Rory Goodson||    2.0||    0||    9||1|
|Paul Cook||    2.0||    0||    21||1|
|Guy Howe||    2.0||    0||    13||0|
|Tom Cobb||    2.0||    0||    8||1|
|Richard Calver||    2.0||    0||    7||1|
|David Bowen||    2.0||    0||    13||1|
|Ben Cobb||    3.0||    0||    30||2|