Win :: Played on Sunday 27th August 2017
As the Knockers filtered into Penshurst Place CC’s ground, the start was familiar; one team member running late (who had the match bag with ball and keeper’s kit) and 1 last minute drop out. As a – surprisingly sober – 9 Knockers took to the field, thoughts turned to where exactly Guido might be. A lunch with Farage perhaps? Another encounter with a Miami Dolphin cheerleader? Or perhaps he was a late call-up as 12th man at Headingley for England. We will never know.
As ever, this Knockers team stared the thought of needing 11 men to win a game of cricket in the face and laughed – Ed Marsh and Rory Goodson opening up with Rory taking 2 wickets and Marshy stifling any thought of the oppo scoring any runs. Marshy was unlucky not to get a wicket as we saw another familiar sight this season; a Cobb dropped catch at slip. On came Watto, Finn and Anton who kept it even tighter (conceding just 27 runs off their cumulative 15 overs) with Finn and Anton picking up a timely wicket apiece and Watto showing no signs this was his first game back. Seb Horner was then brought into the attack and picked up 2 wickets, including their dangerman ‘Jonesy’ who’d scored a fifty – their only real score of note at the time.
Concerned that Knockers were perhaps dominating a little too much, captain JT brought himself on for a spell of 3 overs, bowling 9 dotballs. Unfortunately the other 9 legitimate balls went for 42 runs. Penshurst Place back in the game. ‘Goldenarm’ Cobb came on and burgled 2 wickets whilst Ollie Marsh bowled from the other end, having been talked down to a mix of spin and seam after declaring pre-game he wanted bowl and bowl fast. A good performance in the field limited them to 164 – a clearly chaseable score and Knockers enjoyed tea, knowing they could be in the pub early if all went to plan.
However, ‘going to plan’ is not in the Knockers dictionary and Ed Springett (5) departed early, followed by Tom Cobb – who had made a quickfire 14 with some lovely drives – who blamed his bat (borrowed from Alex Hales via Ollie Marsh). Ollie Marsh (5) came and went, as he tried to take their offspinner for a maximum but skied it to mid-off. In need of some consolidation, JT joined Horner at the crease, hopeful that the oppo’s 1 good quick would soon be taken out of the attack having bowled 4 overs already and Knockers been similarly generous in their bowling changes. The pair steadily accumulated and looked set, only for JT (18) to reach the 15-20 run band and fall (again) 10 overs later with the same quick bowling his 9th over in a row.
Enter Ed Marsh. Dropped by their captain on 0, Marshy followed up a good bowling performance with a great batting one taking full advantage of his 1 life. He took no prisoners as 7-year olds and 80-year olds came and were despatched to the boundary alike. With Seb Horner providing the glue at the other end, the pair took Knockers to within 30 runs but for Seb (35) to fall, caught at deep mid wicket. A masterful innings nonetheless. Watto came with Knockers’ hopes on his shoulders as the start of a long tail. He was gone a few balls later with Cobb remarking, “That’s a man who hasn’t done any batting in Colombia”. Ed Marsh (54) fell shortly afterwards bringing the two O’Sullivans to the crease needing 10 runs to win it. As Goodson was reminded he was next in and should pad up, our hopes really did rest with these two. Step forward Anton (16*); ‘See ball, hit ball’ was the order of the evening and along with some good running to take advantage of some overthrows, the pair saw us home with 5 overs to spare.
It is always a worry when Tom Cobb is associated with the words ‘calming’, ‘senior member’ or ‘positive influence’ but as the oldest (and only non-Tonbridgian) in the team, it was great to see a team full of youth who will hopefully be around for many seasons to come. A great performance by a great set of guys to make it 9 on the trot – something Pete remarked he had never seen in Knockers living history at the pub later. Onto Linton Park to get to the magic 10. As always, it was a pleasure lads.
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164 - 10
Finn Kinsler O'Sullivan
Anton Kinsler O'Sullivan