Win :: Played on Friday 7th July 2017
Late knockers, dropped catches, several great individual performances and three results possible in the last over – this was a game that had everything.
The 11th Trounce memorial game did not get off to the best start as captain for the day, JT, announced that he would be at least 45 minutes late due to some unfortunate traffic that only he managed to get caught up in. However, Scott Landers stepped in to duly lose the toss and negotiated Knockers to bat. JB and Ed Springett got us off to a great start as they plundered 19 off the first 2 overs before JB swept – and missed – a straight one. Ed shortly followed which brought Cobb and his brother-in-law Tim to the crease for the partnership of the game. Both made 25 retired, however Cobb seemed to be playing for his average (retiring 9 overs after he came in), whilst Tim was in a hurry to get back to the beer tent with one six over long off, the protective netting and into the Wagamamas food stand that will live long in those Knockers’ present memories. Our middle order of Scott, John, the O’Sullivans and Phil Barnett added what proved to be invaluable runs to get us up to 136-6 off our 20 overs.
With JT back in time to lead the side out for the second innings, Knockers were probably 15 runs short of a par score on a good wicket and very fast outfield. Cobb had the gloves, Ed and Anton opened the bowling as Old Oaks got off to a good start, using the pace of the ball and the slope of the ground to pick up several boundaries despite our bowlers’ tight lines to get to 29-0 in the 4th over. Just as the game looked to be getting away, Ed made the much needed breakthrough, clean bowling their opener 2 balls after JT had shelled one diving to his left at mid-off. Then Knockers started to turn the screw. JB held up an end for 4 overs, picking up wickets in his 2nd, 3rd and 4th overs, whilst Ed and then new recruit Tim bowled from the other, offering a miserly return of 6 boundaries in these 9 overs. Knockers were perhaps unfortunate not to pick up another wicket as the whole team went up to appeal for a stonewall stumping. As the team were shocked at the shake of the head from the umpire, Tom Cobb looked rather sheepish behind the steps as it started to dawn on the team that he had in fact, forgotten to remove the bails. The reliable ‘golden arm’ of Neil Dave entered the fray and did not disappoint, bowling tight and upping the required run rate for Old Oaks. With 28 balls to go, Old Oaks required 44 runs and Knockers couldn’t afford a bad over. Fortunately, we had Phil Barnett to turn to to hold the ‘danger end’ whilst Ed and Anton bowled out from the other. 22 balls, another dropped catch, some very tight bowling and 29 runs later, it was up to Anton to restrict Old Oaks to less than 15 runs to win the game and he did so emphatically, bowling 4 dot balls to seal a brilliant game for Knockers with an Ed Springett return bagging a final wicket to end matters.
The game was a pleasure to be a part of and was probably the best fielding performance I’ve seen from a Knockers outfit as 2s were turned into 1s and 1s turned into dots regularly. Whilst everyone played an important part, Ed Springett and John Bowden’s contributions were immense and probably turned the game on its head for us.
So the presentation was done, toasts were made to a great man and it was agreed the trophy needed a clean. JT imposed an 11-pint fine on himself for the team for his tardiness as Knockers enjoyed the beer tent to its full. A great game, in good spirits, in front of a large crowd, which hopefully did Trouncey proud.
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Anton Kinsler O'Sullivan