Lose :: Played on Sunday 6th July 2014
The best part of 600 runs were scored on a sunny afternoon in Mayfield as Knockers fell just short of repeating their upset of the year before. Despite, as Guthrie put it, ‘perhaps the worst Knockers fielding performance of all time’, Knockers batted valiantly to come within 13 runs of Mayfield’s mammoth total.
It was agreed that Knockers would field first, and Ben Cobb could have had a wicket with the second ball had Watts not dropped a regulation chance behind the stumps. In fact, Knockers would drop both openers within the first two overs. David Brigden appeared to be wearing some form of magnetic device as the ball followed him round the field all afternoon. At the other end from Cobb, Seb Horner and Rupert Harbig plugged away with little reward as one of Mayfield’s two overseas players hit the ball to all parts. Harbig’s spell took its toll physically as he was required to leave the field to take an emergency toilet break. The breakthrough was eventually made by Rob Sharma, a Mayfield player who generously offered to fill in for the distinctly absent Guy Howe. Harbig returned to the field just in time to take a juggling catch on the boundary. As the old adage goes, with one came two and the other opener fell the following ball for 92. However, another partnership took shape and took the total past 200, threatening to take the game out of Knockers’ reach, despite some good bowling from Richard Calver and Ed Darry. Once again the Knockers were rescued by some fine bowling from Charles ‘The Duke’ Doubleday-Potts, who lured the batsman out of his crease only to fire in a wide and have him stumped. Mayfield pressed down on the accelerator as they neared the end of their innings, and David Bridgen picked up a wicket with a double dipper à la Paul Cook. The other overseas player for Mayfield brought up his century with the final ball of the innings as they closed on 297-4.
Knockers began their reply with Seldon and Watts, and there were some early boundaries as the track had flattened out in the afternoon sun. The first wicket fell as Charles ‘The human hawkeye’ Doubleday Potts really took to his role as umpire and swiftly gave out Watts LBW. Knockers chipped away with Seldon and Sharma, both playing excellent strokes around the park. Once the 100 had been brought up, the overseas players were soon into the attack. The extra pace eventually proved too much for Seldon, who was bowled. Sharma was deceived by the slower ball and could only find mid off. This brought Ed Darry and Rupert Harbig together, and the pair timed the ball well. Harbig hit a particularly large six over mid-on before feathering an edge through to the keeper. Guthrie Miller’s entrance brought controversy to the game as he survived two very strong LBW shouts, Paul Seldon standing firm in the umpires spot. Relations turned a little sour between the sides. It was fair to say that Ed Darry was in his element, exchanging insults with a 15 year old in an argument about who could hit the ball further off the square. When he wasn’t sledging the fielders, Darry played some fantastic shots bringing Knockers ever closer to the target. Three quick wickets damaged their hopes, however, as Miller was bowled, Calver edged behind, and Ben Cobb played all round one for a golden duck. It was a pity, as Ben had spent all afternoon telling everyone how much he enjoyed pace on the ball. Darry found a partner in Seb Horner, who struck some quick boundaries to take Knockers to within 30. Ultimately with his wicket and the loss of Darry, caught on the boundary, went the game. With 14 required from the final over, if anyone could do it it was Charles ‘Chris’ Doubleday Potts but unfortunately he lost his off peg and Knockers the match.
It ended up being a great game at a great venue, with the aggressive sledging coming from Mayfield, as well as Andy Darry from the boundary, certainly adding a bit of spice to the occasion.
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