A Member of the Saracens Herfordshire Cricket League & Hertfordshire Cricket Association

Reports for 9th May

Flamstead II 167, Hatfield & Crusaders III 168-7

After a three-week pre season it was time for the intrepid band of Hatfield third team crusaders to don their whites and take the north road to Flamstead.  The home of the giant they called The Hill.  Flamstead met the team with a wistful optimism that defines the beginning of any season.  Like the weather, the Hatfield men were approaching the day uncertain of what may lie ahead after a woeful campaign the year hence, a result that sent them down to the pits of Ten.  The captain, slender of frame and thin on top, strode to the middle with his opposite number to inspect the pitch and toss the coin that would lay the foundations of the day.  A head fell upon the damp porous surface, and the first victory of the coin was achieved, put them in to battle did the captain with the elements all on his side.
Grey clouds and swirling winds met the men as the took the field, a rag tag fleet of young pretenders and middle aged sell swords, brief encounters of the sun beaming through the murk warmed bodies and lifted spirits.  Dark Lord Clark, he of the famed ‘one true nipple ring’, would start the charge.  Yet, with time and rust the charge seemed more like a canter.  This did not stop the famed aggressor though, as he proceeded to stifle the sword bearers with consistent belligerence.
His counterpart, Gavin, he of many woman’s names, offered a perfect balance, although his frame would suggest otherwise.  Wickets though were few and the breakthrough finally came at the ninth, a swipe at Clark that spooned to The Boy in the covers.
Overs of 11, it came time for the boy to tread his first steps in battle, Samwise Edgey of the shires, the youngest of a clan of ancient cricketers, stood at the breach for the first time.  After three consistent overs his first victim, confused by pace and bounce, slashed his blade to send the ball high and straight.  Underneath, his teacher, ‘Digby the Beige’ stumbled around like an Irish drunk on St Patricks day, yet with the luck of the Irish on his side he hauled it in and celebrations began for Samwise’s first wicket.
At the other end, Andre of Peter, the ‘Mistry Mystic’ befuddled the Flamstead swords with flight and fancy that once attracted Katie of the Price.  Yet with all the confusion and mysterious singing from the field the wickets did not come.  That was until the over of 27 when Andre whipped up a storm and forced the batsman to flight it back in his direction.
The celebrations though were cut short, the ground began to shudder, more and more did the ground tremble as ‘The Hill’ approached.  A giant of a man with a stride as long as a normal man is tall took guard and waved his bat with purpose.  The Crusaders looked up and wondered how men of long time folk law still existed.  Andre the Mystic, unassuming in stature, conjured up recollections of David and Goliath and fizzed down a delivery so potent with secrecy that The Hill had no idea what had happened as his bails fell to the floor.
Still the opposition did not give ground as they consolidated their huge loss with more dogged determination.  Rehman the crafty leggy, somewhat surprised by his bowling call-up due to the injury of Sage Welch, in tandem with Andre sought to confuse and take much time out of the battle.  With every over his confidence grew and the culmination of his work was a gripping ripping ball that removed Flamsteads danger man and their hopes for 200.
His tiring men required one last effort, so the captain called again upon Clark to muster his strength for another spell.  The Dark Lord summoned up the power of the one true nipple ring and in his second over scuttled the stumps to the damp earth.  Soon thereafter the boy Samwise returned for a second throw of the dice, and soon he did also see the bails fly.  Yet with all he euphoria some strange malady came over Samwise.  To the crease came a flaxen haired maid, unassuming in height and girth she looked to bewitch the boy with all of her feminine charms.  In an attempt to break this bewitching spell this young maid had place on Samwise, the boy advanced to bowl at her throat without the need of it bouncing!  This did not intimidate the maid as she proceeded to finish unbeaten but the memory would remain.  He of Woman’s name returned form his exodus and proceeded to mop up the tail as a tramp mops up the dregs of food from a soup kitchen.  All out for 167 from 45 overs Flamstead new they had a game on their hands.

To the crease Digby the Beige and the Captain strode full of hope yet acutely aware of the demons in the pitch.  The Beige, with all the talent in the world hidden in those baggy trousers succumbed to the temptation of early glory and holed out to mid off in the Third.  Out sprung the wiry Hassan, an inconspicuous gent who dug in the trenches in an attempt to consolidate.  After 14 runs the devils in the pitch conspired to punish Hassan for not coming forward.  The unknown ranger from the north ‘Strider Williams’ swaggered to the middle and his early strokes defied a man who had not battled for five years.  As luck would have it he though he would receive an unplayable ball that would cut the heart of any mortal man.  During all this time the dogged captain stood sturdy in his resolve to stay relevant.  With the run rate creeping up, a rush of blood, followed by a brain freeze conspired to run the captain out after a dolly of a drop.
At 75 for 4 the battle was finely poised, yet the men were only to aware of their history of capitulation as Ginger spice and Rehman were at the crease.  Ginger, not know for his considered thought and appreciation of others age, pushed Rehman for a quick two, a direct hit saw Rehman’s hopes dashed and the teams chances fading.
The Mistry Mystic then joined the battle to forge new bonds of partnership with the Ginger one.  Hopes of fellowship were soon dashed after Ginger followed a wide one with a faint edge to seal his names sake fate.  To the crease came he of many woman’s names, a man who talks the best game one has ever heard.  Sorrowfully, his best game was still getting changed and going for a big heave his leg pole went carting.
So with seven battle hardy men gone and sixty still required it was down to Samwise Edgey and Andre the Mystic to save face.  Flamstead threw everything at these to unlikely heroes.  They had to dig deep to avoid the temptation of the lobbed ball, and they rode their luck with some tiresome fielding from the opposition.  As the Crusaders closed in on victory Flamstead turned to the weapon that bewitched Samwise in the first inning.  The fair maiden stepped up to bowl clearly with memories of Samwises throat ball.  Flinging the ball at the boys midriff, Samwise swatted the ball over her head with the contempt it deserved, and the battle was all but over.
With the target reached and four overs to spare the scorebook could be accused of underselling the pressure of the situation. With that in mind the Hatfield third team Crusaders will take the fight to Roe Hill in the face of Hitchin threes for what will be sure to be another epic battle.