Despite a wet start to the weekend, the weather held off for the sixth annual cricket match between the Ebor Players (Players) and a Parish Council team bolstered by a number of village personalities.
Under sunny skies newly appointed Players captain, Tom Davis, won the toss and put the Parish Council team into bat. Davis must have studied the record books as in all the previous five meetings the team batting second had won.
Opening for the Parish Council in contrasting styles were Michael Dale (former Youth Award winner) and captain, Liam Godfrey. Dale soon retired having hit 15 including two 6’s, but for Godfrey not the swashbuckling style of a Pietersen rather the stoic solidity of a Chris Tavare.
Godfrey was joined at the crease by Cllr. Ian Jemison, the scoring slowed somewhat before Jemison was bowled by Panto rap star Nigel Pendleton for 4, the Players only wicket of the day.
Next up was another former Youth Award winner Charlotte Drummond making a welcome return to the match after 3 years. Although the partnership was never troubled, the runs continued to slow before Godfrey duly retired unbeaten on a heroic 3 having laid the foundations for success.
Drummond was joined at the crease by Alison Jemison, a late addition to the team, making her first appearance. This partnership was solid without being extravagant and both batsmen retired unbeaten on 9 and 2 respectively. They were assisted by some woeful fielding from Captain Davis, one hopes nobody has to fall into his arms in the forthcoming Panto production otherwise there could be tears.
Next batsman was Chairman of the Parish Council Stewart Harrison the all time record run scorer and he was to add to that total with an unbeaten 10 as the score began to pick up nicely. He was ably supported by Cllr. Malcolm Higgins who retired on 4. The run rate continued as debutant Keith Thornton (Village Hall) despite some vicious barracking from some members of the opposition, scored a quick-fire unbeaten 12.
So would the Parish Council tail wag? Well it certainly did in the shape of Nick Smith (Maynews) and match regular Cath Bruce, as they fired off quick fire singles and some speedy running between the wickets, this tail had more wag than an excited Jack Russell. Their contribution brought the Parish Council total to a gigantic 95, the only disappointment being the failure to get the magical ton.
So how would the Players reply? Opening the batting were husband and wife pair Mr & Mrs Patrick and they too began in contrasting fashion. Patrick Mr despatched the bowling of the Parish Council with aplomb whereas Patrick Mrs struggled to get off the mark. When she was finally removed, off the bowling of Smith, for a miserly 1 she was heard to utter to her husband of 27 years ‘it’s all your fault’
Patrick Mr went on to make an unbeaten 10 but this masked the impending doom that was about to overtake the Player’s team. Despite an opening ball that had been so wide it pitched somewhere between gully and point and calling it a wide was perhaps the biggest understatement since Captain Edward John Smith said ‘don’t worry about it, it’s only a bit of ice’ Smith followed his dismissal of Patrick by removing the wicket of former captain Lisa Thornton. She was clearly worried that her beer would warm up as she was soon reunited with said beer being bowled by Smith without troubling the scorers.
Next to go was captain Tom Davis for 1 (who appears to have a weakness for the ladies) as the wickets continued to tumble and we were faced with the prospect of a team all being out for the first time ever. Julia Sykes joined the fray and despite dogged resistance, someone forgot to tell her that she had to score runs and she ultimately fell for 1 off the bowling of Harrison.
It finally took debutant Steve Poulter who had last played cricket during the Silver Jubilee (that’s the Jubilee of King George V), to put some steel into the backbone of the Players. Despite a slow start he steadied the ship and began to build a respectable score. He was joined by Chris Higgins and then Steve Harrison for the Players most fruitful partnership of the day. However, once Harrison was obliged to retire unbeaten on 10, confusion reigned as the Players had run out of people and Poulter was like Cinders at the ball. After much debate, enter Chris Gajewicz who had been given a late call up from the refreshments stall. Chris, who injured herself playing some years ago, showed spirit that made this country great arriving complete with anorak and proceeding to score an unbeaten 6 to finish off the Player’s innings. Alas not enough but if others had shown half the determination of Gajewicz then the result could have been so different.
So, victory to the Parish Council team by 15 runs which leaves the series tied at 3.3
Thanks must go to Bishopthorpe Cricket Club for allowing us to use their facilities and to everyone who helped make the day a success.
The match was dedicated to the memory of absent friends, Andrew Dunn and Chris Dale, who played in many of the previous matches. They were sorely missed.
M Dale retired 15
L Godfrey retired 3
I Jemison b Pendleton 4
C Drummond retired 9
A Jemison retired 2
S Harrison retired 10
M Higgins retired 4
K Thornton retired 12
N Smith NOT OUT 9
C Bruce NOT OUT 5
S Patrick retired 10
T Patrick b Smith 1
T Davis c Harrison b Jemison A 1
L Thornton b Smith 0
N Pendleton b Bruce 2
J Sykes b Harrison 1
S Poulter NOT OUT 11
C Higgins RUN OUT 2
S Harrison retired 10
C Gajewicz NOT OUT 6