Banner Photo
Banner Photo

Montgomery CC vs Chequers CC - Sunday 15th August 2010 - Canewdon

Montgomery CC: C. Smith (cpt), O.Pidgeon, D. Clarke, R. Clayton, J. Kyles, M. Couzens, T. Smith, A. Camp, P. Sibley, D. Champ, P. Sams

Montgomery CC's eleventh game of the 2010 campaign was an away fixture against Chequers CC.

Chequers had won both the fixtures played at The Garrison with the Monties recording their solitary win of the previous three contests at Canewdon.

With a number of regular players unavailable the ranks of Leigh-on-Sea had again been raided to bolster the Fighting Rats.

The MCC welcomed back Dave "Detonator" Clarke for his first appearance in a Monty shirt of 2010. The Volatile One was joined by Paul "Sibbo" Sibley, making his second MCC appearance and Alex Camp and Jim Kyles, both taking a bow in the green and gold for the first time.

There was also a maiden appearance for none other than Golden Lion and Chequers stalwart and occasional MCC substitute fielder - Phil "45 second over" Sams.

Would Phil's much feared right arm over finally be of aid to the MCC after years of battling against it? Time would tell.

After missing the last game due to family commitments, Captain Daniel Nik Nak Crabby De Vito was back in the hot seat, though not before forgetting all his kit en route for the ground. Arnie's twin was joined by the rest of the usual rabble - El Destructo, Vogue, Victoria Wood, the Tank Engine and the Peach.

Post toss, the MCC found itself in the field with Sibley and Couzens having a stab at the Chequers' ranks with the new ball.

Unfortunately both bowlers were off the mark early on, bowling consistently short of a length and giving the Chequers openers plenty of easy runs into the on-side.

After four under-par overs, Smith C brought Sams and Champ into the attack and the move worked immediately as Riley edged a simple catch to Kyles at gully to give the easily bruised one his nineteenth wicket of the campaign.

Sams was up to his usual tricks at the other end, keeping things tight with some full pitched and accurate tweak.

The "Inside Man" was also able to craftily help out with field placings against his erstwhile teammates and his suggestions for a man at cow for the big heave from number three Russell were rewarded almost instantly as he blasted one straight to Kyles who took a good catch - his second in a row!

The other Chequers opener Thompson had looked well set against Couzens and Sibley but the nagging line and length of Sams and Champ was an altogether different challenge and he became the Peach's third wicket of the day when he skied a pull and it was plucked out of the air by Pidgeon, running round from slip.

Thompson falling just three short of what would have been a good half century.

Sams' inevitably got in the wickets as well when he bowled Holmes for three - elementary my dear inside man!

In the midst of this stump rattling carnage the team had stopped to admire a Lancaster Bomber flying by, giving Champ the chance to reminisce about the good old days when men were men and pidgins were used for delivering messages not dandy's delivering bouncers.

Champ and Sams bowled out, finishing with 8-2-29-3 and 8-0-20-1, well worthy of a pat on the back, with the game now finely poised going into the latter half.

Next into the attack was MCC debutant Alex Camp.

Campino saw his first ball sent straight to the boundary, reminiscent of Vogue's solitary over against Golden Lion last year; would Camp be heading for an economy rate of 240 as well?

No, actually.

The next ball was hit into the on-side by Deano who was hampered by a back injury sustained earlier in the innings (with the MCC sportingly calling dead-ball with him short of his ground - if only Athers had been so lucky, he might have had his name on the honours board at Lords) and Couzens took a tumbling catch.

The next ball was an absolute ripper and the other Holmes was done all ends up by some serious turn.

Two in two for Campino - his teammates all helpfully reminding him that that could mean a hat-trick - something no-one had yet done for the MCC.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be - though a few enthusiastic MCC fielders did appeal loudly after a textbook forward defensive from Hawes.

The field remained in close for the rest of the over, leaving Camp to do the fielding off his own bowling - a nice jog down to long-on to save four, just what you need in the middle of your own bowling session.

Hawes and Webster in at eight now went on the attack as Chequers looked as though they may struggle to breach the 200 mark.

Thomas "Tommy Tank Engine" Smith, fresh from his best bowling spell in our previous game against Basildon & Pitsea fell foul of the same drop it in short affliction which had pestered Couzens and Sibley.

After two overs the Tank Engine was on his way back to the depot and Sibley returned.

Portly Paul was on the spot far better in his second spell and was unlucky so to see a catch go down and some plays and misses unrewarded.

Campino though could do no wrong. Deciding that the one two wicket over wasn't enough, he duly went and collected another.

Another slog into the leg side was pouched by safe hands Jim for his third catch of the day (not bad considering he dropped the only two he had in practice before the game) and then Pidgeon, ran round from slip to gully to snaffle his second.

El Destructo was looking uncharacteristically clean with the Detonator behind the sticks and was obviously feeling a little underused having not stopped a single delivery with his face all day.

The hatrick ball again went begging but now Chequers were eight down.

Couzens returned to the attack and finally managed to bowl at the stumps and was rewarded with the wicket of Grech.

The Mince wasn't yet finished for the day though and when young Freeman strayed out of his ground the Detonator was on hand to remove the bails.

Alex Camp - 6.1-0-27-5.

Only the second five-for in the MCC's history and Dan Champ will now have some company on what had been a rather sparse bowling honours board.

Not bad for his debut appearance!

After a cracking tea of hot and medium chilli (no-one wanted to be the first to ask for medium), the MCC faced a chase of 172 to win the game.

Having chased down scores against Island Taverners, Westley and Basildon & Pitsea already in 2010, it was certainly do-able.

However, the MCC had fallen well short in their last run chase against Chequers at the end of last season and when they had succeeded in 2008 it had been thanks to a lengthy Baker/Aggus Jnr partnership and neither of them were playing today.

Smith C and Pidgeon strolled out to take guard with hopes that a solid opening partnership could be put on nonetheless.

As usual though things didn't go quite to plan.

First over - Smith C: duck.

Second over - Pidgeon: duck, Clayton duck.

Three batsmen back on their way for no runs and only seven balls between them.

Fortunately the detonator was on hand to steady the ship. He and Kyles (in at five) were able to score at a decent rate and drag the fighting rats back from the brink.

Kyle had reached fifteen when he undone by a good one from Freeman, to give him his second wicket.

Couzens joined Clarke in the middle at six and attempted to fend off the rampant Chequers attack, leaving the shot making to Clarke.

After twenty eight balls Couzens was still attempting to fend them off, having roared to a scintillating two.

Fortunately the Detonator was fully primed and brought up his fourth MCC fifty off just forty three balls, with a boundary off Holmes.

Unfortunately having got to 53 he was then well caught at mid-on and suddenly the pressure which had abated thanks to Clarke's knock was back on the MCC.

The tank engine was in at seven but he soon joined the duck contingent, caught at mid-off. It looked as though the Monties would need more than just a five-for from Camp, if they were going to be able to stay in the game.

Couzens was still plodding along but Camp was able to add some Detonator like impetus to the faltering innings.

Between them they added another fifty runs, hauling the MCC kicking and screaming to within twenty five of their target.

Having reached 31 Couzens then cut straight to point and was on his way.

Sibley was in at nine but he hadn't been at the crease long before the Monty's lost another wicket - Camp, bowled for 39 - argh!

On the sidelines the Champion had been working through his repertoire of Champ's, ready for action.

Sibley attempted to keep the strike when Champ joined him in the melting pot and initially the approach looked to be working as he hit out, lifting the ball over the ring of fielders.

With the Montgomery in sight of victory, with just nine needed for the win, Sibley attempted another pull shot, but this time the ball kept low and he was bowled. Disaster!

The Monties looked in desperation to their number eleven, who was it again? Someone with attacking intent, ready to go and win us the game -, ah no - it was Phil "I really hope I don't have to go out there" Sams. We were doomed.

Sure enough, the "economy rate" lasted just one ball - bowled by Freeman.

Montgomery CC falling agonizingly short.

Excellent work by Camp - taking a five-for and scoring 39 runs, also special mention for Dave Clarke for his fourth fifty in six innings for the MCC and solid debuts for the Sams and Kyles - wickets, runs and catches between them.

Just the MCC that needs to pull its socks up a little!

Matthew Couzens

Copyright © Designed by Salbourne IT