Fulmer 113 for 6
President’s XI 112 all out
FCC won by 4 wickets
The President’s Day for 2011 started early with the pavilion and square full of people doing all the preparatory work that is needed from 9.30am onwards.
The weather forecast painted a gloomy picture but at least the start of the day was not too bad. By lunchtime, it looked as if Edward’s arrangement for good weather (which has worked well for the last few years) was not going to last. With precipitation varying from light drizzle through to heavy rain, the crowd were kept entertained by Del rolling the wicket from under his golf umbrella!
The social part of the day commenced at 12:00 with lunch and a Pimms reception with the meat, salmon and Pimms provided by the Greig and Guinness families.
The splendid feast was excellently prepared and presented by Tansy and Sue, who had been working to get the tables and food ready for hours. Edward rounded off lunch with an excellent speech thanking everyone for their efforts in getting a wicket and the ground so well prepared, for organising and getting lunch ready and for being there on the day.
With the rain eventually having relented enough for a start to be considered at 1.30, both teams retired to get changed and ready for battle. Fulmer emerged from the changing room resplendent in their brand new cricket shirts and caps complete with new crest (thanks to Jim for the design) and almost succeeding in looking like a team. Jules added that extra touch by sticking a feather down the back of his cap which he insisted came from the Red Kite pictured in the crest.
Given that the forecast for the remainder of the day was not auspicious it was decided to limit the match to 30 overs a side.
Fulmer fielded first, and while the wicket itself was dry having been covered for most of the previous 24 hours, the rest of the square was exceedingly wet and slippy and the afternoon was punctured with cries from Jules of “keep off the square”!
Things were not helped by some heavy rumbles of thunder rolling around the ground (apparently the lightning was spectacular – thankfully, we could not see it from on the pitch or else there would have been a mad dash for the safety of the pavilion and bar). Thankfully the rain mainly stayed away to allow the game to be played without any stoppages, although it did get very dark and foreboding at times.
The opening 10 overs were given to Ali and Zeeshan to see what they could make of the conditions and they showed admirable skill and accuracy in bowling some absolutely unplayable balls. Scoring was kept to a minimum and the President’s XI total after 10 overs was a miserly 25 runs for the loss of one wicket, with Ali returning 5-2-12-1, and Zeeshan a similarly impressive 5-1-12-0.
To save any worries about bowler’s overs, swapping ends and trying to count who had bowled what Captain Randall decided that the next 10 overs would be shared between Mark and Manu, with Mark bowling 5-0-16-2, and Manu 5-0-30-4.
Having taken three wickets for 2 runs in his fourth over (and 4 wickets for 17 in his first four) Will Greig decided that Manu had to be taken on, and scored 13 off his last over with some lusty blows.
Paul and Del took the last 10 overs, but they were not all needed as Paul polished off the innings with 3.5-0-20-3, including an excellent caught and bowled for the last wicket. Being denied a wicket didn’t stop Del getting in on the act with a stunning catch at first slip which belied his age of 150 years, and showed that he still has the reactions of a sloth (or panther, whichever is closer to the mark).
The President’s innings closed on 112 all out from 26.5 overs, bolstered by some big hitting by Will (35) and T Cooper (22) and further contributions from Ed Greig (17), J Sowerby (16) and C Radcliffe (14).
The Fulmer innings began with what appeared to be an easy target to achieve, but low scoring games are often difficult to finish off. A bright start was made with an opening partnership of 25 between Jules (14) and Prash (8), but was followed by a sudden rush of wickets.
Mark and Peter fell without disturbing the scorer too much and Fulmer slipped to 41 for 4. Nick (23) and Zeeshan (22) hauled Fulmer back into the game with a stand of 31, but when Zeeshan went with the score at 72 followed by Nick leaving the score at 81 for 6, things could have gone either way.
In the end the highest partnership (unbroken) of the Fulmer innings of 32 between Ali (17*) and Fish (12*) saw Fulmer cross the finishing line to their first win over the President’s XI in living memory (or at least as long as collectively we could remember).
A big thank you has to go to Pete Milne for officiating at the bowlers end for the whole match.
The day was rounded off with an excellent BBQ overseen by Graham Yendall with the delicious meat provided by Peter from his farm in Devon. It was enjoyed by everyone attending; the players, Edward’s family, spectators and FCC supporters alike. In keeping with the family tradition the bar was manned throughout the day by Liz Box (on loan from Cambridge after coxing them in this year’s boat race) and Ben Fisher.
All in all a great occasion and everyone is already looking forward to next year’s game, although hopefully with some better weather being organised.
Many thanks from FCC to everyone who contributed to making the day the success is was from all perspectives, both on and off the field of play.