ACCC v. Elvaston CC               Aug 1st 2004

Elvaston 251 all out (Archer 53, Moult 71, Cleave 7-0-35-4)

Casuals 193 for 9 (Ward 93, Brown 29)

The Casuals annual Derbyshire pilgrimage (Elvaston and Hilton) started well, for most. After driving down through heavy mist/cloud and other depressions, the sun broke through as the 10 Casuals strode onto the pitch. The eleventh Casual and score book were still under the said clouds somewhere near Bolsover, having mistaken the A61 for the A52 – a simple mistake which could have trapped even an experienced navigator like our captain. Elvaston falls into the Magical Mystery Tour category. With their involvement in the National Village Championship, and three or four teams involved in a multiplicity of cups and leagues, we never know what to expect. Some years, a bevy of 13 year olds with a few wise old hands, other years the freshly beaten first team looking to wreak mayhem and revenge. This year fell into the latter category, but the result was similar to that achieved against the 13 year olds – an emphatic victory for the home side.

It being Yorkshire Day, the thoughtful provision of white roses by the Cleave family gave a rather jolly appearance to the team, though the resemblance to a Morris team was faintly disturbing. While Wilson would have made a fine squire, the identity of the fool was debated long and hard.

Fielding first, the wicket had an attractive (to the bowler) green tinge, mirrored by only by Captain Cleaves visage. The two Crosslands set to work with a will (at one end) and an Ed at the other. Suffice to say that when the ball was smote, it remained in that condition. Even the arrival of the eleventh disciple, Walker, failed to stem the flow of straight and cover drives. An early success in removing one opener only brought in the fearsome Moult, a heavily built assassin with a good eye and a reluctance to run any more than necessary. Wilson and Davis in particular had one or two enjoyable overs at him, though the fielders retrieving the ball from the adjacent forest were somewhat less enthusiastic. Davis eventually had him caught in the deep, where both Will Ward and Ed Crossland took stunning catches.

Sensing the appearance of rabbits from the hutch, Dunc had the tail mopped up after posing a good score of 251. The chilli and roast potato tea option was not the best incitement to go out and bat for a long time. Brown exploded in his usual fashion for a quickfire 29, but only Ward had the patience and virtue required for a decent score. Walker joined him for 12 overs, but the introduction of the first team opening bowlers after 29 overs put paid to any thoughts of a late run chase. Welder Wilson’s new goggles did little either for his appearance or his perception of the whereabouts of the ball, but we look forward to their reappearance.