Duncombe Park 28th July



ACCC v. Duncombe Park Helmsley Sunday August 28th 2005

Duncombe Park    67 all out, 22 overs      ACCC 70 for 2, 20 overs

Davis 1 – 0 – 2 – 2 

It would be nice to say that the trip to Duncombe Park was memorable for the cricket this year, after last year’s disappointment of turning up to find neither opposition nor ground available. Rejoice, for the cricket was memorable – England won  a tight test and we were able to watch the nail biting finish in the pavilion. Our own game, dear reader, was rather less enticing.  

For once on time and raring to go, our host’s suffered the normal Casuals problems of car breakdowns and hangovers, fitting our fixture into a busy bank holiday week end of league and cup cricket. Despite only nine players, the Casuals looked winners from the moment Sam put the opposition in on a typical hard Duncombe wicket, particularly as he opposing batsmen got sequentially smaller as their innings progressed. This prompted Beal to speculate that they were in reality a set of Russian dolls, who on their return to the pavilion were unscrewed at the neck to reveal another smaller one inside.

Wilkinson’s team talk was full of dark threats as to the future prospects of bowlers who strayed down the leg side – Oh ye of little faith! Full size openers were dispatched by two magnificent catches, Ward taking a low hard chance at forward squareish from a rare legside delivery from the rejuvenated Crossland. Beal gobbled the second close to the boundary over which Collis King dispatched Rupert so disdainfully several years ago – a high, swirling ball which Kevin Pieterson would have missed, but Beal, running sideways, backwards and most other directions in quick succession, made simple.

A rare appearance from the hairless avenger, Dave managed to cram a whole season’s excellence into the one match, opening the bowling tightly and crowning a superb fielding display with a stunning run out from a direct hit from the boundary to rival Matt Brown’s effort the previous week against Jacob’s Well (match report from GB Smith still simmering….).

The introduction of Davis into the attack brought further carnage with two wickets in his first over – he had to be taken off because the tea wasn’t ready. This allowed Sam the luxury of a twin spin attack, from the Chairperson and Stewart, aided and abetted by salvoes of cannon fire from the traditional Roundheads v Royalist match up at the castle. Like them, the spinners were firing mainly blanks – rather less than penetrative, but always entertaining. Diminutive the batsmen may have been, but they demonstrated that the future of cricket in Helmsley will be safe with them. It took the introduction of the erratic (erotic?) Ward to finally bring the innings to a close. The rare sight of Umbers Senior in wicket keepers apparel may not seen again this year, but the lack of byes on the scorecard demonstrated that the old adage of getting your body behind it pays dividends…..

Birthday boy Smith and Dave Walker were entrusted with the opening partnership. A combination of knurdles and powerful hitting meant that most of their runs had to be actually run – one unkind spectator likened this to watching Private Godfrey and Corporal Jones at their best. Larner at three speeded things up slightly, but a rapid fire 33 not out from Ward allowed us to watch the culmination of a fine Test match. 

A fine day’s golf the previous day, and excellent BBQ  topped off a decent week end – and a promise that next year Duncombe will involve other local villages in mounting a full scale team.