Stainborough in the gloamin’

ACCC v. Stainborough Stainborough Sunday Sep 18th 2005

ACCC 226 for 2 (P Brown 79, Sam Wilkinson 69) Stainborough 225 for 7 (Rushworth 70, Clark 59 not out, Wilkinson 8-0-39-3)

At that time of year when most Casuals have broken out their winter undies and are sat in front of a log fire sipping a small glass of Elliman’s Rub, the bolder youth were persuaded out one more time to attempt their third fixture against Stainborough this season – rain and cup commitments having seen off the first two.

Skipper Longbottom confirmed the general view of the counting abilities of accountants, crowning his 10 men for Darton with 12 for this one. The Chairman stepped down and restricted himself to waspish and unjustified criticism (abetted by Mr Stier) of my catching abilities until a heavy tea sent him to sleep. Despite an early start time, both Casuals and Opposition managed to arrive tardily, ands a 40 over game starting at close to 2pm looked optimistic – if only for the Casuals who elected to bat first. The presence of four Stainborough players in the Casuals team (two Umbers’ and two Browns) and a Casual (Londt) captaining the opposition added a certain spice to the on and off field badinage. The presence of four or five first team members added a certain spice to the opening bowling attack as well, ably mastered by Noz and Umbers senior, who built a respectable opening partnership of 81 – enter Rupert. Say what you like about his eccentricities, pedantry, failing eyesight, golfing ability, dress sense, singing prowess etc, there is nothing wrong with his umpiring finger. In fact Richard did say what he liked about these and many other aspects of Rupe following his lbw dismissal….. 

Enter Wilkinson, unaccustomed as he is to number three in the Casuals line up and the prospect of fatherhood, to play a super innings to keep Noz company for another 40 runs, then a century partnership with Marcus until the end of the innings. As is usual with Noz, his 79 runs weren’t entirely pretty to watch   but they were brutal and effective. Marcus’ contribution of 48 runs included some strokes rarely seen before outside the evening league. Sam continued to stroke and caress, stumped of the last ball of the innings going for the bigger one. A good Casuals batting performance, but the talk at the break was that it wouldn’t be enough – and Janet’s superb tea would not help the opening bowling partnership, particularly those fond of large pieces of carrot and walnut cake. 

Indeed for a good few overs Stainborough looked odds on to overtake the total, despite an early wicket for James Umbers in a fine spell which should have yielded more. Matt Brown at the other end mixed aggression with parsimony. Davis and Wilson attempted the slower approach to coaxing destruction, but at 20 overs with 107 for 1 on the board, the Casuals still had a bit more to find. Wilkinson and the ageing Crossland (with a little help from the fading light) reined in the progress, Sam snatching three worthy wickets in his 8 overs. Clark for Stainborough was proving “combative” and remained the real threat as the final 7 overs arrived. Step up to the plate Messrs Cleave and Brown (M). Dunc was tricky, and Matt fast and verging on the invisible as the home team lit the gaslight’s in the Pavilion. In one of the tighter finishes of the season, the Casuals did the business and won by one run. Perhaps the season ought to be extended more often and Marcus be given the freedom of Kirkburton.