Penn Street Cricket Club PSCC v Roxbourne on Sun 19 Sep 2010 at 13.00
Penn Street Cricket Club Lost by 2 wickets

Match report As the summer draws to a close with cricket hogging the headlines for all the wrong reasons, lovers of the great game could be forgiven for interpreting the current meaning of that well-worn phrase "winning isn't everything" a little differently!
Back at grass roots, it may be as true to its' original spirit as ever, but mention it at Penn Street right now and it carries with it an annoyingly sympathetic tone. Starved of a win since the famous Rivets victory of July 10th, today the club welcomed Roxbourne to the village with a yearning for victory that couldn't be greater.

Opening up with Matt Reavey and Steve Smith, Penn Street set to work on an end of season wicket that even the late, great Ian Knight would've enthused over. Progress was slow but steady as Matt took advantage of opener Fabrey's occasional strays to leg whilst counting himself lucky to miss some snorting away-swingers that provoked loud appeals. Once again Steve looked at home opening the innings, before falling for a score that didn't do his stay at the crease justice. It can only be a matter of time before one innings transforms his fortunes.

The arrival of skipper Chesney Hawkes-Bannister was a reassuring sight, especially given his recent run of scores. However, a running mix-up put paid to his hopes of forming a stabilizing 2nd wicket partnership. To be fair, his call of "RUN.......... NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" was loud and clear enough, but he didn't bank on the mid-on fielder's interception and swift return demolishing his stumped as he looked on from the wrong end! Striding to the crease, Chairman Rob Sutherland looked like a man on a mission from the off, and his innings, though brief, thrilled the die-hard Squirrelites who'd braved the chilly conditions. As opener Fabrey battled with a no-ball problem that even Ijaz Butt wouldn't trade; Rob further dented his confidence by cracking 4 consecutive boundaries including a cut shot of such class and ferocity it rendered debates of a slow outfield redundant! Undeterred, however, the young opener was still bowling the odd unplayable delivery and Rob could count himself extremely unlucky when, on 16 he managed to edge a pacey delivery that the ever-impressive Roxbourne keeper somehow held onto one-handed.

By now, Matt had settled into an anchoring role brought on more by the tightness of the bowling by Roxbourne's first changers than any choice or reaction to the fall of wickets on his part. If experience was just what we needed at this point, there could've been no more comforting sight than that of Dave Lander strolling calmly to the crease next, twirling his bat as he went, in familiar Alec Stewart fashion. With well over 700 innings under his belt over an illustrious 48 year playing career, Dave entered the match famously stuck on 299 career catches - the unprecedented number 300 having remained tantalisingly out of his reach all season. Looking assured from the off, Dave worked the ball around resisting calls from that man Fabrey again, to replace his trusted SS Jumbo with something that sounded less like a Balsa wood imitation!

Then, with a recovery of sorts starting to take shape, Dave fell to that most recent of modern phenomenons - the slower ball bouncer, having missed his attempted pull shot on all 4 occasions in the same fatal delivery!! Matt, however, continued to pick off valuable runs as he lost further partners en route to a solid fifty. He was joined by PSCC Newcomer Richard Eames who may not have troubled the scorers but hinted at his potential whilst providing useful support as the score edged towards three figures. When Matt fell for a dogged 56, it was left to the increasingly impressive Jack Mendy to take things on to a respectable total with an agressive 21 as Penn Street ended on 148 after some entertainingly airy wafts from a horrifically hungover Ross McSorley!!

In reply, Roxbourne's openers looked to be cruising. Read had survived another lightningly quick Jack Mendy opening spell and progressed to 38 as Dischamps worked the ball around in a controlled manner that suggested he was in for the long haul.
Then after both Goody and Jack had bowled tirelessly but with little luck, the skipper Matt Bannister brought himself on and after a shaky start with his familiar leggies picked up the breakthrough with a sneaky seam up delivery to dismiss Read! With Tyler Armiger bowling well at the other end to back up his skipper, the game reached a crucial phase. We needed something special, out of the ordinary to give us any chance and Tyler duly delivered! Picking up the ball in the inner circle, with the Roxbourne pair attempting a scrambled single, he spectacularly threw the stumps down to give us a lifeline.

As if sensing the moment where the game could turn, no-one stepped forward more emphatically than Paul Goodchild. In partnership with Jack, Goody proved why he's Penn Street's man for all seasons, gaining a noticeable extra yard in pace from adrenaline alone in his pursuit of late wickets! It may be wrong to attach labels to players; but on this display, if Jack brings the X Factor to our bowling attack, Goody surely supplies the heart.

And so, the game reached its dramatic conclusion as Goody ran in at a pace not seen since 2002, when he accidentally wandered into a field hosting an equestrian trials day. Unleashing another venemous delivery to the now well-set opener Dischamps, the bastman could only fend the ball off as it looped up in the air in the vague direction of slip. As players and supporters watched the ball fall to earth, the significance of its destination began to dawn, not least on the man underneath it!! There, waiting patiently with an icy cool stare like an assassin preparing to take his shot, stood Dave Lander in sight of history as the first person ever to take 300 Penn Street catches.

Finally, and only once a noticeable relief had spread across Dave's face confirming that the ball was indeed still in his grasp; utter mayhem occurred! Launching the ball skywards and setting off towards Penn Wood View, he was swamped by the entire team, pogoing like he'd just scored the winning goal in the 2nd Division Play-Off Final! As others piled onto the pitch to join in the wave of euphoria, the incoming Roxbourne number ten paused momentarily on the boundary's edge, perhaps wondering if his team had in fact just lost the match to some ancient local ruling!!

Somewhat inevitably though, the fairytale ending never came, as Roxbourne crawled to the win by 2 wickets with Goody so unlucky not to be our match winner. Though, as players shook hands, with Dave proudly clutching the match ball presented to him by skipper Matt Bannister, the neutral observer would've been hard pushed to spot a losing side amongst them.

Another well-worn cricketing phrase states, "catches win matches".
Not always. Once in a blue moon they can spark a riot!

Man of the Match: D. Lander

Penn Street Cricket Club PSCC Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 8 wickets
Matt Reavey ct S. Jowers b J. Jowers 56 1
Steve Smith ct A. Dischamps b P/ Hunt 1
Matt Bannister run out (A. Dischamps) 0
Rob Sutherland ct A. Dischamps b D. Fabrey 16
David Lander b S. Read 8 1
Tony Smart ct A. Dischamps b S. Read 3
Richard Eames ct P. Hunt b S. Read 0
Jack Mendy ct S. Jowers b A. Green 21
Tyler Armiger Not Out  4 1
Ross McSorley Not Out  1
Paul Goodchild  

Roxbourne Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
D. Fabrey11.0057157.005.18
P. Hunt7.0125125.003.57
S. Read7.021133.671.57
J. Jowers8.0226126.003.25
A. Green4.0026126.006.50

Roxbourne Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 8 wickets
149 (0.0 overs)
A. Dischamps ct P. Goodchild 41
P. Read b M. Bannister 38
A. Green lbw T. Armiger 0
N. Read run out (T. Armiger) 4
K. Jennings b J. Mendy 17
S. Jowers b P. Goodchild 1
D. Fabrey b J. Mendy 1
D. Jowers ct D. Lander b P. Goodchild 3
S. Read Not Out  1
P. Hunt Not Out  4
J. Jowers  

Penn Street Cricket Club PSCC Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Paul Goodchild12.1245315.003.70
Jack Mendy9.031628.001.78
Tyler Armiger5.0117117.003.40
Matt Bannister6.0040140.006.67
Ross McSorley2.001200.006.00