Read through that match summary again. Out of all the words, numbers and punctuation marks contained therein, which one stands out? ``Remnants'', maybe, since you're reading one of their match reports? Or ``9 wickets'', because it represents such a unusually big margin of victory? Or maybe ``Milton'', because the tragic melancholy of Paradise Lost resonates with you in a way the few literary works do, notwithstanding the obvious merits of both Animal Farm and Finnegans Wake?
No, of course not -- it's ``Brewery''.
And thus the critical opposition arrival was not their bright orange leader, Beard, but their bright orange keg of beer. The presence of said vessel might also have influenced Beard's decision to bat first upon winning the toss, thus giving most of his eleven the chance to tuck in without further delay, although it could also have been a brilliant tactical decision, motivated by the fact that, today at least, Remnants didn't have anyone of sufficient pace to really utilise the new ball.
And while both Daniel Mortlock (0/17, mostly in bloody annoying outside edges) and John Moore (1/30) started off okay, it was our unusual first-change pairing of Phil Hastings (1/20) and Rob Harvey (1/23) who caused the batsmen the most trouble . . . at least of the bowlers, that is, for it was our ground-fielding that was the highlight of some slightly dull cricket.
John Richer and Dave Green were both superb sweeping on the square boundaries, sometimes saving two or three fours an over, and we managed a couple of run outs as well. In the first John Moore's enthusiastic attempt at a direct hit missed by a fraction, only to bounce off the keeper's pads and back onto the stumps. The other was the result of a cracking straight drive that bowler Matt Hughes (0/21) got enough of his hand on to deflect back onto the stumps, leaving The Brewery's best batsman with no choice but to head off towards the keg. And just as well for us, too: when he was in full flow we were looking at a target of about 140; as it was Andy Owen (1/7) was able to haul things back at the end of the innings, eventually keeping our target to less than a run a ball.
This was immediately converted into a far less taxing requirement by Nick Clarke (26 off 16 balls, with 3 fours and 1 six), who smacked a four and a six off his first two balls and led us to 47/0 after just 5 (six-ball) overs. This seemed to demoralise The Brewery to the point that half their number became confused and thought they were The St Radegund pub team (which, of course, they essentially were), although at least they were united behind their captain when he called for ``pointless clapping''.
Then, after Nick was deceived by a perfectly pitched leggie, Dave Williams took over the running -- well, the hitting, at any rate, since the calling was interesting at best. After breaking his own bat, Dave used one of the nice new club clubs to smack 75* off just 61 balls, with 8 fours and 3 sixes, the last two of which came off consecutive deliveries to finish the game. At the other end John Richer (13* off 17 balls with 1 four) played the perfect support role, but in the end Nick's and Dave's clean hitting meant there wasn't very much for anyone else to do, and Remnants thus completed its 400th victory (from 690 games) in a canter.
After that you know what happened: the two teams joined forces to take on the might of The Keg. And, despite being made of plastic, it gave a pretty good account of itself, forcing its adversaries to resort to high-school humour (e.g., excruciating coastal puns about groynes, spits and swallows) before finally conceding defeat.