Having heard about yesterday's debacle at Selwyn, Geoff thought he'd better get to Fitz in time to have an influence on today's match against The Cavendish. And, in short, it seems to have worked - it's not that we were doing badly before he arrived, but more that we dominated once he was in place.
The game began with Remnants in the field and both Joe White (0/11) and Paul Jordan (2/11) "bowling their bollocks off to great effect", at least according to Les Collings. Les (2/24) and Andy Owen (2/21, one of which was from the now infamous "run out of ideas" ball) were also pretty effective - and that despite their testicles remaining firmly attached. So far so good, but then Tom Jordan was hit for 22 off his only (eight-ball) over, the low-light of which was when a lofted shot went towards Jordan Sr . . . who not only spilled the chance, but managed to help the ball on its way over the boundary for a six. Still, this wasn't too different to captain Russell Woolf's fate the previous evening, when his only over went for 21 in a very low-scoring encounter. A lesser man might have thrown in the towel, but Russ got straight back on the horse tonight . . . and cleverly brought himself on to bowl just after Geoff had arrived at Fitz. The result was his best ever bowling figures for Remnants: 4/4 in 1.7 much more enjoyable overs. This also meant we'd bowled out The Cavendish for the rather gettable total of 101.
101 seemed even more gettable when Dave Williams (38) cracked the first ball of our innings to the boundary, although he then "fell into the trap of trying to do that every ball" (according to Geoff), the result of which was an inevitable slowing of the early scoring. Nick Clarke (16) provided good support, and together he and Dave put on 44 for the first wicket - but that was before the appearance of one particular Cavendish bowler who, Les observed, was "the fastest, most aggressive bowler of the night (not unfair, or unpleasant . . . just a gear or two higher than most of us)". Largely as a result of his efforts Remnants suffered a middle order collapse as four wickets went down in quick succession. This unfortunate turn of events was mirrored in a rather more physical way when John Moore was hit amidships by said "particle accelerator" and suffered his own "middle order collapse" in what Geoff described as "the most decisive felling of a batsman I've ever seen". Still, John was at least able resume his innings . . . until he was out LBW next ball to the now rampant physicist (who, one hopes, has the initials LHC).
As a result of all this we'd lost whatever momentum we'd had, and our target was maybe looking a bit less "gettable" than an hour earlier. Fortunately we had two aces up our sleeve in the forms of Andy Owen (18*) and Joe White (7*): not men to panic in a crisis, they calmly assessed the situation (which was that we still needed less than a run a ball) and batted sensibly from there on, Andy hitting the winning runs from the first ball of the final over.
It was thus a much happier Remnants XI who headed into the bar to watch tonight's Champions' League semi-final than last night, even if it was a much less happy Rob Harvey who left a few hours later after Barcelona's late equaliser saw them sneak past his beloved Chelsea on away goals.