Report by Jeff Beaumont:
The gestation of this game was a microcosm of all that is familiar to anyone who has tried to organise a group of sporting individuals to arrive in the same place, at the same time, for a common purpose - a task sometimes likened to herding cats (Tip: that's easy - just shake a packet of Felix. No, not Serby!). St. Barnabas had been hit hard by holiday season and, on the preceding Friday, were unsure if they could get a side out. Daniel Mortlock rode to the fixture's metaphorical rescue and quickly arranged for some spare Remnants to fill the gaps. St. Barnabas had continued their own efforts in the mean time, and come 1745 there was in fact ten of them. Combined with the supernumerary Remnants, this culminated in a 12-a-side game (Richard Rex kindly opting to umpire instead).
St. Barnabas were inserted on a greenish pitch under skies which had deposited spits of rain only a few minutes earlier, with Joe White (2/3) pawing the earth at the end of his runup and Joe Adam and esrtwhile Remnant Nick Clarke (making a rare mid-week appearance this season) leading the assault for St Barnabas. Joe (W.) had clearly been at the red meat and sent down a jaffa first up that had Joe (A.) back in the hutch clean bowled. Feathers ruffled, Swann took Adam's place and, together with Nick, began to score in a watchful manner against some probing Remnants bowling. After Nick's departure for 11, the run rate showed no sign of accelerating until Will Huisman whacked a comparatively rapid 40 to get St. Barnabas up to a total of 118/5 off their 15 (8-ball) overs.
One moment of note during the St. Barnabas innings was a most peculiar display of cricketing good sportsmanship. The thump of ball on pad, a moderately half-hearted appeal for LBW and, after a few moments of dread portent, what's this? Richard Rex has tentatively raised his finger! Is he checking for rain or direction of the wind? Is he hailing a taxi with extreme diffidence? No, he's giving the batsman out! He remains there, a frozen tableau of "umpire in dismissal", unnoticed by a batsman who has wandered a few paces off to point to contemplate the nature of being and his next shot while the field is reset. The tension is rising! "Err, excuse me, batsman . . . ". The comedy continues until the situation is made clear. The batsman asserts a healthy inside edge, and his position is supported by slip and a close fielder. Richard graciously reverses his decision and serenity once more returns to the shire.
Shahid and Rex (H.) began a Remnants reply which must have anticipated overhauling the relatively low total in good time. Instead, they found scoring almost as difficult as St. Barnabas had earlier and, combined with a regular procession of wickets, had only amassed 41/4 at the halfway stage. Remnant Quentin Harmer (in his other guise as a full-time St. Barnabas player) took 3/21 off his 3 overs of flighted spin and Taylor took an excellent 2/14 in his spell. If Remnants were starting to get nervous, they were no doubt reassured by the ominous sight of one-man scoring machine Dave Norman still in the hutch awaiting the call. After a marathon over from Arulanthan who, amid trouble getting his line and length right, produced a beauty to take the wicket of Tom Serby for a well-compiled 30 (off 36 balls), Remnants found themselves 81/7 after 11 overs and still requiring 38 off the remaining 4 overs. To make matters worse the light, which hadn't been brilliant to start with, had now reached a level that had bowler, batsmen, and fielders alike all groping in the dark, crying "The thread, Ariadne! The thread!"
Enter the inevitable. Defying the darkness and the accurate bowling of Huisman, Dave Norman shed his own light to stroke his way to a match-winning unbeaten 34* (off 19 balls). With the scores tied at the end of the 14th over, Andy Owen (10* off 8 balls) administered the coup de grace with a lofted shot over the close-ranked field to the square leg boundary off the first ball of the last over. Thus perished the St. Barnabas charge, slain by a rampaging Norman.