Prose and text of prime Droving exploits during the 2008 season

 

Saturday 7th Sept, 2008, Drovers CC vs Happy Hookers CC

Twenty20

DCC  lost by 31 runs

by AD Curr
On Saturday the curtain came down on another Droving season. It has perhaps not been the glory filled win fest that none of us thought it would be anyway at the start of the season, but at least we all got on to the pitch a few times and contributed a fair mixture of comedy and quality. 

In this particular game however, contributions of note were kept to a minimum. Having won the toss and decided to limit the match to 20 overs each, our skipper for the day, the mighty 008, decided that bowling first and making the most of the murky conditions and absolutely sodden outfield was the way to go. 

So opening up once more was PC G and Charlie "I've bowled bloody well this year" Campbell. Each man bowled out his allocated four overs, with G Man twice sending stumps flying like some kind of goddamn magic show, while Charlie bowled his own brand out bouncers and outswingers. 

Campbell also came up with the rather neat trick of producing a dot ball with the last delivery of each over, thus convincing Ted that he was bowling well enough to have another over - his final figures of 4-0-39-0 would suggest a more Puke Urinal-Mayo standard. 

With Curry and Frenchman O'Shea coming on next the run rate was expected to increase, but instead the Frenchie picked up a wicket with his first delivery courtesy of a high full bunger which was slapped to a leaping G Man who clung on like Blade does to a grot mag, and pointed the batsman on his way. This was G's first of two catches and his day was going rather well, extraordinary what playing sober does for a mans performance. 

The same could not be said for two of our other Frenchies, messers Main and Brewer both putting down catches off Currys rather sublime seamers(damn Tenzingites....should have known), perhaps they could make amends with their batting. 

Meanwhile Woodman, bowling with a broken collarbone, because that's what a man does, picked up a wicket of his own, but also managed to drop one off his own bowling that was going so fast that the batsman had already whistled the theme to Airwolf and danced a jig before it reached the bowler, who promptly shelled it, oh well.

Teddy then brought himself into the attack and his wiley spinners and flippers also sent two batsman back to the hutch, a third Michael Dooooblaaay over of the match, giving the bowler another event to write a song about perhaps.

So, the Hookers were restricted to 122 from their 20 overs and the game was on, infinitely chasable and the oppo were genuinely scared. 

Hill Rod, having not rolled his arm over, was given the opening spot along with Frenchman Faber, who, as many a Frenchie and Drover before him, was dismissed first ball, caught at square leg, cracking start. Along with his 9-ball over that went for 14 it perhaps it wasn't his day....

The following over Hills lived up to another of his nicknames, Some Rubbish, when his off stump was sent cartwheeling leaving our form batsman heading home a mere 3. The problems however, did not stop there.

Frenchie Haydn proved that he was not the Main man after all, run out by what, in fairness, was a pretty sharp piece of fielding. A direct hit from square leg by the same a-hole who caught Faber and bowled Hillsy. Fortunately the square leg umpire accidently stamped on his groin at the change of ends and ended his involvement in the match...well, he thought about doing so anyway.

Then came the middle order of Charlies; Brewer, Campbell and O'Shea. The first scrapped his was to a devastatingly respectable 9 before a giant heave sent his middle stump into orbit, the second ran himself out because he was tired and bored and looked like he was about to chunder, and the third batted like he was being sent to Afghanistan next week...which he was.

Frenchman O'Shea registered the Drovers first boundary of the match, in the ninth over batting at 6, oh dear. Remarkably he actually found a batsman to stick with him for a while in his old school buddy G Man, batting like a man possessed. 

The two of them took the Drovers to within 33 runs from four overs with a series of booming shots and rapidly run singles. Sadly however the dismissal of G for 26 signalled the end as Teddy went first ball and Curry went second. Woodman was keen to add to his tally of 7 runs from 9 innings this season(with a highest score of 5) but was left stranded on 0* when O'Shea was the last man to fall for 39.

So, game over. Can't blame the scorers for this one, although there was a distinct smell of Maladroit sabotage in the air from Brewer.....Our catches dropped to caught came out at 3/3 which was a bit of a surprise, while the duck count was also 3. Tea was non existent...something to work on next time Teddage!

All in all a decent game and a damn miracle it went ahead. Definitely one for the future this because, as Feargal Sharkey so famously sang, a good game these days is hard to find. So's a win come to that. 
 
005 - Your Secretary, signing off.

Good night.

 

 

August 24, 2008, Drovers CC vs Kington CC and Rural Ramblers

Kington CC, 12 x 8 ball overs

Game 1 - DCC Lost because Kington robbed us in broad daylight by cheating

Game 2 - DCC lost by 1 run

by AD Curr

As has become traditional, the Kington Crackerjacker took place once more on the August Bank holiday weekend, and once again the Drovers returned without a win to their name....although the results of a stewards enquiry are still pending.


The first game of the day started as many in the past have done, with the Drovers in utter disarray as they struggled to haul themselves out of bed after hitting the booze, and each other, hard the night before. With only ten men available to us, things were not helped by the Frenchman, In Japan Right, smashing his knee to smithereens courtesy of The Price is Wrong...bitch.

Still, G-Man felt he had some runs in him so strolled out to open up against The Rural Ramblers alongside Senior, who finally got his wish of promotion up the order. After a quite magical extra cover drive for 6, G-Man decided enough was enough, and was dismissed for 10. With two players out on the field in Umpires coats, another busy strapping ice to his knee and the rest trying to desperately to stay alive, it was left to our late arrival Simcard to bat at three on his Droving bow of the season.

Looking for all the world like a man with a big score in him Simmo set about the bowlers in mesmerising fashion, although the scorecard states he only scored 7, rapidly followed by the customary duck from Pricey, rather inexplicably batting at 4.

But Senior held firm, clearly inspired from the quite moving ceremony before the match when he was finally awarded his Drovers Cap and shirt. Some towering sixes and many a mighty four, enabled the score to get rolling, and in the General he found a partner able to stick around for a while, if not actually score any runs....his day was to get worse.

Another single figure score from General and this event was beginning to look rather predictable, but then came Welshman to inject a few quick singles into the mix, along with his own special brand of chat. Some massive shots for six clearly helped gee up Senior, who reached his maiden Droving 50, and when Wales was sent on his way for 23, dismissed by a blinding catch by some a-hole at short fine leg, Chairman Hogwash added a useful 14 to take the Drovers to a competitive 155, the big man finishing on 59*.

And so to the bowling, Kimbo expertly navigated the first over while Curry was the first to send a batsman packing, thanks to a rather marvellous diving catch by Welshman at mid-on. Yes, you read that correctly, Welshman diving and catching. Phenomenal. General the picked up a wicket in his next over and things were looking rosy. Sadly Currys fielding was more akin to that of Puke Urinal-Mayo and proceeded to drop the first delivery the Chairman bowled only for the batsman in question to then take 24 off Seniors next over. Oops. 

Here things get a tad messy, as runs that were not scored became recorded and before we knew it the match was over. G-Man had sent stumps cartwheeling like some kind of circus act, as had Hillsy, twice, and even In Japan Right picked up a wicket on his first cricket outing for approximately 15 years, and he was on one leg.

Bottom line, The Rural Ramblers were granted victory with an over to spare, smashing Hillsys last ball into a tree from where it never returned, although their batting totals added up to a tally of 103 and the bowing scores add up to 123 and they were chasing 155....there were not THAT many wides! These facts only came to light later on when everyone was too drunk to care, but in the sober light of day, the rage is beginning to kick in. Someone, somewhere, will pay. My prediction - Pain.

So, a quick lunch went down, along with the odd beer and a few Jaeger Bombs, and it was back out in to the field to take on Kington. A few more catches were not taken, The General deciding to send one to the rope with the top of his head rather than catching it was a real highlight, while G put one down that went did involve having to crouch down a little, so was pretty tough. Senior also sent one to the ground using the method of waving his arms in the air in the hope that the ball landed in one of them, and I'm sure there are others I've forgotten. However, Hills, Kimbo and perhaps most surprisingly Ads, all held on to leave the wickets shared between Hills(2), Kinsey(2), G-Man and Senior. 

A word to Senior here who managed to recover from being smashed for three sixes off his first three balls in game one to register 1/5 in his over here, a fine recovery - if only he was able to recover as easily the following morning.

And so to the chase, what would happen here. Needing 156 to win the Drovers started in familiar fashion, Simcard smashing the first two balls to the ropes, only to be dismissed third ball for 8. G-Man then ran himself out for 6 because, and I quote: "I couldn't stop laughing at the bowlers face." Not sure what to make of that really.

Wales came and went rather quickly for a solid 9 but for once there were no zeros recorded in the top five, an achievement bettered only by what was to come.

Chairman Hill appeared composed, but perhaps a little raged, only that can explain the savagery what happened next. Balls vanished out of the park, with the occasional puff of smoke that you see in some Goddamn magic shows, some chap called Norm taking a particularly heavy pounding as his over went for 38 - more than any Drover has been sent for. We spent much of the evening trying to recruit him into the Drovers to open our attack. Hills quickly registered yet another 50 and with the General supporting in his own methodical way(including one fine top edge into his own face), even pulling out the reverse sweep once or twice.

But nothing could compare with what was happening at the other end, Hills moved rapidly through the 60s and 70s, like no Drover had done before. The General was dismissed for 22 so in walked Kimbo, the host, who was desperately short of form. 23 needed from the final over became 13 needed off the final three. The Chairman then smashed his tenth six of the innings followed by only his third four to put him(unknown to anyone at the time) on 97*.

So, one to come, four needed to win and down came a full bunger from the one bowler who, up until now, had looked like he knew what he was doing. So surprised was our skipper that he did not get the connection his innings deserved and as they scrambled a second run the game was up, Hills left stranded not out on 99, and the Drovers losing by a single, agonising run.

So we all got walloped and didn't talk about it. 

The End.

 

Sunday August 10, 2008, Drovers CC vs Full Tossers CC

35 overs

Match Abandoned - monsoon weather. (Winning draw!)

by JRV Hill

The very fact that this game even went ahead was nothing short of a miracle. Officially a fixture just 2 weeks prior to battle, the Committee had to contend with a comical array of commitment phobes, who presented a mass of bullshit excuses that reduced the team to 9. In the meantime of course, the oppo had recruited 11, so big thanks to the 4 Frenchman who travelled some distance (not you cooky) to make sure that we could do in The Full Tossers with the usual aplomb.

After 36 hours of monsoon, the wicket was a blade short of a meadow. Skipper Hill held consistency in the highest possible regard by losing his 7th toss this season, and dutifully went about naming a batting line up full of hangovers and debutants. No More Nails and Campbell once again stepped forward with enthusiasm, and in doing so left the middle order to the untested frenchies.

We were then pelted with a barrage of short stuff, some even resulting in a rare aerial wide. Campbell couldn't resist one that sat up for a good thrashing, but could only top edge it to cover to continue his woeful form. Hill was triggered by the Frenchman Cook (one of Pricey's mates, surprise surprise), and it was left to Frenchman Staveley and No More Nails to steady the ship.

Oozing confidence from his return to form in Dorset, NM Nails went on to produce one of the finest innings ever seen. Methodical to the last, he capitalized on his 2 reprieves (2 of the most sitting sitters in history put down by the oppo) to deliver a masterclass of patience, technical ability and shot selection. Hooks, cuts, drives, defence - it had it all, including one on-drive that we all wanted to be on.

The middle order came and went, shedding some rust in some short bursts of hope. All had starts but little to show for them, but it was Frenchman Wesley who tonked 18 at the death to reach respectability. This was after The General had wandered in with his eyes closed having done his 7th night on the bounce and registered a circle, and Pricey had  almost forgotten to run whilst celebrating getting bat on ball. Deserved of a star by his 70, Nails was triggered at the end by another Frenchman as the DCC scratched to 150 all out. These people clearly have no concept of the consequences of such behaviour, and shall be beaten accordingly.

Having asked all players to bring their own food, noone turned up with anything thus proving that if you don't do it, you don't get it. A certain fan club showed up for a token half hour before the dcc gathered in a rousing huddle in the middle.

Charles De Gaulle was once again thrown the new ball and dutifully confirmed his place as the most scitzophrenic of athletes. When will the complete Charles show up? He bowled with pace and outstanding direction for well deserved figures of 7-1-14-1. Meanwhile, The Price is Wrrrrong Bitch was a revelation at the other end, shutting out all white noise for the ultimate focus for his first ever Droving wicket, prompting a genuine 9 man humping session on the wicket. He may have also got himself out of an award or two at the end of season aswell. (But then again…)

At 45 for 1 off 8 overs there was concern for the skipper Hill. 1 and 3 looked calm and controlled, thus making his decision to bowl himself into the wind all the more irresponsible. But was it? His second delivery smashed the opposing skipper's middle stump into the next millennium, and his eighth undid the number 3 like some god dam magic show, sending himself into a frenzy of panicked and totally uncoordinated celebration. His 15th and slower ball bought him his 6th caught and bowled this season, and when their number 6's off stump snapped in half for his 4th wicket, rolling around in the dirt in joy seemed the only sensible thing to do.

At the other end Frenchman Wesley continued to deliver a concoction of dangerous stuff in his gripless silvershadows. And The General stepped up from his subliminal state to almost bounce himself with his first delivery, but recovered after realising he hadn't been on Ebay for a whole week. Staveley provided no end of entertainment and unorthodox keeping behind the stumps, regularly diving yards at a time whilst quoting John Woo films in mid air, and Cooky prowled the covers like a flaming galaar, slip sliding away and demolishing the stumps with direct hits every other ball.

At 90 for 7 off 23 overs, the DCC were desperate to end their miserable run of form. But then the wandsworth typhoon arrived and shelter was taken. But that's just not how you Drove, and we were back to wipe them out within 10 minutes. They nudged to 110 of 27, and with the game in the balance, the skippers called it a day in torrential rain. Huge points all round for effort.

So a winning draw it was, and the pool of DCC players continues to grow. Napolean NM Nails was robbed of back-to-back MOM's by JRV Hill's bowling efforts, but it will no doubt be a mighty strong contender for The Innings of the Season Award.

Two games and a tournament left fellas. Let's finish this in style.

 

 

 

August 2 2008, Drovers CC vs Buzzards CC

Haycock Oval, Dorset, 40 overs

DCC Lost by 9 wkts

by JH Rodley

 8 drovers and one Frenchman turned up to the haycock oval for the annual pilgrimage to where it all began. Many drovers blamed the lack of a full team on secretary Curry's mix up of dates. There was a last minute effort by Hill, captain for the day to secure 2 more players,  even calling on what he phrased as "the black death" ,Drovers 030 & 031. Surprisingly they choose not to respond.

Start of play was due to commence at 1pm, only two drovers made it on time PC Lewis and Nails. The 'DeLorean' carrying Woods, Rodley, Hill and Price arrived just before 2pm followed shortly by Paddy, Charlie "fielding Charlie! oh no you've dropped the world cup" Campbell and Frenchman Matt. The DeLoreans reasons for being late were based purely around the owner of the so called 'DeLorean'. Hill's inability to cash in on opportunities involving the fairer sex in the week reduced him to anger, frustration and a poor sense of timing. It also made him pose the question "What the f%#k is wrong with me - why can I not get my pipe smoked?" This question supplied us with a lengthy debate delaying us further.

Pulling into the grounds of the Haycock oval we where greeted by the ever impressive lush green well manicured cricket arena. The outfield looked delightful with the boundary looking large to say the least. 20 degrees with a few clouds in the sky would be the conditions for the first innings. A small crowd had assembled, the usual few ex girlfriends of Roy's and current girlfriend , partners of the Buzzards ,No partners of the Drovers, Roy's parents, the golden retrievers looking for food and anyone's attention, one of the buzzards seemed to take a liking to one of the dogs, while spooning one of the dogs he made the statement ,"if you had to sleep with a dog I would go with a lab or a retriever" This only got a response from Mr Woods… "I would choose a chiwawa tight arse". While this is going on the toss is taking place between Haycock and Hill. Hill loses and the Drovers are to bat first.

With no DJ this year it was a team effort, which for the first 20 minutes became a shambles. Looking around the Buzzards line up a few had kept their places from last year but a few faces seemed to be fresh. It became apparent that they where drafted in to give Roy his best line up in the fixtures history. Nails opened the batting with Gman, Gman managed to stick around for a while before his wicket buckled. Nails showed encouraging signs with the bat after the entrance of the day to the wicket. As soon as 'gold-digger' by kanye west piped up he sprinted to the wicket. He played a few text book shots outside his off stump early on, also giving the fielding side a few chances to take his wicket, with a number of appeals been dismissed by the two umpires who ruled the game with an unrealistic strictness, giving anything down leg a wide. Charlie "fielding Charlie! oh no you've dropped the world cup" Campbell had been warming up in the nets and looking in fine form with the bat, seemingly in control and finding the middle of the willow. After looking impressive in the nets he made his way to the middle only to face two balls before he heard the death rattle behind him. Maybe the nerves of the big match are too much for him to handle. Hill now made his way to the crease. 002 seemed to be in a battle out there, his bat needed to be replaced and after seeing the buzzards quick bowler up close, requested a lid. As Hill was clean bowled after a gutsy 15 it was becoming clear to all how good Roy's bowling line up was. Paddy had a brief experience in the middle scoring 6 before he to had his stumps rearranged.4 down and Rodley strides to the business end to the sound of Big pimpin. Rodley struck up a good partnership with Nails till Nails eventually fell for 40. Rodley seemed to be going a long with ease till he was hit by the quick bowler on the side of the knee. A few overs after he was bowled by the ball of the day, real swinger to take off stump out, Rodley was returning to the hutch after making 19. The rest of the team seemed to be joining me pretty rapidly in the hutch. Frenchman Matt 0, A.Price 0 and Woods 2, which is above his average believe it or not. So 9 of the team got clean bowled, just an indicator of the standard of bowling.

The end result 114 all out.

Conditions for the Buzzards innings…High winds making line and length bowling virtually impossible. Buzzards finished 117 for 1 , it took them 22 overs. Hill took the only wicket, caught at cover by Frenchman Matt. Gman dropped 2 catches , I say dropped its almost like his mind was on the motorcycle journey home so reaching for them seemed to much hassle. Frenchman Matt dropped a catch but a ripper of an effort as did Paddy. So Drovers lost by 9 wickets. In the captains interview on the mic, it was a brief interview,he claimed "I would like to say cricket was the winner but I can't".  The banter around the team moved on swiftly to getting shoe-pied but when cricket was mentioned the overwhelming thoughts were , we have just faced the best bowling attack the drovers have ever faced.

Gman got into the leathers dam quick and onto the bike to get to work for the nightshift, stating as he went "I'm off to beat some f&*kers down!". Nails left shortly after Gman, leaving the Drovers down to an elite 7 to eat an entire lamb and carry on the nights activities.

Off up the hill in near darkness we trekked to the sacred home of the Drover, The Drovers Inn, to begin the nights entertainment. As we enter the pub we scout for talent and as much alcohol as physically possible. As per usual there is one single girl and a bar girl who was attractive but led one drover to state if she is just starting uni now, imagine how big her arse will be when she finishes!  The votes for Dick of the day and Man of the match are quickly gathered. With the winners of each award having to neck a pint. Man of the match for the Drovers with nearly all the votes, Nails. However he had to leave straight after the Lamb spit roast so a 2nd man of the match was needed. Woods picked up the award for giving no byes away behind the stumps, so he proceeded to take about 2 minutes to consume his pint. There was no doubt in who picked up dick of the day for the Drovers, Hill. Some of the reasons given; "he did not manage to get 11 players" , " he lost the easiest thing of the day, the toss",  "responsible for 3 drovers being late". The list went on. The harshest comment was left for one bystander to claim "it's the worst bit of captaincy I have seen since Edward John Smith got behind the wheel of the titanic".

After the fines for other events such as dropped catches had been sorted it was time to get focused on the annual boat race. This however would not of worked with 7 drovers and 6 buzzards and a couple of buzzards and drovers not backing themselves to take part in their respective crews. So the only reasonable solution was to involve everyone in a game of Roxanne.Turned out being 10 on 10, Drovers taking 'Roxanne' and Buzzards 'Red light'. Nearing the end of the game contestants were diving for an outside area or the toilets and even one choosing to stay his ground and use an empty pint glass to throw up into. Drinking games carried on thru the night in the pub, the landlord was in good spirits as per usual when the Drovers return home. When asked 'What time do you close?'  His response was solid… "when the last Drover leaves".

We left around 3am to go back to the party barn. By this stage we had lost over half the field. Myself and Woodsy became the last two to make their way back to the barn. The rain was heavy and almost no light because the moon had decided to have the night off for some f#@ked up reason. The effects of the alcohol had taken affect on Woods, walking like he was constantly in a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. I knew it was going to be a hell of an effort to get him back to the barn, with having to pick him out of a bush every 20 metres. It was to get worse… Woods started to stumble, the only way he could see to get out of this was to run to recover it however he just picked up more and more speed, I was just waiting for his face and the ground to make contact by this stage, he kept trying to recover the stumble but ended with breaking his fall with his shoulder. He appeared in a bit of pain but not much considering, by this stage in the lashing rain, surrounded by trees and no light I started to have thoughts of 'what would Ray Mears do'. Eventually we got back to the party barn. Woods straight into an armchair shortly joined by Price in the neighbouring armchair, both slept like Leon for the rest of the morning. Looking around the room there was retarded dancing going on, drinking table tennis, Hill in the corner trying to work a spell on someone by playing 9 darts blind with his back to the board and twice as far as he should be most landing in the roof.  In the middle of this chaos is Charlie "fielding Charlie! oh no you've dropped the world cup" Campbell laying on the cheese BIG time with the bar girl around the pool table, some of the things overheard would get you a slap in infernos for being a cheesy w@£ker. The work he put in rewarded him with a cheeky snog. The night came to an end at 6.15am with everyone retiring hurt and confused.

Sunday evening Woods went to the hospital to have his shoulder looked at. The news… Collarbone broken in 3 places, Nice! However the story to his boss and Emily on holiday in which he is joining her in a few days time was and is… "I did it while diving down leg side while keeping". So that's what we are going with. 

Big thanks to Roy and Roy's parents for a great event as per usual! looking forward to next year....

 

 

July 27th 2008 - Drovers v Some Team From Sidcup

Beckenham, London, 35 overs

DCC Lost by 60 runs

by JJ Woods

After a nightmare trying to find players for this game, I managed (or
should I say Pricey managed) to get a team of 10 together which included
4 frenchmen. 4 Frenchmen that might I add, expressed a desire to play
cricket similar to the desire that Curry shows when asked to do a bleep
test.

We arrived amazingly on time(ish) and got the game under way at about
2.15, reduced to 35 overs thankfully. I won the toss and put them in to
bat (slight lie, we didn't bother tossing, we just decided that they'd
bat first).

The Price is wwwwrrrrrrrong bitch opened up at one end with The General
offering support from the other, not with the spider monkey that we've
come to love over recent weeks, but with some solid pace. The
opposition openers looked like they genuinely knew what they were doing,
and after some average bowling for the first 6 overs, they were putting
on quite a few runs. Rodley dropped a difficult chance at second slip,
and lazy Benny dropped the easiest catch I've ever seen - he claimed
that the ball was spinning loads. What a fag. At 100 - 0 after about
12 overs, I was getting very worried. On comes Rodley who managed to
pull his hands out of his pants for the first time this season, and how.
Rodley steps up to take the wicket that we badly needed, caught quite
brilliantly by The General at mid on (or mid off, can't really
remember), batsman number 1 went for 50 odd. A collapse, that is
usually only ever seen when either the Drovers or England bat, ensued.
Rodley taking career best figures of 5-33-1-8 was enjoyable to watch,
classic wickets all of them, caught by The General, caught behind by me,
1 LBW and 2 bowleds, super stuff that. The General picked up a couple,
a frenchman called Adam Adams picked up one, "Who's the Paddy?" took a
couple after bowling nicely. And obviously, Adam "Economical" Price,
took no wickets.

Eventually bowled out after 31 overs for 183, the oppo weren't looking
quite so cocky.......

So to the chase.

The first ball of the innings was the best ball of the day by a mile,
Joe who actually looked like he knew how to hold a bat and do some
damage had no chance, gloving the ball to 2nd slip for a diamond duck.
Gutted. The General then strolled out with the welly of mass
destruction - he looked like he meant business.

One Frenchman who (I'm sure won't mind me saying) looked like he'd never
seen a cricket pitch before and was about as keen as Joseph Fritzel at
the prospect of NOT boning his own daughter, was asked to open the
batting with Joe. His name, is Lazy Benny. This boy is called lazy
Benny for a reason let me tell you. A bat about as straight as Graham
Norton managed to knock one straight up in the air, and land safely to
get Lazy Benny off the mark, he celebrated his first run with a leap and
a punch of the air like he'd just won us the match! A beautifully
placed edge through second slip gave us the first boundary of the day,
before he was bowled by a good one.

Paddy then entered the fray, a few good shots against the most annoying
bowler any of us had ever faced. Think of Senior bowling, just slower
and loopier with less turn. This guy looked like a baby orang-utan and
Paddy was left fuming when he managed to smack one to point, Paddy gone
for 12, Drovers were struggling on 30-3 after 6 overs.

Rodley, not content with his remarkable bowling performance played some
strokes that could make a wolverine purr, and some that would make
Geoffrey Boycott have a heart attack. Rodders managed to give 2
fielders easy chances, but he superbly picked their version of lazy
Benny on both occasions. They would rue this as Rodley brought up his
50 with a nudge into the covers for a single. But, buy this point, The
General had departed for not many, the skipper for the day was triggered
by a Frenchman, AGAIN, for 1 (My average is now about 1.2 I think, I've
still got a ton in me though), Payno had also managed to score very
little and go cheaply. It was Pricey who decided he'd stick around and
offer support to Rodders, hitting a couple of nice (ish) shots before he
too gave away his wicket. 100 for 6 off 22 overs, plenty of time for
Rodley to come up with the first Droving ton. But no, bowled by a
spinner who was a good bowler and decided to inject some pace. Rodley
out for 52 and he looked like he'd just been felched by an anteater.

Welshman, whose warm up involved getting his foot stuck in someones
helmet, (cricket helmet, not bell end) and performing a rather Didier
Drogba like dive as a result, played the "Baby O" for a couple of well
structured cricket shots, well structured in the way that he waited for
the ball to get behind his arse before tw@tting it to the fine leg
boundary, narrowly missing the wicket keepers face. Textbook. It
couldn't last though and he was bowled for about 12 (sorry if there are
some slight inaccuracies in the scores, I still haven't got a copy of
the scorebook). In comes Adam Adams with the strict instructions to
block everything. I didn't mean block a wide one outside of off stump
in to next week (which luckily he missed).

As we only had 10 players, we could nominate someone to bat twice, I
thought about putting Rodders back in but I don't think that would have
washed with the man who by this point looked about as healthy as a
Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the Navy has been in town. So
after very briefly toying with the idea of trying to find that ton that
I've got in me, I called up Paddy. Only because he was the only person
to have showered and changed, I thought he should get dirty again.
Anyway, a waste of time, he was rubbish and scored 2.

Drovers all out for 123. Lost by 60 runs. A decent effort of a chase
(by Rodley) and at least we made a game out of it. Didn't bother with a
man of the match vote, you do the maths (Obviously awarded it to myself
for some brilliant appealing and catching). 

Some good points, Rodders obviously played very well, Paddy remembered
how to bowl, Welshman bowled 1 good over (and 1 of utter toss), The
General found a bit of pace and looked threatening, I scored more than
the oppo's captain, we found Lazy Benny, and the fielding was generally
pretty good.

Another one in the L column but as the Chairman wisely said to me -
Winning is for fags anyway.

 

 

July 12th 2008 - Drovers CC vs Midnight CC

Wandsworth Common, London, 35 overs

DCC Lost by 10 runs

by JRV Hill

One of the greatest assets that sport can offer is it's tendency to laugh at predictability with extraordinary regularity. It's what keeps us all watching, going back for more, year after year. In the case of this small niche club from London, it's what keeps them playing, even when previous efforts are screaming out to call it a day. 

This theory could not find a better representative than the Drovers CC man of the moment, Martin Teodorczyk. On Saturday 12 July versus the Midnight Cricket Club, he single handedly steered the rest of team to within a whisker of victory, registering a quite wonderful 79 no. He needed support from just one teammate to generate something resembling a partnership, but as is so common with this select group, he was left hanging. 

Skipper Hill lost his 5th consecutive toss this season (that's P5, L5), but he got his way when the MCC could only produce 8 players. While fielding practice with a rugby ball ensued - England do it you know - Hillsy spent time scratching his head and looking for some bowlers. While the first 2 overs indicated he hadn't scratched hard enough, what followed was delightful. New-baller Charles De Gaulle eventually found his length, finishing with a fine 2 for 15 of 6 overs, while No More Nails ably supported with unplayable deliveries from the other end. 

The bowling was almost too good. As the openers dug in, the situation begged for a change. Hill brought himself on to break the deadlock, and with the help of handy work from Woods behind the stumps, took the most classical of first wickets. Meanwhile, Nails was given time to reconsider life as a bowler by the reinvented General, whose concoction of run-ups, wrist spin, finger spin and beamers rarely fails. 

Worryingly, one of the bad guys from Die Hard began to find some form with the bat. That is until Hill bowled straight and full to lure him into drive 6 inches off the deck. Hill, agile as ever, managed to squeeze a finger or two under the ball and scoop the top prize, leaving Hern Senior to have a good chomp at the middle order. His 3 for 36 from 6 was just reward for a physics-defying mix of moon balls and darts. How are you supposed to play this man? 

The men dug into tasty teas contemplating the 154 target and counting the number of dropped catches on a clenched fist - a far cry from 9 in one game 4 weeks ago. 

Teodorczyk and Woods eagerly went about the task. The latter is yet to enjoy much of anything this year, and dutifully used that piece of crap bat to dolly up a nice sitter to mid on for a single run. At least he had increased his average. Brucey and Paddy applied themselves but fell short of the zone we've all come to expect from them this year, and suddenly DCC were into that middle order.

Hill, Hodgson and Hern all departed promptly, piling on the pressure on that wagless tail. Step up Teddy. This man's innings was so full of deceit that one wondered who had been tipped off. A leg stump guard, a stance 2 more feet outside leg, but an eye for a ball most would dream of. Teddy's barrage of bowling abuse laid grounds for a new Text book - Hollwood manual, mixing flair with control with consummate ease. Such is his nature, it was his disappointment at losing that he demonstrated, mainly by going to watch Mamma Mia with his girlfriend that evening rather than getting hideous with his teammates. 

Charlie and General showed resilience in support, but 20 off the last over was just too much to ask, especially as Charles kindly gave them 5 dot balls in the penultimate. Nails finished the game off with his customary nonsense, arriving at the crease with 10 needed off the last ball. After asking the skipper if there was a game plan, and being recommended to 'look after his average', he was consequently bowled for a golden duck. 

The DCC moves on, but be warned.... the L's have nervously edged passed the W's. 

It's on.

 

 

June 15th 2008 - Drovers v Maladroits CC - Series Decider (3 of 3)

Sheen Park, London, 35 overs

DCC Lost by 5 wkts

by AD Curr

 The final day of the Drovers gargantuan struggle against the Maladroits began in rather typical fashion with just three Drovers present at the designated start time of 12:30....two of which had never played for the club before. After an hour long delay the Drovers were up to 7, so as a result there was no toss and the Droits simply took the the field and informed those present that the Drovers would be batting first. Fair enough probably.


Under such circumstances the pressure was on, two Frenchmen in the top three, along with Tomo fresh from his duck the previous afternoon and an evening spent trying desperately to save his relationship. Tomo managed to go one better in this game, registering a fine single before Frenchman Smee had his off-stump pegged back for a nice round zero. That's two out of four frenchies to have registered ducks on debut....perhaps our recruiting process needs to be reviewed.

And so to Frenchman Brucie who successfully righted the wrongs of those who had crossed the Channel before him, and boy did he do so. In partnership with the Drovers own immoveable object, Hillsy, the score was taken to almost the 100 mark before the next wicket fell. 

The Bruce raised him arms aloft upon reaching a debut half century, before being despatched next ball. he was replaced at the crease by one of the stars of the season so far; 'who's the Paddy' Dawson. As the umpire murmured: "hell yeah, I love watching Paddy bat" the skippers sharp retort was: "No way, I'm not letting him yet". Strong words indeed and Paddy was forced to show the more subtle side of his batting. 

Once Hills departed for a well made 42, including one towering six off his alter-ego Carrington that flew further that a budgie on speed, in marched Kimbo determined to stamp his authority on his first appearance of the season. Together these two eased the score passed 150 and towards the unchartered territory of 200, only for Kimboom to suffer the ignominy of being triggered by a girl...something Hillsy had nothing to do with of course.

His dismissal for a booming 27 sparked the collapse that we all know and love. Jonathan 'I've definitely got a ton in me' Woods was removed for his second duck of the weekend and the bottom five mustered just two runs between them - one of which from the bat of Price who entered the fray wearing his pants on the outside and a motorcycle crash helmet. Extraordinary scenes.

And so to Paddy. 46* with two balls to go. Having played the kind of shots more frequently seen in the IPL - walking across his stumps like a wandering gazelle etc, he flayed the penultimate ball for four to raise his bat for his first Droving fifty, and then clobbered the last for six over cow corner to maintain his impressive record of a six in every innings this season.

So, just four men managed to score more than a single in a total of 194/9, fairly clear who went home early the night before I would have to say. Still, a genuine target to defend and the Drovers went to lunch rather pleased with themselves, apart from the seven batsmen who had registered just three runs between them of course...and Brucie who had triggered two of them for ducks!

A slight change to the opening partnership with the ball had Price and Hill take the new ball, all be it unproductively. Ads, while not shouting "recipe" did manage to send down some genuinely threatening deliveries only to see the batsmen play rather boring forward defensives. Dull sods.

While just one catch went down, although Welshman did lose the tip of his finger attempting a caught and bowled, the fielding display was abject at best and only really came to life for the five minutes or so after a wicket fell...the endeavours of the previous night perhaps starting to take their toll. Tomo, after dropping his catch, did manage to make the breakthrough and was well supported by the General, before Kimbo came to the fore and began to cause the opposition genuine problems.

Sadly the Droits had chased their chase to perfection and reached the target with three balls to spare and just five wickets down, despite Kimbo striking in the penultimate over and Tomo at the beginning of the last. The fact that they all went home at 11 the previous evening perhaps had something to do with it.

Paddy took home the Man of the Match award for his fine batting while Chairman Hill was awarded Man of the Series award for scores of 50*, 39 and 42 as well as the odd wicket here and there.

So a 2-1 series defeat, but the Drovers can hold their heads up high for pushing a side who actually practice, and have now won five games on the bounce. That said, if we lose to them next year heads may just roll!

 

 

June 14th 2008 - Drovers v Maladroits CC

Richmond Park, London, 35 overs

DCC Lost by 5 wkts

by AD Curr

 

 

On Saturday The Maladroits ended the Drovers 100% start to the season when they narrowly scraped home chasing a below par Droving total of 163 all out. It was a captains knock from Charlie Brewer that enabled the Droits to get over the line with two overs to spare but the Drovers were left to rue a fielding performance that resembled scenes more often associated with tour than a Saturday game.

No less than nine catches went down, from nine different fielders, with just Welshman and Paddy escaping unscathed...with the only excuses offered running something along the lines of: "It must have been the tuna sandwiches" at tea.

Hand-eye co-ordination aside, there were positives to take from this defeat. While the Drovers lost their first two wickets with just a single on the board, nothing new there, rescue came in the form of The General and the Captain. A rather fine 27 from the former, featuring the odd Welly of mass destruction, along with some rather sumptuous drives from Hogwash on his way to 39 and thus dragging the Drovers kicking and screaming towards respectability.

Paddy then played a rather sedate innings by his standards, joined at the crease by All Day Breakfast, who feasted on the gaps behind square for a seasons best 13, after Woodman had departed for a first ball duck. After the Kyran Bracken lookalike departed for a staunch 18, Senior strolled out to the crease oozing the kind of confidence rarely seen in a Drovers shirt and played a host of stunning strokes in his first over at the crease. 

A drive over the bowlers head, a square cut Robin Smith would have marvelled at, and a hoik so far over mid-wicket not even a giraffe would have snaffled it....the only problem was he had not managed to connect with any of the said shots and the opposition were licking their chops. After a tactical rethink Senior then opted on a more calculated approach and his fine 27* propelled the Drovers to 163 all out, after Ads and Kirt registered their customary zeros. Perhaps 20 runs short, but where there is a sniff there is a chance, and the boys noses were twitching...particularly after the aforementioned tuna and pork pies.

With Tom-Malcolm Marshall-o and Ads sharing the new ball wickets were bound to fall early...except they didn't. Step forward two men who had already contributed with the bat, General and Senior, to put the rats among the cheese. General, using to great effect the never before seen "drunken monkey" bowling action which spun a web of fear in the batsmens eyes, while Senior kept things tight and picked up wickets at the other end - which were celebrated with wild-eyed delirium.

Hillsy, Paddy and Nailz all turned their arms over but sadly it was not enough as Messers Brewer and Ryder formed a match-winning partnership for the Droits to level the series at one match all, with the decider to take place the following day at Sheen park.

The General picked up his first man-of-the-match award, and well done to him, his display at Infernos later was every bit as impressive, while Paddy, Hillsy and Kirt all fell at the first bar, victims to that rare specimen in Droving circles....the female.

 

 

 

May 4th 2008 - Drovers v Salix CC

GlaxoSmithKlein GC, Greenford, London, 35 overs

DCC Won by 37 runs

by AD Curr and M Teodorczyk

The Drovers continued their march towards a perfect season with a 37 run victory over Salix CC on Sunday 4th May.  It was a true all round demolition job by the Red and Blue Wrecking Crew, who excelled in all aspects of the game.

However, having been put in to bat on a saturated wicket, the Drovers struggled in the face of some uncharitable bowling - an early breakthrough came when Nailz, retained as opener, did nothing to justify the captain's confidence in him and was bowled for a single.  Next up was debutant Adz, who soon departed despite a couple of well-timed turns to the leg side.  And Senior soon went but was able to look resplendent out there wearing a lovely new blue lid, craftily borrowed from the nearest kitbag.  Standing firm throughout this was Weslos, the highlight being a massive pulled six over square leg.  However disaster struck as a pumped-up Weslos tried to smack the new bowler's second ball onto the A40 and was caught behind - not-a-lot for 4 and the Drovers were up against it.

In came the repair team to frustrate the Salix fielders.  While scoring was initially steady against the decent bowler, Hillsy picked things up with some booming fours and large sixes to get the Drovers into 3 figures.  The catalyst for this was undoubtedly a clear and very needed "make loud noises" call from El Presidente himself out in the middle.  Having got to a (sadly not acknowledgeable at the time) fifty he drove a sharp one to mid-on and departed, job done, with the Drovers back in the game.  Able support was offered by Ted, who started off watchfully before gradually opening up like a tulip in springtime - first with ground-based strokes into the sodden turf followed by some agricultural action to contribute a useful 28.  

It then needed someone to step up to the plate to turn a good score into a very good score - enter Patrick "Who's The Paddy?" Dawson.  After some initial discomfort at the wicket, Paddy unleashed a bevvy of boundaries to send the Drovers into ecstasy.  Massive sixes sailed over long-on, including one that tempted the Salix skipper into a catching attempt, before he realised the inevitable and watched the ball clear the rope for another maximum.  The 41 not out, made from half the number off deliveries, was as spectacular an exhibition of strokeplay this side of the IPL.  His partner at the time, Woodman, provided ample support although the occasional scampering of quick twos did little to help his lung performance and general joie de vivre.  With the prowess of G Man, Blade and Kirt not required, the Drovers finished on a highly respectable 172 for 6 from their 35 overs.   

So with runs on the board it was time for the Drovers to defend a total for the first time this season, and boy were they pumped. G-Man, taking the new ball and free from his day job, was in no mood to take prisoners. In his first outing of the season he produced a lively first spell, tight and fierce that had the opposition wondering what they had signed up for. With the Chairman opening up from the far end this was a pairing that many a Test side would cry out for, and many others would cry in the face of.

Much like the previous fixture against a hapless Maladroits side, wickets did not tumble in the opening exchanges, but neither did the runs flow. Last time out we saw that rarest of rare things, a Droving maiden(insert your own maiden gag here), and like London buses you wait years for one then two come at once. G-Man having one to his name, to go with an early wicket. Breakdown? Breakthrough. 

So which sultan of swing collected the other maiden I hear you ask? Up stepped Frenchman Price to deliver his first spell as a Drover. Left on the sidelines at the Ice Cricket World Cup this man was chomping at the bit, and boy, did he bite. With a run up longer than the Great Wall of China, he did not flatter to deceive. While his two spells failed to weed out any of the opposition there can be no question that a hidden jewel has been unearthed.

Bowling in tandem with Price was a man with much to prove in his first full season as the Drovers overseas pro. Sri Lankan Nailz had registered a solitary run in his two outings with the bat thus far , and his bowling had not exactly set the world alight either. That is of course, until skipper Hill made the call to leave him on for a fourth over, and then the turmoil began.

A double strike ensued, the second coming courtesy of a swan-dive catch from Hillsy, and suddenly Salix were deep in the mire, Nailz finishing with figures of two for 16 from four well measured overs. Congrats my man, you have contributed.

A couple of dropped catches later(Blade x 2, Wes and Woodman behind the stumps) and suddenly Salix looked to be putting together a partnership, but this mini-revival came to a shattering halt when G-Man was summoned for a second spell and tore the heart out of the home side's middle order. Wickets tumbled, a dodgy LBW and a caught behind that prompted appeals from fine leg to mid-off, with the honourable exception of bowler and wicketkeeper, and yet the Umpire Hugh Jarse raised his finger to the sky. G-Man had four.

Hills returned to collect a wicket when the well set batsman holed out to long off while Paddy and Wes also turned their arms over. Then came Kirt. Sledged by the umpire of all people before the start of his over, he delivered an array of deliveries never before witnessed by man, woman or child. The umpires were at a loss of what to signal as ball after ball either hit the ground two yards in front of him, or sailed at head height into the keepers gloves. After his 13-ball over was completed he did make the point however, that he conceded no runs off the bat. An excellent point, expertly made. Rumour has it the batsman is still in hospital recovering from his trauma. He may never play again.

Honourable mention must also go to Senior, who gave the ball a good old fashioned tweak and spun a web of indecision in the batsmen's minds, even prompting one to hit the ball straight up in the air where Blade of all people, nervously watched the ball land in his palms, nothing quite like third time lucky. The fielders raised their games and suddenly direct hits were all the rage, G-Man from the covers and Kirt aiming at one stump, to name but two.

So, with Salix needing 48 from the last two overs, and 42 from the last, G-Man was presented with a chance to enter the annals of Droving history. Could we see the first ever Drovers Five-wicket hall?? We could. The rabbits off stump was pegged back and G-Man had his Michelle. 7-1-20-5. Figures sent from heaven and lockdown initiated. All that after working a night shift. C'est Incredible. That's French for 'it is incredible'.

So, a meagre 135/9 in response to our mammoth 174. Two in two folks, and suddenly the committee are left desperately trying to locate more fixtures to make this season a truly great one. It seems to be shaping up that way already. Man of the match went to Paddy for his violent batting, which essentially proved the difference between the sides, although an honourable mention to Kinsey who picked up two votes without playing, but for buying a lot of sausages and beer.

Until next time my good men. Until next time....

 

April 20th 2008 - Drovers v Maladroits

Sheen Park, London, 30 overs

DCC Won by 4 wkts

by AD Curr

 On the the kind of day that reminds all of the sheer joy cricket can produce, the new Droving season of 2008 got under way at Sheen Park against the Maladroits. With last years heavy defeat still strong in the memory, the contest was approached with a sense of trepidation, and with the toss lost and rules put in place that Skipper Hillsy didn't remember until the fat lady had almost sung, the men charged with rectifying the horror of a year ago stepped on to the field of battle.

Tomo stood at the end of his run, relishing the moment that could potentially carve his name in the annals of Droving history, and produced a quite forgettable first over. His new-ball partner for the day started his first with the score at 13-0, and then ran in to bowl the spell of a lifetime. Who was this maestro of pace and bounce...Blade. Bending his back and grunting, nay, almost roaring in his delivery stride, the pressure was back on the Maladroits as they struggled to score for the next seven overs...including what is thought to be the first maiden in Droving history, certainly in Blades.

Despite this exceptional display, wickets were hard to come by and the Droits opening pair soon brought up the fifty partnership, but a change of bowling, and umpires, provided the breakthrough. Charlie '2008 is going to be my year' Campbell gained reward for his miserly line and length and with Teddy shaking the bottle behind the stumps the none that were coming turned in to a lott'le. Campbell finished with figures of 2/18 from his 6, quite phenomenal in a 30 over contest and perhaps a turning point in the mans career, I don't even remember him putting down a catch and was even dishing out fielding advice for Weslos and Patrick 'my 2006 fielder of the year award seems a long time ago' Dawson.

So who stepped up next I hear you cry? Well, cometh the hour cometh the new Chairman. Bringing himself on to bowl(I shall gloss over Naliz spell) in tandem with Paddy cleverly taking the pace off the ball, he recorded two delightful caught and bowled's, the first being the prize wicket of Carrington, the Droit with the bad chat, and bringing the skipper to the crease. Bathurst-Norman, targeted in the build up, ran himself out all too quickly by chancing a second to the bullet arm of Hillsy and as Ted whipped off the bails the vanquished opponent hung his head in shame and the tears welled up in his eyes. He won far more friends with the teas he produced than with his batting and calling.

So it was left to the man with his name on the front of his shirt to hold the innings together. Charlie Brewer mustered 40 runs, mainly off the second spell of Blade, who was unable to return to former glories and served up a host of full tosses. Mental disintegration has rarely been more amusing. Tomo at the other end however, was simply a magician. Reminiscent of Malcolm Marshall in his pomp(only whiter) the man generated pace a swing to clan bowl two Droits on his return, and with Hillsy taking a third before running out Brewer in the final over, the Drovers had indeed taken all ten wickets for the small amount of 173 runs. Game on.

And so to the Chase. A top order boasting the talents of Nailz, Senior, A Frenchman and Curry promised much and delivered little. In fact, little is probably a bit generous. Two runs between the four of them meant The Drovers were 7/3 and after Weslos was dismissed after a commanding 40-odd the halfway score of 60/5 looked terminal and the Droits were licking their chops. But they had not gambled on what was to come, neither had the crowd, the bookmakers or even the Lord God himself as just a single wicket fell in the next 15 overs - surely a record?

Breasty arrived at number six after turning up an hour and a half late when he wasn't down to play anyway and somehow talked his way in to the batting line up after Blade fell foul of his obligatory injury, the back now added to the list of shoulder, groin and butt cheek that have impeded him in the past. But boy did the man prove his worth. Having left his wife on a train in Croydon and using up a host of points with her in the process, a big innings was a must, and 27 is a big innings by any Drovers standards. Combined with Hillsy, who made batting look unerringly easy, the chase was back on only for fate to intervene once more.

Breasty was dismissed playing a quite extraordinary reverse sweep that no man would be proud of which brought Teddy to the crease. Could the Droits sense an opening? They could. Did it come? No it didn't. A quite sublime partnership saw the Drovers to within 25 from five, home and dry...? Hillsy moved passed his career best and into the 40's and a gentle nudge brought up his 50. With his bat raised and teammates in good voice, disaster struck. The skipper had agreed, in a hungover stupor, for 50 to be the retirement mark and was sent packing. In walked Paddy to words off "ooo this one looks nervous", only for such chat to be silenced as he got off the mark with a towering six over midwicket and his 13* was a flurry of strokeplay that combined as beautifully with Teddy's batting as their songs do on record.

Ted finished 28* to bring home the bacon and said in his post match interview: "After all my previous contributions off the pitch it does feel rather nice to contribute something on it for a change." Never a truer word spoken. He kept wonderfully, using all parts of his body, and saw the boys home. Super stuff that.

A win by four wickets with two overs to spare, comfortable in the end, and a marvellous day had by all, but beware the wounded animal, rumours are abounding the the Maladroits will be upping their weekly net sessions to twice weekly in an attempt to rediscover form, the Drovers meanwhile, will spend the intervening weeks basking in glory and talking fondly of their current 100% record.