The genius of on-pitch Droving, 2009-style

 

Drovers CC Maladroits – Sheen Park – 23rd August 2009

 

 

The Drovers were hauled back to a 4-3 season record with defeat against a well-trained Maladroits side at Sheen Park yesterday, writes Ted Astaire.

 

Turning up exceptionally early due to the prudent time-planning of our club Secretary, the Drovers had plenty of time to erect the flagpole, contemplate the game ahead and wonder if it was worth disappearing for food before the game was going to start.  Certainly the Drovers, with first use of a decent-looking Sheen Park track, started splendidly with some flashing cuts and drives from Nailz and The General.  The sun was beating down, the flag was fluttering and things are A-OK as the opening partnership raced past 50 in pretty good time.  In fact it took a change of pace (from medium-fast to very very slow bowling) to make the breakthrough, as the opening partners went to cash in with big shots.  Still, 86 for the first wicket - surely a Droving record - seemed to lay the foundations for a mammoth total.

 

Not quite.  8 further wickets were to fall for the addition of 50 runs.  Kimbo hit a couple of boundaries before being LBW for 12 and Hillsy was the only other batsman to get into double figures with 13.  A combination of big attempts and cheeky bowling accounted for the quick wickets.  Boozer was the main tormentor, picking up 5 for 29 having shed the keeping pads at the drinks break (keeping, bowling a full allocation and batting at 5 - hardly fair surely?).  At 136 for 9 it looked like the game was heading for one-sidedness, especially given the racy Sheen Park outfield.  However the Droits did not reckon on the last wicket pair of Kiwi and Pricey.  Pecker first, subbing the motorcycle helmet for something slightly more conventional, mixed stout defence with a couple of cheeky glances and sweet boundaries to finish on 10 not out.  Valuable also for allowing Kiwi to do his thang at the other end - a glittering array of strokes, with some booming pulls including a maximum and a fine innings of 46 that eventually ended in the last over.  198 all out and it was game on.

 

Tea followed, and whoever decided to fuse salami with Branston Pickle in sandwich form deserves a gold medal - really quite splendid.

 

The Drovers set about the time in the field well.  Charles de Gaulle generated splendid pace and bounce and got the first wicket LBW.  Pecker bowled a good off-stump line but to no avail, there was just no snickage going on.  Padstock turned his arm over, and when the second opener chipped to Weslos with the score on about 50, it was looking good. 

 

Unfortunately it didn't go all right from there.  Maybe it was the hot sun, or the hard outfield, or the hangovers kicking in, or the realisation that despite signing up for the game months ago knowing it was the Sunday of the final Ashes test, we were actually not going to see Swanny's coup de grace live, but the magic, white-hot fielding seen at the Haycock Oval didn't quite materialise.  There were some valiant attempts, but the odd nutmeg and inadvertent kick-over-the-boundary kept the board ticking over. 

 

It was at this point some magic was needed, and up stepped 022 Kirtley.  With the ball following him around, a bad knee and some bruising, Kirt found himself at point thanks to skipper Kiwi's promotion/relegation system.  When Kimbo floated one full outside off stump, a boundary looked on as the batsman carved it away.  That was until Kirt took a couple of dance-move steps to the left and plucked the ball out of the air on its way past.  90 odd for 3. 

 

However the Droits, smarting from their recent defeat to the Drovers it would seem, had JC and Boozer at their disposal.  Despite Hillsy's personal duel, it seemed as if the game was slipping away with some accomplished batting.  Then there was a strange moment when some Drovers realised that it didn't really matter that they were only 3 wickets down, they still needed 51 off the last 8 and we could still win.  A close finish looked even more on when Kiwi, finding a nice bit of swing and bounce, removed JC.  However 19 off 18 became 4 off 6 and Boozer clipped the winning runs.

 

Still, a good couple of drinkies post-game and I think the main feeling was Kiwi was MoM.  He did not receive the MoM tankard, which is still in Hillsy's bag from the first match of the season.  Anyway, it all comes down to the game on Sunday to confirm the winning season. 

 

 

Drovers CC v Buzzard Juniors VII – Haycock Oval - 15th August 2009

 Team: Nailz, Paddy, Kimbo (c), Kiwi, Teddy, Charlie, Woodman, Breasty, G Unit, Tommo, Sharpy.

 As ever, preparation for such an event was in true Droving style, with only three players turning up at the proposed time. Our best entrance came from Tomo and Kiwi for trying to sweat out the alcohol (in the car!) from what had clearly been a very fuelled Friday night! G Unit was commended for his long haul travelling and managed to arrive in time for the match. I’m not sure how cowboys Paddy and Sharpy got to the venue, but aided by Woodman along with the flag, they too were just in time. All this however was in stark contrast to our cricket, which in the past weeks had seen us put three wins together prior to this big match of the summer.

 The toss went according to Buzzard theory, with them electing to field. The weather could only be described as British, so with the start time delayed it allowed precious minutes for the boys to compose themselves before heading out into the mix and post a good total. These minutes were obviously not utilised very well, as Nailz, Paddy and Kimbo (Golden) quickly entered and exited the fray. With the score at 5 for 3 after 4 overs, we certainly needed some stout resilience and this came in the form of our Chairman and his vice. Both looked very cautious in their opening bouts against the ball, but it was time to dig deep, and dig deep they did. Kiwi eventually found some bad balls which were dispatched and took the score to 59 for 3 after 13.2 overs.

 Back on track? Sadly with his confidence brewing over he tried what can only be described as a road shot spooning the ball to midwicket, having played so early that even the bird had not caught the worm! This brought Campbell to the crease, a glorious four off his first ball set the scene, but nothing much else happened.  Runs dried up. Teddy dug in, but after his promise, Charlie departed for 7. Woodman came fresh as well, but departed for four. Ted had good support from Breasty, and pushed on , but fell for 31. G came and went. Breasty (LBW after two steps down the wicket!) and Tomo looked good, taking our total to 135 all out after 34 overs. Amazingly Sharpy arose from his coma state, managed to pad up and got some red ink in the scorebook. Sadly I doubt the three runs will help his average.

 So with the target 136 to win for the Buzzard Juniors, they were quite smug at tea, and rightly so. Another victory for them was simply a formality, surely?

I don’t exactly know where to start as my five cans of Magners to drown my golden sorrows seemed to have relieved my concentration span somewhat! Quality opening bowling from Sharp and Campbell put the pressure on straight away with a good length and tight lines that even Michael Holding would have been proud of.  The pressure lead to wickets, and Woodman who is rising to the challenge behind the stumps snaffled to take both openers. An excellent diving effort from a more sober Thomson really kept up the Droving momentum, and it wasn’t long before our heads had come out of our belly buttons and into the air. We could sniff the victory air, and with Thomson again adding to the squeeze as first change, so when Kiwi came on to bowl they were 50 odd for 5. Kiwi followed in the same suit as previous, bowling with accuracy and aggression. A ball that climbed on their number 5, gave Sharpy the opportunity to once again show off in the field. His skills were far from his cowboy actions of the night before, catching sublimely. Markby came to the crease, and what happened next was worthy of You Tube. Kiwi bowled, Markby gloved onto his helmet and spooned up allowing just enough time for a great forward diving catch by our other cowboy Mr Patrick Dawson. Excellent catch. This brought Royston in. He knocked the ball around, but cautiously as they had slipped to 75 for 7. Needing sixty for victory, Roy knocked it around looking fairly comfortable. With the help of Kiwi giving Kimbo the ball when he wanted to bowl however the tide well and truly turned in our favour. Utilising the cross wind, Kimbo floated a normal off break which defeated him in the flight, and also having not realised that Kimbo doesn’t turn it, got an outside edge looping to cover, where Nailz gladly gobbled it. The sun tried to get in Nalin’s eyes, but having different powers to the rest of the team, it didn’t affect him one bit!

With victory now assured and Markby coming back in as they only had ten, and needing 50 runs, the drovers started to relax and celebrate. This proved to be premature, and with the help of Jimmy Collis, they started compiling runs. G Man must have left his hands on the plane with some true droving catch memoires! Another amazing Droving Buzzards story was very very close to rearing its head, as Markby gained confidence and a straightish bat to evade any humiliation second time round. Fortunately our handless Drover Mr Gareth Lewis wrapped it up with the Umpire doing his bit, and we scraped home by 12 runs!

A win for the Drovers, a fourth in succession! The weather may not be as good as 2005, but the cider is tasting just as sweet!

MOM: Kiwi, 34 runs, and 8-0-12-3

 

 

Drovers CC v Full Tossers CC - July 19th 2009

 

By 006

 

I am going to keep this Match report short and sweet, as the most recent Drovers fixture was bordering on not being a match at all.

 

With the Drovers turning up with a completely different side that was on the original teamsheet, which included two Frenchmen (the revamped new and improved Nailz and Paddy’s first valuable contribution to the Drovers in 5 years).

 

Turning up with just 9 players (one of which who was not able to control his own bodily functions) and seeing the pitch, which could only be described as a cabbage patch, we were not overly confident of victory.  This quickly changed when the oppo number 3 walked out wearing brown boots and a pink shirt.

 

To say that the oppo had mixed cricketing ability would be a massive understatement, with Weslos’s buffet bowling picking up 4 for 24 and the soup merchant taking 3 for 9.

We bowled them out for a flattering 70 in 19.4 overs.  Batting was not as easy and the challenge set out from the previous nights debate ended in scoreless draw, with Paddy and Charlie departing cheaply.  The game was comfortably won in the end by 7 wickets with extras top scoring with 34 and Nailz a close second with 25 not out.

 

Points of interest and observations:

·         The Drovers flag fluttered in all its glory for the whole game (it took 7 people to work out how to put it up)

·         We were joined by a very strange Drover for the batting half of the game, a very boisterous man from the Caribbean (who will receive half a cap).

·         Man of the match was awarded to the little white dog that fielded at 3rd gully for three balls.

·         A truly undrover standard of catch was taken by Sharpie, which is in contention for catch of the season with Ze Balls catch two weeks ago.

·         This is now the Drovers 3rd win in a row.

·         A new game of top and bottom was introduced in field which resulted in Wes spending most of the day at fine leg and Sharpie having a brief appearance at first slip.

·         The Drovers employed an aggressive tactic of having at least 4 men in catching position for the whole game.

·         Paddy was annoyed (and still probably is) the Westwood 3 putted on the 18th.

 

Thank you come again.

 

 

Drovers CC v Happy Hookers CC - Kingston - July 12th 2009

 

By 008

 

W

 

That is huge in itself, but does not quite tell the whole story.  Let me divulge.....

 

On Sunday 9 hardy Drovers and 2 hardy Frenchmen gathered at the Kingston Oval to enact the next chapter in Droving history.  The end result culminated in a lavish tapestry of fine cricket, rich banter, good rage and muchos cerveza.

 

Having negotiated a bat-first scenario the previous Tuesday, Ted and Nailz strolled out to open the innings (long story why it was us - don't ask).  Courtesy of some dashing strokeplay (from Nailz), farming of the strike (from Nailz) and generosity of the fielders (for Nailz), the scoreboard rattled along at five or six an over.  Teddy was at last starting to get into some form but a legside paddle took a leading edge and he departed for 11.  A low-on-sugar and food Charlie was next into the arena, making 8 before getting run out after smashing a cross-batted straight shot and haring off for the run.  Unfortunately the bowler took one for the team, put his ankle in the way and CC was out before he could turn back and make the ground.  A difficult period for the Drovers ensued, as one bowler took advantage of the spongy pitch to be unhittable on a good length, and the slow bowler at the other end reaped the benefits.  Nailz, having brought his second Droving fifty with the score on about 75, was a goner for a fine 52. 

 

There was a fairly mixed bag after that, but good contributions from Hello Dave (15 in his first game for 3 years), G Man playing the (iron) anchorman with 25* and a cameo 25 from KJ Hern, which was remarkable considering his weekend to date had consisted of a game, 17-pint beer festival quaffage and a 170-mile cruise in the Discovery.  Not much wagging from the rest of the tail and the Drovers were all out for a pretty damn competitive 167.

 

Sensing a victory chance in the air (perhaps the rarity of defending a total - a decent one to boot - provided the stimulus), the Drovers set out to dominate the second innings Smackdown.  Teddy made a brave call entrusting the new ball to two people he'd hardly seen bowl before, but was not let down.  Frenchman Sharpey worked up a pace and bamboozled the batsmen with some short stuff before beating the bat.  He accounted for both openers - Woodman claiming a looping edge and G Man snagging a skier coming in from square leg.  Pricey bowled very well but without luck alongside, creating pressure for Sharpey to cash in on but wasn't able to halve his average. 

 

Time for something more mellow, time for Kimbo.  Fresh from taking 4-3 the previous day, the Treasurer delivered a beautiful collection of slowish bowling.  He started with some tight stuff, playing cat and mouse with the batsmen who were trying to play themselves in.  Twice after teasing a batsman with some F&G, the ball flew, fast and high, over mid-off.  However, twice in position under the trees at long-off was The General, twice he set himself, twice the ball flew straight into the pouch like hands and twice the Drovers were off to celebrate.  Kimbo continued with an LBW and then broke a key partnership as the batsmen rather sadly (only for him of course) seem to guide one so fine that it rolled very slowly onto the stumps.  He also claimed another to finish with 7-2-18-5.  Unfortunately his last ball, the only chance to claim the best-ever Droving figures, was a full bunger that got spanked for 4.

 

G Man and General were next to chance their arm and kept the pressure up, before Paddy served up some spinach.  Unfortunately one ball went for 6 over deep square leg, despite an extravagant jump from Nailz that looked like it should have been in some 1990s rap video.  In fact there was some qui-ite amazing fielding, as well as the catches, Nailz threw himself around the boundary, Pricey did a slow-motion one handed stop par excellence in the covers and General showed his true commitment by diving past one in the deep.  Anyway Paddy got a plumb LBW which left 2 to get.  Enter in-form Charlie, mysteriously held back until about the 24th over, to mop up the rest.  Perhaps it was Woodman questioning why he was "walking like a c**t" that got the pace up, but he clean-bowled the last main batsman and the last any batsman.  HHCC all out for 134 - big W time by 33 runs.

 

The teams decanted to the adjacent public house, where the Ashes result was cheered to the rafters washed down with some beerage.  It was then back to Teddy's place for more beers (great idea on a Sunday evening) and the best on-offer oven food that Sainsbury's had, backed up for a time with the Drovers CC 2007 Christmas Album. 

 

All in all a day of magic darts and thanks to everyone who made the journey.

 

Will stick the results and stats onto the website in the next day or so.

 

Time for a hattrick of Ws next week - bring some of that on.

 



Drovers v Maladroits -
July 4th - Wandsworth Common

 

Report by 005



While many, indeed most cricket fans up and down the land were starting to focus their attention on the Ashes series beginning tomorrow where England and Australia take each other on in Wales, 22 fine men strode onto the field to partake in the real series of the summer.

The Drovers vs The Maladroits has long captured the hearts and minds of the British Isles, and now was the time for the Drovers to avenge last season's 2-1 series defeat. Skipper for the day Kiwi either lost or won the toss, I honestly couldn't say having turned up late, but either way the Drovers soon wandered into the field in Wandsworth boasting four frenchmen out of ten, as Charlie Campbell was still hauling himself out of a coma.

The new ball was tossed to G/I-Man who decided his antics in Nice last weekend had gained him enough respect to be allowed to bowl three overs of utter dross, while Frenchman Smeets delivered his left-arm quicks to devastating effect, using the ever-so-slightly variable bounce to his favour, aiming several deliveries at players heads.

Carrington was dismissed quickly, popping a simple catch up to Frenchman Reidos at Square Leg who surprised everyone by snaffling it in what was his first game of cricket...ever. More was to come from the little whippet however, as after Tommo had been smashed to all parts by Maladroits ringer and Drovers Nemesis, Mark Shearer, Kiwi decided to bang one in and as the top edge flew for what was surely six runs down to fine leg, young Reidos went haring backwards and somehow managed to outstretch his right arm and while casually looking back over his shoulder as if to say "ha-ha" plucked the ball from thin air. Simply magical and still utterly unbelieveable. Someone stick that in a magic show.

Campbell finally turned up after 12 overs and promptly clean bowled the two dangermen while Curry did his best to up the run rate for the Droits with a string of full tosses. Catches went down in the outfield, Frenchmen Martin and BJ both shelling one off Curry in true Puke-Urinal Mayo fashion, BJ flapping his arms and closing his eyes while the ball hit him square in the chest before the Drovers leading strike bowler picked up a wicket with a rather generous LBW. BJ made amends later, catching the dangerous Brewer, off his own bowling of course.

Bottom line was the Maladroits finished on 143/6 after 20 overs and the chase was on. Could the Drovers grab their first win in 15 months?

An opening partnership described by Kiwi as: "The best I have ever seen for the Drovers" ended when Nailz was bowled off his head for three (not that good a partnership then) while Paddy retaliated with the biggest six mankind has ever seen, over cow corner...where else? Frenchman Martin then ran himself out first ball before Frenchman Reidos scored his first, and only run thanks to a misfield. Frenchman Smeets then proved that Ringers are useful, especially when they have played for Auckland Under-19s and swatted 52 before being asked to retire.

It was left to Campbell to show he had something to offer with the bat and while those on the sidelines struggled to work out if he was batting sensibly or simply unable to see the ball as he crawled along, after G-Man and BJ mustered seven runs between them and Tommo came in to swipe a four Campbell suddenly came to life. Runs flowed and a six creamed over extra-cover won the match and left campbell 24* thus giving the Drovers the four wicket win they so Lionel Ritchley deserved. 

That puts DCC one up in the series with the next game scheduled for mid-August, miss it at your peril.

Cheers,

 

 

 

Drovers CC v Your Mum's Face - Monday 25th May 2009.

 

Report by 005 AD Curr

 

 On Monday the inaugural fixture between the Drovers and Your Mum's Face took place at the Hub in Regents Park. The scene was set early on when two men making their Droving debuts turned up 45 minutes late having fallen asleep on the tube after a night at the hotel slapper.



They were not the only men turning up late, but shockingly more than half of the Drovers were actually there early, including Woodman who wasn't drunk. I think we're getting old. So, after the opposition skipper turned up (the last of his team to arrive) the toss was taken and the Drovers skipper for the day elected to bowl.



A quick word must first go to another debut of the day, as Woodsy erected his giant pole and the Drovers Flag fluttered high above Regents Park, and magnificent it looked too. Still, wasn't enough to get him elected was it?



With DCC missing a wealth of experience in the attack it was Breasty and Frenchman JC who took the new ball. The opening four overs were a curious mix of beamers, wides and deliveries that would have Viv Richards pleading for mercy as they rose fast into the batsman's ribs and face.



Opening up for YMF was Glen and Blinky, who soon racked up 50 for the first wicket. The breakthrough came on the last ball of the sixth over as skipper Curry brought himself into the attack and with a delivery that could be best described as "brutal" found the top edge of Glen's bat and flew approximately as high as Everest itself. After an age it came speeding down to earth and while nobody in the county expected Curry to hold it, for the first time in seven years of Droving he did indeed cling on to one.



The true magic was yet to come however. In the 12th over Senior was brought into the attack, and the look of terror on Your Mums Face was written all over their, well, face. With his hair now matching the colour of his trousers Senior proceeded to send down a mix of moon-balls, shooters and "quicker balls" each one seducing the batsman to come down the track and have a go.



While this caused much amusement to those in the field (although not as much as Nailz who, fielding a ball at long-on managed to go from perfectly upright and ready to throw, to perfectly vertical and ready to die for absolutely no reason whatsoever) one man kept his nerve. Woodman, who had been heard to utter in the lead up to the game, "I really want to stump your mum's face," got his moment when another YMF air-shot enabled him to go crashing into the stumps and suddenly high fives were out in force. The first of his career and another was yet to come.



Senior picked up a second in his next over, but it wasn't until his third that the goddamn magic show really took place. It's worth pointing out that up to this point, 16 overs in, DCC had not dropped a single catch and had actually caught two from two.



Ball one of the most eventful over in Droving history saw a drive go through the usually safe hands of Kirt at extra cover, while the following ball Curry decided to make amends for actually taking a catch by putting down a near identical one. So, ball three and Senior was angry, so much so that the quicker ball uprooted Chris Martin's stumps and we all felt slightly better. Ball four and another wicket fell, suddenly things were hotting up. Not since Henry Olonga in 2007 had we had a DCC hat-trick, surely that wasn't about to change? In walked the opposition skipper Toovey. It was tense.



Nine men crowded round the bat and the umpire was reminded that anything hitting the pads was out. All Senior had to do was bowl straight, and he did just that. Replays may suggest the ball was high and took a large inside edge while also pitching outside leg, but the umpire's decision is final. The appeal itself deserved to have the finger go up, and up it duly went. Suddenly Senior had his Michelle and a Droving hat-trick. Extraordinary.



The following over even Welshman got in on the act, clean bowling Blinky with one that zipped and bounced and took off stump. This just minutes after he tried to complete a run out by heading the ball onto the stumps. Senior collected another in his final over thanks to the nimble hands of Woodsy, thus finishing with figures of 4-0-30-6. Amazing. The final over of the innings was bowled by Cuzzer after everyone else had declined and he produced a wicket maiden, finishing with 2-29 thus keeping him top of the Drovers strike rate charts.



So, a target was set of 168 from 20, gettable for sure. Until we actually went into bat. I could go into detail but after David "I'm supposed to be good' Kirtley was dismissed for 8 and his cousin collected a 10-ball duck, DCC were on the back-foot. Jules stood tall, square cutting everything regardless of where it pitched, his 13 runs were a joy to behold.



Running between the wickets had been a real feature for YMF, while for DCC it really was enough to earn Puke Urinal-Mayo status. Breasty decided to run out Nailz, simply because he felt he deserved it, and then chipped one up himself.  Woodsy registered his 13th duck in just 12 innings, even we don't know how he does it.



So at the halfway stage the Drovers were 45/5 with extras top scoring. Our two Frenchmen, Dennis and JC put together a partnership of sorts but once they were dismissed the end came pretty swiftly. Credit to the YMF bowlers, Matty Boland bowling his first 15 deliveries without conceding a run and finished with figures of 4-3-4-2.



So, all out for 127 and a 41-run defeat, it's been a year now since DCC registered a W - but it didn't matter because we all got quite drunk and sunburnt. Until next time.


 

Drovers CC v Salix CC - Sunday 3rd May 2009.

 

Report by 003 KJ Hern

 

Droving 10 fall 8 short!

 

What a start to the season. A full complement of players to mix and match our skills in the pursuit of victory would have been handy, but sadly there were only ten. Ten of the finest however. Keen, fresh and ready to roll. Some would say that we were a little rusty in the field, but the crowd were not disappointed with a fielding display compiled with as much hilarity as a comedy night. Superb stand up contributions firstly by Paddy, then a double by Senior, and rounded off nicely with Woodman let the opposition creep into a fairly handy position of about 100-1. Our one wicket coming courteously of Charlie Campbell with a length ball not getting off the ground to bowl the poor batsmen. That said the Campbell's bowling did deserve more than the one for twenty odd off seven. Bowling from Nailz was probably best forgotten, but we always like to chase a few runs. Senior and Paddy having put their fielding displays to the back of their minds combined for a good tight spell. We pulled it back well, and Salix ended up on 191 off 35 overs.

After the successful Everest campaign, and hours of net practice, it was on Jules and Kirt's shoulders to get the run chase underway. Jules came and went, but Kirt focussed, and with no sleep the night before managed to lay willow on leather impressively at the 13th attempt. He looked most improved on past performances, but just couldn't let the bat do the talking. Sadly contributions from the rest of the top 8 batsmen were minimal, with no one breaking past 4 in total except the Hog. Hog had carried his form from Kington, and was stroking the ball to all parts. When he hit 50, I think the team total was about 68 at the time. Things didn't really get any better, with no real partnerships surfacing, and when Kimbo came to the crease we needed around 105ish of 11 overs with only Campbell left in the hutch.

The next 10 overs saw Hog and Kimbo compile around 85 runs, leaving 17 to win off the last over. Mathematically possible, and with the blood flowing there was a real chance. However, our goose was well and truely cooked when Kimbo was run out for 41. Hog got to 97 with one ball to go, but sadly we needed 9 for victory. He holed out at cow corner going for a six. A top innings that won him the accolade of Man of the Match.

So eight short in our first game. All that can be said is the only way is up fellas. Plus do some fielding practice!

Thank you and goodnight.