Beaconsfield took on Chalfont St Peter, away, in this year’s “Father’s Day Derby”, on the 16th June. The short journey to the ground was marked by heavy rain and the team arrived, one by one, looking sceptical, under gloomy, leaden skies. The team managers conferred in the middle next to the artificial wicket and agreed that, if it didn’t rain again, the match could go ahead, albeit after a short (20 minute) delay. The boys kept warm by playing football, whilst CSP disappeared over to the nets.
The CSP groundsman had unfortunately marked out a 15 yard pitch – something the Beaconsfield manager (temporary) realised was the U9 length for the 2019 season, having studied the ‘rules of junior cricket’ that the real team manager (Viki) had sent him by email! The groundsman marked out a new, longer pitch on the artificial surface and the match went ahead, with all bowling from one end (to avoid more confusion than normal) and Martin White kindly assisting with the umpiring.
CSP won the toss and batted first. Guy and Miles opened the bowling. Miles took 2 wickets and Guy exerted pressure from the other (ok, same) end, overall restricting CSP to a net of +2 runs. Rory and Tully bowled first change and a further 2 wickets fell, including a run out that the Beaconsfield manager missed completely! Rory took the other wicket. Nathan and Harry came on next. No wickets but also only 3 run off the bat (plus some byes and wides). Ben and Austin came on third change. Ben took a further wicket. Austin bowled with natural variation. Again, few runs off the bat but CSP made gains through some wides and byes. Ryan and Liam took on the responsibility for bowling last and bowled straight - only 2 wides in the lost last 4 overs. Nevertheless, CSP clubbed their way to a total of 280, for the loss of 5 wickets overall.
Beaconsfield’s reply started steadily, with Ryan and Liam amassing 10 runs off the first 4 overs, with no wickets down. Austin and Ben came in next and in the 5th over, Beaconsfield lost their first wicket. Nevertheless, by the end of the 8th over, when the batsmen changed, Beaconsfield were on 228, slightly ahead of where CSP had been at the same stage. The visiting crowd were quietly optimistic…
The next 4 overs rocked Beaconsfield. Harry E went on the charge, in an effort to turn the game and, in so doing, unfortunately lost 3 wickets. The score had climbed to 231 by the end of the 12th over, but Beaconsfield were now 15 runs behind. Tully and Rory went about their work with vigour but, feeling the score board pressure, lost a further 2 wickets, restricting our net score to 233 by the end of over 16. Guy and Miles came in as the last pair ,with an uphill task. A further wicket in the 17th over effectively ended Beaconsfield hopes. Still, the team ended with a flourish, with 25 runs off the last 3 overs, to finish on 255.
It was a good natured game and the boys all enjoyed themselves – and the match tea of Mr Kipling’s sugar that CSP supplied. Beaconsfield’s fielding was much improved compared to some previous matches, particularly with regards to avoiding wild throws and also backing up. Everyone departed in good spirits, to enjoy the remainder of Father’s Day.