Mallards v Burnmoor @ Burnmoor June 7

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck
So far Mallards season had been shaping up nicely with 4 wins out of 6. The World Cup was kicking off next week. Colin had a new haircut. Who could blame us for approaching Burnmoor to play QSCC with optimism. The team arrived in the quaint County Durham village, hoping its Italian marble Angel of Victory in the nearby St Barnabas church could inspire us to another win.
We either won the toss and elected to bat or got put into bat. Kent got us off the mark from the first ball with a two and then defended the rest of a difficult over from Smith. Meanwhile Colin was
getting lairy at the non-striker’s end itching to face his first delivery. It came at the start of the second over, which he subsequently tried to drive out the ground but was instead bowled out. Captain Stig
was then in to steady the ship with some quick singles – 5 for 1 from 3 overs. A period of relative serenity followed; a few singles, byes, a nice cut from Kent and an impressive drive and yet the total
was only 17 for 1 off 7. Perhaps we’ve got this all wrong and the Angel of Victory would pie us all off.
Smith’s final over, the 8th, would see the start of a terrible turn of fate for the Mallards. Butcher was bowled out for four by Smith. Chris Lucas was in number four. He now holds this ground with great
affection. He is often seen at night by locals, acting out scenes from his award winning emoji prose which was, of course, inspired by last  year’s match here. On this occasion he was left to wonder what
could have been – bowled by Smith, again, two deliveries later for a duck. 18 for 3 off 8. Not to worry though, Rob Wilson, pride of Yorkshire, was ready to take the reins.
It left Kent to face the first over from Brigham, which he did so beautifully – two two’s interwoven with a couple of boundaries, scoring 12 from 5 deliveries, 30 for 3 off 9. Wilson got off the mark in the 10th over. However, just as we seemed to be turning the corner Kent then fell to Evans for a uniquely respectable knock of 24. Gibbons stepped up in only his second appearance of the season
only to be clean bowled by his first delivery. We were now 32 for 5.
Latif faced up to the 11th over to little effect on the scoreboard, and saw witness to more misery as a nice looking drive from Wilson was caught at mid-on. Two maiden overs followed, with Stig urging
his remaining batsmen up the run rate. Latif, not one to disobey captain’s orders, called for the single in the 14th – it was difficult to judge from the club-house but it may well have been on. I guess
we’ll never know Beacock backing his fellow batsman to the hilt heeded the call and took flight diving for the line but was adjudged to have been run out from some sharp fielding.
Latif’s colleague Tony came for in his debut but fell in the 15
th – caught edging behind only to be followed in rapid succession by Latif, again bowled by Evans. Which left just Prof Ian “The Flashing
Blade” Stone and Tom Browne to salvage things. Prof Stone’s impressive break dancing at the stumps did not deter the opposition bowlers. The end of the slaughter came when he fell in the 17th.
Mallards finished 41 all out with 21 deliveries remaining. Mr Extras had seemingly crept in through the back door to finish second highest score of 8 – a complete omnishambles.
Browne opened the bowling for QSCC’s innings with just one coming off the over. “Keep it tight like this we’ll smash them”, we thought. Gibbons leaked 5 in the next over but managed to keep it tighter in his second with a maiden. Browne went for 11 and 10 in his subsequent overs and then the fours started to flow from Wayman in his third. Howay man. Tony, handed the dubious honour of bowling his first over with pretty much no runs left to defend, saw proceedings conclude early.  QSCC finished on 44 for 0 after just 6 overs.
An early bath of beer helped to drown our sorrows and that all too familiar feeling of wicket premature evacuation. Although not perhaps for our younger Mallards – this was a performance and
 result of which they had not witnessed [youngsters need to look at the scorecard image on “about us” section of the website – ed]. It made us realise that our successful run could only last so long
and besides some of the big names will be back soon. Yet we learnt Thompson’s long-term rehabilitation programme has been delayed by the new series of ITV’s Love Island. Gareth Taylor’s
returned from Deutschland obsessed with some Rapunzel letting down her hair and now he’s got to go back, apparently. Trevor’s half the world away and Gilloway is now playing his cricket  in the
Where can we turn for guidance and inspiration now? Well we did take something from ourthrashing at Burnmoor, which was when we quack like ducks and we swim like ducks, then we must
be Mallards and that’s what we are folks after all. We are the Mallards. Quack quack.