Mallards v Riding Mill July 22 @ Riding Mill

We were all happy and surprised to be playing a match after rain had threatened earlier for most of the day. Having fully Covid-19 adapted with chairs for players outside and the mandatory sanitary break every 6 overs the match proceeded with Riding Mill batting first. Unfortunately the scorecard does not have the runs at the end of each over or which bowler bowled the over. So here it goes with some dramatic licence !!

The Mill opened with Kenty and A Hall. The opening bowling attack was Tony Cleaver and Tom Browne . There was a moment of shock when the first wicket fell at 17 Kenty given lbw to Browne for 11. The umpires finger going up like the proverbial rat up a drainpipe. The new batsman was Joel Marks. Browne was on fire and in his next over bowled A Hall for 9. The score at that stage 28 for 2. The next batsman was A Watson.  Trigger Cleaver having adjusted his line finished his spell well with figures 0-31 off 4 overs and Browne finishing his spell with figures of 2-33 off 4 overs.

Marks and A Watson consolidated the position for the Mill with some good batting. In the bowling attack Cox replaced Cleaver and Latif replaced Browne. There was a great fiery spell from Cox. Marks retired on 30 not out with A Watson retiring on 31 not out. The new batsman was G Bowman who scored some good boundaries before being eventually bowled by Cox for 19. The new batsman was Thacker who was caught on the boundary for 4 by an excellent running catch by Browne who, like most of us, has benefitted from some good pre-season training run by Robbie at the Mill.  Cox finished a great spell with figures of 1-14 off 4 overs. Latif finishing with figures of 1-30 off 4 overs which could have been better if safe hands Buxom had caught a regulation catch for him. The safety of his hands not in doubt but the getting there maybe ?

A note on the fielding of Cleaver who threw himself about like a man possessed literally putting his body on the line. This included saving a certain boundary on one occasion using his shoulder.

The new batsmen were Steve ‘Chuck’ Norris and Mallinson who played some nice shots to close the Mill’s innings . Norris finishing on 17 not out and Malinson on 15 not out. The last bowling pair of Stig and Holland finished on 0-25 off 2 overs (Stig) and 0-7 off 1 over (Holland). The Mallards had been set a pretty daunting 145 to win.

The Mallards opening batsmen were  Cox and making his Mallards debut Robbie Burns who had coached us well during pre-season. Robbie after coaching us realised the best way to help the Mallards batting frailties was to actually bat for them. Unusually for a Mallards innings Coach Robbie hit the first ball for 4. The opening pair approached the total with a vigour. Opening bowlers for the Mill were Mallinson and Brown. Cox and Coach Robbie batted beautifully hitting a number of boundaries. The scoring rate was very good and keeping up with the rate required. After 3 overs the Mallards were 25 for 0 And after 8 overs the Mallards had reached 59 for 0. For the Mill Mallinson finished with 0-30 from 4 overs and Brown 0-26 from 4 overs. Coach Robbie retired on 32 but had a strong inkling having coached the Mallards that he would be back as we now were into the Mallards batting proper which was more renowned for its ‘nurdling’ as opposed to quick scoring. Wood was the new batsman and true to form began ably ‘nurdling’ and was soon out for 1 bowled B Watson. Lucas the next batsman was out for a duck again to B . Watson.( Score 74 for 2)  In came Skip Buxom. Cox soon retired for a well made 30  – after looking around at the remaining Mallards he decided not to take his pads off. Next batsman Latif then bucked the ‘nurdling’ trend with 2 fours off Chuck Norris in consecutive deliveries surprising himself and equally the watching Mallards. Latif was controversially run out for 10. The score was 107 after 15 overs. B Watson for the Mill finished with figures of 2 for 20 off 4 overs . Next in for the Mallards was Stig. Facing his fourth delivery he was hit in the head (without helmet) and horribly fell to the floor. It was a sickening moment watching. Thankfully Stig with a bloodied face and his front teeth rearranged eventually recovered on the sidelines. Typically team man Stiggy wanted the game to proceed and reluctantly agreed to go to hospital after the match if we carried on.

The Mallards innings quickly faltered on resumption. McCaffrey was run out for 2 followed by Buxom run out for 16. Browne was bowled first ball and Cleaver was bowled by Thacker for 1 .Coach Robbie was back for only one ball and was out to Thacker’s bowling. Holland finished on 2 not out . The Mallards had posted a credible 121 in response. For the Mill Norris finished with 0 for 27 off his 3 overs , Thacker 2 for 5 of his 2 overs and Hall 1 for 6 off 1 over.

Win  draw or lose we are all grateful to be playing again . Much merriment was had between the players after the match enjoying the fantastic new facilities the Mill had on offer including a wide selection of drinks( ranging from the latest real ales to slim line gin and tonic) from an enormous fridge. Kenty, by now recovered from his earlier subdued self, was happily serving out chips and well proportioned sausages.