Lyn and / or Cormac
The Boat Race
Jack Frost's Own ReportOne of the great pleasures of playing for the XI against long-standing opponents is that everyone strives to make a game of it, regardless of adversity. And so it was this year at Whitchurch, whom the XI first played on 16th June 1974, so our Chairman and chief statistician informs me.
The adversity was all on the side of the XI. For a start, for XI read IX. However, Whitchurch had agreed to supply us with two players, and not just two lesser players, but usual captain Lyn Williams and his youngest son, Scoobs (we never did find out his real name).
The next adversity was that at the toss, the XI was still only an X, due to Croatia tourist and probationer Malcolm Rothera having got his timings slightly awry. Therefore on winning the toss, despite initially drizzly conditions, the XI went out to bat. After all, that was where, on paper, our strength lay.
On grass it was a different story. Three overs gone, three runs scored, three wickets down. And away from the middle James ‘007’ Billington, having got a jaffa from Whitchurch stand-in skipper Cormack Neeson, then had to depart unexpectedly to deal with a personal matter which left the XI back at IX.
As the sun emerged to warm the afternoon, a gritty stand between Tim Martin (31) and Giles Coffey (20) started to give the score some respectability, and then the loanee Williamses and other new probationer Piers Vacher made useful contributions of 20-odd each to give the total a semblance of defendability. However, a flurry of late wickets, including the now-arrived Malcolm Rothera, ensured that Frost failed to take full advantage of the time and were all out for a sub-par 128.
Whitchurch then kindly offered to provide rolling substitute fielders to bring us back to XI , and some inspired early ‘wheels’ from Chris Walker and ‘tweaks’ from Tim Martin saw them teetering at 25-3 and then 60-5. Whitchurch even tried to bring the start of the last 20 overs forward to put their batsmen under added pressure, but our President and standing-umpire David Lipop was having none of it! And so it was that a combination of limited Frost bowling resources, no real time pressures and some lusty if agricultural middle-order batting, saw Whitchurch home by 4 wickets midway through the last 20.
A disappointing result, albeit a fairly valiant performance, was then overshadowed by another shocker in the post-match beer ‘boat-race’ outside The Greyhound pub, where the XI were comprehensively out-drunk by our hosts, again! Nevertheless, much banter was then enjoyed over several further beers, after a day which once again represented all that is good about Frost cricket.
Jack Frost XI 128 – T Martin 31, L Williams 24*, P Vacher 20, G Coffey 20
Whitchurch 129-6 – T Martin 9.1-1-25-3, C Walker 10-3-18-1
(not sure who wrote this. Ed.)
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