The cricket season finally got underway properly on Saturday 11th July at Stuart Playing Fields, with a fun intra-club match. After months of Covid-19 restrictions it was simply wonderful to get back out there and play some cricket. All the more fitting that our first chance to get club members together and play should fall on the birthday of Mike Waring, our Chairman and Groundsman, who sadly died in April of this year.
As this was our first opportunity to pay our respects to Mike and recognise all the work he did for the club over many decades, it was only right that players and members payed tribute before the start of play. Stood around the square, which Mike had overseen for over 20 years, the players were led by his eldest son Alex, who said a few words, before holding a minute’s silence.
What followed was a cracking day’s cricket between two sides made up of a mix of 1st and 2nd XI players, captained by Alex and Jaime Waring. Jaime won the toss and elected to bowl, his side started well. Pete Wallis removing John Creedon with a beauty. Taylor Williams and Liberty Maher also went early on before Alex Waring and Simon Penn steadied things and raised the scoring rate with some big shots. Nick Osborne and James Holmes also chipped in during the last ten overs with some useful runs to take Alex’s side to 149 from their 30 overs.
In reply, youngster Mat Cole put on a nice display. Initially playing some lovely looking shots that were thwarted by the lush outfield, he soon switched tactics and started going over the top to great effect. John Roe, as usual, hung around in support but it was when John Ablett came to the crease the run rate took off. Liberty Maher bowled with good pace and Ben Pitman with accuracy. It was Nick Osborne, with 3 wickets, who looked to have won it for Alex’s side but with 10 needed from the last over, his brother Jaime stepped up and hit Ben Pitman for a quick run two, then a big six with 3 balls remaining. Jaime hitting the winning runs for his side off the penultimate ball of the game.
In truth, despite the restrictions and odd breaks to sanitise the ball, it was simply lovely to have cricket back at Stuart Fields, to see the sun shining, the grounds looking splendid, to have the bar open and the locals sitting and watching again.
Mike would, no doubt, have loved it…