Gregson CC vs. Walton Le Dale CC
25th April 2021 at LRGS
God may not play dice with the universe, but after a period of lockdown-induced drunkenness the Gregson somehow found themselves playing three dice-based Twitter cricket matches. True to real life form and expectations two were lost, but the third – against a team called Walton Le Dale – resulted in a tight finish and an unlikely Gregson victory.
Despite the controversy evoked by Jed Wililamson’s paraphrasing of Bjørge Lillelien at the end of the match (Editor’s note: Google him, you lazy sods, I can’t do everything for you…) and the international Twitter storm that followed (2 retweets and 3 likes), they agreed to play us for real.
The Gregson won the toss thanks to a call of ‘Viking’ rather than ‘fish’ from the opposition’s captain and put the visitors into bat. Debutant Anwar soon proved his worth in the field with a fine catch off Deighton’s first over to dismiss D Harvey (1), and when Murphy slipped one between bat and pad to clip the leg stump of Patel (2), there was a feeling the Gregson might, for once, not be totally outclassed.
Paul Williamson, having already shown his capability for the big hit, flashed and edged at a Deighton out swinger sending the ball head height to first slip. Parried upwards by Sumsion, dislodging his cap in the process, ball and headwear floated tantalisingly in the air. With an international cricketer’s instinct for such moments, Sumsion caught his cap, leaving the ball to fall to the grass.
Pickles was brought on to bowl only to watch Deighton perform some sort of interpretative dance as he juggled a catch from hand to hand several times before gravity eventually won. Incensed, the Judge took matters into his own hands and made no mistake with a sharp return catch to dismiss Thomas (2). Pickles was bowling well and was unlucky not to claim a second victim with a strong appeal for a sharp catch behind the stumps that can have missed the bat’s edge by mere millimetres.
Murphy’s bowling again found a way through the gate, leaving Nuttall (4) out of his ground and stumped, but at the other end Williamson had passed fifty with some fine shots, including a couple of mammoth sixes over the leg side boundary.
Benyon (16) was caught off the bowling of Deighton, but with the fielder unrecorded and no-one in the Gregson owning up for fear of being branded ‘a cricketer’, we shall return to the origins of this game and let the fates decide.
Roll a single die to find out who took the catch:
When Williamson (84) was finally bowled by Deighton, his replacement Newton (0) was lucky not to be given out first ball to a very tight lbw decision. His reprieve did not last long, with Jacques taking the second caught and bowled of the innings soon after. Jacques continued some fine off spin bowling with Taylforth (0) caught on the square leg boundary by Waddell and the clean bowling of the appropriately named Gregson (4), Bates (27*) and N Harvey (11*) took to the last few overs with gusto and finished the innings undefeated with Walton Le Dale posting a total of 169 – 9.
A chaseable target then for the Gregson, although the appearance of the 6’10” Walton Le Dale debutant, Tom Gregson, marking out a long run up led to a hurried change in the batting order with skipper Morrison deciding batting at 11 was the most sensible approach in the circumstances.
Tom Gregson soon struck, with Anwar (2) caught early in proceedings, but Lee and Sumsion came together to form a profitable partnership. Lee in particular was in fine fettle – his trademark cuts and back foot drives supplemented by uncharacteristic, lofted drives that regularly found the long off boundary. He had just passed his fifty when Sumsion (31) was caught off the bowling of D Harvey and when, after a sumptuous off drive, Sutton (4) was sent back to the pavilion by N Harvey, the match was still in the balance.
When Lee (62) was clean bowled by Bates, there was a tremor of nervousness amongst Gregson. Although McAllister (16*) could be relied upon to hold up an end, with 55 needed and the mercurial Waddell next in it was all too evident the game was not yet closed out. Could Waddell replicate his recent net form? All held their breath, but it seemed promising. Big hits went flying away, but a terrific catch at mid on to a ball that was travelling at lightening pace saw Waddell (10) return to the hutch.
Jacques (23) soon steadied any nerves in the dressing room with an elegant display of clean hitting through the covers. When he was finally caught of the bowling of Harvey, it was left to Pickles (8*) to stroke two leg side boundaries to record the winning runs.
170 – 6 meant a 4 wicket win and the first Gregson victory of the season.
Corporal John McNamara… Edward Baines… Samuel Ryder… Your boys put up a hell of a fight and made you proud. However, Joseph Livesey, noted temperance campaigner, may not have been too impressed with the Gregson’s post-match celebrations.
Thanks to Walton Le Dale for a fantastic game of cricket full of laughs, sportsmanship, and entertainment.
All the best for the season and we hope to see you again soon.