James Reeks Havoc To The Geriatrics!
For the past few weeks young James Weeks has been badgering the skipper to let him open the batting and finally he wore Danny down who couldn’t bear to witness another teenage strop, and boy did he take his opportunity!
Put in to bat on the artificial strip at the Coaver Club (in the grounds of County Hall in Exeter) with a lush looking outfield that was well overdue a cut Danny sent out the young and the old of the club, James with Old Father Spence to guide him through his first time! Neither of them looked in any trouble with the opening Geriatrics bowling of Clewlow and Markham as they played themselves in nicely and when the first bowling change was made they both showed their intent by dismantling the normally economic Biggs with James playing some powerful shots alongside some watchful defence. By now both batsmen were playing some lovely shots and the bowling started to change on a regular basis and it was only due to a mix up with their running that ended up with Greg being run out and although the umpire didn’t look like he was going to give the decision Greg took it upon himself to walk for a classy 29. Brad Sheahan was straight into his stride and carried on where he had left off a fortnight ago and with the promise of free beer if he could hit the County Hall building gave it a damn good go unfortunately after racing up to 35 he tried one big shot too many and was bowled. Rodney Davies came and went with a classy flick off his legs for 4 to get off the mark before being bowled having only added another single. Andrew Heimann joined James in the middle and was a great foil for him as James brought up his first 50 for Chulmleigh with a lovely boundary and the two of them milked the bowling for a lot of singles interspersed with some boundaries as the Geriatrics wilted in the muggy conditions. James had played a fantastic innings with some exhilarating shots and it was a shame to see him get out just 20 short of his maiden ton but having batted for nearly 2 and a quarter hours but by then he was visibly knackered. The skipper had given his orders to Kevin Yarnley to attack from the start but Kev was defiant with a text book forward defensive shot first ball followed by 2 fingers raised in the direction of the captain, however he then got on with the job in hand and finished unbeaten on 14 along with Andrew who had scored another half century to go in at 5.00pm on 53 not out. Chulmleigh had managed to score at a good pace all afternoon and the feeling sat in the grand hall of the Coaver Club at tea was that our 224 for 4 was a more than competitive score.
Danny and Tom Spence once again opened our bowling and with Danny keeping a good line and length at one end, the 2 opening Geriatrics batsmen decided that they would punish anything that Tom bowled a little too short knowing that there would be consistent bounce on the artificial strip and for a short while our score didn’t seem quite as good as it should have as they raced up to 38 off 8 overs. This didn’t last long though with an inspired piece of Captaincy from Danny to bring on the experienced duo of Andrew and Brad, Brads first ball was a beaut and beat Padfield all ends up to bowl him for 16, the next ball a full toss that was chipped to Greg Spence, who dived slower than gravity should allow, and snaffled the ball. Brad was on a hatrick and pulled all the fielders up and although the Geriatrics skipper, Lewis, lasted the next 3 balls Brad did him with another full toss and took the return catch to finish his first over with 3 wickets and no runs! Suddenly the game had turned in the space of 6 balls and the pressure was right back on the old boys, Brad continued to bowl a tight line and Andrew also nagged away and eventually induced an edge to give me an easy catch behind for the fourth wicket to go down with the score on 57. With the 20 overs beginning at 6.30pm Danny then pulled another master stroke by bringing on Sam Campling to bowl and the thirteen year old took his first senior wicket 5 balls later, his loopy well flighted ball confused the remaining opener, Evans, who only managed to chip the ball straight to Tom Spence in the covers. He continued to bowl his 4 over spell and tried to claim that the 2 exceptional run outs by Danny and James with 2 amazing bullet throws from long distance should go to his bowling figures but he wasn’t going to get away with that one! Kevin Yarnley was invited to bowl his version of off spin, looking more like a teenager with his cap on backwards, and picked up another wicket as the home team slumped to 102 for 8 and then Tom Spence returned to pick up the ninth wicket and we still had 10 overs left to bowl. However, despite trying hard and swapping the bowlers we couldn’t quite get over the line and get that final wicket. With the sun coming down the unusual request came from the Geriatrics that could we only bowl from the County Hall end as the sun was in the batsmens eyes and the game finished with the last 2 batsmen blocking out to survive for a draw.
A good game played in the right spirit and one that both James and Sam will not forget and we look forward to hosting our friends from the Geriatrics back at Southcombe next year.