TRCC vs. Warfield - September 1st 2012

And so to the last league game of the season and a must win with max points for TRCC to have any chance of sneaking ahead of Catcliffe Way. A very disappointing pre-match player shortage saw Barrable and H Fort scrambling for players, but by Friday midnight we had a team of 11. Then just before the game some further shenanigans saw T Fort replacing George (?) in the team with George standing in as umpire (and in this authors opinion, not our finest moment of team fair play - however George you have my personal thanks for your efforts and the 2 points your umpiring gave us).
Anyway to the game. TRCC won the toss and batted with the returning Lunnon and (finally) Barrable opening the batting. Lunnon quickly showed us what we had been missing all year with some crisp boundaries and aggression but alas it wasn't to last too long. Barrable made slow progress initially but the other end saw the unfortunate usual suspects failing to deliver with the bat. The minimum objective of 175 was looking an awful long way off but Barrable kept going whilst others tried to hang in as long as they could. Drinks came and went with TRCC in the 60 something, marginally slower than the previous week but of course without the big hitting Walkland this week. What was clearly needed was a skippers innings and Barrable delivered in fine style. Carrying his bat through the innings, he was denied a last ball chance to reach his century when the run of the penultimate ball was called back as no shot played - a tad harsh and certainly unnecessary, but Barrable finished the innings on a seasons high 99* and TRCC amazingly had reached 177. The positive note was that TRCC had gained the full 5 points for batting though the final total looked well short on what was a decent batting track.
Hogarth served up a marvellous tea at the break with the hope that the opposition would stuff themselves possibly? And so to the final innings, with TRCC having to take 10 wickets for the much needed victory and max 37 points on offer. The only issue for TRCC was given the bowling options who was going to take those wickets? First up with the old ball was Cochrane with his usual tight, wicket to wicket darts whilst the fiery Burgess revved up at the other end. Burgess was soon in the game making early inroads to have Warfield 15 for 2 in the 6th over and a fine start for TRCC. Maybe it was going to be TRCCs day after all and with the new ball taken things were looking rosy? No, it wasn't. Unfortunately that was the end of the excitement as batsmen 3 and 4 proceeded to chip away at the TRCC total. Other bowling options were tried with the legendary Hogarth swingers hitting town, some Barrable darts, Spence (call me Warne) temptors, even C Fort had a recall and finally Pavan (?) but all to no avail. Some missed chances fell by the wayside with a missed stumping and 'comical' dropped catch when two fielders went for the same dolly despite a call being made. Warfield however essentially showed TRCC how to bat competently on a decent wicket and they easily reached the 178 target with no further losses.
Ultimately a disappointing day and relegation for TRCC back to division 4, though with the shuffling that usually goes on in the BCL this may not actually happen. However TRCC have not been good enough this year with either bat or ball and in marked contrast to last years league topping form. No doubt there are many factors involved as to why but one key ingredient is having a team in the first place! Barrable and H Fort have had a ridiculously hard year getting teams out and over the coming months player numbers and availability will no doubt top many of the cricketing agendas - certainly things will need to improve next year or TRCC faces an uncertain future.
Points of note for the season - well lets face it there are few of these with the notable exception of Barrable who had a few decent innings, the amazing hitting of Walkland and the occasional top performance from Apte with bat and ball. The rest of us will no doubt have a school report along the lines of 'tried hard, underachieved but has potential and could do a lot better'. Somehow we need to start seeing more of the potential!
Now for those of you who managed to stay awake and keep reading til this point then I'm sure Hugh would love to hear about your availabilty for the remainder of the Sunday season throughout September.

And just to complete the story, it was all in vain anyway as Catcliffe took 32 points with a win over Sandhurst and a very strong finish to their season (W, WD, W).
The gadget spec URL could not be found