A very very good team were waiting for us at Wollaton, and with the history of the 2 sides we thought this might well be the case. Having looked on paper at the quality of the 11 we were up against, it is fair to say that we were going to be well up against it all day. However, we kept our discipline as a team, and focused on the cricket. We let our game do the talking, unlike certain individuals and as a result walked away with a fine victory.
The truth is we played as a single unit, we worked for each other. And in the last 25 years of playing with Fiskerton I have never experienced such a fantastic atmospehere on the field. Chasing down every ball, and supporting your team mates is vital, and that is what gave us our win against a good Wollaton XI.
Having won the toss, I elected to bat first, the idea being to bat them out of the game. With the likes of Beecroft and Collo coming in at 9 & 10, it was fair to say we batted all the way down. Toddy and Newby opened up the proceedings with Toddy spanking the 4th delivery through covers with ease. Surely this was going to be his day! However, his bad luck continued, middling a drive in the 2nd over into the middle of his calf, he painfully saw it roll back onto the stumps just nudging the bails to the turf. Max marched to the wicket with a big score in mind, he has played quite beautifully all year and this continued as the partnership grew to 57 before Newby who had played with confidence and style was bowled having played and missed in rather an ugly fashion. Dan Collington was promoted up the order to 4, and decided to do his captain caveman impression, a very quick 15 runs in only 2 overs before he was caught. David Hedge replaced Collington Jr, and after a nervy start he began to start working the fielders. Just after drinks Max drove the ball to short cover, a disappointing end as it was the first loose shot he had played, dismissed for 39. The score was 104 for 4, Andy Laughton and Hedge put on a solid 70 runs before Hedge was bowled in the 36nd over for 39, a mini collapse then followed. Kirkham called Laughton through who was run out for 28, Kirkham was then bowled for 2. Ed did not look out of place, but was unfortunate to get a leading edge for 4, Beecroft run out for 0. The knock that actually proved vital was by Steve Collington, off the last over against the opener he scored 10 which included a lovely 6. I could say it was straight over the bowler but I would be lying. But it was long enough, and that's all the matters in the last over. So the score, 195 for 9.
Dan Collington took the new ball, and he was fired up. He wrapped the knuckles of the Wollaton captain early on with an unintentional beamer, this softened him up and as a result, the skipper was then caught a few balls later off Collington for just 4 runs. A good catch from Jimmy Kirkham running in to the vacant space at mid wicket. Mark Nevin took the new ball up the hill at the other end, he got the ball on more than one occasion to leave the batsmen and was in the end unlucky not to pick up a wicket. After 8 overs, both openers came off. This made way for the match winning performance, from Laughton. Andy Laughton bowled what can only be described as a spell from the "cricketing gods". It was by far the greatest bowling performance I have ever seen from a Fiskerton player, Andy Laughton made the ball sing. Against quality batsmen, he made them look like they had never played the game before, with figures of 2 for 25 off 8 this did not do Andy justice. Without exageration he could quite easily have bowled the whole of Wollaton out single handed, he beat the bat 3 or 4 times per over, every over. REMARKABLE SPELL!
Collington and Beecroft bowled the remaining 16 overs up the hill between them. Beecroft keeping things very tight for his 8 overs picking up 2 wickets one being the vital wicket of the no.4 batsmen, who was stumped with some very neat glove work from Max (Beeky 2 for 31 off 8). Collington picked up just the one wicket, but it was a satifying wicket. Mike Leak caught by Hedge for a duck (Collo 1 for 39 off 8). Hedge bowled through after Laughton's heroics to conclude the overs from the top end, picking up 2 important wickets and going for just 41 off 8. Wollaton finishing just 9 runs short of the target set, on 187 for 8.
This performance is one, that I will always look back on and smile and for the lucky 11 players that took part I'm sure it is not one they will forget in a hurry.
"They say a man is measured by how he behaves in defeat, not in victory", and with that in mind I would like to thank 10 out of the 11 Wollaton players, who shook our hands at the end of what was a great game of cricket.
Man of the match: Andy Laughton. For what was without a shadow of doubt a fantastic display of seam bowling.