Brockley , sponsored by A14 Tyres, (the best place in Bury for your tyres so don’t be a dummy - get yourself along there!) welcomed Walsham to the Badger Oval for the first time since the last Royal Wedding. Captain Huffer won the toss and made a clear statement by batting first : there was no way he wanted to be home early to watch London’s finest picking up yet another FA Cup.
However the run machine partnership of Fisher and McCaffrey were up against an unbeaten Walsham attack and were both back in the pavilion before you could say, “Has Dave Cross found that ball yet?” This prompted a Charles and Diana era middle order Brockley collapse that must have left the watching John Wright ( how good was it to see him?) feeling like it was 1977 again.
As had been broadcast all week , this was a very special day in our nation’s history : it was Ben Jeffrey’s 40th birthday and amid all the mayhem, pomp and regalia it was reassuring to see him. Enter his fifth decade as he had left his fourth : LBW.
At 70 for 8 it was left to top scoring lead singer Whiley (24) to drag the score past 100 with questionable support from Sykes. The partnership may only have been 37 but on four separate occasions it broke the club record for the slowest single, This was previously held by Neil Womersley and David Andrews coincidentally achieved as Diana walked up the aisle and at the same pace.
Brockley closed on 107 all out with the mighty Hoover undefeated.
In reply Walsham started confidently with Bryant (about 45?) punishing most bowlers. Sykes took a couple of wickets including one where the batsman massively misjudged how much he had slowed up over the years but it was left to Meekings, who had kicked off the Royal cebrations with two fags and a Magners at 2pm to take two wickets at the death and leave the park running, triathlon competing, Hartest hill cycling contingent to ponder the real value of all their efforts.
This couldn’t stop Walsham completing a deserved victory in plenty of time for Huffer to join in in a chorus of Blue is the Colour.
In what was a proper Old School match between two sides whose history goes back further than Coe’s it was a fitting end to see so many of the visiting team stop for a drink and a chat afterwards whilst eschewing the modern trend of bringing your own beer
If only all Saturdays could be so jolly.