Brockley, sponsored by the generous and extremely competitive A14 tyres, travelled out of the village and down the road to their big town neighbours. Surprisingly they found the ground and even more surprisingly found themselves fielding. The Bury innings was somewhat schizophrenic with increasingly fast scoring contrasting with increasingly slow over rates. Sandwiched in the middle were increasingly frequent drinks breaks.
Bury never looked in any real trouble as Stanton posted 112 without giving a chance and indeed I had to check the scorebook to see if he was ever dismissed. Not that the scorebook - or absence of it - was necessarily the font of all statistical knowledge. Whilst Stanton progressed effortlessly to his hundred at the other end Blumfield took an altogether different route to somewhere in the region of 80: he worked out that the heat of the day combined with the Victory Ground being 28 metres above sea level meant that the ball would fly in much the same manner as it would in Johannesburg: as far as Coe’s and perhaps even beyond.
He also checked out early on that if he mistimed it there was a fair chance it wouldn’t be caught. Huffer set exactly the right field to him and Walters-Smith bowled exactly the right ball but the boundary rope had been brought in so that it did not encompass Bradfield Combust and so the best laid plans ended in tatters. Bury closed on circa 278 for the loss of 4 wickets.
Despite this monumental total the Brockley bowlers and fielders kept at their task admirably although it was a tad disappointing to see Whiley (who recently disowned fellow members of his band) resorting to bowling bouncers over the heads of the batsman whilst Jefferys sought to suggest that Stanton had hit the ball twice (by my records he had hit the ball 231 times and many of them went to the boundary). Not the kind of behaviour the club would expect and certainly a poor example to the young Meekings boys with their father watching on.
In reply Brockley had a bit of a go - sparkling 20’s from Huffer and McCaffrey; a prolonged innings from Jefferys (34) who had more medical timeouts than drinks breaks before Whiley (26) proved as adept with the bat as the ball. However, when he misinterpreted Sykes staggering towards him as a medical emergency rather than an attempt for an insane single he was, like many before him, sadly done for. There then followed an immensely dull 6 overs as Brockley scraped their way past 150 to keep the margin of defeat to a manageable 128.
It is said that you learn a lost more in defeat than victory and Brockley certainly showed plenty of spirit although they were left thinking that there’s something to be said for the thickness of victory.
At least it didn’t rain.
For their part, Bury must be wondering why they are only a couple of points ahead of this shower in the league and setting their sights on Division Two cricket next season.