Brockley, sponsored by A14 Tyres (they are black and round and the best in town!) welcomed coastal competition in the form of mighty Mistley. Sadly they were missing their own marvellous McCaffrey, or Alliterative Alex as he is referred to by the more pedantic players.. He had reluctantly realised during the week that he would be unfortunately unavailable but had the fantastic foresight to secretly seek super Sam Hurst and ask him to “Play Mistley for me”.
Whilst Hurst was unsure about playing cricket in damp conditions with limited visibility he is nothing if not a tenacious type and immediately included his name in the line up.
Back to the incidental cricket.
Brockley ended up fielding first. Actually this is a lie. They bowled for 45 overs with a level of enthusiasm and limited skill but at no stage did they field. In fact for much of the three hours they did quite the opposite. Quite why captain Huffer never asked if he could swap the soapiest bar of soap for a cricket ball was unclear but at least all his team ended the innings with clean hands as it slipped between most of their fingers at least a dozen times - perhaps they were bidding to have a new verb “to unfield”added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Mistley were not fazed by the men with no arms, perhaps they couldn’t see the string of boundary calamities through the very light fog.
At about 140 for one with Sykes and Whiley making little impact, other than the latter’s production of an excellent tea, it was left to Huffer, Beeton and dangerous Dave Meekings (whoops, it’s started again) to supply variety and control that was sadly matched by a variety of misfields and lack of control by those loosely described as fielders.
228 for 5 was always going to be a challenging total but luckily the Brockley players were better at gripping their bats than the bail.
Richard Jones set off about the task like Josh Buttler on acid and Stuart Fisher seemed on course for another match winning afternoon until it was spoiled by yet another umpire that had no idea about the LBW law- left handlers really do suffer unfairly.
Despite losing wickets Brockley kept the rate up with Huffer consistently smashing the ball through extra cover whilst Mistley, generously, consistently refused to put a fielder there. In return Huffer equally generously gave his wicket away with a second run that even Sykes would not have attempted.
Paul Webb still remained and played one of his best innings for the club but when he perished with 70 needed from the last 10 overs it was looking bleak. However Brockley kept at it and for the second week running Blackledge ensured the tail wagged like the waggiest of dogs.indeed when he sent the ball sailing through the gloom to Whepstead for what seemed certain to be at least a six the Brockley supporters started to dream the undreamable (no, not a joint promotion for Ipswich and Norwich) however the dream lasted about 4 seconds as Blackledge could barely believe (steady!)his own eyes as the Mistley fielder not only took a superb catch but incredibly managed to stay in play too.
Meekings continued the Brockley fight back but in the end it was a big boundary too far and Brockley fell 5 runs short in what had been a keenly contested event played in a fine spirit.