Pyestock CC maintained their unbeaten start to 2016 with a comfortable victory over a depleted Concorde CC this Sunday.
Despite the weeks earlier forecasts of (lemon) drizzle, the sun was shining on Concorde’s superb setting, further enhanced with the square rotated ninety degrees due to ongoing work to the square. A truly beautiful setting.
It was Neil Butler’s sides first success against their long-standing opponents in six attempts dating back to 2008, and came courtesy of a strong bowling bowling and fielding performance followed up by steady and sensible batting.
Concorde CC, however are clearly in a transitional stage of their existence with many former players having either retired or moved on with regulars Ian Cudworth, Mick and Paul Reeve, Jerry Wright and George Howard now surrounded with the next generation of youngsters forging their careers in the most beautiful of surroundings.
It was one of these protege’s Adam Carter who opened the batting with Nick Freeman as Chris Heath and Jack Bromley got the game off to a slow start with tight lines and good length to rattle off 4 maidens in the first 5 overs while Heath bent back the middle stump of Freeman to leave the hosts 2 for 1.
A tweaked groin meant the opening bowler was deprived of the chance to make further inroads, and he was replaced by returning captain Neil Butler, as Concorde continued to make slow but steady progress reaching 40 for 1 by the time 20 overs was up, before Adam Carter loosely (chocolate) chipped straight to Jay Threlfall to give away his wicket, which he had worked so hard to protect.
The dangerous Rob Simonson arrived at the crease with a reputation for being a tough batsman to remove with a hard hitting nature. However on this occasion his innings came to a premature end as Butler breached his defences and departed for just 6.
The Pyestock captain had refound his rhythm and was looking exceedingly good with the ball, with Mick Reeve also failing having been caught by Chris McGovern. Richard Eynon, making an impressive return to the side for the first time since 2009, picked up the wicket of the stubborn Jerry Wright, who had soaked up 105 balls for his 37, to leave the home side in trouble at 90 for 5.
Paul Reeve and Ian Cudworth were now at the crease looking to rebuild and initially looked shaky against Eynon and the newly introduced leg spin of Glenn Taylor, however as pair settled, it became clear that Cudworth would attempt to support the aggressive nature of his partner.
In the 39th over. Taylor managed to bowl Cudworth with a delivery that went straight on. But Nick Wright continued the vigil as Reeve maintained his assault of power hitting, which, although effective was keeping the Pyestock fielders interested with the aerial and sometimes untimed nature of the shots.
In the end, it was a moment of brilliance from Eynon that ended the carnage with a cleverly disguised slower ball that produced a false shot from the Concorde number six who trudged to the pavilion for a 28-ball 35. It really was a Jaffa!
This effort had hauled Concorde to 119 for 7 but a further wicket each for Taylor and Eynon left the hosts 128 for 9 with around 3 minutes of the allotted time left. With the last batsmen not quite ready a declaration and (very slightly) early tea was agreed with the home side’s regulars confident that defeat was on the cards.
This wasn’t to suggest that Pyestock didn’t (fondant) fancy their chances and after tea, complete with scones, Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor wasted no time in ensuring that a progressive start was enjoyed.
It appeared as if Concorde were going to have to Battenberg down the hatches as Taylor looked to click into top gear , but with events were progressing well, having mustered 44 from the opening seven overs, the opener creamed a ball far more aerial than intended and was caught by Paul Reeve to give youngster Adam Carter his first wicket.
Losing the powerhouse of the innings may have panicked Pyestock and turned the innings (Pineapple) upside down, especially when replacement Chris McGovern also holed out for 4 but Ford and Colin Butler rebuilt the innings patiently as the bowlers tired.
The bread and butter of the innings saw careful but positive stroke-play from the batsmen as the runs were studiously compiled, and it took the introduction of George Howard to dislodge Ford for a slow-baked 19.
Chairman Pete Harris joined Butler at the crease and immediately injected some pace to proceedings with 2 boundaries, as Pyestock neared their target with only 42 runs required from the final 20 overs.
The 26th over saw 10 runs taken from Howard’s 3rd over as the match started to marzipan out and the writing started to appear on the wall for the forlorn home side. They continued to try and stifle the runs in the best ways possible, but Butler and Harris continued to (victoria) sponge further runs from the bowlers.
The 30th over provided drama as Harris clipped the ball to backward point in the region of Paul Reeve, who enhanced on his impressive performance by whistling the ball in to namesake Mick behind the stumps as Harris set back for the second run. The bails were removed with the Pyestock number 5 macarooned.
Butler soon secured the remaining 3 runs required to secure a six-wicket victory and finish unbeaten on 30, as Pyestock applauded and rolled out the red velvet carpet for this week’s hero.
As always, the match was played in the friendliest of atmospheres with Concorde’s welcoming nature up there with the very best. It is a shame Pyestock can only visit once a year as the day is always pleasurable, and finally getting a win is the icing on the ….!
This week the insider talks about the return of Richard Eynon to the side after a 7 year absence, plus the impressive performance at Concorde CC.
A good win for Pyestock this week albeit against a significantly weaker Concorde side than we are used to. How do you feel the team played?
I was surprised how unusually weak Concorde were this weekend. Concorde are usually a strong side who have gotten the better of us recently. Nevertheless it was good to see Pyestock get their first win of the season.
Richard Eynon returned to the side after several seasons away and contributed well with 3 wickets. How do you feel he played and settled back in to the side?
Richard was a great addition to the side and proved himself to fit right back in to the side with 3 wickets. Let’s hope he keeps taking wickets for the rest of this season
Having lost narrowly to Deando-Ruxley last season with only 9 players, do you feel the team are better equipped for the challenge this year, and are you looking at the match as a chance to exact revenge?
To start with pyestock have 11 players available this year but are still missing the injured Dan Heath. However with Richard Eynon in good form with the ball Pyestock have found a suitable replacement. I feel that Pyestock are better equipped this year but we will have to wait and see (drizzle permitting) if Pyestock and get a win on Sunday.