Lilley limped into June on a muggy afternoon at Bridens Camp with a crushing 70 run defeat at the hands of Great Gaddesden.
The day started badly for Lilley with the entire convoy getting lost en route to what is surely the best hidden ground in England. Worst hit were Steve Eyres, Taz and unfortunately the Captain, who spent some time negotiating dirt tracks on surrounding farms before eventually arriving 15 minutes late.
The upshot of it all was that Mik Carman had to step in and lose the toss for Lilley, who were very ungraciously sent in by an opposition who knew we were short. Phil Clarke was promoted to opening bowler with Hammond in the absence of the missing Ashby and both bowled very tidily in an opening spell in which Gaddesden failed to impose themselves on a ropey track. Hammond picked up an early wicket and Clarke followed with two of his own to turn the screws on the home side. Ironically, it was only when Ashby brought himself on in place of a tired Hammond that the runs began to flow. Ashby removed two batsmen before running into a middle order who played their strokes, had some luck and generally chanced their arm, aided by the fact Mik Carman had chronic back problems and had to leave the field and go home, unable to field, bat or bowl! The introduction of Taz revived the innings as a contest, as the youngster bagged 3-28 in five eventful overs before Hammond and a good run out by Eyres wrapped up the innings.
It was a pleasure to see Deadly Doug Tomsett back at the top of the order, however the bearded one was having an off day. He scored 17, but it’s no exaggeration to say that 16 of those were fours nicked through the slips. Mellor’s part time foot movement saw him back in the pavilion next ball and it was left to Hammond and Ashby to drop anchor somewhat. The former was done by a full toss and Eyres became the second golden duck of the innings moments later. Horner, the rock last week, was a mere piece of gravel this week as he feathered the ball through to the wicket keeper to register another Lilley duck. Phil Clarke provided brief resistance, but with his dismissal (totally mugged by a spinner!) for 6, Lilley had slipped from 30 for no wicket to 77 for 6. The runs came from Ashby at the other end, 32 of them including a six and three fours, however he was left high and dry as the tail appeared and disappeared back to the pavilion with a whimper and three more ducks. The only resistance came from Stew Collinson on the promise form his Captain that he would buy him a jug if he stayed until the end. Alas, for the local pub and Stew, he departed just six overs from the end. Paddington, who bowled an over of chucks including one no ball earlier on, registered another duck and is yet to score a run in 2003. Much more of this form and he may be selected for England. I can see it now…
“Although Paddington has a modest Village level record, we believe he has the technique and attitude to succeed at Test level..” David Graveney
The slight problems being that he bats like a wheelchair bound rotting turnip and is scared of his own shadow. Still, stranger things have happened. No James, they clearly haven’t.