St Michaels v Dallington CC
Innings of: Dallington
Innings of: St Michael's
Result: Dallington won by 43 runs
A valiant display by a determined St Michaels team was not enough to win the Garnett Cup for the first time in the clubs 121 year history at the County Ground, where Dallington confirmed their status as favourites by winning the trophy by 43 runs.
Determined to enjoy the day, both sets of players arrived early to practice on the lush County Ground outfield. St Michaels, marshalled by the ever-enthusiastic Graham Cakey Mayes, were soon being put their paces in a series of fielding drills. There then followed a pre-match talk by skipper Matt Collier, in which messages of goodwill were read out by absent players, with Bill Kingstons soiled jockstrap adding to the sense of occasion.
St Michaels won the toss and fielded first. And the opening bowlers soon had Dallington in trouble. The ever-accurate veteran Kev Mason soon sent the opener R Phipps out caught behind, and danger man John Inwood soon followed him. He tried to spank Mick Lowe out of the ground, but was only able to direct a lofted catch to that other veteran player, Malc Swann. Another wicket to Lowe followed, when A Edmonds was spectacularly caught at point by Dale Harrison. And at 15 for 3, St Michaels were on top. A fourth wicket soon followed, when R Lane was his middle stump comprehensively removed by Lowe. 32 for 4, and looking good. And soon after, a fifth wicket fell, and a scorching throw from the boundary from Harrison right over the stumps ran out Dave Slaymaker.
But Dallington started to turn things round. Jim Phipps (53) held firm with the bat, stroking the ball around the large outfield with ease. And when the opening bowlers Mason and Lowe had bowled their stints, the support was unable to keep the runs down. Trevor Kirby was replaced by Ian Slapper Geddes, who in his one over managed to remove Phipps, who by that stage had passed the 50 mark. A ball was despatched to deep square leg when Simon Kipling Cannell took a good catch on the boundary. But as he steadied himself, he came dangerously close to the boundary rope. The hordes of Dallington supporters on the pavilion balcony screamed that Cannells foot had touched the rope; Cannell was adamant that it hadnt. What followed was unpleasant to say the least. The Dallington hordes started booing and calling out unpleasantries. The umpire eventually gave Phipps out, but the reaction of the Dallington supporters was shameful. Whether Cannells foot had touched the rope or not, the shouting and jeering were uncalled for.
Dallington eventually totalled 107 for 6, a challenging total, but not beyond reach.
In reply, St Michaels struggled. Good accurate Dallington bowling from Inwood and McKenzie restricted the runs. First to go was Mayes, out LBW off a full toss. Soon to follow was Mick Lowe, out for a duck. And soon it was 13 for 3, as Ian Geddes was out without troubling the scorer. Resistance came from Malcolm Swann (11) and Trevor Kirby (9), who together put on 24 runs, before Kirby was out caught in the deep.
The run rate was steadily increasing, just as fast as the wickets were falling. Martin Gilly Baker (10) and Matt Collier (11) had a late flurry, but to no avail. A final score of 64 for 9 was way short, but at least we werent bowled out.
After licking the proverbial wounds after the match, the consumption of vast quantities of beer in the bar at least showed that the St Michaels players spirits were not down. They had enjoyed their day of fame, and could hopefully use this as a platform to turn their poor league form around, starting next Saturday away to bottom placed Cherry Orchard, a real 6 pointer.
Famous face (not) in the crowd Bill Kingston