It felt like a day to bat first. A strong ish batting line up, late start meaning possible light problems towards the end and an opposition a man short. Put on a score, bowl them out and then back home in time for beer,medals and tall tales of bravado and daring. This however is Fleckney and the pathway to success is often tortuous, unexpected and mostly illusionary.
Sid went first, carving one up. Minor groan from the sidelines. Dunkers went shortly after picking out square leg and optimism vanished quicker than a fart in a field.
The outfield was slow, the wicket stickier than a sticky dog stuck on a super powered post it note. Progress went from difficult to a crawl.
Nigel got castled, poor Mike went the same way and held the pose in disbelief that the ball had found a gap to get through. It became a procession more ominous than the annual Grim Reaper carnival. Even optimists, such as they were , were talking of getting to 70. Yes, it was that bad.
As it happened the Duckhunters reached 110. Thanks in no small part to 49 not out from Andy Holmes who was (and we will say this quietly for effect) ably assisted by the skipper whose stay was only ended by a genuinely unplayable delivery that popped off the surface and hit glove.
Now they say pride goes before a fall and this afternoon was a prime example. The Vice Skipper was protecting a seasonal 'red inker' and only had four overs to protect that unlikely stat. However the run was to end this afternoon.
The rotund stumper/ gobshite stumbled to the turf making his ground after a single, scraping his face and registering on the Richter scale on impact. With action Sky TV replay not yet installed at the FCG he did a rereun( rerun??? Ha ha ha) the next over and landed mid pitch this time , a bit like Mike Atherton at Lords just minus the status, talent and 98 extra runs. Run over, innings over and probably 250 quid richer if' You've been Framed' get the footage.
With such a total the chances of victory were slim but at one point it genuinely looked on with 30 wanted and only 4 wickets in the hutch. Ben O'Reilly's development continued apace with another good spell, Frank snared a victim off a stumping when the batsman ran past the ball and kept on towards the container pavilion. Congrats too to Rohan Upple who battled away and got a richly deserved wicket.
So the win column remains a little under represented, there is a crater where a player landed heavily (twice) and Braybrooke grabbed the bragging rights but if you don't enjoy afternoons like this you are probably a synchronised swimming appreciating, train spotting Nottingham Forest fan and we would probably have very little time for you anyway.
The one-time lockdowned but now free roving reporter (another one!!) added - a good innings from Andy 'if u can keep ur head whilst.......' Holmes, 2 good catches by Michael Hextall - one very good skier off Frank on the boundary, A stumping for Will Jennings, (not convinced by his batting though-hope he's ok running in using his eyebrow to get over the line) and some accurate middle order bowling by young Ben O'Reilly.