Written by scorer, Rhiannon Wilson
On a grey overcast day, two-promotions-in-two-years Coalpit Heath came to down-from-WEPL Old Bristolians Westbury.
Despite the ominous clouds, and grindingly slow run rates, it turned out to be a surprisingly good game. Remaining dry overhead, it was tight and suspenseful, going right to the penultimate over before OBW’s got the win they needed.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl, so newcomer Will Rudd and Portuguese Man O’ War De Nobrega strolled to the crease. Both started slowly, with a Test-like average of under 4 an over, but with some fine shots.
Rudd was lucky to be dropped on 24 in the 14th over, one for K. Ali to forget as Rudd then settled in for a gritty 82, finally falling to Coalpit Heath’s star bowler Rose (5.2-1-4-18). By that point Rudd had had 8 batting partners… Maybe he’d finally had enough?
Ricardo had done ok, making 32 in his hour at the crease, but the less said about the rest of the order the better, with just 25 between them (🐥🐥🐥🐥).
However, for the neutral observer or Laws keeno there was a highlight.
With the score at 124, Penny (9) was dropped by Haigh, then promptly stepped out of his crease and picked up the ball to lob back to the bowler.
After much conferring, it had to be given – out obstruction. Blame it on baby brain?
With that, OBWCC collapsed, and fell from 124-4 to 155 all out in just 31 minutes.
Would they be able to defend such a low total, and after such an epic tea?
After chicken drumsticks, sausage rolls, pork pies and accompanying condiments (piccalilli!!), Coalpit came out and found it even tougher going.
The Scroogesque opening bowling of Macarthur (9-2-21-2) and Penny (9-1-19-1) let just 9 runs through in the first 8 overs.
OBWs fielded well, putting bodies on the line left, right and centre.
Simon Pratt (9-3-26-1) took an excellent catch off his own bowling, diving to his left to remove Rose at 90-5. The rest of the catching spoils were shared by Macarthur (2), Rudd, Pratt, De Nobrega, and Lee (1 each).
Special mention to Steve ‘T Rex’ Jacobs diving one-handed, unsuccessful but committed, and Alex Lee‘s running catch into forward roll. Penny’s faceplant is unverified by the scorer. Although quiet on and off the field, Ribbons and Fairbrother were there.
Behind the stumps Yates kept extras to a minimum, but his chirping divided opinion (penny pasta?!) and he and his dad’s wallet were lucky to escape at fines.
It was a good day to be a bowler.
All of OBW’s bowling attack deserve a pat on the back, with Gareth ‘Reliable’ Griffiths taking top honours at 9-3-2-18.
Bowling at the death, Rudd (4-0-21-2) and Lee (4-0-25-2) both took a wicket with the last ball of their final over, Lee removing Coalpit’s keeper Davis (3) to wrap the game up.
None of CH’s batters ever really got stuck in, and they had a more genteel collapse than the home side, falling from 90-4 to 136 all out in 45 minutes, with a limp tail.
With the return fixture in July, could the rematch be a highscoring crash, bang, wallop? Both team’s scorers hope so.