Stocksfield 3rd XI are actually Stocksfield 2nd XI. It’s all to do with their 1st team’s switch in league that the 2nd team official title has to be used by their actual 3rd team in a different league division.
Stocksfield is a known as a batting track, not only because the wicket is generally good but because the short outfield gives what are big boundaries excellent value for shots.
For Alex a match against his old team, and a ground he had played on for 10 or so years for the first time as Captain.
Stocksfield won the toss and elected to field.
A dry, cloudy day with a cold blustery, very strong at times wind. Every time there was blue sky overhead the wind kicked up a notch, when the clouds rolled in the wind dropped only to pick up again. I lost count of the number of times the bails came off, the umpires seemed to be forever picking them up.
Our team sheet made me feel old, 2 under 15, 3 under 18’s and 2 under 19’s.
Pilki and Hamish to open against a pacey James Tolchard and Anthony Allen.
Everyone thought that this would be a very good ground for Hamish to get another big score, fast outfield, decent paced bowling, good track. It didn’t come to pass, after starting well he got a leading edge and found himself back in the pavilion for 6.
Tom Scott with a batting promotion to 3, played himself in and pushing the running harking back to last year when Tom ran Pilki pretty much into the ground against Prudhoe before Pilki got sick of it and went on a slogging mission to spare himself a heart attack. It wasn’t as bad today although Stocksfield set a very defensive field from the off. There was no slips and they had sweepers out especially on what was a pretty short boundary down the hill to the railway line.
Tom played some very good shots, driving well, there was a mullered cut that should have gone all the way up the hill for 4 but was stopped at a deep-ish point.
Pilki reined himself in a little (a lot from Monday) as the situation dictated with Hamish gone there needed to be an anchor to our innings and although he did take risks, was almost caught and was dropped, there was a good deal of responsible batting on display especially against Brown, Stocksfield’s young spinner who bowled with good flight and length, temptation rejected until he started bowling too short.
Tom was almost stumped chasing a ball from James Watson down legside (pretty sure he was gone, it looked out and Sam Beedle was very adamant about it) but it wasn’t given.
When Tom did depart for a very well-made 19, Max was next in and he didn’t look all that confident at the crease, a bit scratchy, he wasn’t in long though. Cha-ching fine.
The innings threatened to stutter.
Louis Charlton, played well to settle things back down again, looking at home at the crease, taking on the bad ball and rotating the strike.
James D’Arcy. What to say… He did all of the hard work. Played himself in patiently with no loose shots and looked set to build. Then the drinks break. He had been resisting going after wide outside off stump so well but after drinks he went hard, pretty much hit the cover off the ball to the fielder at backward point. He was desperately disappointed and we all felt for him because he had done the hard work and we wanted him to build on Monday’s performance as it was he fell victim to the break in concentration that the drinks bring.
Ross Colesky in at 7 with not enough runs on the board to show us what we had seen in nets the first time he came in a match with a borrowed bat from Hamish. Crisply timed shots, with good power behind them.
Pilki was out for looking to kick our score up as we came into the last 11 overs. No half-century dodging, 55 bringing Paul Irving to the crease. He had a look for a couple of overs as Stocksfield brought back their opening bowlers then had an unsuccessful swing looking to push the score on.
Me in at 9. Bewick put in a gully and took out midoff leaving a big old gap. It wasn’t pretty, it was described as a sweep, it was all bottom hand, baseball style 4 right through there. Unfortunately he put the midoff back in. Spoil sport. I didn’t see the point in hanging around so I was aggressive except I kept hitting the fielders not the boundary.
With James Tolchard bowled out they brought the spinner back on… Ross managed to break Hamish’s bat, ebay bought cheap one, not his good one. The handle broke a bit, Hamish then broke it off when he got it back up to the pavilion, shame it had a good middle on it. I didn’t even realise what had happened, I was more concerned with why we weren’t taking the single Ross had just hit… New bat please. Another Hamish’s bat. Too light for Ross he realised so I leant him mine which I don’t think actually heavier. Bat swapping ensued because although I reckoned I could bat with Hamish’s I was far too concerned about damaging the edges to dare use it.
Then there was proof that I do actually back up when I’m at the none strikers end, lovely straight drive from Ross deflected back onto the stumps by the bowler. Run out.
Aaron in for the last couple of overs to have a swing. Ross got out for a really good 25. Alex in to try and get us a couple more. He got out last ball.
156 all out (42 overs) Pilkington 55.
Knowing the kind of scores that are needed on the top pitch about 50-60 runs short.
Tea… Crusts cut off the sandwiches… Scones… Fruit salad… Cake… Very nice spread. Credit to the tea ladies because they also had another tea to do for the players on the back pitch.
In the interlude the sightscreen had managed to be felled by the wind over the hedge and it was a bit of a struggle for the Stockfield players to get it back up. It was then tied up which meant that when it was asked to be moved it couldn’t be.
Aaron with the wind from behind him. Two slips and a gully. Bit of a mixed bag from Aaron, there were some very, very good balls and some not so good. Hamish struggled bowling into the wind as it wrecked his line and with the ball swinging and a shot leg side boundary there were a few picked off.
James D’Arcy spelled him to bowl into the wind and found it easier going and picked up the wicket of Bewick.
I spelled Aaron.
Now there is a bit of history that comes from playing against a club that I played at for 12 years in various teams. When I started playing for Matfen, the first time I played against Stocksfield 2nd’s (this at a time I was still playing for Stocksfield women’s 1st’s) it was decided by them to hand out a Barbie doll at their presentation night to Bewick who I caught and bowled… It’s now a 3 year tradition. Get out to the girl and you get a Barbie doll on presentation night… Anyway Graeme Tolchard. He can’t stop himself from having a go. Flighted up, big hit, caught by Pilki. That’s twice now, same combination different fielding positions. He had to sing and dance Aqua’s Barbie girl for his team after the match and pay £2.50 in their fines for getting out to me. He took it in good humour as he always does.
Sam Beedle to the crease, not so proud owner of last year’s Barbie (that’s what you get for having a slog sunshine) but owner of some big scores. It was a bit of a surprise to see him even in the team as we thought that he would be playing 1st’s. He should be playing 1st’s but he wanted to keep wicket and bat so he was in the 2nd’s instead. We all know he’s a heavy scoring, difficult to get out batsmen. A couple of close calls but he succeeded in hitting me out of the attack.
All the while Jonny Tobin had been ticking along nicely. He’s only 15 but he bats with an older head, good power and has some very classy shots.
Hamish spelled me to bowl with the wind. Tom spelled D’Arcy and found himself under attack as Stocksfield put the hammer down. Pilki couldn’t find his usual control with the strong wind against him with a tweaked leg muscle.
With less than 10 to win and Sam chasing 50 there were a couple of interesting shot selections. Trying to hit a ramp shot off Hamish… It wasn’t welcomed with humour. An attempted 6 towards the school held up in the wind and was stopped from crossing the boundary by Aaron. He did get his 50 but with a more classic off drive.
159-2 (Tobin 50+*, Beedle 50*)
Stocksfield 12 points. Matfen Hall 5 points.
The first time this season a team’s got all 12 against us but we came out of it with maximum bonus points.
Fines box; run out (both of us); breaking Hamish’s bat; irresponsible batting (last ball), responsible batting, fielding “like an old woman” Toby in charge of all Pilki’s fines after that one; mis-fielding; being a ball magnet and mis-fielding; sulking / strops; tantrums; swearing at the batsmen (don’t try to ramp Hamish); swearing on the boundary (out of the mouth of babe’s); ruining averages (it’s still more than healthy) and the classic ducks 0* is still a duck.
It was a good match even with the wind being a nightmare played by two sides with some very talented young players.
Next up for Matfen next round of the T20 knock out cup away to Benwell Hill 3rd’s.