Farningham 2nd XI
4th June 2022
“Could you skipper the 2s this weekend?” the Team Secretary asked.
“Sure, where is it?”
So off we trudged at midday. Prayers for rain had not been answered. We took the field with 9, the jet-lagged Deanes having overslept, and by the time they entered the fray Farningham were 80 for 2 off 8. To be fair, the Deanes were later instrumental in our establishing any control: Siraj 1-27 (8) and Amir a fantastic 3-41 (8). Adam Nash, reverting to his reincarnation as a medium-pacer, also bowled well (2-38) and Sean Carroll bowled promisingly: one to watch. We fielded pretty well, Nick Fowler taking two good catches, but the host still made it to 243: a daunting target. Nevertheless, the afternoon session was adorned by a spitfire doing rolls at regular intervals, just in case the cricket got boring or the A20 got too noisy.
Batting-wise, Speldhurst were never up with the rate and we finished 100 short, but nearly everyone had a nice bat, and Will Plunkett (21*) biffed the ball impressively at the end. Amir Deane learned how to score and Tristan Price learned (from Nick Fowler) some of the finer nuances of umpiring. There were SCC returns for Mike Nash and Mark Thorpe, and a debut for Ollie Plunkett. So, the afternoon was not wasted.
Ed Wesson, Stand-in Skip
Outwood 2nd XI
11th June 2022
A hot sunny day beckoned, as Speldhurst turned out one of the stronger sides 2nd XIs in its history. Unfortuantely, and perhaps typically, we ended up playing an Outwood side full of confidence, youth, and serious bowling depth.
The day started poorly as the skipper lost and was asked to bowl, much to his team’s chagrin. Opening bowlers G Fitz and W Plunkz bowled with zip, both recovering from some loose balls in their first few overs to take wickets: George (3-45) with both openers and Will (1-44) with their dangerous number four, who scored many, many, many runs against us two years ago. M Flem (1-37) continued his excellent bowling form this season, and could have had a 5fer if we hung onto our (admittedly, tricky) catches. Adam Nash’s newly remodeled medium pace continued to impress (2-33) and J Flem finished the innings off well with a tidy 1-15.
With 177 to chase/defend, both teams looked confident at tea. Skipper’s decision to open the batting fell flat as he offered a tame leading-edge early on, after M Flem departed just a few balls previous. Luckily this brought the younger Flemington and recovering 1s skipper Brandt to the crease. A near-50 run partnership followed, scoring more freely off the 1st change bowlers after seeing off the tidy openers. Unfortunately, the 2nd change was a different story, who bowled with pace and skill to dismiss Flemington (20), Calypso (10) and Brandt (43) shortly after drinks, as Outwood revealed the scale of their bowling depth. In the end, SCC succumbed 39 runs short, with G Fitz biffing an entertaining 21 towards the end. A bowling attack that would hold its own in Division 1 was the difference between the sides.
Bidborough 3rd XI
18th June 2022
The arrival of the Speldhurst Fete relocated our ‘home’ fixture v Bidborough to Eridge. This sadly proved too much for some, as several players from both sides got lost/delayed on the way down. With both sides missing a couple, SCC lost the toss and were inserted into the field first. SCC new-boy Pawan took the gloves most ably, proving his good eye when dealing with a spicy Eridge pitch: an excellent new addition to the club. Opening bowlers Harrison (1-10) and Junior Flem (3-22) used that spiciness to their advantage, taking several key early Bidborough wickets. M Flem continued his fine wicket-taking form, taking 4-25 to move several wickets clear at the top of Div 6’s bowling table. The bowling effort was concluded perfectly as youngsters Sean (1-12) and Zach (0-3) bowled with discipline, accuracy and skill. Calypso took the final wicket of their opener who had scored just 26, and Bidborough were all out for 82.
The fielding was also something of note. Particular shoutouts to Arthur, Sean and Zach who all acquitted themselves superbly, and were easily the three best fielders on either side. The batting performance was assured and mostly sensible. J Flem (31*) passed 2000 senior league runs for the club in a match-winning 50 partnership with Arthur Plunkett (21). Both batsman playing sensibly on the whole, with the latter using his signature long handle on just the few occasions. All in all a comfortable win, and a very welcome 20 points.