On one of the finest days of the year, Wooburn assembled in Nark Park for a slightly unusual affair, the players taking in the delights of England vs Panama, complete with a half time net. Indeed, with the score 5-0 at Half Time, some of the more dedicated carried on and were suitably prepped before the 3.10pm start, the game reducing to 32 overs, a very sociable way to spend the afternoon.
K.Dolan and W.Cuthbert, both fresh from the nets gave Wooburn a solid foundation, scoring predominantly off well run singles and taking advantage of some nervous Little Marlow fielding. A fine 50 partnership followed as both look set for kicking on, the reduced overs top of mind.
As the overs rolled into double figures, both openers consciously felt it was time to kick on, but alas it only served to claim their wickets.
The top 5 Wooburn batsmen all looked up to the task, Skipper Barker looking set, C.Hall in good touch returning from a long absence but L.Johnson was probably the pick, confidently stroking the ball around in a manner that belied his youthful age, seeing 22 of his 27 runs from well worked boundaries.
Things were going far too well for there not to be a wobble, and the middle order duly obliged, with 3 quick wickets in succession falling, Wooburn moving from 121/4 to 123/7 with relative ease. T.Pickard, earning a promotion up the batting order by virtue he was the only player anywhere near padded up and fit to bat. Indeed this proved a shrewd move for Wooburn as Pickard started in confident style and proved an excellent foe for M.Farnon to start hitting some boundaries in effortless fashion.
Farnon and Pickard, with an age gap somewhere in the 40’s, looked imperious, Pickard playing sensible well timed shots, Farnon striding towards 80 from not very many deliveries, by the time the partnership was broken it was worth a very handy 88 from barely 10 overs and had changed the complexion of the innings completely.
It was very appropriate then that having put little marlow to the sword with the bat, Farnon could feast on the tea provided by his good lady wife. A.Farnon certainly took to the roll of 12th man/woman with relish. The sandwich selection was vast with a wide variety of choice from Ham to Egg to Tuna. However it was the deep fillings and thick cut bread that really stood out, players having to really think about their technique when taking on these door wedges. Other fine touches included scones with cream complete with individually placed strawberry’s, chocolate brownies and chicken nuggets. But the show was stolen by the fine Home made sausage rolls, perfectly crisp and rich with flavour.
The Wooburn players took to the field, lethargic from the Farnon tea, sun drenched from the outrageously good weather and in some cases, slightly reeling from the beers during the England match.
J.Dolan opened the bowling with his trademark potent darts from a short run up, initially struggling for accuracy but making up for it almost immediately having Mahmood caught behind by father K.Dolan in what was a smart take.
Despite the early set-back, the Little Marlow batsmen set to the task on keeping up with the run rate, such was the task ahead. Both looked assured and played big shots, only halted by Barker having Rashid superbly caught at backward square leg by G.Taylor.
Hussain battled on and grew in confidence, all-be-it with wickets falling around him at the other end. Johnson, the pick of the batsmen outside of Farnon, was also was the standout bowler, producing a very simple yet effective spell of line and length bowling to take 3/24, all bowled.
Taylor did a good job of using up some overs but by now the bowlers were starting to toil with the imperious Hussain, as he ploughed on with scant regard for anything too full or too wide, utilising the short boundary to full effect.
Pickard, fresh from his batting exploits found a stylish rhythm and was unlucky not to take any wickets having bowled decent lines with a hint of pace.
However the game was ebbing away from Little Marlow as Hussain went to town, one of the finer innings you’ll see on a Sunday coming to an end, being caught in the last over on the boundary rope from the bowling of B.Halstead, his first wicket in senior cricket.
His second wasn’t too far away, bowling Abi (not Farnon) the very next ball, bringing Tedham to the wicket. Halstead, on senior debut, was on for a hat-trick. The fielders surrounded the bat but Tedham gratefully let the ball slide down leg side. But Halstead was not to be denied and the plucky colt tossed the next ball up, deceiving the batsman and bowled him.
Halstead had taken his first 3 senior wickets in 4 balls and lead the triumphant team off the field, much to the delight of his on looking parents (it should be noted that in the heat of the moment, said parents enthralled about buying a jug, but this reporter can confirm the Wooburn team glasses remained empty)