Harpsden CC

Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Harpsden, Oxfordshire
Butler XI 64 all out (T Sorrell 22, J Weymes 14) Harpsden 64 for no wicket (everyone bowled pants). Harpsden win by 10 wickets.

Not so long ago, this fixture on a delightful ground next to Henley Golf Club, with a cute little pavilion, grassy slope at one side and bushy hedge at the other, was one of the most eagerly anticipated contests of the season. The opposition would field three or four teenagers who showed promise but lacked the strength and experience to do much damage. Gareth even hit a six into the golf club car park.

Forward a few years and those teenagers are now sixth-formers and students with half a dozen years of expert coaching under their belts. They are fast, accurate seamers; they hit sixes with nonchalant ease. We, meanwhile, are greying at the temples, getting out of puff when we go for a quick single, squinting at the ball through our spectacles and wafting airily at nothing, as the ball lands with a soft thud in their keeper’s gloves.

So for the second year running, the match has ended prematurely: we inched our way to 64 in 23 overs, before being thwacked to all corners by their opening batsmen in something like five overs. It happened so quickly that our cups of tea were still warm when we returned to the pavilion. So we played a beer match, where Simon Kemp knocked an impressive 61 and Tucker made 23, which was great fun, but not really what we came for. Must do better.

Man of the Match: 
Tucker Sorrell, giving us a sliver of respectability
Champagne Moment: 
Simon’s third six in the beer match
Bad Behaviour Award: 
Brian Mack, opening and running himself out for a duck

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