Sunday, 2 August 2009

Second Sunday

Rest Day: The 2nd Sunday is a rest day for the main tournaments, but there are weekenders for those who cannot get away during the week, and treat this like a typical weekend congress.

Cricket Match: Meanwhile, Andrew Martin traditionally tries to assemble a cricket team to play a match against a local team. Some years he can't identify a team with a free space on that one day, and some years he can't get 11 players to turn out. This year he succeeded on both fronts and will shortly be arriving at Clyst St. George, between Exeter and Exmouth, for a 40 over match. KO at 14.30.
Below: 5 minutes to Kick off
Above: 1. Scorer Peter Sowray and Andrew Martin discuss their team's prospects.
Above 2: Trefor Thynne explains his plan to son Richard; he aims to hit the middle ball of the three coming towards him and hope for the best.

Above: Pre-match team photograph.
Front row (l-r): Isaac Stables & Tom Haxby.
Seated: Trefor Thynne, Alec Toll (capt.), Jim Fisher.
Standing: Richard Thynne; Chris Briscoe, Charlie Storey, Michael White, David Le Moir, Andrew Martin, Jack Rudd.
Clyst St. George is a very small village, almost a hamlet, but any lingering thoughts that their team might reflect this in playing strength were very soon dispelled. For a start, the highest score ever made in Devon League cricket was by a home batsman on this ground in 1984 when Bob Merrifield scored 255 off 143 balls, including 37 fours and 9 sixes. They have 2 teams in the Devon League and 4 junior teams, and last season was one of their best ever - so the signs were there from the outset.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat, and in no time at all were 145 without loss, and remarkably one of the two opening batsmen had contributed only 18 to this total. The opener, Pete Andrews, went on to make 150, and once he was out, the match reverted to a more even contest, but by that time it was slipping away. At one point, Trefor Thynne was bowling his slow spinners, and was hit for 4. Wicket keeper and team captain, Alec Toll, shouted down the wicket "Give it more flight". Trefor duly did and the ball was whacked for 6, high, wide and handsome over the massive oak trees that surround the pitch, whereupon Trefor calls back "Is that enough flight Skipper?"
Shortly before the start, Alec Toll had briefed his side on the art of the "long barrier", where the fielder goes down with hands ready, and body in line behind the ball as an additional stopper - just in case. Jim Fisher appeared to dispense with the hands bit of it and just flung his body everywhere to prevent boundaries. He must have bruises all over this morning. One super performance was David Le Moir's two Caught and Bowled, when in both cases the ball was struck back him with great force; in full follow through, he thrust out his right hand and the ball just stuck. Neither batsman could believe it.
At the end of 40 overs they had reached 248 for 9, with Richard Thynne taking 4 wickets, David Le Moir 2, and Briscoe and Martin 1 each.
After a splendid tea, Martin and Toll hit back with a splendid 70 from Andrew and 37 from Alec. Trefor Thynne's plan (see above) worked to a certain extent - after 40 minutes at the crease he was still O not out, then he hit a boundary that was met with a great cheer from the pavilion, but he was out shortly after. The chess-players eventually reached 162 all out, a respectable score in most circumstances but not enough on this occasion. The home team had entered into the spirit of the occasion and manoeuvred their team according to the situation at each point in the game, so that it never got too one-sided. Everyone involved felt it had been a really enjoyable match played in a truly sporting spirit. One of the better ones of recent years.

Also, Arbiter Kevin Staveley will be getting ready for the traditional Quiz night, due to be held in the Rosetor Room. One of the team captains, another Arbiter, e-mailed resident Egghead C. J. de Mooi asking if he'd come back to be in his team, and when I left negotiations were on-going.
Review of Round 6: After about 5 rounds, as in any Swiss tournament, players of roughly level abilities have formed themselves into little groups down the order, and will tend to play in small mini-leagues. Draws then become more common than in the early rounds and a win is that much more valuable, especially at the top. Indeed, the top 3 games on Saturday ended in a draw, but Simon Williams swept aside Gary Lane's defences with his strong long black diagonal occupied by his Queen and bishop, to come within half a point of the 2 leaders and top seeds, Howell and Jones. Similarly, Lawrence Trent bounced back from his loss to Howell in the previous round with a win against Graeme Buckley, keeping him in the mix. Joint winners last year, Arkell and Conquest also won to keep their scores at least respectable.
The Game of the Round was by Chris Briscoe for his win with Black against Cornishman Andrew Greet. Jack Rudd got back to something like his usual form with a a win against Sarah Hegarty in a game between a former West of England Champion and WECU Ladies Champion.
The draw for Rd. 7 found 17 players on between 5 and 4 points (inclusive), and it is difficult to see anyone from outside this group overtaking all of them.
Sibling Rivalry: The last pair of brothers to both play in the British before this year's Jones boys, were the Eggleston brothers.
David Howell is the youngest favourite to win since who?
Re. John Littlewood's probable record of 50 years between 1st and most recent appeances in the British is still standing, as I have checked out that A. R. B. Thomas's record was 46 years (1926 - 1972). Still researching E. G. Sergeant.