Rioteers CC v. Chute CC, 9 September, 2018

The quintessential Rioteers match report traditionally carries an excess of metaphor, simile, allegory, and symbolism, exemplified below.

‘Brazier’s left arm carried the threat of a cold sponge pudding.’

‘nestled within the idyllic surroundings, the pedigree Herefords stood warily at long leg as Williams approached the crease’

‘We may define liberty, then, in Leonard Read’s felicitous phrase, as the absence of man-concocted restraints upon creative human action. At the ideal, each man should be entitled to manage his own life and to seek his own destiny as he sees fit, so long as he observes the equal and reciprocal freedom deserved by every other man. Such a concept limits the role of the state—the official restraining force imposed upon society—to preven­tion of aggression and coercive set­tlement of disputes by rules of common justice.

‘Hillier moved the field.’

However, this would be to simplify the occasion of our visit to Lower Chute.

A glorious sunny late autumn afternoon at a new and delightful venue, and the Rioteers, gathered promptly at 1.55 for the 1.30 start, and proceedings began at 2.20, with the opposition electing to bat. With Hall and Hillier (A) opening the bowling on a pitch of sometimes variable bounce (Halls tended to bounce), and with Hillier (j) sterling behind the stumps, the tight Rioteers fielding stopped many firmly struck balls.

Others may have taken catches but it kept the run rate low, but wickets were not falling.

Hall took the first and then with an early bowling change, Williams came on, Hall went off, Mills came on, and in tandem with Mills, and then Hillier, rattled through the middle order. With Boundaries on the big outfield hard to come by, we reached tea with the Oppo on 130 for 5, with the pick of the batting being Gairdiner dispatching Mills way over the aforementioned Herefords and Anya (3) sensibly playing a solid 33.

A chaseable target with the Rioteers batting all the way down to the tail, the thoughts at tea were not about the variety of cakes and sandwiches on offer, but about the oportunity of a late season win.

However thoughts turned and the bowlers exhausted after a long effort in the afternoon sunshine, tucked in, and then went back for a delicious second, maybe with another refreshing cup of tea.

After the third outing to the now depleted table, an aghast wicket keeper noted the oppo batsmen had not taken their pads off, and so after tea, the heavily laden pace attack trundled back out, not quite so quickly.

But the Rioteers are nothing if not resilient, and pressed on, whittling the remaining batsmen out, before the Chute batsmen declared with Ahl (E) not out 1 on his debut.

A quick change around, and Shea and Williams, with a previous best partnership of 99 set about a quick assault on the 156 target.

Well, Williams set about a quick assault, notably on the offside, with Shea Cook-like at the other end.

Williams eventually drilled a quick full toss straight and hard into midwickets waiting hands, followed by Hilliers (J), (B) and (M) making little impact on the scorers before departing, courtesy of some tight Chute bowling, and good wicket keeping from the skipper.

Shea however was still limpet like moving towards his half century, but the overs were coming down. Solid partnerships with Stafford, and Nandy saw the team score creeping up, but with shadows lengthening and the large crowd growing increasingly vociferous, grew confident of a home win with Nandy run out leaving Hillier (A) to come to wicket with Shea with 20 needed off the last 3 overs.

A previously unseen part of Shea game soon came to the fore with pacy singles and twos at every opportunity, and his fifty was reached to great applause from the side. The target was creeping down but so were the overs, 5 still needed off the last and with Archie (H) facing, the field came in, the ball went out, for four, and the game was level, with the winning shot coming with three balls left, and Mills, Hall and Brazier still in the hutch.

An excellent game, a trademark Rioteers win, great keeping from Hillier (J) and a terrific unbeaten 50 for Shea.

The Rioteers, led by half centurion Jim, attacked with gusto, like a fox in a henhouse, the various beers on offer at the post match hostelry, but the pub was the Fox, and a fox in a Fox is quite a messy metaphor, and these should be avoided like the plague.

All this tees us up nicely for next week at the Wield.

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